Man and the Soil–Plant–Atmosphere System
Initiating studies on the physical behavior of the Soil–Plant–Atmosphere System (SPAS), it is essential to show aspects of how MAN interacts with the elements of this system. The SPAS is a dynamic system and has both closed and open characteristics at the same time. It is an articulated set of interrelationships between the parts of a whole that seeks for equilibrium, being permanently self-governed through processes following very well-defined laws. It is considered closed because it has real consistency, relative autonomy, and internal logic by which it organizes itself and regulates itself. It is also open because it is outwardly dimensioned by a web of interdependence with the surrounding environment, losing and gaining energy and matter. It exchanges “information” in an ecological interdependence where everything is linked to everything. In this chapter, we will give a general overview on how man is treating our natural resources, the water, the soil, and the atmosphere, most of the time disregarding environmental aspects.