Chapter

Energy Enters the Biosphere

E. C. Pielou

in The Energy of Nature

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780226668062
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226668055 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226668055.003.0011
Energy Enters the Biosphere

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Green plants are the factories that capture energy from sunlight in a series of chemical reactions collectively known as photosynthesis; the green pigment chlorophyll always takes part in the reactions. The amount of usable energy reaching vegetation from the sun is difficult to measure directly because the rate at which it arrives is forever changing: it is most easily estimated by measuring the rate at which plants grow, known as their productivity. This chapter discusses the following: ecological productivity; primary productivity of the oceans; and the transfer of energy to the food chains.

Keywords: sunlight; solar energy; photosynthesis; chlorophyll; plant productivity; ecological productivity; food chains

Chapter.  5729 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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