Protozoa are the primary food source for earthworms
Protozoa are single celled organisms with nucleus and therefore along with fungi, members of Eukarya. They obtain food nutrients by ingesting bacteria and occasionally fungus. Protozoa also form symbiotic relationships with bacteria.
A protozoan can eat 10 000 bacteria per day, they are attracted into areas where there is a good supply of food.
In soil, protozoa acts as a population controller. By consuming bacteria, fungi and even nematodes and other protozoa it alters the populations of different subsoil lifeforms. Protozoa need moisture to live, travel and reproduce. On dry conditions they stop dividing and go dormant.
The most important impact of protozoa to the functioning of healthy soil are the waste products produced when protozoa ingest bacteria and fungi. The wastes contain carbon and other nutritional compounds that were immobilized by bacteria but are once again mineralized and made available to plants.
Protozoa tea: 3-5% of lucerne hay mixed in a brewing tank together with liquid fish and molalles. The mixture is brewed with oxygen for 2 days.
Protozoa’s contributions for healthy soil
|Suppress disease by competing with or feeding on pathogens|
|Primary food source for earthworms|
|Maintain the balance of bacterial community|
|Recycles Nitrogen in the ammonium form|
|Stimulates branching and root surface|
|Recycles minerals found in organic matter and bacteria|
|Stimulates nitrogen fixing|