Ecological pyramids

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  • Ecological Pyramids
    • Number pyramids
      • Numbers are usually greater at lower trophic levels
      • Drawbacks of number pyramids
        • Number of individuals may be too big for them to be accurately represented on the same scale
    • Biomass pyramids
      • More reliable data-quantitative
      • Total mass of plants/ animals in one particular area
      • Drawbacks of biomass pyramids
        • Dry mass must be used, but requires killing the organism- only a small sample can be used- may not be representative
      • Measured in gm   or gm  depending on the type of area being surveyed
    • Energy pyramids
      • Most accurate representation of energy flow
        • Data are more reliable- energy stored by organisms which have the same dry mass may store different energy amounts
      • Data usually collected in given area
      • Drawbacks of energy pyramids
        • Data can be difficult to collect
  • No account of size- 1 tree is equivalent to 1 aphid
    • Drawbacks of number pyramids
      • Number of individuals may be too big for them to be accurately represented on the same scale

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