Soil mapping, monitoring, and assessment [Chapter 9]
- Download PDF (2.0 MB)
- This publication is available only online.
In: Pouyat, Richard V.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Patel-Weynand, Toral; Geiser, Linda H., editors. 2020. Forest and rangeland soils of the United States under changing conditions: A comprehensive science synthesis. Springer, Cham. p. 169-188.
Soils are a nonrenewable resource that support a wide array of ecosystem functions. The scope of these functions depends on the nature and properties of the soil at a given location on the Earth. Demand for better soil information has been growing since the development of soil science in the nineteenth century. This recent interest is driven by an increasing recognition of the ecological, economic, and societal benefits of understanding soil properties and the value of that knowledge for realizing management objectives for agriculture, grazing, forestry, and other land uses. Soil surveys are one method for amassing soil data and mapping the extent of various soil types. The Federal Government has singularly been a long-term sponsor of soil surveys in the United States. The history of these surveys is richly documented and illustrated by Helms et al. (2008). Soil surveys describe horizontal (e.g., soil series) and vertical (e.g., horizon depth) properties of soils. Soil mapping enhances assessments of spatial variability in the development and properties of soils as a function of geology, climate, topography, and vegetation. Extensive sampling of soils in concert with other attributes (e.g., forest or rangeland composition) can provide focused estimates and understanding of the linkages between soils and vegetation growth, mortality, and C stocks (O’Neill et al. 2005) (Box 9.1). Thus, soils are not independent of biogeophysical settings and climate, but rather are a result of these variables. Management interpretations of soil functions and processes such as erosion, potential vegetation growth, and hydrologic function integrate these factors and offer an index for land use limitations and opportunities.
Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document
Kimsey, Mark J.; Laing, Larry E.; Anderson, Sarah M.; Bruggink, Jeff; Campbell, Steve; Diamond, David; Domke, Grant M.; Gries, James; Holub, Scott M.; Nowacki, Gregory; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Perry, Charles H. (Hobie); Rustad, Lindsey E.; Stephens, Kyle; Vaughan, Robert. 2020. Soil mapping, monitoring, and assessment [Chapter 9]. In: Pouyat, Richard V.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Patel-Weynand, Toral; Geiser, Linda H., editors. 2020. Forest and rangeland soils of the United States under changing conditions: A comprehensive science synthesis. Springer, Cham. p. 169-188. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-45216-2_9.