CHAPTER_55 - CHAPTER 55 - DYNAMICS OF ECOSYSTEMS Chapter...

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CHAPTER 55 - DYNAMICS OF ECOSYSTEMS Chapter Outline and Review are excellent. My Modification of the Chapter outline: Energy Flow in Ecosystems Trophic Levels Food Chains Ecological Pyramids Trophic Cascades Biodiversity Stability of Ecosystems Biogeographic Patterns of Diversity Island Biogeography BioGeoChemical (not “Chemicals) Cycling in Ecosystems Water Carbon – Long Term and Short Term Phosphorus Nitrogen Energy Flow in Ecosystems Trophic Levels The ultimate source of energy for MOST ecosystems is the Sun. Solar energy is trapped by photosynthesis and changed from solar energy to chemical energy via the equation: C0 2 + H 2 0 C 6 H 12 O 6 + O 2 (oxygen = waste product) Photosynthetic organisms are called "primary producers." Organisms that feed on primary producers are called "primary consumers." Organisms that feed on primary consumers are called "secondary consumers," and so on. The top carnivores are “tertiary consumers.” Compare and contrast “autotrophs” vs “heterotrophs.” Organisms then arrange themselves in a "food chain" to harvest the initial solar energy fixed by green plants. When energy can flow in a variety of directions through consumers, we have a "food web." The "feeding levels" are also called "trophic levels." Generally speaking, there are only 4-5 trophic levels in a food chain or web. Why do you suppose there aren't a dozen, or a 100 trophic levels in a typical food web? Introduce to the concept of the “10% Rule” – only 10% of the energy at any one level makes it to the next level. The food chain (web) runs out of energy. Food Chains
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CHAPTER_55 - CHAPTER 55 - DYNAMICS OF ECOSYSTEMS Chapter...

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