Microbes and the outdoors


Microbes play a crucial role in our lives. In fact we couldn’t live without them but they could live without us. That is because some fungi and also soil bacteria, called the decomposers, break down dead plants and animals and their waste products into simpler substances, called nutrients.

These nutrients, including carbon dioxide, water, sodium and potassium are returned to the environment so that other living things can use them. This cyclical process by which essential elements are released and reused is known as recycling. All essential elements such as carbon and nitrogen are cycled through biochemical pathways.


  • Carbon cycle

    Where has that carbon atom been? The carbon cycle is a complex cyclical process through which all of the carbon atoms in existence rotate.

  • Nitrogen cycle

    Similar to the carbon cycle the nitrogen cycle is the process by which nitrogen in all its forms, cycles to the environment.

  • Food chain

    All living things depend on each other to live. Find out where microbes are in the food chain.