# I need to draw an energy pyramid for a five-step food chain. If 100% of the energy is available at the first trophic level, what percentage of the total energy is available at the highest trophic level?

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Ed Hitchcock
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Jan 22, 2016

#### Answer:

Though not an absolute rule, the "rule of thumb" is that 10% of the energy flows to the next trophic level, and 90% is "lost" through metabolism.

#### Explanation:

factors of 10 are easy to work with, we just slide the decimal over:

level 1: 100%

level 2: 10%

level 3: 1%

level 4: 0.1%

level 5: 0.01%

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