Freshwater Ecosystems

1588 Words7 Pages
Introduction An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem takes place in a body of water, which has a community of organisms that depend upon each other to live and function. Three major ecosystem functions are energy flow, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity. Energy flows through an ecosystem and trophic levels from primary producers, which use solar energy in photosynthesis to synthesize complex organic substances (Reece & Campbell 2011, Lindeman 1942, & Gaston 2000). Solar energy is the basis from which all life in an ecosystem depend upon (Lindeman 1942). Nutrient cycling is passed from trophic level to trophic level and from ecosystem to ecosystem via consumption, translocation, fecal matter, and decomposition (Reece & Campbell 2011, Vanni 2002, & Hammer & Holmlund 1999). The nutrients often undergo many transformations from one chemical form to another (Vanni 2002). Ecologist Camille Parmesan explains the importance of biodiversity in an ecosystem and its benefits, such as breathable air being the result of plants and microorganisms (Reece & Campbell 2011). How efficient an ecosystem processes depends on the species present (Giller et al 2004). Energy flow, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity each a play a critical role in the regulation of ecosystems. In the sections to follow I will discuss each of these in depth. Energy Flow Energy flows through an ecosystem and trophic levels from primary producers, which use solar energy in photosynthesis to synthesize complex organic substances (Reece & Campbell 2011, Lindeman 1942, & Gaston 2000). As energy flows through an ecosystem it goes in the form of primary productivity (a bottom up approach): nutrients are taken up by plants (primary producers); the plants are then eaten by primary con... ... middle of paper ... ...ics, 29 (2), pp. 253--268. Humbert, J. and Dorigo, U. 2005. Biodiversity and aquatic ecosystem functioning: A mini review. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management, 8 (4), pp. 367-374. Lindeman, R. L. 1942. The trophic-dynamic aspect of ecology. Ecology, 23 (4), pp. 399--417. Odum, E. P. 1969. The strategy of ecosystem development. Science, 164 (3877), pp. 262-270. Reece, J. B. and Campbell, N. A. 2011. Campbell biology. Boston: Benjamin Cummings. S Giller, P., Hillebr, Berninger, U., O Gessner, M., Hawkins, S., Inchausti, P., Inglis, C., Leslie, H., Malmqvist, B., T Monaghan, M. and Others. 2004. Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning: emerging issues and their experimental test in aquatic environments. Oikos, 104 (3), pp. 423--436. Vanni, M. J. 2002. Nutrient cycling by animals in freshwater ecosystems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, pp. 341--370.
Open Document