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File:Soil food web.jpg

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Summary

The soil food web is the community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. A food web diagram shows a series of conversions (represented by arrows) of energy and nutrients as one organism eats another (see food web diagram).

All food webs are fueled by the primary producers: the plants, lichens, moss, photosynthetic bacteria, and algae that use the sun’s energy to fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Most other soil organisms get energy and carbon by consuming the organic compounds found in plants, other organisms, and waste by-products. A few bacteria, called chemoautotrophs, get energy from nitrogen, sulfur, or iron compounds rather than carbon compounds or the sun.

As organisms decompose complex materials, or consume other organisms, nutrients are converted from one form to another, and are made available to plants and to other soil organisms. All plants – grass, trees, shrubs, agricultural crops – depend on the food web for their nutrition.

Copyright status

This image is public domain, because it is a publication of Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Source

http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/concepts/soil_biology/soil_food_web.html

File history

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Date/TimeThumbnailDimensionsUserComment
current03:07, 29 May 2007Thumbnail for version as of 03:07, 29 May 2007800 × 643 (55 KB)EleeThe soil food web is the community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. A food web diagram shows a series of conversions (represented by arrows) of energy and nutrients as one organism eats another (see food web diagram). All food

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