A trophic level refers to the level or position in the food chain or food web of a given ecosystem, which is determined by the number of energy-transmitting steps that are required to reach that level (energy pyramid).
All components in a food web can be assigned to what are known as trophic levels, each of which has its own characteristics. Each trophic level encompasses all organisms with the same type of food source. The level also indicates the position that a given plant or animal occupies in a food web: First come the primary producers (plants and algae), which are eaten by the primary consumers (herbivores). In turn, the latter are eaten by the secondary consumers (carnivores).