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Biology Definitions

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Bio Vocab
1. ecology - noun the branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment; the environment as it relates to living organisms
2. biosphere - noun the regions of the surface and atmosphere of the Earth (or other planet) where living organisms exist
3. species - noun a specific kind of something; (biology) taxonomic group whose members can interbreed
4. population - noun the act of populating (causing to live in a place); (statistics) the entire aggregation of items from which samples can be drawn; a group of organisms of the same species populating a given area; the people who inhabit a territory or state; the number of inhabitants (either the total number or the number of a particular race or class) in a given place (country or city etc.)
5. community - noun (ecology) a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other; a group of people living in a particular local area; a group of people having ethnic or cultural or religious characteristics in common; a group of nations having common interests; common ownership; agreement as to goals; the body of people in a learned occupation; a district where people live; occupied primarily by private residences
6. ecosystem - noun a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment
7. biome - noun a major biotic community characterized by the dominant forms of plant life and the prevailing climate
8. autotroph - noun plant capable of synthesizing its own food from simple organic substances
9. producer - noun something that produces; someone who finds financing for and supervises the making and presentation of a show (play or film or program or similar work); someone who manufactures something
10. photosynthesis - noun synthesis of compounds with the aid of radiant energy (especially in plants)
11. chemosynthesis - noun synthesis of carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water; limited to certain bacteria and fungi
12. heterotroph - noun an organism that depends on complex organic substances for nutrition
13. consumer - noun a person who uses goods or services
14. herbivore - noun any animal that feeds chiefly on grass and other plants
15. carnivore - noun any animal that feeds on flesh; a terrestrial or aquatic flesh-eating mammal
16. omnivore - noun an animal that feeds on both animal and vegetable substances; a person who eats all kinds of foods
17. detritivore - noun. an animal that feeds on dead organic material, especially plant detritus
18. decomposer - noun. an organism, especially a soil bacterium, fungus, or invertebrate, that decomposes organic material
19. food - noun any substance that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissue; anything that provides mental stimulus for thinking; any solid substance (as opposed to liquid) that is used as a source of nourishment
20. chain - noun a series of (usually metal) rings or links fitted into one another to make a flexible ligament; a necklace made by a stringing objects together; anything that acts as a restraint; a number of similar establishments (stores or restaurants or banks or hotels or theaters) under one ownership; a series of things depending on each other as if linked together; (chemistry) a series of linked atoms (generally in an organic molecule); British biochemist (born in Germany) who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1906-1979); a unit of length; a series of hills or mountains; verb fasten or secure with chains; connect or arrange into a chain by linking
21. food - noun any substance that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissue; anything that provides mental stimulus for thinking; any solid substance (as opposed to liquid) that is used as a source of nourishment
22. web - noun membrane connecting the toes of some aquatic birds and mammals; an intricate trap that entangles or ensnares its victim; a fabric (especially a fabric in the process of being woven); an intricate network suggesting something that was formed by weaving or interweaving; the flattened weblike part of a feather consisting of a series of barbs on either side of the shaft; computer network consisting of a collection of internet sites that offer text and graphics and sound and animation resources through the hypertext transfer protocol; an interconnected system of things or people; verb construct or form a web, as if by weaving
23. trophic - adj. of or relating to nutrition
24. level - adj. oriented at right angles to the plumb; being on a precise horizontal plane; not showing abrupt variations; of the score in a contest; having a surface without slope, tilt in which no part is higher or lower than another; noun indicator that establishes the horizontal when a bubble is centered in a tube of liquid; height above ground; an abstract place usually conceived as having depth; a structure consisting of a room or set of rooms at a single position along a vertical scale; a flat surface at right angles to a plumb line; a position on a scale of intensity or amount or quality; a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process; a relative position or degree of value in a graded group; verb become level or even; talk frankly with; lay it on the line; aim at; tear down so as to make flat with the ground; direct into a position for use; make level or straight
25. ecological - adj. of or relating to the science of ecology; characterized by the interdependence of living organisms in an environment
26. pyramid - noun a massive monument with a square base and four triangular sides; begun by Cheops around 2700 BC as royal tombs in ancient Egypt; (stock market) a series of transactions in which the speculator increases his holdings by using the rising market value of those holdings as margin for further purchases; a polyhedron having a polygonal base and triangular sides with a common vertex; verb increase rapidly and progressively step by step on a broad base; arrange or build up as if on the base of a pyramid; use or deal in (as of stock or commercial transaction) in a pyramid deal; enlarge one's holdings on an exchange on a continued rise by using paper profits as margin to buy additional amounts
27. biomass - noun the total mass of living matter in a given unit area; plant materials and animal waste used as fuel
28. biogeochemical - adjective. relating to or denoting the cycle in which chemical elements and simple substances are transferred between living systems and the environment.
