Lab_4_2017.docx - DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY UNIVERSITY OF...

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DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY LAB. - GEO 2200L Lab 4: Soils, Biomes & Ecosystems Total: 50 points Lab Objectives: To understand the types of soils and the differences between organic and inorganic materials To learn about environmental issues relating to soils To understand the differences between biomes and ecosystems To understand types of biome and where they are distributed Part I: Soils Soil is one of our natural resources. It is important for both plants and animals. Some animals live in soils i.e. decomposers. Humans need good/fertile soils to grow crops so that we will have food to eat. In this section, you will learn some basic concepts on soils and its environmental issues. Go to the following website: Use the information provided on this webpage OR any additional resources to answer the following questions. 1. What is the word that means ‘studying of soils’ (e.g. soil properties, soil types)? (1 point) Pedology 2. What is the definition of soil? (1 point) The upper layer of earth in which plants grow, a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles. 3. Name the three types of soil separates. What sizes are they? (2 points) Clay- less than 0.002 Silt- 0.002-0.05 Medium sand- 0.25-0.50
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4. What are soil pores? Do you think increasing soil porosity (i.e. more pores) is good or bad for plants? Give a reason for your answer. (3 points) Soil pore is the space in rock, soil, or unconsolidated sediment that is not occupied by mineral matter and that allows the passage or absorption of fluids. Increasing soil porosity is good for plants because it allows for more water to be present. The water can fill up the space between the pores and can be stored for later consumption by the plant. However, as with anything, there is a limit to this because too much water can be bad for a plant and the plant needs to be able to get nutrients from the soil also.
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