Beginning of a hydrothermal vent. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Photosynthesis is not the only way in which energy is introduced into an ecosystem. Organisms living near hydrothermal vents use chemosynthesis because very little sunlight reaches the bottom of the ocean.

Chemosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and water, just like photosynthesis, but uses sulfur chemicals instead of sunlight. The equation for chemosynthesis is as follows:

6CO2 + 6H2O + 3H2S —› C6H12O6 + 3H2SO4
Last modified: Monday, 31 October 2011, 5:20 PM