1.1 Ecosystems Support Life
This information goes with pages 9-10 of your
Ecology textbook. Read it before you view
Ecosystems are where living things get their needs met. What
are those needs? Recall: energy
So, living things get these needs met in an ecosystem.
What might an ecosystem look like? It’s an environment like
The living parts like the duck, frog,
fish and plants, but also the
nonliving parts like the sunlight, and
water, and air.
The living parts like the cactus,
insects, snakes and lizards, but also
the nonliving parts like the sand,
sunlight, and air.
The living things need the nonliving things like water, air and sunlight.
The nonliving things need the living things, for example: soil is added to
by dead things that break down when they die. This needing or relating
to each other is called interaction.
Living and nonliving things have special
Biotic means living thing (Bio –means life)
Abiotic means nonliving thing (A – means not, so abiotic = not life)
Which of these below are biotic? And which are
Puppy, tree, water, soil, horse, worm, mushroom, sunshine, rock,
human, grass, mold, temperature
You should have answered:
It’s important to remember that an ecosystem
is the environment and the biotic and abiotic
things that interact there.
This information goes with pages11-13 of
your Ecology textbook. Read it before you
1. Temperature – this affects the plants that grow in an
area. You won’t find cacti (cactuses) where we live, will
you? Animals depend on the temperature too. You won’t
find polar bears where we live-black bears but not polar
2. Sunlight provides plants with the ability to make their own
food. They use the sun to make food by photosynthesis.
Other living things depend on the sun because it keeps
them warm, and they eat plants (or they eat animals that
3. Soil: Plants need nutrients that are in the soil to grow. Different
soil types hold lots of water or not much water. Plants are fussy
about this. Some like a great deal of water; some like soil more dry.
4. Water: You are probably going to feel thirsty after reading this! All
living things need water. If there is more water in and ecosystems
more living things can live there. We don’t need as much water as
fish though. So some ecosystems have more water for water life.
What are the 4
After listing them proceed
to the next slide
You should have
1.2 Matter Cycles Through Ecosystems
This information goes with pages 16-18 of your Ecology textbook.
Read it before you view this.
Living things use matter from their environment.
Then the matter is returned to the environment.
This repeats over and over again. Events that happen over and
over, like this are called CYCLES
Three important repeating
series of events that are
CYCLES are the:
Carbon Cycle and
Living things use water and return it to the environment, but more
importantly the water cycles between land and the air. See the diagram
on page 17.
Notice the water falls as precipitation. Precipitation includes rain, snow
and hail. You need to know this word
Water runs over the ground and under the ground. You need to know the
words on the diagram that include ground water (underground) and
runoff (on the ground)
Water collects in puddles, lakes, streams, oceans, and ice sheets.
Then water rises as it warms up. It is becoming a gas called water vapor
and is no longer a liquid. This process is of going from liquid to gas is
evaporation. Plants let some water out of their leaves. This is
transpiration. Animals breathe air out that has some water in it. This is
respiration. You need to know these words too.
Lastly, the water attaches to little dust particles in the
air and hangs there. That’s called condensation. This
is how clouds are made. If you’ve walked in fog or a
foggy bathroom, you’ve walked within a cloud!
You’ve seen condensation in your bathroom when
you take a hot shower. It is the drops of water vapor
clinging to the mirror and walls. Or when you drink a
cold drink, water clings to your glass from the outside
of the glass. So dust isn’t the only thing water vapor
can cling too.
There is always water vapor in the air. We can only
feel it when there is a lot in the air. We call that
We are mostly interested in the water cycle this
year. But Carbon and Nitrogen are important
too so look at those cycles on pages 18 and 20.
Plants use carbon to make food. They use carbon dioxide,
also known as CO2. The way they do this is called
In the diagram, this photosynthesis occurs under water and above
ground. This is because there are plants in both places.
Animals eat plants- or they eat animals that have eaten plants. This
is how animals get carbon within their bodies. You have carbon in
your body. You breath some out (respiration) as carbon dioxide.
When animals and plants die, the carbon still in their bodies sinks
into the ground with their remains. Some carbon will become fossil
fuels! Fossil fuels are oil, gas, and coal. When this fuel is used it
releases carbon back into the air as carbon dioxide, CO2.
Nitrogen Cycle page 20
Nitrogen is important to our bodies. 80% or of the
air is nitrogen.
We can’t use it by breathing it in though. Here’s
how the nitrogen cycle works:
Plants get it from the soil.
Animals eat the plants.
There is help to do thisLightning and bacteria change the nitrogen so it can
be used in the soil. Bacteria also help nitrogen get
back into the air. This is called nitrogen “fixing”
1.3 Energy Flows Through Ecosystems
This information goes with pages 22-25 of your text book read it before
you view these slides. You need to know the red words below.
Energy flows through ecosystems in the form of chemical energy. One
type of chemical energy is the type of energy food gives.
The sun’ energy provides a plant with energy to make food. The energy
of the sun is turned into one type of sugar by the plant. Because a plant
makes food, it is also called a producer. “Produce” means to make
Plants are eaten by animals. And these plant-eating animals are eaten
by other animals. When a living being eats another organism it is called
Producers can make food. Consumers cannot.
Decomposers eat and “break down” dead producers and consumers
Energy Flow is Shown Through Models
You need to read pages 26-28 and view the
diagrams before reading these slides.
Food energy, also called chemical energy, moves
through an ecosystem from producer to consumer to
A simple model of food energy movement is shown
as one food chain.
Rabbit eats plant so
bacteria eat what’s
left when the plant,
Energy Flow is Shown Through Models
A more real and complicated model of food energy moving through
an ecosystem is a food web
Notice, for example,
the deer could eat
two different producers. The
fox gets energy from eating
a chipmunk, or a rabbit, or
Energy Flow is Shown Through Models
A third model shows how energy moves through an ecosystem, but
also shows that some energy is lost.
So producers use the sun’s energy to make food. This helps them
grow and be good to eat.
Then primary (1st) consumers eat the producer. The energy from the
producer is stored but some is used up during everyday movement.
The secondary (2nd) consumer eat the primary consumers. Less
secondary consumers from this ecosystem will be fed because of
lost energy. These secondary consumers move around so not all the
energy is stored. Some is lost through movement.
Less tertiary (3rd) consumers will be fed than primary or secondary
consumers in this ecosystem then.
1.4 Biomes Contain Many Ecosystems
Read page 30 and the headings and picture captions on pages
32-34 before viewing these slides.
A biome is a large area of the world with
many ecosystems in it, and the ecosystems
all have similar climate, plants, and animals.
There are two main types of biomes: land and water.
Land biomes are classified into 6 major types. The two coldest
are the taiga and tundra. You are probably familiar with the third
and driest land biome, the desert. A fourth, the grassland biome,
is not quite as warm as the desert. The last two of the land
biomes are the temperate forest and tropical forest biomes.
Trees grow well in these biomes.
Water biomes are all different from each
other too. Read the captions and view the
pictures on pages 35-37 before viewing
There are two purely freshwater biomes: the River
Biome and the Lakes / Ponds Biome. Not quite
freshwater and not quite saltwater is the Estuary. It is
where fresh and salt water mix. It is classified by our
text as a freshwater biome though.
There are three Marine biomes. (Marine- means of
the sea.) The three marine biomes are : Coastal,
Open Ocean, and Deep Ocean.