Examining the interaction of organisms within the environment is dependent upon the flow of energy within the environment. There are two ways that we can view this interaction. The first is the commonly used food chain. This food chain provides an organization of organisms based on who consumes whom for food. The second and more complete view is that of a food web. The food web is the interaction of multiple food chains that involve the same organism or organisms. These food webs and food chains are the simplest means by which to follow the flow of energy through the environment. Where the amount of energy drops as the food chain or food web adds organisms into the higher levels of the trophic level of energy.
The flow is based on the concept of trophic level of energy that the organism can give to the next level of organism in the environment. In these trophic levels in procedures, there are a maximal levels in this organization based on how much energy is available. And based on the levels of energy available there is a maximal amount of organisms that can be in each of the trophic levels. And are typically identified as: producers (plants and photosynthetic organisms), 1st level consumers (herbivore and omnivore) that consume the producers, 2nd level consumers (carnivore or omnivore) that consume 1st level consumer, 3rd level consumers (carnivore or omnivore) that consume 2nd level consumer, 4th level consumers (apex carnivores or omnivore) that consume 3rd level consumer and last the decomposers. Where the amount of energy is maximal in the producers’ level and the lowest in the top carnivore/omnivore. This interaction also allows for the examination of the differences that exist between the different ecosystems of the planet. Where each local ecosystem has its own structure of the trophic pyramid that can vary between ecosystems and across time. Where the relationships between biomass (amount of organism based on size), energy level, and organism quantity may or may not be in direct relationship with each other. This activity will examine these interactions and allow students to see and examine how ecosystems differ from each other based on the concept of the flow of energy through organisms.