Energy Flow in an Ecosystem: Freshwater Lake – Assignment Example
The paper "Energy Flow in an Ecosystem: Freshwater Lake" is an exceptional example of an assignment on environmental studies.
Energy flow in a freshwater ecosystem such as a lake is dependent on the interaction of the different components of the ecosystem. These components include the biotic and abiotic group, the sources of energy and the specific areas where related activities are located.
In a freshwater lake, the main source of energy is the sun. The sun enables the production of food by the primary producers in every ecosystem including the freshwater aquatic ecosystem such as the lake. The energy from the sun with the nutrients and carbon dioxide is transformed to forms accessible to the consumers by the phytoplankton, the primary producers. By consuming the biomass of the phytoplankton, the zooplankton which is the primary consumers are able to acquire the energy needed for survival and in turn transform energy into biomass made available to the next level of consumers. The planktivores which are the secondary consumers are then consumed by the piscivorous which are the tertiary consumers (Caduto, 1990; “Limnology…,” 2001).
The transformation of energy from one consumer to another is inefficient, thus, the higher level of consumers need to consume more biomass to be sufficient for survival. Energy flow from the producer to the different levels of consumers decreases. The discrepancy in the energy flow can be found in the biomass components that decompose. The energy can be recycled through the nutrients found in the water column in the euphotic zone and the benthic zone (Caduto, 1990; “Limnology…,” 2001).
The freshwater ecosystem is a unique biological system on the basis of the capability of the different zones of the water column to move freely on the basis of seasonal and temperature change (Caduto, 1990; “Limnology…,” 2001). Through the said process, there is a cycle of production and consumption that can also occur in a season. The said process can be considered to achieve an efficiency of energy flow that is unique only to the aquatic ecosystem.