Food Chains in a Woodland Habitat

Written by chris dinesen rogers
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A food chain represents a flow of energy, or nutrients, within a habitat. A simple food chain shows how energy from the sun is captured by plants and cycled through the woodland system.

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Owls are a top carnivore in the forest food chain.
Owls are a top carnivore in the forest food chain. ("Captain Morgan ''evil eye'' the sweeper" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: michelphoto53 en Rénovation (Michel Villeneuve) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Plants as Producers

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants make food, with sunlight fueling a reaction between carbon dioxide and water.

Primary Consumers

Plants then provide food for terrestrial invertebrates such as insects and snails, which act as primary consumers within the food chain.

Secondary Consumers

Secondary consumers such as rodents and birds feed on these terrestrial invertebrates, assuring the continued flow of energy.


Insect-eating organisms or insectivores and plant-eating organisms or herbivores, in turn provide the primary source of energy for carnivores or flesh-eaters.


To keep the flow of energy cycling through the system, decomposers such as earthworms and millipedes release nutrients contained within plants and animals of the food chain, so that the cycle may continue.

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