B6e Summary

Ciara Comerford
Mind Map by Ciara Comerford, updated more than 1 year ago
Ciara Comerford
Created by Ciara Comerford almost 5 years ago


B6e: Life in Soil Covers: - soil structure - humus - experiments - soil food webs - soil importance - improving soils - earth worms - darwin

Resource summary

B6e Summary
1 Contents of Soil
1.1 complex mixture of
1.1.1 different sized minerals/particles
1.1.2 humus formed by decomposition of dead organic material
1.1.3 water
1.1.4 air
1.2 supports diverse community
1.2.1 of living organisms
1.3 made of mineral particles
1.3.1 between them are air spaces
1.3.2 around them is a film of water
2 Types of Soil
2.1 sandy soil
2.1.1 large mineral particles
2.1.2 large air spaces
2.2 clay soil
2.2.1 small mineral particles
2.2.2 much closer together
2.3 loam
2.3.1 mix of sand and clay
2.3.2 large amount of humus
3 Tests for...
3.1 Water Content
3.1.1 1. weigh, dry in a warm area and reweigh 2. repeat until a constant mass is reached 3. the difference is the mass of water in the original sample (you can use this to work out a %)
3.2 Humus Content
3.2.1 1. take a dried soil sample and weigh it 2. heat it strongly with a bunsen burner to burn the humus 3. the decrease in mass is equal to the amount of humus before
3.3 Air Content
3.3.1 1. fill a can with soil and find the mass of the can with soil 2. slowly add water to soak through the soil and fill air spaces 3. when water reaches top of can find the new mass of the can, soil and water 4. find the difference between the 2 masses, this is the mass of water added 1cm3 = 1g, which is also the amount of air
4 Life in the Soil
4.1 animals
4.1.1 Herbivores feed on living plant matter e.g. slugs, snails
4.1.2 Detrivores feed on dead organic matter e.g. earthworms, millipedes Farmers buy worms and add them to soil to improve it, good for soil structure & fertility
4.1.3 Carnivores feed on herbivores & detrivores e.g. spiders, centipedes
4.2 plants
4.2.1 need soil for minerals, water and to anchor them
4.3.1 aeration burrows create gaps increases 02 content in soil
4.3.2 drainage burrows create gaps reduces flooding
4.3.3 mixing eats soil and passes waste elsewhere nutrient distribution
4.3.4 making soil finer release CaCO3 into gut to help digestion of leaves easier for plants to grow
4.3.5 fertilising it excretion neutralises soil acidity
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