Chapter 54 Notes

Chapter 54 Notes - Chapter 54 Notes Ecosystems Ecosystem:...

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Chapter 54 Notes Ecosystems Ecosystem: the species present, along with abiotic components such as the soil, climate, water, and atmosphere 54.1 How does energy flow through ecosystems? A primary producer is an autotroph “self feeder”: an organism that can synthesize its own food from inorganic sources In most ecosystems: photosynthesis but in deep-sea hydrothermal vents and iron-rich rocks deep below chemical energy in inorganic compounds The primary producers use this chemical energy in two ways maintenance and growth o Maintenance: chemical energy to replace worn-out cell components, transport material inside cells and between cells, synthesize hormones and other chemical signals, and produce molecules and structures that function in defense against disease and attack energy to stay alive o Growth: energy not for maintenance is used for growth and reporduction Net primary productivity (NPP): energy that is invested in new tissue or offspring Why is NPP so important? NPP results in biomass Biomass: organic material that non-photosynthetic organisms can eat NPP is critically important because it represents the amount of energy that is available to the other living components of an ecosystem: consumers and decomposers Consumers eat living organisms o Primary consumers eat primary producers o Secondary consumers eat primary consumers o Tertiary consumers eat secondary consumers Decomposers or detritivores: obtain energy by feeding on the remains of other organisms or waste products o Detritus: dead animals and dead plant tissues (“plant litter”) ***The four components of an ecosystem are linked by the movement of energy and nutrients Solar Power: transforming incoming energy to biomass Gross primary productivity: the total amount of photosynthesis in a given area and time period Gross photosynthetic efficiency: the ratio of gross primary productivity to the total incoming solar radiation Trophic Structure Trophic (“feeding”) level: organisms that obtain their energy from the same type of source Food chains and food webs Food chain: connects the trophic levels in a particular ecosystem
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Decomposer food chain primary decomposers: feed on plant detritus Grazing food chain: primary consumers at the second trophic level Food webs: attempt to include many or most of the species eaten by a sample of organisms in an ecosystem joined by arrows indicating a flow of energy Food webs are a compact way of summarizing energy flows and documenting the complex trophic interactions that occur in ecosystems Energy flow to grazers versus decomposers Energy Transfer between trophic levels
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Chapter 54 Notes - Chapter 54 Notes Ecosystems Ecosystem:...

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