Soil organisms, particularly fungi that help plant roots absorb nutrients (mycorrhizae), are vital to maintaining soil health. The organisms present affect which nutrients are available and which plants can grow and thrive. Soil life can be seeded, its activity measured, and its health promoted by good management. For an excellent series of short films on the various forms of microscopic soil life, see T. Loynachan's Soil Biology Movies at Iowa State University.
Mycorrhizas page at the University of Edinburgh. Mycorrhizas are symbiotic relationships between fungi and plant roots. According to plant pathologist Stephen Wilhelm, "in agricultural field conditions, plants do not, strictly speaking, have roots, they have mycorrhizas."
Mycorrhizae.com has articles about forest, nursery, and turfgrass applications of mycorrhizae.
Seed balls are a mix of seeds, dry compost , and clay. The clay coat protects the seeds from hungry animals, overheating, wind, and dryness, and the compost provides soil microbes and fungi. At www.seedballs.com.
Seed ball recipe at pathtofreedom.com has step-by-step photos. Makes a small starter batch.
Revegetating soilless land (articles). Soil-building is a vital part of revegetating sites where topsoil has been lost or never existed in the first place.
These beneficial insects and their allies destroy fly breeding sites, interrupt parasite life cycles, bury nutrients in the root zone, improve soil and pasture health, and greatly increase soil's ability to absorb water.
Dung beetles and their effects on soil by Pat and Dick Richardson. Dung beetles on an Oklahoma ranch increased water infiltration 129% and can bury 1 ton of wet manure per acre per day (2 metric tons/ha).
If encouraged, insects in cattle dung could provide benefits worth Canadian $2,000 million yearly. At Lethbridge Research Centre site.