Chapter 2: Matter, Energy, & Life

This sage thrasher’s diet, like that of almost all organisms, depends on photosynthesis.

Learning Outcomes

After studying this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe matter and elements
  • Describe the ways in which carbon is critical to life
  • Describe the roles of cells in organisms
  • Compare and contrast prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells
  • Summarize the process of photosynthesis and explain its relevance to other living things

Chapter Outline

  • 2.1 Matter
  • 2.2 Energy
  • 2.3 A Cell is the Smallest Unit of Life
  • 2.4 Energy Enters Ecosystems Through Photosynthesis
  • 2.5 Chapter Resources


“Essentials of Environmental Science” by Kamala Doršner is licensed under CC BY 4.0


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Environmental Biology Copyright © 2017 by Matthew R. Fisher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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