Explore BrainMass

Energy Budgets in Ecosystems

Understanding the role of energy in biology.

Please address the following concepts:
1) Relating energy concepts to living things.
2) Discuss why energy is not recycled in an environment and why an ecosystem can only support a finite population of species.
3) Discuss our excessive consumption of energy and its implications upon future generations.
4) Use historical evidence to draw conclusions regarding the affect(s) our excessive energy consumption has upon how species adapt, survive (or not) and how this affects their evolution.

Solution Preview

Bioenergetics is concerned with the transformation and use of energy by living things. Energy is defined as the capacity to do work. Energy exists in a variety of forms, such as electrical, mechanical, chemical, heat and light energy. These different forms of energy are interconvertible.

Living things get things they need from each other and the environment.

Most of the ecosystems derive their energy from the sun through photosynthesis in green plants (producers). Animals and some plants (consumers) derive their energy from plants and/or other animals. Decomposers (usually microorganisms like bacteria and fungi) get their energy from dead plant and animal matter and animal waste products, breaking them down into simple substances such as carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, water, and mineral salts.

Energy can transform from one organism to another by energy flow through energy cycle or food chain.

• Inorganic nutrients incorporated into cells during photosynthesis
Eg. N, P, C & S

• Cyclic flow in food chains
• Decomposers released inorganic forms that becomes available to autotrophs again.

Like that energy is transformed from one stage to another.

2) discuss why energy is not recycled in an environment
and why an ecosystem can only support a finite population of species

Energy is stored in the form of ATP. By utilization only ATP is converted into ADP. ATP or ADP is the bio-molecule which is not readily available in the free environment like Oxygen, Nitrogen etc…. So an organism can synthesize ATP by physiological process only. The initial step of ...

Solution Summary

The solution is comprised of a detailed explanation of energy budgeting and transfers within ecosystems. The solution is provided in a Word document which is attached.