trophic level


: one of the hierarchical strata of a food web characterized by organisms which are the same number of steps removed from the primary producers

Examples of trophic level in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Through this process, called bioaccumulation, the heavy metals stick around and increase at each trophic level. Doug Johnson, Ars Technica, 19 Oct. 2022 One way that extra trophic level or two could be explained? Melissa Cristina Márquez, Forbes, 29 June 2022 One of the most important applications of nitrogen stable isotopes is its ability to determine the trophic level of a species. Melissa Cristina Márquez, Forbes, 29 June 2022 Feeding at the same trophic level does not necessarily imply direct competition between megalodon and great white sharks for the same prey, as both species could have specialized in different prey. Katie Hunt, CNN, 31 May 2022 What’s useful to Fleming is that these elements can act as tracers of different aspects of the environment, including, for a migrating whale, its geographic location and the trophic level (position in the food web) of what the whale has been eating. Jennifer S. Holland, Smithsonian, 1 Sep. 2017 This indicated that the birds’ food chain had become shorter; somewhere in the birds’ food chain, animals were eating at a lower trophic level. Wendy Mitman Clarke, Smithsonian, 26 Apr. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trophic level.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trophic level was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near trophic level

Cite this Entry

“Trophic level.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on trophic level

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!