“A Brief Overview of Nutrient Cycling in Pastures.” (2008) "A Future for Soil Ecology? Connecting the System Levels" (2001)


 In this article from the University of California Berkeley, Herman Eijsackers discussed 5 major topics that were discovered in 2001.  The topics were micro- and macro-scale connections, nutrient cycling, organism adaptability, soil ecology, and spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Groups of soil ecologists in Lund, Sweden discussed how the study of soil ecology can impact the environment, the future of soil ecology, and their goals. At the end of the article, the scientists made a pledge for a return to ecosystem research because of the major interest in molecular processes and because of the way man-kind is dominating the ecosystems. 

“An Introduction to Soil Ecology” (2004) 


This power point presentation explores different organisms that live in soil and gives many visuals to explain.  This resource is very informative, detailed, and uses pictures to explain, but has no references.

"Apollo 17: Soil Mechanics Investigation" (2011)


        This is the site of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. It gives a brief description of soil mechanics and proceeds to discuss a study on lunar soil that occurred during Apollo 17. The site tells about the method the astronauts used to procure samples and which tests the samples were used in, such as compressibility, average grain size, etc. It goes on to elucidate the properties of the soil of the moon. The site also links to other Apollo missions and more articles on lunar soil .This is a great site for learning about scientific information about space. 

“Applied Soil Ecology” (2018)


This article discusses the effect snow cover has on the soil, its matter, and the organisms. Soil covered in a layer of snow had increased levels of Nitrogen and Aluminum as well as more acidity. Different levels of snowfall were also seen to affect soil contents differently. The soil was measured under low, moderate, and heavy snow levels. This website was easy to navigate, informative, and contained helpful pictures. The formatting of the references was slightly confusing.

"Basic Soil Properties" (2014).


This PDF has detailed information about soil properties and soil ecology. It includes picturesque visuals on almost every page. It really focuses in on chemical properties, physical properties, and biological properties. There are many author credentials and acknowledgements which makes it a trustworthy article. It includes links throughout and is written in a formal and complex style. At the end, there are a lot of reliable references for further information on soil properties. One drawback is that it was created in 2005, so it is not recent information.

"Biodiversity of soil organisms and ecosystem functioning" (2001)


      This easy to navigate, and systemized article explores the impact of soil ecology on general ecology. Scientists that study soil have made several influences to general ecology for example, the aspects of nutrient release and energy turnover. Along with the website being easy to navigate, there are many additional positives. The sources are very reliable and there are many references to refer back to when doing more research. In addition to reliable sources, the credentials of the paper are Universities and trusted research foundations. There are no spelling errors, and the organized titles above each paragraph makes the website easy to read and navigate. Along with the positives of the website, there are also some negatives. The date of which it was last updated was twelve years ago. In addition to the somewhat outdated paper, there were no links which made the navigation of the website difficult. Lastly, while the majority of the information was educational, it was also very difficult to understand. Overall, the website was very educational, useful, beneficial and organized.    

“Biogeochemical Cycles” National Center for Atmospheric Research (2019)


This site talks about the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle which are important to understand when working with soil and plants. Carbon is an element that is a part of rocks such as limestone and moves from plants to animals to soils. Nitrogen is also stored in the soil and has an effect on the health of the soil and surrounding plants. This website provides a basic background into understanding some important elements within the soil, and how that impacts the ecosystem.

“Canadian Soil Information System.” (2000)


Although the information on this site mostly pertains to the areas in Canada, the overall facts are very useful to the topic of soil ecology. The site had useful maps and data to help others with their studies. There were many useful and interesting facts about Canada and the soil type in Canada. There were topics such as the ecological framework of Canada. The levels of generalization and ecological map units and numbering contained basically universal terms pertaining to soil, such as the codes for ecological map units.

The Changing Model of Soil: The Role for Soil Field Experiments.” (2011)


This pdf website clearly explains about the history of the science of soil.  First it explains about the reasons why people started to study soil.  Then it talks about soil formation.  Afterwards, it describes how soil was used overtime.  Finally, it reasons that soil is now changing quickly because of how people are using it.  The website shows maps, charts and graphs about the research and study that has developed.  This website, with its many pictures relating to the specific topic that it discusses, provides an easily understandable and short history beginning at the start of research about soil up until experiments being performed today.

"Chapter 5: Soil Ecology." (undated)


This website is an overview of the soil ecology in cover crops and its interactions with biota and vineyards.  It starts up by briefly describing soil organisms with a summary and tables that shows the beneficial activities of microorganisms. This site also has a good reference that you could use to help you find more information.

