Levels of Organization & Energy Flow through an Ecosystem

Cell | Tissue
Basic Unit | Group of cells similar in structure and function
ex: muscle tissue | ex-muscle tissue
Organ | Organ System
Groups of | Group
tissues | of organs
working | working
together | together
ex-stomach | ex-digestive system
Organ—>Organ System
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Group of organisms of the same species
Community | Ecosystem
a group | All living
of different | and nonliving
populations | factors
which interact | in a
in a particular | particular
area | area
ex- all squirrels, | ex-a forest
trees, birds in a | (includes all
forest | organisms and the soil, water, etc
Biome | Biosphere
a group of | anywhere
ecosystems | on
with the same | the
climate and | earth
similar | that
communities | organisms can live
ex-temperate | ex- anywhere on the earth
deciduous forest | that organisms can live
Inorganic Matter, Organic Matter, Physical Factors
Three Categories of Abiotic Factors
-not living
-does not include carbon
ex-rocks + minerals; water
Inorganic Matter
-carbon based
-includes decomposed organisms and waste products of organisms
ex- a dead skunk on the road
Organic Matter
-other factors which influence organisms
ex- temperature, amount of sunlight, rainfall, etc
Physical Factors
biotic- living
Abiotic vs Biotic
population-groups of individuals belonging to the same species that live in the same region at the same time
community-an interacting group of various species in a common location
Population vs Community
producer- organisms that make their own food AKA autotrophs
consumer- organisms of an ecological food chain which receives energy by consuming other organisms
Producer vs Consumer
chemosynthesis- the use of energy released by inorganic chemical reactions to produce food
photosynthesis- All photosynthetic organisms use solar energy to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen
Chemosynthesis vs Photosynthesis
detritivore- feeds on organic matter
decomposer- obtain nourishment from organic matter
Detritivore vs Decomposer
biosphere- all the living organisms
ecosystem-a community of one specific living being
Biosphere vs Ecosystem
food web- graphical model depicting food chains linked together
food chain- starting from producer organisms and ending at apex predator species
Food Web vs Food Chain
primary consumer- the first consumer in a food chain (herbivore)
secondary consumer- the second consumer in a food chain (carnivore)
Primary Consumer vs Secondary Consumer
habitat- place where an organism lives/occurs
niche- organism fits into an ecological community or ecosystem
Habitat vs Niche
autotroph- an organism that is able to form nutritional organic substances from simple inorganic substances
heterotroph- an organism that cannot manufacture its own food (animals, humans, decomposers)
Autotroph vs Hetertroph
herbivore-animals that eat plants or plantlike organisms
carnivore-eats a diet consisting mainly of meat
Herbivore vs Carnivore
The sun
What is the major source of energy for most ecosystems?
Producers-make food and sugar
Consumers-transfer energy (eat producers)
Decomposers-break down dead plants and animals
What is the role of producers in the environment? Consumers? Decomposers?
They break down dead organisms to return the nutrients or materials to the water, soil, air, etc
How do decomposers contribute to the “Circle of Life”?
One way refers to never used again-transformed into heat. Nutrients cycle through the ecosystems because matter cannot be destroyed. Energy can be used for heat after recycled. It also can be used for metabolism.
Explain the following statement: Energy flow in an ecosystem is one way but nutrients are recycled
No more than 4 or 5 because there’s not enough energy
What is the average length of a food chain? Why?
10% because the remaining 90% is used for all life functions
How much energy is transferred in each step of the food chain?
Used for all life functions (grow, reproduce, move, etc)
What happens to 90% of the energy at each step in a food chain?
The total mass of organisms in a given area or volume
Define biomass
The bottom of the pyramid. The biomass decreases as you move through the food chain
On a biomass pyramid, where is the most biomass? What happens to biomass as you move through a food chain?
Each of the several levels of an ecosystem. Primary consumers are not the first because they must consume the organism first. They are the first consumer but not the first trophic level
What is a trophic level? Are primary consumers in the first trophic level? Explain.
Process in which certain substances such as pesticides or heavy metals move up the food chain. Aquatic organisms are most affected by this.
What is biological magnification? Which organisms are most affected by biological magnification?
A food web. A food chain only have one source of food supply, meaning they are dependent on only one food type
Which is more stable; a food chain or a food web?
They can’t survive without the decomposers (heterotrophs) because they need the nutrients. ALL is emphasised in this question because they specifically need decomposers (a type of heterotroph).
Heterotrophs are dependent on autotrophs for food. Do autotrophs truly need ALL heterotrophs? Explain.

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