Free Essay About Nature Does Not Waste

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Energy, Thermodynamics, Law, Customers, Environment, Community, Ecosystem, Ecology

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/07

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Figure 1: Producer
Figure 2: Consumer
Figure 3: Recycler/saprophytes
In nature, the flow of energy occurs in a closed efficient loop. This loop preserves the laws of conservation of energy “energy is not created or destroyed, but converted from one form to another”. The source of this energy is the sun whose energy trickles down to the consumers and back into the earth in an entropic fashion. Looking at an ecosystem from a physics and chemical perspective, the first and second law of thermodynamics is obeyed and preserved (first law of thermodynamics) (second law of thermodynamics). This utilization of raw energy separates an ecosystem into two major groups: Autotrophs and heterotrophs. Autotrophs are the powerhouses, and heterotrophs are the consumers.Producers The sun’s rays are mostly absorbed by green vegetation and converted to carbohydrates through the process of photosynthesis. It is the simplified equation with light as a catalyst;6H2O + 6CO2 + energy → C6H12O6 + 6O2 This group consists of the largest percentage of biomass in an ecosystem. They are called the producers. Within this group exists other simple photosynthesizing organisms such as algae, phytoplankton, some bacteria and symbiotic fungi. This cohort provides edible carbohydrates, proteins and fats plus an important by product-oxygen that powers the bodies of the consumers as they do not have photosynthetic ability (1st Law of Thermodynamics 2). The efficiency of conversion of sunlight to photosynthetic energy, however, is at a maximum of 11-30 percent dependent on plant species and environmental conditions. It is also because not all the sun’s energy is useful for photosynthesis. The usable wavelength is at 400 to 700 nanometers. It, however, does not mean wastage of energy. The rest goes into warming the atmosphere, breaking up volatile nutrients in the soil, melting ice water and activating inorganic chemical reactions all that facilitate life on the planet.Consumers This cohort comprises of the next largest group in terms of biomass. It consists of the herbivores, carnivores, scavengers and saprophytes. The herbivores convert the green plant matter to flesh that can in turn be consumed by carnivores. These are the primary and secondary consumers respectively. The tertiary consumers or scavengers can consume both the carnivores and herbivores. They, though rely on the either the dead carcasses or live bodies. It makes them an opportunistic lot and thus a small percentage of the consumers. They would feed on the dead squirrels if food were scarce. An example of such would be hyenas or carrion beetles. They are, however, an important group as they are part of the recyclers. They physically break down and digest the bones, and other tissues that would take longer to decompose in the environment. They work in symbiotic tandem with the saprophytes as some of them have digestive systems that can host these saprophytes. An example is the termite that contains cellulose digesting protozoa. These help break down wood from the broken tree branches and peeled barks (Second Law of Thermodynamics 3).Recyclers/saprophytes/decomposersThis group consists of bacteria, fungi and protozoa. They specialize in molecular and atomic breakdown of organic matter. They convert macromolecules to micro molecules and atoms that are either returned to the environment as nitrogenous compounds, carbon dioxide or soluble minerals. They are the ones responsible for ensuring that the energy in the consumers is available for re-use by the producers thus recycling it.Conclusion A holistic look at the dynamics of an ecosystem, therefore, reveals that nothing is indeed a waste, but a byproduct of a prior step in the cycle of energy flow.

Work Cited

"1st Law of Thermodynamics." 1st Law of Thermodynamics. Web. 10 Feb. 2015. <>.
"Second Law of Thermodynamics." Second Law of Thermodynamics. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <>.

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