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How does a tropical rainforest ecosystem function?

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Presentation on theme: "How does a tropical rainforest ecosystem function?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How does a tropical rainforest ecosystem function?

2 What is an ecosystem? What are the components of an ecosystem? Ecosystem Abiotic components Biotic components Environment Plants Animals

3 What are the biotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? Microscopic organisms Animals Plants Biotic components refer to living things. Decomposers Producers Consumers They may be classified into different trophic (feeding) categories.

4 What are the biotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? 1Producers Producers are green plants. They can produce their own food by ______________. photosynthesis Carbon dioxide SunlightChlorophyll Food Water Oxygen at the presence of

5 What are the biotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? 2Consumers Consumers are animals. They cannot produce their own food. Primary consumers: feed directly on producers Secondary consumers: feed on primary consumers Tertiary consumers: feed on secondary consumers

6 What are the biotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? 2Consumers We can classify the consumers by their diet. A crocodile eats animals. It is a _________. carnivore A rabbit eats plants only. It is a _________. herbivore Humans eat both plants and animals. They are __________. omnivores

7 What are the biotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? 2Consumers Producers and consumers make up a food chain. Rainforest tree (Producer) Grasshopper (Primary consumer) Lizard (Secondary consumer) A food chain usually starts with a producer and ends with a secondary consumer or tertiary consumer.

8 What are the biotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? 2Consumers In a tropical rainforest, individual food chains are interlocked at various levels to form a food web.

9 What are the biotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? 3Decomposers Fungi are an example of decomposers Decomposers such as fungi and bacteria break down dead plant and animal tissues. They secrete _________ to break down dead organic materials into inorganic matter. Plants can absorb them easily. enzymes

10 What are the abiotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? Abiotic components refer to the non-living things. They are found in: Atmosphere Air Precipitation Solar radiation Hydrosphere Water at the earth’s surface Underground water Lithosphere Soil Rocks

11 Can you categorize the following abiotic components and state their importance to plants and animals? What are the abiotic components in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? Abiotic components Atmosphere carbon dioxide weathered rocks rivers and lakes oxygen ground water organic materials from soil rainfallsolar radiation carbon dioxide An input of photosynthesis of plants. They provide nutrients to plants. rainfall It provides water for the photosynthesis of plants. They provide drinking water and living habitats for animals. oxygen An input of the respiration of living organisms. solar radiation An input of the photosynthesis of plants. It provides moisture in the soil for the plants. They provide nutrients for plants. HydrosphereLithosphere weathered rocksrivers and lakes ground waterorganic materials from soil

12 How are biotic and abiotic components linked in a tropical rainforest ecosystem? Biotic and abiotic components are closely linked by: Energy flow Nutrient cycling

13 Why is a tropical rainforest a fragile ecosystem? As mentioned before, most nutrients in the tropical rainforest are stored in the biomass. That means a high proportion of the energy and nutrient is stored above ground. This biomass is vulnerable to various disturbances, such as fires or deforestation. (Credit: K. Wothe/Blickwinkel)

14 Why is a tropical rainforest a fragile ecosystem? As the rainforests support the wildlife there, destroying the rainforest will cause the rainforest ecosystem to collapse. (Credit: Joerg Boethling/Still Pictures)

15 The biomass stores most of the nutrients in a rainforest. Removal of trees caused by a sudden change in climate or external agents Loss of stored nutrients No supply of nutrients to the soil created through decomposition Soil depletion No regrowth of trees Collapse of the ecosystem Animals die Why is a tropical rainforest a fragile ecosystem?

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17 Energy flow in a tropical rainforest ecosystem Energy flow is the transfer of energy through various living organisms along the food web. There are five trophic levels in a tropical rainforest ecosystem. Input of solar energy T 1 Producers T 2 Primary consumers T 3 Secondary consumers T 4 Tertiary consumers T 5 Decomposers The sun is the primary source of energy that maintains the ecosystem. Energy is passed along the food chain or food web.

18 Energy flow in a tropical rainforest ecosystem Input of solar energy T 1 Producers T 2 Primary consumers T 3 Secondary consumers T 4 Tertiary consumers T 5 Decomposers Producers carry out photosynthesis with the input of solar energy. Net input of energy at each tropic level Energy loss through transpiration or respiration Heat loss through respiration Energy loss through decay and decomposition Some energy is lost during the transpiration, respiration and decomposition.

19 Energy flow in a tropical rainforest ecosystem Input of solar energy T 1 Producers T 2 Primary consumers T 3 Secondary consumers T 4 Tertiary consumers T 5 Decomposers Net input of energy at each tropic level Energy loss through transpiration or respiration Heat loss through respiration Energy loss through decay and decomposition When primary consumers eat the producers as food, energy is transferred to them. Since primary consumers cannot fully digest the producers, the remains of the producers are being processed by decomposers. Energy not being used

20 Energy flow in a tropical rainforest ecosystem Input of solar energy T 1 Producers T 2 Primary consumers T 3 Secondary consumers T 4 Tertiary consumers T 5 Decomposers Net input of energy at each tropic level Energy loss through transpiration or respiration Heat loss through respiration Energy loss through decay and decomposition Energy not being used The energy flow carries on at different tropic levels. Energy not being used The energy flow carries on at different tropic levels. The higher the tropic level (except decomposers), the ( less / more ) the energy remains.

21 Trophic pyramid A trophic pyramid shows the amount of organic matter of the living organisms in an area. As the trophic level increases, the amount of organic matter of each tropic level ( decreases / increases ).

22 Nutrient cycle refers to the circulation of nutrients from the environment to organisms and back to the environment. EnvironmentOrganisms Nutrients are circulated among three stores Biomass Litter Soil Nutrient cycling in a tropical rainforest ecosystem

23 ABiomass Biomass refers to the total weight of living organisms, i.e. plants and animals, of an area. Biomass Nutrients are stored in plants and animals. Plants consume nutrients from the soil and sun’s energy to produce their own tissues through photosynthesis. When animals eat plants, they take up the nutrients and convert plant tissues to their own tissues. Uptake by plants Soil Amount of nutrients transferred

24 Nutrient cycling in a tropical rainforest ecosystem BLitter Amount of nutrients transferred BiomassLitter Dead plants tissues, dead animals and animal wastes accumulate on the ground to form a layer of litter. Littering The falling rain dissolves minerals, e.g. nitrogen and carbon in the air, and add the nutrients to the litter. Input dissolved in rainfall Some of the nutrients may be washed away by run-off. Loss in run-off

25 Nutrient cycling in a tropical rainforest ecosystem CSoil Amount of nutrients transferred LitterSoil When litter is decomposed, the nutrients are broken down into inorganic form and stored in the soil. Nutrients decomposed from litter Weathering of rocks contributes nutrients to the soil. Input from weathered rock Nutrients of soil may lose through leaching. Loss through leaching

26 Nutrient cycling in a tropical rainforest ecosystem Biomass Soil Litter Litter is quickly decomposed Heavy rain causes strong leaching Quick uptake by plants Most nutrients are stored in the dense vegetation Much input from rainfall In tropical rainforests, the nutrient store of biomass is huge, but the stores in soil and litter are small. Amount of nutrients transferred


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