In one of my favorite science courses in college we were discussing predation and the effects it has on environments. Then all of a sudden we were talking about photosynthesis. What? Yes, the photosynthesis. The very thing we all take for granted. The one thing that stands between us and a barren Earth. Wow, that’s pretty intense. To think that this small interaction between water, CO2, and energy stands between us and our way of survival.
Photosynthesis is responsible for making a digestible form of energy. The plants that create this energy for us are called producers. Try to imagine a pyramid if you will with producers (plants) at the base. The next level would consist of plant eaters called herbivores. The level above herbivores would be the meat eaters; carnivores.
This is a great and easy way to summarize a ecosystem. In the picture it mentions consumers and producers. The producers are organisms that are capable of producing their own food. Consumers are organisms that need to eat other organisms in order to get energy.
This was a basic introduction to how energy is passed around in an ecosystem. To see more on how energy is cycled through an ecosystem follow this link: Food Chains & Food Webs
Fun Tidbit: I was introduced to a video during my science course. The video was talking about how the wolves that live in Yellowstone affect the rivers. Well that seems kind of odd. Take a moment to watch this video and it will make more sense. How Wolves Change Rivers.