29. cycle - noun a single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon; a periodically repeated sequence of events; a series of poems or songs on the same theme; an interval during which a recurring sequence of events occurs; a wheeled vehicle that has two wheels and is moved by foot pedals; the unit of frequency; one hertz has a periodic interval of one second; verb recur in repeating sequences; pass through a cycle; cause to go through a recurring sequence; ride a bicycle; ride a motorcycle
30. evaporation - noun the process of extracting moisture; the process of becoming a vapor
31. transpiration - noun the emission of water vapor from the leaves of plants; the passage of gases through fine tubes because of differences in pressure or temperature; the process of giving off or exhaling water vapor through the skin or mucous membranes
32. nutrient - adj. of or providing nourishment; noun any substance that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissue
33. nitrogen - noun a common nonmetallic element that is normally a colorless odorless tasteless inert diatomic gas; constitutes 78 percent of the atmosphere by volume; a constituent of all living tissues
34. fixation - noun (histology) the preservation and hardening of a tissue sample to retain as nearly as possible the same relations they had in the living body; the activity of fastening something firmly in position; an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone; an abnormal state in which development has stopped prematurely
35. denitrification - noun. the loss or removal of nitrogen or nitrogen compounds; specifically : reduction of nitrates or nitrites commonly by bacteria (as in soil) that usually results in the escape of nitrogen into the air
36. primary - adj. not derived from or reducible to something else; basic; of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondhand; of primary importance; most important element; of or being the essential or basic part; noun a preliminary election where delegates or nominees are chosen; one of the main flight feathers projecting along the outer edge of a bird's wing; coil forming the part of an electrical circuit such that changing current in it induces a current in a neighboring circuit
37. productivity - noun (economics) the ratio of the quantity and quality of units produced to the labor per unit of time; the quality of being productive or having the power to produce
38. limiting - adj. strictly limiting the reference of a modified word or phrase; restricting the scope or freedom of action; noun the grammatical relation that exists when a word qualifies the meaning of the phrase
39. nutrient - adj. of or providing nourishment; noun any substance that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissue
40. algal - adj. of or relating to alga
41. bloom - noun a rosy color (especially in the cheeks) taken as a sign of good health; the best time of youth; a powdery deposit on a surface; reproductive organ of angiosperm plants especially one having showy or colorful parts; the organic process of bearing flowers; the period of greatest prosperity or productivity; verb produce or yield flowers
42. weather - adj. towards the side exposed to wind; noun the meteorological conditions: temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation; verb change under the action or influence of the weather; sail to the windward of; cause to slope; face or endure with courage
43. climate - noun the weather in some location averaged over some long period of time; the prevailing psychological state
44. greenhouse - adj. of or relating to or caused by the greenhouse effect; noun a building with glass walls and roof; for the cultivation and exhibition of plants under controlled conditions
45. effect - noun (of a law) having legal validity; an impression (especially one that is artificial or contrived); the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work; a symptom caused by an illness or a drug; an outward appearance; a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon; verb produce; act so as to bring into existence
46. polar - adj. having a pair of equal and opposite charges; of or existing at or near a geographical pole or within the Arctic or Antarctic Circles; located at or near or coming from the earth's poles; being of crucial importance; extremely cold; characterized by opposite extremes; completely opposed
47. zone - noun (anatomy) any encircling or beltlike structure; an area or region distinguished from adjacent parts by a distinctive feature or characteristic; any of the regions of the surface of the Earth loosely divided according to latitude or longitude; a circumscribed geographical region characterized by some distinctive features; verb regulate housing in; of certain areas of towns; separate or apportion into sections
48. temperate - adj. not extreme in behavior; (of weather or climate) free from extremes; mild; or characteristic of such weather or climate; not extreme
49. zone - noun (anatomy) any encircling or beltlike structure; an area or region distinguished from adjacent parts by a distinctive feature or characteristic; any of the regions of the surface of the Earth loosely divided according to latitude or longitude; a circumscribed geographical region characterized by some distinctive features; verb regulate housing in; of certain areas of towns; separate or apportion into sections
