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Latest Soil Stories

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...

Earthworm Species Thriving In Ireland As Global Temperatures Rise
2012-07-26 07:04:21

Scientists have discovered a thriving population of Mediterranean earthworms in an urban farm in Dublin, Ireland. The findings by University College Dublin scientists published in the journal Biology Letters on 25 July 2012 suggest that rising soil temperatures due to climate change may be extending the geographical habitat range of the earthworm Prosellodrilus amplisetosus. "Soil decomposer species including earthworms are frequently introduced into non-native soils by human activities...

Reign Of Acid Rain Is Far From Over
2012-07-26 05:46:01

New connection between climate change and acidification of Northeast's forests and streams Acid rain. It was a problem that largely affected U.S. eastern states. It began in the 1950s when Midwest coal plants spewed sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air, turning clouds--and rainfall--acidic. As acid rain fell, it affected everything it touched, leaching calcium from soils and robbing plants of important nutrients. New England's sugar maples were among the trees left high and...


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
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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