28 November 2017
SCI's Environment Group
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Over the last three decades, Soil Scientists have spent a great deal of time seeking to derive quantitative measures of soil quality. Progress has been slow because soil scientists have failed to agree on what should be the criteria used in the determination. The rationale behind the introduction of the concept of soil quality was to endeavour to highlight the value of soil to society and to stress the need for soil protection. The generally stated aim was to provide a quantitative measure to guide soil management and to highlight the loss to society when soils are lost or damaged as a result of misuse.
The lecture will briefly review the developments in the attempts to establish measures of soil quality and question whether these efforts have made any significant contribution to increasing the protection and sustainable management of soils. While soil scientists may think they have made progress in this area but questions still need to be asked, such as:
Recent developments in the concept of ecosystem services have provided a much more focused approach to quantifying the quality of soils with the determination of the value of soils to the functioning and performance of human and natural systems, which may provide a more rational way of determining soil value and ensure that there is wider understanding of the value of soils to many aspects of our lives.
14/15 Belgrave Square
Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561
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