Ecosystem Ecology

" Watch out for that Giant Rabbit ! "

Link to a pdf of the carbon cycle  Look !

Ecosystem - A community plus the abiotic (nonliving) factors in the environment.

Producers - Use photosynthesis (sunlight + inorganic nutrients) to make their own food.

Consumers - Eat other living things.

       Primary consumers - Are herbivores, they eat producers.

       Secondary consumers - Are carnivores,they eat primary consumers.

       Tertiary consumers - The top predators, Eat anything they desire.

               Omnivores - Eat both plant and animal material.

Decomposers - Break down detritus

        Detritus - dead organic matter

Energy flow through an ecosystem - Energy flows one-way through the ecosystem it does not cycle.

Food chain - GRASS -> MOUSE -> SNAKE -> HAWK - Shows how energy and matter (carbon etc.) move from one organism to the next.

       Trophic Level - All organisms that eat the same thing (similar feeding level)

Food web - Shows all feeding connections and it is usually very complex.

Primary Productivity - the amount of solar energy trapped by plants and converted to plant matter.

Biogeochemical cycles - Cycles of matter from being held in living things to being free in the environment.

       Carbon cycle - Carbon has to be "fixed" by plants so everyone else can use it.

       Hydrologic cycle - Cycle from the clouds to the ocean/land and back to the clouds.

               Evaporation - Water has to evaporate from the oceans and fresh water to make water vapor in the clouds.

       Nitrogen Cycle - Nitrogen has to be "fixed" by bacteria so plants can use it and give it to us.

Return to Greg Sievert's GB 100 Syllabus
Last updated on 4 January 2018