PILE is a container that is full of rotting plantsand life.
Worms and beetles, and other insects feeding in the pile produce
heat as they extract nutrient from the rotting plants. But most
of the organisms living in the hot pile, the ones that produce the
most energyand produce the most heatare microscopic
bacteria. There are billions of bacteria in just a pinch of dirt.
Bacteria extract energy from plants by using substances called enzymes.
Enzymes set off chemical reactions that break down the nutrients
in plants. These reactions release heat as a waste product. The
decomposed nutrients feed the bacteria and replenish the soil, which
nourishes living plants.