Organisms that break down the remains of other organisms to obtain nutrients.

Decomposers typically live in or adjacent to these other, dead organisms, and employ () to effect the resulting . They also typically do not actively the organisms they then . Typically, decomposers also are bacteria or .

Decompoers are not typically are not considered to be of these dead organisms, nor necessarily . In addition, organisms that live off of the of the of other organisms, but do not directly contribute to this digestion, are not considered to be decomposers.

Saprophytes thus are not necessary though can be decomposers. , by contrast, are not strictly decomposers. Both of these types of orgnanisms nonetheless obtain nutrients from dead organisms.