Energy Flow and Cycles Keywords

These are some keywords to get you started with Ecology. I hope they help!

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  • Created by: R
  • Created on: 11-09-13 16:56
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1. Producers are photosynthetic organisms that manufacture organic substances using
light energy, water and carbon dioxide
2. The arrows in a food chain represent the flow of energy
3. Each stage in a food chain is known to as trophic level
4. Detrivores are earthworms and woodlice.
5. Consumers are organisms that obtain their energy by feeding on other organism
rather than using the energy of sunlight directly. Animals are consumers.
6. Decomposers are a group of organisms that break down the complex materials in
dead producers and consumers into simple components again. By doing this they
release valuable minerals and elements in a form that can be absorbed by plants and
so contribute to recycling
7. Most of the suns energy is not converted to organic matter by
photosynthesis because:
Over 90% of the suns energy is reflected back into space by clouds and dust or
absorbed by the atmosphere
Not all the wavelengths of light can be absorbed and used for photosynthesis
A factor such as low carbon dioxide levels may limit the rate of photosynthesis
Light may not fall on a chlorophyll molecule
8. The low percentage of energy transferred between each stage in a food
chain is the result of the following:
Some of the energy is lost in excretory materials such as urine
Some of the organism is not eaten
Some parts are eaten but cannot be digested and are therefore lost in faces (fibre)
Some energy loss occurs as heat from respiration and from the body go directly to
the environment
9. Energy efficiency = energy available after the transfer energy available before
the transfer X 100
10. The relative inefficiency of energy transfer between stages in a food chain
helps to explain why:
The total amount of energy stored is less at each level as one moves up a food chain
Created By: Rahath

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Most food chains have only four or five trophic levels because inefficient energy is
available to support a large enough breeding population at trophic levels higher than
The total mass organisms in a particular place (biomass) is less at high trophic levels
11.…read more


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