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Explain and define the roles of producers, primary, secondary and tertiary consumers, and decomposers.

Organisms can be divided into two major categories
  • Producer
  • Consumer


Producers are autotrophs that make their own food with the help of inorganic raw materials such as carbon dioxide and water. These organisms basically provide energy for all trophic levels. Common groups of organisms included in this group are Green plants that make their own food by the process of photosynthesis.


Consumers are commonly known as heterotrophs-the organisms that are not capable of making their own food but feed on either autotroph is other heterotrophs. Consumers can be further classified into 
  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Tertiary
Primary consumers are herbivores that feed directly on autotrophs
Secondary consumers feed on herbivores they can be carnivores or omnivores
Tertiary consumers feed on secondary consumers. It also includes carnivores and omnivores.


Organisms that obtain their nutrition from dead organisms. They obtain energy with the help of enzymes. Enzymes help in the breakdown of these organic matters and convert them to inorganic matter that can be returned back to the ecosystem.

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