Energy paths through Living organisms in food chains & food webs
There are food relations between all the living organisms, The living organisms are classified according to their feeding into the producers which depend on themselves to make their food such as the green plants and the green algae.
The decomposers which depend on the organic remains (the dead bodies of the consumers or the producers) on feeding, such as some bacteria and fungi and they help the environment to get rid of the remains of those bodies.
The food chains
There are food relations that connect between all living organisms, These food relations are known as the food chains, The food chain is a path of the energy that transmits in a form of the food from a living organism to another one.
|The green plant is the producer of energy for consumers and decomposers.|
The food chain begins with a producer, then the herbivorous consumer then the carnivorous consumer, then It ends with a decomposer organism that feeds on the carnivorous consumer after death.
Primary consumers eat the producers (the herbivores), The secondary consumers eat the primary consumers (the carnivores).
The tertiary consumers eat the secondary consumers (the carnivores), and the scavengers are carnivores that feed on the bodies of the dead organisms.
You notice that it ends with a carnivorous consumer when the organisms of the food chain are alive.
The food webs
The food web is formed when a group of food chains connects with each other, the food web is a group of overlapping food chains, It represents the flow of the energy through the living organisms in the form of the food, When a group of the food chains connects with each other, they form a food web.
All the food chains and the food webs start with the green plant as it is the producer of the food (energy) as it makes its own food, and the green plant is the producer of the energy (food) for the consumers and the decomposers.
The importance of solar energy for the producers, the consumers & the decomposers
The producers (the green plants) make their own food by using solar energy (the sunlight) which is stored in the food (the carbohydrates) in the form of chemical energy.
When the consumers (such as rabbits) feed on the producers, the stored energy in their food transfers to the consumers.
- By the death of the consumers, the energy transfers into nature (the environment) through the decomposers which change the dead consumer bodies into useful substances (fertilizers) in the soil to help the plants with their growth.
The Energy paths
The energy paths are paths that show the energy transference in the form of the food from a living organism to another in the food webs and the food chains, In the food chains, The energy decreases gradually when it transfers from one living organism to another.
So, The highest amount of energy is in the producers (the green plants). and the least amount of energy is in the last consumer, where each living organism consumes an amount of energy to practice its vital activities.