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Sample records for agricultural soil management

  1. Assessing different agricultural managements with the use of soil quality indices in a Mediteranean calcareous soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Arcenegui, Vicky; Cerdà, Artemi

    2013-04-01

    Soil erosion is a major problem in the Mediterranean region due to the arid conditions and torrential rainfalls, which contribute to the degradation of agricultural land. New strategies must be developed to reduce soil losses and recover or maintain soil functionality in order to achieve a sustainable agriculture. An experiment was designed to evaluate the effect of different agricultural management on soil properties and soil quality. Ten different treatments (contact herbicide, systemic herbicide, ploughing, Oat mulch non-plough, Oats mulch plough, leguminous plant, straw rice mulch, chipped pruned branches, residual-herbicide and agro geo-textile, and three control plots including no tillage or control and long agricultural abandonment (shrub on marls and shrub on limestone) were established in 'El Teularet experimental station' located in the Sierra de Enguera (Valencia, Spain). The soil is a Typic Xerorthent developed over Cretaceous marls in an old agricultural terrace. The agricultural management can modify the soil equilibrium and affect its quality. In this work two soil quality indices (models) developed by Zornoza et al. (2007) are used to evaluate the effects of the different agricultural management along 4 years. The models were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed forest soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. Model 1, that explained 92% of the variance in soil organic carbon (SOC) showed that the SOC can be calculated by the linear combination of 6 physical, chemical and biochemical properties (acid phosphatase, water holding capacity (WHC), electrical conductivity (EC), available phosphorus (P), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and aggregate stability (AS). Model 2 explains 89% of the SOC variance, which can be calculated by means of 7 chemical and biochemical properties (urease, phosphatase, and ß-glucosidase activities, pH, EC, P and CEC). We use the

  2. Assessing different agricultural managements with the use of soil quality indices in a Mediteranean calcareous soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Arcenegui, Vicky; Cerdà, Artemi

    2013-04-01

    Soil erosion is a major problem in the Mediterranean region due to the arid conditions and torrential rainfalls, which contribute to the degradation of agricultural land. New strategies must be developed to reduce soil losses and recover or maintain soil functionality in order to achieve a sustainable agriculture. An experiment was designed to evaluate the effect of different agricultural management on soil properties and soil quality. Ten different treatments (contact herbicide, systemic herbicide, ploughing, Oat mulch non-plough, Oats mulch plough, leguminous plant, straw rice mulch, chipped pruned branches, residual-herbicide and agro geo-textile, and three control plots including no tillage or control and long agricultural abandonment (shrub on marls and shrub on limestone) were established in 'El Teularet experimental station' located in the Sierra de Enguera (Valencia, Spain). The soil is a Typic Xerorthent developed over Cretaceous marls in an old agricultural terrace. The agricultural management can modify the soil equilibrium and affect its quality. In this work two soil quality indices (models) developed by Zornoza et al. (2007) are used to evaluate the effects of the different agricultural management along 4 years. The models were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed forest soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. Model 1, that explained 92% of the variance in soil organic carbon (SOC) showed that the SOC can be calculated by the linear combination of 6 physical, chemical and biochemical properties (acid phosphatase, water holding capacity (WHC), electrical conductivity (EC), available phosphorus (P), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and aggregate stability (AS). Model 2 explains 89% of the SOC variance, which can be calculated by means of 7 chemical and biochemical properties (urease, phosphatase, and ß-glucosidase activities, pH, EC, P and CEC). We use the

  3. Acid precipitation impacts on agricultural soil management practices

    SciTech Connect

    Moskowitz, P.D.; Medeiros, W.H.; Coveney, E.A.; Lewin, K.F.; Rosenthal, R.E.

    1986-02-01

    Acid precipitation can have positive (reduced nitrogen fertilizer requirements) and negative (increased need to neutralize soil acidity) impacts on agricultural soil management practices. This paper compares the total annual deposition of nitrogen in acid precipitation with farmer applied fertilizer use and with nitrogen uptake for major crops. It also estimates the amount of lime needed to neutralize soil acidity originating from wet H/sup +/ deposition. First-order estimates indicate that the quantity of nitrogen annually deposited in the eastern US by wet acid deposition on croplands is 6% of the amount applied as fertilizer. Nitrogen deposited as wet deposition may be relatively important to unmanaged nonleguminous crops (e.g., hay) which are grown over extensive land areas. Soil acidity, which can be increased by natural (e.g., nitrogen fixation) and anthropogenic mechanisms (e.g., fertilizer application, acidic deposition) is often neutralized by the application of lime. Estimates indicate that in the eastern US, approx.2% of applied lime is used to neutralize acidity caused by wet acid deposition.

  4. Soil Management Effects on Gas Fluxes from an Organic Soil Agricultural System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jennewein, S. P.; Bhadha, J. H.; Lang, T. A.; Singh, M.; Daroub, S. H.; McCray, M.

    2015-12-01

    The role of soil management on gas flux isn't well understood for Histosols of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) of southern Florida. The region is responsible for roughly half of sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) production in the USA along with supplying winter vegetable crops to the eastern USA. Future productivity in the EAA is jeopardized by soil subsidence resulting from oxidation of organic matter. Establishing the role of tillage, water-table depth, nitrogen fertilizer, and soil depth on gas flux will help determine how effective various managements are on conserving soil. Ongoing lysimeter and field studies examined effects of management practices (water-table, tillage, and nitrogen fertilizer), and soil depth on, gas emission and microbial biomass. The trials were set in Belle Glade, FL, on Lauderhill muck (Lithic Haplosaprists). Results to be presented include soil microbial biomass and soil gas (CO2, CH4, and N2O) flux. This study provides insight into management effectiveness and agriculture sustainability on shallow muck soils of the EAA and will help farmers mitigate problems associated with soil subsidence and seasonally high water-tables.

  5. Modelling the effect of agricultural management practices on soil organic carbon stocks: does soil erosion matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadeu, Elisabet; Van Wesemael, Bas; Van Oost, Kristof

    2014-05-01

    Over the last decades, an increasing number of studies have been conducted to assess the effect of soil management practices on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. At regional scales, biogeochemical models such as CENTURY or Roth-C have been commonly applied. These models simulate SOC dynamics at the profile level (point basis) over long temporal scales but do not consider the continuous lateral transfer of sediment that takes place along geomorphic toposequences. As a consequence, the impact of soil redistribution on carbon fluxes is very seldom taken into account when evaluating changes in SOC stocks due to agricultural management practices on the short and long-term. To address this gap, we assessed the role of soil erosion by water and tillage on SOC stocks under different agricultural management practices in the Walloon region of Belgium. The SPEROS-C model was run for a 100-year period combining three typical crop rotations (using winter wheat, winter barley, sugar beet and maize) with three tillage scenarios (conventional tillage, reduced tillage and reduced tillage in combination with additional crop residues). The results showed that including soil erosion by water in the simulations led to a general decrease in SOC stocks relative to a baseline scenario (where no erosion took place). The SOC lost from these arable soils was mainly exported to adjacent sites and to the river system by lateral fluxes, with magnitudes differing between crop rotations and in all cases lower under conservation tillage practices than under conventional tillage. Although tillage erosion plays an important role in carbon redistribution within fields, lateral fluxes induced by water erosion led to a higher spatial and in-depth heterogeneity of SOC stocks with potential effects on the soil water holding capacity and crop yields. This indicates that studies assessing the effect of agricultural management practices on SOC stocks and other soil properties over the landscape should

  6. Effect of land management on soil microbial properties in agricultural terraces of Eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Cerdà, Artemi; Garcia-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2014-05-01

    Soil quality is important for the sustainable development of terrestrial ecosystems. Agricultural land management is one of most important anthropogenic activities that greatly alters soil characteristics, including physical, chemical, and microbiological properties. The unsuitable land management can lead to a soil fertility loss and to a reduction in the abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms. However, ecological practices and some organic amendments can promote the activities of soil microbial communities, and increase its biodiversity. The microbial soil communities are the most sensitive and rapid indicators of perturbations in land use and soil enzyme activities are sensitive biological indicators of the effects of soil management practices. In this study, a field experiment was performed at clay-loam agricultural soil with an orchard of orange trees in Alcoleja (eastern Spain) to assess the long-term effects of inorganic fertilizers (F), intensive ploughing (P) and sustainable agriculture (S) on the soil microbial biomass carbon (Cmic), enzyme activities (Urease, ß-glucosidase and phosphatase), basal soil repiration (BSR) and the relationship between them, and soil fertility in agro-ecosystems of Spain. Nine soil samples were taken from each agricultural management plot. In all the samples were determined the basal soil respiration, soil microbial biomass carbon, water holding capacity, electrical conductivity, soil organic carbon, nitrogen, available phosphorus, aggregate stability, cation exchange capacity, phosphorous, pH, texture, carbonates, active limestone and as enzimatic activities: Urease, ß-glucosidase and phosphatase. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial properties, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. The most marked variation in the different parameters studied appears to be related to sustainable agriculture terrace. The management

  7. Soil organic carbon fractionation for improving agricultural soil quality diagnosis in different management practices.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigalet, Sylvain; Chartin, Caroline; Kruger, Inken; Carnol, Monique; Van Oost, Kristof; van Wesemael, Bas

    2016-04-01

    Preserving ecosystem functions of soil organic matter (SOM) in soils is a key challenge. The need for an efficient diagnosis of SOM state in agricultural soils is a priority in order to facilitate the detection of changes in soil quality as a result of changes in management practices. The nature of SOM is complex and cannot readily be monitored due to the heterogeneity of its components. Assessment of the SOM level dynamics, typically characterized as the bulk soil organic carbon (SOC), can be refined by taking into account carbon pools with different turnover rates and stability. Fractionating bulk SOC in meaningful soil organic fractions helps to better diagnose SOC status. By separating carbon associated with clay and fine silt particles (stable carbon with slow turnover rate) and carbon non-associated with this fraction (labile and intermediate carbon with higher turnover rates), effects of management can be detected more efficiently at different spatial and temporal scales. Until now, most work on SOC fractionation has focused on small spatial scales along management or time gradients. The present case study focuses on SOC fractionation applied in order to refine the interpretation of organic matter turnover and SOC sequestration for regional units in Wallonia with comparable climate, management and, to a certain extent, soil conditions. In each unit, random samples from specific land uses are analyzed in order to assess the Normal Operative Ranges (NOR) of SOC fraction contents for each unit and land use combination. Thus, SOC levels of the different fractions of a specific field in a given unit can be compared to its corresponding NOR. It will help to better diagnose agricultural soil quality in terms of organic carbon compared to a bulk SOC diagnosis.

  8. Nematode Communities in Organically and Conventionally Managed Agricultural Soils

    PubMed Central

    Neher, Deborah A.

    1999-01-01

    Interpretation of nematode community indices requires a reference to a relatively undisturbed community. Maturity and trophic diversity index values were compared for five pairs of certified organically and conventionally managed soils in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Available nitrogen (nitrate, ammonium) was estimated at various lag periods relative to times of sampling for nematode communities to determine the strength of correlative relationship between nematode communities and nitrogen availability. Soils were sampled six times yearly in 1993 and 1994 to determine the best time of year to sample. Maturity values for plant parasites were greater in organically than conventionally managed soils, and differences between management systems were greater in fall than spring months. However, other maturity and diversity indices did not differ between the two management practices. Differences in crop species grown in the two systems accounted for most differences observed in the community of plant-parasitic nematodes. Indices of free-living nematodes were correlated negatively with concentrations of ammonium, whereas indices of plant-parasitic nematodes were correlated positively with concentrations of nitrate. Due to the similarity of index values between the two systems, organically managed soils are not suitable reference sites for monitoring and assessing the biological aspects of soil quality for annually harvested crops. PMID:19270884

  9. Influence of sustainable management on aggregate stability and soil organic matter on agricultural soil of southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugan-Coronado, Alicia; Arcenegui, Victoria; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Gomez-Lucas, Ignacio; Garcia-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2016-04-01

    Intensive agriculture has increased crop yields but also posed severe environmental problems. Unsustainable land management such as excessive tillage can lead to a loss of soil fertility and a drastic reduction in the aggregate stability and soil organic matter content. However sustainable agriculture can keep good crop yields with minimal impact on ecological factors conserving the soil quality and its ecosystem services. Sustainable agriculture management promotes the maintenance of soil organic matter levels providing plant nutrients through the microbial decomposition of organic materials. Also this management has a positive effect on soil structure with the improvement of stability of aggregates. The resistance of soil aggregates to the slaking and dispersive effects of water (aggregate stability) is important for maintaining the structure in arable soils. Our purpose was to investigate and compare the effects of sustainable agricultural practices versus intensive agriculture on aggregate stability and soil organic matter. Three agricultural areas are being monitored in the southern of Spain, two of them with citrus orchards (AL) and (FE) and one with grapevine(PA). In all of them two agricultural treatments are being developed, organic with no-tillage management(O) and inorganic fertilization with herbicide application and intensive tillage (I). The sustainable agricultural management (manure, no tillage and vegetation cover) contributed to the improve of soil conditions, increasing organic matter and aggregate stability. Meanwhile, herbicide treatment and intensive tillage with inorganic fertilization managements resulted in the decreasing of aggregate stability and low levels of soil organic carbon. Soil organic matter content is generally low in all unsustainable treatments plots and tends to decline in aggregate stability and soil physical condition. In both treatments the crop yield are comparable.

  10. Biological and biochemical soil indicators: monitoring tools of different agricultural managements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, Riccardo; Sultana, Salma; Scelza, Rosalia; Marzaioli, Rossana; D'Ascoli, Rosaria; Rao, Maria A.

    2010-05-01

    The intensive agricultural managements, increased in the last twenty years, have resulted in a decrease in fertility of soils, representing a serious threat to agricultural productivity due to both the increase in production cost, mainly for intensive use of mineral fertilizers, and the loss of the quality of crops themselves. Organic matter content is closely related to the soil fertility and its progressive reduction in cultivates soils, without a satisfactory recovery, could make agriculture untenable, resulting in a high detrimental effect on environment. But an appropriate soil management practices can improve soil quality by utilizing organic amendments as alternative to mineral fertilizers to increase soil quality and plant growth. In this context, demand of suitable indicators, whose are able to assess the impact of different agricultural managements on soil quality, has increased. It has shown that soil biological and biochemical properties are able to respond to small changes in soil conditions, thus providing information on subtle alterations in soil quality. Aim of this study was to evaluate the use of soil biological and biochemical properties as fertility indicators in agricultural soils under different agricultural managements, sited in Campania Region (Southern Italy). After a preliminary monitoring phase of soil fertility on different farms sited in five agricultural areas of Campania Region, we have selected two farms in two different study areas to assess the effect on soil quality of different organic amendments. In particular, a compost from municipal solid waste and wood from scraps of poplars pruning were supplied in different doses and ratios. Soil samplings after one month from the amendment addition and then every 4 months until a year were carried out. All collected soil samples were characterized by main physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties. In general, the use of different organic amendments showed a positive effect

  11. Biological indicators of soil quality and soil organic matter characteristics in an agricultural management continuum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Relationships among biological indicators of soil quality and soil organic matter characteristics in a claypan soil were evaluated across a continuum of long-term agricultural practices in Missouri, USA. In addition to chemical and physical soil quality indicators, dehydrogenase and phenol oxidase a...

  12. Bacterial indicator of agricultural management for soil under no-till crop production.

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Eva L M; Guerrero, Leandro D; Rosa, Silvina M; Simonetti, Leandro; Duval, Matías E; Galantini, Juan A; Bedano, José C; Wall, Luis G; Erijman, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The rise in the world demand for food poses a challenge to our ability to sustain soil fertility and sustainability. The increasing use of no-till agriculture, adopted in many areas of the world as an alternative to conventional farming, may contribute to reduce the erosion of soils and the increase in the soil carbon pool. However, the advantages of no-till agriculture are jeopardized when its use is linked to the expansion of crop monoculture. The aim of this study was to survey bacterial communities to find indicators of soil quality related to contrasting agriculture management in soils under no-till farming. Four sites in production agriculture, with different soil properties, situated across a west-east transect in the most productive region in the Argentinean pampas, were taken as the basis for replication. Working definitions of Good no-till Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Poor no-till Agricultural Practices (PAP) were adopted for two distinct scenarios in terms of crop rotation, fertilization, agrochemicals use and pest control. Non-cultivated soils nearby the agricultural sites were taken as additional control treatments. Tag-encoded pyrosequencing was used to deeply sample the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria residing in soils corresponding to the three treatments at the four locations. Although bacterial communities as a whole appeared to be structured chiefly by a marked biogeographic provincialism, the distribution of a few taxa was shaped as well by environmental conditions related to agricultural management practices. A statistically supported approach was used to define candidates for management-indicator organisms, subsequently validated using quantitative PCR. We suggest that the ratio between the normalized abundance of a selected group of bacteria within the GP1 group of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genus Rubellimicrobium of the Alphaproteobacteria may serve as a potential management-indicator to discriminate between sustainable vs. non

  13. Active microbial soil communities in different agricultural managements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landi, S.; Pastorelli, R.

    2009-04-01

    We studied the composition of active eubacterial microflora by RNA extraction from soil (bulk and rhizosphere) under different environmental impact managements, in a hilly basin in Gallura (Sardinia). We contrasted grassy vineyard, in which the soil had been in continuous contact with plant roots for a long period of time, with traditional tilled vineyard. Moreover, we examined permanent grassland, in which plants had been present for some years, with temporary grassland, in which varying plants had been present only during the respective growing seasons. Molecular analysis of total population was carried out by electrophoretic separation by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of amplified cDNA fragments obtained from 16S rRNA. In vineyards UPGMA (Unweighted Pair Group Mathematical Average) analysis made up separate clusters depending on soil management. In spring both clusters showed similarity over 70%, while in autumn the similarity increased, 84% and 90% for grassy and conventional tilled vineyard respectively. Permanent and temporary grassland joined in a single cluster in spring, while in autumn a partial separation was evidenced. The grassy vineyard, permanent and temporary grassland showed higher richness and diversity Shannon-Weiner index values than vineyard with conventional tillage although no significant. In conclusion the expected effect of the rhizosphere was visible: the grass cover influenced positively the diversity of active microbial population.

  14. Organic matter composition of soil macropore surfaces under different agricultural management practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glæsner, Nadia; Leue, Marin; Magid, Jacob; Gerke, Horst H.

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the heterogeneous nature of soil, i.e. properties and processes occurring specifically at local scales is essential for best managing our soil resources for agricultural production. Examination of intact soil structures in order to obtain an increased understanding of how soil systems operate from small to large scale represents a large gap within soil science research. Dissolved chemicals, nutrients and particles are transported through the disturbed plow layer of agricultural soil, where after flow through the lower soil layers occur by preferential flow via macropores. Rapid movement of water through macropores limit the contact between the preferentially moving water and the surrounding soil matrix, therefore contact and exchange of solutes in the water is largely restricted to the surface area of the macropores. Organomineral complex coated surfaces control sorption and exchange properties of solutes, as well as availability of essential nutrients to plant roots and to the preferentially flowing water. DRIFT (Diffuse Reflectance infrared Fourier Transform) Mapping has been developed to examine composition of organic matter coated macropores. In this study macropore surfaces structures will be determined for organic matter composition using DRIFT from a long-term field experiment on waste application to agricultural soil (CRUCIAL, close to Copenhagen, Denmark). Parcels with 5 treatments; accelerated household waste, accelerated sewage sludge, accelerated cattle manure, NPK and unfertilized, will be examined in order to study whether agricultural management have an impact on the organic matter composition of intact structures.

  15. Soil and geography are more important determinants of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal communities than management practices in Swiss agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Jansa, Jan; Erb, Angela; Oberholzer, Hans-Rudolf; Smilauer, Petr; Egli, Simon

    2014-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are ubiquitous soil fungi, forming mutualistic symbiosis with a majority of terrestrial plant species. They are abundant in nearly all soils, less diverse than soil prokaryotes and other intensively studied soil organisms and thus are promising candidates for universal indicators of land management legacies and soil quality degradation. However, insufficient data on how the composition of indigenous AMF varies along soil and landscape gradients have hampered the definition of baselines and effect thresholds to date. Here, indigenous AMF communities in 154 agricultural soils collected across Switzerland were profiled by quantitative real-time PCR with taxon-specific markers for six widespread AMF species. To identify the key determinants of AMF community composition, the profiles were related to soil properties, land management and site geography. Our results indicate a number of well-supported dependencies between abundances of certain AMF taxa and soil properties such as pH, soil fertility and texture, and a surprising lack of effect of available soil phosphorus on the AMF community profiles. Site geography, especially the altitude and large geographical distance, strongly affected AMF communities. Unexpected was the apparent lack of a strong land management effect on the AMF communities as compared to the other predictors, which could be due to the rarity of highly intensive and unsustainable land management in Swiss agriculture. In spite of the extensive coverage of large geographical and soil gradients, we did not identify any taxon suitable as an indicator of land use among the six taxa we studied.

  16. Distribution of tetraether lipids in agricultural soils - differentiation between paddy and upland management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller-Niggemann, C.; Utami, S. R.; Marxen, A.; Mangelsdorf, K.; Bauersachs, T.; Schwark, L.

    2015-10-01

    Insufficient knowledge of the composition and variation of isoprenoid and branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) in agricultural soils exists, despite of the potential effect of different management types (e.g. soil/water and redox conditions, cultivated plants) on GDGT distribution. Here, we determined the influence of different soil management types on the GDGT composition in paddy (flooded) and adjacent upland (non-flooded) soils, and if available also forest, bushland and marsh soils. To compare the local effects on GDGT distribution patterns, we collected comparable soil samples in various locations from tropical (Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines) and subtropical (China and Italy) sites. We found that differences in the distribution of isoprenoid GDGTs (iGDGTs) as well as of branched GDGTs (brGDGTs) are predominantly controlled by management type and only secondarily by climatic exposition. In general upland soil had higher crenarchaeol contents than paddy soil, which on the contrary was more enriched in GDGT-0. The GDGT-0 / crenarchaeol ratio was 3-27 times higher in paddy soil and indicates the enhanced presence of methanogenic archaea, which were additionally linked to the number of rice cultivation cycles per year (higher number of cycles was coupled with an increase in the ratio). The TEX86 values were 1.3 times higher in upland, bushland and forest soils than in paddy soils. In all soils brGDGT predominated over iGDGTs, with the relative abundance of brGDGTs increasing from subtropical to tropical soils. Higher BIT values in paddy soils compared to upland soils together with higher BIT values in soil from subtropical climates indicate effects on the amounts of brGDGT through differences in management as well as climatic zones. In acidic soil CBT values correlated well with soil pH. In neutral to alkaline soils, however, no apparent correlation but an offset between paddy and upland managed soils was detected, which may suggest that soil

  17. How agricultural management shapes soil microbial communities: patterns emerging from genetic and genomic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, Amanda; Grandy, A. Stuart

    2016-04-01

    Agriculture is a predominant land use and thus a large influence on global carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) balances, climate, and human health. If we are to produce food, fiber, and fuel sustainably we must maximize agricultural yield while minimizing negative environmental consequences, goals towards which we have made great strides through agronomic advances. However, most agronomic strategies have been designed with a view of soil as a black box, largely ignoring the way management is mediated by soil biota. Because soil microbes play a central role in many of the processes that deliver nutrients to crops and support their health and productivity, agricultural management strategies targeted to exploit or support microbial activity should deliver additional benefits. To do this we must determine how microbial community structure and function are shaped by agricultural practices, but until recently our characterizations of soil microbial communities in agricultural soils have been largely limited to broad taxonomic classes due to methodological constraints. With advances in high-throughput genetic and genomic sequencing techniques, better taxonomic resolution now enables us to determine how agricultural management affects specific microbes and, in turn, nutrient cycling outcomes. Here we unite findings from published research that includes genetic or genomic data about microbial community structure (e.g. 454, Illumina, clone libraries, qPCR) in soils under agricultural management regimes that differ in type and extent of tillage, cropping selections and rotations, inclusion of cover crops, organic amendments, and/or synthetic fertilizer application. We delineate patterns linking agricultural management to microbial diversity, biomass, C- and N-content, and abundance of microbial taxa; furthermore, where available, we compare patterns in microbial communities to patterns in soil extracellular enzyme activities, catabolic profiles, inorganic nitrogen pools, and nitrogen

  18. Comparison of soil bacterial communities under diverse agricultural land management and crop production practices.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tiehang; Chellemi, Dan O; Graham, Jim H; Martin, Kendall J; Rosskopf, Erin N

    2008-02-01

    The composition and structure of bacterial communities were examined in soil subjected to a range of diverse agricultural land management and crop production practices. Length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) of bacterial DNA extracted from soil was used to generate amplicon profiles that were analyzed with univariate and multivariate statistical methods. Five land management programs were initiated in July 2000: conventional, organic, continuous removal of vegetation (disk fallow), undisturbed (weed fallow), and bahiagrass pasture (Paspalum notatum var Argentine). Similar levels in the diversity of bacterial 16S rDNA amplicons were detected in soil samples collected from organically and conventionally managed plots 3 and 4 years after initiation of land management programs, whereas significantly lower levels of diversity were observed in samples collected from bahiagrass pasture. Differences in diversity were attributed to effects on how the relative abundance of individual amplicons were distributed (evenness) and not on the total numbers of bacterial 16S rDNA amplicons detected (richness). Similar levels of diversity were detected among all land management programs in soil samples collected after successive years of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cultivation. A different trend was observed after a multivariate examination of the similarities in genetic composition among soil bacterial communities. After 3 years of land management, similarities in genetic composition of soil bacterial communities were observed in plots where disturbance was minimized (bahiagrass and weed fallow). The genetic compositions in plots managed organically were similar to each other and distinct from bacterial communities in other land management programs. After successive years of tomato cultivation and damage from two major hurricanes, only the composition of soil bacterial communities within organically managed plots continued to maintain a high degree of similarity

  19. Interactive effects of agricultural management and topography on soil carbon sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladoni, M.; Kravchenko, S.; Munoz, J.; Erickson, M.

    2012-12-01

    Proper agricultural management scenarios such as no-tillage, cover cropping, agroforestry, have demonstrated potential to increase the amount of carbon sequestered in soil and to mitigate atmospheric carbon levels. The knowledge about positive effects of cover cropping comes mostly from small uniform experimental plots, but whether these positive effects will exists in large scale fields with diverse topography and what would be the magnitude of these effects on a field scale remains to be seen. Our objective is to compare performance of different agricultural managements including those with cover crops in their influences on SOC across diverse topographical landscape in large agricultural fields. The three studied agricultural practices are Conventionally tilled and fertilized management without cover crops (T1), Low-input management with reduced chemical inputs (T3) and Organic (T4) management, the latter two have rye and red clover cover crops as part of their rotations. Within each field 1- 4 transects with three topographical positions of "depression", "slope" and "summit" were identified. The first soil sampling was done in spring 2010 and the second set of soil samples were collected from topographical positions during growing season of 2011. Samples were analyzed for total SOC and also particulate organic carbon (POC) content to show the changes in active pools of SOC. The results showed that topography has a significant influence in performance of cover crops. Agricultural managements with cover crops increased the POC in soil and the magnitude of this increase was different across space. Cover crops built the highest POC in depressions followed by summit and then slope. The conventional agricultural management increased POC in depression but decreased it on slopes. Low-input agricultural management when coupled with cover cropping has a potential to produce the highest increase in active pools of SOC across topographically diverse fields. The ratio of

  20. A review on soil carbon accumulation due to the management change of major Brazilian agricultural activities.

    PubMed

    La Scala jr, N; De Figueiredo, E B; Panosso, A R

    2012-08-01

    Agricultural areas deal with enormous CO2 intake fluxes offering an opportunity for greenhouse effect mitigation. In this work we studied the potential of soil carbon sequestration due to the management conversion in major agricultural activities in Brazil. Data from several studies indicate that in soybean/maize, and related rotation systems, a significant soil carbon sequestration was observed over the year of conversion from conventional to no-till practices, with a mean rate of 0.41 Mg C ha(-1) year(-1). The same effect was observed in sugarcane fields, but with a much higher accumulation of carbon in soil stocks, when sugarcane fields are converted from burned to mechanised based harvest, where large amounts of sugarcane residues remain on the soil surface (1.8 Mg C ha(-1) year(-1)). The higher sequestration potential of sugarcane crops, when compared to the others, has a direct relation to the primary production of this crop. Nevertheless, much of this mitigation potential of soil carbon accumulation in sugarcane fields is lost once areas are reformed, or intensive tillage is applied. Pasture lands have shown soil carbon depletion once natural areas are converted to livestock use, while integration of those areas with agriculture use has shown an improvement in soil carbon stocks. Those works have shown that the main crop systems of Brazil have a huge mitigation potential, especially in soil carbon form, being an opportunity for future mitigation strategies.

  1. Impact of an intensive management on soil biochemical and biological properties in an agricultural soil of Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, R.; D'Ascoli, R.; Rao, M. A.; Marzaioli, R.; Rutigliano, F. A.; Gianfreda, L.

    2009-04-01

    An intensive management of agricultural soils is widely carried out to increase vegetation productivity. Nevertheless, the large use of machineries, chemical fertilizers and pesticides can often cause, in time, a substantial decline in soil fertility by affecting soil physical and chemical properties and, in turn, growth and activity of soil microbial community. In fact, alteration in soil structure, nutrient losses and, in particular, changes in quality and quantity of soil organic matter are some of the principal soil degradation processes deriving from an intensive agricultural management that can affect, in different ways, soil biochemical and biological properties. The aim of this research was to assess the impact of intensive management on agricultural soils by measuring soil physical, chemical and biochemical/biological properties. The use of appropriate indicators as quantitative tools could allow to assess soil quality. Moreover, although soil physical and chemical properties have received great attention, soil biochemical/biological properties, such as enzyme activities and microbial biomass, functionally related properties involved in the nutrient cycles, can be considered as sensitive indicators of soil quality and health changes because, they show a faster turn over compared to soil organic matter. Our attention was focused on the Plane of Sele river (Campania region, Italy), an area characterized by an intensive agriculture and greenhouse cultures. Twenty-five farms were chosen, with the aid of regional soil map, in order to get soils with different physical and chemical properties. As common trait, the selected farms, all with greenhouse cultures, used no organic amendments but only mineral compounds to fertilize soils. Moreover, to better understand the impact of intensive agricultural practices on soil of each farm, control soils from orchards or uncultivated plots were chosen. In each farm soil samples were collected in three different plots

  2. Influence of management practices on microbial nitrogen cyclers in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; McMillan, Mary; Pereg, Lily

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural land management has great influences on soil properties, in particular on microbial communities, due to their sensitivity to the perturbations of the soils. This is even more relevant in Mediterranean agricultural areas under semi-arid conditions. The Mediterranean belt is suffering from an intense degradation of its soils due to the millennia of intense land use and due to unsustainable management practices. As a consequence this area is suffering from a depletion of N content. In this work we investigated the effect of several traditional agricultural management practices on specific functional groups related to the nitrogen cycle in the soil. A field experiment was performed with orchard orange trees (citrus sinesis) in Eastern Spain to assess the long-term effects of ploughing with inorganic fertilization (PI) and ecological practices (EP) (chipped pruned branches and weeds as well as manure from sheep and goats) on microbes that can undertake nitrogen fixation and denitrification. Nine samples of soil were taken from every treatment, near the drip irrigation point and in a zone without the influence of drip irrigation (between trees row), and total DNA extracted. DNA samples were stored at minus-20°C to be analysed by qPCR. Microbial populations involved in the N biochemical cycle were analysed by targeted amplification of key functional biomarker genes: the abundance of nifH (nitrogen fixation), nirS, nirK and nosZ (denitrification) detected by quantitative PCR (qPCR) has shown significant differences between treatments with higher abundance of all four genes in soils from ecological agricultural treatments. This may indicate that the ecological treatment created conditions that are more suitable for N cyclers in the soil and a better fertility and quality status of these soils.

  3. Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes: A Spatially Explicit Approach to Support Sustainable Soil Management

    PubMed Central

    Crossman, Neville D.; MacEwan, Richard J.; Wallace, D. Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T.

    2014-01-01

    Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage) were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation). We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes. PMID:24616632

  4. Ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes: a spatially explicit approach to support sustainable soil management.

    PubMed

    Forouzangohar, Mohsen; Crossman, Neville D; MacEwan, Richard J; Wallace, D Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T

    2014-01-01

    Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km(2) in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage) were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation). We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes.

  5. Managing for soil protection and bioenergy production on agricultural lands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bioenergy systems are needed that can aid in meeting the growing energy demands of the expanding human population without sacrificing the long-term sustainability, productivity and quality of the underlying natural resources. Agriculture, like the forestry sector, will produce the feedstocks. While ...

  6. Soil ecology and agricultural technology; An integrated approach towards improved soil management for sustainable farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulleman, Mirjam; Pérès, Guénola; Crittenden, Stephen; Heddadj, Djilali; Sukkel, Wijnand

    2014-05-01

    Intensive arable food production systems are in need of smart solutions that combine ecological knowledge and farm technology to maximize yields while protecting natural resources. The huge diversity of soil organisms and their interactions is of crucial importance for soil functions and ecosystem services, such as organic matter incorporation and break down, nutrient mineralization, soil structure formation, water regulation and disease and pest control. Soil management decisions that take into account the soil biodiversity and associated functions are thus essential to (i) maintain soil productivity in the long term, (ii) reduce the dependency on external inputs and non-renewables such as fossil fuels, and (iii) make agroecosystems more resilient against biotic and abiotic stresses. Organic farming systems and reduced tillage systems are two approaches that aim to increase soil biodiversity and general soil quality, through improved management of organic matter but differ in their emphasis on the use of chemical inputs for crop protection or soil disturbance, respectively. In North-western Europe experience with and knowledge of reduced tillage systems is still scarce, both in conventional and organic farming. Our study targeted both conventional and organic farming and aimed at 1) documenting reduced tillage practices within different agroecological contexts in NW Europe; 2) evaluating the effects of reduced tillage systems on soil biodiversity and soil ecosystem services; 3) increase understanding of agroecological factors that determine trade-offs between different ecosystem services. Earthworm species and nematode taxa were selected as indicator organisms to be studied for their known response to soil management and effects on soil functions. Additionally, soil organic matter, physical soil parameters and processes, and crop yields have been measured across multiple sites. Data have been collected over several cropping seasons in long term field experiments

  7. An assessment of alternative agricultural management practice impacts on soil carbon in the corn belt

    SciTech Connect

    Barnwell, T.O. Jr.; Jackson, R.B.; Mulkey, L.A.

    1993-12-31

    This impact of alternative management practices on agricultural soil C is estimated by a soil C mass balance modeling study that incorporates policy considerations in the analysis. A literature review of soil C modeling and impacts of management practices has been completed. The models selected for use and/or modification to meet the needs of representing soil C cycles in agroecosystems and impacts of management practices are CENTURY and DNDC. These models share a common ability to examine the impacts of alternative management practices on soil organic C, and are readily accessible. An important aspect of this effort is the development of the modeling framework and methodology that define the agricultural production systems and scenarios (i.e., crop-soil-climate combinations) to be assessed in terms of national policy, the integration of the model needs with available databases, and the operational mechanics of evaluating C sequestration potential with the integrated model/database system. We are working closely with EPA`s Office of Policy and Program Evaluation to define a reasonable set of policy alternatives for this assessment focusing on policy that might be affected through a revised Farm Bill, such as incentives to selectively promote conservation tillage, crop rotations, and/or good stewardship of the conservation reserve. Policy alternatives are translated into basic data for use in soil C models through economic models. These data, including such elements as agricultural practices, fertilization rates, and production levels are used in the soil C models to produce net carbon changes on a per unit area basis. The unit-area emissions are combined with areal-extent data in a GIS to produce an estimate of total carbon and nitrogen changes and thus estimate greenhouse benefits.

  8. LandSoil model application for erosion management in sustainable agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smetanova, Anna; Follain, Stéphane; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Soil erosion and land degradation can lead to irreversible changes and landscape degradation. In order to achieve the sustainability of agricultural landscapes, the land use scenarios might be developed and tested for their erosion mitigation effects. Despite the importance of the long-term scenarios (which are complicated by predictability of climate change in a small scale, its effect on change in soil properties and crops, and the societal behaviour of individual players), the management decision have to be applied already now. Therefore the short-term and medium term scenarios to achieve the most effective soil management and the least soil erosion footprint are necessary to develop. With increasing importance of individual large erosion events, the event-based models, considering soil properties and landscape structures appears to be suitable. The LandSoil model (Ciampalini et al., 2012) - a landscape evolution model operating at the field/small catchment scale, have been applied in order to analyse the effect of different soil erosion mitigation and connectivity management practices in two different Mediterranean catchments. In the soil erosion scenarios the proposed measures targeted soil erosion on field or on catchment scale, and the effect of different extreme events on soil redistribution was evaluated under different spatial designs. Anna Smetanová has received the support of the AgreenSkills fellowship (under grant agreement n°267196). R. Ciampalini, S. Follain, Y. Le Bissonnais, LandSoil: A model for analysing the impact of erosion on agricultural landscape evolution, Geomorphology, 175-176, 2012, 25-37.

  9. The impact of agriculture management on soil quality in citrus orchards in Eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hondebrink, Merel; Cerdà, Artemi; Cammeraat, Erik

    2015-04-01

    Currently, the agricultural management of citrus orchard in the Valencia region in E Spain, is changing from traditionally irrigated and managed orchards to drip irrigated organic managed orchards. It is not known what is the effect of such changes on soil quality and hope to shed some light with this study on this transition. It is known that the drip-irrigated orchards built in sloping terrain increase soil erosion (Cerdà et al., 2009; Li et al., 2014) and that agricultural management such as catch crops and mulches reduce sediment yield and surface runoff (Xu et al., 2012; ), as in other orchards around the world (Wang et al., 2010; Wanshnong et al., 2013; Li et al., 2014; Hazarika et al., 2014): We hypothesize that these changes have an important impact on the soil chemical and physical properties. Therefor we studied the soil quality of 12 citrus orchards, which had different land and irrigation management techniques. We compared organic (OR) and conventional (CO) land management with either drip irrigation (DRP) or flood irrigation (FLD). Soil samples at two depths, 0-1 cm and 5-10 cm, were taken for studying soil quality parameters under the different treatments. These parameters included soil chemical parameters, bulk density, texture, soil surface shear strength and soil aggregation. Half of the studied orchards were organically managed and the other 6 were conventionally managed, and for each of these 6 study sites three fields were flood irrigated plots (FLD) and the other three drip irrigated systems (DRP) In total 108 soil samples were taken as well additional irrigation water samples. We will present the results of this study with regard to the impact of the studied irrigation systems and land management systems with regard to soil quality. This knowledge might help in improving citrus orchard management with respect to maintaining or improving soil quality to ensure sustainable agricultural practices. References Cerdà, A., Giménez-Morera, A. and

  10. Taxonomical and functional microbial responses to agriculture management of Amazon forest soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuramae, Eiko; Navarrete, Acácio; Mendes, Lucas; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes; Tsai, Siu

    2013-04-01

    Land-use change is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide, and one of the most devastating changes in the use of land, especially in the tropics, is the conversion of forest to crop lands. Southeast Amazon region is considered the largest agricultural frontier in the world, where native forests are converted into soybean crop fields, a fact that highlights the social and economic importance of this system to Brazil. This study firstly, focused on the impact of land-use changes and agriculture management of Amazon forest soils on the size and composition of the acidobacterial community. Taxon-specific quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene were applied to study the acidobacterial community in bulk soil samples from croplands, adjacent native forests and rhizosphere of soybean. Based on qPCR measurements, Acidobacteria accounted for 23%, 18% and 14% of the total bacterial signal in forest soils, cropland soils and soybean rhizosphere samples, respectively. From the sequences of Bacteria domain, the phylum Acidobacteria represented 28%, 16% and 17% of the sequences from forest soils, cropland soils and soybean rhizosphere samples, respectively. Acidobacteria subgroups 2-8, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 22 and 25 were detected with subgroup 1 as dominant among them. Subgroups 4, 6 and 7 were significantly higher in cropland soils than in forest soils, which subgroups respond to decrease of soil Aluminium. Subgroups 6 and 7 respond to high content of soil Ca, Mg, Zn, P, Fe, Mn and B. The results showed differential response of the Acidobacteria subgroups to abiotic soil factors, and indicated acidobacterial subgroups as potential early-warning bio-indicators of agricultural soil management effects in the Amazon area. Secondly, using 454 pyrosequencing, we investigated the metabolic diversity of microbial communities colonizing the rhizosphere and the bulk soil associated to soybean. The rhizosphere presented an overrepresentation of

  11. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in soil and roots respond differently to phosphorus inputs in an intensively managed calcareous agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Zhang, Yunlong; Jiang, Shanshan; Deng, Yan; Christie, Peter; Murray, Philip J; Li, Xiaolin; Zhang, Junling

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is important for potentially optimizing their role in mining phosphorus (P) in agricultural ecosystems. Here, we conduct a comprehensive study to investigate the vertical distribution of AMF in a calcareous field and their temporal structure in maize-roots with fertilizer P application over a three-year period. The results showed that soil available-P response to P fertilization but maize yields did not. Phosphorus fertilization had no-significant effect on richness of AMF except at greater soil-depths. High P-supply reduced root colonization while optimum-P tended to increase colonization and fungal richness on all sampling occasions. Crop phenology might override P-supply in determining the community composition of active root inhabiting fungi. Significant differences in the community structure of soil AMF were observed between the controls and P treatments in surface soil and the community shift was attributable mainly to available-P, N/P and pH. Vertical distribution was related mainly to soil electrical conductivity and Na content. Our results indicate that the structure of AMF community assemblages is correlated with P fertilization, soil depth and crop phenology. Importantly, phosphorus management must be integrated with other agricultural-practices to ensure the sustainability of agricultural production in salinized soils. PMID:27102357

  12. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in soil and roots respond differently to phosphorus inputs in an intensively managed calcareous agricultural soil

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wei; Zhang, Yunlong; Jiang, Shanshan; Deng, Yan; Christie, Peter; Murray, Philip J.; Li, Xiaolin; Zhang, Junling

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is important for potentially optimizing their role in mining phosphorus (P) in agricultural ecosystems. Here, we conduct a comprehensive study to investigate the vertical distribution of AMF in a calcareous field and their temporal structure in maize-roots with fertilizer P application over a three-year period. The results showed that soil available-P response to P fertilization but maize yields did not. Phosphorus fertilization had no-significant effect on richness of AMF except at greater soil-depths. High P-supply reduced root colonization while optimum-P tended to increase colonization and fungal richness on all sampling occasions. Crop phenology might override P-supply in determining the community composition of active root inhabiting fungi. Significant differences in the community structure of soil AMF were observed between the controls and P treatments in surface soil and the community shift was attributable mainly to available-P, N/P and pH. Vertical distribution was related mainly to soil electrical conductivity and Na content. Our results indicate that the structure of AMF community assemblages is correlated with P fertilization, soil depth and crop phenology. Importantly, phosphorus management must be integrated with other agricultural-practices to ensure the sustainability of agricultural production in salinized soils. PMID:27102357

  13. Management of agricultural soils for greenhouse gas mitigation: Learning from a case study in NE Spain.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, B; Iglesias, A; McVittie, A; Álvaro-Fuentes, J; Ingram, J; Mills, J; Lesschen, J P; Kuikman, P J

    2016-04-01

    A portfolio of agricultural practices is now available that can contribute to reaching European mitigation targets. Among them, the management of agricultural soils has a large potential for reducing GHG emissions or sequestering carbon. Many of the practices are based on well tested agronomic and technical know-how, with proven benefits for farmers and the environment. A suite of practices has to be used since none of the practices can provide a unique solution. However, there are limitations in the process of policy development: (a) agricultural activities are based on biological processes and thus, these practices are location specific and climate, soils and crops determine their agronomic potential; (b) since agriculture sustains rural communities, the costs and potential for implementation have also to be regionally evaluated and (c) the aggregated regional potential of the combination of practices has to be defined in order to inform abatement targets. We believe that, when implementing mitigation practices, three questions are important: Are they cost-effective for farmers? Do they reduce GHG emissions? What policies favour their implementation? This study addressed these questions in three sequential steps. First, mapping the use of representative soil management practices in the European regions to provide a spatial context to upscale the local results. Second, using a Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) in a Mediterranean case study (NE Spain) for ranking soil management practices in terms of their cost-effectiveness. Finally, using a wedge approach of the practices as a complementary tool to link science to mitigation policy. A set of soil management practices was found to be financially attractive for Mediterranean farmers, which in turn could achieve significant abatements (e.g., 1.34 MtCO2e in the case study region). The quantitative analysis was completed by a discussion of potential farming and policy choices to shape realistic mitigation policy at

  14. Management of agricultural soils for greenhouse gas mitigation: Learning from a case study in NE Spain.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, B; Iglesias, A; McVittie, A; Álvaro-Fuentes, J; Ingram, J; Mills, J; Lesschen, J P; Kuikman, P J

    2016-04-01

    A portfolio of agricultural practices is now available that can contribute to reaching European mitigation targets. Among them, the management of agricultural soils has a large potential for reducing GHG emissions or sequestering carbon. Many of the practices are based on well tested agronomic and technical know-how, with proven benefits for farmers and the environment. A suite of practices has to be used since none of the practices can provide a unique solution. However, there are limitations in the process of policy development: (a) agricultural activities are based on biological processes and thus, these practices are location specific and climate, soils and crops determine their agronomic potential; (b) since agriculture sustains rural communities, the costs and potential for implementation have also to be regionally evaluated and (c) the aggregated regional potential of the combination of practices has to be defined in order to inform abatement targets. We believe that, when implementing mitigation practices, three questions are important: Are they cost-effective for farmers? Do they reduce GHG emissions? What policies favour their implementation? This study addressed these questions in three sequential steps. First, mapping the use of representative soil management practices in the European regions to provide a spatial context to upscale the local results. Second, using a Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) in a Mediterranean case study (NE Spain) for ranking soil management practices in terms of their cost-effectiveness. Finally, using a wedge approach of the practices as a complementary tool to link science to mitigation policy. A set of soil management practices was found to be financially attractive for Mediterranean farmers, which in turn could achieve significant abatements (e.g., 1.34 MtCO2e in the case study region). The quantitative analysis was completed by a discussion of potential farming and policy choices to shape realistic mitigation policy at

  15. Agricultural management practices to sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities.

    PubMed

    Sainju, Upendra M; Whitehead, Wayne F; Singh, Bharat P

    2003-08-20

    In the past several decades, agricultural management practices consisting of intensive tillage and high rate of fertilization to improve crop yields have resulted in the degradation of soil and environmental qualities by increasing erosion and nutrient leaching in the groundwater and releasing greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), that cause global warming in the atmosphere by oxidation of soil organic matter. Consequently, management practices that sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities are needed. This paper reviews the findings of the effects of tillage practices, cover crops, and nitrogen (N) fertilization rates on crop yields, soil organic carbon (C) and N concentrations, and nitrate (NO3)-N leaching from the soil. Studies indicate that conservation tillage, such as no-till or reduced till, can increase soil organic C and N concentrations at 0- to 20-cm depth by as much as 7-17% in 8 years compared with conventional tillage without significantly altering crop yields. Similarly, cover cropping and 80-180 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) fertilization can increase soil organic C and N concentrations by as much as 4-12% compared with no cover cropping or N fertilization by increasing plant biomass and amount of C and N inputs to the soil. Reduced till, cover cropping, and decreased rate of N fertilization can reduce soil N leaching compared with conventional till, no cover cropping, and full rate of N fertilization. Management practices consisting of combinations of conservation tillage, mixture of legume and nonlegume cover crops, and reduced rate of N fertilization have the potentials for sustaining crop yields, increasing soil C and N storage, and reducing soil N leaching, thereby helping to improve soil and water qualities. Economical and social analyses of such practices are needed to find whether they are cost effective and acceptable to the farmers.