“Characterization of Extractable Metals from the Aquifers with Arsenic Contamination in the Tsengwen Creek, Taiwan” (2014)




A peer-review journal, called the Soil and Water Research, contains several soil studies such as the “Characterization of Extractable Metals from the Aquifers with Arsenic Contamination in the Tsengwen Creek, Taiwan.” This study investigates arsenic contamination in the Tsengwen Creek watershed. In this zone, there was a high level of arsenic contamination in the deep aquifers of the watershed. This detailed study contains helpful material about metal contamination in the Tsengwen Creek watershed. Although this site contains helpful information and visuals, there were not any available reference links.

“Chemistry Teacher Studies Antibiotics in Soil” (2005)


In 2005, Bowdoin College sponsored a program in which a series of professors and students studied properties in the soil. Their objective was to gain a greater understanding of why so many antibiotics are present in the soil. The project is written out in great detail, and it is one of the few sites that provide visuals.

"Chicago Botanic Garden" (1997)


       This website is good.  It is nice for research, you won’t find very detailed information.  But you will find information that is general so you can understand the topic.  Also there are many links so you can find different sites that might give you more information of how to complete the process.

"COG Organic Field Crop Handbook" (1992)


This website is intended to provide information about the function of soil in the ecosystem for the purpose of organic farming.  It contains very detailed information and several sections with information about soil organisms and their roles in the ecosystem, descriptions of chemicals commonly found in soil, and soil tests. The information provided is very specific and has several good references.

Contamination of the Soil and Water Environment by Heavy Metals in the Former Mining Area of Rudňany (Slovakia)” (2014)




This site contains a peer-review journal called the Soil and Water Research. This journal contains several soil studies such as the Contamination of the Soil and Water Environment by Heavy Metals in the Former Mining Area of Rudňany (Slovakia).” This soil study investigates soil and water contamination in the former mining town of Rudňany. In this area, metal pollutants were detected in soil and water samples. This particular site contains significant information about soil and water pollutants and their effects on the environment’s agriculture. Although this site contains helpful information, there were not any reference links.

“Department of Soil Science.” (2001)


        This is the official University of Wisconsin website that has links to information about soil ecology. Along with the student information, this page includes specific literature about all the sciences; geology, biology, physics, chemistry, pedology, etc. The site has a main link to research areas about soil ecology. The foremost subjects included are soil biochemistry, soil microbiology, soil chemistry and soil mineralogy, soil fertility and plant nutrition, forest soil science, soil classification, soil and environmental physics, and soil and water management, all of which are very useful in the study of the earth in general. This page is easily accessible, with a lot of valuable information about the soil. It also gives links to professors’ pages from the university. It is professional, informative, and unbiased. The university placed several experiments performed in the areas in Wisconsin on their web page as well. The college’s study of pedology is highly extensive and covers all aspects of soil ecology. This is one of the best sites and is very useful in the study of soil. 

“Desert Soils” (2006)


      This site informs readers about variations in desert soil. Desert soils colors can be gray, brown, or red. They can be different textures such as sandy, gravelly, clay-like, or hard. The soil differs based on location, contents, and age. The site tells about how different organisms affect soil makeup. This site includes visuals of these types of soil, from both ground level and underground view.

"Ecology of Plan and Free-Living Nematodes in Natural and Agricultural Soil." (2010)


     This website is from Annual Reviews which is a nonprofit scientific publisher. The article is called Ecology of Plant and Free-Living Nematodes in Natural and Agricultural Soil. This website received a 7 because it is a ".org" meaning it is a reliable site because a lot of people have looked on it for valid information. It is very easy to navigate through the article with all of the headers that reflect what is in  the corresponding paragraph. Some negative things about this website is that it has a lot of information with out any pictures to break up the text.

“Ecology of soil arthropod fauna in tropical forests: A review of studies from Puerto Rico” (2018)


This article discusses the relationship between soil microbes and arthropods, and the ecology of the soil they live in. Dying matter has a substantial effect of the nutrients contained in the soil beneath it. The soil organisms have an effect on the decomposing matter that influences soil composition. This article was well organized with proper headings for easy navigation. The PDF is not located directly on the website, but it can be downloaded if found.

“Ecosystem and Soil Biology Laboratory.” (2007)


            This is the official website of The ESE Lab, which is a research program committed to understanding ecosystems and processes in soil.  The program is made of many scientists that have produced multiple projects and publications, such as “The below ground effects of invasive species”.  The many examples of past research projects help readers receive a better understanding of serious laboratory projects and science as a career option.  The images and graphics however, do not relate well to the information.

