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trophic level

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biomass

biomass  

The total mass of all the organisms of a given type and/or in a given area; for example, the world biomass of trees, or the biomass of elephants in the Serengeti National Park. It is normally ...
competition

competition  

(in chemistry) rivalry between two or more different, but often similar, chemical species for a specific biochemical system, e.g. a receptor, enzyme, transport system, antibody molecule, or ion ...
consumer

consumer  

An organism that feeds upon those below it in a food chain (i.e. at the preceding trophic level). Herbivores, which feed upon green plants, are primary consumers; a carnivore that feeds only upon ...
detrital pathway

detrital pathway  

(detritus food-chain)Most simply, a food-chain in which the living primary producers (green plants) are not consumed by grazing herbivores, but eventually form litter (detritus) on which decomposers ...
ecological efficiency

ecological efficiency  

The ratio between the energy assimilated at one trophic level and that assimilated at the immediately preceding level, usually expressed as a percentage; i.e. (A2/A1)×100, where A1 is the lower ...
ecological energetics

ecological energetics  

The study of how energy is used within an ecosystem, particularly by tracing the movement of energy through a food web.
ecological pyramid

ecological pyramid  

Graphical representation of the trophic structure and function of an ecosystem. The first trophic level, of producer organisms (usually green plants), forms the base of the pyramid, with succeeding ...
ecosystem

ecosystem  

An assemblage of interacting populations of species grouped into communities in a local environment. Ecosystems vary greatly in size (e.g., a small pool vs. a giant reef). See biome.
ecosystem structure

ecosystem structure  

The biotic and abiotic elements of an ecosystem, and the relationships between them, particularly in terms of trophic levels.
energy budget

energy budget  

A comparison between the amount of energy that enters the body of an animal, or a particular trophic level, and the amount of energy that leaves that animal or level.
food chain

food chain  

In ecology (1), a hierarchy of organisms in which each is consumed as food by one or more of the ones above it. See also pyramid of numbers.
Lindeman's efficiency

Lindeman's efficiency  

The ratio of energy assimilated at one trophic level to that assimilated at the preceding trophic level; the ratio of energy intake at successive trophic levels. It is one of the earliest and most ...
net primary productivity

net primary productivity  

In ecology, the amount of energy which primary producers can pass on to the second trophic level; see, for example, McNaughton et al. (1989) Nature 341, 6238.
omnivore

omnivore  

Strictly means one who eats all things (Latin omni: all), but is used to describe those people or communities whose diet is not restricted to either animal or vegetable sources.[...]
primary producer

primary producer  

An autotroph that captures energy from the environment and turns it into biomass through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis, and forms the base (lowest trophic level) of a food chain. Examples include ...
primary productivity

primary productivity  

The total amount of organic matter synthesized by the producers (e.g. green plants) of an ecosystem. See productivity.
producer

producer  

In an ecosystem, an organism that is able to manufacture food from simple inorganic substances (i.e. an autotroph, most typically a green plant). Compare consumer organism.
pyramid of biomass

pyramid of biomass  

A diagrammatic representation of the amount of organic material (see biomass), measured in grams of dry mass per square metre (g m−2), found in a particular habitat at ascending trophic levels of a ...
pyramid of energy

pyramid of energy  

A diagrammatic representation of the amount of energy, measured in kilojoules per square metre per year (kJ m−2 yr−1), available at ascending trophic levels of a food chain in a particular habitat ...
pyramid of numbers

pyramid of numbers  

The characteristic decrease in the relative numbers of animals at each successively higher level in the food chain of a natural ecosystem (see illustration).Pyramid of numbers. A woodland food chain.

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