Woodlot Eco-Boxes Essay

I observed many different organisms in the woodlot, including both heterotrophs and autotrophs. The producers I found include birch trees, sugar maples, white pines, grasses, and berries, as well as various weeds and small plants. The consumers that I observed were all first-order consumers and included ants, grasshoppers, a salamander, spiders, and other species of bugs. Decomposers visible in the woodlot included fungi, mold, and mosses. There were some traces of indirect animal evidence left in the woodlot. For example, I noticed unbroken paintballs, which is a sign of humans trespassing in the woodlot. I also observed plants with holes, which showed decay and diseases and could have been accomplished by other organisms eating the producers.

There are many steps that show the flow of energy in the woodlot community. The sun gives off light and heat energy to the heterotrophs. Producers use the light from the sun, nutrients in the soil, and chemical energy in the process of photosynthesis. The producers are then either consumed by first-order consumers, or are broken down by decomposers such as fungi, which uses mycelium to absorb nutrients from the plants. I did not notice any second or third order consumers present in the woodlot to consume the first order consumers, however I did notice traces of them in forms such as burrows under rocks, and holes in the ground. There is a constant flow of mechanical energy in the woodlot, as animals use it when they eat.

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Yes, the woodlot does support the ecological pyramid concept. First, there is interaction among organisms, and there is a good balance of heterotrophs and autotrophs, which create a thriving environment of both types of organisms. The previous paragraph relates to the ecological pyramid, because the relationship between the energy from sun and the producers and consumers is evident. They all follow the steps of the pyramid, which has heterotrophs on the lower level; first order consumers next, and second and third order consumers at the highest levels.