Pyramids of Energy


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•  Quantitative representations of energy flow using pyramids of energy

A pyramid of energy is a graphical representation of the amount of energy at each trophic level of a food chain

  • They are expressed in units of energy per area per time (e.g. kJ m–2 year–1)

Pyramids of energy will never appear inverted as some of the energy stored in one source is always lost upon transfer

  • Each level should be roughly one tenth of the size of the preceding level (as energy transformations are ~10% efficient)
  • The bottom level will always represent the producers, with subsequent levels representing consumers (primary, secondary, etc.)

Pyramid of Energy

pyramid of energy