What is a Food Chain? The various Types and Examples of Food Chain

A food chain is a set of related beings that reaches different stages of development and is capable of sustaining itself by feeding on another being. These beings are called species, and the individuals that are part of a food chain range in size from a single human being to whole populations and are joined by a sort of physical or even virtual glue that holds them together. It is basically a description of an organism in a directed relationship: Eaters pass on information about food, its quantity and quality; producers take it in and return with additional fresh produce; and consumers buy what the producer produces at higher prices than the producer would have sold it for anyway. Chain is usually found in nature and is thought to be a more efficient way of storing sunlight, water, and nutrients than a more direct system like forests or oceans.

An example of a Food Chain

When we consider the food chain, it can help to think about how we live small or grow large by considering the most useful members of each group when considering evolution, and how we can better treat them. What is one example of a food chain? The example given in Wikipedia is: If there is a strong relationship between consumers and producers, there could be examples of food chains.

Animal food is mostly plants. The herbivores, like rabbits and insects, are carnivores, which means they eat meat. They are the consumers of their primary food source (the plant material). Because this occurs in groups, these animal chains are often called food chains.

Animals are all eating at the same time and because they can’t run fast or far enough to escape predators, they use the energy they use to rise and fall with the food chain. There’s a definite order in which things will happen in the food chain. Most notably, it’s during the lighter, more active stages of animals that have the ability to run that we find predatory. There’s a list of animals that will lead the “middle” section of the food chain. These animals would include horses and donkeys, but other than these there are some in between that we can expect to see on the lower end of the food chain or “reasonably aggressive predators”.

Types of Food Chain

There are two types of food chain-

A. The grazing food chain: It is beginning with autotrophs and it is also organic, self-sustaining, short-term in nature, dependent on and self-organizing.

B. Detrital food chain: It is beginning with dead organic matter. It grows slowly – one generation at a time – through natural selection and improbable combinations.

All food chains start with energy from the sun

All food chains, big or small, start with energy from the sun. All plants that have been harvested and processed have sunlight as an energy source. This means that all food cannot be produced on land where there is no sunlight. If a farmer cannot capture the sunlight for his crops, then he will produce at a plant site where there is sufficient sunlight.

It is generally accepted that every living thing on Earth has started its life and has used some form of solar energy to do so. Animals such as bacteria and fungi can make use of photosynthesis to get the energy they need for growth as it is passed along to them through sunlight. Plants, however, have taken the solar route, as do all living things including human beings. Plants radiate away energy as heat quickly leaving the surface or core area where this radiation is directed. This is why sunlight can be such a powerful energy source in a plant (at least until the solar energy is directed away from them).

A food chain consists of producers and consumers

In a simple food chain, first, there is the producer, usually a plant. After that, there are producers of the primary consumers (people) and last, there are consumers, which are usually animals. Everyone involved in the chain benefits from it through the producers and consumers. The animals eating plants are called as primary consumers and animals eating primary consumers are called as secondary consumers. Primary consumers don’t need to be located in close proximity as they are considered to be short-term users of the resources.

A food chain includes producers and consumers

A food chain includes producers, such as plants, which create food from sunlight; primary consumers or herbivores that eat plants; and secondary and higher-level consumers that eat the herbivores or lower-level consumers. Everyone can benefit from eating the food chain. We eat because it is good for us and helps keep the ecosystems around us healthy. Humans have always eaten animal-based foods because they supply more calories than plant-based foods and, as such, potentially contributed to the better health of our ecosystems. These benefits are not coming from a technological breakthrough; they are flowing from how humans interact with one another through food chains and ecosystems.

Various Type of Food Chains

Phytoplankton food Chain

The phytoplankton chain is a natural process that performs an important function for the entire marine food web. The phytoplankton eat food. And as a general rule, food is either alive or dead, and it has no matter or energy. The phytoplankton consume food and moderate exchange of contents takes place in the water column between upwell and downwell sources of the food web. These exchanges result in reduction of plankton biomass.

