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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360198

Research Project: Stewardship of Upper Midwest Soil and Air Resources through Regionally Adapted Management Practices

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Meta-data needed to adequately interpret soil parameters describing soil health

item Johnson, Jane
item Mikha, Maysoon

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Soil health changes over time and space. Soil health, also known as soil quality, refers to basic soil properties such as soil texture. Soil properties can be changed with management choices including tillage management, crops, fertilizer input and others. Soils interact with weather and climatic conditions. A wide range of soil properties may be selected to serve as indicators of soil health (the ability of soil to function). The information that accompanies and puts measured data into context is called metadata. Metadata helps readers understand how to interpret measured data. Metadata may include site description, soil characterization, management, climate, sampling and analysis methods. This chapter describes a wide range of metadata that is useful for integrating soil health study results across time and/or space. This information is useful to those seeking to improve soil health.

Technical Abstract: Soil health assessments are temporally and spatially-dependent. Soil health, also known as soil quality, has both an inherent edaphic component and dynamic properties, which interact with management and climatic affects. Soil assessment often focuses on the suitability of indicators or attribute data rather than the metadata. However, it is critical to have appropriate metadata for providing context and assist the reader or user understand how to interpret those data. Meta-data includes site description, soil characterization, management, climate, sampling and analysis methods. Metadata facilitates syntheses and integrate of experimental results of the measured parameters across time and space.