Making quantitative evaluations of the environmental functions of the soil in a quantitative way is an urgent necessity for transitioning towards the sustainable use of soils. The objective of this work was to use and improve the Soil and Environment software for soils of volcanic areas, for which the software was not designed to work on. The study was conducted in the volcanic area of Michoacan, Mexico. Nine soil profiles were described; samples were taken from each horizon and the physical and chemical properties of each sample were analyzed. The Soil and Environment software was used to conduct pedoecological evaluations of the soil samples and, subsequently, an evaluation of the environmental functions of the soils and the modeling of scenarios was carried out. The soil profiles studied showed variable properties of hydraulic conductivity, field capacity, air capacity, effective cation exchange capacity, and soil organic carbon. The soils showed very high nutrient retention, high naturalness and sorption of heavy metals, and low cultural and natural archive properties. The Soil and Environment software generally works well with soils of volcanic areas; however, we suggest improvements in the evaluation method of the following functions: naturalness and agricultural quality. Additionally, the estimating method of aeration capacity and hydraulic conductivity should be calibrated for the properties of the volcanic soils. The modeling of scenarios allowed us to identify the soil profiles that are most vulnerable to degradation. The modeling of scenarios provided a clear idea of the negative and positive effects that a change in soil use would have.
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.