ecological pyramid

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Fig. 141 Ecological pyramid . A hypothetical elcological pyramid for standing crop ontropical grassland. Figures in kcal m-2yr-1.

ecological pyramid

a graphical means of illustrating the trophic structure or trophic function of communities. They are of three general types:
  1. the PYRAMID OF NUMBERS, which illustrates the numbers of organisms at each TROPHIC LEVEL (see Fig. 263 ).
  2. the pyramid of BIOMASS, based on DRY WEIGHT (or occasionally live weight) at each level at a given time.
  3. the pyramid of energy which shows the energy flow between each level. See FOOD CHAIN.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is thought that the shape of the biomass pyramid summarizes not only the structure of communities, but also integrates functional attributes of communities, such as patterns of organic carbon and energy flow, transfer efficiency and turnover of different components of the food web (Odum 197 I, Reichle 1981).
An inverted biomass pyramid could potentially occur in a community where bacteria and other heterotrophs are consuming both phytoplankton carbon and allochthonous organic matter (del Giorgio and Gasol 1995).
Not all planktonic communities are characterized by inverted biomass pyramids.

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