What is Soil Biodiversity and How Does it Affect Your Harvests?
It can be hard to conceptualise that the soil beneath our feet and plants is biologically active. But unbeknownst to the naked eye, soil contains a myriad of diverse micro-organisms that interact with each other and with our plants, crops and other agriculture to provide essential minerals and nutrients for growth and sustainability. In fact, a teaspoon of soil contains up to 6 billion biologically diverse micro-organisms.
What Is Soil Biodiversity?
Well, ‘bio’ refers to something living, and diversity means containing variability or a wide range. Put together, biodiversity simply means a range of diverse, living things in our soil.
Biodiversity in soil is crucial to its ability to provide a healthy foundation for harvesting. We need our soil to nurture a thriving population of diverse micro-organisms in order for them to interact to produce an array of nutrients and minerals needed for our agriculture. Without contribution from a diverse range of organisms, microbial communities in soil are limited in their ability to integrate and therefore cannot produce as many vital nutrients to enhance the health of our plants.
You could think of microbial communities the same way we think of human societies. We all have a role within a certain sector or industry to contribute to a thriving society, and they’re all interconnected somewhere along the line. Without a diverse range of essential goods or services, a community cannot prosper and grow. The same can be said for microbial communities. The more diverse the biologically active microbes are the wider the range of nutrients and minerals for your agriculture to enjoy.
How Does This Affect The Quality of Your Harvest?
Soil biodiversity is widely acknowledged to be a vital influence on agriculture. For your harvest to be high-yielding it needs to be fed by nutrient-rich, healthy soil and in order for soil to be nutrient-rich and healthy, it has to be bio diverse. Biodiversity in soil enhances its fertility and longevity, meaning the soil will be more sustainable and have a greater ability to replenish itself to continue providing essential services. Crops that are harvested with bio diverse soil will therefore enjoy a more sustained supply of nutrients and minerals, leading to sustained nourishment and growth.
Other ways soil biodiversity enhances the quality of your harvest include:
- Improved soil structure (allowing air and water into the soil – vital for plant growth)
- Increased plant nutrition
- Increased suppression of pests and diseases
- Breakdown of organic matter (this compost feeds microbes and sustains the cycle)
If you feel as though your soil may be lacking in biodiversity or health, we are here to help! At SoiLife, we have assisted many agricultural and farming projects, providing our programs and products to revitalise the soil and meet our clients’ measurable targets. If you want to increase the yield and quality of your next harvest, feel free to get in contact with us about using SoiLife.