Food Chain | Basics of Energy and Environment
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Energy flows between the organisms of the ecosystem. Food chain is a system that relates how organisms in an ecosystem obtain their food.
Sun - Plants produce food - Primary & Secondary Consumers
Energy is very sufficient for life. Without energy one cannot live. The organisms need to acquire energy for survival. Energy flows between the organisms of the ecosystem.
Sun is the basic energy source and it is from the sun that the flow of energy starts. Energy of the sun is obtained by the plants for the production of biomass, well only less than 50% of sun’s radiation will be available for photosynthesis and the amount of radiation which the plants get for photosynthesis is known as photosynthetically active radiation.
As the plants produce their food they are also known as producers.
After the plants produce the biomass this biomass is consumed by primary consumers like birds, cows, etc.,
These primary consumers are further consumed by secondary consumers like a hawk, lion, etc. so the energy from the sun has flowed to reach to the secondary consumers.
This is what we call the energy flow.
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Food chain is a system that relates how organisms in an ecosystem obtain their food. The food chain is of two types.
Grazing food chain
Grass or plants are the primary elements in this food chain. The grass or plants are then consumed by animals such as goat or cow. Then these animals which are primary consumers are consumed by secondary consumers like man or tiger. This interrelation for obtaining food is known as the food chain. Examples are
Grass - Goat - Tiger
Plants - Deer - Lion
Detritus food chain
In this type of food chain, the primary element is detrivores. These detrivores decompose other organic matter or biomass and the decomposed matter is consumed by other organisms like insects, bacteria, and fungi.
The different levels of this food processing are known as trophic levels.
The energy keeps decreasing with each tropic level as a certain amount is wasted during the consumption process.
When the organisms consume other organisms that have toxic chemicals on their body, gradually these substances or toxic chemicals, such as pesticides, are accumulated on the body of this organism.
We can say in simple terms that bioaccumulation is the buildup of toxic chemicals in the body of an organism.
It is the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the tissue of a particular organism.
Biomagnification is also known as bioamplification or biological magnification, there is an increase of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in the tissues of the organisms, which are at successively higher levels in a food chain as they have consumed other organisms which have these toxic chemicals on their body.
The higher the position of the organism in the level of the food chain the higher the concentration of the toxic chemical.
This increase in the number of toxic chemicals is known as biomagnification
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