About this Research Topic
Soils support all the terrestrial life forms and represent the substrate where fundamental activities occur, guarantying important ecosystem services. Therefore, maintaining the quality of soil is necessary to let healthy living ecosystem. Evaluating soil quality is a useful tool in order to conserve, preserve or recover terrestrial ecosystems. As soil is multi-functional, various indicators that describe how well a soil functions define the soil quality. Soil quality indicators should be simple and easy to measure, sensitive to environmental changes and useful in a wide range of soil types. Physical and chemical indicators provide information about soil production and are sensitive to environmental changes, whereas biological and microbial indicators, showing high sensitivity to ecosystem disturbance and stress, provide information about short-term effects of environmental changes on soil functioning. Some biological and microbial indicators can be correlated to soil physico-chemical indicators but they can also be correlated to other characteristics of the investigated area. In this concern, the integration of indicators to define the soil quality is necessary, especially in anthropized ecosystems. In addition, the identification of a minimum data set, based on statistical procedures, could be convenient to reduce the number of indicators necessary to define the soil quality, enhancing work efficiency and condensing labour time and expense.
Keywords: Soil Quality, Agricultural Environments, soil physico-chemical indicators
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.