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Free Content Trophic vs. Detrital Energetics: Is Detritus Productive?

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Conventional definitions of productivity describe work done by organisms in an inert environment. In contrast, modern ecosystem theory defines work done on an environment co-evolving with organisms. Respiration is oxidative phosphorylation driven by assimilation. The intrinsic bio-energetic potential of phosphorylation co-evolved with prokaryotes in the Proterozoic Eon. Trophic-dynamic data indicate that predation, interpreted as assimilation driven by ingestion, is a second bio-energetic mechanism which co-evolved with eukaryotes. The observation that detritus occurs in the absence of predators does not mean that predation denotes the absence of detritus. Thermodynamically, predation may require detritus.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1984-11-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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