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    Decomposers play an important role in ecosystems. They break down dead or decaying plant and animal material so that nutrients can be “recycled”. An excellent way to utilize decomposition in our own backyard is by composting. In at least 500 words and using 3 (or more) credible sources, please answer the following questions:
    1. What factors are needed for the process of decomposition to take place?
    2. What is the process of composting?
    3. How could you utilize the process of decomposition and/or composting in your own life or community?




Subject Biology Pages 4 Style APA


The Process of Decomposers

Decomposition is a vital process in the lifecycle of all biological organisms. Ideally, it helps break down decaying or dead living things to release minerals and nutrients which can be used by other organisms. Primarily, the process is carried out by decomposers, which include bacteria and fungi. This report addresses factors needed for the process of decomposition to take place, the process of composting, and how process of decomposition and/or composting could be utilized in the author’s own life or community.

Factors Needed For the Process of Decomposition to Take Place

The decomposition process, which involves breaking down of organic matter into finished compost, is often gradual and complicated.  In this regard, both biological and chemical processes take place in different stages. There are two types of decomposition processes; anaerobic and aerobic. The presence of oxygen differentiates the two processes. In anaerobic, decomposition occurs without oxygen while in aerobic, oxygen is present.

Since microorganisms facilitate the decomposition process, requirements for an effective decomposition process to occur encourages microbial activity.  Notably, the factors needed include moisture, aeration, proper temperature, and particle size (García‐Palacios et al., 2016). Primarily, oxygen helps to efficiently decompose organic wastes by microbes. Consequently, anaerobic decomposition which occurs in the absence of oxygen is often slow.  Moisture is vital for decomposition as it encourages the growth of microorganisms that break down organic wastes. However, excess moisture can lead to anaerobic conditions which will slow down the rate of decomposition.  Particle size is essential in the decomposition process as larger particles take longer to be broken down.  Lastly, maintaining proper temperatures of above 50°F is vital for decomposition as it is the minimum optimum working condition for microbes that carry out decomposition.


The Process of Composting

Composting refers to a natural biological process that occurs under aerobic conditions leading to biodegradation of organic wastes. Primarily, the process involves various microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria breaking down organic matter into their primary components and nutrients. According to Wei, Wang, Hassan, and Xie (2018), compositing is natural and occurs continuously in the natural environment. After being broken down, the organic matter is returned to the soil and helps in plant growth before being consumed by invertebrates.

The composting process only occurs if specific conditions are maintained within the environment. Primarily, moisture, proper organic matter size, oxygen, material disturbance, and appropriate temperatures have to be present for composting to take place. As per Oviedo-Ocaña (2019), composting is a simple process that can be carried out in both indoor and outdoor settings in any geographical location.  Due to the high amount of organic matter in most wastes, composting has the potential to be used for managing various wastes worldwide.

Personal Utilization of Decomposition

The simplicity associated with the decomposition process can help me utilize it in my community for managing organic wastes. Notably, there is an issue of food wastes in my community as most hotels and even homesteads find it challenging to dispose of food that has expired, decomposed, or one that is no longer suitable for consumption. Often, they mix it with other wastes some of which are not organic. As such, it becomes difficult to recycle such food. However, through composition, I can create a composting site that can be used to decompose all food wastes in the community organically. Consequently, there will be an improvement in the overall waste management practices within the community.




García‐Palacios, P., McKie, B. G., Handa, I. T., Frainer, A., & Hättenschwiler, S. (2016). The importance of litter traits and decomposers for litter decomposition: a comparison of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems within and across biomes. Functional Ecology30(5), 819-829.

Wei, H., Wang, L., Hassan, M., & Xie, B. (2018). Succession of the functional microbial communities and the metabolic functions in maize straw composting process. Bioresource technology256, 333-341.

Oviedo-Ocaña, E. R., Dominguez, I., Komilis, D., & Sánchez, A. (2019). Co-composting of green waste mixed with unprocessed and processed food waste: influence on the composting process and product quality. Waste and biomass valorization10(1), 63-74.





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