Biology (NTSE/Olympiad)  

8. Our Environment

Characteristics Of Food Chain

Characteristics Of Food Chain
Producers based:
All sustainable food chains are producer based.
Energy :
Producers obtain energy from sun. All others (consumers) obtain the energy from food originally built up producers. There is unidirectional flow of energy.
Biogenetic Nutrients :
Inorganic nutrients must keep on circulating with the help of decomposers. Otherwise, food chains cannot be sustained.
Straight :
Unless linked with another, food chain runs straight.
Size :
Food chains are generally short with 3-5 trophic levels.
Populations :
Size of populations decreases with the rise in trophic level. Top carnivores are always very few.
Operation at different trophic levels :
An organism can operate at more than one trophic level, e.g., snake feeds on herbivorous rat as well as carnivorous frog.

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