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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Quality: Indices and Appraisal. Pp. 67-72. Proc. International Conference on Soil, Water, and Environmental Quality – Issues and Strategies. New Delhi, India.

Authors
item Wienhold, Brian
item Andrews, S - FORMER ARS EMPLOYEE
item Karlen, Douglas

Submitted to: International Symposium on Ecological Indicators and Indices
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2005
Publication Date: January 1, 2006
Citation: Wienhold, B.J., Andrews, S.S., Karlen, D.L. 2006. Soil quality: indices and appraisal. pp. 67-72. Proc. International Conference on Soil, Water, and Environmental Quality – issues and strategies. New Delhi, India.. International Symposium on Ecological Indicators and Indices.

Interpretive Summary: Soils perform a number of essential functions that affect production of food and fiber, water quality, and air quality. Assessment tools are needed to determine the direction and rate of change in soil functions due to management practices. The Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) is a non-linear, additive, index designed for such assessments. The SMAF uses scoring curves to convert measured soil indicator data to unitless index values that can be used assess soil functions related to productivity, waste recycling, and environmental protection management goals. Implementation of the SMAF has shown it to be an effective assessment tool at scales from research plots to watersheds and Major Land Resource Areas. SMAF index values are well correlated with productivity and environmental protection outcome measures. Continued development of the SMAF will improve its utility by including scoring curves for additional soil indicators and validation over a wider range of soils and vegetation types.

Technical Abstract: Soils perform a number of essential functions that affect production of food and fiber, water quality, and air quality. Assessment tools are needed to determine the direction and rate of change in soil functions due to management practices. The Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) is a non-linear, additive, index designed for such assessments. The SMAF uses scoring curves to convert measured soil indicator data to unitless index values that can be used assess soil functions related to productivity, waste recycling, and environmental protection management goals. Implementation of the SMAF has shown it to be an effective assessment tool at scales from research plots to watersheds and Major Land Resource Areas. SMAF index values are well correlated with productivity and environmental protection outcome measures. Continued development of the SMAF will improve its utility by including scoring curves for additional soil indicators and validation over a wider range of soils and vegetation types.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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