Related topics: carbon

Death in space: Here's what would happen to our bodies

As space travel for recreational purposes is becoming a very real possibility, there could come a time when we are traveling to other planets for holidays, or perhaps even to live. Commercial space company Blue Origin has ...

Mechanism and evolution process of supercritical fluid

Fluids are like the "blood" inside the solid Earth, playing an important role in the transportation of matter and energy. Due to the compositional difference, rocks that composed mainly of silicate and common fluids have ...

Studying the priming effect in aquatic sytems

In microbiology, the priming effect is the observation that the decomposition rate of organic material is often altered by the introduction of fresh organic matter. Depending on the context, the effect can be the increase ...

Deadwood in the global carbon cycle

Living trees absorb a considerable amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and therefore play an important role in the protection of our climate. Little is known about the role of dead trees in the global carbon cycle, ...

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Decomposition

Decomposition (or rotting) is the process by which organic material is broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. Although no two organisms decompose in the same way, they all undergo the same sequential stages of decomposition. The science which studies decomposition is generally referred to as taphonomy from the Greek word taphos, meaning tomb.

One can differentiate abiotic and biotic decomposition or biodegradation. The former one means "degradation of a substance by chemical or physical processes, eg hydrolysis). The latter one means "the metabolic breakdown of materials into simpler components by living organisms", typically by microorganisms.

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