Glossary of "Plant Biology (1st ed.)" by Graham et al. (2003)
- Bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that break down dead organisms and organic matter, releasing smaller components; release mineral nutrients so that they are available for uptake by living plants or algae.
Glossary of "Life (9th ed.)" by Sadava et al. (2011)
- An organism that metabolizes organic compounds in debris and dead organisms, releasing inorganic material; found among the bacteria, protists, and fungi. See also detritivore, saprobe.
Glossary of "Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet (2nd ed.)" by Botkin & Keller (1998)
- An organism that feeds on dead organic matter and in this way reduces complex organic compounds to simpler organic compounds or smaller particles or to inorganic compounds.
- An organism that obtains its energy and nutritional requirements by feeding on dead organisms; or, a feeder on dead organisms.
- Botkin, D. B. & Keller, E. A. 1998. Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet, 2nd ed. -xxxxii + 649 pp. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.
- Graham, L. E., Graham, J. M. & Wilcox, L. W. 2003. Plant Biology. -xxxv + 497 pp. Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River.
- Sadava, D., Hillis, D. M., Heller, H. C. & Berenbaum, M. R. 2011. Life: The Science of Biology, 9th ed. -xliv + 1266 pp. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland.