Soil microorganisms are diverse, although they share functions during the decomposition of organic matter. By assisting in decomposition, microorganisms create stabilized organic matter, organic material that cannot be degraded further. The organic materials (plant and animal residues) incorporated in the soil is attacked by a variety of microbes, worms, and insects in the soil if the soil is moist. As the temperature rises, different organisms thrive. The microbes that make up the bulk of the decomposition process fall into two categories: mesophilic, those that live and function in temperatures of 50 to 113°F, and thermophilic, those that thrive at temperatures between 113 to 158°F. Examples of aerobic bacteria include the Aerobacter genus which is widely distributed in the soil and actinomycetes bacteria genus Streptomyces (antibiotics) which give soil its good “earthy” smell. ... Microorganisms are vital to … Low outside temperatures slow the activity down, while warmer temperatures speed up decomposition. Most soil bacteria prefer well oxygenated soils (aerobic bacteria) and use the oxygen to decompose most carbon compounds. The soil organic matter chiefly consists of residues of dead plant and animals, and the excretory products of the living beings. Relating the biodiversity patterns of soil ecological communities to soil biogeochemistry remains an important challenge for ecologists and earth system modelers. These processes are largely restricted to the upper meter of soil. The release of mineralized nitrogen from litter was small for the artificial grassland because the soil microbes absorbed most of the mineralized N during decomposition. Crowther et al. Billions of aerobic bacteria working to decompose the organic matter in a compost pile causes the pile to warm up. The ability of soil microorganisms to decompose organic matter is … A decomposing cadaver is considered to be a high quality nutrient resource; it has a low carbon to nitrogen ratio (good for decomposition) and a high water content (Carter et al., 2007). They also boost the decomposition of active soil, the portion of soil that is still in the process of decomposing. Soil Ecology Soils harbor a rich diversity of invertebrate and microbial life, which drives biogeochemical processes from local to global scales. Soil microbes, or microorganisms, are the mediators that convert the bigger organic pieces, such as plant matter, insect skeletons and worm castings, into the ammonium and phosphate that the plants can take up and use. Soil organic matter provides the “fuel” for microbial growth and reproduction, as well as providing a number of other benefits. Some of the constituents are decomposed very rapidly, some less readily and others very slowly. Virtually all types of organic matters eventually find their way to the soil or to the sea. Thus, preferences for soil conditions and litter quality were explored to understand their niche partitioning. When they break down organic material, they give off heat. These functions of decomposition and soil structure formation by microbes are highly dependent on soil organic matter. Stabilized organic matter binds soil, prevents erosion and improves retention of liquids. Psychrophilic bacteria are most active at around 55 o F. Mesophilic bacteria take over around 70 o F up to 100 o F. The end-product of this concentrated decomposition process is nutrient-rich soil that can help crops, garden plants and trees to grow. It has a high nutritional content, and has a greater localised soil nutrient benefit than the addition of plant matter or manure (Carter et al., 2007). decomposition and soil structure formation by microbes are highly dependent on soil organic matter. 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