A food web helps keep an ecosystem stable. Food webs consist of many interrelated food chains, which assist in the transfer of food energy from one part of the web to another. The four components of a food web are:
- Non-living components, such as water, sunlight, soil, nitrogen, oxygen and other organic compounds used by living organisms.
- Producers, which are organisms such as algae and plants that make their own food through photosynthesis using the non-living components.
- Consumers, which are primarily animals, and are divided into herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.
- Decomposers comprised of mainly fungi and bacteria that decompose dead matter and return the raw materials to the ecosystem. Producers recycle these nutrients back into the food web.
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