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Question

Show that the energy flow in an ecosystem is linear.


Solution

The energy flow in ecosystem is linear i.e., it moves in a fixed direction. The solar energy is absorbed by plants and a part of it is converted into food. These plants (or primary producers) are then eaten by the primary consumers, which are consumed by secondary consumers and the secondary by tertiary consumers. This cycle is unidirectional. The dead and decomposed are fed by decomposers, which return the nutrients to the soil. At the end, the energy reaches the degraded state. It does not return to the sun to make the process cyclic, thus energy flow is linear.

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