Energy flow in an ecosystem
The manner in which energy flows in an ecosystem is known as energy flow. It is unidirectional. The
following points are important with regard to understanding energy flow in an ecosystem:
i. Efficiency of producers in absorption and conversion of solar energy.
ii. Using the converted energy (chemical energy – starch) by consumers
iii. Total input of energy as food and its efficiency of assimilation
iv. Energy lost through respiration, heat, excretion, etc at each trophic level
v. Gross production and net production
Two important points to be noted about energy flow in ecosystems are:
i. Energy flow is unidirectional and
ii. There is a progressive decrease of energy as we progress along the food chain. The
energy is lost as heat in metabolic activities such as respiration, hunting, etc.