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Soils are living
June 25, 2015 — In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout to educate the public about the importance of soil. July’s theme is “Soils Are Living.”
According to July’s IYS monthly leader Mary Stromberger, “soil is a living, dynamic natural resource. It helps us sustain life—but it doesn’t do its job alone. The biodiversity of life in soil is critical to a healthy world.” Stromberger is a soil scientist at Colorado State University.
Here are some facts about life in soil:
- Larger animals like gopher turtles and burrowing owls make their homes in soil. The soil protects them from weather and predators.
- Insects often live in soil, too. The give back by creating tunnels and helping aerate the soil.
- Bacteria and fungi—referred to as microbes—live in the soil. These tiny creatures provide essential services like converting nitrogen from the air into a form that plants can use for food. They decompose organic matter and aid in weathering of rocks to provide plant nutrients.
As part of their celebration of IYS, SSSA developed a series of twelve 2-minute educational videos. July’s “Soils Are Living” video can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Qas9tPQKd8w, or downloaded at www.soils.org/iys/monthly-videos. Educational materials can be viewed at www.soils.org/iys by clicking on the July tab.
Follow SSSA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSSA.soils, Twitter at SSSA Soils. SSSA also has a blog, Soils Matter, at http://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/. Additional soils information is on www.soils.org/discover-soils, for teachers at www.soils4teachers.org, and for students through 12th grade, www.soils4kids.org.