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Soil Microbiology – A Sometimes Underrated Component of Soil

November 26, 2018

Soil Microbiology – A Sometimes Underrated Component of Soil

Soil has its own ecosystem that hosts large numbers of micro-organisms. In fact, soil provides shelter for around one quarter to one-third of all living organisms on the planet. Biodiverse soils consist of organisms that increase soil fertility, fix nitrogen, and mineralize nutrients. The community of organisms in soils range from microscopic microbes to earthworms and ants, all serving important roles in soil health. With the bulk of our food coming from the ground, it is essential to support these complex ecosystems in order to preserve and promote fertile soils.

What Is Soil Microbiology?

Soil microbiology is the study of all microorganisms that exist in the soil, specifically the ways they function and affect soil properties. Our soils are pulsating with life, serving as excellent hosts for the growth and development of various organisms. In fact, there are more microbes in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on the planet. This collection of organisms consists of bacteria, fungi, and algae that serve many vital roles in the overall nourishment of soils.

Why Is It So Important?

Soil Microbiology for Crop NourishmentWithin just one handful of soil lives around 100 million bacteria. These bacteria are largely responsible for the process of nitrogen fixation; converting atmospheric nitrogen into compounds that can be used by plants. Although not as commonly abundant as bacteria, fungi also assist with extremely significant functions of soil health. While one of their main activities is decomposition of organic matter, fungi also perform necessary services related to water and nutrient cycling. Fungi are responsible for binding soil particles together, assembling a system to increase water filtration and water holding capacities. In a similar manner as fungi, earthworms also break down organic matter, such as dead leaves, and produce natural fertilizers. They too support soil fertility with the transportation of water throughout the soil, as well as air, by creating tunnels that allow the two to flow freely.

Enhancing Soil Biology

In order to enhance soil biology, growers and producers should optimize the soil environment for microbe populations. Evidently, the microbial makeup of the root zone is a crucial piece of soil fertility. There are numerous efforts that can be taken to promote microbial environments in which microorganisms can thrive, such as the addition of compost, manure, and mulch. Though, a new technology has been developed that provides growers and green industry professionals with an additional tool to enhance microbial habitats, called Cool Terra®. Through the development of the Cool Terra® biochar-based soil amendment featuring Engineered Biocarbon™ Technology, Cool Planet has created a product that improves key soil performance through its ability to promote a beneficial microbial habitat in the soil. Soil Microbiology Enhancement with Cool TerraThe biological mechanisms of Cool Terra® are designed to support activity in the root zone which can promote a healthy and harmonious microbial environment. Cool Terra’s is uniquely composed of strong and durable cell walls, a neutral pH, and optimal pore size distribution which provide a microbial habitat than can optimize microbial populations that protect against stressors and diseases and support efficient nutrient cycling.

Naturally occurring soil structures do not always provide the optimal environment for plant growth, but Cool Terra®’s technology works to revitalize and improve soil environment for healthy microbial populations.

Cool Terra® is more than a simple soil enhancer, as it can establish a stronger foundation for plant growth and microbial life. The soils found in fields, gardens, and parks are home to millions of microorganisms that are essential to plant and human life. Although they cannot be seen, these immense populations are part of a complex system that ultimately benefits society and the environment.

 

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