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Food Pyramids. 2 nd Year Biology. Energy loss in a food chain. Only 10% of energy is passed along to the next level in a food chain. The rest of the energy is lost through: -waste -heat -movement -respiration. A Pyramid of Numbers.

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food pyramids

Food Pyramids

2nd Year Biology

energy loss in a food chain
Energy loss in a food chain
  • Only 10% of energy is passed along to the next level in a food chain. The rest of the energy is lost through:
  • -waste
  • -heat
  • -movement
  • -respiration
a pyramid of numbers
A Pyramid of Numbers
  • Food chains and webs show the flow of materials and energy in habitats, but they do not give you any idea of how many organisms there are in the habitat.
  • A pyramid of numbers is a diagram showing the numbers of organisms present in each level of a food chain
Let's go back to the

grass vole barn owl food chain.

  • Suppose the numbers found in a particular habitat are as follows:

2000 grass plants

25 voles

1 barn owl


Sometimes you do not get a pyramid because one organism in the chain is unusually large, e.g. one large oak tree providing food for many caterpillars.

pyramids of biomass
Pyramids of Biomass
  • Biomass is a word used to describe the mass of living material in an area.
  • If you could collect all of the plants and animals in an area and weigh them, this would be the biomass of that area.

A pyramid of biomass is a diagram showing the total weight (mass) of organisms at each level of a food chain. Biomass always gives a pyramid since producers must have the most biomass and consumers must have less

Pyramids of biomass are always pyramid-shaped.


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