Soil biology for resilient, healthy soil

| February 21, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Recent

Date of Publication: January, 2015

Year of Publication: 2015

Publisher: Soil and Water Conservation Society

Author(s): R. Michael Lehman, Veronica Acosta-Martinez, Jeffrey S. Buyer, Cynthia A. Cambardella, Harold P. Collins, Thomas F. Ducey, Jonathon J. Halvorson, Virginia L. Jin, Jane M.F. Johson, Robert J. Kremer, Jonathon G. Lundgren, Daniel K. Manter, Jude E. Maul, Jeffrey L. Smith, Diane E. Stott

Journal: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation

Volume: 70: 1

Pages: 12A-18A


W hat is a resilient, healthy soil? A resilient soil is capable of recovering from or adapting to stress, and the health of the living/ biological component of the soil is crucial for soil resiliency. Soil health is tightly coupled with the concept of soil quality, and the terms are frequently used interchangeably. The living component of soil or soil biota represents a small fraction (<0.05% dry weight), but it is essential to many soil functions and overall soil quality. Some of these key functions or services for production agriculture are (1) nutrient provision and cycling, (2) pest and pathogen protection, (3) production of growth factors, (4) water availability, and (5) formation of stable aggregates to reduce the risks of soil erosion and increase water infiltration. Soil resources and their inherent biological communities are the foundation for agricultural production systems that sustain the human population.

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