“10 Roles of Fungi and Other Microbes”

http://www.rainforestconservation.org/rainforest-primer/rainforest-primer-table-of-contents/g-rainforest-ecology/10-roles-of-fungi-and-other-microbes

      This website discusses roles of microbes in nature.  It tells about the main process that microbes do for the health of our environment. An example would be of the processes are the recycling of nutrients in which the organic things on earth are decomposed. The article on this website is a good length and gives information for people who want to know the roles of microbes in our environment. This a reliable source for learning more about microbes.    

 “About Microbiology” (2014)

http://www.microbeworld.org/about-microbiology   

         This site explains what microbes are and what they influence. There are many different types of microbes. On the site is a list of the six main types of microbes. Along with the types of microbes are a picture and a description, very helpful. The site is very easy to navigate and gives specific information.

"Adding Soil Microbes" (2003)

 http://www.yardener.com/AddingSoilMicrobes.html

    This website tells how microbes are needed in the soil and how soil in America does not seem to have enough. This website gives suggestions to fix this problem and gives you different products you can use to help the microbes in the soil. This website is informative, but I feel that it is trying to sell me something more then anything. It is still easy to understand and you need to understand how something works and its importance in the world to understand its true meaning.

“Adding Soil Microbes” (2010)

http://enviroinnovators.com/html/soil_microbes.html

            The information in this website includes how soil bacteria and fungi are beneficial, soil microbe products and what food soil microbes need. The website is semi- recent since it was last updated in 2010 but it has detailed pictures and diagrams and is easy to navigate. One way this website could improve is by having more accessible links and sources.

Affects of Soil Microorganisms On Plant Health and Nutrition” (2016)

http://www.lawn-care-academy.com/soil-microorganisms.html

This site explains what microorganisms are, what they do in soil and what they eat. It also explains how they contribute and help create healthy soil. It then explains what organic matter is and soil microbe activity. The site goes into great detail and the information is easy to explain. It also has a conclusion. Even though the site goes into great detail, there are no pictures.

"Bacteria" (2009)

http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/41642/Soil_bacteria.pdf

         This is a government website which provides a brief summary of bacteria in the soil and ecosystem. Although the site was last updated in 2005, it is dedicated to providing general scientific information that would not have changed within 6 years. The authors, knowing that science advances rapidly, left a warning to the reader to take into account the date the information was published. The site provides some related material, but could be improved with more sources.

“Definition of Soil Microbe Groups” (2015)

http://usagflorida.com/definition-of-soil-microbe-groups/

This website provides information on eight soil microbes; Bacteria, Fungi, Actinomycetes, Algae, Protozoa, Nematodes, Arthropods, Earthworms. It defines all of the listed soil microbes and gives a brief summary of their function. The website is very resourceful for information on soil microbes.

"Dr. Earth" (undated).

https://drearth.com/learning-center/the-technology/probiotic%C2%AE-soil-microbes/

            This site had an easy-to-use navigation system and a poor number of visuals. This site has been rated a 7.4+ on a range of 1-10. It talks about the importance and variety of organisms and species. It emphasizes that soil is considered alive and of the complex organic structure of soil. The information was somewhat specific, although helpful for the topic. It provides links to gardening, soil practices, and organic future of soil.

"Extensions" (2014).

http://articles.extension.org/pages/61898/beneficial-soil-microbes

This site has the results of an experiment, that tested what microbes were present in soil. Microbial diversity can benefit agriculture and plant diversity. This site had great correlation and references. This site provided links to pages and videos that also talk about microbes, as well as other important information. The information was specific and helpful. The overall grading on a scale of 1-10, this site has received a 7+.

“Environmental effects on microbes” (2005)

http://www.microbeman.com.au/environment.html

           This is the Microbial Management systems-Building microbial communities’ website. This site explains how soil disturbance can effect soil microbes. The soil microbes is also be effected by soil organic matter and soil moisture. It explains how to help maintain a good environment for the soil microbial communities. This site has easy navigation and complex information.

“Gardening with Microbes”

http://www.gardeningwithmicrobes.com/microbes.shtml

                This website explains the importance of microbes. It also briefly explains how they are important in humans as well. There is also information about different types of microbes such as bacteria, fungi and protozoa which live in soil. The microbes are part of many different elements of nature including the nitrogen cycle and recycling dead organisms. There is also a type of microbe that causes the death of plants and animals annually. The information on the site is not extensively long and there is a link to contact the author if needed. The article has a recent date which means that the information is fairly recent.

“Get the Dirt on Soil Microbes” (2017)

http://www.caes.ucdavis.edu/news/articles/2017/03/get-the-dirt-on-soil-microbes

This website is unique, as it informs the reader of soil microbes abilities in fact form. This makes it easier for the reader to process the information better. In addition, the facts are more interesting than the average soil microbe article. These interesting facts pertain to space, electricity, rice crops, and climate change. The website is a trusted source, since it is linked to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at University of California, Davis. It includes interesting pictures and captions. There are also valuable links and detailed contact information.

