Food Chains And Food Webs

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Food Chains And Food Webs

Food Chains and Food Webs – Understanding and Differences – A food chain is an event of eating and being eaten in a certain order and direction. In this event, energy is transferred from producers to consumers, then to decomposers, this happens continuously. In this ecosystem, living creatures have their own roles, some play the role of producers, some play the role of consumers, and some play the role of decomposers or decomposers.

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The food chain is a model that shows the flow of nutritional energy from one organism to another in an ecosystem. The length of a food chain depends on the number of organisms. But what is the difference between a food chain and a food web?

Of course, these things are related to each other, let's look at the following explanation.

Understanding the Food Chain

A food chain is an eating event between living things in a certain order. Each level of each food chain in an ecosystem is called a trophic level. The order of trophic levels in the food chain includes:

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  • At the first level are organisms that are capable of producing substances that produce their own food, namely green plants or autotrophic organisms, in other words, often called producers. Starting from the plant species or producer (such as trees or grass).

  • Organisms that occupy the second level are called consumers, namely living creatures that cannot produce their own food and depend on other organisms to survive. Consumers are divided into primary consumers (Consumer I), for example herbivorous plant-eating animals such as cows, goats and rabbits.

    Secondary consumers (Consumer II) are living creatures that eat consumer I or carnivorous meat-eating animals and tertiary consumers (consumer III) eats consumer II and so on. This activity occurs continuously, ending at the highest trophic or consumer peak so that no one else eats them (such as humans, bears, crocodiles or killer whales) they die by themselves and will parsed.

  • Detrivores species (such as earth or woodworms) as decomposer species.
  • Decomposer species (such as fungi or bacteria) are also final decomposers.

Food chains can show who they are related to each other by the food they eat. Plants and animals need some type of food to survive. Plants produce their own food by the process of photosynthesis. Because they produce their own food, they are called producers while creatures that do not produce their own food such as animals and humans are known as consumers. The scope of the food chain is only a small part of the natural processes that occur in living things.

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In a food chain, there are three types of main "chain" links between trophic levels, namely the predator chain, the parasite chain, and the saprophytic chain. There are two basic types of food chains:

Grass food chain “grazing food chain”, which is the beginning of the food chain in tropical plants originally. Food chain residue / detritus “food chain detritus”, namely a non-food chain starting from plants, but starting from detritivores.

In deep sea communities, many organisms live off organic debris (“marine snow”) which is the accumulation of feces and/or remains of animals that lived near the ocean surface. Food chains are generally relatively short.

In unique ecosystems, for example in hydrothermal vents, the producers are chemosynthetic bacteria that can convert the chemical energy into hydrogen sulfide and symbiotically with tube worms. So the crab eating worms are then eaten by the octopus.

In general, food chains play an important role in the analysis of ecological health. The accumulation of pollutants and their impact on animals can be traced through food chains in ecology.

Also Read: Non-Biological Natural Resources

Understanding Food Webs

A food web is the relationship between a food chain and what species eat in an ecological system, or in other words a collection of several interconnected food chains. Food webs are also known as resource systems. Naturally, living creatures eat more than one variety of food.

For example, squirrels eat seeds, fruit, and nuts. The squirrel was eaten by a fox or raccoon. Foxes also eat mice and grasshoppers, among other things. Most creatures are part of some food chain. A food web with producers in the ecosystem and interconnected branches of the food chain that show who is eaten in the ecosystem.

The general difference between food chains and food webs is that food chains are part of food webs or simply food chains the process of eating is eaten on a smaller scale while the food web is a process or collection of food chains on a larger scale and wide.

In the food web, the increased stability of the ecosystem is due to the presence of complex food webs. The food chain has no effect on increasing the adaptation and competitiveness of living things, while more Complex food webs can increase adaptability and competitiveness to survive.

Difference Between Food Chains and Food Webs.

The general difference between food chains and food webs is that food chains are part of food webs or simply food chains the process of eating is eaten on a smaller scale while the food web is a process or collection of food chains on a larger scale and wide.

In the food web, the increased stability of the ecosystem is due to the presence of complex food webs. The food chain has no effect on increasing the adaptation and competitiveness of living things, while more Complex food webs can increase adaptability and competitiveness to survive.

A food web is more than a food chain and is more complex. below the food web, you can see the base of the food web: Green plants-Grasshoppers-frogs-Birds-Eagles.

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  • Number of organisms

In any food web, energy is lost every time another organism eats. Therefore, there must be more plants than there are plant eaters. There should be more than heterotrophic autotrophs, and more plant eaters than meat eaters. Although there is intense competition between animals, there is also interdependence. When one species becomes extinct, it can affect a whole chain of other species and have unpredictable consequences.

  • Equilibrium

As the number of carnivores in society continues to increase, they will eat more and more herbivores, this will lead to a decline in the herbivore population. It then becomes increasingly difficult to find carnivorous herbivores to eat, and therefore carnivore populations will decline. In this way, carnivores and herbivores exist in a relatively stable equilibrium, each limiting the other's population. An equal balance exists between plants and plant eaters.

  • Types of Food Chains

Grazing- the food chain Grazing begins with photosynthesis of fixing light, carbon dioxide, and water by plants (primary producers) that produce sugars and other organic molecules. Once produced, these compounds can be used to make various types of plant tissue.

