4.2 - C - Energy Pyramids
Pyramids of energy are models that are used to represent the amount of energy converted to biomass at each trophic level. It is a horizontal bar chart with energy values typically shown in kiljoules per meter squared per year.
Generally, 90% of energy is lost between trophic levels while 10% is converted into biomass. As a result, pyramids of energy are 'stepped' and not smooth in shape. Producers are always shown in the lowest bar with the levels of producers stacked above in order.
The energy at each trophic level is typically represented in:
As discussed in the previous section, decreasing amounts of available energy limit the biomass of each level. Mass losses that contribute to this decrease include:
You are not expected to be able to construct energy pyramids, but given any diagram you should be able to read the data and make conclusions accordingly.