Week 7 - Soil The Foundation Upon Which We Live Soil...

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Soil: The Foundation Upon Which We Live
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Soil Erosion in Guatemala
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Farming in Guatemala Gabino López “Five Golden Rules of the Humid Tropics” keep the soil covered maximize biomass production zero tillage use mulch to feed the crops maximize biodiversity In this way we achieve high levels of productivity sustainably by imitating the natural system of tropical rainforests. In doing so, the above allows for the creation of the base of the food chain in soil ecosystems….detritus !
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Why a Study of Soil Is Important 90% of the world’s food comes from land-based agriculture. Maintenance of soil is the cornerstone of sustainable civilizations. Simply stated, it is the “foundation” of terrestrial life.
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Where Do All the Farms Go? Poor farming practices = loss of soils and farmland. Erosion Salinization Development in United States = loss of 1.4 million acres of farmland per year. In effect, urbanization has caused the degradation of usable topsoil, either directly or indirectly.
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Transportation by Transpiration Water, minerals and oxygen are all supplied to the plant and root system through the environments soil. Plants can be deprived of oxygen and suffocate by over watering . Suffocation can also occur if the soil undergoes compaction .
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Plant-soil-water Relationships Water is actually available to plants based on the amount of what that: 1) infiltrates vs. running off, 2) is held in the soil vs. percolating through, 3) evaporates from the soil surface. Oxygen is taken up by the roots of
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Soil Ecosystem: Distinguishing Characteristics Rate of nutrient and energy transfer Few months: tropical rainforest Few years: temperate forests Different textures demand different adaptations, e.g., worms and pocket gophers Near total reliance on decomposers Exclusive use of detritus for energy and nutrients Extreme susceptibility to disturbance and slow recovery times
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Soil Profile The process known as weathering allows for the breakdown of mineral nutrients from rocks . These minerals include phosphate , potassium and calcium . But the process of weathering alone is not enough to supply a plant with all the
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Soil Texture Soil texture refers to the percentage of each type of particle found in the soil. Loam soil is approximately 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay.
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Soil Texture Sand Silt Clay Large Small Smaller
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Soil Community: 5% Organic Component itus constitutes the base of the food chain in any soil ecosys is also where plants get there greatest source of nutrients.
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5 Ingredients of Productive Topsoil Good nutrients and nutrient-holding capacity Good infiltration and water-holding capacity
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