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Soil quality: a critical review and a look into the future

Bünemann, Else K.; Bongiorno, G.; Brussaard, L. and Mäder, P. (2019) Soil quality: a critical review and a look into the future. In: Agroscope, FiBL, ETH (Eds.) Program and abstract book. Comparing organic and conventional agricultural cropping systems - What can be learned from the DOK and other long-term trials? Congressi Stefano Franscini, Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland, October 6-10, 2019, p. 32.

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Summary

Soils are complex systems with physical, chemical and biological properties which depend on pedo-climatic conditions as well as previous and current land use. Soil status and use potential is frequently assessed from plot to national scales, using either visual examination or laboratory analysis of samples. However, the choice of relevant soil attributes and interpretation of measurements are not straightforward. In this presentation, we review soil quality and related concepts, in terms of definition, assessment approaches, and indicator selection and interpretation. We identify the most frequently used soil quality indicators under agricultural land use. We also consider novel indicators as evaluated using 10 European long-term field experiments. Explicit evaluation of soil quality with respect to specific soil threats, soil functions and ecosystem services is rare, and few approaches provide clear interpretation schemes of measured indicator values. This limits their adoption by land managers as well as policy. The development of a soil quality assessment procedure that is scientifically sound and supports management and policy decisions that account for the multi-functionality of soil requires the involvement of the pertinent actors, stakeholders and end-users. Several interactive tools that are currently being developed will be shown and can be tested during the field trip of the conference.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:soil sciences, soil quality, long-term experiments, pedo-climatic
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Climate
Netherlands > Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
Related Links:https://www.fibl.org/de/themen/boden.html
Deposited By: Mäder, Paul
ID Code:36889
Deposited On:04 Dec 2019 11:10
Last Modified:06 Jan 2021 15:33
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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