NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Biology Chapter 14 Ecosystem

NCERT Solutions For Class 12 Biology Chapter 14 PDF Free Download

Get access to NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Biology Chapter 14 – Ecosystem. Download NCERT Solutions for class 12 in detail for all the streams in science as well as Mathematics.

BYJU’S provides the easiest and simplest NCERT solutions to the chapter Ecosystem. An ecosystem can be described as a functional unit wherein living entities interact amongst themselves and with their surroundings – the physical environment. The chapter provides insights into the structure of the ecosystem, transfer of energy through the food chain, nutrient cycle and the output through the degradation and energy loss. Also discussed are relationships such as chains, cycles, webs that are produced as a result of these energy flows inside the system and their inter-relationship.

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Access Answers of Biology NCERT Chapter 14 – Ecosystem

1. Fill in the blanks.

(a) Plants are called as_________ because they fix carbon dioxide.

(b) In an ecosystem dominated by trees, the pyramid (of numbers) is_________ type.

(c) In aquatic ecosystems, the limiting factor for the productivity is_________.

(d) Common detritivores in our ecosystem are_________.

(e) The major reservoir of carbon on earth is_________.

Solution:

(a) Autotrophs

Plants are called as autotrophs because they fix carbon dioxide

(b) inverted

In an ecosystem dominated by trees, the pyramid (of numbers) is inverted type.

(c) Light

In aquatic ecosystems, the limiting factor for the productivity is light.

(d) earthworms

Common detritivores in our ecosystem are earthworms.

(e) Oceans

The major reservoir of carbon on earth is oceans.

2. Which one of the following has the largest population in a food chain?

(a) Producers

(b) Primary consumers

(c) Secondary consumers

(d) Decomposers

Solution:

(d) Decomposers

Decomposers form the largest population in food chain. They include microbes such as bacteria and fungi, that derive their nutrition by disintegrating the remains of animals and dead plants.

3. The second trophic level in a lake is

(a) Phytoplankton

(b) Zooplankton

(c) Benthos

(d) Fishes

Solution:

(b) Zooplankton

Zooplankton forms the second tropic level in a lake as they are the primary consumers in food chain that is aquatic, feeding upon phytoplankton. Hence, they hold the second level.

4. Secondary producers are

(a) Herbivores

(b) Producers

(c) Carnivores

(d) None of the above

Solution:

(d) None of the above

There are no secondary producers. Plants are they only producers. They are autotrophs and synthesize their own food through the process of photosynthesis.

5. What is the percentage of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) in the incident solar radiation?

(a) 100%

(b) 50 %

(c) 1-5%

(d) 2-10%

Solution:

(b) 50 %

Photosynthetically active radiation or PAR constitutes about 50% of the total incident solar radiation.

6. Distinguish between

(a) Grazing food chain and detritus food chain

(b) Production and decomposition

(c) Upright and inverted pyramid

(d) Food chain and Food web

(e) Litter and detritus

(f) Primary and secondary productivity

Solution:

The differences are as follows:

(a) Grazing food chain and detritus food chain

Grazing food chain

Detritus food chain

Energy is derived from the sun

Energy is derived from organic matter produced in tropic levels of the grazing food chain

It typically entails a large population

It is comparatively smaller

Starts with producers at the first tropic level. The plant biomass is then consumed by herbivores which is inturn consumed by different carnivores

Starts with detritus such as dead bodies of fallen leaves and animals that are consumed by detritivores or decomposers which in turn is consumed by predators.

(b) Production and decomposition

Production

Decomposition

Rate of producing food(organic matter) by producers is known as production

Disintegration of complex organic matter from the bodies of dead animals and plants with the help of decomposers into organic raw matter namely water, carbon dioxide, other such nutrients is decomposition.

