Earthworms are decomposers, feeding on decaying and dead plants under the soil surface. They are an essential component to our eco-system. Without decomposers such as earthworms the nutrient cycle would come to a stop. Decomposers play an essential role in unlocking the nutrients in dead organisms. At the same time the important organic matter and nutrients such as carbon and nitrogen are released back into the environment, creating rich soils that we rely on for agriculture and horticulture.