Biotic Factors of Ecosystem: Producers, Consumers and Decomposers
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:
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.
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;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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