Clay minerals are essential components of soil systems and understanding their role in soil structure and function is critical for soil environmental quality management and sustainable agricultural development. An in-depth study of clay minerals and the development of related materials is essential for a complete understanding and effective management of soil systems. This review is a detailed compilation of relevant studies over the past decade in this area, focusing on an overview of clay minerals and their modified materials and their regulation of soil structure and function. We focus on the direct influence of clay minerals on the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils, such as soil structure, soil fertility, plant growth, soil microbial activity and soil carbon sequestration. Finally, we concluded by summarizing the existing issues with clay mineral materials in soil improvement and by outlining potential future development trends and strategies.

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