Flexi Says: A food chain represents a simple linear pathway through which energy and materials are transferred from one species to another in an ecosystem. In general, food chains show how energy and materials flow from producers to consumers. Energy and materials also flow from producers and consumers to decomposers, but this step usually is not included in food chains. Food chains tend to be overly simplistic representations of what really happens in nature. Most organisms consume multiple species and are, in turn, consumed by multiple other species. A food web represents these more complex interactions. A food web is a diagram of feeding relationships that includes multiple intersecting food chains.