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Will the impact of removing all the organisms in a trophic level be different for different trophic levels? Can the organisms of any trophic level be removed without causing any damage to the ecosystem?

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Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: Food chain is defined as a series of organisms in a biotic community that is a living community through which food passes with members of a step and the back step becoming food of the members of the next step of the sequence. Each step or division present in the food chain which is recognised by a particular method of obtaining food is called trophic level.

Complete answer:
A food chain usually possesses 3-4 trophic levels in a terrestrial ecosystem and 4-5 trophic levels in aquatic ecosystems. So to answer above question let us first do an activity:-
Select any ecosystem whether terrestrial or aquatic and study who eats whom. You will be able to find that producers who perform photosynthesis are eaten by herbivores which in turn Who Eats Whom are eaten by carnivores. Producers - Herbivores -Carnivores.
 Population of carnivores those who eat herbivores determines the population of herbivores those who eat produces which determines the population of producers. If a carnivorous fish or other animal is put in an aquarium, it will soon eat all the herbivorous fish because of the smaller number of the latter. When the herbivorous population is large, the ecosystem will persist.
However, the group of the organisms which form the foundation of any ecosystem are the producers. Producers not only trap solar energy and synthesize food but also release oxygen during their photosynthetic activity.
Now let us give answers of both question:-
Yes. Impact of removing all the organisms of a trophic level depends upon the trophic level. Removal of producers: the one who produces food will kill all the consumers. Killing of carnivores will increase the number of herbivores which in turn will eat up all the producers. They would themselves die of starvation. However, if herbivores that depend on producers are removed, all the carnivores that occupy the third trophic level of the area will die. The plants which are dependent upon animals that are those in which the pollination is achieved by the insect or any other biotic agent will fail to reproduce and die ultimately. Others would remain in the environment and increase in number, again much beyond the carrying capacity of the environment.
No. Removal of all the organisms of a trophic level will disturb the ecosystem - killing of higher trophic level organisms and explosion in populations of lower level organisms. Higher numbers of lower trophic level organisms will adversely affect the ecosystem by consuming the whole or major part of their prey.

Note: The energy from one trophic level to another is transferred due to 10% law . This law states taut at each trophic level only 10% of the energy will get transferred. This law was given by Lindeman. There are usually 3-4 trophic levels in a food chain and energy flow is always unidirectional.