Introduction to Ecology and Ecosystems

Introduction to Ecology and Ecosystems

Energy In Ecosystems: Change And Stability In Ecosystems 2 Energy In Ecosystems: Life on Earth cannot exist without a source of energy The source of ALL energy on our planet comes from the sun, which plants capture to carry out photosynthesis, which in turn makes food easily used by other animals

How does this energy get passed from one organism to the next? o They feed on each other Q: Whats the difference between a food web and food chain? Food chain A step-by-step sequence linking organisms that feed on one another. A food chain starts with producers and ends with consumers at the top of the

chain. (It is a straight line chain that shows only one feeding relationship) Q: Whats the difference between a food web and food chain? Food Web: Shows the feeding relationships of ALL organisms in an ecosystem. Many animals eat more than one thing

Food Chain Food Web Q: What is always found at the bottom of a food chain? Terms to use when talking about Food Chains and Food Webs:

Trophic Level: A way of categorizing organisms based upon the way they gain their energy Producer: (Autotroph) An organism that can make its own food through photosynthesis The first Trophic Level Examples of Producers

o o o o o Blueberry

Birch Moss Lichens Algae Consumer: (Heterotroph) An organism that feeds on other plants or other animals The second, third.. trophic levels There are several types of Consumers

Primary Consumer: (Herbivores) Animals that live on mostly green plants Second Trophic Level

Examples? o Hares o Moose o Caribou o Caterpillar Secondary Consumer: (Carnivore)

Animals that eat herbivores Third Trophic Level Examples?? o Fox o Mink o Seal o Owl

Tertiary Consumer: (Also Carnivore) Animals that eat other carnivores Fourth+ Trophic Levels Examples??? Same as Secondary Consumers mostly

Omnivores: Animals that eat plants and other animals Examples o Humans o Bear o Shrew o Crow o Trout

Decomposers: Organisms that feed on dead remains and return the nutrients to the soil Examples?? o Bacteria o Fungus Herbivores (plant eaters) Carnivores

(animal eaters) Consumers Omnivores (eat both plants and animals) Saprobes (decomposers)

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