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Lecture 24: "Ecosystem Ecology"

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Biology 1001A
Susanne Kohalmi

Biology Lecture No. 24: Ecosystem Ecology th Monday, December 5 , 2011 Key Points Of Ecosystem Ecology: -Energy flows and nutrient cycles. -Pyramids of Energy and pyramids of numbers/biomass. -Nutrient cycles and reserves of water and carbon. Important Terminology: -Community: All of the organisms living in some defined place. -Ecosystem: a biotic community and its abiotic environment functioning as a system. -Ecosystems are open, not closed systems. (Energy inputs and outputs, nutrient inputs and outputs). Four Major Functional Components of Production & Consumption In Ecosystems: -Producers (autotrophs): Organisms that can convert obtained energy into suitable food sources. -Consumers (heterotrophs): Organisms that must obtain energy converted by producers by consuming them directly or indirectly; includes decomposers. -Energy: The fundamental unit for sustaining and developing all organisms in a particular ecosystem. -Nutrients: A particular manifestation of energy required by organisms to thrive in an ecosystem. Where Does The Energy Come From? : -Light energy, harvested by photoautotrophs (producers that convert the energy of the sun and other light sources). -Chemical energy, harvested by chemoautotrophs (producers that convert the energy of various chemicals and chemical reactions). Nutrients: -Chemical elements or compounds needed for growth and reproduction. Consists of: -Organic: Nutrients containing mainly carbon and hydrogen. E.g. glucose, -Inorganic: Nutrients lacking organic elements (Carbon and Hydrogen). -Micronutrients: Nutrients that are needed in very small quantities by an org
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