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Keyword: soil quality

Soil quality and health - Some applications to forest ecosystems

Documents and Media Posted on: November 30, 2018
Concerns about sustaining the productivity and health of forest ecosystems have been the subject of much research, debate, and federal actions (Perry, et. al. 1989; Gessel, et. al. 1990; Everett, et. al. 1994.) Forest management practices and their impacts on the environment are scrutinized daily by the media.Document Type: Other Documents

Assessing soil compaction on Forest Inventory & Analysis phase 3 field plots using a pocket penetrometer

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
Soil compaction is an important indicator of soil quality, yet few practical methods are available to quantitatively measure this variable. Although an assessment of the areal extent of soil compaction is included as part of the soil indicator portion of the Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) program, no quantitative measurement of the degree of soil compaction is made.

Protocols for understanding variability and change in soils

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 05, 2015
Productive forest soils are the underpinning for sustainable forest activities, and monitoring is the key to ensuring productivity has not been altered by land management. The Forest Soil-Disturbance Monitoring Protocol (FSDMP) Toolkit developed by Forest Service scientists helps meet the challenge of developing meaningful soil quality standards that can evaluate the full range of variability found in forest soils. Additionally, the Station sponsored workshops in every Forest Service Region to outline the protocol and conduct field training sessions.

Impacts of forest harvest on active carbon and microbial properties of a volcanic ash cap soil in northern Idaho

Publications Posted on: April 17, 2015
Soil quality assessments are essential for determining impacts on belowground microbial community structure and function. We evaluated the suitability of active carbon (C), a rapid field test, as an indicator of soil biological quality in five paired forest stands (clear cut harvested 40 years prior and unharvested) growing on volcanic ash-cap soils in northern Idaho.

Waste to wisdom: Using waste woody biomass to create biochar for soil restoration

Projects Posted on: December 03, 2014
The application of biochar to forest soils to improve soil productivity shows promise in many areas, although many soil impacts still need to be described. Numerous field and lab studies are ongoing in the inland Northwest that will help determine the most appropriate biochar sources and soil types for applying biochar.  

Development and application of a soil organic matter-based soil quality index in mineralized terrane of the Western US

Publications Posted on: October 16, 2012
Soil quality indices provide a means of distilling large amounts of data into a single metric that evaluates the soil's ability to carry out key ecosystem functions. Primarily developed in agroecosytems, then forested ecosystems, an index using the relation between soil organic matter and other key soil properties in more semi-arid systems of the Western US impacted by different geologic mineralization was developed.

Development of vegetation based soil quality indices for mineralized terrane in arid and semi-arid regions

Publications Posted on: May 29, 2012
Soil quality indices (SQIs) are often management driven and attempt to describe key relationships between above- and below-ground parameters. In terrestrial systems, indices that were initially developed and modified for agroecosystems have been applied to non-agricultural systems in increasing number.

Assessing quality in volcanic ash soils

Publications Posted on: February 20, 2007
Forest managers must understand how changes in soil quality resulting from project implementation affect long-term productivity and watershed health. Volcanic ash soils have unique properties that affect their quality and function; and which may warrant soil quality standards and assessment techniques that are different from other soils. We discuss the concept of soil quality and how it may be altered by activity-induced soil disturbances.