Grazing Food Chain vs. Detritus Food Chain: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

Food is the basic source of energy for all organisms in the ecosystem. The flow of food is from one organism to another. So, a series or chain of organisms in which each of them depends on one and other as a source of food or energy is called a food chain. The food chain can further be divided into two main types; Grazing Food Chain and Detritus Food Chain. The main difference between both these types of the food chain is that grazing food chain starts from the green plants, which are the primary producers, whereas detritus food chain begins from the dead organic matter or decomposed material, which is usually present in the soil. The energy for the grazing food chain comes from the sun as the autotrophs (green plants) prepare their food (photosynthesis) amid the presence of the sunlight. On the other hand, the energy for the detritus food chain is taken from the detritus or the decomposed materials.

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Comparison Chart

Grazing Food Chain Detritus Food Chain
Definition The grazing food chain starts from the autotrophs (green plants). Detritus food chain begins from the detritivores.
Energy Source In grazing food chain the energy is taken from the sunlight as green plants prepare food in the presence of it. In detritus food chain the main energy source is remain of detritus.
Organisms In grazing food chain macroscopic organisms are involved. In detritus food chain subsoil organisms are involved, which can either be macroscopic or microscopic.
Amount of Energy Produces a less amount of energy to the atmosphere. Produces a large amount of energy to the atmosphere.
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What is Grazing Food Chain?

The grazing food chain is one of the major types of the food chain that is seen as a food chain process dominantly occurring in organisms. The grazing food chain starts from the autotrophs (green plants), the major energy for this chain is taken from the sun as the plants carry out the process of photosynthesis in the presence of sunlight. The green plants work as the primary producer of this type of food chain; later the herbivores get fed upon the green plants. The chain goes on further as the primary consumers (herbivores) are eaten by the secondary consumers (omnivores) in this type of food chain. This food chain doesn’t consist of microbes or other decomposers; it is carried out by the macroscopic organisms.  The grazing food chain is the simpler type of food chain as it begins from the primary producers (green plants), who are the dominant producers in different ecosystems across the globe. The name of the food chain itself tells that it possess the green plants as a major source or the one starting off the chain.

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What is Detritus Food Chain?

The detritus food chain is the type of food chain that ensures maximum utilization and minimum wastage of the available material. This food chain starts from the dead organic matter or other such wastes; further, this material is eaten by the animal, and later this animal gets eaten by another animal in the soil. The chain keeps on going until the organic matter is composed.  This type of food chain is quite handy in fixation of inorganic nutrients and utilizing up to the maximum. Detritus food chain has the remains of detritus as the major source of energy, and this process gets completed by the subsoil organisms, which can either be macroscopic or microscopic. Unlike the grazing food chain, detritus food chain produces a large amount of energy to the atmosphere.

Grazing Food Chain vs. Detritus Food Chain

  • The grazing food chain starts from the autotrophs (green plants), whereas detritus food chain begins from the detritivores.
  • In grazing food chain the energy is taken from the sunlight as green plants prepare food in the presence of it while in detritus food chain the main energy source is remain of detritus.
  • In grazing food chain macroscopic organisms are involved, on the other hand, in detritus food chain, subsoil organisms are involved, which can either be macroscopic or microscopic.
  • Unlike the grazing food chain, detritus food chain produces a large amount of energy to the atmosphere.

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