50. tropical - adj. of weather or climate; hot and humid as in the tropics; characterized by or of the nature of a trope or tropes; changed from its literal sense; relating to or situated in or characteristic of the tropics (the region on either side of the equator); of or relating to the tropics, or either tropic
51. zone - noun (anatomy) any encircling or beltlike structure; an area or region distinguished from adjacent parts by a distinctive feature or characteristic; any of the regions of the surface of the Earth loosely divided according to latitude or longitude; a circumscribed geographical region characterized by some distinctive features; verb regulate housing in; of certain areas of towns; separate or apportion into sections
52. biotic - adj. of or relating to living organisms
53. factor - noun an independent variable in statistics; anything that contributes causally to a result; any of the numbers (or symbols) that form a product when multiplied together; (genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity; an abstract part of something; a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission; one of two or more integers that can be exactly divided into another integer; verb resolve into factors
54. abiotic - noun. physical rather than biological; not derived from living organisms.
55. factor - noun an independent variable in statistics; anything that contributes causally to a result; any of the numbers (or symbols) that form a product when multiplied together; (genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity; an abstract part of something; a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission; one of two or more integers that can be exactly divided into another integer; verb resolve into factors
56. habitat - noun the type of environment in which an organism or group normally lives or occurs
57. niche - noun (ecology) the status of an organism within its environment and community (affecting its survival as a species); a position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it; an enclosure that is set back or indented; a small concavity
58. resource - noun a source of aid or support that may be drawn upon when needed; the ability to deal resourcefully with unusual problems; available source of wealth; a new or reserve supply that can be drawn upon when needed
59. competitive - adj. showing a fighting disposition; subscribing to capitalistic competition; involving competition or competitiveness
60. exclusion - noun the state of being excluded; the act of forcing out someone or something; a deliberate act of omission; the state of being excommunicated
61. principle - noun a basic truth or law or assumption; a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system; a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; a rule or standard especially of good behavior; rule of personal conduct; (law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature)
62. predation - noun the act of preying by a predator who kills and eats the prey; an act of plundering and pillaging and marauding
63. symbiosis - noun the relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent; each gains benefits from the other
64. mutualism - noun the relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent; each gains benefits from the other
65. commensalism - noun the relation between two different kinds of organisms when one receives benefits from the other without damaging it
66. parasitism - noun the relation between two different kinds of organisms in which one receives benefits from the other by causing damage to it (usually not fatal damage)
67. ecological - adj. of or relating to the science of ecology; characterized by the interdependence of living organisms in an environment
68. succession - noun acquisition of property by descent or by will; the action of following in order; a group of people or things arranged or following in order; (ecology) the gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established; a following of one thing after another in time
69. primary - adj. not derived from or reducible to something else; basic; of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondhand; of primary importance; most important element; of or being the essential or basic part; noun a preliminary election where delegates or nominees are chosen; one of the main flight feathers projecting along the outer edge of a bird's wing; coil forming the part of an electrical circuit such that changing current in it induces a current in a neighboring circuit
70. succession - noun acquisition of property by descent or by will; the action of following in order; a group of people or things arranged or following in order; (ecology) the gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established; a following of one thing after another in time
71. pioneer - noun one the first colonists or settler in a new territory; someone who helps to open up a new line of research or technology or art; verb open up and explore a new area; open up an area or prepare a way; take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of
72. species - noun a specific kind of something; (biology) taxonomic group whose members can interbreed
