Chapter 58

Chapter 58 - Chapter 58 Ecosystems and Global Ecology 58.1...

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Chapter 58: Ecosystems and Global Ecology 58.1 – What are the compartments of the global ecosystems? o An ecosystem involves all the living an non-living factors within a given area o Ecosystem ecology explores the flow of energy and materials through the ecosystem o The rate at which energy moves through a system is called flux o Elemnts may accumulate, or pool, in some components of an ecosystem o Flux also applies to energy movement between pools o Some pools are sinks, where energy goes in and does not leave o The global ecosystem is made up of four compartments: Atmosphere Oceans Freshwater Land o All of these compartments are connected to one another by the cycling of materials between them o The atmosphere is a thin layer of gasses surrounding the earth o Contains most of the earth’s nitrogen and a large portion of its oxygen o CO2, although a small percentage of the atmosphere, is the source of organic carbon o About 80% of the mass of the atmosphere lies in its lower layer, the troposphere, where most of the air circulation occurs o The stratosphere is the upper layer containing a layer of ozone which filters UV radiation o The atmosphere regulates the earth’s temperature o Greenhouse gasses including CO2, methane and water vapor trap radiant energy and warm the earth’s atmosphere o The ozone layer serves to protect us from radiant energy, but it is damaged o Most materials from other compartments end up in the ocean
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o Mineral concentrations are typically very low on the surface, since materials sink to the bottom and open ocean waters mix very slowly o These materials are brought to the ocean’s surface through a process called upwelling o The uniqueness of the earth is in the fat that its water is liquid o Offshore winds push surface waters away from the shore, causing cold, bottom water to rise to the surface o These regions are able to support high primary productivity o Water moves rapidly though the freshwater component of the global ecosystem, carrying minerals mostly from the weathering of rocks o The freshwater compartment includes streams, lakes, and groundwater o
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