Introduction: There are few cases in which the environmental functions of soils have been
quantitatively evaluated using data from soil profile descriptions.
Objective: The environmental functions of seven peasants land classes (Barrosa, Polvilla, Charanda,
Tocura, Cementante, Polvilla/Barrosa and Polvilla/Charanda) in the Zicuirán-Infiernillo biosphere,
Mexico, were evaluated in order to propose a more rational use of the soils.
Materials and methods: Soil & Environment® software was used to evaluate the soil function in
the water cycle, food and biomass production, nutrient cycle, habitat for flora and fauna, habitat
for human life and torrential rainfall infiltration.
Results and discussion: The Barrosa land class, distributed in the valley, has the most suitable
environmental levels, followed by the Polvilla-Barrosa class with very high capacity in terms of
torrential rainfall infiltration, and the Tocura and Polvilla-Charanda classes with high suitability in
the same environmental function. Next is the Charanda class, suitable for the production of food
and biomass and as a component of the nutrient cycle; finally, with more restricted suitability, in
general terms, there is the Polvilla class that stands out as a flora and fauna habitat.
Conclusion: The Barrosa and Charanda land classes have the greatest potential as food and
biomass producers, and as a component of the nutrient cycle; however, these classes correspond
to the area with the largest human settlements, which could cause problems in the supply of
agricultural and livestock products.