• Decomposers. ( fungus to smaller organisms protozoans and bacteria) .are organisms that feed on corpses of dead organic • Decomposer chain or saprobe chain.might run from a large org.

Use direct observations.samples of potential food are collected from the field and compared with fragments of food in the gut of the animals under study. as birdwatchers do .use of camera 2. Gut analysis. 4 MAJOR METHODS OF STUDYING TROPHIC RELATIONSHIPS 1. Serological technique . 3. Radionuclide tracer analysis- 4.

ELTONIAN PYRAMID CONCEPT • Pyramid of consumer layers Size class Number of individuals Fig. 3. Eltonian pyramid of numbers .

e. • Sequence of eating and being eaten.g. FOOD CHAIN • Was first coined by Elton in 1927 • Signifying the feeding links between organisms as food passes from the plant to the herbivore to the carnivore and perhaps to higher carnivore. .

• Corn seed corn seed beetle (carabid herbivore) carabid beetle vole owl sun corn Corn Carabid vole owl seed beetle beetle predator .

1. the presence of hyperparasitoids render some natural enemies ineffective as control agents of pest. Food web . . .The food web shows: .2. possible biotic constraints that affect the natural enemies e. .Top predators feed on a diversity of prey and this prey also feeds upon a variety of other organisms. also shows the potential of combining two or more natural enemies against pest.3.Refers to intersecting food chain .g.The specific roles and interactions among the various organisms involved in a plant system can be viewed ecologically in terms of food chains. shows the regular population of natural enemies . the hyperparasitoids.

carnivores. which include herbivores.Primary consumers (2) –are the primary carnivores (flesh eaters) • Tertiary consumers.representatives of all trophic levels.are secondary carnivores and so on.• Producers – are plants. • Consumers. • Primary consumer. omnivores and parasites. • Top carnivores.animals of the highest link in the food chain • A parasite food chain.typically runs from a small animal (flea) to an even smaller animal (protozoan parasite of flea) to an even smaller still (bacterial disease of protozoan) . the base trophic level transforming solar energy into potential energy in the form of fixed carbon compounds.

Shortage of food will limit population increase.FOOD CHAIN & FOOD WEB FOOD. TRITROPHIC INTERACTIONS Crop= 1ST trophic level/primary producer Pests= 2nd trophic level/primary consumer Predators Parasitoids 3rd trophic level/ 2° consumer Pathogens of insect pests antagonistic bacteria and fungi of plant pathogens etc. . .is essential to all organisms ecologists regarded food as an organizing influence in communities.