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Wild Thornberries CHUMACERA, KRISTINE B. Coden, Christelle Jae D. Gelera, Mariel Grace M. Jacinto, Justine April C.

Tanalgo, Baby Lyn Ann S.

HAD Date Performed: June 27, 2013 Date Submitted: July 5, 2013

Exercise No. 2 The Edaphic Factors and the Soil Inhabitants

I. Abstract
Soil is the component of the earths crust formed as a product of physical and chemical weathering. Through its ability to ho ld water and store nutrients, it makes plant growth possible. Aside from plants, many small oragnisms also rely on soil as a habitat. Edaphic factors, determine the survival of plants and soil inhabitants. The edaphic factors studied in this experiment include soil temperature, moisture, pH, organic matter, texure, horizon and nutrients and.The group was assigned to collect soil samples from the Oblation Garden last June 27, 2013 from 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning and study them through physical and chemical examination. Soil properties varied for each of the sites studied the Oblation Garden, PGH, Taft and Paco Park. The factors were found to affect one another and the organisms in the area. Soil types with optimum conditions for living were inhabited by more organisms. All study sites gave values suggesting favourable conditions for plant growth and nutrient cycling. Keywords: edaphic factors, soil horizon, soil texture, soil pH, soil moisture, organic matter

II. Introduction
Soil is the main medium where plants grow. It is a complex mixture of sand, silt, clay, air, and bits of decaying animal and plant tissue (Miller and Levine 2003). It is a natural product formed and synthesized through the weathering of rocks and action of living organisms. Soil is composed of minerals and organic matter which makes it capable to support terrestrial organisms such as plants (Smith 2012). Soil is very important in determining the type of plants that would grow in a certain environment. It controls how much water can be retained in terrestrial environments. Microorganisms and other terrestrial animals also depend on the type of soil they live in. They obtain their nutrients from the soil so it is very important for their survival. The capability of the soil to support plant and animal life is dependent on edaphic factors. Edaphic factors are defined as ecological influences properties of the soil brought about by its physical and chemical characteristics. It is very important to study these factors because they affect the organisms living in a certain type of soil. The availability of the nutrients needed by the organisms is dependent on soil properties (Hallare). The objective of this experiment is to investigate some edaphic factors of the soil such as soil profile, temperature, pH, moisture, organic matter, nutrients, and texture. The students should be able to explain the effects of these factors to the biotic factors living in a certain type of soil. Through

this experiment, the students should be able to determine the optimum value for each factor which is suitable for living organisms. The type of inhabitants in different soils was also examined. In order to analyze the different edaphic factors, field and laboratory instruments were used.

III. Materials and Methods


Four areas, namely Paco Park, Taft Avenue, PGH and Oblation Garden were selected to determine soil characteristics. The following sets of procedure were performed. A. The Edaphic Factors 1. Soil Profile Using a soil corer, five sets of soil samples for the five random points in a specific study site were collected. This consists of a hollow halfopened metal tube. The tube will be pushed into the soil until the top of its level with the soil surface. It will then be pulled carefully from the soil and be examined. The soil exhibits vertical zonation called horizons. Enough information will be collected concerning the O, A and B horizons. Differences in color, structure, and thickness within these major horizons will be taken. Moreover, complete soil profiles can also be obtained conveniently from recent excavations in the area.

2. Soil Temperature The temperature was first equilibrated for at least two minutes and was buried afterwards about 3 and 6 inches below the surface of the soil. A total of five readings for each study site were recorded and the average temperature was calculated afterwards. 3. Soil pH To determine the pH of the soil, soil samples were collected from the different study sites. Soil suspensions were then prepared by mixing equal amounts of soil with distilled water in a beaker (1 mg=1mL). The researchers used 2 g of soil sample and 200 mL of distilled water. It was left for about 10 minutes until the particles settled down and a clear supernatant was achieved. The pH readings were obtained through the use of a calibrated pH meter dipped in the relatively clear supernatant formed. 4. Soil Moisture Soil moisture level is related to the amount of rainfall, evapotranspiration and drainage, and the water-holding capacity of the soil. The relative amount of soil can be determined using qualitative and quantitative means. For the quantitative characterization: Dry soil when it is hard, crumbly and dry to touch Moist soil when it is pliable and damp to touch Wet soil when it exudes water when squeezed, leaving the hand muddy For quantitative measurement of the percent moisture in the soil, samples were obtained from shallow depth horizon and were sealed in separate plastic bags. After transfer, a clean dry crucible was weighed. 10 g of soil sample was then added and was weighed together with the container. It was oven-dried at 105C for 24 hours. The container was removed from the oven using tongs and was cooled to room temperature. After cooling, the weight of the sample and the container were recorded. The dry weight of the sample (Wd) is computed as the weight of the container with the oven-dried sample (Wo) minus the weight of the container when empty (Wc): Wd = Wo Wc. The weight of the water in the sample is the difference between the fresh weight and the dry weight. Therefore, the percentage of water in the

sample is the weight of the water divided by the dry weight multiplied by 100. 5. Soil Organic Matter Oven-dried samples were obtained from the previous activity in soil moisture. A clean dry crucible was weighed and recorded as Wc. The crucible was filled with 1-5 grams of oven-dried sample and was weighed again together as Wo. The soil sample was heated in a muffle furnace at 450C. It was cooled and weighed afterwards. The ignited soil sample was recorded as Wi. Calculate the weight of the ignited soil sample by subtracting the weight of the crucible (Wi-Wc). The loss of weight on ignition (Wo-Wi) gives the organic matter content, which should be expressed as a percentage of the original (dry weight) of the sample. % Organic Matter = [(Wo-Wc) (Wi-Wc)/(Wo-Wc)] x 100 6. Soil Nutrients Soil suspension for the five soil samples were prepared and was used to determine the presence of calcium, phosphate and nitrate. The presence of one of the aforementioned nutrients was indicated by a positive (+) sign and absence of one of the nutrients was indicated by negative (-) sign. a) Soil Calcium 10 drops of soil supernate was added with 10 drops of solution X (5 g of ammonium oxalate in 100 mL distilled water). The solution was the shaked vigorously to mix contents and left for 5 minutes. A milky-white precipitate signified presence of calcium in varying amounts. No color change indicated its absence. For determining the presence of calcium carbonate, a small handful of soil in a crucible was prepared and was added with concentrated HCl. Effervescence was observed and the presence of CaCO3 was determined using the table below.
Table 1. Determination of % CaCO3 in soil sample (After Clarke, 1957)

% CaCO3 < 0.1 0.5 1.0 2.0

Audible Effect None Faint Faintmoderate Distinct, heard away from ear

Visible Effcet None None Barely visible Visible from very close

5.0

Easily heard

10.0

Easily heard

Bubbles up to 3 mm easily seen Strong effervescence with bubbles of 7 mm

The percentages of sand fractions and of silt-clay mixture were calculated as follows: % Sand = [weight of sand fraction (g) / weight of oven-dried sample (g) ] x 100 % Silt-clay = [weight of silt-clay fraction (g) / weight of oven-dried sample (g) ] x 100 A frequency distribution was created to present the obtained data.

b) Soil Nitrates 10 drops of solution Y (0.33 g diphenylamine in 25 mL H2SO4) was added to a test tube containing 10 drops of soil supernate and was left for 5 minutes. Brown to blue coloration indicated the presence of varying amounts of nitrates in the soil sample. c) Soil Phosphorus 10 drops of solution Z (5 g ammonium molybdate, 50 mL distilled water, 50 mL concentrated HNO3) was added to 10 drops of soil supernate in a test tube. A piece of tin was added and was shaken to mix the contents. Gray to deep blue coloration after 5 minutes indicated the presence of varying amounts of phosphorus in the soil sample. 7. Soil Texture

B. The Soil Inhabitants Samples of litter were collected and placed in clear plastic bags. In the same area, a sample of soil, 10 cm deep, was removed and placed in separate plastic bags. The bag was closed tightly and was left for 5 minutes. It is then emptied into a white paper and was exposed to strong light. Using forceps, all organisms were put into a small vial of alcohol. Each was identified and observed using a stereomicroscope.

