Ecosystem, GPP, NPP

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Energy Flow through Ecosystems

Class Notes

Producer: autotroph, self sufficient/feeding

Organic: contain carbon (except for CO2)

Autotroph: organisms that can synthesise the organic materials needed from inorganic sources. Includes all green plants.

Heterotroph: Organisms that take in 'ready made' organic materials made by other organisms.

Food chain: a pathway of energy from one organism to another.

Producer (1st trophic level)

Primary consumer (2nd trophic level)

Secondary consumer (3rd trophic level)

Tertiary consumer (4th trophic level)

Quaternary consumer (5th trophic level)

Chemosynthetic autotrophy: they use chemical energy to produce the organic molecules that they need. Usually live deep in the oceans.

Primary productivity: the rate at which energy is incorporated into organic molecules in an organism.

Biosphere: the inhabited areas of the planet.

Habitat: area which an organism lives, with distinct conditions.

Population: the number of individuals of a species living in an area at a given time.

Community: the various populations sharing a habitat/ecosystem makes up the community (includes plants).

Niche: the conceptual position a species has in the


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