4.6 understand the transfer of substances and of energy along a food chain

  • When herbivores eat green plants, they take a lot of energy in their bodies – the herbivore uses this energy for movement and other living activities
  • Parts of the plant which can be digested excrete as waste, some of the plant’s transferred energy is used in growth and other organic matter and suprisingly very little of the energy stays within the body, then transferred to the secondary consumer
  • Only a very small amount of the producer’s original energy is retained by the secondary consumer – this energy is later taken into the body of the tertiary consumer
  • The amount of energy available for the tertiary consumer is a very little fraction of energy which the primary consumer gains from the plant
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