Ecosystem Dynamics: Ecosystem Dynamics

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Ecosystem Dynamics

Ecosystem Dynamics

Gary Pace

BIO111 Lab

Excelsior College

Introduction
An ecosystem is a community of both living organisms and non-living elements that live and work together to conserve energy and matter. Each and every part of the ecosystem is vital to maintaining the energy balance to sustain the ecosystem. The three major components in an ecosystem that transfer energy, are producers, consumers, and decomposers. The producers, plants, algae, flowers, and trees are a few examples, are living organisms that can produce their own food by using the sun to assist in photosynthesis and produce energy- storing molecules. Consumers are organisms that can either gain their energy from the producers
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The first level is the producers, with the remainder of the ecosystem depending on producers to get their energy, which is called heterotrophs. Heterotrophs are organisms that cannot make their own food and depend on producers for energy. The second trophic level, also known as the first order heterotrophs are the herbivores. These animals are then eaten by carnivores, this is the third tropic level or the second order heterotrophs. The third order heterotrophs contain animals that eat other animals in the third trophic level. Additionally, levels containing carnivores my also contain omnivores. The last level contains organisms that feed on decaying organisms, which are the decomposers and…show more content…
They also play a role in ensuring chemicals, such as the nitrogen, phosphorus, water, and carbon are properly regulated to ensure the ecosystem is sustainable. All ecosystems rely on sunlight to start its energy balance. Without sunlight, ecosystems would not be able to survive and earth would be uninhabitable.
During this experiment, I focused on energy flow through the levels, and assessed the number of organisms that are in each level. From what I’ve gathered, producers have the most organisms, and as a result, will have the highest level of energy. The higher the tropic level, the fewer organisms and lower energy level.
Materials
I utilized the following materials to determine the energy level for the various ecosystems:
· I utilized research data to determine the number of organisms in each ecosystem.
· I utilized research data to determine the amount of energy each level consumes
Methods
1. After I determined how many organisms are in an associated ecosystem, I placed the organisms in the appropriate trophic level.
2. I documented the number of organisms at each trophic level.
3. I determined the amount of energy at each trophic level.
4. I calculated the Energy Conversion Efficiency for each level ecosystem.
5. I calculated the average of Energy Conversion Efficiency for each ecosystem.
6. I analyzed the results

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