In one of the recent articles published by FAO, the soil ecosystem was described as one of the most complex systems in nature. Biodiversity is described as “the variability among living organisms from all sources, whether terrestrial, aquatic or marine.
Plants acquire their nutrients from soil using various processes. There are interactions between microorganisms in soil and the plants. They both benefit from it. any food the plants make through the photosynthesis process,
What is the Soil Food Web?
“The soil food web is simply the collection of soil organisms that support plant growth.”
Plants release exudates that feed the bacteria and fungi in soil. In return, bacteria and fungi produce food from inorganic matters in soil.
Some of the organisms create structure in the soil so that the plants can access oxygen through their roots. Also, some of these microorganisms help plants to protect themselves from diseases.
Why Can’t Plants Just Absorb Nitrogen Directly?
Plants cannot take any of the nitrogen directly through their roots or from the air. Because nitrogen itself does not react with anything. Therefore, plants need microbes in the soil to convert nitrogen into nitrate compounds.
Why Soil Organic Matter Is So Important?
To grow healthy plants, you must have fertile and healthy soil. And, organic matter is the basis of fertile healthy soil. It’s not enough just to have pH balance and add chemicals to obtain that, but it’s important to have the right amount of organic matter in the soil.
“Plants need biology in the soil to do its job.” If we don’t understand this, we might spend thousands of dollars, and waste our resources, without adding any benefits to the plants.
“Sixty percent of all the world’s nutrients applied to fields never make it to the plants. That is an astonishing number, considering the cost of fertilizers.” – The importance of soil biology | Agweek
To understand what your soil needs, you must understand your soil as well as your plants. Different plants need different nutrients.
A course in soil biology would give you a better understanding of the soil food web relationships. You can help your plants grow by giving them the optimal conditions.
P.S: To learn more about Soil Biology, Visit Soil Food Web Foundation Course Website! Also, watch the FREE webinar by Dr. Elaine Ingham on EAT FREE Community!
Related Articles and Resources:
- Dr. Ealiane’s Soil Food Web Foundation Course
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
- The importance of soil biology
- Why Soil Organic Matter Is So Important