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Winfried Blum; Schad, Peter: Nortcliff, Stephen:

Essentials of Soil Science

Soil formation, functions, use, and classification (World Reference Base, WRB)

2018. 171 pages, 101 figures, 22 tables, 24x17cm, 450 g
Language: English

ISBN 978-3-443-01090-4, paperback, price: 27.90 €

will be released Jan 1, 2018

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Keywords

soil sciencesoil classificationsoil functiontextbookintroduction

Contents

Synopsis top ↑

This book is a concise, yet comprehensive introduction to soil science and describes the development of soils, their characteristics and their material composition as well as their functions in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Soil functions include the delivery of goods and services for the human society, such as food, clean water, and the maintenance of biodiversity.

The book is profusely illustrated with many coloured figures and tables to accompany the text and ease its understanding. Particularly the chapter on soil classification, based on the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB), features numerous colour pictures of typical soil profiles to facilitate understanding the characteristics of particular soil types.
Chapters on soil protection and remediation and soil monitoring and the history of soil sciences conclude the book together with a very comprehensive alphabetical index, allowing for a quick and easy orientation about the most important terms in soil sciences.

The book addresses all those, who want to orient themselves about soils, their functions, their importance in terrestrial and aquatic environments and their contribution to the actual and future development of the human society, such as teachers, practitioners and students in the fields of agriculture, forestry, gardening, terrestrial and aquatic ecology and environmental engineering, and of course, beginning students of soil science.

