Levels of Organisation in an Ecosystem (OCR Gateway GCSE Biology: Combined Science)

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Key Terms in Ecology

  • There are several key terms that we use when referring to the various different components of an ecosystem and their levels of organisation
  • A population is defined as a group of organisms of the same species living in the same place at the same time
  • A community includes all of the populations living in the same area at the same time
    • Within a community, each species depends on other species for food, shelter, pollination, seed dispersal etc.
    • If one species is removed it can affect the whole community
    • This is called interdependence
  • A habitat is the place where an organism lives
    • eg. badgers, deer, oak trees and ants are all species that would live in a woodland habitat
  • An ecosystem is defined as all the biotic factors and all the abiotic factors that interact within an area at one time
    • Biotic factors includes all the living components such as plants and animals
    • Abiotic factors includes all the non-living components such as light intensity, mineral ions, water availability
    • Ecosystems can vary greatly in size and scale
    • A small ecosystem might be a garden pond
    • A large ecosystem might be the whole of Antarctica

Levels of Organisation in an Ecosystem, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

Levels of organisation in an ecosystem

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Author: Phil

Phil has a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, followed by an MBA from Manchester Business School. He has 15 years of teaching and tutoring experience, teaching Biology in schools before becoming director of a growing tuition agency. He has also examined Biology for one of the leading UK exam boards. Phil has a particular passion for empowering students to overcome their fear of numbers in a scientific context.