“Environmental Influences on Soil Macroarthropod Behavior in Agricultural Systems” (1990)


This website informs the readers about the effects of certain scientific methods on, specifically, agricultural soil ecology during experiments. It also gives suggestions for how to avoid disturbing the certain environments with different, more systematic experiments. The website says that by utilizing these new, more systematic and experimental methods, scientist will get a better understanding of agricultural soil insects. This website is reliable as it is written by a few qualified staff of the University of Nebraska and it uses many references but it is a very long article that is not an easy read.

“Evaluation of the Variability in Runoff and Sediment Loss in Successional Fallow Vegetation of Southern Nigeria” (2014)




This site, which is published by the Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences, contains eleven peer-review journals. One of these journals is the Soil and Water Research. This journal contains several soil studies such as the “Evaluation of the Variability in Runoff and Sediment Loss in Successional Fallow Vegetation of Southern Nigeria by Anthony I. Iwara. Iwara’s soil study comprehensibly investigates runoff and sediment losses of three different aged lots. The oldest one, a 5-year lot experienced the most erosion. This site contains important information about soil erosion and factors affecting the erosion. Although this site contains helpful information, there were not many links.

"The Food Web and Soil Health." (2001)


        This is a very good site that is an online edition of a soil biology primer. It has a good layout and excellent illustrations. This page explains food webs, their importance, and how they change. It also talks about complexity in a food web and how this is beneficial. This site was very helpful.

"Forest and Soil Ecology Lab" (2017).


This site is to introduce Jared DeForest’s website on how humans effect the structure and function of ecosystems. This page is created by a professor at Ohio University. The website is easily accessible and has easy to use links to other parts of the site, which are Research Interests, Lab Protocols, Publications, links, and people. It is informative and uses language that fits the target audience, and gives a great introduction. However, there are few citations as the page is quite brief. Otherwise, this is a great page to use.

“General Soil Ecology” (2011)     


Life Under Your Feet is a reliable website that provides research materials related to all aspects of soil ecology. For anyone who is looking for general soil ecology related education materials, literature, or data this website would be a good source to provide you with information. The website is clearly cited and the author’s contacts are easy to find and use. If I were to improve this website I would update the pictures and formatting because although it is easy to use it gives the website a slightly outdated look.

“Healthy Soil for Life” Natural Resources Conservation Service (Undated)


The site explains how to define soil quality by examining the capacity of the soil to function as an ecosystem that supports plants, animals, and humans. The site also explains the soil’s essential functions which are regulating water, filtering out pollutants, and cycling nutrients. The page provides information on the inherent and dynamic properties of soil as well as the different textures of soil. For example, Sandy soil drains faster than soil with more clay.

“Helping People Understand Soils” (2006).


            This informative site is used to introduce people to the basics of soil, as well as provide material for soil scientists.  Information is given on everything from soil education and soil surveys to soil usage and maps.  The site is easy to navigate and provides lots of valuable information.  The information is accurate and current, and it is sponsored by a well known organization.  Appropriate visuals are provided, along with a contact address.  The information is concise.

“Impact of Nitrogen Fertilization on Soil Organic Matter in Forest Soils” (2014)


This article talks about an experiment which was testing the effect of added nitrogen in soils.  It was hypothesized that after a while the added nitrogen would alter the soil organic matter and its properties and also change the behaviors of the groups of microorganisms living in it.  Although this article is written with a high vocabulary and therefore a little complicated to understand, it is very specific in its details of what the experiment is looking to accomplish and the results expected to be found.  Links to follow-up articles written about this experiment are also helpful and found on this website.

 “Laboratory of Soil Ecology and Microbiology” (2014)


This is the University of Rhode Island’s official website for their Laboratory of Soil Ecology and Microbiology. It explains about their research with soil ecology and includes contacts for all of their graduate students. The side navigation bar makes it very easy to surf this website and there are pages with current publications and people, among other useful pages.

“Organic Carbon in Soils of the World.” (1984)


        The goal of this soil study was to observe the loss of organic matter in soil. The researcher assumed that the loss of organi c matter was due to the result of clearing for grassland or cropland. Due to this assumption, the researcher tested different types of lands. This is a reliable source due to the author working at Stanford University and that this source is found on an “edu” website. Furthermore, the author clearly articulates his goal for this study and explains his experiment in an organized fashion. However, a major downside to this soil study is that it is from the year 1984, and it lacks visuals (only contains graphs).

“Oz Soils: An Interactive Introduction to Soil Science.” (2014)


This interactive website concisely explains four ideas about soil: the organization of soil particles, the properties that are affected by soil texture, aggregation and the forces that cause it, and finally the strength of soil and what causes it to be stronger or less strong.  This website was easy to read and understand and taught basic ideas about soil.  There were a few other links to add some explanation about soil and ideas about microorganisms that live in it.  The only difficulty was that the website only addressed very basic ideas concerning soil and didn’t really go into detail.

"Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria as transplant amendments and their effects on indigenous rhizosphere microorganisms" (2005)


This article describes the benefits of planting crops that promote rhizobacteria to the overall health of the natural soil ecosystem. While there are no pictures, concise data tables allow the reader to clearly understand the benefits.

“Priorities for research in soil ecology” (2018)


This article first explains soil ecology and the general study. The author then gives a brief story of the field of study. The author then highlights the areas of soil ecology that are under explored. A study is then conducted surveying people for their opinion on the most important areas of the study. This study is very well organized into labelled sections, but there are no images and only two graphs.

“Rates of Soil Erosion.” (1976)


The goal of this study was to learn about the rates of soil erosion. These highly qualified researchers also observed the influence of these rates through human activities.  Soil cores from this experiment were taken from the Black Sea and then these three researchers took data on a significant number of rivers that drain into the Black Sea. This soil study succeeds in having a sufficient bibliography and being well written. However, this soil study is very old and it is quite short for such a grandiose experiment. The site could have added more visuals. Despite these issues, the soil study was very interesting and informative.

“The Resource Beneath Our Feet” (2015).


This article contains detailed instructions for students who wish to study soil and soil ecology and determine attributes, characteristics, components, geographical locations, and other geographical and geological correlations between soil samples provided by professors. Introduced by a comprehensive explanation of the various components and layers of soil types, this article contains useful information that is primarily aimed at providing guidance for teachers who wish to make their students more aware of the soil in the areas around them and the importance of the specific composition on the rest of the environment. Containing pictures and charts relevant to the topic, the article is overall easy to understand although a bit vague on the specifics of what the students should be looking for in their research. 

“The Rhizosphere- Roots, Soil and Everything In Between” (2013)


This article talks about microbes in the rhizosphere. It discusses the importance of the rhizosphere as a habitat for many microbes and how they are strongly influenced by the chemicals the plant roots release. This website is very accessible to the public but the terminology used in the article is very advanced and sometimes hard to understand without a past knowledge of the topic. The author of the article was very helpful by giving examples of current projects and research on the topic and other resources for further reading.

"Searching for Unifiying Principles in Soil Ecology." (2009)


           This experiment’s purpose was to find similar characteristics among different types of soil. Most soil experiments tend to focus on differences, but this experiment proved that finding similarities is sometimes the better option. Although the article was long, the detailed information was easy to understand. The many references were easily accessible, but the article lacked a contact address. 

“Social Characteristics that Influence Weed Management.” (2008)


       This website is an overview of soil characteristics with a lot of pictures. It talks about the ecosystem process and whether it’s good or bad soil. It also includes soil structure and the composition of it. The pictures and diagrams help to explain each topic that the website covers such as the fertility of soil and characteristics of good soil.

"Soil." (2002)


       This website is about the background of soil. It is created by the Environment Literary Council. On the general website, they provide information about every aspect on the environment. For example, “Water”, “Land”, and “Air & Climate” are pages they provide.  It includes what soil is made out of. The website also provides links that lead to pages about soil ecology, the threats to the soil and soil microbiology. This is the strongest feature of this website. All of the pages listed above provide bolded words that are good terms to know when studying the topic. Another great feature is that they provide other good resources about soil. One fault in this website is on the “Soil” page. The paragraphs are repetitive. There are no bibliography or author credentials. It is easy to navigate though. This is a good website because it was recently updated on April 18, 2008.

"SOILCLIM" (2017)


This website strived to provide farmers and policy makers with adequate research on how Europe’s soil ecology was doing with recent agricultural intensification. The downside of this website is it requires the user to dive deeper into the tabs to find direct answers and research, while not giving it in a condensed “General Soil Ecology” article. The research is quite interesting in it provides real life images of what the groups are doing. “To address the effects of reduced rainfall, SOILCLIM will establish roof experiments with roofs that partially exclude rain and thus simulate drought conditions.” This experiment was cool in that it simulated drought effects on certain patches of grass in a field. The website is neatly structured and easy to find.

"Soil and Plant Nutrition: A Gardener’s Perspective" (2016)


            This website provides information of the function of soil and what benefits it provides to plant life. It explains both physical and chemical properties of soil in a clear way that is easy to read and comprehend. The website also italicizes key words so that if the reader does not understand the content, they can search these terms. The content is reliable as it comes from a university and was written and revised by two professors. The website is lacking in pictures making it seem wordier.

“Soil as a Biological System” (2002)


This article gives a great overview of the characteristics of soil spanning from its properties to its organisms. It has five main headings that go into more detail about soil, covering a large amount of information that is presented in an understandable way. This article also looks very reliable, as it has countless numbers of references and is easy to understand. It is also very informative and a good choice if someone is looking for a general overview of what soil is made up and how it interacts with its surroundings.

