Chapter 55: Ecosystem Ecology Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 55: Ecosystem Ecology Deck (29)
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1

Ecosystem

- Sum of all organisms and abiotic factors of which interact within a designated boundary

2

Defining spatial boundaries of an ecosystem

?

3

Ecosystem ecology (def.)

Study of energy flow and the cycling of chemicals among biotic and abiotic components in an ecosystem

4

How does an ecosystem differ from a community?

- Ecosystem is abiotic and biotic factors
- Community is interaction between species

5

Ecosystem ecologists study?

Transformation of energy and matter within the ecosystem

6

Law of Conservation of E

- Energy can't be created or destroyed (only transferred or transformed)

7

Law of Conservation of Mass

- mass or matter = amount of an element (used for development, maintenance, or reproduction)
- Matter cannot be created or destroyed

8

Laws and relation to ecosystem ecology?

- Energy is transformed and matter/nutrients are reused over and over (in a cycle)
- Follow where all of the energy or matter goes in an ecosystem
- Ask which organisms in the ecosystems are most important in determining where the energy and matter go

9

Primary differences between mass and energy?

- energy is expended
- mass is recycled; cannot be created or destroyed

10

Detritivores

Organisms that derive energy from detritus (non-living organic matter)

11

Primary production

- Amount of light energy that is converted to chemical energy by autotrophs in given time period

12

Sun's energy as it flows into/out of an ecosystem?

- 10^22 joules per day
- Most hits places devoid of vegetation
- 1% of visible light that hits plant is used in photosynthesis
- Around 1/2 solar radiation absorbed in first 15 meters of water

13

Gross Primary Production

(GPP) Total amount of light energy converted to chemical energy per unit time

14

Net Primary Production

(NPP) Total light energy converted minus autotrophic respiration (Ra)

15

New plant biomass equation

NPP = GPP - Ra

16

Total biomass accumulation

NEP = GPP - Rt

17

Two key factors the limit primary production in aquatic ecosystem

- Sunlight
- Nutrients

18

Eutrophication

- High nutrient levels lead to overproduction of algae (chokes out O2)

19

Factors limit primary production in terrestrial ecosystems at global/local scale

- Global: Temperature and moisture
- Local: Nutrients, light, space, herbivores

20

Evapotranspiration

- Amount of water transpired from plants and evaporate from landscape

21

Relationship between evapotranspiration and primary production

- Higher evapotranspiration rates associated with higher primary production

22

Secondary production

- Amount of chemical energy in consumers' food that is converted to own new biomass during given time period
- Not 100% efficient

23

Trophic efficiency

- How much of production at one trophic level is transferred to the next

24

Energy transfer isn't 100% efficient because...

Energy is required for innumerable functions of the organism

25

Factors that determine how fast detritivores decompose materials?

- Temperature, moisture, nutrient availabiilty

26

Biogeochemical cycle

Route of an element or compound through an ecosystem

27

Nitrogen fixation

Transformation of atmospheric nitrogen into NH3

28

Denitrification

NH4+ --> NO2-

29

Ecosystem ecologists study nutrient cycling how?

- Study cycling of key materials at small and large scales