Inherent vs. dynamic soil properties

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ObjectivesWhy quantitative data? Relationship to attributes and indicators Accuracy and precision of qualitative and quantitative indicators Selected measurements (overview)


Why quantitative data? - page 12 Quantitative measurements should be made: where it is necessary to document assessments for direct comparisons with other locations where monitoring data are required to determine trend


Intended Applications – page 1“This technique, in association with quantitative monitoring and inventory information, can be used to provide early warnings of resource problems on upland rangelands”. However, “this protocol is NOT to be used to … monitor land or determine trend”


Indicators and Attributes – page 12“The best approach to designing a quantitative monitoring program that is compatible with this qualitative assessment protocol is to select the best quantitative indicators for each of the three attributes, rather than selecting an equivalent quantitative indicator for each qualitative indicator”.


Accuracy and PrecisionQuantitative are more preciseEither qualitative OR quantitative can be more accurate


Qualitative Indicator Research Watters, Weltz, and Smith (1996) Standing biomass, basal cover, nearest pern. plant, and freq. with no rooted plant showed strong relationships to the subjective Site Stability Rating. Lane, Nichols, and Levick (1999) Verified qualitative Soil and Site Stability indicators with quantitative data. “range health assessment methodology is a significant advance over previous…procedures..” Liebig & Doran (1999) Farmers perceptions of soil quality were closely related to most lab results…useful screen for further evaluations.


Compaction layerSoil surfaceNOT a compaction layer*Soil surface*Even though it has a high (quantitative) bulk density


Resources – page 112USDA 1997 (NRCS Pasture & Range Handbook) Elzinga et al. 1998 (Measuring & Monitoring Plant Populations) Herrick et al. 2005 (Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland and Savanna Ecosystems) Bureau of Land Management. 1996 (Sampling Vegetation Attributes)

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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