Food Chains and Webs: Interaction with Ecosystem

  • Gurminder Singh Chahil
  • Harsimran Kaur Gill
  • Gaurav Goyal


The interactions in an ecosystem depend on the characteristics of the interacting species. Species being the smallest unit of interest in an ecosystem, it is important to understand different types of species based on the role they play. The interactions between species can be beneficial or detrimental; positive, negative, or neutral; and horizontal or vertical. Overall community structure depends on the presence of one organism affecting the other. Several factors including taxonomy, morphology, physiology, environment, food, and interacting species shape the food chains and webs within an ecosystem. Most of the studies are done up to tritrophic levels, but the concept of food webs includes multitrophic interactions which are more complex to understand. The study of biotic and abiotic factors including light, moisture, temperature, resources, species, defense barriers, and environmental conditions gives more insight into the occurrence and alterations of the interactions in an ecosystem. Keeping these points in view, the present chapter has been prepared to give an understanding of species, food chains/webs, and ecosystem.


Food chain Food web Ecosystem interaction Multitrophic interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gurminder Singh Chahil
    • 1
  • Harsimran Kaur Gill
    • 2
  • Gaurav Goyal
    • 3
  1. 1.Manitoba AgricultureSwan RiverCanada
  2. 2.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.MonsantoSt. LouisUSA

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