Wetland conversion in southeastern Missouri initiated with the Little River Drainage Project (1914–1924) resulting in the permanent drainage and conversion of 5 million acres (2 million hectares) to productive agricultural land. Given that this ancestral wetland conversion has totally replaced the wetland ecosystem with prime agricultural land and with this conversion, the loss of wildlife habitat is nearly complete, the question remains what actions are now possible to restore key wetland soil pathways to support soil health and water quality. Key to any corrective practices involves agricultural producer involvement and commitment. The emerging concept of soil health supports the use of cover crops that promote soil structure development and soil carbon sequestration, each perceived as supporting farm profitability. Government programs supporting field flooding during the off-season supports migratory water fowl. Farming practices such as furrow irrigation and allied technologies for rice production limit aquifer overdraft. Edge of field technology involving riparian strips and denitrification bioreactors support down-stream water quality by limiting nitrate and phosphate off-field migration. The result is that emerging technologies (i) support farm profitability and environmental stewardship and (ii) which are designed specifically to provide farming practice compatibility with the soil and water resources re-establishes some wetland mechanisms appropriate for long-term land and water resource sustainability.
Part of the book: Wetlands Management
Based on the U.S. Soil Taxonomy Histosols are soils that have a histic epipedon, which is a surface horizon that exhibits a sufficient abundance of soil organic matter to be distinctively different than other soil orders predominantly composed of clastic materials. Gelisols are soils that have permafrost, with histels being a suborder that is dominated by organic materials. Collectively, these soil orders are abundant in peatland ecosystems. The abundance of soil organic material is primarily a consequence of climate, topography, hydrology, vegetation. Peatland ecosystems have been a major research arena; however, added research attention is being directed to the potential release of carbon because of accelerated climate change. This review focuses of the structure and dynamics of organic soils and an understanding of their creation, evolution and ultimate fate. Attention is focused on degraded peatland net primary productivity because of potential forthcoming differences attributed to rainfall, temperature, vegetation, hydrology and permafrost disappearance.
Part of the book: Environmental Issues and Sustainable Development
Academics and University Extension personnel have experience with soil mapping and providing soil suitability interpretations; however, a more efficient information conveyance to land custodians is desired to support informative land management applications. In the USA each state, in concert with the United States Department of Agriculture, has embarked on developing an online format linking soil survey with ecological site descriptions to provide information for forest and rangeland management to encourage soil protection - health and optimizing ecological services on individual land parcels. In this Missouri-based manuscript, we discuss three cases where soils and their associated ecological site descriptions provide land custodians information concerning their logical reference state vegetation community and detail land management decisions that transform the reference vegetation community to a different vegetation community. With each case, landscapes and their associated vegetations communities are potentially partitioned by soil, physiography, hydrology, and other attributes.
Part of the book: Environmental Management