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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Quantitative Indicators of Soil Quality: a Minimum Data Set

Authors
item Doran, John
item Parkin, Timothy

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 24, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The minimum data set presented here provides a list of indicators deemed necessary for assessment of soil quality but does not provide a framework by which measurement of soil quality indicators can be interrelated to assess soil quality. This is discussed in detail by Harris and Karlen in chapter 4. However, the process of identification and measurement of the basic physical, chemical, and biological components comprising the soil ecosystem facilitates appreciation by the researcher, consultant, or land manager of the broad effects of agricultural and land management on soil function and soil quality. Also, it can serve to identify specific soil attributes which are most important or need more detailed study within the unique constraints of soil, climatic, tillage and cropping management systems, etc., and the social, economic and environmental concerns which may be unique to a certain geographical region. The specific use of soil quality indicators for on-farm assessment of soil quality is presented by Sarrantonio et al. (1996) in chapter 5.

Technical Abstract: The minimum data set presented here provides a list of indicators deemed necessary for assessment of soil quality but does not provide a framework by which measurement of soil quality indicators can be interrelated to assess soil quality. This is discussed in detail by Harris and Karlen in chapter 4. However, the process of identification and measurement of the basic physical, chemical, and biological components comprising the soil ecosystem facilitates appreciation by the researcher, consultant, or land manager of the broad effects of agricultural and land management on soil function and soil quality. Also, it can serve to identify specific soil attributes which are most important or need more detailed study within the unique constraints of soil, climatic, tillage and cropping management systems, etc., and the social, economic and environmental concerns which may be unique to a certain geographical region. The specific use of soil quality indicators for on-farm assessment of soil quality is presented by Sarrantonio et al. (1996) in chapter 5.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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