What is a food chain?

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Elisha Cyruz Dahan

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What is a food chain?
« on: 27/11/2011 19:30:02 »
Elisha Cyruz Dahan asked the Naked Scientists:
   
What is a food chain?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 27/11/2011 19:30:02 by _system »

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Offline Devilmunkey

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Re: What is a food chain?
« Reply #1 on: 11/01/2012 21:19:04 »
A food chain is a simplistic model of trophic relationships between a number of species found in a given habitat, basically: ‘what eats what’. Its often more helpful and certainly more accurate when studying the ecology  of a particular environment to construct food webs, which are better able to show the often complex interactions of different species.

I hope that helps.

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Offline Don_1

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Re: What is a food chain?
« Reply #2 on: 12/01/2012 15:00:16 »
I agree with Devilmunkey that the expression 'food chain' is rather simplistic, suggesting that, for example, spider eats fly, bird eats spider, cat eats bird.

'Food web', might well be a better term, but even this would fail to take into account some aspects of the cycle of living matter which becomes the food for one organism or another. In the example above, both bird and cat excrete waste which might well be food for larvae of the fly. But the bird may eat seeds rather than spiders, so off you go on a different 'chain'.
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