Soil genesis is a long process. The formation of a 30-centimetre layer of soil takes from 1,000 to 10,000 years a process so slow that soil can be considered a non-renewable resource. The following factors influence soil formation: the proto-base; living organisms (plants, animals, human activity, microorganisms); climate; topography; and weather.
Soil is much more than an inert medium it is a dynamic, living system comprised of a matrix of organic and mineral constituents. It encloses a network of voids and pores containing liquids and gases. The various combinations of these components determine the type of soil to be found; there are more than 300 types of soil within Europe alone.
In addition, soil contains populations of biota, such as bacteria, fungi, worms and rodents.
Who lives in the soil?
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