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Decomposers. BC Science Probe 7 Section 2.5 Pages 44-47. Decomposers. Earth is like a spaceship: Once it has been launched, nothing more can be added to it. Air and water must be recycled or the astronauts will die. Decomposers. The same is true on Earth.

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decomposers

Decomposers

BC Science Probe 7

Section 2.5

Pages 44-47

decomposers1
Decomposers
  • Earth is like a spaceship:
    • Once it has been launched, nothing more can be added to it.
    • Air and water must be recycled or the astronauts will die.
decomposers2
Decomposers
  • The same is true on Earth.
  • Life depends on the recycling of matter.
    • How does this work?
decomposers3
Decomposers
  • Food chains and food webs show how matter and energy move from one organism to another.
  • Decomposers are an important part of this cycle.
decomposers4
Decomposers
  • Decomposers break down their food and use up the last of the energy in the food chain.
  • At the same time, the release nutrients.
    • Nutrients are chemical substances that organisms need to grow and survive.
decomposers5
Decomposers
  • Nutrients can be released into the soil, water or air.
decomposers6
Decomposers
  • Then the nutrients can be taken up by plants and used again to help the plants grow.
decomposers7
Decomposers
  • Decomposers keep matter moving between the living and non-living parts of the ecosystem!
decomposers8
Decomposers
  • Even though decomposers are small, they do a lot of work.
    • Imagine what your yard, or the park would look like if years of grass clippings and fallen leaves were still in their original forms!
decomposers9
Decomposers
  • No decomposers = nutrients locked in dead plants.
  • Decomposers, like moulds and bacteria, break down matter and turn it into the nutrients that living things need every day.
composting
Composting
  • Composting uses decomposers to break down kitchen waste or plant scraps.
composting1
Composting
  • In a compost ecosystem, small detrivores like earthworms, mites, grubs, insects and nematodes, chew, digest and mix the waste.
composting2
Composting
  • Then the decomposers like fungi and bacteria break down the waste more.
    • This makes the nutrients available to plants when you put the compost on a garden.
    • Kind of like a vitamin pill for a garden.
dying salmon
Dying Salmon
  • When salmon return from the ocean to their home stream, they reproduce then die.
  • Don’t be sad!
  • This helps to ensure the survival of the species.
dying salmon1
Dying Salmon
  • Detrivores like gulls, eagles and bears eat a bunch of the dying and dead salmon.
dying salmon2
Dying Salmon
  • The bacteria and fungi finish breaking down the dead fish and turn the tissue into a liquid.
    • This allows the nutrients from the salmon to dissolve in the stream.
dying salmon3
Dying Salmon
  • In the spring, plankton are nourished by the nutrients in the stream and the salmon fry will eat the plankton.
dying salmon4
Dying Salmon
  • The nutrients from the salmon either in the stream, or leftover from the ones the bears and wolves try to eat, also nourish the forest.