Updated: Jan 21, 2022
1.)During photosynthesis plants combine carbon dioxide + sunlight to make carbohydrates or EXUDATES and disperse them into the soil by roots - which attract microorganisms near the rhizome… the microorganisms harvest nutrients from the organic material and parent material. Predatory microorganisms are attracted to those bacteria and fungi and consume them leaving behind waste full of nutrients that are soluble/plant available.
2.) Moisture and airplay a VITAL role in the cycle; Water is needed to not only be absorbed by plant roots for them to survive but is ALSO needed to help break down organic material in the soil - Air is also needed for healthy plant roots AND to keep environments aerobic
3.) During the course of plant and living organisms life cycle, dead plant and animal matter fall to the surface of the soil
4.) decomposition Arthropods and earthworms chew the material and mix it with soil. A few fungi may break apart one complex compound into simpler components, then bacteria can attack the newly created compounds, and so on. (Each organism gets energy or nutrients from the process)
❗️the portion of plant and animal residue that is not broken downplays a crucial role in soil. It is transformed into the highly complex organic compounds called humic substances that can persist in soil for centuries and are important to soil structure and nutrient storage
5.) Material that is broken down from the decomposers releases nutrients in the soil as plant available or SOLUBLE form so that roots can readily take them in to supply to the plants. Microorganisms also help replenish nutrients that are removed from the cycle (for example harvesting of crops) by harvesting nutrients from Parent Material (relatively unweathered minerals or organic matter from which soil develops).
6.) Existing or new generations of plants then absorb the nutrients in the soil to grow thus starting the cycle all over again