Ecosystems are open systems, they receive solar energy and other materials from outside the ecosystem and migration of animals is also witnessed.

I read Physics uptil class XII.

I found this book 'Environment By Peter H. Raven, Linda R. Berg, David M. Hassenzahl' that says that when energy is transformed from one form to another some amount of energy is lost as heat.

Should this statement be appropriate for the 2nd law of thermodynamics for an open system?

I found some other books though that mention something about 2nd law of thermodynamics for open system:

1.Thermodynamics of Non-Equilibrium Processes for Chemists, pg-9

2.Towards a Thermodynamic Theory for Ecological Systems, pg-41

3.Ecosystem Ecology, pg-35

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    $\begingroup$ Minor comment to the post (v3): Please consider to mention explicitly author, title, etc. of link, so it is possible to reconstruct link in case of link rot. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Jan 11 '17 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ "...when energy is transformed from one form to another some amount of energy is lost as heat..." I don't see how this is analogous to Carnot's principle. That book Thermodynamics of Non-Equilibrium Processes for Chemists seems good for entropy analysis of open systems. $\endgroup$ – Deep Jan 12 '17 at 9:33

A formulation of the laws of thermodynamics valid also for open systems is given in my paper Phenomenological thermodynamics in a nutshell. The version given there is not dynamical, i.e., it only contrasts the equilibrium and the non-equilibrium properties. The second law takes the form that, depending on the form of coupling to the environment, one or the other form of free energy is minimal in equilibrium.

For dynamical studies one needs a full nonequilibrium formulation which, in the context of ecosystems, must account for birth and death processes. Here is a sample paper. For a historical overview see here.


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