“Healthy Soil Microbes, Healthy People” (2013)

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/06/healthy-soil-microbes-healthy-people/276710/

            This website provides information about how the health of humans is linked to the health of soil microbes. There are some pictures which are not very informative but the information in the article is pretty recent since it was written in 2013. An improvement for this website would be for it to include more pictures and diagrams that are more informative and also add more meaning to the article.

"The Hidden World Under Our Feet." (2013)

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/opinion/sunday/the-hidden-world-of-soil-under-our-feet.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

      This New York Times article focuses on the biodiversity of soil microbes. The reporter, Jim Robbins, approaches the topic in a relatable way to elucidate an important subject matter to the general interest reader. He discusses soil microbial biodiversity, particularly the biodiversity of soil microbes found in the ocean floor and the scientist research group “Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative”. Robbins writes, “Soil is the foundation on which the house of terrestrial biodiversity is built” (“The Hidden World Under Our Feet”). This article forewarns people about the consequences of human agricultural and urbanization activity. These said actions disturb and disrupt soil microbes under the soil surface which will increase the levels of harmful microbes into the air and drive soil microbe populations to extinction. In addition, Robbins stresses the profound affects global warming will have on the biodiversity of microbes and therefore plant growth. The article also notes the beneficial qualities of soil microbes, especially how they act as carbon dioxide repositories, retain pathogens, and produce antibiotics.

      Although the article comes from a newspaper which may result in bias, the writer has background in compositions relating to science and references qualified scientists. With only one appropriate graphic, the site is easy to navigate and user-friendly. Overall, from a scale of 1-10, this article receives a score of 7.5+.

“How Ancient Plants and Soil Fungi Turned Earth Green”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101102130137.htm

                This article talks about how fungi are beneficial to the soil and has helped plant life for a very long time. The article, while brief, provided plenty of information for the reader. There are also links available that are related to the topic of the article. The research was conducted by a team at Sheffield University. The pictures and visuals are related to the topic which gives some clues as to what the articles are about. The overall article was good source for people to learn more about beneficial fungi.

“How fertilizer alters soil microbes around the world” (2015)

http://www.futurity.org/fertilizer-soil-microbes-1011062-2/

This website has multiple parts. It explains the functions and importance of soil microbes, while also describing an investigation surrounding fertilizer and soil microbes. It is to the point and informative. The information is broken up by related links, which keeps the reader interested. The site could have done a better job of categorizing the information, but overall it was easy to navigate. Another way to improve this website, would have been to add more beneficial pictures. The website is reliable, as it is affiliated with Iowa State University and is a great resource for soil microbe facts.

“How Fire Severity Impacts Soil Microbes” (2016)

https://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/how-fire-severity-impacts-soil-microbes/

The effects that different levels of fire severity have on soil microbes are displayed in this website. This website is reliable as it is written by a professor in University of California’s ecology department. At the bottom of the page, there are links to the co-authors.  This page makes information on microbes in fires, accessible to all. It contains detailed pictures with captions, to further display research findings. The information is separated by questions and it is easy to follow. This is a great website to explain the impact of fire on soil microbes in a concise fashion. The website would benefit from having more links and better contact information.

"ICOMM International Census of Marine Microbes"

http://icomm.mbl.edu/

     The purpose of the site is to stimulate discovery, understanding, and awareness of marine microbes. The website has easy to locate tabs for various information. They also provide a way of contact and a way to communicate with others on the website. News and links are easily visual as well. The site is more understandable for mature readers with lots of professional information. The website allows people to become active and take part. 

“Identifying the Dominant Soil Bacterial Taxa in Libraries of 16S rRNA and 16S rRNA Genes” (2013)

http://aem.asm.org/content/72/3/1719

       This web page aids in identifying different microbes found in soil. Written by the American Society for Microbiology, this website explains the genetics and taxonomy of common microbiology. It has both contact information and a large amount of references and further reading. Although it is easily navigable, this information on this website can get confusing due to its immense depth.  However, the site has very impressive credentials and accurate information.

“Impact of Protozoan Grazing on Bacterial Community Structure in Soil Microcosms” (2002)

http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/68/12/6094

        This site includes a short summary of the relationship between protozoa and bacteria. However, the summary includes many scientific terms and abbreviations, making it harder to comprehend the first time.

“The Importance of Microbes in Soil.” (2008)

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1936/

                This website provides information on how important microbes are to soil and explaining products that are beneficial to them. This website is split into six parts, each with a different main idea. The photographs are very helpful and related to what the author is trying to explain. There are footnotes and photo credits at the end of the article, and more information on the author. The date this site was last updated and the name of the author is known and also more links to pieces written by the same author, and more links on soil and composting. There could be some more collaboration, but the contacts are alright, because you can comment the page.

