Dynamic Soil Properties (DSPs) & Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs) South Technology Workshop Tuskegee, AL November 3, 2009 Daniel F. Wallace State Resource Inventory Coordinator (SRIC) Athens, GA NRCS OR The NRI Guy Explains it All. Presentation Outline ► Basicsof DSPs & ESDs. ► Current NRCS National Activities in DSPs & ESDs. ► Method of Field Sampling. ► Georgia Activities in DSP & ESD FY2009. Dynamic Inherent Soil Properties ► Inherent = stable human lifetime ► 1. Slope 2. Horizonation 3. Texture 4. Color 5. Structure 6. Bulk density 7. CEC 8. Mineralogy Cecil Soil Series Sapelo Soil Series Inherent ► s=f(cl,pm,o,r,t,…) -Hans Jenny ► The state of the soil is determined by the interactions of climate, parent material and organisms acting over time conditioned by relief. The interactions are processes of additions, removals, relocations and transformations. –Kellogg, Buol et al., Brady ► Soilis a dynamic system in all places & times. Some dynamics are just more dynamic than others. Inherent ► Morphology = Profile ► Classification = Soil Orders ► Mapping = Morphology & Classification Spatially Located A Calhoun gully pre & post ► However, Even Soil Orders are Changing in our Lifetimes Gullies – Ultisols to Entisols Liming – Ultisols to Alfisols http://calhoun.env.duke.edu Precipitation Dynamic Soil Runoff Properties Infiltration H+ H+ H+ H+ ► Change in Human H+ H+ H+ H+ H+ H+ Lifetime. Respond to H+ H+ H+ H+ H+ H+ Management. H+ H+ H+ 1. pH 2. Nutrient Concentrations 3. Organic C 4. Aggregate Stability 5. Soil Biota Populations 6. Moisture Content 7. Temperature 8. Compaction Inceptisol Dynamics Operate within the Inherent Ranges Selected Soil Properties Reported in the Johnson & Laurens Soil Survey Soil Series % Organic Matter Surface Moist Bulk pH Permeability Density Chastain 2-6 0.06 – 2.0 in/hr 1.20 – 1.40 g/cc 4.5 – 6.0 Lakeland <1 6 – 20 in/hr 1.35 – 1.65 g/cc 4.5 – 5.5 Dynamic ► Raise a Chastain soil from 2% to 6% Organic C, and it will function completely differently. ► More than likely, the infiltration will increase, the bulk density will decrease and the pH of the surface horizon will increase. ► Which is to say, Organic C is central to this whole enterprise. Dynamics & Soil Quality ► Soil Quality Proponents First to Articulate Inherent & Dynamic. ► DSP’s an integral component of soil quality. ► Soil Quality Components: Soil Function Defined: What are the inherent properties of this soil? Assessment of Dynamic Soil Properties: Where within the range of inherent properties is this soil currently? Management Options to Achieve Desired Function: What actions are necessary to move this soil to the desired set of properties? Dynamic Questions ► Bulk Density - Inherent or Dynamic? pH - Inherent or Dynamic? ► New? New Clothes? New Angles? ► Not new to research. Not new to education. Not new to nutrient soil sampling (N?). ► But Soil Survey? NRCS Conservation Operations? ► Is soil information perfect? Dynamic Strengths ► DSP’s strong in Carbon focus. ► DSP’s have wholistic focus. ► DSP’s encourage site analysis. Ecological Site Descriptions ► Definition: “Ecological Site is a distinctive kind of land with specific characteristics that differs from other kinds of land in its ability to produce a distinctive kind and amount of vegetation.” ► Ecological Site Description is a document describing an ecological site. Ecological Site Descriptions ► Heart of an ESD is a State & Transition Model Heart of State & Transition Model is the Reference State. (Climax community) Ecological Site Descriptions ► ESD correlation with soils is powerful tool for management decisions. ► Every map unit in a soil survey will have an ESD assigned to it. Ecological Site Descriptions ► Similar to Major Land Resource Areas, Ecoregions, Natural Communities, but finer scale. ► Also similar to Land Use/Land Cover, but not concentrated on current cover, but intrinsic characteristics. Clinch Co., GA Atlantic Coast Flatwoods MLRA ESD Criticisms 1. Isn’t the reference state in Eastern US too mangled to recognize? This has already been done in many places and ways = Natural Community Reports. 2. Isn’t this just for restoration of natural communities? It’s a decision tool for guiding management treatments. 3. Isn’t this the wrong scale for soil correlation? This effort is meant to recognize the same natural boundaries as soil mapping. Soil scientists use changes in vegetation to recognize changes in soil. National Activities ► Dynamic Soil Properties Soil Change Guide: Procedures for Soil Survey & Resource Inventory ► Ecological Site Descriptions Jornada Experimental Range – ARS NRI Grazing Land On-Site Study ESIS: http://esis.sc.egov.usda.gov/ESIS/ Georgia Activities ► ESD – Dennis Chessman – Atlantic Coast Flatwoods Longleaf Pine Ecological Site Sampled 8 sites for Longleaf Pine Sampled 19 sites for NRI Grazing Lands ► DSP – Dynamic Soil Property Sampling on 4 of the Longleaf Sites pH, Bulk Density, Infiltration, Slaking & Earthworm Populations Longleaf Pine Savannah October, 2009 April, 2009 With Fire. Without Fire. ► Transects ► Species Enumeration ► Productivity Estimates Future ► Soil Change Guide Proposal to Assess Dynamic Soil Properties & Ecological Site Descriptions on Southern Coastal Plain MLRA Longleaf. ► Analyze the data from FY ’09. ► Literature Search on ecology and dynamics. ► Analysis of NASIS data for natural groupings – Frost Free Days, Land Capability Class and Taxonomic Group. Lessons Learned ► Big Effort. Linneaus profundus Haba bigolwordum Confusin tediosum ► Plants Experts. Mike Owsley ► New Perspectives on Old Data. ► Systematic Planning & Data Wrangling. Questions?
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