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Learn Biology: Trophic Levels and Producer vs. Consumer

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Uploaded on Jan 21, 2011

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Mahalo biology expert Mary Poffenroth talks about trophic structure, including the hierarchy of the system.

The trophic levels of living organisms shows their placement in a food chain, and the order of consumption and energy transfer throughout the
environment. Producers, mainly green plants and some types of bacteria, can be found at the bottom of the food chain; they convert solar energy into food consumable by living organisms. Consumers are living organisms that feed on producers and other consumers.http://www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ritte...
While plants principally make up the first trophic level, or the producers, organisms that eat plants and meat make up the higher trophic levels. Plant-eating organisms are called herbivores and meat-eating organisms are called carnivores. Herbivores primarily make up the second trophic level, and carnivores constitute the third and fourth trophic levels.
http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/sci_ed/grade... trophic structure continues to drive evolution, prey become better adapted at avoiding their predators and predators become better adapted at getting their prey.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUZkWZ...

Trophic Structure and Energy
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The trophic structure encompasses the feeding relationships among the organisms of a community. These relationships are essential to the hierarchy in the community and how it works. At the bottom of the food chain are the producers, which are the only ones that can harness the sun's energy to make glucose. Higher on the food chain, on the first trophic level, are the primary consumers that directly consume producers. Higher levels of consumers eat consumers of lower levels. Organisms nearer to the base of the food chain generally waste less energy. Approximately 90% of the energy originally harvested from the sun is lost with every climb to the next trophic level.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUZkWZ...

Producers and Consumers in Food Chains
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The following are examples of food chains:
1. Sunflower grasshopper mouse snake hawk

2. Rose aphids beetle chameleon hawk

The
sunflower and rose are producers. The grasshopper and the aphids are primary consumers. The mouse and the beetle are secondary consumers. The snake and the chameleon are tertiary consumers. The hawk is a quarternary consumer, which is also known as an apex predator.http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/sci_ed/grade...

Read more by visiting our page at:
http://www.mahalo.com/learn-biology-t...

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