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HUMAN IMPACTS ON SOIL FORMATION Jonathan Sandor, C. Lee Burras, Michae Tho!

"son, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa USA

Introduction Humans-like climate, plants, and many other organisms-are active agents of soil formation. Because soils comprise the dynamic, vi rant skin of the !arth"s terrestrial surface, people have always interacted with, and therefore changed, soils and the course of their formation. #hile soils are su $ect to ma$or change and even destruction y natural forces on the scale of geologic time, changes resulting from human activity usually occur on a much shorter time scale. %eople have impacted soil in a multitude of ways and e&tents, through farming, uilding, mining, and even war. In some cases, human activities enhance soils for particular uses. However, in a num er of cases the interplay etween humans and soils has resulted in soil degradation, which is fundamentally a negative process of formation. 'ecogni(ing that soil use is literally and figuratively the ase for most civili(ations and that soil resources are essentially nonrenewa le on the human time scale, understanding soil formation is imperative to developing agricultural and natural resource sustaina ility, and to protecting environmental )uality. Sca es and Sco"e o# Hu!an I!"acts on Soi For!ation *o understand the effects of humans on soil, it is helpful to first consider soil formation processes and their rates in natural environments to provide a frame of reference. +rom the perspective of pedology, the study of soil formation, soil is a comple& assem lage of mineral and organic materials formed at the !arth"s surface. In spite of the increasing impact of human activities on soil and the likelihood that all of !arth"s ecosystems have een influenced to some degree y humans, many soils still retain their asic morphology imparted y natural processes and environmental factors. A hallmark of soil formation is the differentiation of hori(ons ,layers-. Soils are developed and organi(ed into hori(ons y comple&, interrelated physical, chemical, and iological processes that are determined y the factors of soil formation. climate, organisms, geology, topography, and time. *he morphology of every soil is the e&pression of fundamental processes interacting with one another over multiple spatial scales ,from micrometers to kilometers- and temporal scales ,from days to millennia-. Hori(ons at the surface ,A hori(ons- are often enriched with organic matter, while deeper hori(ons ,B hori(ons- may have accumulations of clay, calcium car onate, metal-organic comple&es, or other materials. +ormation of A hori(ons is relatively rapid ecause organic matter accumulates in a few centuries to a millennium. +ormation of B hori(ons commonly takes many thousands of years to ecome fully e&pressed. In this sense, soils can range

3 from young to middle-age to old. As soil formation progresses, soils generally tend to ecome increasingly anisotropic as they differentiate into greater kinds and num ers of hori(ons. /andscape sta ility is a prere)uisite for soil hori(on development to proceed. !ven so, distur ance and change are integral to the functioning of all natural ecosystems and their soils. Soils, landscapes, and associated iological communities are su $ect to distur ances ranging from minor pertur ations such as low-intensity fires to ma$or events such as volcanism, and to long-term climatic and environmental change. 0n the geologic time scale, soils are su $ect to ma$or alteration, destruction, and renewal. In contrast to the relatively slow pace of natural soil development, soil changes resulting from human activity are often more rapid and far-reaching. Human-caused change may e so fast and irreversi le that the impacted soil ears little resem lance to its original form. Human impacts usually reverse the anisotropic trend of soil formation, making soils simpler, less organi(ed, and more homogeneous. A wide array of land use and other human activities have altered paths of formation in many soils ,*a le 1-. 2orresponding soil changes also vary greatly in kind, intensity, time and spatial scale, and significance for soil and environmental )uality ,*a les 3 and 4-. Human actions that change soil may act directly or indirectly y changing oth soil morphology and the underlying soil-forming processes. *hey may e intentional changes ased on land management strategies to increase soil productivity, or rearrangements of landscapes and soil materials to construct uildings, roads, and other structures. 