Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332



Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem

Decomposing organic matter in soil is called _____.

  1. a. clay
  2. b. humus
  3. c. topsoil
  4. d. silt
  5. e. sand
  6. f. leaching

Summary Introduction

Introduction: A dark-colored organic material formed in the soil upon the plant and animal decomposition is called as humus. The dead plants and animals that becomes litter get deposited in the soil. Over time, continuously deposited litter decomposes. The complex organic materials present in the litter are broken down to simpler compounds. These simpler compounds enrich the soil and make them fertile.


Reason for the correct answer: The organic materials present in the dead bodies of plants and animals are decayed when they get deposited in the soil. Simpler chemicals are generated from the complex structure by the action of certain microorganisms.

Option b. is given as, “humus”. Humus is a dark-colored byproduct formed by the decomposition of organic matter (dead animal and plants).

Hence, option b. is correct.

Reasons for the incorrect answers:

Option a. is given as, “clay”. Clay is a type of soil material or a finely-powdered natural rock material that occurs together with other clay minerals, inorganic, and organic material. Hence, option a. is incorrect.

Option c. is given as, “topsoil”. Topsoil is the topmost thin layer of the soil that is rich in mineral nutrient and are readily available for plants...

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