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Dynamics of Biological Systems, Chapter 5: Basics of Plant Growth

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Chapter 5, Pages 5.1-5.43 (doi:10.13031/2013.34920) in Chapter 5, pp. 5.1-5.43 . Copyright 2003 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Mich.
Authors:   John S. Cundiff and Kyle R. Mankin
Keywords:   Headings. 5.1 Introduction, 5.2 Basics of Photosynthesis, 5.2.1 Photochemical Process (Light Reactions), 5.2.2 Diffusional Process, 5.2.3 Enzymatic Process (Dark Reactions), 5.3 Dealing with Photorespiration: C4 Adaptation to Photosynthesis, 5.3.1 C4 Photochemical Process Enhancement, 5.3.2 C4 Diffusional Process Enhancement, 5.4 Dealing with Drought: CAM Adaptation to Photosynthesis

First paragraph. The sun is the ultimate energy source for the biosphere. Using the terminology of the second law of thermodynamics, this statement is equivalent to saying solar energy decreases the entropy of the biosphere. Processes in the biosphere continually lose heat to their surroundings, and without the continuous influx of solar energy, energy-exchange processes (and thus life) on earth would cease. Solar energy can be a direct input to natural and agricultural ecosystems (as solar radiation) or an indirect input (as wind, heat, rain, water flow, etc.). In agricultural ecosystems, fossil fuels (a very concentrated form of solar energy) also serve as significant energy inputs. Ecosystem outputs include heat and various processed forms of energy (such as food and organic waste products).

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