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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

New indices for quantifying the resistance and resilience of soil biota to exogenous disturbances

Orwin KH, Wardle DA


The stability (resistance and resilience to disturbance) of a soil system is a key factor influencing ecosystem properties and processes. To compare the stability of different systems, it is necessary to have indices that provide a relative quantitative measure of both the resistance and resilience of a response variable in all possible scenarios. However, the indices currently in use are frequently unable to do this, or are difficult to interpret. Here, we present new indices that avoid these problems. We compare our indices with previously published indices of stability, and also test their performance by using a real data set. We show that our indices accurately represent the response of soil properties (e.g. soil microbial biomass) to a disturbance, and that they are capable of determining differences in stability between contrasting soils. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Soil Biology and Biochemistry
2004, volume: 36, number: 11, pages: 1907-1912

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Vegetation Ecology
Orwin, K H
Orwin, Kate

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


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