Soil and Agriculture

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  1. Soil
    A complex plant supporting system made up of disentegreated rock remains and wastes, organisms, water, gases, nutrients, and microrganisms
  2. Parent Material
    the base geological material in a particular location
  3. Bedrock
    the continuous mass of solid rock that makes up Earth's crust
  4. Weathering
    the physical and chemical process that break down rocks and minerals into smaller particles
  5. Soil Horizon
    distinct layers of sorted soil
  6. Soil Profile
    the cross-section of all the soil horizons in a specific soil, from surface to bedrock
  7. Clay
    smallest soil particle less than 0.002mm in diameter
  8. Silt
    medium soil particle from 0.002 to 0.05mm in diameter
  9. Sand
    largest soil particle from 0.05 to 2mm in diameter
  10. Loam
    soil with a relatively even mixture of all three particle sizes
  11. Decomposition
    nutrients incorporated into the soil by from formerly living things
  12. Deposition
    the drop-off of eroded material at a new location
  13. Four characteristics of soil
    • Color
    • Texture
    • Structure
    • pH
  14. Three ways of soil formation
    • Weathering
    • Decomposition
    • Deposition
  15. Soil Degradation
    the deterioration of the soil characteristics needed for plant growth or other ecosystem services
  16. Intercropping
    the planting of different crops in different arrangements/ different crops mixed together
  17. Crop Rotation
    farmers alternate crops grown in a field
  18. Cover Crop
    a crop planted to reduce erosion after a field has been harvested and before the next plowing
  19. Shelterbelt
    • windbreaks
    • tall plants used to block the wind preventing wind erosion
  20. Tilling/ Conservation Tillage
    soil turnover is reduced
  21. Terracing
    steep slopes are turned into steps
  22. Contour Farming
    planting perpendicular to a hill's slope
  23. Overgrazing
    when too many animals eat too much of the plant cover impeding growth; eat at a faster rate than the plant can regrow
  24. Desertification
    a loss of more than 10% of the productivity of soil due to erosion, deforestation, overgrazing, drought, and other factors
  25. Irrigation
    providing water other than precipitation to crops
  26. Salinization
    the build up of salts on the upper soil horizons
  27. Pesticide
    chemical that kills organisms or competes with plants we value
  28. Traditional Agriculture
    type of farming that relies on human and animal power along with hand tools and nonmotorized machines
  29. Yield
    the amount of crop produced in a given area
  30. Industrial Agriculture
    type of farming that relies on technology and chemicals to increase yields and reduce costs
  31. Green Revolution
    a movement in which agricultural scientists from developed nations introduced new technology, crop varieties, and farming practices to the developing world
  32. Biologiacl Pest Control
    the use of organisms to battle pests and weeds
  33. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
    the use of both biological and chemical methods to control pests safely and economically
  34. Pollinator
    An insect or other animal that transfers pollen from one plant to another
  35. Arable Land
    land suitable for farming
  36. Food Security
    the guarantee of an adequate and reliable food supply for all people at all times
  37. Malnutrition
    a shortage of nutrients the body needs
  38. Genetic Engineering
    any process where the DNA of an organism is manipulated
  39. Genetically Modified Organism
    an organism that has undergone genetic engineering
  40. Biotechnology
    the use of genetic engineering to introduce new genes into organisms to produce more valuable products
  41. Feedlot
    huge warehouses or pens designed to deliver energy-rich food to livestock or poultry
  42. Aquaculture
    the raising of aquatic organisms for food in a controlled environment
  43. Seed Bank
    organizations that preserve seeds of diverse plants as a kind of policy against a global crop collapse
  44. Sustainable Agriculture
    agriculture that does not deplete soil faster that it forms
  45. Organic Agriculture
    food growing practices that use no synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, or herbicides, but instead relies on biological approches such as composting and biological pest control
Card Set:
Soil and Agriculture
2012-02-22 01:42:33
Environmental Science

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