Food Chain Definition and Types

In this food chain definition and types post we have briefly explained about food chain sequence and types of food chain sequence (grazing and decomposers).

Food Chain Definition and Types

Food chain sequence is the transmission of energy from one organism to another through a series of eating and being eaten by species in an ecosystem.

Example: In a grassland ecosystem, for example, grass converts solar energy into chemical energy through food synthesis, which is then consumed by a grasshopper. After that, a frog eats it, and the frog is eaten by a snake. Grasshoppers eat grass, thus its food for them. The grasshopper feeds the frog, and the frog feeds the snake.

It is formed by grass, grasshoppers, frogs, and snakes, in which the energy contained in food is passed from one organism to another.

Food chain

In pond ecology, big fish eat small fish, which eat zooplanktons, which eat phytoplanktons, which eat phytoplanktons. The other converts the sun’s light energy into chemical energy. All living and dead species are potential nourishment for other organisms. So, in a word, an ecosystem has no waste.

As a result, in an ecosystem, there is a definite sequence of producers and consumers, and their interactions, as well as population size, are described as trophic structure. The amount of living matter at each trophic level at any given time is known as standing crop or standing biomass and the position of organisms in a food chain sequence is referred to as trophic level.

The first trophic level includes all green plants (primary producers), plant eaters or herbivores (primary consumers), carnivores or secondary consumers (third trophic level), and other carnivores or tertiary consumers (fourth trophic level), and so on. The top predators are the carnivores at the top of the food chain sequence.


The grazing chain is the most common food chain sequence seen in ecosystems. As the name implies, it begins with green plants, and the sun is the primary source of energy for this chain, as plants carry out photosynthesis in the presence of sunlight.

Green plants are the major producers, and herbivores eat them, which are then eaten by carnivores. This chain is carried out by macroscopic creatures rather than microorganisms or other decomposers.


Food chain

The detritus chain begins with dead organic matter, such as animal carcasses or fallen leaves, which are consumed by microbes, and is subsequently followed by detritivores and their predators.

The residues of detritus serve as the primary source of energy in this chain, and the process is completed by subsurface creatures, which can be macroscopic or microscopic. As a result, these food chains are less reliant on solar energy.

In contrast to the grazing chain, the detritus chain emits a significant quantity of energy into the atmosphere. This form of food chain sequence ensures that the resources are used to their full potential and that there is minimal waste stuff that is readily available It aids in the fixation of inorganic nutrients and their optimal utilization.

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