Soil Tech Note 5A- What the Bugs Do
What the Bugs Do
- Nutrient cycling – Organic N to Mineral N.
- Provide food sources for growing plants.
- Breakdown of organic residues in the surface layer.
- General – “good” microbe fills an ecological niche instead of a pathogen.
- Specific – “good” microbes secrete chemicals toxic to pathogens.
DEGRADATION OF POLLUTANTS
- Reduce organic pollutants in soil and water.
- Prime degrader of solvents, pesticides, petroleum products in the soil as well as methane and nitrous oxide.
IMPACTS ON ORGANIC MATTER
- Microbes break down residue material into smaller pieces.
- More smaller pieces hold nutrients more efficiently and help retain water.
- Microbes form aggregates and increases porosity with secretions and hyphae.
- Microbial burrowing and moving in the soil opens channels for roots.