Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

3. The source of biodiversity

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

Two analogies are useful in unravelling the force behind biodiversity: the waterfall and the wellspring. In nature, water wells up out of the ground in artesian springs where the groundwater is under pressure. This pressure forces the water in the artesian spring upwards. In evolution, the enforced increase in numbers is the pressure that drives a struggle for survival. Food is an important cause of competition between organisms, and food chains are important pathways of energy flowing through ecosystems. Food chains efficiently convert the high-grade energy of sunlight into low-grade energy in water vapour (plants give off a lot of water in the form of water vapour during their growth) and excrement. This proceeds in a series of alternating wellsprings and waterfalls, creating more organisms which in turn intensify the process.

Keywords: biodiversity; ecosystem; low-grade energy; sunlight; water vapour; waterfall; wellspring

10.1163/9789004277977_004
/content/books/b9789004277977s004
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
10
5
Loading

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    The Pursuit of Complexity — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation