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Foundation for land ecosystems

Thomas Horner

on 5 January 2013

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Transcript of Soil

Soil characteristics and texture Soil Classes Soil and Plant Growth Workability soil quality must be maintained most soils are hundreds of years old and slow to change Soil and Plants Soil Profiles there are 4 major soil orders Soil fertility refers to a soil's ability to support plant growth Soil Enrichment or Mineralization By: Thomas Horner and Gabriella Liberatore Productive soils require interactions among organisms, detritus, and mineral particles of the soil recycle nutrients creates a soil environment favorable to the growth of roots the mineral material of soil (parent material) consists of rock and sediments sand silt clay as soil weathers and breaks down it can become soil seperates harvesting crops field of weeds The texture of the soil influences many important properties of the soil Larger particles Smaller Particles Nutrient ions and water molecules infiltration nutrient and water-holding capacities aeration These properties effect a soil's workability and has a huge impact on agriculture The 5 Horizontal layers of the soil are known as horizons O horizon (detritus, deposits by plants, humus) A horizon (humus, topsoil) E horizon (materials resistant to leaching) B horizon (often high in iron, aluminum, and calcium) C horizon (weathered rock, glacial deposits, and volcanic ash) transpiration - loss of water vapor from plants Roots absorb water and pass it through as water vapor through pores in leaves The pores are also called stomata. They allow carbon dioxide to enter and oxygen to exit Water-holding Capacity Rainfall or irrigation systems resupply water to soil soil allows water to soak in it can hold water so it will be available to plants evaporative water loss Overwatering plants often kills them soil aeration - exchange within soil of oxygen and carbon dioxide necessary for roots to breathe compaction - packing of soil - increases runoff pH - determines if a substance is an acid or a base Plants need low levels of salt to survive. If they have too much salt, the plant will not be able to absorb water. Water can even be taken out of the plant because of osmosis, The Soil Community steady supply of resources to survive, plants need: good water-holding capacity good stomata structures neutral pH level low salt levels Detritus Dead organisms in and on soil contain the necessities for smaller living organisms. eat via cell respiration. humus - residue of party decomposed organic matter composting - process of fostering the decay of organic wastes under more or less controlled conditions which usually result in humus Soil Structure When animals eat, not only do they ingest detritus, but they often ingest soil particles also. Their waste are typically clumps of inorganic particles along with humus. Burrowing keeps these clumps loose. mycorrhizae - feeding filaments of certain fungi that grow symbiotically with the roots of some plants and provide for additional nutrient uptake - transfer nutrients to plants many things in nature work together and support each other living plants and detritus protect soil from erosion and evaporation - this could cause organisms to die off because they are not getting the nutrients they need to survive mineralization - loss of humus and because of that, collapse of topsoil compost or other organic matter can reinvigorate soils mollisols - fertile, dark soils found in temperate grassland biomes alfisols - moderatley weathered forest soils aridisols - widespread soils of drylands and deserts oxisols - soils of tropical and subtropical rainforests Mineral nutrients weathering of rock detritus Leaching removes mineral nutrients from soil and contributes to pollution fertilizers organic inorganic
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