Trophic levels


  1. Students should be able to describe the differences between the trophic levels of organisms within an ecosystem.
  2. Trophic levels can be represented by numbers, starting at level 1 with plants and algae. Further trophic levels are numbered subsequently according to how far the organism is along the food chain.
  3. Level 1: Plants and algae make their own food and are called producers.
  4. Level 2: Herbivores eat plants/algae and are called primary consumers.
  5. Level 3: Carnivores that eat herbivores are called secondary consumers.
  6. Level 4: Carnivores that eat other carnivores are called tertiary consumers. Apex predators are carnivores with no predators.
  7. Decomposers break down dead plant and animal matter by secreting enzymes into the environment. Small soluble food molecules then diffuse into the microorganism.

Recognise/draw/interpret diagrams. Translate from data to a representation with a model. Use models in explanations, or match features of a model to the data from experiments or observations that the model describes or explains. Make predictions or calculate quantities based on the model or show its limitations. Give examples of ways in which a model can be tested by observation or experiment.

Construct and interpret frequency tables and diagrams, bar charts and histograms