Trophic level  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The trophic level of an organism is the position it occupies in a food chain. The word trophic derives from the Greek τροφή (trophē) referring to food or feeding. A food chain represents a succession of organisms that eat another organism and are, in turn, eaten themselves. The number of steps an organism is from the start of the chain is a measure of its trophic level. Food chains start at trophic level 1 with primary producers such as plants, move to herbivores at level 2, predators at level 3 and typically finish with carnivores or apex predators at level 4 or 5. The path along the chain can form a one-way flow, or a food "web." Ecological communities with higher biodiversity form more complex trophic paths.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Trophic level" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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