Manuel Zetina-Rejón, Nancy J. Brown-Peterson, Pablo del Monte-Luna, Victor Hugo Cruz-Escalona


The trophic aspect of ecology has been studied for more than six decades; in this contribution we address theoretical aspects relative to the concept of trophic ow at the ecosystem level and from the thermodynamics point of view. Much of this knowledge is greatly based on the consideration that ecosystems are functional units that are worth global study. Undoubtedly, a key element in the study of ecosystems relates to energy circulation through food webs. Although trophic ecology has been a su ciently studied topic, we have not found a formal description of the trophic ow concept. Thus, this work proposes a concept based on movements of matter and energy amongst the biological components of the ecosystem. We include Odum's universal model of energy ow to synthesize the concept of trophic ow in the ecosystem. Additionally, we analyze the ecosystem thermodynamics, we discuss the characteristics of ecosystems as open and dissipation systems, and we indicate which types of mechanisms can regulate trophic ow in ecosystem. Finally, we discuss how the study of trophic ow is helpful for characterization of ecosystems structure and function, and it is important to consider it in ecosystems-based management as well. 


ecosystem; trophic flow; food web; thermodynamics; dissipative structures

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ECOSISTEMAS Y RECURSOS AGROPECUARIOS(ECOSYSTEMS AND AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES), Year 6, Issue 16, January-April 2019, is a triannual journal edited, published and distributed by the Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, Av. Universidad s/n, Zona de la Cultura, Col. Magisterial, Villahermosa, Centro, Tabasco, CP. 86040, Tel (993) 358 15 00,,, Editor-in-chief: Efraín de la Cruz Lázaro. Copyright No. 04-2013-120514213600-203, ISSN: 2007-901X, both granted by the Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor (National Institute of Copyright), with certificate of title and content No. 16540 granted by the Secretaría de Gobernación(Ministry of the Interior). Individual responsible for the last update of this issue was journal Editorial Assistant Lic. Misael Hernández Martínez, Av. Universidad s/n, Zona de la Cultura, Col. Magisterial, Vhsa, Centro, Tabasco, Mex. C.P. 86040; date of last modification, December 31, 2018.

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