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9 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Plants normall convert ______ of the Sun's energy available to them into organic matter
1 - 3 percent
Why is most of the Sun's energy not converted into organic matter?
Over 90% of the SUn's energy is reflected back into space by clouds and dust or absorbed by the atmosphere

Not all wavelengths of light can be absorbed and used for photosynthesis

Light may not fall on a chlorophyll molecule

A factor, such as low carbon dioxide levels, may limit the rate of photosynthesis
The total quantity of energy that the plants in a community convert to organic matter is called the _____ __________
gross production
What is the energy that plants store called?
net production
net production =
gross production - respiratory losses
How much of the net production is used by primary consumers for growth?
About 10%!
Why is there a low percentage of energy transfer in each stage?
Some of the organism is not eaten

Some parts are eaten but cannot be digested and are therefore lost in faeces

Some of the energy is lose in excretory materials, such as urine

Some energy losses occur as heat from repiration and directly from the body to the environment (high in mammals due to being warm blooded)
What does the inefficiency of energy transfer between trophic levels explain?
Why most food chains have only four or five trophic levels (insufficient energy is available to support a large enough breeding population at trophic levels higher than these)

The total mass of organisms in a particular place (biomass) Is less at higher trophic levels

The total amount of energy stored is less at each level as one moves up a food chain
Energy transfer =
(energy available after the transfer/energy available before the transfer) * 100