English: A freshwater aquatic and terrestrial food-web. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A biological food chain is an abstract model used to look at the relationships between biological life forms. The food chain outlines the nutritional relationships between biological organisms in linear form from “primary producer” to the “top” of the food chain. Primary producers organize specific atoms, molecules and energy sources like sunlight or heat into what we know as biology. Photosynthetic organisms like plants algae and phytoplankton are examples of primary producers in a food chain. These primary life forms then support many other species in the “food chain” either directly or indirectly through a series of feeding relationships. Food chains are constructed with links from primary producers through primary consumers secondary consumers and so on to what is called the “top” of the food chain. At the top of the chain is a species that has no other species that feeds on it. Terms like “King of the Jungle” are used to describe such a top feeder on the food chain. In a lake environment, a fish might take the top tier of the food chain.
Like most models, the “food chain” is useful, but it has limitations at illustrating the whole image of the relationships that define biology. Even though primary producers act as a clear bridge from non-biological processes to biological ones, the total biological economy can be more accurately represented using a nonlinear web as the model rather than a linear chain. This is because there are many tangled and cross referenced relationships in a food web. A web could have more than one primary producer and these can be cross linked in numerous ways throughout the interdependent system. Even with a sole primary producer, interdependent biological systems (called a biomes or ecosystems) are not a strict linear route from bottom to top as a “food chain” model implies.
So let’s listen to what this web of biological relationships says; a primary producer species is an umbilical cord that feeds on the broader womb of non-biological reality. It translates a non-biological system into a biological one. The same way the letters and phrases that compose this communication are based on a certain order of relationships to each other that gives rise to meaning, primary producers channel matter and energy into the complex organized interdependent relationship systems we know as biology. The term organism is fitting for biological systems of all types because of this fact.
While there are so many things communicated through the fantastic relationship dynamic that gives rise to biology, one statement that stands out is the fact that reality is the womb from which we are formed and draw our nourishment. Have you hugged your Reality today?
 The idea was introduced by the African-Arab scientist and philosopher Al-Jahiz in the 9th century ACE.
 In addition to photosynthetic organisms there are also chemosynthetic primary producer organisms that use heat and chemicals as the basis of conversion of inorganic to organic biomass.
 Non-feeding relationships also exist between biological organisms. These can be broadly categorized as cooperative and/or competitive.
 Predators can be infected with such things as parasites and destructive viruses, so the notion that the top is undisputed top is a bit of a misnomer.
 Non-biological sometimes called abiotic and biological called biotic structure in ecosystems.
 There are three feeding type relationships typically defined in biology. These are the food chain, the food web, and trophic levels.
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Tagged Al-Jahiz, Awareness, bacteria, Biology, cooperative nature, cooperative relationships, culture, Food chain, Language, narture, Primary producers, Sociology, truth, wisdom
Salt crystals. Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
We can learn a lot from nature if we tune our ear to the frequencies through which the language of nature is spoken.
The element chlorine is very hungry for relationship. It’s rarely found unattached. It typically is in relationship with other elements but in some cases it is in a free form state. In this unattached state, chlorine in high concentrations is very poisonous to biological organisms.
Sodium is a soft, silvery-white, and highly reactive metal that, like chlorine, is a very relationship hungry element. If a chunk of sodium comes in contact with water it reacts violently as it binds to the oxygen in the water and releases the hydrogen. If the water and sodium sources are large enough the heat can also ignite the hydrogen ejected from the reaction and cause an even more violent reaction spewing molten bits of sodium. In high concentrations sodium in its unattached form is damaging to biological organisms.
Both of these elements alone are harmful to us, but together in relationship sodium chloride forms salt, an essential ingredient for biology. Sodium helps us regulate our blood volume, blood pressure, hydration of cells and a host of other tasks that are essential for the proper functioning of our biological systems. If we understand this message pouring through the relationships that define nature, each of us is like a bit of sodium or chlorine; destructive or harmful by ourselves, but essential and valuable when we work together in relationship with the right partners. Finding our place in the context of the larger community is of high value, even essential, and being isolated from our place in the natural order is as damaging as sodium and chlorine are in isolation to biology.
Powerful messages actively pour out what we often consider mundane and obvious events. To properly unlock the value of this communication we must understand that communication is part of everything there is, but decoding that communication as it is intended is a matter of recognizing how the language works. Nature communicates through behaviors. If we fail to recognize what is being spoken or if we ignore nature as our guide we are also blind and powerless to both our limitations and our full potential.
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Tagged Awareness, Biology, cooperative relationships, culture, fulfillment, Nature, Nonverbal communication, philosophy, science, society, Sociology, truth, unified purpose, wisdom