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Soil ecosystem profiling in the Netherlands with ten references for biological soil quality

Typeringen van bodemecosystemen in Nederland met tien referenties voor biologische bodemkwaliteit

Synopsis

The RIVM (Dutch abbreviation for National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) and other institutes have described ten soil ecosystem profiles, or 'biological soil quality references', based on soil quality as inferred from existing empirical evidence. This is a pilot study, since no specific protocol has been established yet. The aim is to use these new references as benchmarks in the implementation of a more sustainable use of soils. References were derived from a combination of data on land use (e.g. dairy farms, arable fields and heathlands) and soil type (sand, peat, clay and Loess). Soils types covering about three-quarters of the surface of the Netherlands are studied in this report. Several participants, with expertise ranging from soil ecology and microbiology to rural management, selected sites where they believed data to be representative of good soil quality. To do this, they used soil monitoring data from the Netherlands Soil Monitoring Network (in Dutch: LMB). The ten references were derived from empirical data. This report provides also the averages and frequency distributions of soil biological, chemical and physical soil characteristics. The occurence of soil organisms has also been described, as well as their biodiversity.
 

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