The Food Chain

Living organisms need some form of nourishment and regular sources of nutrition to sustain life. Life on the earth exists because organisms feed and sustain life for a span of time while they age and reproduce. Organisms in an ecosystem depend on nature as well as on other organisms for their survival. The feeding is linked by the food chain. A food chain is nothing but a representation of the transfer of energy and food from one living being to another within an ecosystem.

The food chain diagrams have directed arrows that show the progression of the food chain from one species to another. The components of the food chain involve the producers and consumers. The consumers are directly or indirectly dependent on the producers. Primary producers are called autotrophs and are the organisms responsible for harnessing energy into food for other organisms. These are consumed by the dependents. Green plants that perform photosynthesis, some forms of algae or bacteria are the primary producers in every food chain.

Heterotrophic beings are the ones incapable of producing food on their own. They feed on producers or other consumers for their nutritional needs. There are many trophic levels in the food chain where energy flows from one level to the next. The end of a food chain always has a carnivore that feeds on other smaller consumers.

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