Since the mid-19th century, increasing temperatures have resulted in the retreat of mountain glaciers on all continents. When glaciers retreat, they leave “glacial debris.” This debris serves as new substrate for soil and ecosystem development. This is often called “parent material” in the process of soil formation. The glacial debris is initially loose material, which … Continue reading How did the forest develop at the Hailuogou glacier area?
What is soil made of?
Soils can look like they are a homogeneous material. But in reality, soil contains solid particles of different sizes and different types. Some of the particles are minerals, and others are organic matter. There are spaces between the particles called pores. These pores may be filled with air or water. Soil is a mixture of … Continue reading What is soil made of?
Microbial respiration with iron
Most living creatures extract the energy in food through a process called respiration. During respiration, organisms take in oxygen and organic carbon (food) and breathe out water and carbon dioxide. Humans (and most creatures) require oxygen for respiration and therefore survival. But many microorganisms in soils do not need oxygen to survive! Unlike humans, soil … Continue reading Microbial respiration with iron
How does root depth affect the nearby soil?
Roots are not passive actors in the exchange of nutrients with soil. Their growth helps the plant, and the environment!
In general, what relationship does soil color bear to climate?
What is the first color that comes to mind when you envision soil? Is it brown, black, yellow, or red? How about white, gray, green, or blue? Any of these answers are correct depending on where you are from! It is true; soils come in an incredible range of colors. Complete soil profile, Maracai, Brazil, … Continue reading In general, what relationship does soil color bear to climate?