Sustainable Soil Management Resources on the Web
General Soil Information:
The Pedosphere and Its Dynamics: A Systems Approach to Soil Science
University of Alberta
The Pedosphere and Its Dynamics is an on-line textbook from the Soil
Science Server at the University of Alberta.
Information is provided all aspects of soils, including soil texture, structure,
mineralogy, pH and reaction, water, air, ecology, organic matter, and others.
It is probably the most informative, best organized, and visually appealing
web site on soils anywhere on the Internet.
Soil Biology Primers:
Soil Biological Communities – Life in Western Soils
A Bureau of Land Management web site that features a concise, graphics-supported
Life in the Soil
primer on soil biological communities typical of western, arid soils.
Another soil biology primer featuring concise summaries with supporting
graphics, from the Cooperative Research Centre for Soil & Land Management
in Adelaide, South Australia. Excellent!
Soils Lecture Notes:
Davey Jone’s “Plant-Soil-Microbial and Rhizosphere Interactions” Home
Soil Biology and Soil Health:
A compilation of very informative and useful lecture notes from Davey
Jone’s home page at the School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences at the
University of Wales, Bangor. Especially see:
The Microbe Zoo - Dirtland
The Microbe Zoo is an educational web site for kids compiled by the
Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology. Dirtland takes
viewers on a safari to discover microscopic organisms
The Soil Makers
that inhabit the soil. A good place to start for a quick summary
and images of below-ground creatures and the important jobs they perform
in agriculture, composts, soil building, etc.
A 15-page review of soil zoology on The Wonderful World of Insects
Using Soil Fauna to Improve Soil Health
By Bonnie Witt
A 4-page student paper on the Restoration and Reclamation Review website
at University of Minnesota – Horticultural Science 5015 course. This
paper looks at protozoan, nematode, termite and earthworm soil fauna; it
describes the fauna’s primary habitat, their role in soil health and ways
to promote fauna colonization.
New Tests of Soil Quality: Evaluating the Health of Your Soil's Microbial
By Don Lotter
A 4-page reprint from Farmer to Farmer magazine, January-February 1997,
the award-winning magazine published in California for several years.
Lotter’s article provides a brief description of the soil ecological community,
followed by an introduction to methods used to measure microbial biomass
and activity; microbial population counts; on-farm microbial activity tests;
potentially mineralizable nitrogen (PMN); phospholipid-fatty acid (PLFA)
method; and finally, earthworm indicator tests.
The Soil Foodweb: It's Importance in Ecosystem Health
By Dr. Elaine Ingham
A 13-page reprint of the classic article on the soil foodweb by Dr.
Elaine Ingham, soil microbiologist at Oregon State University, and founder
of Soil Foodweb Incorporated laboratory.
Soil Foodweb Incorporated
SFI is the soil microbial analysis lab founded by Dr. Elaine Ingham.
In addition to general background on the importance of the soil foodweb,
the following notes are provided on commercial products and agricultural
practices that support different microbial communities.
Especially see the following SFI notes on managing soil biology with agricultural
Bacterial Food Resources
Fungal Food Resources
Protozoa Food Resources
Nematode Food Resources
Inocula of Bacteria and Fungi
NRCS Soil Quality Information Sheets
Soil Quality Resource Concerns
Sediment Deposition on Cropland
Available Water Capacity
Indicators for Soil Quality Evaluation
Microbiology of Agricultural Soils
The IMPACT Project deals with the Interactions between Microbial inoculants
The Health of Our Soils: Toward Sustainable Agriculture in Canada
Populations in the rhizosphere of Agronomically important Crops in
bypical soils. This site features a brief introduction to the benefits
of soil microorganisms accompanied by pictures.
Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research, Research Branch
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Publication 1906/E. 1995.
Selected NRCS Web Links:
Agronomy Technical Notes Series
Features on-line technical notes on soil management topics: Cover
Crops; Conservation Crop Rotation Effects on Soil Quality; Effects of Residue
Managment, No-Till on Soil Quality; Effect of Soil Quality on Nutrient
Efficiency; Herbicides; Legumes and Soil Quality; Effects of Soil Erosion
on Soil Productivity.
Soil Quality Information Sheets
Soil Quality Introduction
Features on-line information sheets on soil quality topics: Erosion;
Sediment Deposition on Cropland; Compaction; Salinization; Soil Biodiversity;
Available Water Capacity; Pesticides; Indicators for Soil Quality Evaluation;
Organic Matter; Soil Crusts; Aggregate Stability; Infiltration; Soil pH
Soil Biodiversity -- NRCS Soil Quality Information Sheet
Recent Papers from NRCS
Earthworms and Crop Management
Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. Publication
Frequently Asked Questions About Earthworms
By Dr. Alan D. Tomlin, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Building Your Soil: The Role of Earthworms in Healthy Soils
Nick Musurca's Earthworm Web Page!
Earthworms of North Dakota
Glossary of Soil Science
Canadian Soil Information System (CanSIS)
Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre Ottawa (Ontario)
Compiled by Steve Diver
ATTRA Technical Specialist