Arecent publication on multiscale landscape analysis defined soils as “four dimensional natural bodies … with the key characteristic of varying with place and time” (Sommer, 2006). Such variation affects how observations are interpreted regarding the evolution, diversity, and dynamics of the soil ecosystem (Heuvelink and Webster, 2001). Soil variability has often been considered to be composed of “functional” (explained) variations plus random fluctuations or noise. However, the distinction between these two components is scale dependent because increasing the scale of observation almost always reveals structure in the noise (Burrough, 1983). Soils can be...

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