A food chain is a sequence of deliver of matter and also energy through food, indigenous one organism to another. Due to the truth that most consumers in a food chain feed on an ext than one type of tree or animal, an linked network of the food chain is often uncovered in many ecosystems. This complicated of food chains is referred to as ‘food web‘.

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The primary resource of food in a food chain is often referred to as ‘producer’. Producer in a food chain, otherwise, referred to as autotrophs incorporate green plants and chlorophyll-containing algae. Thus, chlorophyll-containing plants, transform solar power (usually around 1%) come food through photosynthesis. Thus plants are described as the primary resource of food or producers in a food chain.

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Furthermore, in a predator (grazing) food chain, a plant-eating pet is fed on by a flesh-eating animal. The flesh-eating animals, in this case, room non-producers, since they perform not contain chlorophyll, a pigment forced for the major synthesis the food. In a detritus or decomposer food chain, microbe live ~ above dead organic matter.

Types that Food Chain

There room two main varieties of food chains, they are:

1) Predator (Grazing) food chain

2) Detritus (Decomposer) food chain

Grazing food chain

This form of food chain is showed when living green plants space fed on through grazing herbivores, i m sorry are, in turn, fed on by carnivores. Ecosystems v this type of food chain are very dependent on an flow of solar radiation. This is because, in predator food chains, the energy resource is the sun and the environment-friendly plants, because of their possession the chlorophyll (a pigment contained in the leaves and also stems of environment-friendly plants) use solar energy to make food for the ecosystem in a procedure referred to together ‘Photosynthesis’.

Photosynthesis is the procedure by which carbohydrates or street are manufactured in the parts of the plant containing chlorophyll through a mix of carbon dioxide and water in the existence of radiant power from the sun. Oxygen is provided off together a by-product of this process.


This form of chain therefore depends on autotrophic energy capture and also the transfer of this caught energy come herbivores. Most of the ecosystems in nature exhibition this type of food chain. Instances of food chains in this category include:

Phytoplankton -> zooplanktons -> small fish -> bigger fish -> bird -> Decomposer

In this instance of a predator food chain, the phytoplankton is mainly responsible because that the manufacturing of food (or necessary matter) through photosynthesis. The phytoplankton is spend by acellular and also multicellular biology such together zooplankton. The zooplanktons are consequently fed on through lobsters, crabs or small fishes. The small fish, lobster or crab is in turn fed on through a larger fish. The larger fish, in turn, is fed on by mammals, assorted reptiles or birds, who death and also subsequent decomposition through micro-organisms terminates the food chain

Another instance of predator (grazing) food chain

Grasses → hare → Fox

In this case, the grasses room the main producers in this food chain. They space able to produce food v the process of photosynthesis, utilizing the chlorophyll in your leaves and also stems in the visibility of sunlight.

The energy is transferred through food native the grasses to the rabbits as soon as the grasses are eaten by the rabbits. The Fox, a carnivore and a heterotroph, gift unable to develop its food through itself, relies on obtaining power by feeding ~ above the rabbit.

Detritus Food Chain

This type of food chain starts indigenous dead essential matter, i beg your pardon is fed top top by microorganisms to organisms feeding top top detritus and also their predators. Together ecosystems are, therefore, much less dependent on straight solar energy. These depend chiefly top top the flow of essential matter produced in an additional system.


For example, such kind of food chain operates in the decomposing collected litter in a warm forest. The is likewise referred to as ‘decomposer food chain’. Bacteria and also fungi feed on the feces of animals, the cellulose of collapse trees, dead bodies of animals, etc.

However, as bacterial cells of a decomposer varieties exhaust their supply the detritus (food), the bacterial populace decreases together a an outcome of an poor amount the food important for the sustenance of the totality bacterial population. The organic continues to be of the bacterial cells are decomposed by another set of microbial decomposer cells.

Therefore, the finish product that detritus food chains consists of carbon dioxide and inorganic link such together nitrates, sulphates, phosphates. In ~ the finish of the detritus cycle, no combustible organic matter is commonly left.

A typical example of this kind of food chain is illustrated below:

Humus → Earthworm → domestic fowl → human being → Decomposers

Each level in a food chain is frequently referred to together a ‘trophic level’. As one moves down the food chain, native the producer in grazing food chain or detritus in detritus or decomposer food chain, the power decreases indigenous one trophic level to the next. This is because energy is shed as one moves down a food chain from the producer come the final consumer in two key ways.

Therefore, the complete energy derived by last consumers is usually much lesser 보다 the quantity of energy acquired from the major producer or detritus in a food chain. The key ways by which energy is lost as one move from a greater trophic level come a reduced one includes:

Loss as result of respirationHeat

Importance of Food Chain

1) The research of food chain improves our expertise of the problems of bio-magnifications (That is, the boosting concentration that a toxic substance in tissues of tolerant organisms, which construct up at successively greater levels in a food chain).


2) The researches of food chain help us to understand the feeding relationships and the interactions between organisms in one ecosystem.

3) having actually knowledge of the food chain in an ecosystem allows us come appreciate the energy flow mechanism and circulation of matter in one ecosystem.

4) the improves ours knowledge around the activity of toxicity substances in an ecosystem.

Examples of Food Chain

1) Decayed tree – worms – bird – eagle (Grazing food chain)

2) Corn – chick – snake – male (Grazing food chain)

3) Dandelions – snail – frog – bird – fox (Grazing food chain)

4) Carrots – rabbit – snake – eagle (Grazing food chain)

5) Solar power – algae – fish – storks – crocodiles – decomposers (Grazing food chain)

6) Humus – Earthworm – domestic fowl – person being – Decomposers (Detritus food chain)

In conclusion, a food chain, typically a theoretical representation of how energy is transferred from one level in an ecosystem come another, may, at best, be described as dynamic. This is since some alterations to the theoretical depictions of the circulation of power may occur. This might be displayed as a skip the one or an ext trophic levels by the final consumers in obtaining energy from the main producers, thereby shortening the proposed food chain.

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A reduce food chain is useful in the sense that, the energy transferred come the final consumer is usually greater than what would have actually been acquired by the final consumer if the chain was longer. This preservation of energy, peculiar to much shorter food chains can be linked with a reduced loss of power through respiration or ns of energy as heat, as discussed earlier.