Pimm, Stuart Department of Zoology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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- Food chains
- Recovery from disaster
- Consequences for species dynamics
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A diagram depicting those organisms that eat other organisms in the same ecosystem. A food web (Fig. 1) is a graphical model that illustrates feeding relationships at various, changing trophic levels. In some cases, the organisms that are consumed may already be dead. Overall, a food web is a network of energy flows in and out of the ecosystem of interest, and a food web helps depict how an ecosystem is structured and functions. The energy flows in a food web can be very large, and some ecosystems depend almost entirely on energy that is imported. A food chain is one particular route through a food web. In addition, most published food webs omit predation on minor species, the quantities of food consumed, the temporal variation of the energy flows, and many other details. See also: Ancient food web interactions; Ecological communities; Ecological energetics; Ecological modeling; Ecology; Ecosystem; Trophic ecology
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