“Introduction to Plant-Parasitic Nematodes” (2009)

http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/PathogenGroups/Pages/IntroNematodes.aspx

This site provides links to information about plant pathology and diseases with a main focus on nematodes; ranging from introductory to advanced levels. This website thoroughly explains several different aspects of nematodes ranging from their description to their role in the ecosystem. The most elaborate description visually as well as contextually describes the history of nematodes by highlighting the lineage of nematodes using appropriate diagrams. This website’s most effective tool is the use of diagrams; for example, diagrams are used to depict their biology, survival strategies, and interactions. While the website does elaborates on helpful information about different aspects of nematode life, the article is lengthy considering its introductory purpose. However, this website is easy to navigate to find this information.

"It Takes a Community of Soil Microbes to Protect Plants From Disease." (2011)

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2011/05/05/community-soil-microbes/

      This article is a report on a combined study conducted by U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Netherland’s Wageningen University. Although slightly more advanced, the article tried to simplify a complicated subject matter. The article focuses on the dual study where researchers analyzed a sugar beet field in the Netherlands and by use of a PhyloChip, discover the soil microbes responsible for fending off the pathogenic root fungus which attack beets. The PhyloChip allowed the researchers to identify the DNA fingerprints of various microbes present in the soil of the beet field. The article informs that there is an entire “underground immune system” with a network of different microbes working together to suppress diseases (“It Takes a Community of Soil Microbes to Protect Plants from Disease”).

      The article provides helpful additional information at the bottom of the site where there are easy links to help further a readers understanding and elaborate on the topic at hand. The site is extremely reliable and provides three appropriate graphics to supplement the text. However, the paper could be improved by enhancing the general conclusions of the study with statistical data. Overall, this article receives a score of 8.1+ on a scale of 1-10.

“Lab 5: Soil and the Carbon Cycle” (3/17/2016)

http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/carbon/5a.html 

            This website gives a lot of information about carbon dioxide and its relationship with the functioning and efficiency of soil microbes.  It covers the types as well as the occupational qualities of soil microbes in a given environment.  It provides a video link that is easy to get to have an extensive visual aid.  Towards the bottom of the page, it gets a little cluttered which can be a little difficult to navigate.

“Making Microorganisms Mobilize Soil Phosphorus” (undated)

http://webcd.usal.es/web/psm/abstracts/Richardson2.htm

        This website is very specific to its topic on soil microbes and its affect on phosphorus. It refers to many examples and references when it is discussing methods to mobilizing, enhancing and the availability of phosphorus in soil.

“Microbes in soil are essential for life and may help mitigate climate change” (2017)

https://phys.org/news/2017-03-microbes-soil-essential-life-mitigate.html           

This page starts by introducing a Professor of soil science and soil microbial ecology at UC Davis, Kate Scow, whom gives the important information about soil microbes throughout the study. In the Study Scow speaks generally about soil microbes, and then goes into more detailed information about the environmental impacts of microbes on ecosystems, and their effects and benefits towards different organisms in the ecosystems. The page also goes into information about multiple different studies that have been done by credited professors. It is easily accessible, with valuable information about soil microbes. This page is provided by UC Davis, and therefore has reliable and useful information on the topic. The information is organized well and in a way that is clear and easy to comprehend as a reader. This website is recommended for research on soil microbes. On a scale of 1-10, this website overall scores a 7+.

"Microbe Makers" (2016).

http://www.microbemakers.com/learn-more/about-soil-microbes.html

            This site has been rated 7-, out of a 1-10 ranking. This site talks about soil with microbes. The importance of microbes with organisms. Soil microbes are healthy for plants. The “soil food web” is a great way to help understand the importance of microbes. The information was well written and easily understood. It is an easily navigated website with good visuals.

 

“Microbes of Many Talents” (2015)

http://forces.si.edu/soils/02_04_00.html 

This site addresses the different microbes found in soil and the different functions that each microbe performs in a given sample of soil depending on environment and conditions.  The respiration and the growth is described.  The website is easy to navigate and gives useful information about soil microbes in the soil.  However, there could be more charts and diagrams to provide more of a visual aid for the information.

"The Microbe World"

http://www.edu.pe.ca/southernkings/microcareers.htm

     This purpose of this website is to provide information of different types of micro-organisms and descriptions of what they do. Basic information on microbes is provided as well as different topics about microbes. There are links that have different pages concerning the classification, shapes, and habitats of microbes and what they eat, as well as quizzes. In general, the site is easy to navigate around and learn. The website has visuals though they are not explained. The website is specific but also easy enough to understand. 

"Microbe Zoo Dirtland." (2000)

 http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/dlc-me/zoo/zdmain.html

       This website tells people how much they need microbes in the soil by telling them microbes’ use in the soil in different places. This is a good site because it is easy to navigate and is easy to read and understand. I recommend it because of these reasons if you wish to understand what microbes do to the dirt of the world and how useful they really are. 

