The term detritus summarizes nonliving organic matter, be it of animal, plant, fungal, or microbial origin. Some authors consider detritus to include living microorganisms that colonize and nutritionally utilize particulate organic matter (POM), while others stress the presence of inorganic components in detrital pellets. However, detritus sensu strictu consists of the particulate material that is to be degraded and does not include the agents of detritus degradation nor inorganic compounds that cannot be degraded. In aquatic ecology, dissolved organic matter (DOM) is sometimes considered a significant portion of detrital matter (together with POM). Part of DOM is derived from POM through initial steps of decay, and remarkable amounts of DOM have been exuded from living organisms. Hence, DOM is, strictly speaking, not to-be-degraded dead organic matter but either a product of detritus degradation and leaching (see below, for distinction between detritus and its leachate) or, similar to fecal matter (see below), derived from living organisms rather than the result of a death event.

Herein, the focus will be on dead plant material, not including microbial or inorganic components, since this is the most significant contributor to detritus in most terrestrial and aquatic systems. This view coincides largely with what is called litter in terrestrial ecology, while POM in aquatic ecology, and wrack in marine ecology, also includes organic matter of animal origin. Thus, it is obvious that a definition of the term detritus that is commonly agreed upon can hardly be provided.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment