You are on page 1of 2

APES in a Box: The Soil Profile

cross sectional soil layers from the surface of the soil down to the bedrock O Horizon: surface layer of partially and completely undecomposed plat residue such as leaf litter A Horizon: uppermost layer of soil commonly known as topsoil layer contains large amount of decomposing organic material known as hummus, and most of the living organisms that dwell in soil B Horizon: Layer commonly known as the subsoil !lant roots penetrate this area, but there is much less hummus and more inorganic content than the A Horizon " Horizon: Layer made predominantly of the parent #aterial for the soil !arent material is the bedrock and large unbroken pieces of rock that are weathered to produce the inorganic components of soil

APES in a Box: The Soil Triangle


What makes good quality soil? Hummus a lot of decaying organic material to provide nutrients Appropriate moisture content Living organisms in the topsoil !hysical $tructure of the soil the particle size of soil components Physical Structure of the Soil %norganic portion of soil is made up of particles of varying size including gravel, sand, silt and clay $oil scientists use the appro&imate ratio of sand, silt, and clay to categorize soils and give them their names A soil triangle is a tool that can be used to determine the name of a soil if the ' of sand, silt, and clay are known Loams best agricultural soil $hift to sandy ( lose water ( poor nutrient content "lay ( holds water too well ( water logging ( hard for plants to grow roots