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food cycleNahrungskreislauf (ger.)

  • A system of natural relationships by which organisms in a community depend on each other for food. (OED)

    The Food Cycle. The mineral kingdom is the food supplier to the vegetable kingdom.

    Aveling, E.B. (1881). Biological Discoveries and Problems: 87.


    Most of the scavenging animals [in the Arctic] live on decaying plants, and are, therefore, practically equivalent to herbivores in the food cycle.

    Summerhayes, V.S. & Elton, C. (1923). Bear Island. J. Ecol. 11, 216-33: 231.


    Der Nahrungskreislauf im Wasser

    Thienemann, A. (1926). Der Nahrungskreislauf im Wasser. Verh. Deutsch. Zool. Ges. 31, 29-79.


    The herbivores are usually preyed upon by carnivores, which get the energy of the sunlight at third-hand, and these again may be preyed upon by other carnivores, and so on, until we reach an animal which has no enemies, and which forms, as it were, a terminus in this food-cycle. There are, in fact, chains of animals linked together by food, and all dependent on the long run upon plants. We refer to these as "food-chains," and to all the food-chains in a community as "food-cycle."

    Elton, C. (1927). Animal Ecology: 56.


    food-cycle dynamics

    Lindeman, R.L. (1941). Seasonal food-cycle dynamics in a senescent lake. Amer. Midl. Nat. 26, 636-73.