What do soil organisms eat
This is a very important review on trophic interactions in soil. What do soil organisms eat is important to understand nutrient cycling which supports global plant growth and biodiversity.
This is a very important review on trophic interactions in soil. What do soil organisms eat is important to understand nutrient cycling which supports global plant growth and biodiversity. Soil communities are composed of prokaryotes, protists, fungi, algae, plants and animals. Bacteria and fungi release enzymes for food digestion, whereas heterotrophic protists and animals get food from the soil and perform digestion inside their body. The community overall is responsible for the decomposition of organic matter, nutrient release, and help plant growth which in turn support aboveground trophic interactions (here is also a link to an article on the paper). Above Soil Food Web image by Elaine R. Ingham and artwork by Nancy K. Marshall.
The review paper details the major groups of consumers that are associated with litter and soil, the main functional classifications published on soil animals and protists, the basal resources and corresponding trophic guilds of consumers in soil food web, and the feeding habits of consumers in soil and the tools used to study them.
Detritivory, the feeding of dead organic matter in the soil, can be viewed as a commensalist interaction since the consumer is benefiting without harming any organisms, but since detritivores also help in nutrient recycling in the soil, they are indirectly helping other species (indirect mutualism?).
In the review they use Microbivory as a category of consumers eating microscopic organism (bacteria, fungi, protists, algae). Maybe is better to have a category for each prey: Bacterivory, Fungivory, Algivory, Protistvory (which they also include except the protist one). Right now, of these categories in SpeciesConnect we only have Fungivory. I guess we should consider adding them in the future.
Great review. Check it out.
Feeding habits and multifunctional classification of soil-associated consumers from protists to vertebrates