ecological pyramid

(redirected from Biomass pyramid)
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ecological pyramid

[ek·ə′läj·ə·kəl ′pir·ə·mid]
(ecology)
A pyramid-shaped diagram representing quantitatively the numbers of organisms, energy relationships, and biomass of an ecosystem; numbers are high for the lowest trophic levels (plants) and low for the highest trophic level (carnivores).
References in periodicals archive ?
Within the context of current ecological theory, in which plankton communities are often viewed as self-supporting systems, the inverted biomass pyramids in oligotrophic plankton communities are assumed to be the consequence of two factors, acting individually or in unison: (1) high specific production of phytoplankton (Odum 1971) and (2) slow turnover of the heterotrophic component (Cho and Azam 1990).
These patterns confirm a shift from inverted biomass pyramids in oligotrophic lakes, to normal biomass pyramids with a broad autotrophic base in the more productive lakes, in agreement with previous reports (Cole and Caraco 1993, del Giorgio and Gasol 1995).
Our results and modeling efforts support the hypothesis that inverted biomass pyramids in lake plankton result from the utilization of external sources of organic matter, and therefore reflect the degree of heterotrophy in pelagic communities.

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