Ratio indirect/direct effects
Ecosystem development is accomplished by three growth forms (in addition to boundary growth), which support the results in Table 6.6:
I. Biomass growth is the increase in physical structure of the ecosystem, which occurs primarily by the capture and conversion of incoming solar radiation into organic compounds. This first stage implies that more exergy is degraded due to an increased demand constructing and maintaining biomass. The most dynamic indicator of this growth form is the eco-exergy degradation, although the eco-exergy storage, throughflow, and ascendency also will increase. While there is an upper limit to the amount of solar radiation available, and to the amount that can be harvested by ecosystems, system development continues through Growth Forms II and III.
II. Network growth entails a richer, more complex interaction structure, which through increased cycling offers better utilization of the available energy. In turn, both throughflow and exergy storage increase without an increase in exergy degradation. It means that specific exergy degradation and specific entropy production are decreasing during this stage. Throughflow, eco-exergy, specific eco-exergy, and ascendency can all be used as dynamic indicators for this growth form.
III. Information growth represents an increase in the genetic and organizational diversity in the ecosystem. One way this occurs is through an increase in number of species with longer and more complex life histories, larger body size, and complex physiologies. This implies that, similar to Growth Form II, throughflow and exergy storage increase while specific exergy degradation and entropy production decrease. Eco-exergy, specific eco-exergy, and ascendency can all be used as indicators for this growth form, with specific eco-exergy capturing the genetic information and ascendency the organizational information.
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.