“Soil Basics 101.” (undated)


This website, run by some folks at Texas A&M University, is a fantastic site to learn all about Soil: how it comes to be, what it is made up of, etcetera. With subcategories set up in ‘Lesson’ format, this website is easy to navigate and easy to read, and all around a solid source for learning the basics of soil.

“Soil Biodiversity.” (2018)


This website focuses on the loss of soil biodiversity, how it is caused, and how it affects the environment. “The threat of soil biodiversity has been described as a reduction of forms of life living in soils (both in terms of quantity and variety) and of related function”. This site provides easy navigation between the topics regarding soil biodiversity such as how it can be prevented and how it can be measured/assessed. The site is a reliable “.edu”, and has an extensive list of references, footnotes, and further research links earning it a score of 8.4-.

“Soil Biodiversity and Soil Community Composition Determine Ecosystem Multifunctionality.” (3/14/14)


            This site explores how soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality. It explains the significance of biodiversity and how “below ground biodiversity is a key resource for maintaining the foundation of ecosystems”.  The website features many descriptive pictures and diagrams used to display patterns of data, as well as many links for further research and clarifying. The authors of the article also studied soil ecology and related topics, earning the site an overall score of 7.6-.  

"Soil Biology." (2014)


This site discussed everything there was to know about soil. It offers information such as soil biology at home, soil food web, soil biology primer, etc. Also there is a link that you can click on where you can go and purchase a book that has all this information in it. But at the same time this site is easy to navigate, because of the way they have it set up. You can easily view any set of information by simply just clicking on it and the visuals they have set up on the site makes the reading the information easier. Because this website is published by the U.S Government you know that this information is really reliable. I would recommend this site to any biology student or any person that is just interested in biology period and would not worry about the information being incorrect.

 “Soil Biology in the Key to Healthy Soil and the Direct-Seeding Advantage.” (2002)


This website is about soil ecology and how it can be applied to create optimal farming conditions.  It has information about the rhizosphere, the content of soil, fungi, earthworms, tilling, rotation, and other farming practices.  Although lacking in links and pictures, it has an extensive bibliography and a way to contact the author.  It is also written by reputable organizations. 

“Soil invertebrate and microbial communities, and decomposition as indicators of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination” (2001)


This website is interesting and beneficial to read. The researchers study the effect of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, (PAH) on microorganisms in soil. PAH is the number of aromatic rings the atoms of a carbon and hydraulic chemical create. If the number of aromatic rings exceeds four, it increases the risk of cancer. The researchers predict that the population of microorganisms would be greater in areas with less PAH. Not only is the topic intriguing, but it is easy to navigate and read. The graphs and charts portray the data in a way that is readable, and the study in general is well done.

"Soil Ecology." (2000)


This website talks about the many different factors that contribute and effect the environment and the soil. It talks about internal and external cycles in an ecosystem and it talks about some elements and how they can affect the environment. It helpfully describes a soil biota and explains all of this in an understandable manner. The website earned a 7.7 because it has a lot of information and seems reliable, going into depth on each topic it covers. Some problems with this website are it was written in 2000 and it has no links or references.

“Soil Ecology.” (undated)


This website is an overview of the soil ecology in cover crops and its interactions with biota and vineyards.  It starts up by briefly describing soil organisms with a summary and tables that shows the beneficial activities of microorganisms.

“Soil Ecology” (no date)


This article gives a brief introduction to soil ecology by exploring many different sub topics such as soil organisms, cover crops, and their interactions. This article as many references and is written very well, but there Is no date of publication.

“Soil Ecology” (2016).


            This site explains the soil ecology-related goals and projects of the United States Department of Agriculture. There are visuals of each project outlined, as well as a thorough explanation of the processes and goals of each. In addition to the project outlines, there is a brief overview of the department’s role and focuses in soil ecology. The website gives good information and is informative of modern soil ecology studies.

“Soil Ecology” (2017).


            This site outlines the basics studies of the University of Rhode Island’s branch of the Department of Natural Resources Science. There are no photos relating to the goals of the study of soil ecology, but there is however a photo relating to the theme of the overall site as a whole. The information, while slightly vague, does give the reader a good idea of what sorts of things are currently being studied in the field of soil ecology. Overall, this sites gets a 7.8+ on a scale of 1-10.

