5.3 Decay Processes

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5.3 Decay Processes

Decay Process - The Decay Process

The decay process is when animals and plants recycle nutrients. E.g. Tree's leaves fall or an animal dies and organisms called decomposers will break down the waste and dead animals and plants and then return the nutrients to the environment.

Decomposers are made up of fungi and bacteria;

1.     Detritus feeders such as maggots eat dead animals and plants and their waste is digested by the bacteria and fungi.

2.     The waste products of decomposers are water and carbon dioxide which can be used by plants to photosynthesise.

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5.3 Decay Processes

Decay Process - Conditions and Importance of Decay

The conditions;

  • Ø  Warm temperature - because decomposers will slow/freeze if too cold or denature if it’s hot.
  • Ø  Moist conditions - as this will make it easier to dissolve food and prevents them from drying out.
  • Ø  Oxygen rich - as most micro-organisms need to respire to grow and reproduce.

No decay = Earths resources ran out years ago. 

We use micro-organisms in sewage treatment because they break it down, making it safe.

Compost heap(grass cuttings, vegetable peelings etc.) can be broken down and used as fertiliser

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