Soils 101 intro
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Intro to basic soil science

Intro to basic soil science

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Soils 101 intro Soils 101 intro Presentation Transcript

  • Introduction to Soils Kitty O’Neil, Ph.D. Cornell Cooperative Extension, NNY Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Introduction to Soils • At end of today’s discussion, you should… – Understand why soil is important – Explain to someone what soil is made of – Explain to someone how soil was/is formed – Understand that soils are highly variable in space and time Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Introduction to Soils • Importance of soil – Soil functions • Definition of soil • Components of soil – Mineral, organic matter, air, water • Soil formation, weathering – Parent materials – Soil formation processes – Soil differs from parent material • Soils vary in space and in time Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Why do we care about soil? ? Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Why do we care about soil? • Soil resources were and are a central factor in shaping human history and development. • Survival of humans and animals is dependent on light, water, air and soil. • Good, productive soil is a basic human need. – Grow our food, clean our water, clean our air Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Why do we care about soil? “All civilization is basically dependent upon natural resources. All natural resources …are soil or derivatives of soil. Farms, ranges, crops and livestock, forests, irrigation water, and even water power resolve themselves into questions of soil. Soil is therefore the basic natural resource.” - Aldo Leopold, Erosion and Prosperity, 1921 Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Why do we care about soil? • “Man—despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments—owes his existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” - Author unknown Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • What does soil DO? OK, so soil is important. Why? What does soil actually DO? ? Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • What does soil DO? 1. Soil serves as a natural medium for the growth of plants, 2. regulates and purifies water, 3. recycles organic wastes and nutrients, 4. provides habitat for soil organisms, and 5. serves as physical support for building and construction. = Soil functions Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • What is ‘soil?’ ? Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • What is ‘soil?’ Soil = the unconsolidated mineral and organic material on the immediate surface of the earth. Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Soil = solids + pore space Composition of typical soil, by volume From Univ. of Massachusetts Extension Vegetable Program, Soil Basics, part I Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Mineral particles > 2.0mm = Gravel 0.05 – 2.0mm, don’t stick together, gritty 0.002 - 0.05mm, smooth when wet <0.002mm, sticky when wet, hard clods when dry from Hillel, 1998, Environmental Soil Physics, Academic Press Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Organic matter • Wide range of organic materials – Living organisms • Plants, roots • Insects, nematodes • Fungi, bacteria – Non-living OM, products of decomposition of living things • Continuously decomposed, new compounds synthesized by other microorganisms • Holds mineral particles together to form aggregates • Over time, OM is lost from soil as CO2 Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Pore space = air + water • Air space provides gas exchange to organisms and plant roots • Water is needed by plants and organisms • Soil water also contains dissolved mineral compounds & nutrients needed by plants and organisms Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Where did soil come from? ? Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Where did soil come from? Soil has been formed by 5 major factors: 1. Parent material (original form) 2. Climate (precipitation and temperature effects) 3. Macro- and microorganisms 4. Topography (elevation, slope, position) 5. Time Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Where did soil come from? Parent material x Climate Organisms Topography Time Soil Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Where did soil come from? Parent material x Climate Organisms Topography Time Soil Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Soil Formation or ‘weathering’ from Brady & Weil, The Nature and Properties of Soils, Prentice-Hall publ. Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Soil Formation or ‘weathering’ From T.H. Cooper, Soil 2125, U. Minnesota, http://www.soils.umn.edu/academics/classes/soil2125/index.html Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Weathering varies with climate, organisms From T.B. Walther, Introduction to Geography, http://www.geography.hunter.cuny.edu/~tbw/ncc/ Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Weathering varies with topography From Smith, et al, Soil, in AccessScience@McGraw-Hill, http://www.accessscience.com, DOI 10.1036/1097-8542.631500; after Simonson et al., Understanding Iowa Soils, Brown, 1952 Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Soil originated from ‘parent material’ As a result of weathering, soil differs from the parent material : a) b) c) d) physically, chemically, biologically, and structurally. …this is an ongoing process… Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Soils vary widely Parent material x  Variable Climate Organisms Topography Time  Variable Soil  Really Variable Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Soils vary widely Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Soils vary widely Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Soils vary widely • Identify soil type – NRCS Soil Classification – Determine best land use – Plan buildings and plantings – Maps Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Lecture 1 - overview • Importance of soil – 5 Soil functions • Definition of soil • 4 Components of soil – Mineral, organic, air, water • Soil formation, weathering – Parent materials – Soil formation processes – Soil differs from parent material • Soils vary in space and in time Northern NY Field Crops Team
  • Questions? Northern NY Field Crops Team