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Types of Microbes in soil

About Microscopic Organism / January 28, 2017

Root heavily infected with mycorrhizal fungiRELATIVE AMOUNTS OF BACTERIA AND FUNGI

All soils contain both bacteria and fungi, but they may have different relative amounts depending on soil conditions. The general ways in which you manage your soil—the amount of disturbance, the degree of acidity permitted, and the types of residues added—will determine the relative abundance of these two major groups of soil organisms. Soils that are disturbed regularly by intensive tillage tend to have higher levels of bacteria than fungi. So do flooded rice soils, because fungi can’t live without oxygen, while many species of bacteria can. Soils that are not tilled tend to have more of their fresh organic matter at the surface and to have higher levels of fungi than bacteria. Because fungi are less sensitive to acidity, higher levels of fungi than bacteria may occur in very acid soils. Despite many claims, little is known about the agricultural significance of bacteria versus fungal-dominated soil microbial communities, except that bacteria-prevalent soils are more characteristic of more intensively tilled soils that tend to also have high nutrient availability and enhanced nutrient levels as a result of more rapid organic matter decomposition.