Dictionary > Producer


noun, plural: producers
An autotrophic organism capable of producing complex organic compounds from simple inorganic molecules through the process of photosynthesis (using light energy) or through chemosynthesis (using chemical energy)
Producers are in the first trophic level in a food chain. It serves as a food source for consumers or for higher trophic levels. Producers are responsible for the production of organic compounds from atmospheric or aquatic carbon dioxide. All life on earth is directly or indirectly reliant on producers, hence, they form the base of the food chain. Examples of producers are plants, particularly in terrestrial ecosystems, and algae in aquatic ecosystems. Plants are referred to as producers because they are capable of producing their own food. Those that are capable of manufacturing their own food through photosynthesis are referred to as primary producers. Photosynthesis is a process wherein plants absorb light from a light source (e.g. sunlight) and use carbon dioxide, inorganic salts, and water to produce an energy-rich carbohydrate like glucose (C6H12O6) and to produce oxygen (O2) as a by-product. Another way through which producers make their own food is by chemosynthesis.
Word origin: Latin prōdūcere, to lead or bring forward, extend, prolong, produce + –er

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