2onversely, they may e unintended changes that can lead to degradation such as soil erosion and urial under sediment. Indirect soil change may result from off-site processes physically remote from the impacted soil, such as su sidence following groundwater pumping or downstream sedimentation. In land uses such as agriculture, surface hori(ons have usually een more altered than su surface hori(ons, while engineering activities often change the entire se)uence of soil hori(ons. !ngineering activities lead to some of the most intensive impacts y removing soils entirely and replacing them with different earth materials, as well as y reshaping landforms or constructing new ones. Agriculture and engineering merge in management practices such as in paddy rice production and terracing of slopes, which also involve ma$or geomorphic and soil change. Some human activities, such as agriculture, have influenced soil processes and morphology for thousands of years, while others, such as glo al climate change induced y human activity, will ecome increasingly important in the future. Some anthropogenic impacts on the environment, such as acid rain and other pollution, incur less visi le chemical and iological changes, while processes such as desertification result in more sweeping changes through loss of vegetative cover, desiccation, wind and water erosion, and salt accumulation. #hile the atmospheric effects of glo al climate change are $ust now eing detected, their potential impacts on soil formation and distri ution are large ecause climate is a ma$or determinant of soil formation over time. Soils differ in their response to human actions in terms of their resistance to change, and their resilience, that is, their a ility to re ound towards their original state. %rocesses of human-caused soil change may e reversi le or irreversi le, and the resulting changes may e ephemeral to permanent. 'esponse depends on oth e&ternal factors, such as the type of impact and environmental conditions, and internal soil properties. +or e&ample, soils with uniform te&tures or that are rich in organic matter tend to e resistant to

4 compaction. After many thousands of years of natural formation, some su surface soil hori(ons opened y deep plowing may return to their original condition in a few years ,e.g., clay-rich argillic hori(ons-, whereas more indurated hori(ons such as silicacemented duripans remain fragmented longer. $%a uatin& Hu!an I!"acts On Soi For!ation Human-caused soil change has een studied y pedologists in several ways. Hans 5enny and others have framed their views in the conte&t of the factors of soil formation, placing humans within the iotic factor, while recogni(ing the uni)ue role of human culture as distinct from other organisms. 5enny showed that human land use often alters soils through changes in the other soil-forming factors. +or e&ample, irrigation alters arid land soils y changing the climate factor, effectively increasing precipitation. 0ther researchers set humans apart from the natural factors of soil formation to emphasi(e the e&traordinary scale and rate of anthropogenic effects on soils. In working with drastically altered soils, such as mine soils and ur an soils, pedologists have defined new soil ta&onomic classes ecause these soils ear little or no resem lance to their original state. How is soil change detected and measured6 #hile modern, large impacts on soil may e o vious, such as with wholesale change or destruction of soils and landscapes in ur an development, longer-term soil changes are often more su tle and comple&. Histories of soil change may e difficult to reconstruct, complicated y imprints of multiple land use activities and changing environmental conditions. An approach to evaluating long-term anthropogenic influence on soil has een to identify soils that are relatively undistur ed, or at least that have documented land use histories, and to use these soils as reference points from which to measure soil change. +inding truly compara le sets of reference and altered soils is challenging and imprecise, and may not e possi le in some situations. Although results of comparisons must e interpreted carefully, the paired-site approach represents one of the few methods availa le to actually measure long-term soil change. Soil changes from agriculture have een monitored using controlled e&periments at a few locations such as 'othamsted !&perimental Station ,United 7ingdom-, 8orrow %lots ,Illinois, USA-, and San orn %lots ,8issouri, USA- for more than a century. !valuating ancient agricultural soils up to a out 1,999-3,999 years in age has e&tended the time perspective on anthropogenic soil change. 8uch can e learned a out long-term human effects on soils, and a out successes and failures in soil use and management, from past cultures at archaeological sites, as well as from contemporary traditional cultures who have lived on the same land for many generations. Studies of past and present traditional land use contri ute information for evaluating soils on longer time scales inherent in the concept of sustaina le land use, as well as for modeling and predicting the future condition of land resources. Chan&es in Soi Pro"erties and Processes Resu tin& Fro! Hu!an Acti%ities *o facilitate understanding of impacts and appreciation of the many ways people depend on soil for sustenance and support, soil changes are presented here in the conte&t of the type of land use or other human activity. !&amples from agriculture, engineering for ur an development, mining, waste disposal, war, and glo al environmental change

