Soil living organisms in the formation of soil, Not all living organisms play a part in soil formation, so here are a few major lists of the most important ones that directly have a massive impact on the process of soil formation through a process called weathering–soil living organisms.
Soil is teeming with a diverse array of living organisms that play crucial roles in maintaining soil health and fertility. These organisms can be classified into several groups based on their size and function. Here are some of the key types of soil-living organisms:
- Bacteria: Bacteria are microscopic single-celled organisms that are abundant in soil. They play essential roles in nutrient cycling by decomposing organic matter and releasing nutrients in forms that plants can absorb. Some bacteria can fix atmospheric nitrogen, converting it into a usable form for plants.
- Fungi: Fungi are another group of microorganisms found in soil. They form a vast network of fine threads called mycelium, which helps in decomposing organic matter and breaking down complex compounds like cellulose and lignin. Mycorrhizal fungi have a symbiotic relationship with plant roots, aiding in nutrient uptake by extending the root system.
- Protozoa: Protozoa are single-celled organisms that feed on bacteria, fungi, and other organic matter in the soil. They help regulate bacterial populations and contribute to nutrient cycling by releasing nutrients through their excretion.
- Nematodes: Nematodes are tiny, unsegmented roundworms found in soil. Some nematodes are beneficial, feeding on bacteria, fungi, and other nematodes, while others are parasitic and can damage plant roots. Beneficial nematodes contribute to nutrient cycling and can help control pest populations.
- Arthropods: Soil-dwelling arthropods include insects, spiders, mites, and other small invertebrates. They have diverse roles in soil ecosystems, such as decomposing organic matter, regulating populations of other organisms, and aiding in soil aeration through burrowing.
- Earthworms: Earthworms are perhaps the most well-known soil organisms. They enhance soil structure by burrowing and creating channels for air and water movement. Earthworms consume soil and organic matter, processing it through their digestive
how living organisms help in soil formation
Worms and insects like termite help in the breaking down and decomposition of organic matter.
Human activities on the rocks in the forms of mining, drilling and other quarry activities like making roads also affect the rate of soil formation.
Construction of roads by humans like in the farm therefore leads to the breaking of rocks soil living organisms
The roots of trees growing on top of rocks cause the rock to crack or break gradually to form soil.
It is worthy of note that the process of soil formation takes a gradual and precise direction which happens over time which invariably means that time is also a factor in soil formation.
A long period of time allows for the development of mature soils whereas a short period of time allows for the immature formation of soil. soil living organisms
It will take some time for a small piece of rock to break into grains of soil. And it will also take time for living organisms like plants and animals to decay, turn humus and become part of the soil–soil living organisms
EFFECTS OF ORGANISMS ON SOIL FORMATION
SOIL ORGANISMS PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN THE DEGRADATION OF ORGANIC MATTER AND SUBSEQUENT SOIL HUMUS FORMATION. WHEN PLANTS DIE, LEAVES ARE DROPPED ONTO THE SOIL SURFACE WHERE MICRO ORGANISMS CAN “ATTACK” AND DECAY PLANT TISSUE
THE ORGANIC MATTER IS USED AS AN ENERGY SOURCE FOR MICRO ORGANISMS, INCREASING THEIR POPULATION IN THE SOIL. THESE ORGANISMS UTILIZE EASILY DIGESTIBLE MATERIALS (Like SIMPLE SUGARS AND CARBOHYDRATES) FOUND IN THE PLANT MATERIAL, LEAVING MORE RESISTANT MATERIALS (SUCH AS FATS AND WAXES) BEHIND THE MATERIAL LEFT BEHIND IS NOT EASILY DECOMPOSED;
IT COMPRISES THE HUMUS FOUND IN SOIL. HUMUS ACTS AS A BINDING AGENT, ESSENTIALLY HOLDING PRIMARY SOIL PARTICLES (SAND, SILT, CLAY) TOGETHER TO FORM SECONDARY AGGREGATES ’. THESE ORGANISMS AND THE HUMUS THEY HELP CREATE AID IN THE SOIL DEVELOPMENT AND THE FORMATION OF SOIL HORIZONS.
THE EFFECT SOIL ORGANISMS, SPECIFICALLY VEGETATION, HAVE ON THE CREATION OF HUMUS AND SOIL FORMATION.
THE FIGURE SHOWS THE PERCENTAGE OF HUMUS CONTENT TENDS TO BE GREATER IN GRASSLAND SOILS, AS COMPARED TO CONIFEROUS FOREST SOILS. THE REASON BEHIND THIS OBSERVATION IS QUITE SIMPLE;
DEAD GRASSLAND PLANTS TEND TO HAVE A SOMEWHAT NEUTRAL PH AS COMPARED TO FOREST NEEDLES, WHICH TEND TO HAVE AN ACIDIC PH soil living organisms
THE RELATIVELY BASIC PH OF THE GRASSLAND PLANTS MAKES THEM EASIER FOR MICROORGANISMS TO DEGRADE AND TURN INTO HUMUS. OPPOSITELY, NEEDLES ARE MORE DIFFICULT FOR MICROORGANISMS TO DEGRADE;
formation of humus through soil living organisms
THUS, THE HUMUS CONTENT OF CONIFEROUS FOREST SOILS TENDS TO BE LESS THAN GRASSLAND SOILS. THE ACIDIC NATURE OF THE FOREST LITTER, HOWEVER, CAUSES ACIDS TO FLOW THROUGH THE soil profile AND HELP DEVELOP HORIZONS QUICKER THAN A GRASSLAND SOIL. THE ACIDS CAN DISSOLVE SOIL MATERIALS AND REDEPOSIT THEM DEEPER INTO THE SOIL, WHICH HELPS TO CREATE SOIL HORIZONS.
THAT HUMUS CONTENT DECREASES WITH SOIL DEPTH. THIS MAKES SENSE BECAUSE HUMUS IS DERIVED FROM DECAYING PLANT MATERIAL WHICH ORIGINATES AT OR NEAR THE SOIL SURFACE. read how to make compost manure here
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