There is more biodiversity of microbes in a handful of soil of the amazon then there is in the animal community.
Have you heard this?
Its common knowledge in my field.
Leonardo Da Vinci said 500 years ago, which still holds true, “We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.”
There can be 10,000 to 50,000 species of microbes in a single teaspoon of soil. In the same teaspoon there are more microbes then there are people on Earth. You may hear of all the animals disappearing in the Amazon due to deforestation, but the microbes are disappearing as well.
Scientists believe that microbes that could help our human health could already be extinct. Our bodies have around three pounds of microbes on them. They help us in many ways, just like the microbes help the plant world.
Our gut microbes help us digest food.
Without these microbes we develop autoimmune diseases. Bacteria and fungi serve at the “stomachs” of plants.
Through this symbolic relationship, they provide nutrients of the cells of the plants roots.
Researchers believe that some of these microbes can help us with our digestion.
Also studying these microbes could help us in our own gardens.
We could get healthier more productive plants in a more natural way. These microbes not only help with our and a plants digestion but also our immune systems.
Microbes can produce chemicals that can ward off pests. They can act as an early warning system to the plant, letting it know there are predators around and the plant can use its natural defense mechanisms too.
A study showed that diseased tomato plants use their underground network of mycorrhizal filaments to warn other healthy tomato plants and they can activate their defenses before being attacked.
As Micheal Pollan said, “Some researchers believe that the alarming increase in autoimmune diseases in the West may own to a disruption in the ancient relationship between our bodies and their ‘old friends’—the microbial symbiotic with whom we co-evolved.”
I hope I’ve peaked your interest in our microbial friends of the Amazon.
All creatures big and microscopic deserve our respect and their rightful place in our ecosystem.