; are selected to represent the myriad of ways people change soil. It is important to recogni(e that human effects on soil are comple& ecause soils are dynamic systems with interrelated components: they are themselves part of ecosystems within !arth"s iosphere. Soils vary in their sensitivity to distur ance and threshold for change. Single land use practices can affect many soil properties in a cascading process, and different land uses may initiate similar processes of change in soils. Soils may e impacted y more than one land use practice simultaneously or diachronically. /and uses and their variations often differ in the way they impact soils in terms of magnitude, spatial e&tent, rate, and duration. Agriculture Agriculture has profoundly and e&tensively impacted soils since its inception a out 19,999 years ago. In this discussion, agriculture is framed roadly to include all plant and animal production for food, feed, fi er, and fuel, including crop and livestock farming, as well as forestry. All of these land uses rely on many forms of soils world-wide. Some soils are so impacted y agriculture that their original hori(ons are wholly transformed or uried. !&amples of truly anthropogenic soils are plaggen soils, common in western !urope ,+igure 1-. *hese constructed surface hori(ons that can e a meter thick are the product of centuries of cultivation, with additions of organic materials such as manure and sod and inorganic amendments like sand or marl. Soils that have een similarly transformed through management practices such as terracing and long-term applications of fertili(ing materials are found in other regions with long histories of intensive agriculture such as Southeast Asia and the Andes. In contrast to oth the intent and effect of constructed soils, many soils on slopes have een impacted y erosion accelerated y agriculture, some to the point of o literation or deep urial under eroded sediments through mismanagement. Surface hori(ons, which generally contain the most plant nutrients and organic matter, are the most immediately vulnera le to erosion. !specially su $ect to ma$or change are those soils with welldeveloped, organic matter-rich surface hori(ons such as 8ollisols. *he transformation of 8ollisols y erosion to soils classified in other orders such as Alfisols, Inceptisols, and !ntisols has een documented for past and present agriculture. A key reason for increased soil erosion is the loss of protective vegetation cover as natural ecosystems such as forests or prairies are converted to agricultural use. #hile accelerated erosion has een difficult to )uantify on regional to glo al scales, estimated average erosion rates on cropland ranges from a out 13 ,USA- to 49-;9 ,Africa, Asia, South America- metric tons per hectare annually, much greater than natural erosion rates. Human-induced water and wind erosion is estimated to have resulted in the degradation of appro&imately one )uarter of the world"s cropland. As surface hori(ons are eroded, su surface hori(ons or edrock effectively rise closer to the surface and may ecome e&posed. *heir incorporation into the topsoil under moderate to severe erosion alters soil properties such as color, structure and te&ture, often lowering soil )uality. If su surface hori(ons are pro lematic for plant growth, serious degradation of productivity can ensue. In some tropical regions such as #est Africa and Southeast Asia, e&posure of hori(ons of cemented, iron-rich clay ,petroplinthite- through erosion has resulted in a andonment of agricultural land. !rosion of Ultisols with highly

A weathered, acidic hori(ons of clay accumulation in warm, temperate to tropical environments has significantly reduced soil productive potential. !ven in thick sediment parent materials that are considered <forgiving= to erosion, productivity can diminish through e&posure or shallow occurrence of dense or cemented hori(ons and layers that limit rooting, decrease availa le water capacity, or greatly slow drainage. +or e&ample, thick deposits of loess ,wind- lown sediment rich in silt- such as in 2hina and the %alouse and 8idwest regions of the USA are favora le for crops ut particularly suscepti le to erosion. !rosion rates in loess can reach 199 metric tons per hectare per year, e&ceeding natural erosion rates y one to two orders of magnitude. *his has resulted in the loss of A hori(ons, followed y the e&humation of uried soils ,paleosols- or dense rittle fragipans at shallower depths that reduce productivity. !rosion also impacts soil formation off-site. As eroded sediments are transported downslope, soils in the lower terrain of watersheds may ecome uried y sediment that does not reach streams. Studies in several regions have measured urial of original soils y sediment that is centimeters to meters thick. Also, the freshly deposited sediment constitutes another parent material in which soil formation may egin anew. An opposite situation is where natural sedimentation processes and renewal of soil fertility are impaired y dam construction, as in the case of the Aswan >am on the ?ile 'iver. *he e&tensive erosion and sedimentation that occurs in many agricultural landscapes indicates that massive transformation of many soils is continuing. *his situation underscores the need for documenting and responding to changes that undermine soil )uality and productivity. Because water deficiency or e&cess is of ma$or concern in most agricultural systems, many soils have een altered y water management practices. Some changes are direct such as the effects of flooding soils for wet rice production, creating paddy soils with distinctive anthropogenic characteristics ,+igure 3-. <Irragric= soils in arid to semiarid central Asia have een highly altered y long-term irrigation, including addition of suspended sediment in the irrigation water. Unintended chemical effects from irrigation in some regions have lead to severe soil degradation through salt accumulation and transformation to saline or sodic soils. In a practice opposite that for paddy soils, conversion of wetlands to row crop production y artificial drainage in regions such as the 8idwest USA has changed soils from dominantly anaero ic to dominantly aero ic states, leading to changes like organic matter o&idation. In some areas of the world, many meters of organic soil thickness have vanished through o&idation processes, resulting in significant land su sidence. 