IV. Results
A. The Edaphic Factors Classification of soil as to texture was done by first, feeling the soil whether it is grainy or sticky. Then soil samples were collected and identified whether sandy (between 0.5 and 2.0 mm in diameter, feel gritty or grainy) or clayish (particles less than 0.002 mm, sticky and may color your hand). Ten to fifteen centimeters of the soil sample was moistened, kneaded and was molded into a ball. A rough classification of the soil into texture class was established based on the key given on the laboratory manual (refer to Table 11 in Appendix). Furthermore, soil can be broadly classified into three types based on particle size distribution (See Table 4 on page 21, Laboratory Manual for General Ecology). Fifty grams of soil sample was weighed and was passed through the following sieves: No.16 (gravel) No. 25 (coarse sand) No. 60 (medium sand) No. 120 (fine sand) Each grain portion from the sieving was collected and placed in separate containers. Their respective weights were determined and recorded. The weight of the fraction that passed through sieve no. 120 was collected and recorded as the mixture of silt and clay. 1. Soil Profile
Table 2. The general soil profile characteristics of the five random sample sites of the four locations

Taft A
Compact, wet blackish O horizon, light brown A horizon

Oble Garden
Loose, light brown, with some air spaces

PGH
No photo taken

Paco Park
Loose, dark brown, with air spaces

B Crumbly

and loose, dry, very light brown, with many rocks Loose, very dark brown, with many rocks

D Compact,
medium

Compact, dark brown, with rocks in the upper portion Compact, mixture of light brown and gray, with many rocks, with thin O horizon Compact, light

Compact, light brown, with thin O horizon

Compact, dark brown, no air spaces

Compact, dry, very light brown to grayish in color

Loose, medium brown, with air spaces

Compact, dry, gray

Compact, dark gray

brown O horizon, light brown A horizon Compact, yellow

brown

Compact, light brown

Compact, reddish O horizon, light brown A horizon

O horizon, gray A horizon, no air spaces Compact, graybrown, some air spaces

Different pH measurements were obtained from the soil suspension of differennt study sites. Paco park is relatively the most basic with a pH of 7.42 while Taft Avenue, with a pH of 7.18 is relatively the most acidic. For the respective readings in the five random points of each location, and values for other measures of central tendencies, see Table 9 in Appendix C. 4. Soil Moisture

The table shows the corresponding description of each stratum of the soil. The images can be seen at Appendix A.
mean soil moisture (%) 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

Soil Moisture
25.26% 22.96% 26.84% 14.04%

2. Soil Temperature

Soil Temperature
mean temperature (C) 30.5 30 29.5 29 28.5 28 27.5
30.2C 28.8C 28.5C 28.6C

Taft

Oble Garden

PGH

Paco Park

Taft

Oble Garden

PGH

Paco Park

Figure 3. Bar graph comparing the mean soil moistures of the four locations

Figure 1. Bar graph comparing the mean temperatures of the four locations

The graph shows the mean temperature readings for the four different study sites. It is evident that Paco Park has the highest mean temperature of 30.2C and the Oblation garden has the relatively lowest temperature (28.6C). For the respective readings in the five random points of each location, and values for other measures of central tendencies, see Table 8 in Appendix B. 3. Soil pH

Based on the graph, the mean soil moisture is highest in PGH soil samples (26.84%) and lowest in the Paco Park soil samples (14.04%). For the respective soil moisture in the five random points of each location, and values for other measures of central tendencies, see Table 10 in Appendix D. For computations and solution, refer to Appendix D.

5. Soil Organic Matter

mean soil organic matter (%)

Soil Organic Matter


35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
5.27% 11.46% 29.42% 23.08%

Soil pH
7.8 mean soil pH 7.6 7.4 7.2 7 6.8 Taft Oble Garden PGH Paco Park
7.18 7.28 7.42 7.42

Taft

Oble Garden

PGH

Paco Park

Figure 4. Bar graph comparing the mean soil organic matter (%) of the four locations

Figure 2. Bar graph comparing the mean soil pH of the four locations

The graph shows the different soil organic matter expressed in percentage (%). PGH soil samples have the highest percent (29.42%) of

sand fraction (%)

organic matter while Taft Avenue soil samples have a mean soil organic matter percentage of 5.27%. For the respective organic matter in the five random points of each location, see Table 12 in Appendix F. For computations and solution, also refer to Appendix F. 6. Soil Nutrients In all of the Taft soil samples, calcium and nitrates were absent and only phosphorus was present. In the Oble Garden soil samples, calcium was absent, phosphorus was absent in all but the second soil sample and nitrates were present in all samples. In all the PGH soil samples, calcium was absent meanwhile nitrates and phosphorus were present. In all the Paco Park soil samples, calcium, nitrates and phosphorus were present . For the tabular presentation of the data including the five random points for each location, refer to Table 11 of Appendix E. 7. Soil Texture
Table 3. Soil texture qualitative classifications for the five random points from each of the four locations

Sand Fraction
100 95 90 85 80 75 70 Taft Oble Garden PGH Paco Park
79.6% 84.0% 94.1% 83.4%

Figure 5.Bar graph comparing the mean sand fractions of the four locations for measuring quantitative soil texture

The percentages of sand fractions were calculated and the graphical data are shown above. PGH having a texture classification of sandy has the highest sand fraction (94.1%) among the other study sites. Taft avenue has the least percentage of sand fraction (79.6%).

Taft A Loamy Sand

B C D E

Loamy Sand Loamy Sand Loamy Sand Loamy Sand

Loamy Sand Loamy Sand Loamy Sand Loamy Sand

Sand and silty clay loam or silt Loamy sand Sand Sand Sand

mean silt-clay fraction (%)

Oble Garden Loamy Sand

PGH

Paco Park Loamy Sand

Silt-clay Fraction
25 20 15 10 5 0 Taft Oble Garden PGH Paco Park
20.4% 16.0% 5.9% 16.6%

Loamy Sand Loamy Sand Sand Loamy Sand

Texture determination of moistened soil using Table 14 in Appendix G. Most of the soil samples are loamy sand. Only PGH has a general classification of sandy.

Figure 6.Bar graph comparing the mean silt-clay fractions of the four locations for measuring quantitative soil texture

The percentages for the silt-clay mixture were calculated and the graphical data are present above. Taft Avenue has the highest silt-clay mixture (20.4%) and PGH has the lowest silt-clay mixture (5.9%). The tabular form of the data (Sand fraction and Silt-Clay Mixture) containing the specific readings from the five random points, sample computation of soil texture (Oblation Garden) can be seen at the Appendix G, Table 15. The following histograms represent the obtained data for each study site showing the corresponding average weights in grams of gravel, coarse sand, medium sand and fine sand for each soil sample in the five random points of each study site.

