Biological Productivitiy

Topics: Photic zone, Organism, Autotroph Pages: 2 (405 words) Published: September 26, 2012
Week 7 Essay
Define "biological productivity.” When a scientist says productivity is a rate, what does she or he mean? List several factors that influence productivity in various ocean environments (the surf zone, mid-ocean and the deep abyss). According to encyclopedia2 the definition of biological productivity is “The productivity of organisms and ecosystems, as defined by primary, secondary, and community productivities. So when a scientist says productivity is a rate, he or she is referring to the amount and rate of production that occurs in that specific ecosystem over a certain timeframe. This rate that the scientist is referring to could apply to a single organism, a population, entire communities as well as ecosystems. “Productivity can be expressed in terms of dry matter produced per area per time (net production), or in terms of energy produced per area per time (gross production = respiration + heat losses + net production)…in aquatic systems, productivity is often measured in volume instead of area” ("Biological Productivity," 2012, p. 1). Ecologists distinguish between primary and secondary productivity by autotrophs and heterotrophs. To list several factors that influence productivity in various ocean environments I believe it is important to first understand that “although oceans cover approximately two-thirds of the Earth’s surface area, it only accounts for about one-third of Earth’s productivity” ("Biological Productivity," 2012, para. 2). One difference in productivity between the ocean and the land is that productivity on land demonstrates a latitudinal trend with the highest rates of productivity in the tropics, which decreases, as you get closer to the poles. The ocean is absent of this latitudinal trend, and the greatest net primary production is found alongside coastal regions. A few areas that influence productivity would be: the continental shelf, which is one of the most productive areas in the ocean, which holds large...
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