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.
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?