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#20 - Nutrients in Ecosystems

#20 - Nutrients in Ecosystems - Energy and nutrients Energy...

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1 Energy and nutrients Energy captured by photosynthesis is used to organize a relatively small number of biologically important elements into organic compounds – plant biomass C, H, O form the base of the organic molecules •These organic molecules represent energy, stored temporarily in their bonds, that can later be liberated by consumers and used produce consumer biomass. In some ways, energy flow and nutrient flow are quite similar Energy vs. nutrients Energy flows through ecosystems, being stored temporarily in bonds of organic molecules – This energy can be used to do work (feeding, mating, moving, generating heat...), or can be used to form new bonds to create new “storage” molecules – Any time energy is used or transferred some is lost as heat. Heat is the lowest form of energy – beyond briefly helping to maintain some particular body temperature, this heat is useless; it can do no metabolic work – Much of ecology is concerned with the transfer of energy among levels within food webs
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2 Element Cycling through Ecosystems Element Cycling through Ecosystems Oxidation – reduction reactions 1. Assimilitory processes are transformations
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