Biology

Concept of ecological pyramid

len Alfred Ajibola - 16th September, 2021 @ 04:23 PM

Topics in Biology

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Academic Questions in Biology

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

Male Reproductive System - Len Academy

From the above diagram, which of the organ below isn't a requirement for the male reproductive system?

  • A. Bladder

  • B. Ureter

  • C. Glans Penis

  • D. Testis

  • E. Bulbourethral Gland

  • F. Epididymis

A walnut shaped male accessory sex organ located between the bladder and penis is the _____.

  • A. Ductus Ejaculatorii

  • B. Bulbourethral Gland

  • C. Prostate Gland

  • D. Ductus Deferens

  • E. Seminal Vesicles

  • F. Epididymis

In a food chain, the primary consumers are classified under trophic level  _____.

  • A. Zero

  • B. One

  • C. Two

  • D. Three

  • E. Four

  • F. Five

Cold blooded animals are referred to as _____.

  • A. Homeotherms

  • B. Endotherms

  • C. Poilokitherms

  • D. Ectotherms

  • E. Thermotherms

  • F. None of the above

All reptiles are vertebrates.

  • A. True

  • B. False

_____ cells are responsible for the formation of osteoblasts.

  • A. Osteocytes
  • B. Chondrocytes
  • C. Chondroblasts
  • D. Osteoclasts
  • E. Osteoprogenitor cells
  • F. Osteoblastic

_____ is a bone that constitute the axial skeleton.

  • A. Clavicle
  • B. Scapula
  • C. Patella
  • D. Radius
  • E. Sternum
  • F. Femur

Which of the following is false concerning cartilages and bones?

  • A. Cartilage does not have a direct blood supply while bones have direct blood supply
  • B. The process of ossification replaces a cartilage to bone
  • C. The protein that makes up cartilage is called chondrin while that that makes up bone is called ossein
  • D. Cartilage grows from both ends while bones grow from one of its epiphysis
  • E. They both have living cells within them
  • F. Haversian system is absent in cartilage but present in bones



What is ecological pyramid?

An ecological pyramid is defined as a graphical representation that shows the relationship between various organisms present in an ecosystem at their respective tropic levels.

Recall that the trophic level of an organism is the specific position which that organism occupies in a food chain or food web. These positions (trophic levels) include:

  • Producers (trophic level 1)

  • Primary consumers (trophic level 2)
  • Secondary consumers (trophic level 3)
  • Tertiary consumers (trophic level 4)
  • Decomposers (trophic level 5)

Please read on the concept of food chain here.

 

The ecological pyramid is always present in an ecosystem. This concept of ecological pyramid was first illustrated by Evylen Hutchinson G. and Raymond Lindeman in 1942.

As the name suggests, ecological pyramids are pyramidal (or triangular) in shape with the the base being the broadest or widest because it comprises of the producers in the ecosystem and they are always numerous in numbers. The top of this pyramid is narrowest since it comprises of the tertiary consumers which are always few in numbers.

Note: The narrowing at the top of an ecological pyramid signifies the loss of energy in what is termed 'an energy pyramid'.

Please read the introduction to an ecosystem here.

 

An ecological pyramid is often referred to as food pyramid, trophic pyramid, energy pyramid or Eltonian pyramid. Meanwhile, it is noteworthy to state that ecological pyramids commences at the base (broadest) and ends at the top (narrowest). This is shown in the image below:

Food Pyramid - Len Academy


From the above diagram, the primary consumers (grasshoppers) fed on the grasses (producers) and gained 1,000kcal of energy in the process. However, most of the consumed energy would be used for their metabolic activities like hopping, respiration, movement, reproduction and so on. Also, understand that all living organisms must lose energy in the form of heat to their surroundings. This is as a result of their metabolic activities.

Please read on the characteristics of living organisms here.


Referencing the diagram, the secondary consumers consumed the grasshoppers (primary consumers) and it was only able to get 10kcal of energy. This is so because the grasshoppers had already lost some energy in the form of heat to it's surroundings.

Similarly, the secondary consumers will also use some of the consumed energy (10kcal) for it’s metabolic activities, thus losing some energy in the form of heat to the surroundings.

Finally, the tertiary consumer consumed the secondary consumers and was able to get 1kcal of energy. This is because the secondary consumers had already lost 9kcal of energy in the form of heat to its surroundings.

