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

How one fern can soak up so much arsenic—and not die

Arsenic-contaminated soil and groundwater pose risks to millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Cleaning up the toxic metal is a laborious and expensive process, with some remediations of arsenic ...

New potential for tracking severe storms

Even just within the last couple of months, Cyclones Fani, Idai and Kenneth have brought devastation to millions. With the frequency and severity of extreme weather like this expected to increase against the backdrop of climate ...

How soil carbon can help tackle climate change

Maintaining soil organic matter is critical to tackling climate change because soil organic matter is rich in carbon. Soil carbon is also the keystone element controlling soil health, which enables soils to be resilient as ...

Dehesa health starts from the ground up

Holm oak decline threatens dehesa sustainability. Though the pseudofungus oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomisería is thought to be the main cause of holm oak decline, climate conditions have been shown to influence it, as well. ...

New discovery could alleviate salty soil symptoms in food crops

New research published in Nature Scientific Reports (opens in new window) has found that a hormone produced by plants under stress can be applied to crops to alleviate the damage caused by salty soils. The team of researchers ...

Attacks on Brazil's ecological paradises threaten biodiversity

Brazil is home to more than half of the world's plant and animal species, but its ecological paradises are facing growing threats from agriculture and mining lobbies who have found a champion in far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, ...

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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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