Types of Water Pollution, Causes and Effects
Imagine the intricate silky details of a spider’s cobweb, to the human eye; it looks like an elaborate and perplex structure. So it is with the food chain, for it too is a complex network of feeding organisms in the cycle of life. There are four main parts associated with the food chain. The food chain consists of the sun, the producers, the consumers and the decomposers. Within these parts, there are organisms that are able to produce their own food, some which are not able to produce their own food and then there are those who survive by eating dead and decaying organisms. For example, plants are referred to as producers, getting their nutrients from the sun, the air and the soil from which they grow. Animals are the consumers, because their essential nutrients come from eating plants and other animals. Bacteria and fungi are the decomposers because they thrive on rotting organisms; once they consume these matters or substances, they give off essential nutrients that return to the soil, feeding the plants. There are three types of consumers in the food chain; Herbivores which eat plants, the Carnivores which eat animals and the Omnivores, which eat both plants and animals. Keep in mind, not only are four-legged creatures considered to be omnivores, but the human being is an Omnivore also, because man eats meat and veggies or plants and animals too.
There are different categories of food chains that are based around the habitats or biome ecosystems of a particular environment. These categories include the grazing or the grassland food chains; another is the forest food chain. Since living things also reside in water, there is a food chain and habitat in the oceans and pond ecosystems. When it comes to the biomes or the major ecosystems, they too are classified into categories, terrestrial biomes and aquatic biomes. In the grassland biomes, the dominant feature that feed the wild animals is the bountiful grasses. One such place is the Savannas. When we look at the pond ecosystem, organisms which supply food source there include algae, fungi, plants, fish and microorganisms. This particular food chain has three basic levels, first, second and third trophic levels. The food chain begins with the first level involving the producer of essential nutrients, the algae. The next stage of consuming what the alga puts out is the insect feeding, which would be the primary consumer in this food chain. Last but not least in this food chain are the fish, which would be the secondary consumer in this ecosystem. The fish benefit from what the insects produce in the way of nutrient. The food chain begins with the plants as the producer of nutrients, which will feed the insects in the 2nd level. At the top of the chain, which is the 3rd level, the fish reap the benefits from both the plants and the insects that were consumed in the first and second levels.
Under the murky waters of the ocean and seas are four trophic levels of the food chain that take place. On the ocean floor bed, plants and small organisms called Phytoplankton create nutrients for such things as star fish or small and large Zooplankton animals and organisms in level 2. This chain reaction then feeds such things as small squids and other larger animals in level 3 of this ecosystem. When you get to the top, which is level 4, you will find that the consumed food supply in level 3 benefits larger fish such as the tuna, dolphins and other large ocean mammals, which are caught and sold for human consumption, completing this particular food chain cycle.
We have mentioned a little on food webs and food chains. Though similar in their feeding ecosystems, they are very different in completing their final feeding process or relationship. In the food chain, the producer is eaten by a primary consumer, which is then eaten by a secondary consumer. In the end, the secondary consumer is eaten by the tertiary consumer. However, in the food web, the process is more complex, involving more creatures being eaten and fed. A food web graph actually shows the food supplies and choices that are available for an ecosystem of plants, organisms, animals and mammals.
When it comes to food chains, remember it all begins with the photosynthesis of plants. They are the producers manufacturing nutrients from raw material. The foods created by the plants feed the consumers, which are the herbivores and the carnivores. In other words, the food reaction gives off a chain effect that follows an order of completeness from one level to the next level of consumption, involving all living things.
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