“A Brief Overview of Nutrient Cycling
in Pastures.” (2008)
This website talks about nutrients cycling through soil organisms. The website is fantastic; it gives you an abstract in the beginning of what the entire website is about, a table of contents, along with charts and pictures. This website also has links to other websites. It is very navigational by having a back to top link, and an index where you can click to take you to a certain section on the webpage. This website is full of information and is extremely helpful.
"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.
"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.
“Article: Applied Soil Ecology” 2015
This is the official website for the University of Lorraine in France that has links and information about an experiment conducted by the professors and students at the university that covers ecological networks and the inter-connection between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function. The lack of quantitative data at a large scale has caused a global deficiency in the understanding of the said inter-connection.
“Background CSE” (2010)
This source provides information on the importance of soil ecology to the world we live in and how it relates to how we as humans live. It provides wonderful explanations and reasoning as to why soil ecology is necessary for life and why it is important to study it. In addition to soil ecology’s importance, it could also improve some more of the basic info on soil ecology. This information for this site is from the Centre for Soil Ecology, whose goal among others is to inform as many people as possible about the significance of soil ecology. The site is functional and very knowledgeable based on the fact that this centre has a collaboration between the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and the Wageningen University and Research Center.
"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. Overall, this site gets an 8.88- on a scale of 1-10.
"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.
"Biological Soil Crusts: Ecology and Management." (2001)
This website is a PDF that is written by the US Department of Interior and is full of great detail on soil ecology. This website covers organisms and their roles, the soil itself, human’s impact on the soil, what we can do to better the soil, and how to monitor the soil itself. The website earned a 9 because it is extremely specific; it explains the subject at a high level; and has many authors, contributors, and editors working on the PDF. The website is very accurate and is full of a lot of good information. The only downside is it was written in 2001 but other than that it was a very good, reliable website.
“Canadian Soil Information System.” (2000)
“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. This site received a score of 8.56.
Studies Antibiotics in Soil” (2005)
"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. Overall I gave this website a score of 8+/10.
“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. This site received a score of 8.22.
“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.
“Ecosystem and Soil Biology Laboratory.” (2007)
http://www.eeescience.utoledo.edu/faculty/weintraub/ESELab.htmThis 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.
“Effect of Soil Physical Factors on Biological Control Agents of Soil Insect
“Effect of Soil Physical Factors on Biological Control Agents of Soil Insect Pests" (1992)
This source is a scholarly article found on the research database Jstor. It is written by Mary E. Barbercheck, Ph.D and professor at Penn State University. This particular section, spanning from page 539 to page 548, illustrates the effects of soil factors on biological control agents, and uses charts and graphs to display and discuss soil physical factors and components. Included is a thorough bibliography and Dr. Barbercheck kindly includes her university p.o. box number. However, the source is not current, and it is doubtful that Dr. Barbercheck could still be reached at her given address.
“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.
“Environmental Sciences Seminar Abstract- Applications of Electrical Geophysical Methods in Soil Studies” (2002)
“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. This site received a score of 8.44.
"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. The positive attributes of this website earned it a 7.6 and a reputation as an important website.
"German Soil Science Society" (2017).
"German Soil Science Society" (2017).
This site is to give information about the German Soil Science Society and their projects and studies. This site shows plenty of contact information and links and is easy to comprehend. It offers valuable and relevant information on soil and the organisms that live there. Unfortunately, most of the external links are in German, making them less accessible to people who do not speak German.
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.
“Implications of Observed Differences in Winter Soil” (2011)
The goal of this soil study was to compare the diversity of bacteria over two winter seasons. These highly qualified scientists eloquently opened their study by explaining the benefits of observing bacteria and how this information can provide insight into the health of an ecosystem. This soil study was highly reliable due to the authors many qualifications. Also, this soil study was found on the Stanford website’s collection of science journals. In addition to the study’s reliability, the study is also very current and was conducted during the winters of 2011 as well as 2012. Although this study was easy to navigate and has appropriate visuals, it neglects links and contact address’. Overall this website scores a 10-.
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. The abundance or credentials and people available to contact is why this website earned a 7.6.
Nature Helping Science Restore the Natural Process of the Soil Food Web: SOIL ECOLOGY & THE SOIL FOOD WEB (2003)
This site provides general information on the food web in the soil, emphasizes the need for a stable food chain and explains the detrimental effects that humans have had on soil ecology over the years. Unfortunately, the site has no bibliography, but the wide range of easy to understand information makes this article useful regardless.
“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). Overall this website scores a 7.9-.
"OSU Soil Ecology News." (2004)
Ohio State University’s soil ecology news site has many links to further information. It also contains a page detailing the works published by the group, contact information for the same group, as well as previous and underway research. It allows visitors to send feedback. Getting around the site is relatively easy, though may be difficult in some areas.
“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.
