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Using soil map and simulation modeling for the analysis of land use scenarios
Orshoven, J. van
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The contribution of the soil scientist to land use planning mainly consists in the identification of land units and the assessment of their soil-related opportunities and limitations for various land utilization types. With a land use scenario study for the Flemish region in Belgium as an example, it is demonstrated how a soil map, static soil information, and pedotransfer functions can be used in a practical qualitative-semiquantitative application. Recent insights into the nature of soil variability and soil processes have promoted the use of quantitative land evaluation procedures, based on soil data bases, pedotransfer functions, and simulation models. The fact that soil maps, soil data bases, and pedotransfer functions do not provide all required data for simulation models hampers the breakthrough of quantitative land evaluation. The lack of data potentially negatively affects the reliability of the final assessment. The need for an in-depth uncertainty analysis before turning from qualitative-semiquantitative to quantitative land evaluation is underlined and illustrated for the case of vulnerability assessment of pesticide leaching.