Biology 2200- Ecosystem

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University of Lethbridge
BIOL 2200
Joseph Rasmussen

Biology 2200 th Nov.14 , 2013 Alfred J. Lotka- the thermodynamic concept of the ecosystem Charles Elton- the concept of the foodweb - The father of animal ecology - Before Elton, ecology was mainly about plants Organisms interact within trophic systems through which energy flows The foodwebs show that there are more plants than rabbits, and more rabbits than foxes and more foxes than hawks. The pyramid of energy is determined by the ecological efficiencies at each trophic level- thermodynamics; which is structured around: - The work done by the consumer - Inefficiencies of biochemical energy transformations o Energetic processes are often irreversible so energy is lost at every transfer Efficiency is dependent on the work done by the consumer Lotka is best known for his work on population modelling and for his predator-prey model Elton introduced many central principles including succession, niche, foodwebs, and the link between communities and ecosystems Odum’s model of energy flow through a chain of consumers - This model led to the definition of ecological efficiencies - The output in (a) goes to the next organism. The output to the next organism gets smaller and smaller - Inefficiency is causing the respiration tube to get smaller and smaller Odum is widely considered to be the “Father” of ecosystem ecology Nothing that gets to gross primary productivity (GPP) is lost as respiration (R). GPP = NPP + R Gross primary productivity = total energy assimilated Net primary productivity = energy available to consumers Photosynthetic energy usually ranges from 30-85%, highest in rapidly growing plants Photosynthetic energy usually decreases with temper
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