The process of breaking down complex organic matter into inorganic...
The process of breaking down complex organic matter into inorganic substances like C02, water and nutrient is called decomposition.
The raw materials which undergoes decomposition including dead plant and animal remains and
their faecal matter are called detritus.
Steps in Decomposition
Fragmentation: The process of breaking down of detritus into smaller particles is called fragmentation, e.g., as done by earthworm.
Leaching: The process by which water-soluble inorganic nutrients go down into the soil horizon and get precipitated as unavailable salts is called leaching.
Catabolism: The enzymatic process by which degraded detritus is converted into simpler inorganic substances is called catabolism.
Humification: The process of accumulation of a dark coloured amorphous substance called humus that is highly resistant to microbial action and undergoes decomposition at an extremely slow rate is called humification.
Mineralization: The process by which humus is further degraded by some microbes to release inorganic nutrients is called mineralization.