Soil Qualities Affecting Resistance, Resilience and Restoration

Soil Qualities Affecting Resistance, Resilience and Restoration (ADV)
Hugh J. Brown, Ball State University

Soils are complex resources that have inseparable relationships with natural plant communities and the hydrologic cycle. Understanding of soil properties can help maintain healthy ecosystems and improve the effectiveness of ecological restoration. Soils' ability to resist change is increased by presence of vegetation, low erodibility and high cation exchange capacity. Resilience is enhanced by high organic matter content and continuation of natural processes such as wetting/drying, freezing/thawing, and shrinking/swelling. Restoration is affected by soil texture, drainage, fertility and the presence of phytotoxic chemicals. The soil microbial community (e.g. mychorrhizae) also has a major impact on the success of restoration projects. Amendments of soil with organic matter, biochar, nutrients, lime, etc. will be discussed. Information will be presented from personal experience and the scientific literature.

Hugh J. Brown, Ball State University
Dr. Hugh Brown is a natural resource consultant with more than thirty years of experience with land management. His PhD is in soil management from Iowa State University, with postdoctoral research at the University of Vermont. He served as field station director at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute near Hastings, Michigan from 2011 to 2013. He was field station director and chair of the Natural Resources and Environmental Management Department at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. His research includes studies on soil microbial communities, hydropedology and impacts of land use on water quality. He was president of the Indiana Association of Professional Soil Classifiers, president of the Indiana Land Protection Alliance and a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society's Board of Directors. He co-authored "Caring for Land Trust Properties" (a Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices Curriculum book). Dr. Brown is an emeritus associate professor at Ball State University.