Concept and Assessment Methodology of Soil Quality: A Review

Swapana Sepehya *

Department of Soil Science and Water Management, College of Horticulture and Forestry (Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry), Neri, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh- 171001, India.

Dixit Mehta

Department of Soil Science and Water Management, College of Horticulture and Forestry (Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry), Neri, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh- 171001, India.

Anil Kumar

Department of Soil Science and Water Management, College of Horticulture and Forestry (Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry), Neri, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh- 171001, India.

Rakesh Sharma

Department of Soil Science and Water Management, College of Horticulture and Forestry (Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry), Neri, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh- 171001, India.

Deepa Sharma

Department of Vegetable Science, College of Horticulture and Forestry (Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry), Neri, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh- 171001, India.

Ankita Sharma

Department of Soil Science and Water Management, College of Horticulture and Forestry (Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry), Neri, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh- 171001, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Soil analysis is commonly used to gauge its quality and suitability for diverse purposes from local to national evaluations. However, the complexity of soils, their site-specific traits, past land use impacts, and balancing ecosystem benefits pose significant challenges in identifying relevant parameters and interpreting measurements. This manuscript comprehensively reviews and examines the concept and assessment methodologies of soil quality. It is evaluated to learn about the effects of management practices on soil function. Sustainability of agriculture system is inwardly linked to maintenance of soil quality. Therefore, soil quality assessment is of paramount importance to know the appropriate management practices to be adopted for sustainable crop production. By just measuring yield of crop, quality of water or any other, soil quality cannot be judged. As we know, soil have different properties (chemical, physical and biological), that interact in a precipitously manner to give, soil its capacity to perform or function. Thus, soil capacity can be surmised from measuring changes in its properties or of ecosystem’ sattributes and cannot be measured directly. Assessment of Soil quality composed of three key steps (1) Selection, measurement and minimization of the set of relevant soil attributes. (2) Quantification of the selected soil attributes through direct measurement and assigning an appropriate Score. (3) Integration among the scored attributes to construct the final index, by providing criteria for defining the weight of each attribute or group of attributes. Soil quality assessment will allow interpreter to identify the attributes which are most significant, quantify the relative contribution of soil properties and subsequently assess the overall quality of soils. The review study aims to inspire researchers by integrating a detailed information on soil quality assessment and promoting the sustainable practices in preservation and enhancement of soil quality.

Keywords: Soil quality, assessment, minimum data set, SQI, soil attributes, sustaining life, nutrients, filtering potential, ecosystem, natural medium


How to Cite

Sepehya, S., Mehta , D., Kumar , A., Sharma , R., Sharma , D., & Sharma , A. (2024). Concept and Assessment Methodology of Soil Quality: A Review. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, 36(5), 164–172. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijpss/2024/v36i54513

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Doran JW, Zeiss MR. Soil health and sustainability: managing the biotic component of soil quality. Appl. Soil Ecol. 2000;15(1):3–11.

Moebius-Clune BN. Comprehensive assessment of soil health: The cornell framework manual. Cornell University; 2016.

Reynolds WD, Drury CF, Tan CS, Fox CA, Yang XM. Use of indicators and pore volume function characteristics to quantify soil physical quality. Geoderma. 2009;15 2:252-263.

Lemunyon JL, Gilbert RG. Concept and need for a phosphorus assessment tool. J. Prod. Agric. 1993;6:483–486.

Jaenicke EC, Lengnick LL. A soil-quality index and its relationship to efficiency and productivity growth measures: two decompositions. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 1999;81(4):881-893.

Bucher E. Soil quality characterization and remediation in relation to soil management. Ph. D Thesis, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, USA; 2002.

Doran JW, Parkin TB. Defining and assessing soil quality. Defining Soil Quality for a Sustainable Environment. 1994;35:1-21.

Carter MR. Soil quality for sustainable land management: organic matter and aggregation interactions that maintain soil functions. Agronomy Journal. 2002;94(1): 38-47.

Ball A, De la Rosa D. Modeling possibilities for the assessment of soil systems. In: Uphoff N, Ball A, Fernandes E, Herren H, Husson O, Laing M, Palm Ch, Pretty J, Sanchez P, Sanginga N, Thies J. (Eds.), Biological Approaches to Sustainable Soil Systems. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis/CRC Press. 2006;683–692.

Bunemanna EK, Giulia Bongiorno GB, Bai Z, Creamer ZE, Deyn GD, Goede RD, Fleskens L, Geissen V, Kuyper TW, Mader P, Pulleman M, Sukkel W, Groenigen JWV, Brussaar L. Soil quality – A critical review. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 2018;120:105–125.

Karlen DL Andrews S, Doran JW. Soil quality: Current concepts and applications. 2001;74:1-40.

De Paul Obade V, Lal R. Towards a standard technique for soil quality assessment. Geoderma. 2016;265:96–102.

Nortcliff S. Standardisation of soil quality attributes. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 2002;8 8(2):161–168.

Andrews SS, Karlen DL, Mitchell JP. A comparison of soil quality indexing methods for vegetable production systems in Northern California. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 2002;90(1):2 5-45.

