Question Video: Identifying the Consumers in an Energy Pyramid | Nagwa Question Video: Identifying the Consumers in an Energy Pyramid | Nagwa

# Question Video: Identifying the Consumers in an Energy Pyramid

The diagram shows an energy pyramid in a woodland ecosystem. Which of the groups of the pyramid are consumers?

02:15

### Video Transcript

The diagram shows an energy pyramid in a woodland ecosystem. Which of the groups of the pyramid are consumers? (A) Herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores; (B) plants and herbivores; or (C) carnivores and omnivores.

An energy pyramid, like the one in our question, is a way to represent the amount of energy being transferred between feeding levels in an ecosystem. Each bar of the pyramid contains a group of organisms based on their feeding level. The first bar, at the base of the pyramid, always contains producers. You may remember that these are the organisms that can make their own food using the Sun’s energy or chemical energy.

In the woodland ecosystem represented in this pyramid, the producers are plants, such as grass and oak trees. They use light energy from the Sun to make sugars via photosynthesis. All the other bars in the pyramid contain consumers, who must eat other organisms to get energy. Herbivores, such as the grasshoppers and bees shown in the second bar, only eat producers. The vole and snake shown in the third bar are omnivores. These organisms eat both producers and other consumers. The top bar contains carnivores, such as the red fox, which only eat other consumers.

You may have noticed that all the bars in the energy pyramid have the same height. But they have different widths. The widest bar is at the base, and the narrowest bar is at the top, or apex of the pyramid. This is because only around 10 percent of the energy in a particular feeding level is actually transferred to the next level. The other 90 percent is lost as heat and undigested food. So the total energy contained in each group gets progressively smaller as we move up the pyramid. And this is reflected by the shrinking width of the bars.

Now, let’s look back at our question. It asks us to find the consumers in the woodland energy pyramid. Well, we just learned that all of the bars of an energy pyramid except the base level contain consumers. So the correct answer is (A): herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores are all consumers.

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