Porosity

Definition - What does Porosity mean?

In gardening, porosity refers to the part of growing soil that is not covered by organic matter or soil particles. Instead, the pore spaces contain water as well as air and other gases. Macropores- also known as large pores- have been shown to allow an easy drainage of water and air movement. In growing soil, these larger pores play an important role when it comes to evapotranspiration, hydraulic conductivity and preferential flow patterns.

MaximumYield explains Porosity


Porous soil displays various types of pore size categories, namely:

  • Cryptopore: These soil pores are so tiny that they cannot be penetrated by the majority of microorganism. As a result, the pores’ organic matter is not exposed to microbial decomposition.


  • Ultramicropore: Ultramicropores do not provide an adequate habitation for microorganisms. These soil pores are not influenced by compaction and their distribution are mainly determined by soil organic matter as well as soil texture.


  • Micropore: These soil pores display very little movement. Contrary to popular belief, water within micropores is available for extraction.


  • Macropore: Macropores are best suited to growing soil since these larger pores can store plenty of water.


Additionally, soil porosity is been shown to influence oxygen concentration. The porosity is also affected by soil compaction as well as soil structure: in fact, a finer texture like clay has been shown to hold more water.

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