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Module

ACE2074 : Soils in Terrestrial Ecosystems

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Yit Arn Teh
  • Lecturer: Dr Julia Cooper
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To explain the concept of soils as dynamic natural bodies within terrestrial ecosystems and the interaction between soils, vegetation and other environmental variables based on an understanding of the soil processes. This holistic, ecosystem-centred analysis will equip students with the ability to recognise and understand the evolution of soils in selected terrestrial ecosystems internationally and in Britain and to understand the importance of soil in the context of environmental issues.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics are introduced in the lecture programme, field classes, practicals
where an ecosystem-centred approach to environment, soils and soil forming processes is taken.
Lecture , field classes and practicals will cover
• Introduction to soils within ecosystems; review of key concepts from ACE1008
• Soil physical properties and impacts on the environment; soils and flood management
• Importance of biota in soil development and organic matter accumulation; the soil foodweb concept; soil C sequestration; role of soils in climate change mitigation
• Soil chemical properties, pH, CEC and colloids; importance of soil chemistry in driving plant community structure
• Nutrient cycling in natural and managed ecosystems; risks from human intervention in nutrient cycles
• Soil evolution and plant succession; soil/vegetation chronosequences
• The impact of climate on soils and ecosystems
• Geological factors in soil formation and ecosystem characteristics
• Topographic factors in ecosystem variability and soil formation
• Soil classification
The main ecosystems covered are tropical ecosystems, cool temperate deciduous woodland ecosystems, wetland habitats, peatland habitats, coniferous Boreal forest ecosystems, British heathland ecosystems and their soils, upland moors and mires, agro-ecosystems.
Soil components, processes and concepts are further explored in a linked programme of field trips and
laboratory practicals that develop practical skills and applications covering: environmental analysis,
soil field description and soil sampling methods; soil physical, chemical and biological analytical
techniques.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable