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REVIEW SOIL: TEXTBOOK 1. Soil environment must supply the soil with mineral nutrients, water, and oxygen.

(ph and salinity are also important.) 2. Plants need Nitrate, Phosphate, Potassium and Calcium. Weathering: Freezing and thawing, heating and cooling, the abrasive action of sand particles carried by wind and water (desertification). Roots growing into small cracks and various chemical reactions. Leaching: when nutrient ions are released into the soil, roots may absorb them. Nutrients could also be washed away by water percolating through the soil. LEACHING CAUSES SOIL INFERTILITY. 3. Rocks must be broken down so that nutrient ions are released into a water solution or a loosely bound state. Infiltration: the capacity of soil to allow water to soak into the surface. Between rains, plants rely on a reservoir of water. The Water holding capacity determines the size of this reservoir . 4. Soil Aeration: The ability of soil to allow the diffusion* of oxygen from the atmosphere into the soil and the reverse action of carbon dioxide. Its important because poor soil aeration reduces plant growth. Compaction and waterlogging prevent aeration. 5. Ph.: refers to the units and scale used to measure relative acidity and alkalinity. Neutral ph. is 7. Most animals and plants require a neutral ph. Most environments provide this. 6. Water balance is determined by the relative salt concentration both inside and outside the cell membrane. If the salt concentration outside the cells is too high the cell cannot absorb water. Most fresh water organisms are unable to sustain water with salt concentrations of 3.5 percent salt. 7. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants with out soil. The roots have continuous access to water, mineral nutrients and good aeration. 8. Soil texture: The size of particles that have broken off of rocks. These particles make up the mineral component of soil. The three categories of soils are silt, clay and sand. Loam is 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay. Infiltration and aeration are very good with large particle size and worsen as particle size decreases. Silty soils are intermediate. Consequently, in a given volume of soil, the greater the overall surface area of soil particulates, the greater the nutrient and water holding capacity. Soils are not ideal by themselves. 9. Humus: the residue of undigested organic matter that remains after the bulk of detritus has been consumed. Humus occurs on the top 8 to 12 inches of the soil (the zone where most organisms live.) The soil below is called the subsoil. Humus has amazing water and nutrient holding capacity. When soil is enhanced with humus, it increases the soil structure and aids with plant growth. Removal of topsoil results in an 85% decrease in crop yield. 10. What prevents growth in soil: Masses of small fungal filaments called myocorrhizae surround the root. These fungi draw nourishment from the plants.

11. Organic vs inorganic fertilizer: ADV. Inorganic chemicals can be provided very efficiently and economically. DIS. It substitutes for detritus, without detritus the soil organisms die. The organic matter however not provides sufficient amounts of certain required nutrients. SSC: Saturated soil culture- the soil is kept as close to saturation as possible, this decreases seepage and percolation flows. NPK: Fertilizer- Any organic or inorganic matter that is added to the soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. Quarter test: **Ribbon test: if you are able to roll dirt into a ball + Soil texture triangle:+ Water holding capacity: Soil Horizons: Organic matter (O) Surface soil (A) (Most organic matter) Subsoil (B)

Parent rock(C)

Desertification: When land that is fertile and has lots of life becomes a desert, as a result of drought and/or deforestation (roots hold the soils together) or inappropriate agriculture Erosion: Splash Erosion: when rain drops onto the soil and the clay and finer particulates are displaced in the raindrops. Pudding happens because of splash erosion, it is when holes are formed and puddles are made in which plants drown. Sheet Erosion: when water flows and it picks up smaller particles and washes them downstream. Rivulet erosion: when sheet erosion occurs and further down, small channels are formed and gorged out. When there are a few large channels. Salinization: Intolerable increase in salinity. As irrigation water leaves by evaporation, the salt remains in the soil. (Causes are irrigation). Buffering capacity: is the ability for soil to resist change.