Earth Science

Life on Earth

Flow of Matter in Ecosystems

Study Tip
Look at the flowchart to get a better understanding of how matter flows in an ecosystem.

Cycle of Matter

  • Matter enters an ecosystem at any level and leaves at any level.
  • Matter cycles freely between trophic levels.
Study Tip
Look at the flowchart to get a better understanding of how matter flows in an ecosystem.
Cycle of Matter
The path of matter and nutrients

The Path of Matter and Nutrients

  • Nutrients are ions that are crucial for organisms to live and grow.
  • Nutrients come from rocks and minerals that have broken down.
  • Nutrients are transferred by wind and water.
  • Decomposers break down dead tissues into nutrients and carbon dioxide.
Concept Check
  • Describe matter’s ability to enter and exit trophic levels.
  • Explain the relationship between nutrients and decomposers.