• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Constructing a pyramid of biomass reportt

Extracts from this document...


Introduction A food chain is a sequence of organisms, each of which feeds on a type of organism from the preceding trophic level. However, food chains do not give an accurate picture of the complex feeding relations that exist between each trophic level. So, to have a better understanding of these feeding relations ecological pyramids are used - for example, pyramids of biomass. A pyramid of biomass shows the relationship between biomass and trophic levels by quantifying the amount of biomass present at each trophic level. The percentage of usable energy transferred as biomass from one trophic level to another level is called ecological efficiency and it is typically of 10% i.e. 90% of biomass is lost through not all of the organism being eaten, faeces and through respiration. To study and analyse the relation between biomass and trophic levels i.e. of ecological efficiency and to construct a pyramid of biomass, a small area in a clearing in St.Julian's school's wooded area was investigated. Hypothesis I expected to obtain a normal upright pyramid of biomass, as biomass decreases at each trophic level. ...read more.


Record the weight. 2. Identify a food chain in the wooded area. 3. Remove vegetation, using the scissors, and place it inside the envelope. 4. Place herbivores and carnivores in separate jars. 5. Reweigh envelope and record weight. 6. Reweigh jars and record weight. 7. Release the herbivores and carnivores back into their habitat. * 8. Put envelope in the oven at 105�C. 9. Reweigh envelope and record its weight. * Animals released back into their habitat due to environmental and ethical reasons. Results Table 1 Empty /g (+/- 0.01g) Containing fresh mass /g (+/- 0.01g) Containing dry mass /g (+/- 0.01g) Envelope 18.50 52.36 38.21 Jar 1 (herbivores) 52.55 52.59 na Jar 2 (carnivores) 52.75 52.77 na Table 2 Fresh mass /g (+/- 0.01g) Dry mass /g (+/- 0.01g) Biomass / g per 1/4 m * (+/- 0.01g) Vegetation (producers) 33.86 19.71 8.47 Herbivores (primary consumers) 0.04 na 0.01 Carnivores (secondary consumers) 0.02 na 0.005 Calculations Vegetation 52.36 - 18.50= 33.86g 38.21 - 18.50= 19.77g 33.06 x 1/4 = 8.47g Primary consumers (herbivores) ...read more.


Evaluation The experiment, as stated above, was extremely inaccurate due to many factors. The experiment was not accurate because the data was not collected randomly (the quadrat was not thrown randomly, it was placed on a selected area). Also, only one set of data was obtained as the quadrat was only placed and observed once, whereas more samples should have been obtained to get mean values. During the collection of samples, animals might have escaped from the studied area (quadrat 1/4 m ), so the data might be incomplete. Also, not all vegetation was removed - roots should have also been removed - which means that there will be an underestimation of the biomass of the vegetation. Also, the animals collected were not dried due to ethical reasons therefore the biomass will be overestimated. When weighing the envelopes, the weight was constantly changing as the envelopes were bigger than the balance - smaller envelopes should have been used to get more accurate results. The pyramid of biomass was not drawn according to values of dry mass, as the animals were not dried (due to environmental and ethical reasons), which means that values are overestimated and, ultimately, inaccurate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Biology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Biology essays

  1. Lion King-The Ecological study

    Biological environment is the environment where life forms can exist. Sum total of environment where life forms exist is called the biosphere. In includes a portion of land, water, and air. g) Biome are climatically and geographically defined areas of ecologically similar climatic conditions such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms,[1] and are often referred to as ecosystems.

  2. Lung Capacity Fitness Level

    when carrying out multiple trials on the same participant, the same spirometer can be reused on the same participant - Use a new mouth piece for each participant and immediately dispose the mouth piece into a 'USED' plastic bag after trials are completed Method Table for recording result Name Age;

  1. Rate of heat loss

    The hypotheses that this investigation studies are: 1. Short and fat people lose heat more slowly than tall thin people of the same body weight. 2. Several thin layers of clothing keep you warmer than one thick layer. 3. Evaporation of water (for example in sweat)

  2. Should Animals have the same rights as Humans? Both animals and humans exhibit behaviours ...

    of this element of Pavlov's work I would repeat the experiment over a given number of days. Not only would this improve reliability but it would also demonstrate how the passing of time may affect the conditioning process. That is, one would see whether the association of sound with the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work