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Soil Organisms.docx

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GEOG 317
Margaret Schmidt

SOIL ORGANISMS - branch of soil science that deals with organisms and their impacts on soil properties ORGANIC MATTER DECOMPOSITION - release organically held nutrients and incorporate organic matter into soil INORGANIC TRANSFORMATIONS - organically bound forms on nitrogen, sulfur and potassium are converted by microbes for plant intake N-FIXATION- fixing atmospheric nitrogen Classification based on size and ecological function: macro- more than 2 mm in width meso- 0.2-2mm micro- less than 0.2mm Ecological functions: detritivores- eat dead plant debris -fungivore- eat fungi - bacterivores- eat bacteria -predators/herbivores/ parasites - HETEROTROPHS- use organic compounds as a source of energy and carbon - AUTOTROPHS- carbon from carbon dioxide and energy from photosynthesis Algae have cholorophyll and perform photosynthesis and live near or close to soil surface Fungi are heterotrophic aerobic organism that are responsible for much of organic matter decomposition- yeasts, mushroom fungi Mycorrhizae- symbiotic association between certain fungi and plant roots - increase nutrient and water availability to plants - fungi obtain food from plant and plant obtains food from fungi - surface area of fungi is `10 times more than ordinary roots Bacteria – most diverse and abundant group of soil o
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