Related topics: plants · climate change · nitrogen · atmosphere · carbon

Study uncovers the role of soil microbes in forest ecosystems

Assessing the function of forest ecosystems requires a deep understanding of the mechanisms of soil nitrogen mineralization. A study conducted by a team of researchers has shed light on how soil N-cycling genes drive soil ...

3D microelectrode chip helps soil nutrient analysis

Researchers have developed a novel microfluidic chip with capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (C4D) integrated 3D microelectrodes to rapidly and quantitatively determine abundant nutrient ions in soil.

Study reveals giant store of global soil carbon

Soil carbon usually refers only to the organic matter component of soils, known as soil organic carbon (SOC). However, soil carbon also has an inorganic component, known as soil inorganic carbon (SIC). Solid SIC, often calcium ...

Research team releases new fertilizer prediction tool

A new fertilizer recommendation tool, developed nationally in collaboration with the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, could save farmers millions of dollars annually while reducing excess nutrient losses to the environment.

Q&A: What to make of the earthquake that rattled the Northeast

The 4.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the Northeast on April 5 didn't seem to cause much damage, but it was enough to send tremors of concern through anyone who felt it. It's not that the region never experiences seismic ...

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Soil

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics. It is composed of particles of broken rock that have been altered by chemical and environmental processes that include weathering and erosion. Soil differs from its parent rock due to interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and the biosphere. It is a mixture of mineral and organic constituents that are in solid, gaseous and aqueous states. Soil particles pack loosely, forming a soil structure filled with pore spaces. These pores contain sol solution (liquid) and air (gas). Accordingly, soils are often treated as a three state system. Most soils have a density between 1 and 2 g/cm³. Soil is also known as earth: it is the substance from which our planet takes its name. Little of the soil composition of planet Earth is older than Tertiary and most no older than Pleistocene. In engineering, soil is referred to as regolith, or loose rock material.

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