Common Ecological Misconception

Energy Flow


 

Misconception

Reference*

Plants take in food from the outside environment, and/or plants get their food from the soil via roots.  Bell 1985, Smith & Anderson 1984
Organisms higher in a food web eat everything that is lower in the food web.  Griffiths & Grant 1985
The top of the food chain has the most energy because it accumulates up the chain.  Adeniyi 1985
Populations higher on a food web increase in size because they deplete those lower in the web. Munson 1991, 1994
More herbivores than carnivores because people keep and breed herbivores. Leach et al. 1996
Decomposers release some energy that is cycled back to plants. Lavoie 1997
The number of producers is high to satisfy consumers.  Leach et al. 1996
Plants do not live in water.  Adeniyi 1985
 Plants are dependent on humans, not vice versa.  Eisen and Stavy 1992
 Carbon dioxide is a source of energy for plants.  Lavoie 1997
 Energy is not lost in trophic transfer.  D'Avanzo 2003

 

*Complete references are available on the Resources Page.

 

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Last Updated: 1/28/15