Energy flow in ecosystems
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Energy Flow in Ecosystems. Energy Flow in Ecosystems. Ecosystem : all living (biotic ) and nonliving (abiotic ) factors in an area Abiotic Biotic Video Clip All organisms play a role in their ecosystem H OW THEY GET THEIR ENERGY Organism: a living thing. Role: Producer.

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Energy flow in ecosystems1
Energy Flow in Ecosystems

  • Ecosystem: all living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) factors in an area

  • Abiotic Biotic Video Clip

  • All organisms play a role in their ecosystem


  • Organism: a living thing

Role producer
Role: Producer

  • A plant that makes it’s own food

  • Autotroph (self-feeder)

  • Make their own food through photosynthesis

  • Examples: leaves, trees, grass

Role consumers
Role: Consumers

  • Cannot make own food

  • Depend on producers for energy

  • Heterotrophs (different feeders)

    • Herbivores – eats plants

    • Carnivores – eats animals

    • Omnivores – eats plants & animals

    • Scavengers – eats dead plants & animals

Role decomposer
Role: Decomposer

  • Breaks down waste and dead organism & returns raw materials to the environment

  • Ex: bacteria, fungi, worms

A world with no decomposers
A world with no decomposers?

Waste and dead organisms would pile up


  • A predator is an animal that eats another animal.

  • When looking at a food chain, if an animal is eating another animal, it is considered a predator.

  • In this food chain, the snake is a predator and the fox is a predator as well. The mouse is not a predator, as it is not eating anything.

Energy flow in ecosystems

  • Prey is any animal which is hunted and killed by another animal for food.

  • Some animals can be both a predator and prey.

  • In this picture, the mouse is prey, the snake is also prey.

Food chain
Food chain

  • A model of how the sun’s energy is passed from organism to organism in an ecosystem.

  • What do you notice about the start of this food chain?

  • What is missing from this food chain? (Hint – where does the grass get its energy from?

Order of the food chain
Order of the Food Chain

  • Sun – energy source

  • Producers - plants

  • 1st Level/Primary Consumers – eats producers (herbivore or omnivore)

  • 2nd Level/Secondary Consumers – eats 1st level consumers (carnivore or omnivore)

  • 3rd Level/Tertiary Consumers – eats 2nd level consumers (carnivore or omnivore)

  • Decomposer – recycles materials for use by producers

  • Arrows show the direction of the flow of energy!

  • Food webs

    Map of overlapping food chains

    Many different producers and consumers

    a diagram that shows the feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystem

    Most organisms do not eat the same thing every day, so they are part of more than one food chain

    Food webs

    Food webs1
    Food webs

    • What happens if we remove an organism?

    The balance of the food web is thrown off; other organisms or the ecosystem could be destroyed.

    Flow of energy
    Flow of energy

    • When an organism eats, it obtains energy, then uses a lot of energy in life process like growth and movement.

    • This means that only part of their energy is available to the next organism in the food web.

    Energy pyramid
    Energy Pyramid

    • Energy pyramid - a diagram that shows an ecosystem’s loss of energy

    • What is the purpose?

      • To show the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web

      • Facts:

        • The greatest amount of energy is available at the producer level

        • The least amount of energy available to going to be a the top of the food chain.

        • Only 10% of the energy is passed up to the next level

    Energy pyramids
    Energy Pyramids

    Video Clip

    Copy this pyramid in notes