X 28 - Soils through Intro to Ecology

X 28 - Soils through Intro to Ecology - 11/9/2009

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11/9/2009 1 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120191137 Nitrogen production calculator http://www.cbf.org/Page.aspx?pid=1136 Dead sediments are mud with little or no oxygen. Clams and worms and microscopic plants at the bottom of the food chain — down in the mud — need that oxygen. But the bay is starved for oxygen. What it has instead are nitrogen and phosphorous. Way too much of it. It comes from sewage, cars and fertilizer. It act as "nutrients" for algae, which grow into huge floating blooms. When the algae die and decompose, that sucks oxygen out of the water. And that's deadly. "The key issue in the bay program is [to] reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous and dirt getting into the bay. That's one of the things I do, is build nutrient budgets," says Boynton. "We frankly need to know where does this stuff come from, how long does it hang out here, and where the heck does it go." Soils • Teeming with life, mainly microscopic – organisms die, decay • bacteria and fungi Soils Humus is produced: finely ground organic matter Nitrogen Cycle Atmosphere: N 2 abundant (78%) Major limiting resource for plants Soil: Inorganic N NH 4 + or NO 3 - ) Plants: Organic N Bacteria (free-living, symbiotic) Plants (acquisition) Bacteria, Fungi What do living things (plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, etc.) need all that N for?
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X 28 - Soils through Intro to Ecology - 11/9/2009

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