Soil Functional-Environmental Evaluation and Monitoring in Urban Ecosystems: Principal Functions, Background Objects and Uniform Algorithms of Assessment
The paper presents the regional automated system of soil functional-environmental assessment (RASSCA) reflecting soil provincial genesis and functional features. It allows evaluating soil integral functional and environmental quality even in heterogeneous land plots. The RASSCA identifies and quantifies the limiting factors and principal parameters of soils’ functional quality and environmental status as well as priority issues of their land-use. The RASSCA conducts environmental computer simulation, search and target prediction of soil quality changes and environmental problems’ solution that improve the effectiveness of land-use decision-making – by prior functional-environmental analysis and comparison of the various scenarios of their outcomes and consequences. The RASSCA was used for the functional-environmental analysis of urban soils in the Chernozemic region of Russia (Kursk city), where natural soils are dominated by Chernic Phaeozems and Luvic-Chernozems. We focused on the polluted urban soils to identify the key environmental problems of soil technogenic degradation. The RASSCA allowed evaluating soil limiting parameters and environmental factors to identify the priority issues and to model the target changes in the integrated functional-environmental quality of soils by improving their limiting parameters. Conducted monitoring of Kursk soil technogenic successions highlighted the importance of soil metamorphic and migration processes. The over-compaction in urban soils was up to 0.3 g cm−3 year−1; an average rate of humification/dehumification– 3.0 g kg−1 year−1; acidification/alkalization −0.1 pH year−1 and heavy metals migration – up to 50–60 g cm m−2 year−1. Some of these data considerably extend the known ranges of elementary soil processes rates “in situ” and allow for better estimation of the real potentials of soil functioning in different landscape-environmental conditions of forest-steppe zone.
KeywordsEcology Soil evaluation Soil function Monitoring Soil assessment algorithm Soil contamination Urban ecosystems Urban soils
This work was supported by the RF President grant# NSh-10347. 2013.11.
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