Energy flow in Ecosystems

Energy flow in Ecosystems
Energy, Ecosystems, and Ecology!
Different Types of Energy
 Mechanical Energy is the
energy associated with
the motion or position of
an object.
Mechanical energy can be
kinetic or potential energy.
Mechanical Energy is the
total energy of the system.
Examples: School Bus
Moving, Frog Jumping, and
even sounds moving through
the air.
Roller Coaster Kinetic and
Potential Energy Gizmo
Different Types of Energy
 Thermal Energy is the total
energy of the particles in a
substance or material.
 When the thermal energy
of an object increases it’s
particles move faster,
making the temperature of
the object rise.
 Ice Cream melts when its
thermal energy increases.
Different Types of Energy
 Chemical energy is potential
energy stored in chemical bonds
that hold chemical compounds
 Chemical energy is stored in the
foods you eat and in a match
that is used to light a candle.
Chemical energy is even stored
in the cells or your body.
 Chemical Energy comes from a
chemical reaction and can be
absorbed in the form of a
chemical compound.
 What chemical reaction do we
use for our chemical energy?
Different Types of Energy
 The movement of electric
charges produces
electricity or electrical
 You rely on electrical
energy from batteries or
power lines to run
electrical devices.
The Importance of Photosynthesis
 Photosynthesis is the chemical
process where plants take sunlight
and convert it into energy.
This is the equation for
photosynthesis. 6CO2 + 6H2O +
C6H12O6 + 6O2
The reactants for photosynthesis
are Carbon Dioxide, Water, and
Sunlight Energy
The products for photosynthesis are
Sugar and Oxygen.
Photosynthesis Video
The Chemistry of Photosynthesis
The Importance of Photosynthesis
 The sunlight is the source of
energy for all living things on
The energy source for all
ecosystems is the Sun.
Without sunlight being
converted into useable
chemical energy plants could
not grow.
If plants quit reproducing and
growing the foundation for all
food chains would be ruined.
Only a few rare
archaebacteria would survive.
The Importance of Photosynthesis
 Not only does photosynthesis
provide food and energy to
other organisms it’s our
source for oxygen.
 99% of organisms are
aerobic. That means they
need oxygen to live and a
certain amount of it.
 Without plants producing
oxygen most of the world’s
organisms would die out
within weeks.
 Plants use sugar for their
energy and growth needs.
Types of Autotrophs
 Autotrophs are also known as
producers. They make their
own food through the process
of photosynthesis.
 Most autotrophs are actually
photoautotrophs because they
take the sunlight and convert
it into food.
 Some autotrophs are known
as chemoautotrophs because
they convert chemicals like
sulfur or ammonia into
useable forms of energy or
Where does photosynthesis occur and
how does it influence a plant?
 Photosynthesis occurs in
the chloroplasts of the
plant cells. Chloroplasts
convert the light energy
into sugar through various
reactions including the
light and dark reactions as
well as the Calvin Cycle.
 The sugar is converted into
useable energy or ATP for
the plant cell so it can grow
and reproduce.
Photosynthesis Continued……
 Photosynthesis
converts Solar
Energy into
Chemical Energy.
Cellular Respiration the opposite
of Photosynthesis
 During respiration, cells break down
simple food molecules such as glucose
and release the energy they contain
The following is the equation for
respiration C6H12O6 + 6O2
6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy
The reactants for this equation are sugar
glucose and oxygen. The products are
carbon dioxide and water and
mechanical and thermal energy.
Respiration and Photosynthesis are
Chemical Reactions.
Respiration releases energy from food.
Chemical Energy is converted
into Mechanical and Thermal
Energy in this process!
Respiration the opposite of
 Respiration in animals is a process
that converts food energy into
mechanical energy and heat energy.
Heat energy makes us as animals
warm blooded or endothermic
Our bodies maintain a natural
temperature in non-extreme
Mechanical energy in our body can
be converted into useable energy in
our bodies so our bodies can
perform their regular functions.
Cellular Respiration Animation
Photosynthesis vs. Respiration
 1. Photosynthesis occurs in
the presence of light (and
chlorophyll in plant cells)
2. Requires energy (light) to
make sugar (glucose)
3. Complex substances
(sugar) are formed from
simpler ones
4. Carbon dioxide and water
are the reactants.
5. Oxygen is a product.
6. Solar Energy is converted
into Chemical Energy
 1. Respiration occurs at all
times in cells.
2. Releases energy from
3. Complex substances
(sugar) are broken down into
simpler ones.
4. Carbon Dioxide and water
are the products.
