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What would happen if an organism was removed from a food chain?

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All of the living organisms within an ecosystem comprise a living community. Within the living community are feeding relationships that are known as food chains. However, usually there are several interacting food chains tied together in what is known as a food web.

Consider the following food chain in a field.  Leafy plants (producers) being eaten by--> grasshoppers ( primary consumer/herbivores) --> eaten by frogs (secondary consumer/carnivores) --> consumed by snakes (another carnivore- tertiary consumer)--> consumed by hawks (another carnivore and quartenary consumer).  

If the frogs were to die off in this field perhaps due to a disease or due to pollutants, there will be an increase in the amount of grasshoppers feeding on the producers or green plants.

This can actually cause a major problem if the number of grasshoppers were to increase out of control. They eat plants and the number of plants,which are the basis of the food chain, could severely decrease which would impact all of the levels operating above this trophic level. The producer starts the food chain by capturing solar energy and producing chemical energy stored in the bonds of glucose. 

You would also see an effect on the consumers of the frogs which are the snakes. They would lose an organism that they feed on which can cause their numbers to decrease.

However, since there may be several interacting food chains in the area at the same time, the number of grasshoppers in this question might not increase dramatically if predatory birds in the area were another consumer of grasshoppers. This is why a food web is a more realistic view of how feeding relationships occur in an ecosystem.

On the other hand, if an organism primarily eats one type of organism for food--which is pretty rare in nature, if the organism which is the food source were to die off this could lead to the extinction of the consumer of that organism. An example is  the panda whose food supply consists of 99% bamboo. As bamboo forests are being cut down to use the wood to make furniture and other products, the pandas are losing their main food supply and thus may become extinct someday.

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If the consumer is removed from a food web what would happen?

A food web is a representation of how the energy and mass are transported between different organisms in an ecosystem. A food web consists of producers, consumers and decomposers. If we remove any one level from the food web, all the other levels are automatically affected. For example, if we remove the consumers, producers will have no predator and hence will grow unchecked, while any higher level consumer dependent upon these consumers will die out. For illustration, if we were to remove say, deer, from a food web, grass will grow unchecked and cover large areas. On the other hand, tigers (who predate on deer) and other big carnivores will die out due to lack of food. Thus, changes in one level of a food web will change all other levels.

Note that, removal of all consumers will cause such drastic effect. If we just remove one type of consumer, there will be observable change in the food web, but not such drastic changes. Food web is very complex and has a number of organisms at each level, such that removal of any one, may shift the food web, but not destroy it.

Hope this helps. 

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what would happen if an organism is removed from a food web?

There will be far-reaching effects. If for example, the producer is removed, the consequences could be dire. Producers capture sunlight directly and make chemical energy for consumers. If this is the only producer that a particular consumer eats, it may die as well. Pandas eat only bamboo. As bamboo is removed from the habitat, pandas will eventually diminish and possibly die off. If a secondary consumer or tertiary consumer were removed, for example, wolves, the primary consumers overpopulate. This is seen in places where wolves once roamed and no longer do. Deer are overpopulating out of control and they are exceeding the carrying capacity for their range. The deer population can experience an explosion and subsequent die off due to starvation. As you can see, no matter where the food web loses a member, the effects are great.

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What will happen if one organism from the food chain is removed?

A food chain is composed of interrelated organisms. In other words, different organisms that constitute the food chain are dependent on each other. An example is a food chain in a grassland, where the grass is eaten by deer (an herbivore) and the deer are eaten by a carnivore, such as a wolf. If one of these organisms is removed, the food chain is severely impacted. For example, if all the deer die due to some sudden calamity (such as a disease), this will result in a lack of food for the wolf, resulting in their death. The grass will have no predator and hence the grass will grow unchecked. Thus, the removal of one organism from the food chain completely disrupts it.

Luckily, food chains are also inter-connected in what we call a food web, in which various organisms are part of different food chains. In this case, the removal of one organism from the food web destabilizes it for a while and then it reaches a new equilibrium. For example, in the above scenario, some other herbivore would eat the grass and flourish whilst keeping the grass population in check. Similarly, wolves would have other prey to eat besides the deer.

Hope this helps. 

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