Which factors affect the number of trophic levels that an ecosystem can support?

What factors affect trophic levels?

Trophic structure, the partitioning of biomass between different trophic levels, is affected by both bottom-up (energy and nutrient inputs into primary producers) and top-down (predator consumption suppresses lower trophic levels) factors.

What determines the number of trophic levels in an ecosystem?

How do you determine trophic levels? Trophic level is defined as the position of an organism in the food chain and ranges from a value of 1 for primary producers to 5 for marine mammals and humans. The method to determine the trophic level of a consumer is to add one level to the mean trophic level of its prey.

What limits the number of trophic levels an ecosystem can support?

On average, only about 10 percent of energy stored as biomass in a trophic level is passed from one level to the next. This is known as “the 10 percent rule” and it limits the number of trophic levels an ecosystem can support.

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How does trophic level affect the ecosystem?

If one trophic level’s population increases or decreases too much, it can decrease the amount of producers, thus decreasing the amount of energy available in the food web, which can cause a population crash, or where all trophic levels can die out, disrupting the balance of that ecosystem, also known as homeostasis.

What are the factors that affect the ecosystem equilibrium?


  • Soil degradatiom.
  • Deforestation.
  • Accelerated soil erosion.
  • Siltation of reserves.
  • Wind erosion.

Which factor limits the maximum number of trophic levels possible in a food chain?

Decrease in energy at higher trophic levels limits the number of trophic levels in a food chain. When the number of links keep increasing, the amount of energy available decreases, as only 10% of energy gets transferred from one trophic level to the next.

Why is the number of trophic levels that can exist in limited?

Why is the number of trophic levels that can exist limited? A large amount of energy is lost at each level, so there has to be a limit on the number of trophic levels.

What is the maximum number of organism that an ecosystem can support?

The number of organisms that an environment can support (its maximum population) is called its carrying capacity.

Why do higher trophic levels in most ecosystems contain fewer organisms than lower trophic levels?

With less energy at higher trophic levels, there are usually fewer organisms as well. Organisms tend to be larger in size at higher trophic levels, but their smaller numbers result in less biomass. … The decrease in biomass from lower to higher levels is also represented by Figure above.

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Why does the number of organisms decrease at each level?

The producer in the food chain always goes at the bottom of the pyramid of numbers. Energy is lost to the surroundings as we go from one level to the next, so there are usually fewer organisms at each level in this food chain.

What is trophic level and how does it affect the ecosystem?

In ecology, the trophic level is the position that an organism occupies in a food chain – what it eats, and what eats it. Wildlife biologists look at a natural “economy of energy” that ultimately rests upon solar energy.

Why is trophic level important in an ecosystem?

If there is no producers (such as a plant), you cannot sea any primary consumers there. That is why trophic levels are important. They show availability of food/energy in a defined ecosystem, complexity of “who eats what”, dependency of any one to others, etc.