All living things need food to live and grow, and creatures eat more than one variety of plant or animal. Food chain is the sequence in which matter and energy in the form of food gets transferred from one organism to another. Unless another there is enough food available to all living organisms, their survival and the stability of the environment cannot be ensured. The prey species binge on plant life in their habitat while the predators control the prey population and outbreak of diseases. Any change in the chain can cause a ripple effect. The prey-predator relationship in many ecosystems has become complex in recent times due to threats such as global warming. climate change and loss of habitat.

There are four main elements of the food chain:

1. The Sun: The sun is the planet’s primary energy source, powering everything else.

2. The producers: All autotrophs, such as phytoplankton, cyanobacteria, algae, and green plants, are producers in a food chain. A food chain starts here. The food chain begins with the farmers and ranchers. To create food, the producers make use of solar energy. Autotrophs, who produce their own food, are another term for producers. Any plant or creature that has its own nutrition through photosynthesis is a producer. Green plants, phytoplankton, and algae, for instance, are food chain producers.

3. The consumers: All creatures that depend on plants or other organisms for nutrition are considered consumers. This is the most critical component of the food chain since it includes nearly all species of living creatures. Herbivores consume plants, carnivores eat other animals, parasites survive on other creatures by damaging them, and scavengers devour dead animals’ corpses, all of which are included in the animal kingdom.

4. The decomposers: Decomposers are creatures that get energy from dead or discarded organic material. This is the final level of the food chain. Decomposers are essential components of the food chain because they transform organic waste into inorganic materials such as nutrient-rich soil or land.

Decomposers aid in nutrient recycling by supplying nutrients to soil or seas that autotrophs or producers may use. As a result, a completely new food chain is formed.

Food Chain Types

Food chains are classified into two types: detritus food chains and grazing food chains. Let’s study them in detail:

1. Detritus food chain:
The detritus food chain includes many creatures and plants such as bacteria, protozoa fungus, algae, insects, mites, and worms. The detritus food chain begins with decomposing organic matter. Food energy is transferred to decomposers and detritivores, which are then consumed by smaller creatures such as predators. Carnivores, such as maggots, become prey for larger carnivores such as frogs, snakes, and so on. Primary consumers, such as fungus, bacteria, and protozoans, are detritivores that feed on detritus.

2. Grazing food chain:
The grazing food chain is a sort of food chain that begins with green plants and progresses via herbivores and predators. Photosynthesis provides energy to the lowest trophic level in a grazing food chain.
The initial energy transmission in this sort of food chain occurs from plants to herbivores. This food chain is based on the transfer of energy from autotrophs to herbivores. Because autotrophs constitute the foundation of all ecosystems on Earth, most ecosystems on the planet follow this type of food chain.

Credit : Akash BYJUS

Picture Credit : Google 

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