25 20

22.32

25
19.12 16.16

20
10.74 11.76

weight (g)

weight (g)

15
6.72 6.54

15 10
2.96

10 5 0 Gravel Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand

5 0 Gravel Coarse Sand Medium Fine Sand Sand

Figure 7. Frequency distribution of the weights of the different soil types in Taft

Figure 9. Frequency distribution of the weights of the different soil types in PGH

In Taft Avenue, gravel composes the majority of the weight distribution (22.32g).
30 25 20 weight (g) 15
6.8 8.16 27.06

In PGH, gravel is the major component of the soil sample for it has the greatest weight (19.12g). Fine sand has the least weight and medium sand is heavier than the coarse sand.
20 18 16 14 weight (g) 12 10 8 6 4
2.6 10 14.5 17.2

10 5 0 Gravel Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand


1.54

2 0 Gravel Coarse Sand Medium Sand Fine Sand

Figure 8. Frequency distribution of the weights of the different soil types in Oble Garden

In the Oblation Garden, gravel is the major component of the soil sample (27.06 g) for it has the greatest weight. Fine sand has the least weight and medium sand is heavier than the coarse sand.

Figure 10. Frequency distribution of the weights of the different soil types in Paco Park

In Paco park, coarse sand (17.2g) is of greatest composition followed by medium sand and gravel. There is relatively least fine sand consituting the soil samples collected from Paco Park.

B. The Soil Inhabitants


Table 4. The different orders of soil inhabitants found in the four locations

Study Site Taft Avenue

Oblation Garden PGH Paco Park

Orders Present Hymenoptera Diplopoda Dipteran larva Diptera Lepidopteran larva Haplotaxida Hymenoptera Hymenoptera Hymenoptera Haplotaxida

It can be seen in the table that most of the locations are inhabited by Hymenoptera. Taft Avenue has the most diverse collection of Soil inhabitants while PGH and Oblation Garden is the least diverse. For images of the species collected, refer to Appendix H, Table 16.

V. Discussion
Soil Profile A soil profile is a sequence of horizon layers. These horizon layers are formed by changes which occur in soil from the surface going down. Horizon layers can be differentiated by physical, chemical and biological characteristics (Smith & Smith, 2012). There are four horizons in a soil profile and these are O, A, B, and C. The topmost layer is the O horizon or the organic layer. It is called the organic layer since it is mostly organic material (decomposing plant materials). Below the O horizon is the A horizon or topsoil. The topsoil is made up of mineral soil obtained from the parent material. It is usually dark in color due to the abundance of organic material due to leaching from the O horizon. In lower areas of the topsoil, downward movement of water may result in the loss of minerals and other fine particles into the next layer, the B horizon. The B horizon, also called the subsoil, is in turn abundant in minerals, clays, and salts because of leaching from the topsoil. Below the B horizon, is the C horizon the unconsolidated material that is made up of original material from which soil is developed (Smith & Smith, 2012). It is probable that most of the sample soil profiles (using the soil corer) only contains the O and A horizons. This is because the O horizon is supposedly very thin and would be followed by the

A horizon. It could be suggested that the only one layer is present after the thin O horizon because of the overall similarity of the remaining soil (similar in texture, composition and color). Differences in the soil samples per location are probably due to the immediate environment. For the Taft location, it could be suggested that dissimilar elevations lead to wetter looking soil and dry-looking soil as rainwater would tend to percolate towards lower elevations (especially since it is the rainy season and floods often occur). One soil sample from the Taft location was colored yellow, which suggests that it is highly weathered (by high temperature and heavy leaching); it is most likely acidic because of the loss of the bases (from heavy leaching) and rich in aluminum . For the Oble Garden, it is possible that all look mostly alike since the soil in the location was not a product of natural causes (i.e. weathering, erosion); it was transported from another place and deposited there. Varying shades of brown could be because of the varying amounts of nutrients and moisture. For PGH, light brown-grayish hues of soil were found which suggest that the severe leaching has occurred in the topsoil leaving it acidic and infertile. The gray color is caused by the presence quartz grains (Hallare, n.d.). Red soil was also found in the PGH area; this suggests that the soil has iron oxide. This occurrence is common to the tropics and subtropics (which include the Philippines) wherein high temperature and heavy precipitation causes rapid leaching and weathering (Smith & Smith, 2012). The Paco Park also a manmade location probably has the same treatment as the Oble Garden (soil from other places is deposited into the location). It can be said that some areas of the Park is rich in organic matter and nutrient meanwhile others are not due to the presence of both dark brown soils and grayish soils. Soil Temperature Soil temperature is the measure of heat in the soil. Soil temperature varies with depth, with little change below 20 inches from the surface. The primary source of heat is the sun. Soil is capable of storing heat and it can reserve heat absorbed during the day or warmer periods of the year and release it during the night or colder periods. Other soil properties like texture, moisture, color and organic matter content affect the ability of soil to hold or diffuse heat. As water is a better conductor of heat than air, moist compact soils lose heat faster than drier and more porous soils. (Soil Temperature, n.d.) Darker soils absorbs more heat than lighter colored soils. Soils richer in oragnic

matter are also observed to have higher temperatures. Seed germination and plant growth are dependent on soil temperature and it can be used as a basis for soil fertility. Soil nutrients like phosphorus, responsible for root growth, decrease in low temperatures. Also, since the rate of decomposition is high in high temperatures, more nutrients are expected to be present in soils with warmer temperatures. According to AgriInfo.in, temperatures between 25C and 35C are most favorable for soil oraganisms while 32C is optimum for nitrification. Though plants differ in the optimum temperature for germination, temperature extremes below 9C and above 50C suspend all plant growth (AgriInfo, 2011). Very high temperatures hasten transpiration while extremely low temperatures may freeze water in the soil. As soil temperature changes with the frequently changing atmospheric temperature, some measures have to be taken to maintain soil useability. Soil temperature can be controlled by mulching and adjusting soil moisture. Mulch acts an insulator, protecting the soil from drastic gain and loss of heat, thus stabilizing soil temperature. On the other hand, soil moisture and temperature are inversely related. High soil moisture content translates to rapid evaporation, causing soil to lose much heat. Therefore, it is advisable to reduce moisture when attempting to raise soil temperature. The average soil temperature in the Oblation Garden is 28.5C. This temperature falls within the range and is suitable for plant growth, providing favorable conditions for organic matter decomposition and nutrient absorption. That a variety of plants thrive in the Oblation Garden supports these observations. Of the other sites, this is the lowest. The thicker vegetative cover in the Oblation Garden is seen as the cause of this. The soil temperatures recorded from the other study sites also fall within the favorable temperature with 28.8C for Taft, 28.6C for PGH and 30.2C for Paco Park. Readings for Paco Park were made on open ground with little insulation from heat. The points chosen were noted to be either on the darker side of brown or gray-brown colors which absorb more heat. Samples from this site also had the least moisture, thereby limiting evaporative cooling. Soil pH Soil pH is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a soil. On the pH scale, 7.0 is neutral. Below 7.0 is acidic and above 7.0 is basic. A pH range of 6.8 to 7.2 is near neutral. The optimum pH

