Grazing Food Chain

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Grazing food chain is a type of food chain in which energy at the lowest trophic level is acquired via photosynthesis. The grazing food chain begins with producers like green plants, who create their own food through the process of photosynthesis and later move from herbivores to carnivores. In the grazing food chain, energy is acquired from the sun. In an aquatic ecosystem setting, the grazing food chain is the primary source of energy flow. However, in terrestrial ecosystem settings, a large amount of energy flows through the detritus food chain.

 

Implications of Grazing Food Chain

  • This type of food chain is directly dependent on the flow of solar energy. Therefore, gross production of plants might meet the following consequences; they may be oxidized during respiration, they can be eaten by herbivores or they may die and decay.

  • Sunlight energy serves as the primary source of energy in the grazing food chain.

  • The grazing food chain always adds energy to the ecosystem.

  • This food chain fixes inorganic nutrients.

  • The grazing food chain involves every macroscopic organism.

 

Types of Grazing Food Chain

There are mainly two types of grazing food chains and they are as follows:

  • Predator Chain – Here, one animal consumes another animal. The animal that is being eaten is known as the prey and the animal that is eating the prey is known as the predator.

  • Parasitic Chain – Here, the plants and animals in a grazing food chain are infected by parasites.

 

Grazing vs. Detrital Food Webs

Food webs don't usually show decomposers—you may have noticed that the Lake Ontario food cycle above doesn't . Yet, all ecosystems follow different methods to recycle dead material and wastes. That means decomposers are indeed present, albeit they do not get much air time.

For example, the meadow ecosystem includes a grazing food cycle of plants and animals that gives inputs for a detrimental food cycle of bacteria, fungi, and detritivores. The detrital web is shown in simplified form within the brown band across the rock bottom of the diagram. In reality, it might contain various species linked by specific feeding interactions—that is, connected by arrows, as within the grazing food cycle aboveground. Detrital food webs can come up with energy to grazing food webs, as when a robin eats an earthworm.


Energy Transfer Efficiency Limits Food Chain Lengths

When one organism eats another and gets the energy-rich molecules from its prey's body, therein the energy is transferred between trophic levels. However, limits the length of food chains due to inefficiency and also transfers are inefficient. When energy enters a trophic level, a number of it's stored as biomass, as a part of organisms' bodies. This is the energy that's available to subsequent trophic levels since only energy stored as biomass can get eaten. It is a rule to be followed, only about 10% of the energy that's stored as biomass in one trophic level—per unit time—ends up stored as biomass within the next trophic level—per the same unit time. This 10% rule of energy transfer may be a good thing to plan for memory.


Examples of Grazing Food Chain

  1. This kind of food chain depends on energy captured by autotrophic plants and the flow of this captured energy to herbivores. The phytoplanktons are eaten by zooplanktons, the zooplanktons are eaten by fishes or grasses, then these grasses are eaten by rabbits, and finally the rabbit is eaten by a fox.

  2. The small plants or grass is eaten by a deer, and the deer is later eaten by a lion.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What Should be the Number of Trophic Levels in a Grazing Food Chain?

Ans: The number of trophic levels in a grazing food chain must always be more than two levels.

Q2. What is the Starting Point in a Grazing Food Chain?

Ans: The starting point in a grazing food chain are the producers.

In a grazing food chain, what is another name for carnivores?

In a grazing food chain, another name for carnivores is secondary consumers.

Q3. Define Grazing Food Chain 

Ans: Grazing food chain is a type of food chain in which energy at the lowest trophic level is acquired via photosynthesis. The grazing food chain begins with producers like green plants, who create their own food through the process of photosynthesis and later move from herbivores to carnivores. In the grazing food chain, energy is acquired from the sun. In an aquatic ecosystem setting, the grazing food chain is the primary source of energy flow. However, in terrestrial ecosystem settings, a large amount of energy flows through the detritus food chain.

Q4. What are the Types of Grazing Food Chains?

Ans: There are mainly two types of grazing food chains and they are as follows:

  • Predator Chain – Here, one animal consumes another animal. The animal that is being eaten is known as the prey and the animal that is eating the prey is known as the predator.

  • Parasitic Chain – Here, the plants and animals in a grazing food chain are infected by parasites.