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Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering >> 2020, Volume 7, Issue 3 doi: 10.15302/J-FASE-2020338

New approaches for evaluation of soil health, sensitivity and resistance to degradation

. Department of Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems, Department of Agricultural Soil Science, University of Goettingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.. College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.. Department of Environmental Chemistry, University of Kassel, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany.. College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, National Academy of Agriculture Green Development, Key Laboratory of Plant-Soil Interactions (Ministry of Education), China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.. Institute of Soil and Water Resources and Environmental Science, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.. CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100101, China.. Department of Soil Physics and Hydrology, V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Science Institute, Moscow 119017, Russia.. Center for Research in Mycorrhiza and Agri-Environmental Sustainability (CIMYSA), University of La Frontera, Temuco, Chile.. Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Moscow 142290, Russia.. State Key Laboratory for Managing Biotic and Chemical Threats to the Quality and Safety of Agro-products, Key Laboratory of Biotechnology in Plant Protection of Ministry of Agriculture of China and Zhejiang Province, Institute of Plant Virology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China.. Laboratory of Biogeosciences, Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Accepted: 2020-06-04 Available online:2020-06-04

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Abstract

Assessment of soil health requires complex evaluation of properties and functions responsible for a broad range of ecosystem services. Numerous soil quality indices (SQI) have been suggested for the evaluation of specific groups of soil functions, but comparison of various SQI is impossible because they are based on a combination of specific soil properties. To avoid this problem, we suggest an SQI-area approach based on the comparison of the areas on a radar diagram of a combination of chemical, biological and physical properties. The new approach is independent of the SQI principle and allows rapid and simple comparison of parameter groups and soils. Another approach analyzing the resistance and sensitivity of properties to degradation is suggested for a detailed evaluation of soil health. The resistance and sensitivity of soil properties are determined through comparison with the decrease of soil organic carbon (SOC) as a universal parameter responsible for many functions. The SQI-area and resistance/sensitivity approaches were tested based on the recovery of Phaeozems and Chernozems chronosequences after the abandonment of agricultural soils. Both the SQI-area and the resistance/sensitivity approaches are useful for basic and applied research, and for decision-makers to evaluate land-use practices and measure the degree of soil degradation.

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