Productivity (ecology)

Biodiversity of a coral reef. Corals adapt to and modify their environment by forming calcium carbonate skeletons. This provides growing conditions for future generations and forms a habitat for many other species.

Ecosystem, usually expressed in units of mass per volume per unit of time, such as grams per square metre per day (g m−2 d−1).

- Productivity (ecology)

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An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact.

Rainforest ecosystems are rich in biodiversity. This is the Gambia River in Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park.
Flora of Baja California Desert, Cataviña region, Mexico
Global oceanic and terrestrial phototroph abundance, from September 1997 to August 2000. As an estimate of autotroph biomass, it is only a rough indicator of primary production potential and not an actual estimate of it.
Sequence of a decomposing pig carcass over time
Biological nitrogen cycling
Loch Lomond in Scotland forms a relatively isolated ecosystem. The fish community of this lake has remained stable over a long period until a number of introductions in the 1970s restructured its food web.
Spiny forest at Ifaty, Madagascar, featuring various Adansonia (baobab) species, Alluaudia procera (Madagascar ocotillo) and other vegetation
A hydrothermal vent is an ecosystem on the ocean floor. (The scale bar is 1 m.)
The High Peaks Wilderness Area in the 6000000 acre Adirondack Park is an example of a diverse ecosystem.
The Forest Landscape Integrity Index measures global anthropogenic modification on remaining forests annually. 0 = Most modification; 10= Least.

The organisms that consume their tissues are called primary consumers or secondary producers—herbivores.


Distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object.

A Boeing 737-800 cruising in the stratosphere, where airliners typically cruise to avoid turbulence rampant in the troposphere. The blue layer is the ozone layer, fading further to the mesosphere. The ozone heats the stratosphere, making conditions stable. The stratosphere is also the altitude limit of jet aircraft and weather balloons, as the air density there is roughly of that in the troposphere.
Vertical distance comparison

These factors may decrease productivity in high altitude habitats, meaning there will be less energy available for consumption, growth, and activity.

Danube Delta

Second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent.

Historical evolution of the Danube Delta (AD 1 – 2015)
Danube Delta – Dalmatian pelican and great cormorant
Map created in 2010
Danube Delta in Romania
Danube Delta in Romania
Danube Delta: old mill in Letea
Nymphaea alba in the Danube Delta
Pelicans in Danube Delta
The Danube Delta birds: grey heron (Ardea cinerea), mallard or wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos), great white pelican (Ardea cinerea), great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus). Stamp of Romania, 2004
Black-crowned night heron
Lipovan fisherman of Chilia Veche
Vylkove (Ukraine)
Dyked and dried areas in the communist time
The "M&B" natural reservations of the Danube delta (red: in Ukraine; yellow: in Romania)
Sulina City – 1870 lighthouse
The Danube Delta in 1867, as a part of the Ottoman Empire
Territorial losses of Romania in the Danube delta since 1948
Reeds growing in the Danube Delta

It is characterized by a rich floating and submerse flora (Myriophyllum, Ceratophyllum, Vallisneria etc., under the water; Nymphaea alba, Nuphar lutea, Trapa natans, Alisma plantago etc., floating plants with roots near the lakes' borders; and Salvinia natans, Stratiotes aloides, Spirogyra etc., floating plants without roots, having negative effect for aquatic bioproductivity).

Sabine Lake

Bay on the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana, located approximately 90 mi east of Houston and 160 mi west of Baton Rouge, adjoining the city of Port Arthur.

Satellite image of Sabine Lake, with a portion of Port Arthur visible in the upper left
Sabine Lake viewed from Pleasure Island in Port Arthur
Catch of blue crab, the most commercially important fishery species in Sabine Lake
Petrochemical industry along the Texas shore of Sabine Lake

Increasing salinity has had a negative impact on the diversity and productivity of wetland plants in the estuary.

Pacific oyster

Oyster native to the Pacific coast of Asia.

Pacific oysters prepared for eating
Pacific oysters in Yerseke, Netherlands, are kept alive in large oyster pits after "harvesting", until they are sold. Seawater is pumped in and out, simulating the tide.
Right valve
Left valve

Productivity of the Pacific oyster can be described as the amount of meat produced in relation to the amount of seed planted on cultch.

Food web

Natural interconnection of food chains and a graphical representation of what-eats-what in an ecological community.