  16. Potential effect of No-till management on carbon in the agricultural soils of the former Soviet Union

    SciTech Connect

    Gaston, G.G.; Kolchugina, T.; Vinson, T.S.

    1993-01-01

    Agricultural soils act as both a source and a sink for atmospheric carbon. Since the onset of cultivation, the 211.5 million ha of agricultural soils in the former Soviet Union (FSU) have lost 10.2 Gt of carbon. No-till management represents a promising option to increase the amount of carbon sequestered in the agricultural soil of the FSU. No-till management reduces erosion and sequesters additional carbon in the soil by lowering the soil temperature and raising soil moisture. To determine the carbon sequestered under no-till management, a data base containing precultivation estimates of soil carbon for the seven major classes of soil found in the agricultural areas of the FSU was used to establish an equilibrium carbon content for each soil. Other published data provided a method to quantify the change in soil carbon brought about by converting to no-till management. Soils suitable for no-till management were analyzed and estimates of changes in carbon storage were made. No-till management is not suitable in areas where crop production is limited by cold, wet soils. (Copyright (c) 1993 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.)

  17. Biochar application to sandy and loamy soils for agricultural nutrient management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gronwald, Marco; Don, Axel; Tiemeyer, Baerbel; Helfrich, Mirjam

    2014-05-01

    -retention and hydrochar was effective in cation-retention. The experiments provide first information on the uses of biochar for soil nutrient management in agriculture but observed effects were mostly minor under realistic char application rates. [1] LIANG ET AL. 2006: Black Carbon increases cation exchange capacity in soils. SSAJ 70, 1719-1730. [2] LEHMANN ET AL. 2009: Biochar for Environmental Management - Science and Technology. 1 An Introduction, 1. [3] YAO ET AL. 2012: Effect of biochar amendment on sorption and leaching of nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate in a sandy soil. Chemosphere 89, 1467-1471. [4] MUKHERJEE & ZIMMERMANN, 2011: Surface chemistry variations among a series of laboratory-produced biochars. Geoderma 163, 247-255. [5] QIAN ET AL. 2013: Effects of environmental conditions on the release of phosphorus from biochar. Chemosphere 93, 2069-2075.

  18. Non-target impact of fungicide tetraconazole on microbial communities in soils with different agricultural management.

    PubMed

    Sułowicz, Sławomir; Cycoń, Mariusz; Piotrowska-Seget, Zofia

    2016-08-01

    Effect of the fungicide tetraconazole on microbial community in silt loam soils from orchard with long history of triazole application and from grassland with no known history of fungicide usage was investigated. Triazole tetraconazole that had never been used on these soils before was applied at the field rate and at tenfold the FR. Response of microbial communities to tetraconazole was investigated during 28-day laboratory experiment by determination of changes in their biomass and structure (phospholipid fatty acids method-PLFA), activity (fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis-FDA) as well as changes in genetic (DGGE) and functional (Biolog) diversity. Obtained results indicated that the response of soil microorganisms to tetraconazole depended on the management of the soils. DGGE patterns revealed that both dosages of fungicide affected the structure of bacterial community and the impact on genetic diversity and richness was more prominent in orchard soil. Values of stress indices-the saturated/monounsaturated PLFAs ratio and the cyclo/monounsaturated precursors ratio, were almost twice as high and the Gram-negative/Gram-positive ratio was significantly lower in the orchard soil compared with the grassland soil. Results of principal component analysis of PLFA and Biolog profiles revealed significant impact of tetraconazole in orchard soil on day 28, whereas changes in these profiles obtained for grassland soil were insignificant or transient. Obtained results indicated that orchards soil seems to be more vulnerable to tetraconazole application compared to grassland soil. History of pesticide application and agricultural management should be taken into account in assessing of environmental impact of studied pesticides.

  19. Non-target impact of fungicide tetraconazole on microbial communities in soils with different agricultural management.

    PubMed

    Sułowicz, Sławomir; Cycoń, Mariusz; Piotrowska-Seget, Zofia

    2016-08-01

    Effect of the fungicide tetraconazole on microbial community in silt loam soils from orchard with long history of triazole application and from grassland with no known history of fungicide usage was investigated. Triazole tetraconazole that had never been used on these soils before was applied at the field rate and at tenfold the FR. Response of microbial communities to tetraconazole was investigated during 28-day laboratory experiment by determination of changes in their biomass and structure (phospholipid fatty acids method-PLFA), activity (fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis-FDA) as well as changes in genetic (DGGE) and functional (Biolog) diversity. Obtained results indicated that the response of soil microorganisms to tetraconazole depended on the management of the soils. DGGE patterns revealed that both dosages of fungicide affected the structure of bacterial community and the impact on genetic diversity and richness was more prominent in orchard soil. Values of stress indices-the saturated/monounsaturated PLFAs ratio and the cyclo/monounsaturated precursors ratio, were almost twice as high and the Gram-negative/Gram-positive ratio was significantly lower in the orchard soil compared with the grassland soil. Results of principal component analysis of PLFA and Biolog profiles revealed significant impact of tetraconazole in orchard soil on day 28, whereas changes in these profiles obtained for grassland soil were insignificant or transient. Obtained results indicated that orchards soil seems to be more vulnerable to tetraconazole application compared to grassland soil. History of pesticide application and agricultural management should be taken into account in assessing of environmental impact of studied pesticides. PMID:27106012

  20. Effects of different management practices on fungal biodiversity in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borriello, R.; Lumini, E.; Bonfante, P.; Bianciotto, V.

    2009-04-01

    Symbiotic associations between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant roots are widespread in natural environments and provide a range of benefits to the host plant. These include improved nutrition, enhanced resistance to soil-borne pests, diseases, and drought, as well as tolerance to heavy metals. In addition, the presence of a well developed AMF hyphal network improve the soil structure. As obligate mutualistic symbionts these fungi colonize the roots of many agricultural crops and it is often claimed that agricultural practices (use of fertilizers and biocides, tillage, dominance of monocultures and the growing of non-mycorrhizal crops) are detrimental to AMF. As a result, agro ecosystems impoverished in AMF may not get the fully expected range of benefits from these fungi. Using molecular markers on DNA extracted directly from soil and roots we studied the effects of different management practices (tillage and nitrogen fertilization) on the AMF populations colonizing an experimental agro ecosystem in Central Italy. Fungi in roots and soil were identified by cloning and sequencing a region of ~550bp of the 18S rDNA and ~600bp of the 28S rDNA. In symbiosis with the maize roots we detected only members of Glomeraceae group A that showed decrement in number under nitrogen fertilization. Instead in soil were mainly present members of two AMF groups, respectively Gigasporaceae and Glomeraceae group A. In addition only the low input management practices preserve also members of Diversisporaceae and Glomeraceae group B. From our study we can conclude that agricultural practices can directly or indirectly influence AMF biodiversity. The result of this study highlight the importance and significant effects of the long term nitrogen fertilization and tillage practices on specific groups of fungi playing a key role in arable soils. The research was founded by Biodiversity Project (IPP-CNR) and by SOILSINK (FISR-MIUR)

  1. Use of aerial photographs for assessment of soil organic carbon and delineation of agricultural management zones.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomeus, H.; Kooistra, L.

    2012-04-01

    For quantitative estimation of soil properties by means of remote sensing, often hyperspectral data are used. But these data are scarce and expensive, which prohibits wider implementation of the developed techniques in agricultural management. For precision agriculture, observations at a high spatial resolution are required. Colour aerial photographs at this scale are widely available, and can be acquired at no of very low costs. Therefore, we investigated whether publically available aerial photographs can be used to a) automatically delineate management zones and b) estimate levels of organic carbon spatially. We selected three study areas within the Netherlands that cover a large variance in soil type (peat, sand, and clay). For the fields of interest, RGB aerial photographs with a spatial resolution of 50 cm were extracted from a publically available data provider. Further pre-processing exists of geo-referencing only. Since the images originate from different sources and are potentially acquired under unknown illumination conditions, the exact radiometric properties of the data are unknown. Therefore, we used spectral indices to emphasize the differences in reflectance and normalize for differences in radiometry. To delineate management zones we used image segmentation techniques, using the derived indices as input. Comparison with management zone maps as used by the farmers shows that there is good correspondence. Regression analysis between a number of soil properties and the derived indices shows that organic carbon is the major explanatory variable for differences in index values within the fields. However, relations do not hold for large regions, indicating that local models will have to be used, which is a problem that is also still relevant for hyperspectral remote sensing data. With this research, we show that low-cost aerial photographs can be a valuable tool for quantitative analysis of organic carbon and automatic delineation of management zones

  2. Evaluating abiotic influences on soil salinity of inland managed wetlands and agricultural croplands in a semi-arid environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fowler, D.; King, Sammy L.; Weindorf, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Agriculture and moist-soil management are important management techniques used on wildlife refuges to provide adequate energy for migrant waterbirds. In semi-arid systems, the accumulation of soluble salts throughout the soil profile can limit total production of wetland plants and agronomic crops and thus jeopardize meeting waterbird energy needs. This study evaluates the effect of distinct hydrologic regimes associated with moist-soil management and agricultural production on salt accumulation in a semi-arid floodplain. We hypothesized that the frequency of flooding and quantity of floodwater in a moist-soil management hydroperiod results in a less saline soil profile compared to profiles under traditional agricultural management. Findings showed that agricultural croplands differed (p-value < 0.001, df = 9) in quantities of total soluble salts (TSS) compared to moist-soil impoundments and contained greater concentrations (TSS range = 1,160-1,750 (mg kg-1)) at depth greater than 55 cm below the surface of the profile, while moist-soil impoundments contained lower concentrations (TSS range = 307-531 (mg kg-1)) at the same depths. Increased salts in agricultural may be attributed to the lack of leaching afforded by smaller summer irrigations while larger periodic flooding events in winter and summer flood irrigations in moist-soil impoundments may serve as leaching events.

  3. Distribution of organic carbon in physical fractions of soils as affected by agricultural management

    SciTech Connect

    Sindhu, Jagadamma; Lal, Dr. Rattan

    2010-08-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is distributed heterogeneously among different-sized primary particles and aggregates. Further, the SOC associated with different physical fractions respond differently to managements. Therefore, this study was conducted with the objective to quantify the SOC associated with all the three structural levels of SOC (particulate organic matter, soil separates and aggregate-size fractions) as influenced by long-term change in management. The study also aims at reevaluating the concept that the SOC sink capacity of individual size-fractions is limited. Long-term tillage and crop rotation effects on distribution of SOC among fractions were compared with soil from adjacent undisturbed area under native vegetation for the mixed, mesic, Typic Fragiudalf of Wooster, OH. Forty five years of no-till (NT) management resulted in more SOC accumulation in soil surface (0 7.5 cm) than in chisel tillage and plow tillage (PT) treatments. However, PT at this site resulted in a redistribution of SOC from surface to deeper soil layers. The soils under continuous corn accumulated significantly more SOC than those under corn soybean rotation at 7.5 45 cm depth. Although soil texture was dominated by the silt-sized particles, most of the SOC pool was associated with the clay fraction. Compared to PT, the NT treatment resulted in (i) significantly higher proportion of large macroaggregates (>2,000 m) and (ii) 1.5 2.8 times higher SOC concentrations in all aggregate-size classes. A comparative evaluation using radar graphs indicated that among the physical fractions, the SOC associated with sand and silt fractions quickly changed with a land use conversion from native vegetation to agricultural crops. A key finding of this study is the assessment of SOC sink capacity of individual fractions, which revealed that the clay fraction of agricultural soils continues to accumulate more SOC, albeit at a slower rate, with progressive increase in total SOC concentration

  4. Modeling Soil Organic Carbon for Agricultural Land Use Under Various Management Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotamarthi, V. R.; Drewniak, B.; Song, J.; Prell, J.; Jacob, R. L.

    2009-12-01

    Bioenergy is generating tremendous interest as an alternative energy source that is both environmentally friendly and economically competitive. The amount of land designated for agriculture is expected to expand, including changes in the current distribution of crops, as demand for biofuels increases as a carbon neutral alternative fuel source. However, the influence of agriculture on the carbon cycle is complex, and varies depending on land use change and management practices. The purpose of this research is to integrate agriculture in the carbon-nitrogen based Community Land Model (CLM) to evaluate the above and below ground carbon storage for corn, soybean, and wheat crop lands. The new model, CLM-Crop simulates carbon allocation during four growth stages, a soybean nitrogen fixation scheme, fertilizer, and harvest practices. We present results from this model simulation, which includes the impact of a new dynamic roots module to simulate the changing root structure and depth with growing season based on the availability of water and nitrogen in the root zone and a retranslocation scheme to simulate redistribution of nitrogen from leaves, roots, and stems to grain during organ development for crop yields, leaf area index (LAI), carbon allocation, and changes in soil carbon budgets under various practices such as fertilizer and residue management. Simulated crop yields for corn, soybean and wheat are in general agreement with measurements. Initial model results indicate a loss of soil organic carbon over cultivated lands after removal of natural vegetation which continues in the following years. Soil carbon in crop lands is a strong function of the residue management and has the potential to impact crop yields significantly.

  5. Effects of different agricultural managements in soil microbial community structure in a semi-arid Mediterranean region.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugan, Alicia; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Scow, Kate

    2013-04-01

    Agriculture has been practiced in semi-arid Mediterranean regions for 10.000 years and in many cases these practices have been unsuitable causing land degradation for millennium and an important loss of soil quality. The land management can provide solutions to find the best agricultural practices in order to maintain the soil quality and get a sustainable agriculture model. Microbiological properties are the most sensitive and rapid indicators of soil perturbations and land use managements. The study of microbial community and diversity has an important interest as indicators of changes in soil quality. The main objective of this work was to asses the effect of different agricultural management practices in soil microbial community (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Four different treatments were selected, based on the most commonly practices applied by farmers in the study area, "El Teularet Experimental Station", located at the Enguera Range in the southern part of the Valencia province (eastern Spain). These treatments were: a) ploughing, b) herbicides c) mulch, using the types applied by organic farmers to develop a sustainable agriculture, such as oat straw and d) control that was established as plot where the treatment was abandonment after farming. An adjacent area with the same type of soil, but with natural vegetation was used as a standard or reference high quality soil. Soil samples were taken to evaluate the changes in microbial soil structure, analysing the abundance of PLFA. The results showed a major content of total PLFA in soils treated with oats straw, being these results similar to the content of PLFA in the soil with natural vegetation, also these soils were similar in the distribution of abundance of different PLFA studied. However, the herbicide and tillage treatments showed great differences regarding the soil used as reference (soil under natural vegetation).

  6. Soil CO2 emissions in terms of irrigation management in an agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zornoza, Raúl; Acosta, José A.; María de la Rosa, José; Faz, Ángel; Domingo, Rafael; Pérez-Pastor, Alejandro; Ángeles Muñoz, María

    2014-05-01

    Irrigation water restrictions in the Mediterranean area are reaching worrying proportions and represent a serious threat to traditional crops and encourage the movement of people who choose to work in other activities. This situation has created a growing interest in water conservation, particularly among practitioners of irrigated agriculture, the main recipient of water resources (>80%). For these and other reasons, the scientific and technical irrigation scheduling of water use to maintain and even improve harvest yield and quality has been and will remain a major challenge for irrigated agriculture. Apart from environmental and economic benefits by water savings, deficit irrigation may contribute to reduce soil CO2 emissions and enhance C sequestration in soils. The reduction of soil moisture levels decreases microbial activity, with the resulting slowing down of organic matter mineralization. Besides, the application of water by irrigation may increment the precipitation rate of carbonates, favoring the storage of C, but depending on the source of calcium or bicarbonate, the net reaction can be either storage or release of C. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess if deficit irrigation, besides contributing to water savings, can reduce soil CO2 emissions and favor the accumulation of C in soils in stable forms. The experiment was carried out along 2012 in a commercial orchard from southeast Spain cultivated with nectarine trees (Prunus persica cv. 'Viowhite'). The irrigation system was drip localized. Three irrigation treatments were assayed: a control (CT), irrigated to satisfy the total hydric needs of the crop; a first deficit irrigation (DI1), irrigated as CT except for postharvest period (16 June - 28 October) were 50% of CT was applied; and a second deficit irrigation (DI2), irrigated as DI1, except for two periods in which irrigation was suppressed (16 June-6 July and 21 July-17 August). Each treatment was setup in triplicate, randomly

  7. Key to GHG fluxes from organic soils: site characteristics, agricultural practices or water table management?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiemeyer, Bärbel

    2015-04-01

    Drained peatlands are hotspots of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Agriculture is the major land use type for peatlands in Germany and other European countries, but strongly varies in its intensity regarding the groundwater level and the agricultural management. Although the mean annual water table depth is sometimes proposed as an overall predictor for GHG emissions, there is a strong variability of its effects on different peatlands. Furthermore, re-wetting measures generally decrease carbon dioxide emissions, but may strongly increase methane emissions. We synthesized 250 annual GHG budgets for 120 different sites in 13 German peatlands. Carbon dioxide (net ecosystem exchange and ecosystem respiration), nitrous oxide and methane fluxes were measured with transparent and opaque manual chambers. Land management ranged from very intensive use with arable land or grassland with up to five cuts per year to partially or completely re-wetted peatlands. Besides the GHG fluxes, biomass yield, fertilisation, groundwater level, climatic data, vegetation composition and soil properties were measured. Overall, we found a large variability of the total GHG budget ranging from small uptakes to extremely high emissions (> 70 t CO2-equivalents/(ha yr)). At nearly all sites, carbon dioxide was the major component of the GHG budget. Site conditions, especially the nitrogen content of the unsaturated zone and the intra-annual water level distribution, controlled the GHG emissions of the agricultural sites. Although these factors are influenced by natural conditions (peat type, regional hydrology), they could be modified by an improved water management. Agricultural management such as the number of cuts had only a minor influence on the GHG budgets. At the level of individual peatlands, higher water levels always decreased carbon dioxide emissions. In nearly all cases, the trade-off between reduced carbon dioxide and increased methane emissions turned out in favour of the re

  8. Local soil fertility management on small-scale farming systems for sustainable agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Namriah, Kilowasid, Laode Muhammad Harjoni

    2015-09-01

    The sustainability of small-scale farming systems on marginal lands is still being a topic of debate in scientific and institutional communities. To address this, a study was conducted to find a method of sustaining the productivity of marginal lands for food crop production. Agricultural practices (fallow and traditional cultivation) used by the local small-scale farmers in managing soil fertility to meet the natural biological processes above and below the ground were studied in Muna Island Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Participatory approach was used to gather data and information on soil and land as well as to collect soil macrofauna. The results showed that the practices of local small-scale farmers are based on local soil and land suitability. Organic materials are the source of nutrient inputs to sustain the productivity of their lands by fallowing, burning natural vegetation, putting back the crop residues, doing minimum tillage and mix- and inter-crops. In conclusion, the sustainability of local small-scale farming systems will be established by knowing and understanding local soil and land classification systems and preferred crops being planted. Following the nature of fallow and monitoring soil macrofauna diversity and abundance, all preferred crops should be planted during rainy season with different time of harvest until the next rainy season. Therefore, soils are still covered with crops during dry season. It was suggested that planting time should be done in the rainy season. Doing more researches in other locations with different socio-cultural, economical, and ecological conditions is suggested to validate and refine the method.

  9. Influence of management practices on C stabilization pathways in agricultural volcanic ash soils (Canary Islands, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez, Zulimar; María Álvarez, Ana; Carral, Pilar; de Figueiredo, Tomas; Almendros, Gonzalo

    2014-05-01

    Although C stabilization mechanisms in agricultural soils are still controversial [1], a series of overlapped pathways has been suggested [2] such as: i) insolubilization of low molecular weight precursors of soil organic matter (SOM) with reactive minerals through physical and chemical bonding, ii) selective accumulation of biosynthetic substances which are recalcitrant because of its inherent chemical composition, and iii) preservation and furter diagenetic transformation of particulate SOM entrapped within resistant microaggregates, where diffusion of soil enzymes is largely hampered. In some environments where carbohydrate and N compounds are not readily biodegraded, e.g., with water saturated micropores, an ill-known C stabilization pathway may involve the formation of Maillard's reaction products [3]. In all cases, these pathways converge in the formation of recalcitrant macromolecular substances, sharing several properties with the humic acid (HA) fraction [4]. In template forests, the selective preservation and further microbial reworking of plant biomass has been identified as a prevailing mechanism in the accumulation of recalcitrant SOM forms [5]. However, in volcanic ash soils with intense organomineral interactions, condensation reactions of low molecular weight precursors with short-range minerals may be the main mechanism [6]. In order to shed some light about the effect of agricultural management on soil C stabilization processes on volcanic ash soils, the chemical composition of HA and some structural proxies of SOM informing on its origin and potential resistance to biodegradation, were examined in 30 soils from Canary Islands (Spain) by visible, infrared (IR) and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies, elementary analysis and pyrolytic techniques. The results of multivariate treatments, suggested at least three simultaneous C stabilization biogeochemical trends: i) diagenetic alteration of plant biomacromolecules in soils receiving

  10. Changes in soil microbial community structure influenced by agricultural management practices in a mediterranean agro-ecosystem.

    PubMed

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Zornoza, Raul; Cerdà, Artemi; Scow, Kate

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain): residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass), suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage.

  11. Changes in Soil Microbial Community Structure Influenced by Agricultural Management Practices in a Mediterranean Agro-Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Zornoza, Raul; Scow, Kate

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain): residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass), suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage. PMID:24260409

  12. Predicting Agricultural Management Influence on Long-Term Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics: Implications for Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Gollany, H. T.; Rickman, R. W.; Albrecht, S. L.; Liang, Y.; Kang, Shujiang; Machado, S.

    2011-01-01

    Long-term field experiments (LTE) are ideal for predicting the influence of agricultural management on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics and examining biofuel crop residue removal policy questions. Our objectives were (i) to simulate SOC dynamics in LTE soils under various climates, crop rotations, fertilizer or organic amendments, and crop residue managements using the CQESTR model and (ii) to predict the potential of no-tillage (NT) management to maintain SOC stocks while removing crop residue. Classical LTEs at Champaign, IL (1876), Columbia, MO (1888), Lethbridge, AB (1911), Breton, AB (1930), and Pendleton, OR (1931) were selected for their documented history of management practice and periodic soil organic matter (SOM) measurements. Management practices ranged from monoculture to 2- or 3-yr crop rotations, manure, no fertilizer or fertilizer additions, and crop residue returned, burned, or harvested. Measured and CQESTR predicted SOC stocks under diverse agronomic practices, mean annual temperature (2.1 19 C), precipitation (402 973 mm), and SOC (5.89 33.58 g SOC kg 1) at the LTE sites were significantly related (r 2 = 0.94, n = 186, P < 0.0001) with a slope not significantly different than 1. The simulation results indicated that the quantities of crop residue that can be sustainably harvested without jeopardizing SOC stocks were influenced by initial SOC stocks, crop rotation intensity, tillage practices, crop yield, and climate. Manure or a cover crop/intensified crop rotation under NT are options to mitigate loss of crop residue C, as using fertilizer alone is insufficient to overcome residue removal impact on SOC stocks

  13. Increasing Efficiency of Water Use in Agriculture through Management of Soil Water Repellency to Optimize Soil and Water Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Demie; Kostka, Stan; McMillan, Mica; Gadd, Nick

    2010-05-01

    Water's ability to infiltrate and disperse in soils, and soil's ability to receive, transport, retain, filter and release water are important factors in the efficient use of water in agriculture. Deteriorating soil conditions, including development of soil water repellency, negatively impact hydrological processes and, consequently, the efficiency of rainfall and irrigation. Soil water repellency is increasingly being identified in diverse soils and cropping systems. Recently research has been conducted on the use of novel soil surfactants (co-formulations of alkyl polyglycoside and block copolymer surfactants) to avoid or overcome soil water repellency and enhance water distribution in soils. Results indicate that this is an effective and affordable approach to maintaining or restoring soil and water productivity in irrigated cropping systems. Results from studies conducted in Australia and the United States to determine how this technology modifies soil hydrological behavior and crop yields will be presented. A range of soils and various crops, including potatoes, corn, apples and grapes, were included. Several rates were compared to controls for effect on soil moisture levels, soil water distribution, and crop yield. An economic analysis was also conducted in some trials. Treatments improved rootzone water status, significantly increased crop yield and quality, and in some cases allowed significant reductions in water requirements. Where assessed, a positive economic return was generated. This technology holds promise as a strategy for increasing efficiency of water use in agriculture.

  14. Modelling the impact of agricultural management on soil carbon stocks at the regional scale: the role of lateral fluxes.

    PubMed

    Nadeu, Elisabet; Gobin, Anne; Fiener, Peter; van Wesemael, Bas; van Oost, Kristof

    2015-08-01

    Agricultural management has received increased attention over the last decades due to its central role in carbon (C) sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation. Yet, regardless of the large body of literature on the effects of soil erosion by tillage and water on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in agricultural landscapes, the significance of soil redistribution for the overall C budget and the C sequestration potential of land management options remains poorly quantified. In this study, we explore the role of lateral SOC fluxes in regional scale modelling of SOC stocks under three different agricultural management practices in central Belgium: conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT) and reduced tillage with additional carbon input (RT+i). We assessed each management scenario twice: using a conventional approach that did not account for lateral fluxes and an alternative approach that included soil erosion-induced lateral SOC fluxes. The results show that accounting for lateral fluxes increased C sequestration rates by 2.7, 2.5 and 1.5 g C m(-2)  yr(-1) for CT, RT and RT+i, respectively, relative to the conventional approach. Soil redistribution also led to a reduction of SOC concentration in the plough layer and increased the spatial variability of SOC stocks, suggesting that C sequestration studies relying on changes in the plough layer may underestimate the soil's C sequestration potential due to the effects of soil erosion. Additionally, lateral C export from cropland was in the same of order of magnitude as C sequestration; hence, the fate of C exported from cropland into other land uses is crucial to determine the ultimate impact of management and erosion on the landscape C balance. Consequently, soil management strategies targeting C sequestration will be most effective when accompanied by measures that reduce soil erosion given that erosion loss can balance potential C uptake, particularly in sloping areas.

  15. Modelling the impact of agricultural management on soil carbon stocks at the regional scale: the role of lateral fluxes.

    PubMed

    Nadeu, Elisabet; Gobin, Anne; Fiener, Peter; van Wesemael, Bas; van Oost, Kristof

    2015-08-01

    Agricultural management has received increased attention over the last decades due to its central role in carbon (C) sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation. Yet, regardless of the large body of literature on the effects of soil erosion by tillage and water on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in agricultural landscapes, the significance of soil redistribution for the overall C budget and the C sequestration potential of land management options remains poorly quantified. In this study, we explore the role of lateral SOC fluxes in regional scale modelling of SOC stocks under three different agricultural management practices in central Belgium: conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT) and reduced tillage with additional carbon input (RT+i). We assessed each management scenario twice: using a conventional approach that did not account for lateral fluxes and an alternative approach that included soil erosion-induced lateral SOC fluxes. The results show that accounting for lateral fluxes increased C sequestration rates by 2.7, 2.5 and 1.5 g C m(-2)  yr(-1) for CT, RT and RT+i, respectively, relative to the conventional approach. Soil redistribution also led to a reduction of SOC concentration in the plough layer and increased the spatial variability of SOC stocks, suggesting that C sequestration studies relying on changes in the plough layer may underestimate the soil's C sequestration potential due to the effects of soil erosion. Additionally, lateral C export from cropland was in the same of order of magnitude as C sequestration; hence, the fate of C exported from cropland into other land uses is crucial to determine the ultimate impact of management and erosion on the landscape C balance. Consequently, soil management strategies targeting C sequestration will be most effective when accompanied by measures that reduce soil erosion given that erosion loss can balance potential C uptake, particularly in sloping areas. PMID:25663657

  16. Farm management, not soil microbial diversity, controls nutrient loss from smallholder tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Wood, Stephen A; Almaraz, Maya; Bradford, Mark A; McGuire, Krista L; Naeem, Shahid; Neill, Christopher; Palm, Cheryl A; Tully, Katherine L; Zhou, Jizhong

    2015-01-01

    Tropical smallholder agriculture is undergoing rapid transformation in nutrient cycling pathways as international development efforts strongly promote greater use of mineral fertilizers to increase crop yields. These changes in nutrient availability may alter the composition of microbial communities with consequences for rates of biogeochemical processes that control nutrient losses to the environment. Ecological theory suggests that altered microbial diversity will strongly influence processes performed by relatively few microbial taxa, such as denitrification and hence nitrogen losses as nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. Whether this theory helps predict nutrient losses from agriculture depends on the relative effects of microbial community change and increased nutrient availability on ecosystem processes. We find that mineral and organic nutrient addition to smallholder farms in Kenya alters the taxonomic and functional diversity of soil microbes. However, we find that the direct effects of farm management on both denitrification and carbon mineralization are greater than indirect effects through changes in the taxonomic and functional diversity of microbial communities. Changes in functional diversity are strongly coupled to changes in specific functional genes involved in denitrification, suggesting that it is the expression, rather than abundance, of key functional genes that can serve as an indicator of ecosystem process rates. Our results thus suggest that widely used broad summary statistics of microbial diversity based on DNA may be inappropriate for linking microbial communities to ecosystem processes in certain applied settings. Our results also raise doubts about the relative control of microbial composition compared to direct effects of management on nutrient losses in applied settings such as tropical agriculture.

  17. Farm management, not soil microbial diversity, controls nutrient loss from smallholder tropical agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Stephen A.; Almaraz, Maya; Bradford, Mark A.; McGuire, Krista L.; Naeem, Shahid; Neill, Christopher; Palm, Cheryl A.; Tully, Katherine L.; Zhou, Jizhong

    2015-01-01

    Tropical smallholder agriculture is undergoing rapid transformation in nutrient cycling pathways as international development efforts strongly promote greater use of mineral fertilizers to increase crop yields. These changes in nutrient availability may alter the composition of microbial communities with consequences for rates of biogeochemical processes that control nutrient losses to the environment. Ecological theory suggests that altered microbial diversity will strongly influence processes performed by relatively few microbial taxa, such as denitrification and hence nitrogen losses as nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. Whether this theory helps predict nutrient losses from agriculture depends on the relative effects of microbial community change and increased nutrient availability on ecosystem processes. We find that mineral and organic nutrient addition to smallholder farms in Kenya alters the taxonomic and functional diversity of soil microbes. However, we find that the direct effects of farm management on both denitrification and carbon mineralization are greater than indirect effects through changes in the taxonomic and functional diversity of microbial communities. Changes in functional diversity are strongly coupled to changes in specific functional genes involved in denitrification, suggesting that it is the expression, rather than abundance, of key functional genes that can serve as an indicator of ecosystem process rates. Our results thus suggest that widely used broad summary statistics of microbial diversity based on DNA may be inappropriate for linking microbial communities to ecosystem processes in certain applied settings. Our results also raise doubts about the relative control of microbial composition compared to direct effects of management on nutrient losses in applied settings such as tropical agriculture. PMID:25926815

  18. Retrieval of Soil Moisture Content from SAR Data to Support Water Resources Management and Agricultural Practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filion, Rebecca; Dissanska, Maria; Mascaro, Giuseppe; Gherboudj, Imen; Dong, Lu; Bernier, Monique; Ludwig, Ralf; Soddu, Antonino; Hoang, Kim Huong; Deidda, Roberto; Paniconi, Claudio

    2010-12-01

    There is a strong interest in assessing the potential of space-based monitoring of surface characteristics which are critical to hydrological and agricultural applications. Our study consists on the acquisition of ENVISAT ASAR and RADARSAT-2 images over an important agricultural region in Sardinia (Italy). Jointly with image acquisition, ground data (surface soil moisture and roughness) was collected from 2005 to 2009. The research investigates soil moisture dynamics and detection at both the watershed scale (multi-temporal analysis for the Campidano region) and the field scale (retrieval algorithms tested on individual plots). This paper will focus mainly on field scale research. Preliminary results on the assessment of a semi-empirical model for surface soil moisture and roughness inversion will be presented, followed by the results of a study on RADARSAT-2 soil moisture retrieval. To conclude, a statistical analysis of the multiyear ground truth soil moisture data will be presented.

  19. Straw management effects on CO2 efflux and C storage in different Mediterranean agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Badía, David; Martí, Clara; Aguirre, Angel J

    2013-11-01

    The crop residues buried in semiarid soils as a carbon sink are evaluated. Both C-CO2 evolved and C sequestered from agricultural soils amended with barley straw were measured seasonally over 2 farming seasons in a semiarid environment (NE Spain). Six experimental soils with low organic matter content and contrasted properties were selected. The CO2 efflux, as a result of soil microbial activity, showed a significant seasonal variation according to changes in both soil moisture and temperature being the spring and early summer when respiration rates get higher. On annual average, more organic, calcareous soils, evolved higher carbon dioxide efflux (up to 53 mg CO2/kg and day) than soils with high levels of gypsum or more soluble salts (up to 25 mg CO2/kg and day), which have a lower percentage of organic carbon. Straw residue incorporation increases these CO2 emissions significantly for each soil type. Although CO2 emissions are significantly and negatively correlated with the C storage, straw addition increases soil organic C content, at the end of the period of study. In calcareous soils were stored up to 550 kgC/ha and year, gypseous soils up to 1135 kgC/ha and year and saline soils up to 1450 kgC/ha and year. According to the amount of stored C in the different soil types, the isohumic coefficient of barley straw ranges from 0.087 to 0.259 (kg of humus formed from 1 kg of dry straw).

  20. Sensor-based soil water monitoring to more effectively manage agricultural water resources in coastal plain soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellamy, Christopher A.

    Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is widely grown in the United States with 5.7 million ha grown nationally and 1.2 million ha grown in the humid southeastern states in 2005. From 1969 to 2003, agricultural irrigated farmland acreage and total water applied increased by over 40% and 11% respectively to include a total of 55.3 million acres in 2002. Combined with recent and more frequent drought periods and legal water conflicts between states, there has been an increased interest in more effective southeastern water management, thus making the need to develop improved irrigation scheduling methods and enhanced water use efficiency of cotton cultivars. Several irrigation scheduling methods (soil moisture monitoring, pan evaporation, and climate based) tested at Clemson and elsewhere have shown that sensor-based irrigation significantly increased cotton yields and provided a monetary savings compared to other methods. There is however limited information on capacitance based soil moisture analysis techniques in the southeastern coastal plain soils and also limited locally developed crop coefficients used in scheduling the ET based treatments. The first objective of this study was to determine and improve the feasibility of utilizing sensor-based soil water monitoring techniques in Southeastern Coastal Plain soils to more effectively manage irrigation and increase water use efficiency of several cotton cultivars. The second objective was to develop two weighing lysimeters equipped with wireless data acquisition system to determine a crop coefficient for cotton under southeastern humid conditions. Two multi-sensor capacitance probes, AquaSpy(TM) and Sentek EnviroSCAN RTM, were calibrated in this study. It was found that positive linear calibrations can be used to describe the relationship between the soil volumetric moisture content (VMC) and sensor readings found for both probes and that multi-sensor capacitance probes can be used to accurately measure volumetric soil

  1. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-01

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  2. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-01

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  3. Distribution of tetraether lipids in agricultural soils - differentiation between paddy and upland management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller-Niggemann, Cornelia; Rahayu Utami, Sri; Marxen, Anika; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Bauersachs, Thorsten; Schwark, Lorenz

    2016-03-01

    Rice paddies constitute almost a fifth of global cropland and provide more than half of the world's population with staple food. At the same time, they are a major source of methane and therewith significantly contribute to the current warming of Earth's atmosphere. Despite their apparent importance in the cycling of carbon and other elements, however, the microorganisms thriving in rice paddies are insufficiently characterized with respect to their biomolecules. Hardly any information exists on human-induced alteration of biomolecules from natural microbial communities in paddy soils through varying management types (affecting, e.g., soil or water redox conditions, cultivated plants). Here, we determined the influence of different land use types on the distribution of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs), which serve as molecular indicators for microbial community structures, in rice paddy (periodically flooded) and adjacent upland (non-flooded) soils and, for further comparison, forest, bushland and marsh soils. To differentiate local effects on GDGT distribution patterns, we collected soil samples in locations from tropical (Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines) and subtropical (China and Italy) sites. We found that differences in the distribution of isoprenoid GDGTs (iGDGTs) as well as of branched GDGTs (brGDGTs) are predominantly controlled by management type and only secondarily by climatic exposition. In general, upland soil had higher crenarchaeol contents than paddy soil, which by contrast was more enriched in GDGT-0. The GDGT-0 / crenarchaeol ratio, indicating the enhanced presence of methanogenic archaea, was 3-27 times higher in paddy soils compared to other soils and increased with the number of rice cultivation cycles per year. The index of tetraethers consisting of 86 carbons (TEX86) values were 1.3 times higher in upland, bushland and forest soils than in paddy soils, potentially due to differences in soil temperature. In all soils br

  4. Soil Bacterial Community Response to Differences in Agricultural Management along with Seasonal Changes in a Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Bevivino, Annamaria; Paganin, Patrizia; Bacci, Giovanni; Florio, Alessandro; Pellicer, Maite Sampedro; Papaleo, Maria Cristiana; Mengoni, Alessio; Ledda, Luigi; Fani, Renato; Benedetti, Anna; Dalmastri, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Land-use change is considered likely to be one of main drivers of biodiversity changes in grassland ecosystems. To gain insight into the impact of land use on the underlying soil bacterial communities, we aimed at determining the effects of agricultural management, along with seasonal variations, on soil bacterial community in a Mediterranean ecosystem where different land-use and plant cover types led to the creation of a soil and vegetation gradient. A set of soils subjected to different anthropogenic impact in a typical Mediterranean landscape, dominated by Quercus suber L., was examined in spring and autumn: a natural cork-oak forest, a pasture, a managed meadow, and two vineyards (ploughed and grass covered). Land uses affected the chemical and structural composition of the most stabilised fractions of soil organic matter and reduced soil C stocks and labile organic matter at both sampling season. A significant effect of land uses on bacterial community structure as well as an interaction effect between land uses and season was revealed by the EP index. Cluster analysis of culture-dependent DGGE patterns showed a different seasonal distribution of soil bacterial populations with subgroups associated to different land uses, in agreement with culture-independent T-RFLP results. Soils subjected to low human inputs (cork-oak forest and pasture) showed a more stable bacterial community than those with high human input (vineyards and managed meadow). Phylogenetic analysis revealed the predominance of Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes phyla with differences in class composition across the site, suggesting that the microbial composition changes in response to land uses. Taken altogether, our data suggest that soil bacterial communities were seasonally distinct and exhibited compositional shifts that tracked with changes in land use and soil management. These findings may contribute to future searches for bacterial bio-indicators of soil

  5. Soil bacterial community response to differences in agricultural management along with seasonal changes in a Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Bevivino, Annamaria; Paganin, Patrizia; Bacci, Giovanni; Florio, Alessandro; Pellicer, Maite Sampedro; Papaleo, Maria Cristiana; Mengoni, Alessio; Ledda, Luigi; Fani, Renato; Benedetti, Anna; Dalmastri, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Land-use change is considered likely to be one of main drivers of biodiversity changes in grassland ecosystems. To gain insight into the impact of land use on the underlying soil bacterial communities, we aimed at determining the effects of agricultural management, along with seasonal variations, on soil bacterial community in a Mediterranean ecosystem where different land-use and plant cover types led to the creation of a soil and vegetation gradient. A set of soils subjected to different anthropogenic impact in a typical Mediterranean landscape, dominated by Quercus suber L., was examined in spring and autumn: a natural cork-oak forest, a pasture, a managed meadow, and two vineyards (ploughed and grass covered). Land uses affected the chemical and structural composition of the most stabilised fractions of soil organic matter and reduced soil C stocks and labile organic matter at both sampling season. A significant effect of land uses on bacterial community structure as well as an interaction effect between land uses and season was revealed by the EP index. Cluster analysis of culture-dependent DGGE patterns showed a different seasonal distribution of soil bacterial populations with subgroups associated to different land uses, in agreement with culture-independent T-RFLP results. Soils subjected to low human inputs (cork-oak forest and pasture) showed a more stable bacterial community than those with high human input (vineyards and managed meadow). Phylogenetic analysis revealed the predominance of Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes phyla with differences in class composition across the site, suggesting that the microbial composition changes in response to land uses. Taken altogether, our data suggest that soil bacterial communities were seasonally distinct and exhibited compositional shifts that tracked with changes in land use and soil management. These findings may contribute to future searches for bacterial bio-indicators of soil

  6. Influence of inorganic nitrogen management regime on the diversity of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in agricultural grassland soils.

