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Course, academic year 2022/2023
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Introduction to soil science, soil organic matter dynamics, and related laboratory techniques - MO550P25
Title: Introduction to soil science, soil organic matter dynamics, and related laboratory techniques
Guaranteed by: Institute for Environmental Studies (31-550)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Actual: from 2022
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 3
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:1/1, C+Ex [HT]
Capacity: unlimited
Min. number of students: unlimited
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Note: enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: Gerrit Angst, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Teacher(s): Gerrit Angst, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Class: NIR spectrometr
Annotation -
Last update: RNDr. Jolana Tátosová, Ph.D. (29.03.2019)
This lecture will deal with the basics of soil science, including soil development and classification, soil chemistry
and soil physics. Special focus will be put on soil organic matter dynamics and organic carbon storage in soil with
links to climate change and rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. A part of the course will be taking place in the
field, where the students will classify a soil profile and take volumetric soil samples. These samples will then be
used to analyse basic soil properties in the laboratory, such as pH value, water content, density, or particle size.
Soil organic matter related laboratory methods taught will be the measurement of heterotrophic respiration and
organic carbon contents, and the separation of the soil into fractions relatable to different stabilization
mechanisms of soil organic carbon.

The subject is intended primarily for doctoral studies, requires knowledge of pedology, biogeochemistry and
basics of analytical chemistry.
Aim of the course -
Last update: RNDr. Jolana Tátosová, Ph.D. (29.03.2019)
Course outcome:
After the course, the students should be able to

  • understand basic processes acting in and on soils with special emphasis on carbon storage and soil organic matter dynamics
  • classify soil profiles according to genetic horizons and take soil samples in the field
  • perform laboratory analyses to determine basic soil properties and measures of soil organic carbon/matter stability

Syllabus -
Last update: RNDr. Jolana Tátosová, Ph.D. (29.03.2019)
Tentative syllabus

  • What is soil
  • Components of soil
  • Soil development and mineralogy

2. Soil chemistry

  • Acidity/Basicity
  • CEC
  • Buffer capacity of soils

3. Soil physics

  • Particle/pore size
  • Soil structure
  • Soil water

4. Soil organic matter

  • Introduction
  • Nutrients in soil

5. Soil classifications and geographical distribution of soil types

6. Deep delve into soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics

  • Pathways of SOM formation
  • Stabilization mechanisms
  • Analytical techniques

7. Field day

8. Laboratory course

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