1 Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
2 University of Nigeria, Nigeria
*Corresponding author: Aliku O, Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, Faculty of Agriculture, Nigeria
Submission: December 12, 2017; Published: April 10, 2018
ISSN: 2637-7659 Volume1 Issue5
Characterization of the internal organization of the soil can aid the quantification of soil structural characteristics, and also enhance the understanding of the soil processes for adequate agricultural and environmental soil management. However, the current soil physics approach describes soil structure and its hydraulic properties independent from the internal organization and hydro-structural functioning of the soil medium. The pedostructure concept is a new paradigm in soil structural analysis that is aimed at understanding the hydrostructural characterization, behaviour, configuration, and interactions of the soil-water medium, by taking into account the internal organization and functionality, with respect to water flow, of the soil.
The pedostructure concept adopts a conceptual and functional model in which shrinkage and swelling curves are used to characterize the hydrostructural equilibrium and kinetics of soil-water medium, respectively. The shrinkage curve represents and characterizes the equilibrium state of the soil water medium, while the swelling curve represents the dynamics of the medium as it returns to equilibrium due to abrupt changes in moisture conditions. This is important in understanding the dynamics of water flow, and the fate of fertilizers and pollutants in the soil. Thus, this could enhance proper management of soil for improved agricultural production and enhanced environmental quality.
Keywords: Hydrostructural characterization; Pedostructure; Shrinkage curve; Swelling curve; Soil internal organization