Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

In order to understand the ocean food chain, it is important to first understand what a food chain is. In simplistic terms, a food chain is a representation of the relationship between producers and consumers, preys and predators within an ecosystem. Every food chain will have at its lowest level primary producers that are responsible and capable of producing their own food. As you can see from the ocean food chain diagram provided with this article, this is true for all ecosystems. These primary producers use solar energy from the sun to produce energy (generally in the form of glucose) by the process of photosynthesis. When these primary producers or autotrophs are eaten by heterotrophs, the energy that the former possess is transferred to the latter. This is the basic way in which transfer of energy takes place in an ocean biome. Let’s delve into this ocean for more information on oceanology and the ocean food chain.

Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

Ocean Ecosystem Food Chain

Most food chains are not accurate representations of the transfer of food or energy that takes place in nature because they are overtly simplistic. No consumer feeds on just one species. The staple for different consumers are made of different plant and animal species and a simple food chain can never accurately define this producer-consumer relationship. A food web that showcases different interlinked food chains is a more accurate representation of the flow of food energy from one organism to the next. If you refer to an ocean food chain diagram or a freshwater food chain diagram, you would see that organisms that are a part of a food web are grouped on different trophic levels depending on where they stand in the producer-consumer relationship. So there may be multiple species on one trophic level that are predators and preys for the same animals. A simplistic food chain of the ocean biomes will consist of phytoplanktons, zooplanktons, primary consumers, and tertiary consumers. This is evident in the ocean food chain diagram given with this article. The marine biome is the largest in the world and therefore contributes to intricate food webs. Given below is a diagram of a simplistic food web and an explanation of an ocean food chain.

Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

ocean food chain diagram

The lowest trophic level of an ocean food chain will consist of the primary producers which in the case of a marine biome would be phytoplanktons. Phytoplanktons are single celled marine biome plants, that live in the surface layers of the ocean and use the energy from the sun to produce carbohydrates. They do this by converting carbon dioxide and other nutrients using solar energy. Ninety five percent of all food energy at this trophic level is derived from phytoplanktons. As is evident from the ocean food chain diagram, the next level comprises zooplanktons like shrimp, jellyfish, mollusks, etc that all survive on phytoplanktons. In some cases, larger zooplanktons may feed on smaller zooplanktons. This is the reason why a food chain reflecting transfer of energy in a food biome may not be necessarily accurate because of the interchangeability of consumer and producer.

Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

Food Chain Diagram

The next trophic level comprises marine animals like smaller fish and crustaceans, like sardines, herrings, crabs, and lobsters. These consumers feed on zooplanktons and are in turn eaten by the next level of consumers of the marine biome as reflected by the ocean food chain diagram. These consumers may include sword fish, tuna, octopus, etc. The last trophic level consists of the predators or tertiary consumers including whales, sharks, etc.

The ocean food chain diagram given in this article only scratches the surface of ocean food chain activities. The food web of the marine biome is way too complex to be reflected in detail by the food chain or food web here. This is a simple way of understanding how transfer of energy takes place in the marine system and is a great way of explaining marine biology and ocean food chain for kids.

By Tulika Nair
Article Source: buzzle.com