Soil Quality


Soil quality is the ability of a soil to perform functions that are essential to people and the environment. Soil quality assessments focus on the dynamic, or management-affected, properties of soil, such as nutrient status, salinity, and water-holding capacity. Soils support plant growth, recycle dead material, regulate and filter water flows, support buildings and roads, and provide habitat for many plants and animals. Depending on the land use, many of these functions occur simultaneously. Soil functions provide private benefits such as crop production or structural support for buildings. Simultaneously, the same soil may provide societal benefits such as carbon sequestration, water quality protection, or preservation of soil productivity for future generations. Doran, et.al., (1994) states: “A soil is not considered "healthy" if it is managed for short term productivity at the expense of future degradation.”
Unfortunately,managing for short term productivity is what many people do. They take what they need from the soil, for their own benefit, and leave damage which will negatively affect the ability of the soil to provide for future generations. Most of us don’t even realize that this is what we are doing. We all need to know more about how to preserve our soil quality and provide a sustainable environment for future generations. To learn more about what you can do, see the following website:
http://soilquality.org/basics.html

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