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Soils are a mixture of different things; rocks, minerals, and dead, decaying plants and animals. Soil can be very different from one location to another, but generally consists of organic and inorganic materials, water and air. The inorganic materials are the rocks that have been broken down into smaller pieces. The size of the pieces varies. It may appear as pebbles, gravel, or as small as particles of sand or clay. The organic material is decaying living matter. This could be plants or animals that have died and decay until they become part of the soil. The amount of water in the soil is closely linked with the climate and other characteristics of the region. The amount of water in the soil is one thing that can affect the amount of air. Very wet soil like you would find in a wetland probably has very little air. The composition of the soil affects the plants and therefore the animals that can live there.
For more information about wetlands, please visit another ThinkQuest WebPage created by our friends: "Wet & Wild: The Hydology and Biodiversity of Wetlands"