Community Trends in Growth and Reproduction
Figure 15-1 and Table 15-1 summarize the variation through time of energy flow (as net production) at the primary producer level, at the herbivore level, and at the primary carnivore level and the relationship between these variables. Figure 15-1 shows that the gap between the phytoplankton and herbivores is consistently greater than the gap between the herbivores and primary carnivores, indicating that energy transfer between the first and second trophic levels is consistently more inefficient than between the second and third trophic levels. The figure also suggests some relationship between energy flow at the first and second trophic levels and this is confirmed in Table 15-1. Although the relationship is far from perfect, it is clear that herbivores are influenced by primary production even though they ingest only a minor portion of the phytoplankton net production.
KeywordsBiomass Filtration Attenuation Phytoplankton Assimilation
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