Waiting for main navigation ...

Soil & Water

Soil and Water Availability & Quality

Almost half of the volume of fertile soils consists of pores of different shapes and sizes. They are largely formed by the activity of soil organisms and by the roots of plants. The large pores ensure that even heavy precipitation can seep into the soil, while water is held in the smaller pores by capillary forces. This allows soils to store large amounts of water, which can ensure the survival of plants even during longer dry periods. Soils also ensure that precipitation does not immediately end up in rivers. Without soils, flooding would be commonplace. At the same time, the soil’s pore space provides room for an enormous number of soil organisms. These are able not only to decompose organic residues and make them available to plants again, but also to break down pollutants. When managed properly, this makes biologically active soil a very efficient water filter and a guarantor for clean groundwater.

Hans-Jörg Vogel (UFZ, 2023)