Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2002
Publication Date: 11/30/2002
Citation: ZHANG, J., GREEN, V.S., MCFEE, W.W., STOTT, D.E. EVALUATION OF SOIL HEALTH INDICATORS IN DIFFERENT LAND USES. CD-ROM. BEIJING, CHINA: INTERNATIONAL SOIL CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS. 2002. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: It is well known that soil health plays an important role in environmental sustainability and food security, but measuring soil health is still uncertain. An evaluation of soil health indicators was conducted using soil from five land uses: forest land, grassland, farmland in corn, farmland in soybean and urban construction land. With the exception of the construction site all of the soils were from the A horizon of Aquic Argiudolls taken from Agronomy Research Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. The following indicators of soil health were selected and analyzed in the laboratory: bulk density, field moisture content, pH, total carbon and nitrogen, carbon and nitrogen mineralization rates, soil respiration, microbial biomass, the structure of the soil microbial community using the fatty acid methyl ester analysis (FAME) and soil enzyme activities (fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, ß-glucosidase, arylamidase, acid phosphatase, and arylsulfatase). The experimental data showed that the selected indicators of soil health are sensitive, and all were more favorable in the forest and grassland than in soybean and corn cropland. The least favorable values were in the soil from the construction site. It is clear that land use can influence soil health and these indicators are sensitive to cropping practice.