Each of several hierarchical levels in an ecosystem, consisting of organisms sharing the same function in the food chain and the same nutritional relationship to the primary sources of energy.
- The transfer of energy from lower trophic levels to higher ones is inefficient so herbivores eat large quantities of plant material, and carnivores eat many times their body weight of prey during their lifetime.
- Reduced sea ice extent or the timing of sea ice formation and break-up will impact the lower trophic levels of the ecosystems upon which polar bears depend.
- Other studies of omnivory have manipulated one trophic level, and have primarily been interested in the effects of omnivores on the lowest trophic level of a food chain or web.
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