In nature, two types of food chains are basically recognized: the grazing food chain and the detritus food chain. Therefore, this type of chain depends on the capture of autotrophic energy and the movement of this captured energy to herbivores. In a food chain, there is a unique path for energy flow and in a food network, there are different paths for energy flow. Studies of the food chain help to understand the feeding relationship and the interaction between organisms in any ecosystem.
The food chain is a linear sequence of organisms in which nutrients and energy are transferred from one organism to another. However, the food web is able to show the appropriate representation of energy flow, since it shows interactions between different organisms. The flow of nutrients and energy from one organism to another at different trophic levels forms a food chain. Since autotrophs are the basis of all Earth's ecosystems, most environmental ecosystems follow this type of food chain.
This type of food chain goes from dead organic matter to microorganisms and then to organisms that feed on detritus (detrital) and their predators. The trophic level refers to the sequential stages of a food chain, starting with producers at the bottom, followed by primary, secondary and tertiary consumers. For example, this type of food chain operates on accumulated decomposing garbage in a temperate forest. This type of food chain starts with living green plants, moves on to grazing herbivores and then to carnivores.
The transfer of food energy from producers, through a series of organisms (herbivores to carnivores and decomposers) through repeated feeding and consumption, is known as a food chain. A food chain refers to the order of events in an ecosystem, where a living organism eats another organism and then that organism is consumed by another larger organism. In a food chain, an organism eats a single item, while in a food web, an organism consumes several items.