Difference between Grazing and Detritus

Main Difference

Food chain is defined as the series of organisms which are responsible for production of food, energy and their passage. There are two types of food chains, Grazing food chain and Detritus food chain. A food chain consist of producers, consumers and decomposers. The main difference between grazing food chain and detritus is, grazing food chain starts with green plants which are actually the producers. On the other hand, detritus food chain starts with dead organic matter which is eaten away by animals and then these animals are ultimately eaten away by other animals.


The producers of grazing food chain are green plants. Theses green plants are eaten by herbivorous animals which are further eaten up by carnivorous animals. That show the food chain continues. The source of energy for this food chain is sun and this food chain is capable of adding the energy generated from this food chain, in the ecosystem. Energy which flows in this food chain is of less quantity. Producers occupy the trophic level in this food chain. So precisely, the energy in a grazing web moves from green plants to herbivorous to carnivorous or omnivorous. Theses carnivorous or omnivorous tend to prey on herbivorous. This food chain consist of all the macroscopic organisms.


Detritus food chain tends to start with the dead organic matter, this dead organic matter is eaten up by animals and then those animals are further eaten up by other animals. On trophic level of detritus chain, could be herbivores, omnivores or carnivores. The energy which comes from the decomposer is the source of energy which is the driving force for this food chain. As the energy flows through this food chain, organic matter is decomposed. Unlike in grazing web, all sub soil organisms are included in detritus food chain.

Key Differences

  • Grazing food chain starts with green plants while detritus food chain starts with dead organic matter.
  • Organic matter is decomposed in detritus but not in grazing.
  • Grazing web adds energy into the ecosystem.
  • Detritus has sub soil organisms while grazing web has macroscopic organisms.
  • Grazing web helps in fixing inorganic nutrients. Detritus helps in fixing the inorganic nutrients.
  • Grazing begins with green plants at the producer level while detritus begins with decomposers at the first trophic level.
  • Solar energy is used in grazing web. Energy for detritus comes from the remains of detritus.
  • Less fraction of energy flows through grazing web as compared to detritus.

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