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Interlude A
Unit 2:
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Interlude B
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Interlude G

Ecosystems with Many Plant Species Produce More and Survive Threats Better
Nature, June 2006

Ecosystems containing many different plant species not only are more productive, but are better able to withstand and recover from climate extremes, pests, and disease over long periods, according to a new study. It is the first experiment to gather enough data—over a sufficient time and in a controlled environment—to confirm a 50-year scientific debate about whether biodiversity stabilizes ecosystems.

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Active Reading Questions

  1. fiogf49gjkf0d
    Ecosystems differ from communities in that an ecosystem also takes into account
    a) the physical environment.
    b) the genetic makeup.
    c) the food web.
    d) none of the above
  2. fiogf49gjkf0d
    Energy capture in an ecosystem is often described in terms of net primary productivity. Which of the following best represents the hypothesis the researchers were using during the study described in this article?
    a) As the number of species of plants in an ecosystem decreases, the net primary productivity of that ecosystem increases.
    b) As the number of species of plants in an ecosystem increases, the net primary productivity of that ecosystem increases.
    c) The number of species in an ecosystem has no impact on net primary productivity.
    d) None of the above.
  3. fiogf49gjkf0d
    Net primary productivity is often measured in terms of biomass. The researchers state that perennial prairie plants have more biomass than crop plants. Why is this?
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