Refining soil survey information for a Dutch soil series using land use history

M.P.W. Sonneveld, J. Bouma, A. Veldkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Differences in land-use history within soil series, although not influencing soil classification, lead to variability of non-diagnostic soil properties in soil databases. Regional studies that use soil databases are confronted with this considerable variability. This has, for example, been reported in regional studies focused on nitrate leaching from agricultural land. Such findings have a direct impact on regional assessments of nitrate leaching from dairy farms on sandy soils, a major environmental issue in the Netherlands. There is thus a need to deal with this variability in soil properties. We were able to relate soil organic nitrogen, soil organic carbon and its dynamics to land use history for a Dutch sandy soil series. Within one soil series, three different land use histories were identified: old grassland, reseeded grassland and grassland converted from continuous cropping with silage maize. The addition of landscape characteristics significantly improved the regression models based on land-use only. Once established for any given soil series, such relationships can significantly improve soil survey input into dynamic models of soil behaviour such as regional nitrate leaching studies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-163
JournalSoil Use and Management
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • land use
  • history
  • soil chemistry
  • nitrates
  • sandy soils
  • soil surveys
  • mapping


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