Lecture15EcologicalModels&IndustrialEcology

Lecture15EcologicalModels&IndustrialEcology -...

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Ecological Systems as the Model & Industrial Ecology Lecture 15
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Overview Humans are natural systems and have an ecology directly connected to natural systems The behavior of Natural Ecosystems are the preferred model for Human Ecology In nature, all waste is food. Therefore there is no such thing as waste! Nature lives off current solar income Nature thrives on diversity Natural systems have evolved through 5 billion years of engineering into complex, elegant systems Humans should learn from this engineering and adopt its principles Natural systems provide an immense and diverse array of services benefiting humans Natural systems need to be protected because these services are probably irreplaceable
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Basic Terminology Ecology: Greek root: oikos (the study of the household) or the study of the total environment in which we live. Origin: Haeckel (1869) The basic science of the environment the study of the interactions of organisms, populations, and biological species (including humans) with thei living and nonliving environment the composition change and stability of geographically localized groups of species and the flow of energy and matter within such groups of species (an ecosystem) (Istock 1973)
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Ecosystem: biotic and abiotic components considered as a whole (Sir Arthur Tansley, 1935) system = an organized unit Note: different from biosystem Ecosystem unit of study: space and time (a seascape, piece of landscape)
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Ecosystem Components: Inorganic substances: carbon, nitrogen, CO2, N2, etc. (substances included in the materials cycles) Organic compounds: proteins, carbohydrates, etc. (compounds linking biotic and abiotic substances) Climate regime: temperature, rainfall, solar insolation, etc. (determines how organisms prosper within an ecosystem) Autotrophic (self -feeding) organisms (manufacture food from simple substances) Heterotrophic (other-feeding) organisms: consumers (animals that ingest other organisms) Decomposers: Bacteris, fungi, etc that break down complex substances into more elemenal substances
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Types of heterotrophic organisms: Herbivores: obtain energy from plants Carnivores: consume herbivores to get energy from green plants Tertiary consumers: carnivores that consume other carnivores
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Ecological System Concepts Entropy: every use of physical resources leads to a net loss Feedback: information sent back and received by the ecosystem Adaptation: change of behavior to reduce costs Efficiency: organisms use resources more effectively, become more specialized, fit into narrower niches Integration: Increasingly specialized organisms rely more on each other, making an interdependent community, drawing them into a larger whole Emergence: As pieces are integrated, new capabilities emerge, the system becomes more complex, unpredictable qualities and values result
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Synergy: Cooperation leads to quantitative gains (efficiency) and qualitative gains (new properties), profiting
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This note was uploaded on 08/27/2011 for the course BCN 6585 taught by Professor Kibert during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

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Lecture15EcologicalModels&IndustrialEcology -...

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