Soil Ecology

From Soil Ecology Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Soil is a vast reservoir for a wide diversity of organisms. Plant roots explore this diversity daily. Various other animals consume smaller creatures either intentionally or unintentionally by foraging on plant roots, insects, and microorganisms. Soil ecology is the study of how these soil organisms interact with other organisms and their environment - their influence on and response to numerous soil processes and properties form the basis for delivering essential ecosystem services. Some of the key processes in soil are nutrient cycling, soil aggregate formation, and biodiversity interactions. The heterogenous nature of soil results in numerous microclimates that may contribute to high soil biodiversity. The diversity and abundance of soil life exceeds that of any other ecosystem. Plant establishment, competitiveness, and growth is governed largely by the ecology belowground, so understanding this system is an essential component of plant sciences and terrestrial ecology.