Chapter 22

Chapter 22 - Chapter 22- Energy in the Ecosystem Ecosystem...

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Chapter 22- Energy in the Ecosystem Ecosystem function obeys thermodynamic principals o Ecosystem- organisms, together with the physical factors of their surroundings are ecological systems o Most fundamental energy transformation in an ecosystem is the conversion of light energy into chemical energy by photosynthesis. o Herbivores then convert the energy in the carbon compounds in plants and other autotrophs into energy they can use for their own metabolism, activity, growth, and reproduction o Thermodynamic principals- principals which govern all energy transformations, obeyed by the size of a system and the rates of energy and material transformations within it o Trophic levels- links in the food chain in which energy passes through o Pyramid of energy- less energy reaching each successively higher trophic level Energy lost at each level because of the work performed by organisms at that level and because of the inefficiency of biological energy transformations o Ecosystem ecology- concerned with the cycling of matter and the associated passage of energy through an ecosystem Energy and the masses of elements (C) provide a common currency that ecologists use to compare the structure and functioning of different ecosystems Measured energy flow and the cycling of nutrients o Unlike energy, most of which enters ecosystems as light and leaves as heat, nutrients are regenerated and retained largely within the system Matter is cycled through an ecosystem after it is taken up in inorganic forms and converted to biomass by plants. Some is passed up through the food chain but all is eventually
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2012 for the course PB 360 taught by Professor Wentworth during the Fall '08 term at N.C. State.

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Chapter 22 - Chapter 22- Energy in the Ecosystem Ecosystem...

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