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Ecology, Week 2

by: Rheanna Gimple

Ecology, Week 2 LIFE 320

Rheanna Gimple

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Energy and Physical Variations
Dale R Lockwood
Class Notes
Ecology, Biology, life, Science
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rheanna Gimple on Monday September 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LIFE 320 at Colorado State University taught by Dale R Lockwood in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Ecology in Biology at Colorado State University.


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Date Created: 09/19/16
Organism's adaptations for energy  Ecology, like all life, starts in the Sun 4H -> He + 2 photons at 13.6 million degrees o Other fusion reactions produce heavier elements o Light travels 150 million km to earth  takes 8 minutes  Light is harnessed by photosynthesis o Light warms objects on the earth's surface  Light drives climate patterns  Uneven heat creates complexity to the planet o Plant light absorption  Plants with a lot of chlorophylls absorb red and blue - reflect green  Plants with a lot of carotenoids absorb green and reflect red and blue  Light intensity varies o Solar constant: 1400 watts per square meter at top of atmosphere o Varies with:  Time of day  Latitude  Season  Clouds/fog  Water depth o Plant growth can be limited by light, water or temperature  Flow of energy o It is primarily chemical energy flow among organisms o Ultimate source of energy is the sun o Basic energy transfer:  Chemical energy transfers  Respire to do work  Energy stored in chemical bonds  Photosynthesize to store energy Energy + 6CO + 2H O = 2 H O +6612 6 2  Animals need to eat to gain energy (no photosynthesis)  Energy terms: o Autotroph: Assimilate complex organic compounds from inorganic molecules using energy from sunlight or from chemical reactions  Photoautotroph  Photosynthesis Converts CO in2o sugars  Chemoautotroph  Aerobic oxidation of  Methane  Sulfur  Iron  Ammonia  H, N, etc. o Heterotroph: obtains carbon from organic sources using energy of organic chemical Bonds  Land plants: o CO diffuses into stomate 2 o CO 2oncentration about 0.03% o Lose water in process of transpiration o Water loss is greater than its CO 2ain  Aquatic plants o Bicarbonate chemically dissolves 100x more than the amount of CO 2 absorbed + - CO 2 H O2->H CO2->H3+HCO 3 o Aquatic plants can use both CO an2 HCO but n3t equally fast o Diffusion slows the uptake of Carbon  Gas Movement o Gases often move by diffusion  Diffusion:  Random movement of substances  Allows movement from regions of high concentration to low concentration o Velocity of gas movement is 10000x slower in water than in air  Due to density of water o Aquatic organisms can become O starved 2 o O 2as low solubility in water  21% concentration in air  Max 1% in H O 2  Low rate of diffusion in H2O  Sediments and wet soils become "anoxic"  Photosynthetic adaption o Compensation point: light intensity where photosynthesis gains = respiration loss  Rate of photosynthesis changes the greatest at this point  Can dip below this as long as has stores of sugars  i.e. trees in winter o Saturation point: above which photosynthesis no longer increases with light  Most CO2 intake at this point o Shade plants adapted to lower light  Photosynthetic pathways o C3 photosynthesis most common o Drought-resistant photosynthesis  C4 - grasses  CAM = cacti, euphorbs  C3 photosynthesis o CO2 + RuBP = two 3PG o Rubisco has low CO2 affinity, so make lots: 30% of leaf dry weight o Rubisco catalyzes reverse reaction at high O2 and low CO2 (photorespiration) o Net photosynthesis Slowed at low CO2 and high light o How to overcome RuBP probs.  Concentrating CO2 Moving site of C-fixation away from site of O2 production   C4 photosynthesis o Occurs in warm season grasses o Enzyme PEP carboxylase has high affinity for CO2 o CO2 fixed to PEP in mesophyll o Calvin cycle segregated to bundle sheath cells where O2 concentration is lower o Cost: less leaf tissue active in Ps  CAM photosynthesis o Some succulent plants (e.g. cacti) o Use C4-like metabolism o Only open stomates at night o Fix CO2 into PEP during night o Calvin cycle during day to move carbon from OAA to sugars  Thermal environment o Heat created, transferred (long wavelength energy)  Important for metabolism  Maintain body temp. in optimal range  Radiation, conduction, convection  (define)  Lichens use conduction for energy  Reptiles, cactus use heat for metabolism  Evaporation  Cooling mechanism  Sweating o Heat control  Heat budget related to metabolic budget  Gain heat = metabolism - evaporation +/- (radiation, conduction, convection)  Some orgs. Control temp. by varying physiology  Some with behavior  Some "go with the flow"  Limited living environment  Larger organisms have more stable metabolism  Smaller more metabolic response to environment o Organisms limited to certain environments  Enzymes, thus organisms, have optimal conditions  Some optima are fixed genetically  Some biochemical systems can acclimate  Constant internal environment o Homeostasis: ability of org. to maintain constant internal conditions  Costly  Limited by physiology and food supply  Can choose partial homeostasis  Animals vary in size, surface area  Surface of sphere: = 4pi r^2  Volume of sphere: = 4/3 pi r^3  Surface to volume ration: 1/(3r)  Smaller you are = more contact with environment o Homeothermy: maintaining a constant internal temp. o Poikilothermy: internal tem. Follows environment temperature o Ectotherms: gain heat from enviro o Endotherms: generate heat internally o Cold tolerance  Ice in cells break through cell membrane  Antifreeze proteins  