Ecology notes 3

Ecology notes 3 - The Limits on Food Chain Length usually...

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The 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; Biomass : the total mass of all individuals in a population Dynamic stability hypothesis : the 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 driving 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 occurrence and distribution of other species.
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Ecology notes 3 - The Limits on Food Chain Length usually...

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