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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Resilience: a Fundamental Component of Soil Quality

Authors
item Seybold, C - USDA-NRCS
item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Brejda, J - USDA-NRCS

Submitted to: Soil Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 1998
Publication Date: April 1, 1999
Citation: SEYBOLD, C.A., HERRICK, J.E., BREJDA, J.J. SOIL RESILIENCE: A FUNDAMENTAL COMPONENT OF SOIL QUALITY. SOIL SCIENCE. 1999. V. 1644. P. 224-234.

Interpretive Summary: The concept of soil resilience has the potential to serve as a guide to long-term management decisions, however soil resilience and methods for measuring it have not been clarified. Factors that affect soil resilience and resistance are soil type and vegetation, climate, land use, scale, and disturbance regime. Maintenance of recovery mechanisms after a disturbance eis critical for system recovery. Three approaches for assessing soil resilience are presented: (1) directly measuring recovery after a disturbance, (2) quantifying the integrity of recovery mechanisms after a disturbance, and (3) measuring properties that serve as indicators of those recovery mechanisms.

Technical Abstract: Soil resilience has recently been introduced into soil science to address sustainability of the soil resource and to combat soil degradation. The concept of soil resilience and its relationship to soil quality have not been well defined or developed. The main objectives of this paper are to clarify the concept of soil resilience and its relationship to soil quality yand to present a framework for its assessment. A review of the literature on the assessment and quantification of soil resilience is presented and discussed. The concept of soil resilience in combination with resistance is presented as an important component of soil quality, a key element of sustainability. Factors that affect soil resilience and resistance are soil type and vegetation, climate, land use, scale, and disturbance regime. Maintenance of recovery mechanisms after a disturbance is critical for system recovery. Three approaches for assessing soil resilience are presented: (1) directly measuring recovery after a disturbance, (2) quantifying the integrity of recovery mechanisms after a disturbance, and (3) measuring properties that serve as indicators of those recovery mechanisms. Research is needed in the development of indicators or quantitative measures of the ability of soils to recover from specific disturbances.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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