Sadly we humans have done a good job at disturbing much of the planet's soils in a significant way. Over a long time, nature can and will repair itself. Thankfully, with the right intervention, we can greatly speed up the process by inoculating soils with beneficial organisms. This will help set our managed soils on a better path for growing the plants that we desire. Using composts that are high in biological diversity and abundant in numbers is more about quality than quantity. A little can go a long way!
Different plants evolved with differing fungi to bacteria (F:B) ratios. Therefore, depending on which kinds of plants you are trying to grow, the community of organisms in the soil will look different. City lawns, vegetable gardens, pastureland, old-growth forests, row crops, and prairie all have their preferences in terms of the underground community.
The soil food web (SFW) is an incredibly diverse and complex set of organisms that live mainly in soils and also completely cover the surfaces of healthy plants. There are different trophic levels in the soil but instead of a pyramid, the arrangement is better compared to an interconnected web. Included in the matrix are bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa (amoebae, flagellates, and ciliates), nematodes, microarthropods, worms, insects, and more. Of course, plants play a vital role, too! While we still have so much to learn about the soil and its interactions with plants, we have come a long way in our understandings of the interconnectivity of life since the start of modern-day agriculture.
In a healthy soil environment where plants grow alongside aerobic soil microorganisms, a lot is going on. Consider the following:
Healthy plants=healthy produce