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Biology 20

Chapter 1 – The Biosphere as a Closed System


 The earth is in a state of
 A closed system
dynamic equilibrium.There
exchanges energy with are continuous changes
the surroundings but not but the whole system
matter. remains undisturbed
The Biosphere
 The biosphere is the narrow zone of Earth that
contains life.
 It’s composed of the lithosphere (land),
atmosphere (air) and hydrosphere (water)
 Living parts are called biotic factors.
 Non-living parts are called abiotic factors.
Organization in the Biosphere

For an organism For the biosphere

cell --------- individual


tissue------ population
organ ------community
system ----ecosystem
organism ---biosphere
Definitions

 A population includes a group of individuals


of the same species occupying a specific
area at a given time.

 A community includes all the populations of


all species that occupy a given area

 An ecosystem is called the functional unit of


the biosphere where the biotic and abiotic
factors interact with each other.
Biodiversity:
 The number of  The loss of one
organisms in an organism from a food
ecosystem. chain can cause a
collapse of the entire
 The greater the chain.
biodiversity the
healthier the
ecosystem
Equilibrium Unbalanced
 If the changes to an ecosystem are too severe the
health of an ecosystem suffers.
 It may cause:
 extinction of a species worldwide
 extirpation (local extiction of a species)
 endangered species (close to extinction)
 threatened species (likely to be endangered)
 special concern – a species at risk
 P. 11 shows Canadian species at risk
Factors that affect organism survival
 Indicator species are organisms that are sensitive
to changes in the ecosystem. If these species
decline the whole ecosystem is in trouble.
 E.g. Frogs, Grizzly Bears

 Reasons for declining populations


 Loss of habitat
 Air and Water Quality
 Climate Change
 Ultraviolet Radiation (UV), loss of ozone
The Earth’s Heat Budget. (p. 20)

Only
0.023% of
the sun’s
energy is
used in
photosynth.

All of life on
Earth
depends on
this
captured
energy.
Food Chain/Web Vocabulary
 Trophic Levels are the relative positions of energy
use in food chain.
 Autotrophs sit on the 1st trophic level and can make
their own food from the sun’s energy.
 Producers use photosynthesis
 Primary consumers rely on autotrophs for food
 2nd trophic level
 Also called herbivores
 Secondary consumers rely on primary consumers for
food
 3rd trophic level
 Also called carnivores
 Omnivores will consume autotrophs as well.
 Tertiary consumers etc. are possible
 Food chains are limited to 5 trophic levels.
Chains vs. Webs
 Food Chains show a one way flow of energy from producer
to top carnivore (last consumer in a chain)
 Food Webs are more realistic feeding relationships.
They show the interlocking food chains between each
organism in the ecosystem.

The more
complex the
food web
the
healthier
the
ecosystem.
Photosynthesis
 The process where plants convert inorganic
molecules into organic food energy called glucose.

Cellular Respiration
•All organisms including plants break down the
glucose to release the energy used in cells (ATP)
Chemosynthesis
 In some ecosystems where light is not available ie.
Caves, deep ocean etc. extracting energy from
chemicals is possible.

•Bacteria are capable of forming organic


molecules from chemicals like hydrogen
sulphide, ammonia, and sulphur.
•These bacteria are called chemoautotrophs
Laws of Thermodynamics
 The study of energy transformations

 First law
 Energy can’t be created or destroyed it can only
change forms.

 Second law
 In any energy transformation, “waste” energy in
the form of heat is produced.
 This means there is always less energy available
as you move up the food chain.
Ecological Pyramids – models of energy
 Pyramid of Biomass

 includes the total dry


mass of all the living
matter in a trophic
level

 There is always less


biomass in each higher
trophic level

 Standard pyramid
Pyramid of Numbers
 The number of organisms
is counted in the
ecosystem.

 The shape can be a


standard pyramid but
due to an organism’s size
it can be unusual.
Pyramid of Energy
 The joule is the metric unit of energy

 The total energy in joules can be determined for


each trophic level.

