31 Mar Soil Life Changes Along With the Crop
Oceans cover roughly 70% of the earth’s surface. That is an incredibly large area for microscopic life to occupy, and the diversity of life found living in the oceans is just as large. However, what scientists are now finding out is that the variety of microscopic life found living in soil might be even larger.
Soil microbiologist Dr. Marcia Monreal has been researching the wide range of diversity found within the soil, and how agriculture systems can cause it to change over time. What has been found is that different species of microbes become dominant when different crops are planted. The roots of each different crop will release different substances into the soil, such as sugars, acids or enzymes. This causes changes in the soil environment, which leads to different species of bacteria becoming dominant. What the roots themselves are made of can also affect the soil life. Some microbes are stimulated by roots that are hard and fibrous, while others prefer roots that are soft and mushy. As the growing environment changes, so does the microbe population.
Researchers still have a lot to learn about the dynamics of life in the soil. As they do, they will also discover the effects that microbes have on each other, as well as on plants. From that information, it is hoped that new and unique ways can be discovered to help maximize crop yields and health and to make agriculture even more productive.
Image source: XiteBio Technologies Inc.