Short essay on Energy transfer efficiency in ecosystem

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Transfer of energy from one trophic level to another i.e. from producers to primary consumers to secondary consumers to tertiary consumers is governed by “Lindeman’s Law of Trophic Efficiency”. Lindeman (1942) was an ecologist working on the ecology of a small lake in USA, produced the first measures of trophic efficiency.

Lindeman’s law of trophic efficiency states that the efficiency of energy transfer from one trophic level to the next is about 10%. This means that only around one-tenths of the net primary productivity of producers end up in herbivores goes to the first level carnivores and one-tenth of the net productivity of first level carnivores goes to the second level carnivores and so on.

We should remember, Lindemann’s law of trophic efficiency is more of a suggestion than being universal. Recent data have shown that the efficiency may vary from less than 0.1% to 20% depending on the behaviours and physiology of the organisms concerned.

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