What Are the Decomposers in the South African Savannah?

decomposers-south-african-savannah Credit: Sven Zacek/Oxford Scientific/Getty Images

The major decomposers on the African Savannah are the African land snail, the African dung beetle, mushrooms/fungi and bacteria. Decomposers play an important part of the Savannah's ecosystem. They eat dead and decaying organic matter such as grass and animal carcasses, and the matter is digested and released back into the soil where it fertilizes new plants.

Ecosystems are large, interdependent networks of living organisms that begin with producers (plants) that create their own energy. Next are primary consumers (herbivores) that feed on plants, and secondary consumers (carnivores) that feed on herbivores. Decomposers are the last link in this chain and, in some ways, the most important. Without them, the dead and decaying matter produced by primary and secondary consumers would be trapped in unusable organic forms and gradually increase until it overwhelmed the environment and the ecosystem collapsed.