Karten 22 Karten
Lernende 2 Lernende
Sprache English
Stufe Universität
Erstellt / Aktualisiert 27.01.2021 / 16.02.2021
Lizenzierung Keine Angabe     (Mestrot, Adrien (2020). Lecture: Soils I. Personal collection of Adrien Mestrot, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.)
1 Exakte Antworten 19 Text Antworten 2 Multiple Choice Antworten
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List at least 5 Soil Functions.

  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Habitat for Organisms
  • Flood Regulation
  • Source of Pharmaceuticals and Genetic Resources
  • Foundation for Human Infrastructure
  • Provision of Construction Materials
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Provision of Food, Fibre, Fuel
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Water Purification and Soil Contamination Reduction
  • Climate Regulation
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What is the "Pedosphere"?

The "Pedosphere" is the top most part of the lithosphere. It is in touch and in exchange with the Atmosphere (Earth's Atmosphere), the Hydrosphere (soil solution, groundwater, surface waters), the Biosphere (plants, animals, microorganisms) and the Lithosphere (rocky crust of the earth).

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Soils are regulatory systems. What are they're regulatory functions? They act as...

filters (e.g. pollutants)

buffers (e.g. pollutants, acidity)

transformers (e.g. minerals, organic material)

regulators (e.g. floods)

storages (e.g. carbon)

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What are threats to soils? Explain by listing four threats and elaborate on each. 

Land consumption: Mostly by urbanisation (space for housing, parking, leisure activities). It effects the infiltration capability which results in sealing and therefore poses an increased flood risk.

Soil compaction: Mostly through heavy machinerey in intensively cultivated areas. It results in a reduced groundwater recharge (reduced infiltration capability through compaction/ compression), an increased flood risk as well as the release of toxic gases (e.g. greenhouse gases).

Soil erosion: Caused by inappropriate soil management (e.g. compaction, fully removing vegetation, animal farming). This results in economic damage, water eutrophication and infrastructural damage.

Soil pollution: Many types of pollution affect soils.

  1. atmospheric pollution: can be man made (e.g. coal burning, industry, traffic) or natural (e.g. fires, volcanos). Acid Rain.
  2. ground or surface water pollution: e.g. arsenic and agricultural products (fertilizers, pesticides, etc), industrial products (gas, oils) and waste (sewage sludge, mining waste)
  3. geogenic pollution: naturally occuring toxins in bedrock, e.g. arsenic and cadmium

Pollutants are either inorganic, organic or radioactive.

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Important Topic Summarizing Question

Which factors have to apply for soils to fulfill their ecological and ecnomical functions?

List four factors
  1. Water balance and aeration (otherwise pollution of the ground water, microorganisms, etc.)
  2. Rootability
  3. Nutrients and soil organisms in balance
  4. Tolerable levels of pollutants for plants and living organisms
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Important Topic Summarizing Question

Regarding the soil functions, what must be taken into account and be respected by mankind?

  1. Soil is not reproducible (extremely slow regeneration)
  2. Support for structures (homes, etc.)
  3. Sink for pollutants (as long as they are healthy)

► Only an intact soil structure guarantess the functioning of soils. 

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How is soil created and what is it made of? What are the soil formation factors?

Lizenzierung: Keine Angabe
Climate, Organisms/ Biota, Relief, Parent Material/ Rocks, Time
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What is the soil composed of? List the three soil phases as well as their percentage of occurence. 

  1. Solid Phase (soil matrix of mineral phase and humus): 46% (minerals) 4% (humus)
  2. Liquid Phase (soil water): 25%
  3. Gaseous Phase (soil air): 25%