Explain the role of decomposers

Question:

Explain the role of decomposers in the environment. (CCE 2011)

Solution:

Decomposers are saprophytes which feed on organic remains by a process of external digestion and absorption of solubilised materials, e.g.,

many bacteria, fungi. In the process they perform the following functions :

  1. Cleansing the earth of organic remains and continuously creating space for newer generations of organisms.
  2. Release of minerals from organic remains. The phenomenon is called mineralisation. The released minerals become available to plants for utilization in synthesis of new organic matter. Decomposers, therefore, take part in biogeochemical recycling.

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