What do detritus feeders contribute to the carbon cycle?

What do detritus feeders contribute to the carbon cycle?


Answer with Explanation:

Detritus feeders are also known as "detrivores." They survive in areas with organic components, such as the soil. Examples of these are woodlice, slugs, sea stars, etc.

When it comes to the carbon cycle, detritus feeders play the role of "decomposers." This means that they feed on the plants and animals after they die.

At the start, when plants and animals die, microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, etc.) feed on the plants and animals nutrients. So, they take in the nutrients such as proteins, sugars, etc. in order to survive. This process allows the organic molecules to break down into even more smaller particles. When the microorganisms die, the very fine organic particles are left on the soil. This is what you call as "detritus." They can commonly be found on ground's surfaces. Detritus feeders then start feeding on them and taking in the organic particles, including the carbon. Through respiration, the carbon element is released into the atmosphere and aids in the carbon cycle. This is the the detritus feeder's role in the carbon cycle.

They mainly break down and absorb the micro-organisms, which are rich in proteins. They contribute to the carbon cycle through respiration by taking up carbon and converting some of it to CO2 which is used by plants to produce carbohydrates. 

Process of recycling carbon atoms on Earth has several step:

- Carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide from respiration.

- Producers (plants) absorb carbon dioxide and make carbohydrates in photosynthesis.

- Consumers (animals) eat producers and intake carbohydrates.

- After the death of both producers and consumers, detritus feeders (bacteria and fungi) eat dead organisms and carbon is released into the environment.

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