Biology 20

Chapter 1 – The Biosphere as a Closed System
 A closed system exchanges energy with the surroundings but not matter.  The earth is in a state of dynamic equilibrium.There are continuous changes but the whole system 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 organisms in an ecosystem.  The greater the biodiversity the healthier the ecosystem  The loss of one organism from a food chain can cause a collapse of the entire chain.

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.  Primary consumers rely on autotrophs for food  Secondary consumers rely on primary consumers for food
 3rd trophic level  Also called carnivores  Omnivores will consume autotrophs as well.  2nd trophic level  Also called herbivores  Producers use photosynthesis

 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  2. Monocultures

 Some species have been extirpated (wolves/bison)  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.

 Warm air rises  Air cools and

Condensation & Convection

can no longer hold vapor  Process known as CONVECTION

 Cooling of

Condensation & Cloud Formation

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

Hydrosphere

Lithosphere

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

Carbon Cycle
Atmosphere Biosphere

Hydrosphere

Lithosphere

Carbon Cycle: Reservoirs
Atmosphere 1x (= 7.3x1017 grams carbon) 3x 55x Hydrosphere Biosphere

35,000x Lithosphere

Carbon Cycle
Atmosphere
Respiration& Decay Photosynthesis

Biosphere

Hydrosphere

Lithosphere

Carbon Cycle
Atmosphere
Respiration& Decay Photosynthesis

Biosphere

Dissolution Exsolution

Weathering & Volcanism Burial & Lithification

Hydrosphere

Photosynthesis Burial & Lithification

Lithosphere

Human Impacts

Carbon Cycle
Atmosphere
Deforestation: Decrease Photosynthesis Increase Respiration

Biosphere Net Effect: Increase in Carbon in Atmosphere

Burning fossil fuels: Increased combustion

Hydrosphere

Lithosphere

northern winter

QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.

northern summer

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 Nitrogen fixation: • bacteria • lightning

Biosphere

Absorption

Waste & Decomposition Erosion

Hydrosphere

Lithosphere

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 the atmosphere.

Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria in Root Nodules

Phosphorous Cycle
Never enters the atmosphere

Atmosphere Biosphere
Absorption

Waste & Decomposition Weathering & Erosion

Hydrosphere

Lithosphere
Absorption Sedimentation

Phosphorous Cycle
Short Cycle

Net Effect: Increase in phosphorous in water & “algal blooms”; Depletion in soils
& increased runoff

Biosphere

Short time involves Mining, use (fertilizer, detergent, etc.) living things Lithosphere Involves geologic processes

Hydrosphere

More Phos. for organisms

Long Cycle

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