"Soil Ecology" (2018)


This site has the goal to develop an individual’s idea on soil ecology and what the topic consists of as a broader concept. The website is nicely organized and adequately outlines the composition of soil. There are also numerous sources that provide links to various scientists who conduct research on soil ecology using their various specialized degrees. In the article it describes the importance of carbon in soil. The site is slightly lengthy for a general overview, but, regardless, it still gets the job done.  This website was given a score of 7.7 and would be a viable resource for General Soil Ecology concerns.

"Soil Ecology" (2018)


The main goal of this website is to provide an overview of the various influences and descriptors of soil ecology within the university. The website provides a link to the research group’s website, which has various tabs that concern research, media, new, etc.. “The physical setting and dynamics of soil physical processes constrain the magnitude and type of microbial activities and ecological interactions involved in nutrient cycling..” The website is professional and seems easy enough to navigate, and find research in the areas of “Biogeochemistry and Microbial Ecology of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, Impact of Agricultural, Aquacultural & Horticultural Management on Soil & Environmental Quality, and Interactions Among Soil Biota, Soil Physical Properties and Biogeochemical Processes.”

“Soil Ecology and Restoration Group.” (1995)


        This particular website focuses mainly on SERG, which is the Soil Ecology Restoration Group. In addition to SERG, this website is capable of answering questions about soil ecology and it even has helpful instructions on certain projects that are listed. This website has many available links which deal with soil ecology and soil research. If you needed to know about specific types of plants or fungi, this website would provide you with a lot of helpful information.

"Soil Ecology: What lies beneath" (2008)


This article primarily discusses the importance of organisms within the soil. It describes the diversity of organisms in the soil and their functions. The visuals are appropriate for the topic. The article provides good information from a variety of studies about microorganisms.

“Soil Ecosystems” (2015)


This site explains the different types of soil ecosystems, and the different roles of soil in the ecosystem. The page provides specific information about ecological cycling and explains the role of the water, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon cycle in regard to the soil. Soil acts as a protector of the seeds and plants by retaining and delivering essential nutrients to the plants. This provides humans and animals with important resources. The soil also works as flood control and water filtration. This page also explains how soil works to process and detoxify natural and man-made waste within the soil.

“Soil Genesis and Development, Lesson 6 - Global Soil Resources and Distribution” 2016


 This website is an education sponsored site that covers all 5 key functions of soil in the global ecosystem, as a medium for plant growth, a regulator of water supplies, a recycler of raw materials, a habitat for soil organisms, and a landscaping and engineering medium, both individually and in the grand scheme of soil ecology, with interactive follow-up quizzes after each section dedicated to each individual key function.

“The Soil Makers.” (2004)


        This site explores in great detail multiple aspects of soil ecology.  It is well organized, and although it doesn’t have any visuals, its reference to multiple book sources is a great bonus for further research on any of the discussed topics. In many ways it serves as a literary review.  This site contains the most information in regards to invertebrates.

"Soil Microarthropod Community Structure and Litter Decomposition Dynamics: A Study of Tropical and Temperate Sites." (1996)


       This website is a very good website for research.  The information is very detailed and specific.  The information is very consistent and doesn’t seem to go off topic and it shows the references so if you need further information you could find it easily.  The one thing is the information might be out of date because the last time it was updated was 1997.

"Soil Organisms." (2006)


                This is a helpful site to help learn more about soil. It also talks about the different species you can find in the soil and other things such as fungi. It then offers ways in which you can test soil and study soil. This would be helpful for beginners who are learning and studying soil. It also offers different lab experiments. In this site there are very good visuals and if gives other links that can help your understanding of soil. It then gives information about soil degradation. So this is a helpful site to better your understanding of soil.

“Soil Physical and Chemical Properties” (2014).


This website describes various physical and chemical soil properties. It includes helpful diagrams of soil texture, soil structures, and soil shapes. It is split up into 8 categories, which go into more depth about each property of the soil. The properties focused on are: soil horizonation, color, texture, structure, consistence, density, cation exchange capacity, and reactions (pH). The site is fairly easy to navigate, as all the information is on one page. However, there are no links to any other sites for additional information. The language is fairly easy to follow and interpret. One problem is there are no strong author credentials or contacts addresses. This website has also not been updated since 2014. 

"Soil Quality Information" (n.d)


            This website details what qualifies as healthy soil, the differences in types of soil, and how to attain healthy soil. It breaks down several different qualities of soil and provides visuals to aid in comprehension. The website is from a university extension and provides many references. Additionally, the website is easy to read and navigate. It does not provide a date of publication or revision which may compromise the integrity of the information.

“Soil Quality Resource Concerns: Soil Biodiversity” (1998)


This site focuses mainly on soil biodiversity. It provides helpful information about the benefits of soil organisms and how the management of the soil impacts its quality. This site is very easy to navigate because all of the information is on two pages, however there are no links to further sources except to their website. The content is relatively easy to understand as well. Unfortunately there are no bibliographies or references and has not been updated since 1998.

