Energy flow in the ecosystem, Science

Energy Flow in the Ecosystem

The principal source of  energy for any ecosystem is sunlight. All food materials that we or other animals consume are manufactured directly or indirectly by plants. Think of your breakfast, bread  is made of a cereal that  is produced from plant material, egg from hen which has fed on plant products; and milk from cow which has consumed grass or fodder derived from plants. In a nutshell, the energy that we obtain from plants either by  burning wood or by  eating them, represents the solar energy trapped by  the plants. We are dependent on the stored resources of solar energy. When we eat meat, we obtain energy that had been stored by plants several years before and then  taken up by an  animal like a goat through grazing. When we cut firewood for fuel, we obtain energy accumulated and stored by trees for perhaps a century or more. When we bum coal or petroleum, we obtain solar energy stored by  plant life, millions of years ago. Now  let us  trace the energy flow through an ecosystem. This is represented diagramatically in Fig.  

 

1349_Energy Flow in the Ecosystem.png

Notice that the energy from the producer to the last level has decreased considerably. The energy passed on to the next trophic level is represented by  letter E of  three different sizes, each by  its size indicates the comparative  amount of  energy. The arrows in the upper half of the diagram indicate  the loss of energy in the form of heat given out by different organisms. The arrows in the lower half  show the energy loss via the wastes secreted and energy trapped in dead bodies of  the organisms. Decomposers use these wastes and dead bodies as sources of  food and derive energy from them. They also give out some unused heat energy. Energy flowing through an ecosystem is thus first captured by  the producers. From the producers the energy passes to various consumers, via food. At  the end of the chain we  find that very  little energy is left for the last trophic level, because some energy is always lost in going from one level to the next. This loss of energy limits the number of trophic levelsin the ecosystem,  and so they are seldom more than five. This also clearly shows  that why  the steps  in a food chain are limited to four or five.  

Posted Date: 9/28/2012 4:54:45 AM | Location : United States







Related Discussions:- Energy flow in the ecosystem, Assignment Help, Ask Question on Energy flow in the ecosystem, Get Answer, Expert's Help, Energy flow in the ecosystem Discussions

Write discussion on Energy flow in the ecosystem
Your posts are moderated
Related Questions
Explain the Posterior Pituitary The posterior pituitary gland or neurohypophysis is located immediately behind the anterior pituitary gland, as you may have seen in Figure.

PRECAUTIONS FOR FIRE PREVENTION : In the event of fire or explosion occurring there should be a prearranged plan of the necessary action to be taken. All personnel must be made aw


a. A point source of 60 Co emits equal numbers of photons of 1.17 and 1.33 MeV giving a flux density (i.e. fluence rate) of 5.7 * 10 9 photon cm -2 s -1 at a specified location

in a reaction 5.3g of sodium carbonate reacted with 6g of ethanic acid. theproducts were 2.2 g of carbon dioxide , 0.9g water and 8.2 g of sodium ethanoate, show that these observa

The Ptolemaic System: The theoretical n'mdel of the universe given by the Greeks had a stationary Earth at its centre, around which the Sun, the Moon and the planets moved in c

What is necessary to restore the Marshall wetland in Margibi County, Liberia? The Marshall wetland has several features , including mangrove swamp, which is being degraded in some

Explain the Objectives of amino acid and nucleotide metabolis ? Here you will be able to: 1. explain how amino acids are catabolized in the body, 2. describe the synthesis of u

Explain the Ventricular Fibrillation This is a fatal condition in which the heart beats like a bag of worms and the patient may die in a couple of hours, if the action is not t

The Milky Way Galaxy: The white band  stretched across the night  sky  is, in  fact, a partial view of  the Milky Way Galaxy. Being inside  the Galaxy, we can see it only in