Species in an ecosystem can be
into different trophic
depending on their main source of food.
The first level
consists of plants
This level ultimately supports all others.
on all the
other levels, whether herbivores or carnivores, are heterotrophs, which
all depend (directly or indirectly) on the products of photosynthesis,
produced by autotrophs.
organisms that decompose fallen leaves, dead animals and other
non-living organic matter, form an important link back from
heterotrophs to autotrophs, which get their nutrients from decomposed
plant and animal matter.
The routes of chemical cycling
and energy flow depend on ecosystem processes as well as trophic structure of
an ecosystem. The pathways along which food is transferred between
different levels within rainforest ecosystem are called rainforest
food chains. A
food web contains different amounts of food chains, depending on the
ecosystem and how many species and resources it contains.
seldom simple and often branches off at some point. Many types of
primary consumers for example can feed on the same plant species. And
one consumer can eat many different things, from different trophic
levels. Small reptiles can eat insects that are also eaten by different
birds. And omnivores eat both plants and animals. The food
build the complex rainforest
As mentioned above, ecosystem processes
also affect the chemical cycling and energy flow. Production is the
process by which energy is incorporated into the bodies of organisms.
All organisms are actually producers, but plants are called primary
producers because their production supports all other organisms'
is the process by which organisms grow and reproduce. Thus all
organisms, including autotrophs, are also consumers. Decomposition is
the process by which organic materials are broken down to inorganic
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does that mean?