Soil An important factor influencing the productivity of our planet's various ecosystems is the nature of their soils. Soils are vital for the existence of many forms of life that have evolved on our planet. For example, soils provide vascular plants with a medium for growth and supply these organisms with most of their nutritional requirements. Further, the nutrient status of ecosystem's soils not only limit both plant growth, but also the productivity of consumer type organisms further down the food chain.
Biochar Biochar created through the pyrolysis process. History Left - a nutrient-poor oxisol; right - an oxisol transformed into fertile terra preta using biochar Pre-Columbian Amazonians are believed to have used biochar to enhance soil productivity. They produced it by smoldering agricultural waste (i.e., covering burning biomass with soil) in pits or trenches. European settlers called it terra preta de Indio. Following observations and experiments, a research team working in French Guiana hypothesized that the Amazonian earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus was the main agent of fine powdering and incorporation of charcoal debris to the mineral soil. The term “biochar” was coined by Peter Read to describe charcoal used as a soil improvement.
Chromium detoxification The Science Hexavalent chromium is a major environmental contaminant at several Department of Energy (DOE) sites as well as other sites around the world. Iron-reducing bacteria can convert the oxidized form of iron in clay minerals, called ferric iron, into the reduced form of iron, called ferrous iron, which can then reduce hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium—the reduced, insoluble and less toxic form of the heavy metal that poses a lower risk of groundwater contamination. This study sheds light on the poorly understood process by which iron-reducing bacteria reduce ferric iron in clay minerals, resulting in ferrous iron that could then immobilize and detoxify chromium. The Impact
Soil Soil is the mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids and a myriad of micro- and macro- organisms that can support plant life. It is a natural body that exists as part of the pedosphere and it performs four important functions: it is a medium for plant growth; it is a means of water storage, supply and purification; it is a modifier of the atmosphere; and it is a habitat for organisms that take part in decomposition and creation of a habitat for other organisms. Soil is considered the "skin of the earth" with interfaces between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Soil consists of a solid phase (minerals & organic matter) as well as a porous phase that holds gases and water. Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three-state system. Overview Soil is a major component of the Earth's ecosystem. Soils can effectively remove impurities, kill disease agents, and degrade contaminants.
How to Make a Worm Compost System: 10 Steps Steps Part 1 of 3: Making a Home for Your Worms 1Obtain a worm bin. The worm bin is basically the home for the worms, and the place where they digest the organic material you will give them. Tree Disease identification, symptoms, treatment options for tree diseases There are many different diseases that affect landscape trees and shrubs. Control of tree and shrub diseases cannot be properly accomplished until the disease pest is identified. Identification of tree and shrub diseases is crucial because, although most diseases can be controlled, there are some diseases that cannot be controlled. Disease control on landscape trees and shrubs can sometimes be accomplished by more than one method, depending on the particular disease that if infecting your landscape plants. Fungicides are often used to control diseases on landscape trees and shrubs and fungicides may be sprayed, injected into the tree trunk, or even injected into the soil surrounding the roots of the tree or shrub. In other cases cultural changes, such as tree pruning, tree fertilization, or altering watering habits, may reduce disease infection on landscape trees and shrubs.
Rx for Soils and Crops Both manure and compost can improve soil tilth, but the timing and mechanisms may differ.Cover crops and ridge tillage in sustainable farming. In practice, cover crops such as legumes (e.g., clover, vetch) and grasses are often grown either to supply N to subsequent cash crops or to reduce nitrate leaching and soil erosion. Crop rotation and intercropping have been used to achieve this goal. Work in tropical humid regions of India has shown that corn yields and N uptake increased by 15 to 20% by intercropping with soybean or cowpea. Legume intercropping was equivalent to adding 80 kg N/ha of fertilizer N. Soil Structure & Composition Sunday, 06 June 2010 07:35 The Plant Lady Living Matter Mostly in the top 4" of the soil. Good guys & bad guys...but large volume & diversity control the trouble makers by making it a competive environment for resources. 1 teaspoon of soil:
Tree Encyclopedia Trees have three principle features that distinguish them from all other plants. First, they have a woody stem, roots and branches which do not die back in winter, but continue to grow year after year. From the moment of its germination, a tree remains visible; from the tallest Sequoia to the smallest garden fruit tree, this principle of growth remains constant. Second, trees live longer than any other organism on earth. Trees commonly live more than 1,000 years, and many grow considerably older.