How Energy Flows Through Ecosystems

By: Cassidy Walters

Life in our Community

A community is a big group of people that work together. We meet, plan, work, and live in the same place as many different people. A community is only the population in the area, not the actual place so communities can share similar qualities but they are never exactly alike. One thing that majorly defines a community is the interactions we have with others. Some are more obvious than others and not all interactions have humans involved! For ecologists, communities involve plants, animals, insects, bacterias, and other organisms. Welcome to the ecosystem!

Resource for picture: http://www.realtrees4kids.org

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How food changes from chemicals to provide energy

Food is the main source of energy for all organisms. Believe it or not not all organisms can eat food so they have to produce their own. Organisms that make their own food are called Autotrophs (Auto- self, Troph- feed). They make their own food from carbon dioxide, water, and light. This process is called photosynthesis (photo- light, synthesis- putting things together). Some examples of Autotrophs are plants, algae, and bacterias. These organisms will not need to eat other organisms to survive. They will make food by photosynthesis and combing carbon atoms together which makes sugar molecules. The mathematical equation is 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + Light C6H12O6 + 6 O2. This gives them the energy they need.
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Energy and Life

Energy is the ability to do something, and all living organisms need it to do basic tasks like growing, eating, drinking, moving, and responding to the environment. All these things take place in organisms and cells they are working cells so to function energy is essential. Organisms use energy but are not able to make it so they have to get it from the environment or another organism that got it from the environment. Sun is one of the main sources of energy especially for plants that use photosynthesis.
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Below is a video about Producers and Decomposers. You will learn the jobs and roles of these organisms and how they help the ecosystem as a whole.

Producers and Consumers
Have you ever heard that if you leave your apple you ate on the ground that it will eventually disintegrate? Well the reason your apple disappears is from little organisms called decomposers. Decomposers are very important to an ecosystem. Fungi (mushrooms) and bacteria are common examples of decomposers, they break down and eat the remains of other organisms that have died or things left to rot. Without these organisms the earth would be full of waste and dead organisms. They use those things to take their energy that was left.

Press the button below to see a diagram!

Cited sources

Science, FOSS. "Ecosystems." Populations and Ecosystems. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 6-21. Print.


"Decomposers." Sheppard Software. N.p., n.d. Web.


"Respiration of Cells." Muir Biology. Mrs. Muir, 2 Jan. 2014. Web.