5. Oxygen is a reactant
6. Chemical Energy is
converted into Mechanical
and Thermal Energy.
Reactants and Products for
Photosynthesis and Respiration
 What are the reactants for
What is the optimal temperature
for plant/seed growth?
What is the optimal water
amount for plant/seed growth?
What is the optimal amount of
light for plant/seed growth?
The right amount of all the
products is dependant upon the
plant. There is no one correct
obvious answer, but it is
important that you are able to
look at graphs and find out what
variable is best for a specific
The Right Amount of Light
The Right Temperature Range
Energy in our Ecosystem
 Where does energy in our ecosystem
 What path does it follow to get to us?
 There is an energy pathway that goes
from Sunlight to mechanical energy. It
is as follows:
 1. Sunlight: Light Energy: Plants Use
Photosynthesis to form Sugars:
 2. Sugars Stored as Chemical Energy in
 3. Plants are consumed:
 4. Through Respiration Chemical
Energy from plants is converted into
Mechanical Energy for our Muscles
 Energy Cycle Animation
Animals can be classified by how they
get their energy!
 Herbivores get their energy
by consuming plants
 Carnivores get their energy
by consuming other
 Omnivores get their
energy by consuming
plants and animals
What’s a Heterotroph?
 Heterotroph is an organism
that requires organic
substrates to get its
chemical energy for its life
 Humans are Heterotrophs.
All Consumers are
Food Chains
 A food chain is a series of events in
which one organism eats another
and obtains energy.
The first organism in a food chain is
always a producer, such as the
grass in a field.
The second organism is a consumer
that eats the producer, and is called
a first-level consumer. This first
level consumer has to be a
herbivore or an omnivore.
A second-level consumer might
eat the first-level consumer. (and
so on and so on) The second level
consumer is usually a carnivore.
In this picture what would happen
if all of the caterpillars died off?
Food Chain or Food Web
 A food chain is a series of
events in which one
organism eats another and
obtains energy.
 A food web consists of
many overlapping food
chains in an ecosystem.
Food Web
Ecological Pyramid
 A ecological pyramid or
energy pyramid shows the
relationship between
consumers and producers at
different trophic levels in an
 Shows the relative amount of
energy or matter contained at
each trophic level.
 The Pyramid shows which
level has the most energy and
the highest number of
Energy Pyramids
 Most of the energy the
primary consumer gets from
the producer is used by the
 Some of the energy moves
into the atmosphere as heat.
Most of the energy lost in this
pyramid is lost as heat.
 Whatever energy is left is
available for the next
consumer. (if there is one)
 The picture to the right is an
energy pyramid.
Energy Pyramids
 That the amount of available
energy decreases as you go up
the food chain.
 It takes a large number of
producers to support a small
number of primary
 It takes a large number of
primary consumers to
support a small number of
secondary consumers
 The # of organisms and the
amount of energy decreases
as you move up the pyramid.
Where does the energy go?
 When an organism eats it
obtains energy.
 Some of this energy is used to
move, grow, reproduce, and
carry out life activities.
 For warm blooded creatures
this includes heating our
 Because of this only some of
the energy will be available to
the next organism in the food
 The total mass of the
organic matter at each
trophic level is called
 Biomass is just another
term for potential energyenergy that is to be eaten
and used.
 The transfer of energy
from one level to
another is very
inefficient. (10% Law)
Another Energy Pyramid
• Which level has the
most energy?
• Which level has the
most organisms?
• Which level has the
least organisms?
• Which level has the
least energy?
Humans can disrupt or help Food Webs
 Can anybody think of any
food webs or chains that
humans have influenced
positively or negatively?
Some ways we have helped our world
 People create wetlands and
nesting boxes that increase
the number and range of
wood ducks.
 Restoring natural habitats
by planting trees and
increasing foliage.
Some ways we have damaged our
 The increase of acid rain is
caused by more greenhouse
gases in the air. The acid rain
can damage amphibian eggs
and reduce the population of
 Acid rain is found in parts of
the country where there are
many cars and power plants.
Water in the form of rain is
chemically combined with
sulfur dioxide and oxygen to
create sulfuric acid, which
then becomes rain.
Some ways we have damaged our
 Clear cutting is a logging
practice when all or most
of the trees in a harvest
area are cut down.
 Clear cutting causes a
major loss of habitat and a
large increase in soil
 Without tree seedlings to
grow an area such as this
can not recover for many
Inference vs. Evidence
 An inference is a guess
about a problem or
 Evidence is actually based
upon what you really know
to be true.
 Make an inference about
the Lion to the right!