range for most plants is 6.5-7. Generally, areas with limited rainfall have alkaline soils while areas with higher rainfall typically have acid soils. Soil pH is very significant in ecology because it affects the availability of most nutrient elements for plant growth and occurrence of deficiency of elements (Hallare). Before a nutrient can be used by plants it must be dissolved in the soil solution. Most minerals and nutrients are more soluble or available in acid soils than in neutral or slightly alkaline soils (Bickelhaupt). In Acid soils calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) are less available to plants. Aluminum (Al) and manganese (Mn) may reach toxic levels. Phosphorus is tied up by iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al). In Alkaline soils phosphorus (P) gets tied up by Ca and Mg. Iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) are less available. It also affects the activity of microorganisms. For example at pH 5.5, there is a reduced microbial activity in the soil. The soil pH can also influence plant growth by its effect on activity of beneficial microorganisms Bacteria that decompose soil organic matter are hindered in strong acid soils. This prevents organic matter from breaking down, resulting in an accumulation of organic matter and the tie up of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, that are held in the organic matter. The effect of soil pH is great on the solubility of minerals or nutrients. Soils tend to become acidic as a result of: rainwater leaching away basic ions (calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium); carbon dioxide from decomposing organic matter and root respiration dissolving in soil water to form a weak organic acid; formation of strong organic and inorganic acids, such as nitric and sulfuric acid, from decaying organic matter and oxidation of ammonium and sulfur fertilizers. Lime is usually added to acid soils to increase soil pH. In the experiment, the average pH values of the study sites were slightly. The Oblation Garden has an average pH of 7.3, Taft Avenue 7.2, Philippine General Hospital 7.4, and Paco Park 7.6. The pH value was measured using a digital pH meter. The study sites have a relatively close pH value since they are all located within Manila area. They have a slightly basic pH although areas with higher rainfall are usually acidic. The soil in these areas probably has presence of base cations associated with carbonates and bicarbonates found naturally in soils and irrigation waters (McCauley et al). The alkalinity of soil is primarily due to low precipitation where there is little leaching of base cations thus making the soil basic (McCauley et al). This slightly basic pH of the soils does not necessarily mean that the soil is not fertile. Plants can still survive in pH values near neutral.

Soil Moisture Soil moisture is the water that is held in the spaces between soil particles. The soils hold water due to their colloidal properties and aggregation qualities. The water is held on the surface of the colloids and other particles and in the pores. The forces responsible for retention of water in the soil after the drainage has stopped are due to surface tension and surface attraction and are called surface moisture tension. Field capacity is used to measure soil moisture. It represents the maximum amount of water a soil can hold after gravitational water has been drained (Hallare). Determining the soil moisture is important because water is critical for plant growth. Soil moisture determines how much water a soil can hold. If the moisture content of a soil is optimum for plant growth, plants can readily absorb soil water. Soil water dissolves salts and makes up the soil solution, which is important as medium for supply of nutrients to growing plants. Capillary water is the water available for plant use. It is held between soil particles by capillary forces. Hygroscopic water is the portion of water which is adhered to the soil particles forming a thin film. This water is not available for plant use. Soil moisture is also important in order to determine the optimum water level wherein plants would thrive. A moisture level where a plant wilts and cannot recover its turgidity is called the wilting point of plant. The particle size and pore spaces affect the soil moisture. Soils with more varied particle size have more pore spaces wherein air can enter. Whereas in soils with more uniform particle size has less pore spaces so there is almost no air space and has more room for water (Hallare). Larger soil particle size drains water more. Finer soil particles drains poorly but holds on to more water thus having higher moisture level (Kopec, 1995). Heavy textured soils (clay loams, clay) hold the greatest amount of water while sandy soils do not hold a lot of water (Kopec, 1995). Atmospheric moisture should not get into the sample because it will alter the actual moisture of the soil. Atmospheric moisture can be prevented from getting into the soil by putting the soil sample in a sealed bags or containers. In the experiment, the three study sites have a relatively close average moisture percentage. For the soils in Philippine General Hospital, the average is 26.84%; 22. 96% for the Oblation Garden; and 25.26% for Taft Avenue. Paco Park has the least average moisture percentage of 2.32%. The moisture percentage in Paco Park is small probably because it is an open area. The type of soil may also be sandier

in Paco Park since sandy soils do not store a lot of water (Kopec, 1995). Soil Organic Matter The presence of organic matter in soils is essential to living organisms most especially plants. It is because organic matter is an essential element in the formation of clay-humus micelles which participate in the cation-exchange mechanism. Most soil particles (the leading edges of clay particles and soil organic matter or humus) or micelles are negatively charged. Their negatively charged sites prevent leaching (percolation of water through soil) of positively charged nutrients. This is possible because the positively charged ions (such as potassium, calcium, ammonium and magnesium) adhere to the negatively charged sites and they adhere because opposite charges attract. Cationexchange happens when the useful mineral cations from the soil particles are displaced by other cations (present in the root, mostly H+) and the useful mineral cations are absorbed by the root (Smith & Smith, 2012). The cation-exchange mechanism is a critical interaction between the roots and the micelles which allows for the exchange of essential ions and minerals needed for the plants growth and development. Increasing the organic matter content in soil would also increase its cation-exchange capacity (the ability of the soil to hold onto nutrients and prevent them from leaching). Too little organic matter present in soil will let organic nitrates and other negatively charged particles leach into the groundwater. Soils with an abundant amount organic matter would have high field capacity; high field capacity would mean that more water could be available for plant uptake. Soils with an abundant amount organic matter would also have high porosity; high porosity would mean that some air spaces would be present, oxygen would be present in soil and the plants would not suffocate (Hallare, n.d.). Of all four locations, PGH soil has the most organic matter content (almost 30%) which would suggest that the PGH environment has an abundance of decomposing matter and many sources of living matter (e.g. trees, grasses, leaves, invertebrate and small animals). This is followed by the Paco Park, with possible contributors to the organic matter being the plants and animals in the park. The Oble Garden soil has a relatively small organic matter content because the Garden is artificial. Organic matter present could probably be due to the fecal deposits of the cats which live there. The areas where the soil samples were obtained had newly

planted Arachi pintoi cuttings which suggest that no plants were previously present in that location. Another explanation could be that regular weeding removes the possible organic matter which could be contributed by the wild plants. Taft soil had the least organic matter because of its location. The only plants which can be found along Taft are weeds and short grasses; any organic matter from animals (mammals such as stray cats and dogs) are probably concentrated at the locations where their fecal matters are deposited.

Soil Nutrients
Unlike energy, most of which enters ecosystems as light and leaves as heat, nutrients are regenerated and retained largely within the system. Matter cycles through an ecosystem after it is taken up in inorganic forms and converted to biomass by plants. Some of that matter is passed up the food chain, but all of it eventually returns to inorganic forms by the process of decomposition. The major nutrients cycled through the ecosystem, besides hydrogen and oxygen, are the elements carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur. The observation that fertilizers stimulate plant growth in most environments suggests that nutrients limit primary production. Production in both terrestrial and aquatic environments can be enhanced by the addition of various nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. The addition of nutrients stimulates production the most in systems in which nutrient availabilities are lowest. The relative availabilities of different nutrients have to match their requirements by plants to ensure their most efficient use. (Ricklefs, 2008) a. Calcium Calcium is a macronutrient present in soil as a cation. It is supplied to the soil by minerals like liming agents, calcite and dolomite (Soil Nutrient Management, 2013). It is adsorbed by plants from the colloidal soil medium. Calcium maintains acid balance in the soil, enables enzyme activity, nitrate uptake and metabolism, starch metabolism, and proper cell wall development (Agronomic Library, n.d.). Calcium is transported through xylem sap and becomes fixed as components of the cell wall. Calcium is a vital cell wall component. By increasing pectin concentration in the cell wall, it not only enhances the rigidity of plant structures, but also defends plants from pathogens and slows senescence. Through its relationship with pectates, it is believed that calcium is important in promoting

