energy and ecosystems

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  • Energy and Ecosystems
    • Not all light energy available from the Sun is absorbed by the producer
      • Not all wavelengths can be absorbed
      • Some light energy may miss the chlorophyll molecule
      • Another factor may be limiting the rate of photosynthesis
    • Why is energy lost between trophic levels?
      • Some material, e.g cellulose or bones, will be indigestable so lost in faeces
      • Heat energy in respiration for muscle contractions
      • Excetory materials such as urine
    • PRODUCTIVITY
      • Can be increased wth use of fertilisers
        • Provide nitrates for absorption by plants to build up proteins and amino acids for growth
      • Net productivity= Gross productivity- respiratory losses
      • INTENSIVE FARMING
        • little space, so restricted movement and less energy lost as heat in respiration for muscle contractions
        • Controlled food with little indigestable material, and energy efficient
        • slaughtered when young- majority of energy used for growth
        • Temperatures kept wam to reduce respiration for constant body temp
    • Pest control
      • PESTICIDES
        • Not always specific to target species- may harm others or accumulate in the tissue of animals in food chain
        • Pests can develop resistance- have to be reapplied
      • BIOLOGICAL
        • Very specific and once implemented reproduce itself
        • May themselves become pests
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