An ecosystem is made up of producers, consumers and decomposers.
Energy and nutrients are transferred from producers to consumers to decomposers through feeding.
- Energy from the sun/light energy is converted by producers into chemical energy and stored as food during photosynthesis.
- Producers are mainly green plants.
- Producers are are the only organisms that can manufacture or produce complex organic food from inorganic raw materials.
- Thus, producers either directly or indirectly affect the lives of other organisms because they provide both energy and oxygen.
- Energy is obtained their energy by feeding on other organisms.
- Thus, all animals are consumers.
- Herbivores (plant-eaters) feed directly on plants, hence they are only known as primary consumers.
- Carnivores that feed on herbivores are know as secondary consumers.
- Carnivores that feed on other carnivores are tertiary consumers.
- Decomposers obtain their energy bu breaking down dead organisms, faeces and excretory products. (When dead organisms and waste matter are broken down, the materials lcoked up in them are released.)
- These materials, such as inorganic nutrients, carbon and nitrogen compounds, are returned to the physical environment and are used again by green plants.