The soil is responsible for key ecosystem functions such as the production of food and biomass, nutrient recycling, and the sustainability and biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems. The soil also contributes to climate regulation via carbon sequestration in the form of organic matter, and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and N2O. In addition, soil has a fundamental role in the regulation of the water cycle through water storage and the degradation and immobilization of pollutants, providing clean air, soil and water. Soil also provides a physical support for human activities and structures. For these reasons, the role of soil in food production and forestry and the regulation of the climate are key research areas within the contexts of human population growth, changing weather patterns, and changes in land use. Soil degradation, as a result of human activities, affects large areas of the world and has a direct impact on its functions, underscoring the need to prevent degradation through the adoption of sustainable management practices and the improvement in soil restoration technologies.
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