Role of Bacteria

The role they play in our world


What do you think of when you think of bacteria? Those dirty little rascals that cause your throat to get sore? The little creatures that make bathroom stalls stink? Believe it or not, these creatures play a large role in our ecosystem. They fight every day for their own survival, opening up the door for more life to survive and thrive in the process. Bacteria can help in caves to recycle nutrients that no one else will, or bacteria can recycle the earth's oxygen.

Bacteria that break down organic matter

Bacteria can inhabit even the darkest corners of the globe. In caves, bats leave droppings known as Guano, several feet high and several feet wide. The vast majority of organisms would not even bother with this substance. Bacteria, such as Leptospirosis and Actinobacter are some of the few types of bacteria that recycle the nutrients found in feces back into the environment. If there were no organisms to decompose the wastes left behind by animals, the wastes would take up too much space with not enough species to recycle it, making the cave system uninhabitable.

Bacteria that provide oxygen

Cyanobacteria are thought to be one of the first photosynthetic organisms on the planet. There was virtually no oxygen on he earth before these organisms came along. Even today, Cyanobacteria play a large role in recycling the earth's oxygen. In plants, the chloroplasts are actually Cyanobacteria that live in the plant's cells. Without Cyanobacteria, conditions would not be suitable enough for life on earth as it is today.


Bacteria are everywhere, influencing many aspects of our everyday lives. Without bacteria, life as we know it now would be virtually impossible.Caves and plants are not the only place where bacteria help the ecosystem. These are only a few examples. There are literally hundreds of thousands of other instances where bacteria give back to the ecosystem. Their gifts are essential to your everyday life, be greatful for them. They have allowed you to keep and have even given you your greatest gift, your life.