World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Productivity (ecology)

Article Id: WHEBN0025222830
Reproduction Date:

Title: Productivity (ecology)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Biomass (ecology), Ecosystem, Functional group (ecology), Community (ecology), Landscape ecology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Productivity (ecology)

In ecology, productivity or production refers to the rate of generation of biomass in an ecosystem. It is usually expressed in units of mass per unit surface (or volume) per unit time, for instance grams per square metre per day (g m-2 d-1). The mass unit may relate to dry matter or to the mass of carbon generated. Productivity of autotrophs such as plants is called primary productivity, while that of heterotrophs such as animals is called secondary productivity.[1]

Primary production

sugars, although chemosynthesis represents a small fraction of primary production.

Organisms responsible for primary production include land plants, marine algae and some bacteria (including cyanobacteria).

Secondary production

Secondary production is the generation of trophic levels, and represents the quantity of new tissue created through the use of assimilated food. Secondary production is sometimes defined to only include consumption of primary producers by herbivorous consumers[2] (with tertiary production referring to carnivorous consumers),[3] but is more commonly defined to include all biomass generation by heterotrophs.[1]

Organisms responsible for secondary production include animals, protists, fungi and many bacteria.

Secondary production can be estimated through a number of different methods including increment summation, removal summation, the instantaneous growth method and the Allen curve method.[4] The choice between these methods will depend on the assumptions of each and the ecosystem under study. For instance, whether cohorts should be distinguished, whether linear mortality can be assumed and whether population growth is exponential.

See also


  1. ^ a b Allaby, Michael, ed. (2006) [1994]. A Dictionary of Ecology (Third ed.). Oxford, UK:  
  2. ^ """Definition of term: "Secondary production. The Glossary Table.  
  3. ^ """Definition of term: "Tertiary production. The Glossary Table.  
  4. ^ Allen, K.R. (1951). "The Horokiwi Stream: A study of a trout population, N.Z.". Mar. Dep. Fish. Bull. 10: 1–238. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.