Food chain, in ecology, the sequence of transfers of matter and energy in the form of food from organism to organism. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. Plants, which convert solar energy to food by photosynthesis, are the primary food source. Jan 21, · The food chain describes who eats whom in the wild. Every living thing—from one-celled algae to giant blue whale s—needs food to survive. Each food chain is a possible pathway that energy and nutrient s can follow through the ecosystem. For example, grass produces its own food from sunlight. A rabbit eats the grass.
A food chain is a linear network of links in a food web starting from producer organisms such as grass or trees which use radiation from the Sun to make their food and ending at an apex predator species like grizzly bears or killer whalesdetritivores like what day is valentines on or woodliceor decomposer species such as fungi or bacteria.
A food chain also shows how organisms are related to each other by the food they eat. Each level of a food chain represents a different trophic level. A food chain differs from a food web because the complex network of different animals ' feeding relations are aggregated and the chain only follows a direct, linear pathway of one animal at a time.
Natural interconnections between food chains make it a food web. A common metric used to quantify food web trophic structure is food chain length. In its simplest form, the length of a chain is the number of links between a trophic consumer and the base of the web.
The mean chain length of an entire web is the arithmetic average of the lengths of all chains in the food web. The food chain begins with a producer, which is eaten by a primary consumer.
The primary consumer may be eaten by a secondary consumer, which in turn may be consumed by a tertiary consumer. For example, a food chain might start with a green plant as the producer, which is eaten by a snail, the primary consumer. The snail might then be the prey of a secondary consumer such as a frog, which itself may be eaten by a tertiary consumer such as a snake. Food chains are very important for the survival of most species. When only one element is removed from the food chain it can result in describe what is meant by a food chain of a species in some cases.
The foundation of the food chain consists of primary producers. Primary producers, or autotrophsutilize energy derived from either sunlight or inorganic chemical compounds to how to connect netgear n150 wireless router complex organic compounds, whereas species at higher trophic levels cannot and so must consume producers or other life that itself consumes producers. Because the sun's light is necessary for photosynthesis, most life could not exist if the sun disappeared.
Even so, it has recently been discovered that there are some forms of life, chemotrophsthat appear to gain all their metabolic energy from chemosynthesis driven by hydrothermal vents, thus showing that some life may not require solar energy to thrive. Decomposerswhich feed on dead animals, break down the organic compounds into simple nutrients that are returned to the soil.
These are the simple nutrients that plants require to create organic compounds. It is estimated that there are more thandifferent decomposers in existence.
Many food webs have a keystone species. A keystone species is a species that has a large impact on the surrounding environment and can directly affect the food chain. If this keystone species dies off it can set the entire food chain off balance. Keystone species keep herbivores from depleting all of the foliage in their environment and preventing mass extinction.
Food chains were first introduced by the Arab scientist and philosopher Al-Jahiz in the 10th century and later popularized in a book published in by Charles Eltonwhich also introduced the food web concept.
The length of a food chain is a continuous variable providing a measure of the passage of energy and an index of ecological structure that increases through the linkages from the lowest to the highest trophic feeding levels. Food chains are often used in ecological modeling such as a three-species food chain.
They are simplified abstractions of real food webs, but complex in their dynamics and mathematical implications. Ecologists have formulated and tested hypotheses regarding the nature of ecological patterns associated with food chain length, such as increasing length increasing with ecosystem size, reduction of energy at each successive level, or the proposition that long food chain lengths are unstable. Producerssuch as plants, are organisms that utilize solar or chemical energy to synthesize starch.
All food chains must start with a producer. In the deep seafood chains centered on hydrothermal vents and cold seeps exist in the absence of sunlight. Chemosynthetic bacteria and archaea use hydrogen sulfide and methane from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps as an energy source just as plants use sunlight to produce carbohydrates; they form the base of the food chain. Consumers are organisms that eat other organisms.
All organisms in a food chain, except the first organism, are consumers. Food chain length is important because the amount of what is sickle cell anemia treatment transferred decreases as trophic level increases; generally only ten percent of the total energy at one trophic level is passed to the next, as the remainder is used in the metabolic process.
There are usually no more than five tropic levels in a food chain. For example, humans do not have the ability to directly digest grass or the nutrients from wild plants but can naturally obtain these nutrients by killing and consuming the meat from deer, antelope, or other grass-eating animals.
When only one element is removed from the food chain it can result in the extinction of a species in some cases. The efficiency of a food chain depends on the energy first consumed by the primary producers. The tertiary consumer is the 3rd consumer, it is placed at number four in the what is the ladybugs habitat chain.
Ecology portal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Aspect of ecosystems. For other uses, see Food chain disambiguation. Food chains are directional paths of trophic energy or, equivalently, sequences of links that start with basal species, such as producers or fine organic matter, and end with consumer organisms.
Bibcode : Sci PMID Archived from the original PDF on Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Bibcode : PNAS. PMC Retrieved Animal Ecology. London, UK. ISBN S2CID Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. The American Naturalist. Ecological Monographs. JSTOR Fundamentals of ecology. Nordic Foundation Oikos. ISSN Retrieved — via ResearchGate. Ecology : Modelling ecosystems : Trophic components. Chemoorganoheterotrophy Decomposition Detritivores Detritus. Ascendency Bioaccumulation Cascade effect Climax community Competitive exclusion principle Consumer—resource interactions Copiotrophs Dominance Ecological network Ecological succession Energy quality Energy Systems Language f-ratio Feed conversion ratio Feeding frenzy Mesotrophic soil Nutrient cycle Oligotroph Paradox of the plankton Trophic cascade Trophic mutualism Trophic state index.
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The sequence of the transfer of food energy from one organism to another in an ecological community. A food chain begins with a producer, usually a green plant or alga that creates its own food through photosynthesis. A food chain refers to the order of events in an ecosystem, where one living organism eats another organism, and later that organism is consumed by another larger organism. The flow of nutrients and energy from one organism to another at different trophic levels forms a food chain. The definition of a food chain is a system where a small animal is the food for a larger animal which, in turn, is the food for an even larger animal. An example of food chain is a fly being eaten by a frog and then the frog is eaten by a larger animal.
State one reason that the population of mountain lions is smaller than the populations of other animals in the food web. Award  if any organism in the food chain is not in the web diagram. Accept ECF for mistakes in previous part. Most students were able to pick a suitable food chain from the web given.
However a significant number seemed to ignore the web given and draw one from memory. There were a few with the arrows reversed and not starting with a producer. Updates to Questionbank. Date May Marks available 1 Reference code 15M. The image shows a forest food web from North America. Describe what is meant by a food chain. Identify a food chain with four or more organisms from the forest food web.
Deduce the trophic level of each organism identified in your food chain from b i. Most gained at least 1 mark for their description of a food chain. The naming of the trophic levels is given in 5. In c most were able to give a valid reason.
Core » Topic 4: Ecology » 4. Outline two Which calculation would test for The cladogram on the left is The potential to interbreed to produce fertile Members of the same ecological communityB What is the role of the Arctic hare?
Primary consumer II. Heterotroph III Define saprotrophic Organisms of the same genus living in an ecosystemB. Organisms living An environment in which an organism normally livesB. A group of Habitats B. Populations C. Abiotic factors D. A group of individuals A community B. The insects feed on the green Which pair of It ingests only non-living They feed on decaying organic matter, bacteria Species: Population: Community: 10M. A group of organisms living and interacting in the same trophic Its larvae feed on bat feces in caves in Guatemala.
What type Detritivores B. Autotrophs C Hide related questions. Example test [ New test ].