Consumers – organisms that consume ready-made organic substances created by producers, but during consumption do not bring the decomposition of organic substances to simple mineral components.
Consumers include all herbivorous, parasitic and predatory animals, part of microorganisms, parasitic and insectivorous plants. In ecosystems, consumers play the role of management. There are consumers of the first (herbivorous animals), second and other orders (predators and parasites).
Living creatures that are not able to build their body on the basis of the use of inorganic substances, requiring the intake of organic matter from the outside, as part of food, belong to the group of heterotrophic organisms living from products synthesized by photo- or chemosynthetics. Food, extracted in one way or another from the environment, is used by heterotrophs to build their own body and as an energy source for various forms of life. Thus, heterotrophs use the energy stored by autotrophs in the form of chemical bonds of the organic substances synthesized by them. In the flow of substances in the course of the cycle, they occupy the level of consumers obligatory associated with autotrophic organisms (first-order consumers) or with other heterotrophs that they feed on (second-order consumers).
Consumers include a huge number of living organisms from different taxa. They are not only among cyanobacteria and algae. Of higher plants, consumers include chlorophyll-free forms that parasitize other plants; partially the position of consumers is also occupied by plants with mixed nutrition (for example, insectivores such as sundews). All animals are consumers, and their role in maintaining a sustainable biogenic cycle is very large. Consensus means a consumer (from lat. Consume – consume, eat).
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