5 Where does the energy for life processes come from? The Sun! Sunlight is the main energy source for life on Earth.
6 Only plants, some algae, and certain bacteria can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use that energy to produce food.The organisms that make their own food are called autotrophs (also known as producers).
7 Photosynthesis is responsible for adding oxygen to (and removing carbon dioxide from) Earth's atmosphere.
8 Examples of Photosynthetic Autotrophs Plants are the main autotrophs on land.Algae are the main autotrophs in freshwater ecosystems and in the upper layers of the ocean.Photosynthetic bacteria are important in certain wet ecosystems, such as tidal flats and salt marshes.
9 Life Without LightSome autotrophs can produce food in the absence of light. When organisms use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates, the process is called chemosynthesis.Example: Bacteria that live in volcanic vents or tidal marshes
10 ConsumersOrganisms that rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply are called heterotrophs (also known as consumers because they consume/eat their food).
11 There are many different types of heterotrophs. Herbivores eat plants. (ex. cows, caterpillars, deer)Carnivores eat animals. (ex. snakes, dogs, owls)Omnivores eat both plants and animals. (ex. humans, bears, crows)Detritivores or Scavengers feed on plant and animal remains and other dead matter. (ex. ants, vultures, crabs, earthworms)Decomposers break down organic matter. (ex. bacteria and fungi)
12 Feeding Relationships Energy flows through an ecosystem in one direction, from the sun (or inorganic compounds) to autotrophs (producers) and then to various heterotrophs (consumers).
13 Food ChainsA food chain is a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten. It shows the energy transfer flowing in one direction only.
14 Food WebsEcologists describe a feeding relationship in an ecosystem that forms a network of complex interactions as a food web.A food web links all the food chains in an ecosystem together.
15 This food web shows some of the feeding relationships in a salt-marsh community.
16 The more complex the food web the more stable the ecosystem. Why? The most complex food webs are in the Tropical Rainforest and the Coral Reefs where there is high biodiversity.
17 Trophic LevelsEach step in a food chain or food web is called a trophic level.Producers make up the first trophic level.Consumers make up the second, third, or higher trophic levels.Each consumer depends on the trophic level below it for energy.Tertiary ConsumersSecondary ConsumersPrimary ConsumersProducers
18 How efficient is the transfer of energy among organisms in an ecosystem? Ecological pyramid: a diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a food chain or food web.
19 Ecologists recognize three different types of ecological pyramids: energy pyramidsbiomass pyramidspyramids of numbers
20 Energy PyramidsShows the relative amount of energy available at each trophic level.Only 10% of the energy that is stored in one trophic level is passed on to the next level.
21 The more levels that exist between a producer and a top-level consumer in an ecosystem, the less energy that remains from the original amount. Maximum number of trophic levels is 5!!!!90% of the energy at each level is lost as heat to the environment and used up in life processes
22 Biomass PyramidsRepresents the amount of living organic matter at each trophic level.Typically, the greatest biomass is at the base of the pyramid.
23 Pyramid of NumbersShows the relative number of individual organisms at each trophic level.