Which of the following explains the role of fungi and slime molds as pictured in the rainforest food web shown below?
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A. They are autotrophs that use chemicals as an energy source to produce food when sunlight is not available.
B. They are decomposers that break down organic wastes and dead organisms into compounds used by plants for photosynthesis.
C. They are heterotrophs that get their energy by consuming plants, herbivores, and other primary consumers.
D. They are producers that make food by converting water and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen, using energy from the Sun.
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Bacteria, slime molds, and fungi are all excellent examples of decomposers, meaning that they break down dead or decaying organisms, and in doing so carry out the natural process of decomposition. Like herbivores and predators, decomposers are heterotrophic, meaning that they use organic substrates to get their energy, carbon and nutrients for growth and development.