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Removal of calcium carbonate or calcium ions from the soil by leaching.


The biochemical breakdown of organic matter into organic compounds and nutrients, and ultimately into its original components.


A process performed by a few species of anaerobic soil bacteria in which nitrite or nitrate is converted to nitrogen gas (N2) or nitrous oxide (N2O). Both N2 and N2O are volatile and lost to the atmosphere.


The accumulation of eroded soil material on the soil surface


The process in which relatively dry land becomes increasingly arid, typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife either directly via climate change or indirectly via soil degradation resulting from poor management.


Organisms that eat detritus, that is, dead plants and animals.

Diagnostic Horizon

Horizontal soil layers characterized by a combination of attributes that reflect widespread, common results of the processes of soil formation (Bridges, 1997) or indicates specific conditions of soil formation.(WRB, 2006).


Liquid or solid residues produced by fermentation of biomass (anaerobic digestion) in a biogas plant.

Direct sowing, direct drilling

Planting crops in a non-inverted soil without seedbed preparation (i.e. under no-tillage).


An ecosystem disturbance can be natural or human induced stress. An example of a natural disturbance is a hurricane or a tornado. An example of a human-induced disturbance is tillage or pesticide application. Examples of disturbances that can affect soil include drought, fire, harvest, tillage, compaction, overgrazing, or addition of pesticides.

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