Micro, macro, intermediate – every type of organism you can think of and a whole lot more – and that’s just the living part of the Soil Foodweb. The weight of that living portion of the soil (excluding roots of plants) is generally estimated at more than 5000 lbs per acre (add another 2000+ lbs for the roots). Then there’s the recently dead, the partially recycled, the almost humus, and all the other “once living” portions busily degrading or becoming part of the next generation of soil critters.
And of course there are the nutrients, the water, the humus, the air, and don’t forget the roots (2000 lbs +)! And finally there is the inert, largely crystalline mineral structure providing the support and definition for the entire soil community. That’s what we call the Soil Food Web, except that description doesn’t come close to describing its everchanging character.
Put all of the above in motion – and continually add, remove and recycle nutrients, air and water – that’s the natural version of the Soil Foodweb that we can only attempt to describe. It is adaptive, self correcting, robust, and highly supportive of life. And among its many other attributes it is the main digestive system for the plant life that sustains us all.
For More Information
Clip from the classic Japanese film, “Life In the Soil”
From PHC “Soil is a Living Organism”
Animation of soil and root processes – becomes less ‘preachy’ and more basically informative at about the 4 minute mark.