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


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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

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