Chain vs. a Niche
explore the difference between a food chain and a "niche."
- A food
chain follows energy through a system. It begins with
plants obtaining energy from the sun and involves predator/prey
interact in many other ways, too! And they also interact with the
physical environment. Such interactions make up an animal's niche.
- A niche is
the role an organism plays in a community; how an organism interacts
with the environment and other organisms. More simply put, an organism's
habitat is its home, and its niche is its job.
tree and the interactions listed below to illustrate the tree’s
niche. Only some of the interactions are part of the food chain.
Put a star to show which ones are:
limb provides a nest for a bird.
tree’s bark houses an insect during winter.
woodpecker drums through a tree’s wood and captures
roots absorb water from the soil.
tree’s leaves gather sun and grow, through photosynthesis.
tree’s leaves provide shade for a plant growing beneath
tree’s leaves add humidity to the air, through transpiration.
fallen leaves are eaten by a worm.
tree’s branches serve as a highway for squirrels.
tree’s highest branch is a perch for a hawk to sit
and watch for prey.
tree’s flowers are pollinated by the wind.
tree’s seeds are eaten by a squirrel.
more ideas of your own!
Science Education Standards
animals depend on plants. Some animals eat plants for food. Others
eat animals that eat plants.
ecosystems, the major source of energy is sunlight. Energy entering
ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical
energy through photosynthesis. That energy then passes from organism
to organism in food webs.
of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an