8ore su tle agricultural impacts may not completely alter the original soil, yet over time cause significant change. +or e&ample, since the mid 1@th century, conventional cultivation of organic matter-rich, prairie-derived soils ,8ollisols- throughout the 8idwest USA has lead to marked decreases in organic matter in upper soil hori(ons ,+igure 4-. 8any 8ollisols have lost roughly one third to one half of their original organic matter. In addition to erosion, a principal cause is the disruption of soil aggregates y cultivation, making previously protected humus accessi le to microorganisms. 2ompared with native prairie ecosystems that are characteri(ed y a undant organic matter and conservative nutrient cycling, agricultural soils have lower inherent fertility and are more <leaky= with respect to nutrients such as nitrogen. Soil organic matter loss has a cascading effect on soil properties such as structure, reducing

D aggregate sta ility and making soils more prone to compaction. 0rganic matter contents can e at least partially restored to soils through management, y using more diverse, conservation-oriented cropping systems, or y a return to more natural vegetation. 2ities and Industry *he growth of cities and industry has profound impacts on soils and their continued formation. Some of the impacts are direct: others are indirect. *he creation of constructed ur an soils is perhaps the most easily recogni(ed direct impact of city growth on soils ,+igure ;-. 2onstructed soils have distinct profiles that are typically the product of the cheapest engineering fill availa le at the moment of creation. Soil scientist %hillip 5. 2raul wrote that the history of ur an development has een ased upon the premise <dirt is dirt and it"s cheap.= *hese human-created soils may e highly stratified and composed of very different types of fill in terms of their te&ture, mineralogy, and chemistry. *otal fill B and conse)uently soil - thicknesses can reach multiple meters, with a soil"s ma&imum age corresponding with the age of the city. *hat is, a constructed ur an soil in 'ome, Athens, 8e&ico 2ity and Bei$ing can e several thousands years old whereas a similar soil in ?ew Cork or Buenos Aires must e less than A99 years. 0f course, many new hectares of these soils are created each year in every city as new pro$ects are completed. 8any ancient cities occur on tells, human-created mounds or hills formed through time as cities were re uilt on top of previous ones. 0ther construction materials used in ur an soils include composted sewage sludge, municipal solid wastes, heavy metals, glass, plastic, metal, etc. Still others consist of clean sand mined from near y rivers or topsoil transported from local farms. In other words, ur an soils have an e&ceptionally high degree of disorgani(ed varia ility. A second direct impact of city development on soil formation is at the landscape scale as houses, yards, parks, and streets replace the natural terrain. *he result is fragmented landscapes where soil-forming processes ecome controlled y constructed topographic, hydrologic, and ecologic factors. *hus, while the morphology of many of these soils do not show the dramatic changes of their downtown counterparts, their soil forming processes are considera ly altered. *his can e illustrated y considering two hypothetical ad$acent yards: one growing turf that is heavily fertili(ed and irrigated while the other is planted to conifer shru s and trees ut receives no fertili(ers and e&tra water. 0ver time, the properties of the soils under these two yards will diverge in response to their different microclimates ,wet versus dry-, iota, and chemical inputs. /ike their constructed counterparts, they will e characteri(ed y disorgani(ed varia ility although in this case the disorgani(ation occurs at the landscape ,i.e., yard-to-yard- scale. *he impact of cities and their continued growth on soil formation is increasing as large areas of prime farmland as well as wild, often fragile, lands get converted to ur an uses ,+igure A-. In the USA the area of ur an land increased from D million to 3D million hectares etween 1@;A and 1@@3, with some parts of 2alifornia and ?ew !ngland developing into <199 mile cities= as ur an areas ecame interwoven through e&press highways and su ur s. Ur ani(ation is even more of a critical factor in developing nations ecause their populations are growing at a rate four-fold greater than the world population. *he #orld 'esource Institute estimates that nearly A99,999 hectares of rural soils are converted to ur an land annually. +or e&ample, the ur an core of SEo %aulo,

