LAND AND SOIL MANAGEMENT

AGR3LS

2019

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject covers chemical, physical and biological aspects of soil and uses a field study of lime plotsĀ at the university farm to illustrate concepts. The importance of nutrient recycling and carbon dynamics in sustainable land use, and their impacts on the environment are studied. Management of land degradation including soil acidification, subsoil constraints and soil contamination is also an important component.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorCaixian Tang

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites AGR2ILM or AGR2ILS or AGR2SS

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjects AGR3LSM, AGR3SS

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsScientific writing = Thinking in wordsRecommendedDavid LindsayCSIRO Publishing
ReadingsSoils: Their properties and managementRecommendedCharman PEV and Murphy BW 20073RD EDN, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
ReadingsThe nature and properties of soilsRecommendedBrady, NC and Weil, RR 201614th EDN revised, PEARSON PRENTICE HALL.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Analyze soil properties as affected by long-term lime application and relate to strategies for management of soil acidity to improve plant growth and nodulation of legume plants.

Activities:
In lectures, students will be instructed in major soil properties and their measurements, the importance of nutrient recycling and carbon dynamics in sustainable land use, and their impacts on the environment, land degradation and management. Students will be instructed in sources of variation in soil with depth and across the field and how these affect soil sampling procedures, plant growth and land-use. In laboratory classes, students will measure major properties of soils sampled from the lime plots and link these measurements with management of soil acidity in regular lab reports. Results of the study are presented in a group paper.

02. Work effectively as a team member to communicate scientific results in oral and written formats.

Activities:
Students are allocated to groups and given instruction on group/team dynamics. The skills required for a group oral presentation are outlined. Ability to work as a team is indicated by the cohesiveness of the oral presentation and the group scientific paper and, students peer review each team member.

03. Explain the development and variation of soil properties and processes and critically review their management in farming systems/sustainable land use.

Activities:
In lectures, students will be instructed in major soil properties and their measurements, the importance of nutrient recycling and carbon dynamics in sustainable land use, and their impacts on the environment, land degradation and management. Students will also be instructed in contemporary land degradation issues, and the relevance to plant growth and agricultural production. These concepts will be further explored in the lime project and scientific writing.

04. Generate and critically evaluate datasets and effectively communicate scientific results using tables and graphs.

Activities:
Lectures and laboratory classes. In lectures, students will be instructed in a) the needs of plant growth as provided by soil, and b) nutrient cycles and assessment of nutrient availability, and their relevance to agriculture and the environment. These concepts will be reinforced in laboratory classes.

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2019, Semester 2, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment size65

Enrolment information Quota is due to limited laboratory space Merit based quota. Priority is given to students admitted in SBAG, SBS (Agricultural Science or Environmental Geoscience major), SZAGB, SZAGID and LZCAG for which this subject is core, then all other degrees

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorCaixian Tang

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
Three 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Practical Week: 31 - 43
One 3.0 hours practical per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Computer Laboratory Week: 31 - 43
One 3.0 hours computer laboratory per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
2 hour end-of-semester exam50 01, 03
Three Laboratory reports and quizzes (300-words equivalent each, total 900-words equiv.))Individual written submissions.27 01, 04
One group oral presentation on lime project (400-words equivalent per student)Marks for teamwork are included in this component.8 02
One group scientific paper on lime project (800-words per student)Students may write and submit the paper individually.15 01, 02