Energy transfer in ecosystems
Most of the sugars synthesised by plants through photosynthesis are used by the plant as respiratory substrates. The rest are used to make other groups of biological molecules. These biological molecules form the biomass of the plants.
In any ecosystem the biomass transfers between trophic levels can be measured and the efficiency of biomass transfers between trophic levels can be measured.
Biomass can be measured in terms of mass of carbon or dry mass of tissue per given area per given time. The chemical energy store in dry biomass can be estimated using calorimetry.
Human activities, such as agriculture, can manipulate the transfer of biomass through ecosystems.
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