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Trophic Pyramid

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Submitted By jazzandcool
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The primary producer in my ecosystem that has the largest influence is the banana tree. The banana tree provides sustenance for many species in a tropical rainforest; tapirs, monkeys, ants and other insects, small mammals and birds all rely on the banana tree as part of their diet. As the apex predator in my trophic pyramid I selected the jaguar. The jaguar being an apex predator, as it diets on other animals but was virtually no predators of its own (PBS.org, 2008), exists in a unique position. The jaguar limits the populations of other inhabitants, predators included, thusly maintaining a balance in the tropical rainforest. As the jaguar preys on many species, including predators such as the black caiman and anaconda, neither species’ population is allowed to grow beyond control thus protecting the lower level consumers that black caiman and anaconda prey upon. The amount of energy gained is much greater than the amount of energy lost through the 2nd-4th trophic levels. Energy that is consumed at any tropic level is used through many life processes such as moving, breathing, reproducing and searching for food. A significant portion of the energy is lost before being absorbed into the next level. Scientists estimate that 90% of the energy that enters each level is “lost” (Annenberg Foundation, 2014) If one species was removed from my trophic pyramid many species would be affected. For example, if the anaconda were removed any species that it preys on, such as tapirs, would experience a surge in their population. Whereas any food eaten by tapirs would see a negative impact in population because of the increase of tapirs. Species who are in danger of becoming extinct require considerable attention, but all of the attention cannot be placed solely on the endangered species. The reasons for a species becoming endangered are plentiful. In some cases species become endangered because a predatory species has had a boon of population growth. In such cases scientists would need to apply attention to the predatory species and find out why its population has altered dramatically. Changes in human consumption habits can immensely alter the amount of energy in an ecosystem. The difference between consuming from a higher level of the trophic pyramid or the bottom of the trophic pyramid is significant. The bottom of the pyramid has more energy to give and many more species to relinquish said energy. Although taking too much energy from any level could be disastrous, the bottom level is more likely to be able to support a loss of energy. On the other hand, if human beings began taking more from the 4th and 5th levels, for example, the animals and energy there would be more problematic to replace because their numbers are fewer.

Works Cited

Glossary. (2008). Retrieved August 24, 2014, from http://www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/glossary/

Life Science: Session 7. (2014). Retrieved August 24, 2014, from http://www.learner.org/courses/essential/life/session7/closer5.html

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