G Bra(il e&panded from 1F,999 to @9,999 hectares etween 1@49 and 1@FF, with the overall metropolitan area now encompassing more than F99,999 hectares. Industry, like cities, directly and indirectly affects soil formation. /and e&cavation and drainage are two important direct agents of change. >redging of wetlands as well as sediments from eneath shallow waters to improve har ors, uild canals and meet other commercial needs is an e&ample of industrial e&cavation. *he U.S. Army 2orps of !ngineers estimates that illions of cu ic meters of sediment are dredged annually around the glo e with over 499 million cu ic meters eing dredged annually $ust in the USA. >redging has three direct impacts with respect to soils and their formation. +irst, the dredging itself destroys whatever natural soil e&isted. Second, the dredged material B or spoil B is piled somewhere and is later used in soil construction. Soil created from dredge spoil may e used for uildings, roads, parks, farms, or even wild areas. 0ver time it will develop a se)uence of hori(ons in response to its environment. *he third pedologic impact of dredging is o&idation of mineral and organic matter. *his occurs ecause spoil that was e&cavated from elow the water ta le is now directly e&posed to the o&ygen-rich atmosphere. In many cases, the o&idation is fairly enign in terms of soil properties and formation. A noteworthy pro lem occurs when the spoil contains sulfides. !&posure of sulfidic compounds to air results in the rapid formation of large )uantities of sulfuric acid in these soils. Such acid sulfate soils are also created when naturally sulfidic soils are drained. It is estimated there are 3; million hectares of potential acid sulfate soils glo ally, with many located in prime settings for agricultural and ur an development. *he indirect impacts of industry on soil formation are as manifold as the indirect impacts of ur ani(ation. 0ne of these is the addition to soil of contaminants such as lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals. In some locations these metals are deposited on soils as air orne contaminants that originated in factory or vehicle e&haust. In other cases they are added to soil directly and intentionally as constituents of fly ash and other wastes. /and farming refers to disposing of waste y applying and incorporating it into soil a few tons per hectare at a time. *hese soils are su se)uently cropped, although the crops are normally not used for human consumption. 2ompounds that contain sodium are another class of industrial contaminant that changes soil morphology - ultimately creating sodic soils. *his process is increasingly noted worldwide ecause of the mind- oggling num er of industrial uses for sodium and sodium compounds ,e.g., coolant in nuclear processes: fumigants: solvents in manufacturing of rass, paper, ceramic gla(es, te&tiles, and fertili(ers: and in food processing- and the fre)uency at which sodium wastes are applied to land. 'adionuclides are another class of industrial contaminants that alter soil processes. +or e&ample, F.; million hectares around 2herno yl, Ukraine remains contaminated y @9Sr and 14G2s from the 1@FD nuclear reactor disaster there. *he influence of most industrial processes on soil formation is proportional to the intensity of industrial activity and distance of the soil from the industry. *his means that soils in areas having numerous factories, automo iles, and other industrial activities are more highly enriched in contaminants than soils where there is little industry. /ikewise, the magnitude of impact radiates out with distance from the source of impact.

F 8ining Humans have mined the earth for metals, minerals, and fuel for thousands of years. 2urrently, F illion tons of mineral and oil are e&tracted from the earth annually. Since the 1@th century, mining activities have radically transformed landscapes and altered natural soil development processes. 8ining re)uires that the over urden of soil and its parent materials e displaced so that the product ,e.g., ore, rock, or coal- can e removed, concentrated, and transported off-site as economically as possi le. 8ining often results in large pits, high walls, and large accumulations of unconsolidated over urden, smelting residue, and finely ground residual ore. #hen a andoned at the earth"s surface, these materials often pose significant environmental risks due to su sidence, settlement, and slope insta ility. Spoil may also e contaminated with solu le metals. In addition, when some types of spoil are e&posed to air and percolating water, o&idation reactions produce strongly acidic water with high metal concentrations, severely restricting su se)uent iological activity. In the U.S. alone, it has een estimated that surface mining has distur ed more than 34,999 s)uare kilometers. 2oncern a out mines and their spoils prompted many nations to enact environmental )uality laws eginning in the late 39th century. For example, before the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, many mines in the United States were simply abandoned when the product had been exhausted or was too expensive to extract from the remaining ore. Since that time, however, planning for and completing reclamation of mined land has een part of every mining operation in the U.S. *hus a num er of practices are actively followed to allow the site to e used again for other purposes and to ensure that surface and ground water resources are protected. 