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Pitfall trap

A small container (trap) buried so the rim is at the level of the soil surface. It is used to catch soil arthropods that move across the ground surface.

Plastic mulch

Plastic sheet covering the soil surface to increase the temperature or suppress weeds.

Ploughing (tillage)

Mechanical cultivation of agricultural soils by the plough to different depths (20 - 30cm), creating arable land.

Plow pan

A compacted layer in the subsoil originating from subsequent ploughings.


A bog formed in shallow depressions with poor drainage, supporting predominantly evergreen shrubs or small trees.


All the individuals of a species in a given area.


The space in-between particles or aggregates of soil that can become filled with air or water.


Volume of water and air that can be held in a soil; ratio of the volume of voids to the total volume of the soil.

Potentially mineralizable nitrogen (PMN)

A test measuring the amount of soil organic nitrogen converted to plant available forms under specific conditions of temperature, moisture, aeration, and time. It is a measure of biological activity and indicates the amount of N that is relatively rapidly available.


Water reaching the ground from rainfall, snow and hail.

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