WE KNOW it intuitively, we just forget. Thinking about our farms and their particular ecosystems we forget to remember that nature also functions in wholes.
For instance bare ground should be public enemy number one because all the tools to manage the ecosystem and the key to sustaining, satisfactorily, the ecosystem's water and mineral cycle, its energy flow and biodiversity dynamics is the soil surface condition.
That is one point but unless the water cycle and mineral cycle and energy flow and biodiversity exist healthily, then there is a lapse in the whole system's efficiency. So, taking each point:
The water cycle - can your soil surface absorb the rain as it falls? Can it be retained and penetrate deeper through the soil profile for plant roots and soil organisms to maximise its succulence?
This requires a good balance between air and water. Can roots and critters maintain life in your soil structure initially at the surface and then deeper down?
The mineral cycle - would you call your soil biologically active? Are there lots of organic matter for fungi and bacteria, nematodes and protozoa, arthropods, worms and birds and animals to all cycle their nutrients - munching and moving and dying and decaying - at surface level, and down for roots to permeate deeper, further widening the nutrient mass available and for water to more easily flow?
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