It is known as food web to the structure formed by feed interrelations existing among the members of a ecosystem . Through this net , the different species nutrients and energy are transferred : each species feeds on another and in turn is the food of a third.
The food web is also called food chain , food chain or food chain . The species are the nodes of the network or the links of the chain: to subsist, they obtain Energy of those that are at a lower level. In other words: a species, by feeding on another, receives what it needs to continue living.
It is important to establish that in every trophic chain you can establish three types of protagonists, such as the following, based on what is the passage of energy:
-The producers, which would be the plants and that are characterized because they have the capacity to generate energy by themselves, specifically through the process known as photosynthesis.
-The consumers, who come to be the animals and what they do is obtain energy by feeding on other species. This would be the case, for example, of carnivorous animals.
-The decomposers. These are the beings that what they do is to degrade the organic matter that has been derived from the other “scales” of the food chain.
Starting from all this we find the fact that the triangular shaped food web is composed of the following levels, from the lower to the upper: decomposers, plants and consumers, where herbivores, primary predators and secondary predators are found .
Because it is a network or chain , the species that eats another is, simultaneously, food of a different species. For example: a snake can feed on a rodent, but in turn it is prey on a hawk. The rodent, meanwhile, is ingested by the snake and feeds on insects. Thus, based on the links between the members of the biological community, the food web is formed.
This functioning of the food web means that, if a species disappears, the whole system will unbalance and may even collapse. Suppose, by action of man , a species is extinguished X . All animals that fed on that species are left without food and can no longer survive. In turn, those species that were predated by the missing species, begin to multiply their number of specimens, something that ends up exerting pressure for the disappearance of new species.
In addition to that circumstance, the food web can be affected for numerous other reasons. Thus, in particular, one of the most serious damages that can be suffered is acid rain. And it can cause it to eliminate, for example, phytoplankton, which is what insects feed on. Result? That when that disappears, they can survive as they should so they could die and that would trigger that, in turn, the animal species that eat those can end up going through the same trance and so on with the rest of this food chain .