Note: As a student, you should be able to state the 2nd law of thermodynamics since it has everything to do with energy transformation and loss of heat to the surroundings.

The 2nd law of Thermodynamics, with regards to food chain states thus:

In the course of energy transformation or transfer, some energy is lost in the form of heat to the surroundings.

You can read on the concept of heat and temperature here.

 

Types of ecological pyramids

We have three types of ecological pyramids. These are:

  1. Pyramid of energy

  2. Pyramid of biomass

  3. Pyramid of numbers

    Please read on the importance and limitations of ecological pyramid here.

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Amazing facts in Biology

Russia is home to the largest area of forest in our world with a land mass of 815 million hectares

Giant Squid - Len Academy

Giant squid lives deep in the ocean and they have the largest eyes in the world

The movements of the fingers are controlled by muscles of the palms and forehands

Platypus - Len Academy

Platypus (sometimes referred to as the duck-billed platypus) is an egg-laying, semiaquatic mammal found in eastern Australia. It has no stomach and as such, its food goes from the mouth through the esophagus and directly to their intestines.

Pufferfish - Len Academy

Pufferfish contain a toxin called tetrodotoxin. This makes them foul tasting and poisonous to predators. Tetrodotoxin is about 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide, and there is enough toxin in one pufferfish to kill 30 adult humans. Unfortunately, there isn't any known antidote to this poison.

Interestingly, a delicacy in Japan (called fugu) is made from pufferfish. This meal is very expensive, and must be prepared by trained and licensed chefs. An improper preparation of fugu may lead to the customer's death. Sadly, such deaths are recorded annually

Wombat - Len Academy ​​​​​​

Wombats are the only animal with a cube-shaped poo. They can stack up these cube-shaped poo, marking their territory with it

Robert Waldow - Len Academy

Robert Wadlow (1918–1940) remains the tallest man ever recorded in the Guinness World Records. He was an American who stood at 8 feet, 11 inches.

An abnormally enlarged pituitary gland had resulted into Robert Wadlow's giant size.

Cockroach is the fastest land animal on six legs

Laughing ape - Len Academy

Like humans, all apes laugh when tickled

Ostrich eye and brain - Len Academy

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain


Notable points in Biology

Layers of an Artery - Len Academy

An artery is composed of three layers:

  • The outermost layer is termed tunica adventitia (or tunica external). It consist mainly of collagen fibres and connective tissues that anchors the arteries to other nearby tissues.

  • The middle layer is named tunica media. It is made up of smooth muscles and elastic fibres that supports the artery in conveying blood at high pressures.

  • The inner layer is called tunica intima (or tunica internal). It is lined by a smooth tissue called endothelium, and is made up of a fine network of connective tissues.

Please read on the layers of an artery here

All living organisms possess various features in order to survive in their environment. This is the concept of adaptation. As an instance, a fish is able to live in water because it has gills and fins.

Also, a camel is able to survive in the desert because it has large feet to aid walking on sand without sinking. It also has long eyelashes to help protect it from the blowing sand and wind.

Plants are also able to live in different habitats because they have the required adaptive features towards that habitat. For instance:

  • Plants that live in/on water are termed hydrophytes.

  • Plants that live on land with moderate amount of water are termed mesophytes.

  • Plants that live on deserts or arid lands are termed xerophytes.

The point is:

All organisms have various features on them that enables them adapt in their habitat

For a thing to be considered living, it must possess all the basic characteristics of life. These include:

  1. Movement

  2. Respiration

  3. Nutrition

  4. Irritability or Sensitivity

  5. Growth

  6. Excretion

  7. Reproduction

  8. Death

  9. Adaptation

  10. Competition

Please read the explanations on all the basic characteristics of life here

During strenuous exercises like sprinting or running, your body may actually work in the shortage of oxygen. During this time, your body owes oxygen (called oxygen debt) and it must be replenished or repayed after the exercise is stopped. This is why you breathe excess of oxygen after you stopped the exercise.

This is the concept of anaerobic respiration

Food Chain - Len Academy

A food chain is a diagram that shows the relationship between plants and animals within a habitat on the basis of how they rely on each other for food.

Note: Habitat is a place where an organism live. It is of three types:

  • Terrestrial (Land)
  • Aquatic (Water)
  • Arboreal (Treetops)

You can read on food chain here