Food-chain length limitation due to inefficiencies in flow of nutrients.
In particular this is flow of energy as a nutrient, and chain length is reference to whether there are versus versus within an environment.
Roughly 90% of energy is lost at each meaning that it requires substantial by to support higher trophic levels. As a consequence, vast swaths of 's surface can be required to support, e.g., quaternary consumers.
Contrast with the dynamic stability hypothesis.