Inference Activity
 Infer the possible effects
that humans could have on
a desert ecosystem.
 Infer the possible effects
that humans could have on
an arctic ecosystem.
Same Ecosystem different Scientists
 Let’s say our ecosystem we
are studying is the Amazon
rainforest in Brazil.
 How would different
scientists study this
 For example how about a
Biologist, Geologist,
Chemist, Physicist,
Botanist, Ecologist, etc.
To Be or not To Be Extinct
 Extinction occurs when
members of a species are no
longer surviving in any
Endangered is when you have a
very small number of individuals
left in a specific species.
If an organism goes extinct what
effects does that have on other
organisms and it’s environment?
Tasmanian Tiger went extinct
within the last 100 years.
As many as 27,000 species of
various organisms go extinct
each year.
Why try and Save Endangered
 So why is protecting
endangered species
 What can you do?
How can we make our World better?
 The following is going to
be a discussion on what we
have done that is wrong or
bad as of late. We are all
guilty of one or quite a few
of these problems.
 I have suggestions written
out on how you can
payback the environment
for certain negative things
you have done.
1- View Lot Homes
 Building a big house on the
hill gives a great view of the
 When land is cleared for a
home or a parking lot then
it will decrease the amount
and types of animals that
can live nearby.
 Status Symbol
1- View Lot Homes
 Require some habitat
 Birds
 Deer
 Elk
 Rodents
 Reptiles
1- View Lot Homes
 Require some removal of
vegetation, which allows
erosion to occur faster
 Better views = steeper
slopes = more erosion
 Building Roads into areas
that are not residential.
1- View Lot Homes
 Uses a lot of Wood and
 Create lots of construction
View Lot Homes - Payback
 Create areas for wildlife in
the landscape
 Provide nesting boxes and
year-round food for birds
View Lot Homes - Payback
 Re-plant native vegetation
 Do not overly use
insecticides or pesticides
View Lot Homes - Payback
 Slow erosion by planting trees
 Use erosion control fabric on
steep slopes
 Place large boulders or imbed
logs along pathways
View Lot Homes - Payback
 Recycle household trash as
much as possible
 Look for the recycle
2- High Energy Demands
 Here in the west, most
people drive large vehicles
to get around
 They require more fuel and
create more pollution
 We use lots of electricity at
our homes, sometimes
2- High Energy Demands
 Oil has to be refined into
gasoline before it can go
into our vehicles
 Refineries create more
2- High Energy Demands
 We have many homes and
businesses which means
that we need lots of
2- High Energy Demands
 Electricity is produced by
burning coal, which
pollutes the air
 (That’s why electric cars
only solve half of the
pollution problem.)
2- High Energy Demands
 The coal is dug from a mine
(probably in eastern Utah)
 This mining requires more
energy output and more
 This mining contributes to
High Energy Demands - Payback
 Use frontrunner for
commuting (if possible)
High Energy Demands - Payback
 Carpool to school and
combine trips to the store
High Energy Demands - Payback
 Become part of the team
that creates an alternate
fuel source
 (The mother of all science
fair projects)
 A Different Kind of Fuel
High Energy Demands - Payback
 Program your thermostat
at home drop the
temperature when no-one
is home
High Energy Demands - Payback
 When regular bulbs burn
out, replace them with
energy-saving compact
fluorescent bulbs
High Energy Demands - Payback
 Turn off stuff when you’re
not using it!
 Unplugging it is even better
High Energy Demands - Payback
 Buy energy efficient
High Energy Demands - Payback
 Support programs to use
alternate energy sources,
such as wind power,
geothermal energy, and
hydro-electric power
3- Urban Sprawl
 Most people want to move
to “the open”
 With lots of new houses,
comes new roads and new
shopping centers and new
hospitals – bingo – we have
unplanned sprawl with no
3- Urban Sprawl
 Urban Sprawl creates
habitat fragmentation
3- Urban Sprawl
 The areas of “open space”
left after the humans move
in are too small to support
 Think about the movie
“Over the Hedge”
3- Urban Sprawl
 High concentrations of
humans pollute the water
3- Urban Sprawl
 High concentrations of
humans pollute the air
3- Urban Sprawl
 We dry up the wetlands to
build houses, and destroy
wildlife habitat
 Yes, we have wetlands in
Urban Sprawl - Payback
 Create natural areas in your
yard where wild animals
are welcome
Urban Sprawl - Payback
 Try not to use chemicals on
your lawn or trees
Urban Sprawl - Payback
 Become a city planner or
serve on your city council
to promote “smart growth.”
 Plan for wild spaces
 You owe it to the