Ecology notes - Limits on Food Chain Length usually only a...

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Unformatted text preview: Limits on Food Chain Length usually only a few links long Two main hypotheses: Energetic hypothesis : the length of a food chain is limited by the inefficiency of energy transfer along the chain; food chain should be longer in habitats of higher photosynthetic production o Biomass : the total mass of all individuals in a population Dynamic stability hypothesis : long food chains are less stable than short chains. The longer a food chain is, the more slowly top predators can recover from environmental setbacks, so food chains should be shorter in unpredictable environments. Another factor is that carnivores in a food chain tend to be larger at successive trophic levels Species with a Large Impact Certain species have an especially large impact on the structure of entire communities either because they are highly abundant or because they play a pivotal role in community dynamics Dominant Species : species in a community that are most abundant or have highest biomass. They exert a powerful control over the or have highest biomass....
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course BIOL 2302 taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '11 term at Butler Community College.

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Ecology notes - Limits on Food Chain Length usually only a...

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