Plants are called producers due to their ability to create complex biological compounds like glucose by processing carbon dioxide, sunlight and water. Plants also produce oxygen, contributing the atmosphere that all animals breathe. Producers are found at the base of every ecosystem in the world, providing the foundation of most complex life in the world.Continue Reading
Plants are also called "primary producers," meaning that they are the only living things in the food chain to produce the energy that all animals eventually process. Similarly, primary consumers are known as herbivores, acting as the second link in the chain, and secondary consumers are those carnivores that subsist solely off of herbivores. Tertiary consumers are predators that eat both herbivores and carnivores. Humans can be considered tertiary consumers, for instance.
There are some plants that are consumers. For instance, the Venus' fly trap and similar plants have mechanisms to trap and digest insects and small animals to get the nutrients they need to grow and survive. Venus' fly traps are still plants, however, and gather some of their nutrients from gases and the soil they are rooted in. Plants such as these are found in areas with poor soil quality, forcing them to capture small prey to supply their missing nutritional needs.Learn more about Botany
Photosynthesis can only occur when a plant has access to water, carbon dioxide, sunlight and chlorophyll. Plant cells naturally produce chlorophyll, and they draw carbon dioxide directly from the air. Water and sunlight must be acquired from external sources.Full Answer >
The function of chloroplasts is to convert sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into food for the plant. Chloroplasts are energy organelles, and are present in all types of plants.Full Answer >
Chlorophyll is a pigment found in the chloroplasts of plants that absorbs the wavelengths of light required to convert water and carbon dioxide into chemical energy during photosynthesis. Molecules of chlorophyll are arranged around the photosystems embedded in the chloroplasts' thylakoid membranes. There can be several hundred chlorophyll molecules per photosystem.Full Answer >
Aquatic plants are able to absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) they need to make food directly from the water around them through their leaves, just as land plants obtain carbon dioxide from the air. The water provides the nutrients necessary for an aquatic plant to "breathe" underwater.Full Answer >