Soil Management


NRM N5120 Soil Management
Exam Code 5120
Credit Points 5 ECTS
Term Summer
Module Coordination Dr. Udo Nehren
Lecturers Dr. Udo Nehren, Prof. Dagmar Gaese, Prof. Wolfgang Kath-Peterson
Workload (h) 45 Attendance 105 Self-Study
Prerequisites None
Intended Learning Outcome Students are able to analyze processes, functions and potential uses of soils by

  • characterizing chemical, physical, and biological soil properties and processes,
  • comparing different soil management practices, and
  • identifying causes of soil degradation and the potential for soil restoration measures

in order to  develop sustainable soil and land management practices in tropical and subtropical environments.

Content Block I: Soil development and properties

  • Soil as a system
  • Rocks, minerals and soils
  • Soil development
  • Clay minerals
  • Organic substance in soils
  • The soil profile
  • Soil chemical properties and processes
  • Soil physical properties and processes
  • Soil biological properties and processes

Block II: Soil classification and soils of the tropics and subtropics

  • Soil mapping
  • Soil classification systems
  • Major soils orders according to FAO/WRB and US Soil Taxonomy
  • Major soils of the tropics and subtropics, their distribution, characteristics, land use potential, and vulnerability

Block III: Soil management

  • Principles of soil management
  • Managing soils of humid and semi-humid regions
  • Managing soils of arid and semi-arid regions
  • Managing soils of the Mediterranean regions

Block IV: Soil degradation and restoration

  • Soil degradation as a global environmental problem
  • Soil erosion – social and ecological implications
  • Soil compaction: causes, effects, prevention
  • Salinization in arid lands and in coastal areas
  • Desertification in semi-arid regions
  • Soil restoration practices in degraded lands
Teaching Method Lectures, field trips, exercises and case studies
Assesment Method Written exam 100%
Recommended Reading

Brady, N.C. & R.R. Weil (2010): Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soils (3rd Edition), Prentice Hall

FAO (2006): World reference base for soil resources 2006, A framework for international classification, correlation and communication, Rome

IUSS Working Group WRB. 2015. World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2014, update 2015. International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps.
World Soil Resources Reports No. 106. FAO, Rome.

Juo, A.S.R. & K. Franzluebbers (2003): Tropical Soils: Properties and Management for Sustainable Agriculture (Topics in Sustainable Agronomy)”, Oxford University Press

Plaster, EJ (2003): Soil Science and Management, Delmare Learning

Schaetzl, R.J., L. Michael & L. Thompson (2015) Soils – Genesis and Geomorhology. Cambridge University Press, Second Edition.

Sumner, M.E. (1999): Handbook of Soil Science, Crc Press

Zech, W. & G. Hintermaier-Erhard (2008): Soils of the world, Spektrum

Version 12.11.2015

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