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Advances in visual soil evaluation techniques

Code: 9781801461900
Mansonia Pulido-Moncada, Aarhus University, Denmark; Bruce C. Ball, formerly Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), UK; and Wim M. Cornelis, Ghent University, Belgium

Chapter synopsis: Soil structure is a complex and dynamic soil property that constitutes a key aspect of soil health. Soil structure assessment can be evaluated in the field by visual soil evaluation techniques. Development and improvement of these techniques/methods have been the focus of numerous soil scientists worldwide since the mid-20th century. Divided into topsoil and soil profile methods, they differ in principle and level of detail of the assessment. The development and protocols of selected methods are presented in this chapter in chronological order of development, to show differences in methodological approaches. The description given for each of the methods includes guidance for the appropriate selection of the method to be used by stakeholders. Two case studies are given as examples of i) how visual techniques can contribute to achieving the challenges for developing sustainable agricultural management focused on nurturing soil fertility, and ii) the use of visual techniques as tools to assess and monitor soil health in developing countries.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0079.10
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Assessing soil structural quality by visual soil evaluation techniques 3 Methods based on topsoil examination (spade methods) 4 Methods based on soil profile examination 5 Dissemination of visual soil evaluation techniques and their future trends in research 6 Case study I: VESS and sustainable agricultural assessment and management 7 Case study II: visual techniques to assess soil structure application and contribution to agriculture in Africa 8 Summary 9 Where to look for further information 10 References

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