How are living organisms dependent on the soil? Are organisms that live in water totally independent of soil as a resource?
Almost all living organisms are dependent on soil. Some depend directly, while some depend indirectly.
Plants need soil for getting support as well as nutrients to prepare their food.
On the other hand, organisms depend on plants for food and other substances that are essential for life. Herbivores depend directly upon plants, and carnivores depend upon animals, which in turn depend upon plants for food. This makes them depend on soil indirectly.
Organisms that live in water are not totally independent of soil as a resource. These organisms depend on aquatic plants for food and other substances. These aquatic plants in turn require minerals for their sustenance. These minerals are carried to water bodies from soil by rivers, rain water, etc. Without the supply of minerals from the soil to the water bodies, it is impossible to imagine aquatic life.
Living organisms are dependent on the soil in the following ways :-
(i) Soil provides a natural habitat for various different organisms (such as bacteria, fungi, algae) which help in improving the quality of the soil. Thus, they maintain the fertility of the soil.
(ii) Number of insects, animals like rats, rabbits, etc., build their home in the soil.
(iii) Earthworms perform all their activities in the soil. They maintain fertility also as their excreta is rich in nitrogen.
(iv) Soil provides anchorage and nutrients to the plants for their growth and development.
Yes, all organisms that live in water are totally dependent on soil as a resoure :
The mineral nutrients are present in water in the dissolved form. But their recycling takes place only with the help Of decomposers which are present in the soil beds. Thus, all water bodies has soil beds which contain decomposers for the recycling of nutrients and to convert them into readily absorbable forms.