ENERGY FLOW - ENERGY FLOW & EFFICIENCY GENERAL...

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GENERAL PRINCIPLES Ecological Thermodynamics All living systems depend on an adequate supply of energy and materials to support life- sustaining processes Therefore, all living systems are subject to the laws of thermodynamics, which (colloquially stated) are: (1) energy cannot be created or destroyed; (2) all work & growth requires energy; (3) increased order (growth, complexity) in one part of a system entails increased disorder (entropy) in another part For most analyses in ecological anthro, we can take physical laws (including those of thermodynamics) as constants, and thus ignore their causal/explanatory role However, it is useful to have at least a basic understanding of the physical constraints on ecological processes Thermodynamics is also relevant to this course because (as discussed further below) some anthropologists have argued that energy capture is central to cultural evolution The most basic principle of ecological thermodynamics is that while materials
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ENERGY FLOW - ENERGY FLOW & EFFICIENCY GENERAL...

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