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Review:. Roles in the Ecosystem. Producers. Autotrophic Make food energy (carbohydrates/calories) from sun, water, carbon dioxide Support the entire food chain Plants Algae (phytoplankton) Microorganisms. Consumers. zooplankton. Heterotrophs

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Roles in the Ecosystem

  • Autotrophic
  • Make food energy (carbohydrates/calories) from sun, water, carbon dioxide
  • Support the entire food chain
    • Plants
    • Algae (phytoplankton)
    • Microorganisms


  • Heterotrophs
  • Needs to ingest carbohydrate energy (cannot make it)
    • Herbivores
    • Carnivores
    • Omnivores


Play the Animal Diet Game!

  • Heterotrophic, saprophytes, detrivores
  • These get the energy left in the cells of organisms that have died
    • Bacteria
    • Fungi
    • Protists
    • Invertebrates
identification game
Identification Game
  • Producer? Consumer? Decomposer?
trophic levels
Trophic Levels
  • “Trophic”: From Ancient Greek (trophikos), “‘pertaining to food or nourishment’”
  • In ecology, the feeding level of an organism (primary consumer, secondary consumer, etc) is called it’s trophic level.
  • Most ecosystems ultimately rely upon the Sun for energy and upon photosynthetic organisms to harness that energy.
  • There are only a few exceptions to this, such as chemosyntheticarchaea which derive energy from the break down of sulfur rich compounds around deep sea hydrothermal vents and acid mine drainage.
energy conversions
Energy conversions
  • Because a fraction of the energy used by a level is converted to biomass, etc. less energy is available at higher levels.
  • The biomass is the mass of living biological organisms in a given trophic level.
  • Note the biomass decrease at each level. Why?
food chains
Food Chains

Food Chain Game

food webs
Food Webs

Identify the:

1. Producers

2. Primary Consumers

3. Secondary Consumers

4. Herbivores

5. Carnivores

6. Omnivores

7. What elements are missing from this food web?

invasive species
Invasive Species