Mass and Energy Balances of Biomass Production


Acquisition of knowledge, ability and expertise (1) Energy transfer, ecosystems productivity and characterization of ecosystems dynamics; (2) Interaction between the biomass production and the dynamics of biogeochemical cycles.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Luísa Almaça da Cruz Fernando


Weekly - 4

Total - 56

Teaching language



Basic background on ecology.


A. Beeby (1993) Applying Ecology, Springer, 456 p

 E. I. Newman (2001) Applied Ecology & Environmental Management, 2nd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell Inc., 396 p

 G.R. McPherson, Stephen DeStefano (2003) Applied Ecology and Natural Resource Management, CambridgeUniversity Press, 180 p

J. P. Grime (2002) Plant Strategies, Vegetation Processes and Ecosystem Properties, 2nd Edition, Wiley, 456 p


Teaching method

Theoretical sessions with datashow. Theoretical-practical sessions for solving problems. Case study presentations.

Evaluation method

Continuous assessment:

Evaluation of theoretical: 2 individual mini-tests (MT), MT_1 (25% of the final grade); MT_2 (25% of the final grade).

Evaluation of the practical component: delivery of two essays conducted in groups (WG), each with a weight of 25% of the final grade.

Final rating: 0.25 * Mini-test1 +0.25 Mini-test2  + 0.25 * WG1 +0.25*WG2

Approval with a minimum score of 9.5 (scale of 20).

students who do not pass their continuous assessment examination may go to the final exam. Classification in this case equals: 0.50 * exam note * +0.25*WG1+0.25*WG2.

Approval with a minimum score of 9.5 (scale of 20).

 Students who wish to improve the mark in this discipline will have to register for exam. The note of the practical component is not likely to be improved

Subject matter

1. Levels of organization of the biological structures and the respective interaction on biocenose. Production and productivity. Global balance of energy on Earth.

2. Energy transfer and ecosystems productivity. Biomass and energy transfer. Primary (gross and net) and secondary productivity.

3. Ecosystems dynamics. Structural modifications. Mankind interventions for the development of maximum productivity.

4. Productivity and biomass on the biosphere ecosystems. Oceans and forests (decidous temperate, rain tropical, boreal, steppees, savannas).

5. Biogeochemical cycles: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorous and hydrologic.


Programs where the course is taught: