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Unformatted text preview: Geography 211 (Fall 2009) 11/30/09 1 Topic 16 The Biosphere 1. Flow of Energy and Maber in Ecosystems Ecosystem: Funconal unit consisng of all living organisms (plants, animals and microes) in a given area, and all nonliving physical and chemical factors of their environment, linked through nutrient cycling and energy ow. An ecosystem can e of any size (log, pond, forest) and funcons as a unit. Food We Primary Producers: species capale of producing complex organic sustances (essenally "food") from energy source (solar energy) and inorganic materials ase of food chain Consumers: organisms that ingest other organisms as food source Primary consumers require producers Secondary consumers etc. Decomposers: decomposers feed on decaying organic maber (e.g. microscopic organisms such as acteria) Example of a food web in an Arctic ecosystem ht p:/ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_chain Geography 211 (Fall 2009) 11/30/09 2 Energy Flow of Trophic Levels: on average, only smaller % of organism's energy passed on to predator rest used for organism's life processes or lost as heat to environment through eating and being eaten, energy flows from one trophic level to another Photosynthesizing organisms: use light energy from sun to make carbohydrates for their needs...
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- Fall '08