Garden with Insight
Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: microbes
Soil microbes are microscopic organisms including protozoa, bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi. Microbes
are not directly simulated here, but some of the effects they have on the soil are simulated indirectly. So
factors that affect the health of microbial populations affect their products. In this simulation microbes do
the following: 1) They mineralize N, P and C from organic compounds in the humus (organic matter),
which means they break down the organic forms to mineral forms. The "flat residue"
compartment for decomposing organic matter is assumed to include some microbial biomass, or live microbes. When part of the flat residue decays to organic matter during mineralization, the bodies of the microbes
are decomposing. 2) Simulated aerobic bacteria are responsible for
nitrifying ammonia to nitrate. 3)
Simulated anaerobic bacteria dentrify nitrate to ammonia. 4) Bacteria
are also assumed to exist when nitrogen fixation by leguminous plants takes place, and conditions for their
survival affect N fixation.
Soil macrobes are larger organisms we can see -- invertebrates (e.g., earthworms, insects) and
vertebrates (e.g., mice). This simulation ignores macrobes completely, though they can be important to the
How it works: