How does energy move through an ecosystem?

Answer

The energy in most ecosystems flows through the food chain. In terrestrial ecosystems and most marine ecosystems, the energy flow starts in green plants that harvest some of the sun’s energy. The plants are then consumed by animals, bacteria and other creatures, which are themselves eaten by other creatures. At each step in the food chain, energy is lost as heat.

Scientists refer to green plants as producers because they effectively produce the food for the entire food chain. Green plants use the process of photosynthesis to capture light energy, combine it with carbon dioxide and water, and then form sugars to store the energy chemically. The organisms that eat these plants are called consumers. Sometimes a distinction is drawn between primary consumers, which eat green plants, and secondary consumers, which eat other consumers.

The amount of energy present at each step in the process is much less than was in the preceding step. This means that eventually, the energy is gone, and no further energy is left. At the bottom of the food chain, organisms called scavengers feed off the last remaining bits of energy in an organism. These scavengers then release the remaining minerals and nutrients from their food into the environment where they are recycled.

Q&A Related to "How does energy move through an ecosystem?"
it is transfered when consumers eat producers or primary consumers.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_energy_moves_through...
These are called autotrophs, meaning "self-feeding.
http://www.chacha.com/question/what-happens-to-ene...
Light, a form of energy, provides one of the basic components needed by green plants to produce food in the form of sugar. This action occurs through photosynthesis by the chlorophyll
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5431764_energy-flow-t...
This is because in order for the ecosystem to sustain itself, there must be more energy at lower trophic levels than there is at higher trophic levels. This allows for organisms on
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=201309...
Explore this Topic
There are various ways in which matter moves through an ecosystem. The most common methods are through biogeochemical cycles. These cycles are water, nitrogen, ...
Electromagnetic radiation is the type of energy that propagates through a vacuum. Different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum are known by different names ...
Electric energy is the energy created by electrons moving through an electrical conductor. The world is made of matter. All matter contains atoms that contain ...
About -  Privacy -  Careers -  Ask Blog -  Mobile -  Help -  Feedback  -  Sitemap  © 2014 Ask.com