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Lecture_14_Ecosytems_and_Global_Ecology

Lecture_14_Ecosytems_and_Global_Ecology - Ecology is...

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6/15/2011 1 Ecosystems and Global Ecology LS1: Summer Session A July 25, 2011 Ecology is studied at different levels Organismal Ecology Population Ecology Community Ecology Ecosystem Ecology Global Ecology Ecosystems An ecosystem involves all the living and non- living factors within a given area Ecosystem ecology explores the flow of energy and materials through the ecosystem The global ecosystem The global ecosystem is made up of four compartments: Atmosphere Oceans Freshwater sources Land All these compartments are connected to one another by the cycling of materials between them The global ecosystem The atmosphere The atmosphere is a thin layer of gases surrounding the earth Contains most of the earth’s nitrogen and a large proportion of its oxygen CO 2 , although, a small percentage of the atmosphere, is the source of organic carbon
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6/15/2011 2 The atmosphere About 80% of the mass of the atmosphere lies in its lower layer, the troposphere , where most of the air circulation occurs The stratosphere is the upper layer containing a layer of ozone , which filters UV radiation The atmosphere regulates the earth’s temperature Greenhouse gases , including CO 2 , methane, water vapor, and some other gases trap radiant energy and warm the earth’s surface Oceans Most materials from the other compartments end up in the ocean Mineral concentrations are typically very low on the surface, since materials sink to the bottom and open ocean waters mix very slowly These materials are brought to the ocean’s surface through a process called upwelling Upwelling zones Offshore winds push surface waters away from shore, causing cold, bottom water to rise to the surface. These regions are able to support high primary productivity.
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