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Latest Soil Stories

It's All About The Dirt
2012-06-17 03:00:40

[ Watch the Video ] A new study by researchers at BYU, Duke and the USDA finds that soil plays an important role in controlling the planet´s atmospheric future. The researchers set out to find how intact ecosystems are responding to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The earth´s current atmospheric carbon dioxide is 390 parts per million, up from 260 parts per million at the start of the industrial revolution, and will likely rise to more than 500 parts per...

Predator-Created Domino Effect Leads To Ecosystem Changes
2012-06-17 05:42:51

Creatures that are feeling the pressure from the presence of predators are known to alter their diets, thus having a noteworthy impact on their habitats, claims new research published in the journal Science. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), researchers from Yale University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem teamed up to study changes in the types of plant life consumed by grasshoppers under different circumstances. Ordinarily, grasshoppers eat nitrogen-rich grass,...

2012-06-16 01:03:07

Tiny microbes are at the heart of a novel agricultural technique to manage harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have discovered how microbes can be used to turn carbon dioxide emissions into soil-enriching limestone, with the help of a type of tree that thrives in tropical areas, such as West Africa. Researchers have found that when the Iroko tree is grown in dry, acidic soil and treated with a combination of natural fungus and bacteria, not only does the tree flourish, it also...

The Productivity Of Our Soil Affected From Grasshoppers 'Stressed' By Spiders
2012-06-14 15:58:15

How do grasshoppers who are being frightened by spiders affect our ecosystem? In no small measure, say researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Yale University in the US. A grasshopper that is in fear of an attacker, such as a spider, will enter a situation of stress and will consume a greater quantity of carbohydrate-rich plants — similar to humans under stress who might eat more sweets. This type of reaction will, in turn, cause chemical changes in the...

Weird Lunar Soil Behaviour Explained With Nanoparticles Found In Moon Glass Bubbles
2012-06-13 15:48:29

A stunning discovery by QUT soil scientist Marek Zbik of nano particles inside bubbles of glass in lunar soil could solve the mystery of why the moon's surface topsoil has many unusual properties. Dr Zbik, from Queensland University of Technology's Science and Engineering Faculty, said scientists had long observed the strange behavior of lunar soil but had not taken much notice of the nano and submicron particles found in the soil and their source was unknown. Dr Zbik took the lunar...

shutterstock_59530873
2012-06-13 11:43:26

Michael Crumbliss for redOrbit.com China has the worst pollution problems in the world. And it is getting worse as the utterly unchecked rush to industrialization continues. Much of this is pollution is linked to coal mining and power generation, but the sources of toxins are myriad. While air and water pollution are highly visible and overwhelming on an everyday basis, the worst long-term toxic buildup may be lurking quietly underfoot in the soil. Nowhere is the global push to restore...

2012-06-12 11:48:47

Insects can use plants as ℠green phones´ for communication with other bugs. A new study now shows that through those same plants insects are also able to leave ℠voicemail´ messages in the soil. Herbivorous insects store their voicemails via their effects on soil fungi. Researchers from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Wageningen University (WUR) discovered this unique messaging service in the ragwort plant. The influential journal Ecology Letters will...

Microbes Capable of Surviving Harsh, Mars-Like Conditions Discovered
2012-06-09 05:58:05

Soil samples obtained from South American volcanoes have revealed a smattering of different microbe types that have somehow managed to survive in extreme conditions, the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU-Boulder) announced in a June 8 press release. According to the university, the scientists behind the research discovered bacteria, fungi, and a different type of simple organism known as archaea living in conditions similar to Mars -- a landscape which they dub "some of the most...


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
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.