Soil Quality: Indicators

Authored by: Graham P. Sparling

Managing Soils and Terrestrial Systems

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342651
eBook ISBN: 9780429346255
Adobe ISBN:


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This entry presents criteria to select soil properties for soil quality indicators. A minimum data set to measure soil quality will include key dynamic properties of the soil quality aspect being monitored, with regard for the spatial scale, and the time span. An interpretative framework is needed to link indicator response to management action. Interpretation will differ according to the soil and land use, and monitoring trends through time is useful where critical limits have not been defined. Multiple indicators can be combined to form a simple index, but in so doing, some soil quality information may be masked.

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