Biotic Factors of Ecosystem: Producers, Consumers and Decomposers

Updated on June 15, 2016

Ecosystem is composed of biotic factors of a community of living organism interacting with one another which we can see in food chains/webs. These diverse organisms stay together because of the need of food. Population is referred to as a collection of same species. This population plays a role in maintaining the equilibrium in the ecosystem. Populations for food-- the roles played by the population in this feeding relationship are classified into the three major biotic components of an ecosystem namely:

  • Producers
  • Macro-consumer
  • Decomposer

What are Producers?

These are organisms called producers can manufacture their own food from simple organic substances through the process of “photosynthesis”. They are often said to be “autotrophs” which comes from the Greek word “autos” which means self and “trophikos” which means nursing that refers to nutrition.

The name “autotrophic” pertains to “self-nourishment or self-feeding.” Producers manufacture foods by converting sunlight to energy in the process of photosynthesis. One good example is the chlorophyll-bearing plants and photosynthetic bacteria. But some producers manufacture food without the aid of sunlight by just using chemical energy of simple inorganic substances like mushrooms and the process is called “chemosynthesis” and the organism is known as chemosynthesis bacteria. Plants photosynthetic and chemosynthetic bacteria are autotrophic organisms that produce food in the ecosystem.

Producers are mainly of the first stage of food chain for they are the one of sustain and produce food for other living creatures or biotic factors.

bee via morgueFile
bee via morgueFile | Source


This is mostly composed of herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. Macroconsumers are large consumers like animals depends food on other organism. Hence, macroconsumers like decomposers may also described as heterotrophic. The hetero which means other because the term describe organisms the feed on others, macroconsumers are grouped into three according to their food preferences;

  1. Plants-eaters (herbivores) – These are consumers who eats plant leaves, flowers, stems, roots and etc. Some of the few examples of herbivores are carabao, horses and goats. Plant-eaters are vegetarian animals so meaning they do not eat meat of other animals.
  2. Flesh-eater (carnivores) – These are animals that eat meat of other animals and some examples of carnivorous animals are dog, snake and hawk. They don’t eat plants but only eat meat of the animals. It comes from the Greek word “Carni” which means meat and the other means eaters.
  3. Variety-eaters (Omnivores) –These are consumers who actually eat either plants or animal meats. Some examples of omnivorous animals are rat, chicken and man that eat both plants and animals.

saprophytes via morgueFile
saprophytes via morgueFile | Source


Decomposers refer to small consumers like bacteria, fungi and worms that cause the decay of dead organism. They are sometimes called to as microconsumer because many of them are microorganisms that are too small to be seen by the naked eye.

They are also described as heterotrophic because the feed on other organism. Some decomposers like fungi are saphrotrophic. This means fungi take in food by absorbing dissolved organic substances that are products of decay.

Decomposers break down the complex substances in bodies of dead plants and animals into simpler materials. They are the final consumers of a biotic community. They return to the nonliving environment the materials which were originally absorbed by plants from the soil.

References; Science and Technology by Lilia M. Rabago Ph. D , Crescensia C. Joaquin Ph.D, Catherine B. Lagunzad , PH. D, Encarta

For you which must be more in population?

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    • profile image


      8 months ago

      thanks it realy helped meh

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      It did not help me on my project I got 10 out of 100

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      it helped me

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      What are the four types of consumers in an ecosystem

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      I want to know, what is the important contribution of a biotic community to our balance ecosystem?

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      why they stay together

    • profile image

      Factors biotic 

      2 years ago

      It was extremely Good to have nice information.

      It helped me a lot for my project.

    • profile image

      Beatriz Moisset 

      2 years ago

      Mutualists are important biotic components (regardless of where they are in the food chain. The same can be said about ecosystem engineers, and perhaps even more so about keystone species. The article is incomplete if it doesn't include these concepts.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you it was extremely helpful for my project

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Very nice

    • Sabarigirish M profile image

      Sabarigirish M 

      2 years ago

      Very useful for my son's homework

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      i don't care about this

    • profile image

      biotic factores 

      3 years ago

      what is biotic factores

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      thank you for the info it was very helpful

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      up with this series? If not, you can catch up with my first post about Fertilizer. Then move onto Compost, Soil Amendments and Soil Conditioners. The last two innlatlmests discussed Alaskan Humus and Worm

    • profile image

      ugabi Margaret 

      5 years ago

      I like it

    • KenDeanAgudo profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      7 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      Autotrophs and heterotrophs does not depend on decomposers but rather decomposers depend on them, decomposers live on dead animals and plant like saprobes and scavengers. In a notion, producers must be more in population or in scale.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      There must be a balance between producers and consumers.You can't have more consumers than producers otherwise the consumers would starve to death.Then the digesters or decomposers are the most important aspect of the whole since producers and consumers depend on the decomposers


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