Topic 2 Part 3  Food Chains
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Next thing when we talk of organisms is the concept of a food chain and I’m sure you’re all familiar with food chain, you know, we often talk about Food chain, for example, we say central Texas has the entire academic food chain. What does that mean? well There are school districts and then there are community colleges and then there are 4 year institutions and then there are huge Internationally renowned research institutions like UT Austin, so it’s a food chain, you know Students move from one to another to another Likewise, I’m sure you’re familiar with the savanna in in Africa right you Have basically vegetation and then you have a B was like zebra and gazelle and deer and so forth Then you have the combos that constitutes a food chain, so all organisms have to consume the resources in order to stay alive and go about their daily life and the transference of these resources from one organism to the next to the next Constitutes what we call the food chain, so from grass to zebra to lion, right? So that’s the food chain and there is a transference of resource one feeds on the other and these resources include stuff like nutrients and the energy that’s embodied in the nutrient right nutrients can release energy and So each of these stages is basically called a tropic level. So each of these stages in the food chain is called a trophic level and Traditionally we identify Four kinds of traffic levels. We have at the very beginning we have an extract us so these are things that take stuff from nature and convert it into a form that the next level which are called producers can use the producers in turn create a product that consumers can use And there could be various levels of consumers finally When all is said and done we had decomposers that tried to salvage things. So these are different trophic levels So what we will do is we will look at a biological food chain let’s say this is from the ocean and Here is a biological food chain So in the in the beginning we have these things called extractors they’re basically bacteria in the ocean so bacteria take materials minerals In the ocean and they convert it into mineral salts Because mineral salts are what plant forms use here. We’re talking about very basic platform called plankton So the plankton relies on the mineral salt It also uses some light or energy and so it takes energy and mineral salts and produce vegetative matter basically clam wash and sea platform The we are multiple layers of consumers. So this is your extract of this is your primary producer The first consumer are basically inveterate invertebrate Creatures in the ocean Maybe shrimps belong to that family those that don’t have a backbone, right so they may feel on vegetative matter and as a result of metabolism, they produce a gesture which is basically waste from metabolism and they in turn are eaten by secondary consumer, which are small fish and That small fish feed They produce also each ester, but they also produce cactus which means you know some form of this shrimp or other That they eat and some are discarded So those are outputs and then the fish are fed by what we call the third level consumer tertiary, which are larger fish Right the same thing you see here. In other ways in the form of Majesta and cactus And then you have the topmost in the food chain, right? Like the lime in the Savannah You have the sharks which feed a large fish And so when the sharks will again you have each esta and you have carcass and so all of this edge esta from various consumer levels all of the Carcass from various levels go to what is called a decomposer those are another group of bacteria which feed on the refuse and and tries to Take or separate it into useful and not so useful stuff a small amount of not so useful stuff is lost but a lot of the adjuster and cap casts are Recovered as inorganic materials and they passed back to the plankton. So this there’s a lot of recycling so if you see this thing, you know it goes around and Very little is waster. That’s the only thing you see wasted here. So this is a food chain with the different trophic levels so the question is how do What does industrial food chain look like and so for this we have a manufacturing example from The manufacture of computers essentially we are talking about cables copper base cables, right? So the first level is extractor that Is what the bacteria are used to do earlier, right? So that factor is basically your miner our mines where from so the process always begins from nature well either land of ocean So copper ore is mined and it’s in the mind it’s purified and Ore concentrate because the dirt is separated so it’s more concentrated It’s goes to a smelter which is called the primary producer The smelter uses the refined copper ore and energy in the form of electrical energy Melting takes place and big blocks of copper copper ingots are pretty used It goes to the next level which is a first stage of consumer So the first stage of consumer takes the ingot and converts it into a wire Right from block of copper to a fine wire. So it goes through a process called rolling or in rolling mills You need lots of energy Then the copper wire goes to a second ricans consumer, which is a cable manufacturer so the cable manufacturer embeds the copper coil or wire in a plastic sheath and so forth then goes on to a computer manufacturer who you know who uses these cables in the computer and Finally the topmost level in the food chain Usually that means you and I whether its automotive or electronic we have a topmost consumer, right? So we the public the consumer uses the computer. There’s a finite lifetime Then it becomes obsolete, but we get rid of the computer now Doing all of this processing although not shown here There will be lot of ways During manufacturing. There are a lot of ways effluents in the form of liquids gases that are released Solid materials etc. And so waste so that it’s only shown here, but All of you, there will be ways So ultimately after whatever two years fires the computer then is discarded. It typically goes to disassembler Like what do you call an auto junkyard where they you know take an automobile? They try to wreck or whatever you can maybe a stevia system and other things and then the metal is scrapped and st. Elsewhere. So They try to recover like the power supply or things that are still good And then, you know, they are sold back sometimes to the consumer because they just need a power supply I have been there in one of our labs In a single month, we lost power supplies on three or four computers. So we have to buyspares and Helps you buy used because they’re not really expensive And Some material that’s recovered from like the copper will go back to the cable manufacturer and then Some of the computer bulk, you know the outer cover and so forth goes to the recycler The recycler may send it back to the primary producer, but there will be some material lost The key thing is there will be losses at various points here in a biological system The shrimp is eaten by the small fish the small fish with a big fish in the big fish by the shark. There’s little That’s really wasted even waste for one becomes input for the other That’s not true with industrial system

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