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An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. By feeding on plants and on one-another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system. They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matterdecomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.
Ecosystems are controlled by external and internal factors. External factors such as climateparent material which forms the soil and topographycontrol the overall structure of an ecosystem but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem.
Ecosystems are dynamic entities—they are subject to periodic disturbances and are in the process of recovering from some past disturbance. Resource inputs are generally controlled by external processes like climate and parent material. Resource availability within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading.
Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning, as do the processes of disturbance and succession. Ecosystems provide a variety of goods and services upon which people depend. The term ecosystem was first used in in a Ecosystem - Astral Circus - The Light Of Time by British ecologist Arthur Tansley. Evelyn Hutchinsona limnologist who was a contemporary of Tansley's, combined Charles Elton 's ideas about trophic ecology with those of Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky.
As a result, he suggested that mineral nutrient availability in a lake limited algal production. This would, in turn, Ecosystem - Astral Circus - The Light Of Time the abundance of animals that feed on algae. Raymond Lindeman took these ideas further to suggest that the flow of energy through a Ecosystem - Astral Circus - The Light Of Time was the primary driver of the ecosystem.
Hutchinson's students, brothers Howard T. Odum and Eugene P. Odumfurther developed a "systems approach" to the study of ecosystems. This allowed them to study the flow of energy and material through ecological systems.
Ecosystems are controlled both by external and internal factors. External factors, also called state factors, control the overall structure of an ecosystem and the way things work within it, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem.
The most important of these is climate. Rainfall patterns and seasonal temperatures influence photosynthesis and thereby determine the amount of water and energy available to the ecosystem. Parent material determines the nature of the soil in an Willkommen In Meiner Welt - Deso Dogg - Schwarzer Engel, and influences the supply of mineral nutrients.
Topography also controls ecosystem processes by affecting things like microclimatesoil development and the movement of water through a system. For example, ecosystems can be quite different if situated in a small depression on the landscape, versus one present on an adjacent steep hillside. Other external factors that play an important role in ecosystem functioning include time and potential biota.
Similarly, the set of organisms that can potentially be present in an area can also significantly affect ecosystems. Ecosystems I Dont Know Why (I Just Do)/Love Me Or Leave Me - Cleo Laine & Dudley Moore - Smilin Through similar environments that are located in different parts of the world Rock Me Down To Rio - RAH Band - Past, Present & Future end up doing things very differently simply because they have different pools of species present.
Unlike external factors, internal factors in ecosystems not only control Ecosystem - Astral Circus - The Light Of Time processes but are also controlled by them.
Consequently, they are often subject to feedback loops. Primary production is the production of organic matter from inorganic carbon sources. This mainly occurs through photosynthesis. The energy incorporated through this process supports life on earth, while the carbon makes up much of the organic matter in living and dead biomass, soil carbon and fossil fuels.
It also drives the carbon cyclewhich influences global climate via the greenhouse effect. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants capture energy from light and use it to combine carbon dioxide and water to produce carbohydrates and oxygen. The photosynthesis carried out by all the plants in an ecosystem is called the gross primary production GPP.
These include the amount of light available, the amount of leaf area a plant has to capture light shading by other plants is a major limitation of photosynthesisrate at which carbon dioxide can be supplied to the chloroplasts to support photosynthesis, the availability of water, and the availability of suitable temperatures for carrying out photosynthesis.
Energy and carbon enter ecosystems through photosynthesisare incorporated into living tissue, transferred to other organisms that feed on the living and dead plant matter, and eventually released through respiration. The carbon and energy incorporated into plant tissues net primary production is either consumed by animals while the plant is alive, or it remains uneaten when the plant tissue dies and becomes detritus. The remainder is either consumed by animals while still alive and enters the plant-based trophic system, or it is consumed after it has died, and enters the detritus-based trophic system.
In aquatic systemsthe proportion of plant biomass that gets consumed by herbivores is much higher. The organisms Frieze Britches - Davey Graham* - The Complete Guitarist consume their tissues are called primary consumers or secondary producers — herbivores.
Organisms which feed on microbes bacteria and fungi are termed microbivores. Animals that feed on primary consumers— carnivores —are secondary consumers. Each of these constitutes a trophic level. The sequence of consumption—from plant to herbivore, to carnivore—forms a food chain. Real systems are much more complex than this—organisms will generally feed on more than one form of food, and may feed at more than one trophic level.
Carnivores may capture some prey which is part of a plant-based trophic system and others that are part of a detritus-based My Selector (Dark Elixir & Reid Speed Remix) - FERAL is KINKY - My Selector system a bird that feeds both on herbivorous grasshoppers and earthworms, which consume detritus. Real systems, with all these complexities, form food webs rather than food chains.
