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SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY What do we know about soil now? What makes up soil? What lives there? Where does soil come from?

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Presentation on theme: "SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY What do we know about soil now? What makes up soil? What lives there? Where does soil come from?"— Presentation transcript:

1 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY What do we know about soil now? What makes up soil? What lives there? Where does soil come from? How does soil contribute to the ecological community of place?

2 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY The soil ecosystem is called “The Pedosphere” (From the root word pedology, which means the study of soil). What other geospheres, or global regions do we study in science? CLICK HERE CLICK HERE to see how the Pedosphere connects to other cycles and spheres on the planet.

3 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Some terms we should learn to talk about soils:

4 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Some terms we should learn to talk about soils: Definition: Ecosystem: An interacting natural environment which includes all the animal and plant life that is found.

5 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Some terms we should learn to talk about soils: Definition: Organic: Materials that contain carbon compounds. Most living things contain carbon compounds.

6 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Some terms we should learn to talk about soils: Definition: Organic: Materials that contain carbon compounds. Most living things contain carbon compounds. Definition: Inorganic: Materials such as minerals that are not products of organic life.

7 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Parts of a Soil Ecosystem:

8 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Soil Air: Pore spaces for the exchange of gases. Soil Water: Stored in the soil for plant use. Contains important nutrients for plant growth. Soil Organic Matter: Organic materials and biological life that is incorporated into the soil. Soil Minerals: rocks and soil particles that make up soil solids.

9 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Soil Air: About 25% Soil Water: About 25% Soil Organic Matter: About 6% Soil Minerals: About 44%

10 SOIL AS AN ECOSYSTEM INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Soil Air: About 25% Soil Water: About 25% Soil Organic Mater: About 6% Soil Minerals: About 44%

11 HOW SOIL FORMS INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY 5 Factors in the landscape combine to make the soil we find in a place and define the characteristics that soil will have.

12 HOW SOIL FORMS INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Factor 1: Parent Material Definition: Any material from which soil is formed. Whether it is bedrock found in place, volcanic debris, material that has been blown in by wind, or carried and deposited by water or glaciers, soils form out of the Parent Material.

13 HOW SOIL FORMS INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Factor 2: Climate Definition: The average weather patterns for a region that occur over a number of years. Climate factors such as temperature and amount of precipitation affect how biological factors change the soil, and how nutrients and minerals are leached through the soil profile.

14 HOW SOIL FORMS INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Factor 3: Topography Definition: The slope of the land which can be one of the things that determines the type of soil that is formed. Soils are typically less developed on hilltops and hillsides, because soil is slowly moved by erosion factors. Soil is deeper and more developed in low areas.

15 HOW SOIL FORMS INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Factor 4: Biologic Influences Definition: Living organisms that influence the development of the soil and soil profile. Plants incorporate organic matter into the soil, and in some cases change the chemistry of the soil. Microbes and insects break down organic matter and create pore spaces in soil.

16 HOW SOIL FORMS INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Factor 5: Time Definition: The amount of time the soil has been forming. The length of time the other soil forming factors have been in place changing the nature of the soil is an important component to how the soil appears to us today.

17 THE SOIL PROFILE INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY The 5 Soil Forming Factors combine to make the soil below us. Every place is a little different, depending on the specifics of how the 5 soil forming factors have combined at that specific place.

18 THE SOIL PROFILE INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY As soils continue to form they can develop several distinctive layers from the top (surface of the ground) down into the Earth. When we look at the soil as a vertical column we call is a “Soil Profile.”

19 LAYERS OF A SOIL PROFILE INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Duff: Duff is made up of leaf litter and other organic materials lying on the surface of the soil (not always present in a profile).

20 LAYERS OF A SOIL PROFILE INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Topsoil: The fertile layer of soil below the duff layer, and above the subsoil. The fertile layer that has organic matter incorporated within it and contains many nutrients.

21 LAYERS OF A SOIL PROFILE INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Subsoil: The layer of soil in a soil profile that is below the topsoil.

22 LAYERS OF A SOIL PROFILE INTRODUCTION TO SOILS FIELD STUDY Bedrock: A solid layer of rock beneath some soils (not shown in this picture).


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