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

  • 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
  • Hunt HW, Colema9n 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.
  1. ^ NOAA. ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve: Decomposers.
  2. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. . Eds. M.McGinley & C.J.cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DCTrophic level
  3. ^ Whitman, William; Coleman, David; Wiebe, William (June 1998). "Prokaryotes: The unseen majority". Proceeings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 95 (12): 6578–6583. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Hogan, Michael (October 2014). "Bacteria". Encyclopedia of Earth. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Blanchette, Robert (September 1991). "Delignification by Wood-Decay Fungi". Annual Review of Phytopathology 29: 281–403.  
  6. ^ a b Waggoner, Ben; Speer, Brian. "Fungi: Life History and Ecology". Introduction to the Fungi. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 


See also

[6] Hyphae used to break down matter and absorb nutrients are also used in reproduction. When two compatible fungi's hyphae grow close to each other, they will then fuse together for reproduction and form another fungus.[6] The primary decomposers of litter in many


Bacteria are important decomposers; they are widely distributed and can break down just about any type of organic matter.[3] and the bacteria on Earth may form a biomass that exceeds that of all living plants and animals.[4] Bacteria are vital in the recycling of nutrients, and many steps in nutrient cycles depend on these organisms.



  • Bacteria 1
  • Fungi 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

are detritivores, not decomposers, in the technical sense, since they must ingest nutrients and are unable to absorb them externally. sea cucumbers, and woodlice, earthworms Thus, invertebrates such as [2]