SBL-21806 Soil Quality


Studiepunten 6.00

Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. JW van Groenigen
M Jaartsveld
Lecturer(s)dr. GF Koopmans
dr. ir. JW van Groenigen
Examiner(s)dr. ir. JW van Groenigen

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

PEN-10503 Ecology , SOC-22803 Introduction to Soil Chemical, Physical and Biological Processes, SOC-22306 Chemical Processes in Soil, Water, Atmosphere.

Continuation courses:

SBL-32806 Biological Interactions in Soil; SOQ-34806 Applications in Soil and Water Chemistry; SBL-31806 Nutrient Management; SBL-35306 The Carbon Dilemma; SOC-36306 Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate Change Mitigation.


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with SOC-21306 Soil Pollution and Soil Protection

The dynamics of nutrients and contaminants within the terrestrial ecosystem including the groundwater and their relationship with soil biota are explained and related to actual environmental issues such as mobility, bioavailability, soil quality assessment, soil remediation, and nature restoration. Soil quality aspects are discussed with a focus on nature, agriculture and the environment. Actual environmental issues regarding nutrients (in surplus as well as limiting supplies) and contaminants are presented and explained. Soil quality standards are discussed in relation to chemical compound behaviour, risk assessment protocols, and fertilizer recommendations. An outline is given of the policy legislation.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe and explain the concept of biological and chemical soil quality and their interrelations;
- describe and discuss relevance, advantages and disadvantages of the use of various soil quality indicators;
- evaluate soil quality in the fields of environmental pollution, sustainable agriculture, land use change, and climate change;
- execute and analyse scientific experiments on contaminant bioavailability;
- report on experimental results in the framework of soil quality evaluation.


The lectures provide students with pertinent knowledge. In the practical a selection of techniques used in soil chemical and biological research is demonstrated and applied. In the tutorials hands-on exercises will be used to show their contribution to desk studies.


- written examination (60%);
- practical report (40%).
- written examination is open-book examination.
You are allowed to bring with you reader, practical manual, PowerPoint of lectures with your notes.
Minimum requirement for written examination and practical report is ≥ 5.0; minimum requirement for the combination is ≥ 5.5.


Reader Soil Quality and Practical manual Soil Quality.

Verplicht voor: BSWSoil, Water, AtmosphereBSc5MO
Keuze voor: MESEnvironmental SciencesMScA: Spec. A - Environmental Quality5MO
MESEnvironmental SciencesMScA: Spec. A - Environmental Quality5MO
Keuze voor: WULEABSc Minor Living Earth5MO