Technology and research needs to support soil change studies in reserach and soil survey

TitleTechnology and research needs to support soil change studies in reserach and soil survey
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsTugel A.J., Wills S.A., O'Green A.T.
Conference NameGeological Society of America
Date PublishedOctober 5-9, 200
Conference LocationHouston, TX
ARIS Log Number233983
Keywordsnatural resources, soil survey, sustainable
AbstractSoil survey products must evolve to address the effects of management practices on the soil resource. There is a rising demand by soil survey customers interested in sustainable use of natural resources for information about land-use impacts on soil quality, ecological processes, and soil function. Meeting this demand requires new soil survey approaches to characterize soil change in agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems. The challenge is to identify cost-effective measurement tools and data comparison techniques that are sensitive enough to reflect functional changes in soil properties. Methods are needed to measure or model key dynamic soil properties (DSP’s) and link them with conceptual state-based models to forecast biotic-abiotic interactions and resilience. Concepts and terms that apply to soil change, including state variables, fluctuation changes, trend, rates and pathways of change, thresholds, reversibility, and characteristic response time, will be reviewed and needs for improvements through research, testing, and academic debate will be identified. The following research needs will be presented: 1) capturing the spatial and temporal variability of DSP’s, 2) quantification of thresholds and relationships between DSP’s and functions, and 3) interpretive tools or metrics to compare non-impacted soil pedons with those impacted by erosion, tillage, or other disturbances. The benefits of integrating soil survey DSP data with information about rates, pathways, and thresholds of change derived from long-term studies are also identified. To stay relevant to society’s needs soil survey must document state variables (DSP’s) for a wide range of land uses and management systems.