Snails are among some of the most common natural decomposers which also consist of creatures such as bacteria, worms, slugs and fungi such as mushrooms. Decomposers are the last stop on the food chain and they tend to eat the things that no one else wants to. They may eat many dead things from the ground in order to get nutrients. These dead things that decomposers such as the snail eat are referred to as “detritus” meaning “garbage”.
If decomposers such as the snail did not do their job the producers would not get the nutrients that they need and would die. All living things would start to starve and eventually die if we did not have plants. Therefore decomposers play a crucial part in the food chain and are often referred to as being nature’s recyclers since they help keep the nutrients moving along the food web.
Decomposers such as the snail are equipped with very small bodies so that they can break down large pieces of dead things. If they did not decompose the ground would be covered with junk and the world would be a dirtier place than it already is. Snails can be found in places like the forest. Whenever something dies here, these decomposers break the decomposing material down in order to provide nutrients for the soil.
Since terrestrial snails are indeed natural decomposers, it comes as no surprise that they have a direct and positive effect on the forest’s health as well as the soil’s richness. In general, these snails are an important food source for animals such as birds which consume the shells of snails to help add calcium to their diet. They are also an important source of food for several species of salamanders, mice, shrews, wild turkey, grouse and a few songbirds. Overall snails are essential to the ecosystems in which they reside.