“Microbial Biomass” (2015)

http://soilquality.org.au/factsheets/microbial-biomass

The purpose of this website is to explain microbial biomass. It goes in-depth on microbial biomass, which is “bacteria and fungi, which decompose crop residues and organic matter in soil”. It also mainly talks about Bacteria and Fungi, which are two prominent soil microbes. This website is a great resource for learning about microbial biomass, which are soil microbes.

“Microbial Ecology.” (undated)

http://www.soils.wisc.edu/~hickey/Soils_523/PartI/p1_section4/#Top

    This website offers information about microorganisms (especially fungi) and how they interact with soil. It also offered information about how microorganisms got their energy from the soil and how soil only could provide the microorganisms and plant life only a limited amount of energy. The site also describes how micro- organisms interact with plant life, especially with the nutrients a plant produces. The website continues to describe more advanced and diverse forms of fungi.This website is very lucid and thorough. There are no visuals though, but the authors replace this lack of visuals with vivid descriptions of the microorganisms. However, this site delves into very specific areas of microbiology. I would not recommend this site to someone who is only beginning research in soil ecology.

"Microbes: What they do and how antibiotics change them?" (2001)

 

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/meade_callahan.html

 

                This article about the effects antibiotics change soil microbes is a reliable source as it is not biased, organized, and it has a few visuals which keeps the reader, reading. The article was written by Maura Meade-Callahan, a professor of biology at Allegheny College. Although this article mainly discusses the effects of antibiotics on the environment/. More ever the article manages to discuss microbes, and therefore gives its readers knowledge about microbes that is sufficient enough to understand their role in various ecosystems.

 

 “The Next Green Revolution May Rely on Microbes” (2014)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/nature/more-food-with-microbes/

 

This website explains microbes as a whole and how they contribute to our ecosystem. Albeit the first few paragraphs are solely about Ian Sanders and his research subject of mycorrhizal fungus, which is a type of soil microbe; it goes on to talk about different types of microbes and their role in the soil. It also associates microbes with plants, along with explaining how microbes function. This website is beneficial for understanding microbes and their role in the soil.

 

"Protozoa And The Soil" (1952)

http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Bio04Tuat03-t1-body-d3.html

       Free-living protozoa are found in every variety of habitats. Protozoa can also be found in hot springs, salt lakes, sewage filters and in the soil.  The role of protozoa in the soil is an open system, which energy is constantly both being introduced and lost. Bacteria, antinomies, fungi and algae represent the plant kingdom; protozoa, nematodes, rotifers, gastrotriches, tardigrades, enchytraeids (pot worms), mites and insect larvae represent the animal kingdom. To all these organisms moisture is essential for their activity and this is retained in the spaces from drainage loss partly by capillary action and partly by the absorptive power of the soil colloids. As the soil dries out the colloids form a thin film around the particles binding them together.   

"Research Interests." (2007)

http://www.eeescience.utoledo.edu/Faculty/weintraub/interests.htm.

        This site contains helpful information on soil microbes. One specific scientist, Michael Weintraub, reveals information about soil microbes. This site provides several visuals to help the reader understand what is being said.  

"The Role of Fungus" (2011)

http://www.compostjunkie.com/support-files/the_role_of_soil_fungus.pdf

In this article, they describe the role of soil fungus the types of soil fungus the roles of soil fungi, and where it can be found in its habitat of soil. This site is incredible at going into great detail to describe the fungi purposes and specificity. They also cite their references and give good descriptions below pictures to illustrate what is being shown. They also acknowledged people who helped and where they got some of their information and note related articles. This page could be improved by: shortening the articles and being more direct (while all the information is helpful in understanding, it is not necessary).

“The Role of Protozoa and Nematodes” (2011)

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.231.647&rep=rep1&type=pdf

This article provides background information as well as the significance of two types of soil microbes: protozoa and nematodes. For both microbes, the site highlights the basic information about their size, types, and interaction with the environment. Corresponding to the background information of each type of microbe, there are diagrams displaying the microbe and their respective types. In addition, there are descriptions of the role that protozoa and nematodes play in the ecosystem while interacting in soil with other microbes, such as bacteria. It is also highlighted that while nematodes play a major role in the environment, they can be parasitic and need to be managed; a major portion of the article is dedicated to this. This website is extremely organized by maintaining a specific pattern to provide information about the respective microbes, while providing appropriate and informative images. However, there is a large focus on nematodes in this article, while there is not as much information on protozoa.

“The Role of Soil Bacteria” (2011)

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.230.9198&rep=rep1&type=pdf

This article thoroughly explains the role of bacteria ranging from an introduction to a detailed description of their role it he ecosystem. The article classifies different types of bacteria while using appropriate diagrams. However, these diagrams were not easy to correspond to their respective information. Also, it explains the functions of each of these bacteria while emphasizing the benefits and drawbacks because of the respective roles they play. In addition, at the end of the article, there was a helpful summary to conclude the information of different aspects of bacteria life.

