Decomposers Decomposer animals and bioremediation of soils

Decomposers Decomposer animals and bioremediation of soils

What is a decomposer?

Decomposers
Decomposers are the last stop on the food chain, they eat the things no
one else wants to. Decomposers many times eat dead things from the ground in
order to get nutrients. The dead things that are eaten by decomposers are called
detritus
which means "garbage". Some of the most common decomposers are
bacteria
, worms, slugs, snails, and
fungi like mushrooms.


Multiple Decomposers

[Decomposers at work]

Decomposers can be referred to as nature’s
recyclers because they help keep nutrients moving in food webs. If the
decomposers did not do their job the producers would not get the nutrients they
need and would die. What would happen if we didn’t have plants…well all living
things would start to starve to death. Decomposers are very small so they can
break down large pieces of dead stuff. If they didn’t do their job the ground
would be covered with junk.

Decomposers in the Desert

BeetlesWormMillipedes
            


[Beetle]
         
         
[Earthworm]            

    
[Millipedes]  
               
In the Desert it is hard for many decomposers to stay alive because they
like moist areas. One of the only decomposers in Deserts is bacteria
because they are so small and can live in the air. Some of the other
decomposers in the desert are beetles, earth worms and millipedes.

 

Decomposers in other ecosystems
Decomposers in the Water

BacteriaClamsShrimp
[Bacteria filled water]               
[Clams]                    
[Freshwater shrimp]       



There are not many types of decomposers in the water. Most types of
decomposers in the water are

different types of bacteria’s. There are
also scavengers


like freshwater shrimp, clams, crabs, lobsters and flat worms. These
fish eat dead animals and plants in the water.



Decomposers in the Forest

MushroomsSlugs
[Mushrooms]                       
[Slug]    



In the desert there are many different decomposers some of them are
snails, slugs, earthworms, bacteria and mushrooms. Whenever something
dies in the forest these are the decomposers that break the dead
material down in order to provide nutrients for the soil.

Decomposers in the Arctic

bacteriaArctic Raven
[Bacteria in the air]          
[Arctic Raven]

Similar to the water the Arctic is a very hard
place to live in because of its climate. Even though most decomposers
cannot live in the Arctic, bacteria is one that can live there because
it can live anywhere.

The arctic ravens are scavengers in the arctic.
They eat carrion which are
parts of dead animals.


Decomposers that hurt us

Some decomposers are harmful to
humans. When we get sick it is usually due to bacteria in our system.
When we take antibiotics to make us feel better we are injuring or
killing the bacteria in us in order to make us feel better.

  Antibiotics

[Antibiotics]

Did you know?
Mold is a type of fungi that can be
found on old bread or other foods. In order for mold to survive they
like to grow in dark, moist and warm places.


Moldy Bread

[Mold on Bread]


Lesson Plan

Quiz
Homework Activity The Food Chain

 

Decomposer

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For The Matches album of the same name, see Decomposer (album) .

The fungi on this tree are decomposers.

Decomposers are organisms that break down dead or decaying organisms, and in doing so, they carry out the natural process of decomposition . [1] Like herbivores and predators , decomposers are heterotrophic , meaning that they use organic substrates to get their energy , carbon and nutrients for growth and development. While the terms decomposer and detritivore are often interchangeably used, detritivores must ingest and digest dead matter via internal processes while decomposers can directly absorb nutrients through chemical and biological processes hence breaking down matter without ingesting it. [2] Thus, invertebrates such as earthworms , woodlice , and sea cucumbers are technically detritivores, not decomposers, since they must ingest nutrients and are unable to absorb them externally.

Contents

  • 1 Fungi
  • 2 See also
  • 3 References
  • 4 Further reading

Fungi[ edit ]

The primary decomposer of litter in many ecosystems are fungi .[ citation needed ] Unlike bacteria , which are unicellular organisms, most saprotrophic fungi grow as a branching network of hyphae . While bacteria are restricted to growing and feeding on the exposed surfaces of organic matter, fungi can use their hyphae to penetrate larger pieces of organic matter. Additionally, only wood-decay fungi have evolved the enzymes necessary to decompose lignin , a chemically complex substance found in wood. [3] These two factors make fungi the primary decomposers in forests , where litter has high concentrations of lignin and often occurs in large pieces . Fungi decompose organic matter by releasing enzymes to break down the decaying material, after which they absorb the nutrients in the decaying material. [4] Hyphae used to break down matter and absorb nutrients are also used in reproduction. When two compatible fungii hyphae grow close to each other, they will then fuse together for reproduction and form another fungus. [4]

See also[ edit ]

  • Chemotroph
  • Micro-animals
  • Microorganism

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ NOAA. ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve: Decomposers.
  2. ^ Trophic level. Eds. M.McGinley & C.J.cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
  3. ^ Blanchette, Robert (September 1991). “Delignification by Wood-Decay Fungi” . Annual Review of Phytopathology. 29: 281–403. doi : 10.1146/annurev.py.29.090191.002121 . Retrieved 20 April 2015.