For primary production, sunlight is required

Decomposition does not require sunlight

Dependent on the photosynthetic capacity of producers

Takes places with the help of decomposers

(c) Upright and inverted pyramid

Upright pyramid

Inverted pyramid

Pyramid of energy is always upright

Pyramid of numbers and biomass may be inverted

At the producer level of an ecosystem, this pyramid has the highest number and biomass of organisms which declines at each tropic level in a food chain

At the producer level of an ecosystem, this pyramid has the lowest number and biomass of organisms which rises at each increasing tropic level in a food chain

(d) Food chain and Food web

Food chain

Food web

Constitutes for a single linear sequence of entities

Consists of a number of interconnected food chains

Members inhabiting higher tropic levels feed only on one type of entity

Any given individual has alternate options for food sources

(e) Litter and detritus

Litter

Detritus

Comprises of all kinds of wastes above the ground level

Comprises of residues of dead animals and plants

Consists of biodegradable and non-biodegradable substances

Consists of biodegradable substances only

(f) Primary and secondary productivity

Primary productivity

Secondary productivity

It is the amount of organic matter generated by producers per unit area over a specific span of time

It is the rate of generating organic matter by consumers over a span of time

7. Describe the components of an ecosystem.

Solution:

Ecosystem is an interacting unit involving both living components and the non-living components of a region. Both of these components interact with each other functioning as a unit which is apparent in the processes of energy flow, nutrient cycling, productivity, decomposition in ecosystems such as grasslands, forest, ponds etc.

Ecosystems have two components, they are:

  • Abiotic components – These constitute the non-living components of an ecosystem such as temperature, light, water, wind, soil, chemical nutrients etc
  • Biotic components – They form the living component of an ecosystem which include biotic factors such as decomposer, consumers, and producers. Plants and some algae form the producers as they contain chlorophyll to synthesize their own food through the process of photosynthesis carried out in the presence of light, hence they are also referred to as transducers or converters. The consumers or heterotrophs are dependent on producers either directly (primary consumers) or indirectly (secondary consumers) while decomposers are constituted by the microbes in the ecosystem, such as fungi and bacteria. They form the largest population in the food chain as they derive their nutrition by disintegrating the residues of dead animals and plants.

8. Define ecological pyramids and describe with examples, pyramids of number and biomass.

Solution:

An ecological pyramid can be defined as a graphical representation of different ecological parameters, namely the number of individuals found at each tropic level, the energy quantity or the biomass found in each tropic level. These pyramids depict the producers at the base whereas the apex depicts the top level consumers found in the ecosystem.

Pyramids are of three types:

  • Pyramid of numbers – it gives the graphical representation of the number of individuals found at each tropic level in a food chain of an ecosystem. This pyramid can be inverted or upright depending on the crowd of producers. Example – In a Greenland ecosystem, this pyramid is upright where in the food chain, the number of producers is followed by the number of herbivores, which in turn is followed by number of secondary and tertiary consumers. Therefore, the number of individuals at the level of producers will be maximum, whereas the number of individuals at the top are carnivores will be the least. The pyramid of numbers in a parasitic food chain is inverted, where in the food chain, producers provide food to fruit eating birds which in response support few species of insects

NCERT solutions class 12 Biology chapter 14 - 1

  • Pyramid of biomass – it is a graphical representation of the total quantity of living matter found at each tropic level of an ecosystem and can either be inverted or upright. In grasslands and forest ecosystems it is upright as the quantity of biomass at the producer level is higher than at the carnivore level, at the top. This pyramid is inverted for a pond ecosystem as the biomass of fishes far surpass the biomass of zooplankton on which they feed.

NCERT solutions class 12 Biology chapter 14 - 2
NCERT solutions class 12 Biology chapter 14 - 3

  • Pyramid of energy

9. What is primary productivity? Give brief description of factors that affect primary productivity.

Solution:

Primary productivity can be defined as the amount of organic matter or biomass that is generated by producers per unit area over a span of time.

It can be affected by factors such as rain, temperature, water, light etc. Primary productivity also depends on the availability of nutrients and that of plants to carry out the process of photosynthesis.

10. Define decomposition and describe the processes and products of decomposition.

Solution:

Decomposition can be defined as a process that involves the disintegration of complex organic matter from the body of dead animals and plants with the action of decomposers such as microbes into inorganic raw materials such as water, carbon dioxide and other such nutrients. The different processes in decomposition are as follows:

  • Fragmentation – the first phase in the decomposition process, it includes the disintegration of detritus into fine particles through the action of detritivores such as earthworms.
  • Leaching – here, the water-soluble nutrients penetrate into the layers of soil and get sealed as unavailable salts
  • Catabolism – Fungi and bacteria degrade detritus into finer particles through different enzymes
  • Humification – this phase causes the formation of humus – a dark colored colloidal substance that serves as a reservoir of nutrients for plants
  • Mineralization – further degradation of humus through the activity of microbes takes place in this stage wherein inorganic nutrients are finally released in to the soil. This phenomena of releasing inorganic nutrients from the humus is known as mineralization. Humus degrades to release inorganic raw materials such as water, carbon dioxide, and other nutrients in the soil.

