TROPHICPYRAMID FOR A DESERT BIOME
TrophicPyramid for a Desert Biome
Thebiome that I chose to study is the desert biome. Deserts cover asignificant fraction of the earth’s total land surface. Despitetheir extreme conditions, deserts are a home to some plants, animals,birds and other living organisms, which are adapted to the conditionsof the desert environment. For this assignment, I focused on theSahara desert ecosystem, which is located in the northern part ofAfrica. The Sahara desert is one of the world’s largest hot desertbiomes.
TheSahara desert ecosystem contains all the components responsible forits existence. It is made of the predators, tertiary consumers,secondary consumers, primary consumers and the producers (Aloian &Scavuzzo, 2013). All the components of the ecosystem play a criticalrole in ensuring that life in the ecosystem is sustained. Below is aecological pyramid of the chosen ecosystem.
African harrier-hawk, Monitor lizard, Wild dogs.
Cobras, Rattlesnakes, Praying mantis.
Rats, Butterflies, Antelopes.
Date Palm, Eragrotis, African Peyote Cactus.
Ofthe primary producers researched, the eragrotis has the largestinfluence on the ecosystem. This species of grass which is commonlyknown as the love grass is the most consumed producer in the Saharadesert ecosystem (Aloian& Scavuzzo, 2013).Other common plants in the ecosystem are either thorny shrubs or thecacti, thus making the love grass most preferred to the otherproducers.
Thespecies chosen for the apex predator is the spotted hyena. This sitsat the top of the biological pyramid in the Saharan ecosystem. Thespotted hyenas are important in the food chain as they act asscavengers and hunters that feed on antelopes, termites, among otheranimals. For the position they occupy in the pyramid, they check thepopulation of herbivores, thus peventing depletion of producers. Thehyenas feed on dead animals, leading to their removal form theecosystem.
Theproducers in the desert environment make their food throughphotosynthesis, and it is through this that they pass energy to otherlevels of the pyramid. They, however, produce less than 200Kilocalories for the animals (Ward, 2012). The energies lost in thesecond, and fourth ecologic levels amount to twenty kilocalories persquare meter per year.
Thelove grass is an important species of the pyramid. This is dependedon upon by a large group of the first-level consumers. Its removalfrom the pyramid will lead to a significant decrease in thepopulation of the antelopes and other primary consumers thatprimarily depend on it.
Forone to try and save a single species, they must focus on otherspecies of that ecosystem whose existence has an impact on thetargeted species. Focusing only on the endangered species might proveimpossible since its existence is dependent on other species in thatparticular ecosystem. An example from my ecological pyramid is theantelope whose existence depends on the population of producers andthe members of the higher trophic levels.
Humansshould focus more on consuming products that are closer to the bottomof the pyramid. It is at this level that the amount of energy is morecompared to that at the higher levels of the pyramid (Ward, 2012). Byfeeding on the products from the lower levels, they give an allowancefor other animals such as predators to gain the little amount ofenergy available in the higher levels of the pyramid.
Aloian,M., & Scavuzzo, W. (2013). TheSahara Desert.New York: Crabtree Pub.
Ward,D. (2012). Desert food webs and ecosystem ecology. TheBiology of Deserts,177-191. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211470.003.0008