Development Of Ecosystem Properties

Vegetation

Consumers

Soil

Base status

Texture

Organic matter

Phosphorus

Sulfur

Nitrogen

Salinity

FIGURE 1.5. Soil-forming factors and processes, interaction over time (from Coleman et al., 1983, modified from Jenny, 1980).

ecosystem processes (e.g., primary production, decomposition, and nutrient cycling), which lead to the development of ecosystem properties unique to that soil type, given its previous history. Thus such characteristics as cation-exchange capacity, texture, structure, organic matter status, etc., are the outcomes of the aforementioned processes operating as constrained by the controlling factors. Different arrays of processes may predominate in various ecosystems (see Fig. 1.5).

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