We may note, however, that the food chain does not show how complex trophic relationships in an ecosystem are.
For this we use the concept of food web, which represents a true situation found in an ecosystem, ie several interconnected chains occurring simultaneously.
The schemes below best exemplify this concept of food webs:
Chain of detritivores
In ecosystems, the specialization of some beings is so great that the current trend among ecologists is to create a new category of consumers: debris eaters, also known as detritivores. In this case, separate food chains are formed from those chains in which regular consumers participate.
The earthworm, for example, can feed on vegetable waste. In this case, it acts as the primary consumer detractor. A chicken eating worms will be a secondary consumer. A person who eats chicken meat will occupy the trophic level of tertiary consumers.
The remains released by the worm's digestive tract, as well as the remains of other consumers, will serve as food for decomposers, bacteria and fungi.
Sure cow manure eating beetles may also be considered as primary consumers A frog eating these beetles will act at the level of secondary consumers. The jararaca, by feeding on the frog, will be acting at the level of tertiary consumers, and the siriena, by eating the snake, will be a fourth-order consumer.