SOIL AND LANDSCAPE
Soils and landscape are intimately related. Topography, or the shape of the land surface, is one of the major factors in soil formation. Topography influences local climate, it influences vegetation (through height and aspect), and the movement of water and materials over the surface.
Soil formation, soil processes and ultimately soil type (groups of soils with similar characteristics) are strongly influenced by their position in the landscape. Knowledge and understanding of the formation of the soils and their properties and their predictable patterns over de landscape, form the basis for grouping soils with similar characteristics (soil classification) and soil mapping.
The variation and differences in soils and their properties can be extreme. Not only in different places of the world, but also within landscapes. These differences are also expressed in the functioning of each soil type, such as their possibilities and limitations for food production, water storage and delivery, buffering liquids and (greenhouse) gasses, and biodiversity.