Consumers

The organisms that eat primary producers are the primary consumers. Other organisms that process imported detritus or recuperate energy/chemicals within systems are called decomposers. These organisms in turn are preyed upon by larger, less numerous species, and so on until the "top consumer" is reached in the food pyramid. The number of levels is controlled in general by biomass accumulation that can be utilized efficiently at the next higher position in a food chain. By the time the fourth or fifth step is reached, available energy is in short supply, and top predators might have to visit adjacent local ecosystems to supplement their diets. To make the array of consumers more complex, either primary production must increase or more efficient transfer of energy across levels (sending more energy through consumers and less through the decomposers, or appearance of an evolutionary innovation resulting in more efficient use of net production) needs to take place. Interactions between components of food webs can be extremely complicated, or they can consist of relatively few connections, involve what are referred to as trophic specialists (obligate interactions) or general-ists, and be able to withstand disturbances or be prone to collapse during the mildest disruption in population structure, energy/nutrient availability, or geometry of the connections. An interesting complication is that consumers may feed at different positions in the food web at different stages of their life cycles.

Worm Farming

Worm Farming

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