root tip growth as well as pollen tube growth (Hepler, 2005). Also, through its influence on stomatal function, calcium helps plants survive extended exposure to heat. (Patterson, n.d.). Calcium, as a component of the cell wall, regulates nutrient absorption from the soil by adjusting membrane permeability. In an experiment by Hanson, it was shown that plants absorbed and retained less nutrients when calcium concentrations were low (as cited in Hepler, 2005). Soils low in calcium then have low cation exchange capacity and are more prone to leaching and changes in pH. Calcium concentration in soil decreases with pH as it is replaced by other ions like aluminum. Calcium is a basic ion and acidic soils tend to be deficient in it. The soil pH obtained from the five samples fall within the range of pH 7.1-7.5, thus it was expected to have considerable amounts of calcium. As it is not stored by the plant, a constant supply of calcium in the soil solution is needed. Contrary to what was expected, however, calcium tested negative in all samples from the Oblation Garden. Since calcium is easily transportable, it possible that the calcium in the layer excavated was already absorbed by the plants in the area. This is likely, given that there is a variety of plants in the chosen points. PGH and Taft soil both tested negative for calcium despite having near neutral pH, possibly for the same reason. On the other hand, Paco Park soil, with an average pH of 7.6, tested positive for calcium, as well as for nitrates and phoshoporus. Though the soil samples are nutrient rich, plant cover is scarce on the points from which they were collected from and much remain in the soil to be absorbed.

b. Nitrates
Nitrogen is one of the energy elements which are obtained from air or water and needed in photosynthesis. The ultimate source of nitrogen for life is molecular nitrogen (N2) in the atmosphere, which constitutes the largest pool of nitrogen on earth (Ricklefs, 2008).It composes the 78% of the Earths atmosphere. As an inert gas, it must be fixed into nitrates or ammonium ions for it to be useful for chlorophyll, proteins and enzyme synthesis (Hallare, nd). Lightning discharges convert some molecular nitrogen into forms that plants can assimilate, but most enters the biological pathways of the nitrogen cycle through its assimilation by certain microorganisms in a process referred to as nitrogen fixation. Under anaerobic conditions in soils, sediments, and deep waters, certain bacteria can use

nitrate in place of oxygen as an oxidizing agent. This process, called denitrification, transforms nitrate into nitrite and eventually into nitrous oxide and molecular nitrogen (Ricklefs, 2008).

Figure 11. Nitrogen mineralization/immobilization processSource: (Espinoza, Norman et al., n,d)

In the detection of the presence of nitrogen in soil, a soil suspension was prepared to create an aqueous sample that can be mixed with the reagent called as Solution X. Solution X is composed diphenylamine and sulfuric acid. Since all nitrates are soluble in water, a precipitate is not an indication of a positive result, color is. The nitrate test is also known as the diphenylamine test, which is a colorimetric determination of the presence of nitrate. The blue color developed by nitrate in the presence of much sulfuric acid is to be attributed to the formation of an oxidation product of diphenylbenzidine (Kolthoff, 1933). All of the four sites namely, Paco Park, PGH, Oblation Garden and Taft Avenue, except along Taft Avenue tested positive for the presence of nitrates. Soil properties play a dominant role in nutrient transformation. The fixation of ammonical nitrogen is based on the amount of clay present in the soil. From the results, only soil samples from Taft Avenue, tested negative for nitrate test. The soil texture for Taft Avenue soil samples are all loamy sand. Loamy sand is also the general soil texture for the soil samples at Oblation garden and Paco Park and sandy in PGH which were all a qualitative determination of the soil texture. In loamy sand texture, the percentage for sand is greater than that of silt and clay combined. Quantitatively, the mean sand fraction is relatively the highest in Taft Avenue among other study sites. More leaching or downward movement of of NH4 and NO3 N was observed in coarse texture soils (sandy) than fine texture soil (clay loam). Sandy soils are coarse thus the nitrates became unavailable at upper parts of the soil profile and were leached down (Sathya, 2009). Also, Taft Avenue soil samples contained the least amount of moisture. The emission of nitrous oxide was more in loam soil compared to slit loam and sandy loam soil. Higher emission could be attributed to the availability of optimum amount of

moisture and aeration in this type of soil providing congenial environment to the soil microbes engaged in nitrification and denitrification processes. The recovery of mineral N was higher in clay loam than in sandy loam soil. This could be the reason of higher organic matter, available nitrogen and cationexchange capacity (Sathya, 2009). In addition, soil pH also plays a significant role in in the availability of N. Nitrification was highest in pH 7.4, modest in pH 9.4 and lowest in pH 4.8. Thus, with the rise of soil pH, the availability of nutrients exhibit increase. The increase of availability of N may be due to accelerated rate of decomposition and mineralization of organic matter owing to increased biological activity. Among the four study sites, Taft Avenue has the relatively lowest pH (mean of 7.18). Soil acidification can reportedly reduce the ammonia losses in submerged soil. Furthermore, the presence of higher amount of organic matter ensured the highest nitrate nitrogen content in soil. Among the four study sites, Taft Avenue soil samples contained the least amount of organic matter present. The amount of organic matter is directly proportional to the nitrate nitrogen content in soil. This is due to the increased microbial activity and resultant enhanced nitrification process with a concomitant reduction in leaching losses. c. Phosphorus Ecologists have studied the role of phosphorus in ecosystems intensively because organisms require this element at a relatively high level (though only about one-tenth that of nitrogen). Phosphorus is considered as one of the macronutrients which are required in larger amounts. It is responsible for ATP transfer, as a DNA component and transfer of genetic material (Hallare, n.d). The phosphorus cycle has fewer steps than the nitrogen cycle because, except in a very few microbial transformations, phosphorus does not undergo oxidationreduction reactions in its cycling through ecosystems. Plants assimilate phosphorus, in the form of phosphate ions (PO43-), from soil or water and incorporate it directly into various organic compounds. Animals eliminate excess phosphorus in their diets by excreting phosphate ions in urine; phosphatizing bacteria also convert phosphorus in detritus into phosphate ions. Phosphorus does not enter the atmosphere in any form other than dust, so there is little phosphorus cycles between the atmosphere and other compartments of ecosystems (Ricklefs, 2008).

