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Soil Terms

Degenerative

Progressive, often irreversible deterioration of cells, organisms, and ecosystems. Lowering of effective power, vitality, or essential quality to an enfeebled and worsened kind or state

Sustainable

Able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed.

Regenerative

Renewal or restoration of a body, bodily part, or biological system (as a forest) after injury or as a normal process.

Regime change (plants)

When disturbance of an ecosystem makes it more difficult for some plants to exist and easier for others to take over (become dominant). Example of grasslands becoming shrub dominant when overgrazing occurs.

Carbon Sequestration

Most commonly refers to the stable storage in soils of carbon taken from the atmosphere. More generally, it refers to the storage of CO2 in water or soil or elsewhere, generally not in gaseous form.

Rhizosphere

The region of soil in the vicinity of plant roots in which the chemistry and microbiology is influenced by their growth, respiration, and nutrient exchange.

Mycorrhizal fungi

Fungi that engage in a usually symbiotic relationship involving physical contact and resource exchange between plant roots and fungal mycelia.

Small Water Cycles

Water that evaporates, condenses, and falls down as rain in its same region of origin.

Arable Land

Farmable land.

Effective Rainfall

Rainfall that does not runoff or quickly evaporate (Dead soil causes ineffective rainfall and plant covered healthy soil creates effective rainfall).

Water Holding Capacity

How much water soil can hold.

Water infiltration rates

How quickly water infiltrates into the soil (note: in very sandy soils this can happen extremely fast but it doesn’t mean the soil is healthy. It is important to measure this with levels of water holding capacity).

Soil Components

Sand, silt, clay, air, water, organic matter.

Soil Organic Matter

50% carbon. Holds 20x its weight in water. What makes soil not dirt.

5 Pools of Carbon

Atmosphere (air), Pedosphere (soil), Biosphere (plants animals, living things), ocean, Fossil (coal, oil, etc)

Overgrazing/undergrazing:

Habitat-dependent, these can only be described by results on the land, not by actual animal numbers or behavior. Overgrazed - when plants are grazed to the point of stress, then grazed again before recovering from prior grazing, repeatedly, the land is overgrazed.

Photosynthesis

The process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)

The process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) is a colorless gas with a density about 60% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide consists of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. It occurs naturally in Earth's atmosphere as a trace gas.