Decomposers include certain types of bacteria, worms, slugs, snails and fungi. All of these organisms break down or eat dead or decomposing organisms to help carry out the process of decomposition. They are the last step in the food chain, which recycles nutrients and breaks down wastes and organic matter in the ecosystem.Know More
Decomposers are known as heterotrophs because they eat organic substrates to obtain carbon, energy and other nutrients to grow and thrive. Decomposers break down the organic substrates via biochemical reactions that convert the substrates into metabolically useful products. This removes the need for internal digestive organs in decomposers. For this reason, most decomposers are bacteria and fungi. Bacteria are widespread and can break down a myriad of organic matter. Typically 1 gram of soil contains around 40 million bacterial cells that can break down organic molecules in the soil, which in turn produce more soil. Fungi primarily decompose litter and work it into the ecosystem, while worms, slugs and snails decompose fruits and vegetables. Bacteria, fungi and other decomposers help recycle many nutrients in nutrient cycles such as the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle, the iron cycle and the sulfur cycle.
Scavengers are sometimes considered decomposers. While consuming dead animals or plants, they break them into small pieces, which aids the process of decomposition.Learn more about Organic Chemistry
Examples of inorganic substances include all metals, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, salt, minerals such as gypsum and generally all compounds that do not contain carbon-hydrogen bonds. By definition, an inorganic substance is a substance that does not contain carbon.Full Answer >
Examples of organic molecules include sucrose, cellulose, triglycerides, phospholipds, proteins and deoxyribonucleic acid. Organic molecules are defined as molecules that contain carbon and hydrogen. They are typically divided into four main classes: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.Full Answer >
There are many different types of prosthetic groups, including biotin, pyridoxal phosphate, thiamin pyrophosphate, flavin nucleotides and heme. Metallic ions, such as magnesium, copper, iron and zinc, are some of the most common prosthetic groups.Full Answer >
Most of the decomposers in the ocean, at every trophic level, can be described as either animals or microbes. Animal decomposers live as scavengers, usually on the sea floor, and microbial decomposers, such as bacteria, can be found on nearly every surface or floating freely in the water.Full Answer >