Decomposers are organisms that break down rotting trees and plants. Mushrooms, beetles and wood eaters are some of the decomposers found in a deciduous forest.Continue Reading
Decomposers play an important role in the forest ecosystem. When a decomposer breaks down a piece of dead or decaying material, nitrogen, carbon and other nutrients seep back into the soil. The recycled nutrients serve as a source of nourishment for new trees and plants.
Unlike plants, mushrooms are unable to produce their own food, so they use enzymes to decompose dead plants and absorb needed nutrients. The earthworm is another common decomposer found in the deciduous forest. After an earthworm absorbs the nutrients it needs, it excretes castings that are rich in potash, phosphorus and nitrogen.
Decomposers are a vital component of the nitrogen cycle, which transforms an unusable form of nitrogen into the fixed form organisms need to survive. During this cycle, decomposers convert nitrogen into ammonia, allowing the nitrogen cycle to continue.
Some decomposers break down material very quickly, while others take several months or years to do their jobs. Shelf fungus, for example, decomposes trees very slowly. Eventually, a tree covered with shelf fungus falls apart. The dirt inside helps nourish new plants and trees.Learn more about Cells
Decomposers break down dead or decaying organisms, and in doing so, convert their basic materials into forms more useful to the biological community, particularly plants. The main decomposers in the environment include bacteria, fungi and worms. Each of these plays a different, but overlapping, role in decomposition.Full Answer >
The decomposers in an underwater ecosystem are animal-like organisms called protists, fungi and bacteria. Referred to as saprotrophs, these organisms decompose dead matter from higher-level plants and animals, facilitating the re-entry of nutrients into the ecosystem in the form of raw nutrients and carbon dioxide.Full Answer >
One main difference between protists and bacteria is that protists are eukaryotic organisms, while bacteria are prokaryotes. Another difference is that protists belong to the kingdom Protista, while bacteria are members of the Monera kingdom. Bacteria are uni-cellular organisms that do not contain organelles like a nucleus or chloroplasts.Full Answer >
The five levels of organization in a multicellular organism are cells, tissues, organs, organ systems and organisms. The level of complexity and functionality increases going from cells to organisms.Full Answer >