“The Role of Soil Microbes in Plant Sulphur Nutrition” (2004)

 http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/55/404/1939.full

       The goal of this site is too inform people about how important soil microbes are. The roles soil microbes play really benefits natural in a tremendous way. This website also explains the different chemicals that are used in the soil, and the roles soil microbes in plant sulphur. The site explains what is  sulphur and the actions of sulphur. A soil microbe plays a huge role in plant sulphur nutrition. It talks about the different types of atmosphere that the soil is set in.

“The role of soil microbes in the global carbon cycle: tracking the below-ground microbial processing of plant-derived carbon for manipulating carbon dynamics in agricultural systems” (2014).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4283042/

This article consists of information about soil microbes and how they affect carbon dynamics and specifically atmospheric carbon dioxide. The article also includes helpful pictures and diagrams that are relevant to the information about how soil microorganisms affect the carbon cycle, along with keywords that make it clear what information is included in each specific part of the article. The language in the article is sophisticated, and the information is very detailed. The article is very recent, and there is a very detailed bibliography. Overall on a scale of 1-10, this article scores an 8-.

 

"Soil and Sustainability." (2003)

http://www.livingsoil.co.uk/learning/soilsustain.htm

This site is all about trying to understand and explain how microbes affect the earth. There are four main sections of writing about these microorganisms, but some sections break into separate but relevant bulleted points of information. This website is full of information all about microbes and is extremely specific.  All of the information on this page is sited with the author and year.  At the end of the page, there is a general conclusion about microbes and how they can benefit the earth.  The length of information on this page is long and very detailed, which is needed for such a broad topic. The references used for this is also very extensive and helpful. A potential problem for this site is that there are no visuals or links to use, which can be very useful.

“Soil Bacteria” (2015)

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/soils/health/biology/?cid=nrcs142p2_053862

This website gives extensive information about bacteria including what they are, what they do, and other important information about them. It gives recent informative since it was last updated in 2015 and is also easy to understand as well as navigate. This website could improve by adding more detailed pictures.

“Soil Bacteria and Actinomycetes: What They Are and A Few Interesting Facts.” (2001)

  http://www.blm.gov/nstc/soil/bacteria/index.html

 This site is aimed at the high school student and is a brief introduction to bacteria: the different types and what bacteria in general do for the environment. It is run through a government center and therefore should be a very reliable research center. This is a useful site for introductory bacteria study. The visuals are very good and very colorful. The descriptions are short but useful when doing bacterial research. The site tells why bacteria are important and what they are. It also has links available for further research on the topic.

“Soil Bacteria and Fungi - New South Wales.” (2016)

http://www.soilquality.org.au/factsheets/soil-bacteria-and-fungi-nsw

The site begins with key points of information included on the web page. It then defines soil bacteria and soil fungi. It list the different bacteria and fungi groups. Lastly it included information on how to manage soil bacteria and soil fungi. The website also includes where you could go for further information on the topic. The site is easy to navigate and the topics are clearly labeled. There is only one picture on the site.    

“Soil Biological Communities”. (2001)

http://www.blm.gov/nstc/soil/index.html

     This website talks about soil biological communities. The website breaks down the different parts of the community in order by the biggest contributor. The links, sections, content and pictures make this site easier to understand. Some of the pictures show the different structures of each microorganism. Overall this website forms a website with is easier for the reader to understand and allows them to benefit through reading it.

"Soil Biology Basics: Soil Fungi"

http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/concepts/soil_biology/biology.html

            This webpage, part of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, offers a description of protozoa, what they do and where they can be found. With helpful visuals that do not distract the reader from the actual information, the page offers unbiased information in an easy to understand way. The actual page is part of an online book which is linked on the left hand side of the page. Not only is the overview of the book linked to this page, but other chapters of the book that cover topics such as soil fungi, soil food web and arthropods are linked to the page as well. Other links on the page direct the reader to informative and easily understood webpages on different soil topics. Contact information such as phone numbers and emails as well as the credentials of the authors are listed on a separate page, which can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the original webpage and clicking on Contact us. The entire website is a good source of basic information on protozoa, fungi and overall soil information.

“Soil Ecology and Restoration Group Web Page.”  (2004)

http://www.serg.sdsu.edu/SERG/index.html

       This site is focused on soil studies on arid and semiarid lands, more specifically on the Mojave Desert, Southern California Coastal, and Sonoran Desert. This website includes background on the Soil Ecology and Restoration Group. The website also has extensive plant and fungi species lists in the three areas of focus as well as techniques to help in the restoration of soil in arid and semiarid lands. A short summary of current research is also included, although it is not very current ranging from  There are a large number of research sites in arid and semiarid lands as well as grasslands, woodlands, and tropical forests. The research focuses on changes over time in each area. There is a large list of links to websites mainly focused on soil restoration. This site is very useful if you are focused on this type of land, otherwise it is not very useful. 

