🙏 Free review 2020
Required Environmental Legislation
Major Environmental Disasters
✍️ Free Response Questions (FRQs)
🏜 Unit 1: The Living World: Ecosystems
1.1Introduction to Ecosystems
1.10Energy Flow and the 10% Rule
🐠 Unit 2: The Living World: Biodiversity
2.5Natural Disruptions to Ecosystems
👪 Unit 3: Populations
3.0Unit 3 Overview: Populations
3.1Generalist and Specialist Species
3.2K-Selected r-Selected Species
🌏 Unit 4: Earth Systems and Resources
4.3Soil Composition and Properties
🏖 Unit 5: Land and Water Use
5.7Meat Control Methods
5.9Impacts of Mining
⚡️ Unit 6: Energy Resources and Consumption
6.0Unit 6 Overview: Energy Resources and Consumption
💨 Unit 7: Atmospheric Pollution
7.1Introduction to Air Pollution
7.5Indoor Air Pollutants
7.6Reduction of Air Pollutants
♻️ Unit 8: Aquatic and Terrestrial Pollution
🔥 Unit 9: Global Change
9.1Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
9.4Increases in the Greenhouse Gases
⏱️ 2 min read
May 18, 2020
Soil formation is an important process in the environment that creates the ability of plants to grow. Through the formation of soil, different soil horizons are created that have different properties and nutrients. The soil itself is one of the most critical pieces of an environment so protecting it is crucial.
Soil formation starts with parent material. Over time, weathering occurs and the parent material is broken down into smaller and smaller particles. Also, particles from other places might be introduced through the deposition.
Once a small layer of soil has been formed, moss and other small vegetation begin to grow. With the presence of small vegetation and organisms, more soil horizons form and nutrients are added to the soil. From here, the soil continues to develop as more plants and organisms interact with it.
O Horizon (Hummus)
Surface litter, like leaves and other decaying matter
A Horizon (Topsoil)
Mixture of organic materials with minerals
E Horizon (Eluviated)
Zone of Leaching, nutrients from upper horizons moves to lower horizons
B Horizon (Subsoil)
Zone of Accumulation where minerals such as iron and other nutrients accumulate
C Horizon (Parent Material)
The material that is broken down to create the soil
Solid rock that lies beneath the parent material and soil
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia
Due to soil’s importance to the environment, it is critical that it is protected. Often, soil can be washed away or eroded away by wind and water. This happens when no plants or vegetation are available to hold the soil in place. An example of this is the Dust Bowl that took place in the US.
Erosion can negatively impact water quality. One thing that soil does is filter water with the help of vegetation. No soil or vegetation means that water won’t be filtered which might result in unclean water with higher amounts of pollutants.
🎥 Watch: AP Environmental Science Streams
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