Energy Cycles

BY Paul Nung

The Deep Sea

The deep sea, just like any other ecosystem has producers and consumers. The producers don't always use photosynthesis due to the lack of sunlight in the deep sea. One example are chemoautotrophs. These are bacteria (or archaea) that can be found in thermal vents in the sea. A hydrothermal vent is a vent in the ground where the heat of the earth's core heats up the sea water. Temperatures may reach up to 340 degrees C or 700 degrees F. These vents have communities fueled by the chemicals dissolved in the vent fluids. These chemoautotrophs put together organic compounds by using ATP. They get energy from the chemical reaction happening in the vents which give them chemicals like hydrogen sulfide.

Consumers in The Deep Sea

The consumers in a dark deep sea live off the producers like bacteria or archaea. Some examples are worms,krill,or in this case clams. They are filter feeders which feed off of tiny substances like bacteria or other organisms by using filters to capture them. These clams eat and survive off of the bacteria which gets it's energy from the chemical reactions in the hydrothermal vents. Other consumers of the deep sea are filter feeding worms which can grow up to 6 ft long.

Pictures and Diagrams

Thorough Explanation

How do They Work

These compounds are called chemoautotrophs in a process called chemosynthesis. Chemoautotrophs use energy obtained from the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide, methane, or ammonium, to transform carbon dioxide into organic biomass. These microorganisms play an ecological role similar to photosynthetic plants, in that they serve as the base of the food chain.