Centipedes - Long flattened many-segmented predaceous
arthropods. Each body segment bears one pair of legs of which the foremost
pair is modified into poison fangs.
Compost - Organic matter that is undergoing decomposition
or has resulted from decomposition.
Cubic yard - The dimensions are 3 feet high by 3
feet deep by 3 feet wide.
Decomposer - An organism that feeds on and breaks
down organic materials into simpler chemical compounds.
Decomposition - The process by which organic materials
chemically break down into simpler compounds.
Earthworms - Any of a family of numberous hermaphroditic
worms that move through the soil.
Elements - Any of more than 100 fundamental substances
that consist of atoms of only one kind and that singly or in combination
constitute all matter.
Food web- The totality of interacting food chains
in an ecological community.
Fungi - Saprophytic and parasitic plants that lack
chlorophyll and include molds, rusts, mildews, smuts and mushrooms.
Humus - The end product of composting. Organic material
which is completely decomposed.
Inorganic matter - Derived from a non-living
source such as rocks, sand and plastic.
Invertebrate - An organism lacking a spinal
Mesophilic - Describes bacteria which are active
in the temperature range between 40-110 degrees Fahrenheit, but thrive
between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the decomposition that takes
place in a compost pile is mesophilic.
Microbes - A synonym for microorganisms.
Microorganisms -Microscopically small living things
that digest organic material through metabolic activity.
Millipedes - A small crawling animal with a
cylindrical segmented body covered with hard integument. Two pairs of
legs are attached to each segment. No poisonous fangs.
Mites - Very minute arachnids that have eight leg-like
Nematodes - Elongated cylindrical worms parasitic
in animals or plants or free-living in soil or water.
Nitrogen - An element necessary for the construction
of all living tissue. Represented as "N". Examples of nitrogen-rich materials
used in a compost pile are food scraps, grass clippings, animal manures.
Nutrients - A substance that provides nourishment.
Organic matter - Derived from or produced through
the biological activity of a living thing.
Pathogen - Any organism capable of producing disease
or infection. Found in animal waste material, pathogens are killed by
the high temperatures (131 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for 3 days) of
the composting process.
Primary consumers - Herbivores. Feeding
on plant matter.
Protozoa - Unicellular animals which have varied
morphology and physiology, and often complex life cycles. Represented
in almost every kind of habitat.
Psychrophilic - Describes bacteria which
are active in a low temperature range (below 65 degrees Fahrenheit), but
thrive around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Saprophytic - Obtaining food by absorbing dissolved
Secondary consumers - Carnivores. Organisms
that eat primary consumers.
Sow bugs - A crustacean with a flattened elliptical
body often capable of being rolled into a ball. Called also pill bugs.
Springtails - Also known as collembolan. A
small primitive wingless arthropod.
Thermophilic - Describes heat-loving bacteria
that exist in a temperature range between 104 - 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Their ideal range is 122-131 degrees Fahrenheit.