feeding relationships in an ecosystem
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Feeding relationships in an ecosystem. IGCSE Biology. Feeding types. Organisms can be grouped in several ways. One way of doing this is based on how they obtain their food. Some organisms are producers. Producers make their own food. .

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feeding types
Feeding types

Organisms can be grouped in several ways. One way of doing this is based on how they obtain their food.

Some organisms are producers. Producers make their own food.

Plants produce their own food using light energy from the Sun. Some types of bacteria can also make their own food by using light or chemical reactions.

Consumers cannot make their own food. They must consume other organisms to get the food that they need.

consumers
Consumers

Consumers can be grouped into different types:

Herbivores:

These consumers eat producers. Herbivores include some types of plants and bacteria.

Carnivores:

These consumers eat other consumers.

Omnivores:

These consumers eat other consumers and producers. Omnivores eat animals and plants. Most humans are omnivores.

food chains
Food chains

A food chain is a sequence which shows how each individual feeds on the organism below it in the chain. Each arrow means ‘eatenby’.

leaf

caterpillar

bird

fox

In this food chain a leaf is eaten by a caterpillar, which is then eaten by a bird, which is then eaten by a fox.

Energy is transferred from one organism to another in the direction of the arrow, showing the flow of energy through the chain.

producer herbivore or carnivore
Producer, herbivore orcarnivore?

Food chains always start with a producer. The source of energy for all food chains is

always the sun

If the producer is a plant, only a small part of it might be involved in the food chain, such as its seeds, fruits, leaves or even dead leaves.

From a food chain, we can tell if an organism is a producer, a herbivore or a carnivore.

leaf

snail

bird

owl

What are the feeding types of the animals in this food chain?

ranking consumers
seaweed

limpet

crab

human

Ranking consumers

Consumers eat plants or animals, or both. A food chain can be used to rank different types of consumers.

producer

primary

consumer

secondary

consumer

tertiary

consumer

  • Producers – make their own food.
  • Primary consumers – eat producers.
  • Secondary consumers – eat primary consumers.
  • Tertiary consumers – eat secondary consumers.
slide9
Group challenge

Can you use as many of these terms you have met correctly in labelling the following food chain?

Primary consumer

Producer

Secondary consumer

Tertiary consumer

Green plant

HERBIVORE

CARNIVORE

TOP CARNIVORE

If it also eats seeds and nuts it would be an

Arrows show energy flow

OMNIVORE

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