Description of trophic interactions within ecosystems that is strictly linear and therefore which does not take into account species that consume at multiple .

A food chain reflects the simple trophic structure of being eaten by which in turn are eaten by and so on. That is, these different trophic levels can viewed as a feeding chain with each level linked at most to two other levels, that immediately below them and that immediately above them (should both exist).

Though often far more complicated, the concept of food webs is preferable to that of food chains because in actuality not only can different species obtain nutrients and energy from different trophic levels but multiple exploiter species may exploit the same species or individual exploiter species may exploit multiple victim species.