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 - 6

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 evaluation:

Component A evaluation: Answer to 2 individual tasks, MT_1 and MT_2 (25% Final Grade), delivery of 1 individual research paper with a weight of 25% in the final grade.

Assessment of component B: completion of a work (50% final grade)

Final classification: 0.25*MT1+2+0.25*workA+0.5*workB

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

Students who do not pass the continuous assessment will be able to take the exam,

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

Students who wish to improve the mark in the discipline will have to apply for improvement during exam time.

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: