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An organism, such as a bacterium, fungus, or insect, that feeds on dead plant or animal matter.

[German Detritivor : Latin dētrītus, something worn away, detritus (from past participle of dēterere, to lessen, wear away; see detriment) + Latin -vorus, eating, feeding on; see -vorous.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystem, herbivores and detritovores play an important role in ecosystem function and more than 75% of the plants are entomophilous based on flower structure and observation (Folkerts et al., 1993).
Millipedes as a group are generalized detritovores associated with damp or moist areas where they can feed on rotting plant material.
For instance, Putman explains the lower biomass of producers relative to primary consumers in aquatic communities as a greater dependence of consumers on detritovores, rather than the more common distinction between standing crop biomass and rates of production and turnover.