|Petersen C R,|
|Kennedy A C,|
Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Soil quality is an emerging concept surrounded by much confusion. Regulatory agencies are interested in proposing standards for soil quality, but little is known of what constitutes a good soil. Many techniques are available that indicate soil activity, but their activity may not directly relate to good soil quality or needs indepth interpretation to fully explain a soils' status. This research focuses on microbial assays to determine the health of a soil in order to formulate management practices that are soil building rather than degrading. A number of classical methods were used to measure soil quality and were then coupled with molecular analyses to further identify differences soils. We investigated the use of fatty acid analysis to identify soil parameters. Fatty acid profile analyses of various soils exhibited unique patterns, thus can be used to differentiate soils of dissimilar soil type and various management practices. This analysis coupled with other traditional approaches to characterize the microbial components can be used to assess soil health or soil quality.