11. Give an account of energy flow in an ecosystem.

Solution:

NCERT solutions class 12 Biology chapter 14 - 4

In an ecosystem, energy enters from the ultimate source of energy – the Sun. These solar rays pass through the atmosphere to be absorbed by the surface of the earth, which help plants in performing photosynthesis. Additionally, they also help in maintaining the temperature of the earth so that living entities survive. Some of these incident rays are reflected by the surface of the earth and only close to 2-10% of the solar energy is captured by the producers (green plants) during the photosynthesis process in order to convert it into food.

Gross primary productivity is the rate at which the biomass is generated by plants during the process of photosynthesis. Just 10% of the stored energy is transferred to herbivores from the producers when plants are consumed by herbivores. The rest of 90% of the energy is used for different processes by plants such as growth, respiration and reproduction. Likewise, a mere 10% is conveyed to carnivores. This is referred to as the ten percent law of energy flow.

12. Write important features of a sedimentary cycle in an ecosystem.

Solution:

Sedimentary cycles have reservoirs in the crust of earth or rocks. Nutrient elements such as phosphorus, sulphur, potassium and calcium are present in the sediments of the earth. These sedimentary cycles are unhurried, and slow. It takes a long time to complete their circulation and are deemed to be less perfect cycles. It is because when recycling, the nutrient elements may get sealed in the reservoir pool taking a long time to come out and continue circulation. Hence, they typically go out of circulation for a long period of time.

13. Outline salient features of carbon cycling in an ecosystem.

Solution:

The carbon cycle is an essential gaseous cycle which has its reservoir pool in the atmosphere. All of the living entities consist of carbon as a major constituent of the body. This carbon is a basic element present in all the living forms. Biomolecules such as lipids, carbohydrates, proteins etc that are crucial for life processes are made of carbon. Living forms are incorporated with carbon through the basic process of photosynthesis that is carried out by plants, the primary producers. The process of photosynthesis uses up atmospheric carbon dioxide and sunlight to produce a carbon compound known as ‘glucose’, this in turn is used by other living entities.

Hence, atmospheric carbon gets incorporated into life forms. It now becomes necessary to recycle this absorbed carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere completing the cycle. For this recycling of carbon back to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide gas, various processes can be carried out. The respiration process disintegrates glucose molecules to produce carbon dioxide gas. The decomposition process gives out carbon dioxide from dead bodies of animals and plants into the atmosphere. Some other sources of carbon dioxide are industrialization, combustion of fuels, deforestation, forest fires, volcanic eruptions and so on.

NCERT solutions class 12 Biology chapter 14 - 5

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Biology Chapter 14 – Ecosystem

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Biology Chapter 14 – Ecosystem is classified under Ecology Unit. The Unit, Ecology holds 14 marks as per previous trends, on the whole, consisting of the following chapters:

  • Organisms and population
  • Ecosystem
  • Biodiversity and its conservation
  • Environmental issues

Students need to thoroughly revise and practise from these chapters in order to get 14 marks.

Key concepts covered in this chapter are given below:

  • Ecosystem–Structure and Function
  • Productivity
  • Decomposition
  • Energy Flow
  • Ecological Pyramids
  • Ecological Succession
  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Ecosystem Services

Key Features of NCERT Solutions Class 12 Biology Chapter 14 – Ecosystem

  • NCERT solutions are the most reliable reference guide for CBSE students
  • Enhances conceptual learning in students
  • Beneficial for preparations in competitive exams as well
  • Solutions are available to download for free in pdf format
  • Provides step-by-step solutions to all the textbook questions

Frequently Asked Questions on Ecosystem

Which has the largest population in a food chain?

Decomposers:-
Decomposers form the largest population in food chain. They include microbes such as bacteria and fungi, that derive their nutrition by disintegrating the remains of animals and dead plants.

What is the percentage of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) in the incident solar radiation?

50 %

Define ecological pyramids?

An ecological pyramid can be defined as a graphical representation of different ecological parameters, namely the number of individuals found at each tropic level, the energy quantity or the biomass found in each tropic level. These pyramids depict the producers at the base whereas the apex depicts the top level consumers found in the ecosystem.

What is primary productivity?

Primary productivity can be defined as the amount of organic matter or biomass that is generated by producers per unit area over a span of time.

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