Best Answer

Energy flowing through a system has to come from somewhere and has to go somewhere because there are two laws of Physics that apply.

  1. Energy can nether be created nor destroyed only changed - transformed.
  2. Any time you make an energy transformation, some of the starting energy is going to be lost as heat.

In the Biosphere the source of energy is the Sun, sunlight. This is trapped and stored by plants (producers). As plants use this energy to live and grow, they give of heat (as per law 2) so the Sun's energy is transformed.

Then along come animals that eat plants and steal the plant's food stores, these animals have to be more active than plants so, as they live and move, these too give of heat. More of the Sun's original energy is lost (as per law 2).

The plant eaters are then predated by carnivores, the carnivores steal the herbivore's food stores and use it to live and move and these too give off heat. More of the Sun's original energy is lost (as per law 2).

Thus you can see that the process of life can be looked at as a flow of energy from organism to organism with this energy gradually being lost (into space) as heat. High quality energy (visible light) straight from the Sun is transformed into low quality energy (heat) by living things.

The second law means that you can not turn low quality energy into high quality energy and this make the path of energy transformation uni-directional.


Yes if you mean just ecological systems, no if you mean to say energy goes from point A to point B, and stops at B and is consumed/no longer existent. If this were true, then we wouldn't be able to say that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Energy will be transformed somehow.

In an ecosystem, the most common cycle energy cycle starts with the sun. The sun provides energy in the form of heat and light, which is absorbed by plants to go through cell respiration. The energy is then transferred to a herbivore, and then a carnivore after. Eventually the animal dies and is broken down chemically by decomposers. These decomposers then return the energy as compounds and essential nutrients, which are then used by the plants; the cycle starts over.

Though this energy flow is essential to life on earth, it is important to note that energy will deviate from this path through trophic levels. In other words, not all energy that goes from, say herbivore to carnivore, is actually transferred. This is where you could say that the energy flow is one-way - since energy is lost from the ecological cycle. Energy will stray from the established cycle and may skip over stages to the end due to energy loss through:

  1. Cell respiration
  2. Feces and other waste
  3. Unconsumed organic material (usually fur, nails, teeth, horns, hooves, etc; as well as the material that will live and die without being consumed)
  4. Heat released to the atmosphere

This causes only about 5-20% of energy to be transferred between levels depending on the ecosystem, which means 80-95% of energy is dumped off at the end of the cycle; sometimes as nutrients in the soil where it will eventually pick up the cycle again, sometimes as heat to be lost in the atmosphere.

User Avatar

Raheem Raynor

Lvl 10
2y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar

Wiki User

5y ago

Winds circulate around an area of high pressure.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

9y ago

Energy flow in the biosphere is considered linear, which means it flows in one direction.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

11y ago


This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: In the biosphere there is a one-way flow of energy.?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

Is flow of energy in the biosphere one way.?


True or false In the biosphere there is a one way flow of energy?

To most people it is true that in the biosphere there is a one way flow of energy. This is thought of in terms of the food chain.

The flow of energy in the biosphere is continually decreasing True or False?


Why the flow of energy through the biosphere depends on the cycling of nutrients?


Are energy flow through the biosphere and biogeochemical cycles the same thing?

I'm not an expert, but as far as I know, they are different. Biogeochemical cycles refer to the actual chemicals, such as phosphates or nitrates which move through the biosphere, while the energy flow through the biosphere is based on how the consumption of other plants and animals allows for a flow of energy towards increasing complexity.

In the biosphere there is a one-way flow of energy true or false?

To most people it is true that in the biosphere there is a one way flow of energy. This is thought of in terms of the food chain.

How is the movement of matter through the biosphere difference from the flow of energy?

Unlike the one way flow of energy, matter is recycled within and between ecosystems.

What happens to energy in biosphere?

In the biosphere, energy is converted into kinetic energy.

Why is sunlight importent for the biosphere?

The biosphere is a system characterized by the continuous cycling of matter and an accompanying flow of solar energy in which certain large molecules and cells are self-reproducing.

Why River only go one way?

water can only flow oneway - downhill

Purposes of the oneway valves?

To allow gasses or liquids to flow only in one direction.

How does the energy enter the biosphere?

as sunlight..