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What is meant by trophic level in a food chain? Construct a terrestrial food chain with four trophic levels. The energy flow in a food chain is always unidirectional. Why?
Trophic Levels – The various steps in a food chain at which the transfer of food takes place are called trophic levels.
In a food chain, each step representing an organism forms a trophic level.
A food chain with four trophic levels can be shown as follows:
The flow of energy in the ecosystem is said to be unidirectional because the energy lost as heat from the living organisms of a food chain cannot be reused by plants in photosynthesis.
[Extra reference material:
Energy from the sun flows through various trophic levels is given below:
- Green plants trap solar energy with the help of their green pigment, chlorophyll, and convert it into chemical energy. They store this energy in the form of carbohydrates. On average, about one percent of the sun's energy falling on the leaves of green plants is used by the plants in the process of photosynthesis and stored as the chemical energy of food.
- When plants are eaten by herbivores, the chemical energy stored in the plants is transferred to them.
- The herbivores are then consumed by carnivores, and the chemical energy stored in the flesh of the herbivores is transferred to the carnivores.
- Some of the energy from producers and consumers is also utilized for the life processes of micro-organisms called decomposers. Decomposers, in turn, release the unutilized energy into the environment as heat. The energy that is not utilized by producers, consumers, and decomposers is lost in the environment as heat. This heat is called community heat.
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- (a) Define trophic level. Draw the food chain with four trophic levels.(b) What will happen if we kill all the organisms in one trophic level?
- What percentage of energy available at the producer level is transferred at successive trophic levels in a food chain?
- What is a food chain? Why is the flow of energy in an ecosystem unidirectional? Explain briefly.
- In a food chain, the third trophic level is always occupied by :(a) carnivores (b) herbivores (c) decomposers (d) producers
- A food chain represents a unidirectional flow of X. What is X?
- (a) Construct a terrestrial food chain comprising four trophic levels.(b) What will happen if we kill all the organisms in one trophic level?(c) Calculate the amount of energy available to the organisms at the fourth trophic level if the energy available to the organisms at the second trophic level is 2000 J.
- Construct (a) a long food chain, and (b) a short food chain, ending with man.
- In a food chain of frog, grass, insect, and snake, assign trophic level to frog.
- Which of the following limits the number of trophic levels in a food chain?(a) insufficient food supply from producer level(b) decrease in energy at higher trophic levels(c) increase in the number of organisms at higher trophic levels(d) accumulation of harmful chemicals at higher trophic levels
- (a) What is a food chain? Give one example of a simple food chain.(b) What is a ‘food web’? Show its formation.
- Name the process in which a harmful chemical enters the food chain and gets concentrated at each trophic level.
- A forest ecosystem having a lot of green plants has some foxes, lions and rabbits in it.(a) Write a food chain comprising all the four organisms mentioned above.(b) Name (i) one herbivore, and (ii) two carnivores, in this food chain.(c) Name the link which is a predator as well as a prey.(d) Name (i) second trophic level, and (ii) third trophic level.(e) Which link of this food chain can feed on second trophic level as well as third trophic level, independently?(f) If the sun provides 1000 J of energy to the plants, then how much energy will be transferred to fox through the food chain.
- Organisms of a higher trophic level which feed on several types of organisms belonging to a number of lower trophic levels constitute the :(a) ecosystem (b) food web (c) ecological pyramid b> (d) food chain
- Give an example of a four step food chain operating in grassland. Name the secondary consumer in this food chain.
- Grazing Food Chain