Vislielākais burtu izmērs
Lielāks burtu izmērs
Burtu standarta izmērs
Report of the International Conference and Workshop "Soil Classification: a powerful tool for planning Soil Conservation" (July 21, 2017)
Last Update
16.01.2018

Organised by:

European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC)

Soil Science Society of Latvia

University of Latvia

 

REPORT

Soil classification has been largely used as a proxy for soil qualities. Knowledge of soil types is essential in planning soil conservation measures. Traditionally, this activity has been carried out by National and Regional Soil Services at the detailed and semi-detailed scales, but also by International bodies, especially at the broad scales. However, the use of soil classification for the specific implementation of soil conservation measures at the local scale remains challenging. The development of the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) Soil Classification System has progressively improved the characterization of the functioning of soil systems, thus improving our understanding of soil processes and soil functional qualities for both agriculture and the environment.

The Conference brought together experience, expertise and examples of the use of soil classification for the implementation of soil conservation measures and intervention plans at different scales and for different purposes.

Participants of conference were represented from 13 countries: Estonia, Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Belgium, South Africa, Austria, Norway, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, thereby interactions between experts in soil classification, soil conservation and land use planning and soil mapping were encouraged.

In the course of the Opening Ceremony, several distinguished delegates delivered their opening speeches. These include Prof. Zaiga Krišjāne  (Dean, University of Latvia, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences), Kristīne Sirmā (Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Latvia) Prof. Carmelo Dazzi (President of the European Society for Soil Conservation) and Assist. prof. Raimonds Kasparinskis (President of the Soil Science Society of Latvia).

The main theme of the Conference have been presented and discussed by four invited lectures (Dr. Peter Schad, Prof. Cezary Cabala, Prof. Carmelo Dazzi and Assist. prof. Raimonds Kasparinskis) and four oral presentations.  

The Conference was implemented by a considerable poster session and the organizers awarded the best poster. The winners was: “Characteristics of humic substances in different soil groups (WRB) of former agricultural lands in Latvia” (by Imants Kukuļs, Oļģerts Nikodemus, Raimonds Kasparinskis, Elīna Bārdiņa).

Participants of the International Conference and Workshop “Soil classification: a powerful tool for planning soil conservation” at front of the Academic Center for Natural Sciences, University of Latvia.

Opening speech by Prof. Carmelo Dazzi (President of the European Society for Soil Conservation) and delegates Kristīne Sirmā (Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Latvia), Prof. Zaiga Krišjāne  (Dean, University of Latvia, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences) and Assist. prof. Raimonds Kasparinskis (President of the Soil Science Society of Latvia).

Dr. Peter Schad, Chair of International Union of Soil Science Sciences (IUSS) Working Group World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB), giving plenary lecture

Prof. Cezary Kabala, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, giving plenary lecture

 

The conclusion of the Conference and Workshop could be summarized as follows:

  • WRB allows expressing soil degradation to a certain extent.
  • Does WRB also allow expressing risks to soils? – need for investigation.
  • National soil classifications in Central Europe differ significantly in concepts, targets, structure, and rules; the differences decrease between „younger” classifications (→WRB).
  • National soil classifications in Central Europe are highly informative in terms of soil use/management.
  • Among the problems related to farming, most classifications indicate the risk/benefit of erosion and drainage; whereas, no one indicates acidification.
  • Classifications have developed many new subunits related to SUITMA, indicating risks and needs for soil reclamation (→WRB).
  • There is a need, space and possibility to introduce to the modernized classifications the new quantitative indices beneficiary for soil conservation and reclamation, in particular at the lower classification levels.
  • There is evidence of changes in soil according to change of land use structure in Latvia therefore systematization of existing soil information and its adaptation according to the EU standards is needed.
  • Adequate comparison (in all classification levels) of Latvia soil classification taxa with WRB is unrealistic.
  • Starting new National soil inventory programs – the mapping units should be defined according FAO and WRB guidelines.
  • WRB also should be more consistent – no radical changes within decades.
  • Data consistency – one of the more important problems for realization Global programs, e.g. National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.
  • Ecosystems with maximum initial biodiversity, capable of restoration or maintaining their status are mostly confined to non-modified soils. Secondary forests grow on weakly modified soils, where soil invertebrates display the highest taxonomic diversity and biomass; they comprise inhabitants of both natural and anthropogenic sites. Such urban forests may be core areas or buffer zones of ecological network with limitations for visitors.
  • In urban forests with old estates and in old gardens, soils may have thick humus horizons (UR) unlike territories of recent construction, where soils are frequently mixed, truncated, and/or reworked. Such old sites should be also included into the core area or step cores of corridors in ecological network. They serve as refugia for species accommodated to the urban environment.
  • Detailed taxonomic approach accounting for anthropogenic soil horizons and properties permits to identify soils with different profile modifications, hence, capacity to preserve biodiversity.
  • Studies suggest that there is a great potential to improve observation, description and soil classification methods, in order to get better information of soilscapes that need to be protected and subjected to a better management by users and stakeholders.
  • Effectiveness of conservation measures will differ according to landscape units with different soils.
  • Phosphorus usually is accumulated in the topsoil, it is used in archeology and soil classification (Plaggen soils, anthropic epipedons, dark earths), but phosphorus could be used to define a qualifier (WRB) as criterion for soil classification.