The University of Michigan provides an in-depth account of energy flow through ecosystems. In this lesson, we wish to answer these questions:
- How much of the sun's energy is available to and assimilated by plants, and how is that measured?
- How are gross production, net production, and ecosystem production related?
- How are standing crop, turnover rate, and net primary production related?
- What types of ecosystems have the highest rates of production, and which make the biggest contributions to worldwide primary production?
- What factors limit the amount of primary production locally and worldwide?
- What is the efficiency with which energy is converted from trophic level to trophic level?
- What are the differences between assimilation efficiency, net production efficiency, and ecological efficiency?
- How do ecosystems differ in the amount of biomass or number of organisms present at any point in time, and generated over time, at each trophic level?
- How much energy is available to humans, and how much do we use?