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Systems and Cycles of the Biosphere

Systems and Cycles of the Biosphere - OVERVIEW organisms

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Systems and Cycles of the Biosphere OVERVIEW   This chapter discusses the systems and cycles of the biosphere - the domain of living  organisms. Ecology  studies the interaction between life forms and their environments.  An  ecosystem  is defined as the total assemblage of components entering into  the interaction of a group of organisms. These systems import and export matter  and energy.  Biogeographers  study the nature and function of ecosystems and their  variability from place to place.  The food web or  food chain  refers to the flow of energy from one level to another  in an ecosystem.  Primary producers  are plants and animals that are able to create carbohydrates  from carbon dioxide, water and light energy through the process of  photosynthesis.  In the food web,  consumers  feed on the primary producers or on other  consumers and transfer energy through the different levels in this manner. 
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