Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior

Yale Course , Spring 2009 , Prof. Stephen C. Stearns

Lecture 30: Energy and Matter in Ecosystems

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Lecture Details :

Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

The movement of matter and energy around the planet is very important, and its study draws on geology, and meterology in addition to chemistry. Energy tends to flow upwards from plantlike producers to herbivores to carnivores before being decomposed by detritovores and cycling back into energy usable by producers, in addition to the photosynthesis or chemosynthesis used by producers to produce energy. Like energy, compounds vital to life such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous flow around the planet in cycles.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
04:04 - Chapter 2. Energy Flow through Ecosystems
20:51 - Chapter 3. Cycles of Materials through Ecosystem Compartments
29:11 - Chapter 4. Biogeochemical Cycles
48:13 - Chapter 5. Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

Course Description :

The Nature of Evolution: Selection, Inheritance, and History - Basic Transmission Genetics - Adaptive Evolution: Natural Selection - Neutral Evolution: Genetic Drift - How Selection Changes the Genetic Composition of Population - The Origin and Maintenance of Genetic Variation - The Importance of Development in Evolution - The Expression of Variation: Reaction Norms - The Evolution of Sex - Genomic Conflict - Life History Evolution - Sex Allocation - Sexual Selection - Species and Speciation - Phylogeny and Systematics - Comparative Methods: Trees, Maps, and Traits - Key Events in Evolution - Major Events in the Geological Theatre - The Fossil Record and Life's History - Coevolution - Evolutionary Medicine - The Impact of Evolutionary Thought on the Social Sciences - The Logic of Science - Climate and the Distribution of Life on Earth - Interactions with the Physical Environment - Population Growth: Density Effects - Interspecific Competition - Ecological Communities - Island Biogeography and Invasive Species - Energy and Matter in Ecosystems - Why So Many Species? The Factors Affecting Biodiversity - Economic Decisions for the Foraging Individual - Evolutionary Game Theory: Fighting and Contests - Mating Systems and Parental Care - Alternative Breeding Strategies - Selfishness and Altruism

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