In the identification of the presence of phosphorus in the soil samples, 10 drops of soil supernatant was added to solution Z which is a mixture of ammonium molybdate, distilled water and concentrated nitric acid. Although not all phosphates are soluble, the extraction of soil orthophosphate or phosphate (PO43-) from the soil samples was possible because orthophosphates are highly soluble in water. Orthophosphate is the most stable kind of phosphate, and is the form used by plants. (Murphy, 2007). Orthophosphates bond with ammonium molybdate in acidic medium (HNO3) forming phosphomolybdate. The production of the positive blue coloration is due to the reducing agent stannous chloride or commonly known as tin. This colometric determination of phosphate is also known as the Deniges method (Yuen and Pollard, 2006). Phosphorus transformation is influenced by various soil factors like physical condition, pH, organic matter, and amount and nature of clay. Phosphorus fixation is defined as conversion of soluble form of P to insoluble forms of P. The P fixation is the main ingredient of P transformations in soils. The soluble form of P is assimilated by microorganisms or precipitated with soil components or adsorbed by the colloidal complexes of soil (Sathya, 2009). Soil texture, as well as clay content affects P fixation in soil. Of the four sites, only Oblation Garden soil samples lacked unanimity in the phosphorus content, since only a specific random point contained phosphorus while the remaining four tested negative for phosphorus. The other study sites (Paco Park, PGH and Taft Avenue) tested positive for phosphorus. The type of soil texture for Paco Park Taft Avenue and Oblation Garden is loamy sand. This type of soil texture has the greatest relative clay content among the other soil samples. An increase in adsorption maxima values with increasing clay content of the soil may be attributed to the availability of more adsorbing surface to the added and native P. Therefore, clay content and P fixation are positively correlated since clay surface is the major site of P adsorption. It can be noted that the sandy type of soil texture in the PGH soil samples, although not an ideal type of texture for the availability of phosphorus still tested positive for phosphorus. The PGH soil samples have the highest relative organic matter content which is indeed, positively correlated to P adsorption. Also, a texture of sandy soil does correspond to absence of phosphorus but instead, a phosphorus level which is ten times lesser than that of clayey-textured soil (Espinosa, Norman et al., n.d.).

Ideally, the Oblation Garden should have relatively high amount of phosphorus but only at a particular site was the detection positive. Since phosphorus can be found dissolved in the soil solution at very low amounts or associated with soil materials or organic materials (Espinoza and Norman et al), there exists a possibility that the amount of phosphorus extracted from the soil samples in the four specific random points in Oblation Garden where phosphorus is absent, is not significant enough to react with the ammonium molybdate to form phosphomolybdate. Phosphorous is generally reduced in all soil pH ranges due to various reactions it undergoes. In alkaline soils, phosphorous, in the form of phosphate, reacts with Calcium, which is the most dominant ion in that pH range. The formation of products with calcium decreases the solubility and availability of phosphorous. In acidic soils, Aluminum, as well as other metal ions, reacts with phosphorous resulting to compounds of phosphorous that are insoluble for uptake of plants. Therefore, pH values ranging from 6-7 will result to the greatest availability of phosphorous (Busman et al, 2002).

Figure 12. The availability of phosphorous in various pH levels Source: Busman et al, 2002

Uptake of inorganic nutrients by plants and decomposition of detritus by microorganisms are biochemical processes influenced by temperature, moisture, pH, and other factors. Thus, the rate of nutrient cycling and the overall productivity of the ecosystem are sensitive to these physical influences. Because nutrients move between ecosystem compartments in turnthat is, from soil to plant to detritus and back to soilthe rate of cycling is limited by the slowest step. In most cases, this step is the decomposition of detritus (Rickfels, 2008).

Soil tests are designed to help producers predict their soil's available nutrient status. Once existing nutrient levels are established, producers can use the data to best manage what nutrients are applied, decide the application rate, and make decisions concerning the profitability of their operations while managing for impacts such as erosion, nutrient runoff, and water quality (Mallarino, 2000). Soil Texture Particles that make up soil are of different sizes, and vary in proportion. These differences in proportion result to diverse soil textures, which are partially derived from parent material, and from the soil formation (Smith & Smith, 2012). Soils can be classified as one of four major texture classes: sands, silts, loams, and clays (Berry et al, 2007).
Table 5. Soil particle classification according to size.

Particle classification Gravel Sand Silt Clay

Particle size (mm) > 2.0 0.05-2 0.002-0.05 < 0.002

half is made up of pore space (Smith & Smith, 2012). Coarse soils have lower field capacities than fine-textured soils because of their large pore spaces. These spaces results to high drainage, hence, the soil cannot hold as much water. Fine soils, on the other hand, have finer particles and small pores, thus can carry more water against free drainage, resulting to a higher field capacity. Organic matter has a higher water holding capacity than ordinary soil and improves soil structure (USDA, 2008). In the experiment, soil texture was quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated. The quantitative method involved sieving, which is used to separate the different soil particles, whose weights were measured to determine their respective percent compositions. The soil texture calculator from the website http://soils.usda.gov/technical/aids/investigations/tex ture/ from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was used to determine the texture classification more easily. The website uses the soil textural triangle shown in Figure 11, a

guide for evaluating soil texture based on the proportions of sand, silt, and clay.

Table 5 lists the types of soil particles classified according to size. Gravel is the largest type and does not contribute to the fine fraction of soil, whose texture is classified based on sand, silt, and clay proportion (Smith & Smith, 2012). Sand is the easiest to see among the three components of the fine fraction of the soil, and feels gritty or rough, while silt can hardly be seen without magnification and feels smooth. Dry silt particles feel floury while wet silt is not slick and sticky, but holds its molded form easily. On the other hand, clay is the smallest and is not visible even under an ordinary microscope. Dry separate clay particles feel smooth and powdery, dried chunks are especially hard and tough to break apart, and wet clay is slick and sticky, and can also hold its molded form easily (Anderson & Halsey, 2010). Clay is the most significant one, as it affects the water-holding capacity and ion-exchange (Smith & Smith, 2012). Soil texture is an important physical characteristic because it influences not only the air and water movement in soil, but also root penetration. Larger particles increase pore space, promotes more air and water movement. Finer particles, on the other hand, decrease pore space but increases the surface area of the soil; hence, more water and nutrients can adhere to it. Half of an ideal soil is composed of soil particles, while the other

Figure 13. Soil textural triangle (USDA).

The qualitative method was done by using a dichotomous field key. Table 5 shows that the results from the quantitative method nearly matched those of the qualitative method. It was noted that coarse sandy loam is at the boundary between sandy loam and loamy sand.

Table 6. Comparisons of the quantitative and qualitative results for soil texture.

Site Taft Avenue Oblation garden PGH

Quantitative Sandy clay loam Coarse sandy loam Sand

Qualitative Loamy sand Loamy sand

Paco Park

Coarse loam

Sand and silty clay loam or silt, loamy sand, sand sandy Loamy sand, sand

Earthworms of order haplotaxida were the next frequent soil inhabitants found. Like ants, earthworms increase soil porosity. This allows more gas exchange, water drainage, and plant root penetration. Moreover, they also increase nutrient content as a result of digestion of microorganism and organic matter in the soil. Nutrients that pass through these animals guts change in forms more available to plants. Earthworm adaptations in the soil environment include the their streamlined bodies to move more easily in soil, their bristly hairs called setae which aids the earthworms to grip the soil, and their brown color (Card, 2011).

The study sites generally have a high sand content; on average, the soils of the sites have at least 50% sand. High sand content is good for drainage (Hallare, n.d.). Water moves more freely through sandy soils than in soils with finer particles. Moreover, soils with good drainage have good aeration, which is also more conducive to root growth (Berry et al, 2007). Sand and loamy sand, with at least 70% sand content, are considered coarse-textured and are relatively stable in both wet and dry conditions. However, due to the rapid movement of water through these kinds of soils, plants would not have access anymore to the water during dry periods. Because of this, maintenance is important the plants need to be watered, especially in dry seasons (Anderson & Halsey, 2010). This is evident for most of the maintained study sites, whose plants are frequently watered. For instance, Paco Park, together with oblation garden under the University of the Philippines Manila, has staff assigned to water the plants. This makes it possible for vegetation to thrive in soils with high water drainage. On the other hand, some areas in PGH, the site with the highest average sand content, are not maintained unlike the other study sites. This makes the soil least conducive to healthy plant growth; as such, some points chosen in PGH in which the experiment was performed were observed to have many weeds and relatively less, if not absent trees. Soil Inhabitants The most common soil inhabitants found in the study sites were ants of the order Hymenoptera. These organisms are known to increase soil porosity and separation of soil particles according to size when they dig and make channels through the soil. Ants are also found to neutralize pH and increase nutrient content, namely nitrogen and phosphorus, resulting from the buildup of food in their nests and increase of the rate of decomposition. Ant colors are dark and earthly, and help them camouflage in their soil environment (Frouz & Jilkova, 2008).

