Soil genetic erosion: New conceptual developments in soil security

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7 Citations (Scopus)


In the last decades, in some Mediterranean areas, pedodiversity decreased mainly due to pedotechnique application in large-scale farming that transformed original soils into Anthrosols. Supporting the consideration that soils can be considered as living systems, the original concept of 'soil genetic erosion' is re-proposed. Data, extrapolated and modeled from a Soil Information System in a study case representative of a Mediterranean landscape, predicted that most of the soil types would disappear in few years leading to a decrease of the soil diversity and originating soil genetic erosion. This circumstance is intentionally here told in form of a story where the fairy tale characters are some soils facing extinction in the landscape. Soil genetic erosion could result in a negative impact on the environment because it reduces the soil's security through a drastic reduction of the soil ecosystem services with a decrease of the immaterial benefit for the environment. The conviction that soils, as well as animals and plants, are living bodies, and pedodiversity is equally important as biodiversity in maintaining sustainability and ecosystem services, might truly attract the attention of the public opinion. Besides, focussing more on the soil economic dimension and strengthening the assignation of 'economic value' to the soil ecosystem services, also politicians and administrators could increase their interest in soil security. (C) 2019 International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation and China Water and Power Press. Production and Hosting by Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Soil and Water Conservation Research
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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