Soil ecology is the discipline of examining the interaction between organisms in the soil. In essence, soil ecology answers the questions of how soil works, what nutrients are recycled in the soil, what lives in the soil, and what happens in the soil. This ecosystem is often invisible, so advanced scientific methods are used to make these discoveries.
Ecology also requires studying the interactions between abiotic and biotic aspects of the soil. The biotic aspects are the living things in soil, while the abiotic aspects are the non-living components. Soil sustains a large percentage of the earth's life, so there are countless nutrients that must be studied so that their positive impact on the ecological system can be increased.
There are chemical, physical, and biological components to soil, which makes it a mixture of minerals and organic matter. There is such an abundance of life that the discipline of soil ecology was created to examine this life as well as plant growth. Understanding soil is important to gaining knowledge in other plant sciences.
Soil ecologists are also interested in the numerous life forms found in the soil. Some of the life forms in the soil include bacteria, algae, fungi, earthworms, and countless insects. These life forms do not include the many plants that grow in soil. Animals that live in the soil are vital to the soil because, as they make their homes in the soil, they give humans and animals the ability to have clean water, air, and moderated water flow.
Soil ecology has been used for years to address many environmental problems, and plays a vital part in solving environmental issues. Environmentalists understand the synchrony that occurs in soil ecology and are also aware that it is soil that is able to sustain life. Some environmentalists become involved in activism to prevent deforestation, seeding grasslands, and other activities to maintain the integrity of the soil.
At the heart of soil ecology is the cycling of nutrients. Studying soil is particularly important for those who have a connection to the agricultural field. It is used to provide sustenance and nutrition for plants, and is the most integral part of the ecosystem.
Those who are in the field of agriculture are often concerned about how things like pesticides and herbicides interfere with soil ecology. When farming, agriculture chemicals are composed with a knowledge of how those chemicals will affect soil. By using soil ecology, agricultural advances can collaborate with the environment instead of harming it.