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Energy in Ecosystems Food Chains, Food Webs and Energy Pyramids Courtesy: www.lab-initio.com.

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Presentation on theme: "Energy in Ecosystems Food Chains, Food Webs and Energy Pyramids Courtesy: www.lab-initio.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 Energy in Ecosystems Food Chains, Food Webs and Energy Pyramids Courtesy:

2 Producers (Autotrophs) Photosynthetic organisms Photosynthetic organisms – Capture energy from sunlight, CO 2 and H 2 O – Most producers are photosynthetic Chemosynthetic organisms Chemosynthetic organisms – Capture energy from chemical compounds in the surroundings

3 Consumers (Heterotrophs) Herbivores Herbivores – Eat only plants and fungi Omnivores Omnivores – Eat both plants/fungi and animals Carnivores Carnivores – Eat only animals Detrivores Detrivores – Eat dead organic matter Decomposers Decomposers – Break down organic matter into simpler compounds

4 Movement of Energy Trophic Structures Trophic Structures – Manner in which energy moves through an ecosystem – Each ecosystem has its own unique trophic structure

5 Biotic Energy Movement Producers Producers – Autotrophs (Photosynthesizers, Chemosynthetic organisms) Primary consumers Primary consumers – Herbivores and omnivores that eat producers Secondary consumers Secondary consumers – Carnivores and omnivores that eat herbivores Tertiary consumers Tertiary consumers – Carnivore eats another carnivore Decomposers and Detrivores Decomposers and Detrivores – Consume decaying producers and consumers

6 Food Chain  Energy is lost in each step up a food chain  Only 10 percent of the energy from one level on the food chain is available to the next level

7 Food Webs Many consumers and decomposers have more than one food source Movement of energy occurs in complex webs rather than in simple chains

8 Arctic Marine Food Web

9 A Simplified Food Web?

10

11 Energy Pyramids Energy pyramids show the reduction of available energy at each higher trophic level

12 Biomass Distribution

13 Why a Pyramid? most Producers must comprise most of the mass of the biotic part of an ecosystem – This is the ONLY place where energy (solar) enters the ecosystem Energy is always lost in the form of heat, so energy transfers are no more than 10% efficient Each trophic level must be supported by a 10/1 energy ratio below it most Producers must comprise most of the mass of the biotic part of an ecosystem – This is the ONLY place where energy (solar) enters the ecosystem Energy is always lost in the form of heat, so energy transfers are no more than 10% efficient Each trophic level must be supported by a 10/1 energy ratio below it

14 The 10% Rule


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