What is the maximum number of trophic levels an ecosystem can support?
No more than five trophic levels are present in an ecosystem, most have only 4.
In all ecosystem, first base level of pyramid will be occupied by producers, consumers occupy higher trophic levels. Energy is lost when it is transferred from one trophic level to the next. Approximately 10% of the stored energy of a trophic level could be transferred to the consumers of next level. Thus very less number of individuals could be supported at the top level.
In a four level pyramid, only 0.1% of fixed energy ultimately reaches the top.