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Organisms and their

Feeding Relationships
LO To Explain how energy moves through ecosystems >
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 can be grouped into different types:

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

These consumers eat other

These consumers eat other consumers and
producers. Omnivores eat animals and plants. Most
humans are omnivores.
Food Chains
Each level of a food chain is known as a trophic

What do
Tertiary Fourth trophic level
consumer chains start
with? Where
Secondary doesWood
the mouse
energy Third trophic level
consumer come from?
Bark beetle
Primary Second trophic level

Produce Oak Tree First trophic level

Energy transfer in a food
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 eaten by.

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

seaweed limpet crab human

producer primary secondary tertiary

consumer consumer consumer

Producers make their own food.

Primary consumers eat producers.
Secondary consumers eat primary consumers.
Tertiary consumers eat secondary consumers.
TASK 1 Card Sort
TASK 2 Pairs Challenge
1. Copy the following food chain into your books.
2. In pairs correctly label each part of the food chain with the terms
carrot slug blue tit hawk

Primary TOP Tertiary

consumer CARNIVORE consumer


Arrows show Producer
energy flow consumer
Pairs Challenge
Can you use as many of these terms you have met correctly in labelling the
following food chain?

Why is it rare to find

Producer Primary
a food chain withSecondary
consumer Tertiary
more than 5 levels?
GREEN consumer

Arrows show
energy flow
TASK 3 How does energy travel in
ecosystems? >

Light energy Chemical energy

99% Reflected
Light energy

1% Absorbed

Energy in plant Some energy lost

compounds as heat

10% Passed on Some energy lost

as heat Some energy lost
Some energy in movement
built into animal Some energy lost
compounds in faeces
10% Passed on Some energy lost
Some energy as heat Some energy lost
built into animal in movement
compounds Some energy lost
in faeces
Wheat Human
How much energy from
the wheat would end up in
the human?

Wheat Cow Human

How much energy from
the wheat would end up in
the human?