Characteristics of a Healthy Soil Foodweb per Gram (tsp.) of Soil
600,000,000 individual bacteria
15,000 to 20,000 bacterial species
500 to 1000 feet of fungal biomass (150-300 meters)
5,000 to 10,000 fungal species
10,000 protozoa (each consuming 8,000+ bacteria per day equals
480,000,000 parts Nitrogen available)
20-30 beneficial nematodes: bacterial-feeding, fungal-feeding,
predatory. (5 of 100 species considered harmful).
18,600 arthropods per square foot.
Minimum Standards for Compost (for Row Crops), per Gram (tsp.) of Soil
50-70% — moisture
2-20 µg – active bacteria
150-300 µg – total bacteria
2-10 µg – active fungi
150-300 – total fungi
10,000 – Flagellates
10,000 – Amoebas
50-100 – ciliates
10-50 – beneficial nematodes
Eliot C. Roberts of The Lawn Institute estimates that there are 930 billion microorganisms in each one-pound of soil under turf.
There are about 70 pounds of them living and working in each 1,000 square feet of root zone. Many of these organisms are very short-lived, so the turnover is rapid. Roberts says that 100 pounds of dead microorganisms will contain close to ten pounds of nitrogen, five pounds of phosphate, two pounds of potassium, one-half pound of calcium oxide, one-half pound of magnesium oxide, and one-third pound of sulfate. With 70 pounds of these little creatures in each 1,000 square feet of root zone soil, the poundage adds up to enough per acre for excellent crop production.
Reference: Elaine Ingham, PhD.