How Are Numbers Important?


Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Schoolyard and Urban Ecosystem

As you now know, a healthy ecosystem should have many types of plants, animals, insects, fungi, and bacteria. It is also important to remember that a healthy ecosystem has more plants (primary producers) and decomposers than herbivores and carnivores. There are also more herbivores than carnivores. Why, you ask?

  • it takes many plants (primary producers) to provide food (energy) to one herbivore
  • it takes many herbivores to provide food (energy) to one carnivore
  • it takes many decomposers to break down a dead plant, animal, or insect

The picture to the right shows a food pyramid. Arrows show direction that energy is flowing (the arrow pointing from the primary producers to the herbivores means that energy is moving from the plants to the herbivores).


Food Pyramid

Food Pyramid

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