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Modelling soil organic matter dynamics as a soil health indicator

Code: 9781786764072
Eleanor E. Campbell, University of New Hampshire, USA; and John L. Field and Keith Paustian, Colorado State University, USA

Chapter synopsis: Organic matter is a key requisite for healthy functioning of the living component of soil, affecting both nutrient resource availability and the physical habitat for soil organisms. Dynamic models can represent changes in the quantity and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) over time and space as a function of environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture and vegetation complexes. Such models help us evaluate hypotheses about key mechanisms underlying SOM dynamics, as well as predict the impact of different land management practices on SOM concentrations – and thus soil health – at local scales. This chapter presents the foundations, history and empirical data basis of SOM modelling (Section 2), as well as ongoing advances in modelling approaches driven by new scientific research (Section 3). SOM modelling efforts to date create a foundation for more expansive evaluation and support of soil health initiatives, including more sustainable production practices in managed systems (Section 4).

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0033.21
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 SOM modelling basics 3 Current issues and developments in SOM modelling 4 Future trends in soil health monitoring and decision support services 5 Conclusion and future trends 6 Where to look for further information 7 References

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