Processing and Uses of Consumed Energy
The previous two chapters discussed the various means by which consumers obtain sufficient rations. This chapter focuses on the various fates of ingested material and how this apportionment affects consumers. In this section, we will look at the overall scheme of the flow of ingested material; in the following section, we examine the processes that affect the various fates of matter ingested by consumers and some consequences of this partitioning. In many instances the rates of each process vary so widely that it is necessary for comparative purposes to use ratios between two of the processes, which we refer to as efficiencies. After completing the examination of partitioning of food in specific populations, we consider how the partitions are put together in energy budgets for populations and ecosystems.