Table of contents top ↑

Foreword 5
About the authors 6
1 Introduction 13
1.1 Definition of a soil 13
1.2 Soil functions 13
1.3 Soil science 14
2 Soil components 16
2.1 Mineral components 16
2.1.1 Parent materials 16
2.1.1.1 Rocks and technogenic materials 17
2.1.1.2 Minerals 19
2.1.2 Transformation processes of rocks and minerals 21
2.1.2.1 Weathering processes 22
2.1.2.1.1 Physical weathering processes 22
2.1.2.1.2 Chemical and biological weathering processes 22
2.1.2.2 Formation of new minerals (neoformation) 24
2.1.2.2.1 Formation of clay minerals from micas 25
2.1.2.2.2 Formation of clay minerals from end products of silicate weathering 25
2.1.2.2.3 Formation of oxides and hydroxides 26
2.1.3 The products of silicate weathering 27
2.1.3.1 Clay minerals 27
2.1.3.1.1 1:1 clay minerals 27
2.1.3.1.2 2:1 clay minerals 28
2.1.3.1.3 2:1:1 clay minerals 31
2.1.3.1.4 Allophanes 32
2.1.3.2 Oxides and hydroxides 32
2.1.3.3 Water-soluble components 34
2.1.4 The mineral fractions of soils 34
2.2 Organisms 36
2.2.1 Soil flora 36
2.2.2 Soil fauna 39
2.3 Organic components 40
2.3.1 Sources of soil organic matter 40
2.3.2 Transformation processes of soil organic matter 41
2.3.2.1 Mineralization of soil organic matter 41
2.3.2.2 Formation of stable soil organic matter 42
2.3.3 Humic substances 44
2.3.4 Humus forms 45
2.3.5 Organic matter content of soils 46
2.3.6 Soil organic matter and the global C budget 47
2.4 Soil water 48
2.4.1 Water-holding capacity of soils 49
2.4.1.1 Binding energy 49
2.4.1.2 Water capacity 49
2.4.1.3 Water tension 50
2.4.2 Water movement in soils 52
2.4.2.1 Flow of liquid water 52
2.4.2.2 Movement of water vapour within soils 53
2.5 Soil air 53
2.5.1 Composition of soil air 54
2.5.2 Gas exchange between soil and atmosphere 54
3 Soil characteristics 55
3.1 Physical properties of soils 55
3.1.1 Particle size and texture 55
3.1.2 Soil structure 57
3.1.2.1 Soil pore volume 58
3.1.2.2 Types of soil structure 60
3.1.2.3 The development of soil aggregate structure 62
3.1.2.3.1 Coagulation and peptization 62
3.1.2.3.2 Shrinking and swelling of soils 62
3.1.2.3.3 Frost action 63
3.1.2.3.4 The activity of soil organisms 63
3.1.3 Particle density and bulk density 64
3.1.4 Soil consistence 64
3.1.5 Soil temperature 64
3.1.6 Soil colour 65
3.2 Physico-chemical properties of soils 66
3.2.1 Ion exchange in soils 66
3.2.1.1 Cation exchange 67
3.2.1.1.1 The causes of cation exchange 68
3.2.1.1.2 Cation exchange processes 70
3.2.1.1.3 The properties of the ions 71
3.2.1.1.4 The properties of the ion exchanger 71
3.2.1.1.5 Ionic composition and ion concentration of the solution 71
3.2.1.1.6 Combined effects of the various factors 72
3.2.1.1.7 Theory of cation exchange in soils 73
3.2.1.2 Anion exchange 73
3.2.2 Soil pH (Soil reaction) 74
3.2.2.1 How the soil pH is established 76
3.2.2.2 The causes and consequences of soil acidity 76
3.2.2.2.1 Processes poducting H+ ions in soils 77
3.2.2.2.2 Loss of base cations from the soil 78
3.2.2.2.3 pH variation in soils with depth 78
3.2.2.3 Soil pH buffering 78
3.2.2.4 Why soil pH is important 80
3.2.3 Redox dynamics in soils 80
3.3 Biological properties of soils 82
4 Soil formation (Pedogenesis) 83
4.1 Factors of soil formation 83
4.1.1 Parent material (parent rock) of soils 84
4.1.1.1 Chemical and mineral composition of parent material 84
4.1.1.2 Structure and particle size of parent material 85
4.1.2 Climate 85
4.1.2.1 Temperature effect on soil formation 86
4.1.2.2 Water (as agent of soil formation) 86
4.1.2.3 Overall characterization of the climate 86
4.1.3 Relief and gravity 87
4.1.4 Biota (vegetation, animals, microorganisms) 88
4.1.5 The human impact on soils 89
4.1.6 Interaction of the soil-forming factors over time 90
4.2 Processes of soil formation 91
4.2.1 Transformation processes 91
4.2.2 Translocation processes 91
4.2.2.1 Salt, gypsum and carbonate transport 91
4.2.2.2 Clay migration 92
4.2.2.3 Transport of organic substances 92
4.2.2.4 Si, Al, Fe and Mn transport 92
4.2.2.5 Turbation (mixing processes) 94
4.2.2.6 Surface transport of soil material 95
4.3 The soil profile 95
4.3.1 Soil properties 95
4.3.2 Soil horizons 96
4.3.3 Horizon combinations and soil groups 99
4.4 Soil sequences 99
5 Soil Classification 101
5.1 Soil classification systems 101
5.1.1 Factor systems 101
5.1.2 Property-based systems 102
5.1.3 Combined systems 103
5.1.4 The International Soil Classification System WRB 103
5.2 The major soils of the world 104
5.2.1 Soils with initial to intermediate soil formation 105
5.2.2 Soils with reducing conditions 107
5.2.3 Soils with relatively higher clay contents in the subsoil 109
5.2.4 Soils with thick dark mineral topsoil horizons 111
5.2.5 Soils of arid and semi-arid regions 113
5.2.6 Strongly weathered tropical soils 116
5.2.7 Soils typical for polar and boreal zones 117
5.2.8 Soils with specific physical properties 119
5.2.9 Anthropogenic soils 121
5.3 Regional distribution of soils 122
5.3.1 How soils are associated with each other 122
5.3.2 Soil maps 126
6 Soils in the environment 129
6.1 Humans and the environment 129
6.2 Six major soil functions 129
6.2.1 Ecological functions of soils 129
6.2.1.1 Agricultural and forest production function 129
6.2.1.2 Filtering, buffering and transformer functions 129
6.2.1.3 Gene protection and gene reserve function 130
6.2.2 Technical-industrial, socio-economic and cultural functions of soils 131
6.2.2.1 Infrastructure function 131
6.2.2.2 Raw material supply function 131
6.2.2.3 Cultural function 131
6.3 Competing soil functions as a key to understanding soil conservation 131
6.4 Threats to soil functions – soil loss and soil pollution 133
6.4.1 Soil development and history of land use 133
6.4.2 Soil loss caused by infrastructural measures 134
6.4.3 Soil pollution 136
6.4.3.1 Air pollutants 137
6.4.3.1.1 Soil acidification 138
6.4.3.1.2 Soil pollution by toxic substances 139
6.4.3.1.3 Soil pollution by radionuclides 139
6.4.3.2 Pollution of surface waters and groundwater 139
6.4.3.3 Impacts from agriculture, forestry and waste management 139
6.4.3.3.1 Physical soil deterioration 139
6.4.3.3.2 Chemical and biological pollution 139
6.4.4 Summary: soil loss, soil pollution 141
6.5 Soil protection 141
6.5.1 Evaluation of soil loss and soil pollution 141
6.5.2 Principles of soil protection 142
6.5.3 Operational measures for soil protection 143
6.5.4 European soil protection strategy 144
7 Soil as a plant-growing medium 146
7.1 Soil fertility 146
7.2 The root zone 147
7.3 Water, air and heat supply 147
7.4 Nutrient supply 149
7.4.1 Nutrients 149
7.4.2 Binding forms of the nutrients 150
7.4.3 Nutrient availability 151
7.4.4 Identification of the status of supply 152
7.5 Soil group and soil fertility, soil evaluation 153
8 Soil information systems 156
8.1 Soil inventory and soil mapping 156
8.2 Soil monitoring 156
8.3 Soil information systems in the network of environmental monitoring 157
9 History of soil science 158
References 161
Subject index 165