10 Percent Law of Energy Transfer

AIPMT Biology- Energy transfer in food chain

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Organisms at each trophic level depend on those at the lower trophic level for their energy demands. Transfer of energy follows 10 per cent law, i.e.,  only 10 per cent of the energy is transferred to each trophic level from the lower trophic level.

This law was introduced by Lindemann, so called as Lindemann 10 percent Law.

AIPMT Biology - Energy transfer in Trophic Levels

Energy transfer in Trophic Levels

Each trophic level in a food chain or food web contains a certain amount of biomass (dry weight of all organic matter contained in its organisms).This 10% energy  is the chemical energy stored in biomass which gets transferred from one trophic level to other. Rest 90%  of the energy lost as heat to the environment, used by organism in respiration. So, amount of energy decreases at successive trophic levels.

Energy transfer in food chain

Energy transfer in food chain

  • The percentage of usable chemical energy transferred as biomass from one trophic level to the next is
    called Ecological efficiency.
  • The more trophic levels are in a food chain or web, the greater is the cumulative loss of usable chemical energy as it flows through the trophic levels.
  • This law can explain why the earth can support more people if they eat at lower trophic levels by consuming grains, vegetables, and fruits directly, rather than passing such crops through another trophic level and eating grain eaters or herbivores such as goat, cattle.
  • This can also explain why food chains and food webs rarely have more than four or five trophic levels.
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