(redirected from Decomposers)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


1. To resolve a compound into its component parts; to disintegrate.
2. To decay; to putrefy.
[L. de, from, down, + com-pono, pp. -positus, to put together]


v. decom·posed, decom·posing, decom·poses
1. To separate into components or basic elements.
2. To cause to rot.
1. To become broken down into components; disintegrate.
2. To decay; rot or putrefy.

de′com·pos′a·bil′i·ty n.
de′com·pos′a·ble adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
In their post-interviews nine students directly identified bacteria, worms, and mushrooms as decomposers while the remaining two students used the general term decomposer.
Future research would be needed to determine which decomposers (fungi, bacteria or invertebrates) are most likely to be strongly influencing the reduced litter decomposition recorded in the present study.
Students (n=93) chose the following activities as their favorite in ranking order of frequency: Adopt-A-Tree (25), Cold Blooded Animals (20) and Decomposer Hike (20), Rock Cycle (16), and Cookie Mining (12).
Mr Kang said the waste decomposer was a fairly new venture and they had only produced about 3,500 so far, but they hoped to produce a lot more and develop a larger venture which could be used by restaurants.
It found that a low density of ants in an area increased the diversity and density of other animals in the local area, particularly the density of herbivores and decomposers.
Scavengers feed on the rotting flesh, while decomposers, including bacteria and fungi, break it down.
Parasitic mushrooms feed on the tissues of living plants, usually killing the host plant or tree; endophytic mushrooms live within the tissues of plants, trees and grasses without harming them; mycorrhizal mushrooms form mutually supportive relationships with plants (including many crops) in the root zone; and saprophytic mushrooms are decomposers that feed on dead organic tissues while breaking them down into simpler components, making them available to other members of the local ecology and speeding the formation of soil humus.
Factors influencing the acquisition of rodent carrion by vertebrate scavengers and decomposers.
Fungi are critical components of ecosystems, functioning as decomposers, mutualists and pathogens.
The girls then built a bug hotel to provide a habitat for insects and hibernating animals and a log pile to encourage decomposers to broaden the ecology in this area.
The tropics is a place for happy plants and less happy" decomposers, said study leader Michael Kaspari, a zoologist at the University of Oklahoma.