Energy flow in an ecosystem
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Energy Flow in an Ecosystem. Biomass. The total mass of living plants, animals, fungi and bacteria in a given area. Organisms have special roles, or niches, in the ecosystem in which they live. Within its niche, every organism interacts with that ecosystem in two ways:

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Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

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Energy flow in an ecosystem

Energy Flow in an Ecosystem


Biomass

Biomass

  • The total mass of living plants, animals, fungi and bacteria in a given area


Energy flow in an ecosystem

  • Organisms have special roles, or niches, in the ecosystem in which they live.

  • Within its niche, every organism interacts with that ecosystem in two ways:

    • The organism obtains food energy from the ecosystem

    • The organism contributes energy to the ecosystem


Food webs

Food Webs

Herbivores – eats plants

Carnivores – eats animals

Omnivores – eats plant and animals

Insectivore – eats insects

Top predator

Top predator

Consumers:

all animals + fungi + some bacteria

Producers:

all plants + some bacteria


What happens when organisms die

What happens when organisms die?

When organisms die, they become detrius

  • DETRIUS is all the dead plants, dead animals, and animal waste

  • Detrius – contains organic (carbon containing) and inorganic compounds


Detrivores

Detrivores

  • Detrivores – organisms like snails, beetles, and earthworms that EAT detrius.

    • This helps decomposition because it increases the surface area of detrius


Decomposers

Decomposers

  • Decomposers – organisms like Bacteria and Fungi break detrius into smaller molecules (nutrients) that can be absorbed by other organisms

    • Nutrients are recycled back into ecosystem


Biodegradation

Biodegradation

  • Biodegradation – if something is biodegradable then it can be decomposed by Bacteria and Fungi

    • Example: many plastics are non-biodegradable (cannot be broken down by decomposers)


Detrivores and decomposers occur at all levels of the food web

Detrivores and Decomposers occur at all levels of the food web


Food chains

Food Chains

  • A food chain shows the flow of energy from producers to consumers

  • Trophic level (aka: feeding level) is the position the organism occupies in the food chain

  • Each trophic level helps ID the organism’s niche or role in the ecosystem


Trophic levels

Trophic Levels

Term

  • Primary Producer

  • Primary Consumer

  • Secondary Consumer

  • Tertiary Consumer

Example

  • Plants

  • Herbior omnivores

  • Omni or carnivores

  • Omni or carnivores

Ferns  Crickets  Snakes  Eagles


Energy flow

Energy Flow

  • Plants use energy to produce carbohydrates (+ other organic molecules) in a process called photosynthesis


Energy flow1

Energy Flow

  • These carbohydrates (sugars) are used as energy by plants as well as consumers that eat plants


Energy flow2

Energy Flow

  • All consumers store excess energy as glycogen (carbohydrate), fat, and protein

    • Omnivores and carnivores can get their energy by eating other consumers (animals)


Energy flow3

Energy Flow

  • Most organisms on the Earth get their energy either directly or indirectly from the sun


Ecological pyramids

Ecological Pyramids


Ecological pyramids1

Ecological Pyramids

  • Pyramid of energy – the 90%/10% rule

    • Only 10% of the available energy is transferred from one trophic level to the next

    • 90% of the energy an organism takes in is used for growth and repair or lost as heat


Ecological pyramids2

Ecological Pyramids

  • 90%/10% rule is why many food chains have a maximum of 5 trophic level


Energy flow in an ecosystem

Owner

Spent on Food

Editors

Spent on Food

Reporters

Spent on Food

Mailroom

Spent on Food


Ecological pyramids example

Ecological Pyramids - Example

  • Wolf eats a deer but does not consume all deer parts + some of the food eaten is eliminated as waste

  • Therefore, the wolf only gets a portion of the available energy from the deer

  • The energy the wolf does get is used to keep the wolf alive, to maintain its body temperature, and some energy is lost as heat


Pyramid of biomass and numbers

Pyramid of Biomass and Numbers


Pyramid of biomass and numbers1

Pyramid of Biomass and Numbers

  • As you move up the food chain there are fewer organisms.

    • Because energy is lost at each trophic level

    • Less energy available at each level means that fewer individuals can be supported


Pyramid of biomass and numbers2

Pyramid of Biomass and Numbers

  • As you move up the food chain there is less biomass

    • Total mass of all organisms at the trophic level drops the higher up the food chain you go


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