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Interactions within ecosystems Cheat Sheet by

Interactions within ecosystems

Interd­epe­ndence of organisms

Makes its own food via photos­ynt­hesis
Primary consumer
Feeds mainly on plants
Secondary consumer
Feeds mainly on other animals
Feeds on dead animals
Feeds on dead and decay matters

Food chain

Producer -> Primary consumer -> Secondary consumer -> Tertiary consumer
From one tropic level to the next tropic level, 90% of the energy is lost as heat to the surrou­ndings
Only 10% of the energy from one tropic level is transf­erred to the next tropic level

Food chain

A typical food chain
shows the sequence of organisms through which energy from the sun is transf­erred
A typical food chain usually has no more than five trophic levels
Energy in food is not sufficient to support the growth of living organisms after five trophic levels
recall: only 10% of the energy is transf­erred from one trophic level to the next trophic level
Pyramid of numbers
represents the number of living organism in each trophic level
processes that cause energy in food to be lost
e.g. Respir­ation, undigested food passing out of body as waste
Energy conversion
from light energy from the sun to chemical energy in food at each trophic level


animals that eat plants
animals that eat meat
animals that eat both plants and meat


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