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Ecosystem health in mineralized terrane: Data from podiform chromite (Chinese Camp mining district, California), quartz alunite (Castle Peak and Masonic mining districts, Nevada/California), and Mo/Cu porphyry (Battle Mountain mining district, Nevada) deposits


Blecker, Steve W.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Amacher, Michael C.; Ippolito, James A.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M. 2010. Ecosystem health in mineralized terrane: Data from podiform chromite (Chinese Camp mining district, California), quartz alunite (Castle Peak and Masonic mining districts, Nevada/California), and Mo/Cu porphyry (Battle Mountain mining district, Nevada) deposits. Open-File Report 2010-1040. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 38 p.

The myriad definitions of soil/ecosystem quality or health are often driven by ecosystem and management concerns, and they typically focus on the ability of the soil to provide functions relating to biological productivity and/or environmental quality (Doran and Parkin, 1994; Karlen and others, 1997). A variety of attempts have been made to create indices that quantify the complexities of soil quality and provide a means of evaluating the impact of various natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Though not without their limitations (Sojka and Upchurch, 1999), indices can improve our understanding of the controls behind ecosystem processes and allow for the distillation of information to help link scientific and management communities. In terrestrial systems, indices were initially developed and modified for agroecosystems (Doran and Parkin, 1994); however, the number of studies implementing such indices in nonagricultural systems is growing (Bastida and others, 2008). Soil quality indices (SQIs) are typically composed of biological (and sometimes physical and chemical) parameters that attempt to reduce the complexity of a system into a metric of a soil's ability to carry out one or more functions (Papendick and Parr, 1992; Halvorson and others, 1996).

Keywords: soil quality indices (SQIs), ecosystem health, mineralized terrane


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Ecosystem health in mineralized terrane: Data from podiform chromite (Chinese Camp mining district, California), quartz alunite (Castle Peak and Masonic mining districts, Nevada/California), and Mo/Cu porphyry (Battle Mountain mining district, Nevada) deposits
Electronic Publish Date: August 19, 2010
Last Update:
August 19, 2010

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