“Soil Environment and Physical Factors Controlling Microbial Activity” (2011)

 http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Soil_environment_and_physical_factors_controlling_microbial_activity.

      This site is a Wiki page for learning about Soil Microbes. It is divided into 7 sections explaining the chemical, physical and biological factors of soil. It also has sections for relevant organisms, current research, and references. It also has a few diagrams showing which levels of soil have high, moderate, and low microbial activity. It also has a picture of some relevant organisms that were found. This website is very specific, uses a big vocabulary and includes the scientific names of organisms. It is harder to read if one is not familiar with some of the terms. However, this site includes a lot of very helpful information. 

 "Soil Health: Bacteria"

http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/41645/Soil_fungi.pdf

            This pdf file offers an overview of what soil microbes are and gives an in depth report on fungi. The file describes the three main groups of fungi, what fungi do, where fungi can be found and how to manage fungi in the soil. At the bottom of the article a section lists other websites, all of which are either .edu or .gov, and books that provide more information on soil biology. Although the information is very helpful, the reading is a little boring due to the lack of visual aids, but the article length is appropriate for the type of information described. However, the pdf is from 2005 and so the information may not be completely accurate do to advancements in the study of soil since that year. The author’s name is given but no contact information can be found on the actual page and no link to find the contact information is given. This pdf file is great for basic understanding of fungi and how to encourage fungi in soil.

“Soil Fungi Critical to Organic Success” (2005)

 http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/ar/archive/may01/fungi0501.htm            

             This article discusses research on the use of mycorrhizal fungi in helping organic farmers, and, specifically, the fungi’s role among the roots of plants.  It describes the experimental process, how the fungi interacts with the roots, and possible applications of the fungi on a greater scale in the future. A nonscientific article, it is highly readable, with visuals designed to hold interest rather than strictly inform and vocabulary clearly explained in common terms. The research was published by chemists associated with the U.S. Agricultural Research Service. The site is fairly easy to navigate. However, it lacks references, and is strongly biased to the benefits of the fungi. It is possible to contact the agricultural service, but not the individual researchers. Overall, the article scores a 7 out of 10. This article is highly recommended to anyone—student or otherwise—who would like to learn about the role of mycorrhizal fungi with plants and soil.   

“The Soil Makers: A Brief Look at Soil Zoology” (2003)

http://www.earthlife.net/insects/soileco.html 

    This website shows the essential facts needed to know about soil. Wherever you step, either on grassland or woodland, there are many more species under your feet than you really see. This site also has all the sources of what soil is, does, and how it benefits some organisms “The soil has been described as the “Poor Man’s Rainforest” such is the amazing diversity and complexity of the life that exists there.” Soil consists of numerous parts of matter, organic and inorganic scatter of many pores. These pores are many homes for various living organisms and it can be an escape route or a temporary home for others. This site is pretty reliable and is very current. This site also has many references and bibliographies, along with links from this site. However, this site does not give the author’s credentials or visuals. Nevertheless, this is a pretty good site with much information to offer. 

Soil Microbes (2012)

http://lter.kbs.msu.edu/who-we-are/research-highlights/soil-microbes/

     The goal of this site is to educate people on the important role that soil microbes play in agriculture. It also explains how the land management affects the general microbial diversity. The website states is purpose by saying “This introduces an interesting potential  for managing soil microbial diversity to provide specific ecosystem services such as greenhouse gas mitigation in agriculture.” This website as a whole is split up into nine different sections with additional links in each corresponding to the section. The nine sections are: home, who we are, who we help, research, data, gallery, get involved, blog, and contact us. This website is specific and easy to understand. It includes diagrams and pictures which makes it easier to understand.

 “Soil Microbes and Agriculture” (2013)

http://www.lternet.edu/research/keyfindings/soil-microbes-and-agriculture

This article talks about microbes’ influence on climate change. The author talks about an experiment that was designed around different land use types. The article has only one visual but the reader would really benefit from more pictures and illustrations. This article is very informative on its topic but also very concise.

“Soil Microbes and Global Warming.” (undated)

http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/ean08.sci.ess.earthsys.microbe/

                This website is used to explain what microbes are and their relationship with global warming. Not only does this website have great written information, but it also has a tab for questions for discussion and a video on this topic. The video is a really good source for visual learners. Many related links and resources are attached to the side of the main essay. The sources the website used, what it was produced by, and who the website was funded by are also listed on the side.  The correlation also seems very appropriate. If this website on soil microbes and global warming had an official author, it would be even better.

"Soil Microbes- Do You Need to Add Them to the Garden?" (2014).

http://www.gardenmyths.com/soil-microbes-need-to-add-them-garden/

The article, Soil Microbes- Do You Need to Add Them to the Garden?, shows how significant it is to have microbes in the soil. The article was published recently in 2014. It was written by Robert Palvis who has written other articles on plants and soil. Although, his profession and background are unknown. There are links to related articles, however, there is no bibliography to or references to back up his information. Another concern is that there is only one visual portrayed. The information is somewhat specific and helpful to those reading who seek knowledge about microbes. Unfortunately, there are no links to provide additional information. This website deserves a 7.6- out of 10.  

