Energy in Ecosystems Food Webs

Energy in Ecosystems Food Webs

Author: John Lui
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Here is the link for Quizlet food web terms


Food Webs

How do the grasshopper and the grass interact?
Grasshoppers don’t just hop on the grass. They also eat the grass. Other organisms also eat the grass, and some animals even eat the grasshopper. These interactions can be visualized by drawing a food web.
Food Webs
Energy must constantly flow through an ecosystem for the system to remain stable. What exactly does this mean?Essentially, it means that organisms must eat other organisms. Food chains (Figure 1.1) show the eating patterns in an ecosystem. Food energy flows from one organism to another. Arrows are used to show the feeding relationship between the animals. The arrow points from the organism being eaten to the organism that eats it. For example, an arrow from leaves to a grasshopper shows that the grasshopper eats the leaves. Energy and nutrients are moving from the leaves to the grasshopper. Next, a frog might prey on the grasshopper, a snake may eat the frog, and then a hawk might eat the snake. The food chain would be:leaves!grasshopper!frog !snake!hawk. A food chain cannot continue to go on and on. For example the food chain could not be:leaves!caterpillar! spider! frog! lizard! fox!hawk. Food chains only have 4 or 5 total levels. Therefore, a chain has only 3 or 4 levels for energy transfer.

This food chain includes producers and consumers. Decomposers break down organic matter and return it to the soil and atmosphere so it can be used again.

• carnivore: Organism that feeds on other animals.
• consumer: Organism that must consume other organisms to obtain food for energy.
• decomposer: Organism that obtains nutrients and energy by breaking down dead organisms and animal wastes.
• food chain: Diagram that shows feeding interactions in an ecosystem through a single pathway.
• food web: Diagram that shows feeding interactions between many organisms in an ecosystem through multipleintersecting pathways.
• herbivore: Animal that eats producers to obtain energy.
• producer: Organism that produces food for itself and other organisms.
• A food chain is a diagram that shows feeding interactions in an ecosystem through a single pathway.
• A food web is a diagram that shows feeding interactions between many organisms in an ecosystem through
multiple intersecting pathways.

Source: CK-12

Food Web Reading Questions

Bill Nye Video Food Web

Food Webs in the Florida Everglades

Source: Richard Kern

The $1500 Sandwich

This person spent 6 months making a sandwich from scratch. He planted a garden for the veggies, he milked a cow for the cheese, and butchered a chicken for the meat. It cost him $1500 in time and equipment.


Watch this video so you can understand how decomposers work in an ecosystem.

Prezi on Energy in an Ecosystem

Learn how energy flows through an ecosystem

Source: Mr. Lui