Forest Food Chain – Energy Transfer

Food chain indicates the sequence of the transfer of energy in a food system. This is called as food web. The four main steps in a food chain are producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and tertiary consumers. All these process occurs in a cycle called as food cycle. There are two types of animals which are herbivores and carnivores. The herbivore animal eat plants only whereas carnivorous animal eats other animals.

The forest food chain is a flow of energy among the various organisms living in the forests. There are different levels of organisms in a food chain. While plants and micro-organisms provide the primary source of energy for human beings, animals depend on plants for food supply. In this way, they complete the cycle and keep the environment healthy.

Forest food chains are networks of plants, animals, insects and other elements which together feed upon the biomass of the Earth by sequestering carbon dioxide internal to the Earth as well as returning nutrients to the river/streams where they originated.

A food chain is a linear progression of organisms from their origins (individual) through consumption to death, generally at the level of an ecosystem (biosphere). Although food chains are typically pictured as a linear progression, it can be more or less complicated depending on the amount of organisms involved and other factors. Forest food chain consists of several stages. The first stage is extraction. There are a number of different categories for extraction, such as logging, mining, farming and domestic harvesting. Then come harvesting activities like felling trees, hauling them away and processing them in a factory to then ready them for sale. All these stages also require energy (food).

A forest food chain is a system of interacting organisms that together maintain a biodiversity of plant and animal species in a particular ecological community. It is most commonly defined as an organism’s indirect evolutionary predecessors (grandparents), who provided food and shelter for generations immediately preceding them, but no more. The term can also be loosely applied to any zoological community in which groups of related organisms do not all co-exist exclusively within the confines of a single locality.


  1. How do you define a food chain?
  2. What animal do you think will be at the top of the food chain in a forest?
  3. What does a food chain tell us about the nature of wild animals?
  4. What is an herbivore?
  5. How does food cycle work?
  6. What are the differences between producer and carnivores?
  7. Do you think that animals should be used to produce food for humans? Why?
  8. What are the primary sources of energy?
  9. What is the most important nutrient for humans?
  10. What do you think a forest food chain is?