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Trophic Level

Last updated: January 31, 2017

What Does Trophic Level Mean?

The trophic level describes the level a specific organism occupies in a food chain. The word trophic is derived from a Greek term (trophe), which means food or feeding. A food chain represents a series of different organisms that eat one another. Those on lower trophic levels in a food chain are eaten by those in higher levels.

Safeopedia Explains Trophic Level

There are several trophic levels in a food chain, which include primary producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and tertiary consumers. The primary trophic level contains primary producers including plants and microorganisms or any organism that makes it's own food from sunlight, or other primary energy sources and does not eat other organisms. The second trophic level includes the organisms that consume these, such as plant eating animals or primary consumers. The other levels include the organisms that consume the primary consumers (secondary consumers) and the organisms that consume the secondary consumers (tertiary consumers).


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