There are many ways of classifying life forms. One of the foremost common is by what sort it is: plant or animal. Then we tend to divide these into totally different sets, like bacterium, fungi, nematodes, mites, then forth. Among these sets in soil ecosystems, there’s a good diversity of food sources and functions. An example of this is nematodes. They can prey on plants (root-knot nematodes), on different life forms (predatory nematodes), on fungi, or on the bacterium. TROPHIC LEVELS

Defining ecosystems by what they eat, or trophic levels, simplify the classification of the individual life forms and gives us more information for management practices. Trophic levels are delineated from the first producers (First biological process Level) to the waste processors (Fifth trophic Level). The following gives a simplified view of the primary members of these levels.

Factors Affecting The Physical Properties of Soil



Producers make up the first trophic level. These embody all the photosynthesizers or life forms that manufacture food from daylight. We have a tendency to usually consider plants as producers, however, the soil contains others, like blue-green algae. Producers are the source of food for all other trophic levels.


There are 2 basic sets of soil organisms that prey on the photosynthesizers:

  • Plant feeding nematodes:- These are plant parasites that burrow into the roots of plants. They feed on the nutrients that the plant makes and transports to the roots.
  • Mycorrhizal fungi:- These are fungi that grow into the roots of plants and establish a symbiotic relationship with them. They absorb and transport nutrients from the soil to the plant and, in return, the plant feeds them a number of the sugar it makes.


These individuals in the soil eat members of the first and second trophic levels. They include the following two main groups:-

  • Fungal Feeders:- This includes fungal-feeding nematodes and mites. They eat the fungus symbionts of plants and also the fungus waste feeders.
  • Bacterial Feeders:- This includes the bacterial-feeding nematodes, flagellates, amoebae, and ciliates. They eat all types of bacteria.

Higher Predators

The higher-level predators feed on the lower-level predators.  This group includes predatory nematodes, mites, and arthropods.

Decomposers and Waste Processors

Decomposers are the soil life that feeds on dead plants and stuff. They turn the dead material into humus. This group feeds on dead members of all the trophic levels, including their own. Waste Processors prey on the wastes given off by all members of the soil ecosystem. they’re to blame for manufacturing several plant nutrients.



Together, these different sets compose what’s recognized as the soil food cycle. This is a complex and interconnected system that is reliant on each other to flourish. Soil management requires an understanding of these complex relationships.

The first positive management apply is to stay one thing growing within the soil all the time. A number of members of the food cycle are directly passionate about plants to measure. Another positive application is to come back plant and animal residue to the soil. This can be done through the use of green manure crops, plowing in crop residues, and/or adding compost.

Negative effects, those that kill soil life, embody the employment of herbicides. Herbicides are far more effective at killing bacteria than plants.

Removing most of the bacteria from the soil food web restricts the availability of many plant nutrients. Another negative effect is produced from tillage and compaction of the soil. These actions destroy the symbiotic fungal colonies that provide the plants with a major portion of nutrients.

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