VI. Conclusion and Recommendations


In the experiment, properties of the soil were investigated. Soil was found to be an important factor in the ecosystem, comprised of biotic and abiotic factors which interact with one another, and are affected by the different properties of the soil. The soil properties themselves were also found to affect each other. Moisture content, for instance, varied with different kinds of soil texture, and soil pH affects the availability of nutrients for vegetation. In conclusion, soil is a significant part of the ecosystem, and is the product of climate, topography, parent material, and biotic factors through many years of interactions. Climate affects the diversity of organisms in an area and the rates of weathering of parent material, leaching of substances, erosion, and decomposition of organic matter. Organic matter also depends on the soil organisms. Aspects of topography like steepness and direction affect patterns of water flow and erosion. Lastly, parent material is the matter from which soil is basically and primarily made of. The study also showed that soil qualities have also been affected by the actions of humankind. Some of these actions aid in making the environment conducive for growth, as in watering soils with high drainage; however, some actions do not, as when the chemical products of industrial activities cause acid rain and decrease soil pH. It is recommended that sites outside Manila also be studied so that comparisons between urban and rural soil characteristics can also be made. Furthermore, in future studies involving the use of a furnace, the investigators should make sure that the labels written on or attached to the crucibles would not be incinerated. The investigators should also consult with a professional in identifying the organisms to avoid errors.

VII. Literature Cited:


Agrometeorology: Microclimate and Plant Growth. TNAU ( TamilNadu Agricultural University) Portal. 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013 from <http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/agriculture/agri_a grometeorology_microclimate.html>. Anderson, J.L. & Halsey, C.F. (2010). Evaluating Soil Texture for a House Site. University of Minnesota. Retrieved 1 July 2013 from <http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution /naturalresources/dd0817.html>. Anion Analysis. Retrieved 30 June 2013 from<http://www.rod.beavon.clara.net/anion s.htm>.

Card, A. (2011). Earthworms. Colorado State University. Retrieved 4 July 2013 from <http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennot es/218.html>. Edaphic Factors. Forestry Nepal Retrieved 29 June 2013 from <http://www.forestrynepal.org/notes/silvicul ture/locality-factors/11>. Espinoza, Norman et al. The Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycle in Soils. Agriculture and Natural Resources. Retrieved 3 July 2013 from<http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/pu blications/PDF/FSA-2148.pdf> Frouze, J. & Jilkova, V. (2008). The effects of ants on soil properties and processes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News. Vienna. Retrieved 4 July 2013 from <http://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/image s/pdf/volume11/mn11_191-199_nonprintable.pdf>. Garden Lesson: Soil Temperature. ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project). Asheville, NC. Retrieved 30 June 2013 from <http://growing-minds.org/documents/soiltemperature.pdf>.

Arnold J. Soil Moisture. by Dr. Retrieved 29 June 2013 from <http:// ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/landprocess/> . Berry, W., Ketterings, Q., Antes, S., Page, S., Russell-Anelli, J., Rao, R., & DeGloria, S. (2007). Soil Texture. Cornell University. Retrieved 1 July 2013 from <http://water.rutgers.edu/Rain_Gardens/fact sheet29.pdf>. Bickelhaupt D. Soil pH: What it Means. Instructional Support Specialist, Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Retrieved 2 July 2013 from <http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/soilp h/soilph.htm>. Bown, E. The Importance Of Soil Temperature To Growing Plants. 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013 from <http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf11780248.tip. html>. Busman, et al (2002).The nature of phosphorous in soils.In University of MinnesotaExtenxion.Retrieved 5 July 2013 from <http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution /cropsystems/dc6795.html>. Calcium. Agronomic Library. Washington, OH. Retrieved 30 June 2013 from <http://www.spectrumanalytic.com/support/ library/ff/Ca_Basics.htm>.

Grant, B. Soil Temperature Gauges Tips For Determining Current Soil Temperatures. Gardening Know How. 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013 from <http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garde n-how-to/soil-fertilizers/determining-soiltemperature.htm>. Hallare, A.V. (n.d.). Student Handbook in General Ecology Part 1. Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila. Ermita, Manila. Hepler, P. August 2005. Calcium: A Central Regulator of Plant Growth and Development. The Plant Cell. (Vol. 17, No. 8). Kolthoff, I.M. & Noponen, G.E. Diphenylamine Sulfonic Acid as a Reagent for the Colorimetric Determination of Nitrates. School of Chemistry of the University of Minnesota. J. Am. Chem. Soc, pp 1448 1453 (April 1933)

Kopec D. Soil Characteristics and How They Affect Soil. Retrieved 2 July 2013 from <http://turf.arizona.edu/tips1095.html>. Mallarino, Antonio.Soil testing and available phosphorus. Integrated Crop Management. (September, 2000) McCauley A, Jones C, Jacobsen J.Soil pH and Organic Matter. College of Agriculture Dean, MSU Extension Continuing Education Series. Retrieved 2 July 2013 from <http://landresources.montana.edu/NM/Mod ules/Module8.pdf>. Miller K, Levine J. Biology. 2003. Pearson Education Inc. Singapore. p.86. Murphy, Sheila. General Information on Phosphorus. City of Boulder/ USGS Water Quality Monitoring. (April 2007). Retrieved 5 July 2013 from <http://bcn.boulder.co.us/basin/data/NEW/in fo/TP.html> Pattersron, G. Calcium Nutrition in Plants. Certified Crop Adviser. Ontario. Retrieved 1 July 2013 from <http://www.ccaontario.com/FCKEditor/Fil e/Calcium%20Nutrition%20in%20Plants.pd f>. Sathya, et al. Effect of Soil Properties on Availability of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Submerged and Upland Soil A Review. Agriculutural Research Communication Centre. (2009). 30: 71-77. Smith T, Smith R. 2012. Elements of Ecology. 8th ed. Pearson Education Inc., Singapore. pp 57-62. Soil Moisture. My Agriculture Information Bank Retrieved 29 June 2013 from <http://www.agriinfo.in/?page=topic&superi d=4&topicid=274>. Soil Nutrient Management for Maui County. University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. 2013. Retrieved 01 July 2013 from <http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/mauisoil/c_nu trients03.aspx>.

Soil pH. Colorado State University Extansion Retrieved 29 June 2013 from <http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennot es/222.html> . Soil pH: What It Means. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Retrieved 29 June 2013 from <http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/soilp h/soilph.htm> . Soil Quality Indicators. United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 4 July 2013 from <http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/assessment/files/a vailable_water_capacity_sq_physical_indica tor_sheet.pdf>. Soil Temperature - Importance and Control. Retrieved 30 June 2013 from <http://dogwoodarts.org/soilscontrol/temperature.html.>. Soil Temperature And Its Importance. AgriInfo. in. 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2013 from <http://agriinfo.in/?page=topic&superid=1& topicid=396>. Soil Texture Calculator. United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 1 July 2013 from <http://soils.usda.gov/technical/aids/investig ations/texture/>. The Importance of Calcium. Tetrachemicals. 2010. Retrieved 01 July 2013 from <http://www.tetrachemicals.com/Products/A griculture/The_Importance_of_Calcium.a>. Yuen and Pollard. Deniges' method for determination of phosphate, with special reference to soil solutions and extracts. (May 2006).Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 6: 223-229.

