18 Tropic Level Ecosystem- Food & Energy Transform

Tropic Level Ecosystem- Food & Energy Transform

A trophic level refers to a position or level in a food chain or ecological pyramid. It occupied by a group of organism that has a similar feeding mode. Trophic level is numbered according to the number of steps or levels an organism is away from the source of food or energy that is the producer. Some trophic levels that exist in an ecosystem and the types of organism group that occupy the various trophic level:

  • Green plant (producer); trophic level 1- Autotrophs
  • Herbivores (primary consumer); trophic level 2- Heterotrophs
  • Carnivores (secondary consumer); trophic level 3- Heterotrophs
  • Carnivores (tertiary consumer); trophic level 4- Heterotrophs
  • Top carnivores (quaternary consumer); trophic level 5- Heterotrophs
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Credit: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2020/06/16/19/33/bird-5306991__340.jpg.

Energy derived from food thus also flows through the trophic levels: from producer to subsequent trophic levels. The energy always flows from lower (producer) to higher (herbivores, carnivores), etc.


An organism in the ecosystem is related through feeding or trophic level, that is one organism becomes food for the other. The transfer of food energy from one trophic level to another trophic level in an ecosystem by the repeated process of eating and being eaten is known as the food chain.

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Credit: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jose_Luiz_Attayde/publication/225975445/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Schematic-diagram-of-the-food-web-model-with-grazing-and-detrital-food-chains-linked-by_Q640.jpg


In nature there are three main types of food chain are found:

  1. Grazing food chain: In this type of food chain, the main consumers are herbivores and use plants and plant parts as food.​​​​ This food chain starts with the green.
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Credit: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mamun_Abdullah_Al/publication/332655096/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Fig-11-Grazing-food-chain-showing-different-trophic-groups-in-the-food-chain.jpg.

  1. Detritus food chain: This food chain is from the dead organic matter of the decay of animal and plant carcasses and metabolic waste to microorganisms called detritus, and then to microorganisms. These microorganisms are the main detrital feeding organisms called detritus or decomposition products, rather than secondary detritus. Chip feeders, herbivores, then predators. The energy contained in the debris is the energy source in the food chain.
  1. Parasitic Food Chain: This food chain starts with green plants and then reaches plants or herbivores on which parasites depend for their livelihoods. The parasitic food chain ends with parasites, which, unlike predators, do not kill the host.


The macronutrients needed by organisms are called macronutrients, and the trace micronutrients are called micronutrients. Among the more than 100 kinds of chemical substances that exist in nature, about 40 are found in living organisms. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the form of elements and compounds account for 97% of the mass of the human body and more than 95% of the mass of all living organisms.

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Credit: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Hepperly/publication/307917148/figure/fig2/AS:[email protected]/The-nitrogen-cycle-Within-the-nitrogen-cycle-nitrogen-gas-is-converted-to-water-soluble.png.

There are two basic types of cycles, depending on the nature of the reservoir:

Gaseous Cycle

Where the reservoir is the atmosphere or the hydrosphere. Due to the presence of gases in the atmosphere, life on Earth became possible. Carbon dioxide gives life to trees, shrubs, and trees giving life to humans. Thus, they both depend on each other. In the presence of sunlight, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through their leaves. Plants combine carbon dioxide with water, which their roots absorb from the soil.

  1. Top of Form
  2. Bottom of Form

The Carbon Cycle:

  • The carbon cycle is based on carbon dioxide gas (CO2). In terrestrial ecosystems, CO2 is removed from the atmosphere, and in aquatic ecosystems CO2, it is removed from the water.
  • In the presence of sunlight, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through their leaves.
  • Plants mix carbon dioxide with water, which the soil absorbs from its roots. In the presence of sunlight, they can form carbonate carbohydrates.
  • This process is known as light modification. Plants release oxygen into the atmosphere that animals depend on to breathe.
  • Plants help in regulating and monitoring the proportion of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Nitrogen Cycles:

  • The NO2 bacteria and fungi in the soil provide plants with nitrogen to absorb nitrogen. Nitrate is part of plant metabolism and helps to form new plant protein.
  • Animals that feed on plants use it. When carnivores feed on herbivores, nitrogen is transferred to carnivores.
  • Finally, the animals are decomposed and transported to the soil through dead animals.

