For my paper, I chose to research forest ecosystems. Forest ecosystems are classified as temperate and tropical. In tropic locations, forest ecosystems have many types of flora and more vegetation than ecosystems that are located in other areas of the world. These areas are mostly warm and very moist environments. The trees grow very tall, and there is dense foliage in these areas. Many species live on the floor of the forest, in the canopy of the woods, and everywhere in between. The trees are deciduous though they can also be coniferous or a combination of both. When forests are both coniferous and deciduous, some trees lose their leaves in autumn, and others stay green for the entire year. Trophic levels are the sets of distinct species that live and inhabit levels of in the ecological system (insert book citation).
There are of course trophic levels in the forest based on this definition. In the deciduous forest at the base of the trophic level pyramid, there are the producers. Producers are plants that the second degree consumes such as berries, leaves, and foliage. On the second trophic level are herbivores, which are primary consumers. Herbivores only eat plants, so they eat what the producers make through the process of photosynthesis. The third level of the trophic pyramid is secondary consumers. Secondary consumers are carnivores such as grizzly bears or snakes and primarily consume the animals that are in the second trophic level (house mouses, warblers, squirrels, and insects). The highest degree in the trophic period is tertiary consumers.
Tertiary consumers are top carnivores and in a deciduous environment would include animals like foxes and wildcats. A wild cat, such as the Canadian Lynx, is a top level predator or apex predator in the deciduous forests. They prey on carnivores in lower levels of the trophic pyramid. If the species was removed, there would be an influx of the animals that the lynx consumes as prey.
Given this fact along with the explanation of a trophic level pyramid, it is quite easy to see how efforts that are needed to save a species can not only focus on the single species but rather every species that is involved in that species food chain. Humans sometimes play a role in the extinction of animals by disrupting animals’ food chain through hunting and consummation. In the cases that involve what we eat, it would be significant for people to know how they are affecting the animals that we share with the planet. The key to change is sometimes merely information.
- Insert Book Citation in alphabetical order if you would like (for the definition of trophic level) or delete.
- Harris, A. (2011, January 11). Types of Environmental Ecosystems. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from http://classroom.synonym.com/types-environmental-ecosystems-8640.html
- Pidwirny, M. (2007, November 29). Terrestrial biome. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/156487