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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: aeration

Soil aeration is the portion of the total soil volume taken up by air. Soil aeration depends on soil porosity and on the water content of the soil.

(Redrawn from Troeh & Thompson 1993)

The amount of soil air is important to all aerobic processes, including the lives of aerobic bacteria and larger soil organisms and the respiration of plant roots (which requires oxygen). Smaller soil particles (such as silt and clay) reduce soil aeration because they pack together too tightly to allow air spaces between them. Larger soil particles (sand) and organic matter increase soil aeration because they leave gaps in the soil volume that can be filled by air. However, if there is too much soil aeration, evaporation and leaching will be great and the soil will dry out.

How it works:
aeration stress
soil evaporation
N leaching, P leaching

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.