SOIL COMPONENTS – Mineral, Organic matter Living organisms, Water and Air
SOIL COMPONENTS – Mineral, Organic matter Living organisms, Water and Air | Soil being a natural body forming the thin loose upper most part of the earth’s surface, contained with numerous materials. The numerous materials contained in soils collectively referred to soil components. It is thus, soil components are the constituents of the soil body or materials that contained in the soil body.
The materials contained in the soil body are externally varied in nature. Some of the materials are organic in nature, while others are inorganic. Some are in liquid state, while others are in gaseous state. Thus; by considering the nature of the materials, the soil body recognized to have four major components, and they differ in their amount of abundance with in the soil body.
The main components present in the soil body include:-
2. Organic matter and living organisms.
Mineral matters in the soil body include all soil inorganic substances (particles) found in it. These materials are mainly the small pieces of rock of different size, derived from parent materials by weathering process.
The mineral particles present in the soil vary in size from smaller ones to larger ones. By considering the size of these mineral particles, soils recognized being distinctive as have particles of varied size. Thus; pedologists categorize soils into different types and include the following.
Fine gravel; 02mm – 20mm
Course sandy; 02mm – 2mm
Fine sandy; 0.02 – 0.2 mm
Silty; 0.02 – 0.002mm
Clay; less than 0.002mm
Mineral matters in relation to others have volume of abundance of about 45% of the total soil components.
ORGANIC MATTER AND LIVING ORGANISMS
Organic matter and living organisms together have volume of abundance of about 5% of the total soil components:
Organic matter include the remains of died organisms (plants and animals) that have been fully or partially decomposed and mix with the soil mass. Part of the soil body largely consists of the organic matters is known as humus.
Soil supplied with organic matters from organic manures applied to a soil through agronomical practices. Other sources include died plants, died animals, and industrial organic waste products.
The soil body contains living organisms. Life in the soil include; plants and animals. Plants are also known as flora, while the animals known as fauna.
Fauna is categorized into micro and macro fauna depending on the size of animal – organisms present is in the soil body. Micro fauna include the smallest animals that cannot be seen by naked eyes unless a microscope is used e.g. protozoa. While macro fauna include the organisms which are relatively large in size and can be seen by naked eyes e.g. all insects and worms.
Similar consideration prevails to flora as are also of varied size and categorized into micro and macro flora. Macro flora, include the plant – organisms which are quite small in size and not seen by naked eyes, while macro flora are the plant-organisms of relatively large in size and are easily seen by naked eyes