Knowing about the Rhizosphere will Improve Plant Growth II

This is the continuation of a post on the rhizosphere.
The rhizosphere can be thought of as a small ecosystem with several feeding (trophic) levels.

1) Plants elucidation (excretion) is the base of the food web for most organisms in the rhizosphere. Plants secretions are food for many microorganisms. If you are providing the optimal amount of light and carbon dioxide, plants should be conducting photosynthesis which will fuel all the physiological reactions needed for plants to improve the rhizosphere with their secretions.

2) Bacteria (some nitrogen fixers, others cycle nutrients) These are the organisms that eat the secretions, the herbivores if you will. Some of their secretions are nitrogen in a usable form for plants, or other nutrients. These are the types of organisms found in products like Stump Tea and Roots Organics.

3) Microfauna are organisms usually protozoans that are less than 0.1mm. These often eat bacteria, these would be considered the carnivores of the rhizosphere ecosystem. These organisms can eat bad bacteria, and their secretions can benefit plants as well. They often convert nitrogen and other nutrients to a more usable form by plants. To be honest there is a lot yet to be learned about all the possible interactions that occur in the rhizosphere.
There are also symbiotic relationships in the soil. Mycorrhizae fungus can form a relationship with plants so that the plants provide the fungus carbohydrates (via photosynthesis) and the fungus provides nutrients to the plant since it has smaller ends (hyphae) that can get nutrients from the soil better than plant roots.
There are always exceptions in biology, and one should always do scientific experiments but one thing has been shown to be true: Soil’s with increased biological diversity have increased nutrient cycling and stability. This means you should try to add many beneficial organisms to your soil, there is no real down side to it.
Please see my post with links to various products that increase the beneficial organisms in your soil or hydroponics system.
Good Growing.
Dr, E.R. Myers

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