An Introduction to Soils

An Introduction to Soils - An Introduction to Soils Daniel...

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An Introduction to Soils Daniel Keck ENVS 23 April 9, 2008 Soil Functions : Medium for plant growth Water retention and filtration Recycling system for nutrients and organic wastes Habitat for soil organisms Engineering medium Interface of lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere Soil’s role in Biogeochemistry 1. Vital compartment of biogeochemical processes 2. Vulnerable film of the planet Earth 3. The most important source of nutrients in the Biosphere 4. Soil links the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and the lithosphere. 5. Soil supports 50% of the primary production on Earth Keywords and Concepts Soil properties Physical (texture, structure, bulk density) Chemical (pH, CEC, redox potential) Biological (respiration, fertility, food webs) Soil horizons (layering) Elemental cycles (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus) Soil types (orders) Soil forming factors and weathering Soil Particle Sizes Soil Texture Triangle Soil Structure (Aggregation) •Defined as the mass of a unit volume of dry soil with preserved air pore space (g/cubic cm or kg/cubic m) •Generally varies between 0.8 and 2 g/cc (water = 1 g/cc) •Compaction increases bulk density by removing air space, this can lead to poor aeration and impede root
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An Introduction to Soils - An Introduction to Soils Daniel...

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