Food Chain & Food Web

Food chain

  • Linear sequence of organisms through which nutrients & energy pass as one organism eats another. In a food chain, each organism occupies a different trophic level, defined by how many energy transfers separate it from the basic input of the chain.
Food Chain & Food Web

Food Web

  • Consists of many interconnected food chains & is a more realistic representation of consumption relationships in ecosystems.
Food Web


Grazing food chain:

  • It starts from living green plants, goes to grazing herbivores and on to carnivores. 
  • Ecosystems with such a type of food chain are directly dependent on an influx of solar radiation.
  • Most ecosystems follow this type of food chain. 
  • Ex. Phytoplanktons →zooplanktons →Fish sequence or the grasses →rabbit →Fox.
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Detritus food chain:

  • It goes from dead organic matter into microorganisms and then to organisms feeding on detritus and their predators. 
  • Such ecosystems are less dependent on direct solar energy.
  • These depend chiefly on the influx of organic matter produced in another system.
  • Ex. Food chain operating in accumulated litter in a temperate forest.
  • Ex. Earthworms, crabs, slugs or vultures.
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