Food Chain | Basics of Energy and Environment

Energy flows between the organisms of the ecosystem. Food chain is a system that relates how organisms in an ecosystem obtain their food. 

Sun - Plants produce food - Primary & Secondary Consumers

Energy Flow

Energy is very sufficient for life. Without energy one cannot live. The organisms need to acquire energy for survival. Energy flows between the organisms of the ecosystem.
 

Sun is the basic energy source and it is from the sun that the flow of energy starts. Energy of the sun is obtained by the plants for the production of biomass, well only less than 50% of sun’s radiation will be available for photosynthesis and the amount of radiation which the plants get for photosynthesis is known as photosynthetically active radiation.

 

  • As the plants produce their food they are also known as producers.

  • After the plants produce the biomass this biomass is consumed by primary consumers like birds, cows, etc.,

  • These primary consumers are further consumed by secondary consumers like a hawk, lion, etc. so the energy from the sun has flowed to reach to the secondary consumers.

 

This is what we call the energy flow.

Ethical theories should be chosen according to the given situation. As the carpenter selects the tool according to the work he has to do. We can understand it further using a case study
    The case I: building a dam: building a dam has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that people get water for irrigation and power. The disadvantage is that the village nearby will be submerged.
    case II: chemical plant: building a chemical plant too has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that the people nearby get a job, and the chemical produced there can be used for making medicines and useful drugs. The disadvantages are that the chemical plant releases hazardous waste into water bodies or fields which will affect the people as well as animals.
Here when we discuss these two cases, we find that the second case has more disadvantages than the advantage it has. Thus the decision would be taken that the plant should not be constructed on the grounds of the right ethics. And then the first case has more advantage than the disadvantage it has. Though the village will be submerged it can be relocated and given compensation. So here we will choose to build the dam on the grounds of the utilitarianism concept.
So according to the situation we choose different ethical theories. Ethics are chosen according to the rules and principles and not according to the after-effects or consequences.

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Food chain 

Food chain is a system that relates how organisms in an ecosystem obtain their food. The food chain is of two types.

Grazing food chain

Grass or plants are the primary elements in this food chain. The grass or plants are then consumed by animals such as goat or cow. Then these animals which are primary consumers are consumed by secondary consumers like man or tiger. This interrelation for obtaining food is known as the food chain. Examples are

  • Grass - Goat - Tiger

  • Plants - Deer - Lion

Detritus food chain

In this type of food chain, the primary element is detrivores. These detrivores decompose other organic matter or biomass and the decomposed matter is consumed by other organisms like insects, bacteria, and fungi.
 

  • The different levels of this food processing are known as trophic levels.

  • The energy keeps decreasing with each tropic level as a certain amount is wasted during the consumption process.
     

Bioaccumulation

When the organisms consume other organisms that have toxic chemicals on their body, gradually these substances or toxic chemicals, such as pesticides, are accumulated on the body of this organism.

 

  • We can say in simple terms that bioaccumulation is the buildup of toxic chemicals in the body of an organism.

  • It is the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the tissue of a particular organism.

Biomagnification

Biomagnification is also known as bioamplification or biological magnification, there is an increase of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in the tissues of the organisms, which are at successively higher levels in a food chain as they have consumed other organisms which have these toxic chemicals on their body.

 

  • The higher the position of the organism in the level of the food chain the higher the concentration of the toxic chemical.

  • This increase in the number of toxic chemicals is known as biomagnification

APSEd ESE General Studies Package

Generally speaking from the last year patterns, questions are of two types.

1. General understanding of topics

 

For example, they ask questions like - Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is aimed to help ________. 
If you have understood EIA, this question can be answered easily.

 

2. Specific questions/ terms 

 

For example, they ask questions like - The ‘Minamata Tragedy’ was caused by the eating of fish growing in the Minamata Bay contaminated with _________. 
This kind of questions needs extra reading after understanding the topics.

 

Our study package for ESE General Studies is designed as per this latest question pattern. 

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