What is Food Chain? | Definition, Types and Facts| Sciencerack

Food Chain: Introduction

A Food Chain is basically the explanation of the mechanism by which one organism eats another for its metabolism in an environment. It is the sequence of organisms in which there is the transfer of energy and nutrients from the body of one organism to the other. This food chain begins with the basic component which is the producers. We can understand that the food chain starts with the producers and end with the decomposers. After the study of the food chain, we can understand how the mechanism of the food chain works.

What is Food Chain?

The Food Chain is the series of events in the ecosystem in which one organism eats the other organism, and later that organism is consumed by another organism. This flow of nutrients and energy at the different levels forms the food chain.

The Food Chain explains the different feeding patterns of different organisms which is also part of Environmentalism. The sequential stages in the food chain are the tropic levels of the food chain that is starting with the producers and ending with the decomposers. Every level of the food chain is known as the trophic level.

The food Chain consists of the four major parts

The Sun

The Sun is the major source of the energy. Sun is the initial source of energy that provides heat and energy to everything on the earth.


The Food Chain begins with the producers which include the autotrophs such as phytoplankton, cyanobacteria, algae, and green plants. This is the first stage of the Food Chain. The producers make the first level of the food chain. The producer utilizes the sunlight and heat from the sun to make their own food. The producers make their own nutrients through photosynthesis.

Consumers: The consumers are the organisms that are dependent on the producers for their food and energy. They eat the producers for their needs. It contains almost all the organisms and it is the largest part of the food web. It consists of the herbivores that eat the plants for their food. Carnivores are also the organisms in this category that eats other herbivores like rabbits. Omnivores are also included in this category they eat both herbivores and Carnivores. Example Man. Parasites are also included in the category of the consumers that live on the body of other organisms and eat their food and shelter and ultimately harm to the host.


The decomposers are the organisms that eat the dead bodies of the other organisms for the sake of energy for their own metabolism. These decomposers are an integral part of the food chain. Decomposers convert organic waste into inorganic materials.

Types of Food Chain

There are two types of Food Chains; these are the Detritus Food Chain and Grazing Food Chain. So, let’s discuss this now,

Detritus Food Chain

The Detritus food chain includes the plants like algae, fungi, protozoa, insects, and worms like that. The detritus is formed by the consumed waste of dead organisms or organic dead material. The energy passes into the decomposers and which are further eaten by the other organisms. Primary carnivores become the food of the secondary carnivores and they also become the food for the tertiary carnivores and so on. The consumers like fungi, bacteria, protozoans, and so on are detritivores that feed on detritus.

Grazing Food Chain:

This type of food chain begins with the green plants and further, they are eaten by the herbivores and ultimately they are eaten by the carnivores. In a grazing food chain, energy in the lowest trophic level is acquired from photosynthesis.

Last Words

The concept of the food chain is crucial to understand and it explains the relationships between the different organisms. The purpose of the food chain is to show how living organisms are dependent on each other for the food chain. The food chain is basically the pathway of the energy flow.


Q: What are the first organisms of the food chain?

Ans: The producers are the first organism of the food chain; these are autotrophs and are able to produce their own food through the process of photosynthesis.

Q: What is the difference between the food chain and the food web?

Ans: The food chain is the single pathway on which organisms discover food. Whereas the food web is the combination of the many food chains

Q: What are Animals called in the Food Chain?

Ans: Animals can eat plants and other animals for their food so, these are called consumers.

Q: What does Food Chain end with?

Ans: The food Chain starts with the producers and ends with the decomposers (they eat the dead organic materials and get their nutrients.












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