Ecosystems & Restoration Ecology

Ecosystems & Restoration Ecology

Ecosystems & Restoration Ecology C AM P BE L L & R E EC E CH A P T ER 5 5 Ecosystems

no matter what size; 2 processes occurring: 1. energy flow 2. chemical cycling Conservation of Energy 1st Law of Thermodynamics:

nrg can neither be created or destroyed, only transferred or transformed 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: every exchange of nrg increase the entropy of the universe

lost nrg: heat Conservation of Mass matter can neither be created or destroyed elements not significantly gained or lost on a

global scale but can be gained or lost from a particular ecosystem in nature most gains & losses to ecosystems small compared to amt cycled but balance between inputs & outputs determines if given ecosystem is a source or a sink for a

given element Energy, Mass, & Trophic Levels trophic levels are based on their main source of nutrition & nrg

Primary Producers ultimately support all other levels biospheres main autotrophs: plants

algae photosynthetic prokaryotes Definitions Detritus: nonliving organic material Detritivores: decompsers

Global Energy Budget every day Earths atmosphere bombarded by ~ 10 joules of solar radiation (or enough nrg to supply demands of Earths

human population for ~25 yrs using 2009 levels) most incoming solar radiation is absorbed, scattered or reflected by clouds & dust in the atmosphere

amt that actually reaches Earths surface limits the possible photosynthetic output of ecosystems Gross & Net Production

GPP: gross primary production = amt nrg from light (or chemicals in chemoautotrophic systems) converted to the chemical nrg of organic molecules per unit time NPP: net primary production = GPP nrg used by

primary producers for their own respiration (Ra) NPP = GPP Ra NPP =/= total biomass of photosynthetic autotrophs present; NPP = amt new biomass added in given period of time

Primary Production amt of light nrg chemical nrg by autotrophs in an

ecosystem during given time GPP: total nrg assimilated by an ecosystem in given time

NPP: nrg accumulated in autotroph biomass, Net Ecosystem Production total biomass accumulation of an ecosystem

= GPP total ecosystem respiration satellites used to study global patterns of primary production

show ecosystems vary considerably tropical rainforest highest coral reefs & estuaries high but global total is low because only cover ~1/10th what rainforest do

Primary Production in Aquatic Ecosystems limited by light & available nutrients Primary Production in Terrestrial Ecosystems globally limited by:

temperature moisture locally limited by: a

particular soil nutrient Limiting Nutrient is the element that must be added for production to increase

in marine ecosystems it is most often N or P Secondary Production amt of chemical nrg in consumers food that is converted to their own new biomass during

a given period of time vast majority of an ecosystems production is eventually consumed by detritivores Energy partitioning w/in a Link of the

Food-Chain Production Efficiency efficiency with which food nrg is converted to biomass @ each link in a food chain

another way: Production Efficiency is the % of nrg stored in assimilated food not used for respiration

10% Efficiency in Energy Transfers Production efficiency = Net secondary production x 100 Assimilation of primary production

Trophic Efficiency % of production transferred from 1 trophic level to the next ~ 5% 20% with 10% being typical Pyramids of nrg & biomass reflect low

trophic efficiency aquatic ecosystems can have inverted biomass pyramids: producers grow,

reproduce & are consumed so quickly there is no time to develop a large population Biogeochemical Cycles photosynthetic organisms essentially have

unlimited supply of solar nrg but have limiting amts of chem elements atoms taken in by organism either assimilated or wastes

organism dies: atoms replenish pool of inorganic nutrients used by other organisms this cycling of nutrients involving biotic &

abiotic components called: biogeochemical cycles Water Cycle: Biological Importance water:

essential to all organisms availability influences rates of ecosystem processes

especially 1 production & decomposition in terrestrial biomes Water Cycle: Forms Available to Life most water used in its liquid phase

seasonal freezing limits soil waters availability to terrestrial organisms Water Cycle: Reservoirs

Water Cycle: Key Processes main processes driving water cycle: evaporation of liquid water by solar radiation condensation of water vapor Precipitation Transpiration

Runoff : surface or percolation groundwater Carbon Cycle: Biological Importance C forms framework of organic molecules

essential to all living organisms Carbon Cycle: Forma Available to Life photosynthetic organisms utilize CO2

converting inorganic C organic C Carbon Cycle: Reservoirs fossil fuels sediments of aquatic ecosystems soils

plant & animal biomass atmosphere (CO2) Carbon Cycle: Key Processes removing CO2 from atmosphere: photosynthesis

returning CO2 to atmosphere: cellular respiration burning of fossil fuels & wood volcanic eruptions Nitrogen Cycle: Biological

Importance N part of a.a., proteins, & nucleic acids Nitrogen: Forms Available to Life plants can assimilate 2 forms of N: 1. ammonium:

2. nitrate Nitrogen: Forms Available to Life bacteria can use both these & nitrite, NO2- Nitrogen: Forms Available to Life

animals can only use organic forms of N Nitrogen Cycle: Reservoirs main reservoir of N is the atmosphere (80% free N gas)

others: soil sediments of rivers, lakes, oceans biomass

Nitrogen Cycle: Key Processes Nitrogen Fixation: N2 forms that can be used to synthesize organic N cpds natural methods:

certain bacteria or lightening man activities: industrial production of fertilizers

legume crops Nitrogen Cycle: Key Processes Denitrification: certain bacteria in soil

organic N N2 gas (reduction of N2 ) The Phosphorus Cycle Phosphorus Cycle: Biological Importance

P is major component of Nucleic Acids Phospholipids ATP

Phosphorus Cycle: Forms Available to Life plants absorb phosphate ion organic molecules

Phosphorus Cycle: Reservoirs sedimentary rock of marine origin is largest reservoir also in soil, dissolved in oceans & in biomass recycling of P tends to be localized in

ecosystems Phosphorus Cycle: Key Processes weathering of rocks gradually adds P to soil some taken up by plants food webs decomposition of biomass returns P to soil

some runoff oceans almost no P in atmosphere Decomposition Rates determine the proportion of a nutrient in a

particular form is determined by same factors that limit primary production: temperature moisture nutrient availability

Decomposition in Rainforest is rapid relatively little organic material accumulates on floor

~ 75% of nutrients in ecosystem is in woody trunks of trees .only ~10% is in the soil Decomposition Rates temperate forests because decomp much

slower up to 50% of all organic material in soil decomp slower when land is either too dry for decomposers to survive or too wet to supply them with enough O2

ecosystems wet & cold (peatlands) store large organic matter (decomposers grow poorly): primary production >>decomp

Decomposition Rates in Aquatic Ecosystems anaerobic muds: can take > 50 years algae & aquatic plants usually assimilate nutrients directly from the water so lake

sediments act as nutrient sink Restoration Ecology bioremediation : use of organisms to detoxify & restore polluted & degraded ecosystems

biological augmentation: an approach to restoration ecology that uses organisms to add essential materials to a degraded ecosystem

Bioremediation Biological Augmentation

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