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Essay/Term paper: Wetlands

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Biology

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Soil and land managment



Soil and Land Management The soil triangle is graph that helps the person determine the type of soil they are
testing. This type of graph being a triangle has three sides. The first side, or right side is the percent of silt found in
the soil sample. The second side, or the bottom is the percent of sand found in the soil sample. The third side, or
the right side is the percent of clay found in the soil sample. You read the graph from right to left being silt, sand,
to clay. There are twelve different classes of soil. The classes are sand, loamy sand, sandy loam, loam, silt loam,
silt, sandy clay loam, clay loam, silty clay loam, sandy clay, silty clay, and clay. The particle size analysis we did I
thought was very confusing, and unnecessary. The view of the soil underneath the microscope wasn"t very much
different from the view without it, or at least I couldn"t tell much difference. The two millimeter mark on the paper
was also very confusing. I had no idea of what I was doing during the particle size analysis. The mechanical soil
analysis was much more to my liking. I understood the whole process and loved the project we did with it. From
the begging when we went outside to collect the soil samples to when we were finished waiting the 24 hours for
the water and soil particles to settle. After we mixed the right amount of dirt and water into the sample tube we
had made two recordings of the percent of sand, silt, and clay. After that we took the readings over to the soil
triangle to determine the type of soil that we had collected. The way soil is formed is not all that complicated.
First soil begins as a rock and then is broken dependent upon the weathering factors. Soil types are based upon
the type of rock from which they are made. Rock particles are further broken into various smaller sizes of rocks
and minerals, then small plants such as lichens and mosses begin to grow on the rock surfaces. Dead plant
materials or organic matter are mixed with rock fragments, and as more organic matter is formed, larger plant
forms such as ferns, grasses, and shrubs take root. After that process bacteria and fungi break down the organic
matter into simpler nutrients that are released into the soil, further aiding plant growth. The downside to this is that
it is a very slow process. Surprisingly there are only three types of rocks. The first type is igneous which is a rock
that is formed by hardening of molted volcanic materials. The second type of rock is metamorphic which is a
rock that is formed as a result of changes in other rocks under heat and pressure. The third type of rock is
sedimentary which is a rock that is formed by a consolidation particles laid down over the years. There are three
ways soils are deposited. Glacial soils are deposited by glaciers for example rich farmland soils of the Corn Belt.
Loess soils are deposited by wind for example rich Paloose soils of the Pacific Northwest. Alluvial soils are
deposited by moving fresh water for example Delta regions at the mouth of rivers. The functions of organic
matter are much better than the man made fertilizers, and organic matter. The compost are class made "other
wise known as Sheedy" has proven to grow plants much faster than scientific organic mulch. Sheedy has many
more of the major nutrients in it than that other stuff. That other stuff has more minor nutrients in it. There are
three major nutrients that some plants need they are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. There are also ten
minor nutrients that some plants need. These nutrients are zinc, manganese, boron, copper, iron, molybdenum,
calcium, sulfur, chlorine, and magnesium. There are two types of erosion and they are wind and water. There are
many causes of erosion for example moving water, topography including slopes of the land, lack of vegetation,
dry climate conditions, wind, and human activities such as construction, mining, agriculture, recreation that
distributes or removes the vegetation. The effects of erosion on our land is that it reduces fertility of the land, it
increases sediment in water bodies, it increases water filtration expenses, it destroys spawning beds of game fish,
it reduces fish food supply, it fills pools where fish live, and it increases the damage caused by floods. Controlling
erosion on the farm and in the urban countries wouldn"t be very hard. Ways to control erosion on the farm would
be to plant buffer strips of perennial grasses to hold soil particles, plant windbreaks to slow wind speeds, ridge
soil into small furrows to trap soil particles, provide diversions to channel excess runoff, farm on the contour
rather than straight-row up and down hills, terrace to control and manage water runoff, use contour
stripcropping, use rotation stripcropping, practice conservation tillage, which leaves a minimum of 30 percent of
the previous crop"s residue on the soil surface after planting, use tile drainage to remove excess underground
water, use grassed waterways to channel excess runoff, mulch to hold soil in place, prevent overgrazing of
pastures and rangelands through proper grazing management, use field borders of perennial vegetation to protect
field edges. Methods of controlling urban erosion, these methods are planting trees, planting grass and ground
covers, place rock materials along riverbank to secure it, leave vegetation on soil as long as it is possible, disturb
only the minimum of a construction area, cover bare spots with annual grasses, ground covers, sod, and mulch,
use erosion blankets or netting during construction or while waiting for grass seed to sprout, protect slope from
failure using jute matting, wooden strips placed across the slope, chemical-binding materials, grass, ground
cover, or retaining walls, use stormwater diversions, berms, waterways, and sediment basins to channel or slow
down runoff, and base all building plans on scientific soil surveys. Parts of a conservation plan consist of a soil
map, land use, soil type and symbols, acres, capability class, slope, planned conservation treatment. The
reclamation of mined lands consist of four parts, (part one) many mineral resources are obtained by surface
mining (examples sand, gravel, stone, iron, ore, coal, copper, uranium, phosphate, aluminum, ore [bauxite], and
gold, (part two) surface mining can be harmful to land, earth is left barren which encourages erosion, rivers and
streams become choked with sediment, water that drains through the mines becomes polluted with chemicals,
(part three) because of erosion problems, surface strip-mines are required to have a reclamation plan, (part four)
reclamation activities, earth-moving equipment fills the mined area with rock debris, the land is shaped until it
resembles its original contour, topsoil is spread over the area, trees, shrubs, and mixture of grass suitable for the
region are planted. Career opportunities in the land management field are vast. There are nine different fields
listed in this which are soil conservationist, soil conservation technician, soil scientist soil engineer, range
specialist, range scientist, wildlife conservationist, ranch manager, and farmer.  

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