Soil is a mixture of inorganic and mineral particles that derive from rock and organic matter that comes from the decomposition of dead orgnaisms and their waste products. soil changes constantly as climate and organisms modify raw materials. The rate of decomposition is affected by the chemical nature of the litter, the acitivity of soil animals and climate. Peat is high in organic matter and forms when the rate of decomposition is slower than the rate of litter deposition. Peat soils are varied and include deep peat (greater thatn 30cm) peaty podzols and peaty gleys. All types are sensitive (the soil structure is easily damaged) and are extrememly vulnerable to erosion. Extensive areas of peat are damaged through innapropriate agricultural practices particularly peat extraction and plantation forestry on peaty podsols.

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