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By David H. Miller

Power on the floor of the Earth: An advent to the Energetics of Ecosystems (International Geophysics sequence) [Paperback] [May 28, 1981] Miller, David H. ... 0124971520

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Additional info for Energy at the Surface of the Earth: An Introduction to the Energetics of Ecosystems

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It is also the most variable, and its variations are a principal generator of variations in other energy fluxes. Two characteristics of the beam are important to ecosystems: (a) its high thermodynamic quality, which means that its energy is easily convertible to other useful forms, and (b) its changing pattern of intensity. NATURE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SOLAR BEAM Because the mass of hydrogen that constitutes the bulk of the sun exceeds the critical mass, thermonuclear reactions proceed deep within it and produce energy that works its way by radiative and convective processes to the surface, from whence it is radiated outward into space.

Roughness Foliage characteristically is open to ventilation because the inflow of atmospheric carbon dioxide is as necessary to the plant as the receipt of chemically effective radiation from the sun. Openness itself generates turbulence in the air stream, particularly where some members of an ecosystem project into the air. The roughness length zo, a parameter defined from the logarithmic profile of wind speed above a surface, is an index to atmospheric coupling of an ecosystem. The value of zo is a few millimeters at smooth vegetation, 140 mm at the canopy of root crops (Sutton, 1955, p.

It can be visualized by thinking of a canopy as a set of shelves so spaced that a certain shelf area is located in each cubic volume or as a frequency curve (Gary, 1978). It is generally employed in studies of ventilation of plant communities (Ross, 1975b) and can be determined by camera techniques (Aber, 1979). Figure 1 (Lemon, 1967) shows leaf-area profiles in corn in New York and clover in New Zealand. 8 m) where leaf-area L E A F A R E A DENSITY, m 2 m - 3 Fig. 1. 5 m. 5 m2 mP3. 5 m). These profiles express fundamental differences in the structure of the two ecosystems, which affect such processes as the ways the crop extracts momentum from the air and photosynthetically active radiation suffuses the chloroplasts.

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