Decomposers are important because they are crucial for the proper functioning of ecosystems. They recycle the minerals found in dead plants and animals back into the food chain. Ecosystems do not waste energy or materials, and as such, the decomposers capitalize on any remaining energy in a dead organism and make the minerals available to the entire biome.Know More
Without the actions of decomposers, ecosystems would quickly grind to a halt. The green plants, which start the food chain, are unable to grow without nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. These minerals are released into the environment when decomposers digest their food.
Most decomposers are bacteria. However, many other types of decomposers do exist, including earthworms, protozoans, fungi and millipedes. Earthworms, for example, crawl through leaf litter and soil eating the remains of dead leaves and other organic matter. The earthworms catabolize the energy-rich molecules and excrete the inorganic compounds. In this way, earthworms essentially produce soil.
Fungi are very important decomposers as well. Many grow in wounded, sick or dying trees. Fungi normally exist as tiny filaments that largely remain out of sight in the soil or within the wood of a tree. However, at certain times, the filaments produce a reproductive structure, known as a mushroom. Sometimes, these mushrooms are visible growing from the soil or out of the wood of a decaying tree.Learn more about Biology
One of the only decomposers that is able to survive in the desert is bacteria because they are tiny and can survive in the air. Other decomposers, such as millipedes, earth worms and beetles, also live in the desert, but they have a difficult time surviving because they depend on moist areas.Full Answer >
Decomposers' role in the nitrogen cycle is to recycle nitrogen by turning it into ammonia. The ammonia is returned to the soil, allowing the nitrogen cycle to start over again. A small amount of the nitrogen is returned to the atmosphere in this step.Full Answer >
The decomposers of a savanna biome include bacteria, fungi, earthworms and insects. These decomposers break down organic material, which then frees up essential nutrients for the rest of the organisms in the biome.Full Answer >
Examples of decomposers in the Sahara Desert include mushrooms, bacteria, beetles, earthworms and millipedes. Decomposers are at the bottom of the food chain and serve to decompose dead animals, dead plants and excrement by feeding off of these substances and returning them to the soil.Full Answer >