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How do organisms mediate the movement of matter and energy through ecosystems?

Topic

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems

Framing Question

How do organisms mediate the movement of matter and energy through ecosystems?

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the mechanisms by which microbial saprobes, parasites, and mutualists influence nutrient cycling.
  • Use a model to predict the impact of the loss of a keystone consumer species on the energy flow through an ecosystem.
  • Construct an argument that defends the idea that eating lower on a food chain is better for the environment.
  • Explain the role of microorganisms in the loss of soil carbon after deforestation or agricultural tillage.

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