Issue 24, December 2015
In this issue
During this International Year of Soils it has been exciting to see innovative contributions by New Zealand soil scientists advancing soil research.
Exploring and utilising the South Island soil resources
It didn’t start well because of an understandable mistake. On James Cook’s first voyage around the South Island in 1769, naturalist Joseph Banks applied a European rule-of-thumb that related big trees to fertile soil.
Innovations of the past: Creating the productive pastures of the present
In this the “International Year of the Soil” we reflect on past, present, and future contributions from soil science researchers that have underpinned our understanding of the behaviour of the soilscape in the natural environment in which we live.
Breaking in the Pumice Lands
One of the most mystifying agricultural problems in the fi rst part of the 20th century was the wasting illness termed ‘bush sickness’ that affected sheep and cattle introduced onto recently converted tussock plains and shrublands on pumice parent materials in the centre of the North Island.
Soil Science in the New Zealand Forestry Sector
The predominant production system followed by the New Zealand forestry sector is a low input, short rotation model. This results in significant disturbance to forest soils on a much more frequent basis than occurs in other countries.
Looking to the future of land evaluation and farm systems analysis
Land evaluation is formally defined as ‘the assessment of land performance when used for a specified purpose’ and has a long history of describing and quantifying the differences between units of land.
Using aerial survey and remote sensing to assess bank and cliff erosion in Hawke’s Bay
Landcare Research scientists have been collecting video footage of bank erosion in Hawke’s Bay to help them study the stability of the landscape.
The odyssey of a national soil carbon model
The Soil Carbon Monitoring System (the ‘Soil CMS’) was developed to extrapolate national soil carbon stocks and estimate and report the effect of land-use change on the soil carbon pool.
Back to the future: Soil mapping in a digital age
Soil maps and the information they provide are fundamental not only to resource managers, but also to decision makers in local and central government.
An international soils data interoperability experiment
The development of a soils data standard would be timely, offering benefits for a number of New Zealand initiatives under development that depend on good quality soil information.
Digital soil morphometrics
A wide range of exciting new technologies are emerging that can assist the pedologist to examine and classify soils in their natural environment. ‘Digital soil morphometrics’ is this new discipline and it provides a framework to apply new methods and technologies to assist traditional pedological method.
Next generation databases for soil observation data
For the last two years staff at Landcare Research have been working to improve the National Soils Database (NSD). The NSD is a database containing descriptions of about 1500 New Zealand soil profiles, together with their chemical, physical, and mineralogical characteristics.