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formed which, in comparison with the initial material, shoW a different structure: we find JIDre irregularities, JIDre crystal water and a . higher capacity for adsorbing H~. During formation of these colloids, central cations with a different charge are built into the mineral structure in some cases. So Al3.fo changes place with si4+; or Mg~""substitutes Al31-. The effect is a negative charge and inte.f.mediate which is balanced by cations of positive charge in the surface layer areas of the colloids. In high quality soils these cations are Ca ~ , Mg2,.... and ~ which; by ion-exchange, are used up by soil-organisms or plant-roots~ !!!.

-

acid soils H- and Al-ions become factors of grave disturbances; able to serve the formation of links, and soils disintegrate.

they are no longer

2. Wherever soils gain their inner consistency by sticky wrappings from bacteria and blue-algae or by threadlike growing actinomycetes and fungi, we owe this to the dynamics of the colloidal structure of organisms. Vitali ty is the result of their functioning on a high level of energy. Wherever these links are missing, reduction of vitality follows immediately. 3. The earthworm has to be recognized as one of the JIDst effective linking-d~vices for soils. Massive flow of organic and mineral substances makes its way through the intestines of the earthworm and is "turned into clay-humus-complexes. The deeply penetrating burrows of the earthworm allow for -tas-eXChange the atJIDsphere roots reaching down intogone greater depths. inest roots with preferably penetrate and soil-particles which have through the earthworm passage.

The

4. While the building up of colloids is the basis for the linking system, roothairs in the interaction with capilary water are the basis for the exchange between soil colloids and plants. In high-acidity soils, water vanishes with the breakdown of links. 5. Links JIDst endangered nowadays by acidity are the mykorrhiza-fungi which supply water and mineral nutrients in symbiosis with the roots of forest trees. The mykorrhiza has to rely on the supply of sugar from the tree. If this flow is cut off by deficiency and reduction processes, the mykhorriza dies. This is what "Waldsterben" boils down to: a disintegration of links with the colloidal system and consequently the degradation of the colloidal system itsel.f which could be called the heart of life on this globe. X X X

When forests endeavors.

.

die, biotopes vanish; cultures degenerate and man faces the end of his The ongoin9 CO/2 drama is closely linked with dying forest ecosystems

While 00/2 absorption

by the oceans

is possible

in large

quantities,

it

is

always a slow process. In comparison, forests shoWa much higher potential to absorb 00/2 quickly but, on the other hand, they give it back to the atJIDsphere suddenly when forest fires occur. Upset of the 00/2 balance has occurred since the tertiary period when plant covers reached their largest expansion. By the end of the tertiary period a slow cooling process set in, which, in the quaternary period, became part of a pattern: periodic climatic changes. There is ample evidence "

that 00/2, as an indicator for the efficiency plays its role in the develo};ll\ent of cooling.

of vegetation

cover,

played

and still

Hamaker and Weaver have offered imIX>rtant mater ial for the understanding of the CO/~ problematique, especially by stressing the tectonic factor. For my understanding there was still one missing link which has now been supplied by Matthias Kuhle's work on "The glaciation of Tibet and the developnent of glacial periods". Kuhle states that in the tertiary period the Indian subcontinent starts to slide down under the eurasian land-masses by heaving up the Highland of Tibet. When in humid climate demineralization by leaching starts under natural conditions, 00/2 rises. Rain, snowfall and albedo effects become JIDre frequent in those parts 53

16 p53 Missing Links Graefe  

soils these cations are Ca~ , Mg 2,.... that 00/2, as an indicator for the efficiency of vegetation cover, played and still plays its role i...