The Microbes

The Microbes

Balance of Nature

MICROBES: Microbes are a special group of living things most of which can be seen only through a microscope, Fungi and bacteria are common types of microbes.

A FUNGI: are microbes which grow on wood, food substances and soil but are different from plants as they do not have chlorophyll.

KINDS OF FUNGI: Yeast, moulds and different types of mushrooms.


Keep the following things for two or three days in closed plastic packets tips lemon, ripe tomatoes, a piece of pumpkin, nshima, damp bread. The coloured powder that you see on them are the Spores of the ring us growing on them. The fungus consists of fine threads which grow into the food and decay it. Rotting of food and wood are caused by fungi.

HOW FUNGI REPRODUCE: Mushrooms and other fungi reproduce by means of tiny spores. Spores of fungi can remain alive for many years in the soil. They germinate in damp soil. The Microbes, The Microbes, The Microbes, The Microbes, The Microbes, The Microbes, The Microbes.

BACTERIA: are microbes which rot the remains of animals like meat, milk, eggs: dead animals, faeces etc. They are much smaller than fungi.

HOW BACTERIA REPRODUCE: Like fungi, Bacteria reproduce by means of spores.


  1. A) SOIL BACTERIA: help to decompose dead plant and animal remains to produce food for plants.

Root nodules

  1. b) SOME SOIL BACTERIA: use nitrogen from the atmosphere to make nitrates, a plant food in the soil. They live in Root nodules in leguminous plants (peas, beans etc) and supply nitrates to the plant and in the soil.
  2. C) FOOD BACTERIA: helps to ferment milk to produce cheese.

Fig. 42. Root Nodules on a bean plant)


  1. a) In sewage: Bacteria rot the waste in the sewage system to change it into clean water and a black solid manure which are used as compost.
  2. b) In compost: Microbes rot dead leaves, grass and animal remains to form rich manure.
  3. c) In brewing: A fungi called yeast is used to ferment food grains in the brewing of beer.
  4. d) In fermenting milk: Bacteria helps to ferment milk from which ‘Cheese’ is produced.
  5. e) In Baking: Yeast is used in baking bread and cake. It improves the flavour and the food value of the bread.

1) In man: Microbes helps to provide vitamins in man.


Living things take in oxygen, carbon dioxide, water and minerals. But these material

are replaced to nature by photosynthesis, respiration, excretion and decay. Thus the

materials create or move in excretes in nature Plants, man, animals and mere

participates in this process help one another to keep the balance of the eco-system.


Carbon dioxide from the air is taken in by plants to make their food. Animals and microbes live on plants and other animals, Carbon dioxide is returned to the all when animals and microbes breathe out, During or things also produces carbon dioxide. This rotation of carbon dioxide in nature is called CARBON CYCLE

Breathe out Carbon dioxide in a Photosynthesis Animals and microbes


Nitrogen in the soil is taken in by plants as nitrates, Animals gel nitrogen by eating plants, Nitrogen is returned to the soil when plants and animal remains deny. Bacteria helps in this process. The going round of nitrogen in nature is called NITROGEN CYCLE.

Nitrogen in soil gives out taken by Bacteria plants Animals and Fungi.


Green plants produce food using sunlight. Herbivorous animals eat plants. Carnivorous cat herbivorous. Microbes and scavenger live on head plants and animals. This leads to the formation of a food chain with plants.

Fungi Herbivorous Green plant Carnivorous -(Bacteria) (Cabbage) (Caterpillar) (Birds) Another Food Chain eaten by eaten by GRASS ZEBRA LION


If we can find out a particular bird which feeds on the caterpillar that destroys our crops, we can use that bird to control the pest. The best way of controlling pests is by using predators.

  1. POLLUTION: Excessive use of insecticides pollute air, water, soil and can cause destruction to plants, animals, birds, fish and man. Waste and smoke from house and industry also cause pollution. Destruction of some living things may even upset the balance of nature.
  2. ECOLOGY: The carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle and food chain show us how living things are all related to one another and with the environment in which they live. A study of this relationship is called ecology.

F.COMMUNITY: A group of inter dependence living things live together in communities like people do. The plant communities in Zambia can be classified into three main kinds.

  1. a) Grasslands: Are wet and open spaces where grass grow well.
  2. b) Forest: Trees grow thick in forest and grass do not grow among them.
  3. c) Woodlands: Trees do not grow very close in woodlands and therefore grass also grow in them.

A fire in the forest or woodlands can cause a lot of destruction to man, animal and birds

  1. CONSERVATION: means taking care of the world environment so that it continues to be a fit place for living things. Many of man’s activities like industrialization, construction, cultivation, hunting, poaching and fishing, cause destruction to natural environment. We should support Government activities to conserve forest and animals.


  1. Fill in the blanks
  2. Mushrooms reproduce using their Yeast and mushrooms are two kinds of Bacteria in this soil help to live in root nodules of beans and absorb from air.
  3. Food grains eaten by rats eaten by cal. This is an example of a.
  4. How does the carbon dioxide used up by the plants in photosynthesis brought back to the air!

III How does the nitrogen absorbed by the roots of plants brought back to the soil.





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