Chapter 12: Energy Flow, Nutrients and Ecosystem Function

 

I.                  Tracking energy flow

 

II.               Relative efficience of energy transfer

 

III.           Role of insects

 

IV.           Nutritional ecology of individual insects

 

A.   Consumption rates

B.   Assimilation efficiency

C.   Approximate digestibility

D.   Efficiency of conversion

 

V.              Trophic structure of the ecosystem

 

VI.           Life history strategies

 

A.   for energy use

 

B.   for nutrients

 

Questions

 

What is the difference between a saprophage and a biophage?

 

What is the difference between primary production and secondary production?

 

What characteristics of plants might influence herbivore consumption rates, assimilation efficiency or approximate digestibility, and efficiency of conversion of digested food into tissue?

 

If more of the solar energy entering the atmosphere were available to plants, would you expect to see proportional increases at all trophic levels?

 

If primary productivity can be 4 orders of magnitude greater in a tropical ecosystem than in the artic tundra, why might food chains in these systems be similar in length?

 

Why might bottom-up forces of light and nutrients be more likely to cascade up the trophic levels in aquatic than terrestrial systems?