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Rhizosphere

The Rhizosphere

The rhizosphere is the part of the soil that is immediately surrounded by plant roots.  The rhizosphere is a very dynamic environment where plants, soil, microorganisms, nutrients and water meet and interact.  The rhizosphere differs from the rest of the soil because of the activities of plant roots and their effect on soil organisms.

A major characteristic of the rhizosphere is the release of organic compounds into the soil by plant roots.  These compounds, called exudates, make the environment of the rhizosphere very different from the rest of the soil.  The exudates can be used to increase the availability of nutrients in the rhizosphere while providing a food source for microorganisms.  This causes the number of microorganisms to be much larger in the rhizosphere than the rest of the soil.  Various root microorganisms associations can increase nutrient uptake by plants.

There are both good and bad soil microorganisms.  It’s likely you do not know what may or may not be present in your soil profile, but it is now easy to introduce beneficial microorganisms that can help protect from diseases and make micronutrients more available for your growing crop.

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