In the Everglades, as in all ecosystems, every living thing is linked to gether to form a very complex community. A simple “food chain” is a good illustration to show just a few of these important relationships!


Food for thought

The Everglades, as we learned, is full of many different kinds of producers….sawgrass is another good example. Do a bit of research and see if you can find a primary consumer that eats sawgrass. Can you find a secondary consumer that eats that animal?

So now we understand that a lot of the food energy that an organism consumes is lost to the environment as heat energy, and a lot of the matter is pooped out as waste. That means only a small percentage of the matter and energy can pass on to the next level on the food chain. Predators at the top of the food chain need to eat lots and lots of smaller animals to get the energy and matter they need to survive. Do you think this means an ecosystem can usually support more top predators than primary, secondary or tertiary consumers?