Energy flow in ecosystems

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Energy flow in ecosystems

  1. 1. Energy Flow in Ecosystems Environmental Science
  2. 2. Life Depends on the Sun <ul><li>Energy enters an ecosystem when a plant uses sunlight to make sugar (carbohydrates) </li></ul><ul><li>This process is called photosynthesis </li></ul><ul><li>CO 2 + H 2 O + energy  C 6 H 12 O 6 + O 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Plants, algae, and some bacteria use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to produce sugar and oxygen. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Producers <ul><li>Sunlight is the ultimate source of energy for most life on earth </li></ul><ul><li>Organisms that convert sunlight into chemical energy are called producers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also called autotrophs OR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>chemotrophs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chemotrophs the exception </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to the rule – they are found at </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the bottom of the ocean where </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no sunlight reaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bacteria use hydrogen sulfide to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>create energy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other organisms feed off the bacteria </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Consumers <ul><li>Organisms that consume </li></ul><ul><li>other organisms for energy </li></ul><ul><li>are consumers ( heterotrophs) </li></ul><ul><li>Types of heterotrophs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Herbivores – eat only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>producers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carnivores – eat only other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Omnivores – eat producers and consumers </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. More consumers… <ul><li>Detrivores – also called scavengers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eat animal remains and other dead matter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decomposers - break down organic matter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include bacteria and some fungus </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Cellular Respriation <ul><li>The process in which cells use sugar to create energy is called cellular respiration </li></ul><ul><li>C 6 H 12 O 6 + O 2  CO 2 + H 2 O + energy </li></ul><ul><li>Cells use glucose (sugar) and oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water, and energy. </li></ul><ul><li>Cellular respiration occurs inside the cells of most organisms </li></ul>
  7. 7. Energy Transfer <ul><li>Each time one organism eats another, energy is transferred </li></ul><ul><li>Food chains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show one-way flow of energy in an ecosystem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each step on the food chain is called a trophic level </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Feeding Relationships <ul><li>Food webs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes more organisms and multiple food chains linked together </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Trophic Levels <ul><li>Visualization of the loss of energy from one trophic level to the next </li></ul><ul><li>Often shown as an pyramid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shows relative energy movement in an ecosystem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 10% of the energy moves to the next level </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Biomagnification <ul><li>Pollution can lead to biomagnification – the concentration of toxic substances in organisms as you move up trophic levels </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. DDT and birds of prey; mercury in tuna and sharks </li></ul>

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