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20 Cards in this Set

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Ecosystem Ecology?
Ecosystem analysis seeks to understand the factors that regulate the pools (quantities) and fluxes (flows) of materials and energy through ecological systems. *note* materials are foudn in abiotic and biotic pools
Why is ecosystem ecology important?
Any difference between input/output of energy or matter for an ecosystem is boudn in some pool of matter.
What does quantifying matter movement in an ecosystem tell us?
Ecosystem properties-
1. Net change (+/-) of matter in a system
2. Hydrologic cycles (the everglades)
3. Ecosystem/Biome variability (within and among)
4. Disturbance susceptibility (to pollution, logging, agriculture, grazing, fire..)
5. Resistance v. resilience
Ecosystem diagram?
Used to depict the distribution (pools) and movement (fluxes) of matter in a system.
Pool?
Where the "matter" or "stuff" is stored.
Depicted by a box
Units: mass per unit area (g/m^2)
Flux?
The movement (i.e. input or output) of matter from any given pool to another pool (or out of hte system)
Depicted as an arrow
Units: mass per unit area, time (g/m^2yr^2)
Key considerations when constructing ecosystem diagram two categories?
functional and philosophical
Key considerations when constructing ecosystem diagram two categories? FUNCTIONAL
1. Spatial scale being addressed
2. Temporal scale being addressed
3. What to measure..when to easure..was the right thing measured
4. Define a system such that interactions within are greater than the interactions with the outside
Key considerations when constructing ecosystem diagram two categories?
PHILOSOPHICAL
Ecosystem boudnary concept:
Does this exist?
Potential difficulties?
Energy in Ecosystems?
1.The total amount of energy in the universe stays the same (energy is neither created nore destroyed-1st law of thermodynamics
2. But...the amount of "useful energy" or exergy decreases with every transformation (2nd law of thermodynamics)
3. ENTROPY INCREASES
Energy efficiency in the real world?
we are terribly inefficient
How do all organisms attain and use energy?
1. By attaining and storing compounds in such a way as to get the energy out of them (to do useful work with the energy)
2. But every time we use the energy in compounds, we lose some of its usefulness.. just by using it
3. IN ADDITION, organisms have extra costs associated with using energy (maintaining life processes)
KEY CONCEPT
Matter cycles.
Energy Flows.
Importance of Red-ox reactions?
Energy exchanges in ecosystems all consist of reactions involving electron transfer:
1. Electrons are moved from high energy compoudns to lower energy compounds, and energy is released
2. The erngy can be used for important "work."
Oxidation releases energy?
1. Burning fuel is oxidizing.
2. Oxidizing=taking electrons away
3. But we have to put them somewhere.
Respiration: Biological Oxidation?
The most common version-
glucose +oxygen=CO2 and Water and ENERGY
1. High energy electrons on carbon are passed to oxygen forming H2O
Important concepts regarding Energy Transformations?
They require Matter
1. C=C are great for storing energy (keeping electrons at a high energy level)...hence glucose!
2. TO GET energy OUT of C=C, you need an electron acceptor
3. Very often often, this is oxygen
THUS, we talk about carbon when we think about energy. Carbon is matter but C=C have a lot of energy
Respiration?
1. All organisms respire, no matter where they obtain their "reduced" carbon compounds from
2. It takes energy to live
Where do organisms get their energy?
1. Heterotrophs: from eating other organisms
2. Autotrophs: by conducting photosynthesis
sunlight + 6CO2 + 6H2O  C6H12O6 + 6O2
Where do organisms get their energy? *NOTE*
1. Energy inputs come from sunlight
2. Capturing the energy means converting it from light energy to chemical energy