Vocabulary

producer chemosynthesis gross primary productivity biomass net primary productivity consumer herbivore carnivore omnivore detritivore decomposer trophic level food chain food web

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Comparative Productivity of Ecosystems

Desert Open Temperate Lake Savanna Estuary Tropical ocean grassland rain forest

Kind of biome

Figure 18-7 shows that net primary productivity can vary greatly between ecosystems. For example, the average net primary productivity in a tropical rain forest is 25 times greater than the rate in a desert of the same size. Although rain forests occupy only about 5 percent of Earth's surface, they account for almost 30 percent of the world's net primary productivity. Variations in three factors—light, temperature, and precipitation—account for most of the variation in productivity among terrestrial ecosystems. An increase in any of these variables usually leads to a productivity increase. In aquatic ecosystems, productivity is usually determined by only two factors: light and the availability of nutrients.

Desert Open Temperate Lake Savanna Estuary Tropical ocean grassland rain forest

Kind of biome figure 18-7

As the histogram shows, the net primary productivity in a tropical rain forest is very similar to the net primary productivity in an estuary. Temperate grasslands and freshwater lakes are also very similar in productivity.

Figure 18-7 shows that net primary productivity can vary greatly between ecosystems. For example, the average net primary productivity in a tropical rain forest is 25 times greater than the rate in a desert of the same size. Although rain forests occupy only about 5 percent of Earth's surface, they account for almost 30 percent of the world's net primary productivity. Variations in three factors—light, temperature, and precipitation—account for most of the variation in productivity among terrestrial ecosystems. An increase in any of these variables usually leads to a productivity increase. In aquatic ecosystems, productivity is usually determined by only two factors: light and the availability of nutrients.

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