The living beings that live in an ecosystem maintain different links according to their nutrition, positioning themselves as producers , consumers or decomposers as appropriate Organisms that share the same type of food, thus, occupy a certain trophic level .
More specifically, we can establish that there are five major trophic levels:
-The food producers, who are the living beings that perform photosynthesis, as would be the case with plants.
-Primary consumers. They are also called herbivores and have the peculiarity that they feed on vegetables.
-The secondary consumers, who respond, in the same way, to the name of carnivores. They are animals that feed on primary consumers.
-Tertiary consumers. We can establish that they eat secondary consumers and also call themselves supercarnivores.
-The decomposers, which feed on what are the wastes, remains and excrement of other living beings.
In addition to all of the above, it is worth knowing another series of data of great interest in trophic relations:
-There are species that have the peculiarity that they can feed on more than one trophic level.
-It is necessary to know that there are species that have the uniqueness of being part of different trophic levels.
-It is essential to know that the damage caused to them at one level and even the destruction of the same could lead to dangerous and great consequences at the other levels.
The relations that exist between these levels are called trophic relationships . It is possible to distinguish between two major trophic relationships: food chain and the trophic network .
It is called trophic chain or food chain to the linear sequence that is established between consumers, producers and decomposers. This chain shows who eats who: an organism feeds on the one who precedes it in the chain and, in turn, serves as food for the organism that follows it.
The trophic network Instead, it refers to the interrelationships that exist between the different species that make up trophic levels. The trophic network, therefore, goes beyond a line or sequence, but it is more complex.
Let's look at some trophic relationships that occur in the food chain. The rabbit, for example, feeds on plants and serves as food for certain snakes. These snakes, which eat rabbits, are eaten by eagles. The food chain, in this case, would be the following: Plants -> Rabbits -> Snakes -> Eagles.
In the case of the trophic network, it refers to all the different trophic chains found in a ecosystem . This scheme is not linear and is usually represented as a pyramid. Taking the previous example, an insect can eat the same plants as the rabbit but not be part of the chain mentioned.
There is also what is known as trophic classification, which leads to classify animals according to their way of feeding. Thus, it establishes the groups:
- Phytophages, which ingest vegetables.
-Carnivores, which eat other animals.
-Detritivorous, which feed on remains.
-Coprophages, which take feces or stool.
-Saprophages, which ingest decomposing matter.
-Carroñeros, who feed on the remains of dead animals.