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Choose the correct option:
In an ecosystem, decomposers include
a) Microscopic organisms
b) Algae
c) Bacteria & Fungi
d) All plants

Answer Verified Verified
Hint: Decomposers are certain organisms that do the job of breaking down dead and decaying matter into simpler substances. Some are microscopic while some can be macroscopic.

Complete answer:
An ecosystem mainly consists of two components- biotic and abiotic components. Abiotic components are non-living things like air, water, soil. Biotic components include all living organisms. All the biotic and abiotic components are interrelated.

- Decomposers form an important part of the biotic community and help to maintain the cycle of resources in the ecosystem.

- Microscopic decomposers mainly include bacteria, single-celled organisms that have a prokaryotic cell structure, whereas macroscopic decomposers include larger organisms like mushrooms. Since these organisms feed on dead and decaying matter, they show saprophytic mode of nutrition and are thus called saprophytes.

- All the dead organisms are decomposed due to the bacteria and fungi present in soil. These microbes help to return different minerals and gases to the atmosphere. This also enriches quality of soil, which helps in growth in plants and algae. Decomposers form an important part of the ecosystem.

In the given question, microscopic organisms are an umbrella term which includes bacteria, fungi, archaea, viruses, protozoa, etc. However, most of them do not fall under the category of decomposers. Hence microscopic organisms should not be selected. Algae and plants are autotrophic organisms they fall under the category of producers.

Thus, the correct answer is option C- Bacteria & Fungi.
We may conclude, In an ecosystem, decomposers include Bacteria and Fungi.

Note: Microscopic organisms are an umbrella term which includes bacteria, fungi, archaea, viruses, protozoa, etc. and all of these are not decomposers.