Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (12): 1859-1869.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201512001

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Soil security: From Earth's critical zone to ecosystem services

Yongguan ZHU1,2(), Gang LI1, Ganlin ZHANG3, Bojie FU2,4()   

  1. 1. Key Lab of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, CAS, Xiamen 361021, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, CAS, Beijing 100085, China
    3. Institute of Soil Science, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    4. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2015-11-05 Revised:2015-11-20 Online:2015-12-25 Published:2016-01-05


Soil is an important natural resource that humans rely on and civilization is based upon. As the critical component of the Earth's critical zone, pedosphere is most active in Earth's surface system. Moreover, soil processes are considered as the control point for the flows and transformations of material, energy and information. In wake of the increasing attention to soil's multi-functions, traditional soil concept on its functions and roles is being challenged. Therefore, the concept of soil security is proposed, which is a strategic framework with the aim of soil sustainable development, and it can provide guidelines for the sustainable utilization and conservation of soil resources. In this review, the connotations of Earth's critical zone and soil security, and the difference and close relationship between each other are discussed. The ecosystem services in the framework of soil security are summarized. Finally, perspectives on future soil security research needs in the context of ecosystem services are proposed.

Key words: pedosphere, soil security, Earth's critical zone, ecosystem services