Identification of Regional Soil Quality Factors and Indicators II. Northern Mississippi Loess Hills and Palouse Prairie
- John J. Brejda *a,
- Douglas L. Karlenb,
- Jeffrey L. Smithc and
- Deborah L. Alland
- a USDA-ARS, Wheat, Sorghum, and Forage Res. Unit, 344 Keim Hall, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583 USA
b USDA-ARS, National Soil Tilth Lab, 2150 Pammel Drive, Ames, IA 50011 USA
c USDA-ARS, 215 Johnson Hall, Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA 99164-6421 USA
d Dep. Soil, Water, and Climate, 1991 Buford Circle, Univ. Minn., St. Paul, MN 55108 USA
Diversity of soil series present in a region may hinder identification of soil quality factors and indicators at a regional scale. Our objectives were (i) to identify soil quality factors for a diverse population of soils at the regional scale, (ii) to determine which factors vary significantly with land use, (iii) to select indicators from these factors that can be used with the National Resource Inventory (NRI) for monitoring soil quality, and (iv) to compare these results to a similar study involving only a single soil series. One hundred eighty-six points representing 75 soil series in the Northern Mississippi Valley Loess Hills and 149 points representing 58 soil series in Palouse and Nez Perce Prairies were sampled from a statistically representative subset of NRI sample points and analyzed for 20 soil attributes. Factor analysis was used to identify soil quality factors and discriminant analysis was used to identify factors and indicators most sensitive to land use within each region. In the Northern Mississippi Valley Loess Hills, five soil quality factors were identified. Discriminant analysis selected potentially mineralizable N (PMN), microbial biomass C (MBC), water stable aggregates (WSA), and total organic C (TOC) as the most discriminating attributes between land uses. In the Palouse and Nez Perce Prairies, six factors were identified. Discriminant analysis selected TOC and total N as the most discriminating attributes between land uses. The soil quality factors were similar among three of the four regions, but TOC was the only indicator common to all regions for distinguishing among land uses.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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