Type: Book

Instant Insights: Soil health indicators


Dr E. A. Stockdale



Publication date:

21 December 2021

Length of book:

120 pages

ISBN-13: 9781801462846

Paperback - £37.99
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This collection features four peer-reviewed literature reviews on soil health indicators.

The first chapter describes indicators and frameworks for soil health currently in use. It evaluates the principles underpinning current approaches to monitoring soil quality/health and shows these principles have been applied in the development of a practical soil health toolkit for use by UK farmers.

The second chapter reviews the range of physical, chemical and biological indicators of soil health and how they can be used in practice. It focusses on measuring soil health in organic vegetable cultivation and, in particular, ways of measuring the effects of adding organic amendments to improve soil health.

The third chapter discusses key issues in soil organic carbon (SOM) modelling and the development of increasingly sophisticated, dynamic SOM models. It looks at the role of SOM models in improving soil health monitoring and developing decision support tools for farmers

The final chapter reviews current challenges in collecting more systematic and reliable data on earthworm communities, including issues in identifying different earthworm groups. It includes a case study on developing a robust method for accurate measurement of earthworm communities in soil in assessing and improving soil health.

Table of contents

Chapter 1 - Developing soil health indicators for improved soil management on farm: Elizabeth Stockdale, NIAB, UK; Paul Hargreaves, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), UK; and Anne Bhogal, ADAS Gleadthorpe, UK; 1 Introduction 2 Frameworks from policy and practice where soils are considered 3 Approaches to monitoring soil quality/health in agricultural systems 4 Case study: developing a practical and relevant soil health toolkit for UK agricultural soils 5 Conclusion and future trends 6 Where to look for further information 7 Acknowledgement 8 References
Chapter 2 - Biological indicators of soil health in organic cultivation: A. Fortuna, Washington State University, USA; A. Bhowmik, Pennsylvania State University, USA; and A. Bary and C. Cogger, Washington State University, USA; 1 Introduction 2 Metrics of soil health 3 Using biological indicators 4 Conclusions and future trends 5 Acknowledgements 6 Where to look for further information 7 References
Chapter 3 - Modelling soil organic matter dynamics as a soil health indicator: Eleanor E. Campbell, University of New Hampshire, USA; and John L. Field and Keith Paustian, Colorado State University, USA; 1 Introduction 2 SOM modelling basics 3 Current issues and developments in SOM modelling 4 Future trends in soil health monitoring and decision support services 5 Conclusion and future trends 6 Where to look for further information 7 References
Chapter 4 - Quantifying earthworm community structures as indicators of soil health: Jacqueline L. Stroud, formerly Rothamsted Research, UK; 1 Introduction 2 Earthworms, soil health and management 3 Challenges in collecting data on earthworms 4 Developing improved assessment of earthworms 5 Results and discussion 6 Conclusion 7 Where to look for further information 8 References