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Last updated: January 9, 2017

What Does Decomposers Mean?

Decomposers are organisms that break down dead life forms, whether plant or animal, into simpler substances for easy absorption by plants. Decomposers are usually fungi or bacteria and are a crucial part of the food web. Decomposers consume dead plants and animals as nutrients and excrete nutrients that can be used by plants.

Safeopedia Explains Decomposers

Without decomposers dead organisms would not decompose, which means that their carcasses would pile up and their available energy would never be repurposed. Plants would run out of nutrients and eventually die off. In turn, animals that consume plants would then die. Then, predators would die. Decomposers are a very important part of the food web, and without them all species would cease to exist.


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