Keep water from forming ice  "super cooling"  Other strategies  Fat, fur, metabolism  Behavior  Countercurrent heat exchange  Keep core warm via circulatory system Physical Variations  Context for life on earth o From map you can determine  Latitude, continental vs. maritime, mountain effects, elevation, geology  Can predict - seasonality, rainfall, temperature, regime, soil properties  Wind patterns, mountains and location of continent drives U.S. weather patterns (rainfall) o Context for plant and animal adaptations  Problems with water, ions, nutrients energy flow, CO2 uptake, temperature, movement, dispersal, etc. Variation in time and space  o Land and soil o Past climate o Heat input/redistribution o Moisture distribution  Heat input/redistribution o Solar radiation  Varies with latitude  Sun's rays are more spread out over polar areas than in tropics  Varies seasonally  Due to 23.5 degree tilt of earth  Like moving 23.5 N or S with seasons  Oaxaca almost exactly 23.5 degrees S of here  Reykjavik, Iceland almost 23.5 degrees N of here  Drives variation in day length  Temp. variations greater at poles than tropics  Moisture distribution o Air convention redistributes heat  Hadley cells  Warm moist air rises at equator, Rain  Diverges to N and S  Sinks when cooler and farther from equator  Cycles about every 30 degrees lat.  Surface flow replaces rising air, deserts  Deserts 30 degrees N and S equator  Polar cell falling air  Ferrel cells at mid-latitudes  Coriolis(?) effect due to wind patterns  No winds in doldrums o How well does Hadley circulation predict vegetation?  Wind patterns, geography, and latitude contribute to formation of deserts, wet areas o Tropics: 1 or 2 rainy seasons  Solar zenith = solar equator  Latitude where sun is directly overhead  Migrates over equator  Location of maximum rain  Equatorial regions get 2 rainy periods  Points near 20 degrees N&S get one rainy period o El Niño southern oscillation  El Nino: Christmas-time appearance of warm waters off the coast of Peru  Upwelling is depressed along the west coast of S. America  Pulls surface water away from east coasts, cold water rises - pushes warm waters east  Affects the Humboldt current  Fisherman's catches go down - less nutrient rich water  Southern oscillations: high pressure at Darwin, Australia and low pressure at Tahiti  Thermal year (La Nina) warm water is pushed westward - opposite flow from El Nino year  ENSO phenomenon associated with global temp. and rainfall changes  Rainfall and sea-surface temperatures correlate generally  Upwelling zones high biological productivity occur where winds move surface waters away from continental margin  Occur on west coasts N or S of equator o Elevation and Temperature o Lapse rate: temp. change with elevation, average 6 degrees C per 1000m (3.6 F per 1000 ft) (PV=nRT) o Air masses moving over mountains lose their moisture as rain and snow  Decrease T as elevation increases  Rain shadow: one side of mountains has more moisture and vegetation, other side more desert ecosystem o Ecological systems experience different climate across elevation changes o As T increases atmosphere holds more water  Basics of soils o Soil: layer of chemically and biologically altered material overlaying rock on the surface of the earth o Differences among soils driven by "state factors"  Hans Jenny's state factors  Regional Climate- how warm and dry  Organism pool- available organisms  Relief (topography)- how flat land is: drainage  Parent material- bedrock underneath  Time- how long has soil been there  S=f(Cl,O,R,P,T,…)  Soil is function of state factors  Weathering of soil minerals o Weathering: physical and chemical alteration of rock material near earth's surface  Physical breaking into smaller pieces  Wind and water erosion  Displacement of elements in rock minerals leads to "secondary" mineral formation and loss of some elements from the rock to the soil water  Weathering more important feature of tropics  Lot of water flow - poor soil  Nutrients from dead plants on top of soil  Soil physical structure o horizons:  Horizontal layers of soil with similar characteristics  Decrease in organic matter content with depth  Less light  More like "parent material" (i.e. source rock) with depth  Shift from biologically active to bed rock composition o Soil and climate go hand in hand  Climate in the past o Physical environment varies with time  Daily, seasonal variation is part of our experience  Decadal, ocean currents can cycle changing T and nutrient flows  El Niño events  Century to millennial scales recorded in human history  Natural or things we may have caused  Natural archives of past  Lake bottom sediments record  Pollen, charcoal  Organism bodies and chemicals  Tree rings - "good" years and "bad"  Ice cores (poles, alpine glaciers)  Trapped atmospheric gases  isotopes  Snow, dissolved ions and particulates  Ocean sediments  Phytoliths  Can determine C3 or C4  Local ecology  Important info about past  What was climate like  Glacial periods and interglacial periods correlate with concentrations of O2 isotopes  Concentration drop during glacial period  How were organism distributed  Fossil records  Can hint how continental drift occurred  When climate changed how fast could organisms respond  Pollen and lake bed samples can tell this for plants  Ex: pulse of strontium (large fires) change pine and spruce forest to Oak and Hornbeam o Context for life on earth  From map  Latitude, continental v. maritime, mountain effects, elevation, geology  Can predict  Seasonality, rainfall, T regime, soil properties  Plant and animal adaptations  Problems with water, ions, energy flow, CO2 uptake, T


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