Whereas food chains show only one course of predator-prey interation (plankton-fish-bigger fish etc), food webs contain multiple courses. In the wild, plankton is eaten by a number of things, and those things are eaten by a number of things, and so on. It is a more representative map of an ecosystem and shows how many organisms interact.
Any ecosystem is complex, with all of the plants and animals. There are very few animals that feed on just one type of plant or other animal. Therefore, it is more useful to look at a food web than to only consider a food chain. It is more realistic and considers the complexity of the ecosystem where the species of interest lives.
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