Primary consumers or herbivores form the second link in the food chain. They get their energy by eating primary producers. Secondary consumers or primary carnivores, the third link in the chain, get their energy by eating herbivores. Carnivorous tertiary or secondary consumers are animals that receive their energy by consuming organic primary carnivores.

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  • The detritus food chain is different from the grazing food chain:

generally smaller organisms (such as algae, bacteria, fungi, insects, and centipedes) functional role Different organisms cannot be grouped into categories such as trophic levels of the Grazing chain food. detritivores live in environments (such as soil) that are rich in dispersed food particles. As a result, rots are less motile than herbivores or carnivores. Decomposers process large amounts of organic material, converting it back to inorganic nutrient forms.

  • Trophic level

Organisms in a food chain are grouped into categories called trophic levels. Roughly, these levels are divided into producers (first trophic level), consumers (second, third, and fourth trophic levels), and decomposers.

Producers, also known as autotrophs, make their own food. They make up the first level of any food chain. Usually plants are autotrophic or single-celled organisms. Most autotrophs use a process called photosynthesis to make “food” (a nutrient called glucose) from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water.

Plants are the most familiar type of autotroph, but there are many other types. Algae, which form larger forms known as seaweed, are autotrophs. Phytoplankton, small organisms that live in the sea, are also autotrophs. Several types of autotrophic bacteria. For example, bacteria that live in active volcanoes use sulfur compounds to produce their own food. This process is called chemosynthesis.

The second trophic level consists of organisms that feed on producers. These are called primary consumers, or herbivores. Deer, turtles, and many bird species are herbivores. Secondary consumers eat herbivores. Tertiary consumers eat secondary consumers. There may be more consumer levels before the predator chain finally culminates. Top predators, also called apex predators, eat other consumers.

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Consumers can be carnivores (animals that eat other animals) or omnivores (animals that eat both plants and animals). Omnivores, like humans, consume a lot of food. People eat plants, such as vegetables and fruit. We also eat animals and animal products, such as meat, milk, and eggs. We eat mushrooms, like mushrooms. We also eat algae, edible seaweed such as nori (used to wrap sushi rolls) and sea lettuce (used in salads).

Detritivores and decomposers are the final part of the food chain. Detritivores are organisms that eat the plants and animals that live there. For example, scavengers such as vultures eat dead animals. Dung beetles eat feces. Decomposers such as fungi and bacteria complete the food chain. They convert organic waste, such as plant decay, into inorganic material, resulting in fertile soil. Complete life cycle decomposers, returning nutrients to the soil or sea to be used by autotrophs. This starts a new food chain.

Pollutant Accumulation in the Food Chain

Pollutants that are difficult or impossible to decompose in the environment can enter the bodies of organisms and move from one organism to another through food chains or food webs.

An example of the pollutant DDT (Dichloro Diphenyltnichloroe Tana) which is used by farmers as an insecticide. DDT is difficult to break down, so residues remain in the water or soil, where they are then absorbed by algae or growing plants. DDT also cannot be broken down by reactions in living bodies. When algae or plants are eaten by herbivores, DDT will then move to the bodies of herbivores, carnivores, and so on up to consumers at the highest trophic level. At each trophic level, DDT accumulation will increase. The highest accumulation is found at the highest trophic level. The process of progressive accumulation of contaminants at trophic levels is called biomagnification through the food chain.

Accumulation of DDT in an organism's body can cause disturbances in the body's physiology and genetic mutations (genes or chromosomes). Pollutant concentrations are expressed in ppm (parts per million) which are compared to one million other parts. For example, if the concentration of DDT in the body of a large fish is 2 ppm, this means that there are 2 mg of DDT in 1 kg of body mass of the large fish.

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1st example of food chain on land:

  1. Plants will absorb and use sunlight to produce or produce food in the form of sugar, and will be stored in seeds, stems, fruit, and other storage places other.
  2. Rats (level I consumers), namely herbivores or plant eaters, will eat these plants. Then the rat's body converts some food into energy for its activities and reproduction.
  3. Snakes (level II consumers), namely carnivorous or meat-eating animals, will eat mice. Rats are food or a source of energy for snakes, so that snakes can survive.
  4. Eagles (level III consumers or peak consumers) will eat snakes. Eagles eat snakes to use the energy available from the snake to survive.
  5. When an eagle dies, it then rots. During the decay process, it will be broken down by microorganisms such as bacteria and then absorbed again by the soil where plants such as grass grow.

2nd Example of Food Chain in Water or Sea:

  1. Phytoplankton (Producers), in aquatic ecosystems Phytoplankton act as producers because of their ability to photosynthesize, forming food reserves (amylum).
  2. Fish (level I consumers), namely animals that eat phytoplankton, then the fish's body will convert the food into energy for survival.
  3. Seals (level II consumers), seals eat fish, because fish is one of their food sources.
  4. Killer whales (level III consumers or peak consumers), will eat seals. Killer whales eat seals to use the energy available from the snakes to survive.
  5. When a whale dies, it then decomposes. During the decomposition process, it will be broken down by microorganisms such as bacteria and then absorbed again by the soil where the plants are or marine ecosystems such as sea grass, etc.

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That's the explanation about Food Chains and Food Webs – Definition and Differences which we present to loyal friends of education lecturers. Com Hopefully this is useful 😀

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