Tuesday, May 10, 2011

4.6 understand the transfer of substances and of energy along a food chain

Energy Transfer

When herbivores eat green plants they are taking energy into their bodies. The herbivore will use this energy for movement & other body activities, eg: reproduction

Parts of the plant which was eaten cannot be digested by the herbivore; the energy in these parts passes out  as waste. Some of the energy,  is used for growth & remains as organic matter in the herbivore's body. It is this energy which can be eaten by the secondary consumer.
Stored energy is eaten by the secondary consumer

Only a very small amount  of the producer's original energy is stored by the secondary consumer. This energy is taken into the body of the tertiary consumer. So  the amount of energy available for the tertiary consumer is only very little of the energy which the primary consumer gained from the plant.

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