WHAT IS FOOD CHAIN, FOOD WEB, TROPHIC LEVEL AND THEIR USES?

WHAT IS FOOD CHAIN, FOOD WEB AND TROPHIC LEVEL?

Food chain is defined as a feeding relationship involving the transfer of energy through food from producers to consumers. This is a linear feeding relationship; in which energy is transferred from producer/plants, through a series of organisms/trophic levels;

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in which each organism feeds on the preceding one, and provides food for succeeding one in the habitat.

During the process which occurs in food chain, food energy is transferred from one organism to another in a linear form. The arrows shows the direction in which the food is being transferred, even though most food chains begin with producers. There are few exemptions that start with dead plants or animals.

For example, humus==earthworm==domestic fowl==man

FOOD WEB

Food web is defined as a complex feeding relationship among organisms in the same environment with two or more inter-related food chains.
Food web contains two or more food chains and therefore more organisms than food chain. In nature, the interaction in feeding are more complicated because a single plant could be fed upon by more than one or two organisms. When a consumer feeds on different types of plants or animals in a food web, it has a better chance of survival in its ecosystem.

In the food web in the picture, there are four food chains in the terrestrial habitat. Example of a food web in an aquatic habitat is illustrated below.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FOOD CHAIN AND FOOD WEB

CHARACTERISTICS OF FOOD CHAIN

1. It is a linear feeding relationship.

2. It involves one food chain.
3. It involves fewer organisms.
4. Organisms have lesser chance of survival.

Opportunity cost of food
OPPORTUNITY COST

CHARACTERISTICS OF FOOD WEB

1. It is a complex feeding relationship.
2. It involves two or more food chains.
3. It involves many organisms.
4. Organisms have greater chance of survival.

CHARACTERISTICS OF TROPHIC LEVEL

Trophic level, also called feeding level, is defined as the feeding level or each stage in a food chain or food web. In other words, trophic level is the number of links by which food energy is transferred from producers to final consumers. For example, in a food chain like the one below, we can have these levels.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PYRAMID OF NUMBER

Pyramid of number refers to the number of individual organisms at each trophic level which decreases progressively from the first to the last trophic level in a food chain. Pyramid is a diagrammatic representation of food chain in which producers form the base and the carnivores form the apex.
In a food chain or food web, there are relative number of organisms at different trophic levels. Normally, the number of organisms decreases progressively from the first to the last trophic level. For example,
Grasses==Grasshoppers==Lizards==Hawks

The number of grasses eaten by grasshoppers is greater than the number of grasshoppers, while the number of grasshoppers eaten by lizards is greater than the number of lizards and finally the number of lizards eaten by hawks is greater than the number of hawks. From this explanation, one discovers that there is a progressive decrease in the number of organisms from the first to the last trophic level. The diagrammatic representation of this progressive decrease in the number of organisms along the food chain is called pyramid of number. read about biting and chewing insect here.
endo-parasite here
sucking and piercing insect here

CHARACTERISTICS OF PYRAMID OF ENERGY

Pyramid of energy is defined as the amount of energy present in the living organisms at the different trophic levels of a food chain. In other words, the pyramid of energy represents a progressive decrease in energy from the first trophic level in a food chain or web. read more about energy transfer in the ecosystem here

Just like the pyramid of number, the producers at the first trophic level contain most of the energy.

The primary consumers have lesser energy while the secondary or tertiary consumers have the least energy.
Just like the pyramid of numbers, the producers as in the grasses form the base of the pyramid while the tertiary consumers, e.g. hawks from the apex. Energy therefore decreases from the base of the pyramid to the apex.
don’t forget to read my post on weeds and their botanical names here

PRINCIPLES GOVERNING TROPHIC LEVELS AND THE PYRAMIDS

1. Food chain starts with photosynthesis (producers) and ends with decay.
2. Shorter food chains are made more efficient than larger food chains in term of waste of energy.
3. Large population are characterized by more steps in food chain. This means that useful energy decreases so that little of it will be made available to the tertiary consumers.

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WEED AND THEIR BOTANICAL NAMES
1. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
2. DISEASES
3. 52. SOIL MICRO-ORGANISMS
4. ORGANIC MANURING
5. FARM YARD MANURE
6. HUMUS
7. COMPOST
8. CROP ROTATION
9. GRAZING AND OVER GRAZING
10. IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE
11. IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
12. ORGANIC MANURING
13. FARM YARD MANURE
14. HUMUS
15. COMPOST
16. CROP ROTATION

  1. IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE
    19. IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
    20. INCUBATORS
    21. MILKING MACHINE
    22. SIMPLE FARM TOOLS
    23. AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION
    24. THE CONCEPT OF MECHANIZATION
    25. PROBLEMS OF MECHANIZATION
    26. SURVEYING AND PLANNING OF FARMSTEAD
    27. IMPORTANCE OF FARM SURVEY
    28. SURVEY EQUIPMENT
    29. PRINCIPLES OF FARM OUTLAY
    30. SUMMARY OF FARM SURVEYING
    31. CROP HUSBANDRY PRACTICES
    32. PESTS AND DISEASE OF MAIZE- ZEA MAYS
    33. CULTIVATION OF MAIZE CROP
    34. OIL PALM
    35. USES OF PALM OIL
    36. MAINTENANCE OF PALM PLANTATION
    37. COCOA

38.
39. PROCESSES IN COCOA CULTIVATION
HOLING AND LINING
40. YAM
41. LAND PREPARATION FOR YAM
42. DEPT OF PLANTING
43. SPACING OF YAM
44. PLANTING DEPT OF YAM
45. STORAGE OF YAM
46. STAKING OF YAM
47. HARVESTING OF YAM
48. COWPEA
JUTE
49. FORAGE CROP AND PASTURE
50. FORAGE GRASSES
51. SILAGE
52. PASTURE
53. TYPES OF PASTURE
COMMON GRASSES AND LEGUMES
54. GRASSES
55. LEGUMES
56. ESTABLISHMENT OF PASTURES
57. 201. FORAGE PRESERVATION
58. HAY SILAGE
59. FORESTRY IMPORTANCE OF FORESTRY 206. FOREST MANAGEMENT FOREST REGULATION DEFORESTATION AFFORESTATION
60. DISEASES AND PESTS OF CROPS
61. MAIZE SMUT
62. RICE BLAST
63. MAIZE RUST
64. LEAF SPOT OF GROUNDNUT
65. COW-PEA MOSAIC
66. COCOA BLACK POD DISEASE

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  1. BALANCED DIETS
    141. LACTATION DIETS
    142. MALNUTRITION
  2. RINDER PESTS
    148. NEWCASTLE DISEASE
    149. BACTERIA DISEASES
    150. ANTHRAX
    151. BRUCELLOSIS
    152. TUBERCULOSIS
    153. FUNGAL DISEASES
  3. PROTOZOAN DISEASES
    155. TRYPONOSOMIASIS

    159. TAPE WORM
    160. ROUND WORM OF PIGS
    161. LIVER FLUKE
    162. ECTO PARASITES
    163. TICK

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