    PubMed

    Freitag, Thomas E; Chang, Lisa; Clegg, Christopher D; Prosser, James I

    2005-12-01

    To assess links between the diversity of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) in agricultural grassland soils and inorganic N fertilizer management, NOB communities in fertilized and unfertilized soils were characterized by analysis of clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments. Previously uncharacterized Nitrospira-like sequences were isolated from both long-term-fertilized and unfertilized soils, but DGGE migration patterns indicated the presence of additional sequence types in the fertilized soils. Detailed phylogenetic analysis of Nitrospira-like sequences suggests the existence of one newly described evolutionary group and of subclusters within previously described sublineages, potentially representing different ecotypes; the new group may represent a lineage of noncharacterized Nitrospira species. Clone libraries of Nitrobacter-like sequences generated from soils under different long-term N management regimes were dominated by sequences with high similarity to the rhizoplane isolate Nitrobacter sp. strain PJN1. However, the diversity of Nitrobacter communities did not differ significantly between the two soil types. This is the first cultivation-independent study of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in soil demonstrating that nitrogen management practices influence the diversity of this bacterial functional group.

  7. Alterations of hydraulic soil properties influenced by land-use changes and agricultural management systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weninger, Thomas; Kreiselmeier, Janis; Chandrasekhar, Parvathy; Jülich, Stefan; Schwärzel, Kai; Schwen, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Estimation and modeling of soil water movement and the hydrologic balance of soils requires sound knowledge about hydraulic soil properties (HSP). The soil water characteristics, the hydraulic conductivity function and the pore size distribution (PSD) are commonly used instruments for the mathematical representation of HSP. Recent research highlighted the temporal variability of these functions caused by meteorological or land-use influences. State of the art modeling software for the continuous simulation of soil water movement uses a stationary approach for the HSP which means that their time dependent alterations and the subsequent effects on soil water balance is not considered. Mathematical approaches to describe the evolution of PSD are nevertheless known, but there is a lack of sound data basis for parameter estimation. Based on extensive field and laboratory measurements at 5 locations along a climatic gradient across Austria and Germany, this study will quantify short-term changes in HSP, detect driving forces and introduce a method to predict the effects of soil and land management actions on the soil water balance. Amongst several soil properties, field-saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivities will be determined using a hood infiltration experiments in the field as well as by evaporation and dewpoint potentiometer method in the lab. All measurements will be carried out multiple times over a span of 2 years which will allow a detailed monitoring of changes in HSP. Experimental sites where we expect significant inter-seasonal changes will be equipped with sensors for soil moisture and matric potential. The choice of experimental field sites follows the intention to involve especially the effects of tillage operations, different cultivation strategies, microclimatically effective structures and land-use changes. The international project enables the coverage of a broad range of soil types as well as climate conditions and hence will have broad

  8. Soil management shapes ecosystem service provision and trade-offs in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Tamburini, Giovanni; De Simone, Serena; Sigura, Maurizia; Boscutti, Francesco; Marini, Lorenzo

    2016-08-31

    Agroecosystems are principally managed to maximize food provisioning even if they receive a large array of supporting and regulating ecosystem services (ESs). Hence, comprehensive studies investigating the effects of local management and landscape composition on the provision of and trade-offs between multiple ESs are urgently needed. We explored the effects of conservation tillage, nitrogen fertilization and landscape composition on six ESs (crop production, disease control, soil fertility, water quality regulation, weed and pest control) in winter cereals. Conservation tillage enhanced soil fertility and pest control, decreased water quality regulation and weed control, without affecting crop production and disease control. Fertilization only influenced crop production by increasing grain yield. Landscape intensification reduced the provision of disease and pest control. We also found tillage and landscape composition to interactively affect water quality regulation and weed control. Under N fertilization, conventional tillage resulted in more trade-offs between ESs than conservation tillage. Our results demonstrate that soil management and landscape composition affect the provision of several ESs and that soil management potentially shapes the trade-offs between them. PMID:27559064

  9. Soil management shapes ecosystem service provision and trade-offs in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Tamburini, Giovanni; De Simone, Serena; Sigura, Maurizia; Boscutti, Francesco; Marini, Lorenzo

    2016-08-31

    Agroecosystems are principally managed to maximize food provisioning even if they receive a large array of supporting and regulating ecosystem services (ESs). Hence, comprehensive studies investigating the effects of local management and landscape composition on the provision of and trade-offs between multiple ESs are urgently needed. We explored the effects of conservation tillage, nitrogen fertilization and landscape composition on six ESs (crop production, disease control, soil fertility, water quality regulation, weed and pest control) in winter cereals. Conservation tillage enhanced soil fertility and pest control, decreased water quality regulation and weed control, without affecting crop production and disease control. Fertilization only influenced crop production by increasing grain yield. Landscape intensification reduced the provision of disease and pest control. We also found tillage and landscape composition to interactively affect water quality regulation and weed control. Under N fertilization, conventional tillage resulted in more trade-offs between ESs than conservation tillage. Our results demonstrate that soil management and landscape composition affect the provision of several ESs and that soil management potentially shapes the trade-offs between them.

  10. Agriculture Business and Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seperich, George; And Others

    This curriculum guide is intended for vocational agriculture teachers who deliver agricultural business and management programs at the secondary or postsecondary level. It is based on the Arizona validated occupational competencies and tasks for management and supervisory positions in agricultural business. The competency/skill and task list…

  11. Improving soil moisture simulation to support Agricultural Water Resource Management using Satellite-based water cycle observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Manika; Bolten, John; Lakshmi, Venkat

    2016-04-01

    Efficient and sustainable irrigation systems require optimization of operational parameters such as irrigation amount which are dependent on the soil hydraulic parameters that affect the model's accuracy in simulating soil water content. However, it is a scientific challenge to provide reliable estimates of soil hydraulic parameters and irrigation estimates, given the absence of continuously operating soil moisture and rain gauge network. For agricultural water resource management, the in-situ measurements of soil moisture are currently limited to discrete measurements at specific locations, and such point-based measurements do not represent the spatial distribution at a larger scale accurately, as soil moisture is highly variable both spatially and temporally (Wang and Qu 2009). In the current study, flood irrigation scheme within the land surface model is triggered when the root-zone soil moisture deficit reaches below a threshold of 25%, 50% and 75% with respect to the maximum available water capacity (difference between field capacity and wilting point) and applied until the top layer is saturated. An additional important criterion needed to activate the irrigation scheme is to ensure that it is irrigation season by assuming that the greenness vegetation fraction (GVF) of the pixel exceed 0.40 of the climatological annual range of GVF (Ozdogan et al. 2010). The main hypothesis used in this study is that near-surface remote sensing soil moisture data contain useful information that can describe the effective hydrological conditions of the basin such that when appropriately inverted, it would provide field capacity and wilting point soil moisture, which may be representative of that basin. Thus, genetic algorithm inverse method is employed to derive the effective parameters and derive the soil moisture deficit for the root zone by coupling of AMSR-E soil moisture with the physically based hydrological model. Model performance is evaluated using MODIS

  12. Spatially governed climate factors dominate management in determining the quantity and distribution of soil organic carbon in dryland agricultural systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyle, Frances C.; O’Leary, Rebecca A.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2016-08-01

    Few studies describe the primary drivers influencing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and the distribution of carbon (C) fractions in agricultural systems from semi-arid regions; yet these soils comprise one fifth of the global land area. Here we identified the primary drivers for changes in total SOC and associated particulate (POC), humus (HOC) and resistant (ROC) organic C fractions for 1347 sample points in the semi-arid agricultural region of Western Australia. Total SOC stock (0–0.3 m) varied from 4 to 209 t C ha‑1 with 79% of variation explained by measured variables. The proportion of C in POC, HOC and ROC fractions averaged 28%, 45% and 27% respectively. Climate (43%) and land management practices (32%) had the largest relative influence on variation in total SOC. Carbon accumulation was constrained where average daily temperature was above 17.2 °C and annual rainfall below 450 mm, representing approximately 42% of the 197,300 km2 agricultural region. As such large proportions of this region are not suited to C sequestration strategies. For the remainder of the region a strong influence of management practices on SOC indicate opportunities for C sequestration strategies associated with incorporation of longer pasture phases and adequate fertilisation.

  13. Spatially governed climate factors dominate management in determining the quantity and distribution of soil organic carbon in dryland agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Hoyle, Frances C; O'Leary, Rebecca A; Murphy, Daniel V

    2016-01-01

    Few studies describe the primary drivers influencing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and the distribution of carbon (C) fractions in agricultural systems from semi-arid regions; yet these soils comprise one fifth of the global land area. Here we identified the primary drivers for changes in total SOC and associated particulate (POC), humus (HOC) and resistant (ROC) organic C fractions for 1347 sample points in the semi-arid agricultural region of Western Australia. Total SOC stock (0-0.3 m) varied from 4 to 209 t C ha(-1) with 79% of variation explained by measured variables. The proportion of C in POC, HOC and ROC fractions averaged 28%, 45% and 27% respectively. Climate (43%) and land management practices (32%) had the largest relative influence on variation in total SOC. Carbon accumulation was constrained where average daily temperature was above 17.2 °C and annual rainfall below 450 mm, representing approximately 42% of the 197,300 km(2) agricultural region. As such large proportions of this region are not suited to C sequestration strategies. For the remainder of the region a strong influence of management practices on SOC indicate opportunities for C sequestration strategies associated with incorporation of longer pasture phases and adequate fertilisation.

  14. Spatially governed climate factors dominate management in determining the quantity and distribution of soil organic carbon in dryland agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Hoyle, Frances C.; O’Leary, Rebecca A.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2016-01-01

    Few studies describe the primary drivers influencing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and the distribution of carbon (C) fractions in agricultural systems from semi-arid regions; yet these soils comprise one fifth of the global land area. Here we identified the primary drivers for changes in total SOC and associated particulate (POC), humus (HOC) and resistant (ROC) organic C fractions for 1347 sample points in the semi-arid agricultural region of Western Australia. Total SOC stock (0–0.3 m) varied from 4 to 209 t C ha−1 with 79% of variation explained by measured variables. The proportion of C in POC, HOC and ROC fractions averaged 28%, 45% and 27% respectively. Climate (43%) and land management practices (32%) had the largest relative influence on variation in total SOC. Carbon accumulation was constrained where average daily temperature was above 17.2 °C and annual rainfall below 450 mm, representing approximately 42% of the 197,300 km2 agricultural region. As such large proportions of this region are not suited to C sequestration strategies. For the remainder of the region a strong influence of management practices on SOC indicate opportunities for C sequestration strategies associated with incorporation of longer pasture phases and adequate fertilisation. PMID:27530805

  15. Spatially governed climate factors dominate management in determining the quantity and distribution of soil organic carbon in dryland agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Hoyle, Frances C; O'Leary, Rebecca A; Murphy, Daniel V

    2016-01-01

    Few studies describe the primary drivers influencing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and the distribution of carbon (C) fractions in agricultural systems from semi-arid regions; yet these soils comprise one fifth of the global land area. Here we identified the primary drivers for changes in total SOC and associated particulate (POC), humus (HOC) and resistant (ROC) organic C fractions for 1347 sample points in the semi-arid agricultural region of Western Australia. Total SOC stock (0-0.3 m) varied from 4 to 209 t C ha(-1) with 79% of variation explained by measured variables. The proportion of C in POC, HOC and ROC fractions averaged 28%, 45% and 27% respectively. Climate (43%) and land management practices (32%) had the largest relative influence on variation in total SOC. Carbon accumulation was constrained where average daily temperature was above 17.2 °C and annual rainfall below 450 mm, representing approximately 42% of the 197,300 km(2) agricultural region. As such large proportions of this region are not suited to C sequestration strategies. For the remainder of the region a strong influence of management practices on SOC indicate opportunities for C sequestration strategies associated with incorporation of longer pasture phases and adequate fertilisation. PMID:27530805

  16. Land use and land management effects on soil organic carbon stock in Mediterranean agricultural areas (Southern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Lozano-García, Beatriz

    2014-05-01

    INTRODUCTION Soils play a key role in the carbon geochemical cycle. Agriculture contributes to carbon sequestration through photosynthesis and the incorporation of carbon into carbohydrates. Soil management is one of the best tools for climate change mitigation. Small increases or decreases in soil carbon content due to changes in land use or management practices, may result in a significant net exchange of carbon between the soil carbon pool and the atmosphere. In the last decades arable crops (AC) have been transformed into olive grove cultivations (OG) or vineyards (V) in Mediterranean areas. A field study was conducted to determine long-term effects of land use change (LUC) (AC by OG and V) on soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), C:N ratio and their stratification in Calcic-Chromic Luvisols (LVcc/cr) in Mediterranean conditions. MATERIAL AND METHODS An unirrigated farm in Montilla-Moriles (Córdoba, Spain) cultivated under conventional tillage (animal power with lightweight reversible plows and non-mineral fertilization or pesticides) was selected for study in 1965. In 1966, the farm was divided into three plots with three different uses (AC, OG and V). The preliminary analyses were realized in 1965 for AC (AC1), and the second analyses were realized in 2011 for AC (AC2 - winter crop rotation with annual wheat and barley, receiving mineral fertilization or pesticides), OG (annual passes with disk harrow and cultivator in the spring, followed by a tine harrow in the summer receiving mineral fertilization and weed control with residual herbicides), and V (with three or five chisel passes a year from early spring to early autumn with mineral fertilization or pesticides.). In all cases (AC1, AC2, OG and V) were collected soil entire profiles. Soil properties determined were: soil particle size, bulk density, SOC, TN, C:N ratio, stocks and SRs. The statistical significance of the differences in the variables between land use practices was tested using the

  17. Soil Erosion and Agricultural Sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, D. R.

    2009-04-01

    Data drawn from a global compilation of studies support the long articulated contention that erosion rates from conventionally plowed agricultural fields greatly exceed rates of soil production, erosion under native vegetation, and long-term geological erosion. Whereas data compiled from around the world show that soil erosion under conventional agriculture exceeds both rates of soil production and geological erosion rates by up to several orders of magnitude, similar global distributions of soil production and geological erosion rates suggest an approximate balance. Net soil erosion rates in conventionally plowed fields on the order of 1 mm/yr can erode typical hillslope soil profiles over centuries to millennia, time-scales comparable to the longevity of major civilizations. Well-documented episodes of soil loss associated with agricultural activities date back to the introduction of erosive agricultural methods in regions around the world, and stratigraphic records of accelerated anthropogenic soil erosion have been recovered from lake, fluvial, and colluvial stratigraphy, as well as truncation of soil stratigraphy (such as truncated A horizons). A broad convergence in the results from studies based on various approaches employed to study ancient soil loss and rates of downstream sedimentation implies that widespread soil loss has accompanied human agricultural intensification in examples drawn from around the world. While a broad range of factors, including climate variability and society-specific social and economic contexts — such as wars or colonial relationships — all naturally influence the longevity of human societies, the ongoing loss of topsoil inferred from studies of soil erosion rates in conventional agricultural systems has obvious long-term implications for agricultural sustainability. Consequently, modern agriculture — and therefore global society — faces a fundamental question over the upcoming centuries. Can an agricultural system

  18. Soil moisture: Some fundamentals. [agriculture - soil mechanics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milstead, B. W.

    1975-01-01

    A brief tutorial on soil moisture, as it applies to agriculture, is presented. Information was taken from books and papers considered freshman college level material, and is an attempt to briefly present the basic concept of soil moisture and a minimal understanding of how water interacts with soil.

  19. Impacts of agricultural management and climate change on future soil organic carbon dynamics in North China Plain.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guocheng; Li, Tingting; Zhang, Wen; Yu, Yongqiang

    2014-01-01

    Dynamics of cropland soil organic carbon (SOC) in response to different management practices and environmental conditions across North China Plain (NCP) were studied using a modeling approach. We identified the key variables driving SOC changes at a high spatial resolution (10 km × 10 km) and long time scale (90 years). The model used future climatic data from the FGOALS model based on four future greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration scenarios. Agricultural practices included different rates of nitrogen (N) fertilization, manure application, and stubble retention. We found that SOC change was significantly influenced by the management practices of stubble retention (linearly positive), manure application (linearly positive) and nitrogen fertilization (nonlinearly positive) - and the edaphic variable of initial SOC content (linearly negative). Temperature had weakly positive effects, while precipitation had negligible impacts on SOC dynamics under current irrigation management. The effects of increased N fertilization on SOC changes were most significant between the rates of 0 and 300 kg ha-1 yr-1. With a moderate rate of manure application (i.e., 2000 kg ha-1 yr-1), stubble retention (i.e., 50%), and an optimal rate of nitrogen fertilization (i.e., 300 kg ha-1 yr-1), more than 60% of the study area showed an increase in SOC, and the average SOC density across NCP was relatively steady during the study period. If the rates of manure application and stubble retention doubled (i.e., manure application rate of 4000 kg ha-1 yr-1 and stubble retention rate of 100%), soils across more than 90% of the study area would act as a net C sink, and the average SOC density kept increasing from 40 Mg ha-1 during 2010s to the current worldwide average of ∼ 55 Mg ha-1 during 2060s. The results can help target agricultural management practices for effectively mitigating climate change through soil C sequestration.

  20. Slash-and-char: An ancient agricultural technique holds new promise for management of soils contaminated by Cd, Pb and Zn.

    PubMed

    Niu, Li-Qin; Jia, Pu; Li, Shao-Peng; Kuang, Jia-Liang; He, Xiao-Xin; Zhou, Wen-Hua; Liao, Bin; Shu, Wen-Sheng; Li, Jin-Tian

    2015-10-01

    Heavy metal contamination of agricultural soils is of worldwide concern. Unfortunately, there are currently no efficient and sustainable approaches for addressing this concern. In this study, we conducted a field experiment in which an agricultural soil highly contaminated by cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) was treated on-site by an ancient agricultural technique, 'slash-and-char', that was able to convert the biomass feedstock (rice straw) into biochar in only one day. We found evidence that in comparison to the untreated soil, the treated soil was associated with decreased bioavailability of the heavy metals and increased vegetable yields. Most importantly, the treatment was also coupled with dramatic reductions in concentrations of the heavy metals in vegetables, which made it possible to produce safe crops in this highly contaminated soil. Collectively, our results support the idea that slash-and-char offers new promise for management of soils contaminated by Cd, Pb and Zn.

  1. Phosphate solubilizing microbes: sustainable approach for managing phosphorus deficiency in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Seema B; Sayyed, Riyaz Z; Trivedi, Mrugesh H; Gobi, Thivakaran A

    2013-01-01

    Phosphorus is the second important key element after nitrogen as a mineral nutrient in terms of quantitative plant requirement. Although abundant in soils, in both organic and inorganic forms, its availability is restricted as it occurs mostly in insoluble forms. The P content in average soil is about 0.05% (w/w) but only 0.1% of the total P is available to plant because of poor solubility and its fixation in soil (Illmer and Schinner, Soil Biol Biochem 27:257-263, 1995). An adequate supply of phosphorus during early phases of plant development is important for laying down the primordia of plant reproductive parts. It plays significant role in increasing root ramification and strength thereby imparting vitality and disease resistance capacity to plant. It also helps in seed formation and in early maturation of crops like cereals and legumes. Poor availability or deficiency of phosphorus (P) markedly reduces plant size and growth. Phosphorus accounts about 0.2 - 0.8% of the plant dry weight. To satisfy crop nutritional requirements, P is usually added to soil as chemical P fertilizer, however synthesis of chemical P fertilizer is highly energy intensive processes, and has long term impacts on the environment in terms of eutrophication, soil fertilility depletion, carbon footprint. Moreover, plants can use only a small amount of this P since 75-90% of added P is precipitated by metal-cation complexes, and rapidly becomes fixed in soils. Such environmental concerns have led to the search for sustainable way of P nutrition of crops. In this regards phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms (PSM) have been seen as best eco-friendly means for P nutrition of crop. Although, several bacterial (pseudomonads and bacilli) and fungal strains (Aspergilli and Penicillium) have been identified as PSM their performance under in situ conditions is not reliable and therefore needs to be improved by using either genetically modified strains or co-inoculation techniques. This review

  2. Soil biology and carbon in dryland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The goal of this paper is to explore potential management strategies in dryland agriculture that can promote soil health and crop productivity. Traditional crop production in the semiarid Great Plains consists of conventional tillage management of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) - summer fallow....

  3. Modeling biogeochemistry in agricultural soils

    SciTech Connect

    Li, C.; Frolking, S.; Harriss, R.

    1994-09-01

    An existing model of C and N dynamics in soils was supplemented with a plant growth submodel and cropping practice routines (fertilization, irrigation, tillage, crop rotation, and manure amendments) to study the biogeochemistry of soil carbon in arable lands. The new model was validated against field results for short-term (1-9 years) decomposition experiments, the seasonal pattern of soil CO{sub 2} respiration, and long-term (100 years) soil carbon storage dynamics. A series of sensitivity runs investigated the impact of varying agricultural practices on soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. The tests were simulated for corn (maize) plots over a range of soil and climate conditions typical of the United States. The largest carbon sequestration occurred with manure additions; the results were very sensitive to soil texture (more clay led to greater sequestration). Increased N fertilization generally enhanced carbon sequestration, but the results were sensitive to soil texture, initial soil carbon content, and annual precipitation. Reduced tillage also generally (but not always) increased SOC content, through the results were very sensitive to soil texture, initial SOC content, and annual precipitation. A series of long-term simulations investigated the SOC equilibrium for various agricultural practices, soil and climate conditions, and crop rotations. Equilibrium SOC content increased with decreasing temperatures, increasing clay content, enhanced N fertilization, manure amendments, and crops with higher residue yield. Time to equilibrium appears to be one hundred to several hundred years. In all cases, equilibration time was longer for increasing SOC content than for decreasing SOC content. Efforts to enhance carbon sequestration in agricultural soils would do well to focus on those specific areas and agricultural practices with the greatest potential for increasing soil carbon content. 64 refs., 13 figs., 5 tabs.

  4. Soil water and carbon management for agricultural resilience in a key node in the global virtual water trade network: Mato Grosso, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, M. S.; Speratti, A. B.; Lathuilliere, M. J.; Dalmagro, H. J.; Couto, E. G.

    2015-12-01

    The Amazon region is globally connected through agricultural exports, with the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso in particular emerging as a key node in the global virtual water trade network in recent years, based largely on rainfed agriculture. The anticipated growth in the world's population suggests that virtual water trade will only become more important to global food security. In this presentation we will evaluate strategies for improving the resilience of rainfed agriculture in the region, particularly for the nearly 12 million hectares of sandy soil with low water holding capacity within Mato Grosso that has largely been converted to agricultural use. We will review land use change trajectories and present results from soil water balance modeling and carbon fluxes for a range of future scenarios, including continued agricultural extensification, potential strategies for agricultural intensification, and novel water and carbon management strategies including biochar use in sandy soils to improve soil water holding capacities and soil carbon sequestration. We will also consider the role that irrigation might play in the future in the Amazon for improving agricultural resilience to climate change and feedbacks between irrigation and land use change pressures, noting that groundwater resources in the region are presently among the least exploited on the planet.

  5. Soil Enzyme Activities, Microbial Communities and Carbon and Nitrogen Availability in Organic Agroecosystems Across an Intensively-Managed Agricultural Landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Variability in the activity and composition of soil microbial communities may have important implications for the suite of microbially-derived ecosystem functions upon which agricultural systems rely, particularly organic agriculture. An on-farm approach was used to investigate microbial communitie...

  6. Lesson Plans for Teaching Basic Vocational Agriculture. Section III. Introduction to Soil Management and Classification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCully, James S., Jr., Comp.

    This publication, one of five sections, was developed for use in first and second year basic agriculture courses in secondary schools in Mississippi. The five lessons focus on the measurement and description of property and the classification of land. The purposes of the lessons are to (1) introduce the units and methods used to measure distance…

  7. EFFECT OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON THE SOIL MICROBIAL COMMUNITY IN AGRICULTURAL AND NATIVE SYSTEMS IN BRAZIL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increase in agricultural practices in the Cerrado (tropical savannah) and Amazon regions in Brazil is causing drastic changes in the nutrient and carbon cycling of native areas. Because microorganisms play a key role in biogeochemical cycling, monitoring the shifts in the microb...

  8. Impact of conservation land management practices on soil microbial function in an agricultural watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) involves removing agricultural land from production and replanting with native vegetation for the purpose of reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment. In 2002, part of the Beasley Lake watershed in the Mississippi Delta was enrolled in CRP. In ad...

  9. Nitrate Distribution in Soil Moisture and Groundwater with Intensive Plantation Management on Abandoned Agricultural Land

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, T.M.

    1998-01-01

    Paper outlines nitrate leaching results of loblolly pine and sweet gum that were grown with irrigation, continuous fertilization and insect pest control on a year old abandoned peanut field. Wells and tension lysimeters were used to measure nitrate in soil moisture and groundwater on three replicate transects for two years. Groundwater nitrate concentration beneath the minimum treatment was much higher than the maximum treatment and old field. All three treatments often exceeded the drinking water standard. Forest and lake edge had low levels while the soil moisture nitrate concentrations in the two plantations treatments were much higher than the old field.

  10. Estimation of NH3 Bi-Directional Flux from Managed Agricultural Soils

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Community Multi-Scale Air Quality model (CMAQ v4.7) contains a bi-directional ammonia (NH3) flux option that computes emission and deposition of ammonia derived from commercial fertilizer via a temperature dependent parameterization of canopy and soil compensation ...

  11. Does North Appalachian Agriculture Contribute to Soil Carbon Sequestration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural systems are important for world ecosystems. They can be managed to moderate CO2 emissions. World soils can be both a sink and source of atmospheric CO2, but it is a slow process. Data from long-term soil management experiments are needed to assess soil carbon (C) sink capacity through a...

  12. Abundance and Diversity of CO2-Assimilating Bacteria and Algae Within Red Agricultural Soils Are Modulated by Changing Management Practice.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Hongzhao; Ge, Tida; Chen, Xiangbi; Liu, Shoulong; Zhu, Zhenke; Wu, Xiaohong; Wei, Wenxue; Whiteley, Andrew Steven; Wu, Jinshui

    2015-11-01

    Elucidating the biodiversity of CO(2)-assimilating bacterial and algal communities in soils is important for obtaining a mechanistic view of terrestrial carbon sinks operating at global scales. "Red" acidic soils (Orthic Acrisols) cover large geographic areas and are subject to a range of management practices, which may alter the balance between carbon dioxide production and assimilation through changes in microbial CO(2)-assimilating populations. Here, we determined the abundance and diversity of CO(2)-assimilating bacteria and algae in acidic soils using quantitative PCR and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of the cbbL gene, which encodes the key CO(2) assimilation enzyme (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) in the Calvin cycle. Within the framework of a long-term experiment (Taoyuan Agro-ecosystem, subtropical China), paddy rice fields were converted in 1995 to four alternative land management regimes: natural forest (NF), paddy rice (PR), maize crops (CL), and tea plantations (TP). In 2012 (17 years after land use transformation), we collected and analyzed the soils from fields under the original and converted land management regimes. Our results indicated that fields under the PR soil management system harbored the greatest abundance of cbbL copies (4.33 × 10(8) copies g(-1) soil). More than a decade after converting PR soils to natural, rotation, and perennial management systems, a decline in both the diversity and abundance of cbbL-harboring bacteria and algae was recorded. The lowest abundance of bacteria (0.98 × 10(8) copies g(-1) soil) and algae (0.23 × 10(6) copies g(-1) soil) was observed for TP soils. When converting PR soil management to alternative management systems (i.e., NF, CL, and TP), soil edaphic factors (soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content) were the major determinants of bacterial autotrophic cbbL gene diversity. In contrast, soil phosphorus concentration was the major regulator

  13. Greenhouse gas fluxes from agricultural soils under organic and non-organic management--a global meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Colin; Gattinger, Andreas; Muller, Adrian; Mäder, Paul; Flieβbach, Andreas; Stolze, Matthias; Ruser, Reiner; Niggli, Urs

    2014-01-15

    It is anticipated that organic farming systems provide benefits concerning soil conservation and climate protection. A literature search on measured soil-derived greenhouse gas (GHG) (nitrous oxide and methane) fluxes under organic and non-organic management from farming system comparisons was conducted and followed by a meta-analysis. Up to date only 19 studies based on field measurements could be retrieved. Based on 12 studies that cover annual measurements, it appeared with a high significance that area-scaled nitrous oxide emissions from organically managed soils are 492 ± 160 kg CO2 eq. ha(-1) a(-1) lower than from non-organically managed soils. For arable soils the difference amounts to 497 ± 162 kg CO2 eq. ha(-1) a(-1). However, yield-scaled nitrous oxide emissions are higher by 41 ± 34 kg CO2 eq. t(-1) DM under organic management (arable and use). To equalize this mean difference in yield-scaled nitrous oxide emissions between both farming systems, the yield gap has to be less than 17%. Emissions from conventionally managed soils seemed to be influenced mainly by total N inputs, whereas for organically managed soils other variables such as soil characteristics seemed to be more important. This can be explained by the higher bioavailability of the synthetic N fertilisers in non-organic farming systems while the necessary mineralisation of the N sources under organic management leads to lower and retarded availability. Furthermore, a higher methane uptake of 3.2 ± 2.5 kg CO2 eq. ha(-1) a(-1) for arable soils under organic management can be observed. Only one comparative study on rice paddies has been published up to date. All 19 retrieved studies were conducted in the Northern hemisphere under temperate climate. Further GHG flux measurements in farming system comparisons are required to confirm the results and close the existing knowledge gaps.

  14. Effects of agricultural management on productivity, soil quality and climate change mitigation - evaluations within the EU Project (FP 7) CATCH-C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiegel, Heide; Schlatter, Norman; Haslmayr, Hans-Peter; Baumgarten, Andreas; ten Berge, Hein

    2014-05-01

    Soils are the main basis for the production of food and feed. Furthermore, the production of biomass for energy and material use is becoming increasingly important. Goals for an optimal management of agricultural soils are, on the one hand, the maintenance or improvement of soil quality and, on the other hand, high productivity and climate change mitigation (reduction of GHG emissions and C sequestration). Thus, the EU project CATCH-C aims to evaluate current management practices concerning these three goals based on indicators derived from long-term field experiments of the project partners and from literature data. A maximum of 72 indicators for productivity, soil quality and the potential for carbon storage in the soil and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions were selected by the project partners. As indicators for productivity, crop yields are determined in almost all field trials. The content of soil organic carbon (SOC) is an indicator for chemical, physical and biological soil quality and was analysed in the topsoil in all field trials. Less data exist for SOC contents in the subsoil. An important physical soil quality indicator is the bulk density, however, it is not determined in all field trials of the project partners. Therefore, information on SOC stocks, with relevance to carbon storage and climate change mitigation, is not available in all field experiments. Other physical indicators, such as penetration resistance, runoff coefficient and soil losses are evaluated. Essential biological indicators are microbial biomass and the number and weight of earthworms, which have been tested in several field trials. The evaluation of all these indicators will help to select "best management practices" and to address trade-offs and synergies for all indicators under consideration of major European farm type zones. CATCH-C is funded within the 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration, Theme 2 - Biotechnologies

  15. Effects of low-grade weirs on soil microbial communities to advance agricultural best management practices for nitrate remediation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural activities throughout the Mississippi River Basin have been identified as a major source of nutrient pollution, particularly nitrogen from fertilizer application, to downstream waters including the Gulf of Mexico. Utilizing best management practices, such as low-grade weirs have been id...

  16. Water reuse for irrigated agriculture in Jordan: challenges of soil sustainability and the role of management strategies.

    PubMed

    Carr, G; Nortcliff, S; Potter, R B

    2010-11-28

    Reclaimed water provides an important contribution to the water balance in water-scarce Jordan, but the quality of this water presents both benefits and challenges. Careful management of reclaimed water is required to maximize the nutrient benefits while minimizing the salinity risks. This work uses a multi-disciplinary research approach to show that soil response to irrigation with reclaimed water is a function of the management strategies adopted on the farm by the water user. The adoption of management methods to maintain soil productivity can be seen to be a result of farmers' awareness to potentially plant-toxic ions in the irrigation water (70% of Jordan Valley farmers identified salinization as a hazard from irrigation with reclaimed water). However, the work also suggests that farmers' management capacity is affected by the institutional management of water. About a third (35%) of farmers in the Jordan Valley claimed that their ability to manage salinization was limited by water shortages. Organizational interviews revealed that institutional awareness of soil management challenges was quite high (34% of interviewees described salinization as a risk from water reuse), but strategies to address this challenge at the institutional level require greater development.

  17. Effects of crop rotation and management system on water-extractable organic matter concentration, structure, and bioavailability in a chernozemic agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Xu, Na; Wilson, Henry F; Saiers, James E; Entz, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Water-extractable organic matter (WEOM) in soil affects contaminant mobility and toxicity, heterotrophic production, and nutrient cycling in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This study focuses on the influences of land use history and agricultural management practices on the water extractability of organic matter and nutrients from soils. Water-extractable organic matter was extracted from soils under different crop rotations (an annual rotation of wheat-pea/bean-wheat-flax or a perennial-based rotation of wheat-alfalfa-alfalfa-flax) and management systems (organic or conventional) and examined for its concentration, composition, and biodegradability. The results show that crop rotations including perennial legumes increased the concentration of water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) and water-extractable organic nitrogen (WEON) and the biodegradability of WEOC in soil but depleted the quantity of water-extractable organic phosphorus (WEOP) and water-extractable reactive phosphorus. The 30-d incubation experiments showed that bioavailable WEOC varied from 12.5% in annual systems to 22% for perennial systems. The value of bioavailable WEOC was found to positively correlate with WEON concentrations and to negatively correlate with C:N ratio and the specific ultraviolet absorbance of WEOM. No significant treatment effect was present with the conventional and organic management practices, which suggested that WEOM, as the relatively labile pool in soil organic matter, is more responsive to the change in crop rotation than to mineral fertilizer application. Our results indicated that agricultural landscapes with contrasting crop rotations are likely to differentially affect rates of microbial cycling of organic matter leached to soil waters.

  18. Soil organic carbon dynamics and non-CO2 gas fluxes from agricultural soils under organic and non-organic management - results of two meta-studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gattinger, Andreas; Skinner, Colin; Müller, Adrian; Mäder, Paul; Niggli, Urs

    2015-04-01

    It is anticipated that organic farming systems provide benefits concerning soil conservation and climate protection. Therefore, meta-studies on soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil-derived greenhouse (GHG) fluxes, respectively, were conducted to proof this assumption. Datasets from 74 studies from pair wise comparisons of organic versus non-organic farming systems were subjected to meta-analysis to identify differences in soil organic carbon (SOC). We found significant differences and higher values for organically farmed soils of 0.18±0.06 % points (mean±95% confidence interval) for SOC concentrations, 3.50±1.08 Mg C ha-1 for stocks, and 0.45±0.21 Mg C ha-1 a-1 for sequestration rates compared to non-organic management. Meta-regression did not deliver clear results on drivers, but differences in external C inputs and crop rotations seemed important. Restricting the analysis to zero net input organic systems, i.e. without nutrient inputs from outside the system, and retaining only the datasets with highest data quality (measured soil bulk densities and external C and N inputs), the mean difference in SOC stocks between the farming systems was still significant (1.98±1.50 Mg C ha-1), while the difference in sequestration rates became insignificant (0.07±0.08 Mg C ha-1 a-1). The SOC dataset mainly covers top soil and temperate zones, while only few data from tropical regions and sub soil horizons exist. For the second meta-study measured soil-derived nitrous oxide and methane flux data from soils under organic and non-organic management from 19 farming system comparisons were analysed. Based on 12 studies that cover annual measurements, it appeared with a high significance that area-scaled nitrous oxide emissions from organically managed soils are 492±160 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1 lower than from non-organically managed soils. For arable soils the difference amounts to 497±162 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 a-1. However, yield-scaled nitrous oxide emissions are higher by 41±34 kg

  19. Inherent agricultural constraints in Allegheny Plateau soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    World population increases demand increased agricultural production. This can be accomplished through improved cultivars and production techniques or increased use of previously marginal agricultural regions. In the Allegheny Plateau (AP) region of the Appalachian Mountains, acid soils with toxic ...

  20. Soil Organic Carbon dynamics in agricultural soils of Veneto Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bampa, F. B.; Morari, F. M.; Hiederer, R. H.; Toth, G. T.; Giandon, P. G.; Vinci, I. V.; Montanarella, L. M.; Nocita, M.

    2012-04-01

    One of the eight soil threats expressed in the European Commission's Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (COM (2006)231 final) it's the decline in Soil Organic Matter (SOM). His preservation is recognized as with the objective to ensure that the soils of Europe remain healthy and capable of supporting human activities and ecosystems. One of the key goals of the strategy is to maintain and improve Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) levels. As climate change is identified as a common element in many of the soil threats, the European Commission (EC) intends to assess the actual contribution of the soil protection to climate change mitigation and the effects of climate change on the possible depletion of SOM. A substantial proportion of European land is occupied by agriculture, and consequently plays a crucial role in maintaining natural resources. Organic carbon preservation and sequestration in the EU's agricultural soils could have some potential to mitigate the effects of climate change, particularly linked to preventing certain land use changes and maintaining SOC stocks. The objective of this study is to assess the SOC dynamics in agricultural soils (cropland and grassland) at regional scale, focusing on changes due to land use. A sub-objective would be the evaluation of the most used land management practices and their effect on SOC content. This assessment aims to determine the geographical distribution of the potential GHG mitigation options, focusing on hot spots in the EU, where mitigation actions would be particularly efficient and is linked with the on-going work in the JRC SOIL Action. The pilot area is Veneto Region. The data available are coming from different sources, timing and involve different variables as: soil texture, climate, soil disturbance, managements and nutrients. The first source of data is the LUCAS project (Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame statistical Survey). Started in 2001, the LUCAS project aims to monitor changes in land cover/use and

  1. Impact of agricultural management on bacterial laccase-encoding genes with possible implications for soil carbon storage in semi-arid Mediterranean olive farming

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Beatriz

    2016-01-01

    Background: In this work, we aimed to gain insights into the contribution of soil bacteria to carbon sequestration in Mediterranean habitats. In particular, we aimed to use bacterial laccase-encoding genes as molecular markers for soil organic C cycling. Using rainfed olive farming as an experimental model, we determined the stability and accumulation levels of humic substances and applied these data to bacterial laccase-encoding gene expression and diversity in soils under four different agricultural management systems (bare soils under tillage/no tillage and vegetation cover under chemical/mechanical management). Materials and Methods: Humic C (> 104 Da) was subjected to isoelectric focusing. The GC-MS method was used to analyze aromatic hydrocarbons. Real-Time PCR quantification and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) for functional bacterial laccase-like multicopper oxidase (LMCO)-encoding genes and transcripts were also carried out. Results: Soils under spontaneous vegetation, eliminated in springtime using mechanical methods for more than 30 years, showed the highest humic acid levels as well as the largest bacterial population rich in laccase genes and transcripts. The structure of the bacterial community based on LMCO genes also pointed to phylogenetic differences between these soils due to the impact of different management systems. Soils where herbicides were used to eliminate spontaneous vegetation once a year and those where pre-emergence herbicides resulted in bare soils clustered together for DNA-based DGGE analysis, which indicated a certain amount of microbial selection due to the application of herbicides. When LMCO-encoding gene expression was studied, soils where cover vegetation was managed either with herbicides or with mechanical methods showed less than 10% similarity, suggesting that the type of weed management strategy used can impact weed community composition and consequently laccase substrates derived from vegetation decay

  2. Annual emissions of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration, from eight organic soils in Western Denmark managed by agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, S. O.; Hoffmann, C. C.; Schäfer, C.-M.; Blicher-Mathiesen, G.; Elsgaard, L.; Kristensen, K.; Larsen, S. E.; Torp, S. B.; Greve, M. H.

