Systems and Cycles of the Biosphere

Systems and Cycles of the Biosphere - Decomposers (...

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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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Unformatted text preview: Decomposers ( microorganisms and bacteria) feed on decaying organic matter at all levels in the ecosystem. Solar energy is absorbed initially by the primary producers and stored as chemical energy which is digested by consumers. Only 10% to 50% of the energy at any level is passed on to the next level, consequently the amount of organic matter and consumers must decrease with each level. Photosynthesis is a biochemical reaction which results in the production of carbohydrates and oxygen using water, carbon dioxide, and light energy. A simplified chemical reaction is: H2O + CO2 + light energy = -CHOH- + O2 In the respiration process carbohydrate is broken down and combined with oxygen to create carbon dioxide, water, and chemical energy. A simplified chemical reaction is -CHOH- + O2 = CO2 + H2O + chemical energy...
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course GEA GEA2000 taught by Professor Wong,faith during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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