Commentary - Journal of Industrial and Environmental Chemistry (2023) Volume 7, Issue 6
Understanding soil biogeochemistry: The interactions between living and non-living components of soil.
Department of Soils and Agri-Food Engineering, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
- Corresponding Author:
- Zhang Wilson
Department of Soils and Agri-Food Engineering,
Received: 17-Apr-2023, Manuscript No. AAIEC-23-96266; Editor assigned: 19-Apr-2023, AAIEC-23-96266 (PQ); Reviewed: 03-May-2023, QC No. AAIEC-23-96266; Revised: 21-Jun-2023, Manuscript No. AAIEC-23-96266 (R); Published: 28-Jun-2023, DOI:10.35841/aaiec.7.6.175
Citation:Wilson Z. Understanding soil biogeochemistry: The interactions between living and non-living components of soil. J Ind Environ Chem. 2023;7(6):1-2.
Soil biogeochemistry is the study of the interactions between living organisms and the physical and chemical components of soil. This field of study is critical for understanding the complex processes that occur in soil, including nutrient cycling, carbon storage and water retention. In this article, we will explore the basics of soil biogeochemistry and some of its key applications .
The basics of soil biogeochemistry
Soil is a complex mixture of living and non-living components, including minerals, organic matter, water, air and a diverse array of microorganisms. The living organisms in soil, such as bacteria, fungi and plants, play a critical role in soil biogeochemistry, as they are involved in processes such as nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration .
Nutrient cycling: Soil biogeochemistry is critical for understanding the cycling of nutrients in soil. Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are essential for plant growth, but their availability in soil can be limited. The cycling of these nutrients in soil is influenced by the interactions between living organisms and the physical and chemical properties of soil. For example, bacteria in soil can convert nitrogen gas in the air into forms of nitrogen that plants can use, while mycorrhizal fungi can help plants access nutrients such as phosphorus .
Carbon storage: Soil biogeochemistry is also important for understanding the storage of carbon in soil. Soil is one of the largest carbon sinks on earth, storing more carbon than the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation combined. The storage of carbon in soil is influenced by the interactions between living organisms and the physical and chemical properties of soil. For example, plants can take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it as carbon in their tissues. When plants die and decompose, the carbon is released into soil, where it can be stored for long periods of time .
Water retention: Soil biogeochemistry is also critical for understanding the retention of water in soil. The physical and chemical properties of soil influence its ability to retain water, which is important for plant growth and the health of ecosystems. The living organisms in soil, such as bacteria and fungi, can help to create a porous soil structure that allows water to infiltrate and be stored in soil .
Applications of soil biogeochemistry
Agriculture: Soil biogeochemistry is critical for understanding the nutrient cycling and carbon storage processes that are important for agriculture. Understanding the interactions between living organisms and the physical and chemical properties of soil can help farmers optimize their use of fertilizers and other inputs, reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture.
Climate change: Soil biogeochemistry is also important for understanding the role of soil in the global carbon cycle and its potential as a tool for mitigating climate change. By understanding the processes that influence carbon storage in soil, scientists can develop strategies to enhance soil carbon sequestration, which can help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Ecosystem health: Soil biogeochemistry is critical for understanding the health of ecosystems, including forests, grasslands and wetlands. The interactions between living organisms and the physical and chemical properties of soil influence the availability of nutrients and water for plants, as well as the health of soil microorganisms. Understanding these processes can help to maintain the health and productivity of ecosystems.
Challenges and opportunities in soil biogeochemistry
One of the main challenges in soil biogeochemistry is the complexity of the interactions between living organisms and the physical and chemical components of soil. These interactions are influenced by a wide range of factors, including climate, soil type and land use practices.
- Hu J, Liao X, Vardanyan LG, et al. Duration and frequency of drainage and flooding events interactively affect soil biogeochemistry and N flux in subtropical peat soils. Sci Total Environ. 2020;727:138740.
- Gaudio N, Belyazid S, Gendre X, et al. Combined effect of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change on temperate forest soil biogeochemistry: A modeling approach. Ecol Model. 2015;306:24-34.
- Pucetaite M, Ohlsson P, Persson P, et al. Shining new light into soil systems: Spectroscopy in microfluidic soil chips reveals microbial biogeochemistry. Soil Biol Biochem. 2021;153:1-9.
- Parent LE, Parent SE, Ziadi N. Biogeochemistry of soil inorganic and organic phosphorus: A compositional analysis with balances. J Geochem Explor. 2014;141:52-60.
- Poirier V, Coyea MR, Angers DA, et al. Silvicultural treatments and subsequent vegetation impact long-term mineral soil biogeochemistry in mixedwood plantations. For Ecol Manag. 2016;368:140-50.