Organisms within the ecosystem that have the same food source within the food chain are in a trophic level. The first trophic level in the food chain is made up of producers, which happens to be the plants that turn light from the sun to food for the next level.

The consumers are herbivores that feed on plants, making the second trophic level they are also referred to as primary consumers. The next trophic level constitutes the secondary consumers that are the carnivores that feed on herbivores. According to Spellman (2010, p223) at each trophic level there is a large loss of energy in form of waste and heat. It is important however to realize that in every ecosystem there are complex food systems that the one used above. This is because organisms like humans can feed on both plant and animal.

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