What are the main components of the biosphere? Structure of the biosphere and its functions
The ecological consciousness of mankind is growing. It is a fact. There are few people who do not know what the biosphere is. From what basic components it consists, how it develops, what its functions and future are - all of these issues will be considered in the article.
The concept of "biosphere" was introduced in 1875 by the Austrianthe biologist Eduard Süss (1831-1914). Developed the theory, revealed the main components of what the biosphere, the Soviet scientist and the first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863-1945) consists of. His theories were very revolutionary for the early 20th century. For him, he was arrested twice. The world public has paid tribute to the theories of the scientist about the unity of all life on the planet, and it is thanks to the support of the world community that Vladimir Vernadsky did not die in the camps of the Gulag.
"Film of Life"
The term itself comes from two Greek words βιοςand σφαῖρα, which means "life" and "sphere." V. Vernadsky called this shell of the Earth "a fragile film of life." In a broader sense, the biosphere is the domain of existence of life on the cosmic body. And what about the other planets? And while we do not know about the existence of life on other bodies of the universe, the concept can be applied to them. Astrophysicists, for example, are considering the possibility of the existence of the biosphere in the ocean of the satellite of Jupiter.
What is the biosphere, what components does it consist ofis it on our planet? The answers to these questions are given by modern science. On our planet, the biosphere, its components and boundaries have already been determined. This shell of the planet includes the biotic component and abiotic and covers all geophysical shells of the earth. This is the sphere of the planet where living organisms live, which is exposed to their effects, is occupied with the products of their vital activity. This is the ecosystem of our Earth, where the natural conditions of existence are closely related to all forms of life.
Borders of living film
The upper limit of the biosphere is the whole atmosphereup to the ozone layer (15-20 km). Theoretically above this level, life must die from the ultraviolet radiation of the Sun. But in 2017, viable spores of bacteria were found on the outer skin of the space station. Therefore, apparently, the upper limit of the existence of life can be and 400 km, and maybe more. The same situation occurs with the lower level in the lithosphere and hydrosphere. In the soil, bacteria were found at a depth of 11 kilometers, and in the aquatic environment, at the deepest point of the ocean, the Challenger abyss of the Mariinsky Trench, at a depth of almost 11 kilometers, living organisms were found. But no one can yet say for sure that we have reached the very bottom of the ocean. All that is between these boundaries is the place of life of organisms.
Mass of the biosphere
Despite such wide borders, the majorityliving beings occupy a fairly thin layer several kilometers deep and up to a few tens of meters. In relation to the mass of the entire planet, the mass of the biosphere is only 0.1%, and the mass of living organisms is even smaller - one billionth of the planet's mass. If we could distribute all life on the surface of the planet, then it would be a layer of only 2 millimeters. But such quantities have a colossal influence on the Earth.
So what are the main components of the biosphere?
Briefly enumerate the main four substances of the biosphere:
- Alive - all living organisms that inhabit the Earth.
- Biogenic - everything that creates or processes organisms.
- Cosmic - all products, to the formation of which living organisms are not involved.
- Biocosic - everything that is formed with the leading participation of organisms, but in a dynamic equilibrium with inert processes.
And there are still substances in radioactive decay, atoms scattered in space - and all these are components of the biosphere's structure. Its functions are determined by the composition.
Modern science distinguishes five main functions of the biosphere:
- Accumulation of solar energy by autotrophs in the process of photosynthesis and its redistribution.
- Migration and transformation of gases of biogenic origin.
- The concentration of nutrients by living organisms.
- Destruction of dead organics and the return of inorganic substances to the circulation.
- Change in chemical parameters of the environment in conditions favorable for life.
Evolution of the biosphere
Stages of development of components of the biosphere are calledbioevolution. This process has begun since the appearance of life on the planet - from the appearance of the first eukaryotic (having a core) algae and bacteria 3,5 billion years ago. And evolution continues, changing the face of the planet every second.
Biosphere, noosphere, technosphere
Vladimir Vernadsky believed that the evolution of the biosphereIs the transition to a new level. And this is the noosphere (the sphere of the mind). This is the biosphere, which is reasonably controlled by mankind. Today many biologists introduce the concept of the technosphere, defining it as the whole set of achievements of scientific and technological progress: from shovels to spacecrafts. It is believed that the technosphere permeates the entire living shell, radically changing it and breaking the natural cycles of the matter's cycle in nature. That is why since the 1990s of the last century a number of international documents have been adopted that translate the development of our civilization into sustainable development and ecological progress.
And it does not matter which basic componentsthe biosphere is for humanity, the only way to survive is to try to preserve the living film of our planet. To cherish and take care of it is the mission of mankind as the fastest factor in the evolution of the biosphere.