Producers, consumers and decomposers
Organisms are grouped as producers, consumers and decomposers based on the manner in which they obtain their sustenance from the environment.
- All organisms which can prepare their own food by photosynthesis using the radiant energy of the sun absorbed by the chlorophyll of the leaves are called producers.
- The organisms which consume the food produced either directly or indirectly are called consumers.
- Consumers can be classified into primary, secondary and tertiary consumers based on their mode of nutrition.
- All herbivores and some parasites are primary consumers. Example- rabbit, which eats grass.
Fig. A producer
- Many small carnivores and some parasites are secondary consumers. Example- snake, which eats rabbits.
Fig. A secondary consumer
- Larger carnivores and omnivores are tertiary consumers. Example- owl, which eats snakes.
Fig. A tertiary consumer
- The organisms which break down the dead remains and waste products of organisms are called decomposers.
Fig. Decomposers- fungi
- Decomposers break down the complex organic substances into simple inorganic substances in the soil which is used by the plants.