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# How does energy flow through the environment?

Updated: 8/10/2023

Wiki User

11y ago

Energy flows through an ecosystem in one direction, which is called the food chain. It's like a pyramid. At the bottom are producers. The producers contain the most energy gotten from the sun. The next are primary consumers. Consumers obtain energy by eating the producers The next layer are the secondary consumers. There may be another layer of consumers if there is enough energy in the system.

Sunlight --> producers (100% of the energy) --> primary consumers (10%)---> secondary consumers (1%)

The decomposers return some nutrients to the system are are active at all levels.

As you move up each level the energy decreases.

For example:

Kcal = Kilocalorie (energy) For example:

Grass, a producer produces 1,000 Kcal

The grass is eaten by mice or rats, the primary consumer and gets 100 Kcal

The mice or rat are eaten by ferrets, the secondary consumer and gets has 10 Kcal.

The ferrets are then eaten by owls, the apex consumer gets 1 Kcal which may not be enough to support the owls.

It can not go any further.

In an ecosystem the energy flow depends on the 10% law.That is when energy is being transferred from producers to consumers and from consumers to herbivores carnivores ,etc. only 10 %energy stored in the previous level is taken and used by the next Trophic Level.

energy flow (E) can be defined as the sum of metabolic production (P) and respiration (R), such that E=P+R.

Below is the energy flow in the ecosystem: sun - Producer - Consumer - Decomposers - Inorganic nutrient pool.

Marielle Crist

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Q: How does energy flow through the environment?
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