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While some ecologists were researching the dynamics that communities and populations, rather were came to with energy budgets. In 1920 august Thienemann, a German freshwater biologist, introduced the concept of trophic, or feeding, level (see trophic level), through which the energy of food is transferred with a series of organisms, from environment-friendly plants (the producers) increase to number of levels of animals (the consumers). An English animal ecologist, Charles Elton (1927), further emerged this technique with the concept of eco-friendly niches and pyramids the numbers. In the 1930s, American freshwater biologists Edward Birge and Chancey Juday, in measure the energy budgets that lakes, arisen the idea of primary productivity, the rate at i beg your pardon food power is generated, or fixed, by photosynthesis. In 1942 Raymond L. Lindeman of the united States arisen the trophic-dynamic principle of ecology, i m sorry details the flow of power through the ecosystem. Quantified ar studies of power flow v ecosystems to be further developed by the brothers Eugene Odum and Howard Odum that the unified States; similar early job-related on the to ride bicycle of nutrients was excellent by J.D. Ovington of England and also Australia. (See ar ecology: Trophic pyramids and also the circulation of energy; biosphere: The flow of energy and nutrient cycling.)

The research of both energy flow and also nutrient to ride bicycle was stimulated by the breakthrough of brand-new materials and also techniques—radioisotope tracers, microcalorimetry, computer system science, and applied mathematics—that permitted ecologists come label, track, and also measure the activity of specific nutrients and also energy v ecosystems. These contemporary methods (see below methods in ecology) motivated a new stage in the advancement of ecology—systems ecology, i m sorry is came to with the structure and role of ecosystems.