This project developed a harmonized set of soil property estimates for Latin America and the Caribbean. The database can be used for broad scale agro-ecological zoning, land evaluation, crop growth simulation, modelling of soil carbon stocks and change, and analyses of environmental change.
The land surface of Latin America and the Caribbean has been characterized using 1585 unique SOTER units, corresponding with 5855 polygons. The major soils have been described using 1660 profiles, selected by national soil experts as being representative for these units. The associated soil analytical data have been derived from soil survey reports. These sources seldom hold all the physical and chemical attributes ideally required by SOTER. Gaps in the measured soil profile data have been filled using a step-wise procedure that uses taxotransfer rules, based on about 9600 soil profiles held in the WISE database, complemented with expert-rules.
Property estimates are presented by soil unit for fixed depth intervals of 0.2 m to 1 m depth for: organic carbon, total nitrogen, pH(H2O), CECsoil, CECclay, base saturation, effective CEC, aluminium saturation, CaCO3 content, gypsum content, exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), electrical conductivity of saturated paste (ECe), bulk density, content of sand, silt and clay, content of coarse fragments (> 2 mm), and available water capacity (-33 to -1500 kPa). These attributes have been identified as being useful for agro-ecological zoning, land evaluation, crop growth simulation, modelling of soil carbon stocks and change, and analyses of global environmental change.
Results are presented as summary files and can be linked to the 1:5M scale SOTERLAC map in a GIS, through the unique SOTER-unit code.