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Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services$
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Diana H. Wall, Richard D. Bardgett, Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Jeffrey E. Herrick, T. Hefin Jones, Karl Ritz, Johan Six, Donald R. Strong, and Wim H. van der Putten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199575923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575923.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 May 2021

Soil Productivity and Erosion

Soil Productivity and Erosion

(p.301) Chapter 5.1 Soil Productivity and Erosion
Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services

Kristof Van Oost

Martha M. Bakker

Oxford University Press

The wide-scale cultivation of soil by humans has accelerated erosion, which in turn deteriorates soils and negatively impacts their productivity. Questions such as ‘How serious is soil erosion?’, ‘What are the costs of soil erosion?’, and ‘Why and where is it happening?’ are difficult to answer because they require interdisciplinary approaches and funding. This chapter considers some of these problems. It makes an inventory of accelerated erosion rates, and places these within the context of both soil formation rates and erosion rates under natural conditions. The chapter examines the effects of erosion on agricultural productivity and the importance of erosion-induced productivity losses for agriculture, concluding that erosion-induced onsite productivity losses as well as the downstream effects of erosion may become an important environmental threat.

Keywords:   soil cultivation, soil erosion, erosion rates, soil formation, agricultural productivity

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