What Is The Difference Between Food Chains And Food Webs

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 apex predator species (like grizzly bears or killer whales), detritivores (like earthworms or woodlice), or decomposer species (such as fungi or bacteria). Food chains interconnect to form a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. A food web is a series of overlapping food chains in an ecosystem. It is a more realistic representation of how energy and nutrients move through an ecosystem. The food web includes all of the possible feeding relationships and interactions between species in an ecosystem. In a food web, organisms are placed into different trophic levels. The organisms at the lowest trophic level are primary producers, such as plants. These organisms are eaten by primary consumers, such as herbivores. Secondary consumers, such as carnivores, then eat the primary consumers. Finally, tertiary consumers, such as apex predators, eat the secondary consumers. Decomposers, such as fungi and bacteria, break down the dead organisms and return nutrients to the soil.

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