In every ecosystem , there is a chain of energy. It flows from producer to different level consumers. This chain or system of flowing energy in different trophic level is termed as food chain. In every food chain producers make the food by photosynthesis or chemosynthesis then it flows in primary consumers ar herbivours, then secondary and then tertiary consumers. After that this energy get back to environment by decomposers and the chain repeats again and again.
Different Trophic Levels
These are the green belt of a ecosystem. These can synthesis their own food by using inorganic factors of environment as water, light, minerals etc. They have chlorophyll, where coantosome of thilacoid helps in photosynthesis.
E.g- Photosynthetic plant, Chemosynthetic bacteria etc.
These are the animals who cannot make their own food. They feed on producer directly or indirectly.
They direct feed on producers .E.g- Cow , Deer, Goat etc herbivour animals.
They feed on primary consumers . E.g- Tiger, Lion etc.
- They feed on both primary and secondary consumers. E.g- Vulture, Peacock etc.
Some Principles of Food Chain
- The flow of energy is unidirectional. The energy of primary consumer cant able to back to producer directly.
- One organism can take more than one trophic level. E.g- Man can be primary consumer by eating vegetables, leafs and can also be secondary consumer by eating meat.
- Single ecosystem can have multiple ecosystem at the same time.
- The energy being decrease with 10% law in every trophic level.
Types of Food Chain
Grazing Food Chain
This food chain starts with green plant and ends with carnivours.
These are 2 types.
- Predator food chain
It starts with green plant and end with predator . The size of organism gradually increases. E.g- Grass>Rodent>Snake
Organism size is high to low in different trophic level.
Detritus Food Chain
This food chain starts with waste or debris and ends with higher carnivores.
E.g dead leaf>earthworm>Hawk
Interlocking pattern of food chain is called food web.
A predator from one food chain may be linked to the prey of another food chain.
- A typical food web for a terrestrial ecosystem we can see that, a number of food chains operate which ultimately end either at the tertiary consumer level(lion) or at the secondary consumer level (owl).
- Another example of an aquatic food web in an aquatic ecosystem is given below.
Food Chain And Food Web
There are some difference in between food chain and food web.
- A food chain only follows just one path as animals find food.
- It is a part of food web.
- Energy flows occurs in one way.
- Food web is several food chains connected together.
- It is an assemblage of food chain.
- Energy flows through various food chains.
Types of Food Web
Three different concept of food web has been observed by Paine(1980).
- Connectedness Food Web: They are also known as topological food web. Such food web emphasises feeding relationships among organisms, portrayed as a links in the web. It depicts only the presence or absence of atrophic interaction.
- Energy Flow Food Web: it sometimes referred to as flow web or as bioenergetics web. Here connections are quantified by the flux of energy between a resource and consumer.
- Functional Food Web: Functional food web is also known as interaction food web. That identifies the feeding relationships within the topological food web that are most important to community structure.
These three food webs are important of each population in maintaining the integrity of a community.