2onstruction of new soil at reclaimed mine sites is an e&ample of the most radical of human impacts on soil formation. Successful mine land reclamation must address a num er of large-scale environmental issues while at the same time creating a near-surface environment that promotes vegetative growth and movement of water through the watershed. +or e&ample, a ma$or pro lem in reclamation of coal and metallic ore mines is the o&idation of sulfide minerals and su se)uent drainage and runoff of acidic water ,+igure D-. Acidic spoil, surface water, and seeps must e treated with large amounts of calcite or hydrated lime to neutrali(e acidity efore vegetation can e esta lished. 0rganic matter and plantavaila le nutrients are commonly lacking in spoil, so application of sewage sludge or other organic amendments to the spoil surface is often helpful. Heavy applications of plant nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium may also e re)uired. /arge-scale topographic reconstruction of mined land is e&pensive, ut it is usually essential to ensure that reconstructed soils maintain ecological and environmental )uality. In some reconstructions, it is possi le to appro&imate the general contours of the premining landscape ,+igure G-. *hroughout the process of consolidating, grading, and shaping the new landscape, control of settlement, slope insta ility, and surface erosion will minimi(e off-site damage of sediments and drainage as well as maintain optimum conditions for plant growth and development of natural soil hori(ons. #ater management in reclaimed mine lands includes designing watersheds for directing oth run-on and runoff water. *he new landscape may e designed to retain or slow the movement of water y passing it through constructed wetlands.

@ #here the original materials were not systematically stockpiled during mining, reclaimed soils often display e&treme varia ility in particle si(e and composition. %ro lems of inhomogeneous mi&tures of coarse and fine particles include oth su sidence and inade)uate water-holding capacity for plants to grow. +or this reason, modern reclamation approaches usually call for restoration of the natural se)uence of geological materials ,e.g., edrock-derived spoil placed elow till-derived spoil placed elow organic-matter-rich topsoil-. 'ates of soil development in reconstructed mine soils are slow. 'eclaimed mine soils tend to have <A2= hori(ons se)uences, in which incipient topsoil is underlain y unconsolidated layers lacking soil structure or other pedogenic features. Still, where reclamation has een well managed, the thickness of surface hori(ons in the reclaimed soil may e&ceed those of near y unamended soils that have een degraded y farming or logging operations. #ar #ar, like mining, may have rapid and long-lasting impacts on soils. +or e&ample, nearly a century after an 11-month attle during #orld #ar I, e&tensive trench works and om craters remain near Herdun, +rance. Hietnam provides a documented e&ample of the impacts of more recent wars. *here, it has een estimated that om s created some 31 million craters etween 1@DA and 1@G1, covering more than A9,999 hectares ,+igure F-. *he e&plosion of a 3;99-kilogram om typically created a hole a out 19 meters in diameter and A meters deep: metal fragments from each om could e spread over an area of 9.A hectares. Some craters e&posed soil hori(ons of iron-o&ide accumulation that su se)uently irreversi ly hardened to petroplinthite. Similarly, land-clearing programs in Hietnam altered soil processes. #idespread and concentrated application of defoliating her icides as well as ulldo(ing of vegetation resulted in e&tensive erosion, loss of organic-matter-rich surface hori(ons, and increased flooding. ?ative mangrove forests have not returned to the drastically distur ed or her icide-treated lands. 8ore than thirty years after the application of her icides ended, dio&in, a manufacturing contaminant in the her icides, remains in the soil and sediments of the countryside. *hus soils are effectively eginning a new phase of soil genesis with topography, parent material, and vegetation altered from the previous state of dynamic e)uili rium. In addition to the persistence of war-related changes on soil properties and processes, there may e indirect effects that have a cascading environmental impact caused y displacement of civilian, agrarian populations. In rural Hietnam, om craters: soils contaminated with metal fragments, une&ploded ordnance, and residual dio&in, and warrelated destruction of water-diversion structures have made agricultural and forestry recovery very difficult for the inha itants. In response, some farmers have moved to less productive, marginal land that is more suscepti le to erosion. 0thers have moved to ur an slums, increasing the environmental pressures on ur an areas. *hus the long-term impacts of war on soil properties and the processes of soil formation can e&tend eyond the (one of immediate impact.

