Under snow, underfoot: soils in winter

Hard-working soils have a role in winter, too

Article ID: 705204

Released: 11-Dec-2018 9:00 AM EST

Source Newsroom: Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)

  • newswise-fullscreen Under snow, underfoot: soils in winter

    Credit: M. Pings

    In our gardens and elsewhere, snow-covered soils are still active with life.

Newswise — Dec. 11, 2018 – Chilling sub-zero temperatures. Astounding snowfalls. The weather outside is frightful. Yet under the snow and frost, life in soils carries on! Soils Matter, Soil Science Society of America’s science-based blog, provides insights to soils in winter and the organisms that live there.

  • Although it might look bleak down on the ground, there is an abundance of life still active in the winter. From frogs that make their own antifreeze to tiny microbes that still function in subzero weather, there’s a lot going on underfoot. Read more about “What happens to soil in winter.”
  • The Antarctic has year-round frozen ground. But researchers have found unique microbes living in the soil. Learn more about this unique and amazing frozen ecosystem.
  • For those areas fortunate enough to have some snow cover, plants will be protected. Snow serves as a soil insulator, protecting the roots and organisms within. Additionally, snow minimizes the heave from the freeze-thaw cycle, keeping roots and infrastructure in place. Read more about why a good snow cover is best for plants.

Soils Matter is a blog of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). New blogs are posted on the 1st of and 15th of every month and are written by member scientists.

SSSA is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

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