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Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Which of the following does not influence soil pH?

a. rainfall

b. the outward expansion of root systems

c. release of sulfur and nitrogen oxides into the air

d. decomposition of organisms

e. weathering of rock

Summary Introduction

Introduction:

Soil provides plants with necessary nutrients, many of which are held by clay and organic matter. These nutrients may get adsorbed on the mineral surfaces of clay, attached within the absorbed minerals, or attached within the organic materials as an element of living beings or the organic matter present in dead soil. These nutrients mingle with the soil water to buffer the composition of soil solution, when the soil gets wet or dry, the plants absorb the nutrients, the salts get leached, or when the acids or alkalis are included.

Explanation

Justification/explanation for the correct answer:

Option (b) states that the outward expansion of root systems does not affect pH of the soil. Besides supplying the minerals, soil also supplies water and oxygen to the plants. The physical consistency of the soil is an aspect of whether the root system has access to enough water and oxygen. Root system allow the plants to find and take up the essential plant nutrients from the soil. So, the factor, “outward expansion of root systems,” does not affect the pH of the soil. Hence, option (b) is correct.

Explanation for the incorrect answer:

Option (a) states that the rainfall affects the pH of the soil. The pH of the soil influences the availability of mineral ions. It also depends on the balance between the cation exchange and other procedures that affect the proton ion concentration in the soil. In the regions of heavy rainfall, soil tends to get acidic and the factor “rainfall” affects the pH of the soil. So, it is an incorrect option.

Option (c) states that the “release of sulfur and nitrogen oxides into the air” affects the pH of the soil. The precipitation of acids results from the presence of carbon dioxide, and the oxides of nitrogen and sulfur present in air (due to the burning of fossils and industrial discharge) also adds up to the acidification of soil...

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