Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Digital Mapping of Habitat for Plant Communities Based on Soil Functions: A Case Study in the Virgin Forest-Steppe of Russia
Previous Article in Journal
Carbaryl Photochemical Degradation on Soil Model Surfaces
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

How and to What Extent Does Topography Control the Results of Soil Function Assessment: A Case Study From the Alps in South Tyrol (Italy)

Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soil Syst. 2019, 3(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3010018
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Soil Mapping of Soil Functions)
  |  
PDF [8942 KB, uploaded 5 March 2019]
  |  

Abstract

Soil function assessments (SFA) are becoming increasingly important as a tool to integrate soil-related issues in decision-making processes in order to maintain soil quality. We present the SEPP (Soil Evaluation for Planning Procedures) tool, which calculates a level of fulfillment for 14 soil functions based on the information generally collected in soil pit descriptions. By using a statistical modeling approach based on support vector machine classification, we investigate how and to what extent topography, as representated by local terrain parameters and landform classes computed with the GRASS GIS tool r.geomorphon algorithm, controls soil parameters and hence the output of the SEPP tool. A feature selection procedure is applied which highlights those topographic attributes best suited for modeling the various soil function fulfillment levels. By evaluating the model for each soil function using cross-validation we show that the prediction accuracy varies from function to function. While some terrain attributes are directly implemented in the SFA algorithms of SEPP, others are implemented indirectly due to the link between topography and land use. Minimal curvature and slope were found to be first indicators of function fulfillment level for a number of soil functions. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil function assessment; digital terrain analysis; support vector machine classification; feature selection; topographic control soil function assessment; digital terrain analysis; support vector machine classification; feature selection; topographic control
Figures

Figure 1

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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Gruber, F.E.; Schaber, E.; Baruck, J.; Geitner, C. How and to What Extent Does Topography Control the Results of Soil Function Assessment: A Case Study From the Alps in South Tyrol (Italy). Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 18.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Soil Syst. EISSN 2571-8789 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top