Grazing Food Webs
A grazing food web involves the general exchange of energy in an
ecosystem. By no means are grazing food webs simple to explain. They involve complex interactions between
species of animals and plants that even ecologists
do not completely understand. The following diagram is intended to
provide a basic understanding of the process and how it differs from the
detritus food web.
The grazing food web begins with green plants that tap the sun's
photosynthesis and convert inorganic material into organic material.
In the food web, plants make up the category called primary producers. Both pine trees and blue
grama grass are examples.
the next layer of the food web are the
herbivores, also known as primary consumers. Primary consumers get their energy and nutrient requirements by eating primary producers.
Some typical herbivores include
species like the Beaver and the
Next are the secondary consumers, otherwise known as carnivores. These are animals that feed on primary consumers and include species like the
At the top of the food web
are the tertiary consumers. These animals may consume either
primary or secondary consumers. They might also be omnivores (like
Black Bears) and consume plant matter as well. Tertiary consumers include animals like the
Northern Pike found in many Alberta lakes, and the Gray Wolf.