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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE AGRO-ECOSYSTEMS THAT CONTROL SOIL EROSION AND ENHANCE THE ENVIRONMENT

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Title: Soil Ecosystem Recovery Should Be Quantifiable

Authors
item Fitzpatrick, Catherine -
item Deng, Shiping -
item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 21, 2012
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Citation: Fitzpatrick, C., Deng, S., Acosta Martinez, V. 2012. Soil Ecosystem Recovery Should Be Quantifiable[abstract]. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America. October 21-25, 2012. Cincinnati, OH. Paper No. 147-11.

Technical Abstract: Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) costs close to two billion dollars in federal funds every year; and yet, it is challenging to evaluate its effectiveness to assist the decision making process. Using a combination of physical properties and microbial indicators, we found that it is possible to make a general assessment of the soil ecosystem recovery based on evaluations of fields under CRP in comparison to adjacent wheat fields and fields containing native perennial vegetation that had been kept undisturbed for at least 20 years. Studies were conducted to compare these three ecosystems at two different sites and soil samples were taken twice a year for two consecutive years. Measurements included basic soil properties, aggregate stability, and fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis. Using an aggregated value of multiple soil quality indicators, we found that the soil under CRP at one location had recovered approximately 10%, while the other had recovered approximately 50% when compared to the adjacent undisturbed soil ecosystem under native vegetation.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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