What are decomposers?<br />Vital components of the nutrient cycle<br />An organism, often a bacterium or fungus, that feeds on and breaks down dead plant or animal matter, thus making organic nutrients available to the ecosystem.<br />
Scavengers <br />Animals that find dead animals or plants and eat them<br />help break down or reduce organic material into smaller pieces <br />Examples:<br />Flies<br /> Wasps <br /> Cockroaches <br />Earthworms(only break down plants)<br />
Different kinds of decomposers<br /> are organisms that break down dead or decaying organisms, and in doing so carry out the natural process of decomposition<br /> Examples:<br /><ul><li>Fungi
over 50,000 species of fungi</li></ul> E.g.:<br /> mushrooms, <br /> mildew, <br /> mold, <br /> toadstools,<br /> etc.<br /><ul><li>Penicillin and other antibiotics are made from fungi.</li></li></ul><li>Bacteria <br /><ul><li>Prokaryotic (no nucleus)
recycle dead plants and animals by turning them into minerals and nutrients that plants can use
only see them with a microscope</li></li></ul><li>Worms<br /><ul><li>Hermaphroditic (have both male and female organs)
excrete wastes in the form of casts (rich in nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash)
loosen the soil</li></li></ul><li>How decomposers decompose dead things?<br />1. A fungus releases enzymes on to the dead remains<br />2. The enzymes digest the dead matter and make it soluble <br />3. The soluble products are taken up by the fungus <br />
What would happen if decomposer's are removed from the ecosystem?<br />
Bibliography <br />academics.uww.edu Retrieved on 7th June,2011 20:20<br />http://academics.uww.edu/cni/webquest/HallOfFame/decomposers/decomposer.htm<br />Decomposer Bacteria. Retrieved on 8th June,2011 from<br />http://www.earth-cards.com/pseudomonas_bacteria.htm<br />fungi, telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved on 8th June,2011 20:31 from<br />http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/earth/3234942/More-Telegraph-readers-pictures-of-autumn-colours-in-Britain.html?image=3<br /><ul><li>microbiologyonline.org.uk Retrieved on 7th June,2011 21:30</li></ul>http://www.microbiologyonline.org.uk/about-microbiology/introducing-microbes/fungi<br />nextnature.net Retrieved on 7th June,2011 21:42<br />http://www.nextnature.net/2008/12/bacteria-that-eat-waste-shit-petrol/<br />Thefreedictionary.com Retrieved on 7th June,2011 20:13<br />http://www.thefreedictionary.com/decomposer<br />worsleyschool.net Retrieved on 8th June,2011 17:21<br />http://www.worsleyschool.net/science/files/decomposers/page.html<br />
Bibliography <br />New Biology for You Gareth Williams <br />Retrieved on 8th Jane, 2011 17:53<br />
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