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Glossary of Terms: C - Physical Geography
Chemosynthesis is the process that specially adapted organisms use to create inorganic chemical energy into food for them. This process is very important; the deep see biosphere depends on the chemosynthetic organisms. Organisms that undergo the process use different pathways to get the sugar, CH20. One ecosystem that uses chemosynthesis is around under-water hot springs. The organisms that use the hydrothermal vents are bacteria that thrive near the openings. They first oxidize hydrogen sulfide, and then they add carbon dioxide and oxygen. What comes out is a sugar known as formaldehyde, sulfur, and water. The one of the chemical equations for chemosynthesis is CO2 + 4H2S + O2 -> CH20 + 4S + 3H2O. The reaction first uses energy to fix carbon into a carbohydrate. Microbes absorb the compounds and function as electron donors. Then they oxidize them, which begins an electron flow that eventually produces ATP. The energy is used to combine carbon with other molecules to create carbohydrates, usually that turn into sugar. Then the sugars are sent to the mitochondrion, which undergoes cellular respiration. The cellular respiration process breaks down the sugars and turns them into ATP.
Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near the Galapagos Rift where life thrives around superheated water spewing from deep inside the Earth. Discovered only in 1977, are home to dozens of previously unknown species. Huge red-tipped , ghostly fish, strange shrimp with eyes on their backs and other unique species thrive in these extreme found near undersea volcanic chains. How is life possible here? In a process called chemosynthesis, microbes at the base of the foodchain convert chemicals from the vents into usable energy. See closeup footage of hydrothermal vents and species in this clip from the IMAX film "Volcanoes of the Deep."
This tutorial introduces photosynthesis
Both of these processes are the life-line for most of their respective ecosystems. If you look at any food chain, the organisms that go through these processes are at the near bottom, second to last to their respective energy sources. They both are also in a group known as autotrophs, which describes an organism that makes it own food. Contrasting, though, chemosynthesis makes water while photosynthesis uses water. The energy source is different, too; chemosynthesis uses thermal energy while photosynthesis uses light photons. Either way, both chemosynthesis and photosynthesis are vital to every ecosystem that they inhabit and without them, life as we know it would never survive.
Autotroph - definition of autotroph by The Free …
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