ecological efficiency


ecological efficiency

A mathematical statement of the ratio between the energy available to an organism or group or group processes, and the energy actually expended. For example, a bear may use less calories to hunt a rabbit during the summer than the calories gained from the rabbit, but winter hunting expends more than is gained, so it is more ecologically efficient for bears to hibernate. A 10 percent gain is average, 20 percent very good, 5 percent typical of the top of the food chain.


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