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Energy Flow Through an
The Sun
The sun is the main energy source for all
life on earth.
 Less than 1% of the sun that reaches the
earth’s surface is used by living things.
 This energy is used by…
– Plants, some algae and certain
bacteria that use the sun’s energy to produce
food and make living tissue.
 Also called autotrophs b/c they make their
own food.
 Producers
Using the Sun’s energy
Photosynthesis- Process in which
producers use light energy to convert
CO2 and H20 into carbohydrates and
– Organisms that rely
on other organisms for their energy
and food supply.
 Also known as heterotrophs.
 There are different types of
 Consumers
Herbivores – Obtain energy by
eating only plants.
 1)
Carnivores – Obtain energy
by eating other animals.
Omnivores – Obtain energy by
eating both plants and animals.
 3)
(bacteria and fungi)
& Detrivores (earthworms and snails)
– Obtain energy by eating dead
organic matter.
 Return nutrients to the earth.
4) Decomposers
Feeding Relationships
 Energy
flows through the ecosystem in a
one-way direction.
 Sun to producer to herbivore to carnivore
Feeding Relationships
Chain – Steps in which
organisms transfer energy by
eating other organisms and being
 Food
Feeding Relationships
 Trophic
levels: Each Step in
the food chain.
 Plant to grasshopper to bird
to bobcat = 4 trophic levels.
Feeding Relationships
Web – Network of
interactions that link all the food
chains in an ecosystem together.
 Food
Ecological Pyramid
 Diagram
that represents the
amount of energy or matter in an
 3 types: Energy pyramid, Biomass
pyramid, Pyramid of numbers.
Ecological Pyramid
 Energy
pyramid: Only 10% of
energy in one trophic level is
transferred to organisms in the
 The other 90% is used for life
processes or lost as heat.
Ecological Pyramid
2) Biomass pyramid: Represents amt of
potential food available for each trophic
level in an ecosystem.
 Biomass: total amt of living tissue within a
given trophic level.