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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Strategies to Predict and Manipulate Responses of Crops and Crop Disease to Anticipated Changes of Carbon Dioxide, Ozone and Temperature

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Assessment and evaluation of soil ecosystem services

Authors
item Comerford, Nicholas -
item Stromberger, Mary -
item Morris, Larry -
item Markewitz, Dan -
item Moore, Rebecca -
item Franzluebbers, Alan

Submitted to: Soil Horizons
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: February 26, 2013
Publication Date: May 15, 2013
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57856
Citation: Comerford, N.B., Stromberger, M., Morris, L., Markewitz, D., Moore, R., Franzluebbers, A.J. 2013. Assessment and evaluation of soil ecosystem services. Soil Horizons. doi:10.2136/sh12-10-0028.

Interpretive Summary: Ecosystems are defined by the complex relationships that exist between living resources and habitats of an area - and how they function as a unit. When ecosystems are described in the context of the benefits that people obtain from them, they are defined as ecosystem services. An ecosystem service approach to land management and policy decision making is holistic in that it refers to all the benefits that people receive from the ecosystem, and it is framed in a way that both market and non-market services can be assigned; sometimes monetarily, sometimes otherwise. The purpose of this position paper by the Soil Science Society of America is to identify, define and value ecosystem services derived from soil, i.e. from soil properties, soil uses, and soil processes. In combination with water, air, the sun, and genetic information, soil is a critical factor in the life of the Earth. Without any one of these five critical factors, life on Earth, simply would not be possible. Therefore, the need to preserve and enhance soil and its functions for the benefit of the Earth now and into the future is of utmost importance.

Technical Abstract: Ecosystems are defined by the complex relationships that exist between living resources and habitats of an area - and how they function as a unit. When ecosystems are described in the context of the benefits that people obtain from them, they are defined as ecosystem services. An ecosystem service approach to land management and policy decision making is holistic in that it refers to all the benefits that people receive from the ecosystem, and it is framed in a way that both market and non-market services can be assigned; sometimes monetarily, sometimes otherwise. The purpose of this position paper by the Soil Science Society of America is to identify, define and value ecosystem services derived from soil, i.e. from soil properties, soil uses, and soil processes. In combination with water, air, the sun, and genetic information, soil is a critical factor in the life of the Earth. Without any one of these five critical factors, life on Earth, simply would not be possible. Therefore, the need to preserve and enhance soil and its functions for the benefit of the Earth now and into the future is of utmost importance.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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