The Populations of Organisms in the Rainforest

       Every organism needs to obtain energy in order to live. For example, plants get energy from the sun and people eat food. A food chain is the sequence of who eats whom in a biological community (an ecosystem) to obtain nutrition. A network of many food chains is called a food web. The food chain starts with plants or other autotrophs (organisms that make their own food from light and/or chemical energy) - these organisms are called primary producers. The primary producers are eaten by herbivores (plant-eaters) called primary consumers. The herbivores are eaten by carnivores (meat-eaters) and omnivores (animals that eat both animals and plants) - these organisms are called secondary consumers. Secondary consumers may be eaten by other carnivores called tertiary consumers. When any organism dies, it is eaten by tiny microbes (detrivores) and the exchange of energy continues.

Numbers of Organisms:
As in any food web, there are more plant-eaters in the rain forest than there are meat-eaters. There are also many more plants than there are plant-eaters. There are also more small animals than large animals. Insects are the most numerous animals in rainforests.