Trophic Relationships in the Marine Environment
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Location: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Library
Trophic relationships in the marine environment : proceedings of the 24th European Marine Biology Symposium / / Margaret Barnes and R.N. Gibson, editors.
All living things need energy to survive and thrive. Ultimately, all food energy starts with the sun (or, rarely, deep sea hydrothermal vents). Plants make their own food, through photosynthesis, from the energy of the sun. Things eat plants, and other things eat the things that eat the plants. And so on. Biologists call these relationships “Food Chains.” And when they are examining the more complex relationships that generally exist around who eats what, “Food Webs.” And since biologists, like most professionals, have their own lingo, there is an important–if obscure to outsiders–concept called ‘Trophic Levels,’ that biologists use in discussion of food webs. ‘Trophic’ means ‘of or relating to feeding and nutrition.’
Understanding food chains and food webs can be an important component of understanding ecological systems, including systems studied by the ecologists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
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