Soil forms the thin skin of the Earth and is the site of many ecological processes, transformations, and fluxes. It forms the substrate for most of the activities that take place at the Earth’s surface, including almost all food production and human occupation, and underpins both natural and managed ecosystems. Soils differ in their structure, composition, and ability to function under a use. Soil is a multifunctional resource that affects human well-being both directly (e.g., food provision) and indirectly (e.g., surface and groundwater supplies) and that affects all near-land surface ecological processes. Clearly, soil is “valuable” as that term is understood in common language. The pedometric program as outlined in this book, i.e., the development of “quantitative methods for the study of soil distribution … as a sustainable resource,” should therefore include an attempt to quantify this value. Chapter 1 of the present book lists as the third of four items on the pedometric agenda “evaluating the utility and quality of soil,” and it is in this sense that we attempt in this chapter to define and quantify the value of the soil resource. This process is referred to as “valuation.”
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.