The importance of soils

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The soils of the planet are essential for the maintenance of the biosphere (the part of the Earth where life exists), as well as for the regulation of the climate. They perform important functions such as sustenance of agricultural and livestock production or carbon storage. There are different types of soil, but, in general, they are composed of more than 90% mineral matter, while the rest is organic matter, most of which is fungi, algae, bacteria and actinobacteria, which perform important functions such as renewal. the reserve of nutrients in the soil, that is, to preserve its fertility. To those that we have already mentioned, in the following article we will talk about the importance of soils.

Benefits of soils for the environment

From an ecological point of view, soils offer diverse benefits for the environment:

  • They produce biomass that serves as food
  • They give energy to some living beings
  • Filters, regulates and transforms the matter it absorbs, such as water, protecting it (to a certain extent) from contamination.
  • It is also where many species of plants and animals live.

Soil degradation

If soils are degraded, the environment is degraded from its very base, that is, it is something that will affect the entire environment sooner or later. Soil degradation occurs, above all, by human activity. From the deposition of atmospheric pollutants, uncontrolled discharges or spills due to accidents of hydrocarbons and other polluting substances, to the inadequate storage of industrial products, the dumping of urban waste or the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, all this damages the soil with dire long-term consequences.

Consequences of soil loss

In addition, the increase in extensive agriculture and urban overexpansion cause the original soils to be lost. Likewise, the process (natural or not) of desertification has as a consequence the definitive loss of productive soils.

Finally, it can be pointed out that one of the greatest benefits of soils is the amount of carbon dioxide they retain. If CO2 and other soil gases are released into the atmosphere, climate change would accelerate so fast that would probably destroy the current civilization. Thus, not keeping the soils in good condition can lead to economic and social problems, such as the generation of conflicts over water, poverty, a decrease in essential resources, low agricultural production, hunger, marginalization or forced emigration.

If you want to read more articles similar to The importance of soils, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.

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