Soil texture is one of the important soil characteristics that influences storm water infiltration rates. Texture refers to the size of the particles, such as sand, clay, and silt, that contained in the soil. This article will help to understand the different methods to determine soil texture, the importance of soil texture and the importance of texture on management decisions.
Clay soil is an example for fine-textured soil whereas a sandy soil is an example for coarse textured soil.
The soil properties are influenced by texture of soil include:
Organic matter content
pH buffering capacity
Cation exchange capacity
Susceptibility to erosion
Water holding capacity
Texture of soil determines the level at which water drains through a saturated soil. The texture of sandy soil allows the water to move more freely than it moves through clayey soil. The soil texture also influences the availability of the water content to the plant. The clay soil has a greater water holding capacity than the sandy soil. In addition, the well drained soils typically have better soil aeration, which means that the soil contains greater amount of air that is similar to atmospheric air. This volume of air is favourable to healthy root growth, and for a healthy crop.
The texture of soil also affect their susceptibility to erosion (erodibility). The soil with a high percentage of clay and silt particles has a greater chance to erosion than a sandy soil under the same conditions. Differences in the soil texture also influences the organic matter levels in the soil. The organic matter breaks down much faster in sandy soils than in the fine-textured soils, even in the similar environmental conditions. The light-textured sandy soils are available with high amount of oxygen which helps decomposition.
Further posts will provide more about the environmental management.