Soil Classification

Soil Classification

SOIL CLASSIFICATION What is purpose of classification? Chaos was the rule of nature; order was the dream of man. Henry Adams How would you go about classifying soil?

Ethnopedology Study of folk soil knowledge folk, traditional, indigenous, local

Soil knowledge held by people who have occupied land for a long time Many ways of knowing

Western science looked down on local soil knowledge as unscientific. Folk soil knowledge uses spatial and time scales much more relevant to sustainable agriculture.

Local soil knowledge Time-tested Strategies that have been tried over centuries (or millennia) compared to < 100 yrs of industrial agriculture

Provides insights about human responses to change (climate change, soil erosion) Many properties used (taste!, texture, color, etc) but all are about function of soil in land use (need for water, nutrients, aeration, support)

Does not imply that indigenous groups have not substantially altered land or caused environmental degradation problems; can learn from mistakes, too 2000 BC to 1500 AD Maya occupation of Yucatan

peninsula 1200 BC to AD 1300 How did the Maya manage to feed millions of people for thousands of years in an area that is today sparsely populated and agriculturally poor?

Maya Lowlands Highlands Climates of Maya Lowlands: BS semi-arid steppe

Aw tropical savanna Am tropical wetdry Af tropical rainforest Agricultural adaptive regions in

the Maya lowlands Lari, Peru 1500 yrs agriculture Terraces

Compared to uncultivated: thicker A, lower bulk density, higher organic carbon, higher N and P; Impressive management suggests a substantial body of soil knowledge FAO/UNESCO International

global map Has system, adopted for purposes of creating a been replaced by World Reference Base

Uses some classes from other systems USDA Soil Taxonomy system Seventh Approximation Originally

10 Great Orders Have added two more (Andisols, Gelisols) Many include another order Anthrosols Hierarchical

system ORDER SUBORDER SUBORDER GREAT

GROUP SUBGROUP FAMILY SERIES SUBORDER

SUBORDER Hierarchical categories Order Alfisol Suborder

Udalfs Great Hapludalfs group Subgroup

Typic Family Fine,loamy,mixed,superactive,frigi Series

hapludalfs d Nebish Fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, frigid Typic Hapludalfs mean annual

temp <8C; >6C range Nebish series Humid climate Fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, frigid Typic Hapludalfs particle size

high CEC Alfisol minimum horizon mixture of clay minerals

typical Naytahwaush series Fine, smectitic, frigid Oxyaquic Hapludalfs Fine-textured, smectite clays, <8 C, water-saturated, minimum horizons, humid climate Alfisols Fargo series https://soilseries.sc.egov.usda.gov/

Fine, smectitic, frigid Typic Epiaquerts

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