Give an account of energy flow in an ecosystem.
Energy enters an ecosystem from the Sun. Solar radiations pass through the atmosphere and are absorbed by the Earth’s surface. These radiations help plants in carrying out the process of photosynthesis. Also, they help maintain the Earth’s temperature for the survival of living organisms. Some solar radiations are reflected by the Earth’s surface. Only 2-10 percent of solar energy is captured by green plants (producers) during photosynthesis to be converted into food. The rate at which the biomass is produced by plants during photosynthesis is termed as ‘gross primary productivity’. When these green plants are consumed by herbivores, only 10% of the stored energy from producers is transferred to herbivores. The remaining 90 % of this energy is used by plants for various processes such as respiration, growth, and reproduction. Similarly, only 10% of the energy of herbivores is transferred to carnivores. This is known as ten percent law of energy flow.
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