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slide1

What is a food chain?

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The relationship between plants and animals that shows who eats what. Energy is transferred from one organism to another through the food chain.

A representation of the transfer of energy between producers, consumers, and decomposers.

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Succession usually occurs after a natural event and over time restores the ecosystem's biodiversity, which is the variety in the number and types of living things. Suppose a piece of forest is cleared and made into a farm instead. – How will this change affect succession in the area? – Explain your answer.

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While the land is farmed, succession will not occur. Succession is a natural change of species, each one changing the environment in a way that makes it easier for other species to survive. But a farmer will try to make the field the same each year and plant the same types of crops. So there will be little change.
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An underwater volcano erupts for many years. Lava builds up, forming an underwater mountain. Eventually, the mountain reaches the ocean surface to form a new island. A scientist visits the island several years after it is created and sees that it is made entirely of volcanic rock. The only organisms the scientist sees on the island are lichens, a form of algae and fungus that live together.–Why are lichens the only organisms alive on the island?–Describe the type of organism that is likely to appear next on the island.

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Lichens are the only organisms living on the island because other organisms cannot survive without plants or soil. Lichens can grow without soil and make their own food. The next organisms on the island will also be small and have few needs. They might be insects or small grasses growing in the soil created by the lichens.
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A farm family moves away from the farm and leaves a field that has been plowed every year for 20 years unplowed.Describe what kind of plants you might expect to find growing in this field five years after the family has moved away.–Use what you know about ecological succession to explain your answer.

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The field would probably have many grasses, wildflowers, some shrubs, and maybe even a few small trees.Pioneer species move into a field like this first. When there is good available soil, like in a field, grasses and small weeds and wildflowers might be the pioneer species. After several years, small shrubs and trees will have moved in.
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Describe the importance of producers and decomposers to the other organisms in an ecosystem.

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Producers supply an ecosystem with energy. Other organisms get energy by eating producers. All organisms get energy that comes directly or indirectly from producers.Decomposers recycle nutrients in the ecosystem. They break down remains of other organisms. This releases nutrients that other organisms can use.
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What is the difference between a habitat and a niche?

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The place where an organism lives its habitat.

How an organism survives is its niche.

A habitat is an organisms address. A niche is an organisms job.

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A student is designing a terrarium to model a desert ecosystem. The student plans to use an old aquarium to build the terrarium. – List four abiotic factors of a desert ecosystem. – Explain how the student can model each of the factors you selected in a terrarium.

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A desert is hot during the day. The student could use a heat lamp or other heater to keep the terrarium warm.

A desert is very cold during the night. Cooling the terrarium may be difficult, but the student should at least turn off equipment used to heat the terrarium.

A desert can be a very bright environment during the day. The student could use bright lights to model this factor.

A desert is a very dry environment. Heat lamps and bright lights may help to keep the terrarium dry. The student could also avoid putting lots of water into the terrarium or pass air into the aquarium through a drying filter.

Desert soil has unique characteristics such as texture and mineral and moisture content. The student can find samples of this sort of soil to cover the floor the terrarium. Or the student could try to produce this sort of soil.

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Consider the parts of a polar ecosystem and a desert ecosystem.– Identify one abiotic factor present in each type of ecosystem.– Identify one biotic factor present in each type of ecosystem.

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One abiotic factor of polar and desert ecosystems – possible answers include: temperature, precipitation, and presence of water, rocks, or soil.

Identify one biotic factor from both desert and polar ecosystems - Possible answers could include: polar bears, seals, birds, and tundra plants for the polar ecosystem. Coyotes, rattlesnakes, spiders, and cacti for the desert ecosystem.

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Consider the parts of a polar ecosystem and a desert ecosystem.

Explain why both the abiotic and biotic factors are different in each ecosystem. Use examples from each ecosystem in your explanation.

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The polar areas have snow, ice, and cold temperatures that are not found in the hot, dry desert with thin soils or sand. The polar areas have plants and animals that are adapted to cold temperatures and that would not survive in the desert. The polar bear survives on food found mostly in the ocean, like seals, and could not live in the desert. The desert organisms, like the cacti, are adapted to hot, dry conditions and could not live in the polar ecosystem.
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Mrs. Brown draws six boxes connected by arrows to represent a food web. He instructs the class to complete the food web by cutting out pictures of organisms and placing one picture in each box.– In which of these boxes should the student put a picture of a deer?– In which of these boxes should the student put a picture of a decomposer?

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A picture of a deer should go in box 2 or 3. Both of these boxes get energy from box 1, which is a producer. Deer get energy from plants, which are producers.A picture of a decomposer should go in box 6. The food web shows that energy from all of the other organisms goes to box 6. Decomposers in an ecosystem get energy by breaking down the remains of all of the other organisms.
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Living organisms, like you, get their energy to move and do work from eating food. Trace

the energy transformations that occur from the original radiant solar energy used by plants to mechanical energy in living systems.

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Plants convert the radiant solar energy to chemical energy through the process of
  • photosynthesis. The plant is harvested using mechanical energy. The machine that does
  • the harvesting converts chemical energy into mechanical energy. Transportation and
  • processing will also involve the conversion of chemical energy to mechanical energy.
  • When people eat food, their bodies convert the chemical energy stored in food into
  • mechanical energy.
slide23

Which diagram best shows the energy transformation from sunlight to chemical energy in an organism?

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B – understand that plants are one of the organisms (producers) that make their own food in this process (photosynthesis).
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Choice C is the correct answer because it identifies the greatest limitation of this model.
    • Since food webs are complex, not all organisms can be included in one model.
    • This diagram also illustrates how the flow of energy is represented by arrows in a food web. The energy from the organism that is consumed flows to the consumer.
    • For example, the food energy from the deer flows to the mountain lions because mountain lions eat deer.