Chapter 3 matter energy and life
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Chapter 3: Matter, Energy, and Life. Define matter, atoms, molecules Define energy and energy flow Define basic fundamentals of Ecology. I. From Atoms to Cells. A. General Information 1. Ecology – The study of the relationships between organisms and their environment

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Chapter 3: Matter, Energy, and Life

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Chapter 3 matter energy and life

Chapter 3: Matter, Energy, and Life

Define matter, atoms, molecules

Define energy and energy flow

Define basic fundamentals of Ecology


I from atoms to cells

I. From Atoms to Cells

  • A. General Information

    • 1. Ecology – The study of the relationships between organisms and their environment

      • Studies the life histories, distributions, and behaviors of individual species

      • Studies the structure and function of naturals systems at the level of populations, communities, ecosystems, and landscapes


I from atoms to cells1

I. From Atoms to Cells

  • A. General information

    • 2. Holistic approach to ecology

      • Uses systems to study interactions

      • Observe the interconnected nature of systems and organisms within

  • B. Atoms, Molecules, and Compounds

    • 1. Matter – everything that has mass and takes up space

      • It exists in 3 distinct states

        • Solid, liquid, and gas


I from atoms to cells2

I. From Atoms to Cells

  • B. Atoms, Molecules, and Compounds

    • Atoms have unique chemical forms called Elements

      • Cannot be broken down into simpler forms by ordinary chemical reactions

      • 4 elements make up 96% of the mass of all organisms

      • The elements are O, C, H, N

  • 2. Atoms - the smallest particles that exhibit the characteristics of the element

    • Composed of electrons, protons, and neutrons


  • I from atoms to cells3

    I. From Atoms to Cells

    • Atomic number is the number of protons and is used to form the periodic table

    • The number of neutrons may differ creating isotopes

    • Atoms can join together to form molecules

      • Molecules are any two atoms joined together

      • Compounds are molecules created with different types of atoms

    • Chemical bonds hold atoms together

      • 2 major types of bonds are ionic and covalent


    I from atoms to cells4

    I. From Atoms to Cells

    • 3. Ions

      • Make up acids and bases

      • Unequal numbers of electrons and protons

        • Positive ions form acids (give up electrons readily, i.e. electron donors)

        • Negative ions form bases (can bond easily with hydrogen ions, i.e. electron acceptors)

      • The number of free hydrogen (hydronium) ions and hydroxide ions in solution is used to create the pH scale


    I from atoms to cells5

    I. From Atoms to Cells

    • 4. Organic Compounds

      • Some elements are used, by organisms, in abundance

      • Some elements are used, by organisms, in trace amounts

      • Any compound containing carbon is called an organic compound

      • 4 major categories of organic compounds

        • Carbohydrates

          • Sugars, instant energy


    I from atoms to cells6

    I. From Atoms to Cells

    • Lipids

      • Fats and oils

      • Also called hydrocarbons

      • Long chains of carbon with 2 Hydrogen atoms attached

    • Proteins

      • Made up of amino acids

      • Composed of amine group and carboxyl group


    I from atoms to cells7

    I. From Atoms to Cells

    • Nucleic acids

      • Made up of deoxyribose, phosphate group and a nitrogen base

      • DNA

  • 5. Cells

    • Fundamental units of life

    • Some are single-celled

      • Bacteria, algae, protozoa

    • Some are multi-celled

      • Plants, animals, fungi


  • I from atoms to cells8

    I. From Atoms to Cells

    • 5. Cells (cont.)

      • Chemical reactions occur because of enzymes

        • Otherwise cells would burn up due to the combustion of metabolism

      • Energy transfer is called metabolism in cells

        • For example, sugar to ATP


    Ii energy and matter

    II. Energy and Matter

    • 1. General Information

      • Essential constituents of all living organisms

      • Energy provides the force to hold structures, tear apart structures, and move materials

    • 2. Energy Types and Quantities

      • Energy is defined as the “ability to do work”

        • Kinetic Energy – is the energy of movement


    Ii energy and matter1

    II. Energy and Matter

    • Potential Energy – is stored energy, the energy of position

    • Chemical Energy – is the energy stored in the food you eat, energy of chemical bonds

