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Soil order - Essay Example

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However, these soils receive insufficient rainfall due to the climate and it is for this reason that they always retain their soluble salts. The order of arid soils is characterized by three levels which are:
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Soil order and their associated environmental climates Arid soil Soil order The soil orders of arid soils are always free-draining. However, these soils receive insufficient rainfall due to the climate and it is for this reason that they always retain their soluble salts. The order of arid soils is characterized by three levels which are:
Oxisol
Vertisol
Entisol
It is however important to note that not all arid soils are classified in the aridsol order. Some have unique compositions that place them in other orders of soil. Oxisols are weathered soils found in the tropical regions. Their common compositions are quartz, aluminum and iron oxides. Also contained in this composition are low activity cays.
The vertisol order of arid soils comprises of soils that contain swelling clays that develop deep wide cracks at specific periods of the year. Entisol, on the other hand, comprises of soils that exhibit very little or absolutely no signs of formation of pedogenic horizons.
From the surface, arid soils comprise of torrifluvents followed by the torriorthents as one digs deeper beneath. Torrifluvents are recent deposits of alluvial plains that are flooded periodically. They make up the irrigated soils in arid climates. Torriorthents, on the other hand, have highly soluble salts and aridic moisture conditions because they are found deeper beneath the surface (Dregne 92).
Associated climate
Climate in the arid regions experience largely uninterrupted sunshine for the entire year. This comes as a result of the high pressure in the air and the stable descending air. Arid regions are found 30 degrees latitudes north and south of the equator. Temperatures in these regions range between 400C and 450C all round the year. Ordinarily, arid regions have little rains during winter. However, they are devoid of rains all through the year. Usually, the difference between the highest and the lowest rainfall in arid regions that is recorded in different years is approximately 50% of the mean annual rainfall (Schwabe 76).
Associated vegetation
Arid regions have scarce vegetation. The plant forms in these regions can be distinguished into 3. These are:
Ephemeral annuals
Succulent perennials
Nonsucculent perennials
The ephemeral annuals are plants that appear after the rains and complete their life cycles in a short season of about 8 weeks. Succulent perennials accumulate and store the absorbed water. These are cacti. Nonsucculent perennials make up the majority of vegetation or plants in the arid regions. They include hardy grasses, shrubs and woody herbs that can endure the harsh environmental conditions in the arid zones (Ribot, Antonio 95).
It goes without noticing the adaptive features of the vegetation that thrive in the arid zones. For instance, some have extensive root systems that run deep beneath the surfaces to reach the relatively moisturized strata of soil. Some also reduce their transpiration surfaces by either shading their leaves during summer or by rolling their leaves. This helps in regulating water loss through transpiration (Dregne 132). Other plants in these regions also have heavily wax-coated leaves that lessen transpiration. Plants with this adaptation are called sclerophylls.
Representative location (country)
The countries in which arid conditions are experienced include:
Region
Countries
West Africa
Benin
Mauritania
Burkina Faso
Ghana
Nigeria
Liberia
Sierra Leone
Mali
Senegal
East and Southern Africa
Angola
Eritrea
Botswana
Ethiopia
Madagascar
Kenya
Lesotho
Malawi
Rwanda
Sudan
Namibia
South Africa
South Sudan
Mozambique
Swaziland
Uganda
Zambia
Tanzania
Zimbabwe
Central Asia
Kazakhstan
Turkmenistan
Tajikistan
Kyrgyzstan
Uzbekistan
South Asia
Bangladesh
Pakistan
India
Sri Lanka
Central Africa
Cameroon
Gabon
DR of the Congo
Chad
Niger
Works Cited
Dregne, H E. Soils of Arid Regions. Amsterdam: Elsevier Scientific Pub. Co, 1976. Internet resource.
Ribot, Jesse C, Antonio R. Magalhães, and Stahis S. Panagides. Climate Variability, Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the Semi-Arid Tropics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Print.
Schwabe, Kurt. Drought in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions: A Multi-Disciplinary and Cross- Country Perspective. Dordrecht: Springer, 2013. Internet resource. Read More
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