"Soil Regions." (undated)


          This website is run by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources; a branch of the Ohio government. This website includes general information on soil, but its main purpose is to provide insight on Ohio’s soil. The writing is very detailed, and the photographs are relevant to the text. Although the site did not provide when the article was written, it did provide a contact address. The other articles and links on the site were easy to access, and provided other articles on soil.

“Soil Science Education.” (2005)


This site is very student oriented, if a little juvenile.  There are many interactive areas of the site, including activities to help learn about certain topics.  There are many interesting graphics and visually it is very interesting.  The site answers such questions as “How Much Soil Is There?” creatively, and the writing is very easy to understand.  However, sometimes the site is hard to navigate and can go off-topic with in the article you may be reading.  This is a very good site for getting very basic information on soil, and the site’s visuals make the webpage much more interesting.

“Soil Science: an interdisciplinary approach to soil research.” (2002)


        This site contains abstracts of research papers, and some full research papers, from the journal soil science.  The papers cover many different, but specific topics.  Fortunately, there is a search option provided and it works very well.

The papers cover all topics in soil science, however each pertains to a very small part of the field and I would not recommend using this site for background information.  Also, most of the papers are not accessible for free.  The papers themselves have good bibliographies; unfortunately, with out being a subscriber one can only see abstracts of most of the papers.  The site also has few pictures.  On the other hand, this site has good author credibility; most of the authors hold Ph.D.s.  The site also has good contact information and good links.  Finally, this site is very easy to navigate.

"Soil Studies." (2007)


This site is an informative report about the field studies which are conducted in Europe. These soil studies are being conducted in Garraf National Park. The scientists are comparing and contrasting different processes to understand more about this environment. Some of these processes include comparing a variety of different soil; comparing the depth of the soil to the gradient; and how human action is affecting the quality of the soil. This website would be helpful to people who are learning how to conduct a soil study. They are trying to see if the process of leaching and oxidation effects the soil. There is also more information about the soil studies if you click “more” for the next page.  

“Soil Survey Information for New England.” (2005)


      This is the Society of Soil Scientists of Southern New England.  This site’s main focus is to provide the reader with a variety of soil information.  The links on the site are phenomenal, with sections such as a glossary of soil terms and soil properties.  The site’s best aspect is the feature labeled “soil links”, which consists of dozens of links to other sites about soil.

“Soil Testing.” (2000)


       This website shows the basic instructions on protocol for soil experiments. Recommended  to those who have no previous knowledge on how to do a soil experiment, and would like a basic and not very descriptive explanation on how to prepare for basic soil science experiments. Contact information is clearly put at the bottom of the page, and the page is from Clemson University, so one may be confident that the protocol explained in this article is proper.

Study Guide for Soil Classifiers Certification Examination.


This pdf site helps readers identify the different types and things in soil. The pdf is orderly so it is easy to navigate and at the end there is a useful reference page. It shows some pictures to help people understand the writing.

"Study Helps Clarify Role of Soil Microbes in Global Warming." (2009)


     Global warming has an impact of soil and the life within soil.  This website teaches its readers what exactly global warming is doing to the soil.  It talks about the bacteria and other microbes and how they will effect decomposition with the negative effect of global warming.  Researches have found that decomposition increases for a short period of time with higher temperatures, however they decomposition doesn’t continue at a high rate…it slows down drastically.

“Study of Water Quality and Heavy Metals in Soil & Water of Ex-Mining Area Bestari Jaya, Penisular Malaysia” (2011)


         The soils study took pace in Malaysia to see if tin mining affected the chemistry of the soil and water. They give explicit descriptions of where soil samples were taken and the climate surrounding the area. The results of this study are pretty fascinating. The study was directed by professors at the University of Malaysia in the department of chemistry and geology. The website includes many visuals, many that show where samples were taken. This document is very specific because it pertains to a specific location in the world. It would take a long time to read considering it is 21 pages, but it becomes very specific and in depth. The navigation is fairly easy. The list of references is extensive and gives the reader some more links to follow if they are still interesting in the topic of soil studies. Data tables are located at the end of the document, if a reader would like to see the exact results of this soil study.  

"Symbiosis in the Serengeti" (Undated)


 This source from Northern Arizona University provides information from Dr. Nancy Collins Johnson's study of abundance, diversity, and species composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses in Serengeti National Park (Tanzania).  Throughout the article, Dr. Johnson describes the role of mycorrhizas in the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorous, the features of the Serengeti National Park, and the molecular methods used in her experiments.  The most significant discoveries were related to the mycorrhizal symbioses' function varieties: mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. 

