Class 7 Biology Forests: Our Lifeline Humus and decomposers

Humus and decomposers

  • Mushrooms, tiny insects, ants and beetles and many other microorganisms are found on dead and decaying matters of plants.


Fig. Mushrooms, a beetle 

  • The organisms feed upon the dead plant and animal tissues and convert them into dark colored substance called humus.


Fig. Humus 

  • The microorganisms which convert the dead plants and animals to humus are called decomposers.


Fig. Humus formed by decomposers 

  • Humus can be found in the forest floor.
  • Humus in soil is important because presence of humus ensures that the nutrients of the dead plants and animals are released into the soil.
  • In turn, the roots of the living plants again absorb the nutrients from the soil.


Fig. Roots of plants 

  • Vultures, jackals, insects, feed upon the dead animals in the forest and that is how the nutrients are recycled.


Fig. A vulture, a jackal 

  • Beetles and grubs feed on the decaying heap of animal dropping and seedlings of herbs and shrubs also sprout.
  • The decaying animal dung provides nutrients to the seedlings to grow.


Fig. Cow dung provides nutrition to the plants 

  • Decomposers help in maintaining the supply of nutrients to the growing plants in the forest and hence the forest is dynamic living entity.


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