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

Life support cooked up from lunar rocks

Engineers have successfully shown how water and oxygen can be extracted by cooking up lunar soil, in order to support future Moon bases. A laboratory demonstrator, developed by a consortium of the Politecnico Milano, the ...

Digital data drives better soil management

When we think about limited resources in agriculture, water is normally the first that springs to mind. The bad news is that just like water, soil is a finite resource that is fast deteriorating as a result of human activity. ...

Food systems and the bioeconomy

The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened our focus on food—whether it be due to concerns relating to supply chain integrity, the viability of rural communities, or a rediscovery of home-cooking during lock-down.

Enhancing revegetation of old fields in Western Australia

Wildflowers and native grasses are needed to boost revegetation in Western Australia's northern wheatbelt, according to new research from the Centre for Terrestrial Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Murdoch University's ...

Environmental monitoring of organic pollutants using plants

Researchers at Kobe University's Biosignal Research Center have successfully developed plants that can be used to detect organic pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which contaminate ...

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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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