Light and Photosynthesis in Aquatic Ecosystems by John T. O. Kirk

By John T. O. Kirk

Penetration of sunshine into aquatic ecosystems is tremendously tormented by the absorption and scattering procedures that occur in the water. therefore inside any water physique, the depth and colour of the sunshine box alterations drastically with intensity and this has a marked impact on either the complete productiveness of, and the categories of plant that predominate in, the surroundings. This research provides an built-in and coherent therapy of the main function of sunshine in aquatic ecosystems. It levels from the physics of sunshine transmission inside water, throughout the biochemistry and body structure of aquatic photosynthesis, to the ecological relationships that rely on the underwater mild weather.

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Extra resources for Light and Photosynthesis in Aquatic Ecosystems

Sample text

624 Radiance from the sky decreases markedly with increasing angular distance from the Sun; it reaches its minimum in that region of the celestial hemisphere approximately 90° from the Sun and then rises again towards the horizon. Contrary to what casual observation might suggest, the radiance distribution beneath a heavily overcast sky is not uniform. In fact, the radiance at the zenith is 2-2J times that at the horizon. 4. The radiance under a sky with broken cloud must necessarily vary with angle in a highly discontinuous manner, and no useful general description can be given.

We therefore partition the total scattering coefficient, b, into a. 39) /2 The variation of £(0) with 0 tells us the absolute amount of scattering at different angles, per unit pathlength in a given medium. If we wish to compare the shape of the angular distribution of scattering in different media separately from the absolute amount of scattering that occurs, then it is convenient to use the normalized volume scattering function, j8(0), sometimes called the scattering phase function, which is that function (units, sr" 1 ) obtained by dividing the volume scattering function by the total scattering coefficient The integral of £(0) over all solid angles is equal to 1.

The change in angle (Fig. 15) sin 0W «a where «w and «a are the refractive indices of water and air, respectively. The ratio of the refractive index of water to that of air is a function of temperature, salt concentration and the wavelength of the light in question. 33 for «w/«a is close enough for both sea and fresh water at normal ambient temperatures and for light of any wavelength within the photosynthetic range. As Fig. 11 shows, the effect of refraction is to move the light closer to the vertical in the aquatic medium than it was in air.

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