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Old 01-16-2011, 06:44 PM
Tim Wilson Tim Wilson is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 797
Actually there is some capability of root systems to excrete enzymes which ionize (dissolve) nutrients. This is mostly concerned with nitrogen (dissolved organic nitrogen) or DON as it is refered to. You may find info by googling.

The bulk of organic N is delivered to plants, not by some synthesis or processing of rocks, etc. by bacteria but rather by flagellates, naked amoebae, nematodes (and to a minimal extent rotifers) eating bacteria and archaea and releasing up to 70% of the nutrient as ionic form nutrients, directly available to roots. Of course JD is correct that much of this energy originates with rock, etc. and organic matter which is degraded/processed by a myriad of organisms including fungi.

There is not some big deal that certain bacteria consume the same nutrient forms as plants. Plants use this to their advantage to grow their herd of bacteria to attract the bacterial feeders or starve them out when it is time for a different nutrient. All I'm saying is that when one uses ionic form synthetic fertilizers, they are putting this cycle at an imbalance.
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