Decay of Biomass Notes Card Directions: Use the “Decay of Biomass” article to answer each question on the notes card below. In each box, answer the question in complete sentences and draw a picture. Decay of Biomass Notes Card What is Biomass? Why must biomass decay? Biomass is the amount of living matter in a After a living organism dies, its body must given area. It includes all of the plants and decay in order to be recycled back into the animals on Earth. environment. What breaks down dead organisms? Dead organisms are broken down by decomposers. What are the steps? Decomposers feed on and break down dead plants and animals. They make nutrients that were stored in biomass available to other living things. What are the most common decomposers? The most common decomposers are earthworms, bacteria, and fungi. How does Biomass Decay? When a plan or animals dies, decomposers break down the dead organisms to obtain food. What is used and produced in the process? The process uses oxygen and produces carbon dioxide, water, minerals, organic compounds and heat, which are returned to the soil to be used by other organisms. Why is Decay Important? Decay produces nitrogen, which is essential to the growth of plants. What is Compost? Compost is a mixture of decaying organic matter, such as leaves and manure, which can be used to improve soil quality.