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Soil Quality and Methods for its Assessment

  • Diego de la Rosa
  • Ramon Sobral

Environmental sustainability will only be achieved by maintenance and improvement of soil quality. Soil quality is considered as the capacity of a soil to function. Its assessment focuses on dynamic aspects to evaluate the sustainability of soil management practices. In this chapter, a wide perspective of soil quality and the complex task of its assessment, considering the inherent and dynamic factors, are introduced. It focuses on the possibilities of applying and integrating the accumulated knowledge in agroecological land evaluation in order to predict soil quality. Advanced information technologies in modern decision support tools enable the integration of large and complex databases, models, tools, and techniques, and are proposed to improve the decision-making process in soil quality management. Although universal recommendations on soil quality and sustainability of soil management must not be done, this chapter presents general trends in soil quality management strategies. This includes arable land identification, crop diversification, organic matter restoration, tillage intensity, and soil input rationalization.

Keywords

Agroecological land evaluation dynamic soil quality inherent soil quality MicroLEIS soil function soil health soil indicator spatial decision support tool sustainable agricultural system 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego de la Rosa
    • 1
  • Ramon Sobral
    • 2
  1. 1.Spanish Research CouncilSpain
  2. 2.Argentina National Institute of Agriculture ResearchArgentina

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