73. secondary - adj. belonging to a lower class or rank; not of major importance; being of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate; depending on or incidental to what is original or primary; inferior in rank or status; noun the defensive football players who line up behind the linemen; coil such that current is induced in it by passing a current through the primary coil
74. succession - noun acquisition of property by descent or by will; the action of following in order; a group of people or things arranged or following in order; (ecology) the gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established; a following of one thing after another in time
75. biome - noun a major biotic community characterized by the dominant forms of plant life and the prevailing climate
76. tolerance - noun the act of tolerating something; the power or capacity of an organism to tolerate unfavorable environmental conditions; willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others; a disposition to allow freedom of choice and behavior; a permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits
77. microclimate - noun. the climate of a very small or restricted area, especially when this differs from the climate of the surrounding area
78. canopy - noun a covering (usually of cloth) that serves as a roof to shelter an area from the weather; the umbrellalike part of a parachute that fills with air; the transparent covering of an aircraft cockpit; verb cover with a canopy
79. understory - noun. a layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy of a forest
80. deciduous - adj. (of plants and shrubs) shedding foliage at the end of the growing season; (of teeth, antlers, etc.) being shed at the end of a period of growth
81. coniferous - adj. of or relating to or part of trees or shrubs bearing cones and evergreen leaves
82. humus - noun partially decomposed organic matter; the organic component of soil; a thick spread made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic; used especially as a dip for pita; originated in the Middle East
83. taiga - noun. the sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes, especially that between the tundra and steppes of Siberia and North America.
84. permafrost - noun ground that is permanently frozen
85. plankton - noun the aggregate of small plant and animal organisms that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water
86. phytoplankton - noun photosynthetic or plant constituent of plankton; mainly unicellular algae
87. zooplankton - noun animal constituent of plankton; mainly small crustaceans and fish larvae
88. wetland - noun a low area where the land is saturated with water
89. estuary - noun the wide part of a river where it nears the sea; fresh and salt water mix
90. detritus - noun loose material (stone fragments and silt etc) that is worn away from rocks; the remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up
91. salt - adj. (of speech) painful or bitter; one of the four basic taste sensations; like the taste of sea water; noun the taste experience when common salt is taken into the mouth; white crystalline form of especially sodium chloride used to season and preserve food; a compound formed by replacing hydrogen in an acid by a metal (or a radical that acts like a metal); negotiations between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics opened in 1969 in Helsinki designed to limit both countries' stock of nuclear weapons; verb preserve with salt; add zest or liveliness to; sprinkle as if with salt; add salt to
92. marsh - noun low-lying wet land with grassy vegetation; usually is a transition zone between land and water; New Zealand writer of detective stories (1899-1982); United States painter (1898-1954)
93. mangrove - noun a tropical tree or shrub bearing fruit that germinates while still on the tree and having numerous prop roots that eventually form an impenetrable mass and are important in land building
94. swamp - noun low land that is seasonally flooded; has more woody plants than a marsh and better drainage than a bog; a situation fraught with difficulties and imponderables; verb drench or submerge or be drenched or submerged; fill quickly beyond capacity; as with a liquid
95. photic - adj. of or relating to or caused by light
96. zone - noun (anatomy) any encircling or beltlike structure; an area or region distinguished from adjacent parts by a distinctive feature or characteristic; any of the regions of the surface of the Earth loosely divided according to latitude or longitude; a circumscribed geographical region characterized by some distinctive features; verb regulate housing in; of certain areas of towns; separate or apportion into sections
97. aphotic - adj. lacking light; especially not reached by sunlight
98. zone - noun (anatomy) any encircling or beltlike structure; an area or region distinguished from adjacent parts by a distinctive feature or characteristic; any of the regions of the surface of the Earth loosely divided according to latitude or longitude; a circumscribed geographical region characterized by some distinctive features; verb regulate housing in; of certain areas of towns; separate or apportion into sections
