Global ecology 3

13 terms by Emito 

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Autotrophs

Produce their own food from solar energy by photosynthesis; transform solar energy into chemical energy; primary producer

Ecologists classify organisms

By how they obtain their energy

Heterotrophs

Consume other organisms (consumers); Get energy from primary producers; carnivores, herbivores

Decomposers

Break down the dead; mostly fungi and bacteria

Detritivores

Eat detritis: partially decomposed matter in water or soil

Trophic structure

A pattern of feeding relationships consisting of different levels

Food chain

Sequence of food transfer up the trophic levels

Producers

Support all other trophic levels; autotrophs; plants on land, cyanobacteria in water

Consumers

Heterotrophs: Primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary

Detritivores and decomposers derive energy from dead materials and wastes

Food web

Collection of all food chains in an ecosystem

Components of ecosystems

Energy flow: passage of energy through the ecosystem
Chemical cycling: Transfer of materials within the ecosystem

Energy flow and nutrient cycling

Nutrients cycle, but energy flows through a system

Trophic level

Composed of all the organisms that feed at a particular link in the food chain. 10% of energy is transferred from one trophic level to another. At each step, some usable energy is lost as heat.

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