Matter comes in three states (solid, liquid and gas) and again, cannot be created or destroyed. The total amount of matter on the Earth is constant. Matter (and especially the biochemicals found in living organisms) can contain stored chemical energy, so a cow contains biomass (matter) as well as chemical energy stored in its biomass
All living organisms need energy and matter from their environment. Matter is needed to make new cells (growth) and to create now organisms (reproduction), while energy is needed to drive all the chemical and physical processes of life, such as biosynthesis, active transport and movement.
Overall, the rate of energy capture by photosynthesis – conversion of carbon dioxide solar energy directly into Life (primary production) or indirectly into food (Bryant & Frigaard 2006)- is immense, approximately 100 terawatts (Nealson & Conrad 1999). Roughly it is estimated that the conversion of solar energy which reaches our globe is converted via primary production in green biomass and energy at an efficiency of ≈ 7 % by mainly:
- Phytoplankton with a world production of around > 30 x 10*6 t C-1.
- The recently “rediscovered and stipulated unforeseen crop of the future”: the seaweeds. On a global scale around accounting for their patchy distribution a world production of around 2.55 x 10**6 t C-1.
- “Common” terrestrial C3 & C4 crops. From Figure 1 we can see that ≈ ⅔ of our globe is ocean, which emphasizes the urgently need to have reliable primary production data of the terrestrial as well as the oceanic primary production processes.
Our planet Earth consist for 1/3 part out of land and for 2/3 part out of ocean. Still they both deliver almost equal amounts of biomass On a Global scale : Terrestrial 56.4 billion ton C ≈ Oceanic 48.5 billion ton C
Photosynthesis not only directs to the “flux” of solar energy into Earths ecosystems via the food chain. But it also implies its temporarily fixation as carbon in all organic compounds within organisms’ bodies. In ecological terms speaking a “food-chain pyramid”. In all, photosynthetic organisms convert around 100-115 petagrams of carbon into biomass per year. Based on the assumption our primary production as green biomass has to grow with around 70% for the ≈9.2 billion people at the midst of the 21st century 80 petagrams of seaweed carbon needs to be produced.