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Soil health for Victoria's agriculture - context, terminology and concepts

This report has been prepared to provide a baseline for soil health work in former DPI with respect to the use of terminology, a general understanding of soil health within agro-ecosystems and some frameworks that can be used in future work. Soil health is an essential aspect of environmental health as it supports a range of ecosystem services. This is a complex topic and there is a wealth of literature on soil health and soil quality but terminology and definitions sometimes differ and therefore waylay the unwary reader. The focus is particularly soil health for agriculture, but the implications of soil health for environmental health and for provision of ecosystem services are also discussed. The international context for soil health has been summarised with key references provided. Priorities for soil health are presented through a general framework that is used in landscape research and decision making. Appendices comprise a case study in extension for soil health in NE Victoria, a review of the use of remote sensing in soil health assessment, and a review of the biological aspects of soil health and research needed for soil biology.

This report should be used as the primary reference for terminology and frameworks for soil health in the former DPI Healthy Soils project (MIS 03250).

Image:  Soil Health for Victoria's Agriculture  - Context, Terminology and Concepts
Soil Health Final Report March 07 (07898).pdf
(PDF 865KB)
To view the information PDF requires the use of a PDF reader. This can be installed for free from the Adobe website (external link).
1. Introduction
2. Terminology and conceptual background
3. Soil health in agro-ecosystems
4. The soil system and soil health monitoring
5. Soils in the landscape, scale and quality
6. Soil health, ecosystem services and environmental health
7. Frameworks for decision-making and soil health
8. Priorities for soil health
9. Conclusion

Image:  Soil Health for Victoria's Agriculture  - Appendices
Appendix A: Soilhealth extension case study - Nathan Heath
MIS 07898 Appendices.pdf
(PDF 813KB)
To view the information PDF requires the use of a PDF reader. This can be installed for free from the Adobe website (external link).
Appendix B: Application of satellite remote sensing to soil quality assessment - James Nuttall
Appendix C: A Soil Biological Perspective on Soil Health - Pauline Mele

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