How energy is tranferred in an Ecosystem

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Trophic Level Pyramid

Every day in nature energy is being transferred and moved around. Energy from the sun is transferred to plants, energy from plants is transferred to insects, rodents receive energy from the insects.

Let's take a look at an energy pyramid of a typical ecosystem

You will find producers at the bottom of an energy pyramid. Examples of producers are plants and some protists, and bacteria. Producers use sunlight and photosynthesis in order to produce glucose which can be converted to energy. For example, plants take sunlight plus carbon dioxide and water to produce glucose and oxygen. 

Producers make up the base of the energy pyramid.

The next layer includes primary consumers. These organisms are herbivores because they eat producers. Examples are insects, cows, horses, and other organisms that eat plants and d not eat other animals.

The next level includes your secondary consumers which include carnivores or omnivores. Carnivores consume primary consumers and omnivores eat producers and primary consumers. Examples include frogs, lizards, snakes, and many birds.

Above the secondary consumers are the tertiary consumers. Tertiary which means, the third level consumes secondary consumers. This level includes carnivores. Examples include wolves, lions, hawks, sharks, and polar bears, and many more.

Each layer of the energy pyramid is called a trophic level. As you move up each level roughly 90% of the energy is lost. Much of it is lost as heat so only 10% is transferred to each layer.

This is one reason ecosystems have a large number of producers and a small number of tertiary consumers.

Metric System Simplified

MooMooMath and Science


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