 This pyramid takes into account the energy


expenditure of an organism, such as the energy used
for hunting etc.

 Always a standard pyramid


Human Energy Effects on the Ecosystem

 We can be primary, sec, tert, consumers


 Burning wood releases energy stored by photosyn.

 Large scale effects

 1. Hunting and Fishing


 Some species have been extirpated (wolves/bison)
 2. Monocultures
 Single food crops have replaced biodiverse regions
 Rainforests are destroyed for crops not suited for the soil
conditions.
 The trade off is short term economic gain for long
term economic collapse.
The Water Molecule
 H20 consists of one atom of
oxygen bound to two atoms
of hydrogen.
 The water molecule has a
positive charge on the side
of hydrogen atoms and a
negative charge on the other
side. Therefore it’s called a
polar molecule.
 Water molecules tend to
attract each other because
the positive ends attract to
the negative ends. This is
called hydrogen bonding.
Water’s properties  Water is a “universal
solvent:

 it takes up valuable
chemicals, minerals
and nutrients.

 Moderates temps

 Absorbs and releases


thermal energy

 Makes up 60% of a cell

 Provides surface
tension.
Arguably the most important
natural phenomenon on Earth, the
water cycle, also known as the
hydrologic cycle, describes the
constant movement and endless
recycling of water between the
atmosphere, land surface, and under
the ground. The hydrologic cycle
supplies the force needed for most
Condensation
The change from a liquid to a gas.
In the water cycle, the change
from water to water vapor.
Condensation
& Convection
 Warm air rises
 Air cools and
can no longer
hold vapor
 Process known
as
CONVECTION
Condensation & Cloud
Formation
 Cooling of
water vapor
forms CLOUDS
 Other ways
clouds are
formed
 Convergence


Lifting of air
by fronts
Freshwater Storage
 Water may be
stored
temporarily in
the ground,
oceans, lakes,
rivers, and ion
ice caps and
glaciers.
 The world’s two
main reservoirs
of fresh water
are the great
polar ice caps,
and the ground.
 If all of the ice
in the ice caps
and other
glaciers melted,
it would raise
the sea level by
about 260 ft.
 In temperate
climates, water
is found in
depression
storage or
surface water
puddles,
ditches, and
anywhere else
that runoff water
can gather. This
is a temporary
form of storage
 A hydrologist is
particularly
interested in
stream flow --
the 31% of
precipitation
which runs off
into rivers,
streams and
lakes.
 About 3% of this
water will seep
underground
 About 31% will
run off into rivers,
streams and
lakes
 About 66% of the
water returns to
the atmosphere
through
evaporation and
transpiration
Surface Runoff
 When
precipitation
rate exceeds
infiltration rate,
or when soil is
saturated, water
begins to move
down slope on
ground surface.
Surface Runoff
 surface runoff
gradually flows
into gullies,
streams, lakes, or
rivers. Water in
streams and
rivers flows to the
ocean, seeps into
the ground, or
evaporates back
into the
atmosphere.
Water Storage in
Oceans
 The largest
reservoir is the
oceans. There
is about 50
times as much
water in the
oceans than in
the next largest
reservoir, polar
ice and
-Rain water soaks into ground
through soil and underlying rock
layer.
•Percolation is the term for
movement of water through the
soil.
•Leaching is the removal of
soluble materials by percolation.
-Water cleaned as
impurities filtered
•The water table is the
top level below the ground
that is saturated with
water.
- water seeps downward
underground into soil and
rock crevices
-then stored
underground in
rock crevices and
in the pores of
geologic materials
that make up the
Earth's crust
-Water storage under the ground
largely depends on the geologic
features related to the types of soil
and the types of rocks present at the
storage locations.
-underground
storage occurs in
the soil, in
aquifers, and in
the crevices of
rock formations
Transpiration
The process of
evaporation
from plants.
Basically,
plants
sweating.
Transpiration Cont.
Environmental
factors that
affect
transpiration:
 Light
 Temperature
 Humidity
 Wind
 Soil water
Good For Plants!!
 Transpiration is
the “engine” of
plant life, pulling
water up from the
roots. This allows
for
photosynthesis,
brings minerals
from the roots to
the rest of the
plant, and cools
the leaves.
Biogeochemical Cycles:
Reservoirs & Pathways
Atmosphere

