Detritivores are heterotrophs that get their nutrients by consuming detritus, decomposing plants and animals in addition to fecal matter. They contribute to decomposition and the nutrient cycle. They are different from other decomposers because they can ingest larger lumps of matter. The term is used interchangeably with the term bottom feeder. Detritivores usually play the role of decomposers in food webs and are often eaten by consumers, making themselves the recyclers of the energy and biogeochemical cycles.


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