Beneficial Soil Microbes

Fertile soil is teeming with beneficial soil microbes. It is estimated that there could be billions of microbes in a gram of soil.

Bacteria, fungi, and protozoa are major players in soil microbial processes. They perform a variety of functions beneficial to soil and the plants growing in that soil. Other soil organisms of importance are nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms.

The Soil Food Web
Image source: Wikipedia public domain license

Benefits of Microbes in Soil

  • Decompose organic matter
  • Foster soil aggregate stability
  • Recycle and regulate carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous
  • Fix nitrogen for plant uptake
  • Increase the available plant root area for nutrient uptake
  • Degrade pesticides
  • Improve soil structure
  • Help control diseases

Additional Information:


Texas – The Truth About Microbes
Texas – Soil Microbiology FAQs


Ohio – Understanding Soil Microbes and Nutrient Cycling