Soil health assessments are essential tools for making informed decisions that support sustainable land use, agricultural productivity, environmental conservation, and climate change mitigation. Healthy soils underpin ecosystem health and contribute to the well-being of both natural and anthropogenic systems.
Healthy soils optimise food production by providing essential nutrients and water retention, and aeration which support optimal crop and plant growth, and for implementing sustainable agricultural practices. Healthy soils reduce the need for chemical fertilisers and pesticides, thereby promoting efficient nutrient cycling, and enhancing soil structure.
Additionally, well-managed soil acts as a carbon sink, sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and soil assessments quantify the carbon storage capacity to inform strategies for enhancing sequestration.
Diverse microbial communities are found in healthy vs. Degraded soil ecosystems, and are key to proper nutrient cycling and functioning of ecosystems.
Soil health assessments provide the required data for meeting targets and demonstrate responsible land management practices.