Three main components to the food web Producers Consumers Decomposers
Producers Producers are those things that make their own food and energy. What do we know that makes it’s own food and energy? Plants
Consumers Consumers are broken down into several categories The three types are: herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores Carnivores and omnivores can be broken down into primary consumers, secondary consumers, and tertiary consumers
Herbivore Animals that feed exclusively on producers
Carnivore Animals that feed exclusively on consumers
Omnivore Animals that feed on either producers or consumers
Primary Consumers An animal that feeds on plants A herbivore
Secondary Consumers An animal that feeds only upon herbivores A carnivore
Tertiary Consumer A tertiary consumer is an animal at the top of a food chain It eats the lower animals on the food chain A carnivore, omnivore or, scavenger
Decomposer An organism that breaks down waste and dead organisms into nutrients for the producers These can be: bacteria and fungi, animals, and earthworms, etc...
Niche An ecological niche is the role or function the organisms has in its ecosystem For example, an owl's niche would be that of a hunter in his ecosystem
Energy in the food web To show how energy is transferred from producers to consumers in the food web we draw an arrow in the direction of the flow of energy.
So if we have a producer like A bush And we have an herbivore like A squirrel Then the energy flows like This
Now if we add a carnivore like a fox The transfer of energy continues like this
Now if we add a tertiary consumer like a bear The transfer of energy continues like this
Now after our tertiary consumer wear does the energy go? It ends up with our decomposers!
And so the cycle is complete. But wait! Where did the energy that started in the plant end up? Back in the plant!