The Role of Decomposers

Key Questions

  • Answer:

    Decomposition is to dead organisms as recycling is to used plastics and etc.


    Decomposition is the process by which bacteria and fungi break down organic, dead matter into simpler forms. Those simpler forms can then be used by other organisms again, sustaining life on earth.

    The process is very similar to recycling in a way. When we recycle a plastic bottle, it is broken down and repurposed in some way. Products that we've previously used are converted into new products for continued use.

    In both cases, something old is broken down so that it can become something new.

  • Answer:

    It is the process by which dead organisms are "destroyed" and their remains are re-integrated to the ecossystem.


    When an organism (such as an animal, or plant) dies, it has many substances that it absorved from the ecossystem throughout its life; these substances are usually transformed into stable forms inside the organism in order to be used into biological processes.

    The decomposition is a process in which various factors (biotic and abiotic) break down the components of the remais of the dead organism, and liberate them back to the ecossystem (this is called nutrient cycling). This process is fundamental to the preservation of life in the ecossytem, otherwise its resources would be quickly depleted.

    Many organisms are specialized in decomposing other organisms. Good examples include Fungi, Bacteria, some animals (specially insects) and many more.