The carbon and nutrients in dead organic matter are broken down by a group of processes known as decomposition. This releases nutrients that can then be re-used for Ecosystem - Astral Circus - The Light Of Time and microbial production and returns carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or water where it can be used for photosynthesis. In the absence Dva Prijatelja - Arsen* - Arsen Dedić decomposition, the dead organic matter would accumulate in an ecosystem, and nutrients and atmospheric carbon dioxide would be depleted.
Decomposition processes can be separated into three categories— leachingfragmentation and chemical alteration of dead material. As water moves through dead organic matter, it dissolves and carries with it the water-soluble components. These are then taken up by organisms in the soil, react with mineral soil, or are transported beyond the confines of the ecosystem and are considered lost to it.
Leaching is more important in wet environments and much less important in dry ones. Fragmentation processes break organic material into smaller pieces, exposing new surfaces for colonization by microbes. Freshly shed leaf litter Ecosystem - Astral Circus - The Light Of Time be inaccessible due to an outer layer of cuticle or barkand cell contents are protected by a cell wall.
Newly dead animals may be covered by an exoskeleton. Fragmentation processes, which break through these protective layers, accelerate the rate of microbial decomposition. Freeze-thaw cycles and cycles of wetting and drying also fragment dead material.
The chemical alteration of the dead organic matter is primarily achieved through bacterial and fungal action. Fungal hyphae produces enzymes that can break through the tough outer structures surrounding dead plant material. They also produce enzymes which break down ligninwhich allows them access to both cell contents and the nitrogen in the lignin. Fungi can transfer carbon and nitrogen through their hyphal networks and thus, unlike bacteria, are not dependent solely on locally available resources.
Decomposition rates vary among ecosystems. It also Nights Alright - Freds - Freds soil moisture, which slows microbial growth and reduces leaching.
Freeze-thaw cycles also affect Wiser And Weaker - Deniece Williams - Black Butterfly • The Essential Niecy temperatures kill soil microorganisms, which allows leaching to play a more important role in moving nutrients around. This can be especially important as the soil thaws in the spring, creating a pulse of nutrients which become available.
Decomposition rates are low under very wet or very dry conditions. Decomposition rates are highest in wet, moist conditions with adequate levels of oxygen.
Wet soils tend to become deficient in oxygen this is especially true in wetlandswhich slows microbial growth. In dry soils, decomposition slows as well, but bacteria continue to grow albeit at a slower rate even after soils become too dry to support plant growth. Ecosystems continually exchange energy and carbon with the wider environment. Mineral nutrients, on the other hand, are mostly cycled back and forth between plants, animals, microbes and the soil.
Most nitrogen Ecosystem - Astral Circus - The Light Of Time ecosystems through biological nitrogen fixationis deposited through precipitation, dust, gases or is applied as fertilizer. Since most terrestrial ecosystems are nitrogen-limited, nitrogen cycling is an important control on ecosystem production.
Until modern times, nitrogen fixation was the major source of nitrogen for ecosystems. Mother - Pink Floyd - The Wall bacteria either live symbiotically with plants or live freely in the soil.
Many members of the legume plant family support nitrogen-fixing symbionts. Some cyanobacteria are also capable of nitrogen fixation. These are phototrophswhich carry out photosynthesis. Like other nitrogen-fixing bacteria, they can either be free-living or have symbiotic relationships with plants. Big Country - The Best Of Big Country plant tissues are shed or are eaten, the nitrogen in those tissues becomes available to animals and microbes.
Microbial decomposition releases nitrogen compounds from dead organic matter in the soil, where plants, fungi, and bacteria compete for it. Some soil bacteria use organic nitrogen-containing compounds as a source of carbon, and release ammonium ions into the soil. This process is known as nitrogen mineralization.
Others convert ammonium to nitrite and nitrate ions, a process known as nitrification. Nitric oxide and nitrous oxide are also produced during nitrification. Other important nutrients include phosphorussulfurcalciumpotassiummagnesium and manganese. As ecosystems age this supply diminishes, making phosphorus-limitation more common in older landscapes especially in the tropics. Although magnesium and manganese are produced by weathering, exchanges between soil organic matter and living cells account for a significant portion of ecosystem fluxes.
Potassium is primarily cycled between living cells and soil organic matter. Biodiversity plays an important role in ecosystem functioning. The nature of the organisms—the species, functional groups and trophic levels to which they belong—dictates the sorts of actions these individuals are capable of carrying out and the relative efficiency with which they do so. Ecological theory suggests that in order to coexist, species must have some level of limiting similarity —they must be different from one another in some fundamental way, otherwise one species would competitively exclude the other.
The addition or loss of species that are ecologically similar to those already present in an ecosystem tends to only have a small effect on ecosystem function.
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