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Vocabulary Term Details

Soil organic matter

Definition (

Soil organic matter - the product of on-site biological decomposition - affects the chemical and physical properties of the soil and its overall health. Its composition and breakdown rate affect: the soil structure and porosity; the water infiltration rate and moisture holding capacity of soils; the diversity and biological activity of soil organisms; and plant nutrient availability. Many common agricultural practices, especially ploughing, disc-tillage and vegetation burning, accelerate the decomposition of soil organic matter and leave the soil susceptible to wind and water erosion. (FAO)

Preferred Units: N/A

Scope Note:

Broader TermsNarrower TermsRelated Terms
Organic matter
Soil organic carbon
Plant litter

This term is used for the following terms: 

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