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Soil quality in the Waikato region in 2004: Changes since 1997-1999

TR 2005/46

Report: TR05/46

Author: Graham Sparling (Landcare Research)


Environment Waikato undertakes regular soil sampling to assess soil quality in the region using a network of around 80 sites. This network of sites, established between 1995 and 2002, provide a snapshot of soil quality at the time of sampling on a range of soils and land uses relevant to the region.

To determine what changes in soil quality have occurred since the original samplings, Environment Waikato started a systematic resampling in 2003-2004 of some of those original sites. The rates and direction of changes in soil quality properties are useful to determine whether undesirable trends are emerging, and suggest which land managements are sustainable in the longer term.

The strategy for 2004-2005 was to expand the number of resampled of sites to establish whether changes noted of other sites resampled in 2003-2004 were occurring elsewhere. Soil quality on all sites was appraised using previously established sampling protocols and analytical methods for soil chemical, physical and biological characteristics.

Soil Quality in the Waikato Region in 2004 : Changes Since 1997-1999 [PDF, 159 KB]

Acknowledgements i
Summary v
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
2.3.1 Chemical properties 2
2.3.2 Biochemical properties 3
2.3.3 Physical properties 3
2.4 Statistics and data display 3
2.5 Target ranges 3
3 Results 3
3.1 Soils and sites 3
3.2 Current chemical and physical characteristics 3
3.3 Changes in soil quality since previous sampling 4
4 Discussion 17
5 Conclusions 17
6 Recommendations 17
References 19
Appendix I: Soil profiles and site descriptions for new sites in 2004 21
Appendix II: Soil chemical analyses 2004 25
Appendix III: Soil physical analyses 2004 27