What Are Deciduous Forest Food Chains and Food Webs?

Deciduous forest food chains and food webs are terms that refer to the hierarchy of animals and plants living in temperate forests. The food web is comprised of consumers, secondary consumers, producers and decomposers.

The deciduous forest biome is diverse and supports a wide range of animal and plant growth. Food webs are interlocking food chains that exist within the same ecosystem. For instance, a wide variety of animals eat berries and plants in the forest, creating a food web with predators, such as bears or mountain lions, at the top of the food chain.

At the bottom of the food web are producers. Producers include flowers, trees and other plants that support primary consumers. Primary consumers are the group of animals and birds that eat producers as their main source of food. In a deciduous forest, primary consumers include mice, deer and other herbivores. Secondary consumers are animals that eat primary consumers for survival. Some birds, foxes and spiders are examples of secondary consumers.

Tertiary consumers are predators that are at the top of the food chain, and food web, of the deciduous forest. Tertiary consumers include bears, mountain lions and other large predators. Some tertiary consumers are omnivores, or animals that eat both producers and secondary consumers. For example, bears eat both meat and plants for survival. Decomposers are animals that clean the environment by removing dead or decaying animals left behind by other consumers or natural events.