A food chain connects groups of living beings that feed on

Chapter , Problem 5.2.58

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A food chain connects groups of living beings that feed on each other. The bottom level, perhaps grass, stores 25,000 kilocalories (kcals) per square meter per year. The next level, rabbits, feeds on the grass. The third level, foxes, feeds on the rabbits. Each level extracts some of the kilocalories from the previous level; the ecological ef- ficiency of a food chain is the proportion of energy transferred from one level to the next. A food chain may have more than three levels. (a) How much energy is transferred to the third level if the ecological efficiency is (i) 10%? (ii) 8%? (iii) 5%? (b) The predator at the top level requires 30 kcal per square meter per year. What is the highest level that the top predator can occupy if the ecological effi- ciency is (i) 12%? (ii) 10%? (iii) 8%? (c) What ecological efficiency enables this top predator to occupy the fourth level of the food chain?

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