Soils are rich ecosystems, composed of both living and non- living matter with a multitude of interaction between them. It is particularly concerned with the cycling of nutrients, formation, and stabilization of the pore structure. The inhabited organisms are in the upper layer of the soil. Where these organisms break down dead organic matter releasing the nutrients necessary for the plant growth. Soils are the environment in which seeds grow. They provide heat, nutrients, and water that are available for use to nurture plants to maturity. These plants get together with other plants and organisms to create an ecosystem.
The importance of the soil ecosystem:
Soils are very important for the life because they provide the medium for the plant growth. The soil is the natural protector of seeds and plants. It provides the physical support system for plants. Soils are the environment in which seeds grow. They provide heat, nutrients, and water that are available for use to nurture plants to maturity. These plants form together with other plants and organisms to create ecosystems. Soil filters our water provides important nutrients to our forests and crops and helps to regulate the earth’s temperature as well as many of the important greenhouse gases.
What is the role of the soil in the ecosystem?
Soils play an important role in all of our natural resources and ecological cycles like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, water, and nutrient. The soil is the homes to a various range of organisms such as worms and termites. Soil also functions insects and microbes very tiny single-cell organisms lives in the soils and depend on the soils for food and air. They provided the needed moisture and air for the breakdown of organic matter. An important of the soil is to store and supply nutrients to plants. The ability to perform this function is referred to as soil fertility.
Six main functions of the soil:
- Nutrients cycle: Soil is the important part of the ecosystem. It is the natures recycle system. Waste and dead materials are decomposed and their nutrients are made available for new life.
- Means for plant growth: The plant and roots obtain physical support from the soil to anchor them, air, water, temperature, moderation, protection from toxins and nutrients.
- Regulator of water supply: The soil stores water for the plant for use which affects the water supply, or allowing water to seep down into the groundwater. Contaminated water may be also purified as it passed through the soil and removes impurities.
- Atmospheric modification: Soils breathe. Gases are exchanged between the soil surface and the air. Gases like oxygen and methane are absorbed, while gases like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are released. The soil provides a valuable carbon sink. The evaporation of soil moisture also affects air temperature and weather patterns.
- Habitat for many organisms: Many living things, from small mammals and reptiles to tiny insects and microorganisms, find their homes in the soil.
- Foundation for construction: Soil provides building material such as bricks and gravel. It also provides the solid foundation for all our roads and buildings.
Services of soil ecosystem:
- The soil is the formation and prevents the soil erosion to form.
- Helps in the prevention of pests and diseases.
- Helps the soil process to remove the toxic substances.
- Production of food, fuel, and energy.
- Clean air and water.
- Helps in the growth of the plant.
- Transfers the plant for fertilization.
- Maintains the soil structure.
- Seed distributing or spreading.
- Decomposition and cycling of organic matter.