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Ecology: Ecosystem Structure
Transcript of Ecology: Ecosystem Structure
Where Are We?
Ecology is the study of organism interactions with each other and the enviornment.
Ecological processes occur at multiple levels of organization on Earth.
Each level of organization emerges from the processes of the level below it
Behavior is an Organism-Level phenomenon.
Make Sure You Can
How are ecosystems structured?
How do ecosystems function?
Explain the effects of all aspects of Earth's processes and features discussed in this presentation that determine climate.
Describe the characteristics of the terrestrial and aquatic biomes disucssed in this presentation, and explain why they occur where they occur on Earth.
Explain how ecosystems can function while adhering to physical laws.
Describe the effects of limiting factors on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and provide examples.
Explain how energy is transferred in an ecosystem and the consequences of that transfer for the structure of the ecosystem.
Diagram all nutrient cycles discussed in this presentation and explain their biological significance.
in a contiguous area
The related ecosystems of a large geographic area
What Determines Climate?
Earth is not uniform
Different lattitudes recieve sunlight at different incident angles.
The tilt of the earth and its revolution around the sun combine to produce seasons.
: most direct sunlight.
: least direct sunlight.
Opposite in northern and southern hemispheres.
Uneven heating of Earth's surface contributes to uneven evaporation and precipitation, which leads to longitudinal bands of particular climatic conditions.
Uneven heating of the ocean is the major contributor of global ocean currents.
The local landscape has major effects on the local climate.
A Biome Tour
Precipitation and Temperature are the major factors that determine where terrestrial biomes occur on Earth
Latitude is the major determinant of precipitation and temperature, which restricts biome occurence to particular latitudes.
The Major Biomes
There are fresh water, salt water, and
Light is a limiting factor in aquatic biomes, with all photosynthetic activity occuring in the
of aquatic biomes is more pronounced than terrestrial biomes.
The Major Biomes
Lakes undergo a
, which exchanges oxygen-rich, nutrient-poor surface waters with oxygen-poor, nutrient-rich deep water
This seasonal process keeps the biome functioning at all levels
Ecosystems Obey Physical Laws
Laws of Conservation
Life has to adhere to conservation of energy and conservation of mass.
Energy: Must be constantly input to an ecosystem.
Matter: Cycles in an ecosystem
How an ecosystem works
are crucial for energy transfer.
are crucial for matter cycling.
are not really necessary (sorry).
Any resource that limits the distribution and abundance of organisms in an ecosystem
Nutrients play a crucial role in limiting primary production in aquatic ecosystems
The total amount of free energy stored in organic compounds by producers in an ecosystem.
Determines the structure and complexity of the community.
Satellite measurements of global primary productivity.
Soil Quality, Precipitation, and Climate determine the pimary production of terrestrial ecosystems.
Gross Primary Productivity
: Total photosynthetic production.
Net Primary Productivity
: Total photosynthetic production available for consumers.
It's a plant's world. We're just guests.
Energy transfer between trophic levels is a major limiting factor on the number of organisms who occupy higher trophic levels in an ecosystem.
An average of
of energy is transferred from one trophic level to the next.
In this example, of the 200J of net primary production consumed by the caterpillar only 33J (16.5%) available to the next trophic level as
of solar energy is utilized for photosynthesis.
of ecosystem production is transfered to each trophic level.
In most cases, production will be measured by analyzing the amount of dry mass present at each trophic level.
Nutrients must cycle through an ecosystem.
This cycling includes biotic and abiotic reservoirs & organic and inorganic forms
Generalized nutrient cycle
4 Example Nutrient Cycles
Technically, water is not a nutrient
Carbon and Oxygen cycles are "mirror images"
The Nitrogen Cycle demonstrates extensive microbial action.
The major Phosporous reservoir is rocks.
A "why is a species absent?" algorithm
An "Energy Pyramid"