    2012-01-01

    The use of organic soils by agriculture involves drainage and tillage, and the resulting increase in C and N turnover can significantly affect their greenhouse gas balance. This study estimated annual fluxes of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration (Reco), from eight organic soils managed by agriculture. The sites were located in three regions representing different landscape types and climatic conditions, and three land use categories were covered (arable crops, AR, grass in rotation, RG, and permanent grass, PG). The normal management at each site was followed, except that no N inputs occurred during the monitoring period from August 2008 to October 2009. The stratified sampling strategy further included six sampling points in three blocks at each site. Environmental variables (precipitation, PAR, air and soil temperature, soil moisture, groundwater level) were monitored continuously and during sampling campaigns, where also groundwater samples were taken for analysis. Gaseous fluxes were monitored on a three-weekly basis, giving 51, 49 and 38 field campaigns for land use categories AR, PG and RG, respectively. Climatic conditions in each region during monitoring were representative as compared to 20-yr averages. Peat layers were shallow, typically 0.5 to 1 m, and with a pH of 4 to 5. At six sites annual emissions of N2O were in the range 3 to 24 kg N2O-N ha-1, but at two arable sites (spring barley, potato) net emissions of 38 and 61 kg N2O-N ha-1 were recorded. The two high-emitting sites were characterized by fluctuating groundwater, low soil pH and elevated groundwater SO42- concentrations. Annual fluxes of CH4 were generally small, as expected, ranging from 2 to 4 kg CH4 ha-1. However, two permanent grasslands had tussocks of Juncus effusus L. (soft rush) in sampling points that were consistent sources of CH4 throughout the year. Emission factors for organic soils in rotation and with permanent grass, respectively, were estimated to be 0.011 and 0.47 g m-2

  3. Soil macronutrient sensing for precision agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hak-Jin; Sudduth, Kenneth A; Hummel, John W

    2009-10-01

    Accurate measurements of soil macronutrients (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are needed for efficient agricultural production, including site-specific crop management (SSCM), where fertilizer nutrient application rates are adjusted spatially based on local requirements. Rapid, non-destructive quantification of soil properties, including nutrient levels, has been possible with optical diffuse reflectance sensing. Another approach, electrochemical sensing based on ion-selective electrodes or ion-selective field effect transistors, has been recognized as useful in real-time analysis because of its simplicity, portability, rapid response, and ability to directly measure the analyte with a wide range of sensitivity. Current sensor developments and related technologies that are applicable to the measurement of soil macronutrients for SSCM are comprehensively reviewed. Examples of optical and electrochemical sensors applied in soil analyses are given, while advantages and obstacles to their adoption are discussed. It is proposed that on-the-go vehicle-based sensing systems have potential for efficiently and rapidly characterizing variability of soil macronutrients within a field.

  4. The influence of agricultural management on soil's CO2 regime in semi-arid and arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eshel, G.; Lifshithz, D.; Sternberg, M.; Ben-Dor, E.; Bonfile, D. J.; Arad, B.; Mingelgrin, U.; Fine, P.; Levy, G. J.

    2008-12-01

    Two of the more important parameters which may help us better evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on the global carbon cycle are the in-situ soil pCO2 profile and the corresponding CO2 fluxes to the atmosphere. In an ongoing study, we monitored the pCO2 to a depth of 5 m in two adjacent irrigated Avocado orchards in the coastal plain of Israel (semi-arid region), and to a depth of 2 m in a semi- arid rain-fed and a arid rain-fed wheat fields in southern Israel. The soil pCO2 profiles and CO2 fluxes measurements were supplemented by measurements of soil moisture and temperature. The results showed differences in the CO2 profiles (both in the depth of the highest concentration and its absolute values) and the CO2 fluxes between the orchards and the wheat fields as well as along the year. In the irrigated Avocado orchards pCO2 values were in the range of 1.5 kPa at a depth of 0.5 m up to 8 kPa at depths of 3-5 m (even though Avocado trees are characterized by shallow roots). Such levels could affect reactions (e.g., enhancement of inorganic carbon dissolution) that may take place in the soil and some of its chemical properties (e.g., pH). As expected, soil pCO2 was affected by soil moisture and temperature, and the distance from the trees. Maximum soil respiration was observed during the summer when the orchards are under irrigation. In the wheat fields pCO2 level ranged from 0.2- 0.6 kPa at a depth of 0.2 m to 0.2-1 kPa at depths of 1-1.5 m (in arid and semiarid respectively). These pCO2 levels were much lower than those obtained in the irrigated orchards and seemed to depend on the wheat growing cycle (high concentration were noted at depth of 1-1.5 m close to the end of grain filling) and precipitation gradient (arid vs. semiarid). Since CO2 fluxes are directly affected by the pCO2 profile and soil moister and temperature the CO2 fluxes from the wheat fields were much lower (0.02- 0.2 ml min-1 m-2) compared to those obtained from the Avocado orchards (2

  5. Annual emissions of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration, from eight organic soils in Western Denmark managed by agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, S. O.; Hoffmann, C. C.; Schäfer, C.-M.; Blicher-Mathiesen, G.; Elsgaard, L.; Kristensen, K.; Larsen, S. E.; Torp, S. B.; Greve, M. H.

    2011-10-01

    The use of organic soils by agriculture involves drainage and tillage, and the resulting increase in C and N turnover can significantly affect their greenhouse gas balance. This study estimated annual fluxes of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration (Reco), from eight organic soils managed by agriculture. The sites were located in three regions representing different landscape types and climatic conditions, and three land use categories (arable crops, AR, grass in rotation, RG, and permanent grass, PG) were covered. The normal management at each site was followed, except that no N inputs occurred during the monitoring period from August 2008 to October 2009. The stratified sampling strategy further included six sampling points in three blocks at each site. Environmental variables (precipitation, PAR, air and soil temperature, soil moisture, groundwater level) were monitored continuously and during sampling campaigns, where also groundwater samples were taken for analysis. Gaseous fluxes were monitored on a three-weekly basis, giving 51, 49 and 38 field campaigns for land use categories AR, PG and RG, respectively. Climatic conditions in each region during monitoring were representative based on 20-yr averages. Peat layers were shallow, typically 0.5 to 1 m, and with a pH of 4-5. At six sites annual emissions of N2O were in the range 3 to 24 kg N2O-N ha-1, but at two arable sites (spring barley, potato) net emissions of 38 and 61 kg N2O-N ha-1 were recorded. Both were characterized by fluctuating groundwater with elevated SO42- concentrations. Annual fluxes of CH4 were generally small, as expected, ranging from -2 to 4 kg CH4 ha-1. However, two permanent grasslands had tussocks of Juncus effusus (soft rush) in sampling points that were consistent sources of CH4 throughout the year. Emission factors for organic soils in rotation and permanent grass, respectively, were estimated to be 0.011 and 0.47 g m-2 for CH4, and 2.5 and 0.5 g m-2 for N2O. This first

  6. Intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity across Europe.

    PubMed

    Tsiafouli, Maria A; Thébault, Elisa; Sgardelis, Stefanos P; de Ruiter, Peter C; van der Putten, Wim H; Birkhofer, Klaus; Hemerik, Lia; de Vries, Franciska T; Bardgett, Richard D; Brady, Mark Vincent; Bjornlund, Lisa; Jørgensen, Helene Bracht; Christensen, Sören; Hertefeldt, Tina D'; Hotes, Stefan; Gera Hol, W H; Frouz, Jan; Liiri, Mira; Mortimer, Simon R; Setälä, Heikki; Tzanopoulos, Joseph; Uteseny, Karoline; Pižl, Václav; Stary, Josef; Wolters, Volkmar; Hedlund, Katarina

    2015-02-01

    Soil biodiversity plays a key role in regulating the processes that underpin the delivery of ecosystem goods and services in terrestrial ecosystems. Agricultural intensification is known to change the diversity of individual groups of soil biota, but less is known about how intensification affects biodiversity of the soil food web as a whole, and whether or not these effects may be generalized across regions. We examined biodiversity in soil food webs from grasslands, extensive, and intensive rotations in four agricultural regions across Europe: in Sweden, the UK, the Czech Republic and Greece. Effects of land-use intensity were quantified based on structure and diversity among functional groups in the soil food web, as well as on community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. We also elucidate land-use intensity effects on diversity of taxonomic units within taxonomic groups of soil fauna. We found that between regions soil food web diversity measures were variable, but that increasing land-use intensity caused highly consistent responses. In particular, land-use intensification reduced the complexity in the soil food webs, as well as the community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. In all regions across Europe, species richness of earthworms, Collembolans, and oribatid mites was negatively affected by increased land-use intensity. The taxonomic distinctness, which is a measure of taxonomic relatedness of species in a community that is independent of species richness, was also reduced by land-use intensification. We conclude that intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity, making soil food webs less diverse and composed of smaller bodied organisms. Land-use intensification results in fewer functional groups of soil biota with fewer and taxonomically more closely related species. We discuss how these changes in soil biodiversity due to land-use intensification may threaten the functioning of soil in agricultural production systems.

  7. Changes in soil fungal communities across a landscape of agricultural soil land-uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthrong, S. T.; Buckley, D. H.; Drinkwater, L. E.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural management is a major driver of changes in soils and their resident microbial communities, but we do not yet have a clear picture of how agriculture affects soil fungi. This is an important gap in our knowledge since fungi play an important role in many soil processes. Previous research has suggested that organic management practices can lead to an increase in soil fungal community diversity, which could have impacts on soil processes and alter the long term trajectory of soil quality in agricultural systems. Also, the relationship between management effects, biogeography, and soil fungi is not clear. The biogeography of macroscopic species is well described by taxa-area relationships and distance decay models, and recent research has suggested that certain subsets of fungi (e.g. AMF, litter sapotrophs) demonstrate similar patterns. However there is little information on how soil fungi as a whole are distributed across a landscape with soils under different managements. The goal of this project was to examine how different management practices alter soil fungal communities across a landscape of agricultural fields in upstate NY. We asked several specific questions: 1) Do different types of agricultural land-uses lead to divergent or convergent communities of soil fungi? 2) If soil type is held constant, do soil fungal communities diverge with geographic distance? 3) What are the major fungal groups that change in response to soil management, and are they cosmopolitan or endemic across the landscape? We studied these questions across agricultural fields in upstate NY that ranged from conventional corn, organic grains/corn, and long-term pasture. We sampled four fields (conventional, 10 and 20 year organic, and pasture) that had identical soils types and ranged from 100 m to 4 km apart. We utilized a multiplexed pyrosequencing approach on genomic DNA to analyze the structure of the soils' fungal communities. This approach allowed us to study soil fungi

  8. Soil-moisture sensors and irrigation management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This agricultural irrigation seminar will cover the major classes of soil-moisture sensors; their advantages and disadvantages; installing and reading soil-moisture sensors; and using their data for irrigation management. The soil water sensor classes include the resistance sensors (gypsum blocks, g...

  9. Relative impacts of land-use, management intensity and fertilization on microbial community structure in agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Effects of agricultural land management practices on soil prokaryotic diversity have not been well described. Soil microbial communities under three agricultural management systems (conventionally tilled cropland, hayed pasture, and grazed pasture) and two fertilizer systems [inorganic fertilizer (I...

  10. Microbial Community Structure and Enzyme Activities in Semiarid Agricultural Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acosta-Martinez, V. A.; Zobeck, T. M.; Gill, T. E.; Kennedy, A. C.

    2002-12-01

    The effect of agricultural management practices on the microbial community structure and enzyme activities of semiarid soils of different textures in the Southern High Plains of Texas were investigated. The soils (sandy clay loam, fine sandy loam and loam) were under continuous cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) or in rotations with peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) or wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and had different water management (irrigated or dryland) and tillage (conservation or conventional). Microbial community structure was investigated using fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis by gas chromatography and enzyme activities, involved in C, N, P and S cycling of soils, were measured (mg product released per kg soil per h). The activities of b-glucosidase, b-glucosaminidase, alkaline phosphatase, and arylsulfatase were significantly (P<0.05) increased in soils under cotton rotated with sorghum or wheat, and due to conservation tillage in comparison to continuous cotton under conventional tillage. Principal component analysis showed FAME profiles of these soils separated distinctly along PC1 (20 %) and PC2 (13 %) due to their differences in soil texture and management. No significant differences were detected in FAME profiles due to management practices for the same soils in this sampling period. Enzyme activities provide early indications of the benefits in microbial populations and activities and soil organic matter under crop rotations and conservation tillage in comparison to the typical practices in semiarid regions of continuous cotton and conventional tillage.

  11. Increasing the sink: agricultural management and soil carbon dynamics: western U.S. croplands. In: Liebig, M., Franzluebbers, A., and Follet, R., editors. Managing agricultural greenhouse gasses. 1st edition. Waltham, MA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide a short review and update of potential crop management practices that have had beneficial or detrimental effects on soil C storage in Western U.S. croplands, with emphasize on studies reported since 2005. This review of published literature indicates that C ...

  12. Geomorphic Controls of Soil and Carbon Redistribution Across an Agricultural Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritchie, J. C.; McCarty, G. W.; Venteris, E. R.; Kaspar, T. C.

    2006-12-01

    Patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC) vary widely across the landscape leading to large uncertainties in the SOC budget especially for agricultural landscapes where water, tillage, and wind erosion redistributes soil and SOC. It is often assumed that soil erosion results in a loss of SOC from the agricultural ecosystem but recent studies indicate that soil erosion and its subsequent redistribution within fields can stimulate SOC sequestration in agricultural fields. This study investigates the relationship between soil and SOC redistribution patterns in relationship to geomorphic position in two tilled agricultural fields using the fallout Cesium-137 technique to measure soil redistribution. Cesium-137 and SOC concentrations in agricultural soils are significantly correlated in our study areas. Hillslope areas (eroding) have significantly less SOC than soils in toe slope areas (deposition). SOC decreased as gradient slope increases and soils on concave slopes had higher SOC than soils on convex slopes. These data suggest that soil redistribution patterns and topographic patterns may be used to help understand SOC dynamics on agricultural landscapes. Different productivity and oxidation rates of SOC of eroded versus deposited soils also contribute to SOC spatial patterns. However, the strong significant relationships between the patterns of soil redistribution and SOC concentrations in agricultural soils suggest that they are moving along similar physical pathways in these systems. Our study also indicates that geomorphic position is important for understanding soil and SOC movement and redistribution patterns within a field or watershed. Such information can help develop and implement management systems to increase SOC in agricultural ecosystems.

  13. The magnetic susceptibility of European agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabian, K.; Reimann, C.

    2012-04-01

    The GEMAS (Geochemical mapping of agricultural soils) project, a cooperation project between EuroGeoSurveys and Eurometaux, aims at providing soil quality data for Europe. Samples of arable soil were taken during 2008 at an average density of 1 site/2500 km2 covering the member states of the European Union (except Malta and Romania) and several neighbouring countries (e.g., Norway, Serbia, Ukraine). While the primary aim of the GEMAS project is to produce REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals - EC, 2006) consistent soil geochemistry data at the continental scale, the data set is also optimally apt to provide the first continental scale overview of magnetic properties in European soils. Soil samples from the upper 20 cm were taken as composites from 5 sites spread over a ca. 100 m2 area in a large agricultural field (Ap-sample). The samples were air dried and sieved to pass a 2 mm nylon screen. Weight normalized magnetic susceptibility of these dried samples was measured using a Sapphire Instruments SI2B susceptibility meter with dynamic background removal. The here presented maps of magnetic susceptibility in relation to geochemical composition and geological structures for the first time allow to outline the large scale influence of tectonics and climate on magnetic mineral concentration in European soils. The data set also provides the background variability for regional studies aiming to relate magnetic susceptibility of soils to local contamination sources.

  14. A short-term assessment of carbon dioxide fluxes under contrasting agricultural and soil management practices in Zimbabwe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two of the biggest problems facing humankind are feeding an exponentially growing human population and preventing the negative effects of climate change from record concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs). Agriculture could address both of these problems. For example, tillage and cover...

  15. Modeling water quality to improve agricultural practices and land management in a tunisian catchment using the soil and water assessment tool.

    PubMed

    Aouissi, Jalel; Benabdallah, Sihem; Chabaâne, Zohra Lili; Cudennec, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Agriculture intensification has impaired water quality. In this study, the risk of pollution by nitrates was assessed by experimental monitoring, spatial integration of farm census, and modeling of water quality using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), version 2009, over the period of 1990 to 2006 for a catchment located northern Tunisia. Under a semiarid climate, the water quality is influenced by the predominating agriculture activities. The hydrological results are compared with the observed flows derived from measurements at the outlet of the Joumine watershed. Model performance showed good statistical agreements, with a Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency of 0.9 and a value of 0.92 after monthly calibration. The model predicted the timing of monthly peak flow values reasonably well. During the validation period, SWAT simulations were nearly as accurate, with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency and values of 0.89 and 0.92, respectively. The model was used to simulate NO concentrations. The predicted NO concentration values were compared with in situ measured concentrations. The simulated and measured NO-N concentrations varied in the same range of 0 to 5 mg L at the E3 and E5 locations. The calibrated model was then used for simulating the impact of the best management practice scenarios to reduce NO loads to the river. The first set-up consisted of reducing the N fertilizer application by 20 and 100% from the current state. These two scenarios induced a reduction in NO loads by 22 and 72%, respectively. The second set-up consisted of using vegetation filter strips. The last scenario combined filter strips and a reduction of 20% in N fertilizer application. Results showed NO reduction rates of 20 and 36%, respectively. The SWAT model allowed managers to have several options to improve the water quality in the Joumine watershed. PMID:25602536

  16. Sorption and transport of atrazine in an agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakan Akyol, Nihat

    2014-05-01

    Sorption and transport of atrazine in an agricultural soil Atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides in large quantity worldwide. The objective of this study was to perform some batch and column experiments to examine the transport of atrazine in an agricultural soil from Turkey. Batch experiments indicated that sorption isotherm was nonlinear with a freundlich isotherm over a range of concentration (0.2-10 mg/L) examined. Column experiments showed that transport of atrazine in the soil was moderately retarded compared to non-reactive tracer (R = 2.9-4.0). The degree of retardation decreased with increasing atrazine concentration and residance time had negligable impact on degree of sorption. Flow interruption tests in the column experiments indicated that the rate-limited desorption of atrazine mainly controlled the non-ideal transport of atrazine due to the presence of organic matter fraction (0.83 %) in the soil. Sorption and desorption behavior of atrazine in such soils could have important impacts for risk assessment of atrazine-contaminated soil and should be taken into account in the regulation, management, and remediation of atrazine-contaminated sites. Keywords: Atrazine, Agricultural soil, Batch, Column, Desorption, Rate-limited desorption, Sorption, Transport.

  17. Validating a high-resolution digital soil map for precision agriculture across multiple fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Digital soil mapping (DSM) for precision agriculture (PA) management is aimed at developing models that predict soil properties or classes using legacy soil data, sensors, and environmental covariates. The utility of DSM for PA is based on its ability to provide useful spatial soil information for o...

  18. Transport of agricultural contaminants through karst soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Karst landscapes are common in many agricultural regions in the US. Well-developed karst landscapes are characterized by shallow soils, sinkholes, sinking streams, underground conduits, and springs. In these landscapes surface runoff is minimal and most recharge enters the subsurface relatively quic...

  19. A simple model of carbon in the soil profile for agricultural soils in Northwestern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taghizadeh-Toosi, Arezoo; Hutchings, Nicholas J.; Vejlin, Jonas; Christensen, Bent T.; Olesen, Jørgen E.

    2014-05-01

    World soil carbon (C) stocks are second to those in the ocean, and represent three times as much C as currently present in the atmosphere. The amount of C in soil may play a significant role in carbon exchanges between the atmosphere and the terrestrial environment. The C-TOOL model is a three-pool linked soil organic carbon (SOC) model in well-drained mineral soils under agricultural land management to allow generalized parameterization for estimating effects of management measures at medium to long time scales for the entire soil profile (0-100 cm). C-TOOL has been developed to enable simulations of SOC turnover in soil using temperature dependent first order kinetics for describing decomposition. Compared with many other SOC models, C-TOOL applies a less complicated structure, which facilitates easier calibration, and it requires only few inputs (i.e., average monthly air temperature, soil clay content,soil carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, and C inputs to the soil from plants and other sources). C-TOOL was parameterized using SOC and radiocarbon data from selected long-term field treatments in United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark. However, less data were available for evaluation of subsoil C (25-100 cm) from the long-term experiments applied. In Denmark a national 7×7 km grid net was established in 1986 for soil C monitoring down to 100 cm depth. The results of SOC showed a significant decline from 1997 to 2009 in the 0-50 cm soil layer. This was mainly attributed to changes in the 25-50 cm layer, where a decline in SOC was found for all soil texture types. Across the period 1986 to 2009 there was clear tendency for increasing SOC on the sandy soils and reductions on the loamy soils. This effect is linked to land use, since grasslands and dairy farms are more abundant in the western parts of Denmark, where most of the sandy soils are located. The results and the data from soil monitoring have been used to validate the C-TOOL modelling approach used for accounting of

  20. Observation of soil moisture variability in agricultural and grassland field soils using a wireless sensor network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priesack, Eckart; Schuh, Max

    2014-05-01

    Soil moisture dynamics is a key factor of energy and matter exchange between land surface and atmosphere. Therefore long-term observation of temporal and spatial soil moisture variability is important in studying impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems and their possible feedbacks to the atmosphere. Within the framework of the network of terrestrial environmental observatories TERENO we installed at the research farm Scheyern in soils of two fields (of ca. 5 ha size each) the SoilNet wireless sensor network (Biogena et al. 2010). The SoilNet in Scheyern consists of 94 sensor units, 45 for the agricultural field site and 49 for the grassland site. Each sensor unit comprises 6 SPADE sensors, two sensors placed at the depths 10, 30 and 50 cm. The SPADE sensor (sceme.de GmbH, Horn-Bad Meinberg Germany) consists of a TDT sensor to estimate volumetric soil water content from soil electrical permittivity by sending an electromagnetic signal and measuring its propagation time, which depends on the soil dielectric properties and hence on soil water content. Additionally the SPADE sensor contains a temperature sensor (DS18B20). First results obtained from the SoilNet measurements at both fields sites will be presented and discussed. The observed high temporal and spatial variability will be analysed and related to agricultural management and basic soil properties (bulk density, soil texture, organic matter content and soil hydraulic characteristics).

  1. Agricultural waste utilization and management

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    These papers were presented at a symposium on the management and use of agricultural waste products, including food industry wastes. Topics covered include fat and protein recovery from fish wastes, treatments for straw to improve its digestibility, using food industry wastes as animal feeds, various manure treatments and studies of its combustion properties, fermentation, methane and ethanol production, hemp waste water treatment, and heat recovery from manure combustion.

  2. Substantial dust loss of bioavailable phosphorus from agricultural soils

    PubMed Central

    Katra, Itzhak; Gross, Avner; Swet, Nitzan; Tanner, Smadar; Krasnov, Helena; Angert, Alon

    2016-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential element in terrestrial ecosystems. Knowledge on the role of dust in the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus is very limited with no quantitative information on aeolian (by wind) P fluxes from soils. The aim of this study is to focus on P cycling via dust emissions under common land-use practices in an arid environment by integration of sample analyses and aeolian experiments. The experiments indicate significant P fluxes by PM10 dust due to agricultural land use. Even in a single wind-dust event at moderate velocity (7.0 m s−1), P flux in conventional agricultural fields can reach 1.83 kg km−2, that accumulates to a considerable amount per year at a regional scale. The results highlight a negative yearly balance in P content (up to hundreds kg km−2) in all agricultural soils, and thus more P nutrition is required to maintain efficient yield production. In grazing areas where no P nutrition is applied, the soil degradation process can lead to desertification. Emission of P from soil dust sources has significant implications for soil nutrient resources and management strategies in agricultural regions as well as for loading to the atmosphere and global biogeochemical cycles. PMID:27095629

  3. Substantial dust loss of bioavailable phosphorus from agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katra, Itzhak; Gross, Avner; Swet, Nitzan; Tanner, Smadar; Krasnov, Helena; Angert, Alon

    2016-04-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential element in terrestrial ecosystems. Knowledge on the role of dust in the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus is very limited with no quantitative information on aeolian (by wind) P fluxes from soils. The aim of this study is to focus on P cycling via dust emissions under common land-use practices in an arid environment by integration of sample analyses and aeolian experiments. The experiments indicate significant P fluxes by PM10 dust due to agricultural land use. Even in a single wind-dust event at moderate velocity (7.0 m s‑1), P flux in conventional agricultural fields can reach 1.83 kg km‑2, that accumulates to a considerable amount per year at a regional scale. The results highlight a negative yearly balance in P content (up to hundreds kg km‑2) in all agricultural soils, and thus more P nutrition is required to maintain efficient yield production. In grazing areas where no P nutrition is applied, the soil degradation process can lead to desertification. Emission of P from soil dust sources has significant implications for soil nutrient resources and management strategies in agricultural regions as well as for loading to the atmosphere and global biogeochemical cycles.

  4. Precision control of soil N cycling via soil functional zone management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Managing the soil nitrogen (N) cycle is a major component of agricultural sustainability. Soil functional zone management (SFZM), a novel framework of agroecosystem management, may improve soil N management compared with conventional and no-tillage approaches by focusing on the timing and location (...

  5. The biogeochemical footprint of agricultural soil erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govers, Gerard; Van Oost, Kristof; Wang, Zhengang

    2015-04-01

    Global biogeochemical cycles are a key component of the functioning of the Earth System: these cycles are all, to a varying extent, disturbed by human activities which not only has dramatic consequences for the global climate but also for the acidity of the world's oceans. It is only relatively recently that the role of lateral fluxes related to surface water movement and soil erosion and deposition (and the way those fluxes are modified by human action) is explicitly considered by the scientific community. In this paper we present an overview of our present-day understanding of the role of agricultural soil erosion in the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and silica. We discuss the major processes through which erosion affects these global cycles and pay particular attention to the knowledge gaps that prevent us from accurately assessing the impact of soil erosion on global biogeochemical cycling at different temporal scales. Furthering our understanding (and better constraining our estimates) will require progress both in terms of model development and process understanding. Research needs can be most clearly identified with respect to soil organic carbon: (i) at present, large-scale soil erosion (and deposition) models are poorly constrained so that the amount of carbon mobilised by erosion (and its fate) cannot be accurately estimated and (ii) the fate of soil organic carbon buried by deposition or delivered to river network is poorly understood. Uncertainties for N, P and Si are larger than those for C as we have less information on the amount of these elements stored in agricultural soils and/or do not fully understand how these elements cycle through the soil/plant system. Agricultural soil erosion does not affect soil functioning through its effect on biogeochemical cycling. Erosion directly affects soil hydrological functioning and is likely to affect weathering processes and soil production. Addressing all these issues requires the

  6. Soil strength and macropore volume limit root elongation rates in many UK agricultural soils

    PubMed Central

    Valentine, Tracy A.; Hallett, Paul D.; Binnie, Kirsty; Young, Mark W.; Squire, Geoffrey R.; Hawes, Cathy; Bengough, A. Glyn

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Simple indicators of crop and cultivar performance across a range of soil types and management are needed for designing and testing sustainable cropping practices. This paper determined the extent to which soil chemical and physical properties, particularly soil strength and pore-size distribution influences root elongation in a wide range of agricultural top soils, using a seedling-based indicator. Methods Intact soil cores were sampled from the topsoil of 59 agricultural fields in Scotland, representing a wide geographic spread, range of textures and management practices. Water release characteristics, dry bulk density and needle penetrometer resistance were measured on three cores from each field. Soil samples from the same locations were sieved, analysed for chemical characteristics, and packed to dry bulk density of 1·0 g cm−3 to minimize physical constraints. Root elongation rates were determined for barley seedlings planted in both intact field and packed soil cores at a water content close to field capacity (–20 kPa matric potential). Key Results Root elongation in field soil was typically less than half of that in packed soils. Penetrometer resistance was typically between 1 and 3 MPa for field soils, indicating the soils were relatively hard, despite their moderately wet condition (compared with <0·2 MPa for packed soil). Root elongation was strongly linked to differences in physical rather than chemical properties. In field soil root elongation was related most closely to the volume of soil pores between 60 µm and 300 µm equivalent diameter, as estimated from water-release characteristics, accounting for 65·7 % of the variation in the elongation rates. Conclusions Root elongation rate in the majority of field soils was slower than half of the unimpeded (packed) rate. Such major reductions in root elongation rates will decrease rooting volumes and limit crop growth in soils where nutrients and water are scarce. PMID:22684682

  7. Strategies for soil-based precision agriculture in cotton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neely, Haly L.; Morgan, Cristine L. S.; Stanislav, Scott; Rouze, Gregory; Shi, Yeyin; Thomasson, J. Alex; Valasek, John; Olsenholler, Jeff

    2016-05-01

    The goal of precision agriculture is to increase crop yield while maximizing the use efficiency of farm resources. In this application, UAV-based systems are presenting agricultural researchers with an opportunity to study crop response to environmental and management factors in real-time without disturbing the crop. The spatial variability soil properties, which drive crop yield and quality, cannot be changed and thus keen agronomic choices with soil variability in mind have the potential to increase profits. Additionally, measuring crop stress over time and in response to management and environmental conditions may enable agronomists and plant breeders to make more informed decisions about variety selection than the traditional end-of-season yield and quality measurements. In a previous study, seed-cotton yield was measured over 4 years and compared with soil variability as mapped by a proximal soil sensor. It was found that soil properties had a significant effect on seed-cotton yield and the effect was not consistent across years due to different precipitation conditions. However, when seed-cotton yield was compared to the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), as measured using a multispectral camera from a UAV, predictions improved. Further improvement was seen when soil-only pixels were removed from the analysis. On-going studies are using UAV-based data to uncover the thresholds for stress and yield potential. Long-term goals of this research include detecting stress before yield is reduced and selecting better adapted varieties.

  8. Root Induced Heterogeneity In Agricultural Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomes, C.; Gabai, R.; Weisbrod, N.; Furman, A.

    2012-12-01

    In this study we investigate the role of plant induced heterogeneity on water dynamics in agricultural soils. We conducted three experiments in two sites (one still ongoing) in which a trench was excavated in the root zone of an orchard and the subsurface, to a depth of over 1 m, was instrumented in high resolution with water content, water potential and temperature sensors. High temporal resolution monitoring of soil state was carried for over a year, period that included natural (Mediterranean) climate boundary forcing. In addition, sprinkler, flood, and spray irrigation boundary conditions were forced for short time periods to explore the infiltration process under these conditions. One site was an Avocado orchard planted in red sandy soil while the other, still on-going, is in a grape vineyards irrigated by tap and treated wastewater, planted over alluvial clayey soil. In the vineyard, we are comparing soil irrigated with fresh water to soil irrigated with treated waste water for more than 10 years. Our preliminary results indicate several interesting phenomena. First, the role of plant roots is clearly seen as the major roots act as a conduit for water (and solute), providing a fast bypass of the upper soil. Further, we identified different regions of the subsurface that apparently were of the same texture, but in practice presented very different hydraulic properties. Second, the role of these roots depends on the boundary conditions. That is, the root bypass acts differently when soil is flooded than when flow is strictly unsaturated. As expected, simulation of the experimental results show good fit only if the domain heterogeneity of soil properties was incorporated. Results for the clayey soils were not available at time of abstract submission.

  9. How does soil management affect carbon losses from soils?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klik, A.; Trümper, G.

    2009-04-01

    Agricultural soils are a major source as well as a sink of organic carbon (OC). Amount and distribution of OC within the soil and within the landscape are driven by land management but also by erosion and deposition processes. At the other hand the type of soil management influences mineralization and atmospheric carbon dioxide losses by soil respiration. In a long-term field experiment the impacts of soil tillage systems on soil erosion processes were investigated. Following treatments were compared: 1) conventional tillage (CT), 2) conservation tillage with cover crop during the winter period (CS), and 3) no-till with cover crop during winter period (NT). The studies were carried out at three sites in the Eastern part of Austria with annual precipitation amounts from 650 to 900 mm. The soil texture ranged from silt loam to loam. Since 2007 soil CO2 emissions are measured with a portable soil respiration system in intervals of about one week, but also in relation to management events. Concurrent soil temperature and soil water content are measured and soil samples are taken for chemical and microbiological analyses. An overall 14-yr. average soil loss between 1.0 t.ha-1.yr-1 for NT and 6.1 t.ha-1.yr-1 for CT resulted in on-site OC losses from 18 to 79 kg ha-1.yr-1. The measurements of the carbon dioxide emissions from the different treatments indicate a high spatial variation even within one plot. Referred to CT plots calculated carbon losses amounted to 65-94% for NT plots while for the different RT plots they ranged between 84 and 128%. Nevertheless site specific considerations have to be taken into account. Preliminary results show that the adaptation of reduced or no-till management strategies has enormous potential in reducing organic carbon losses from agricultural used soils.

  10. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  11. Digital spatial soil and land information for agriculture development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, R. K.; Laghathe, Pankaj; Meena, Ranglal; Barman, Alok Kumar; Das, Satyendra Nath

    2006-12-01

    Natural resource management calls for study of natural system prevailing in the country. In India floods and droughts visit regularly, causing extensive damages of natural wealth including agriculture that are crucial for sustenance of economic growth. The Indian Sub-continent drained by many major rivers and their tributaries where watershed, the hydrological unit forms a natural system that allows management and development of land resources following natural harmony. Acquisition of various kinds and levels of soil and land characteristics using both conventional and remote sensing techniques and subsequent development of digital spatial data base are essential to evolve strategy for planning watershed development programmes, their monitoring and impact evaluation. The multi-temporal capability of remote sensing sensors helps to update the existing data base which are of dynamic in nature. The paper outlines the concept of spatial data base development, generation using remote sensing techniques, designing of data structure, standardization and integration with watershed layers and various non spatial attribute data for various applications covering watershed development planning, alternate land use planning, soil and water conservation, diversified agriculture practices, generation of soil health card, soil and land reclamation, etc. The soil and land characteristics are vital to derive various interpretative groupings or master table that helps to generate the desired level of information of various clients using the GIS platform. The digital spatial data base on soils and watersheds generated by All India Soil and Land Use Survey will act as a sub-server of the main GIS based Web Server being hoisted by the planning commission for application of spatial data for planning purposes under G2G domain. It will facilitate e-governance for natural resource management using modern technology.

  12. Validating a digital soil map with corn yield data for precision agriculture decision support

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Variability in soil and landscape characteristics is known to challenge producers in implementing site-specific crop management strategies in precision agriculture (PA). There are growing numbers of digital soil mapping (DSM) procedures that build upon traditional soil survey information by employin...

  13. Greenhouse gas fluxes from agricultural soils of Kenya and Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenstock, Todd S.; Mpanda, Mathew; Pelster, David E.; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Rufino, Mariana C.; Thiong'o, Margaret; Mutuo, Paul; Abwanda, Sheila; Rioux, Janie; Kimaro, Anthony A.; Neufeldt, Henry

    2016-06-01

    Knowledge of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in soils is a prerequisite to constrain national, continental, and global GHG budgets. However, data characterizing fluxes from agricultural soils of Africa are markedly limited. We measured carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) fluxes at 10 farmer-managed sites of six crop types for 1 year in Kenya and Tanzania using static chambers and gas chromatography. Cumulative emissions ranged between 3.5-15.9 Mg CO2-C ha-1 yr-1, 0.4-3.9 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1, and -1.2-10.1 kg CH4-C ha-1 yr-1, depending on crop type, environmental conditions, and management. Manure inputs increased CO2 (p = 0.03), but not N2O or CH4, emissions. Soil cultivation had no discernable effect on emissions of any of the three gases. Fluxes of CO2 and N2O were 54-208% greater (p < 0.05) during the wet versus the dry seasons for some, but not all, crop types. The heterogeneity and seasonality of fluxes suggest that the available data describing soil fluxes in Africa, based on measurements of limited duration of only a few crop types and agroecological zones, are inadequate to use as a basis for estimating the impact of agricultural soils on GHG budgets. A targeted effort to understand the magnitude and mechanisms underlying African agricultural soil fluxes is necessary to accurately estimate the influence of this source on the global climate system and for determining mitigation strategies.

  14. Combining agricultural practices key to elevating soil microbial activities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The concept of soil health is an emerging topic in applied ecology, specifically as it pertains to the agriculture, which utilizes approximately 40% of earth’s land. However, rigorous quantification of soil health and the services provided by soil organisms to support agriculture production (e.g., n...

  15. Knowledge needs, available practices, and future challenges in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Key, Georgina; Whitfield, Mike G.; Cooper, Julia; De Vries, Franciska T.; Collison, Martin; Dedousis, Thanasis; Heathcote, Richard; Roth, Brendan; Mohammed, Shamal; Molyneux, Andrew; Van der Putten, Wim H.; Dicks, Lynn V.; Sutherland, William J.; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2016-10-01

    The goal of this study is to clarify research needs and identify effective practices for enhancing soil health. This was done by a synopsis of soil literature that specifically tests practices designed to maintain or enhance elements of soil health. Using an expert panel of soil scientists and practitioners, we then assessed the evidence in the soil synopsis to highlight practices beneficial to soil health, practices considered detrimental, and practices that need further investigation. A partial Spearman's correlation was used to analyse the panel's responses. We found that increased certainty in scientific evidence led to practices being considered to be more effective due to them being empirically justified. This suggests that for practices to be considered effective and put into practice, a substantial body of research is needed to support the effectiveness of the practice. This is further supported by the high proportion of practices (33 %), such as changing the timing of ploughing or amending the soil with crops grown as green manures, that experts felt had unknown effectiveness, usually due to insufficiently robust evidence. Only 7 of the 27 reviewed practices were considered to be beneficial, or likely to be beneficial in enhancing soil health. These included the use of (1) integrated nutrient management (organic and inorganic amendments); (2) cover crops; (3) crop rotations; (4) intercropping between crop rows or underneath the main crop; (5) formulated chemical compounds (such as nitrification inhibitors); (6) control of traffic and traffic timing; and (7) reducing grazing intensity. Our assessment, which uses the Delphi technique, is increasingly used to improve decision-making in conservation and agricultural policy, identified practices that can be put into practice to benefit soil health. Moreover, it has enabled us to identify practices that need further research and a need for increased communication between researchers, policy-makers, and

  16. Agricultural land management options following large-scale environmental contamination.

    PubMed

    Vandenhove, Hildegarde; Turcanu, Catrinel

    2011-07-01

    The recent events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in Japan, have raised questions about the accumulation of radionuclides in soils, the transfer in the food chain, and the possibility for restricted land use in the foreseeable future. This article summarizes what is generally understood about the application of agricultural countermeasures as a land management option to reduce the transfer of radionuclides in the food chain and to facilitate the return of potentially affected soils to agricultural practices in the vicinity of the Fukushima plant. PMID:21608113

  17. Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force (ADMSTF)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Drainage Management Systems (ADMS) Task Force was initiated during a Charter meeting in the fall of 2002 by dedicated professional employees of Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies and Universities. The Agricultural Drainage Management (ADM) Coalition was established in 200...

  18. Sampling for Soil Carbon Stock Assessment in Rocky Agricultural Soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beem-Miller, Jeffrey P.; Kong, Angela Y. Y.; Ogle, Stephen; Wolfe, David

    2016-01-01

    Coring methods commonly employed in soil organic C (SOC) stock assessment may not accurately capture soil rock fragment (RF) content or soil bulk density (rho (sub b)) in rocky agricultural soils, potentially biasing SOC stock estimates. Quantitative pits are considered less biased than coring methods but are invasive and often cost-prohibitive. We compared fixed-depth and mass-based estimates of SOC stocks (0.3-meters depth) for hammer, hydraulic push, and rotary coring methods relative to quantitative pits at four agricultural sites ranging in RF content from less than 0.01 to 0.24 cubic meters per cubic meter. Sampling costs were also compared. Coring methods significantly underestimated RF content at all rocky sites, but significant differences (p is less than 0.05) in SOC stocks between pits and corers were only found with the hammer method using the fixed-depth approach at the less than 0.01 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 5.80 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 4.74 kilograms C per square meter) and at the 0.14 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 8.81 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 6.71 kilograms C per square meter). The hammer corer also underestimated rho (sub b) at all sites as did the hydraulic push corer at the 0.21 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site. No significant differences in mass-based SOC stock estimates were observed between pits and corers. Our results indicate that (i) calculating SOC stocks on a mass basis can overcome biases in RF and rho (sub b) estimates introduced by sampling equipment and (ii) a quantitative pit is the optimal sampling method for establishing reference soil masses, followed by rotary and then hydraulic push corers.

  19. Managing to enhance soil health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Healthy soils are critical for meeting current and future societal demands. Management strategies that protect the soil against erosion, build soil organic matter and promote nutrient cycling are ways to enhance soil health. Keeping soils covered and judicious use of agrochemicals are akin to us “hu...

  20. Ranking factors affecting emissions of GHG from incubated agricultural soils

    PubMed Central

    García-Marco, S; Ravella, S R; Chadwick, D; Vallejo, A; Gregory, A S; Cárdenas, L M

    2014-01-01

    Agriculture significantly contributes to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and there is a need to develop effective mitigation strategies. The efficacy of methods to reduce GHG fluxes from agricultural soils can be affected by a range of interacting management and environmental factors. Uniquely, we used the Taguchi experimental design methodology to rank the relative importance of six factors known to affect the emission of GHG from soil: nitrate (NO3−) addition, carbon quality (labile and non-labile C), soil temperature, water-filled pore space (WFPS) and extent of soil compaction. Grassland soil was incubated in jars where selected factors, considered at two or three amounts within the experimental range, were combined in an orthogonal array to determine the importance and interactions between factors with a L16 design, comprising 16 experimental units. Within this L16 design, 216 combinations of the full factorial experimental design were represented. Headspace nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were measured and used to calculate fluxes. Results found for the relative influence of factors (WFPS and NO3− addition were the main factors affecting N2O fluxes, whilst glucose, NO3− and soil temperature were the main factors affecting CO2 and CH4 fluxes) were consistent with those already well documented. Interactions between factors were also studied and results showed that factors with little individual influence became more influential in combination. The proposed methodology offers new possibilities for GHG researchers to study interactions between influential factors and address the optimized sets of conditions to reduce GHG emissions in agro-ecosystems, while reducing the number of experimental units required compared with conventional experimental procedures that adjust one variable at a time. PMID:25177207

  1. Ranking factors affecting emissions of GHG from incubated agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    García-Marco, S; Ravella, S R; Chadwick, D; Vallejo, A; Gregory, A S; Cárdenas, L M

    2014-07-01

    Agriculture significantly contributes to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and there is a need to develop effective mitigation strategies. The efficacy of methods to reduce GHG fluxes from agricultural soils can be affected by a range of interacting management and environmental factors. Uniquely, we used the Taguchi experimental design methodology to rank the relative importance of six factors known to affect the emission of GHG from soil: nitrate (NO3 (-)) addition, carbon quality (labile and non-labile C), soil temperature, water-filled pore space (WFPS) and extent of soil compaction. Grassland soil was incubated in jars where selected factors, considered at two or three amounts within the experimental range, were combined in an orthogonal array to determine the importance and interactions between factors with a L16 design, comprising 16 experimental units. Within this L16 design, 216 combinations of the full factorial experimental design were represented. Headspace nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were measured and used to calculate fluxes. Results found for the relative influence of factors (WFPS and NO3 (-) addition were the main factors affecting N2O fluxes, whilst glucose, NO3 (-) and soil temperature were the main factors affecting CO2 and CH4 fluxes) were consistent with those already well documented. Interactions between factors were also studied and results showed that factors with little individual influence became more influential in combination. The proposed methodology offers new possibilities for GHG researchers to study interactions between influential factors and address the optimized sets of conditions to reduce GHG emissions in agro-ecosystems, while reducing the number of experimental units required compared with conventional experimental procedures that adjust one variable at a time. PMID:25177207

  2. Burkholderia cordobensis sp. nov., from agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Draghi, Walter O; Peeters, Charlotte; Cnockaert, Margo; Snauwaert, Cindy; Wall, Luis G; Zorreguieta, Angeles; Vandamme, Peter

    2014-06-01

    Two Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria were isolated from agricultural soils in Córdoba province in central Argentina. Their 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated that they belong to the genus Burkholderia, with Burkholderia zhejiangensis as most closely related formally named species; this relationship was confirmed through comparative gyrB sequence analysis. Whole-cell fatty acid analysis supported their assignment to the genus Burkholderia. Burkholderia sp. strain YI23, for which a whole-genome sequence is available, represents the same taxon, as demonstrated by its highly similar 16S rRNA (100% similarity) and gyrB (99.1-99.7%) gene sequences. The results of DNA-DNA hybridization experiments and physiological and biochemical characterization further substantiated the genotypic and phenotypic distinctiveness of the Argentinian soil isolates, for which the name Burkholderia cordobensis sp. nov. is proposed, with strain MMP81(T) ( = LMG 27620(T) = CCUG 64368(T)) as the type strain.

