Lec4_08BIEB102

Lec4_08BIEB102 - BIEB 102 Lecture 4: Nutrient Cycling I. I....

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I. Overview of nutrient cycling I. Nutrient budgets I. Water cycle I. Nitrogen cycle BIEB 102 Lecture 4: Nutrient Cycling
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I. Overview Main goal: understanding how nutrients flow through landscapes Such a focus provides insight into ecological functions often not discernable through the study of species interactions. How does the biota accumulate, transform and redistribute nutrients among the various compartments of an ecosystem? What are the major pools and transition processes for water, nitrogen, phosphorous and carbon? What are the ecological effects of human alterations to nutrient cycles?
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I. Overview Ecosystem ecology: the study of natural systems from the standpoint of the flow of energy, nutrients and matter Organisms are treated as “black boxes” and seldom studied directly. An ecosystem may be viewed as a set of linked compartments among which elements are cycled at various rates. Photosynthesis moves carbon from an inorganic compartment (air or water) to an organic compartment (plant). Respiration moves carbon from an organic compartment (organism) to an inorganic compartment (air or water).
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An ecosystem may be viewed as a set of linked compartments among which elements are cycled at various rates. I. Overview Arrows : light orange = energy flow; dark orange = nutrients locked in dead organic matter (DOM); white = nutrients in their free organic state Begon, Harper, and Townsend (2006) Not all nutrients released are used by plants.
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I. Overview Ricklefs Figure 7.3
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I. Overview primary producers herbivores predator Community ecology differs from ecosystem ecology in its focus on species interactions, food web structure and trophic relationships (lecture 14).
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I. Overview Biogeochemistry and biogeochemical cycles Many geochemical fluxes would occur in the absence of life. e.g., geological formations above sea level erode and degrade. e.g., volcanic eruptions distribute sulfur into the atmosphere Organisms alter nutrient fluxes by extracting, recycling and altering chemicals from the geological flow. How does the biota accumulate, transform and redistribute nutrients among the various compartments of an ecosystem?
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II. Nutrient budgets Nutrient budgets for ecosystems consider the coming and going of elements. Inputs Outputs Mechanical weathering of bedrock Stream flow (from terrestrial systems) Chemical weathering of bedrock Release to atmosphere: respiration, Atmospheric CO 2 and N 2 activity of anaerobic bacteria, and Dryfall: settling of particulate matter denitrification (nitrate to N 2 and N 2 O) Wetfall (rain, snow, sleet) contains Fire (produces CO 2 elements in solution Aerosols from vegetation and water Stream flow (into aquatic systems) Loss to groundwater Stream flow (flooding of terrestrial systems) Anthropogenic activity (clear cutting of Anthropogenic activity (CO 2 from fossil forests) fuel combustion, N & P in fertilizers)
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II. Nutrient budgets Begon, Harper, and Townsend (2006) Nutrient budget for a terrestrial
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Lec4_08BIEB102 - BIEB 102 Lecture 4: Nutrient Cycling I. I....

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