Energy flow and biological pyramids


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Energy flow and biological pyramids

  1. 1. Energy Flow Pyramid of Energy Pyramid of Biomass
  2. 2. Definition of terms Trophic Level- includes a group of organisms that obtain food in a similar manner
  3. 3. Producers primary consumers secondary consumers Tertiary consumers Quaternary consumers Decomposers
  4. 4. Laws of Thermodynamics Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can be transformed into different forms. When energy is transformed from one form to another, there is always some loss of energy from the system usually as low grade heat.
  5. 5. 10% Law of Energy Transfer(Lindemann 1942) during the transfer of energy from organic food from one trophic level to the next, only about ten percent of the of energy from organic matter is stored as flesh. The remaining is lost during transfer, broken down in respiration, or lost to incomplete digestion by higher trophic levels.
  6. 6. Only 10% of energy at a particular trophic level is incorporated to the next trophic level. Rapid loss of energy explains why food chain rarely has 5 links.
  7. 7. Principles of Energy flow 1. Ecosystems are dependent upon the solar energy flow and finite pool of nutrients 2. The primary source of energy for the ecosystem is the sunlight. 3. All Energy content of organic matter is eventually lost to the environment as heat.
  8. 8. Producer Primary consumer Secondary consumer Tertiary consumer Quaternary consumer Decomposer heat heat heat heat heat heat
  9. 9. Ecological Pyramids Pyramid of Energy Pyramid of Biomass
  10. 10. Pyramid of Energy- shows that as you go higher the trophic levels, the amount of energy decreases
  11. 11. Pyramid of Energy Tertiary Consumer Secondary consumer Primary consumer Producer
  12. 12. Energy of a trophic level utilized Producing food Growth and development including regeneration Not utilized about 10% for animals and 20% for plants Stored as flesh (becomes part of the biomass) Available for the next trophic level
  13. 13. Pyramid of Biomass Biomass- quantitative estimate to the total mass of living material - amount of given energy at a given time -standing crop Measuring biomass: total volume, dry weight or live weight
  14. 14. Pyramid of Biomass- also shows that the biomass decreases with each level of food chain
  15. 15. Secondary Consumer- 2 snakes (40 grams Primary Consumer- 30 mice (500 grams) Producer- 100 m² of grasses (10,000 grams)
  16. 16. Biomass of a trophic level Not consumed consumed Digested Body building growth Gained by the next trophic level Released as: Heat Inorganic nutrients Undigested Undigested fecal waste Trophic detritus
  17. 17. • Only uses samples from populations, so difficult to measure biomass exactly. • Time of year that biomass is measured affects the result.
  18. 18. • Organisms of the same size do not necessarily have the same energy content. • Inverted pyramids may result from producers with high turnover rate.