  3. Soil management practices under organic farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aly, Adel; Chami Ziad, Al; Hamdy, Atef

    2015-04-01

    Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes. Soil building practices such as crop rotations, intercropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers and minimum tillage are central to organic practices. Those practices encourage soil formation and structure and creating more stable systems. In farm nutrient and energy cycling is increased and the retentive abilities of the soil for nutrients and water are enhanced. Such management techniques also play an important role in soil erosion control. The length of time that the soil is exposed to erosive forces is decreased, soil biodiversity is increased, and nutrient losses are reduced, helping to maintain and enhance soil productivity. Organic farming as systematized and certifiable approach for agriculture, there is no surprise that it faces some challenges among both farmers and public sector. This can be clearly demonstrated particularly in the absence of the essential conditions needed to implement successfully the soil management practices like green manure and composting to improve soil fertility including crop rotation, cover cropping and reduced tillage. Those issues beside others will be fully discussed highlighting their beneficial impact on the environmental soil characteristics. Keywords: soil fertility, organic matter, plant nutrition

  4. Unexpected stimulation of soil methane uptake as emergent property of agricultural soils following bio-based residue application.

    PubMed

    Ho, Adrian; Reim, Andreas; Kim, Sang Yoon; Meima-Franke, Marion; Termorshuizen, Aad; de Boer, Wietse; van der Putten, Wim H; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2015-10-01

    Intensification of agriculture to meet the global food, feed, and bioenergy demand entail increasing re-investment of carbon compounds (residues) into agro-systems to prevent decline of soil quality and fertility. However, agricultural intensification decreases soil methane uptake, reducing, and even causing the loss of the methane sink function. In contrast to wetland agricultural soils (rice paddies), the methanotrophic potential in well-aerated agricultural soils have received little attention, presumably due to the anticipated low or negligible methane uptake capacity in these soils. Consequently, a detailed study verifying or refuting this assumption is still lacking. Exemplifying a typical agricultural practice, we determined the impact of bio-based residue application on soil methane flux, and determined the methanotrophic potential, including a qualitative (diagnostic microarray) and quantitative (group-specific qPCR assays) analysis of the methanotrophic community after residue amendments over 2 months. Unexpectedly, after amendments with specific residues, we detected a significant transient stimulation of methane uptake confirmed by both the methane flux measurements and methane oxidation assay. This stimulation was apparently a result of induced cell-specific activity, rather than growth of the methanotroph population. Although transient, the heightened methane uptake offsets up to 16% of total gaseous CO2 emitted during the incubation. The methanotrophic community, predominantly comprised of Methylosinus may facilitate methane oxidation in the agricultural soils. While agricultural soils are generally regarded as a net methane source or a relatively weak methane sink, our results show that methane oxidation rate can be stimulated, leading to higher soil methane uptake. Hence, even if agriculture exerts an adverse impact on soil methane uptake, implementing carefully designed management strategies (e.g. repeated application of specific residues) may

  5. Unexpected stimulation of soil methane uptake as emergent property of agricultural soils following bio-based residue application.

    PubMed

    Ho, Adrian; Reim, Andreas; Kim, Sang Yoon; Meima-Franke, Marion; Termorshuizen, Aad; de Boer, Wietse; van der Putten, Wim H; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2015-10-01

    Intensification of agriculture to meet the global food, feed, and bioenergy demand entail increasing re-investment of carbon compounds (residues) into agro-systems to prevent decline of soil quality and fertility. However, agricultural intensification decreases soil methane uptake, reducing, and even causing the loss of the methane sink function. In contrast to wetland agricultural soils (rice paddies), the methanotrophic potential in well-aerated agricultural soils have received little attention, presumably due to the anticipated low or negligible methane uptake capacity in these soils. Consequently, a detailed study verifying or refuting this assumption is still lacking. Exemplifying a typical agricultural practice, we determined the impact of bio-based residue application on soil methane flux, and determined the methanotrophic potential, including a qualitative (diagnostic microarray) and quantitative (group-specific qPCR assays) analysis of the methanotrophic community after residue amendments over 2 months. Unexpectedly, after amendments with specific residues, we detected a significant transient stimulation of methane uptake confirmed by both the methane flux measurements and methane oxidation assay. This stimulation was apparently a result of induced cell-specific activity, rather than growth of the methanotroph population. Although transient, the heightened methane uptake offsets up to 16% of total gaseous CO2 emitted during the incubation. The methanotrophic community, predominantly comprised of Methylosinus may facilitate methane oxidation in the agricultural soils. While agricultural soils are generally regarded as a net methane source or a relatively weak methane sink, our results show that methane oxidation rate can be stimulated, leading to higher soil methane uptake. Hence, even if agriculture exerts an adverse impact on soil methane uptake, implementing carefully designed management strategies (e.g. repeated application of specific residues) may

  6. Effects of agricultural practices of three crops on the soil communities under Mediterranean conditions: field evaluation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitão, Sara; José Cerejeira, Maria; Abreu, Manuela; Sousa, José Paulo

    2014-05-01

    communities. Significant differences of soil communities from potato and onion crops with the one from control site were observed at the beginning and during the crop cycle, but similarities were observed at the last sampling date after harvesting. The same was observed for the maize crop, indicating that soil communities recovered from the agricultural disturbances associated with crops management. An integrated approach such as the one adopted in present study, taking into consideration soil community's abundances, feeding activity and time variations along entire crop cycles of several crops under Mediterranean conditions, as well as soil exposure to pesticides residues, may contribute to decision making towards a sustainability of crop areas, including pesticide use and management practices.

  7. Modelling agricultural suitability along soil transects under current conditions and improved scenario of soil factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abd-Elmabod, Sameh K.; Jordán, Antonio; Fleskens, Luuk; van der Ploeg, Martine; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Anaya-Romero, María; van der Salm, Renée J.; De la Rosa, Diego

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural land suitability analysis and improvement of soils by addressing major limitations may be a strategy for climate change adaptation. This study aims to investigate the influence of topography and variability of soil factors on the suitability of 12 annual, semiannual and perennial Mediterranean crops in the province of Seville (southern Spain). In order to represent the variability in elevation, lithology and soil, two latitudinal and longitudinal (S-N and W-E) soil transects (TA and TB) were considered including 63 representative points at regular 4 km intervals. These points were represented by 41 soil profiles from the SDBm soil database -Seville. Almagra model, a component of the agro-ecological decision support system MicroLEIS, was used to assess soil suitability. Results were grouped into five soil suitability classes: S1-optimum, S2-high, S3-moderate, S4-marginal and S5-not suitable. Each class was divided in subclasses according to the main soil limiting factors: depth (p), texture (t), drainage (d), carbonate content (c), salinity (s), sodium saturation (a), and the degree of development of the soil profile (g). This research also aimed to maximize soil potential by improving limiting factors d, c, s and a after soil restoration. Therefore, management techniques were also considered as possible scenarios in this study. The results of the evaluation showed that soil suitability ranged between S1 and S5p - S5s along of the transects. In the northern extreme of transect TA, high content of gravels and coarse texture are limiting factors (soils are classified as S4t) In contrast, the limiting factor in the eastern extreme of transect TB is the shallow useful depth (S5p subclass). The absence of calcium carbonate becomes a limiting factor in some parts of TA. In contrast, the excessive content of calcium carbonate appeared to be a limiting factor for crops in some intermediate points of TB transect. For both transects, soil salinity is the main

  8. Soil management challenges in response to climatic change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture has tremendous potential to help solve global food, feed, fiber, and bioenergy challenges and respond to changing climatic conditions provided we do not compromise our soil, water and air resources. This presentation will examine soil management, defined by the Soil Science Society of Am...

  9. Quantification of parameters controlling the carbon stocks in German agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vos, Cora; Don, Axel; Freibauer, Annette; Heidkamp, Arne; Prietz, Roland

    2016-04-01

    Within the framework of UNFCCC, Germany is obligated to report on its greenhouse gas emissions from soils. This also includes the emissions in the agricultural sector. Changes in soil carbon stocks are a major source of CO2 that need to be reported. Until now there are only regional inventories of the soil carbon stocks in the agricultural sector while for the forestry sector a repeated national inventory exists. In order to report on changes in soil carbon stocks in agricultural soils, a consistent, representative and quantitative dataset of agricultural soil properties, especially on carbon stocks and management data is necessary. In the course of the German Agricultural Soil Inventory 3109 agricultural sites are examined. Up to January 2016, 2450 sites were sampled. The sites are sampled in five depth increments and all samples are analyzed in the same laboratory. Of the sampled sites the laboratory analyses are completed for 1312 sites. The samples of all depth increments were analyzed for their texture, bulk density, pH, electric conductivity, stone and root content, organic and inorganic carbon content and nitrogen content. The data are coupled with management data covering the past ten years and with climate data. They are analyzed with multivariate statistical techniques (e.g. mixed effects models, additive models, random forest) to quantify the parameters that control the carbon stocks in German agricultural soils. First descriptive results show that the mean soil carbon stocks down to a depth of 100 cm are 126.1 t ha-1 (range 8.9-1158.9 t ha-1). The mean stocks only for croplands are 102.6 t ha-1 (range 8.9-1158.9 t ha-1), while for grasslands the mean stock is 184.1 t ha-1 (range 19.4-937.8 t ha-1). In total the soil scientists found a surprisingly high proportion of disturbed and unusual soil profiles, indicating intensive human modifications of agricultural soils through e.g. deep ploughing. The data set of the German Agricultural Soil Inventory is the

  10. Quantification of parameters controlling the carbon stocks in German agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vos, Cora; Don, Axel; Freibauer, Annette; Heidkamp, Arne; Prietz, Roland

    2016-04-01

    Within the framework of UNFCCC, Germany is obligated to report on its greenhouse gas emissions from soils. This also includes the emissions in the agricultural sector. Changes in soil carbon stocks are a major source of CO2 that need to be reported. Until now there are only regional inventories of the soil carbon stocks in the agricultural sector while for the forestry sector a repeated national inventory exists. In order to report on changes in soil carbon stocks in agricultural soils, a consistent, representative and quantitative dataset of agricultural soil properties, especially on carbon stocks and management data is necessary. In the course of the German Agricultural Soil Inventory 3109 agricultural sites are examined. Up to January 2016, 2450 sites were sampled. The sites are sampled in five depth increments and all samples are analyzed in the same laboratory. Of the sampled sites the laboratory analyses are completed for 1312 sites. The samples of all depth increments were analyzed for their texture, bulk density, pH, electric conductivity, stone and root content, organic and inorganic carbon content and nitrogen content. The data are coupled with management data covering the past ten years and with climate data. They are analyzed with multivariate statistical techniques (e.g. mixed effects models, additive models, random forest) to quantify the parameters that control the carbon stocks in German agricultural soils. First descriptive results show that the mean soil carbon stocks down to a depth of 100 cm are 126.1 t ha‑1 (range 8.9-1158.9 t ha‑1). The mean stocks only for croplands are 102.6 t ha‑1 (range 8.9-1158.9 t ha‑1), while for grasslands the mean stock is 184.1 t ha‑1 (range 19.4-937.8 t ha‑1). In total the soil scientists found a surprisingly high proportion of disturbed and unusual soil profiles, indicating intensive human modifications of agricultural soils through e.g. deep ploughing. The data set of the German Agricultural Soil

  11. Agribusiness Management. The Connecticut Vocational Agriculture Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    EASTCONN Regional Educational Services Center, North Windham, CT.

    These materials in agribusiness management for the Connecticut Vocational Agriculture Curriculum were designed for use in the following areas: Animal Science; Plant Science; Agricultural Mechanics; and Natural Resources and Aquaculture. Each unit of this competency-based guide contains title of unit, unit length, grade level, objectives, teacher…

  12. Complexities of nitrogen isotope biogeochemistry in plant-soil systems: implications for the study of ancient agricultural and animal management practices

    PubMed Central

    Szpak, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen isotopic studies have the potential to shed light on the structure of ancient ecosystems, agropastoral regimes, and human-environment interactions. Until relatively recently, however, little attention was paid to the complexities of nitrogen transformations in ancient plant-soil systems and their potential impact on plant and animal tissue nitrogen isotopic compositions. This paper discusses the importance of understanding nitrogen dynamics in ancient contexts, and highlights several key areas of archaeology where a more detailed understanding of these processes may enable us to answer some fundamental questions. This paper explores two larger themes that are prominent in archaeological studies using stable nitrogen isotope analysis: (1) agricultural practices (use of animal fertilizers, burning of vegetation or shifting cultivation, and tillage) and (2) animal domestication and husbandry (grazing intensity/stocking rate and the foddering of domestic animals with cultigens). The paucity of plant material in ancient deposits necessitates that these issues are addressed primarily through the isotopic analysis of skeletal material rather than the plants themselves, but the interpretation of these data hinges on a thorough understanding of the underlying biogeochemical processes in plant-soil systems. Building on studies conducted in modern ecosystems and under controlled conditions, these processes are reviewed, and their relevance discussed for ancient contexts. PMID:25002865

  13. Making it real: operationalizing soil C sequestration and GHG mitigation on agricultural lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paustian, Keith; Chambers, Adam; Easter, Mark; Lugato, Emanuele

    2015-04-01

    Land use and management account for roughly one-third of total anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) with about 10-12% coming from active management, primarily on agricultural lands and ca. 15-20% from land clearing and deforestation, which in many instances is tied to expansion of agricultural land use. Within this larger GHG source category of land use, soils play a significant role not only as a GHG source but also as a potential sink, through storing C in soil organic matter. However, despite 'being in the conversation' for many years, there has been relatively little engagement of agriculture, particularly with regards to soil management, in policies and programs for GHG mitigation. Now, that appears to be changing and there is increasing interest in 'bottom-up' strategies to incentivize agricultural management practices that sequester C in soils and reduce non-CO2 soil emissions, ranging from GHG offset projects within cap-and-trade systems, to inclusion of GHG emission reductions in 'green labeling' of agricultural products for consumers. In this paper, we review current knowledge of how soil management practices impact emissions and removals of GHGs and the current status of agricultural soil mitigation activities, in the US and globally. Critical areas for science support to further operationalize soil GHG mitigation strategies at local to national scales are discussed, including providing rigorous quantification technologies into the hands of management practitioners, providing estimates of impacts on productivity and costs associated with implementing mitigation practices, and gathering data on baseline practices and monitoring changes in practices over time.

  14. Spatial variability of soil moisture regimes at different scales: implications in the context of precision agriculture.

    PubMed

    Voltz, M

    1997-01-01

    Precision agriculture is based on the concept of soil-specific management, which aims to adapt management within a field according to specific site conditions in order to maximize production and minimize environmental damage. This paper examines how the nature and sources of variation in soil moisture regimes affect our ability to simulate soil water behaviour within a field with adequate precision in order to advise optimal soil-specific management. Field examples of variation in soil moisture regimes are described to illustrate the difficulties involved. A discussion identifies three main points. First, it is recognized that the current modelling approaches to soil moisture regimes do not sufficiently account for local heterogeneities in soil and crop characteristics such as soil morphology and rooting patterns. Second, the estimation of within-field variation of soil hydraulic properties is difficult because of large short-range variation of the properties and general lack of observed data; one way to overcome this problem is to seek new measurement techniques or to find easy-to-measure auxiliary variables spatially correlated to the variables of interest. Last, as pollution impacts often become noticeable to society at scales larger than the scale of agricultural management, hydrological modelling can serve for linking both scales and advising agricultural practices that minimize undesirable pollution effects.

  15. Estimating annual soil carbon loss in agricultural peatland soils using a nitrogen budget approach.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Emilie R; van Kessel, Chris; Horwath, William R; Linquist, Bruce A

    2015-01-01

    Around the world, peatland degradation and soil subsidence is occurring where these soils have been converted to agriculture. Since initial drainage in the mid-1800s, continuous farming of such soils in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (the Delta) has led to subsidence of up to 8 meters in places, primarily due to soil organic matter (SOM) oxidation and physical compaction. Rice (Oryza sativa) production has been proposed as an alternative cropping system to limit SOM oxidation. Preliminary research on these soils revealed high N uptake by rice in N fertilizer omission plots, which we hypothesized was the result of SOM oxidation releasing N. Testing this hypothesis, we developed a novel N budgeting approach to assess annual soil C and N loss based on plant N uptake and fallow season N mineralization. Through field experiments examining N dynamics during growing season and winter fallow periods, a complete annual N budget was developed. Soil C loss was calculated from SOM-N mineralization using the soil C:N ratio. Surface water and crop residue were negligible in the total N uptake budget (3 - 4 % combined). Shallow groundwater contributed 24 - 33 %, likely representing subsurface SOM-N mineralization. Assuming 6 and 25 kg N ha-1 from atmospheric deposition and biological N2 fixation, respectively, our results suggest 77 - 81 % of plant N uptake (129 - 149 kg N ha-1) was supplied by SOM mineralization. Considering a range of N uptake efficiency from 50 - 70 %, estimated net C loss ranged from 1149 - 2473 kg C ha-1. These findings suggest that rice systems, as currently managed, reduce the rate of C loss from organic delta soils relative to other agricultural practices.

  16. Estimating annual soil carbon loss in agricultural peatland soils using a nitrogen budget approach.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Emilie R; van Kessel, Chris; Horwath, William R; Linquist, Bruce A

    2015-01-01

    Around the world, peatland degradation and soil subsidence is occurring where these soils have been converted to agriculture. Since initial drainage in the mid-1800s, continuous farming of such soils in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (the Delta) has led to subsidence of up to 8 meters in places, primarily due to soil organic matter (SOM) oxidation and physical compaction. Rice (Oryza sativa) production has been proposed as an alternative cropping system to limit SOM oxidation. Preliminary research on these soils revealed high N uptake by rice in N fertilizer omission plots, which we hypothesized was the result of SOM oxidation releasing N. Testing this hypothesis, we developed a novel N budgeting approach to assess annual soil C and N loss based on plant N uptake and fallow season N mineralization. Through field experiments examining N dynamics during growing season and winter fallow periods, a complete annual N budget was developed. Soil C loss was calculated from SOM-N mineralization using the soil C:N ratio. Surface water and crop residue were negligible in the total N uptake budget (3 - 4 % combined). Shallow groundwater contributed 24 - 33 %, likely representing subsurface SOM-N mineralization. Assuming 6 and 25 kg N ha-1 from atmospheric deposition and biological N2 fixation, respectively, our results suggest 77 - 81 % of plant N uptake (129 - 149 kg N ha-1) was supplied by SOM mineralization. Considering a range of N uptake efficiency from 50 - 70 %, estimated net C loss ranged from 1149 - 2473 kg C ha-1. These findings suggest that rice systems, as currently managed, reduce the rate of C loss from organic delta soils relative to other agricultural practices. PMID:25822494

  17. Estimating Annual Soil Carbon Loss in Agricultural Peatland Soils Using a Nitrogen Budget Approach

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Emilie R.; van Kessel, Chris; Horwath, William R.; Linquist, Bruce A.

    2015-01-01

    Around the world, peatland degradation and soil subsidence is occurring where these soils have been converted to agriculture. Since initial drainage in the mid-1800s, continuous farming of such soils in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (the Delta) has led to subsidence of up to 8 meters in places, primarily due to soil organic matter (SOM) oxidation and physical compaction. Rice (Oryza sativa) production has been proposed as an alternative cropping system to limit SOM oxidation. Preliminary research on these soils revealed high N uptake by rice in N fertilizer omission plots, which we hypothesized was the result of SOM oxidation releasing N. Testing this hypothesis, we developed a novel N budgeting approach to assess annual soil C and N loss based on plant N uptake and fallow season N mineralization. Through field experiments examining N dynamics during growing season and winter fallow periods, a complete annual N budget was developed. Soil C loss was calculated from SOM-N mineralization using the soil C:N ratio. Surface water and crop residue were negligible in the total N uptake budget (3 – 4 % combined). Shallow groundwater contributed 24 – 33 %, likely representing subsurface SOM-N mineralization. Assuming 6 and 25 kg N ha-1 from atmospheric deposition and biological N2 fixation, respectively, our results suggest 77 – 81 % of plant N uptake (129 – 149 kg N ha-1) was supplied by SOM mineralization. Considering a range of N uptake efficiency from 50 – 70 %, estimated net C loss ranged from 1149 – 2473 kg C ha-1. These findings suggest that rice systems, as currently managed, reduce the rate of C loss from organic delta soils relative to other agricultural practices. PMID:25822494

  18. Response of Soil Properties and Microbial Communities to Agriculture: Implications for Primary Productivity and Soil Health Indicators.

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Pankaj; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Anderson, Ian C; Singh, Brajesh K

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is placing tremendous pressure on the soil's capacity to maintain its functions leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation and loss of productivity in the long term. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find early indicators of soil health degradation in response to agricultural management. In recent years, major advances in soil meta-genomic and spatial studies on microbial communities and community-level molecular characteristics can now be exploited as 'biomarker' indicators of ecosystem processes for monitoring and managing sustainable soil health under global change. However, a continental scale, cross biome approach assessing soil microbial communities and their functional potential to identify the unifying principles governing the susceptibility of soil biodiversity to land conversion is lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis from a dataset generated from 102 peer-reviewed publications as well as unpublished data to explore how properties directly linked to soil nutritional health (total C and N; C:N ratio), primary productivity (NPP) and microbial diversity and composition (relative abundance of major bacterial phyla determined by next generation sequencing techniques) are affected in response to agricultural management across the main biomes of Earth (arid, continental, temperate and tropical). In our analysis, we found strong statistical trends in the relative abundance of several bacterial phyla in agricultural (e.g., Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi) and natural (Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria) systems across all regions and these trends correlated well with many soil properties. However, main effects of agriculture on soil properties and productivity were biome-dependent. Our meta-analysis provides evidence on the predictable nature of the microbial community responses to vegetation type. This knowledge can be exploited in future for developing a new set of indicators for primary productivity and soil

  19. Can biosolids reduce wind erosion of agricultural soils?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The application of biosolids to agricultural land has the potential to improve soil health and crop production. In addition, organic material contained in biosolids may enhance biological activity, retention of soil water, and soil aggregation. Thus, there is a likelihood that biosolids applied to s...

  20. Nitrogen loss from windblown agricultural soils in the Columbia Plateau

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wind erosion of agricultural soils can degrade both air quality and soil productivity in the Columbia Plateau of the Pacific Northwest United States. Soils in the region contain fine particles that, when suspended, are highly susceptible to long range transport in the atmosphere. Nitrogen (N) associ...

  1. Lead in Urban Soils: A Real or Perceived Concern for Urban Agriculture?

    PubMed

    Brown, Sally L; Chaney, Rufus L; Hettiarachchi, Ganga M

    2016-01-01

    Urban agriculture is growing in cities across the United States. It has the potential to provide multiple benefits, including increased food security. Concerns about soil contamination in urban areas can be an impediment to urban agriculture. Lead is the most common contaminant in urban areas. In this paper, direct (soil ingestion via outdoor and indoor exposure) and indirect (consumption of food grown in Pb-contaminated soils) exposure pathways are reviewed. It is highly unlikely that urban agriculture will increase incidences of elevated blood Pb for children in urban areas. This is due to the high likelihood that agriculture will improve soils in urban areas, resulting in reduced bioavailability of soil Pb and reduced fugitive dust. Plant uptake of Pb is also typically very low. The exceptions are low-growing leafy crops where soil-splash particle contamination is more likely and expanded hypocotyl root vegetables (e.g., carrot). However, even with higher bioaccumulation factors, it is not clear that the Pb in root vegetables or any other crops will be absorbed after eating. Studies have shown limited absorption of Pb when ingested with food. Best management practices to assure minimal potential for exposure are also common practices in urban gardens. These include the use of residuals-based composts and soil amendments and attention to keeping soil out of homes. This review suggests that benefits associated with urban agriculture far outweigh any risks posed by elevated soil Pb.

  2. Lead in Urban Soils: A Real or Perceived Concern for Urban Agriculture?

    PubMed

    Brown, Sally L; Chaney, Rufus L; Hettiarachchi, Ganga M

    2016-01-01

    Urban agriculture is growing in cities across the United States. It has the potential to provide multiple benefits, including increased food security. Concerns about soil contamination in urban areas can be an impediment to urban agriculture. Lead is the most common contaminant in urban areas. In this paper, direct (soil ingestion via outdoor and indoor exposure) and indirect (consumption of food grown in Pb-contaminated soils) exposure pathways are reviewed. It is highly unlikely that urban agriculture will increase incidences of elevated blood Pb for children in urban areas. This is due to the high likelihood that agriculture will improve soils in urban areas, resulting in reduced bioavailability of soil Pb and reduced fugitive dust. Plant uptake of Pb is also typically very low. The exceptions are low-growing leafy crops where soil-splash particle contamination is more likely and expanded hypocotyl root vegetables (e.g., carrot). However, even with higher bioaccumulation factors, it is not clear that the Pb in root vegetables or any other crops will be absorbed after eating. Studies have shown limited absorption of Pb when ingested with food. Best management practices to assure minimal potential for exposure are also common practices in urban gardens. These include the use of residuals-based composts and soil amendments and attention to keeping soil out of homes. This review suggests that benefits associated with urban agriculture far outweigh any risks posed by elevated soil Pb. PMID:26828157

  3. Comparison of soil microbial respiration and carbon turnover under perennial and annual biofuel crops in two agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szymanski, L. M.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Sanford, G. R.; Jackson, R. D.; Heckman, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Bioenergy crops have the potential to provide a low carbon-intensive alternative to fossil fuels. More than a century of agricultural research has shown that conventional cropping systems can reduce soil organic matter (SOM) reservoirs, which cause long-term soil nutrient loss and C release to the atmosphere. In the face of climate change and other human disruptions to biogeochemical cycles, identifying biofuel crops that can maintain or enhance soil resources is desirable for the sustainable production of bioenergy. The objective of our study was to compare the effects of four biofuel crop treatments on SOM dynamics in two agricultural soils: Mollisols at Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Wisconsin and Alfisols at Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan, USA. We used fresh soils collected in 2013 and archived soils from 2008 to measure the effects of five years of crop management. Using a one-year long laboratory soil incubation coupled with a regression model and radiocarbon measurements, we separated soils into three SOM pools and their corresponding C turnover times. We found that the active pool, or biologically available C, was more sensitive to management and is an earlier indicator of changes to soil C dynamics than bulk soil C measurements. There was no effect of treatment on the active pool size at either site; however, the percent C in the active pool decreased, regardless of crop type, in surface soils with high clay content. At depth, the response of the slow pool differed between annual and perennial cropping systems. The distribution of C among SOM fractions varied between the two soil types, with greater C content associated with the active fraction in the coarser textured-soil and greater C content associated with the slow-cycling fraction in the soils with high clay content. These results suggest that the effects of bioenergy crops on soil resources will vary geographically, with implications for the carbon-cost of biocrop production.

  4. Managing soils for long-term productivity

    PubMed Central

    Syers, J. K.

    1997-01-01

    Meeting the goal of long-term agricultural productivity requires that soil degradation be halted and reversed. Soil fertility decline is a key factor in soil degradation and is probably the major cause of declining crop yields. There is evidence that the contribution of declining soil fertility to soil degradation has been underestimated.
    Sensitivity to soil degradation is implicit in the assessment of the sustainability of land management practices, with wide recognition of the fact that soils vary in their ability to resist change and recover subsequent to stress. The concept of resilience in relation to sustainability requires further elaboration and evaluation.
    In the context of soil degradation, a decline in soil fertility is primarily interpreted as the depletion of organic matter and plant nutrients. Despite a higher turnover rate of organic matter in the tropics there is no intrinsic difference between the organic matter content of soils from tropical and temperate regions. The level of organic matter in a soil is closely related to the above and below ground inputs. In the absence of adequate organic material inputs and where cultivation is continuous, soil organic matter declines progressively. Maintaining the quantity and quality of soil organic matter should be a guiding principle in developing management practices.
    Soil microbial biomass serves as an important reservoir of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and sulphur (S), and regulates the cycling of organic matter and nutrients. Because of its high turnover rate, microbial biomass reacts quickly to changes in management and is a sensitive indicator for monitoring and predicting changes in soil organic matter. Modelling techniques have been reasonably successful in predicting changes in soil organic matter with different organic material inputs, but there is little information from the tropics.
    Nutrient depletion through harvested crop components and residue removal, and by leaching and soil

  5. Responses of direct N2O emissions from agricultural mineral soils on natural conditions and management - a multi site analysis across Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dechow, R.; Freibauer, A.

    2012-04-01

    Widely used approaches that relate direct N2O emissions to inputs of reactive N using globally estimated emission factors are believed to be highly uncertain and regionally biased because they do not account for effects of natural conditions on microbial mediated processes responsible for N2O production/consumption and N2O transport processes in soils. At the other side the development of process based approaches is suffering from the fact that sufficient data to feed and train these models is available for a limited number of sites only challenging the spatial representativeness of these approaches. Inventories and mitigation assessment deserve simple applicable tools with restricted data needs that describe major mechanisms or dependencies. Last decades efforts in measuring direct annual and seasonal N2O emissions on plot scale built up data sets covering wide ranges of environmental conditions and management options. Statistical and hybrid approaches (fuzzy inference scheme) were used to infer responses of direct annual and seasonal N2O emissions on natural and anthropogenic drivers from multi-site measurements. The underlying idea of inference schemes is to split the multidimensional response surface by rules into situations (sub domains) that produce a uniform N2O response. Factors lowering the unexplained variability of seasonal and annual N2O emissions were determined by a forward selection algorithm. Simulated annealing was used to train models. For modeling of seasonal N2O emissions the input of the fuzzy inference scheme was generated by simple process based approaches (WFPS, soil temperature, available N). Nitrous oxide emissions of cropland soils and grassland soils exhibited distinct emission patterns. On cropland soils significant amounts of N2O emit during autumn to spring and freeze thaw induced emission peaks highly impact the annual N2O budget. The strength of emission peaks throughout the year is driven by available N, SOC and WFPS. From this it

  6. Soil type as factor controlling the effects of forest transformation to agricultural use in soil aggregation and related properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrenková, Katarína; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Dlapa, Pavel; Arcenegui, Victoria

    2014-05-01

    The stability of aggregates has an important role in soil functioning and its behavior to avoid erosion and degradation, the ability to transfer liquids and gases, which are important features for crop production and ecosystem health (Tisdall and Oades, 1982). It's also a property that is highly influenced by land use and management (Angers et al., 1993). The stability of aggregates provides key information about the capacity of soil functions that defines the soil quality. This study has aimed to identify the long-term effects of forest transformation on agricultural use on soil structure and related properties. For the research was chosen seven localities in the Alicante Province (E Spain) with different soil types in all cases to compare how the land use changes can affect as a function of soil type and characteristics. In every site, samples were collected from agricultural land use (dry crops with tillage management), and in forest areas close to them with similar soil type that are used as references. On the samples, selected physical and chemical properties were analyzed such as Soil aggregate stability (AS), Organic matter (OM), Mean weight diameter (MWD) of aggregates and Water repellency (WR). As expected, in all cases the AS was significant lower in agricultural sites than in forest. But in some cases the differences were much higher than in others. In forest sites the AS varied between 46 to 82% while in agricultural sites ranged between 14 to 45%. The results showed strong positive correlation of AS with OM. The lowest initial values of AS were found in wettable sandy soils. The agricultural land use lead to relative decrease in AS by 39 to 79% compared to forest soils, indicating that some soils are much more vulnerable to land use than others. These differences can be explained mainly because intrinsic soil properties, such as OM content, texture, and WR. Particularly, the decrease in OM content and absence of WR are responsible for the decrease in

  7. Unusually high soil nitrogen oxide emissions influence air quality in a high-temperature agricultural region

    PubMed Central

    Oikawa, P. Y.; Ge, C.; Wang, J.; Eberwein, J. R.; Liang, L. L.; Allsman, L. A.; Grantz, D. A.; Jenerette, G. D.

    2015-01-01

    Fertilized soils have large potential for production of soil nitrogen oxide (NOx=NO+NO2), however these emissions are difficult to predict in high-temperature environments. Understanding these emissions may improve air quality modelling as NOx contributes to formation of tropospheric ozone (O3), a powerful air pollutant. Here we identify the environmental and management factors that regulate soil NOx emissions in a high-temperature agricultural region of California. We also investigate whether soil NOx emissions are capable of influencing regional air quality. We report some of the highest soil NOx emissions ever observed. Emissions vary nonlinearly with fertilization, temperature and soil moisture. We find that a regional air chemistry model often underestimates soil NOx emissions and NOx at the surface and in the troposphere. Adjusting the model to match NOx observations leads to elevated tropospheric O3. Our results suggest management can greatly reduce soil NOx emissions, thereby improving air quality. PMID:26556236

  8. Unusually high soil nitrogen oxide emissions influence air quality in a high-temperature agricultural region.

    PubMed

    Oikawa, P Y; Ge, C; Wang, J; Eberwein, J R; Liang, L L; Allsman, L A; Grantz, D A; Jenerette, G D

    2015-01-01

    Fertilized soils have large potential for production of soil nitrogen oxide (NOx=NO+NO2), however these emissions are difficult to predict in high-temperature environments. Understanding these emissions may improve air quality modelling as NOx contributes to formation of tropospheric ozone (O3), a powerful air pollutant. Here we identify the environmental and management factors that regulate soil NOx emissions in a high-temperature agricultural region of California. We also investigate whether soil NOx emissions are capable of influencing regional air quality. We report some of the highest soil NOx emissions ever observed. Emissions vary nonlinearly with fertilization, temperature and soil moisture. We find that a regional air chemistry model often underestimates soil NOx emissions and NOx at the surface and in the troposphere. Adjusting the model to match NOx observations leads to elevated tropospheric O3. Our results suggest management can greatly reduce soil NOx emissions, thereby improving air quality. PMID:26556236

  9. Unusually high soil nitrogen oxide emissions influence air quality in a high-temperature agricultural region.

    PubMed

    Oikawa, P Y; Ge, C; Wang, J; Eberwein, J R; Liang, L L; Allsman, L A; Grantz, D A; Jenerette, G D

    2015-11-10

    Fertilized soils have large potential for production of soil nitrogen oxide (NOx=NO+NO2), however these emissions are difficult to predict in high-temperature environments. Understanding these emissions may improve air quality modelling as NOx contributes to formation of tropospheric ozone (O3), a powerful air pollutant. Here we identify the environmental and management factors that regulate soil NOx emissions in a high-temperature agricultural region of California. We also investigate whether soil NOx emissions are capable of influencing regional air quality. We report some of the highest soil NOx emissions ever observed. Emissions vary nonlinearly with fertilization, temperature and soil moisture. We find that a regional air chemistry model often underestimates soil NOx emissions and NOx at the surface and in the troposphere. Adjusting the model to match NOx observations leads to elevated tropospheric O3. Our results suggest management can greatly reduce soil NOx emissions, thereby improving air quality.

  10. Occurrences and toxicological risk assessment of eight heavy metals in agricultural soils from Kenya, Eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Mungai, Teresiah Muciku; Owino, Anita Awino; Makokha, Victorine Anyango; Gao, Yan; Yan, Xue; Wang, Jun

    2016-09-01

    The concentration distribution and toxicological assessment of eight heavy metals including lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), and zinc (Zn) in agricultural soils from Kenya, Eastern Africa, were investigated in this study. The results showed mean concentrations of eight heavy metals of Zn, Pb, Cr, Cu, As, Ni, Hg, and Cd in agricultural soils as 247.39, 26.87, 59.69, 88.59, 8.93, 12.56, 8.06, and 0.42 mg kg(-1), respectively. These mean values of eight heavy metals were close to the toxicity threshold limit of USEPA standard values of agricultural soils, indicating potential toxicological risk to the food chain. Pollution index values revealed that eight heavy metals severely decreased in the order Hg > Cd > As > Cu > Pb > Zn > Ni > Cr and the mean value of the overall pollution index of Hg and Cd was 20.31, indicating severe agriculture ecological risk. Potential pollution sources of eight heavy metals in agricultural soils were mainly from anthropogenic activities and natural dissolution. The intensification of human agricultural activities, the growing industrialization, and the rapid urbanization largely influenced the concentration levels of heavy metals in Kenya, Eastern Africa. Moreover, the lack of agricultural normalization management and poor enforcement of environmental laws and regulations further intensified the widespread pollution of agricultural soils in Kenya. PMID:27291978

  11. Response of Soil Properties and Microbial Communities to Agriculture: Implications for Primary Productivity and Soil Health Indicators

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Pankaj; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Anderson, Ian C.; Singh, Brajesh K.

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is placing tremendous pressure on the soil’s capacity to maintain its functions leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation and loss of productivity in the long term. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find early indicators of soil health degradation in response to agricultural management. In recent years, major advances in soil meta-genomic and spatial studies on microbial communities and community-level molecular characteristics can now be exploited as ‘biomarker’ indicators of ecosystem processes for monitoring and managing sustainable soil health under global change. However, a continental scale, cross biome approach assessing soil microbial communities and their functional potential to identify the unifying principles governing the susceptibility of soil biodiversity to land conversion is lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis from a dataset generated from 102 peer-reviewed publications as well as unpublished data to explore how properties directly linked to soil nutritional health (total C and N; C:N ratio), primary productivity (NPP) and microbial diversity and composition (relative abundance of major bacterial phyla determined by next generation sequencing techniques) are affected in response to agricultural management across the main biomes of Earth (arid, continental, temperate and tropical). In our analysis, we found strong statistical trends in the relative abundance of several bacterial phyla in agricultural (e.g., Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi) and natural (Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria) systems across all regions and these trends correlated well with many soil properties. However, main effects of agriculture on soil properties and productivity were biome-dependent. Our meta-analysis provides evidence on the predictable nature of the microbial community responses to vegetation type. This knowledge can be exploited in future for developing a new set of indicators for primary productivity and

  12. Estimations of soil fertility in physically degraded agricultural soils through selective accounting of fine earth and gravel fractions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagaraja, Mavinakoppa S.; Bhardwaj, Ajay Kumar; Prabhakara Reddy, G. V.; Srinivasamurthy, Chilakunda A.; Kumar, Sandeep

    2016-06-01

    Soil fertility and organic carbon (C) stock estimations are crucial to soil management, especially that of degraded soils, for productive agricultural use and in soil C sequestration studies. Currently, estimations based on generalized soil mass (hectare furrow basis) or bulk density are used which may be suitable for normal agricultural soils, but not for degraded soils. In this study, soil organic C, available nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P2O5) and available potassium (K2O), and their stocks were estimated using three methods: (i) generalized soil mass (GSM, 2 million kg ha-1 furrow soil), (ii) bulk-density-based soil mass (BDSM) and (iii) the proportion of fine earth volume (FEV) method, for soils sampled from physically degraded lands in the eastern dry zone of Karnataka State in India. Comparative analyses using these methods revealed that the soil organic C, N, P2O and K2O stocks determined by using BDSM were higher than those determined by the GSM method. The soil organic C values were the lowest in the FEV method. The GSM method overestimated soil organic C, N, P2O and K2O by 9.3-72.1, 9.5-72.3, 7.1-66.6 and 9.2-72.3 %, respectively, compared to FEV-based estimations for physically degraded soils. The differences among the three methods of estimation were lower in soils with low gravel content and increased with an increase in gravel volume. There was overestimation of soil organic C and soil fertility with GSM and BDSM methods. A reassessment of methods of estimation was, therefore, attempted to provide fair estimates for land development projects in degraded lands.

  13. Soil Emissions of N2O and NO in Agricultural Production Systems in the Upper Midwest U.S.: Management Controls and Measurement Issues (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venterea, R. T.; Baker, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Cropped fields in the upper Midwest have the potential to emit relatively large quantities of N2O and NO resulting from soil transformation of N fertilizers applied to crops such as corn and potatoes. The mitigation of N2O emissions may be an effective strategy for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. While the rate of N fertilizer application exerts some control over N trace gas emission rates, a variety of other management practices and environmental factors interact to regulate these emissions. Observation-based studies are essential for improving models, developing accurate inventories, and documenting offsets. Since 2003, we have been examining the effects of management factors including: tillage, crop rotation, irrigation, and fertilizer chemical form and application method on N2O and NO emissions from corn and potato production systems using chamber-based measurement techniques. A summary of our findings will be presented, including: Application of anhydrous ammonia resulted in twice the N2O emissions compared to urea fertilizer, and twice the NO emissions compared to liquid urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer. Growing corn continuously compared to in rotation with soybeans did not alter the amount of N2O emitted during the corn growing season. Reduced tillage (RT), often promoted as a means of reducing carbon losses to the atmosphere, also altered soil N2O emissions. However, the impact of RT on N2O emissions was found to vary, in both magnitude and direction, as a function of N fertilizer management. In addition to these studies, our efforts to overcome some of the inherent limitations of chamber-based flux measurement techniques will be discussed.

  14. Agricultural Business and Management Materials for Agricultural Education Programs. Core Agricultural Education Curriculum, Central Cluster.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois Univ., Urbana. Office of Agricultural Communications and Education.

    This curriculum guide contains 5 teaching units for 44 agricultural business and management cluster problem areas. These problem areas have been selected as suggested areas of study to be included in a core curriculum for secondary students enrolled in an agricultural education program. The five units are as follows: (1) agribusiness operation and…

  15. Soil health paradigms and implications for disease management.

    PubMed

    Larkin, Robert P

    2015-01-01

    Soil health has been defined as the capacity of soil to function as a vital living system to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant, animal, and human health. Building and maintaining soil health are essential to agricultural sustainability and ecosystem function. Management practices that promote soil health, including the use of crop rotations, cover crops and green manures, organic amendments, and conservation tillage, also have generally positive effects on the management of soilborne diseases through a number of potential mechanisms, including increasing soil microbial biomass, activity, and diversity, resulting in greater biological suppression of pathogens and diseases. However, there also may be particular disease issues associated with some soil health management practices. In this review, research and progress made over the past twenty years regarding soil health, sustainability, and soil health management practices, with an emphasis on their implications for and effects on plant disease and disease management strategies, are summarized.

