Use a food web to identify and distinguish producers, consumers, and decomposers. Explain the pathway of energy transfer through trophic levels and the reduction of available energy at successive trophic levels.
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Interdependence -

A. The distribution and abundance of organisms is determined by the interactions between organisms, and between organisms and the non-living environment.

B. Energy and nutrients move within and between biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems via physical, chemical and biological processes.

C. Human activities and natural events can have profound effects on populations, biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes


Annually assessed on Biology EOC. Also assesses SC.912.E.7.1.


    Also Assesses:

    SC.912.E.7.1 Analyze the movement of matter and energy through the different biogeochemical cycles, including water and carbon.

  • Clarification :

    Students will describe the energy pathways through the different trophic levels of a food web or energy pyramid.

    Students will analyze the movement of matter through different biogeochemical cycles.

  • Content Limits :

    Items referring to organisms in food webs are limited to the impact of changes in matter or energy in trophic levels.

    Items addressing food webs will require application of the knowledge of roles of organisms in a food web to describe energy pathways rather than the identification of producers, consumers (primary, secondary, tertiary), and decomposers.

    Items will not require knowledge of specific organisms or their feeding habits.

    Items assessing biogeochemical cycles are limited to the water cycle and the carbon cycle.

    Items referring to the biogeochemical cycles may address but will not assess photosynthesis and cellular respiration in isolation.

  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Scenarios will express energy in joules (J).
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply scientific knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge of SC.7.L.17.1, SC.7.L.17.2, SC.8.L.18.3, SC.8.L.18.4, SC.6.E.7.4, SC.8.P.9.1, SC.7.P.11.2, and SC.7.P.11.3.


  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question:

    A team of ecologists observed feeding patterns of several populations in the desert. The energy pyramid shown below depicts the feeding patterns the ecologists observed.


    Which of the following best explains the difference in the amount of available energy in the trophic levels of the desert ecosystem?

  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice