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Chapter 4: The Soils of Dutchess County, NY

Chapter 4: The Soils of Dutchess County, NY

Chapter 4: The Soils of Dutchess County,

Chapter 4: The Soils of Dutchess County Chapter 4: The Soils of Dutchess County, NY ______________________________________________________________________________ Jeff Walker, Ed Hoxsie, and Peter Groffman 1 May 2010 INTRODUCTION TO SOILS Soils are the unconsolidated weathered material that covers the surface of the earth. Soils act as a substrate for growing food crops. They also support building foundations, filter groundwater recharge, and sustain vegetation and wildlife habitats. An understanding of soil properties and limitations contributes to the intelligent use and preservation of those natural resources that depend upon the soil. Chapter Contents Introduction to Soils Soil Survey of Dutchess County, NY Trends and Changes Seen Over Time Implications For Decision-Making Resources Soils can be classified according to any number of different parameters. For the purposes of this report, three classifications of soils will be emphasized: by map units based on their physical properties, by hydrologic properties, and by their appropriateness for agricultural activities. 1 This chapter was written during 2009 and 2010 by Dr. Jeff Walker, (Department of Earth Science & Geography, Vassar College), with valuable input from Ed Hoxsie (Director of the Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District) and Dr. Peter M. Groffman (Microbial Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies). It is an updated and expanded version of the soils chapter of the 1985 document Natural Resources, Dutchess County, NY (NRI). Natural Resource Inventory of Dutchess County, NY 1

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