Q:

What are primary producers?

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Quick Answer

Primary producers, also called autotrophs, are organisms that can produce their own food. Most autotrophs lie at the bottom of the food chain, serving as food sources for animals farther up the line. Primary producers are self-sufficient when it comes to meals: they produce their own food using light, carbon dioxide, water and sometimes other chemicals too.

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Full Answer

The process of food creation used by primary producers is called photosynthesis. This food production method involves using energy from the sun to change water from soil and carbon dioxide from the air into glucose, which is a type of sugar and an essential nutrient. Glucose is converted into energy by plants and is also used to produce cellulose, which gives autotrophs the supplies they need to grow and create cell walls. Plants are the most common form of autotroph, although this category includes many other organisms as well. Algae, which live underwater in ocean habitats, are other members of this group as are the various kinds of seaweed. Phytoplankton, which are tiny ocean-dwelling organisms, are also classified as autotrophs, and a variety of bacteria fall into the class of primary producers too. Primary producers exist in habitats worldwide, including temperate and tropical zones and live in water as well as on land.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is an example of a heterotroph?

    A:

    A heterotroph is any organism, including carnivores, omnivores and herbivores, that cannot produce its own food through solar energy and must feed off another life form. In the food chain, heterotrophs represent the consumers. The autotrophs, such as plants and algae, are called the producers of the food chain because of their ability to produce their food with no need to consume another organism.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between zooplankton and phytoplankton?

    A:

    The main difference between zooplankton and phytoplankton is that phytoplankton has the ability to manufacture its own food through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. Zooplanktons are incapable of making their own food. Zooplanktons are animal planktons,while phytoplanktons are planktons that are capable of carrying out photosynthesis.

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  • Q:

    What organisms produce their own food?

    A:

    Organisms that make their own food classify as autotrophs, and include many types of plants, bacteria and fungi. These organisms live on land and in water, and use light, water, carbon dioxide or other chemicals to make their food.

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  • Q:

    Why do food chains start with a plant?

    A:

    Food chains start with plants because they are the only organisms that manufacture their own food. All other organisms get their food by either eating plants or feeding on others in the food chain.

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