19 C i!ate Chan&e and Soi For!ation Soil formation is closely tied to climate, and to the e&tent that human activities alter local or regional climatic varia les such as temperature and effective precipitation, soil properties will inevita ly e changed as well. At the glo al scale, climatic change in the ne&t century is likely to e driven y increasing atmospheric concentrations of <greenhouse gases= such as car on dio&ide ,203- and methane ,2H;-. As a result, it is e&pected that the mean temperature of the earthIs surface could rise as much as 1.A to ;.A J 2 over the ne&t 199 years. Although the local impacts of glo al warming are difficult to predict with certainty, significant shifts in the mean and seasonal variation of air temperature as well as in the total and seasonal distri ution of rainfall are likely to pertur oth natural and agricultural ecosystems. *he impact of a glo al increase in temperature will e unevenly spread in oth space and time. Some of the impacts include. ,1- new precipitation patterns in which today"s wet regions get wetter and dry regions get drier, ,3- migration northward of oreal and hardwood forests, ,4- melting of ice sheets, sea ice, and glaciers, with concomitant rise in sea level and flooding of coastal soils, and ,;- melting of permafrost in northern latitudes and o&idation of organic matter now stored in cold-region soils. +or e&ample, the temperature increase has the potential to markedly shrink the e&tent of appro&imately 11 million s)uare kilometers of Kelisols, the coldregion soils with permafrost where an estimated 14 percent of the world"s terrestrial car on is stored. Human activities, mainly urning of fossil fuels, will thus lead to some glo al and regional climate change over the ne&t century. Both regionally and locally, climate change will directly and indirectly impact soil processes y altering vegetation patterns, encouraging increased water and wind erosion, favoring mass movement, increasing the leaching of nutrients and organic matter through soils, and favoring micro ial o&idation of organic matter in surface hori(ons. Although we are not now a le to predict how fast soil properties will e altered as a result of glo al and regional climate change, ultimately some types of soil hori(ons will e lost ,for e&ample, surface hori(ons composed entirely of organic matter- and some types will e newly developed where they did not previously e&ist ,for e&ample, spodic hori(ons under new oreal forests-. As human populations adapt agricultural practices to new climate conditions, further changes in soils may e accelerated. +or e&ample, salini(ation may increase due to more e&tensive irrigation and landscape insta ility may ecome widespread as more forest land is cleared for production of crops and livestock. Si&ni#icance and Future o# Hu!an I!"acts on Soi For!ation Soil is a critical, dynamic natural resource and vital component of ecosystems, ut one that is often neglected. *his is in part ecause soil lies eneath the surface and so is not as familiar as other resources like water, plants, or animals. As a natural resource, soil is crucial for food, fi er, and fuel production systems, for construction materials and foundations, for replenishing and maintaining the )uality of surface and ground water, and for waste processing and containment. ?atural variation in pathways of soil formation and soil properties make for a diverse range of suita ilities for different land

11 uses and sensitivities to anthropogenic change. 2onservation of soil resources and soil )uality is a critical priority glo ally ecause soil is fundamentally nonrenewa le on a human time scale. Human activities dictate that soil change is inevita le and necessary. Anthropogenic soil change has a long history, ut it has e&ponentially increased in intensity, spatial e&tent, and rate during the past century. Some changes are advantageous and improve soil functionality. However, many soil changes induced y past and present land use have resulted in environmental degradation. In developed and developing nations alike, accelerated erosion, compaction and disruption of structural aggregates, lowered fertility, and contamination y pollutants, continue to e sources of serious concern. Because soil serves as a filter, su strate, and reservoir linked to other land, water, and iological resources, degradation is not $ust detrimental to the soil internally and locally, ut it e&tends to all parts of the larger hydrologic, geologic, and iological system. Some soils, like plants and animals and the ha itats and ecosystems with which they are closely connected, have ecome endangered and in some cases e&tinct. Human-altered soil figures significantly in glo al environmental change, oth as a cause and a recipient of change. 