Discuss the importance of soil in the environment - Essay Example

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Life is impossible without soil as it holds biotic as well as abiotic components such as rivers, landforms and rocks. The nature of soil vary from place to place and hence it decides the distribution and range of biota…
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Discuss the importance of soil in the environment
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Soil is the most imperative part of the natural milieu. Life is impossible without soil as it holds biotic as well as abiotic components such as rivers, landforms and rocks. The nature of soil vary from place to place and hence it decides the distribution and range of biota. Soil controls the course of water as well as chemicals between earth and atmosphere. Soil is the source of gases such as carbon-di-oxide and oxygen. Soil is the reflection of natural as well as human activities. Soil is a home of millions and responds well to the environmental modifications and therefore soil plays vital role in the existence of life on the planet (Web: "Why is soil so important?").
The three most imperative components of soil encompass clay, silt and sand. Texture of the soil depends on the composition of these components in various proportion. These components together with various chemical elements are responsible for supporting plant growth. Various minerals such as Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) are also present in the soil. Appropriate and balanced composition of these minerals defines soil fertility. Too high concentration of nitrogen retards the growth, while high concentration of phosphorus is responsible for reduced water absorption. High bulk of phosphate is responsible for binding with zinc and also hinder sulfur availability. High load of potassium curtails the availability of boron which is required for conversion of nitrogen and also for the transfer of starch from leaves to storage tissues such as fruits. Excessive potassium brings blockage of manganese uptake (Web: "Soil Fertility For Specific Crops"). Similarly poor concentration of NPK retards plant growth.
The components of soil are responsible for its texture, various tests are being carried out to understand the nature of the soil. One such test is ribbon test where moist soil is rolled into long thin shape followed by squeezing it between forefinger and thumb in order to form longest and thinnest ribbon. Larger percentage of clay is responsible for longer ribbon while greater silt content tends to flake and does not form ribbon (Web: "Soil Texture Key")
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"Soil Texture Key". Web. 7 November 2013.
"Soil Fertility For Specific Crops". Web. 7 November 2013.
"Why is soil so important?". Web. 7 November 2013.
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