The Soil Food Web and Mycelium
2.6. The Soil Food Web
There is a difference between dirt and soil!
Dirt consists of minerals in the form of weathered rock. It lacks organic matter and micro-organisms. On the other hand, soil is living. Good soil is teeming with earthworms, bacteria, nematodes, amoebas, invertebrates, fungi, protozoa and other microbes and arthropods. A soil food web is a complex network of interactions between various organisms that live in the soil and contribute to its health and fertility. Earthworms, bacteria, nematodes, amoebas, invertebrates, and fungi all coexist (and eat each other). They decompose organic matter and ultimately make nutrients available to feed our garden. These basic decomposers (second trophic level) are food for other nematodes, arthropods and protozoa, who also release nutrients for plants as they consume their prey. The food web continues as each higher-level predator consumes their prey.