Communities and Ecosystems

A series of free High School Biology Video Lessons. Here we look at ecological pyramids.

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Ecological Pyramids
Ecological pyramids are diagrams which show the abundance of organisms at each trophic level along the food chain of an ecosystem. The shapes of ecological pyramids are somewhat triangular in shape because there are fewer consumers at each ascending tropic level.
An overview of ecological pyramids.

Food Chain
A food chain is a diagram which depicts the series of organisms which eat each other, starting with a producer (generally a plant) and ending with the apex species. It is useful to think of food chains using the rule of 10% which says that generally each successive species in a food chain receives about 10% of the energy of the preceding species. Food chains are linear, unlike food webs which are more complex.

Food Web
A food web is a diagram that shows all the pathways of energy flow in a community. The food web is similar to a food chain in that it depicts organisms which eat each other. However, a food web is more complex as it shows how herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, decomposers and detritivores interact with one another.
Understanding food webs.

Try the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice various math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.
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