Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

LS2.B: CYCLES OF MATTER AND ENERGY TRANSFER IN ECOSYSTEMS

How does energy cycle through the biosphere - …

for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. Either way, they are “consumers.” Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms (both plants or plants parts and animals) and therefore operate as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil for plants to use. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Newly introduced species can damage the balance of an ecosystem.

Our Biosphere absorbs this energy and then releases it back to the Universe -the global balance of energy is zero (Fig.2).

Simulation of the water cycle in Biosphere 2 - …

From viruses and bacteria to plants to fungi to animals, the diversity of the millions of life forms on Earth is astonishing. Without unifying principles, it would be difficult to make sense of the living world and apply those understandings to solving problems. A core principle of the life sciences is that all organisms are related by evolution and that evolutionary processes have led to the tremendous diversity of the biosphere. There is diversity within species as well as between species. Yet what is learned about the function of a gene or a cell or a process in one organism is relevant to other organisms because of their ecological interactions and evolutionary relatedness. Evolution and its underlying genetic

Because matter and energy is thus cycled, the various geologic cycles play a large role in the development of natural disasters.


A good example is the Carbon Cycle, as it involves the cycling of Carbon between 4 major reservoirs:


In all reservoirs except the lithosphere, residence time is generally short, on the order of a few years.

Limiting the Earth's population and lowering individual consumption of energy and negative entropy is essential for the survival of the Biosphere.


PPT – The Energy Cycle PowerPoint presentation | free …

This series of posts on the carbon cycle began with Roger Andrews pointing out that emissions can be matched to what has actually happened in the atmosphere (Mauna Loa) using a single exponential decline function [7]. If emissions appear to fit a single exponential decline why seek a more complex explanation? Phil Chapman introduced an interesting concept based on equilibrium distribution of increased carbon between the various active sinks. At that time, the very large deep ocean sink was not in our minds active whilst in fact it appears to be one of the main destinations for emissions. Adding the deep ocean to the equilibrium distribution model makes any residual manmade CO2 in the system trivial.

Carbon Cycle In The Biosphere ~ Green Environment

Residence time in each of the reservoirs is generally proportional to the size of the reservoir Water may reside in the lithosphere for millions of years.
Although the hydrologic cycle involves the biosphere, only a small amount of the total water in the system at any given time is in the biosphere.

How can the answer be improved?

Over time the living part of the Biosphere became larger, more complex and more efficient in the extraction of energy and negative entropy from photon gas flowing from the Sun.

September 1970 - Scientific American

Euan –
The usual alteration sequence is olivine -> serpentine -> talc, where MgO:SiO2 ratio is (resp) 2, 1.5 & 0.75. So MgO (as hydroxide) is produced at each step.
The hydroxide (brucite) is found in sea-bed cores around ridges low in the alteration zone, where you would expect it (ref. mislaid, sorry).
Magnesium carbonate is (relatively) soluble, but as seawater also contains calcium (as temporary hardness) the end-product is eg dolomite, which isn’t.
This carbon cycle has a period of ~1E7 yrs, so might be the Bern “infinity”.
Although generally slow, this sequestration can locally be fast (as you imply for hydrothermal regions).
Consider the numbers: 25000 km of MOR times 500m fracture depth times 5cm/yr spreading is a lot of potential sequestration.
I see debate about how much CO2 is introduced via undersea volcanoes, but none on the removal which must accompany it.
I think your Fig 1 (ex AR5) is incomplete.