What Is the Definition of a Food Web?


Quick Answer

A food web is a diagram showing which animals eat which other animals in a given ecological community. It also aims to show the transfer or flow of energy and materials, such as sunlight or carbon, that occurs between species via their feeding relationships.

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Full Answer

Individual species might be referred to as "nodes" in a food web and connected to each other via 'links' (arrows or lines) to show their feeding relationship.

Unlike a food chain, which shows only some interdependent species in a linear arrangement (for example, this predator eats that herbivore, which eats those plants), a food web aims for a more complete depiction.

The concept was pioneered by the ecologist Charles Elton in 1927.

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