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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Approaches to Assessing the Quality of Rangeland Soils

item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Whitford, Walter - US-EPA

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 1994
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Soil quality can be defined as the soil's capacity to perform selected functions, to resist degradation and to recover following disturbance. It depends on interactions between the soil, soil fauna and vegetation, and therefore, may serve as a useful integrated indicator of overall ecosystem condition. Definitions of ecosystem condition, however, depend on management objectives. We will present an approach for calibrating indicators of semi-arid rangeland soil quality for a variety of management objectives. This integrated approach will be illustrated with preliminary data from a study of semi-arid rangeland in the Chihuahuan Desert. These data, together with other recent studies, suggest that spatial patterns may be as useful as average values of soil properties in assessing soil quality for non-cultivated systems.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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