Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

H.-P. Haslmayr and M.H. Gerzabek:

Functions of arable soils – assessment based on datasets available for Austrial


Soil is not only an ecosystem by itself, but also a medium in which several environmental processes occur. These processes provide services for humankind and the environment which can be divided into different groups of soil functions. The major goal of soil protection is to preserve these functions for future generations. Several methods for differentiated consideration of soil functions were developed in Germany. For example different soils are able to store water in variable extent as governed by their utilizable storage capacity. Therefore soils which are able to store a large volume of water need to be treated more sensitively than others which storage capacity isn’t as high. This study is trying to implement some of the German methods by using Austrian data of soil information. The results of the assessment within a study area (Wilhering, Upper Austria) are demonstrated as an example for two soil functions. The use of German methods is feasible for the Austrian data set, however the transformation of Austrian parameters into the German soil taxonomy nomenclature represents a source of error and needs careful consideration.

Key words: soil protection, soil functions, evaluation method, Wilhering.