Definitions for "Decomposers"
Keywords:  fungi, dead, earthworms, rot, bacteria
Organisms (such as bacterial and fungi) that break down plant and animal remains into forms once again usable by producers.
Saprotrophic fungi and bacteria that absorb nutrients from nonliving organic material such as corpses, fallen plant material, and the wastes of living organisms, and convert them into inorganic forms. dehydration reaction A chemical reaction in which two molecules covalently bond to one another with the removal of a water molecule. deletion(1) A deficiency in a chromosome resulting from the loss of a fragment through breakage. (2) A mutational loss of a nucleotide from a gene. demography The study of statistics relating to births and deaths in populations. denaturation For proteins, a process in which a protein unravels and loses its native conformation, thereby becoming biologically inactive. For DNA, the separation of the two strands of the double helix. Denaturation occurs under extreme conditions of pH, salt concentration, and temperature. dendrite( den-dryt) [Gk. dendron, tree] One of usually numerous, short, highly branched processes of a neuron that conveys nerve impulses toward the cell body.
Decomposers are organisms which gain their food (and therefore their energy) from the excretions and dead bodies of animals and plants.. Included in this group are bacteria and fungi. Many fungi and all bacteria can only be seen with the aid of a microscope, and are known as microbes. Decomposers return nutrients to the ecosystem for use by producers.