Introduction to Soil Ecology Chapter 1

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What are the four great Earth domains that soil is at the confluence of?

Atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere

What percentage of soil consists of dead organic matter?

1 - 5%

What is the basis of life's structure and energy storage according to the text?


What process converts the sun's energy into sugar?


Which term is used in soil ecology to describe molecules that do not contain carbon or are very simple?


What are the two gaseous forms mentioned that carbon exists in?

CO2 and CH4

What process do microbes carry out on dead plant matter in soil?


How long ago did glaciers retreat from Illinois, allowing soil development?

~10,000 years ago

What is the approximate rate at which soil tends to build up each year?

0.001 m

What comprises about half of the volume of soil?

Pore space

What initially colonized the land before the evolution of complex soil ecologies?

Plants and fungi

What is the term used for the accumulated residue of long-dead plants found in soil?


Learn about the accumulation of dead matter in soil, the evolution of complex ecologies of soil organisms, and the role of dead plant matter as food in soil ecosystems. Explore how plants and fungi colonized land, leading to the formation of soil over millions of years.

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