Cross-cutting activities: Soil quality and soil metagenomics


P. Motavalli; K. Garrett

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This presentation reports on the work of the SANREM CRSP cross-cutting activities “Assessing and Managing Soil Quality for Sustainable Agricultural Systems” and “Soil Metagenomics to Construct Indicators of Soil Degradation.” The Introduction gives an overview of the extensiveness of soil degradation globally and defines soil quality. The objectives of the soil quality cross cutting activity are:

– Assess community perceptions and indicators of soil quality, including differences in perceptions of soil quality due to gender, environment and socio-economic factors.

– Determine the effectiveness of spectroscopic-based (i.e., near-infrared, mid-infrared, and visible range) analytical methods to evaluate soil organic matter fractions and soil quality in degraded and non-degraded soils in a wide range of environments.

– To collaborate in the evaluation of soil metagenomic methods as an indicator of soil degradation.

The objectives of the soil metagenomics cross-cutting activity are:

– Characterize soil microbial communities from soils representing a range of levels of degradation

– Identify microbial taxa that are indicators for levels of degradation, especially those that may indicate the process of degradation has begun but is still reversible

– Link soil community structure to both the General soil biophysical context and the social science context in order to understand human impacts and drivers of human decision-making for soil management.

Additional Bibliographic Information

Presented at the SANREM CRSP 2008 Annual Meeting, Los Banos, Philippines, 26-29 May 2008

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