99. zonation - noun. distribution in zones or regions of definite character
100. coastal - adj. located on or near or bordering on a coast; of or relating to a coast
101. ocean - noun a large body of water constituting a principal part of the hydrosphere; anything apparently limitless in quantity or volume
102. kelp - noun large brown seaweeds having fluted leathery fronds
103. forest - noun the trees and other plants in a large densely wooded area; land that is covered with trees and shrubs; verb establish a forest on previously unforested land
104. coral - adj. of a strong pink to yellowish-pink color; noun marine colonial polyp characterized by a calcareous skeleton; masses in a variety of shapes often forming reefs; a variable color averaging a deep pink; unfertilized lobster roe; reddens in cooking; used as garnish or to color sauces; the hard stony skeleton of a Mediterranean coral that has a delicate red or pink color and is used for jewelry
105. reef - noun a submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the water; a rocky region in the southern Transvaal in northeastern South Africa; contains rich gold deposits and coal and manganese; verb reduce (a sail) by taking in a reef; roll up (a portion of a sail) in order to reduce its area; lower and bring partially inboard
106. benthos - noun organisms (plants and animals) that live at or near the bottom of a sea; a region including the bottom of the sea and the littoral zones population - noun the act of populating (causing to live in a place); (statistics) the entire aggregation of items from which samples can be drawn; a group of organisms of the same species populating a given area; the people who inhabit a territory or state; the number of inhabitants (either the total number or the number of a particular race or class) in a given place (country or city etc.) density - noun the amount per unit size; the spatial property of being crowded together immigration - noun migration into a place (especially migration to a country of which you are not a native in order to settle there); the body of immigrants arriving during a specified interval emigration - noun migration from a place (especially migration from your native country in order to settle in another) exponential - adj. of or involving exponents; noun a function in which an independent variable appears as an exponent growth - noun vegetation that has grown; something grown or growing; (biology) the process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level; a progression from simpler to more complex forms; (pathology) an abnormal proliferation of tissue (as in a tumor); the gradual beginning or coming forth; a process of becoming larger or longer or more numerous or more important logistic - adj. of or relating to logistics capacity - noun a specified function; the maximum production possible; tolerance for alcohol; ability to perform or produce; the power to learn or retain knowledge; in law, the ability to understand the facts and significance of your behavior; (computer science) the amount of information (in bytes) that can be stored on a disk drive; the amount that can be contained; an electrical phenomenon whereby an electric charge is stored; the susceptibility of something to a particular treatment limiting - adj. strictly limiting the reference of a modified word or phrase; restricting the scope or freedom of action; noun the grammatical relation that exists when a word qualifies the meaning of the phrase factor - noun an independent variable in statistics; anything that contributes causally to a result; any of the numbers (or symbols) that form a product when multiplied together; (genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity; an abstract part of something; a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission; one of two or more integers that can be exactly divided into another integer; verb resolve into factors factor - noun an independent variable in statistics; anything that contributes causally to a result; any of the numbers (or symbols) that form a product when multiplied together; (genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity; an abstract part of something; a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission; one of two or more integers that can be exactly divided into another integer; verb resolve into factors relationship - noun a relation between people; (`relationship' is often used where `relation' would serve, as in `the relationship between inflation and unemployment', but the preferred usage of `relationship' is for human relations or states of relatedness); a state of connectedness between people (especially an emotional connection); a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties or countries; (anthropology) relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption factor - noun an independent variable in statistics; anything that contributes causally to a result; any of the numbers (or symbols) that form a product when multiplied together; (genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity; an abstract part of something; a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission; one of two or more integers that can be exactly divided into another integer; verb resolve into factors

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