  16. Soil health paradigms and implications for disease management.

    PubMed

    Larkin, Robert P

    2015-01-01

    Soil health has been defined as the capacity of soil to function as a vital living system to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant, animal, and human health. Building and maintaining soil health are essential to agricultural sustainability and ecosystem function. Management practices that promote soil health, including the use of crop rotations, cover crops and green manures, organic amendments, and conservation tillage, also have generally positive effects on the management of soilborne diseases through a number of potential mechanisms, including increasing soil microbial biomass, activity, and diversity, resulting in greater biological suppression of pathogens and diseases. However, there also may be particular disease issues associated with some soil health management practices. In this review, research and progress made over the past twenty years regarding soil health, sustainability, and soil health management practices, with an emphasis on their implications for and effects on plant disease and disease management strategies, are summarized. PMID:26002292

  17. 7 CFR 205.203 - Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ..., and biological condition of soil and minimize soil erosion. (b) The producer must manage crop... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice... Requirements § 205.203 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard. (a) The producer...

  18. 7 CFR 205.203 - Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ..., and biological condition of soil and minimize soil erosion. (b) The producer must manage crop... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice... Requirements § 205.203 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard. (a) The producer...

  19. 7 CFR 205.203 - Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ..., and biological condition of soil and minimize soil erosion. (b) The producer must manage crop... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice... Requirements § 205.203 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard. (a) The producer...

  20. 7 CFR 205.203 - Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ..., and biological condition of soil and minimize soil erosion. (b) The producer must manage crop... 7 Agriculture 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice... Requirements § 205.203 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard. (a) The producer...

  1. Agriculture Canada Central Saskatchewan Vector Soils Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knapp, David; Hall, Forrest G. (Editor); Rostad, Harold

    2000-01-01

    This data set consists of GIS layers that describe the soils of the BOREAS SSA. These original data layers were submitted as vector data in ARC/INFO EXPORT format. These data also include the soil name and soil layer files, which provide additional information about the soils. There are three sets of attributes that include information on the primary, secondary, and tertiary soil type within each polygon. Thus, there is a total of nine main attributes in this data set.

  2. Soybean fungal soil-borne diseases: a parameter for measuring the effect of agricultural intensification on soil health.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Brandán, C; Huidobro, J; Grümberg, B; Scandiani, M M; Luque, A G; Meriles, J M; Vargas-Gil, S

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of agricultural intensification on soil microbial diversity, chemical and physical parameters, and the decrease of the incidence of sudden death syndrome (Fusarium crassistipitatum) and charcoal rot (Macrophomina phaseolina) in soybean. Soils under different management systems were evaluated during 2 crop cycles: soybean monoculture for 24 and 11 years, soybean-maize rotation for 15 and 4 years, 1 year of soybean, and native vegetation. The incidence of both soil-borne diseases was higher under monoculture than under rotation. Increased populations of potential biocontrol agents (Trichoderma spp., Gliocladium spp., fluorescent pseudomonads) were associated with rotation treatments, especially in 2010-2011. The comparison of agricultural vs. native vegetation soil and the average of agricultural cycles showed that microbial biomass carbon and glomalin-related soil protein were higher in the rotation system than in monoculture (50% and 77%, respectively). Furthermore, from the community-level functional diversity (Biolog Eco plates), McIntosh index showed lower functional diversity in monoculture than in rotation and native vegetation plots. Agricultural intensification reduced microbial biomass carbon, glomalin-related soil protein, organic matter, total nitrogen, aggregate stability, and yield, and increased bulk density. Soil quality degradation was associated with the establishment of soil-borne pathogens and increased soybean plant susceptibility to disease.

  3. Soybean fungal soil-borne diseases: a parameter for measuring the effect of agricultural intensification on soil health.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Brandán, C; Huidobro, J; Grümberg, B; Scandiani, M M; Luque, A G; Meriles, J M; Vargas-Gil, S

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of agricultural intensification on soil microbial diversity, chemical and physical parameters, and the decrease of the incidence of sudden death syndrome (Fusarium crassistipitatum) and charcoal rot (Macrophomina phaseolina) in soybean. Soils under different management systems were evaluated during 2 crop cycles: soybean monoculture for 24 and 11 years, soybean-maize rotation for 15 and 4 years, 1 year of soybean, and native vegetation. The incidence of both soil-borne diseases was higher under monoculture than under rotation. Increased populations of potential biocontrol agents (Trichoderma spp., Gliocladium spp., fluorescent pseudomonads) were associated with rotation treatments, especially in 2010-2011. The comparison of agricultural vs. native vegetation soil and the average of agricultural cycles showed that microbial biomass carbon and glomalin-related soil protein were higher in the rotation system than in monoculture (50% and 77%, respectively). Furthermore, from the community-level functional diversity (Biolog Eco plates), McIntosh index showed lower functional diversity in monoculture than in rotation and native vegetation plots. Agricultural intensification reduced microbial biomass carbon, glomalin-related soil protein, organic matter, total nitrogen, aggregate stability, and yield, and increased bulk density. Soil quality degradation was associated with the establishment of soil-borne pathogens and increased soybean plant susceptibility to disease. PMID:24498984

  4. Changes in soil oribatid communities associated with conversion from conventional to organic agriculture.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Mohamed A; Al-Assiuty, Abdel-Naieem I M; van Straalen, Nico M; Al-Assiuty, Basma A

    2016-02-01

    We investigated the effects of switching from conventional management to organic management on the abundance and community composition of soil-living oribatid mites in clover fields in an experimental agricultural station at Al-Fayoum, Egypt. The site had two adjacent fields with identical vegetation cover but different management. Fifteen random soil samples were collected monthly from each of three plots per field, from October to March. We characterized the soils with respect to various physicochemical variables as well as fungal community composition, and estimated mite densities through core sampling. Organic fields had a significantly more abundant oribatid community than did conventional fields. Also the abundance of soil fungi was greater in the organically managed field. Organic management promoted common oribatid mite species with a wide ecological amplitude that already had a high abundance where such common species are more responsive to changes in agricultural management. However, some species of mite responded indifferent or negative to the switch from conventional to organic management. Overall, the differences between the two ecological systems were mainly quantitative. Species diversities of both mite and fungal communities did not differ much between the two management systems. Diversity (H0) and equitability (E) of soil oribatid communities were higher in conventional plots than in the organic plots during the first 2 months but indistinguishable thereafter. Our study confirmed that organic management stimulates soilorganic matter build-up, with positive effects on both fungal and oribatid mite abundance and possible long-term effects on soil function.

  5. Soil microbial community response to land use change in an agricultural landscape of western Kenya.

    PubMed

    Bossio, D A; Girvan, M S; Verchot, L; Bullimore, J; Borelli, T; Albrecht, A; Scow, K M; Ball, A S; Pretty, J N; Osborn, A M

    2005-01-01

    Tropical agroecosystems are subject to degradation processes such as losses in soil carbon, nutrient depletion, and reduced water holding capacity that occur rapidly resulting in a reduction in soil fertility that can be difficult to reverse. In this research, a polyphasic methodology has been used to investigate changes in microbial community structure and function in a series of tropical soils in western Kenya. These soils have different land usage with both wooded and agricultural soils at Kakamega and Ochinga, whereas at Ochinga, Leuro, Teso, and Ugunja a replicated field experiment compared traditional continuous maize cropping against an improved N-fixing fallow system. For all sites, principal component analysis of 16S rRNA gene denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles revealed that soil type was the key determinant of total bacterial community structure, with secondary variation found between wooded and agricultural soils. Similarly, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis also separated wooded from agricultural soils, primarily on the basis of higher abundance of monounsaturated fatty acids, anteiso- and iso-branched fatty acids, and methyl-branched fatty acids in the wooded soils. At Kakamega and Ochinga wooded soils had between five 5 and 10-fold higher levels of soil carbon and microbial biomass carbon than agricultural soils from the same location, whereas total enzyme activities were also lower in the agricultural sites. Soils with woody vegetation had a lower percentage of phosphatase activity and higher cellulase and chitinase activities than the agricultural soils. BIOLOG analysis showed woodland soils to have the greatest substrate diversity. Throughout the study the two functional indicators (enzyme activity and BIOLOG), however, showed lower specificity with respect to soil type and land usage than did the compositional indicators (DGGE and PLFA). In the field experiment comparing two types of maize cropping, both the maize yields

  6. Stagnating crop yields: An overlooked risk for the carbon balance of agricultural soils?

    PubMed

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Hübner, Rico; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-12-01

    The carbon (C) balance of agricultural soils may be largely affected by climate change. Increasing temperatures are discussed to cause a loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) due to enhanced decomposition of soil organic matter, which has a high intrinsic temperature sensitivity. On the other hand, several modeling studies assumed that potential SOC losses would be compensated or even outperformed by an increased C input by crop residues into agricultural soils. This assumption was based on a predicted general increase of net primary productivity (NPP) as a result of the CO2 fertilization effect and prolonged growing seasons. However, it is questionable if the crop C input into agricultural soils can be derived from NPP predictions of vegetation models. The C input in European croplands is largely controlled by the agricultural management and was strongly related to the development of crop yields in the last decades. Thus, a glance at past yield development will probably be more instructive for future estimations of the C input than previous modeling approaches based on NPP predictions. An analysis of European yield statistics indicated that yields of wheat, barley and maize are stagnating in Central and Northern Europe since the 1990s. The stagnation of crop yields can probably be related to a fundamental change of the agricultural management and to climate change effects. It is assumed that the soil C input is concurrently stagnating which would necessarily lead to a decrease of agricultural SOC stocks in the long-term given a constant temperature increase. Remarkably, for almost all European countries that are faced with yield stagnation indications for agricultural SOC decreases were already found. Potentially adverse effects of yield stagnation on the C balance of croplands call for an interdisciplinary investigation of its causes and a comprehensive monitoring of SOC stocks in agricultural soils of Europe.

  7. Stagnating crop yields: An overlooked risk for the carbon balance of agricultural soils?

    PubMed

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Hübner, Rico; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-12-01

    The carbon (C) balance of agricultural soils may be largely affected by climate change. Increasing temperatures are discussed to cause a loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) due to enhanced decomposition of soil organic matter, which has a high intrinsic temperature sensitivity. On the other hand, several modeling studies assumed that potential SOC losses would be compensated or even outperformed by an increased C input by crop residues into agricultural soils. This assumption was based on a predicted general increase of net primary productivity (NPP) as a result of the CO2 fertilization effect and prolonged growing seasons. However, it is questionable if the crop C input into agricultural soils can be derived from NPP predictions of vegetation models. The C input in European croplands is largely controlled by the agricultural management and was strongly related to the development of crop yields in the last decades. Thus, a glance at past yield development will probably be more instructive for future estimations of the C input than previous modeling approaches based on NPP predictions. An analysis of European yield statistics indicated that yields of wheat, barley and maize are stagnating in Central and Northern Europe since the 1990s. The stagnation of crop yields can probably be related to a fundamental change of the agricultural management and to climate change effects. It is assumed that the soil C input is concurrently stagnating which would necessarily lead to a decrease of agricultural SOC stocks in the long-term given a constant temperature increase. Remarkably, for almost all European countries that are faced with yield stagnation indications for agricultural SOC decreases were already found. Potentially adverse effects of yield stagnation on the C balance of croplands call for an interdisciplinary investigation of its causes and a comprehensive monitoring of SOC stocks in agricultural soils of Europe. PMID:26235605

  8. Managing soil remediation problems.

    PubMed

    Okx, J P; Hordijk, L; Stein, A

    1996-12-01

    Soil remediation has only a short history but the problem addressed is a significant one. Cost estimates for the clean-up of contaminated sites in the European Union and the United States are in the order of magnitude of 1,400 billion ECU. Such an enormous operation deserves the best management it can get. Reliable cost estimations per contaminated site are an important prerequisite. This paper addresses the problems related to site-wise estimations.When solving soil remediation problems, we have to deal with a large number of scientific disciplines. Too often solutions are presented from the viewpoint of only one discipline. In order to benefit from the combined disciplinary knowledge and experience, we think that it is necessary to describe the interrelations between these disciplines. This can be realized by developing an adequate model of the desired process which enables to consider and evaluate the essential factors as interdependent components of the total system.The resulting model provides a binding paradigm to the contributing disciplines which will result in improved efficiency and effectivity of the decision and the cost estimation process. In the near future, we will release the "Biosparging and Bioventing Expert Support System", an expert support system for problem owners, consultants and authorities dealing with the design and operation of a biosparging and/or a bioventing system.

  9. Irrigated agriculture and soil salinization in the Maltese islands.

    PubMed

    Vella, Sonya J; Camilleri, Sharlo

    2003-08-01

    In the Maltese islands, soil is one of the most threatened natural resources, being continuously exposed to a multitude of climatic, environmental, and man-induced impacts. The changes in agricultural practices as well as increases in urban development have intensified environmental problems and have accentuated the pressures on agricultural land and fragile semi-natural ecosystems. Between 1956 and 2001, the total agricultural land declined from 20,433 ha to 10,713 ha, however, during the same period, the irrigated land as a percentage of total agricultural land increased from 3.9% to 10.7%. The poor quality of irrigation water sources, and the supply of treated sewage effluent with a high level of salts, contribute to a significant salt input. The extent of salt-affected soils in the Maltese islands is not well-documented, however, field observations and technical reports indicate that soil salinity is a potential constraint for agricultural production. This article gives a comparative review of the salinity status of soils in three case study areas in Malta, the agricultural dryland at Ghammieri, the intensively cultivated irrigated valley of Pwales, and the agricultural land irrigated with treated sewage effluent of the Sant Antnin Sewage Treatment Plant in the South-East of Malta. This analysis is provided in the context of the environmental impact of irrigation on soil quality in the Maltese islands.

  10. CO2 emissions from organic soils under agricultural use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bader, Cédric; Leifeld, Jens; Müller, Moritz; Schulin, Rainer

    2015-04-01

    The organic soils of peatlands represent a major global sink for terrestrial carbon. Agricultural use of organic soils requires drainage, changing conditions in these soils from anoxic to oxic. As a consequence, the organic carbon that had been accumulated often over millennia is rapidly mineralized, so that these soils then are no longer a sink but become a source of CO2. The aim of our study is to analyse the amount and origin of CO2 emitted from organic soils under three land-use types (forest, arable cropland and grassland). Our study area is located in the Bernese Lakeland (CH). The peatlands of this region were drained in the 1870ies, and the site as well as the surrounding area are now managed by a state prison. Since decades our study site is under the same land-use. In Oktober 2013 we took 4 replicate soil cores of all land-uses with respect to a certain distance from a major drainage ditch. Each core was analysed for its bulk density and carbon content. 9 soil samples from a depth of 20-30 cm were analysed for their F14C and δ13C values and later divided into 18 subsamples. Half of them were mixed with 0.2-0.4 g of labelled corn stalk enriched in δ13C (δ13C=2000) in order to mimic plant residue inputs in the field. The moisture content of these samples was equilibrated at a pF-value of 2 before incubating the samples in a Respicond VII analyser for several weeks at 20° C. By trapping the respired CO2 in NaOH and precipitating it as BaCO3 we were able to analyse its F14C and δ13C value. This enabled us to determine to what extent the CO2 originated from old peat, young plant residues or the added maize stalk. Generally the cropland samples showed the highest respiration rates, lowest F14C values and highest carbon stocks. The organic soils under the forest were degraded the most and showed low respiration rates. Analyzing the F14C values of the CO2 revealed that peat contributes most to the respiration and its degradation is fastest in the cropland

  11. Incorporating Agricultural Management Practices into the Assessment of Soil Carbon Change and Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn Stover Ethanol Production

    SciTech Connect

    Qin, Zhangcai; Canter, Christina E.; Dunn, Jennifer B.; Mueller, Steffen; Kwon, Ho-young; Han, Jeongwoo; Wander, Michelle M.; Wang, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Land management practices such as cover crop adoption or manure application that can increase soil organic carbon (SOC) may provide a way to counter SOC loss upon removal of stover from corn fields for use as a biofuel feedstock. This report documents the data, methodology, and assumptions behind the incorporation of land management practices into corn-soybean systems that dominate U.S. grain production using varying levels of stover removal in the GREETTM (Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation) model and its CCLUB (Carbon Calculator for Land Use change from Biofuels production) module. Tillage (i.e., conventional, reduced and no tillage), corn stover removal (i.e., at 0, 30% and 60% removal rate), and organic matter input techniques (i.e., cover crop and manure application) are included in the analysis as major land management practices. Soil carbon changes associated with land management changes were modeled with a surrogate CENTURY model. The resulting SOC changes were incorporated into CCLUB while GREET was expanded to include energy and material consumption associated with cover crop adoption and manure application. Life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of stover ethanol were estimated using a marginal approach (all burdens and benefits assigned to corn stover ethanol) and an energy allocation approach (burdens and benefits divided between grain and stover ethanol). In the latter case, we considered corn grain and corn stover ethanol to be produced at an integrated facility. Life-cycle GHG emissions of corn stover ethanol are dependent upon the analysis approach selected (marginal versus allocation) and the land management techniques applied. The expansion of CCLUB and GREET to accommodate land management techniques can produce a wide range of results because users can select from multiple scenario options such as choosing tillage levels, stover removal rates, and whether crop yields increase annually or remain constant

  12. Effects of soil management techniques on soil water erosion in apricot orchards.

    PubMed

    Keesstra, Saskia; Pereira, Paulo; Novara, Agata; Brevik, Eric C; Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Jordán, Antonio; Cerdà, Artemi

    2016-05-01

    Soil erosion is extreme in Mediterranean orchards due to management impact, high rainfall intensities, steep slopes and erodible parent material. Vall d'Albaida is a traditional fruit production area which, due to the Mediterranean climate and marly soils, produces sweet fruits. However, these highly productive soils are left bare under the prevailing land management and marly soils are vulnerable to soil water erosion when left bare. In this paper we study the impact of different agricultural land management strategies on soil properties (bulk density, soil organic matter, soil moisture), soil water erosion and runoff, by means of simulated rainfall experiments and soil analyses. Three representative land managements (tillage/herbicide/covered with vegetation) were selected, where 20 paired plots (60 plots) were established to determine soil losses and runoff. The simulated rainfall was carried out at 55mmh(-1) in the summer of 2013 (<8% soil moisture) for one hour on 0.25m(2) circular plots. The results showed that vegetation cover, soil moisture and organic matter were significantly higher in covered plots than in tilled and herbicide treated plots. However, runoff coefficient, total runoff, sediment yield and soil erosion were significantly higher in herbicide treated plots compared to the others. Runoff sediment concentration was significantly higher in tilled plots. The lowest values were identified in covered plots. Overall, tillage, but especially herbicide treatment, decreased vegetation cover, soil moisture, soil organic matter, and increased bulk density, runoff coefficient, total runoff, sediment yield and soil erosion. Soil erosion was extremely high in herbicide plots with 0.91Mgha(-1)h(-1) of soil lost; in the tilled fields erosion rates were lower with 0.51Mgha(-1)h(-1). Covered soil showed an erosion rate of 0.02Mgha(-1)h(-1). These results showed that agricultural management influenced water and sediment dynamics and that tillage and herbicide

  13. Effects of soil management techniques on soil water erosion in apricot orchards.

    PubMed

    Keesstra, Saskia; Pereira, Paulo; Novara, Agata; Brevik, Eric C; Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Jordán, Antonio; Cerdà, Artemi

    2016-05-01

    Soil erosion is extreme in Mediterranean orchards due to management impact, high rainfall intensities, steep slopes and erodible parent material. Vall d'Albaida is a traditional fruit production area which, due to the Mediterranean climate and marly soils, produces sweet fruits. However, these highly productive soils are left bare under the prevailing land management and marly soils are vulnerable to soil water erosion when left bare. In this paper we study the impact of different agricultural land management strategies on soil properties (bulk density, soil organic matter, soil moisture), soil water erosion and runoff, by means of simulated rainfall experiments and soil analyses. Three representative land managements (tillage/herbicide/covered with vegetation) were selected, where 20 paired plots (60 plots) were established to determine soil losses and runoff. The simulated rainfall was carried out at 55mmh(-1) in the summer of 2013 (<8% soil moisture) for one hour on 0.25m(2) circular plots. The results showed that vegetation cover, soil moisture and organic matter were significantly higher in covered plots than in tilled and herbicide treated plots. However, runoff coefficient, total runoff, sediment yield and soil erosion were significantly higher in herbicide treated plots compared to the others. Runoff sediment concentration was significantly higher in tilled plots. The lowest values were identified in covered plots. Overall, tillage, but especially herbicide treatment, decreased vegetation cover, soil moisture, soil organic matter, and increased bulk density, runoff coefficient, total runoff, sediment yield and soil erosion. Soil erosion was extremely high in herbicide plots with 0.91Mgha(-1)h(-1) of soil lost; in the tilled fields erosion rates were lower with 0.51Mgha(-1)h(-1). Covered soil showed an erosion rate of 0.02Mgha(-1)h(-1). These results showed that agricultural management influenced water and sediment dynamics and that tillage and herbicide

  14. Soil Type Identification Using Remotely Sensed Data for Agricultural Purpose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiji, G. Wiselin; Nadar, Pallavi

    2016-09-01

    Soil assessment plays important role in making decisions for Agriculture. In this paper, an approach by integrating the image processing and pattern recognition techniques to find the type of soil has been presented. The soil from the area of interest is selected and soil indices are extracted as features. Indexing technique is used for faster retrieval. The efficiency of the proposed system is proved using sensitivity, specificity, precision and recall. Our empirical evaluation has a superior retrieval performance over the performance of other works. This work is of great use to the farmers, who need to identify their field's soil type.

  15. Evolutionary-thinking in agricultural weed management.

    PubMed

    Neve, Paul; Vila-Aiub, Martin; Roux, Fabrice

    2009-12-01

    Agricultural weeds evolve in response to crop cultivation. Nevertheless, the central importance of evolutionary ecology for understanding weed invasion, persistence and management in agroecosystems is not widely acknowledged. This paper calls for more evolutionarily-enlightened weed management, in which management principles are informed by evolutionary biology to prevent or minimize weed adaptation and spread. As a first step, a greater knowledge of the extent, structure and significance of genetic variation within and between weed populations is required to fully assess the potential for weed adaptation. The evolution of resistance to herbicides is a classic example of weed adaptation. Even here, most research focuses on describing the physiological and molecular basis of resistance, rather than conducting studies to better understand the evolutionary dynamics of selection for resistance. We suggest approaches to increase the application of evolutionary-thinking to herbicide resistance research. Weed population dynamics models are increasingly important tools in weed management, yet these models often ignore intrapopulation and interpopulation variability, neglecting the potential for weed adaptation in response to management. Future agricultural weed management can benefit from greater integration of ecological and evolutionary principles to predict the long-term responses of weed populations to changing weed management, agricultural environments and global climate.

  16. Quantification Of Erosion Rates Of Agriculturally Used Soils By Artificial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jha, Abhinand

    2010-05-01

    0.0.1 1. Introduction to soil erosion measurement by radionuclides Soil erosion by water, wind and tillage affects both agriculture and the natural environment. Studying this phenomenon would be one of the advancements in science. Soil erosion occurs worldwide and since the last two decades it has been a main topic of discussion all over the world. The use of environmental radionuclides such as 90Sr, 137Cs to study medium term soil erosion (40 yrs) started in the early 1990's. Using these new techniques better knowledge about erosion can be gained and this knowledge can be implemented for erosion risk management. The erosion and sedimentation study by using man-made and natural radioisotopes is a key technique, which has developed over the past 30 years. Fallout 137Cs and Cosmogenic 7Be are radionuclides that have been used to provide independent measurements of soil-erosion and sediment-deposition rates and patterns [1] [2] [3] [4]. Erosion measurements using radionuclides 137Cs, 7Be Caesium-137 from atmospheric nuclear-weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s (Fig.1) is a unique tracer of erosion and sedimentation, since there are no natural sources of 137Cs. Unique events such as the Chernobyl accident in April 1986 caused regional dispersal of 137Cs that affects the total global deposition budget. This yearly pattern of fallout can be used to develop a chronology of deposition horizons in lakes, reservoirs, and floodplains. 137Cs can be easily measured by gamma spectroscopy. Using 137Cs is a fast and cheap method to study erosion-deposition processes compared to the traditional methods like silt bags. PIC Figure 1: Global 137Cs fallout (Modified from SAAS Bulletin 353, Part E, DDR, 1986) When 137Cs, 7Be reach the soil surface by wet and dry deposition, they are quickly and strongly adsorbed by ion exchange and are essentially non exchangeable in most environments. Each radionuclide is distributed differently in the soil because of differences in half-lives (30 yrs

  17. Use of USLE/GIS methodology for predicting soil loss in a semiarid agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Erdogan, Emrah H; Erpul, Günay; Bayramin, Ilhami

    2007-08-01

    The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) is an erosion model to estimate average soil loss that would generally result from splash, sheet, and rill erosion from agricultural plots. Recently, use of USLE has been extended as a useful tool predicting soil losses and planning control practices in agricultural watersheds by the effective integration of the GIS-based procedures to estimate the factor values in a grid cell basis. This study was performed in the Kazan Watershed located in the central Anatolia, Turkey, to predict soil erosion risk by the USLE/GIS methodology for planning conservation measures in the site. Rain erosivity (R), soil erodibility (K), and cover management factor (C) values of the model were calculated from erosivity map, soil map, and land use map of Turkey, respectively. R values were site-specifically corrected using DEM and climatic data. The topographical and hydrological effects on the soil loss were characterized by LS factor evaluated by the flow accumulation tool using DEM and watershed delineation techniques. From resulting soil loss map of the watershed, the magnitude of the soil erosion was estimated in terms of the different soil units and land uses and the most erosion-prone areas where irreversible soil losses occurred were reasonably located in the Kazan watershed. This could be very useful for deciding restoration practices to control the soil erosion of the sites to be severely influenced.

  18. Storing Carbon in Agricultural Soils to Help Head-Off Global Warming and to Combat Desertification

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenberg, Norman J.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.

    2001-12-31

    We know for sure that addition of organic matter to soil increases water-holding capacity, imparts fertility with the addition of nutrients, increases soil aggregation and improves tilth. Depeing on it's type, organic matter contains between 40 and 60% carbon. Using agricultural management practices to increase the amount of organic matter and carbon in soils can be an effective strategy to offset carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere as well as to improve the quality of the soil and slow or prevent desertification.

  19. Proximal Soil Sensing – A Contribution for Species Habitat Distribution Modelling of Earthworms in Agricultural Soils?

    PubMed Central

    Schirrmann, Michael; Joschko, Monika; Gebbers, Robin; Kramer, Eckart; Zörner, Mirjam; Barkusky, Dietmar; Timmer, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Background Earthworms are important for maintaining soil ecosystem functioning and serve as indicators of soil fertility. However, detection of earthworms is time-consuming, which hinders the assessment of earthworm abundances with high sampling density over entire fields. Recent developments of mobile terrestrial sensor platforms for proximal soil sensing (PSS) provided new tools for collecting dense spatial information of soils using various sensing principles. Yet, the potential of PSS for assessing earthworm habitats is largely unexplored. This study investigates whether PSS data contribute to the spatial prediction of earthworm abundances in species distribution models of agricultural soils. Methodology/Principal Findings Proximal soil sensing data, e.g., soil electrical conductivity (EC), pH, and near infrared absorbance (NIR), were collected in real-time in a field with two management strategies (reduced tillage / conventional tillage) and sandy to loam soils. PSS was related to observations from a long-term (11 years) earthworm observation study conducted at 42 plots. Earthworms were sampled from 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.2 m³ soil blocks and identified to species level. Sensor data were highly correlated with earthworm abundances observed in reduced tillage but less correlated with earthworm abundances observed in conventional tillage. This may indicate that management influences the sensor-earthworm relationship. Generalized additive models and state-space models showed that modelling based on data fusion from EC, pH, and NIR sensors produced better results than modelling without sensor data or data from just a single sensor. Regarding the individual earthworm species, particular sensor combinations were more appropriate than others due to the different habitat requirements of the earthworms. Earthworm species with soil-specific habitat preferences were spatially predicted with higher accuracy by PSS than more ubiquitous species. Conclusions/Significance Our

  20. Soil biota and agriculture production in conventional and organic farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrama, Maarten; de Haan, Joj; Carvalho, Sabrina; Kroonen, Mark; Verstegen, Harry; Van der Putten, Wim

    2015-04-01

    Sustainable food production for a growing world population requires a healthy soil that can buffer environmental extremes and minimize its losses. There are currently two views on how to achieve this: by intensifying conventional agriculture or by developing organically based agriculture. It has been established that yields of conventional agriculture can be 20% higher than of organic agriculture. However, high yields of intensified conventional agriculture trade off with loss of soil biodiversity, leaching of nutrients, and other unwanted ecosystem dis-services. One of the key explanations for the loss of nutrients and GHG from intensive agriculture is that it results in high dynamics of nutrient losses, and policy has aimed at reducing temporal variation. However, little is known about how different agricultural practices affect spatial variation, and it is unknown how soil fauna acts this. In this study we compare the spatial and temporal variation of physical, chemical and biological parameters in a long term (13-year) field experiment with two conventional farming systems (low and medium organic matter input) and one organic farming system (high organic matter input) and we evaluate the impact on ecosystem services that these farming systems provide. Soil chemical (N availability, N mineralization, pH) and soil biological parameters (nematode abundance, bacterial and fungal biomass) show considerably higher spatial variation under conventional farming than under organic farming. Higher variation in soil chemical and biological parameters coincides with the presence of 'leaky' spots (high nitrate leaching) in conventional farming systems, which shift unpredictably over the course of one season. Although variation in soil physical factors (soil organic matter, soil aggregation, soil moisture) was similar between treatments, but averages were higher under organic farming, indicating more buffered conditions for nutrient cycling. All these changes coincide with

  1. Ancient Agricultural Terraces and the Soil Erosion Paradox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Tony

    2015-04-01

    Geoarchaeology lies at the heart of debates about societal stability and change. Geomorphological research has been used as a foundation for simplistic models of resource depletion based almost entirely on the comparison of soil erosion rates with long-term so- called 'geological' rates. However, the neo-catastrophic collapse of complex agricultural societies is rare, and where it is convincing demonstrated it is even more rarely monocausal. Indeed many societies appear to have continued agricultural exploitation of climatically marginal lands for far longer than soil depletion estimates would forecast. One reason may be that this soil depletion approach has grossly simplified soil creation through weathering, and neglected how past agriculture also affected the soil creation rate (especially on some lithologies) and how soil was conserved (terraces) and utilised even after transport. However, we now have we know have some potentially valuable new tools, including mineral magnetics and cosmogenic nuclides, which can be used to estimate changing soil weathering rates. This approach will be discussed with examples from both the temperate and Mediterranean climatic zones and in relation to causative models of change in complex agricultural societies.

  2. Phenylurea herbicide sorption to biochars and agricultural soil

    PubMed Central

    WANG, DAOYUAN; MUKOME, FUNGAI N. D.; YAN, DENGHUA; WANG, HAO; SCOW, KATE M.; PARIKH, SANJAI J.

    2016-01-01

    Biochar is increasingly been used as a soil amendment to improve water holding capacity, reduce nutrient leaching, increase soil pH and also as a means to reduce contamination through sorption of heavy metals or organic pollutants. The sorption behavior of three phenylurea herbicides (monuron, diuron, linuron) on five biochars (Enhanced Biochar, Hog Waste, Turkey Litter, Walnut Shell and Wood Feedstock) and an agricultural soil (Yolo silt loam) was investigated using a batch equilibration method. Sorption isotherms of herbicides to biochars were well described by the Freundlich model (R2 = 0.93 -- 0.97). The adsorption KF values ranged from 6.94 to 1306.95 mg kg−1 and indicated the sorption of herbicides in the biochars and Yolo soil was in the sequence of linuron > diuron > monuron and walnut shell biochar > wood feedstock biochar > turkey litter biochar > enhanced biochar > hog waste biochar > Yolo soil. These data show that sorption of herbicides to biochar can have both positive (reduced off-site transport) and negative (reduced herbicide efficacy) implications and specific biochar properties, such as H/C ratio and surface area, should be considered together with soil type, agriculture chemical and climate condition in biochar application to agricultural soil to optimize the system for both agricultural and environmental benefits. PMID:26065514

  3. Phenylurea herbicide sorption to biochars and agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Daoyuan; Mukome, Fungai N D; Yan, Denghua; Wang, Hao; Scow, Kate M; Parikh, Sanjai J

    2015-01-01

    Biochar is increasingly been used as a soil amendment to improve water-holding capacity, reduce nutrient leaching, increase soil pH, and also as a means to reduce contamination through sorption of heavy metals or organic pollutants. The sorption behavior of three phenylurea herbicides (monuron, diuron and linuron) on five biochars (Enhanced Biochar, Hog Waste, Turkey Litter, Walnut Shell and Wood Feedstock) and an agricultural soil (Yolo silt loam) was investigated using a batch equilibration method. Sorption isotherms of herbicides to biochars were well described by the Freundlich model (R(2) = 0.93-0.97). The adsorption KF values ranged from 6.94 to 1306.95 mg kg(-1) and indicated the sorption of herbicides in the biochars and Yolo soil was in the sequence of linuron > diuron > monuron and walnut shell biochar > wood feedstock biochar > turkey litter biochar > enhanced biochar > hog waste biochar > Yolo soil. These data show that sorption of herbicides to biochar can have both positive (reduced off-site transport) and negative (reduced herbicide efficacy) implications and specific biochar properties, such as H/C ratio and surface area, should be considered together with soil type, agriculture chemical and climate condition in biochar application to agricultural soil to optimize the system for both agricultural and environmental benefits. PMID:26065514

  4. About soil cover heterogeneity of agricultural research stations' experimental fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rannik, Kaire; Kõlli, Raimo; Kukk, Liia

    2013-04-01

    Depending on local pedo-ecological conditions (topography, (geo) diversity of soil parent material, meteorological conditions) the patterns of soil cover and plant cover determined by soils are very diverse. Formed in the course of soil-plant mutual relationship, the natural ecosystems are always influenced to certain extent by the other local soil forming conditions or they are site specific. The agricultural land use or the formation of agro-ecosystems depends foremost on the suitability of soils for the cultivation of feed and food crops. As a rule, the most fertile or the best soils of the area, which do not present any or present as little as possible constraints for agricultural land use, are selected for this purpose. Compared with conventional field soils, the requirements for the experimental fields' soil cover quality are much higher. Experimental area soils and soil cover composition should correspond to local pedo-ecological conditions and, in addition to that, represent the soil types dominating in the region, whereas the fields should be as homogeneous as possible. The soil cover heterogeneity of seven arable land blocks of three research stations (Jõgeva, Kuusiku and Olustvere) was studied 1) by examining the large scale (1:10 000) digital soil map (available via the internet), and 2) by field researches using the transect method. The stages of soils litho-genetic and moisture heterogeneities were estimated by using the Estonian normal soils matrix, however, the heterogeneity of top- and subsoil texture by using the soil texture matrix. The quality and variability of experimental fields' soils humus status, was studied more thoroughly from the aspect of humus concentration (g kg-1), humus cover thickness (cm) and humus stocks (Mg ha-1). The soil cover of Jõgeva experimental area, which presents an accumulative drumlin landscape (formed during the last glacial period), consist from loamy Luvisols and associated to this Cambisols. In Kuusiku area

  5. The potential for carbon sequestration in Australian agricultural soils is technically and economically limited

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Shu Kee; Chen, Deli; Mosier, Arvin R.; Roush, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Concerns about increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), have raised worldwide interest in the potential of agricultural soils to be carbon (C) sinks. In Australia, studies that have quantified the effects of improved management practices in croplands on soil C have generally been inconclusive and contradictory for different soil depths and durations of the management changes. We therefore quantitatively synthesised the results of Australian studies using meta-analytic techniques to assess the technical and economic feasibility of increasing the soil C stock by improved management practices. Our results indicate that the potential of these improved practices to store C is limited to the surface 0–10 cm of soil and diminishes with time. None of these widely adopted practices is currently financially attractive under Australia's new legislation known as the Carbon Farming Initiative. PMID:23846398

  6. Bioavailability and soil-to-plant transfer factors as indicators of potentially toxic element contamination in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Adamo, Paola; Iavazzo, Pietro; Albanese, Stefano; Agrelli, Diana; De Vivo, Benedetto; Lima, Annamaria

    2014-12-01

    Soil pollution in agricultural lands poses a serious threat to food safety, and suggests the need for consolidated methods providing advisory indications for soil management and crop production. In this work, the three-step extraction procedure developed by the EU Measurement and Testing Programme and two soil-to-plant transfer factors (relative to total and bioavailable concentration of elements in soil) were applied on polluted agricultural soils from southern Italy to obtain information on the retention mechanisms of metals in soils and on their level of translocation to edible vegetables. The study was carried out in the Sarno river plain of Campania, an area affected by severe environmental degradation potentially impacting the health of those consuming locally produced vegetables. Soil samples were collected in 36 locations along the two main rivers flowing into the plain. In 11 sites, lettuce plants were collected at the normal stage of consumption. According to Italian environmental law governing residential soils, and on the basis of soil background reference values for the study area, we found diffuse pollution by Be, Sn and Tl, of geogenic origin, Cr and Cu from anthropogenic sources such as tanneries and intensive agriculture, and more limited pollution by Pb, Zn and V. It was found that metals polluting soils as a result of human activities were mainly associated to residual, oxidizable and reducible phases, relatively immobile and only potentially bioavailable to plants. By contrast, the essential elements Zn and Cu showed a tendency to become more readily mobile and bioavailable as their total content in soil increased and were more easily transported to the edible parts of lettuce than other pollutants. According to our results, current soil pollution in the studied area does not affect the proportion of metals taken up by lettuce plants and there is a limited health risk incurred.

  7. Soil Incubation Study to Assess the Impacts of Manure Application and Climate Change on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiavone, K.; Barbieri, L.; Adair, C.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural fields in Vermont's Lake Champlain Basin have problems with the loss of nutrients due to runoff which creates eutrophic conditions in the lakes, ponds and rivers. In efforts to retain nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil farmers have started to inject manure rather than spraying it. Our understanding of the effects this might have on the volatilization of nitrogen into nitrous oxide is limited. Already, agriculture produces 69% of the total nitrous oxide emissions in the US. Understanding that climate change will affect the future of agriculture in Vermont, we set up a soil core incubation test to monitor the emissions of CO₂ and N₂O using a Photoacoustic Gas Sensor (PAS). Four 10 cm soil cores were taken from nine different fertilizer management plots in a No Till corn field; Three Injected plots, three Broadcast plots, and three Plow plots. Frozen soil cores were extracted in early April, and remained frozen before beginning the incubation experiment to most closely emulate three potential spring environmental conditions. The headspace was monitored over one week to get emission rates. This study shows that environmental and fertilizer treatments together do not have a direct correlation to the amount of CO₂ and N₂O emissions from agricultural soil. However, production of CO₂ was 26% more in warmer environmental conditions than in variable(freeze/thaw) environmental conditions. The injected fertilizer produced the most emissions, both CO₂ and N₂O. The total N₂O emissions from Injected soil cores were 2.2x more than from traditional broadcast manure cores. We believe this is likely due to the addition of rich organic matter under anaerobic soil conditions. Although, injected fertilizer is a better application method for reducing nutrient runoff, the global warming potential of N₂O is 298 times that of CO₂. With climate change imminent, assessing the harmful effects and benefits of injected fertilizer is a crucial next step in

  8. Which Factors Determine Metal Accumulation in Agricultural Soils in the Severely Human-Coupled Ecosystem?

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Li; Cao, Shanshan; Wang, Jihua; Lu, Anxiang

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural soil is typically an important component of urban ecosystems, contributing directly or indirectly to the general quality of human life. To understand which factors influence metal accumulation in agricultural soils in urban ecosystems is becoming increasingly important. Land use, soil type and urbanization indicators all account for considerable differences in metal accumulation in agricultural soils, and the interactions between these factors on metal concentrations were also examined. Results showed that Zn, Cu, and Cd concentrations varied significantly among different land use types. Concentrations of all metals, except for Cd, were higher in calcareous cinnamon soil than in fluvo-aquic soil. Expansion distance and road density were adopted as urbanization indicators, and distance from the urban center was significantly negatively correlated with concentrations of Hg, and negatively correlated with concentrations of Zn, and road density was positively correlated with Cd concentrations. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated that Hg concentration was significantly influenced by the four-way interaction among all factors. The results in this study provide basic data to support the management of agricultural soils and to help policy makers to plan ahead in Beijing. PMID:27196922

  9. Lunar base agriculture: Soils for plant growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W. (Editor); Henninger, Donald L. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    This work provides information on research and experimentation concerning various aspects of food production in space and particularly on the moon. Options for human settlement of the moon and Mars and strategies for a lunar base are discussed. The lunar environment, including the mineralogical and chemical properties of lunar regolith are investigated and chemical and physical considerations for a lunar-derived soil are considered. It is noted that biological considerations for such a soil include controlled-environment crop production, both hydroponic and lunar regolith-based; microorganisms and the growth of higher plants in lunar-derived soils; and the role of microbes to condition lunar regolith for plant cultivation. Current research in the controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) project is presented in detail and future research areas, such as the growth of higher research plants in CELSS are considered. Optimum plant and microbiological considerations for lunar derived soils are examined.

  10. Inorganic fertilizer and poultry-litter manure amendments alter the soil microbial communities in agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of agricultural land management practices on soil prokaryotic diversity are not well described. We investigated three land usage systems (row cropped, ungrazed pasture, and cattle-grazed pasture) and two fertilizer systems (inorganic fertilizer or IF and poultry-litter or PL) and compare...

  11. MEASUREMENT OF NITROGEN OXIDE EMISSIONS FROM AN AGRICULTURAL SOIL WITH A DYNAMIC CHAMBER SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biogenic soil emissions of nitric oxide (NO) were measured from an intensively managed agricultural row crop (corn, Zea mays) during a 4 week period May 15 through June 9, 1995). The site was located in Washington County, near the town of Plymouth, which is in the Lower Coastal P...

  12. ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES CONTROLLING NITRIC OXIDE EMISSIONS FROM AGRICULTURAL SOILS IN THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fluxes of nitric oxide (NO) were measured during the summer of 1994 (12 July to 11 August) in the Upper Coastal Plain of North Carolina in a continuing effort to characterize NO emissions from intensively managed agricultural soils in the southeastern United States. Previous work...

  13. SEASONAL VARIATIONS OF NITRIC OXIDE FLUX FROM AGRICULTURAL SOILS IN THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fluxes of nitric oxide (NO) were measured from the summer of 1994 to the spring of 1995 from an intensively managed agricultural soil using a dynamic flow through chamber technique in order to study the seasonal variability in the emissions of NO. The measurements were made on a ...

