Aquatic Food Chain Meaning

What is Aquatic Food Chain:

The aquatic food chain is the food energy transfer chain that aquatic beings depend on for their survival.

aquatic food chain

Food chains, also called trophic chains, are made up of 3 levels in the ecosystem: producers, consumers (primary, secondary or tertiary) and decomposers.

See also Food chain.

The aquatic food chain is a food sequence where the feeders of a previous link serve as food for the consumers of the next link. The beginning of the food chains arise from plants or autotrophic organisms, that is, those that have the ability to manufacture their own food.

The links in the aquatic food chain are defined as follows:

  • First link- producers: here are the algae and plankton, generally called phytoplankton.
  • Second link- primary consumers: They are mostly herbivorous and are made up of protozoa or protozoa, larvae of small animals, smaller crustaceans, krill (zooplankton), hydromedusae, among others.
  • Third link- secondary consumers: Generally carnivorous, including fish that eat smaller fish, larger crustaceans, squid, and gulls.
  • Fourth link- tertiary consumers: essentially omnivorous, this group includes the largest fish, aquatic mammals, birds, sea lions and sharks.
  • decomposers: the bodies of tertiary consumers, not having large predators, will enter the decomposition process once they have died, generating the plankton of the first link.

See also:

  • Protozoan.
  • Omnivore

These are the basic links but a fifth link can be incorporated for quaternary consumers, where larger predators would be included.

Examples of Aquatic Food Chains

Aquatic food chains can have two or more links like some of the examples below:

  • 2 links: phytoplankton → whale
  • 3 links: phytoplankton → zooplankton → hake
  • 3 links: seaweed → fish → seagull
  • 4 links: seaweed → sea snail → fish → sea lion
  • 4 links: seaweed → krill → mackerel → human
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See also Terrestrial food chain.