Ecosystems Study Guide
Ecosystem – living and nonliving things that interact in an environment.
- Living things – plants, animals, and humans.
- Nonliving things – air, water, soil, and sunlight.
- Living things depend on each other and nonliving things to survive: we need water, air, and soil (all are nonliving).
Habitat – a living thing’s home.
Food chain – model that shows how energy passes from one organism to another in an ecosystem.
Students need to be able to draw a food chain of their choice – all food chains begin with the sun and followed by some kind of plant.
Producer – an organism that makes its own food.
Consumer – an organism that eats other organisms.
Decomposer – an organism that breaks down dead plant and animal material and puts nutrients back into the soil.
Food web – several food chains connected together.
Predators – organisms that hunt other organisms for food.
Prey – organisms that are hunted for food.
Herbivores – organisms that eat mostly plants.
Carnivores – organisms that eat mostly other animals.
Omnivores – organisms that eat both plants and animals.
Students need to be able to give examples of herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. They have a worksheet with various pictures we completed together to use as a guide.
Climate – the pattern of weather in a place over a long time.
Students need to know the difference between climate and weather. Climate describes the weather pattern over a long time, while weather describe the current conditions.
Desert – climate is dry with very little rainfall; temperature is very hot during the day and drops quickly when the suns sets; soil is mostly sand; few plants and animals can survive here.
Tropical rain forest – climate is hot and damp; lots of rainfall; warm all year long; has more kinds of living things than any other land environment.
Temperate forest – winters are cold and dry; summers are warm and wet.
Tundra – climate is cold and dry; winters are long and icy cold and summers are short and cool; very little rainfall; the ground is frozen all year.
Ocean – a large body of salt water.
Earth has five oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Oceans.
Adaptation – a structure or behavior that helps an organism survive in its environment.
Camouflage – blending adaptation.
Nocturnal – animals that sleep during the day and are active at night.
Mimicry – an adaptation where one living thing imitates another living thing to stay safe in its environment.
Hibernate – to go into a deep sleep; allows an animal to use less energy and survive when seasons change.
Migrate – to move from one place to another.
**Students should have numerous diagrams, foldables, and notes in their science notebooks that will provide all of the resources necessary to prepare for this test.