corn produces nitrogen [1 Attachment] #microbes #nutrients
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i'm on the run; no time to type long detailed thoughts.
so, a few quick comments.
few seem to understand yet what soil is:
one of the most complex substances on earth.
more focused & functional: one of the most complex communities on earth.
soil isn't just structure & infrastructure: it a population of creatures.
i hope everyone on this list understands that
"dirt is inert, but soil is ALIVE!"
(biochar is also inert -- a classic inert substrate)
it is this life -- the microbes --
that secrete and exude complex, sticky chemicals
to create the "biofilms" stephen j noticed that entomb old chunks of char.
"biochar bits buried in slime", so to speak.
and slime, for the most part, is bacteria equivalent of poop.
a certain amount is essential; too much is a "waste."
one microbe's poop is another's building material.
i teach nitrogen isn't a chemical molecule or nutrient, it's a cycle
-- always on the move, changing form & energy state.
almost as busy the carbon cycle.
the nitrogen cycle is mostly driven by bacteria;
the tiniest microbes fix, convert & release nitrogen in these cycles.
a partnership of diverse microbes is required for these conversions,
and a team of various bacteria is needed for each conversion.
last i checked, national science foundation listed over 250 N-fixing microbes.
these conversions also require special trace elements with unique valence & geometry.
nitrogen carries 3 electrons, with intense charge, thus makes great explosives.
and is difficult, even dangerous, for even microbes to process.
these energy intensive processes need a steady supply of sugar (= electrons),
hence the exudate "goo" of the corn = surplus sugars for microbes,
delivering charge to the N-conversion sites.
i'm startled this N-fixing takes place above ground, not some low-oxygen subsoil.