Forest and rangeland soils of the US under changing conditions: A comprehensive science synthesis

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This open access book synthesizes leading-edge science and management information about forest and rangeland soils of the United States. It offers ways to better understand changing conditions and their impacts on soils, and explores directions that positively affect the future of forest and rangeland soil health. This book outlines soil processes and identifies the research needed to manage forest and rangeland soils in the United States. Chapters give an overview of the state of forest and rangeland soils research in the Nation, including multi-decadal programs (chapter 1), then summarizes various human-caused and natural impacts and their effects on soil carbon, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and biological diversity (chapters 2-5). Other chapters look at the effects of changing conditions on forest soils in wetland and urban settings (chapters 6-7). Impacts include: climate change, severe wildfires, invasive species, pests and diseases, pollution, and land use change. Chapter 8 considers approaches to maintaining or regaining forest and rangeland soil health in the face of these varied impacts. Mapping, monitoring, and data sharing are discussed in chapter 9 as ways to leverage scientific and human resources to address soil health at scales from the landscape to the individual parcel (monitoring networks, data sharing Web sites, and educational soils-centered programs are tabulated in appendix B). Chapter 10 highlights opportunities for deepening our understanding of soils and for sustaining long-term ecosystem health and appendix C summarizes research needs. Nine regional summaries (appendix A) offer a more detailed look at forest and rangeland soils in the United States and its Affiliates.

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