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What is Food Chain ?

 What is Food Chain ?

  • Food chain is a sequence that describes which organism is consumed or eaten by the other organism.
  • It also explains the transfer of energy from plants to primary consumers, from primary consumers to secondary consumers and so on.
  • It consists of levels called trophic levels. These trophic levels describe the flow of energy among the organisms in a food chains.
  • In other words, the organisms at lower trophic levels are consumed by the organisms at higher level.
  •  It begins with producer organism, follows the chain and ends with decomposer organism.
  • Usually, the number of trophic levels is not more than four, because the energy loss at each level is very high.
  • Energy loss is high because most of the energy derived by an organism from consuming another organism is required to carry out day to day activities.

Types of Food Chain 

  • There are two types of food chains, namely grazing food chains and detritus food chains.

Grazing Food Chain

This  begins from plants at the base and the primary consumers are herbivores.

Examples

  1. In terrestrial ecosystem, grass is eaten up by a caterpillar which in turn is eaten by a lizard and the lizard is eaten by a snake.

Grass    –    Caterpillar   –      Lizard     –      Snake

  1. In aquatic ecosystem, phytoplanktons (primary producers) are eaten by zooplanktons which are eaten by fishes and fishes are eaten by Pelicans.

Phytoplankton    –     Zooplankton     –     Fish       –  Pelican

Detritus Food Chain

  • This  begins from dead organic matter. Dead organic matter is consumed by detritivores which are eaten by other predators.
  • Dead organic matter        Earth worm     – Chicken     –    Hawk
  • The distinction between these two food chains is the source of energy for the first level consumers.
  • In the grazing food chain, the primary source of energy is green plants, and in the detritus food chains, the primary source of energy is dead organic matter.
  • The initial energy source for detritus food chaine is the dead organic matter which is derived from the grazing food chain.

 

ALSO READ : https://www.brainyias.com/productivity-in-ecology/

Environment & Biodiversity

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