WELCOME TO: ENERGY OF LIFE
All living things (organisms) need energy to survive and grow. Energy Mommy wow! I’m a big moose now!
How does energy fit into the big picture of life? Let’s investigate: • All organisms live in an Ecosystem! • An ecosystem is an area of nature in which living things (Biotic factors) and non-living things (Abiotic factors) interact to exchange energy and materials. • Without Energy and Abiotic factors, life would not survive!!! • There are many different types of ecosystems: Like Plants and Animals… Like dirt and water…
TYPES OF ECOSYSTEMS • Desert • Tropical • Wetland • Mountain • Tundra • CoralReef • Deep Ocean • Plains • And many others… Each ecosystem has its own critters, plants, geology, climate, etc, etc, etc…
But no matter which ecosystem you are dealing with, all the basic levels of organisms are the same! We will begin with the most basic:
Producers: These “produce” energy for themselves and in turn for everything else… Cactus Flowers Trees Plankton in the ocean are the main producers for ocean life! All grasses Just about every type of plant
Q: How do Producers get their Energy? Solar Energy Makes Glucose!!! CO2 + H2O PHOTOSYNTHESIS! Note: Producers do Photosynthesis; critters do Respiration!
Primary Consumers: Primary consumers eat the Producers! Cows Giraffe Critters that eat plants… Deer Some Bugs
Q: How do primary Consumers get their Energy? This sucks… In addition to breathing, cows eat the producers for the glucose to make energy Energy After the cow has energy, it can grow! And keep doing cow things…moo!
Secondary Consumers: Secondary consumers eat the Primary consumers and sometimes they can also eat the Producers! Tigers… Humans are an example of Omnivores!!! Lions… ***Critters that can eat both producers and consumers are called “Omnivores” And Bears… Oh my!!!
Q: How do Secondary Consumers get their Energy? DUDE! Energy! Yes…it’s true…they eat the cute little deer and rabbits and such…
Decomposers: get energy from dead stuff! Single Celled Organisms (Bacteria) Some Insects Fungi
Why are Decomposers so important to ecosystems? One things waste is another things feast!!! Yum Yum Yum yum Energy! Good enough for decomposers! Dead Stuff still has some available energy! Without Decomposers, the whole world would be full of nothing but waste and life could not survive… To us…yes, it may sound gross…but to decomposers…it sounds great! Remember, to plants, oxygen is gross, but to us…it’s great!
Remember: All livings things need each other to survive! Plants perform photosynthesis and make Glucose! Critters eat plants for the chemical energy in glucose to get the energy they need Critters waste (CO2) is used by the plants to keep doing photosynthesis and make moreglucose! And the cycle just keeps on going…
Food Webs • Food webs show how energy flows through an ecosystem. • Food webs have symbols/pictures that represent each level of an ecosystem. • Arrows between symbols (organisms) show the flow of energy through an ecosystem. Energy starts here Energy ends up here
Parts of a food web… All proper food webs begin with the sun The arrows show the flow of energy from one organism to another There are pictures to represent each organism and level of Food Webs Producers Primary consumers Secondary consumers Decomposers
Every ecosystem has its own food web unlike all the other ecosystems food webs… Backyard Ecosystem Food web Antarctic Ecosystem Food Web A few of the organisms can be the same, but most are different…
Flow of Energy: Q: Have you ever wondered why there are more plants than deer? And why there are more deer than bears? Plants Producer Consumer Level 1 Consumer Level 2 10% 10% 10% Light (Sun) Chemical (Biomass) Chemical (Meat/Fat) Chemical (Meat/Fat) Mechanical (Bio-Processes) Mechanical (Bio-Processes) Heat (Due to Processes) Heat (Due to Processes) Notice how much energy is actually making it to each higher level: 10% each time! The previous level either uses 90% of it or it is lost! Q: So why do animals have to eat so much?
Food Energy Pyramid: Energy pyramids show the balance of organisms in a healthy ecosystem Consumer Level 3 Predators keep the number of primary consumers under control 10% If there were too many herbivores, they would quickly eat all the producers Consumer Level 2 10% Plants Level 1 There has too be enough producers to supply everything else with enough energy
Q: What can happen if the balance of a ecosystem gets messed up? • Q: What can cause the balance of energy flow to get messed up? • Natural Disasters (minor) • Climate Change (major) • Human involvement (major) Activity: Yellowstone food web: “The Wolf Effect”