food-chain defined in 1951 yearfood-chain - food-chain;
food-chain - Chain of organisms, existing in any natural community, through which energy is transferred. Each link in the chain feeds on and obtains energy from the one preceding it and in turn is eaten by and provides energy for, the one following it. The number of links is usually three or four. At the beginning of the chain are green plants, and organisms whose food is obtained from green plants through the same number of links are described as belonging to the same trophic or energy level. Thus green plants occupy level one (T1), the producer level. All other levels are consumer levels. T2, herbivores, are primary consumers, T3 and T4, smaller and larger carnivores, respectively, are secondary consumers. At each trophic level much of the energy obtained is lost in respiration and thus fewer organisms can be supported at the succeeding one. Bacteria, fungi and some protozoa are consumers that operate in decomposition at all levels. All the food chains in a community make up the food-cycle or food-web.
near food-chain in Knolik
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