Soil has always been regarded as lifeless and even dirty, and its vital importance, the diversity of life it harbors and sustains, and the role it has played in the development of civilization is seldom pondered on.
Soil is an essential part of the biosphere (the place on Earth where life is found), it participates in climate regulation and in the biogeochemical cycles of the elements. It plays a role as a filter and retainer of substances, it houses groundwaters and surface waters, in it the decomposition of organic compounds is carried out, getting them to become minerals again. In addition, in each square centimeter of soil you can find as much life as there are humans on earth.
The soil can be found in multiple varieties, depending on the combination of the components that we find in it, thanks to this, it is the adequate substrate for the production of food, both for human populations and for domestic and wild ones, the soil is also an important reserve of nutrients and minerals, as is seen the case of mining. Despite this and its vast extension, the soil is not exempt from losing its characteristics and degrading, in fact, many soils are not suitable for agricultural activities or even no longer have the capacity to support life.
In this context, World Soil Day is celebrated, emphasizing in this year’s edition, the close relationship between the soil and the food we consume daily, and how vital its protection and conservation processes are for food sustainability of the human species.
The balance of soils is transcendental, extreme variations in its composition could be detrimental in several ways, a soil with high amounts of nutrients can be toxic to the beings that inhabit it (bacteria, insects, worms), reducing its productivity and diversity. A low amount of nutrients on the other hand, will negatively influence the quality of the food produced, reducing its nutritional and energy value and therefore threatening the food sustainability of future generations.
Desertification and acidification are among other threats that soils faces as a result of human activity, which through the voluntary or accidental dumping of chemical substances and poor agricultural practices has caused imbalances in the natural concentrations of soil nutrients. which triggers its subsequent degradation.
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The attention that we can pay to the importance of the soil and to recognize the anthropic factors that may affect it, offers us an opportunity for future generations.