The Role of Microorganisms in Soil

Microorganisms in Soil

Microorganisms in soil play a key role in the overall health and productivity of plants and crops. Beneficial soil bacteria and beneficial soil fungi, like Trichoderma are key elements in the soil food web. Microbe plant interaction is as important as it is ancient. This interaction is thought to be 100’s of millions of years old!

Microorganisms in soil is discussed and there is a link at the bottom of the page to access the entire publication.

Soil formation is in large part due to the activity and metabolism of soil microorganisms. Microorganisms in soilPhysical and chemical processes also are important.

The paper discusses the key elements of soil formation and emphasizes the role microorganisms play in the process.


Microorganisms at Different Stages of ecosystem Development for Soil Formation. 


S. Schulz, R. Brankatschk, A. Dümig, I. Kögel-Knabner, M. Schloter, and J. Zeyer. The role of microorganisms at different stages of ecosystem development for soil formation. Biogeosciences, 10, 3983-3996, 2013. doi:10.5194/bg-10-3983-2013

The Role of Microorganisms in Soil Abstract


Soil formation is the result of a complex network of biological as well as chemical and physical processes. The role of soil microbes is of high interest, since they are responsible for most biological transformations and drive the development of stable and labile pools of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and other nutrients, which facilitate the subsequent establishment of plant communities. Forefields of receding glaciers provide unique chronosequences of different soil development stages and are ideal ecosystems to study the interaction of bacteria, fungi and archaea with their abiotic environment. In this review we give insights into the role of microbes for soil development. The results presented are based on studies performed within the Collaborative Research Program DFG SFB/TRR 38 ( ) and are supplemented by data from other studies. The review focusses on the microbiology of major steps of soil formation. Special attention is given to the development of nutrient cycles on the formation of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and on the establishment of plant–microbe interactions.


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Biogeosciences (BG) is an international scientific journal dedicated to the publication and discussion of research articles, short communications and review papers on all aspects of the interactions between the biological, chemical and physical processes in terrestrial or extraterrestrial life with the geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The objective of the journal is to cut across the boundaries of established sciences and achieve an interdisciplinary view of these interactions. Experimental, conceptual and modeling approaches are welcome. More at Biogeosciences homepage.

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