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Soil Ecology and Restoration Science Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 7th, 2022

Ecology is a science that studies the laws of interaction between organisms and their habitat, the laws of development, and the existence of the biosphere as complexes of interacting living and nonliving components in different parts of the biosphere. The main objectives of ecology are to comprehend the laws of functioning and development of the biosphere as an integral system and to study the reactions of environmental components to the disturbance of the impact of natural and anthropogenic origin. The goals also include determining the permissible limits of the impact of human civilization on the environment and the development of conceptual ideas and recommendations on ways of development of society, which would guarantee compliance with the limits of impact on the environment, the existence and development of the latter (Coleman et al., 2018). Ecology is not only a scientific discipline because it is a problem-oriented system of scientific knowledge. The given analysis will primarily focus on soil ecology because the latter is among the most critical aspects of the field.

The importance of soil health is difficult to overestimate because, firstly, it serves as the main source of food for humans, domestic and wild animals, birds, and beneficial microorganisms. Secondly, it is the basis for construction, recreation, and human life. Research suggests that the fundamental aspects of soil ecology are centered around the fact that there are four major themes, which are new directions, soil management and global change, the functioning and interactions of ecosystems, and biogeography and soil biodiversity (Eisenhauer et al., 2017). However, human activity inevitably leads to soil pollution and impoverishment of soil’s contents. For instance, peat drainage can cause biodiversity loss, soil subsidence, and CO2 emission (Deru et al., 2018). The area of soil ecology can have a direct impact on public health, such as tick-borne diseases, which are highly reliant on specific states of the soil (Burtis et al., 2019). In other words, soil ecology can provide plausible and effective solutions for preventing major healthcare issues.

The soil is an integral part of the earthly spheres. Its importance in the small biological and large geological circulation of substances and energy is enormous since it is a substrate for many representatives of microfauna and flora and is an accumulator of chemicals that ensure the vital activity of living organisms. Chemical compounds can be both inorganic and organic, and a failure in the soil component will certainly affect the overall state of the biosphere. An example of this is the process of fusion occurring in the natural biosphere under the influence of natural and climatic factors and aggravated by anthropogenic impact (Coleman et al., 2018). This phenomenon is a negative factor for flora and fauna, since degradation of the soil cover occurs, the result of which is soil with poor physical, chemical, and, therefore, biological characteristics.

One of the consequences of the intensification of human production activity is the intensive pollution of the soil cover. The main soil pollutants are metals and their compounds, radioactive elements, as well as fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture. The most dangerous soil pollutants include mercury and its compounds. Mercury enters the environment with pesticides, industrial waste containing metallic mercury, and its various compounds. Lead contamination of soils is even more widespread and dangerous (Coleman et al., 2018). It is important to note soil on itself is a complex ecosystem, which is an environment for an array of abiotic and biotic elements. Soil microbiome can shift or morph significantly based on the state of the given system, where the prevalence of Acidobacteria and Bacteroidetes can indicate the loss of biodiversity (Gupta et al., 2017). Thus, the complex dynamics taking place in the soil can be analyzed and assessed through microorganism-based data.

One of the key challenges in regards to soil ecology revolves around the fact that soil pollution needs to be prevented since the given environmental issue can lead to severe consequences. Such efforts need to be manifested in an international collaboration by giving voice to underrepresented scientists and investigating ecological problems through global measures (Maestre et al., 2019). In other words, these core challenges cannot be properly addressed without collaborative efforts on an international scale. Another important aspect of soil ecology is restoration and related practices, which aim to revitalize the impoverished soil ecosystems. Although the contemporary measures mainly focus on flora introduction, fauna needs to be accentuated because it hastens the restorative process (Callaham et al., 2021). Therefore, it is of paramount importance to ensure that soil is both prevented from pollution and restored to its enriched state.

In conclusion, soil ecology is an essential aspect of ecology, which focuses on studying and analyzing the soil, the effect of human activity on its ecosystems, and potential solutions for prevention and restoration. Soil is a complex environment, which is comprised of an array of elements as well as microorganisms and soil-dwelling animals. The restoration and prevention practices can be improved by putting a great deal of emphasis on its fauna, which can also be a solution for the revitalization.

Literature Cited

Burtis, J. C., Yavitt, J. B., Fahey, T. J., Ostfeld, R. S. 2019. Ticks as Soil-Dwelling Arthropods: An Intersection Between Disease and Soil Ecology. Journal of Medical Entomology 56(6): 1555-1564.

Callaham, M. A., & Stanturf, J. A. 2021. Soil Ecology and Restoration Science. Soils and Landscape Restoration, 39–62.

Coleman, D. C., Callaham, M. A., Crossley, D. A. 2018. Fundamentals of Soil Ecology. Elsevier.

Deru, J. G. C., Bloem, J., de Goede, R., Keidel, H., Kloen, H., Rutgers, M., … van Eekeren, N. 2018. Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services of Dairy and Semi-Natural Grasslands On Peat. Applied Soil Ecology 125: 26–34.

Eisenhauer, N., Antunes, P. M., Bennett, A. E., Birkhofer, K., Bissett, A., Bowker, M. A., … Powell, J. R. 2017. Priorities for Research in Soil Ecology. Pedobiologia 63: 1–7.

Gupta, S., Kumar, M., Kumar, J., Ahmad, V., Pandey, R., & Chauhan, N. S. 2017. Systemic Analysis of Soil Microbiome Deciphers Anthropogenic Influence On Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Functioning. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 14(10): 2229–2238.

Maestre, F. T., & Eisenhauer, N. 2019. Recommendations for Establishing Global Collaborative Networks in Soil Ecology. Soil organisms 91(3): 73–85.

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