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Soil Teeming with Life: A Detailed Summary

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IVSAT 2024

The study of soil as a natural resource on the earth's surface, along with its creation, classification, and mapping, as well as its physical, chemical, biological, and fertility features in connection to its usage and control, is recognised as soil science.

Soil contains a combination of organic material, minerals, gases, liquids, and living organisms which support the life. Soil act as a reservoir of numerous microscopic organisms which are not visible to us. One spoonful of fertile soil is believed to contain approximately a billion different types of organisms, notably earthworms, nematodes, protozoa, fungi, bacteria, and other arthropods. The availability of crop nutrients in agricultural systems is most closely related to the health of the soil. Plants absorb soil moisture to obtain the necessary water content for them.

What is Soil Teeming?

It is stated that "soil is teamed with life". Teeming means "coming together as a team or coordinating with one another." Thus, soil with various living organisms that work together to nourish and preserve life is referred to as having soil teeming.

The more valuable resource for humanity is soil, which is home to millions or billions of living organisms with a dynamic ecosystem. Animals and plants that live in the soil contribute to its continued fertility. Organic waste is created by the decomposition of plants, and soil is combined with the animals that bury it. Animal waste serves as a fertiliser and improves the soil's quality. In addition to rodents, mice, rabbits, earthworms, centipedes, and other creatures, the soil is considered a natural environment for a wide range of microorganisms, a few of which are dangerous, while others carry out certain important biological activities.

Healthy soil contains a lot of bacteria, protozoa, etc. in it. Enzyme evolutions carried out by bacteria play a major role in the development of plants, food crops, and other organisms in the soil ecosystem. In clay soil, there is an ion exchange process, leading to chemical reactions, which, in turn, control the plant growth and provide a good indicator of the soil's fertility.

Changes in soil profiling are caused by the ageing of the soil. The various soil layers are as follows:

  • Organic matter, which is made of decomposing and dead stuff

  • Water

  • Clay

  • Sand

  • Gravel

Practices such as using cover crops, manure, and conservation tillage can promote healthy soil organisms and stop the soil from being degraded by factors like acidity, compression, erosion, and other things.

Why are Living Organisms Classified?

Living organisms are divided largely to prevent confusion, make organism research simple, and discover how different living organisms relate to one another. Following a variety of criteria, scientists have categorised living organisms into various kingdoms, phyla, classes, etc. Let's look into the classification of living organisms in more detail.

Millions to billions of life forms, ranging from tiny microorganisms to enormous animals and mankind, consider our mother earth as a home. Different plants, insects, birds, and animals can be found around us. These live organisms have been classified into their corresponding categories according to their particular unique features.

There are many distinct types of animals, birds, insects, and plants, each with a unique habitat, cycle of life, and source of survival. Additionally, even within the same country, their identities vary from one location to another. Experts have categorised and labelled them according to their peculiarities to prevent this kind of mistake.

Thus, living organism classification is the division of living organisms into several subgroups and categories based on their similarities and variations. Biological classification is the name given to such a classification procedure in Science. Taxonomy is the name given to the branch of Science that deals with the classification and nomenclature of all living organisms. Overall physical, genomic, and metabolic differences serve as the basis for classification in this instance.

Benefits of Biological Classifications

As a result of biological classification, we can:

  • Become familiar with how organisms evolve.

  • Group the organisms according to their characteristics.

  • Discover many organisms, both living and extinct.

  • Describes how the diverse creatures are related to one another.

  • Learn how plants, animals, and other living organisms are interdependent and beneficial to humanity.

Soil Animals

The decomposition process is aided by the soil animals, who ingest organic materials. One such example is earthworms. In addition to eating plants and other organic matter, they emit worm casts into the soil, serving as food for other species. They aid in soil aeration as well. Along with earthworms, nematodes or roundworms are another types of organism that can be seen in the water surrounding soil particles.

While some nematodes consume living roots and some feed on dead material, most consume other living organisms. Aside from Rhizobium, which is found in soil with little nitrogen, the soil also has nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Such microbes supply the soil with nutrients and plants while fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Interesting Fact

The creation and porous structure of soil particles depend mainly on water. To carry out biological processes that produce suitable conditions for the growth of living organisms, soil moisture is essential.

Key Features

  • The biological habitat with the highest level of complexity and diversity is found in the soil.

  • Soil contains millions of organisms that break down dead organic materials and improve soil fertility.

  • Preservation of crop nutrients with increased yield in farming depends on healthy soil ecology.

  • The soil's uppermost layer has a high fertile content that keeps more water from the organic matter supply.

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FAQs on Soil Teeming with Life: A Detailed Summary

1. How can humus in the soil develop and increase?

Humus can be produced naturally or by a composting process, like converting decaying organic waste from the garden or food leftovers into the soil. To enhance aeration, add compost while planting.

2. What kinds of soils are present in humid areas?

Due to the presence of organic matter, iron oxide, and humus acid, humid soil typically has the colours- red, black, and yellow.

3. What is the water absorption process?

The process of water absorption involves transpiration.