ecosystems and restoration ecology


Ecosystems range from a microcosm, such as an
aquarium, to a large area such as a lake or forest
Regardless of an ecosystem’s size, its dynamics Autotrophs build molecules themselves using
photosynthesis or chemosynthesis as an energy
source; heterotrophs depend on the biosynthetic Laws of physics and chemistry apply to
ecosystems, particularly energy flow
Energy enters an ecosystem as solar radiation, is Tropical rain forests, estuaries, and coral reefs
are among the most productive ecosystems per
unit area In terrestrial ecosystems, temperature and
moisture affect primary production on a large
scale Figure 55.10 Energy partitioning within a link of
the food chain.
When a caterpillar feeds on a leaf, only about When energy flows thru trophic levels  some
lost at each link in food chain
Energy pyramid – diagram representing the Bio110 (Skyline) – Jeff SchinskeEating producers
instead of consumers  less photosynthetic
productivity  reduces the impact on the Figure 55.13 A general model of nutrient cycling.
Gaseous carbon, oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen
occur in the atmosphere and cycle globally The Water Cycle
Water is essential to all organisms
Liquid water is the primary physical phase in The Carbon Cycle
Carbon-based organic molecules are essential to
all organisms Figure 55.14 Exploring: Water and Nutrient
Cycling
The Nitrogen Cycle The Phosphorus Cycle
Phosphorus is a major constituent of nucleic
acids, phospholipids, and ATP Figure 55.14 Exploring: Water and Nutrient
Cycling
The Nitrogen Cycle The Phosphorus Cycle
Phosphorus is a major constituent of nucleic
acids, phospholipids, and ATP Plants retain nutrients in forest ecosystem –
Vegetation strongly regulates nutrient cycling
Research projects monitor ecosystem dynamics Figure 55.17 A gravel and clay mine site in New
Jersey before and after restoration.
Given enough time, biological communities can Florida – conversion to a channel threatened
birds & fish – reestablishment of natural channel
Nevada – damming & H2O diversion – control