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Energy flow in ecosystem-Energy flow (also called Calorific flow)refers to the flow of energy in ecosystem through food chain.


Ecosystems maintain themselves by cycling energy and nutrients obtained from external sources. At the first trophic levelprimary producers (plants, algae, and some bacteria) use solar energy to produce organic plant material through photosynthesis. Herbivores—animals that feed solely on plants—make up the second trophic level. Predators that eat herbivores comprise the third trophic level; if larger predators are present, they represent still higher trophic levels. Organisms that feed at several trophic levels (for example, grizzly bears that eat berries and salmon) are classified at the highest of the trophic levels at which they feed. Decomposers, which include bacteria, fungi, molds, worms, and insects, break down wastes and dead organisms and return nutrients to the soil.

Food chain Image result for food chain

Food webs

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Hydrosere succession-A hydrosere is a plant succession which occurs in an area of fresh water such as in oxbow lakes and kettle lakes. In time, an area of open freshwater will naturally dry out, ultimately becoming woodland. During this change, a range of different landtypes such as swamp and marsh will succeed each other.

The process of hydrosere succession completes in the following stages:

1.Phytoplankton stage:-In the initial stage of succession algal spores are brought in the body of water. The simple forms of life like bacteria, algae and many other aquatic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) floating in water are the pioneer colonizers. All these organisms add large amount of organic matter and nutrients due to their various life activities and after their death, they settle at the bottom of pond to form a layer of muck

2.Submerged stage:-As the water body becomes shallower, more submerged rooted species are able to become established due to increasing light penetration in the shallower water. This is suitable for growth of rooted submerged species such as ElodeaHydrilla, and Ceratophyllum. These plants root themselves in mud. Once submerged species colonize the successional changes are more rapid and are mainly autogenic as organic matter accumulates. Inorganic sediment is still entering the lake and is trapped more quickly by the net of plant roots and rhizomes growing on the pond floor. The pond becomes sufficiently shallow (2–5 ft) for floating species and less suitable for rooted submerged plants.

3Floating stage:-The floating plants are rooted in the mud, but some or all their leaves float on the surface of the water. These include species like NymphaeaNelumbo and Potamogeton. Some free-floating species also become associated with root plants. The large and broad leaves of floating plants shade the water surface and conditions become unsuitable for growth of submerged species which start disappearing. The plants decay to form organic mud which makes the pond more shallow yet (1–3 ft).

4.Reed swamp stage:-The pond is now invaded by emergent plants such as Phragmites (reed-grasses), Typha (cattail), and Zizania (wild rice) to form a reed-swamp (in North American usage, this habitat is called a marsh). These plants have creeping rhizomes which knit the mud together to produce large quantities of leaf litter. This litter is resistant to decay and reed peat builds up, accelerating the autogenic change. The surface of the pond is converted into water-saturated marshy land.

5.Sedge-meadow stage:- Successive decreases in water level and changes in substratum help members of Cyperaceae and Graminae such as Carex spp. and Juncus to establish themselves. They form a mat of vegetation extending towards the centre of the pond. Their rhizomes knit the soil further. The above water leaves transpire water to lower the water level further and add additional leaf litter to the soil. Eventually the sedge peat accumulates above the water level and soil is no longer totally waterlogged. The habitat becomes suitable for invasion of herbs (secondary species) such as MenthaCalthairis, and Galium which grow luxuriantly and bring further changes to the environment.

6.Woodland stage:-The soil now remains drier for most of the year and becomes suitable for development of wet woodland. It is invaded by shrubs and trees such as Salix (willow), Alnus (alder), and Populus (poplar). These plants react upon the habitat by producing shade, lower the water table still further by transpiration, buildup the soil, and lead to the accumulation of humus with associated microorganisms. This type of wet woodland is also known as carr.

7.Climax stage:-Finally a self-perpetuating climax community develops. It may be a forest if the climate is humid, grassland in case of sub-humid environment, or a desert in arid and semi-arid conditions. A forest is characterized by presence of all types of vegetation including herbs, shrubs, mosses, shade-loving plants and trees. Decomposers are frequent in climax vegetation. The overall changes taking place during development of successional communities are building up of substratum, shallowing of water, addition of humus and minerals, soil building and aeration of soil. As the water body fills in with sediment, the area of open water decreases and the vegetation types moves inwards as the water becomes shallower. Many of the above-mentioned communities can be seen growing together in a water body. The center is occupied by floating and submerged plants with reeds nearer the shores, followed by sedges and rushes growing at the edges. Still further are shrubs and trees occupying the dry land.