Chapter three notes: basic needs of living things. Ecology: the study of all processes influencing the distribution and abundance of organisms and their interactions between living things and their environment. Species: a group of individuals that share certain characteristics distinct from other groups (can interbreed and produce fertile offspring) Domain kingdom phyla classes - orders families genera species. Population: only refers to those individual of a certain species that live within a given area. Cells tissue organ- organism population community ecosystem . Biotic community: all living things *abiotic: nonliving things. Ecosystems: an interactive complex of communities and the abiotic environment affecting them within a particular area. Ecotones: areas between ecosystems that share many of the species and characteristics of another area. Macrosystem ecology: studies large amounts of data to evaluate large scope questions. Biome: a large area of earth"s surface that shares climate and has similar vegetation.