Topics in BiologyEcological pyramid explained with its importance and limitations Hindbrain: Medulla Oblongata and its features Food web explained with examples Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, 2nd Term Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, 3rd Term Seminal Vesicles and Bulbourethral Glands as Male Accessory Sex Organs Male Reproductive System: Scrotum and its contents Brain: Introduction to the Human Brain Forebrain: Lobes of the Cerebrum and their Functions Cerebellum: Parts and Functions of the Cerebellum Midbrain: Division and Functions of the Midbrain Negative Feedback Mechanism in Homeostasis Arterial Disorders: Characteristics and Causes of Arterial Disorders Types of Desert and their Characteristics Characteristics of Tropical Rainforest Swamp Forest: What are Swamp Forests? Characteristics of Swamp Forests Savanna: Savanna and Grassland explained Savanna - Types of Savanna
Academic Questions in Biology
In a food chain, the primary consumers are classified under trophic level _____.
Cold blooded animals are referred to as _____.
F. None of the above
All reptiles are vertebrates.
_____ cells are responsible for the formation of osteoblasts.
_____ is a bone that constitute the axial skeleton.
Which of the following is false concerning cartilages and bones?
A diagram showing the movement of energy through a food chain is called a _____.
Which of the following is NOT a part of the wrist bones (or carpal bones)?
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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)
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'.
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:
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.
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.
We have three types of ecological pyramids. These are:
Pyramid of energy
Pyramid of biomass
Pyramid of numbers
It presents the feeding pattern of different organisms in various ecosystems.
It gives us more detail on energy transfer within the trophic levels in an ecosystem.
It shows us the efficiency of energy transfer in the ecosystem, although some of these are lost as heat to the surroundings.
When monitored appropriately, it can be used as a tool to preserve the ecosystem.
Ecological pyramids has shown to serve as a useful metric in an ecosystem. However, it does not give us information about certain patterns occuring in the ecosystem. Below are some of it's limitations:
Typically, the saprophytes or decomposers aren't considered into any trophic level in the pyramid even though they make up a large number in the food chain.
Ecological pyramids take no account of food web due to their complexities.
Please read more on food web here.
Same specie of organisms cannot exist at different trophic levels in a food pyramid.
It does not give an accurate account of ongoing activities in the ecosystem in relation to seasonal variations.
They are only applicable to food chains.
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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.
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Amazing facts in Biology
99% of a panda's diet is bamboo. They may eat fish or other small animals occasionally
When attacked by insects, lima beans plant will often command parasitic wasps to their defence.
When the leaves of the lima bean's leaves are eaten by insects, the plant gives off a substance that signals parasitic wasps to swam in, destroying its enemies (the leaf-eating insects) in the process
Frogs drink water through their skin
Armadillos are western mammals known for their unique armor-like shell which are bulletproof
Although zebras are known for their characteristics black and white stripes, we still have some polka-dotted zebras
Charles Darwin is a British naturalist and biologist who contributed greatly into the study of evolution. According to research, he frequently ate the animals he studied
Lungs are the only human organ that can float on water
Unlike most snakes that lay eggs, anacondas give birth to live babies
A shrimp's heart is in its head
Women have more pain receptors than men
NOTABLE POINTS IN Biology
For a thing to be considered living, it must possess all the basic characteristics of life. These include:
Irritability or Sensitivity
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
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:
The term Biology originated from two Greek words. They are:
Bios: means life.
Logos: means knowledge or to study.
Biology can therefore be defined as the study of life
Anything that has life is generally considered as a living organism (or organism). All living organisms must be able to carry the following activities:
Irritability or Sensitivity
The above listed points are often regarded as the basic characteristics of life. You can memorize them using the acronym -> MR. NIGER DAC.
The gas used in the manufacture of food by plants is Carbon dioxide or Carbon(IV)oxide or CO2
Plants manufacture food through a process called photosynthesis.
It is noteworthy to state that plants are the only orgnisms that take away CO2 from the atmosphere