Bastida F, Zsolnay A, Hernández T, García C. Past, present and future of soil quality indices: a biological perspective. Geoderma. 2008;147(3–4):159–17.

Ewing SA, Singer MJ. Soil quality. In: Huang PM, Li Y, Sumner ME. (Eds.), Handbook of soil science: Resources, management and environment impacts. Boca Raton, Taylor & Francis Group. 2012;1–26.

Doran JW, Parkin TB. Quantitative indicators of soil quality: A minimum data set. Methods for Assessing Soil Quality SSSA.1996;25–37. Available:https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaspecpub49.c2

Schloter M, Dilly O, Munch JC. Indicators for evaluating soil quality. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 2003;98(1):255–262.

Idowu OJ, van Es HM, Abawi GS, Wolfe DW, Ball JI, Gugino BK, Moebius BN, Schindelbeck RR, Bilgili AV. Farmer-oriented assessment of soil quality using field, laboratory, and VNIR spectroscopy methods. Plant Soil. 2008;307:243–253. Available:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-007-9521-0.

Cardoso EJBN, Vasconcellos RLF, Bini D, Miyauchi MYH, dos Santos CA, Alves PRL, de Paula AM, Nakatani AS, de M Pereira J, Nogueira MA. Soil health: looking for suitable indicators. What should be considered to assess the effects of use and management on soil health? Sci. Agric. 2013;70:274–289 Available:https://doi.org/10.1590/ S0103-90162013000400009

Lima ACR, Brussaard L,Totola MR, HoogmoedWB,De Goede RGM. A functional evaluation of three indicator sets for assessing soil quality. Applied Soil Ecology. 2013;64(4):194–200.

Morrow JG, Huggins DR, Carpenter-Boggs LA, Reganold JP. Evaluating measures to assess soil health in long-term agroecosystem trials. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 2016;80:450–462.

Andrews SS, Karlen, DL, Cambardella CA. The soil management assessment framework: A quantitative soil quality evaluation method. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 2004;68:1945–1962 Available:https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2004.1945

Govaerts B, Sayre KD, Deckers J. A minimum data set for soil quality assessment of wheat and maize cropping in the highlands of Mexico. Soil Tillage Res. 2006;87(2):163–174.

Erkossa T, Itanna F, Stahr K. Indexing soil quality: a new paradigm in soil science research. Soil Res. 2007;45 (2):129–137.

Raiesi F. A minimum data set and soil quality index to quantify the effect of land use conversion on soil quality and degradation in native rangelands of upland arid and semiarid regions. Ecol. Indic. 2017;75:307–320.

Andrea F, Bini C, Amaducci S. Soil and ecosystem services: current knowledge and evidences from Italian case studies. Appl. Soil Ecol; 2017 Available:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2017.06.031

Andrews SS, Carroll CR. Designing a soil quality assessment tool for sustainable agroecosystem management. Ecological Applications. 2001;11(6):1573-1585.

Schipper LA, Sparling GP. Performance of soil condition indicators across taxonomic groups and land uses. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 2000;64(1):30 0–311.

Shukla MK, Lal R, Ebinger M. Determining soil quality indicators by factor analysis. Soil and Tillage Research. 2006;87(2):19 4–204.

Sparling GP, Schipper LA. Soil quality at a national scale in New Zealand. Journal of Environmental Quality. 2002;31(6):1848–1857.

Sharma KL, Sharma SC, Bawa SS, Singh S, Suma Chandrika D, Sharma V, Khokhar A, Kusuma Grace J, Srinivasa Rao Ch, Maruthi Sankar GR, Ravindrachary G, Sammi Reddy K, Srinivas K, Lal M, Satish Kumar T, Usha Rani K. Combined effect of tillage and organic fertilization on soil quality key indicators and indices in alluvial soils of Indo-Gangetic Plains under rainfed maize–wheat system. Arch. Agron. Soil Sci. 2014;61(3):313–327 Available:https://doi.org/10.1080/03650340.2014.933319

Fernandes JC, Gamero CA, Rodrigues JGL, Mirás-Avalos JM. Determination of the quality index of a paleudult under sunflower culture and different management systems. Soil Tillage Res. 2011;112(2):167–174. (ISO 690).

Svoray T, Hassid I, Atkinson PM, Moebius-Clune BN, van Es HM. Mapping soil health over large agriculturally important areas. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 2015;79(5):1420–1 434.

Fine AK, van Es HM, Schindelbeck RR. Statistics, scoring functions, and regional analysis of a comprehensive soil health database. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 2017;81 (3):589–601.

Yu P, Liu S, Zhang L, Li Q, Zhou D. Selecting the minimum data set and quantitative soil quality indexing of alkaline soils under different land uses in northeastern China. Sci. Total Environ. 2018;616:564–571.

Rinot O, Levy GJ, Steinberger Y, Svoray T, Eshel G. Soil health assessment: A critical review of current methodologies and a proposed new approach. Science of the Total Environment. 2019;648:1484-1491.