Life at Crater Lake National Park
The Food Chain: every living thing is essential to life on Earth.
The ecosystem is built around the food chain. The food chain demonstrates the relationship of all the different life forms. The basic idea of the food chain is that the plants feed the herbivores, and the herbivores feed the carnivores. Animals that do not get eaten by anything else will eventually die and decay. The death and decay process puts nutrients back into the soil, and the plants grow and make their own food from these nutrients. The diversity of the plants and animals in the community helps to maintain the ecosystem.
All living things serve a purpose in life, whether directly or indirectly. For example, mosquitoes might not be our best friends but they are food for bats. If all the mosquitoes died, then the bats might not have enough food and would starve to death. And if the bats become extinct, then the animal which feeds on bats would go through the same process. Or vice versa: We might think that bats are useless to us, but if bats were to become extinct, then the mosquitoes would become overpopulated. This destruction of natural process will go on and on, until one day, all the living things on this world might become extinct, including the human species.
Following are some representations of plants and wildlife at the park. For more information, please see the following pages from the National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/crla/crlafor.htm and http://www.nps.gov/crla/ani.htm.