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An ecosystem groups together living beings (plant and animal) and the environment in which they live and interact.
A food network (or trophic network) is the joining of many food chains in the same ecosystem. In this network, a living being consumes another to insure its survival.
For this reason, we can characterize a trophic level by the transfer of energy (material) of a living being to another according to a particular hierarchy. We can also distinguish:
- The producers (plants) capable of producing their own energy (material) principally by photosynthetic processes.
- The consumers (animals) eat other elements in order to get energy. Herbivores, carnivores and top carnivores are all part of the consumer category.
- The decomposers, not represented in this animation, complete the life cycle by degrading the organic materials of each category below (bacteria, fungus, insects).
Click on a living being in the ecosystem to make it disappear.
Click "Next step" more than once to simulate the long term consequences on the ecosystem.
- Describe the food relationships between living beings (discuss chains and food networks).
- Define the terms producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, scavenger, prey, predator.
- Understand that an ecosystem is in a fragile equilibrium and that it is necessary to protect certain plant and animal species.
The food chain is a linear representation of links that connect species in the same ecosystem. Animals have a variety of diets, and consequently, they appear in many chains. All of the food chains…
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