Environmental Microbiology

Pyramid of Biomass – Definition, Types, Examples

What is the Pyramid of Biomass? A pyramid known as the ecological pyramid or Eltonian pyramid depicts the link between the numbers,...

MN Editors avatar
MN Editors
This article writter by MN Editors on October 06, 2022

Microbiology Notes is an educational niche blog related to microbiology (bacteriology, virology, parasitology, mycology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, etc.) and different branches of biology.

Follow
X

Follow

E-mail :*
* Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website and for other purposes described in our Privacy Policy. I hereby agree and consent to the privacy policy.
· 3 min read >
Pyramid of Biomass - Definition, Types, Examples
Pyramid of Biomass - Definition, Types, Examples

What is the Pyramid of Biomass?

  • A pyramid known as the ecological pyramid or Eltonian pyramid depicts the link between the numbers, biomass, energy, and bioproductivity of different trophic levels in an ecosystem.
  • The ecological pyramids illustrate the system’s energy flow.
  • A biomass pyramid depicts the total living biomass or organic matter present at various trophic levels within an ecosystem.
  • Biomass is computed as the mass of living creatures present at each trophic level within a certain sample size. It can be expressed as grammes of dry weight or calories per unit area. Utilizing a bomb calorimeter to quantify biomass.
  • Trophic level describes the precise position of an organism in a food chain.
  • The producers (1st trophic level) are at the base of the biomass pyramid, followed by herbivores (primary consumers) and finally carnivores (secondary and tertiary consumers).
  • The biomass pyramid illustrates the energy flow from producers to consumers. We are aware that only 10% of energy is transmitted to the next trophic level, while the remainder is either utilised for metabolic processes or excreted.

What is Biomass?

  • In ecological terms, biomass refers to the total mass of all living or organic materials in an ecosystem at any one time.
  • Biomass can be separated into two classes: Community Biomass and Species Biomass
  • Biomass of all species in an ecosystem is known as species biomass.
  • Community biomass, on the other hand, refers to the total mass of all species that regard the designated community to be their habitat.
  • In terms of measuring biomass, species can range from people to microbes.

Features of Pyramid of Biomass

  • In this procedure, individuals at each trophic level are weighed rather than counted.
  • This yields a biomass pyramid, which depicts the total dry weight of all organisms at each trophic level at a given time.
  • To determine the biomass pyramid, the dry weight of all species in each trophic level is routinely collected and measured.
  • Since all trophic levels of creatures are weighed, the problem of size disparity is resolved. The unit for measuring biomass is grammes per square metre.

Types of Biomass Pyramid

Upward Pyramid

  • In the majority of terrestrial ecosystems, the biomass pyramid has a large base of primary producers and a lower trophic level on top.
  • Autotrophic producer biomass is at an all-time high.
  • The next trophic level, primary consumers, have a smaller biomass than producers.
  • The next higher trophic level, secondary consumers, have a lesser biomass than primary consumers.
  • There is a low amount of biomass at the highest trophic level.
Upward Pyramid of Biomass
Upward Pyramid of Biomass

Inverted Pyramid

  • In many aquatic ecosystems, the biomass pyramid may assume an inverted form.
  • This is due to the fact that the producers are tiny phytoplankton that multiply and reproduce rapidly. (In comparison, the number pyramid for aquatic ecology is vertical.)
  • Here, the base of the biomass pyramid is narrow, with consumer biomass always exceeding producer biomass, and the pyramid seems inverted.
Inverted Pyramid of biomass
Inverted Pyramid of biomass

Limitations of Pyramid of Biomass

  • Each trophic level looks to contain more energy than it actually does, which is one of the most severe downsides of a biomass pyramid.
  • Humans’ ingestion of other animals is a prime illustration of this.
  • The animal’s bone mass is determined. In contrast, the mass of the bones is not utilised at the next level of the biomass pyramid.
  • In a biomass pyramid, the mass that is not actually transmitted to the next trophic level is tallied.
  • Nevertheless, the biomass pyramid remains one of the most reliable methods for determining whether an ecosystem is out of balance.

Examples of Biomass Pyramid

A biomass pyramid illustrates the efficiency of energy transfer across all trophic levels. It might be upright or upside down. In marine ecosystems, biomass pyramids are inverted.

To comprehend the difference, let’s compare the biomass pyramids of terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Biomass Pyramid of a Grassland Ecosystem

  • The biomass pyramid in a grassland ecosystem is vertical.
  • Grass has the highest biomass, followed by herbivores such as rabbits, rodents, and so forth. The major consumers are followed by secondary consumers (such as owls, lizards, and snakes) and tertiary consumers (eagle, etc.)
  • As the biomass is computed by multiplying the biomass of organisms by the number of species present at each trophic level, we can see that the biomass of the grass is significantly more than that of the primary consumers and drops further as we move up the trophic levels.

Biomass Pyramid of a Tree Ecosystem

  • The biomass pyramid represents energy flow more accurately than the number pyramid. In a tree ecosystem, for instance, the number pyramid is not perfect because one oak tree sustains hundreds of insects, which are then consumed by a smaller number of birds.
  • Oaktree (Producer) Caterpillars and other insects (Primary consumer) Woodpecker (Secondary consumer)
  • Here, the representation of the biomass pyramid is more accurate and upright.

Biomass Pyramid of a Marine Ecosystem

  • The aquatic ecosystem’s pyramid of biomass is inverted. Here, the biomass of primary producers is significantly lower than that of zooplanktons, which in turn is lower than that of small fish and large fish, which have the highest biomass.
  • You may question how this is feasible, how fewer phytoplanktons can sustain the ecosystem’s energy flow.
  • Due to the higher repeatability and shorter longevity of phytoplanktons, despite the fact that their biomass is fewer at any given time, they often replenish to meet the needs of zooplankton and larger fish.

References

  • https://eartheclipse.com/environment/ecosystem/pyramid-of-biomass-definition-examples.html
  • https://theearthproject.com/biomass-pyramid/
  • https://prepp.in/news/e-492-pyramid-of-biomass-environment-notes
  • https://prepp.in/news/e-492-inverted-pyramid-of-biomass-environment-notes
  • https://www.toppr.com/guides/biology/ecology/pyramid-of-biomass-definition-examples-how-to-make-it/
  • https://www.vedantu.com/neet/pyramid-of-biomass-example
  • https://environment.co/what-are-biomass-pyramids-important/
  • https://biologywise.com/biomass-pyramid-of-biomass
  • https://collegedunia.com/exams/pyramid-of-biomass-tree-grassland-and-marine-biology-articleid-2712
microbiology note app
microbiology note app qr code Scane to download
Download Microbiology Note App Download this app for free from google play store and read ads free notes
Need a Note? Request us
Request
0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0
Follow
X

Follow

E-mail :*
* Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website and for other purposes described in our Privacy Policy. I hereby agree and consent to the privacy policy.

Microbiology Notes is an educational niche blog related to microbiology (bacteriology, virology, parasitology, mycology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, etc.) and different branches of biology.

More From Microbiology

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.