Chapter 23

Chapter 23 - Chapter 23 Pathways of Elements in Ecosystems...

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Chapter 23- Pathways of Elements in Ecosystems Energy transformations and element cycling are intimately linked o Assimilatory processes- transformations that incorporate inorganic forms of elements into the molecules of organisms Ex. An element in photosynthesis in which plants use energy from the sun to change CO2 into the organic form of carbon found in carbs o Dissimilatory process- involves the transformation of organic carbon back to an inorganic form, accompanied by the release of energy Photosynthesis is balanced by respiration, the dissimilatory process o Biochemical energy transformations can take place in the air, soil and water, not just inside organisms o Also can be associated with the oxidation and reduction of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur o Oxidation= gives up electrons o Reduction= accepts electrons Occur together to offset the energy that is being used and given off o The energies of two transformations never match Energy supplied by an oxidation in excess of that required by a coupled reduction cannot be used and is lost in the form of heat o Each time these coupled transformations occur, energy is lost to the system, creating a diminishing pyramid of energy with each link in the food chain Water cycles elements in an ecosystem
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Chapter 23 - Chapter 23 Pathways of Elements in Ecosystems...

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