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Pyramid of Energy

  • Reflects the law of thermodynamics as it reflects the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy and heat energy (lost) at each trophic level.
  • This is the reason that it is always upward (large energy base at bottom) and no inversion.
  • For example – if sun light has 1 lakh joule energy and grasses or trees of a forest utilized part of this energy and made their food.
  • The grasses or forest has 10000 joule energy.
  • Deer receives only 1000 joule energy after eating the grasses because remaining energy is used by its body for respiration and other activities.
  • Lion, who had eaten the deer, receives only 100 joule energy because of the same reasons mentioned above.
  • In all the pyramids energy moves only in one direction i.e. unidirectional flow of energy. It never travels from producer to sun.
  • 10% law – According to this law, during the transfer of energy from organic food from one trophic level to the next, only about ten percent of the energy from organic matter is stored as flesh. The remaining is lost during transfer, broken down in respiration, or lost to incomplete digestion by higher trophic level.
  • Energy pyramid concept helps to explain the phenomenon of biological magnification the tendency for toxic substances to increase in concentration progressively at higher levels of the food chain.

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