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Latest Soil Stories

2012-08-31 12:09:43

In a surprising finding, North Carolina State University researchers have shown that certain underground organisms thought to promote chemical interactions that make the soil a carbon sink actually play a more complex, dual role when atmospheric carbon levels rise. In a paper published in the Aug. 31 edition of Science, North Carolina State University researchers show that important and common soil microscopic organisms, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), play a role in sequestering...

Soybeans Affected By Man-Made Materials In Soil
2012-08-21 12:42:09

Study says manufactured nanomaterials may be harmful to agricultural production Researchers contend that manufactured nanomaterials--now popular in consumer products such as shampoos, gels, hair dyes and sunscreens--may be detrimental to the quality and yield of food crops, as reported in a paper in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Manufactured nanomaterials are man-made materials produced by manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale....

Effects Of Manufactured Nanoparticles On Soybean Crops Examined By Scientists
2012-08-20 15:38:54

Sunscreens, lotions, and cosmetics contain tiny metal nanoparticles that wash down the drain at the end of the day, or are discharged after manufacturing. Those nanoparticles eventually end up in agricultural soil, which is a cause for concern, according to a group of environmental scientists that recently carried out the first major study of soybeans grown in soil contaminated by two manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs). The team was led by scientists at UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of...

Impulsive Micromanagers Help Plants Adapt And Survive
2012-08-14 13:25:19

Soil microbes are impulsive. So much so that they help plants face the challenges of a rapidly changing climate. Jen Lau and Jay Lennon, Michigan State University biologists studied how plants and microbes work together to help plants survive the effects of global changes, such as increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, warmer temperatures and altered precipitation patterns. The results, appearing in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that...

A Tree In The Sierra Nevada
2012-08-08 10:29:40

A coniferous view of the link between snowmelt and water supplies in the U.S. West The following is part two in a series on the National Science Foundation's Critical Zone Observatories (CZO). Part one describes the work of the Susquehanna Shale Hills CZO. White fir, ponderosa pine, Jeffrey pine. Sugar pine, incense cedar, red fir: These are conifers of the headwater ecosystems of California's Sierra Nevada. If trees could talk, what tales they might tell of the health of the...


Latest Soil Reference Libraries

Sheet Mulching
2013-08-05 12:36:35

Sheet mulching, or lasagna gardening, is the process of turning barren ground into a more nourishing garden without digging. It is a layered system that can be used for a yard garden or a topical box garden. Starting at the bottom is a weed proof barrier, like newspaper or cardboard. On top of that is a twelve-inch layer of compost or mulch material such as old clothes, yard clippings, and manure, which provides for nutrient rich soil. Weed-free soil is added prior to planting the desired...

Desertification
2013-04-02 09:46:56

Desertification is a form of land degradation in which a comparatively dry land area becomes more and more arid, normally losing its bodies of water along with its wildlife and vegetation. This is a result of a variety of factors, such as climate change and human activities. Desertification is an important global, ecological, and environmental issue. There is substantial controversy over the proper definition of the term “desertification”. The most broadly accepted of these is that of...

Land Degradation
2013-04-02 09:20:15

Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by one or more combination of human-induced processes acting on the land. It is also the gradual destruction or reduction of the quality and quantity of human activities, animal activities or natural means. It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or unwanted. Natural hazards are not included in the causes; however, human activities can indirectly affect...

Erosion
2013-04-01 12:48:39

Erosion is the process by which rock and soil are taken from the surface of the Earth by exogenetic processes like wind or the flow of water, and then transported and deposited in another location. While erosion is a natural process, human activities have increased by 10 to 40 times the rate at which erosion is happening globally. Excessive erosion results in problems such as desertification, decreases in agricultural productivity because of land degradation, sedimentation of waterways,...

Soil Salinity
2013-04-01 11:15:13

Soil salinity is the salt content within the soil; the process of increasing the content of salt is known as salination. Salt is a natural element of water and soils. Salination can be a result of natural processes such as the gradual withdrawal of an ocean or mineral weathering. It can be caused by artificial processes such as irrigation as well. Soils that are affected by salt are a result of excess accumulation of salts, normally most obvious at the surface of the soil. Salts can be...

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Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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