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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 6, p. 1768-1773
     
    Received: May 22, 2001
    Published: Nov, 2002


    * Corresponding author(s): LilburneL@landcareResearch.co.nz
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doi:10.2134/jeq2002.1768

Soil Quality in New Zealand

  1. L. R. Lilburne *a,
  2. A. E. Hewitta,
  3. G. P. Sparlingb and
  4. N. Selvarajahc
  1. a Landcare Research, P.O. Box 69, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand
    b Landcare Research, Private Bag 3127, Hamilton, New Zealand
    c Otago Regional Council, Private Bag 1954, Dunedin, New Zealand

Abstract

Soil depletion and degradation have been increasingly recognized as important environmental issues in many parts of the world. Over the last decade a number of political and legislative measures have been introduced to encourage and enforce sustainable soil management in New Zealand. Application of the new legislation has highlighted gaps in our knowledge of soil quality and a lack of scientific methods to assess and monitor soil quality. This paper describes the legislative measures and outlines the scientific response to the needs of regulatory agencies responsible for maintaining environmental quality. The research recommended a set of indicators to assess soil quality. Each soil quality attribute has an associated “target range” defining the acceptable value for the attribute. The paper also discusses the communication of results to end-users, including the development of a computerized assessment tool. The legislative measures and scientific response have fostered a closer relationship between the policy and science communities, leading to more well-focused research, but greater collaboration is still required.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:1768–1773.