  4. ^ a b Waggoner, Ben; Speer, Brian. “Fungi: Life History and Ecology” . Introduction to the Funge=24 January 2014.

Further reading[ edit ]

  • Beare, MH; Hendrix, PF; Cheng, W (1992). “Microbial and faunal interactions and effects on litter nitrogen and decomposition in agroecosystems”. Ecological Monographs. 62: 569–591. doi : 10.2307/2937317 .
  • Hunt HW, Coleman DC, Ingham ER, Ingham RE, Elliot ET, Moore JC, Rose SL, Reid CPP, Morley CR (1987) “The detrital food web in a shortgrass prairie”. Biology and Fertility of Soils 3: 57-68
  • Smith TM, Smith RL (2006) Elements of Ecology. Sixth edition. Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA.
  • v
  • t
  • e
Feeding behaviours
Carnivores
adult
  • Hematophagy
  • Insectivore
  • Lepidophagy
  • Man-eater
  • Molluscivore
  • Mucophagy
  • Myrmecophagy
  • Ophiophagy
  • Piscivore
  • Avivore
  • Spongivore
  • Vermivore
reproductive
  • Oophagy
  • Paedophagy
  • Placentophagy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Weaning
cannibalistic
  • Animal cannibalism
  • Human cannibalism
  • Self-cannibalism
  • Sexual cannibalism
Starling Feeding Offspring.jpg
Herbivores
  • Folivore
  • Florivore
  • Frugivore
  • Graminivore
  • Granivore
  • Nectarivore
  • Palynivore
  • Xylophagy
  • Osteophagy
Cellular
  • Phagocytosis
  • Myzocytosis
Others
  • Microbivory
  • Bacterivore
  • Fungivore
  • Coprophagia
  • Detritivore
  • Geophagia
  • Omnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Saprophagy
  • Xenophagy
Methods
  • Predation
    • Ambush predator
    • Apex predator
    • Egg predator
    • Intraguild predator
    • Pursuit predator
  • Aquatic predation
    • Lunge feeder
    • Pivot feeder
    • Ram feeder
    • Suction feeder
    • Bait balls
    • Bottom feeder
    • Feeding frenzy
    • Filter feeder
  • Browsing
  • Grazing
  • Hypercarnivore
  • Hypocarnivore
  • Kleptoparasitism
  • Mesocarnivore
  • Scavenger
  • Trophallaxis
  • Predation
  • Antipredator adaptation
  • Carnivorous plant
  • Carnivorous fungus
  • Carnivorous protist
  • Category:Eating behaviors
  • v
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  • e
Ecology : Modelling ecosystems : Trophic components
General
  • Abiotic component
  • Abiotic stress
  • Behaviour
  • Biogeochemical cycle
  • Biomass
  • Biotic component
  • Biotic stress
  • Carrying capacity
  • Competition
  • Ecosystem
  • Ecosystem ecology
  • Ecosystem model
  • Keystone species
  • List of feeding behaviours
  • Metabolic theory of ecology
  • Productivity
  • Resource
Producers
  • Autotrophs
  • Chemosynthesis
  • Chemotrophs
  • Foundation species
  • Mixotrophs
  • Myco-heterotrophy
  • Mycotroph
  • Organotrophs
  • Photoheterotrophs
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthetic efficiency
  • Phototrophs
  • Primary nutritional groups
  • Primary production
Consumers
  • Apex predator
  • Bacterivore
  • Carnivores
  • Chemoorganotroph
  • Foraging
  • Generalist and specialist species
  • Intraguild predation
  • Herbivores
  • Heterotroph
  • Heterotrophic nutrition
  • Insectivore
  • Mesopredators
  • Mesopredator release hypothesis
  • Omnivores
  • Optimal foraging theory
  • Planktivore
  • Predation
  • Prey switching
Decomposers
  • Chemoorganoheterotrophy
  • Decomposition
  • Detritivores
  • Detritus
Microorganisms
  • Archaea
  • Bacteriophage
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Lithoautotroph
  • Lithotrophy
  • Microbial cooperation
  • Microbial ecology
  • Microbial food web
  • Microbial intelligence
  • Microbial loop
  • Microbial mat
  • Microbial metabolism
  • Phage ecology
Food webs
  • Biomagnification
  • Ecological efficiency
  • Ecological pyramid
  • Energy flow
  • Food chain
  • Trophic level
Example webs
  • Cold seeps
  • Hydrothermal vents
  • Intertidal
  • Kelp forests
  • Lakes
  • North Pacific Subtropical Gyre
  • Rivers
  • San Francisco Estuary
  • Soil
  • Tide pool
