Beneficial Soil Microbes

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape February 11, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

Fertile soil is teeming with beneficial soil microbes. It is estimated that there could be billions of microbes in a gram of soil.

Bacteria, fungi, and protozoa are major players in soil microbial processes. They perform a variety of functions beneficial to soil and the plants growing in that soil. Other soil organisms of importance are nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms.

Image source: Wikipedia public domain license

Benefits of Microbes in Soil

  • Decompose organic matter
  • Foster soil aggregate stability
  • Recycle and regulate carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous
  • Fix nitrogen for plant uptake
  • Increase the available plant root area for nutrient uptake
  • Degrade pesticides
  • Improve soil structure
  • Help control diseases


Additional Information:


Texas - The Truth About Microbes
Texas - Soil Microbiology FAQs


Ohio - Understanding Soil Microbes and Nutrient Cycling



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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.