Advances in watershed, natural resource, and environmental sciences have shown that soil is the foundation of basic ecosystem function. Soil filters our water, provides essential nutrients to our forests and crops, and helps regulate the Earth’s temperature as well as many of the important greenhouse gases. As our awareness of the value of natural and managed ecosystems services grows, new biodiversity, carbon, and water markets are emerging, such as the Chicago Climate Exchange, and the nutrient trading programs under the new Executive Order on the Protection and Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. These markets place an economic value on management practices which increase those ecosystem services, producing goods that enhance human and environmental health. Industrial, household, and non-point source pollution jeopardizes the health of the environment and humans. Over the past several decades, soil scientists have identified new practices which limit the mobility of contaminants and rehabilitate polluted land. As a result, land managers now have access to new, innovative soil management strategies that can mitigate soil, water, and air pollution, while also enhancing ecosystem performance.
A key to improving rangeland soils is to maximize the retention and recycling of organic matter and plant nutrients, and to minimize the losses of these soil components caused by leaching, runoff and erosion. However, rebuilding soil quality and health through appropriate restoration practices may take several years, especially in dryland areas where limited moisture reduces biomass production and soil biological activity. PermaMatrix BSP works by increasing soil organic matter, restoring carbon, and the biological formation of a properly functioning matrix of microbiologicals that cycle nutrients while retaining moisture to ensure productivity and sustainability for land managers in the short and long term.
Often in disturbed soils there is a loss of nutrients, soil structure and its ability to retain moisture. In these cases PermaMatrix BSP can be used to repair these damaged soil functions. PermaMatrix BSP was created to restore soils naturally—a product designed using bio-mimicry. While there are many soil amendment products on the market, none that we know of combine the invaluable mineral elements essential to plant health and productivity with the humic compounds and living organisms essential for making those nutrients available to the plant. PermaMatrix BSP starts the process of nutrient recycling that each succeeding generation of vegetation continues through its life cycle. The production of this year’s biomass is the raw material for next year’s plant food source. A common concern in restoration sites is soil nutrient availability. If there has been excessive removal or disturbance of topsoil, there may not be sufficient levels of nutrients to support a native plant community. PermaMatrix BSP will increase the function of these degraded soils so they can become self-generating. Most native plant communities are adapted to low nutrient levels and the addition PermaMatrix BSP will add to the overall health of the soil and increase the sustainability to the site.
In native plantings and rangeland improvement slow nutrient release helps to prevent a sudden flush of nutrients that could encourage weed invasion. PermaMatrix BSP provides this slow nutrient release so that the nutrient levels will be maintained for a longer period of time, giving the new ecological community time to establish its own nutrient cycle. Using fast-release NPK fertilizers is problematic and not recommended for these types of restoration. Typically these fertilizers will add too many nutrients at once, leading to an increased invasion of weedy species and possible fertilizer burn of young native species. Adding carbon to these systems is the number one thing to develop a strong functioning community in the soil. Nitrogen is important, testing done by University of Wisconsin shows soil enrichment factors are listed with an Enrichment Factor or (EF). The following elements with the high enrichment factors (EF) are Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N), Sulfur (S), and elements with low EF are Sodium (Na), Magnesium (Mg), Aluminum (Al), Potassium (P), Chlorine (Cl), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Manganese (Mn), and Iron (Fe). These latter elements are important nutrients for plant growth. Besides Nitrogen which has an EF factor of 80 the next most beneficial element in soil is Carbon with a factor of 52. Seldom is Carbon on the radar for most restoration projects, but studies have shown that increasing carbon and biological activity, is the most effective way to improve disturbed soil! The Carbon in PermaMatrix BSP is stable and is the key component to a healthy soil community.
Simply, PermaMatrix BSP works. Plants germinate and establish quickly, thrive with higher yields, resist pathogens due to good health and require fewer inputs. As a soil amendment it will increase nutrient transfer and support nutrient cycling.