Terrestrial Global Productivity (Physiological Ecology)

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9780125052900: Terrestrial Global Productivity (Physiological Ecology)

As the global climate changes, there are concomitant changes in global biological productivity. This book is devoted to the assessment of terrestrial Net Primary Productivity ("the total amount of energy acquired by green plants during photosynthesis, minus the energy lost through respiration"--APDS&T, pp. 1457). The book is comprised of three major sections. The first section is a review of the processes that operate globally to influence productivity--these are the initial conditions of any model of primary productivity. The second section is comprised of chapters that assess the contribution of particular ecosystems to global productivity. The final major section contains chapters of a synthetic nature that describe attempts to model global productivity. This book should appeal to both ecologists and environmental scientists.

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Plants convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into sugar and from there into plant tissues. This conversion of the solar energy into biomass is called primary productivity. This stored energy controls the productivity of other organisms from microscopic bacteria and fungi to the giant dinosaurs of the past. There is a predictable relationship between primary productivity and the potential productivity of other organisms. In essence, primary productivity is the foundation on which all other trophic levels depend. Therefore, an estimate of the primary productivity of the Earth permits an estimate of the productivity at other trophic levels.
Terrestrial Global Productivity begins with a discussion of the various processes that have an effect on primary productivity. The second section of the book is a survey of especially well-known ecosytems such as the arctic, temperate and boreal forests, deserts, and tropical savannas, grasslands, and rain forests. The final section is a synthetic and detailed review of global patterns of productivity, modeling productivity, and predicting productivity.
This book is certain to be of interest to anyone fascinated by the relationship between productivity and ecosystem structure and function. Those interested in climate change, the impact of changing levels of greenhouse gases on ecosystems, and the relationship between different trophic levels in ecosystems will want to have this important book.

About the Author:

Harold A. Mooney, Stanford University, Stanford, California, U.S.A.
Bernard Saugier, Laboratoire d'Ecologie, Universite Paris XI

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