What is decay?Decay is the process of dead or waste organisms being eaten by micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi). The dead organism is known as DETRITUS during the time it is being BROKEN DOWN by DECOMPOSERS. The decomposers RELEASE ENZYMES which break down the LARGE INSOLUBLE MOLECULES into SMALLER SOLUBLE molecules (extra-cellular digestion). The smaller molecules are then ABSORBED, which the DEOCOMPOSERS use for AEROBIC RESPIRATION. This releases CO2, H20 +ATP. The CO2 is given off into the atmosphere to be recycled (see the CARBON CYCLE card)
DECAY TAKES PLACE IN WARM, MOIST AND AEROBIC CONDITIONS
EXAMPLE:Trees lose their leaves, which then form waste materials, which the MICRO-ORGANISMS eat. They respire CO2 into the atmosphere, which trees absorb and use to make energy. The cycle is then repeated when the leaves fall off the tree again.