Manual Soil Ecology Research Developments

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As the first project to be done at this scale using predictive ecological endpoints, we will seek to identify the appropriate components of such an analysis.

We will use experience gained in the conduct of this BASE analysis to identify key research and data needs for address, to estimate timing, resource needs, etc. We will extend this analysis beyond previous and ongoing studies in two ways: by incorporating biological endpoints, primarily properties of fish communities, and by introducing the concept of sustainability of ecological state under future scenarios contrasted with the present state of those same ecological resources.

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Requirements that are identified during the course of this study will permit the recommendation of specific capabilities that should be incorporated in a general modeling system currently under development to support BASE and other environmental assessments. Finally, the analysis is intended to be of value for establishing environmental management choices that will be beneficial and those that would be detrimental to the sustainability of ecological resources of the Albemarle-Pamlico Basin.

The forestry industry in the southeastern United States relies upon soils that are highly eroded and depleted of their original organic matter and nutrient content.

Dr. Alan Franzluebbers - Soil-Test Biological Activity - PFI 2018 Annual Conference

Pro-active land management can ensure continued and possibly increased production and revenue through the management and recovery of the soil resource. With an emphasis on loblolly pine Pinus taeda L. Promoting soil recovery involves knowledge of ecosystem history and disturbance as well as nutrient cycling mechanisms, pools, fluxes and soil forming factors.

Fundamentals of Soil Ecology

Research on the rhizosphere is an area that is needed. Recovery of regional soils may confer benefits of drought and disease resistance.

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The goal of sustainable forestry is compatible with soil recovery; however, the technology and practices of modern forestry deserve thorough evaluation. Emphasis on the continued production of commodities, the agricultural model, is much different from managing for the functioning of healthy forest ecosystems. Many of the practices and outcomes of intensive forest management, including short rotations, harrowing, subsoiling, and burning or removal of logging slash, seem to be at odds with the goal of soil recovery.

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CSE organizes a number of activities, including annual meetings, seminars, discussion groups, BSc, MSc, PhD, and Post-doctoral courses, dissemination meetings, and members of CSE participate in joined externally funded projects. Soil ecology is a research field that currently experiences a fast development. The biodiversity of soil organisms is an important fundament of a sustainable society.

Everything we eat, drink, breath, wear as clothes, or use as a resource for feed and bioenergy products originates in some way from the soil. In the soil, many substances are continuously altered or decomposed by soil organisms. Soil organisms are also responsible for soil formation and developing soil structure.

Fundamentals of Soil Ecology - 3rd Edition

In addition, the soil is an important actor in climate change, as it may buffer against rising CO2 levels, provide water holding capacity that can prevent, or delay flooding or erosion, and it contains biota that can control biological invasions of exotic species, human pathogens, or soil-borne crop pests. Bad use of soil may result in outbreaks of pests and pathogens, loss of aboveground biodiversity, and release of greenhouse gasses.

The quality of the soil determines the rate at which land use changes occur.

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Also, soil organisms play an important role in the development of soil structure, water storage capacity, composition of aboveground biodiversity, and success of pest control in agriculture, forestry and horticulture. Degradation of the soil physic-chemical environment, and loss of soil biodiversity may reduce the production capacity of soil, with possible side effects on atmospheric composition, climate regulation, water storage, food production, and nature conservation.

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Currently, many issues of societal concern relate to proper use of soil and its biodiversity: proper distribution of water rights and food are often factors determining whether peace can be maintained, and proper soils determine water and food availability. Decline of soils and soil biodiversity reduce the capacity of ecosystems to provide clean water and food, so that improper soil use will weaken fundaments of a sustainable environment and society. Two times per year CSE will organize seminar days during which fundamental scientific knowledge is linked to practical questions and examples.