0&idation of soil organic matter is a source of increased atmospheric car on dio&ide, soil properties stand to e further altered y glo al climate change, and yet soil also has the potential help reverse the trend y se)uestering more car on. Soils also play a key role in other forms of glo al change such as desertification, acid precipitation, and loss of tropical forest ecosystems. #hat can e done to counter the negative impacts of human activities on soils and environment and to support conservation and more sustaina le land use6 Improved knowledge of soil formation and soil change is an important starting point. By more clearly recogni(ing the e&tent of soil change and understanding its causes, mechanisms, and conse)uences, the etter our chances ecome to develop and implement management practices that can sustain soil resources and restore damaged land. *raditionally, soil maps have portrayed soils in their relatively original, undistur ed state. However, ecause of the unprecedented scale of soil change and massive transformation, it is imperative that anthropogenic soil change e documented, monitored, and acted upon to a much greater degree. !fforts to deal seriously with the e&tent and significance of human impact on soil formation and distri ution have lead to a proposal to include Anthrosols in the U.S. Soil *a&onomy, and to recognition of Anthrosols at the highest level in the current international soil classification system ,#orld 'eference Base for Soil 'esources-. Improved knowledge of soil formation processes in relation to natural and human-altered pathways is essential to the restoration of ecosystems and the development of sustaina le land use. *he future of human society and the !arth we inha it depend on soil formation processes, and increasingly, to how we respond to the changes human actions cause in soils and the iosphere. Further Readin& Amundson, '., and H. 5enny. 1@@1. *he place of humans in the state factor theory of ecosystems and their soils. 5ournal of Soil Science 1A1.@@-19@. Amundson, '., C. Kuo, and %. Kong. 3994. Soil diversity and land use in the United

13 States. !cosystems D.;G9-;F3. Bidwell, 0.#., and +.>. Hole. 1@DA. 8an as a factor of soil formation. Soil Science @@.DA-G3. Bryant, '.B., and 5.8. Kal raith. 3994. Incorporating anthropogenic processes in soil classification. p. AG-DD. In H. !swaran et al. ,ed.- Soil classification. a glo al desk reference. 2'2 %ress, Boca 'aton, +lorida. 2ourty, 8.A., %. Kold erg, and '.I. 8acphail. 1@F@. Soils, micromorphology, and archaeology. 2am ridge University %ress, 2am ridge, U7. 2raul, %.5. 1@@@. Ur an soils. applications and practices. 5ohn #iley L Sons, Inc., ?ew Cork. >udal, '., +.0. ?achtergaele, and 8.+. %urnell. 3993. *he human factor of soil formation. *ransactions of the 1Gth #orld 2ongress of Soil Science, Bangkok, *hailand. !ffland, #.'. and '.H. %ouyat. 1@@G. *he genesis, classification, and mapping of soils in ur an areas. Ur an !cosystems 1.31G-33F. Kong, M.*. 1@F4. %edogenesis of paddy soil and its significance in soil classification. Soil Science 14A.A-19. Koudie, A. 1@@;. *he human impact on the natural environment. ;th ed. 8I* %ress, 2am ridge, 8assachusetts. 5enny, H. 1@F;. *he making and unmaking of a fertile soil. p. ;3-AA. In #. 5ackson et al. ,ed.- 8eeting the e&pectations of the land. ?orth %oint %ress, San +rancisco. 5ohnson, >./., and /.A. /ewis. 1@@A. /and degradation. creation and destruction Blackwell %u lishers, 0&ford, U7. /al, '., ,ed.- 1@@@. Soil )uality and soil erosion. 2'2 %ress, Boca 'aton, +lorida. /al, '., *.8. So ecki, *. /ivari, and 5.8. 7im le. 3994. Soil degradation in the United States. 2'2 %ress, Boca 'aton, +lorida. 'uddiman, #.+. 3991. !arth"s climate. past and future. #.H. +reeman and 2o., ?ew Cork. Sandor, 5.A., and ?.S. !ash. 1@@1. Significance of ancient agricultural soils for long-term agronomic studies and sustaina le agriculture research. Agronomy 5ournal. F4.3@-4G.

14 Sencindiver, 5.2., and 5.*. Ammons. 3999. 8inesoil genesis and classification, In '.I. Barnhisel et. al ,ed.- 'eclamation of drastically distur ed lands. Soil Science Society of America, 8adison, #isconsin. #esting, A.H. and #. %fieffer. 1@G3. *he cratering of Indochina. Scientific American 33D.39-3@. #orld 'esource Institute. 1@@D. #orld 'esources 1@@D-1@@G. A guide to the glo al environment. http.NNwww.igc.orgNwriNwr-@D-@GN ,reviewed 8arch 91, 3993-. Caalon, >. H., and B. Caron. 1@DD. +ramework for man-made soil changes - an outline of metapedogenesis. Soil Science 193. 3G3-3GG.