**Decomposition** (or **rotting**) is the process by which organic substances are broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. Although no two organisms decompose in the same way, they all undergo the same sequential stages of decomposition. The science which studies decomposition is generally referred to as *taphonomy* from the Greek word Τάφος *taphos*, meaning tomb.

One can differentiate **abiotic** from **biotic decomposition** (biodegradation). The former means "degradation of a substance by chemical or physical processes, e.g. hydrolysis. The latter one means "the metabolic breakdown of materials into simpler components by living organisms", typically by microorganisms.

Read more about Decomposition: Stages of Decomposition, Plant Decomposition, Animal Decomposition, Food Decomposition, Importance To Forensics

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