Soil Temperature And Its Importance
The Soil mantle of the earth is indispensable for the maintenance of plant life, affording mechanical support and supplying nutrients and water.
Soil constitutes a major storage for heat acting as a sink of energy during the day and source to the surface at night. In annual terms the soil stores energy during the warm season and releases it to air during the cold portions of the year.
Importance of Soil Temperature:
1. In affects plant growth directly, that is all crops practically slow down their growth below the soil temperature of about 90C and above the soil temperature of above 50 0C.
2. For germination of different seeds requires different ranges of soil temperature e.g. maize begins to germinate at soil temp of 7 to 100C.
3. Most of the soil organisms function best at an optimum soil temperature of 25 to 350C
4. The optimum soil temperature for nitrification is about 320C.
5. It also influences soil moisture content, aeration and availability of plant nutrients.