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How does the flow of energy and matter function in food chains and webs?

The flow of energy and matter in food chains and webs is essential for the survival of ecosystems.

Food chains and webs are interconnected systems that show the transfer of energy and matter from one organism to another. Energy enters the food chain through photosynthesis, where plants convert sunlight into chemical energy. This energy is then passed on to herbivores, which are then consumed by carnivores. The energy is transferred from one organism to another, with each step losing some energy in the form of heat. This loss of energy is known as the 10% rule, where only 10% of the energy is transferred from one trophic level to the next.

Matter, on the other hand, is recycled within ecosystems. Decomposers play a vital role in breaking down dead organic matter, releasing nutrients back into the ecosystem. These nutrients are then taken up by plants, starting the cycle again. This process is known as the nutrient cycle and is essential for the survival of ecosystems.

Food webs are more complex than food chains, showing the interconnectivity of different organisms within an ecosystem. They demonstrate that organisms can have multiple roles within an ecosystem, and the removal of one species can have a significant impact on the entire ecosystem.

In conclusion, the flow of energy and matter in food chains and webs is essential for the survival of ecosystems. It shows the interconnectivity of different organisms and the importance of maintaining a balance within ecosystems.

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