Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Steve W. Blecker; Lisa L. Stillings; Michael C. Amacher; James A. Ippolito; Nicole M. DeCrappeo
    Date: 2010
    Source: Open-File Report 2010-1040. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 38 p.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (2.07 MB)


    The myriad definitions of soil/ecosystem quality or health are often driven by ecosystem and management concerns, and they typically focus on the ability of the soil to provide functions relating to biological productivity and/or environmental quality (Doran and Parkin, 1994; Karlen and others, 1997). A variety of attempts have been made to create indices that quantify the complexities of soil quality and provide a means of evaluating the impact of various natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Though not without their limitations (Sojka and Upchurch, 1999), indices can improve our understanding of the controls behind ecosystem processes and allow for the distillation of information to help link scientific and management communities. In terrestrial systems, indices were initially developed and modified for agroecosystems (Doran and Parkin, 1994); however, the number of studies implementing such indices in nonagricultural systems is growing (Bastida and others, 2008). Soil quality indices (SQIs) are typically composed of biological (and sometimes physical and chemical) parameters that attempt to reduce the complexity of a system into a metric of a soil's ability to carry out one or more functions (Papendick and Parr, 1992; Halvorson and others, 1996).

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Blecker, Steve W.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Amacher, Michael C.; Ippolito, James A.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M. 2010. Ecosystem health in mineralized terrane: Data from podiform chromite (Chinese Camp mining district, California), quartz alunite (Castle Peak and Masonic mining districts, Nevada/California), and Mo/Cu porphyry (Battle Mountain mining district, Nevada) deposits. Open-File Report 2010-1040. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 38 p.


    soil quality indices (SQIs), ecosystem health, mineralized terrane

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page