The Sun is the ultimate source of energy in most communities/ecosystems. Harnessed initially by plants (autotrophs) using photosynthesis.
Sun - Plant (Producer) - Herbivor (Primary Consumer) - Insectivor (Secondary Consumer) - Carnivor (Tertiary Consumer)
Reasons for Losses
Mass and energy decrease as food passes along each successive feeding level
1. Waste is created at each stage i.e. not all food.
2. Not all organisms are eaten.
3. Not all that is captured is consumed.
4. Energy is lost in life processes (MRS GREN) especially respiration.
- Carbon dioxide is removed for the environment by green plants by photosynthesis. Carbon is used to make carbohydrates, fats and proteins which make up the body of the plants.
- Some carbon dioxide is returned when green planst respire
- Green plants are eaten by animals and these animals are eaten by other animals some carbon become part of fats and protein that make up their body
- Some carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when animals respire
- When plants and animals die, some animals and microorganisms feed on their bodies. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when they respire
Decomposition happens when conditions are moist and warm.
Decomposition is useful to plants as the end product compost is fine, rich and powdery. This acts as a fertilizer to the plants.
Main processes in the carbon cycle
- death and decay
- combustion of wood and fossil fuels