Plants and animals depend on other plants or animals to survive. For instance, it can be a deer eating shrub leaves or lions eating the deer. Thus, we have food chains and food webs describing the flow of energy and nutrients in an ecosystem. Moreover, these food webs and food chains help us in understanding the living organisms of an ecosystem and it balances the energy. Thus, we will dig deeper into the difference between food chain and food web. You will learn how they are different in terms of energy flow, stability, competitiveness, and more.
Definition of Food Chain
The sequence of organisms within an ecosystem through which food and energy pass in each member is known as a food chain. Further, it comprises of producers, consumers, and decomposers. The producers are the green plants whereas the consumers are humans and animals and finally, decomposers are microorganisms. There are two kinds of food chains. They are grazing food chain and detritus food chain. For instance, grass-antelope-tiger-vulture is an example of a food chain.
Definition of Food Web
When various food chains link together to form a network, it refers to the food web. In a food web, you will find different species of organisms of the population. All of these have one thing in common, which is the requirement of energy for carrying out the activities. Most importantly, the sun is the main source of energy on Earth. Green plants use this energy to make their food. Once they capture this energy, it passes through many phases of several organisms of the specific region which we call a food web.
Difference between Food Chain And Food Web
|Basis of Comparison||Food Chain||Food Web|
|Meaning||It is the flow of energy through a single straight pathway from the lower trophic level to a higher one||It is the multiple linked food chains through which flow of energy happens in the ecosystem|
|Composition||It comprises of just one straight chain||It comprises of various interconnected food chains|
|Energy Flow||Single linear pathway of energy and nutrient flow||Multiple interconnected pathways through which nutrient and energy flow|
|Stability||It increases because of an increasing number of separate and confined food chains||It increases because of the presence of the complex food chains|
|Trophic Level||Comprises of 4-6 trophic levels of different species||Comprises of multiple trophic levels of different populations of species|
|Feeding Relationship||Members of higher trophic level feed upon a single type of organisms of lower trophic level||Members of higher trophic level feed upon different types of organisms of lower trophic levels|
|Disturbance||The whole chain gets affected if just one group of an organism disturbs||If one group of organisms is removed, it does not impact the food web|
|Example||Grazing food chain and Detritus food chain||No type|
More details about Food Chain
Food chains are the straight and single pathways for the flow of energy within an ecosystem via various species of organisms. The two types of food chains- grazing food chain and detritus food chain are different from each other.
The grazing food chain comprises of just producer, primary consumer, and secondary consumer. On the other hand, the detritus food chain begins with the dead organic matter derived from the grazing food chain.
The decomposers eat the dead bodies of animals or fallen leaves. There is a significant amount of flow of energy in this food chain.
More details about Food Web
Food web is complex and interlinked isolation or separation of some food chains making up the food web, which does not impact the ecosystem stability. Thus, when one organism is removed from it, it won’t impact the nutrient and energy flow.
Moreover, they exist in a variety of biomes. As each habitat is unique, each food web slightly differs from each other. For instance, plants, animals, and decomposers are present in deserts, forests, and more.
FAQs about Food Chain And Food Web
Question 1: State one difference between the food chain and food web.
Answer 1: Food chains are of two types whereas food webs do not have a type.
Question 2: What are the two types of food chains?
Answer 2: There are two types of food chains, they are grazing food chain and the detritus food chain.