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Implementing soil quality indicators for land: Waikato region 2003-2004

TR 2004/14

Report: TR04/14
Author: Graham Sparling, Landcare Research


As part of its Annual Plan, Waikato Regional Council undertakes regular sampling to assess soil quality in the region. There are now some 80 identified and characterised sites throughout the region. These sites provide a 'snapshot' of soil quality within the region, specific to the time the sites were sampled, between 1995 and 2002. The strategy for sampling in 2003/2004 was to revisit a subset of characterised sites to determine what changes in soil quality characteristics had occurred since the initial sampling. The rates and direction of changes in soil quality properties are useful to determine which land managements are sustainable in the longer term, and whether undesirable trends are emerging.Pastoral land uses dominate in the region and this land use was targeted for resampling. Soil quality on the sites was appraised using a set of soil chemical, physical and biological indicators tested in the 500 Soils Project (Hill et al. 2003).

Implementing Soil Quality Indicators For Land : Waikato Region 2003-2004
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements i
Summary v
Project and Client v
Objectives v
Methods v
Results v
Conclusions vi
Recommendations vi
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Objectives 1
2 Methods 1
2.1 Soil sampling 1
2.2 Soil-quality measurements 2
2.3 Analyses 2
Chemical properties 2
Biochemical properties 3
Physical properties 3
2.4 Statistics and data display 3
3 Results 3
3.1 Soils and sites 3
3.2 Chemical and physical characteristics 4
3.3 Change in soil quality characteristic over time 5
4 Discussion 15
5 Conclusions 15
6 Recommendations 15
References 16
Appendix I: Soil Analysis Results 17
Appendix II: Site and Soil Profile Descriptions 20
13 Waikato Sites for Soil Quality Assessment 20
Site: EW03-1 21
Site: EW03-2 22
Site: EW03-3 23
Site: EW03-4 24
Site: EW03-5 25
Site: EW03-6 26
Site: EW03-7 27
Site: EW03-8 28
Site: EW03-9 29
Site: EW03-10 30
Site: EW03-11 31
Site: EW03-12 33
Site: EW03-13 35
Appendix III: Changes in soil quality characteristics on a site by site basis 36