B2- Energy Flow

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  • Created by: Lauren
  • Created on: 31-12-12 14:56

Food Chains

Food Chains show the transfer of energy from organism to organism. Energy from the Sun flows through a food chain when green plants absorb sunlight to make glucose, and through feeding. Green plants are producers because they produce biomass duting photosynthesis. Consumers are organisms which eat other organisms. All other organisms in food chains rely on plants.

In ecology, the trophic level is the position or stage that an organism occupies in a food chain, what it eats an what eats it.

Biomass and energy are lost at every trophic level of a food chain. Materials and energy are lost in an organisms faeces during egestion. Energy is lost through movement and respiration, especially in birds and mammals, through heat loss and waste and so it doesnt go into making new biomass.

Efficiency of Energy Transfer

The length of a food chain depends on the efficiency of energy transfer. Food chains rarely have fourth of fifth degree consumers as there isnt enough energy to pass on. If you know how much energy is stored in the living organisms at each level of the food chain, you can calculate the efficiency of energy transfer:

Energy efficiency= Energy converted to biomass/ total energy taken in…


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