Decomposition Flashcards

1️⃣ Familiarise yourself with the flashcards:

  • Look through all the flashcards to see what’s on both sides.
  • Make sure you understand the information on each card. If something’s unclear, click the link to the revision notes at the bottom of the page for more details.

2️⃣ Test yourself:

  • Look at the question or prompt on each card and try to remember the answer before flipping it over.
  • Check the answer and make a note of any cards you find challenging and need to go over more.

3️⃣ Consistently Review and Practice:

  • Use spaced repetition: spend more time on the cards you struggle with and go over them more often.
  • Regularly review all the flashcards to help you better understand and retain the information over time.

Note: We may include questions that have multiple correct answers. It’s useful to remember specific examples to understand these concepts better.

What is decomposition?

Decomposition is the breakdown of dead organisms and waste material by microorganisms like bacteria and fungi, recycling elements like carbon and mineral ions.

Why is decomposition important for soil fertility?

Decomposition releases nutrients like mineral ions into the soil, enriching it and supporting plant growth.

What are the three main conditions that affect the rate of decay?

Temperature, water and availability of oxygen.

How does temperature affect the rate of decay?

Warm conditions speed up enzyme activity in decomposers, increasing decay, while extreme temperatures (too high or too low) slow it down.

Why is water important for decomposition?

Water is essential for decomposers to secrete enzymes and absorb dissolved products; less water slows down the decay process.

How does the availability of oxygen influence decomposition?

Decomposers need oxygen for aerobic respiration; more oxygen increases decay, while less oxygen (e.g., in sealed food) slows it down.

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