Higher temperatures and a drier climate will change the unique relationships that soil organisms have with plants. The loss of plants – within both natural and agricultural system, will most likely increase the impact and extent of the soil threats listed above. Indirect impacts of climate change such as bushfires and flooding will also have direct erosion impacts.
Soil is important to the region for its important environmental and economic roles and as a result is a fundamental base for all life. Soil acts as medium for the region’s native plants and farming crops, it recycles nutrients and organic wastes, it acts as a filter to improve water quality and is habitat for many important organisms that, in turn, play important roles in both natural and farming ecosystems.
Soil types in the Corangamite region reflect the great diversity of their geological origins, landforms, climate, age and degree of weathering. Over 200 soil-landform types in the region have been identified and mapped (Clarkson, 2007).
Threats to the region’s soil health, in priority order (as listed in the Corangamite Soil Health Strategy), include landslides, water erosion (including sheet/rill and gully/tunnel), acid sulphate soils, soil structure decline, waterlogging, nutrient decline, soil acidification and wind erosion.
More information on the region’s coastal assets can be found in the Corangamite CMA’s Soil Health Knowledgebase at www.ccma.vic.gov.au/soilhealth/