Biology, Eighth Edition (Raven)

Chapter 57: Dynamics of Ecosystems

Learning Outcomes

Chapter 57
  • Understand the nature of an ecosystem.
  • Discuss the five primary biogeochemical cycles, including the reservoirs and unique organisms upon which each cycle depends.
  • Explain the difference in nutrient cycling and energy flowing through an ecosystem.
  • Discuss the effects of deforestation on the water cycle, flood control, and overall fertility.
  • Understand the relationship of one trophic level with another in terms of energy and biomass.
  • Differentiate between gross and net productivity and explain how each is related to biomass.
  • Compare the overall productivity of each of the major ecosystems to one another.
  • Explain why algal beds and coral reefs have a larger NPP per unit area than do tropical rain forests.
  • Identify the components of a general food chain. With the exception of deep ocean vents, explain why an autotroph is absolutely required to be in the first “trophic link” in a food chain.
  • Explain what an ecological pyramid is and what different shapes indicate.
  • Understand how trophic cascades and bottom-up effects influence populations at other trophic levels and how the two effects interact.
  • Compare species richness and species diversity and the factors that promote each.
  • Understand the importance of the equilibrium model in island biogeography.
  • Be able to explain the graphs that are used to illustrate the island biogeography mode
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