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Decomposers and plastics

  1. Feb 25, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    How are decomposers affected by the presence of non biodegradable substances in the soil?
    2. Relevant equations

    None
    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think decomposers do not get a place to stay when their place(soil) is full of plastics.Maybe they can't perform their life process like respiration,nutrition etc..in the presence of such substances that cannot be broken down.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2016 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Sand is not biodegradable as well, yet its presence in the soils is not a problem.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2016 #3
    Plastics can't be broken down and they take millions of years to degrade which means decomposers find it difficult to break the bonds in plastics.This might be harmful for the environment since they settle in one place and give rise to foul smell and conjustion.
    But still decomposers themselves being affected in the process of breaking them down looks little complicated.
     
  5. Feb 25, 2016 #4

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Same about sand.

    Foul smell means decomposition products, so they are either smelly and decomposing, or stable and not decomposing, they can't be both at the same time.
     
  6. Feb 25, 2016 #5
    I think plastics are composed of certain chemicals which are harmful to decomposers.
     
  7. Feb 25, 2016 #6

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    In some cases definitely yes. You just can't freely mix both things - stability and decompositions products - as properties of the same thing.
     
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