Flow of Energy

Topics: Ocean, Energy, Sun Pages: 4 (1071 words) Published: April 14, 2013
The Flow of Energy
Stacey Ann Langston
February 3, 2013
Cynthia Collin-Clausen

The Flow of Energy

The marine ecosystem relies on solar energy converted through photosynthesis by producers. Consumers, fish for example, metabolize, and release as chemical energy to convert into mechanical energy. The ecosystem distributes energy to living organisms through heat energy. Decomposers break down dead organisms and deplete them of their remaining energy.

Primary productivity involves simple aspects of energy used by living organisms. Photosynthesis converts the sun’s light into necessary energy for living beings to survive. Photosynthesis is the most important process on Earth and creates the flow of energy and survival for living organisms. Another form of creating energy is chemosynthesis that mirrors photosynthesis but instead uses oxidization of chemicals that seep up from the Earth’s crust and not from sunlight. The organisms that use chemosynthesis are found around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. Both processes fuel energy for survival although chemosynthesis occurs in the ocean and fuels organisms with limited to no light and may experience extreme temperatures.

Researchers use few instruments to measurement productivity in an area. Plankton nets measure various ocean properties by filtering plankton from the sea in their fine mesh nets. These nylon mesh nets, shaped like a windsocks, collect plankton for study. Plankton and other types of organisms accumulated from different and specific depths give approximate productivity properties for that region of water. Other methods involve coloration of seawaters and analyzing carbons.

Chlorophyll absorbs red light, but reflects blue and yellow light, which is why land and ocean plants are green. Phytoplankton use chlorophyll to obtain energy from sunlight and administer...

References: Marine Odyssey UK. (n.d.). Primary Productivity. Retrieved from http://marineodyssey.co.uk/primaryproductivity.html
Trujillo, A. P., and Thurman, H. V. (2011). Essentials of Oceanography (10th ed.). Retrieved from University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
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