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Is There Life in a Decomposing Log?

Vocabulary

Classify
Systematically arrange or organize according to common attributes, qualities, or traits.
Community
A group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other.
Consumer
An organism that obtains its food (i.e, complex organic compounds) by eating other organisms or organic matter.
Data
Collected information which can be quantitative (numerical) or qualitative (descriptive). Factual information used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.
Decomposer
An organism that eats dead or decaying organisms.
Decomposition
To break down organic matter from complex to simpler forms or smaller parts, mainly through the actions of fungi, insects, worms, and bacteria; or to undergo this process.
Ecosystem
A unit consisting of all the living organisms in a given area (the community), as well as their relationship to the non-living (abiotic) surrounding environment. Thus, an ecosystem’s components may include plants, animals, and microorganisms, soil, rocks, and minerals, water sources, and atmosphere.
Fungus
Members of the kingdom, Fungi, which includes mushrooms, molds, mildews, smuts, rusts, and yeasts. These organisms lack chlorophyll and function as decomposers.
Habitat
A place providing appropriate living conditions for an organism, species, or community.
Invertebrate
An animal that lacks a backbone.
Larva
The early immature form of any animal that at birth or hatching is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose before assuming adult characteristics.
Life Cycle
The series of form and/or functional stages through which an organism passes during its life.
Observe
To gather information and direct evidence by using the senses or scientific instruments.
Organism
A living thing, such as a plant, animal, virus, or bacterium.
Producer
An organism (such as a green plant, or a bacteria) that produces its own food through photosynthesis (using light energy) or through chemosynthesis (using chemical energy).
Snag
An upright dead tree.
Species
A group of similar organisms that can reproduce amongst themselves, with viable offspring.
Tally
A mark, or marks, representing a number.