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The trophic levels and ecological efficiency of aquatic ecosystems

Trophic level is a feeding positions in a internet or meals chain of the ecosystem or step in a nutritive series. Group of organisms classified into these levels on the basis of their feeding behavior and normally aquatic ecosystem have not much more than seven trophic levels inside a meals chain.

These trophic levels can be illustrated by trophic pyramid and organisms are grouped according to the part they play in the meals net.

The 1st level which is the main producers forms the base of the trophic pyramid. Principal producers are able to make their own meals or described as autotrophic and they convert power from the sun into food power via the method of photosynthesis. Examples of aquatic main producers are phytoplankton and seaweed.

The second trophic levels of aquatic ecosystems are the herbivorous customers such as zooplankton and cockles that consume the main producers. 1st level carnivorous buyers form the third trophic level which includes juvenile stages of bigger animal such as fish and jellyfish as properly as tiny fish, crustaceans and sea stars.

This third trophic level consume the zooplankton and cockles.

Next is the fourth trophic level which is the second level carnivorous buyers incorporate the larger fish that consume the modest fish, jellyfish, crustaceans and sea stars.

Larger fish eaten by the the fifth trophic level, the third level of carnivorous buyers and the examples of this level is squid and octopus.

Lastly the sixth trophic level on the best of the trophic pyramid are shark, dolphin and albatross that is the leading carnivorous or apex predators. In the aquatic ecosystem trophic levels, not all the prime predators reside in the water. Decomposers, mainly bacteria that break down dead organisms exist on each trophic level. They play critical role in the process of releasing nutrients to support producers and customers that feed via absorbing organic material in the water column as they break down waste or dead tissue.

Trophic Level

Where It Gets Meals

1st Trophic Level : Principal producers. Tends to make its own food (autotrophic) Phytoplankton, seaweed.

2nd Trophic Level : Herbivorous Customers (main shoppers) Consumes producers Zooplankton, cockles.

3rd Trophic Level : First level carnivorous shoppers (secondary shoppers) Consumes main buyers. Juvenile stages of fish and jellfish, little fish, crustaceans and sea stars.

4th Trophic Level : Second level carnivorous consumers (tertiary shoppers) Consumes secondary buyers. Larger fish.

5th Trophic Level : third level carnivorous shoppers (quaternary shoppers) Consumes tertiary buyers. Squid, octopus, bigger fish.

6th Trophic level : Leading carnivorous (quinary shoppers) Consumes quaternary buyers. Shark, dolphin, albatross.

Ecological efficiency of aquatic ecosystems

Ecological efficiency defined as the transfer of energy amongst trophic levels or in other words is the efficiency with which energy transferred from a single trophic level to the subsequent trophic levels. There are two critical physics laws in the study of power flow via the ecosystem. Very first thermodynamics law states that power can't be produced or destroyed and it can only changed from a single kind to yet another. Sun is the supply of energy that absorbed by the major producers exactly where in it is converted to stored chemical energy for the functioning of an ecosystem. The second law of thermodynamics states that whenever energy is transformed, there is a loss power by way of the release of heat and loss of power also occurs during respiration and movement. Power loss happens when power is transferred in between trophic levels where more and much more power lost as 1 moves up by way of trophic levels when one particular animal feeds off an additional animal. In aquatic ecosystems, phytoplankton carry out most of the photosynthesis that happens. Most of phytoplankton principal production is consume and used for energy due to the fact phytoplankton are tiny organisms with simple structures. Eventhough phytoplankton are small but they grow quite swiftly and they assistance massive populations of herbivores. This is the cause why aquatic ecosystems can support much more trophic levels than the land ecosystems. Aquatic ecosystems usually have larger efficiency evaluate to land ecosystems because greater proportion of ectotherms and producers like the algae are lack in ligin.

Above diagram on the appropriate side shows the ecological efficiency of aquatic trophic level as typical ten percent of the energy transferred from one trophic level to an additional trophic level. Phytoplankton, the main producers with 1000 units energy decreased 10 % to 100 units energy for the herbivorous. Continuously decreased of 10 percent power to 10 units, 1 unit and .1 unit energy for carnivorous zooplankton, carnivorous fish and tuna. Left side diagram also shows the exact same but with 4 trophic levels.

The principal producers with 1000 units energy transferred ten % to one hundred units power for herbivorous. Constantly decreased of ten % power to 10 units and 1 unit power for very first order carnivores and up to second order carnivores. All of the buyers as it move up from one trophic level to an additional trophic level differs in its nutritional partnership with the producer. Power is passed up a food chain or net from decrease to larger trophic levels varies from five to 20 percent, average ten % of the power at one level accessible to subsequent trophic level. The other 90 percent of power employed for metabolic processes or provided off as heat to the atmosphere. Every single trophic level loses energy so it usually illustrated as a triangle with major producers forming the base. The much more trophic levels present, the much less energy conserved at larger trophic levels. Every trophic level supports a smaller sized quantity of organisms as the result of only average ten percent of the power from an organisms transferred to its consumer. For instance in the aquatic trophic level, a top level customer like shark or tuna is supported by millions of main producers such as phytoplankton from the base of trophic pyramid or the meals net.

Measurement of power transfer efficiency amongst two successive trophic levels is termed as the trophic level transfer efficiency (TLTE) and is defined by the formula: Trophic level transfer efficiency is a measure of how much power occurs at one particular level divided by the energy at the level below it instances hundred. Ecological efficiency describes efficiency with which power transferred from 1 trophic level to the subsequent trophic levels and determined by a combination of efficiencies relating to organismic resource acquisition and assimilation in an ecosystem. Trophic efficiency incorporates with 3 sorts of efficiency. Initial is the proportion of obtainable energy that is consumed identified as consumption efficiency. Second, the proportion of ingested meals that is assimilated or assimilation efficiency and thirdly is the proportion of assimilated meals that goes into new customer biomass recognized as production efficiency.

Ecological efficiency is the transfer of energy in between trophic levels or the energy flows within a food web. Huge amounts of power are lost from one trophic level to the next level as energy flows from major producers to the different trophic levels of customers and decomposers. Percentage of energy transferred varies from 5 to 20 %, average 10 % from 1 trophic level to the subsequent levels and the rest loss as a heat. The major issue that limits the length in a meals chain or food web is the low efficiency of energy transfer in between trophic levels. There is not sufficient power to support another trophic level following 4 up to six power transfers. Aquatic ecosystems can support far more trophic levels compare to the land ecosystems because of the higher efficiency.
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