Discovering the Properties of Soils

Powerful Essays
Discovering the Properties of Soil
“Soil provides anchorage; it is a source of water and nutrients supplies; and it is the site where organisms and chemical substances act upon roots. Soil properties take on meaning only in terms of their functional relationship with plant species” (Stone 7). A soil scientist must use the scientific method; the process of hypothesis, testing hypothesis with experiments, drawing conclusions, and retesting hypothesis to explain variations in soil properties. Soil scientists also use this method to describe soils in their natural environment. There is importance in the knowledge of soil properties, since many of these properties are beneficial for human use. These consist of chemical, biological, and physical properties that help determine what kinds of plant species may occur, the amount of water the soil can hold, and the different types and amounts of micro-organisms that are present. These specific properties of soil are gateways into scientific research which allow scientists to analyze soils and their relationship with the environment. The primary method for identifying and describing soils is the employment of soil surveys and ecological inventories. A soil scientist must study, observe, and relate the ways soils vary in productivity, and also find ways to conserve and improve soil productivity. Describers of these soil sites use these objectives to complete ecological unit inventories (a compilation of plant, soil, geology, landform, and climate data), that are found in the analysis of thirty-thousand acres on the Uinta national forest.
“Like the peel of an orange, the soil covers the underlying geological materials of the earth” (Brady 6). Properties of soils are rich with information th...

... middle of paper ...

...indsor: Macbeth Division of Kollmorgen Instruments
Corporation, 1994. Print.
Natural Resources Conservation Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Field Book for
Describing and Sampling Soils, Version 3.0. By P. J. Schoeneberger, Philip J. Schoeneberger, D. A. Wysocki, E. C. Benham, and W. D. Broderson. Lincoln, Neb.: National Soil Survey Center, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2012. Print.
Natural Resources Conservation Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Keys to Soil
Taxonomy. 11th ed. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2010. Print.
Stone, Earl L. "Soil and Man's Use of Forest Land." Address. Fourth North American Forest
Soils Conference. Forestry and Soils: The Contributions of Dr. Earl L. Stone to Forest Soil Science. Gainesville: University of Florida, 1985. 5-13. Print.
Get Access