Components of Soil Organic Matter

Most soil organic matter originates from plant tissue. Plant residues contain 60-90 percent moisture. The remaining dry matter consists of carbon (C), oxygen, hydrogen (H), and small amounts of sulphur (S), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg).

Although present in small amounts, these nutrients are very important from the viewpoint of soil fertility management.

Soil organic matter consists of a variety of components. These include, in varying proportions and many intermediate stages, an active organic fraction including microorganisms (10-40 percent), and resistant or stable organic matter (40-60 percent), also referred to as humus.

Organic matter may be divided into aboveground and belowground fractions. Above ground organic matter comprises plant residues and animal residues; below ground organic matter consists of living soil fauna and microflora, partially decomposed plant and animal residues, and humic substances.

Read Also: Organic Matter Decomposition in Soil

The C: N ratio is also used to indicate the type of material and ease of decomposition; hard woody materials with a high C: N ratio are more resilient than soft leafy materials with a low C: N ratio.

Although soil organic matter can be partitioned conveniently into different fractions, these do not represent static end products. Instead, the amounts present reflect a dynamic equilibrium. The total amount and partitioning of organic matter in the soil are influenced by soil properties and by the number of annual inputs of plant and animal residues to the ecosystem.

For example, in a given soil ecosystem, the rate of decomposition and accumulation of soil organic matter is determined by such soil properties as texture, pH, temperature, moisture, aeration, clay mineralogy, and soil biological activities. A complication is that soil organic matter in turn influences or modifies many of these same soil properties.

Read Also: Roles of Microorganisms in Organic Matter Transformation

Do you have any questions, suggestions, or other contributions? Kindly use the comment box provided below for all your contributions. You are also encouraged to please kindly share this article with others you feel can benefit from this information if found useful enough as we may not be able to reach everyone at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing!

Have you visited our Market Place Today? Follow this link to visit Market Place now to check out our affordable products & services that might interest you and solve your current needs at a very cheap price.

Agric4Profits Blog

Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education...  Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices. 3. - Your Reliable Agriculture and Waste Management Online Community Forum! 4. - The Agriculture and Waste Management Practices On Your Screen! 5. - Your Reliable Agriculture Job Board! Join Me On:  Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: TheAgriPedia TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *