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How Soil Life Activity Changes During the Year

November 28th, 2013 | Posted by XiteBio in Uncategorized

Summer & WInterMany changes in the environment are easily noticed as seasons move from one to the next, though some are less noticeable than others. Just as life above ground has to adapt to changing weather, so does life below ground. Here is a summary, released by the University of Minnesota, of how soil organisms alter their behavior throughout the year:

Spring: Soil tillage brings warming air and crop residues for food below the surface, which begins a high level of activity. Organisms start to release nutrients, heat and carbon dioxide into the soil

Summer: Activity will vary according to conditions such as new food, hot temperatures or high rainfall. Late summers often become drier, which leads to less activity and reproduction

Fall: If moisture levels increase, so will activity. Roots and other residue from harvested crops provide new food for organisms

Freezing: If temperatures are warm enough and fall plowing occurs, this will start one final surge of activity and organic matter decay

Winter: With the exception of a few species that can live in snow and cold soils, there is very little activity

Thawing: Organisms slowly start becoming active again. Once soils are fully thawed, earthworms and other larger insects will move back toward the surface after spending the winter burrowed deeper in the soil

 

Image source: XiteBio Technologies Inc.

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