Ecology of Primary Terrestrial Consumers

Authored by: Francis C. Evans

Encyclopedia of Environmental Science and Engineering

Print publication date:  June  2012
Online publication date:  June  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439804421
eBook ISBN: 9780203757659
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EESE6-120048503

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Abstract

This entry outlines the current view of nature as an interaction system in which organisms play a variety of roles in facilitating the circulation of matter and the flow of energy within that thin layer of the earth's surface known as the biosphere. Despite the relatively small quantities of material and energy that are channeled through primary consumers, as compared with autotrophic plants and decomposer organisms, the former play a vital role in the maintenance of such a system in that they accumulate and concentrate inorganic nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as many trace elements, which are otherwise thinly dispersed in the environment.

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