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Ecology. a series of organisms interrelated in their feeding habits, the smallest being fed upon by a larger one, which in turn feeds a still larger one, etc.
the chain from a food source to the ultimate consumer.
(ecology) a sequence of organisms in an ecosystem in which each species is the food of the next member of the chain
(informal) the hierarchy in an organization or society
food chain

The sequence of the transfer of food energy from one organism to another in an ecological community. A food chain begins with a producer, usually a green plant or alga that creates its own food through photosynthesis. In the typical predatory food chain, producers are eaten by primary consumers (herbivores) which are eaten by secondary consumers (carnivores), some of which may in turn be eaten by tertiary consumers (the top carnivore in the chain). ◇ Many species of animals in an ecological community feed on both plants and animals and thus play multiple roles in the chain. Parasites feed on living tissues, generally without killing their hosts, and may themselves be hosts to smaller parasites. In addition, organisms that die without being eaten are consumed by detritivores, some of which serve as prey for other consumers. The complex system of interrelated food chains in an environment is known as a food web. See more at trophic level.

The series of steps by which energy is obtained, used, and transformed by living things. For example: sunlight helps grain to grow, the grain feeds cattle, and humans eat the cattle.

Note: Harmful chemicals can become concentrated as they move up the food chain.


Read Also:

  • Food-combining

    noun 1. a dietary approach that advocates the eating of specific foods at specific times and restricts which types of foods can be eaten together. noun 1. the practice of keeping carbohydrates separate from proteins in one’s daily diet, as a way of losing weight and also for some medical conditions noun a dietary system […]

  • Food conversion ratio

    noun 1. a ratio expressing the weight of food required to produce a unit gain in the live weight of an animal

  • Food-court

    noun 1. a space, as in a shopping mall, with a concentration of fast-food stalls and usually a common eating area.

  • Food drive

    noun a campaign to collect foodstuffs for charity distribution Examples Tons of food were collected in the food drives for victims of the hurricane. Word Origin 1919

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