April 18, 2017

Is soil "alive"? What's the difference between soil and dirt?

Is soil "alive"?

"There are living components in soil such as microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, insects, worms and even mammals," said Neil Dominy, Nebraska State Soil Scientist. "The inert material-the minerals-are not alive. But everything around that inert material and within that system is living."

What's the difference between soil and dirt?

Neil Dominy
First of all, there is a difference. And according to Neil Dominy, the answer is pretty simple. "Soil is in place, dirt isn't. Soil has integrity and has structure, living organisms, and has been in place over time."

Dirt, on the other hand, is mobile. "Dirt is what's on the road, the bottom of your shoes or in the air. It's out of place," Dominy said.

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