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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Microbes: from Erosion Reduction to Tracking.

Author
item KENNEDY, ANN

Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 2005
Publication Date: March 1, 2005
Citation: Kennedy, A. C. 2005. Soil Microbes: from erosion reduction to tracking. In: Erosion and sediment in my watershed? Soil and Water Conservation Society Conference Proceedings, Bozeman MT. Feb 1,2 2005. p.99-103.

Interpretive Summary: Soil erosion is a dynamic process and a major source of soil resource depletion. Erosion reduces the productivity of farmland and other lands as well, and causes air and water pollution which can adversely impact on- and off-site economics. We have developed biological methods to study the movement of eroded soil. The soil community is diverse and indicative of the environment in which it developed. The microbes, macrofauna and plant material associated with soil particles can be used to identify the origin of soil. Soil community analyses can be used to identify displaced soils, whether they are carried by wind or water. Biological assessment of soil particles is a powerful tool for scientists and field personnel to track eroded material and help in the assessment of control measures to reduce wind and water erosion. This technology will help target non-point as well as point sources and provide information to help in developing policies to control pollution that are fair to the public, farmers, developers and other land users.

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion is a dynamic process, the result of several diverse factors which include not only geologic and climatic influences, but human activity as well. Soil erosion is a major source of soil resource depletion. In order for management practices that reduce erosion to be adopted, information is required on the source of the displaced soil. Soil life impacts soil erosion by influencing plant root growth, organic matter accumulation, soil aggregate formation and soil structure. The soil community is diverse and indicative of the environment in which it developed. The microbes, macrofauna and plant material associated with soil particles can be used to identify the origin of soil. Soil community analyses can be used to identify displaced soils, whether they are carried by wind or water. Biological assessment of soil particles is a powerful tool to help in the assessment of control measures to reduce wind and water erosion. This technology will help target non-point as well as point sources and provide information to help in developing policies to control pollution that are fair to the public, farmers, developers and other land users.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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