Biosphere

Lithosphere
Hydrosphere
Some Major Cycles of
Matter
•Water Cycle
•Rock Cycle
•Chemical Cycles
•Carbon
•Nitrogen
•Phosphorous
•Sulfur
Carbon Cycle
Atmosphere

Biosphere

Lithosphere
Hydrosphere
Carbon Cycle:
Reservoirs
Atmosphere
1x
(= 7.3x1017 grams
carbon) Biosphere

3x

55x
35,000x
Lithosphere
Hydrosphere
Carbon Cycle
Atmosphere Respiration& Decay

Photosynthesis

Biosphere

Lithosphere
Hydrosphere
Carbon Cycle
Atmosphere Respiration& Decay

Photosynthesis

Biosphere

Dissolution Weathering
& Volcanism
Exsolution
Burial &
Lithification

Photosynthesis Lithosphere
Hydrosphere Burial &
Lithification
Human
Impacts Carbon Cycle
Deforestation:
Decrease Photosynthesis
Atmosphere Increase Respiration

Biosphere
Net Effect:
Increase in Carbon
in Atmosphere Burning fossil fuels:
Increased combustion

Lithosphere
Hydrosphere
northern
winter

northern
QuickTime™ and a summer
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
Carbon Reservoirs
 Inorganic
 The atmosphere in the form of CO2
 The oceans (CO2)
 The Earth’s crust as fossil fuels and
carbonates like limestone

 Organic
 The bodies of living things
 Peat – dead plant material  coal
Human Impact on the Carbon Cycle
 The Greenhouse Effect Too much of
this can lead
to global
warming.
Levels of CO2
is 3X in 40 yr

The balance
between
photosyn and
cell resp. is
changing.

Without the greenhouse effect avg temp = -18o C


The Greenhouse Effect traps heat inside
the Earth’s atmosphere. This causes our
climate increasing in temperature. This is
known as Global Warming.
Global warming could cause:
 flooding as polar ice caps melt,
raising sea levels
 extreme weather events due to
shifting ocean currents
 deserts to spread across Europe
as land dries up
Albedo Effect
Albedo refers to the
reflective ability of a
material.

The higher the


albedo the greater
the reflection of solar
radiation.

Global warming could cause a lower albedo which in


turn causes more global warming and so on.
Nitrogen Cycle
Atmosphere

Denitification:
bacteria Biosphere
Nitrogen fixation:
• bacteria Absorption
• lightning

Waste &
Decomposition

Erosion
Lithosphere
Hydrosphere
Nitrogen Fixation
•N2 is converted to nitrate
(NO3) in 2 ways
•by lightning
•by bacteria in the soil
•Once in nitrate form N can
enter plants in the water.

•Denitrification
•During decay, bacteria
can convert and release
nitrates to nitrites and
then back into N2 gas for Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria
in Root Nodules
the atmosphere.
Phosphorous Cycle
Never enters the atmosphere

Atmosphere

Biosphere

Absorption

Waste &
Decomposition
Weathering & Erosion
Lithosphere
Hydrosphere Absorption
Sedimentation
Phosphorous Cycle

Short
Cycle Biosphere
Net Effect:
Increase in phosphorous in water &
“algal blooms”; Depletion in soils Short time
involves
living things
Mining, use (fertilizer, detergent, etc.)
& increased runoff

Lithosphere
Hydrosphere Long
More Phos. for organisms Involves geologic
Cycle processes