Limiting Factors to Primary Production

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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there are limiting factors to the productivity of ecosystems in aquatic ecosystems. Light penetration can limit primary production. However, nutrient availability is going to severely limit primary production in aquatic ecosystems and is going to really be the bottleneck. And this will in part be due to limiting nutrients, which are elements that limit production and if added, production will increase. Usually these air going to be nitrogen and phosphorus, but not always now in terrestrial ecosystems, temperature and water availability tend to be the main limiting factors, and soils also have limiting nutrients. And like Quantock ecosystems, these usually tend to be nitrogen and phosphorus. And here you can see a chart that shows the relative amounts of photosynthesis based on light intensity. Japan, as you can see when light is very low down in this area, photosynthesis just lum. It's You might also notice that photosynthesis starts to peter off when light intensity gets too high, which can be due to, you know, the damaging effects of all that light. Of course, that's not really going to be much of an issue in, uh, most marine ecosystems, where these guys were just gonna be happy to get some light. Now, coral reefs are the most productive bios per area, and they're also one of the most threatened. They actually Onley take up a very small portion of the earth and the only account for a small portion of the total productivity of the Earth. But they are still the most productive by OEMs per area. Now, the most productive marine ecosystems generally are near coasts due to the high nutrient availability there. Terrestrial ecosystems are actually far more productive than marine ecosystems, and this is probably due to the availability of light here. In this chart, you can see the most productive marine ecosystems, and you can see the there these areas in red concentrated in coastal waters. Now here you can see primary production in terrestrial environments, and hopefully you'll notice that it's the regions known as the tropics, that they're gonna have that very high primary productivity. Tropical rainforests actually contain the most productive terrestrial ecosystems in the world, and this is gonna be due to the year round warmth and rain. With that, let's go ahead and flip the page