The Error Taxadjunct and Its Application in Soil Taxonomic Assignment
- A. E. Hewitt and
- A. Van Wambeke
Precisely defined class limits cause taxonomic “splintering” of similar soils. This study follows up the suggestion in chapter 19 of Soil Taxonomy (USDA Soil Survey Staff, 1975) that knowledge of the confidence limits of measurement can allow “reasonable interpretations” which would prevent unwarranted splintering. A region of error adjacent to established taxa is identified, in which pedons, as representations of polypedons, are assigned to incorrect taxa because of errors in measurement of differentiating characteristics. This region is used to define the “error taxadjunct” which provides a means of softening precision of class limits. The size of the region of error is determined by the minimum acceptable probability of incorrectly assigning a pedon, as the representative of a polypedon, to a new taxon. Application of the error taxadjunct reduces taxonomic splintering. For this purpose the measurement errors of differentiating characteristics must be known, and the means of obtaining such data are reviewed. Examples show how the error taxadjunct can be used.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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