EEB 3408W Lecture 20: ecology lecture 20

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Ecology, Evolution, and Behav
EEB 3408W
Cavender- Bares, Jeannine

Photosynthesis and the Carbon Cycle - Population & community ecology focus on organism abundance and distribution - Ecosystem ecology focuses on energy and element cycling - Need to know mechanisms and organism responses 1. Species differ in effects on cycling 2. Cycling influences distribution and abundance of organisms Carbon cycle - Plate tectonics and organisms’ chemistries drive C cycle - Plates converge and more rock is exposed to carbonic acid weathering - Carbonic acid is formed from water and CO2 in atmosphere - Then Ca and bicarbonate wash into the ocean & are incorporated in marine organisms, ultimately buried - CO2 sinks = weathering - Marine organisms precipitate CaCO3 and SiO2 - CO2 sources (emissions) = metamorphism - Animal and plant respiration - Sun is ultimate energy source for all ecosystems - Sun energy is used to fix CO2 into reduced C compounds during photosynthesis - Plants, protists and some bacteria do this - Reduced compounds provide energy to the plants, their consumers and detritivores - Photosynthesis is base of productivity of life - When reduced C is consumed, CO2 is respired and returned to the atmosphere - Exposure of rocks to weathering has lowered atmospheric CO2 over last 50 million years - in last 5-7 million years, is has been a limiting factor to plants - Tradeoff between CO2 uptake and water loss - Plants obtain CO2 through pores in leaf (stomata) at a cost of H2O - Stomates open under turgor pressure - C3 is the most common photosynthetic pathway - Takes place i
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