Criteria for the Evaluation of the Soil Functions 2010


The condition of a soil greatly influences its functions that play a vital role in the ecosystem. Ten Environmental Atlas maps and their descriptions outline which “Criteria for the Evaluation of the Soil Functions” are drawn upon and how they are determined.

Due to its unique landscape history dating back to the Ice Age and Holocene, Berlin’s soils contain a variety of distinct geomorphological characteristics, such as dunes, which you would not necessarily expect to find in a large city. Check out the sub-map “Special Natural Character” to discover where to find soils with such distinct characteristics. The topic “Near Natural Quality” indicates the extent to which a soil has been altered or even destroyed by human influence.

The “Regional Rarity of Soil Associations” specifies how rare a soil association is in the urban area, which, in turn, makes it special. The “Exchange Frequency of Soil Water” indicates how long a soil can retain water. The “Nutrient Storage / Pollutant Binding Capacity” presents the extent to which nutrients and pollutants are bound to the soil or are mobile.

The “Nutrient Supply” and “Water Supply” specify the number of ions and the volume of water available in the soil for plant growth. The “Filtration Capacity” indicates how much water can be filtered through the soil. The “Binding Strength for Heavy Metals” outlines the degree to which these can be bound to the soil. The “Buffering Capacity in the Organic Carbon Balance” presents the extent to which a soil can store organic carbon.