Soil organic matter loss
‘Soil organic matter is the fraction of the soil including plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms and substances synthesised by them. It is of vital importance as it contributes to the cation exchange and field capacities of the soil and provides a major source of plant nutrients and substances, which assist in soil structure maintenance’ (Houghton & Charman, 1986)#.
Reduced quality and quantity soil organic matter may be associated with:
|Potential associated impacts||Suggested indicators+|
|Reduced soil nutrient availability leading to declined vegetation growth and condition||
Reduced soil biota
|Reduced soil structural stability that increases potential for soil erosion, leading to:
# Houghton, PD & Charman, PEV 1986, Glossary of terms used in soil conservation, Soil Conservation Service of New South Wales.
+ Descriptions of indicators (PDF, 76K)* provides a brief description of each indicator including techniques and purpose.
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Last updated 7 September 2010