Approaches to evaluation of the degree of soil degradation and the related normative documents applied by specialists from state institutes for land management of the former Soviet Union in the course of largeand medium-scale soil surveys in the 1960s–1990s are analyzed. It is shown that the types and rates of soil degradation were specified without proper consideration for the taxonomic position of particular soils. Reference (nondegraded) soils were not clearly defined, which made it difficult to judge the degree of soil degradation by means of a comparative analysis of degraded and nondegraded soils. Such reference soils are suggested for several types of soil degradation (dehumification, compaction, depletion of nutrients, etc.). Additional diagnostic criteria of the degree of soil degradation caused by wind and water erosion, waterlogging, swamping, and other adverse processes are specified. The study of qualitative and quantitative changes in the soil properties during the post-Soviet period is important for the development of land monitoring system and for the analysis of economic aspects of land degradation. To ensure reliability of data on changes in the soil properties and soil cover patterns, possible errors related to incorrect comparison of the data obtained by traditional and modern approaches should be taken into account.
Autores y editores
Molchanov, E. N.
Savin, I. Yu.
Yakovlev, A. S.
Bulgakov, D. S.
Makarov, O. A.
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