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Open AccessArticle

On Soil Capability, Capacity, and Condition

School of Life and Environmental Sciences & Sydney Institute of Agriculture, The University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
Soil Health Institute, Raleigh, NC 27560, USA
Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison, WI 53706, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3350;
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "Soil Security and Planetary Health Conference")
PDF [1617 KB, uploaded 20 June 2019]


The role of soil in the existential environmental problems of declining biodiversity, climate change, water and energy security, impacting on food security has highlighted the need to link the soil functions to ecosystem services. We describe and illustrate by a limited example, the concepts and assessment of soil’s capacity measured through its capability and condition as contributors to an overall soil security framework. The framework is based on the concepts of genosoils and phenosoils. The links to other notions, such as threats to soil and soil functions are made. The framework can be potentially applied elsewhere to quantify soil changes under natural processes and human activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil capability; soil condition; soil capacity; soil health; soil quality; soil functions; soil security soil capability; soil condition; soil capacity; soil health; soil quality; soil functions; soil security

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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McBratney, A.B.; Field, D.; Morgan, C.L.; Huang, J. On Soil Capability, Capacity, and Condition. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3350.

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