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

Citizen scientists discover more than 1,000 new burial mounds

Over the past few years, citizen scientists from the Heritage Quest project have scoured the entire Veluwe and Utrechtse Heuvelrug areas for unknown archaeological heritage. One of the results of this research is that the ...

Study on pesticide toxicity in Germany calls for action

Pesticide risks in Germany have shown notable trends over the last 25 years, as a study of environmental scientists from the RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau has recently found out. The risk for terrestrial vertebrates has decreased, ...

It isn't the picky eaters that drive soil microbial metabolism

Interactions among microorganisms in soil lead to the release of nutrients derived from complex organic matter in that soil. This community metabolism creates food for both microbes and plants. However, scientists don't fully ...

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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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