Bormann, Bernard T. Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
- Soil types
- Cycling of carbon, nutrients, and water
- Rates of soil formation
- Soil-plant interface
- Effects of forest disturbances
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The natural medium for growth of tree roots and associated forest vegetation. Weathering of underlying rock, climatic factors (such as rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations), living organisms, topography, and disturbances (such as glacial action, flooding, erosion, and agriculture) interact over time to produce soil. Soil helps sustain the productivity and diversity of terrestrial life by serving as the source of nutrients and water for plants, by physically anchoring plants, and by serving as the habitat for soil organisms. Far more numbers and species of organisms live belowground than aboveground. Because soil usually develops quite slowly, soil conservation is important for maintaining the productivity of the land. Soil also acts as a water purifier; organic substances and most pollutants are arrested in upper soil horizons, purifying water before it enters streams or aquifers. Soil is the repository of life; as plants and animals die, they become part of the soil. Soil profiles reveal much about the soil history, including plant and animal remains, disturbances such as flooding, volcanic ash deposits, windthrow events, rotting wood, charcoal from fires, and past human activities. See also: Soil; Soil ecology
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information