Effects of animals on soil

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Abstract

Soil is defined here in terms of arbitrary boundaries rather than of functions of a soil body. Soil animals are defined in relation to their effects on the soil body. Animals living in the soil body and intimately related to it are indeed part of the soil. Animals living above the soil make contributions to it. Many animals are amphihabitant, that is, they live for a time in the soil and then in environments outside the soil. Exopedonic (outside the soil) and endopedonic (inside the soil) animals are considered with respect to twelve activities: mounding, mixing, forming voids, back-filling voids, forming and destroying peds, regulating soil erosion, regulating movement of water and air in soil, regulating plant litter, regulating nutrient cycling, regulating biota, and producing special constituents. Animals participate in numerous processes of soil formation and effect the usefulness of soils. © 1981.

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Authors

  • Francis D. Hole

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