"Soil Microbes: From Erosion reduction to tracking." (2005)

http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?seq_no_115=178547

       This site explains how soil erosion is a dynamic process and a major source of soil resource depletion. Erosion also causes air and water pollution. Soil life impacts soil erosion by influencing plant root growth, organic matter accumulation, soil aggregated formation and soil structure.  

"Soil Microbes Harbor Nasty Antibiotic Resistance Genes." (2012)

http://www.livescience.com/22835-soil-bacteria-antibiotic-resistance.html

      This LiveScience article is a report written by journalist Wynne Parry on the results of a study performed by the Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis with specific quotes from researcher Kevin Forsberg. The article focuses on the natural ability of gene swapping between bacteria, which allows bacteria to thrive in various environments. Due to the unprecedented increase in the use of antibiotics in agriculture, animals are treated with multiple antibiotics. Therefore, the antibiotics in the animals spread to their waste which is then used for fertilizer.  The presence of these antibiotics in fertilizer has consequently stimulated adaptions for survival amongst soil bacteria populations. Thus, there has been an increase in the exchange of antibiotic resistance genes identical to the original between bacteria, even those of different species.

       A downside to this site, although made easily understandable for younger readers, the site is not 100% reliable. However, it is owned by TechMedia Network, which in its turn is a reputable company. The author of this article lacks credentials, but due to their direct contact with a researcher in the study, the article can be trusted. The site also offers other links to articles which are easy to navigate through. On a scale rating of 1-10, the score of this article is 7.4+.

“Soil Microbiology: A Primer”

http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/factsheets/SoilMicrobes.html

      This site gives good information on the basics of soil microbes including the types of microbes and their functions. This website is a reliable source because it is an .edu website, was written by Vern Grubinger who is a Vegetable and Berry Specialist from the University of Vermont, and was last updated in July 2004. Some of the negatives of this website are it’s lack of visuals, related links, and references.

“Soil Microbiology FAQ’s” (1998)

http://organiclifestyles.tamu.edu/soil/microbeindex.html

        This website discusses the frequently asked questions about soil microbes.  The questions include topics such as: the type of microbes found in grass, the beneficial aspects of soil microbes, the factors that control the rates of growth, ways to increase microbial activity, and the causes of fertilizers on soil microbes.  The questions are simple and the answers are complex yet easy to understand.  The answers have definitions which allow someone without any soil ecology background to easily understand the concept of soil microbes.  The statistics show the amounts of soil microbes in the soil and some of the numbers are rather shocking.  The website has useful images and it is very easy to navigate.  There are links which lead to each question. 

“Soil Microorganisms”. (2010)

http://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/soil-microorganisms/

     This article talks about the life beneath our feet which is soil. The article talks about the decomposition process with bacteria. This article states that bacteria are an essential part of the soil food web. This article is good because of the length of info added. Each section has its own title that explains what the readers are going to read next. Other microbes are mentioned and are described in other sections that pertain to that specific organism. Even though this article doesn’t have many links it is easy to know what you are reading because of the titles above each section.

“Soil Microorganisms” (undated)

http://www.organicgardeninfo.com/soil-microorganisms.html

     This specific article discusses the importance of soil microorganisms and how they benefit the environment. They “help keep your soil healthy, decompose organic matter, replenish soil nutrients, form humus, promote root growth, increase nutrient uptake, and breakdown of herbicides and pesticides.” It gives a brief report on the importance of soil microorganisms and how they benefit the environment, then, however, jumps to information on how to help such microorganisms thrive in a garden. This website would be excellent if someone were desirous of learning how microorganisms help a garden thrive and how to maintain them.

"Soil Microorganisms" (2012).

http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Building-Soils-for-Better-Crops-3rd-Edition/Text-Version/The-Living-Soil/Soil-Microorganisms

This website is known as the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. This site explains the types of soil microorganisms and how they affect the soil. This information was last updated in 2012. This site is upheld by SARE Outreach for the SARE program and is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture. SARE Outreach works under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland to develop and distribute information about sustainable agriculture. This is a great website if you would like to know what soil is comprised of. There are multiple tabs to click on for more information. Fortunately, there is a link for videos and tips. The author, Fred Magdoff, is emeritus professor of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and assistant professor at Cornell University. There is only picture in the Soil Microorganism page, so it will be hard to visualize what these microorganisms exactly look like. Overall this site gets a 7.9+ on a scale of 1-10.

 

"Soil Moisture Study." (undated)

http://csp.unl.edu/Public/G_moist.htm.

