WHY ONLY 10% ENERGY IS TRANSFERED FROM ONE TROPHIC LEVEL TO NEXT HIGHER TROPHIC LEVEL?
Three things happen to energy in a trophic level transfer. Some energy is incorporated into tissue at the next level, most is lost in metabolism, and some remains for harvesting by decomposers in the form of organic waste. At each trophic level, energy is lost through heat and wastes.
In a typical food chain, not all animals or plants are eaten by the next trophic level. In addition, there are portions or materials (such as beaks, shells, bones, etc.) that are also not eaten.
Hence only 10% energy remains to be transferred from one trophic level to the next.
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