Science / Marine Biology / Decomposer: An organism which gains energy by breaking down the final remains of living things. Predominantly bacteria and fungi, decomposers are important in freeing the last of minerals and nutrients from organics and recycling them back into the food web. See also decomposition; compare detrivore.


Science / Marine Biology / Detrivore: An organism that feeds on large bits of dead and decaying organic matter. What detrivores leave behind is used by decomposers. Crabs and seabirds are examples of detrivores. Compare decomposer; see al MORE

Food Chain

Science / Biology / Food Chain: The simplest representation of energy fiow in a community. At the base is energy stored in plants, which are eaten by small organisms, which in turn are eaten by progressively larger organisms; the fo MORE


Science / Chemistry / Decomposition: A reaction in which a compound is broken down into simpler compounds or elements. Compounds sometimes decompose if heated strongly or if subjected to a strong electric current (electrolysis). MORE

Net Secondary Productivity (NSP)

Science / Biology / Net Secondary Productivity (NSP): The rate at which consumer and decomposer biomass is produced in a community. MORE