  14. Are Mexican agricultural farmlands PCDD/F soil reservoirs?

    PubMed

    Haro-García, Luis; Villa-Ibarra, Martín; Chaín-Castro, Teresita de Jesús; Lastra-Rodríguez, Angel; Juárez-Pérez, Cuauhtémoc Arturo; Aguilar-Madrid, Guadalupe; Sánchez-Escalante, Vanessa Crystal; Brito-Zurita, Olga Rosa

    2012-06-01

    Our aim was to identify polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-furans (PCDFs) in agricultural farmland soils in the Northwest of Mexico. We obtained ≈50 g of soil in five Yaqui Valley (VY) agricultural fields in the north-western Mexican State of Sonora and in five Culiacán Valley (VC) agricultural fields in the north-western Mexican State of Sinaloa. Fields with minimal tillage, with ferti-irrigation, and those with intensive aerial and manual tillage were included. All soil samples were subjected to the chemical activated luciferase gene expression (CALUX(®)) test to determine PCDD/F. On average, samples contained 4.2 ± 1.2 PCDD/F ppt TEQ; VY soil samples contained 4.72 ± 1.23 PCDD/F ppt TEQ, while VC soil samples showed 3.6 ± 1.1 PCDD/F ppt TEQ (p = 0.47). On considering tillage-type, in agricultural fields catalogued as intensive tillage, PCDD/F concentrations were 4.40 ± 0.43 in agricultural fields catalogued as intensive tillage, while in farmlands of another tillage-type these concentrations were slightly higher (5.53 ± 0.8).

  15. Agricultural Mechanics Laboratory Management Professional Development Needs of Wyoming Secondary Agriculture Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKim, Billy R.; Saucier, P. Ryan

    2011-01-01

    Accidents happen; however, the likelihood of accidents occurring in the agricultural mechanics laboratory is greatly reduced when agricultural mechanics laboratory facilities are managed by secondary agriculture teachers who are competent and knowledgeable. This study investigated the agricultural mechanics laboratory management in-service needs…

  16. Soil property estimation and design for agroecosystem management using hierarchical geospatial functional data models

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable agriculture requires a site-specific approach to address crop management problems and environmental degradation processes that are spatially and temporally variable. These issues lead to production losses (water stress, low fertility, pest problems), soil degradation (erosion, soil organ...

  17. Traditional agricultural practices enable sustainable remediation of highly polluted soils in Southern Spain for cultivation of food crops.

    PubMed

    Madejón, P; Barba-Brioso, C; Lepp, N W; Fernández-Caliani, J C

    2011-07-01

    This study relates elemental content of a range of edible crops grown in soils severely polluted by metals and metalloids as affected by traditional smallholder management practices. Five agricultural plots close to a sulfidic waste dump were monitored. Soil analysis demonstrated elevated concentrations of As, Cu, Pb and Zn that were greatly in excess of maximum statutory limits for agricultural soils in the studied region. The main vegetables (lettuce, chard, onion, potatoes) and lemon, together with their associated soils, were measured for elemental content. Extractable soil element concentrations were very low. There were differences in elemental accumulation between crops, but none exceeded statutory concentrations in edible parts. Soil-plant transfer factors were uniformly low for all elements and crops. It is concluded that traditional soil management practices (annual liming and application of animal manures) have created conditions for sustainable long-term safety use, with potential for multiple end-use, of these highly polluted soils.

  18. Activity concentration of caesium-137 in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Aslani, Mahmoud A A; Aytas, Sule; Akyil, Sema; Yaprak, Gunseli; Yener, Gungor; Eral, Meral

    2003-01-01

    In this study, we measured 137Cs activity concentrations in the soil samples taken from agricultural lands in the Buyuk Menderes Basin in Turkey in 1997 and 1998. The soil samples were collected from 42 sites in this Basin. The activity concentration of 137Cs was found to range between 2.81+/-0.17 Bq.kg(-1) and 20.75+/-0.29 Bq.kg(-1). The effect of organic matter, clay, silt and sand contents and pH of the soil on the relative adsorption of the 137Cs on the soil surface were also studied.

  19. Soil type-depending effect of paddy management: composition and distribution of soil organic matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanski, Livia; Kölbl, Angelika; Lehndorff, Eva; Houtermans, Miriam; Schad, Peter; Zhang, Gang-Lin; Rahayu Utami, Sri; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2016-04-01

    Paddy soil management is assumed to promote soil organic matter accumulation and specifically lignin caused by the resistance of the aromatic lignin structure against biodegradation under anaerobic conditions during inundation of paddy fields. The present study investigates the effect of paddy soil management on soil organic matter composition compared to agricultural soils which are not used for rice production (non-paddy soils). A variety of major soil types, were chosen in Indonesia (Java), including Alisol, Andosol and Vertisol sites (humid tropical climate of Java, Indonesia) and in China Alisol sites (humid subtropical climate, Nanjing). This soils are typically used for rice cultivation and represent a large range of soil properties to be expected in Asian paddy fields. All topsoils were analysed for their soil organic matter composition by solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and lignin-derived phenols by CuO oxidation method. The soil organic matter composition, revealed by solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance, was similar for the above named different parent soil types (non-paddy soils) and was also not affected by the specific paddy soil management. The contribution of lignin-related carbon groups to total SOM was similar in the investigated paddy and non-paddy soils. A significant proportion of the total aromatic carbon in some paddy and non-paddy soils was attributed to the application of charcoal as a common management practise. The extraction of lignin-derived phenols revealed low VSC (vanillyl, syringyl, cinnamyl) values for all investigated soils, being typical for agricultural soils. An inherent accumulation of lignin-derived phenols due to paddy management was not found. Lignin-derived phenols seem to be soil type-dependent, shown by different VSC concentrations between the parent soil types. The specific paddy management only affects the lignin-derived phenols in Andosol-derived paddy soils which are characterized by

  20. Comparison of organochlorine pesticides occurrence, origin, and character in agricultural and industrial soils in Beijing.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yajuan; Lu, Yonglong; Wang, Tieyu; Wang, Guang; Luo, Wei

    2009-10-01

    The origin and occurrence of organochlorine pesticides [OCPs; hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2- bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDTs)] in the surface and profile of soils from former OCPs production areas were compared with those of agricultural plots in Beijing, China in order to identify their characteristics, assess the eco-toxicological risk, and provide management suggestions. The comparison indicated heavier contamination caused by the production, storage, and waste disposal than the application of OCPs. Concentrations of HCHs and DDTs in topsoils varied by several orders of magnitude among different land-use groups. The concentrations (ng/g dry soil, geometric means) of HCHs (1958.2) and DDTs (3998.2) in the topsoils of former OCPs production factories were significantly higher than those in agricultural soils. The residue of DDTs and HCHs accumulated only on the surface of agricultural soil, but at depths ranging from 0 to 400 cm for the OCPs plant and warehouse. beta-HCH and p,p'-DDE dominated in the agricultural soils, whereas beta-HCH, gamma-HCH, p,p'-DDT, and p,p'-DDE were dominant in the industrial soils. The risk of examined OCPs in soils on human health was assessed in light of the Dutch and Canadian soil quality criteria, and the results indicated a high risk in the OCPs production factory area and the agricultural lands with large application. The results point to the need for urgent actions to evaluate long-term toxicity and preassessment for OCPs-related land-use management. PMID:19198752

  1. Comparison of organochlorine pesticides occurrence, origin, and character in agricultural and industrial soils in Beijing.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yajuan; Lu, Yonglong; Wang, Tieyu; Wang, Guang; Luo, Wei

    2009-10-01

    The origin and occurrence of organochlorine pesticides [OCPs; hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2- bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDTs)] in the surface and profile of soils from former OCPs production areas were compared with those of agricultural plots in Beijing, China in order to identify their characteristics, assess the eco-toxicological risk, and provide management suggestions. The comparison indicated heavier contamination caused by the production, storage, and waste disposal than the application of OCPs. Concentrations of HCHs and DDTs in topsoils varied by several orders of magnitude among different land-use groups. The concentrations (ng/g dry soil, geometric means) of HCHs (1958.2) and DDTs (3998.2) in the topsoils of former OCPs production factories were significantly higher than those in agricultural soils. The residue of DDTs and HCHs accumulated only on the surface of agricultural soil, but at depths ranging from 0 to 400 cm for the OCPs plant and warehouse. beta-HCH and p,p'-DDE dominated in the agricultural soils, whereas beta-HCH, gamma-HCH, p,p'-DDT, and p,p'-DDE were dominant in the industrial soils. The risk of examined OCPs in soils on human health was assessed in light of the Dutch and Canadian soil quality criteria, and the results indicated a high risk in the OCPs production factory area and the agricultural lands with large application. The results point to the need for urgent actions to evaluate long-term toxicity and preassessment for OCPs-related land-use management.

  2. The Living Soil: Exploring Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture with Your Guide, The Earthworm. Unit I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Eldon C.; And Others

    This instructional packet introduces students to soil biology, ecology, and specific farming practices that promote sustainable agriculture. It helps students to discover the role of earthworms in improving the environment of all other soil-inhabiting organisms and in making the soil more fertile. The activities (classroom as well as outdoor)…

  3. Agricultural Adaptation and Water Management in Sri Lanka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, E.; Hornberger, G. M.

    2014-12-01

    Efficient management of freshwater resources is critical as concerns with water security increase due to changes in climate, population, and land use. Effective water management in agricultural systems is especially important for irrigation and water quality. This research explores the implications of tradeoffs between maximization of crop yield and minimization of nitrogen loss to the environment, primarily to surface water and groundwater, in rice production in Sri Lanka. We run the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model under Sri Lankan climate and soil conditions. The model serves as a tool to simulate crop management scenarios with different irrigation and fertilizer practices in two climate regions of the country. Our investigation uses DNDC to compare rice yields, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and nitrogen leaching under different cultivation scenarios. The results will inform best practices for farmers and decision makers in Sri Lanka on the management of water resources and crops.

  4. Geogenic and agricultural controls on the geochemical composition of European agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mol, Gerben; Saaltink, Remon; Griffioen, Jasper; Birke, Manfred

    2014-05-01

    Purpose: Concern about the environmental impact of agriculture caused by intensification is growing as large amounts of nutrients and contaminants are introduced into the environment. The aim of this paper is to identify the geogenic and agricultural controls on the elemental composition of European, grazing and agricultural soils. Materials and methods: Robust factor analysis was applied to data series for Al,B,Ca, Cd,Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg,Mn, Na,Ni, P, S, Se, Sr, U, Zn (ICP-MS) and SiO2, K2O, Na2O, Fe2O3, Al2O3 (XRF) based on the European GEMAS dataset. In addition, the following general soil properties were included: clay content, pH, chemical index of alteration (CIA), loss on ignition (LOI), cation exchange capacity (CEC), total organic carbon (TOC) and total carbon and total sulfur. Furthermore, this dataset was coupled to a dataset containing information of historic P2O5 fertilization across Europe. Also, a mass balance was carried out for Cd, Cu and Zn to determine if concentrations of these elements found in the soils have their origin in historic P2O5 fertilization. Results and discussion: Seven geogenic factors and one agricultural factor were found of which four prominent ones (all geogenic): chemical weathering, reactive iron-aluminum oxide minerals, clay minerals and carbonate minerals. Results for grazing and agricultural soils were near identical, which further proofs the prominence of geogenic controls on the total elemental composition. When the cumulative amount of P2O5 fertilization was considered, no extra agriculture-related factors became visible. The mass balance confirms these observations. Conclusion: Overall, the geological controls are more important for the total soil chemistry in agricultural and grazing land soils than the anthropogenic controls.

  5. Formative pre-Hispanic agricultural soils in northwest Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sampietro Vattuone, María Marta; Roldán, Jimena; Neder, Liliana; Maldonado, Mario Gabriel; Vattuone, Marta Amelia

    2011-01-01

    Our study area is from an early agricultural archaeological site named "El Tolar" (1st to 9th century AD), located in Tafí Valley (Tucumán, northwest Argentina). The objective was to identify geochemical signatures generated by the sustained agrarian use of soils. Chemical and pedological studies were made in different archaeological contexts. Physical and chemical features, such as bulk density, pH, organic and inorganic phosphorus, and available copper, manganese and iron, were taken into account. The results suggested that a buried paleosol identified was contemporary with the occupation of the site. It also showed characteristics clearly related to pre-Hispanic agrarian production. The concentrations of organic phosphorus and iron in agricultural soils probably reflect the use of fertilizers. The application of geoscience techniques allowed us to obtain important information on their behaviour and socio-economic development. This paper constitutes the first pedogeochemical approach to the study of Argentinean pre-Hispanic agricultural soils.

  6. Comparative analysis of different measurement techniques for characterizing soil surface roughness in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Agirre, Alex; Álvarez-Mozos, Jesús; Valle, José Manuel; Rodríguez, Álvaro; Giménez, Rafael

    2016-04-01

    Soil surface roughness can be defined as the variation in soil surface elevations, and as such, it is a key element in hydrology and soil erosion processes. In agricultural soils, roughness is mainly an anthropic factor determined by the type of tillage and management. Roughness is also a property with a high spatial variability, since the same type of tillage can result in surfaces with different roughness depending on the physical characteristics of the soil and atmospheric conditions. In order to quantify roughness and to parameterize its role in different processes, different measurement techniques have been used and several parameters have been proposed in the literature. The objective of this work is to evaluate different measurement techniques and assess their accuracy and suitability for quantifying surface roughness in agricultural soils. With this aim, a comparative analysis of three roughness measurement techniques has been carried out; (1) laser profilometer, (2) convergent photogrammetry and (3) terrestrial laser scanner. Roughness measurements were done in 3 experimental plots (5x5 meters) with different tillage treatments (representing different roughness conditions) obtained with typical agricultural tools. The laser profilometer registered vertically the distance from a reference bar down to the surface. It had a vertical accuracy of 1.25 mm, a sampling interval of 5 mm and a total length profile of 5 m. Eight profiles were taken per plot, four in parallel to tillage direction and four in perpendicular. Convergent photogrammetry consisted of 20-30 images taken per plot from a height of 5-10 m above ground (using an elevation platform), leading to point clouds of ~25 million points per plot. Terrestrial laser scanner measurements were taken from the four sides of each plot at a measurement height of ~1.75 m above ground. After orientating and corregistering the four scans, point clouds of ~60 million points were obtained per plot. The comparative

  7. An integrated Modelling framework to monitor and predict trends of agricultural management (iMSoil)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Armin; Della Peruta, Raneiro; Schaepman, Michael; Gomez, Marta; Mann, Stefan; Schulin, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    Agricultural systems lay at the interface between natural ecosystems and the anthroposphere. Various drivers induce pressures on the agricultural systems, leading to changes in farming practice. The limitation of available land and the socio-economic drivers are likely to result in further intensification of agricultural land management, with implications on fertilization practices, soil and pest management, as well as crop and livestock production. In order to steer the development into desired directions, tools are required by which the effects of these pressures on agricultural management and resulting impacts on soil functioning can be detected as early as possible, future scenarios predicted and suitable management options and policies defined. In this context, the use of integrated models can play a major role in providing long-term predictions of soil quality and assessing the sustainability of agricultural soil management. Significant progress has been made in this field over the last decades. Some of these integrated modelling frameworks include biophysical parameters, but often the inherent characteristics and detailed processes of the soil system have been very simplified. The development of such tools has been hampered in the past by a lack of spatially explicit soil and land management information at regional scale. The iMSoil project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation in the national research programme NRP68 "soil as a resource" (www.nrp68.ch) aims at developing and implementing an integrated modeling framework (IMF) which can overcome the limitations mentioned above, by combining socio-economic, agricultural land management, and biophysical models, in order to predict the long-term impacts of different socio-economic scenarios on the soil quality. In our presentation we briefly outline the approach that is based on an interdisciplinary modular framework that builds on already existing monitoring tools and model components that are

  8. Non-growing season nitrous oxide fluxes from agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kariyapperuma Athukoralage, Kumudinie

    A two-year field experiment was conducted at the Arkell Research Station, Ontario, Canada to evaluate composting as a mitigation strategy for greenhouse gases (GHGs). The objectives were to quantify and compare non-growing season nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from agricultural soils after fall manure application of composted and untreated liquid swine manure. Nitrous oxide fluxes were measured using a micrometeorological method. Compared to untreated liquid swine manure (LSM), composted swine manure (CSM) resulted in 57% reduction of soil N2O emissions during February to April in 2005, but emissions during the same period in 2006 were not affected by treatments. This effect was related to fall and winter weather conditions with the significant reduction occurring in the year when soil freezing was more pronounced. The DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition) model was tested against data measured during the non-growing seasons from 2000 to 2004, for farming with conventional management at the Elora Research Station, Ontario, Canada. The objective was to assess the ability of the DNDC model to simulate non-growing season N2O fluxes from soils in southwestern Ontario. Comparison between model-simulated and measured data indicated that background fluxes were relatively well predicted. The spring thaw N2O flux event was correctly timed by the DNDC model, but was smaller than the measured spring thaw event. Though there was no N2O emission event measured in early May, the DNDC model predicted a large event, simultaneous with the physical release of predicted ice-trapped N2O. Removing the large and late predicted emission peak and increasing the contribution of newly produced N2O due to denitrification to the early spring thaw event were proposed. Three data sets from studies conducted in Ontario, Canada were used to estimate and compare the overall GHG (N2O and methane) emissions from LSM and CSM. Compared to LSM storage, the composting process reduced GHG emissions by 35% (CO

  9. Applying nitrogen site-specifically using soil electrical conductivity maps and precision agriculture technology.

    PubMed

    Lund, E D; Wolcott, M C; Hanson, G P

    2001-10-16

    Soil texture varies significantly within many agricultural fields. The physical properties of soil, such as soil texture, have a direct effect on water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, crop yield, production capability, and nitrogen (N) loss variations within a field. In short, mobile nutrients are used, lost, and stored differently as soil textures vary. A uniform application of N to varying soils results in a wide range of N availability to the crop. N applied in excess of crop usage results in a waste of the grower"s input expense, a potential negative effect on the environment, and in some crops a reduction of crop quality, yield, and harvestability. Inadequate N levels represent a lost opportunity for crop yield and profit. The global positioning system (GPS)-referenced mapping of bulk soil electrical conductivity (EC) has been shown to serve as an effective proxy for soil texture and other soil properties. Soils with a high clay content conduct more electricity than coarser textured soils, which results in higher EC values. This paper will describe the EC mapping process and provide case studies of site-specific N applications based on EC maps. Results of these case studies suggest that N can be managed site-specifically using a variety of management practices, including soil sampling, variable yield goals, and cropping history.

  10. Remote sensing of agricultural crops and soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, M. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1982-01-01

    Research results and accomplishments of sixteen tasks in the following areas are described: (1) corn and soybean scene radiation research; (2) soil moisture research; (3) sampling and aggregation research; (4) pattern recognition and image registration research; and (5) computer and data base services.

  11. The carbon balance of U.S. agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paustian, K.; Williams, S.

    2001-05-01

    Carbon inputs through crop residues are one of the main determinants of soil carbon levels and carbon sequestration potentials in cropland soils. We estimated C inputs to U.S. agricultural soils at the county level, over the past 100 years, using a variety of agricultural databases and literature sources. Crop acreage and production estimates, available at the county level through the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS-USDA), were used to estimate crop residues. Continuous county values exist from circa 1920 to the present. State level data on acreage and yields of several major crops (corn, wheat, oats, etc.) are available from 1866 through the present. Analogous data from NASS and the Agricultural Census on animal type and numbers were used to estimate animal manure inputs. To estimate C inputs from yields, data from over 125 published works were used to determine regression estimates for grain to aboveground residue ratios, root biomass to aboveground biomass ratios, and estimates of root-derived carbon due to exudation and root sloughing. Where possible, the regressions included changes in these ratios through time as a result of the introduction of new cultivars or new cropping practices. Patterns of carbon inputs over time, and their geographic distribution, are compared with the geographic distribution of present-day soil C stocks on agricultural lands derived from soil maps and pedon data. Predictions of the equilibrium C levels that could be attained under the current levels of carbon input to cropland soils are compared for alternative models of soil organic matter kinetics.

  12. Climatic and agricultural drivers of soil erosion in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine, Brian; Kirkby, Mike; Fleskens, Luuk

    2015-04-01

    Soil erosion was the most frequently identified driver of land degradation across a selection of global research sites within the DESIRE-EU project. The PESERA model was adopted in the project to upscale field results and consider the potential biophysical impact both with and without stakeholder selected sustainable land management (SLM) technologies in place. The PESERA model was combined with the DESMICE economic model and focussed on forecasting the regional effects of combating desertification both in environmental and socio-economical terms. The PESERA-DESMICE approach is further developed in the WAHARA project to consider the potential of a range of water harvesting technologies to improve biophysical conditions. Modelling in the WAHARA project considers detail of water harvesting technologies at the study site scale through to a coarser application at the continental scale with the latter being informed by the detail provided by study site observations an approach adopted in DESIRE-EU. The PESERA-DESMICE approach considers the difference between a baseline scenario and a (water harvesting) technology scenario at both scales in terms of productivity, financial viability and scope for reducing erosion risk. This paper considers the continental scale and focuses on estimating the impact of in-situ water harvesting technologies across Africa under current and future agricultural and climate pressure. PESERA is adopted in this continental application as it implicitly considers the impact of land-use and climate and can be readily amended to simulate in-situ WHT. Input data for PESERA; land use, management (crop type and planting dates), soil data and topography are derived from global data resources. Climate data for present and future scenarios are available through the QUEST-GSI initiative, where future scenarios are based on the outputs of seven GCM's.

  13. Study on nitrogen load reduction efficiency of agricultural conservation management in a small agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoli; Chen, Qiuwen; Zeng, Zhaoxia

    2014-01-01

    Different crops can generate different non-point source (NPS) loads because of their spatial topography heterogeneity and variable fertilization application rates. The objective of this study was to assess nitrogen NPS load reduction efficiency by spatially adjusting crop plantings as an agricultural conservation management (ACM) measure in a typical small agricultural watershed in the black soil region in northeast China. The assessment was undertaken using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Results showed that lowland crops produce higher nitrogen NPS loads than those in highlands. It was also found that corn gave a comparatively larger NPS load than soybeans due to its larger fertilization demand. The ACM assessed was the conversion of lowland corn crops into soybean crops and highland soybean crops into corn crops. The verified SWAT model was used to evaluate the impact of the ACM action on nitrogen loads. The results revealed that the ACM could reduce NO3-N and total nitrogen loads by 9.5 and 10.7%, respectively, without changing the area of crops. Spatially optimized regulation of crop planting according to fertilizer demand and geological landscapes can effectively decrease NPS nitrogen exports from agricultural watersheds. PMID:24759530

  14. Study on nitrogen load reduction efficiency of agricultural conservation management in a small agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoli; Chen, Qiuwen; Zeng, Zhaoxia

    2014-01-01

    Different crops can generate different non-point source (NPS) loads because of their spatial topography heterogeneity and variable fertilization application rates. The objective of this study was to assess nitrogen NPS load reduction efficiency by spatially adjusting crop plantings as an agricultural conservation management (ACM) measure in a typical small agricultural watershed in the black soil region in northeast China. The assessment was undertaken using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Results showed that lowland crops produce higher nitrogen NPS loads than those in highlands. It was also found that corn gave a comparatively larger NPS load than soybeans due to its larger fertilization demand. The ACM assessed was the conversion of lowland corn crops into soybean crops and highland soybean crops into corn crops. The verified SWAT model was used to evaluate the impact of the ACM action on nitrogen loads. The results revealed that the ACM could reduce NO3-N and total nitrogen loads by 9.5 and 10.7%, respectively, without changing the area of crops. Spatially optimized regulation of crop planting according to fertilizer demand and geological landscapes can effectively decrease NPS nitrogen exports from agricultural watersheds.

  15. Economic and Societal Benefits of Soil Carbon Management (Chapter 1).

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many papers and books on soil carbon management have addressed specific ecosystems such as agricultural lands, rangelands, forestlands, etc. This paper introduces a book within which each chapter begins by addressing a particular concern and potential options to manage it, along with their real and...

  16. Comparison of soil CO2 emission in poorly and well-drained mineral soil at a small agricultural hillside scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    TETE, Emmanuel; Viaud, Valerie; Flechard, Chris; Walter, Christian

    2014-05-01

    empirical functions showed that the combined effect of soil temperature and soil moisture explained 77% (61% by T° and 39% by SWC) of soil CO2 emission variability in PDM soil, against 63% (53% by T° and 47% by SWC) in WDM soil. Others factors such as C input, and oxygen availability due to soil management may also controlled soil CO2 emission and mostly in WDM soil. The integration of these factors in model could help to well understand the difference in soil CO2 emission in Poorly-drained mineral soil compared with well-drained soil at agricultural hillside scale.

  17. Agriculture, forestry, range, and soils, chapter 2, part C

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    The feasibility of using microwave systems in agriculture, forestry, range, and soil moisture measurements was studied. Theory and preliminary results show the feasibility of measuring moisture status in the soil. For vegetational resources, crop identification for inventory and for yield and production estimates is most feasible. Apart from moisture- and water-related phenomena, microwave systems are also used to record structural and spatial data related to crops and forests.

  18. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid.

  19. Tightly-coupled plant-soil nitrogen cycling: Implications for multiple ecosystem services on organic farms across an intensively managed agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Variability among farms across an agricultural landscape may reveal diverse biophysical contexts and experiences that show innovations and insights to improve nitrogen (N) cycling and yields, and thus the potential for multiple ecosystem services. In order to assess potential tradeoffs between yield...

  20. Precision agriculture suitability to improve the terroir management in vineyard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    María Terrón López, Jose; Blanco gallego, Jorge; Jesús Moral García, Francisco; Mancha Ramírez, Luis Alberto; Uriarte Hernández, David; Rafael Marques da Silva, Jose

    2014-05-01

    Precision agriculture is a useful tool to assess plant growth and development in vineyards. Traditional technics of crop management may be not enough to keep a certain level of crop yield or quality in grapes. Vegetation indices and soil based measurements, such as apparent electrical conductivity (ECa), can estimate the variability of the terroir within a specific water treatment toward the control of grapevine canopy properties. The current study focused on establishing the variability, spatial and temporal, in the vegetative development of a traditional management vineyard through to technics related to the precision agriculture. The study was carry out in a vineyard in the southwest of Spain during 2012 and 2013 growing seasons with two irrigations treatments, with four plots of each one, by one hand vines irrigated at 100% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and by other hand a dry farmed wines. Variations of soil properties across the assay were measured in each year at flowering stage by means of ECa, up to 80 cm. of soil depth, using mobile electrical contact sensors. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was determined in a concept of proximal sensing. In fact, the measures were made by multispectral sensors mounted in a terrestrial vehicle, in vertical positioning, at different stages during the ripening in both growing seasons. All measured data were statistically transformed to a behavior modeling pattern using principal component analisys (PCA) and compared by ordinary least square (OLS). NDVI showed a well-established pattern of vegetative development in both growing season for all the treatments at any irrigation treatment, let us appreciate the differences among the vegetative development of each plot within a specific irrigation treatment derived from the high soil variation that the ECa measures reflected. In this way, the local terroir of each plot and irrigation treatment influenced the vegetative growth showing that soil variations had a

  1. Crop residue stabilization and application to agricultural and degraded soils: A review.

    PubMed

    Medina, Jorge; Monreal, Carlos; Barea, José Miguel; Arriagada, César; Borie, Fernando; Cornejo, Pablo

    2015-08-01

    Agricultural activities produce vast amounts of organic residues including straw, unmarketable or culled fruit and vegetables, post-harvest or post-processing wastes, clippings and residuals from forestry or pruning operations, and animal manure. Improper disposal of these materials may produce undesirable environmental (e.g. odors or insect refuges) and health impacts. On the other hand, agricultural residues are of interest to various industries and sectors of the economy due to their energy content (i.e., for combustion), their potential use as feedstock to produce biofuels and/or fine chemicals, or as a soil amendments for polluted or degraded soils when composted. Our objective is review new biotechnologies that could be used to manage these residues for land application and remediation of contaminated and eroded soils. Bibliographic information is complemented through a comprehensive review of the physico-chemical fundamental mechanisms involved in the transformation and stabilization of organic matter by biotic and abiotic soil components. PMID:25936555

  2. Crop residue stabilization and application to agricultural and degraded soils: A review.

    PubMed

    Medina, Jorge; Monreal, Carlos; Barea, José Miguel; Arriagada, César; Borie, Fernando; Cornejo, Pablo

    2015-08-01

    Agricultural activities produce vast amounts of organic residues including straw, unmarketable or culled fruit and vegetables, post-harvest or post-processing wastes, clippings and residuals from forestry or pruning operations, and animal manure. Improper disposal of these materials may produce undesirable environmental (e.g. odors or insect refuges) and health impacts. On the other hand, agricultural residues are of interest to various industries and sectors of the economy due to their energy content (i.e., for combustion), their potential use as feedstock to produce biofuels and/or fine chemicals, or as a soil amendments for polluted or degraded soils when composted. Our objective is review new biotechnologies that could be used to manage these residues for land application and remediation of contaminated and eroded soils. Bibliographic information is complemented through a comprehensive review of the physico-chemical fundamental mechanisms involved in the transformation and stabilization of organic matter by biotic and abiotic soil components.

  3. Does agricultural crop diversity enhance soil microbial biomass and organic matter dynamics? A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, M D; Tiemann, L K; Grandy, A S

    2014-04-01

    Our increasing dependence on a small number of agricultural crops, such as corn, is leading to reductions in agricultural biodiversity. Reductions in the number of crops in rotation or the replacement of rotations by monocultures are responsible for this loss of biodiversity. The belowground implications of simplifying agricultural plant communities remain unresolved; however, agroecosystem sustainability will be severely compromised if reductions in biodiversity reduce soil C and N concentrations, alter microbial communities, and degrade soil ecosystem functions as reported in natural communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 122 studies to examine crop rotation effects on total soil C and N concentrations, and the faster cycling microbial biomass C and N pools that play key roles in soil nutrient cycling and physical processes such as aggregate formation. We specifically examined how rotation crop type and management practices influence C and N dynamics in different climates and soil types. We found that adding one or more crops in rotation to a monoculture increased total soil C by 3.6% and total N by 5.3%, but when rotations included a cover crop (i.e., crops that are not harvested but produced to enrich the soil and capture inorganic N), total C increased by 8.5% and total N 12.8%. Rotations substantially increased the soil microbial biomass C (20.7%) and N (26.1%) pools, and these overwhelming effects on microbial biomass were not moderated by crop type or management practices. Crop rotations, especially those that include cover crops, sustain soil quality and productivity by enhancing soil C, N, and microbial biomass, making them a cornerstone for sustainable agroecosystems.

  4. Does agricultural crop diversity enhance soil microbial biomass and organic matter dynamics? A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, M D; Tiemann, L K; Grandy, A S

    2014-04-01

    Our increasing dependence on a small number of agricultural crops, such as corn, is leading to reductions in agricultural biodiversity. Reductions in the number of crops in rotation or the replacement of rotations by monocultures are responsible for this loss of biodiversity. The belowground implications of simplifying agricultural plant communities remain unresolved; however, agroecosystem sustainability will be severely compromised if reductions in biodiversity reduce soil C and N concentrations, alter microbial communities, and degrade soil ecosystem functions as reported in natural communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 122 studies to examine crop rotation effects on total soil C and N concentrations, and the faster cycling microbial biomass C and N pools that play key roles in soil nutrient cycling and physical processes such as aggregate formation. We specifically examined how rotation crop type and management practices influence C and N dynamics in different climates and soil types. We found that adding one or more crops in rotation to a monoculture increased total soil C by 3.6% and total N by 5.3%, but when rotations included a cover crop (i.e., crops that are not harvested but produced to enrich the soil and capture inorganic N), total C increased by 8.5% and total N 12.8%. Rotations substantially increased the soil microbial biomass C (20.7%) and N (26.1%) pools, and these overwhelming effects on microbial biomass were not moderated by crop type or management practices. Crop rotations, especially those that include cover crops, sustain soil quality and productivity by enhancing soil C, N, and microbial biomass, making them a cornerstone for sustainable agroecosystems. PMID:24834741

  5. Assessing and monitoring soil quality at agricultural waste disposal areas-Soil Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doula, Maria; Kavvadias, Victor; Sarris, Apostolos; Lolos, Polykarpos; Liakopoulou, Nektaria; Hliaoutakis, Aggelos; Kydonakis, Aris

    2014-05-01

    The necessity of elaborating indicators is one of the priorities identified by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The establishment of an indicator monitoring system for environmental purposes is dependent on the geographical scale. Some indicators such as rain seasonality or drainage density are useful over large areas, but others such as soil depth, vegetation cover type, and land ownership are only applicable locally. In order to practically enhance the sustainability of land management, research on using indicators for assessing land degradation risk must initially focus at local level because management decisions by individual land users are taken at this level. Soils that accept wastes disposal, apart from progressive degradation, may cause serious problems to the surrounding environment (humans, animals, plants, water systems, etc.), and thus, soil quality should be necessarily monitored. Therefore, quality indicators, representative of the specific waste type, should be established and monitored periodically. Since waste composition is dependent on their origin, specific indicators for each waste type should be established. Considering agricultural wastes, such a specification, however, could be difficult, since almost all agricultural wastes are characterized by increased concentrations of the same elements, namely, phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, etc.; contain large amounts of organic matter; and have very high values of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and electrical conductivity. Two LIFE projects, namely AgroStrat and PROSODOL are focused on the identification of soil indicators for the assessment of soil quality at areas where pistachio wastes and olive mill wastes are disposed, respectively. Many soil samples were collected periodically for 2 years during PROSODOL and one year during AgroStrat (this project is in progress) from waste disposal areas and analyzed for 23 parameters

  6. Field potential soil variability index to identify precision agriculture opportunity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision agriculture (PA) technologies used for identifying and managing within-field variability are not widely used despite decades of advancement. Technological innovations in agronomic tools, such as canopy reflectance or electrical conductivity sensors, have created opportunities to achieve a ...

  7. Ibuprofen adsorption in four agricultural volcanic soils.

    PubMed

    Estevez, Esmeralda; Hernandez-Moreno, Jose Manuel; Fernandez-Vera, Juan Ramon; Palacios-Diaz, Maria Pino

    2014-01-15

    Ibuprofen (IB) is a high environmental risk drug and one of the most frequently prescribed in human medicine. Recently, IB has been detected in Gran Canaria in reclaimed water for irrigation and in groundwater. Adsorption was studied in four volcanic soils from three islands of the Canarian Archipelago. Once the biodegradation process has been excluded from the experimental conditions, a batch method was applied using initial concentrations of 1-5-10-20-50-100-200 mg L(-1) and two soil/water ratios (w/V): 1:5 (OECD, 2000) and 1:1. Non-linear and linearized Langmuir and Freundlich equations were well fitted. The wide IB range tested in our batch studies allowed us to measure experimental adsorption values close to the maximum adsorption capacity (S(max)) as estimated by Langmuir, making it possible thereby to validate the use of the Langmuir equation when there is a burst of contamination at high concentration. The distribution coefficient (Kd), S(max) and Retardation Factor (RF) varied from 0.04 to 0.5 kg L(-1), 4-200 mgk g(-1) and 1.2-1.9, respectively. The lowest S(max) and Kd values were found for the 1:1S/W ratio whereas most batch studies employ 1:5S/W ratios, thus obtaining higher adsorption parameters than when considering field conditions (1:1). Despite the high anion retention of andic soils, similar Kd and RF to those reported for other soils were obtained in 1:5, while high S(max) was found. Our results demonstrate that IB adsorption in volcanic areas responds not only to the soil properties commonly cited in adsorption studies, but also depends on andic properties, sorbent concentration and Dissolved Organic Carbon, the higher values of which are related to the lower Kd and S(max). The low RF and low detection frequency of the IB in groundwater suggests that a) reclaimed water irrigation is not the main source of IB, and b) the existence of some uncontrolled water disposal points in the zone.

  8. Properties of 21 Urban Agricultural Soils in Seoul, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J.; Kim, H. S.; Kim, J. W.

    2012-04-01

    The number of urban agriculture practitioners has been increasing rapidly in Korea like many other urbanized countries recently. The Korean government enacted a law for promoting urban agriculture in 2011. However, urban soil environment can be potential sources of many toxic contaminants including heavy metals making people concern about the safety of the agricultural products from the urban agriculture. The accumulation of heavy metals in soil and plant by overuse of compost from animal waste was one of the raised concerns. This study was carried out to find out properties and total and phytoavailable (1.0 M NH4NO3 extractable) contents of heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn) in 21 urban agricultural soils in Seoul. On the average, the investigated urban soils showed pH1:5 6.89, EC1:5 0.14 dS m-1, organic mater 2.22%, available P2O5 139 mg kg-1, cation exchange capacity (CEC) 11.36 cmolc kg-1 and total nitrogen 0.15%. The average exchangeable-Ca, -Mg, -K and -Na of the 21 samples were 6.71, 1.44, 1.06 and 0.30 cmol+ kg-1, respectively. Total heavy metal concentrations (Cd 0.97-3.17 mg kg-1, average 1.89 mg kg-1; Pb 8.10-46.27 mg kg-1, average 19.96 mg kg-1; Cu 8.97-133.40 mg kg-1, average 38.37 mg kg-1; and Zn 38.97-180.06 mg kg-1, average 97.73 mg kg-1) in urban agricultural soils were lower than those of the warning standard in the area 1 according to the Soil Environmental Conservation Act of Korea. Phytoavailable-Cu, -Pb, and -Zn concentrations of the samples showed 0.02-0.28, N.D-0.09 and 0.01-0.43 mg kg-1, respectively. Phytoavailable-Cd was not detected. The average phytoavailable-Cu concentration from this study was similar to that from the previous phytoavailable-Cu of the highly contaminated soils from nearby abandoned mines, which might be resulted from overuse of compost from animal waste. Results showed a necessity of long-term monitoring of soils for sustainable urban agriculture in Korea.

  9. Monitoring soil moisture dynamics via ground-penetrating radar survey of agriculture fields after irrigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muro, G.

    2015-12-01

    It is possible to examine the quality of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) as a measure of soil moisture content in the shallow vadose zone, where roots are most abundant and water conservation best management practices are critical in active agricultural fields. By analyzing temporal samplings of 100 Mhz reflection profiles and common-midpoint (CMP) soundings over a full growing season, the variability of vertical soil moisture distribution directly after irrigation events are characterized throughout the lifecycle of a production crop. Reflection profiles produce high-resolution travel time data and summed results of CMP sounding data provide sampling depth estimates for the weak, but coherent reflections amid strong point scatterers. The high ratio of clay in the soil limits the resolution of downward propagation of infiltrating moisture after irrigation; synthetic data analysis compared against soil moisture lysimeter logs throughout the profile allow identification of the discrete soil moisture content variation in the measured GPR data. The nature of short duration irrigation events, evapotranspiration, and drainage behavior in relation to root depths observed in the GPR temporal data allow further examination and comparison with the variable saturation model HYDRUS-1D. After retrieving soil hydraulic properties derived from laboratory measured soil samples and simplified assumptions about boundary conditions, the project aims to achieve good agreement between simulated and measured soil moisture profiles without the need for excessive model calibration for GPR-derived soil moisture estimates in an agricultural setting.

  10. Carbon isotope fractionation of methyl bromide during agricultural soil fumigations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bill, M.; Miller, L.G.; Goldstein, Allen H.

    2002-01-01

    The isotopic composition of methyl bromide (CH3Br) has been suggested to be a potentially useful tracer for constraining the global CH3Br budget. In order to determine the carbon isotopic composition of CH3Br emitted from the most significant anthropogenic application (pre-plant fumigation) we directly measured the ??13C of CH3Br released during commercial fumigation. We also measured the isotopic fractionation associated with degradation in agricultural soil under typical field fumigation conditions. The isotopic composition of CH3Br collected in soil several hours after injection of the fumigant was -44.5??? and this value increased to -20.7??? over the following three days. The mean kinetic isotope effect (KIE) associated with degradation of CH3Br in agricultural soil (12???) was smaller than the reported value for methylotrophic bacterial strain IMB-1, isolated from previously fumigated agricultural soil, but was similar to methylotrophic bacterial strain CC495, isolated from a pristine forest litter zone. Using this fractionation associated with the degradation of CH3Br in agricultural soil and the mean ??13C of the industrially manufactured CH3Br (-54.4???), we calculate that the agricultural soil fumigation source has a carbon isotope signature that ranges from -52.8??? to -42.0???. Roughly 65% of industrially manufactured CH3Br is used for field fumigations. The remaining 35% is used for structural and post-harvest fumigations with a minor amount used during industrial chemical manufacturing. Assuming that the structural and post-harvest fumigation sources of CH3Br are emitted without substantial fractionation, we calculate that the ??13C of anthropogenically emitted CH3Br ranges from -53.2??? to -47.5???.

  11. Contamination, source, and input route of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in historic wastewater-irrigated agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ning; Li, Hong-Bo; Long, Jin-Lin; Cai, Chao; Dai, Jiu-Lan; Zhang, Juan; Wang, Ren-Qing

    2012-12-01

    Contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of historic wastewater-irrigated agricultural topsoil (0-5 cm) and the contribution of groundwater irrigation and atmospheric deposition to soil PAHs were studied in a typical agricultural region, i.e. Hunpu region, Liaoning, China. Concentrations of total PAHs ranged from 0.43 to 2.64 mg kg⁻¹ in topsoil, being lower than those found in other wastewater-irrigated areas. The levels of PAHs in soil declined as the distance from a water source increased. Concentrations of individual PAHs were generally higher in upland than in paddy topsoils. The calculated nemerow composite index showed that agricultural soil in the region was "polluted" by PAHs. A human health risk assessment based on the total toxic equivalent concentration showed that the presence of elevated concentrations of PAHs in the soil might pose a great threat to the health of local residents. Ratios of pairs of PAHs and principal component analysis (PCA) showed that pyrogenesis, such as coal combustion, was the main source of PAHs, while petroleum, to some extent, also had a strong influence on PAHs contamination in upland soil. The distribution patterns of individual PAHs and composition of PAHs differed between irrigation groundwater and topsoil, but were similar between atmospheric deposition and topsoil. There were significant linear correlations (r = 0.90; p < 0.01) between atmospheric deposition rates and average concentrations of the 16 individual PAHs in soils, while no significant relationships were observed between irrigation groundwater and topsoil in levels of PAHs. These suggested that PAHs in agricultural soils were mainly introduced from atmospheric deposition, rather than from groundwater irrigation after the phasing out of wastewater irrigation in the region since 2002. This study provides a reference to ensure agricultural product safety, pollution control, and proper soil management.

