Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account



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


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


Break down the dead; mostly fungi and bacteria


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


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


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.

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 and try again


Reload the page to try again!


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

Voice Recording