The combination of natural processes by which soils are formed. It is also known as pedogenesis. The most important soil-forming factors are parent material, terrain, climate, aspect, vegetation cover, microorganisms in the soil and the age of the land surface. Some pedologists would add to this list the influence of human activities. All the factors exhibit varying degrees of interrelationship and some are more important than others, with climate often being singled out as the most important.
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