Food Chain

Transfer of food energy from source (producer) to organisms consuming it (primary consumers) & further these organisms in turn are eaten up by organisms to which they are food source (secondary consumers) and so on, in a linear series.

Types of Food Chains:

Types of Food Chain
  • Grazing Food Chain:
    • Starts from living green plants (producers).
    • The producers are consumed by herbivores (primary consumers).
    • Further, herbivores are eaten up by carnivores (secondary consumers or primary carnivores) and so on.
Grazing Food Chain
  • Detritus Food Chain:
    • Starts from dead/non-living organic matter, which is being broken down by microbes.
    • The organic matter is the then consumed by detrivores (primary consumers).
    • Detrivores are further eaten up secondary consumers or primary carnivores & so on.
Detritus Food Chain

In real life, it is impossible to consider each food chain as an isolated unit. Different food chains are interconnected making a sort of web termed food web.

Food Web

A food web contains a series of interconnected food chains.

Food Web

Some other points to consider:

  1. In all ecosystems, grazing & detritus food chains interconnected.
  2. Assimilation of whole food consumed does not occur. Some undigested matter /faeces are diverted to detritus food chain.
  3. Both overgrazing & undergrazing are detrimental as decrease or increase in population of any trophic level will affect the dependent trophical levels.

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