Ecology Part C
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- A - Air contains carbon in the form of carbon dioxide gas. Plants and algae use carbon dioxide to make sugars, which are energy rich, carbon-containing compounds.
- B - Organisms break down sugar made by plants and algae to obtain energy for life and growth. Carbon dioxide is released as waste.
- C - Burning fossil fuels and wood releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- D - When organisms die their carbon-containing molecules become part of the soil. These molecules are broken down by fungi, bacteria and other decomposers. During the decay process carbon is released into the air.
- E - Under certain conditions, some dead organisms may gradually be changed into fossil fuels such as, coal, gas and oil. These carbon compounds are energy rich.
How does it enter the following spheres; Atmosphere, Lithosphere and Biosphere?
- Biosphere - Plants absorb nitrogen though there roots in the soil. The nitrogen is then passed from one level of the food chain to the next as the plants are eaten by animals. Then the herbivores are eaten by other animals.
- Lithosphere - The excess nitrate and ammonium eventually enter the lithosphere becoming rock or sediment and will only be released when the rocks are broken down.
Atmosphere - Bacteria and volcanic eruptions and burning fossil fuels convert nitrates back into nitrogen and return it to the atmosphere.
How does it enter the following spheres; Lithosphere, Biosphere and Hydrosphere?
- Lithosphere - Phosphorous is stored in the rocks and sediment. When the rocks are broken due to erosion, the phosphorous is released into the soil. Bacteria breaks down dead organisms returning the phosphorous to the soil. Some settles at the bottom of water bodies becoming part of the sediment.
- Biosphere - Plants absorb the phosphorous through the roots. It then works it way up the food chain as animals eat the plants and other animals.
- Hydrosphere - Phosphate enter aquatic ecosystem through run-off and leaching. Some settles at the bottom and becomes part of the sediment, taking centuries to return to the biosphere.
- The conversion of solar energy to chemical energy to be used as food
- Done by plants, algae and some bacteria.
- Needs light and chlorophyll.
- Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are bound to make glucose (sugar).
- Carbon and oxygen enter through pores in the leaves whereas water enter mainly through the roots.
- Categories of organisms defined by how much they gain energy. Food chains show trophic levels well, food pyramids also can be used to show how energy is stored in biomass moves through trophic in the food chain.
- Primary Producer: makes their own food.
- Primary Consumer: cannot make their own food. They must eat other organisms.
The total mass of living organisms in a defined area.
A measure of the total amount of energy or biomass transferred from one trophic level to the next. It is always less than 100% because most of the organisms use energy for life functions. Usually ten percent is passed on. Biomass decreases from one level to the next (not all of the organism is eaten, not everything is digested, energy is lost as heat). The lost in energy is why there are less carnivores than herbivores and less herbivores than plants.
- A process in which materials, especially toxin, are ingested by an organism at a rate faster than it is being expelled.
- Bio-accumulation of toxins from human-made pollution can be detrimental to a species (eg. DDT and PCB's)
The increase in the concentration of a toxin as it moves from one trophic level to the next.
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