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GGRA03 Ch-7.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Andre Sorensen

Ch-7 Urban Ecology: Urban gradient – to investigate sample sites – allow to estimate effects of urbanization Cities as flow of energy: City as a place where different energy sources – human muscle power, electricity, nuclear and wind provide basic energy for heat, light, power and transport - Major shift from human man power to mechanical power – now reliance on fossil fuels as source of energy to power cities - Energy use varies by location and wealth of cities – car-dominated cities tend to use more energy, rich countries use more energy - Food – also energy source, food networks mediated by economy, culture and society – interconnecting physical and social (purchase coffee in morning – relation between distributor and producer) - Modeling of food pathways and change in size, configuration and character – way to understand people, food demand and supply - Social inequalities – “desert” refers to city with limited access to nutritional food, reflect social exclusions Urban footprints: Ecological footprint refers to total area of productive land required to support ecosystem. - Footprint measure how much land and water area a human population requires to produce to consume and absorb its wastes - Includes all land necessary to support the resource demands and waste products of city. Ex. 19 times surface area of home region to satisfy need of food, clothe, energy and shelter. Energy cast biggest footprint - Measuring it allows to understand ecological overshoot and changing in carrying capacity – give better measure to idea of long-term sustainability. Ex, city reliant on private auto than public has greater energy need and thus has larger footprint Capital: Capital/natural capital is used to highlight the human use of ecosystems as goods and services that have value - Ecosystem capital is source of wealth and income generation – highlights economic use of ecosystems, importance of protecting them. Ex. Tropical forest as ecosystem – provides goods – wood products, services – tourism; overexploiting wood products – destroy tourism - Capital is also a social relationship – between different groups as social used of resources Biophysical cycles and social processes: 3 important cycles: 1. Carbon cycle – carbon taken up by plants by photosynthesis and metabolism. Human intervention – burning of fossil fuels add more CO2 in air, responsible for warming of planet – improve-new forms of energy – nuclear, tide, wind, reduce level of fossil fuel emission, vegetation in cities and urban soil – storage sites for carbon 2. Phosphorus cycle – is a mineral nutrient cycle, found in rocks and minerals, taken up by plants – moves through food cycle. Human modified cycle – mining of mineral – use it as fertilizer and detergent, agriculture relies on heavy use of phosphorus, leached into water – over- fertilized water – algae blooms, reduce
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