Detritivores Vs. Decomposers

Difference Between Detritivores And Decomposers

Confusions loom large when speaking of detritivores and decomposers. Although both decomposers and detritivores feed on the same diet, it does not necessarily mean that they are of the same species. Both decomposers and detritivores can be termed as heterotrophic, but it hardly implies that they are same. While they may have the same diet, there are some clear differences between the decomposers and detritivores.

In fact, the word “decomposer” is primarily used for beings that initiate the process of breakdown of dead or decaying organisms. The decomposers play a major part in the degeneration process of a dead organism. Decomposers are heterotrophs; this term defines their ability to use organic materials such as essential nutrients, carbon, and energy for their growth and development. On the other hand, detritivores also considered heterotrophic. Detritivores are actually a type of saprotrophs. The decomposers or saprotrophs can further be sub divided into groups like: fungi and detritivores.

The most commonly considered decomposers like fungi break down dead organisms. They are the first install Gator degradation. They use chemicals that eat dead organisms. They use powerful enzymes to break down some of the deceased organism, and transform them into simpler substances. This is the arena where detritivores come into play. The detritivores are responsible for the intake of large particles of dead organisms.  As mentioned earlier, is responsible for the decomposers to break down some of the body into simpler substances. The decomposers clear that even as decomposers go. This material is dissolved organic material called detritus.

Although decomposers break down organic matter from decaying organisms as detritivores help in recycling and decomposed organic material. Another essential difference between the detritivore group and the decomposers is that decomposers mostly occur across nature in the form of fungi or bacteria whereas detritivores come in different forms, e.g. worms, millipedes, wood Liceu, flies, manure, and snails in the country section, but there are decomposers in water well.

Although there are differences between the decomposers and detritivores, these organisms are still alive. Each organism needs each other to survive. The decomposers and detritivores play an important role in the life cycle of the ecosystem. It is the two group’s decomposers and also the detritivores that are primarily responsible for the breakage of decaying substances across the ecosystem, and then fertilize the soil where the plants grow normally.


1 “Decomposer” is a common word, while on the other hand detritivores is a classification of saprotrophs or decomposers.

2. Decomposers primarily function to dissimilate and break down dead organisms while detritivores eat rotting organisms.

3. Most decomposers are in the form of bacteria or fungi that are detritivores come in different forms, e.g. worms, millipedes, wood Liceu, flies, manure, and snails in the country section.

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  • Nurshanabi

    Thank you so much for these facts. I’ve always been confused ^^.

  • Thanks So Much I really needed this