Note of <Management of Wisconsin Soils>
"Roots extract plant nutrients and water from soil. At the same time, they secrete carbon dioxide and organic compounds that serve as food for microorganisms. When the roots die, they become food for soil flora and fauna. After a dead root has decayed, the root channel becomes a conduit...
"Roots extract plant nutrients and water from soil. At the same time, they secrete carbon dioxide and organic compounds that serve as food for microorganisms. When the roots die, they become food for soil flora and fauna. After a dead root has decayed, the root channel becomes a conduit for air, water, and new roots. Thus, plant roots help shape the biological properties of soil. "
"Soil microbiologists have observed that larger numbers and types ofbacteria, fungi, and other organisms are found around plant roots than in the surrounding soil. This zone of soil near plant roots is known as the rhizosphere. "
(Credit: The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System doing business as the division ofCooperative Extension of the University of Wisconsin-Extension. )
Roots provide living support to plants by extracting plant nutrients and water from soil. Meanwhile, roots release stuff which are necessary for microorganisms in the soil. When roots die, they also leave something meaningful behind, to the soil who supported them before, to the microorganisms who made food for them. It's a way of their rewards.
It reminds me of a story about whales--"whale fall". When whales die, their carcasses fall into the deep deep sea and become a source of food for many kinds of organisms in that area. There was a kinda magic illustration in my mind with a dark blue tone when I heard this for the first time.
They are both relatively large, roots and whales. They give others support when they are living, and they becomes resources after they left the world, quietly, gently.