Introduction to the Symposia 3.0B and Thematic Restrictions of Soil Resources Availability - an Emerging Topic in Soil Use and Management.
Wolfgang Burghardt, Univ Duisburg - Essen, Faculty of Biology and Geography, Dept of Soil Technology, Univ Street 5, 45117 Essen, Germany
Within the ecological cycle of materials and nutrient there is always a clear bound to soils as factor. Soils are location and sources for use, so of mental, natural and technical production, and of deposits of production and waste remains. But they are also items of soil use and management related technologies, of ideas of religious, social and economic philosophies. The today human influence on ecological cycle of material and nutrients is extreme high. But human activities are corrected and find strong response by natural processes. Both will find its documentation in soils. Therefore soil use and management as new and rapidly changing environment for soils must be understood by soil science. They are of eminent importance because of their effects on soil properties and by this on local and total amount of available soil functions and ecological soil services, which are the basis of objective of policy for s quality of human life. There was and is also a growth of world population which means humans will make use of soils and will manage the available soil resources. In the past this was solved by extending the area of soil use, improving the technology of production of any good, developing soil amelioration techniques and introduction of manuring and fertilizer use. For waste management particular techniques were developed. From this some particular problem areas of soil use did arise. Today most aware are soil degradation by erosion and compaction, change in organic matter content, and soil contamination. But there will be at least two more complexes: the restriction of soil resources availability and eutrophication. Both have strong links to another most important field of quality of human life: water. Restriction of soil availability means, that most of the soil resources of the world are used already. Extension of production is not longer feasible by extending used areas. Areas are reduced by strong growing urban areas to mega cities and waste land. Soil properties change by human induced structural, physico-chemical and chemical characteristics, by change of available soil volume for rooting, living sphere for micro-organisms, and for storage and supply.