Productivity In Ecosystem

What is Productivity?

In ecology, productivity refers to the rate of formation of biomass in the ecosystem. It can also be referred to as the energy accumulated in the plants by photosynthesis. There are two types of productivity, namely:

  1. Primary Productivity
  2. Secondary Productivity

Primary Productivity

Primary Productivity refers to the generation of biomass from autotrophic organisms such as plants. Photosynthesis is the primary tool for the creation of organic material from inorganic compounds such as carbon dioxide and water. Primary productivity can be divided into two aspects:

  • Gross primary productivity
  • Net primary productivity

Gross primary productivity

The solar energy trapped by the photosynthetic organism is called gross primary productivity. All the organic matters produced falls under gross primary productivity. This depends upon the photosynthetic activity and environmental factors.

Net primary productivity

This is estimated by the gross productivity minus energy lost in respiration.

NPP = GPP – Energy lost by respiration

It the net energy stored in the plants. This energy serves as food for the animals that feed on plants. It is measured as the amount of organic matter produced in a community in a given time. Annually, over 170 billion tons of net primary productivity occurs over the entire biosphere.

Secondary Productivity

Heterotrophs such as animals influence Secondary Productivity. It is the accumulation of energy at the consumer’s level. It keeps moving from one organism to another, unlike primary productivity. This process occurs as a result of organic materials being transferred between various trophic levels. It is also referred to as the rate of increase in the biomass of heterotrophs. Organisms such as animals, fungi, bacteria and numerous protists influence Secondary Production.

Unit of Productivity

Typically, productivity is expressed in units of mass per unit volume (or surface) per unit time.

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Further Reading

Biotic And Abiotic

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by productivity in an ecosystem?

Productivity refers to the rate of generation of biomass in the ecosystem. It is expressed in units of mass per unit surface.

What are the factors affecting the productivity of an ecosystem?

The factors affecting the productivity of the ecosystem include:

  • Sunlight
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Water
  • Nutrients

Name the most productive ecosystems.

The most productive ecosystems include:

  • Estuaries
  • Swamps
  • Marshes
  • Tropical rainforests
  • Temperate rainforests

What is the primary source of energy in an ecosystem?

Sun is the primary source of energy in an ecosystem. The producers such as plants, cyanobacteria and algae use sunlight to prepare their food. This marks the beginning of energy flow through the food chain.

When are all the ecosystems equally productive?

All the ecosystems are equally productive under drought conditions. According to researches, under drought conditions, the tropical forests can use water as efficiently as deserts.

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