Ten percent law

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The Ten percent law of transfer of energy from one trophic level to the next was introduced by Raymond Lindeman (1942). According to this law, during the transfer of energy from organic food from one trophic level to the next, only about ten percent of the energy from organic matter is stored as flesh. The remaining is lost during transfer, broken down in respiration, or lost to incomplete digestion by higher trophic level.

The food chain[edit]

When organisms are consumed, 10% of the energy in the food is fixed into their flesh and is available for next trophic level (carnivores or omnivores). When a carnivore or an omnivore consumes that animal, only about 10% of energy is fixed in its flesh for the higher level. For example, the Sun releases 100 J of energy, then plants take only 10J of energy from sunlight; thereafter, a deer would take 1 J from the plant. A wolf eating the deer would only take 0.1J. A human eating the wolf would take 0.01J, etc. The quick way to find the energy at each level

       Energy at n(th) level =(energy given by sun)/(10)^(n+1). 
                   Or Energy at n(Th) level =(energy given by plant)/(10)^(n-1)
             {Remember to count only from plant for both equation}

The ten percent law gives us a basic understanding on the cycling of food chains. Furthermore, the ten percent law shows the inefficiency of energy capture at each successive trophic level. The rational conclusion is that energy efficiency is best preserved by sourcing food as close to the initial energy source as possible.

FORMULA[edit]

Energy at n(th) level =(energy given by sun)/(10)^(n+1). 
                  Or Energy at n(Th) level =(energy given by plant)/(10)^(n-1)
            {Remember to count only from plant for both equation}

References[edit]

  • Lindeman, RL (1942). "The trophic-dynamic aspect of ecology". Ecology. 23: 399–418. doi:10.2307/1930126. 

10 percent of energy stays in each trophic level