Flow of Energy in Living Systems
What are energy roles in an ecosystem?
An ecosystem is a community of organisms that live in a particular area, along with their nonliving environment. An ecosystem is a living system.
In an ecosystem, an organism’s energy role is determined by how it obtains food. Each organism fills the role of producer, consumer or decomposer.
- A producer is an organism that can make its own food. Most producers make their food by using the sun’s energy in the process of photosynthesis.
- A consumer is an organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms.
- A decomposer is an organism that obtains energy by breaking down once-living material, such as the bodies of dead organisms.
What is a food chain?
- A food chain is a series of events in which one organism eats another and obtains energy. The diagram below shows one food chain.
- In most food chains, the sun is the original source of energy. Producers capture the energy in photosynthesis and make food.
- In a food chain, energy flows from a producer to a first-level consumer to a second-level consumer.
- Food chains can have third-level consumers and even fourth-level consumers.
What is a food web?
- A food web consists of many overlapping food chains in an ecosystem.
- An organism may play more than one role in a food web. For example, a first-level consumer may also be a second-level consumer, depending on its food sources.
What is an energy pyramid?
- The most energy is available at the producer level of the pyramid.
- As you move up an energy pyramid, each level has less energy available than the level below.
Adapted from Pearson Educational products, online Powerpoint.
- Energy flows through living systems and is passed from one trophic level to another. It is then returned to the environment through cycles.
- How does energy transfer in living systems??
- What happens to the energy in matter that is decaying or decomposing?
- How is energy returned to the environment through the decay of biomass?
- How is matter decomposed?
- How is energy transferred through the decay of biomass?
LET’S TAKE A LOOK:
Watch the Video
Play – “Where is all the food?”
V isit – Interactive Art
Read the poem that another student wrote. Write a short poem about food webs in your journal.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!