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Ecosystems Structure and Function - Essay Example

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In the essay “Ecosystems Structure and Function” the author looks at ecosystem ecology. This flow of energy joins up four components in all ecosystems. They include primary producers, consumers, decomposers and the abiotic environment. Primary consumers consume their own food…
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Ecosystems Structure and Function
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2 April Ecosystems Structure and Function The communities of organisms that inhabit an area along with their abiotic factors comprise an ecosystem. The study of how energy flows among components of an ecosystem is termed as ecosystem ecology. This flow of energy joins up four components in all ecosystems. They include primary producers, consumers, decomposers and the abiotic environment. Primary consumers consume their own food. They convert sunlight into chemical energy and store them as sugars for growth and development. The autotrophs utilize photosynthesis to capture energy. The rate at which they do so is called gross primary product. The energy as a result of cellular respiration is called net primary productivity. Decomposers feed on the waste product. As one moves up the next energy level, only 10% of the energy moves to the next level with the rest been lost as heat (Boag, 1- 7).
The net primary productivity of ecosystems such as marine ecosystems is limited by certain nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. Pyramids of biomass and energy change between ecosystems. Some pyramids of biomass are inverted. Biomagnification is as a result of the concentration of pollutants as they move from lower to higher trophic levels. The nutrients in an ecosystem are transferred from organism to organism through assimilation, consumption and decomposition. Factors that influence the rate of nutrient cycling in an ecosystem include decomposition of detritus limits the rate of movement of the nutrients through an ecosystem and the abundance of decomposers in terms of biomass. The carbon cycle involves the movement of carbon among terrestrial ecosystems, oceans and atmosphere. Photosynthesis and respiration are the main movers of carbon. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat on earth (Boag, 8 – 14).
The lecture was full of intensity and concentration was required throughout without which vital concepts were missed. The reason why I chose to attend this lecture was because the topic on ecology is related to my field of study which is Microbiology and I have an interest in knowing the nature of the courses I shall attend during my graduate program. This lecture is related to my field of study through the study of the nature of organisms, how they coexist and relate to their environment. In this lecture, I already knew about the four components of the ecosystem. I learnt a new concept termed as biomagnifications. I learnt that my ability to follow take notes in a typical academic lecture was excellent at the beginning, but as the lecture went on, the concentration levels dropped and note taking dwindled along with my ability to follow the lecture. This was a new experience for me though. This assignment was very useful to my academic goals in that it exposed me to the day to day learning procedure in university. Thus, it helped me prepare myself mentally on what I shall encounter as I undertake Microbiology.


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Boag Lecture Note Set Number 9. Ecosystem Structure and Function. Biology 103. Read More
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