The reasons for the shape of pyramids of energy
It is a graphical representation of the amount of energy of each trophic level in a food chain. the units are kJ/m^2/yr.
The pyramid will never be inverted since it is based on the amount of energy per unit area that flows through the trophic level of the food chain in a given amount of time.
To make a pyramid of energy, you need to find out how much energy an organism contains and how many organisms there are in a trophic level. The amount of energy in an organism can only be found be destroying one of the organisms.
Narrowing shape illustrates the gradual loss of energy progressing along the links of the food chain
Energy enters and leaves ecosystems, but nutrients must be recycled.
Energy enters the ecosystem as SUNLIGHT.
Some of it is absorbed and stored in products of photosynthesis.
THEN it is used as these products make their way through the trophic levels.
FINALLY, all energy is captured in chemical bonds will have been changed to other forms of energy which cannot be passed on.
This means that energy is not recycled, but that the earth constantly recieves energy from the sun and constantly radiates out energy in the form of light and heat.
The earth however doesn't recieve nor send out matter on a regular basis. This means that nutrients must be recycled through the ecosystems.
The process of recycling nutrients requires energy
That is all!
Drafted by Venetia (Biology)