Ecosystem biogeochemistry considered as a distributed metabolic network ordered by maximum entropy production Vallino, Joseph J. 2010-04-14T18:30:41Z 2010-04-14T18:30:41Z 2009-09-18
dc.description Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of The Royal Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365 (2010): 1417-1427, doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0272. en_US
dc.description.abstract We examine the application of the maximum entropy production principle for describing ecosystem biogeochemistry. Since ecosystems can be functionally stable despite changes in species composition, we utilize a distributed metabolic network for describing biogeochemistry, which synthesizes generic biological structures that catalyze reaction pathways, but is otherwise organism independent. Allocation of biological structure and regulation of biogeochemical reactions is determined via solution of an optimal control problem in which entropy production is maximized. However, because synthesis of biological structures cannot occur if entropy production is maximized instantaneously, we propose that information stored within the metagenome allows biological systems to maximize entropy production when averaged over time. This differs from abiotic systems that maximize entropy production at a point in space-time, which we refer to as the steepest descent pathway. It is the spatiotemporal averaging that allows biological systems to outperform abiotic processes in entropy production, at least in many situations. A simulation of a methanotrophic system is used to demonstrate the approach. We conclude with a brief discussion on the implications of viewing ecosystems as self organizing molecular machines that function to maximize entropy production at the ecosystem level of organization. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The work presented here was funded by the PIE-LTER program (NSF OCE-0423565), as well as from NSF CBET-0756562, NSF EF-0928742 and NASA Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology (NNG05GN61G). en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Biogeochemistry en_US
dc.subject Entropy en_US
dc.subject Free energy en_US
dc.subject Maximum entropy production en_US
dc.subject Ecosystem en_US
dc.subject Metabolic networks en_US
dc.subject Self organization en_US
dc.subject Living systems en_US
dc.subject Dissipative structures en_US
dc.subject Life en_US
dc.subject Optimal control en_US
dc.title Ecosystem biogeochemistry considered as a distributed metabolic network ordered by maximum entropy production en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US
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