Ecology – Organisms in their Environment


The study of the interaction between living organisms and their environment is called Ecology.

Words used in Ecology

Ecological word Meaning Example
Habitat The place where an organism lives A desert
Population A group of organisms of the same species, existing at the same time in the same place A population of camels.
Community All the populations of different species in an ecosystem The populations of camels, cactus and scorpion in the desert, make up a community
Ecosystem An ecological unit containing all biotic and abiotic factors,  interacting with each other The community of all desert animals and plants along with the sand, the sun, the wind, the water in an oasis, all form the desert ecosystem
Niche The way in which an organism lives its life in an ecosystem The camel feeds on desert grass, drinks some water from an oasis etc. all form a part of a niche

Food chains and food webs

  • A diagram demonstrating the energy flow from one organism to the next, beginning with a producer is defined as a food chain.
  • A network of interconnected food chains is known as a food web.
  • In both- a food chain and a food web, the energy comes from the sun and decreases as trophic levels increase

Producers and consumers

  • An organism that makes its own organic nutrients usually using energy from photosynthesis is defined as a
  • An organism that obtains its energy by eating producers or other organisms is called as a consumer
  • A herbivore is an organism that gets its energy by feeding on plants
  • A carnivore is an organism that gets its energy by feeding on other animals

Trophic level

A trophic level is the position of an organism in:

  • A food chain
  • A food web
  • A pyramid of biomass
  • A pyramid of numbers


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