The Open Door Web Site
Part XXII: The Interdependence of Living Things : The Ecosystem : An Interacting Community Index
THE ECOSYSTEM: AN INTER-ACTING COMMUNITY
The transfer of energy
The organisms which convert the energy of the sun into chemical energy, the producers, are called autotrophs. All green plants are autotrophs. Green plants absorb between 20% and 30% of the sunlight which reaches the Earth. Only 2% of the energy from the sunlight which reaches green plants is stored in the body of the plant.
The organisms which gain their energy by feeding on other organisms are called heterotrophs. Heterotrophs are either herbivores or carnivores or omnivores.
When the energy from the sun is converted into chemical energy by the producers, it is passed on to the consumers; first to the herbivores and then to the carnivores. Movement of energy from one organism to another is called energy flow.
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