Pedosphere 23(2): 194--204, 2013
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2013 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Quantitative assessment of soil health under different planting patterns and soil types
BI Chun-Juan, CHEN Zhen-Lou, WANG Jun and ZHOU Dong
Key Laboratory of Geo-Information Science of the Ministry of Education, School of Resources and Environmental Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062 (China)
      Soil health assessment is an important step toward understanding the potential effects of agricultural practices on crop yield, quality and human health. The objectives of this study were to select a minimum data set for soil health evaluation from the physical, chemical and biological properties and environmental pollution characteristics of agricultural soil and to develop a soil health diagnosis model for determining the soil health status under different planting patterns and soil types in Chongming Island of Shanghai, China. The results showed that the majority of the farmland soils in Chongming Island were in poor soil health condition, accounting for 48.9% of the survey samples, followed by the medium healthy soil, accounting for 32.2% of the survey samples and mainly distributed in the central and mid-eastern regions of the island. The indicators of pH, total organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon and Cd exerted less influence on soil health, while the soil salinization and nitrate accumulation under a greenhouse cropping pattern and phosphate fertilizer shortage in the paddy field had limited the development of soil health. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes, hexachlorocyclohexanes and Hg contributed less to soil health index (SHI) and showed no significant difference among paddy field, greenhouse and open-air vegetable/watermelon fields. The difference of the SHI of the three soil types was significant at P = 0.05. The paddy soil had the highest SHI values, followed by the gray alluvial soil, and the coastal saline soil was in a poor soil health condition, indicating a need to plant some salt-tolerant crops to effectively improve soil quality.
Key Words:  Chongming Island, minimum data set, soil health indexes, soil quality
Citation: Bi, C. J., Chen, Z. L., Wang, J. and Zhou, D. 2013. Quantitative assessment of soil health under different planting patterns and soil types. Pedosphere. 23(2): 194-204.
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