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Source: NRCS Soil Health Literature Review
Resource Type: Literature review/Meta-analysis
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Problems
Erosion 179
Organic Matter Depletion 419
Nutrient Depletion 428
Slow Infiltration 105
Droughty Soil 35
Soil Contamination 113
Compaction, Crusting 135
Low Soil Biodiversity 226
Soil-borne Disease 90
Indicators
Physical 1523
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Aggregate Stability 138
Available Water Holding Capacity 116
Bulk Density 136
Compaction 71
Infiltration 102
Physical 691
Pore Size/Porosity/Pore Type 104
Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity 87
Soil Structure 53
Surface Crusting 18
Surface Roughness 7
Chemical 1132
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Chemical 592
Electrical Conductivity (Salinity) 29
Heavy Metals 46
Nitrogen 284
pH 85
Phosphorus 96
Biological 1586
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Biological 620
Earthworms 43
Enzymes and Glues 73
Microbial Activity 407
Soil Organic Matter 405
Soil-borne Plant Pests & Pathogens 38
Actions
Disturb Soil Less 679
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Disturb Soil Less 330
Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till 222
Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till 127
Keep Soils Covered 1136
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Alley Cropping 5
Conservation Crop Rotation 138
Contour Buffer Strips 8
Contour Farming 2
Cover Crop 207
Keep Soils Covered 376
Mulching 48
Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till 222
Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till 128
Riparian Herbaceous Cover 2
Use Diversity of Plants 849
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Alley Cropping 5
Conservation Crop Rotation 138
Cover Crop 207
Forage and Biomass Planting 146
Use Diversity of Plants 353
Keep Living Roots 777
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Alley Cropping 5
Conservation Crop Rotation 138
Cover Crop 207
Forage and Biomass Planting 146
Keep Living Roots 281
Integrate Grazing 297
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Forage and Biomass Planting 146
Integrate Grazing 97
Prescribed Grazing 54
Other 700
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Filter Strip 3
Forest Harvest Management 8
Grassed Waterway 3
Integrated Pest Management 16
Irrigation Water Management 19
Nutrient Management 88
Other 349
Riparian Forest Buffer 3
Salinity and Sodic Soil Management 24
Soil Amendments 185
Terrace 2
Functions
Filter and Buffer Pollutants 109
Cycle Nutrients 430
Physical Stability and Support 288
Supply Water 210
Sustain Plant and Animal Life 311
Outcomes
Increase Resilience to Extreme Weather 88
Reduce Erosion 155
Enhance Water Quality 89
Enhance Productivity, Yield Stability, and Profitability 457
Increase Nutrient Availability 380
Increase Available Water Holding Capacity 168
Increase Water Infiltration 137
Soil Rehabilitation 125
Improve Human Health 89
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 122

Soil Health Research Landscape Tool

This tool consolidates and categorizes publicly available information, a first step to identifying and addressing priority gaps in soil health research. To search, enter a keyword and/or use the advanced search options, including the five tabs shown in the diagram: Problems, Indicators, Actions, Functions and Outcomes. To search for more than one keyword at a time, please enter [keyword] AND [keyword] (Note upper case).
Path to Soil Health
This diagram shows the path from a given soil health problem to selected desired outcomes, via 1) the relevant soil health indicators, 2) potential management actions and 3) resulting improvements to soil function that in turn contribute to desired outcomes.
Problems
Indicators
Actions
Functions
Outcomes