New York State Chemistry RegentsNew York State Earth Science Regents

Living Environment Regents August 2010 Question 39 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 May 2011 15:27

Correct answer: (1) Algae > Protozoa > Bacteria

An energy pyramid represents the flow of energy in an ecosystem from one trophic level to another.  In this pond food web, the algae serve as producers, thus they are at the bottom of the pyramid. The chemical energy they have produced is transferred to the protozoa upon consumption of the algae. The protozoa now serve as the consumers, together with all the other organisms that feed on other living organisms for survival. Bacteria, which is at the topmost level of the energy pyramid, feed on the dead organism, thus serving as decomposers.

Incorrect answers:

(2) Algae > Snails > Diving beetles

Snails and diving beetles both serve as consumers in this ecosystem because they both feed on living organisms. The topmost level of the pyramid is reserved for decomposers, which consume dead organisms.

(3) Bacteria > Dead organisms > Crayfish

The first level of the energy pyramid is for producers or organisms that can produce their own food through photosynthesis. Bacteria are not a producer because it does not perform photosynthesis. Dead organisms are not part of the energy pyramid because they are not capable of energy transfer. Crayfish must be at the second level of the energy pyramid because they are considered as consumers.

(4) Crayfish > Catfish > Amphipods

Crayfish, catfish, and amphipods all belong to the second level of the pyramid because they are all consumers.

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