Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

Ecosystems and Energy

Ernst Haeckel

19th-century scientist
Developed the concept of ecology and named it

Ecology

Eco (house) logy (study)
Study of biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) environment
Biotic: includes all organisms
Abiotic: Surroundings (living space, temperature, sunlight, soil, wind, and precipitation)

Species

A group of similar organisms whose members freely interbreed w/ one another in the wild to produce fertile offspring; members of one species generally do not interbreed with other species of organisms

Population

A group of organisms of the same species that live in the same area at the same time

Community

A natural association that consists of all the populations of different species that live and interact within an area at the same time

Ecosystem

A community and its physical environment

Earths 4 Realms

Atmosphere (air), Hydrosphere (water), Lithosphere (land), Biosphere (all combined)

Landscape

A region that includes several interacting ecosystems

Biosphere

The parts of Earth's atmosphere, ocean, land surface, and soil that contain all living organisms

First law of Thermodynamics

an organism may absorb energy from its surroundings, or it may give up some energy into its surroundings, but the total energy content of the organism and its surroundings is always the same

Closed system

energy is not exchanged between the system and its surroundings
Thermos bottle
Rare in nature

Open system

energy is exchanged between the system and its surroundings
Earth

Second law of Thermodynamics

when energy is converted from one form to another, some of it is degraded into heat, a less usable form of energy that disperses into the environment

Entropy

measure of disorder or randomness of energy
Usable energy: low entropy
Disorganized energy (heat): high entropy
increasing in the universe in all natural processes (less usable energy)

Trophic level

an organism's position in a food chain, which is determined by its feeding relationships

Biomass

quantitative estimate of the total mass, or amount, of living materials; it indicated the amount of fixed energy at a particular time

GPP

gross primary productivity
the total amount of photosynthetic energy that plants capture and assimilate in a given period

NPP

net primary productivity
productivity after respiration losses are subtracted
what consumers can obtain

Biosphere

the parts of Earth's atmosphere, ocean, land surface, and soil that contain all living organisms

Producers

photosynthetic organisms (plants, algae, and some bacteria) that are potential food resources for other organisms

Consumers

feed on other organisms
almost exclusively animals

Decomposers

feed on the components of dead organisms and organic wastes, degrading them into simple inorganic materials that producers can then use to manufacture more organic material

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again

Example:

Reload the page to try again!

Reload

Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording

Create Set