The diversity of soil also called pedodiversity and edafodiversity is a basic concept in soil science, it is the recognition of differences between soils using some taxonomic scheme as Soil Taxonomy (USDA) or the World Reference Bases of Soil Resource (WRB) (Figure 1).pedo-diversity

Figure 1. An example of the diversity of soils in Latin America

Along with the identification of soil profile (taxon, name), recognizing the occupied surfaces is required, this activity is called soil geography. The product is a soil map.

What follows is the recognition of the potential use of soils and recognizing the environmental and ecological functions performed by each soil, each soil area. The product is the map of soil functions.

One of the environmental functions of soils is water purification, its function as a natural reactor as plant wastewater treatment.

As it can be seen in Fig. 2 Soils best filter and purify water are Vertisols. However, Luvisoles work best in the decomposition of the soluble organic matter.

soil reactor

Figure 2. Application of wastewater to different soil columns. In flasks below, you can see the differences in water quality after passing through the soil column. ARP = swine wastewater

Vertisols absorb the soluble organic matter; however, the decomposition of organica matter is slow. On the other hand, Luvisols absorb soluble organic matter in mean quantities; but the organic matter decompose faster.

Now you know one environmental function of soils: water purification capacity you use and drinking.

More information,



  • Bautista F., A.J. Zinck.y S. Cram. 2010. Los suelos de Latinoamérica: retos y oportunidades de uso y estudio. Boletín del Sistema Nacional de Información Estadística y Geográfica. 2: 93-142.
  • Aguilar Y. y Bautista F.. 2011. Extrapolating the suitability of soils as natural reactors using an existing soil map: application of pedotransfer functions, spatial integration and validation procedures. Tropical and subtropical agroecosystems. 13: 221- 232.
  • Aguilar Y., Bautista F., and E. Díaz-Pereira.2011.Soils as natural reactors for swine wastewater treatment. Tropical and subtropical agroecosystems. 13: 199- 210.
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