  • Measured as Joules (physics), BTU’s (propane), and Calories (food)

  • Power is the rate of doing work

  • Heat describes the total energy not used in the movement of an object; lost energy


  • Ii energy and matter2

    II. Energy and Matter

    • Temperature is the speed of motion of an atom

  • 3. Conservation of Matter

    • Matter, like energy, is neither created nor destroyed

    • Called the Conservation of Matter

      • Matter is transformed and combined


  • Ii energy and matter3

    II. Energy and Matter

    • 4. Thermodynamics and Energy Transfers

      • Organisms use gases, water and nutrients

        • Metabolism – waste products are returned to the environment in a different form (by-products)

      • Energy is not recycled (in the biosphere)

        • Must provide energy from an external source


    Ii energy and matter4

    II. Energy and Matter

    • Energy has a one-way path that eventually ends up in a low-temperature sink

    • First Law of Thermodynamics

      • Energy is conserved

      • Cannot be created nor destroyed, only transferred from one form to another form

    • Second law of Thermodynamics

      • As energy is transferred or transformed, there is less energy to do work

        • Energy is ‘lost’ to the environment


    Ii energy and matter5

    II. Energy and Matter

    • Recognizes a tendency of all natural systems to go from a state of order toward a state of increasing disorder

      • Entropy – “Entropy Rules!”

      • Also called the ‘Chaos Theory’

        • For example: Life to Death


    Iii energy for life

    III. Energy for Life

    • 1. Solar Energy: Warmth and Light

      • Organisms survive at different temperature ranges

        • Low temps affect metabolism negatively, not enough energy produced to survive

        • High temps break down molecules rendering them non-functional

      • Photosynthesis converts sunlight into organic compounds that can be used as energy


    Iii energy for life1

    III. Energy for Life

    • 1. Solar Energy: Warmth and Light

      • Cellular respiration converts the organic compounds of photosynthesis into ATP


    Iv from species to ecosystems

    IV. From Species to Ecosystems

    • 1. Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

      • Species are all of the organisms that are genetically similar enough to reproduce viable offspring

      • Populations consist of all of the members of a species living in a given area at a given time

        • Extinctions can be large scale (complete) and small scale (local)


    Iv from species to ecosystems1

    IV. From Species to Ecosystems

    • 1. Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

      • A community is all of the populations of organisms living and interacting in a particular area

      • An ecosystem is the biological community and its physical environment

      • Boundaries between communities and ecosystems may be difficult, but must occur

      • Ecosystems are separated based on communities, climate, and productivity of the communities


    Iv from species to ecosystems2

    IV. From Species to Ecosystems

    • 2. Food Chains, Webs, and Trophic Levels

      • Primary Productivity is the amount of biomass produced in a given area

        • Higher productivity ecosystems – TRF, TSF, and Wetlands

        • Lower productivity ecosystems – Deserts, Tundra

      • Net Primary Productivity includes decomposition and can change the scale of productivity

        • TRF is no longer a high productivity ecosystem


    Iv from species to ecosystems3

    IV. From Species to Ecosystems

    • 2. Food Chains, Webs, and Trophic Levels

      • Consumption of plants is considered Secondary productivity

      • Food Chains are a linking of feeding series between organisms

        • For example, Grass  Grasshopper  Frog

        • Or Grass  Cow  Man (steak, yeah baby!)

        • In communities, consumers have primary food sources

          • Will eat that food source first

          • Some consumers have secondary food sources

            • Don’t compete as well for this food source


    Food chain

    Food Chain


    Food web

    Food Web


    Iv from species to ecosystems4

    IV. From Species to Ecosystems

    • 2. Food Chains, Webs, and Trophic Levels

      • Some consumers are opportunistic

        • Stumble on food (not the norm)

        • Will eat primary food source, but will anything it happens across

        • Typically are called omnivore

        • Examples are bears, raccoons

    • A Trophic Level is an organisms ‘feeding’ status

      • Producers are the first trophic level (autotroph)


    Iv from species to ecosystems5

    IV. From Species to Ecosystems

    • Primary consumers are the second trophic level (herbivore)

    • Secondary consumers are the third trophic level (carnivore)

