How is sunlight a limiting factor in water ecosystems?

Question:

How is sunlight a limiting factor in water ecosystems?

The Sun - Bringer of Life:

Our sun provides Earth with a multitude of benefits. It provides adequate capable of supporting life; not too hot and not too cold. It provides light for photosynthesis. Along with the earth's rotation, it produces seasons that ecosystems have adapted to optimize in their life cycles. And much more.

Answer and Explanation:

Water ecosystems are built on producers developing for primary consumers to eat and secondary consumers to eat primary consumers and so forth. The development of producers, which make their own food like plants making sugars from carbon dioxide and water via photosynthesis or other photosynthetic organisms, is the foundation of an ecosystem and food chain that could not take place without the sun. The sun not only provides light for photosynthesis but also heat for a livable environment at temperatures warm enough to support chemical and metabolic activities. Without the light and warmth of the sun, the chances of producers developing is very low. Without the sunlight reaching the upper regions of an aquatic ecosystem leading to producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, and the like, there would be no matter for decomposers to utilize that live deeper in the water column or in the sediments at the bottom. These decomposers are needed to complete the cycles necessary to support the aquatic ecosystem.

Although life has developed at the bottom of the earth's oceans near thermal vents that use the earth's warmth and chemistry to support life, the diversity of life we have both in and out of the water would not be possible without the sun and its contributions.


Learn more about this topic:

Primary Production in Aquatic Ecosystems: Light & Nutrient Limitations

from Campbell Biology: Online Textbook Help

Chapter 55 / Lesson 3
7.1K

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