difference between detrivores,decomposers and scavengers.
Freeliving decomposers break down the complex inorganic substances into simple organic substances which goes into the soil and are again taken up by the plants with the help of micro-organisms and free-living nitrogen fixers.
Scavengers are those animal, bird or insect, that feeds on dead plant material, or refuse, or decaying matter.
Detritivores, also known as detritophages, detritus feeders, detritus eaters, or saprophages, are heterotrophs that obtain nutrients by consuming detritus (decomposing plant and animal parts as well as feces).Detritivores are an important aspect of many ecosystems. They can live on any soil with an organic component, including marine ecosystems, where they are termed interchangeably with bottom feeders.Typical detritivorous animals include millipedes, woodlice, dung flies, slugs, many terrestrial worms, sea stars, sea cucumbers, fiddler crabs, and some sedentary polychaetes such as amphitrites (Amphitritinae, worms of the family Terebellidae) and other terebellids.Scavengers are typically not thought to be detritivores, as they generally eat large quantities of organic matter, but both detritivores and scavengers are specific cases of consumer-resource systems. The eating of wood, whether live or dead, is known as xylophagy. Τhe activity of animals feeding only on dead wood is called sapro-xylophagy and those animals, sapro-xylophagous.
Decomposers or saprotrophs are organisms that break down dead or decaying organisms, and in doing so carry out the natural process of decomposition. Like herbivores and predators, decomposers are heterotrophic, meaning that they use organic substrates to get their energy, carbon and nutrients for growth and development. Decomposers can break down cells of other organisms using biochemical reactions that convert the prey tissue into metabolically useful chemical products, without need for internal digestion. Decomposers use dead organisms and non-living organic compounds as their food source.Bacteria are important decomposers; they are widely distributed and can break down just about any type of organic matter.
Scavenging is both a carnivorous and a herbivorous feeding behavior in which the scavenger feeds on dead animal and plant material present in its habitat. The eating of carrion from the same species is referred to as cannibalism. Scavengers play an important role in the ecosystem by consuming the dead animal and plant material. Decomposers and detritivores complete this process, by consuming the remains left by scavengers.
Well-known scavengers of animal material include vultures, burying beetles, blowflies, yellowjackets, owls, and raccoons. Many large carnivores that hunt regularly, such as hyenas, but also animals rarely thought of as scavengers, such as lions, tigers, and wolves, will scavenge if given the chance or use their size and ferocity to intimidate the original hunters (the cheetah is a notable exception); but almost all scavengers above insect size will hunt if not enough carrion is available, as no ecosystem provides enough dead animals year-round to keep its scavengers fed on that alone. Scavenger dogs and crows frequently exploit roadkill. Despite its reputation as a ferocious freshwater predator, the red-bellied piranha is actually a generally timid scavenger, fulfilling a role similar to vultures on land. Scavengers of dead plant material include termites that build nests in grasslands and then collect dead plant material for consumption within the nest. The interaction between scavenging animals and humans is seen today most commonly in suburban settings with animals such as opossums, pole cats, and raccoons. In some African towns and villages, scavenging from hyenas is also common.
Animals which consume feces, such as dung beetles, are referred to as coprovores. Animals that collect small particles of dead organic material of both animal and plant origin are referred to as detritivore that animal feeds dead and carbonic material