    • There is energy ‘loss’ at each trophic level

      • Typically the consumer receives 1/10th of the energy… 9/10th is lost

    • Most food chains are 3 trophic levels, some are 4, very few are 5

      • Due to the energy loss during each consumption


    Iv from species to ecosystems6

    IV. From Species to Ecosystems

    • Tertiary consumers are either top carnivores or scavengers (third, fourth, or fifth trophic level)

    • Detritovores consume leaf litter, debris, and dung (third, fourth, or fifth trophic level)

    • Decomposers finish the break-down process of materials (third, fourth, or fifth trophic level)

      • Turns the material into very elemental forms


    Iv from species to ecosystems7

    IV. From Species to Ecosystems

    • 3. Ecological Pyramids

      • Number of organisms (by percent) in each trophic level

      • Can be used to describe the available energy for habitats, communities, or ecosystems


    V material cycles and life processes

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 1. The Carbon Cycle

      • Has 2 purposes for organisms

        • Structural component of organic molecules

        • Energy storage in the chemical bonds

      • Starts with CO2 intake by producers

      • Carbon is incorporated into sugar

      • Sugar is burned in all organisms through Cellular Respiration, releasing CO2 into the ecosystem


    V material cycles and life processes1

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 1. The Carbon Cycle (cont.)

      • Some carbon is lost to ‘carbon sinks’

        • Ex. Coal, Oil, and Trees

        • Carbon is not released until combustion

        • Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) is incorporated into shells of organisms

          • Very difficult to break down, especially in anoxic conditions at the bottom of lakes and oceans


    V material cycles and life processes2

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 2. The Nitrogen Cycle

      • Organisms can not exist without organic compounds comprised of Nitrogen

        • Ex. Proteins, nucleic acids, amino acids, etc.

      • Inorganic forms of Nitrogen are utilized by plants to form organic compounds

      • Nitrogen is the most abundant element in the atmosphere, but it is unusable as N2


    V material cycles and life processes3

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 2. The Nitrogen Cycle (cont.)

      • The nitrogen cycle provides usable N for plants

        • Nitrogen-fixing bacteria turn the N2 into usable N for plants (NH3 : ammonia)

        • Nitrite forming bacteria change NH3 into NO2 (nitrite)

        • Nitrate forming bacteria converts NO2 into NO3 (nitrate)

        • NO3 is used by the plants


    V material cycles and life processes4

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 2. The Nitrogen Cycle (cont.)

      • Plants convert NO3 into NH4 (ammonium)

      • NH4 is used to create amino acids

      • Nitrogen re-enters the system when organisms die through decomposition

      • Nitrogen, also, re-enters the system through metabolic waste (uric acid)

        • Urination dumps nitrogen (called pulses) into streams, rivers, and soil

        • Bacteria consume and turn the waste into NH3


    Root nodules containing n fixing bacteria

    Root Nodules containing N-fixing bacteria


    N fixing bacteria

    N-fixing bacteria


    V material cycles and life processes5

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 3. The Phosphorus Cycle

      • Phosphorus is used by organisms for energy transfer processes

      • Major component of fertilizers

      • Begins with phosphorus leaching from rocks into groundwater

      • Inorganic phosphorus is absorbed by producers

        • Turned into organic compounds


    V material cycles and life processes6

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 3. The Phosphorus Cycle

      • Reintroduced to the environment through decomposition of organic material


    V material cycles and life processes7

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 4. The Sulfur (Sulphur) Cycle

      • Used in proteins

      • Determine acidity of rainfall, surface water, and soil

      • Most is in the form of rocks and minerals

        • Iron disulfide (FeS2), calcium sulfate (CaSO4)

      • Inorganic sulfur is released into the atmosphere as SO2 and SO4 (Sulfate)


    V material cycles and life processes8

    V. Material Cycles and Life Processes

    • 4. The Sulfur (Sulphur) Cycle (cont.)

      • Sulfur has many oxidative states

        • Ex. Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Sulfate ion (SO4-), and S (elemental)

      • Human activities release sulfur

        • Ex. Burning of fossil fuels

      • Phytoplankton release large quantities of sulfur to the atmosphere (especially during warming trends)

        • DMS  SO2  SO4 (DMS is Dimethylsulfide)

        • Increases the earth’s albedo


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