Ocean Food Chain

A food chain in the ocean begins with tiny one-celled organisms called diatoms, which make their own food from sunlight. Shrimplike creatures eat the diatoms. Small fish eat the shrimplike creatures, and bigger fish eat the small fish. The process is so exquisitely delicate that it will take tens of thousands of years for a single plankton bloom to develop into an ocean full of blue-green algae, plankton, and phytoplankton.

Animal Food Chain

Animal food chain is the order in which animals and plants eat each other in order to survive. Every living creature needs to eat other creatures below it. Every ecosystem has a different food chain, depending on which animals and plants live there. The lowest part of the food chain are the plants. There are many points of comparison between animal and plant life. Those include, but are not limited to: physical structure, metabolic needs, eating habits, reproductive needs, and ecological niches. Often these are precursors to a later stage in the food chain.

Desert Food Chain

A desert food chain is a chain of organisms that are so close together that they share many of the same resources and thus must specialize in living within a limited area. A desert food chain shows how living organisms get their energy from each other. Food chains are typically shown as a pyramid with the largest organism at the top getting most of its energy and the smallest organism at the bottom getting very little energy.

Forest Food Chain

Forest food chain is defined as the interacting relationships among species. Not only the plants and animals but also other ecosystems which also play an important role in the ecosystem are part of the food chain including humans. We humans get dependent on various arthropods for various reasons e.g. to survive seasonal changes, or food supply limitations.

Human Food Chain

The human food chain starts with plants. Plants eaten by humans are called fruits and vegetables, and when they eat these plants, humans are primary consumers. Most humans also eat animals further up the food chain. Because they eat both plants and animals, humans are considered omnivores. However, certain species of plants and animals have specialized diets that make them more suited to a human or livestock diet than others would be. For example, certain plants can grow very well in controlled environments and can yield a greater crop than plants grown under natural conditions. Humans are at the top of the food chain because we can hunt around the world for these kinds of plants and animals.

Pond Food Chain

A pond includes many types of animals, some of which are food for aquatic insects and vertebrates. Fish constitute another important link in the food chain. Herbivores (Plants) that eat plants also furnish nutrients for invertebrates which are lower on the food chain.

Tundra Food Chain

The food chain of the Arctic Tundra shows a dominance of predators. The top predators include owls, foxes, wolves, and polar bears. These predators are all top predators because they can easily catch prey at higher elevations where prey are more easily spotted and humans and pups can’t see them coming. The predators seem to have an advantage over other predators and prey group members in that they move fast and hunt more frequently.

Trophic levels of Food Chain

The Trophic level represents the flows of food from the land and water through the entire food chain. All life depends on an ecosystem. I define an ecosystem as a network of interacting, interacting organisms. Human life forms within this network as producers (individuals that produce something) and consumers (individuals that consume something, either directly or indirectly). If an ecosystem is large enough, organisms can tie together to form larger groups than they do individually. The largest network in any ecosystem is called the ‘root’ and comprises all organisms that have a direct or indirect effect on the other parts of the network.

What are the Producers of A food Chain

The producers of a food chain are organisms that generate chemical energy directly or indirectly using carbon from other living things. These organisms are central to the Earth’s biosphere and the carbon cycle. The process of generating the chemical energy ends when the producer consumes the product of its own metabolism — basically it is a net negative externality. Examples of producers include algae and some plants, whose photosynthesis consumes carbon dioxide, when sunlight is available for photosynthesis.

What are the Consumers of A food Chain

There are two general types of consumer: herbivores and carnivores. Herbivores include, bison, deer, sheep, goat, poultry, fish, fruits and nuts. Carnivores include, horses, dogs, burros, deer and rodents. Each has different nutritional needs and they can be distinguished by size and carnivores eat meat and herbivores eat plants.