Sea Life Food Chains
by Kamri Shedd
What Is A Food Chain?
The food chain describes who eats whom in the wild. Every living thing- from algae to giant blue whales- needs food to survive. Each food chain is a possible pathway that energy and nutrients can follow through the ecosystem.
What Does A Food Chain Contain?
Producers make up the first trophic level.Producers, also known as autotrophs, make their own food and do not depend on any other organism for nutrition. Most autotrophs use a process called photosynthesis to create food (a nutrient called glucose) from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water.
The next trophic levels are made up of animals that eat producers. These organisms are called consumers. Primary consumers are herbivores. Herbivores eat plants, algae, and other producers. In an ocean ecosystem, many types of fish and turtles are herbivores that eat algae and sea grass. Secondary consumers eat herbivores.In the kelp forest, sea otters are secondary consumers that hunt sea urchins as prey.Consumers can be carnivores (animals that eat other animals) or omnivores (animals that eat both plants and animals).
Detritrovores and decomposers make up the last part of food chains. Detritivores are organisms that eat nonliving plant and remains.Decomposers, like fungi and bacteria, complete the food chain. Decomposers turn organic waste such as decaying plants, into inorganic materials, such as nutrient-rich soil. They complete the cycle of life, returning nutrients to the soil or oceans for use by autotrophs. This starts a whole new series of food chains.