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Productivity and the Carbon Cycle

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Presentation on theme: "Productivity and the Carbon Cycle"— Presentation transcript:

1 Productivity and the Carbon Cycle


3 1st Law of Thermodynamics: Energy is neither created or destroyed
2nd Law of Thermodynamics: Energy transfers result in a net loss of energy to entropy (disorder increases) - Life (and ecosystem) directly contradict the 2nd law - Thus, require a constant inflow of energy

4 Photosynthesis is the starting point of the Carbon Cycle…
…and the process responsible for life (as we know it) on Earth

5 C3 photosynthesis, is the most common mode overall, and is especially important in temperate regions. Figure 6.3

6 C3 photosynthesis, cont. Figure 6.3

7 Two other modes, C4 photosynthesis and Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) have mechanisms that allow for photosynthesis without the risk of of water loss due to open stomates… C4 photosynthesis, utilizes a morphological adaptation (bundle sheath), and some unique compounds (eg. PEP carboxylase). C4 photosynthesis, is a more (evolutionarily) advanced mode. Found (mostly) in grasses of arid environments.

8 CAM photosynthesis, uses similar chemical mechanisms as C4, but does not have the same morphological adaptation. Key is timing. Stomates open at night, CO2 is stored as malic acid…stomates close in the day- malic acid reconverted to CO2. CAM photosynthesis, is found in mostly succulent plants (cacti; euphorbia; crassulacea)

9 How does this Relate to this

10 What happens after carbon is captured by plants is called “carbon allocation.” Basically, it is accounting for energy transfers in the 1st trophic level of the food web. How does the plant use the energy? Figure 6.8

11 Scaling back… Respiration and photosynthesis are oppositional processes in the carbon cycle- photosynthesis captures carbon, respiration uses the energy and releases carbon in the atmosphere. But humans have gotten involved, too, by burning long-stored carbon to power our Powerpoint projectors and I-Pad Touch 4 Gs, and other things Figure 22.2

12 We track carbon flow using these ideas:GPP; NPP; NEP
Figure 22.2 We track carbon flow using these ideas:GPP; NPP; NEP

13 One important question for ecology is- what regulates carbon storage?
Ecosystems are not equally productive. There is clear variation. That variation is related to things that drive the the carbon cycle at a broader scale- across ecosystems what are the regulatory processes/factors? Precip and Temp! Figure 20.2

14 Forest Productivity Figure 20.3

15 Evapotranspiration is a general measure of energy flow into the system- water being evaporated and transpired by plants. As evapotranspiration increases, generally, there is more productivity in the ecosystem Figure 20.4

16 Table 20.1

17 Global patterns of (terrestrial) productivity
Figure 20.5

18 - Ecosystem productivity is variable across broad geographic scales… related to precipitation and temperature. - What are the most important drivers of productivity at more local scales?

19 Soil fertility... Figure 20.6 Why “aboveground”?

20 Soil fertility... Figure 20.7

21 In the ocean, depth is important...
Figure 20.8

22 Figure 21.18

23 Figure 21.19

24 Productivity response to particular nutrients is variable….
And for a single nutrient, response depends on existing levels in the ecosystem. Adding phosphorus makes the productivity in bays go down?! Why? Figure 20.9

25 Global patterns of ocean productivity
Figure 20.10

26 Figure 20.12

27 Productivity is related to variability in the climate
Figure 20.13

28 Allocation changes through time in trees
Figure 20.14

29 Allocation changes through time in trees
Figure 20.15a

30 Figure 20.15b

31 Figure 20.22

32 Figure 20.23a General rule: only 10% of energy stored in any trophic level is passed on to the next level during consumption

33 I am an ecologist…

34 Productivity and the Carbon Cycle

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