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.Learn More
The sun's energy comes from the nuclear fusion reactions that happen within its core. When atoms of hydrogen come together in the core of the sun, they fuse to become another element: helium. This reaction produces energy.Full Answer >
There are several biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) factors that are common to all types of desert biomes, or ecosystems, including cacti, fire ants, high daytime temperatures and sand. Biotic factors also include plants and animals such as sagebrush, scorpions, lizards and snakes. Abiotic factors include low temperatures at night, wind, and lack of rainfall.Full Answer >
Some of the things that cause temperatures change on Earth include the greenhouse effect, the amount of heat from the sun reaching Earth, deforestation and changes in Earth's surface with regards to reflectivity. Temperature change on Earth has become a major topic of debate in recent years because of its negative effects.Full Answer >
The saltwater biome refers to the world's saltwater bodies. The saltwater biome is found all over the world, in the form of oceans, seas, bays and gulfs. More commonly called the marine biome, the saltwater biome differs in a number of important ways from freshwater biomes. Marine biomes are home to innumerable species of fish, plants, mammals, algae, bacteria and invertebrates.Full Answer >