4 Tutorials that teach Producers and Consumers
Take your pick:
Producers and Consumers
Next Generation: MS.LS1.6 NGSS

Producers and Consumers

This lesson will review the difference between producers and consumers, and show how both play important roles in a food web.
See More
Try a College Course Free

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

28 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

264 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 22 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Producers and consumers are different types of organisms that play a role in the food web of an ecosystem.


Producers: Organisms that make their own energy through photosynthesis. Plants are a common example of producers. Producers produce food that supports the rest of the ecosystem. Producers can also be called autotrophs. Producers are the limiting factor in an ecosystem for how large a population can get.


Consumers: Organisms that cannot make energy through photosynthesis. Consumers eat food to obtain energy. A lion would be an example of a consumer. Consumers can also be called heterotrophs. All consumers rely on producers in a food web. Even if a consumer does not eat plants directly it likely eats another animal that eats plants.

                Herbivore: a consumer that only eats plants

                Carnivore:  a consumer that only eats meat/other animals

                Omnivore: a consumer that eats both plants and meat