Oxygen Cycle:

  • The oxygen cycle is a biogeochemical cycle that describes the movement of oxygen in its three main reservoirs.
  • The atmosphere (air), the total content of biomass in the biosphere (the sum of all ecosystems), and the lithosphere (crust).
  • Oxygen cycles Failure in hydro physics (full water content, above, above, and below the crust) can lead to the development of hypoxic zones.
  • Photosynthesis is the main driver of the oxygen cycle, which is the driving force behind the modern terrestrial environment and earth’s life.
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Credit: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Malcolm_Fridlund/publication/45856395/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Oxygen-Cycle-on-Earth.png.

Sedimentary Cycles

Sedimentary cycles are those in which the reservoir is the earth’s crust. Sedimentary cycles include those of phosphorous, sulfur, iron, calcium, and other elements bound to the earth. we will discuss two major sedimentary cycles-

  1. Sulfur cycle
  2. Phosphorus cycle
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Credit: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/F_Mackenzie/publication/266138747/figure/fig8/AS:[email protected]/The-sedimentary-rock-cycle-of-reservoirs-and-fluxes-as-it-appeared-in-the-book-Chemical.png.

Sulphur Cycle:

  • One of the ingredients that make up protein and vitamins is sulfur. Proteins are made up of amino acids that contain sulfur atoms.
  • Plants absorb sulfur when it dissolves in water. Animals consume these plants so they get enough sulfur for health.
  • Sulfur storage is located in soil and sediments where it is found in organic (coal, oil, and peat) and inorganic (pyrite rock and sulfur rock) deposits as sulfate, sulfide, and organic sulfur.
  • It is released as a result of rock extinction, erosion, and decomposition of organic matter and is carried to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in a salt solution.
  • Sulfur can also be found in the atmosphere. It enters the atmosphere through both natural and human sources.
  • Natural resources can include, for example, the burning of fossil fuels (coal, diesel, etc.), volcanic eruptions, bacterial processes, evaporation from water, or degraded organisms.
  • When sulfur enters the atmosphere through human activity, it is sulfur dioxide. SO2 and Hydrogen Sulfide, H2S gases are emitted on a large scale.
  • When sulfur dioxide enters the atmosphere it will react with oxygen to produce sulfur trioxide gas, S03, or other chemicals in the atmosphere, to produce sulfur salts.
  • Sulfur dioxide can also react with water to form sulfuric acid, H2SO4. All of these particles will settle back to the ground, or react with rain and fall to the ground as acid deposition.
  • The particles will be reabsorbed by the plants and released back into the atmosphere, so the sulfur cycle will begin again. And the sulfur bound to the living organism is carried to the soil, to the bottom of ponds, lakes, and seas, expelling and decomposing dead organic material.

Phosphorus Cycle:

  • The phosphorus cycle is a cycle of nutrients, which is characterized by the migration and chemical transformation of phosphorus throughout the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.
  • In many other biogeochemical cycles, the atmosphere does not play an important role in the movement of phosphorus, because phosphorus and phosphorus-based compounds are usually solid in the normal temperature and pressure range on the earth. That’s why, most of the phosphorus remains in rocks, sediments, sand, and seafloor as part of the biomass.
  • Phosphorus plays an important role in aquatic ecosystems and water quality. Unlike carbon and nitrogen from the atmosphere, phosphorus is a mineral in phosphate rock.
  • It exists in large quantities and enters the cycle due to erosion and mining activities. a nutrient that is considered to be the main cause (eutrophication) of the overgrowth (eutrophication) of rooted and free-floating microscopic plants (phytoplankton) in the lake.
  • Phosphorus is mainly stored in the earth’s crust. On land, phosphorus is usually found in the form of phosphate. Phosphorus moves between the nutrient levels of the ecosystem by plant growth, herbivores, and carnivores.
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Credit: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lynn_Sollenberger/publication/250039755/figure/fig3/AS:[email protected]/Phosphorus-cycle-in-terrestrial-ecosystems.png.

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