A freshwater aquatic food web. The blue arrows show a complete food chain (algae → daphnia → gizzard shad → largemouth bass → great blue heron)
A simplified food web illustrating a three trophic food chain (producers-herbivores-carnivores) linked to decomposers. The movement of mineral nutrients is cyclic, whereas the movement of energy is unidirectional and noncyclic. Trophic species are encircled as nodes and arrows depict the links.
A trophic pyramid (a) and a simplified community food web (b) illustrating ecological relations among creatures that are typical of a northern Boreal terrestrial ecosystem. The trophic pyramid roughly represents the biomass (usually measured as total dry-weight) at each level. Plants generally have the greatest biomass. Names of trophic categories are shown to the right of the pyramid. Some ecosystems, such as many wetlands, do not organize as a strict pyramid, because aquatic plants are not as productive as long-lived terrestrial plants such as trees. Ecological trophic pyramids are typically one of three kinds: 1) pyramid of numbers, 2) pyramid of biomass, or 3) pyramid of energy.
Multitrophic interaction: Euphydryas editha taylori larvae sequester defensive compounds from specific types of plants they consume to protect themselves from bird predators
Energy flow diagram of a frog. The frog represents a node in an extended food web. The energy ingested is utilized for metabolic processes and transformed into biomass. The energy flow continues on its path if the frog is ingested by predators, parasites, or as a decaying carcass in soil. This energy flow diagram illustrates how energy is lost as it fuels the metabolic process that transform the energy and nutrients into biomass.
An expanded three link energy food chain (1. plants, 2. herbivores, 3. carnivores) illustrating the relationship between food flow diagrams and energy transformity. The transformity of energy becomes degraded, dispersed, and diminished from higher quality to lesser quantity as the energy within a food chain flows from one trophic species into another. Abbreviations: I=input, A=assimilation, R=respiration, NU=not utilized, P=production, B=biomass.
Illustration of a range of ecological pyramids, including top pyramid of numbers, middle pyramid of biomass, and bottom pyramid of energy. The terrestrial forest (summer) and the English Channel ecosystems exhibit inverted pyramids.Note: trophic levels are not drawn to scale and the pyramid of numbers excludes microorganisms and soil animals. Abbreviations: P=Producers, C1=Primary consumers, C2=Secondary consumers, C3=Tertiary consumers, S=Saprotrophs.
A four level trophic pyramid sitting on a layer of soil and its community of decomposers.
A three layer trophic pyramid linked to the biomass and energy flow concepts.
Paleoecological studies can reconstruct fossil food-webs and trophic levels. Primary producers form the base (red spheres), predators at top (yellow spheres), the lines represent feeding links. Original food-webs (left) are simplified (right) by aggregating groups feeding on common prey into coarser grained trophic species.
An illustration of a soil food web.
A simplified version of a food web in the Gulf of Naples in eutrophic (Green) and oligotrophic (Blue) summer conditions. In the Green system state, both copepods and microzooplankton exert a strong grazing pressure on phytoplankton, while in the Blue state, copepods increase their predation over microzooplankton, which in turn shifts its predation from phytoplankton to bacterial plankton or picoplankton. These trophic mechanisms stabilize the delivery of organic matter from copepods to fish.
Victor Summerhayes and Charles Elton's 1923 food web of Bear Island (Arrows point to an organism being consumed by another organism).

Heterotrophs consume rather than produce biomass energy as they metabolize, grow, and add to levels of secondary production.

Benguela Current

Broad, northward flowing ocean current that forms the eastern portion of the South Atlantic Ocean gyre.

Benguela Current in the South Atlantic Gyre
The courses of the warm Agulhas current (red) along the east coast of South Africa, and the cold Benguela current (blue) along the west coast, originating in the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean respectively. Note that the Benguela current does not originate from Antarctic waters in the South Atlantic Ocean, but from upwelling of water from the cold depths of the Atlantic Ocean against the west coast of the continent. The two currents do not "meet" anywhere along the south coast of Africa.
The red areas show major upwelling areas. The Benguela Current is on the southwest coast of Africa.
Map of the mean concentration of chlorophyll-a in the oceans surrounding Southern Africa. Note the very high concentrations along the west coast, due to the upwelling of nutrient-rich water from the cold depths of the South Atlantic Ocean, forming the Benguela Current.

While upwelling promotes abundant primary and secondary production in the upper parts of the water column and near the coast, deeper waters with limited oxygen exchange create hypoxic areas called oxygen minimum zones at the coastal shelf and upper coastal slope.

Littoral zone

Part of a sea, lake, or river that is close to the shore.

The littoral zone of an ocean is the area close to the shore and extending out to the edge of the continental shelf.
The intertidal zone of a beach is also part of the littoral zone.
Estuaries are also in the littoral zone.
The three primary zones of a lake are the littoral zone, the open-water (also called the photic or limnetic) zone, and the deep-water (also called the aphotic or profundal) zone.
Shoreline of a lake with nearly unvegetated littoral zone

Despite this, productivity is high in this zone.


Large geologic landform that rises from the ocean floor that does not reach to the water's surface , and thus is not an island, islet or cliff-rock.

Diagram of a submarine eruption (key: 1. Water vapor cloud 2. Water 3. Stratum 4. Lava flow 5. Magma conduit 6. Magma chamber 7. Dike 8. Pillow lava) [[:File:Submarine Eruption-numbers.svg|Click to enlarge]]
Pillow lava, a type of basalt flow that originates from lava-water interactions during submarine eruptions
Grenadier fish (Coryphaenoides sp.) and bubblegum coral (Paragorgia arborea) on the crest of Davidson Seamount. These are two species attracted to the seamount; Paragorgia arborea in particular grows in the surrounding area as well, but nowhere near as profusely.
Because of overfishing at their seamount spawning grounds, stocks of orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) have plummeted; experts say that it could take decades for the species to restore itself to its former numbers.
Coral earrings of this type are often made from coral harvested off seamounts.
Graph showing the rise in global sea level (in mm) as measured by the NASA/CNES oceanic satellite altimeter TOPEX/Poseidon (left) and its follow-on mission Jason-1
USS San Francisco in dry dock in Guam in January 2005, following its collision with an uncharted seamount. The damage was extensive and the submarine was just barely salvaged.
Bathymetric mapping of part of Davidson Seamount. The dots indicate significant coral nurseries.

CenSeam is intended to provide the framework needed to prioritise, integrate, expand and facilitate seamount research efforts in order to significantly reduce the unknown and build towards a global understanding of seamount ecosystems, and the roles they have in the biogeography, biodiversity, productivity and evolution of marine organisms.

Flooded grasslands and savannas

Terrestrial biome of the WWF biogeographical system, consisting of large expanses or complexes of flooded grasslands.

The Pantanal, in central South America
Extent of flooded grasslands and savannas

However, the relative importance of these habitat types for these birds as well as more vagile taxa typically varies as the availability of water and productivity annually and seasonally shifts among complexes of smaller and larger wetlands throughout a region.