Soil Quality and Soil Sustainability: Sustainable Agro-Ecosystem Management

Soil Quality and Soil Sustainability: Sustainable Agro-Ecosystem Management

Ashok Kumar Rathoure (Biohm Consultare Pvt Ltd, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7940-3.ch004


Soil is an important and complex part of our environment. The agro-ecosystem is made up of many interacting components with multiple goals. Soil quality is one important part of sustainable agro-ecosystem management, analogous to water and air quality. Assessing soil quality may help managers identify practices that could be adapted to become more sustainable. Soil quality is the ability of a soil to perform functions that are essential to people and the environment. Soil quality is not limited to agricultural soils, although most soil quality work has been done in agricultural systems. Soil quality definitions emphasize several features. Dynamic properties include organic matter, soil structure, infiltration rate, bulk density, and water and nutrient holding capacity. Changes in dynamic properties depend both on land management practices and the inherent properties of the soil. Here, the author has presented for intrinsic and vigorous properties, soil structures and macrophores, soil quality management, etc.
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Intrinsic And Vigorous Properties Of Soil

The quality of a soil is a combination of intrinsic and vigorous soil properties. The focus of most soil quality work is vigorous soil properties and how they change in relation to the intrinsic features of the soil. Inherent or use-invariant properties change little, if at all, with land use or management practices. They may include soil texture, depth to bedrock, type of clay, CEC and drainage class. These properties were established as soil formed over millennia. The soil form depends on the five soil-forming factors (Jenny, 1941):

  • Climate (precipitation and temperature),

  • Topography (shape of the land),

  • Biota (native vegetation, animals and microbes),

  • Parent material (geologic and organic precursors to the soil),

  • Time (time that parent material is subject to soil formation processes).

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