Processes
  • Ascendency
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Cascade effect
  • Climax community
  • Competitive exclusion principle
  • Consumer-resource systems
  • Copiotrophs
  • Dominance
  • Ecological network
  • Ecological succession
  • Energy quality
  • Energy Systems Language
  • f-ratio
  • Feed conversion ratio
  • Feeding frenzy
  • Mesotrophic soil
  • Nutrient cycle
  • Oligotroph
  • Paradox of the plankton
  • Trophic cascade
  • Trophic mutualism
  • Trophic state index
Defense,
counter
  • Animal coloration
  • Antipredator adaptations
  • Camouflage
  • Deimatic behaviour
  • Herbivore adaptations to plant defense
  • Mimicry
  • Plant defense against herbivory
  • Predator avoidance in schooling fish
  • v
  • t
  • e
Ecology : Modelling ecosystems : Other components
Population
ecology
  • Abundance
  • Allee effect
  • Depensation
  • Ecological yield
  • Effective population size
  • Intraspecific competition
  • Logistic function
  • Malthusian growth model
  • Maximum sustainable yield
  • Overpopulation in wild animals
  • Overexploitation
  • Population cycle
  • Population dynamics
  • Population modeling
  • Population size
  • Predator–prey (Lotka–Volterra) equations
  • Recruitment
  • Resilience
  • Small population size
  • Stability
Species
  • Biodiversity
  • Density-dependent inhibition
  • Ecological effects of biodiversity
  • Ecological extinction
  • Endemic species
  • Flagship species
  • Gradient analysis
  • Indicator species
  • Introduced species
  • Invasive species
  • Latitudinal gradients in species diversity
  • Minimum viable population
  • Neutral theory
  • Occupancy–abundance relationship
  • Population viability analysis
  • Priority effect
  • Rapoport’s rule
  • Relative abundance distribution
  • Relative species abundance
  • Species diversity
  • Species homogeneity
  • Species richness
  • Species distribution
  • Species-area curve
  • Umbrella species
Species
interaction
  • Antibiosis
  • Biological interaction
  • Commensalism
  • Community ecology
  • Ecological facilitation
  • Interspecific competition
  • Mutualism
  • Parasitism
  • Storage effect
  • Symbiosis
Spatial
ecology
  • Biogeography
  • Cross-boundary subsidy
  • Ecocline
  • Ecotone
  • Ecotype
  • Disturbance
  • Edge effects
  • Foster’s rule
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Ideal free distribution
  • Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis
  • Island biogeography
  • Landscape ecology
  • Landscape epidemiology
  • Landscape limnology
  • Metapopulation
  • Patch dynamics
  • r/K selection theory
  • Resource selection function
  • Source–sink dynamics
Niche
  • Ecological niche
  • Ecological trap
  • Ecosystem engineer
  • Environmental niche modelling
  • Guild
  • Habitat
  • Marine habitats
  • Limiting similarity
  • Niche apportionment models
  • Niche construction
  • Niche differentiation
Other
networks
  • Assembly rules
  • Bateman’s principle
  • Bioluminescence
  • Ecological collapse
  • Ecological debt
  • Ecological deficit
  • Ecological energetics
  • Ecological indicator
  • Ecological threshold
  • Ecosystem diversity
  • Emergence
  • Extinction debt
  • Kleiber’s law
  • Liebig’s law of the minimum
  • Marginal value theorem
  • Thorson’s rule
  • Xerosere
Other
  • Allometry
  • Alternative stable state
  • Balance of nature
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  • Ecocline
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  • Ecological humanities
  • Ecological stoichiometry
  • Ecopath
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  • Endolith
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  • Functional ecology
  • Industrial ecology
  • Macroecology
  • Microecosystem
  • Natural environment
  • Regime shift
  • Systems ecology
  • Urban ecology
  • Theoretical ecology
List of ecology topics

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