Examples of Physiological Adaptations to Unique Environments

Examples of Physiological Adaptations to Unique...

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Dynamics of Energy & Matter Flow: An Ecosystem Perspective
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Potential interactions of living organisms with their environment are complex
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All Physiological Processes Require Energy Organic molecules in food Digestion and absorption Nutrient molecules in body cells Cellular respiration Biosynthesis: growth, storage, and reproduction Cellular work Heat Energy lost in feces Energy lost in urine Heat Heat External environment Animal body Heat Carbon skeletons ATP Energy in excess of immediate needs can be stored for future use, or invested into essential activities such as reproduction (yes, offspring are expensive in more ways than one) The greater the potential for utilizing energy (metabolism), the greater the flexibility or scope of other activities. Endotherms have a higher food requirement than ectotherms, but this allows endotherms a greater activity range Energy consumption of 1 human = 1 75-watt light bulb
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Concept of Ecological Physiology Organic molecules in food Digestion and absorption Nutrient molecules in body cells Cellular respiration Biosynthesis: growth, storage, and reproduction Cellular work Heat Energy lost in feces Energy lost in urine Heat Heat External environment Heat Carbon ATP Each step in processing of organic molecules can be accomplished by other organisms, forming links in a web that transfers matter and energy. Thus, each box and arrow combination represents a species, or community of species, and the “body” is the ecosystem. Now, consider the consequences if species occupying one of the boxes is removed. That is why some very smart people worry about extinctions and preserving biodiversity!
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A Model of Ecosystem Physiology
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Photosynthesis determines the amount of energy in the form of organic compounds fueling most ecosystems. More energy, more animal production. So, then why aren’t our most productive farms in the tropics?
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General Model of Biogeochemical Cycling: The sun provides energy, but the Earth provides everything else. The actions of living organisms is responsible for the exchange of matter between Organic and Inorganic reservoirs.
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N & P Limitation The availability of N and P often limit the productivity of autotrophs, such as plants and plankton. This experiment demonstrates that N is the limiting nutrient in coastal waters of Long Island, and why the sea is green downstream from duck farms. Using fertilizers to enhance open ocean primary production has been proposed as a means to enhance transport of carbon from the atmosphere to the sea floor.
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This experiment, plus others, have shown that in actuality it is iron that is the limiting factor in the open ocean.
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Loss of Production
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Examples of Physiological Adaptations to Unique...

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