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Geoecology

soils/biomes

QuestionAnswer
soil a layer of natural materials on the earth's surface that is capable of supporting plant growth
compositon of soil 25% air 25% water 45% mineral matter 5% organic matter
sandy soils Large particles, some silt/clay, large pores, water drain freely.
silty soils between clay and sand, quite fertile, smaller pore, when wet heavy/poorly drained
clay soils small particles/stick together, waterlogged, sticky, very sticky, difficult to cultivate
loam soils perfect soil, roughly equal sand,silt,clay. retains some moisture, free drained, very fertile
crumb structure small, rounded grains, near surface, excellent for drainage and air movement
platy structure thin, flat particles, overlap, compacted soil, impede roots, hold up movement of water
blocky structure cube shaped particles, fit together, few pore spaces
low ph (below7) acidic soil, heavily leached, lack minerals, usually infertile
neutral soils PH level of 7
high ph (above7) limey/high levels of calcium, develop on chalk or limestone region/desert or drought
humus organic matter in soils that is formed from decaying organic matter such as fallen leaves, grasses, animal waste etc.
humus contrent micro-organisms break down organic matter. makes soil look dark brown/black, reduce soil erosion, rich in nutrients
soil moisture enables plant roots to recieve nutrients in solution, influenced bytexture and structure of the soil
brown/black soil lot of humus/ very fertile
grey soils 'washed out' humus/nutrients leached, poor drainage/waterlogged naturally infertile
red soils presence of iron oxide, develop in regions warm/moist/tropical/equatorial climate iron breaks down and rusts low in nutrients/organic matter
Created by: keithdonagh10