Soil Systems - SoilSystems OVERVIEW , ,the...

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Soil Systems OVERVIEW   This chapter examines the characteristics, the processes of formation and the global  pattern of distribution of soil that develops at the interface between the lithosphere, the  biosphere and the atmosphere. Soil  is a complex mixture of solids, liquids and gases. It contains mineral material  derived from the  parent material  and  organic matter  derived from living plants  and other organisms in the soil.  The major  soil-forming factors  are parent material, climate, vegetation, and  time.  Soil texture  refers to the proportion of soil particles that fall into each of three  size grades; sand, silt and clay.  Soil colloids  are the smallest particles in soils. They are important because they  hold plant nutrients in the soil in the form of ions.  Soil pH  can range from acid to alkaline.  Soil structure
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