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11.5. The soil as an ecosystem

The soil as an ecosystem

The soil is the most superficial part of the earth's crust, produced by the alteration of rocks and by the action of living beings.

The geosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and the biosphere intervene in the formation of the soil, which is why it is considered as an interface of all these media.

As in all ecosystems, on the ground we will also distinguish between the biotope and the biocenosis.

Soil biotope

The soil biotope includes the abiotic factors, such as rock and mineral fragments, and the air and water that fill the gaps between the solid components.

The temperature and humidity is more stable in the ground than on the surface, it has few variations. It should be noted that only sunlight reaches the most superficial parts.

Soil biocenosis

The biocenosis of the soil is made up of bacteriafungivegetables, earthworms, ants, etc., as well as the remains of organisms that are not decomposed and humus (organic remains that are decomposing).

Living beings that live in the soil have the necessary evolutionary adaptations to live there, such as their small size, they have cutaneous respiration, they do not need to see and have even been able to lose their vision, they have extremities prepared to dig, etc.