The role decomposers play in the carbon cycle is breaking down the remains of dead plants and animals. Through this process, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere via respiration, which is the second step in the carbon cycle. Decomposers refer to microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, that are seen properly only through a microscope.
The main processes of the carbon cycle are photosynthesis, respiration, decomposition, natural rock weathering and fossil fuel combustion. Respiration takes place in plants, animals and decomposers. This process involves the use of oxygen in breaking down organic compounds into carbon dioxide and water. Animals take in oxygen and oxidize their food to return carbon into the atmosphere, while decomposers consume the rotting remains of plants and animals, thereby returning carbon dioxide into the air. Decomposers thrive in soil and water, and they play an important role in the carbon cycle. Aside from breaking down dead matter, they also remove and recycle living organisms’ waste products that are considered as nature’s garbage. They degrade complex organic molecules, which permanently take in carbon and keep it from being useful to organisms, and release inorganic molecules. The nutrients they produce are consumed by green plants, which are eaten by animals. Eventually, the products of plants and animals are broken down again by decomposers.Learn More
Examples of soil pollutants are toxic chemicals, pesticides, lead, sewage and metals. Others include acid, solvents and herbicides. Leftover ash can get in the ground through coal production and disposal.Full Answer >
The three main types of soil known to man include sand soil, loam soil and clay soil. These types of soil have different characteristics meaning they are used for varied reasons.Full Answer >
The most common types of soils in coniferous forests are called podzol soils. Podzol soils are defined by their thin surface layers and high acid content. Their composition varies depending on their location on earth and is subject to variation from temperature differences and geographical factors, such as terrain and the presence or absence of air, water and minerals.Full Answer >
Soil is created from the erosion of rocks by weather or mechanical processes. Over a very long time, the surface of the rock softens, decays and becomes soil.Full Answer >