Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling

Decomposer invertebrate animals and microbes have quite distinct roles in breaking down organic detritus. Although invertebrates play only a small part in chemically degrading organic detritus, they help the more important microbes in many ways to do their job. During decomposition of organic matter, nutrients are released.

See the diagram which takes nitrogen as its example.

Nitrogen cycling in a pasture soil.
Springtails fragment the dead grass
while microbes chemically degrade it.