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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329340

Title: From landscape to domain: Soils role in landscape classifications

item Salley, Shawn
item BROWN, JOEL - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2015
Publication Date: 3/29/2016
Citation: Salley, S.W., Brown, J. 2016. From landscape to domain: Soils role in landscape classifications [abstract]. International Soil Modeling Consortium (ISMC) Inaugural Workshop. March 29-April 1, 2016, Austin, TX.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Soil landscape classifications are designed to divide landscapes into units with significance for the provisioning and regulating of ecosystem services and the development of conservation plans for natural resources. More specifically, such classifications serve as the basis for stratifying management strategies relevant to any given ecosystem’s biotic and abiotic properties. The purpose for delineating resource units is to identify geographical areas at different levels of resolution that have similar capabilities and potentials for management. As soil variability is scale-dependent in both space and time, it is important to understand spatial and temporal variables controlling soil and ecosystem function at specific scales of interest. Often soil geographic models at regional and domain scales are based on up-scaled data aggregated from the downscale soil properties. Yet at macroscales, soil ecosystems are controlled by macroclimatic properties that control daily and seasonal fluxes of energy and moisture, such as latitude (variability of soil energy), distance from the sea (continentality or oceanic influences), and elevation. It is only at mesoscale and microscale levels that landform properties (such as geology and topography) modify macroclimates by regulating the intensity of other key factors important to soil formation. Although results are preliminary, we show that landscape classification models identifying regional and domain scaled soil systems should be based on the more homogeneous macroclimate variables, as these systems lay above the local modifying influences of landforms.