The Soil Food Web

Source: The Soil Biology Primer. Details provided below.

Together, Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant restore the soil biology and the Soil Food Web, particularly Bio-Plant, because it is a very concentrated and rich source of a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. Restoring the Soil Food Web, which chemical agriculture has basically destroyed around the world, is essential to ensuring a country’s food security as well as mankind’s food security. This web page provides technical information in an easily understood form about what the Soil Food Web is and why it is important for a government or farmer to restore it.

A healthy Soil Food Web will:

  • Suppress Disease (competition, inhibition, consumption; no more pesticides!)
  • Retain Nutrients (stop run-off, leaching)
  • Nutrients Available at rates plants require (eliminate fertilizer) leading to flavor and nutrition for animals and humans
  • Decompose Toxins
  • Build Soil Structure (reduce water use, increase water holding capacity, increase rooting depth)

Some of the best material about the Soil Food Web available is written by Dr. Elaine R. Ingham, who is a world-renowned microbiologist and soil biology researcher, and founder of Soil Foodweb Inc. She is known as a leader in soil microbiology and research of the soil food web. She is also an author of the USDA’s The Soil Biology Primer, the online version of which is provided below.

Acknowledgements: 

The Soil Biology Primer: Tugel, A.J., A.M. Lewandowski, eds. (February 2001 – last update). Soil Biology Primer [online]. Available: www.statlab.iastate.edu/survey/SQI/soil_biology_primer.htm

Chapter 1: The Soil Food Web

https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/soil_food_web.htm

Chapter 2: The Food Web & Soil Health

https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/fw&soilhealth.htm

Chapter 3: Soil Bacteria

https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/bacteria.htm

Chapter 4: Soil Fungi

https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/fungi.htm

Chapter 5: Soil Protozoa

https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/protozoa.htm

Chapter 6: Soil Nematodes

https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/nematodes.htm

Chapter 7: Soil Arthropods

https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/arthropods.htm

Chapter 8: Earthworms

https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/earthworms.htm

A Video About the Soil Food Web, by Dr. Elaine Ingham