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Soil is a product of its natural environment and the ways in which humans use it" Discuss

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Introduction

"Soil is a product of its natural environment and the ways in which humans use it" Discuss In this essay, I will be looking at soil and will be discussing the different factors which influence the soil, the different types of soil found as a result in the UK and the ways in which humans can affect the soil. Soil is a thin surface layer of the earths crust and provides the foundation for plant and animal life on land. Soil is a large, dynamic ecosystem and is made up of many different components such as; water, mineral matter, air and organic matter. The residual layer of weathered material that has accumulated over a long period of time is known as regolith. There are many different factors that can affect and influence the soil, these include; the parent material, the climate, topography, organisms and time. The parent material is the underlying rock which is eroded at different rates and supplies the minerals to the soil, and this can make a large impact on the soil. The minerals that are provided by the parent material erode at different rates and use different processes of weathering. ...read more.

Middle

This increased acidity results in mor humus, and this creates a thick peaty layer on the soils surface. Litter takes a long time to decompose due to the temperature and the acidity, this results in fewer organisms. Plants that are common with podzol formations are coniferous plantations and moor land, podzols are generally not good for farming due to their high acidity, but are suitable to be used for the grazing of animals. The surface layers of podzols are very peaty because of poor organic decomposition under cold, wet and acid conditions. Brown Soil is the most common type of soil which can be found in the UK due to it covers 40% of the UK, and is an excellent soil for agriculture. Brown Soil is common in a temperature range of -5�C� to 30�C and has a rainfall over 300mm and the evaporation is over 300mm. Brown soil is found in mid latitudes and a humid temperature. It is very common in deciduous woodland, due to their leaves falling I winter; these leaves decompose quickly and add to the nutrients in the soil. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a result, there is less oxygen and less nutrients found in the soil, this also restricts the range of vegetation that can be found on footpaths. Urbanisation is the last factor I will be looking at that affects soil in the UK. This results in very little vegetation as all the soil and land are covered with cement which is then used for building on. Due to the little vegetation, it can result in no humus and a very limited supply of nutrients to the soil. In this essay I have looked at the five main factors that can affect soil; climate, parent material , Organisms, Topography and Time. I have looked at each factor individually and looked at how it can affect the type of soil. I have also looked into the three main types of soil found in the UK; Brown soil, Gley soil and Podzol. I have looked into each individual soil and seen what locations they are found in and what sort of environments they thrive in. I have also looked into the differences between these three types of soil. Finally, I looked into the main human factors that can affect soil; Farming, Urbanisation and Trampling and footpaths. ...read more.

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