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  • Created on: 15-05-14 19:12
Preview of Ecology

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Ecology -Terminology
- Food chain- shows flow of energy through ecosystem
- Consumer- obtains energy from other organisms
- Decomposer- feeds on dead plants and animals
- Biosphere- area where all organisms live
- Ecosystem- community of interdependent organisms and their environment
- Community- population living in particular area at particular time
- Population- organisms of a particular species living in a particular area
- Species- organisms capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring
- (A)biotic- (non-)living parts of environment
- Trophic level- feeding level (1st one is producer)
- Primary consumer- herbivore (feeds off producer)
Food chain
- Producers only convert small amount of sunlight to chemical energy because the light may:
- Not reach leaves
- Be wrong wavelength
- Be reflected
- Miss a chloroplast and go through leaf
- Consumers receive small amount of energy from producers because:
-Whole organism not consumed (bones, teeth,
bark, hair)
-Respiration (lost as heat energy)
-Waste (faeces)
-Energy used up: movement, growth, repair, heat
- Therefore food chain must be short as energy
lost at each stage in a long food chain virtually
no energy would reach top consumer
Pyramid of numbers
-Number of organisms at trophic level represented by rectangle's length
-Number of organisms generally decreases and size increases
-Problems: enormous range of numbers (e.g. For grass), pyramids maybe
inverted for large producers (e.g. Oak tree) or parasites feeding on
consumers (e.g. Fleas on dog)
Pyramid of biomass
- Biomass of individuals at trophic level at any one time represented by rectangle's length


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