Exam Syllabus 2001 3. Biotic System major factors and processes influencing the nature of soils ( podsolization, laterization, calcification, salinization, gleying ). What is soil?. “Soil is a natural body
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3. Biotic System
major factors and processes influencing the nature of soils (podsolization, laterization, calcification, salinization, gleying)
“Soil is a natural body
comprised of solids (minerals & organic matter), liquid and gases that occurs on the the land surface, occupies space, and is characterized by one or both of the following:
horizons that are distinguishable from the initial material as a result of additions, losses, transfers and transformation of energy and matter
or the ability of supporting rooted plants in a natural environment. ……
The upper limit of soil is the boundary between soil and air, shallow (<2.5m), live plants or undecomposed plant materials.
The lower boundary is arbitrarily set at 200 cm for the purpose of soil classification”
(Keys to Soil Taxonomy, USDA)
-all the horizons taken together
-layers distinguished from one another on the basis of certain physical & chemical properties
A soil system - Interactions with other systems
Soil forming processes
-organic or mineral materials that are transported into the location where a soil is forming
-When plants die or leaves fall on to the surface they decompose adding organic matter to the soil.
-Mineral materials can be brought by water, ice, wind or human beings.
-Processes: Plant litters and animals dropping
Transportation and deposition by denudation agents
4. Removal / Losses
-soil forming materials completely removed from the soil profile
-lost in 4 forms: gases, solutes, particulate material & vegetation removal
Soil erosion by winds, water or human beings
Harvesting of crops