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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.[1] Soil consists of a solid phase (minerals & organic matter) as well as a porous phase that holds gases and water.[2][3][4] Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three-state system.[5] Overview[edit] Soil is a major component of the Earth's ecosystem. Soils can effectively remove impurities, kill disease agents, and degrade contaminants. History of the study of soil[edit] In 1856 J. Curtis F.

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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. Figure 1: Most soils contain four basic components: mineral particles, water, air, and organic matter. Organic matter can be further sub-divided into humus, roots, and living organisms.

Herbivore A deer and two fawns feeding on foliage A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example foliage, for the main component of its diet. As a result of their plant diet, herbivorous animals typically have mouthparts adapted to rasping or grinding. The secret to richer, carbon-capturing soil? Treat your microbes well Imagine if someone invented machines to suck carbon out of the atmosphere — machines that were absurdly cheap, autonomous, and solar powered, too. Wouldn’t that be great? But we already have these gadgets! They’re called plants. The problem is, plants die. So there’s one hurdle remaining: We have to figure out how to lock away the carbon in dead plants so that it doesn’t just return to the atmosphere. Conservation tillage: the end of the plough? Conservation tillage: the end of the plough? Farmers around the world plough their land. The practise of turning the soil before planting is so universal that the plough has for centuries been a symbol of agriculture. But, over the last 25 years, more and more farmers have been abandoning their ploughs. The reason is simple.

Soil Structure & Composition Sunday, 06 June 2010 07:35 The Plant Lady Living Matter Mostly in the top 4" of the soil. Parasitism Unlike predators, parasites typically do not kill their host, are generally much smaller than their host, and will often live in or on their host for an extended period. Both are special cases of consumer-resource interactions.[4] Parasites show a high degree of specialization, and reproduce at a faster rate than their hosts. Classic examples of parasitism include interactions between vertebrate hosts and tapeworms, flukes, the Plasmodium species, and fleas. Parasitism differs from the parasitoid relationship in that parasitoids generally kill their hosts.[5][6][7]

How to Assess Soil Composition The health of garden plants depends on the soil's composition — the proper balance of mineral pieces, organic matter, air, and water. Knowing the type of soil you have can help you choose techniques to enhance its good qualities. The best garden soil should have proper balance of minerals, water, organic matter, and air. The relative amounts of clay, silt, and sand particles determine your soil texture: Haber process The Haber process, also called the Haber–Bosch process, is the industrial implementation of the reaction of nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas. It is the main industrial procedure to produce ammonia:[1] Nitrogen is a strong limiting mineral nutrient in plant growth. What is Plate Tectonics? From the deepest ocean trench to the tallest mountain, plate tectonics explains the features and movement of Earth's surface in the present and the past. Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth's outer shell is divided into several plates that glide over the mantle, the rocky inner layer above the core. The plates act like a hard and rigid shell compared to Earth's mantle. This strong outer layer is called the lithosphere. Developed from the 1950s through the 1970s, plate tectonics is the modern version of continental drift, a theory first proposed by scientist Alfred Wegener in 1912. Wegener didn't have an explanation for how continents could move around the planet, but researchers do now.

Mycelium Fungal mycelium Microscopic view of a mycelium. This image covers a one-millimeter square. 8 Steps for Making Better Garden Soil Starting to build a new garden isn’t difficult. Most people begin by going out into their yards with a shovel or garden tiller, digging up the dirt and putting in a few plants. Following the organic and natural methods, add a little mulch or compost, and you’re well on your way to make good soil for your homegrown vegetables. Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio - Composting 101 All organic matter is made up of substantial amounts of carbon (C) combined with lesser amounts of nitrogen (N). The balance of these two elements in an organism is called the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio). For best performance, the compost pile, or more to the point the composting microorganisms, require the correct proportion of carbon for energy and nitrogen for protein production. Scientists (yes, there are compost scientists) have determined that the fastest way to produce fertile, sweet-smelling compost is to maintain a C:N ratio somewhere around 25 to 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, or 25-30:1. If the C:N ratio is too high (excess carbon), decomposition slows down. If the C:N ratio is too low (excess nitrogen) you will end up with a stinky pile.