The Food Chain of a Deciduous Forest

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  • 0:03 Into the Woods
  • 0:58 The Deciduous Forest
  • 1:52 Food Chain
  • 3:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ebony Potts

Ebony has taught middle and high school physical science, life science & biology. She's also been an assistant principal and has a doctorate in educational administration.

Can you describe how the organisms of a deciduous forest interact? This lesson will show you some of their interactions, as well as offer a visual representation of how these organisms relate to one another.

Into the Woods

It's a nice cool day outside, so Mikel decides to go for a jog on his favorite running trail through Wimberly Forest. It's the beginning of fall so the leaves on the trees have taken on a plethora of hues. Red, orange, yellow, and brown. What a beautiful backdrop to his morning run. As he finishes up, he takes a seat on a bench and begins to watch a chipmunk go about his day. The chipmunk is calmly, but quickly gathering nuts, and then all of a sudden, runs in the other direction. Mikel wonders what scared him off. A few seconds later he sees a snake slither by. Mikel is amazed! The chipmunk obviously realized he was very close to becoming breakfast for the snake, and he ran to get away. Many interactions between organisms like these are going on right here in this deciduous forest. Mikel begins to wonder what else he'll see if he sits and observes long enough.

The Deciduous Forest

A deciduous forest is a type of biome that can be found mostly in the eastern part of the United States, Europe, and east Asia. What separates this biome from others, is the fact that it has four distinct seasons: summer, fall, winter, and spring. In fact, the word deciduous means falling off, which refers to the fall season. In the fall in the deciduous forest, the trees lose their leaves in an effort to conserve water until spring. The fact that the deciduous forest has four very distinct seasons, affects which types of organisms live there. Having four seasons also means that there is a great range in temperatures. Temperatures can range from below freezing to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. There are quite a variety of organisms that live in the forest, which makes for a robust variety of plants and animals and a complex series of food chains.

Food Chain

A food chain is a linear, single-direction representation of the feeding relationships between organisms of a particular area. In simpler terms, that means it shows what organism eats what other organism in a given area. A food chain shows the feeding relationships in a very simplified manner and only gives you a tiny peek at what's going on in the ecosystem overall. To get a better idea, one would need to study all the food chains that represent an area. The combination of multiple food chains that depict an overall picture of the feeding relationships of an area in a multi-linear, multi-directional way is called a food web.

Most food chains and food webs contain some or all of the following organisms:

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