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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessing Soil Quality on a Regional Scale Using the National Resource Inventory

item Brejda, John - USDA-NRCS
item Mausbach, Maurice - USDA-NRCS
item Moorman, Thomas
item Karlen, Douglas

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 22, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Protecting soil quality is a fundamental goal of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The objective of this study was to select a set of soil quality indicators for use on a regional scale with the National Resource Inventory. Eighteen soil attributes from the Northern Mississippi Loess Hills and Palouse and Nez Perce Prairies were evaluated as potential indicators. In the Northern Mississippi Valley Loess Hills, soil attributes that were most sensitive to land-use were soil aggregate mean-weight diameter (MWD), C:N ratio, metabolic quotient (qCO2), potentially mineralizable nitrogen (PMN), and Mehlich extractable P. In the Palouse and Nez Perce Prairies, soil attributes that were most sensitive to land-use were MWD, C:N ratio, PMN, and soil pH. The data indicates there are soil attributes that can serve as soil quality indicators over a large geographic region. However, each region may also require additional indicators unique to that region.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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