VIII. Appendix
A. Soil Profile
Table 7. The soil profiles of the four locations

Taft A

Oble Garden

PGH

Paco Park

D E Mean Standard deviation Mode Median

29.0C 30.5C 28.8C 1.2C 29.0C 29.0C

29.0C 28.5C 28.5C 0.5 28.0C, 29.0C 28.5C

28.5C 29.0C 28.6C 0.4C 28.5, 29.0C 28.5C

31.0C 30.0C 30.2C 0.4C 30.0C 30.0C

No photo taken

C. Soil pH
Table 9. Raw data for pH with the computed measures for central tendency

B A B C D E Mean Standard deviation Mode Median

Taft 7.9 7.2 6.9 7.2 6.7 7.18 0.45 7.2 7.2

Oble Garden 7.5 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.3 7.28 0.15 7.3 7.3

PGH 7.8 7.5 7.6 6.9 7.3 7.42 0.34 7.5

Paco Park 7.6 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 7.64 0.21 7.6

D. Soil Moisture
Sample calculation for soil texture (from Oblation Garden, Site A only)

Wd= Wo-Wc 37.4g 22g = 8.4g Wd=8.4 g % of water= B. Soil Temperature


Table 8. Raw data for soil temperature with the computed measures for central tendency Table 10. Data for soil moisture with the computed measures for central tendency

Taft A B C 29.0C 28.0C 27.5C

Oble Garden 29.0C 28.0C 28.0C

PGH 28.0C 29.0C 28.5C

Paco Park 30.0C 30.0C 30.0C

Taft A B C 19.05% 21.95% 21.95%

Oble Garden 19.05% 29.87% 20.48%

PGH 42.85% 28.21% 20.48%

Paco Park 40.85% 9.89% 8.70%

D E Mean Standard deviation Mode Median

20.48% 42.86% 25.26% 9.91% 21.95% 21.95%

23.46% 21.95% 22.96% 4.20% 21.95%

17.65% 25.00% 26.84% 9.83% 25.00%

2.04% 8.70% 14.04% 15.31% 8.70%

B C D E Mean

16.00% 2.00% 0.36% 2.00% 5.27%

9.09% 20.48% 7.41% 3.66% 11.46%

39.74% 12.05% 17.65% 16.25% 29.42%

25.87% 26.98% 21.02% 17.18% 23.08%

E. Soil Nutrients
Table 11. Summarization of presence and absence of soil nutrients per location

Taft A Taft B Taft C Taft D Taft E Oble Garden A Oble Garden B Oble Garden C Oble Garden D Oble Garden E PGH A PGH B PGH C PGH D PGH E Paco Park A Paco Park B Paco Park C Paco Park D Paco Park E

Calcium -

Nitrates + + + + +

Phosphorus + + + + + + Sample calculation for soil texture (from Oblation Garden, Site A only) Table 13. Data for soil organic matter of the five random points in Oblation Garden

+ + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + +

Point Soil Wc Wo Wd Wi %OM (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) A 10 29 37.4 8.4 36 16.66667 B C D E 10 10 10 10 27.7 28.4 24.7 25.4 35.4 36.7 32.8 33.6 7.7 8.3 8.1 8.2 34.7 9.090909 35 20.48193 32.2 7.407407 33.3 3.658537

( ( ( (

( )

F. Soil Organic Matter


Table 12. Data for soil organic matter with the respective means

( ) )

Taft A

Oblation Garden

PGH
61.43%

Paco Park
24.37%

6.00% 16.67% G. Soil Texture

Table 14. Field Key to Soil Texture Class.

1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7

Soil does not remain in a ball when squeezed....SAND Soil remains in a ball when squeezed......2 Squeeze the ball between your thumb and forefinger, attempting to make a ribbon that you push up over your finger. Soil makes no ribbon.......LOAMY SAND Soil makes a ribbon (may be very short).....3 Ribbon extends less than 1 inch before breaking....4 Ribbon extends an inch or more before breaking....5 Add excess water to small amount of soil. Soil feels at least slightly gritty...............LOAM OR SANDY LOAM Soil feels smooth..SILT LOAM Soil makes a ribbon that breaks when 1-2 inches long: cracks if bent into a ring.6 Soil makes a ribbon longer than 2 inches: can be bent into a ring without cracking..7 Add excess water to small amount of soil: soil feels at least slightly grittyCLAY LOAM OR SANDY CLAY LOAM Soil feels smooth...SILTY CLAY LOAM OR SILT Add excess water to small amount of soil: soil feels at least slightly gritty.CLAY OR SANDY CLAY Soil feels smoothSILTY CLAY

Sample calculation for soil texture (from Oblation Garden)

Average weight of soil

Sieve # 16 = 27.1 g Sieve # 25 = 6.8 g Sieve # 60 = 8.2 g Sieve # 120 = 1.5 g Spillages = 6.4 g

Percentages of soil collected in sieves # 16, 25, and 60 were also calculated to aid in determining soil texture more accurately.

Figure 12. Soil texture calculator (USDA).

Table 15.Raw data and the sand and silt-clay fractions of the five random sites of the four locations and their respective means

Taft A Taft B Taft C Taft D Taft E Taft mean ObleGardenA ObleGardenB ObleGardenC ObleGardenD ObleGardenE Oble Garden mean PGH A PGH B PGH C PGH D PGH E PGH mean Paco Park A Paco Park B Paco Park C Paco Park D Paco Park E Paco Park mean

Sieve #16 (g) 21.1 30.7 31.1 22.4 6.3 22.32 29.6 27.4 29.1 26.6 22.6 27.06 19.5 27 8.4 27.7 13 19.12 11.5 3.5 10 13.5 11.5 10

Sieve #25 (g) 6.2 2.2 13.6 8.4 3.2 6.72 7.8 8 6.3 4.7 7.2 6.8 13.3 18.1 5.6 11.1 10.7 11.76 7 33 12 8 26 17.2

Sieve #60(g) 9.1 1.9 7.2 13.6 21.9 10.74 6.7 5.5 7 11.3 10.3 8.16 14.9 4.5 31 9.5 20.9 16.16 25 2.5 22 18.5 4.5 14.5

Sieve #120 (g) 2.5 1.7 1.7 6.9 19.9 6.54 0.8 0.5 1.8 1.4 3.2 1.54 2.3 0.4 5 1.7 5.4 2.96 0.1 0.2 3 9.5 0.2 2.6

Sand Fraction (%) 72.8 69.6 103.8 88.8 62.8 79.6 88.2 81.8 84.8 85.2 80.2 84.0 95.4 99.2 90 96.6 89.2 94.1 87 78 88 80 84 83.4

Silt-clay fraction(%) 27.2 30.4 -3.8 11.2 37.2 20.4 11.8 18.2 15.2 14.8 19.8 16.0 4.6 0.8 10 3.4 10.8 5.9 13 22 12 20 16 16.6

H. Soil Inhabitants
Table 15. The different soil inhabitants found in the four locations

Taft A

Oble Garden
No photos of organisms taken

PGH
No photos of organisms taken

Paco Park