Soil Quality - a critical review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sampling and analysis or visual examination of soil to assess its status and use potential is widely practiced from plot to national scales. However, the choice of relevant soil attributes and interpretation of measurements are not straightforward, because of the complexity and site-specificity of soils, legacy effects of previous land use, and trade-offs between ecosystem services. Here we review soil quality and related concepts, in terms of definition, assessment approaches, and indicator selection and interpretation. We identify the most frequently used soil quality indicators under agricultural land use. We find that explicit evaluation of soil quality with respect to specific soil threats, soil functions and ecosystem services has rarely been implemented, and few approaches provide clear interpretation schemes of measured indicator values. This limits their adoption by land managers as well as policy. We also consider novel indicators that address currently neglected though important soil properties and processes, and we list the crucial steps in the development of a soil quality assessment procedure that is scientifically sound and supports management and policy decisions that account for the multi-functionality of soil. This requires the involvement of the pertinent actors, stakeholders and end-users to a much larger degree than practiced to date.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-125
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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soil quality
Soil
soil
ecosystem service
ecosystem services
land use
soil ecosystem
soil property
stakeholder
Ecosystem
stakeholders
agricultural land
soil properties
managers
indicator
sampling
policy

Cite this

@article{83a7ab0a47e24d5da73acff3d0c20406,
title = "Soil Quality - a critical review",
abstract = "Sampling and analysis or visual examination of soil to assess its status and use potential is widely practiced from plot to national scales. However, the choice of relevant soil attributes and interpretation of measurements are not straightforward, because of the complexity and site-specificity of soils, legacy effects of previous land use, and trade-offs between ecosystem services. Here we review soil quality and related concepts, in terms of definition, assessment approaches, and indicator selection and interpretation. We identify the most frequently used soil quality indicators under agricultural land use. We find that explicit evaluation of soil quality with respect to specific soil threats, soil functions and ecosystem services has rarely been implemented, and few approaches provide clear interpretation schemes of measured indicator values. This limits their adoption by land managers as well as policy. We also consider novel indicators that address currently neglected though important soil properties and processes, and we list the crucial steps in the development of a soil quality assessment procedure that is scientifically sound and supports management and policy decisions that account for the multi-functionality of soil. This requires the involvement of the pertinent actors, stakeholders and end-users to a much larger degree than practiced to date.",
author = "Bunemann, {Else K.} and G. Bongiorno and Z.G. Bai and Rachel Creamer and {de Deyn}, G.B. and {de Goede}, R.G.M. and L. Fleskens and V. Geissen and T.W.M. Kuijper and Paul M{\"a}der and M.M. Pulleman and W. Sukkel and {van Groenigen}, J.W. and L. Brussaard",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.030",
language = "English",
volume = "120",
pages = "105--125",
journal = "Soil Biology and Biochemistry",
issn = "0038-0717",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Soil Quality - a critical review. / Bunemann, Else K.; Bongiorno, G.; Bai, Z.G.; Creamer, Rachel; de Deyn, G.B.; de Goede, R.G.M.; Fleskens, L.; Geissen, V.; Kuijper, T.W.M.; Mäder, Paul; Pulleman, M.M.; Sukkel, W.; van Groenigen, J.W.; Brussaard, L.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 120, 2018, p. 105-125.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Soil Quality - a critical review

AU - Bunemann, Else K.

AU - Bongiorno, G.

AU - Bai, Z.G.

AU - Creamer, Rachel

AU - de Deyn, G.B.

AU - de Goede, R.G.M.

AU - Fleskens, L.

AU - Geissen, V.

AU - Kuijper, T.W.M.

AU - Mäder, Paul

AU - Pulleman, M.M.

AU - Sukkel, W.

AU - van Groenigen, J.W.

AU - Brussaard, L.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Sampling and analysis or visual examination of soil to assess its status and use potential is widely practiced from plot to national scales. However, the choice of relevant soil attributes and interpretation of measurements are not straightforward, because of the complexity and site-specificity of soils, legacy effects of previous land use, and trade-offs between ecosystem services. Here we review soil quality and related concepts, in terms of definition, assessment approaches, and indicator selection and interpretation. We identify the most frequently used soil quality indicators under agricultural land use. We find that explicit evaluation of soil quality with respect to specific soil threats, soil functions and ecosystem services has rarely been implemented, and few approaches provide clear interpretation schemes of measured indicator values. This limits their adoption by land managers as well as policy. We also consider novel indicators that address currently neglected though important soil properties and processes, and we list the crucial steps in the development of a soil quality assessment procedure that is scientifically sound and supports management and policy decisions that account for the multi-functionality of soil. This requires the involvement of the pertinent actors, stakeholders and end-users to a much larger degree than practiced to date.

AB - Sampling and analysis or visual examination of soil to assess its status and use potential is widely practiced from plot to national scales. However, the choice of relevant soil attributes and interpretation of measurements are not straightforward, because of the complexity and site-specificity of soils, legacy effects of previous land use, and trade-offs between ecosystem services. Here we review soil quality and related concepts, in terms of definition, assessment approaches, and indicator selection and interpretation. We identify the most frequently used soil quality indicators under agricultural land use. We find that explicit evaluation of soil quality with respect to specific soil threats, soil functions and ecosystem services has rarely been implemented, and few approaches provide clear interpretation schemes of measured indicator values. This limits their adoption by land managers as well as policy. We also consider novel indicators that address currently neglected though important soil properties and processes, and we list the crucial steps in the development of a soil quality assessment procedure that is scientifically sound and supports management and policy decisions that account for the multi-functionality of soil. This requires the involvement of the pertinent actors, stakeholders and end-users to a much larger degree than practiced to date.

U2 - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.030

DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.030

M3 - Article

VL - 120

SP - 105

EP - 125

JO - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

JF - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

SN - 0038-0717

ER -