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Across the world, soils are managed with an intensity and at a geographic scale never before attempted, yet we know remarkably little about how and why managed soils change through time. Understanding Soil Change explores a legacy of soil change in southeastern North America, from the acidic soils of primary hardwood forests that covered the region until about 1800, through the marked transformations affected by long-cultivated cotton, to contemporary soils of rapidly growing and intensively managed pine forests. These well documented records significantly enrich the science of ecology and pedology, and provide valuable lessons for land management throughout the world. The book calls for the establishment of a global network of soil-ecosystem studies, like the invaluable Calhoun study on which the book is based, to provide further information on sustainable land management, vital as human demands on soil continue to increase.
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