OUR SOIL A PRECIOUS LAYER ON EARTH

MAY 16, 2014

Soil chemist, René Reiser of Agroscope INH, takes us on a journey through the fascinating layers that cover our earth

We are walking on our soil every day. Soil is a matter of course and we only become aware if we soil our shoes at places where it has not been sealed. Yet, all too often we forget what a precious layer is spread under our feet. Soils play numerous roles in our life and in the life on earth in general. First and foremost we may have in mind the production of food. But beyond that there are many other soil functions such as leisure area, living space, timber production area, basis for protective forests in the Alps, filter for drinking water, water retention and flood prevention, plant nutrient reservoir, carbon storage, habitat for soil organisms and microorganisms, reservoir for soil biodiversity, etc. It is vital to appreciate and to protect this precious good, since the use of soil is linked with many threads e.g. erosion, degradation, compaction and sealing.
We will dive down to the fascinating layers on earth and have a look into soil science and soil protection and how scientists are trying to elucidate the hidden processes which take place in this essential habitat. Agronomists, pedologists, physicists, biologists, biochemists and chemists are typical members in project groups. Some experimental methods used in soil science will be addressed.