Research Areas

Soil Quality and Management 1998-2001

Researcher: Silvio Crestana


SOIL QUALITY AND MANAGEMENT

Over many aspects soil is a porous material considered very important in several branches of the society. lt has to be studied and managed by farmers, government, environmentalists, researchers, decision-makers, extensionists and others. Soil is widely recognized as one of the most complex present in the Universe. The soil material is complex because it is a na tural porous medium formed by the action of climate and microorganisms the original rock depending on the time and relief /ts highly non-linear and heterogeneous nature as well as the interacted and coupled physical, chemical and biological processes and phenomena occurring in the soil environment at different spatial and temporal scales are the main reasons for such complexity. As a consequence there is a need of appropriate methodologies to characterize soil porous systems either in the laboratory or in the field. Moreover, the scientists and engineers face a great challenge to non-invasive measure and follow the changes occurring in soil systems caused by the human activities. Nevertheless, despite the enormous gap still to be bridged to better understand and manage in a sustainable way the soil resources new opportunities for its characterization are nowadays available and should be exploited in soil science research. Those new opportunities are essentially interdisciplinary and are coming from other areas of knowledge such as space science, medicine, engineering and basic sciences. The present challenges and potentialities of new methods, concepts, instruments and models already available at different scales of observation and its methodological implications shall be addressed to promo te better soil quality assessment and management. lt can be anticipated that the linking across the different scales (upscaling and downscaling) will be a major research problem to be faced.

- Objectives

To develop methods for assessing the effects spatial and temporal variability causes on soil quality assessments.

To investigate some of the new methods, models, instruments and concepts already available and evaluate in what sense they can affect and improve soil science research and management.