"Quantitative Extraction of Macro-invertebrates
from Temperate and Tropical Leaf Litter and Soil: Efficiency and Time-dependent
Taxonomic Biases of the Winkler Extraction " (2004)
This source from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science explains the use of a Winkler extraction in ecological surveys and studies of the function of macro-invertebrates in the soil. Through the evaluation of the extraction efficiency and taxonomic biases, it became know that the Winkler extractors remove almost all the macro-invertebrates with the exception of Isopoda, Diplopoda, and Mollusca. The results describes the different lengths of extraction periods that were tested on the separate macro-invertebrates.
“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 overall score is a 8-.
“The Resource Beneath Our Feet” (2015).
“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. Overall, this site gets a 7.8+ on a scale of 1-10.
“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.
“The Secret Life of Soil” (2010)
This website from Oregon State University talks about the many organisms that live in soil and their roles. The organisms discussed are bacteria, mycorrhizae, protozoa, nematodes, and earthworms. The website describes each organism’s job and how they interact with each other. The information is very well-written and easy to understand. The site doesn’t have pictures or a bibliography, which would be a good improvement. Overall, the site was really good and had a lot of good information.
“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.
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.
“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.
“The Soil as an Environment for Microorganisms.” (undated)
This site contains facts about soil and microorganisms. It has several data tables and charts. The site has a copious amount of information supported by tests and information found by soil scientists who are cited in the site. The information varies from soil porosity to the number of earthworms found in a minute area of soil. This site is extremely informative. However, the large amount of information and the advanced data can be overwhelming for someone running an initial research program. This site is not recommended for someone who is in the elementary stages of study in soil ecology.
“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 and Soil Community Composition Determine Ecosystem
“Soil Biodiversity and Soil Community Composition Determine Ecosystem Multifunctionality" (2014).
This source is a scholarly journal article co-authored and researched by four environmental and biological scholars on the topic of soil biodiversity and its effect on an ecosystem. This source would be wonderful as a supporting document for the hypothesis that soil composition and traits have a significant impact on the wellbeing of a habitat and its organisms. The article includes a comprehensive bibliography, a relatively recent date of publication (2014), related visuals, and an email address for additional information.
“Soil Biological Communities.” (2001)
This site encompasses the fundamental aspects of soil life and composition. It targets Biological Crusts, Fungi, Bacteria, Protozoa, Nematodes, Arthropods, the Soil Food Web, and even common Mammals all based around a typical sagebrush community. Each topic is explained and outlined very clearly and includes a list of references for further information on that specific topic at the bottom. Along with every explored topic are also a variety of great visuals. In particular there is an excellent diagram of the soil food web. This site also includes a “Just for Kids!” section which links to a more simplified look at soil ecology with great analogies for younger audiences. This site is easy to navigate and understand and successfully relays its knowledge of soil in an interesting way. This site is linked with the National Science and Technology Center and is the result of the collaboration of many scientists.
"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.” (1998)
In this website, it covers types of organisms to algae to beneficial effects of soil organisms to earthworms. The website doesn’t contain any pictures but if you click on one of the links, it shows you a picture of that specific word. This website is extremely useful because it first is very easy to navigate by giving you an index to let you know what you can read about. It then explains every topic using subtopics, and then for specific words such as single celled yeast, they hyperlinked it to a picture of a single celled yeast so the reader knows what it actually looks like. If the topic doesn’t have a subtopic it gives bullet points on facts about the topic so the reader is not reading paragraphs.
“Soil Biology in the Key to Healthy Soil and the Direct-Seeding Advantage.” (2002)
http://pnwsteep.wsu.edu/directseed/conf2k2/dscclapperton.htmThis 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 Biology Movies.” (1998)
This site provides movie clips and explanations of 15 major organisms and microorganisms found in the soil. The organisms explored are actinomycetes, algae, bacteria, earthworms, ectomycorrhizae, endomycorrhizae, fungi, mites, mixed-fauna, nematodes, nem-trap fungi, protozoa, rotifers, springtails, and vorticella. The site also includes a video and explanation on how to properly use a microscope and its different magnifications. The site is very straight forward but extremely valuable. Within each clip it explores the organism at various magnifications and views which could help with identification. The explanations provided with each video are brief, but could serve as a good starting point for research. The author’s credentials include his membership to Iowa State University’s Department of Agronomy.
“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)
"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)
http://ucanr.org/sites/intvit/files/24453.pdfThis 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 website from North Carolina State University gives a general definition of soil ecology and is mainly focused on the importance of organic matter in soil. It provides many examples of how organic matter affects the soil physically, chemically, and biologically. Although the site does not have a lot of information on it, it is very straight-to-the-point. It is also relatively easy to read and understand, and was written by many credible authors who teach at the school. However, the site does not have a bibliography or any links that could be useful in finding more information.
“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. Overall, this site gets an 8.2+ on a scale of 1-10.
“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 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 of a Lichen Heath at Spitsbergen, Svalbard: Effects of Artificial
Removal of the Lichen Plant Cover" (1981).
“Soil Ecology of a Lichen Heath at Spitsbergen, Svalbard: Effects of Artificial Removal of the Lichen Plant Cover" (1981).
