Ecosystem Ecology: Links in the Chain – Crash Course Ecology #7

Hank brings us to the next level of ecological study with ecosystem ecology, which looks at how energy, nutrients, and materials are getting shuffled around …



  1. "Most of us would be stumped when asked what an ecosystem is or is made of or why it's important" acts like a 5 year old and waves hand excitedly pick me I know! (also getting an environmental science degree, so that helps, but I still get excited when I know things :))

  2. I am teaching a 5th grade lesson on energy flow through an ecosystem. We will be discussing a food pyramid as well as a few other Ecology concepts. I have a basic understanding, but I'd like to increase my knowledge on a few areas so I feel more confident with the lesson. Can you help me understand these two concepts?

    1. During the transfer of energy from one trophic level to the next, part of the energy is lost as heat. Can you help me understand what exactly that means? What process is this? I just need a little clarification and a little more detail.

    2. Can you break down the definition of Gross Primary Productivity and Net Primary Productivity for me? My understanding is GPP is how much energy is captured or stored in biomass initially. NPP is how much energy is left after some of the energy is lost to heat, respiration, and other energy using processes? Feel free to correct me!

    Thank you for your help!

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