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University of Toronto Mississauga

View slide 6 slide 19 37 integrated system - study of interactions among organisms and their physical environment sir Arthur tansley -We cannot separate them [organisms] from their special environment with which they form one physical system the systems are the basic units of nature Community ecologist biotic focus individual organisms ex. Foodwebs, population dynamics? Ecosystem ecologist biotic and abiotic how things function as a whole ex how nutrients move around , etc. (biotic is abiotic is ) approaches systems top up building blocks comparative or mechanistic bottom down break up of somethingprocess of understanding importance of ecosystems- functioning ecosystems are critical to our survival, to clean our water, air and resources Note: species are not usually treated as separate units; functional role is what is important abiotic components are of equal importance as biotic components (movement of nutrients & energy are focus of investigation) human activities are often important (e.g. deposition of pollutants, harvesting of species, etc.) spatial boundaries of ecosystems all move into eachother global, water, forest, endo (rock) GEWF - ecosytem on scale is determined by question asked ecosystems viewed in context of surrounding environment -closed ecosystem: no external inputs (no ecosystem is fully closed) -open ecosystem: inputs from surrounding environment (arrive and leave) Temporal scale time scale? -Instantaneous how quickly -Seasonal in summer vs winter -Succession early on in succession -Evolutionary history are things adapting history go into rock records Depends on phenomenon being studied and question asked GESSI Temoral E flow in ecosystems ecosystem is an economy; energy is the currencyecosystems based on autotrophs - transform energy from photosynthetic into chemical energy Primary producers: Capture E turn it into glucose and do it bc it needs E for growth, maintenance, and reproduction GPP total energy captured form photosynthesis, some energy is lost through respiration, some stored NPP- net primary production a rate terrestrial ecosystems: NPP greatest in wet tropics marine ecosystems: NPP greatest along coastlines limit in productivity is due to lack of water, sun, etc. warmer regions (not over dry) tend to have higher reproductively coastlines are more productive than open ocean bc depth of photic zone; nutrients coastal zones receive nutrients from: rivers (carry & deposit nutrients from terrestrial ecosystems) near-shore ocean currents (upwellings from deep ocean) system - a portion of the universe that can be separated from the rest, for the purpose of studying changes that occur within it, under changing conditions. It can be separated and has boundaries, what can move into and out of Subsystems part of one big system Leaves tree forest mountain range with forest, snow and rivers, or the whole planet What would happen if we did this change in one thing in the system Things do not have to be living to be a system They all intertwine and Major Earth spheres: GAHB Geosphere
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