FOOD CHAINS

FOOD CHAINS

 

A food chain is a

simple method of a representing food relation existing in an ecosystem by showing organisms eating and those being eaten.

 

English: A generic ecological or trophic pyram...

English: A generic ecological or trophic pyramid, which shows the flow of food energy upwards through an ecosystem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The organisms eating (eater) is the consumer. There are various levels of consumers namely:

 

  1. Primary consumers    1° (herbivores)
  2. Secondary consumer 2° (lower carnivores)
  3. Tertiary consumers 3° (higher consumer)
  4. Quaternary consumer 4° (scavengers)

 

In construction of a food chain  an arrow is used to link the different levels  of organism and the direction in which the arrow points is from the organism that is being consumed to the next consumer. E.g. Tilapia ——–Nile perch ——–Crocodiles———-Bacteria

 

From one level to the next level food energy is being transformed. The different levels are referred to as energy levels some of the food energy is utilized for respiration while s

 

ome of the energy is lost through various processes namely;

 

  1. In form of heat through defecation
  2. In form of heat through urination
  3. In form of heat through sweat
  4. In form of heat through panting
  5. In form of heat through exhalation

 

The amount of energy gained by the higher trophic levels keep on decreasing such that at the final level (decomposes) the amount of energy is negligible.

 

NB: Assuming there were no decomposers in an ecosystem the ecosystem would be full of dead un decomposed matter.  Other examples of food chains include;

Green plant producer —–herbivores——lower carnivores—-top carnivores— -scavanger

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