Obtaining Energy in an Ecosystem

Obtaining Energy in an Ecosystem

Lutz 1

Name / Date
Science / Class

Obtaining Energy in an Ecosystem

Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers

Part 1. Read in a life science text about producers, consumers, and decomposers-- for example, Glencoe Text, Chapter 24, “Interactions of Life.” Write sentence definitions for each word (next page).


Part 2. Play an online game sorting producers, consumers, and decomposers at

From the home page, scroll down and select “Producers, Consumers Decomposers Game.”

As you play the game, create a table that identifies each organism as a producer, consumer, or decomposer. There are 17 examples altogether. Chart them all. (next page).

Organism / Producer / Consumer / Decomposer
1. Cat / X
2. grass
3. cow
4. mushrooms
5. flower
6. bird
7. algae
8. fish
9. worms
10. houseplant
11. fungi
12. human
13. cactus
14. mold
15. butterfly
16. tree
17. bacteria

Part 3. Research a Connecticut ecosystem online. Choices include

  • Marine (Long Island Sound, estuary, wetland, salt march, shoreline)
  • Freshwater (Connecticut River, Housatonic River, lakes and ponds)
  • Temperate Forest
  • Temperate Grassland

Find at least two producers, two consumers, and two decomposers for your ecosystem. An example search phrase might be “producers consumers and decomposers for a marine ecosystem.”
Write a paragraph about your ecosystem, explaining how these organisms in it get their energy to live.
Type your paragraph using the MLA format.
Include and label an image of each kind of organism in the form of downloaded photograph within a table.
Include citations for information and images (
Use at least two sources for your information. Use credible sources.

An example follows for a location (not Connecticut) that has a desert ecosystem.

Student Name

Mrs. Lutz


17 October 2016

Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers of the Desert Ecosystem

Producer: Joshua Tree / Consumer: Mountain Lion / Decomposer: Dung Beetle

In a desert ecosystem, living things adapt to the dry conditions. Desert producers capture scarce water with root systems that go down deep or that spread out wide. Many plants are able to store water for long periods of time. Desert producers include the Mojave yucca, the Yerba Mansa, the Joshua tree, the Mesquite cactus, and the Fan Palm.Desert consumers have other strategies for survival. Some come out only at night to avoid the scorching heat. Many of them live underground, where it is cooler and moister. Desert animals that consume plants include the Mormon crick, the mule deer, quail, and honey ants. Desert animals that consume other animals include red-tailed hawks, mountain lions and desert iguanas. Decomposers in desert ecosystems often live deep in the ground. Those that come to the surface have clever ways to capture moisture, even in the form of morning dew. Desert decomposers include earthworms, millipedes, dung beetles, termites, ants, fungi, and bacteria.A desert ecosystem may not have as many living things as other ecosystems, because it is difficult for living things to thrive with very little water.In this type of ecosystem, however, as in any other ecosystem, there are enough producers, consumers, and decomposers to keep the energy cycling around.


"Apex Predators and Decomposers."Wonders of the Desert. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

"Desert Food Chains."Desert Food Chain. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.


"The Lion & The Dung Beetle."The Beginning and End of Days. N.p., 10 Mar. 2015. Web. 16

Oct. 2016.

ThingLink. "Joshua Tree National Park by MG."Joshua Tree National Park. N.p., n.d. Web.

16 Oct. 2016.

United States. National Park Service. "Mountain Lions."National Parks Service. U.S.

Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.