This source is a section of a scholarly journal, and focuses on a case study of the components of soil before and after being affected by the independent variable, the presence of overhead vegetation. Graphs are present, illustrating the presence of materials in the soil and the effect the changed soil had on organisms in the habitat. While the content is on the more advanced side, it is appropriate for its professional context. Although the currency scores low and the author has only a bachelor’s degree, Erling Sendstad’s profession as a biologist and history of being published in reliable scientific journals, as well as the extensive list of references, makes it a reliable source for scientific research.
“Soil Ecology Research Group” 2006
This site is a government sponsored site out of Finland primarily about the Nitrogen cycle and the regulation thereof, with side-mention of processes and organisms involved in nitrification, wood ash fertilization, effects of lead contamination on pine forest soil, and topics on the subject of general soil ecology. The participants measure nitrification rates amongst their field sites and autotrophic ammonia oxidizing microorganisms (AOMs) and their functional genes. By completing these studies they hope to get a better understanding of the mechanisms controlling soil Nitrogen dynamics.
"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. I give this website a score of 7+/10.
"Soil Erosion Site." (2007)
This site is all about the effects of soil erosion. It gives lots of information about all of the types and causes of soil erosion. There are many pictures and videos displaying eroded places and how erosion occurs by water and by wind.
“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. Overall, this site gets a 7- on a scale of 1-10.
“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. Overall this site is a 7+ on a scale from 1-10.
"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.
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 Studies” (2012)
This extremely easy to navigate website covers almost all the information there is to know about soil. It talks about what exactly soil is and what it is made out of. The website explains that soils are made up of three major components. Minerals of different sizes like sand, silt and clay, organic material from decomposed animals and plants, and air or water. In addition to an organized and detailed explanation of what soil is and what it is made out of, the website is extremely organized. The wording is not too difficult to understand and the visuals are appropriate. The downfalls of the websites are that it’s a “.com” website and there are little to no references. Overall, the website is very informative and easy to navigate.
“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.
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 Reveals that
Nitrogen Fertilizers Deplete Soil Organic Carbon” (undated)
This article, published online
“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.
“Sustainable Soil Management.” (2004)
This website gives a good overview of basic soil knowledge and is very informative. Although it seems to be focused on agriculture, it explains and goes into detail about such subjects as soil structure and texture, organisms living in the soil and “organic matter”. The information is well written, but easy to understand. Although not the most exciting webpage to look at, it has some helpful tables and visuals. It has many helpful links as well and is fairly easy to navigate. An excellent site for any background information you may need on soil or the organisms living in it.
"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.
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.
"Talking Dirt with the Soil Ecology
"Talking Dirt with the Soil Ecology Society" (2015).
This article is about the importance of bacteria and chemicals in soil and how it effects the entire environments. It also provides information on how the Soil Ecology Society helps protect this vital piece of our ecosystem. This site is written by a member of the Global Soil Biology Initiative and is fairly recent.
“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.
“The Twelve Soil Orders: Soil Taxonomy.” (1999)
This site, sponsored by the University of Idaho, provides the reader with accurate information on soil taxonomy, the system for classifying different types of soils. Information is provided for all 12 types of soil. The site is unbiased, with working links and clear author credentials. The site is easily navigable and well proofread, and includes appropriate visuals. However, it is unclear when the site was last updated. A contact address is provided.
“UFZ Centre for Environmental Research.” (2006)
This site is the location of the UFZ Centre for Scientific Research, and is site from Europe. Since the UFZ is a department in a university, the accuracy and reliability of the information in the site is very high. The main goals of the department are to investigate the role of microorganisms in soil ecosystems, in addition to studying the microbial make-up of the soil in certain areas. The research on which they are currently working ranges from an enormous study encompassing 90 20m x 20m plots, to a study in which pollution and runoff affect land nearby a busy road or factory after many years of constant exposure. The studies located on this website all have an available pdf version that can be used to view the full report. The large research team involved in these studies allows there to be hundreds of studies performed in the past 6 years. The types of investigations on this website have a broad range, yes, but the site is most helpful if someone is looking for information on general soil ecology and humanity’s effect on the environment.
Soil Microbes and Nutrient Recycling" (2017).
"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. Overall, this site gets an 8.0+ on a scale of 1-10.
“Understanding the Role of Soil
Microbiological Ecosystems” (2016).
“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. Overall this site is a 7.6- on a scale of 1-10.
"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.
This website describes many of its various projects that are currently in place. They experimented specifically with vermiculture, in areas such as storage, mechanisms, effects on plant growth, residual effects, field experiments and many others. The details of how these areas are being tested are listed, allowing for other readers to complete these as well. This website is unique in that the school is still studying the effects on soil and plants, but the cause is consistently vermicompost. There are many other helpful links as well, and the lay-out is very well organized and easily accessible
"Why Study Soils?" (1998)
"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 Ecology?” (2014)
This site g ives 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.