Like producer and consumer, decomposer is also a part of the food chain on our planet. Producers are those who can make their own food. Plants use sunlight, water and chlorophyll to make their own food, which is glucose and they also produce oxygen in the process which they exude during the day. Consumers are those who cannot produce their own food. There are a few rare plants that cannot produce their own food. Animals are consumers, including humans. There are many types of consumers, such as carnivores who only eat meat of animals, herbivores who only eat plants and omnivores who eat both plants and animals.
Omnivores rank high up on the food chain and the species that is the strongest and can consume other animals gets the top spot. Today, humans are at the top of the food chain, especially since we are largely protected from wild animals that pose a threat to us.
What are Decomposers?
Decomposers are also a part of our food chain. They are a part of consumers. However, they don’t consume or eat plants or animals that are alive. They consume or gorge on dead plants and animals. Any kind of organic waste, which includes dead plants and animals as well as organic waste or excreted waste of animals, would be broken down by decomposers. They are so called because they break down the organic waste into their tiniest molecules which begins the process of decomposition. Without decomposers, you would have organic waste lying as it is with the slight impact of erosion or scattering because of wind, water and other atmospheric conditions.
Decomposers don’t consume the dead plants and animals in their entirety. They facilitate the breakdown of the organic matter. Scavengers, who are often referred to as a part of the group called decomposers actually feed the organic dead matter. Thereon, the bacteria and fungi along with a plethora of different worms facilitate decomposition.
Significance of Decomposer
Decomposers help in the decomposition of organic matter. They help in enriching the soil. They can fertilize a piece of land. They help in maintaining the ecological balance. Since they don’t have any carbon footprint of their own or any such environmental impact, their entire contribution is positive and at the very foundation of our existence. Had it not been for decomposers, the world would become a giant pile of organic waste, including that of plants and animals.