Date of this Version
Bull Ecol Soc Am 100(1):e01454.
Life arises from death through species that decompose dead biomass or necromass. This paper provides a synthesis of the species responsible for dead plant and animal decomposition and describes a conceptual perspective—the “necrobiome”— that defines the diverse and complex communities that interact to recycle necromass. The concept brings unification to the previously disparate fields of plant and animal decomposition by discussing the universal processes occurring across all forms of necromass. It highlights the factors that make each form of dead biomass different in a way that defines how unique necrobiomes drive decomposition and ultimately shape ecosystem structure and function.