       This site shows a study that was performed at the University of Nebraska.  They show the goal, the description, and the processes that have been conducted in the study. The main goal of this experiment is to measure the amount of water at the root level of the ground. In this project, the purpose of the experiment is to see how water is absorbed and how it evaporates. The group collected many samples and measured the precipitation to discover what happens to water in the environment. This would be a good website for some one trying to figure out what kind of information they are looking for when undergoing a soil study.

"Soil Mineralogy" (2007)

http://soils4teachers.org/mineralogy

In this article, they give an overview of the basic components of weathering and how soil is produced from it. They go in depth to explain how chemical weathering contributes to the production of soil and the mineralogy within it. They also describe the processes of studying soil mineralogy and what exactly is being studied. The process of rocks breaking down to become soil and what types of soil is as well being described. This site is very clear, blunt, and descriptive when talking about weathering and the makeup of soil minerals. They also have very specific picture references and charts to exemplify the structure of the soil crystalline. They also have just enough photographic references so that the main point is clearly expressed. This site can improve themselves by: adding direct quotes to prove the information is true and to cite references in the text. 

“Soil Nematodes.” (no date)

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/soils/health/biology/?cid=nrcs142p2_053866

This is the official site of the United States Department of Agriculture. The site explains what nematodes are, how they are divided into groups based on their diet, what they do and how they affect the soil and water quality. There are links on the side of the page can direct you to different soil biologies including soil bacteria and soil protozoa. The site has clear headings and extremely  helpful links of corresponding topics. The pictures are clearly labeled and easy to understand. There are no images of the different nematodes classifications.

“Study Helps Clarify Role of Soil Microbes in Global Warming” (2009)

http://www.bio-medicine.org/biology-news-1/Study-helps-clarify-role-of-soil-microbes-in-global-warming-5617-1/

      This article is mainly about how temperature affects the function of microorganisms. The higher the temperature, the harder it is for microbes to function, sending more heat-trapping carbon into the atmosphere. This article overall talks about how temperature can affect microbes. This article shares the many different theories about how temperature affects the function and amount of microorganisms in soil.  

“The Truth About Microbes.” (2005)

http://www.plantanswers.com/microbes.htm

            This site is written around answering five questions. Some of the questions include a background on soil microbes, what they do, and what they are needed for. Each question has a separate paragraph where it goes into much more detail and gets more specific. Although there aren’t many colorful visuals, there are some visuals of tables and bulleted points highlighting the main ideas. Although the correlation is pretty long, this website is explaining a lot of different topics about soil microbes. At the bottom of the site, there are also many useful references for further reading. The contacts are extensive with the address of the author, email address, and phone number.

"Trapping Carbon in Soil Key for Protecting Global Food Security, Dealing with Climate Change." (2004)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040614080953.htm.

        This article focuses on making the issue of restoring soil carbon levels a top priority for the global community.  The author states, “The amount of carbon that can be restored in the world’s degraded agricultural soils will directly influence global food security and climate change within our lifetime”(“Trapping Carbon in Soil Key for Protecting Global Food Security, Dealing with Climate Change” 2004).  This claim is supported with proposals and details referring to the level of carbon in soil and the affect the inadequate levels are having on food productions.  Vigorous experiments have been conducted to find reason behind the insufficient levels.  The issue is demonstrated clearly and through this easy to understand website the issue is presented in a way for an average reader to comprehend.  The information is abundant, yet easy to manage.             

 “Understanding Soil Microbes and Nutrient Recycling” (2010)

http://ohioline.osu.edu/sag-fact/pdf/0016.pdf

       The website is published through Ohio State University as a part of their “Sustainable Agricultural Fact Sheet Series”. The goal of the series was to form a small online database for the public, as a way to educate the masses. This website has pertinent visual aids and the authors are experts in the field of study.  The site also has many references, examples for further reading, and multiple ways to contact the authors and college. The page is very recent; it was last updated in 2010.

“Waste Not, Want Not: Fungi as Decomposers” (2001)

http://herbarium.usu.edu/fungi/funfacts/decay.htm

     This site talks about the way fungi work as decomposers and when decomposition is a good thing and when it is not.  Finding the author was a bit difficult because his name was placed at the bottom of the article as opposed to the top of it.  This article also has many relevant pictures that contribute to the site.  The navigation of the site is extremely easy one you get to the home page, but before the homepage it is difficult to find the information about the authors. This writing is written for a less experienced author and he makes sure to explain things well.   

"Why Tiny Microbes Mean Big Things for Farming" (2014).

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140918-soil-bacteria-microbe-farming-technology-ngfood/

A National Geographic article, Why Tiny Microbes Mean Big Things for Farming, shows how microbes help with farming. The article was published on September 18, 2014. The website contains some irrelevant images with ads. There are neither links, nor bibliography to support the information. The specificity and length of the article are sufficient for the topic. However, there are some pictures relating to microbes. You can contact the author of this article, Peter Andrey Smith through Twitter and find more about his background. In general, this site earns a score of around 7+ on a scale from 1-10.