Story: Soils

Organic glue

Organic glue

Microbes help to bind soil particles together, either as sticky strands (A) and (B), or by trapping clay on their sticky surfaces (C). Other micro-organisms such as protozoa (including amoeba and soil nematodes) are small animals, like the armour-plated protozoan (D), which feeds on bacteria. A spoonful of soil has about 100 billion bacteria, and contains about 15 kilometres of fungal threads.

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Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua

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How to cite this page:

Allan Hewitt, 'Soils - The land’s thin skin', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 May 2023)

Story by Allan Hewitt, published 24 Sep 2007