Consumer (ecology)

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Destructors in the material cycle

As consumers (consumers) is referred to in the ecology heterotrophic organisms. Unlike autotrophic producers (z. B. photosynthesis operated plants ) they are not able to get their food from inorganic to gain raw materials. They therefore consume the biomass of other living things .

One differentiates in ecosystems

  1. Producers: They form the basis for every ecosystem and serve the herbivorous animals as a food source
  2. Primary or first-order consumers: ( herbivores herbivores) and saprophages
  3. Secondary consumers or second-order consumers: ( carnivore carnivores)
  4. Tertiary or third-order consumers: Carnivores that feed on carnivores
  5. Quaternary consumers: Even larger carnivores, which feed on the tertiary consumers, can also feed on the secondary consumers
  6. Quintary consumer: The human

In the model of the food chain , broken down by trophy level , consumers follow producers. In an ecosystem , consumer production is limited by that of producers.

See also