What’s in your soil?

There are far more living organisms in one shovel full of healthy soil than there are people on the planet!

The numbers of soil organisms, even per gram of soil, are extremely hard to fathom.

Organism

# per gram soil

Bacteria

100,000,000

Actinomycetes

10,000,000

Fungi

100,000

Algae

10,000

Protozoa

10,000

Nematodes

100

Keep in mind, a pint of soil weighs about one pound, there are 454 grams per pound–that’s over 45 billion bacteria alone!

Following along the lines of Ann’s last post I thought I would share a link to some videos of soil organisms at work.

Dr. Tom Loynachan is a professor of Agronomy and Microbiology at ISU and has provided some cool educational videos online for all to view.  Most videos are at 500x to 1000x magnification and complimented with Dr. Loynachan providing a description of what the viewer is seeing.

http://www.agron.iastate.edu/~loynachan/mov/

Here’s another fun fact from one of the videos:

Over half of the antibiotics which we use in human medicine are developed from soil actinomycetes!

Actinomycetes are a group of soil microorganisms that are essential to decomposition and also are responsible for the smell that is produced by freshly turned soil.

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