Image Simple ecosystem diagram

TLF ID M008781

This is a colour graphic representing the energy and nutrient flow in a simple food chain. The Sun and organisms making up the food chain are represented in diagrammatic form. The graphic is labelled and a key to the colour-coding of energy and nutrient flows is included.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Shows the biotic components of a food chain, including producers, primary and secondary consumers and decomposers, with identifying labels. In this diagram, primary consumers are represented by an insect and secondary consumers by a reptile.
  • Depicts the energy input from the Sun being trapped in plants by photosynthesis then flowing through the food chain, with some energy being lost to the environment at each stage. Each organism retains only a fraction of the energy it absorbs, and this is eventually released when the organism decays. The system can be maintained only as long as there is a supply of energy from the Sun.
  • Indicates how nutrients, unlike energy, are recycled through the ecosystem. Decomposers play a vital role in breaking down plant and animal remains into simple compounds that can be utilised by plants for growth. This makes the nutrients available to cycle through consumers again.
Learning area
  • Geography
  • Science

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: University of Waikato
  • Organization: University of Waikato
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: NEW ZEALAND
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd 2011 (except where otherwise indicated). You may copy, communicate and adapt this metadata for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.