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Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services$
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Diana H. Wall, Richard D. Bardgett, Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Jeffrey E. Herrick, T. Hefin Jones, Karl Ritz, Johan Six, Donald R. Strong, and Wim H. van der Putten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199575923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575923.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 October 2019

Soil Health: The Concept, Its Role, and Strategies for Monitoring

Soil Health: The Concept, Its Role, and Strategies for Monitoring

Chapter:
(p.331) Chapter 5.3 Soil Health: The Concept, Its Role, and Strategies for Monitoring
Source:
Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services
Author(s):

Douglas L. Karlen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575923.003.0029

This chapter, which provides a brief, 2,000-year history of soil health and its connection to the concepts of soil tilth and soil quality, illustrates the connections between humankind and soil resources using examples relevant to gardeners, small farmers, and large, multi-national operations. It introduces tools for assessment including soil health scorecards, soil quality test kits, and a soil quality assessment protocol known as the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF). The chapter presents an example of how the SMAF has been used to monitor the effects of harvesting corn stover as a bioenergy feedstock. Soil health is an integrative concept that links soil biological, chemical, and physical properties and ecological processes in order to determine how well a specific soil resource is performing the critical functions needed to sustain both the environment and humankind.

Keywords:   soil health, tilth, soil quality, scorecards, SMAF, soil function, soil monitoring

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