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chapter 15 - Chapter15 SoilResources o o WhatisSoil...

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Chapter 15 Soil Resources
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What is Soil? o Uppermost layer of earth’s crust that supports plants,  animals and microbes o Soil Forming Factors Parent Material Time Climate Organisms Topography
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What is the Composition of Soil? o Mineral Particles (45%) Weathered rock Provides essential nutrients for plants o Organic Material (5%) Litter, animal dung, dead remains of plants and animals, humus (picture) o Water (25%) o Air (25%)
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Soil Composition o Pore space  50% of soil Soil air - good for  aeration Soil water - provides  water to roots
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What Are Soil Horizons? o O-horizon Rich in organic material o A-horizon Topsoil o B-horizon Lighter colored subsoil o C-horizon Weathered parent material
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Soil Organisms o There are millions of microorganisms in 1 teaspoon of  fertile agricultural soil
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Soil Organisms o Soil organisms provide ecosystem services Definition:  Important environmental benefits that ecosystems  provide  o Examples Decaying and cycling organic material Breaking down toxic materials (e.g., gasoline spills) Cleaning water Aerating soil (especially done by earthworms)
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Nutrient Cycling o Nutrients are cycled between plants,  organisms and soil o Example Bacteria and fungi decompose plant  and animal wastes They are transformed into CO 2 , soil  nutrients and water
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