“A Tale of Four Stories: Soil Ecology, Theory, Evolution and the Publication System.” (2007)


       This website is a report on the evolution and theories of soil ecology. It compares past information to earlier research that has been found. One good feature on this report is that it has good representations of the information with the use graphs and tables. It is very detailed in the information that researchers have found, and I would recommend this site to anyone who is interested in soil ecology.

“A Tale of Two (Soil) Cities.” (2015)


This article talks about connections between aggregates, which are clusters of soil particles, pores in soil and bacteria and microorganisms that live in the pores.  It explains that the pore size of the soil aggregates can affect the types of microorganisms that live in a specific place.  This is a very informative and easy to read article with a few pictures and captions explaining some of the different ideas which are discussed.  It was recently published using the Soil Science Society of America Journal as its main reference.

“The Topic: Soil.” (2002)


        This site gives the basics about soil, and by basics I mean really basic as in: “Soil is a mixture of mineral and organic materials plus air and water. The contents of soil varies in different locations and is constantly changing.” But it’s a good place to start! This site offers the answers to several soil questions like what is soil? Or what are different kinds of soil? It describes soil in very basic easy to understand terms and offers links for further investigation, and some links that are useless for research but entertaining nonetheless. A downside is that it is a dot com site, and not much information in the way of author credentials, as well as not being specific enough at times.  But the site was pretty good over all, it was accurate, easy to navigate, proofread, it had plenty of links and also had a contact address for both of the authors who collaborated to make the site.

"Understanding Soil Microbes and Nutrient Recycling" (2017).


This website offers a detailed description of soil microbes and nutrient recycling. It goes into great depth about the microorganisms in the soil and includes understandable visuals to further describe their information. References are included in this website which offer alternative links for further information. This website is easy to navigate and the information portrayed is complex and specific, but understandable.

“Understanding the Role of Soil Microbiological Ecosystems” (2016).


This article is an interview with Dr. Peter Keating centering around soil microbiology. Dr. Keating has over 25 years of experience as a commercial scientist in biological, chemical and engineering applications. He explains what soil microbiology is and answers many other questions about soil microbiology in great detail. He talks mostly about how microbiology impacts soil ecology and soil ecosystems. This is however only the opinion of one scientist and this article contains no further references.

"University of Maine Plant, Soil and Environmental studies.” (undated)


        This website gives a summary of the University of Maine’s ecology mission and provides a library for soil and environmental research.  The site is easily navigatible and updated regularly. The information is reliable and available in a variety of levels of study. The website does provide author contact information. I highly recommend this website for research no matter your current level of knowledge on the topic.

“The use of electromagnetic induction techniques in soils studies” (2014)


This site informs readers on how the use electromagnetic induction effects the different things that could be tested in soil. Soil texture, compaction, ph, and flow patterns are just some of the things being tested for. There are a lot of references and the site is an .edu by the University of Nebraska, which makes the website stronger.

"Why Study Soils?" (1998)


    This pristine article written by a trustworthy author and reliable database is easy to read and understand. The article explains why the study of soil is vital to almost every job. It is important in archeology, engineering, food production, and even human history. This article is not only well written, but it is also interesting to read. The topic intrigues the audience and influences them to follow through the studies of soil. Along with the many positives of this website, there are some additional negatives. First, the last time the article was updated was in 1998. An additional downfall is that the website is pretty difficult to navigate making ones interest to know more about soil studies decrease. Overall, the website was a very trustworthy and informative website.

"What is Soil?" (2018)


            This website’s purpose is to define the most basic aspects of soil. The website provides several definitions that allow the reader to fully comprehend the concept. It also defines what the upper and lower boundaries of soil are. The content is very broad and does not go into many specifics which could be detrimental depending on what information is being searched for. The website does lack graphics and it does not give links for further research. The website it backed by the United States Department of Agriculture, however, so it is reliable.

“What is Soil Ecology?” (2014)


This site gives examples of what studying soil ecology consists of and what soil ecologists focus on. It talks about the chemical and physical aspects to soil and how soil ecology is involve with environmental issues. The wording of the website is very concise and easy to understand. To be improved, this website could give a little more information beyond the basics to get people more interested in learning about soil ecology.

“What do Fungi and Bacteria do in the soil?” (1998)


This website from Montana State University is focused on describing the role bacteria and fungi play in the soil. Bacteria and Fungi have the job of decomposing plant material and turning the elements in the plants into items that can be used to nourish other micro- and macro organisms in the soil. These items also benefit plants that may be planted there in the future. The overall result is “improved soil structure, stability of structure and better drainage and aeration” (Bauder, J. 1998). The site is not very long but it provides a lot of good information that is easy to understand.