Examples of saprophytic fungi may include Rhizobium and Rhizopus. Saprophytic organisms are characterised by their ability to sustain themselves by feeding on dead and rotting organic materials.
Fungi, such as Rhizobium, help sustain plant life by providing ammonia for surrounding vegetation by utilizing nitrogen absorbed from the air. Rhizopus is a fungi commonly found on bread that causes it to break down into simpler nutrients to be used by other organisms. Saprophytic fungi are essential to the ecosystem due to their function of preventing buildup of dead organic matter and recycling of nutrients. They use enzymes to break down the bodies of dead animals or plant matter into nutrients, such as lignin, that serve as a source of carbon for the ecosystem.