Soil health or soil quality is governed by a continuous, functional interplay
between the soil and its microbiota, plants and animals. Soil quality is crucial for
sustainable agriculture production and for nurturing the health of all living organisms.
It is therefore in the best interest of society to prioritize sustainable soil management
practices for future generations. Microbes play a vital role in maintaining ecosystems
by coordinating with plants to facilitate nutrient and organic matter cycling. A
consortium of fungi plays a critical role in degrading and transforming dead organic
matter into suitable forms that can be reused by other organisms. As ecosystem
regulators, fungi enhance the structure of soil formation and regulate physiological
processes within the soil, making it a supportive habitat for other living organisms.
They also help in controlling plant diseases and pest infestations by acting as biocontrol
agents. Understanding the roles of fungi and soil enzymes in the earth’s
biogeochemical cycles can facilitate improved agricultural productivity and
sustainability. For example, increasing the diversity of beneficial fungi in a habitat
improves soil fertility, supporting sustainable production of plant based products while
mitigating the application of undesirable chemicals as pest control agents.