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Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Soils and Agriculture

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Department
Geography
Course
GGR107H1
Professor
Prof.Lakefield
Semester
Fall

Description
CHAPTER 4 SOILS AND AGRICULTURE41 Soil as a system soil complex plantsupporting system consisted of disintegrated rock organic matter wastesgases nutrients and microorganisms is fundamental to life and provision of food for growing human population renewable if managed carefullyin risk in many locations in the world consists of half mineral matter with the rest of the space taken up by air water soil gases organic matter in soil includes living and dead microorganisms as well as decayingmaterial derived from plants and animals single teaspoon of soil can contain 100 million bacteria 500000 fungi 100000 algae50000 protists soil itself meets definition of ecosystem because is composed of living and nonlivingcomponents that interact in complex ways411 Soil formation is slow and complex formation of soil plays key role in terrestrial primary succession which begins whenlithospheres parent material is exposed to effects of atmosphere hydrosphere and biosphere parent material base geological material in particular location can include lava or volcanicask rock or sediment deposited by glaciers or riverslakesoceans windblown dunes processes most responsible for soil formation weathering erosion deposition decompositionof organic matter weathering describes the physical chemical biological processes that break down rocksand minerals turning large particles into small particles called regolith which are theprecursors of soils physical weathering or mechanical weathering breaks down rock without triggeringchemical change in patent material ie wind and rain chemical weathering when water substances chemically interact with parent material wet warm conditions accelerate chemical weathering icidic groundwater such as bogs biological weathering occurs when living things break down parent material byphysical or chemical means ie a tree accelerating weathering through physical action of its roots as they growand rub against rock weathering is first step in soil formation another process often involved erosionmovement of soil from one area to another may sometimes help form soil in one locality by depositing material it has depleted fromanother transport process itself can promote physical weathering as transported particles collideand scrape against one another erosion particularly prevalent when soil denuded of vegetation leaving surface exposed towater and wind that may washblow it away
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