Chapter: Environmental Science and Engineering

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Ecological pyramid

Ecological pyramid
An”Ecological pyramid” is a graphical representation that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each tropic level in a food chain or food web.

FOOD CHAIN

 

v   A food chain may be defined as, “the transfer of energy and nutrients through a series of organisms with repeated process of eating and being eaten”.

v   In an ecosystem, all the organisms are linked together with one another by food relationship.

v   Each organism living or dead is potential food for some other organism.


 

FOOD WEB

 

v   Under natural conditions, the linear arrangement of food chains hardly occurs & these remains connected interconnected with each other through different types of organisms.

 

v        Interlocking pattern of several interlinked food chains is termed as FOOD WEB.


 

 

ECOLOGICAL PYRAMIDS

 

v   An”Ecological pyramid” is a graphical representation that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each tropic level in a food chain or food web.

v   An ecological pyramid shows the relationship between consumers and producers at different tropic levels in an ecosystem

v   There are three ecological pyramids recognized by ecologists:

 

1 Pyramid of Numbers

 

ü   Shows the relative number of individual organisms at each tropic level.

 


2 Pyramid of Biomass

 

v A pyramid of biomass represents the total dry mass (in grams per square meter of area) of all the organisms in each tropic level at a particular time.

 


3 Pyramid of Energy

 

v   A pyramid of biomass represents the rate of energy flow and/or productivity at successive tropic levels. The pyramids of energy are always upright.





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