Be that as it may, in 1927 Elton published his classic textbook, Animal Ecology, which reprinted and explained these last three diagrams by him and Hardy. The widespread use of his book popularized the use of food web diagrams.. Charles Elton first used the term food web in 1927 and used it to describe a pyramid of numbers. Elton realized for the first time that there tended to be more organisms at the bottom of the ecological pyramid and that their numbers decreased as the trophic level increased.
This idea took off in ecology and has laid the foundation for much of the work currently being carried out in this field. Today we know Elton's observations as the 10% Rule, which states that each trophic level can only contribute 10% of its total energy to the higher level. Therefore, animals that have more than one way of obtaining energy, such as omnivores, tend to have an advantage in the food web. food chains are directional routes of trophic energy or, equivalently, sequences of links that begin with basal species, such as producing species or fine organic matter, and end in consumer organisms.
Charles Elton, Raymond Lindeman, Stuart Pimm, Stephen Carpenter and James Kitchell are some of the leading figures in food web research. The average chain length of an entire network is the arithmetic average of the lengths of all the chains in the food chain. They are simplified abstractions of real food networks, but complex in their dynamics and mathematical implications. Charles Elton was an English ecologist who first described the characteristic shape of food webs, which he called a pyramid of numbers.
The length of the food chain is important because the amount of energy transferred decreases as the trophic level increases; usually, only ten percent of the total energy from one trophic level goes to the next, since the rest is used in the metabolic process. They form the lower level of the food web and are generally the most numerous in an ecosystem as a result of their access to direct energy. Chemosynthetic bacteria and archaea use hydrogen sulfide and methane from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps as an energy source (just like plants use sunlight) to produce carbohydrates; they form the basis of the food chain. The trophic levels of a food web begin with producers, who occupy the first trophic level, followed by several consumers and, finally, end with supreme predators.
A food chain is a linear network of links in a food web that begins with producing organisms (such as grass or algae, which produce their own food through photosynthesis) and ends in a species of supreme predator (such as brown bears or orcas), detritivores (such as worms or mealybugs) or a decomposed species (such as fungi or bacteria). Environmentalists have formulated and tested hypotheses about the nature of ecological patterns associated with the length of the food chain, such as the increase in length with the size of the ecosystem, the reduction of energy at each successive level, or the assertion that long food chains are unstable. This changes the owl's position in the food web, from being a secondary consumer to a tertiary consumer, or an animal that eats secondary consumers (tertiary means “third party”). tertiary consumers feed on primary and secondary consumers and tend to be at the top of the food chain.
The length of a food chain is a continuous variable that provides a measure of the passage of energy and an index of ecological structure that increases through links from the lowest trophic levels to the highest (diet). Animals that occupy this position in the food web must eat very large prey to maintain their metabolism. .