Basics About Life


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      What sustains life?

      • flow (one-way) of energy (high-quality): sunlight or geothermal energy
      • cycling of matter: carbon, water, oxygen, nutrients - each stage of cycle results in loss of energy, usually as heat
      • gravity-it's the law!

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      Ecosystem

      Closely interdependent species and their physical environment in a specific place.
      • Flow of Energy
      • Cycling of Nutrients

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Ecosystem Boundaries

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      Populations have optimum ranges

        How these ranges overlap is partly what determines the species composition of ecosystems. Ranges are commonly but not always determined by physical conditions (temperature, light, water, etc.). The distribution of some species may be determined by the distribution of others.

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      Ecosystems have structure

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