  12. How can soil organic carbon stocks in agriculture be maintained or increased?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Don, Axel; Leifeld, Jens

    2015-04-01

    CO2 emissions from soils are 10 times higher than anthropogenic CO2 emissions from fossil burning with around 60 Pg C a-1. At the same time around 60 Pg of carbon is added to the soils as litter from roots and leaves. Thus, the balance between both fluxes is supposed to be zero for the global earth system in steady state without human perturbations. However, the global carbon flux has been altered by humans since thousands of years by extracting biomass carbon as food, feed and fiber with global estimate of 40% of net primary productivity (NPP). This fraction is low in forests but agricultural systems, in particular croplands, are systems with a high net exported carbon fraction. Soils are mainly input driven systems. Agricultural soils depend on input to compensate directly for i) respiration losses, ii) extraction of carbon (and nitrogen) and depletion (e.g. via manure) or indirectly via enhances NPP (e.g. via fertilization management). In a literature review we examined the role of biomass extraction and carbon input via roots, crop residues and amendments (manure, slurry etc.) to agricultural soil's carbon stocks. Recalcitrance of biomass carbon was found to be of minor importance for long-term carbon storage. Thus, also the impact of crop type on soil carbon dynamics seems mainly driven by the amount of crop residuals of different crop types. However, we found distinct differences in the efficiency of C input to refill depleted soil C stocks between above ground C input or below ground root litter C input, with root-C being more efficient due to slower turnover rates. We discuss the role of different measures to decrease soil carbon turnover (e.g. decreased tillage intensity) as compared to measures that increase C input (e.g. cover crops) in the light of global developments in agricultural management with ongoing specialization and segregation between catch crop production and dairy farms.

  13. Root Zone Sensors for Irrigation Management in Intensive Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Pardossi, Alberto; Incrocci, Luca; Incrocci, Giorgio; Malorgio, Fernando; Battista, Piero; Bacci, Laura; Rapi, Bernardo; Marzialetti, Paolo; Hemming, Jochen; Balendonck, Jos

    2009-01-01

    Crop irrigation uses more than 70% of the world’s water, and thus, improving irrigation efficiency is decisive to sustain the food demand from a fast-growing world population. This objective may be accomplished by cultivating more water-efficient crop species and/or through the application of efficient irrigation systems, which includes the implementation of a suitable method for precise scheduling. At the farm level, irrigation is generally scheduled based on the grower’s experience or on the determination of soil water balance (weather-based method). An alternative approach entails the measurement of soil water status. Expensive and sophisticated root zone sensors (RZS), such as neutron probes, are available for the use of soil and plant scientists, while cheap and practical devices are needed for irrigation management in commercial crops. The paper illustrates the main features of RZS’ (for both soil moisture and salinity) marketed for the irrigation industry and discusses how such sensors may be integrated in a wireless network for computer-controlled irrigation and used for innovative irrigation strategies, such as deficit or dual-water irrigation. The paper also consider the main results of recent or current research works conducted by the authors in Tuscany (Italy) on the irrigation management of container-grown ornamental plants, which is an important agricultural sector in Italy. PMID:22574047

  14. Soil Emissions of N2O and NO in Agricultural Production Systems in the Upper Midwest U.S.: Management Controls and Measurement Issues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cropped fields in the upper Midwest have the potential to emit relatively large quantities of N2O and NO resulting from soil transformation of N fertilizers applied to crops such as corn and potatoes. The mitigation of N2O emissions may be an effective strategy for offsetting greenhouse gas emission...

  15. Persistence and Viability of Lecanicillium lecanii in Chinese Agricultural Soil

    PubMed Central

    Peng, De-Liang; Zhou, Jie; Zhang, Xiao-Lin; Zhang, Zhao-Rong; Zhao, Jin-Jin; Wu, Yu-Huan

    2015-01-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus L. lecanii has been developed as biopesticides and used widely for biological control of several insects in agricultural practice. Due to the lack of isolation/count methods for L. lecanii in soil, the persistence of this fungus in soil appears to have attracted no attention. A selective medium and count method for L. lecanii in soil based on cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) was developed, and then the persistence and viability of this fungus in soil were investigated under field conditions between 2012 and 2014. The results showed that the rate of recovery for L. lecanii in soil on the selective CTAB medium was satisfactory. The minimum CFUs for L. lecanii on the selective medium (0.5 g/L CTAB) was about 102 conidia/g soil. The L. lecanii density in soil declined quickly in the first month after inoculation with fungal conidia, kept stable for 6 to 10 months, and then decreased gradually until undetectable. L. lecanii could persist for at least 14 months in the agricultural soil of northern China. The colony growth, conidia yield and germination rate on plates, as well as the median lethal concentration or times (LC50 or LT50) to aphids, mycelium growth in aphids and sporulation on aphids of L. lecanii did not change significantly during the persistence in soil. In general, the count method developed here was a very useful tool for monitoring the dynamics of natural or introduced L. lecanii populations in soil, and the data on the persistence of L. lecanii in soil reported here were helpful for biological control and environmental risk assessment. PMID:26375030

  16. Is current biochar soil study addressing global soil constraints for sustainable agriculture?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Genxing; Zhang, Dengxiao; Yan, Ming; Niu, Yaru; Liu, Xiaoyu; van Zwieten, Lukas; Chen, De; Bian, Rongjun; Cheng, Kun; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Zheng, Jinwei; Zhang, Xuhui; Zheng, Jufeng; Crowley, David; Filley, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    Global soil degradation has been increasingly threatened sustainability of world agriculture. Use of biochar from bio-wastes has been proposed as a global option for its great potential in tackling soil degradation and mitigating climate change in agriculture. For last 10 years, there have been greatly increasing interests in application of charred biomass, more recently termed biochar, as a soil amendment for addressing soil constraints for sustainable agriculture. Biochar soil studies could deliver reliable information for appropriate application of biochar to soils where for sustainable agriculture has been challenged. Here we review the literature of 798 publications reporting biochar soil studies by August, 2015 to address potential gaps in understanding of biochar's role in agriculture. We have found some substantial biases and gaps inherent in the current biochar studies. 1) The majority of published studies were from developed regions where the soils are less constrained and were much more frequent in laboratory and glasshouse pot experiments than field studies under realistic agriculture. 2) The published biochar soil studies have used more often small kiln or lab prepared biochar than commercial scale biochars, more often wood and municipal waste derived biochars than crop straw biochars. Overall, the lack of long-term well designed field studies using biochar produced in commercial processes may have limited our current understanding of biochar's potential to enhance global crop production and climate change mitigation. We have also recommended a global alliance between longer-term research experiments and biochar production facilities to foster the uptake of this important technology at a global scale. Keywords: biochar, soil study, literature review, research gap, global perspective, quantitative assessment, sustainable agriculture

  17. Using 137Cs to study spatial patterns of soil erosion and soil organic carbon (SOC) in an agricultural catchment of the typical black soil region, Northeast China.

    PubMed

    Fang, Haiyan; Li, Qiuyan; Sun, Liying; Cai, Qiangguo

    2012-10-01

    Understanding the spatial pattern of soil organic carbon (SOC) is of great importance because of global environmental concerns. Soil erosion and its subsequent redistribution contribute significantly to the redistribution of SOC in agricultural ecosystems. This study investigated the relationships between (137)Cs and SOC over an agricultural landscape, and SOC redistribution was conducted for an agricultural catchment of the black soil region in Northeast China. The spatial patterns of (137)Cs and SOC were greatly affected by the established shelterbelts and the developed ephemeral gullies. (137)Cs were significantly correlated with SOC when (137)Cs were >2000 Bq m(-2), while no relation was observed between them when (137)Cs were <2000 Bq m(-2). Factors other than soil erosion such as vegetative productivity, mineralization of SOC, landscape position and management induced their spatial difference of (137)Cs and SOC. Using (137)Cs technique to directly study SOC dynamics must be cautious in the black soils. The net SOC loss rate across the entire catchment during 1954-2010 was 92.8 kg ha(-1) yr(-1), with around 42% of the eroded SOC being redeposited within the catchment. Such information can help guide shelterbelt establishment or other land management to reduce SOC loss in the agricultural ecosystems.

  18. Cesium and strontium sorption behavior in amended agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehmood, Khalid; Hofmann, Diana; Burauel, Peter; Vereecken, Harry; Berns, Anne E.

    2014-05-01

    Biogas digestates and biochar are emerging soil amendments. Biochar is a byproduct of pyrolysis process which is thermal decomposition of biomass to produce syngas and bio-oil. The use of biochar for soil amendment is being promoted for higher crop yields and carbon sequestration. Currently, the numbers of biogas plants in Germany are increasing to meet the new energy scenarios. The sustainability of biogas industry requires proper disposal options for digestate. Biogas digestates being rich in nutrients are beneficial to enhance agricultural productions. Contrary to the agronomical benefits of these organic amendments, their use can influence the mobility and bioavailability of soil contaminants due to nutrients competition and high organic matter content. So far, the impact of such amendments on highly problematic contaminants like radionuclides is not truly accounted for. In the present study, sorption-desorption behavior of cesium and strontium was investigated in three soils of different origin and texture. Two agricultural soils, a loamy sand and a silty soil, were amended with biochar and digestate in separate experiments, with field application rates of 25 Mg/ha and 34 Mg/ha, respectively. For comparison a third soil, a forest soil, was incubated without any amendment. The amendments were mixed into the top 20 cm of the field soils, resulting in final concentrations of 8-9 g biochar/Kg soil and 11-12 g digestate/Kg soil. The soils were incubated for about six months at room temperature. Sorption-desorption experiments were performed with CsCl and SrCl2 after pre-equilibrating the soils with CaCl2 solutions. The amendments with field application rates did not have a significant effect on the relevant soil parameters responsible for the sorption behavior of the two radionuclides. Comparatively, the soil type lead to distinctive differences in sorption-desorption dynamics of the two radionuclides. Cesium showed a higher affinity for silty soil followed by

  19. Urban cultivation in allotments maintains soil qualities adversely affected by conventional agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Edmondson, Jill L; Davies, Zoe G; Gaston, Kevin J; Leake, Jonathan R

    2014-01-01

    Modern agriculture, in seeking to maximize yields to meet growing global food demand, has caused loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) and compaction, impairing critical regulating and supporting ecosystem services upon which humans also depend. Own-growing makes an important contribution to food security in urban areas globally, but its effects on soil qualities that underpin ecosystem service provision are currently unknown. We compared the main indicators of soil quality; SOC storage, total nitrogen (TN), C : N ratio and bulk density (BD) in urban allotments to soils from the surrounding agricultural region, and between the allotments and other urban greenspaces in a typical UK city. A questionnaire was used to investigate allotment management practices that influence soil properties. Allotment soils had 32% higher SOC concentrations and 36% higher C : N ratios than pastures and arable fields and 25% higher TN and 10% lower BD than arable soils. There was no significant difference between SOC concentration in allotments and urban non-domestic greenspaces, but it was higher in domestic gardens beneath woody vegetation. Allotment soil C : N ratio exceeded that in non-domestic greenspaces, but was lower than that in garden soil. Three-quarters of surveyed allotment plot holders added manure, 95% composted biomass on-site, and many added organic-based fertilizers and commercial composts. This may explain the maintenance of SOC, C : N ratios, TN and low BD, which are positively associated with soil functioning. Synthesis and applications. Maintenance and protection of the quality of our soil resource is essential for sustainable food production and for regulating and supporting ecosystem services upon which we depend. Our study establishes, for the first time, that small-scale urban food production can occur without the penalty of soil degradation seen in conventional agriculture, and maintains the high soil quality seen in urban greenspaces. Given the

  20. Electrokinetic treatment of an agricultural soil contaminated with heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Figueroa, Arylein; Cameselle, Claudio; Gouveia, Susana; Hansen, Henrik K

    2016-07-28

    The high organic matter content in agricultural soils tends to complex and retain contaminants such as heavy metals. Electrokinetic remediation was tested in an agricultural soil contaminated with Co(+2), Zn(+2), Cd(+2), Cu(+2), Cr(VI), Pb(+2) and Hg(+2). The unenhanced electrokinetic treatment was not able to remove heavy metals from the soil due to the formation of precipitates in the alkaline environment in the soil section close to the cathode. Moreover, the interaction between metals and organic matter probably limited metal transportation under the effect of the electric field. Citric acid and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) were used in the catholyte as complexing agents in order to enhance the extractability and removal of heavy metals from soil. These complexing agents formed negatively charged complexes that migrated towards the anode. The acid front electrogenerated at the anode favored the dissolution of heavy metals that were transported towards the cathode. The combined effect of the soil pH and the complexing agents resulted in the accumulation of heavy metals in the center of the soil specimen.

  1. Electrokinetic treatment of an agricultural soil contaminated with heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Figueroa, Arylein; Cameselle, Claudio; Gouveia, Susana; Hansen, Henrik K

    2016-07-28

    The high organic matter content in agricultural soils tends to complex and retain contaminants such as heavy metals. Electrokinetic remediation was tested in an agricultural soil contaminated with Co(+2), Zn(+2), Cd(+2), Cu(+2), Cr(VI), Pb(+2) and Hg(+2). The unenhanced electrokinetic treatment was not able to remove heavy metals from the soil due to the formation of precipitates in the alkaline environment in the soil section close to the cathode. Moreover, the interaction between metals and organic matter probably limited metal transportation under the effect of the electric field. Citric acid and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) were used in the catholyte as complexing agents in order to enhance the extractability and removal of heavy metals from soil. These complexing agents formed negatively charged complexes that migrated towards the anode. The acid front electrogenerated at the anode favored the dissolution of heavy metals that were transported towards the cathode. The combined effect of the soil pH and the complexing agents resulted in the accumulation of heavy metals in the center of the soil specimen. PMID:27127923

  2. European GEMAS mapping of agricultural soils: Arsenic results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarvainen, Timo; Reimann, Clemens; Albanese, Stefano; Birke, Manfred; Poňavič, Michal; Ladenberger, Anna

    2014-05-01

    The GEMAS data set provides a homogenised overview of arsenic distribution in agricultural (Ap horizon, 0-20 cm) and grazing land soil (Gr, 0-10 cm) of Europe. The GEMAS mapping project covers western Europe at a sample density of 1 site/2500 km2. Arsenic concentrations are reported for the

  3. Plumbum contamination detecting model for agricultural soil using hyperspectral data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiangnan; Huang, Fang; Wang, Ping

    2008-10-01

    The issue of environmental pollution due to toxic heavy metals in agricultural land has caused worldwide growing concern in recent years. Being one of toxic heavy metals, the accumulation of Plumbum (Pb) may have negative effects on natural and agricultural vegetation growth, yield and quality. It can also constitute short-term and long-term health risks by entering the food chain. In this study, we analyze the relationships between physical and chemical characteristics, biological parameters of soil-vegetation system and hyperspectral spectrum responses systematically. The relation between hyperspectral data and the biological parameters of Pb polluted wheat canopy such as leaf pigments, leaf moisture, cell structure and leaf area index (LAI) are discussed. We detect the changes in the wheat biological parameters and spectral response associated with Pb concentration in soil. To reveal the impact mechanisms of Pb concentration on agricultural soil, six models including chlorophyll-leaf moisture model, chlorophyll-cell structure model, chlorophyll-LAI model, leaf moisture-cell structure model, leaf moisture-LAI model, cell structure- LAI model are explored. We find that changes in Pb concentration present various features in different models. Pb contamination in agricultural soil can be identified and assessed effectively while integrating the characteristics of those developed models.

  4. Phosphorus leaching from agricultural soils of the Delmarva Peninsula, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Leaching of phosphorus (P) mobilizes edaphic and applied sources of P and is a primary pathway of concern in agricultural soils of the Delmarva Peninsula, which defines the eastern boundary of the eutrophic Chesapeake Bay. We evaluated P leaching before and after poultry litter application from inta...

  5. Soil carbon and soil respiration in conservation agriculture with vegetables in Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A balance between food production and environmental protection is required to sustainably feed a growing population. The resource saving concept of conservation agriculture aims to achieve this balance through implementing simultaneously three conservation practices; no-till, continuous soil cover, ...

  6. Spatio-temporal patterns of soil water storage under dryland agriculture at the watershed scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrahim, Hesham M.; Huggins, David R.

    2011-07-01

    SummarySpatio-temporal patterns of soil water are major determinants of crop yield potential in dryland agriculture and can serve as the basis for delineating precision management zones. Soil water patterns can vary significantly due to differences in seasonal precipitation, soil properties and topographic features. In this study we used empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis to characterize the spatial variability of soil water at the Washington State University Cook Agronomy Farm (CAF) near Pullman, WA. During the period 1999-2006, the CAF was divided into three roughly equal blocks (A, B, and C), and soil water at 0.3 m intervals to a depth of 1.5 m measured gravimetrically at approximately one third of the 369 geo-referenced points on the 37-ha watershed. These data were combined with terrain attributes, soil bulk density and apparent soil conductivity (EC a). The first EOF generated from the three blocks explained 73-76% of the soil water variability. Field patterns of soil water based on EOF interpolation varied between wet and dry conditions during spring and fall seasons. Under wet conditions, elevation and wetness index were the dominant factors regulating the spatial patterns of soil water. As soil dries out during summer and fall, soil properties (EC a and bulk density) become more important in explaining the spatial patterns of soil water. The EOFs generated from block B, which represents average topographic and soil properties, provided better estimates of soil water over the entire watershed with larger Nash-Sutcliffe Coefficient of Efficiency (NSCE) values, especially when the first two EOFs were retained. Including more than the first two EOFs did not significantly increase the NSCE of soil water estimate. The EOF interpolation method to estimate soil water variability worked slightly better during spring than during fall, with average NSCE values of 0.23 and 0.20, respectively. The predictable patterns of stored soil water in the spring could

  7. Fate of the antiretroviral drug tenofovir in agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Al-Rajab, Abdul Jabbar; Sabourin, Lyne; Chapman, Ralph; Lapen, David R; Topp, Edward

    2010-10-15

    Tenofovir (9-(R)-(2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl)-adenine) is an antiretroviral drug widely used for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. Tenofovir is extensively and rapidly excreted unchanged in the urine. In the expectation that tenofovir could potentially reach agricultural lands through the application of municipal biosolids or wastewater, and in the absence of any environmental fate data, we evaluated its persistence in selected agricultural soils. Less than 10% of [adenine-8-(14)C]-tenofovir added to soils varying widely in texture (sand, loam, clay loam) was mineralized in a 2-month incubation under laboratory conditions. Tenofovir was less readily extractable from clay soils than from a loam or a sandy loam soil. Radioactive residues of tenofovir were removed from the soil extractable fraction with DT(50)s ranging from 24±2 to 67+22days (first order kinetic model) or 44+9 to 127+55days (zero order model). No extractable transformation products were detectable by HPLC. Tenofovir mineralization in the loam soil increased with temperature (range 4°C to 30°C), and did not occur in autoclaved soil, suggesting a microbial basis. Mineralization rates increased with soil moisture content, ranging from air-dried to saturated. In summary, tenofovir was relatively persistent in soils, there were no extractable transformation products detected, and the response of [adenine-8-(14)C]-tenofovir mineralization to soil temperature and heat sterilization indicated that the molecule was biodegraded by aerobic microorganisms. Sorption isotherms with dewatered biosolids suggested that tenofovir residues could potentially partition into the particulate fraction during sewage treatment. PMID:20800877

  8. Quantification Of Erosion Rates Of Agriculturally Used Soils By Artificial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jha, Abhinand

    2010-05-01

    0.0.1 1. Introduction to soil erosion measurement by radionuclides Soil erosion by water, wind and tillage affects both agriculture and the natural environment. Studying this phenomenon would be one of the advancements in science. Soil erosion occurs worldwide and since the last two decades it has been a main topic of discussion all over the world. The use of environmental radionuclides such as 90Sr, 137Cs to study medium term soil erosion (40 yrs) started in the early 1990's. Using these new techniques better knowledge about erosion can be gained and this knowledge can be implemented for erosion risk management. The erosion and sedimentation study by using man-made and natural radioisotopes is a key technique, which has developed over the past 30 years. Fallout 137Cs and Cosmogenic 7Be are radionuclides that have been used to provide independent measurements of soil-erosion and sediment-deposition rates and patterns [1] [2] [3] [4]. Erosion measurements using radionuclides 137Cs, 7Be Caesium-137 from atmospheric nuclear-weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s (Fig.1) is a unique tracer of erosion and sedimentation, since there are no natural sources of 137Cs. Unique events such as the Chernobyl accident in April 1986 caused regional dispersal of 137Cs that affects the total global deposition budget. This yearly pattern of fallout can be used to develop a chronology of deposition horizons in lakes, reservoirs, and floodplains. 137Cs can be easily measured by gamma spectroscopy. Using 137Cs is a fast and cheap method to study erosion-deposition processes compared to the traditional methods like silt bags. PIC Figure 1: Global 137Cs fallout (Modified from SAAS Bulletin 353, Part E, DDR, 1986) When 137Cs, 7Be reach the soil surface by wet and dry deposition, they are quickly and strongly adsorbed by ion exchange and are essentially non exchangeable in most environments. Each radionuclide is distributed differently in the soil because of differences in half-lives (30 yrs

  9. The Effects of More Extreme Rainfall Patterns on Infiltration and Nutrient Losses in Agricultural Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, L.; Basso, B.; Hinckley, E. L. S.; Robertson, G. P.; Matson, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    In the coming century, the proportion of total rainfall that falls in heavy storm events is expected to increase in many areas, especially in the US Midwest, a major agricultural region. These changes in rainfall patterns may have consequences for hydrologic flow and nutrient losses, especially in agricultural soils, with potentially negative consequences for receiving ground- and surface waters. We used a tracer experiment to examine how more extreme rainfall patterns may affect the movement of water and solutes through an agricultural soil profile in the upper Midwest, and to what extent tillage may moderate these effects. Two rainfall patterns were created with 5m x 5m rainout shelters at the Kellogg Biological Station LTER site in replicated plots with either conventional tillage or no-till management. Control rainfall treatments received water 3x per week, and extreme rainfall treatments received the same total amount of water but once every two weeks, to simulate less frequent but larger storms. In April 2015, potassium bromide (KBr) was added as a conservative tracer of water flow to all plots, and Br- concentrations in soil water at 1.2m depth were measured weekly from April through July. Soil water Br- concentrations increased and peaked more quickly under the extreme rainfall treatment, suggesting increased infiltration and solute transfer to depth compared to soils exposed to control rainfall patterns. Soil water Br- also increased and peaked more quickly in no-till than in conventional tillage treatments, indicating differences in flow paths between management systems. Soil moisture measured every 15 minutes at 10, 40, and 100cm depths corroborates tracer experiment results: rainfall events simulated in extreme rainfall treatments led to large increases in deep soil moisture, while the smaller rainfall events simulated under control conditions did not. Deep soil moisture in no-till treatments also increased sooner after water application as compared to

  10. Long-term fate of nitrate fertilizer in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Sebilo, Mathieu; Mayer, Bernhard; Nicolardot, Bernard; Pinay, Gilles; Mariotti, André

    2013-11-01

    Increasing diffuse nitrate loading of surface waters and groundwater has emerged as a major problem in many agricultural areas of the world, resulting in contamination of drinking water resources in aquifers as well as eutrophication of freshwaters and coastal marine ecosystems. Although empirical correlations between application rates of N fertilizers to agricultural soils and nitrate contamination of adjacent hydrological systems have been demonstrated, the transit times of fertilizer N in the pedosphere-hydrosphere system are poorly understood. We investigated the fate of isotopically labeled nitrogen fertilizers in a three-decade-long in situ tracer experiment that quantified not only fertilizer N uptake by plants and retention in soils, but also determined to which extent and over which time periods fertilizer N stored in soil organic matter is rereleased for either uptake in crops or export into the hydrosphere. We found that 61-65% of the applied fertilizers N were taken up by plants, whereas 12-15% of the labeled fertilizer N were still residing in the soil organic matter more than a quarter century after tracer application. Between 8-12% of the applied fertilizer had leaked toward the hydrosphere during the 30-y observation period. We predict that additional exports of (15)N-labeled nitrate from the tracer application in 1982 toward the hydrosphere will continue for at least another five decades. Therefore, attempts to reduce agricultural nitrate contamination of aquatic systems must consider the long-term legacy of past applications of synthetic fertilizers in agricultural systems and the nitrogen retention capacity of agricultural soils.

  11. Sustainable land use and agricultural soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable land use is the management of the natural environment and the built environment to conserve the resources that help to sustain the current human population of the area and that of future generations. This concept of sustainable land use requires an analysis of the existing resources, the...

  12. Phosphorus leaching from agricultural soils of the delmarva peninsula, USA.

    PubMed

    Kleinman, Peter J A; Church, Clinton; Saporito, Lou S; McGrath, Josh M; Reiter, Mark S; Allen, Arthur L; Tingle, Shawn; Binford, Greg D; Han, Kun; Joern, Brad C

    2015-03-01

    Leaching of phosphorus (P) mobilizes edaphic and applied sources of P and is a primary pathway of concern in agricultural soils of the Delmarva Peninsula, which defines the eastern boundary of the eutrophic Chesapeake Bay. We evaluated P leaching before and after poultry litter application from intact soil columns (30 cm diameter × 50 cm depth) obtained from low- and high-P members of four dominant Delmarva Peninsula soils. Surface soil textures ranged from fine sand to silt loam, and Mehlich-3 soil P ranged from 64 to 628 mg kg. Irrigation of soil columns before litter application pointed to surface soil P controls on dissolved P in leachate (with soil P sorption saturation providing a stronger relationship than Mehlich-3 P); however, strong relationships between P in the subsoil (45-50 cm) and leachate P concentrations were also observed ( = 0.61-0.73). After poultry litter application (4.5 Mg ha), leachate P concentrations and loads increased significantly for the finest-textured soils, consistent with observations that well-structured soils have the greatest propensity to transmit applied P. Phosphorus derived from poultry litter appeared to contribute 41 and 76% of total P loss in leachate from the two soils with the finest textures. Results point to soil P, including P sorption saturation, as a sound metric of P loss potential in leachate when manure is not an acute source of P but highlight the need to factor in macropore transport potential to predict leaching losses from applied P sources. PMID:26023971

  13. Adsorption and degradation of five selected antibiotics in agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Pan, Min; Chu, L M

    2016-03-01

    Large quantities of antibiotics are being added to agricultural fields worldwide through the application of wastewater, manures and biosolids, resulting in antibiotic contamination and elevated environmental risks in terrestrial environments. Most studies on the environmental fate of antibiotics focus on aquatic environments or wastewater treatment plants. Little is known about the behavior of antibiotics at environmentally relevant concentrations in agricultural soil. In this study we evaluated the adsorption and degradation of five different antibiotics (tetracycline, sulfamethazine, norfloxacin, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol) in sterilized and non-sterilized agricultural soils under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Adsorption was highest for tetracycline (Kd, 1093 L/kg), while that for sulfamethazine was negligible (Kd, 1.365 L/kg). All five antibiotics were susceptible to microbial degradation under aerobic conditions, with half-lives ranging from 2.9 to 43.3 d in non-sterilized soil and 40.8 to 86.6 d in sterilized soil. Degradation occurred at a higher rate under aerobic conditions but was relatively persistent under anaerobic conditions. For all the antibiotics, a higher initial concentration was found to slow down degradation and prolong persistence in soil. The degradation behavior of the antibiotics varied in relation to their physicochemical properties as well as the microbial activities and aeration of the recipient soil. The poor adsorption and relative persistence of sulfamethazine under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions suggest that it may pose a higher risk to groundwater quality. An equation was proposed to predict the fate of antibiotics in soil under different field conditions, and assess their risks to the environment.

  14. Adsorption and degradation of five selected antibiotics in agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Pan, Min; Chu, L M

    2016-03-01

    Large quantities of antibiotics are being added to agricultural fields worldwide through the application of wastewater, manures and biosolids, resulting in antibiotic contamination and elevated environmental risks in terrestrial environments. Most studies on the environmental fate of antibiotics focus on aquatic environments or wastewater treatment plants. Little is known about the behavior of antibiotics at environmentally relevant concentrations in agricultural soil. In this study we evaluated the adsorption and degradation of five different antibiotics (tetracycline, sulfamethazine, norfloxacin, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol) in sterilized and non-sterilized agricultural soils under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Adsorption was highest for tetracycline (Kd, 1093 L/kg), while that for sulfamethazine was negligible (Kd, 1.365 L/kg). All five antibiotics were susceptible to microbial degradation under aerobic conditions, with half-lives ranging from 2.9 to 43.3 d in non-sterilized soil and 40.8 to 86.6 d in sterilized soil. Degradation occurred at a higher rate under aerobic conditions but was relatively persistent under anaerobic conditions. For all the antibiotics, a higher initial concentration was found to slow down degradation and prolong persistence in soil. The degradation behavior of the antibiotics varied in relation to their physicochemical properties as well as the microbial activities and aeration of the recipient soil. The poor adsorption and relative persistence of sulfamethazine under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions suggest that it may pose a higher risk to groundwater quality. An equation was proposed to predict the fate of antibiotics in soil under different field conditions, and assess their risks to the environment. PMID:26745292

  15. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-07-01

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983-2012, we find that topsoil (0-50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.

  16. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G; Teuling, Adriaan J; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-01-01

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983-2012, we find that topsoil (0-50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m(3) m(-3) per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system. PMID:26158774

  17. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    DOE PAGES

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego; Teuling, Adriann; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; et al

    2015-07-09

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p<0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistentmore » with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.« less

  18. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego; Teuling, Adriann; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-07-09

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p<0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.

  19. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G; Teuling, Adriaan J; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-07-09

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983-2012, we find that topsoil (0-50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m(3) m(-3) per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.

  20. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-01-01

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of −0.011 to −0.015 m3 m−3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system. PMID:26158774

  1. Behavior of bensulfuron-methyl in an agricultural alkaline soil.

    PubMed

    Delgado-Moreno, L; Sánchez, L; Castillo, A; Pot, V; Peña, A

    2007-01-01

    A field experiment to determine the available bensulfuron-methyl (BSM) in the upper soil layer was conducted in an agricultural area in the South of Spain. To facilitate herbicide analysis, two application rates were employed, 200 g ha(-1) and 5 kg ha(-1). Samples of upper soil and soil solution were collected. Soil solution was sampled by means of metallic samplers, placed at a depth of 35 cm. In the plots receiving the lower dose ceramic suction, porous cups were also installed. Results from soil solution samples showed that the maximum BSM concentration was found after 8-10 days for the high irrigation supply (945 mm) and after 18-25 days for the lower irrigation regime (405 mm). The mathematical model FOCUSPELMO 1.1.1 was applied to interpret the data obtained in the field experiments. In general, there was a reasonable agreement between experimental and simulated data for soil samples, although the model did not acceptably predict herbicide concentrations in water soil samples. Ceramic cups sampled a higher soil water volume and more frequently than did the metallic samplers. However some variable results were attributed to preferential flow. PMID:17454376

  2. Relating results from earthworm toxicity tests to agricultural soil

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Greig-Smith, P.W.

    1992-01-01

    The artificial soil tests of the European Economic Community and of the Organization for Economic Cooperation produce data relating earthworm mortality to pesticide concentrations in soil under laboratory conditions. To apply these results to agricultural soils it is necessary to relate these concentrations to amounts of pesticide applied per area. This paper reviews the relevant published literature and suggests a simple relation for regulatory use. Hazards to earthworms from pesticides are suggested to be greatest soon after application, when the pesticides may be concentrated in a soil layer a few millimeters thick. For estimating exposure of earthworms, however, a thicker soil layer should be considered, to account for their movement through soil. During favorable weather conditions, earthworms belonging to species appropriate to the artificial soil test have been reported to confine their activity to a layer about 5 cm. If a 5-cm layer is accepted as relevant for regulatory purposes, then an application of 1 kg/ha would be equivalent to 1-67 ppm (dry) in the artificial soil test.

  3. Soil microbial communities as suitable bioindicators of trace metal pollution in agricultural volcanic soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parelho, Carolina; dos Santos Rodrigues, Armindo; do Carmo Barreto, Maria; Gonçalo Ferreira, Nuno; Garcia, Patrícia

    2015-04-01

    Summary: The biological, chemical and physical properties of soil confer unique characteristics that enhance or influence its overall biodiversity. The adaptive character of soil microbial communities (SMCs) to metal pollution allows discriminating soil health, since changes in microbial populations and activities may function as excellent indicators of soil pollutants. Volcanic soils are unique naturally fertile resources, extensively used for agricultural purposes and with particular physicochemical properties that may result in accumulation of toxic substances, such as trace metals (TM). In our previous works, we identified priority TM affecting agricultural Andosols under different agricultural land uses. Within this particular context, the objectives of this study were to (i) assess the effect of soil TM pollution in different agricultural systems (conventional, traditional and organic) on the following soil properties: microbial biomass carbon, basal soil respiration, metabolic quotient, enzymatic activities (β-glucosidase, acid phosphatase and dehydrogenase) and RNA to DNA ratio; and (ii) evaluate the impact of TM in the soil ecosystem using the integrated biomarker response (IBR) based on a set of biochemical responses of SMCs. This multi-biomarker approach will support the development of the "Trace Metal Footprint" for different agricultural land uses in volcanic soils. Methods: The study was conducted in S. Miguel Island (Azores, Portugal). Microbial biomass carbon was measured by chloroform-fumigation-incubation-assay (Vance et al., 1987). Basal respiration was determined by the Jenkinson & Powlson (1976) technique. Metabolic quotient was calculated as the ratio of basal respiration to microbial biomass C (Sparkling & West, 1988). The enzymatic activities of β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase were determined by the Dick et al. (1996) method and dehydrogenase activity by the Rossel et al. (1997) method. The RNA and DNA were co-extracted from the same

  4. Remote sensing techniques for soil moisture and agricultural drought monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lingli

    Drought is the most complex and least understood of all natural hazards, affecting more people than any other hazard. Soil moisture is a primary indicator for agricultural drought. This dissertation is aimed at evaluating and investigating soil moisture and drought monitoring using remote sensing techniques. Recent technological advances in remote sensing have shown that soil moisture can be measured by a variety of remote sensing techniques, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. This research is designed to combine the strengths of optical/infrared as well as microwave remote sensing approaches for soil moisture estimation. A soil moisture estimation algorithm at moderate resolution was developed based on the well known 'Universal Triangle' relation by using MODIS land parameters as well as ground measured soil moisture. Though lower in spatial resolution, AMSR-E microwave measurements provides daily global soil moisture of the top soil layer, which are typically less affected by clouds, making them complementary to MODIS measurements over regions of clouds. Considering that the 'Universal Triangle' approach for soil moisture estimation is based on empirical relations which lack solid physical basis, a new physics based drought index, the Normalized Multi-band Drought Index (NMDI) was proposed for monitoring soil and vegetation moisture from space by using one near-infrared (NIR) and two shortwave infrared (SWIR) channels. Typical soil reflectance spectra and satellite acquired canopy reflectances are used to validate the usefulness of NMDI. Its ability for active fire detection has also been investigated using forest fires burning in southern Georgia, USA and southern Greece in 2007. Combining information from multiple NIR and SWIR channels makes NMDI a most promising indicator for drought monitoring and active fire detecting. Given the current technology, satellite remote sensing can only provide soil moisture measurements for the top soil profile, and

  5. Grass mulching effect on infiltration, surface runoff and soil loss of three agricultural soils in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Adekalu, K O; Olorunfemi, I A; Osunbitan, J A

    2007-03-01

    Mulching the soil surface with a layer of plant residue is an effective method of conserving water and soil because it reduces surface runoff, increases infiltration of water into the soil and retard soil erosion. The effectiveness of using elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) as mulching material was evaluated in the laboratory using a rainfall simulator set at rainfall intensities typical of the tropics. Six soil samples, two from each of the three major soil series representing the main agricultural soils in South Western Nigeria were collected, placed on three different slopes, and mulched with different rates of the grass. The surface runoff, soil loss, and apparent cumulative infiltration were then measured under each condition. The results with elephant grass compared favorably with results from previous experiments using rice straw. Runoff and soil loss decreased with the amount of mulch used and increased with slope. Surface runoff, infiltration and soil loss had high correlations (R = 0.90, 0.89, and 0.86, respectively) with slope and mulch cover using surface response analysis. The mean surface runoff was correlated negatively with sand content, while mean soil loss was correlated positively with colloidal content (clay and organic matter) of the soil. Infiltration was increased and soil loss was reduced greatly with the highest cover. Mulching the soils with elephant grass residue may benefit late cropping (second cropping) by increasing stored soil water for use during dry weather and help to reduce erosion on sloping land.

  6. Application of soil quality indices to assess the status of agricultural soils irrigated with treated wastewaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, A.; Arcenegui, V.; García-Orenes, F.; Mataix-Solera, J.; Mataix-Beneyto, J.

    2013-03-01

    The supply of water is limited in some parts of the Mediterranean region, such as southeastern Spain. The use of treated wastewater for the irrigation of agricultural soils is an alternative to using better-quality water, especially in semi-arid regions. On the other hand, this practice can modify some soil properties, change their relationships and influence soil quality. In this work two soil quality indices were used to evaluate the effects of irrigation with treated wastewater in soils. The indices were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. These indices represent the balance reached among properties in "steady state" soils. This study was carried out in four study sites from SE Spain irrigated with wastewater, including four study sites. The results showed slight changes in some soil properties as a consequence of irrigation with wastewater, the obtained levels not being dangerous for agricultural soils, and in some cases they could be considered as positive from an agronomical point of view. In one of the study sites, and as a consequence of the low quality wastewater used, a relevant increase in soil organic matter content was observed, as well as modifications in most of the soil properties. The application of soil quality indices indicated that all the soils of study sites are in a state of disequilibrium regarding the relationships between properties independent of the type of water used. However, there were no relevant differences in the soil quality indices between soils irrigated with wastewater with respect to their control sites for all except one of the sites, which corresponds to the site where low quality wastewater was used.

  7. Terraced agriculture protects soil from erosion: Case studies in Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabesiranana, Naivo; Rasolonirina, Martin; Fanantenansoa Solonjara, Asivelo; Nomenjanahary Ravoson, Heritiana; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - Soil degradation is a major concern in Madagascar but quantitative information is not widely available. Due to its impact on the sustainability of agricultural production, there is a clear need to acquire data on the extent and magnitude of soil erosion/sedimentation under various agricultural practices in order to promote effective conservation strategies. Caesium-137 and 210Pbex fallout radionuclides (FRNs) possess particular characteristics that make them effective soil tracers for erosion studies. After fallout, 137Cs and 210Pbex are rapidly adsorbed onto fine soil particles. But to date, combined use of these FRNs has never been used to document soil erosion in Madagascar. The study area is located 40 km east of Antananarivo, in Madagascar highlands. Two adjacent cultivated fields have been selected (i.e. a sloped field and a terraced field) as well as an undisturbed reference site in the vicinity of these agricultural fields. Soil samples were collected along downslope transects using motorized corer. The 137Cs and 210Pb gamma analysis were performed at the Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires (INSTN-Madagascar) using a high resolution and low background N-type HPGe detector. Results showed that at the terraced field, 137Cs and 210Pbex inventories reached 145 Bq/m2 to 280 Bq/m2 and 2141 Bq/m2 to 4253 Bq/m2, respectively. At the sloped field, the 137Cs and 210Pbex inventories values ranged from 110 Bq/m2 to 280 Bq/m2 and from 2026 Bq/m2 to 4110 Bq/m2, respectively. The net soil erosion determined for the sloped field were 9.6 t/ha/y and 7.2 t/ha/y for 137Cs and 210Pbex methods, respectively. In contrast, at the terraced field, the net soil erosion rates reached only 3.4 t/ha/y and 3.8 t/ha/y, respectively. The preliminary results of this research highlighted that terraced agricultural practice provides an efficient solution to protect soil resources of the Malagasy highlands.

  8. Ice Nucleation Activity of Various Agricultural Soil Dust Aerosol Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiebel, Thea; Höhler, Kristina; Funk, Roger; Hill, Thomas C. J.; Levin, Ezra J. T.; Nadolny, Jens; Steinke, Isabelle; Suski, Kaitlyn J.; Ullrich, Romy; Wagner, Robert; Weber, Ines; DeMott, Paul J.; Möhler, Ottmar

    2016-04-01

    Recent investigations at the cloud simulation chamber AIDA (Aerosol Interactions and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) suggest that agricultural soil dust has an ice nucleation ability that is enhanced up to a factor of 10 compared to desert dust, especially at temperatures above -26 °C (Steinke et al., in preparation for submission). This enhancement might be caused by the contribution of very ice-active biological particles. In addition, soil dust aerosol particles often contain a considerably higher amount of organic matter compared to desert dust particles. To test agricultural soil dust as a source of ice nucleating particles, especially for ice formation in warm clouds, we conducted a series of laboratory measurements with different soil dust samples to extend the existing AIDA dataset. The AIDA has a volume of 84 m3 and operates under atmospherically relevant conditions over wide ranges of temperature, pressure and humidity. By controlled adiabatic expansions, the ascent of an air parcel in the troposphere can be simulated. As a supplement to the AIDA facility, we use the INKA (Ice Nucleation Instrument of the KArlsruhe Institute of Technology) continuous flow diffusion chamber based on the design by Rogers (1988) to expose the sampled aerosol particles to a continuously increasing saturation ratio by keeping the aerosol temperature constant. For our experiments, soil dust was dry dispersed into the AIDA vessel. First, fast saturation ratio scans at different temperatures were performed with INKA, sampling soil dust aerosol particles directly from the AIDA vessel. Then, we conducted the AIDA expansion experiment starting at a preset temperature. The combination of these two different methods provides a robust data set on the temperature-dependent ice activity of various agriculture soil dust aerosol particles with a special focus on relatively high temperatures. In addition, to extend the data set, we investigated the role of biological and organic matter in more

  9. Aerosol emissions from biochar-amended agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravi, S.; Sharratt, B. S.; Li, J. J.; Olshvevski, S.; Meng, Z.; Zhang, J.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural production is a major contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and associated global warming. In this regard, novel carbon sequestration strategies such as large-scale biochar application may provide sustainable pathways to increase the terrestrial storage of carbon in agricultural areas. Biochar has a long residence time in the soil and hence understanding the soil properties affected by biochar addition needs to be investigated to identify the tradeoffs and synergies of large-scale biochar application. Even though several studies have investigated the impacts of biochar application on a variety of soil properties, very few studies have investigated the impacts on soil erosion, in particular wind (aeolian) erosion and subsequent particulate emissions. Using a combination of wind tunnel studies and laboratory experiments, we investigated the dust emission potential of biochar-amended agricultural soils. We amended biochar (unsieved or sieved to appropriate particle size; application rates ranging from 1 - 5 % of the soil by weight) to three soil types (sand, sandy loam, and silt loam) and estimated the changes in threshold shear velocity for wind erosion and dust emission potential in comparison to control soils. Our experiments demonstrate that emissions of fine biochar particles may result from two mechanisms (a) very fine biochar particles (suspension size) that are entrained into the air stream when the wind velocity exceeds the threshold, and (b) production of fine biochar particles originating from the abrasion by quartz grains. The results indicate that biochar application significantly increased particulate emissions and more interestingly, the rate of increase was found to be higher in the intermediate range of biochar application. As fine biochar particles effectively adsorb/trap contaminants and pathogens from the soil, the preferential erosion of fine biochar particles by wind may lead to concentration of contaminants in the

  10. Agricultural plants and soil as a reservoir for Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Green, S K; Schroth, M N; Cho, J J; Kominos, S K; Vitanza-jack, V B

    1974-12-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa was detected in 24% of the soil samples but in only 0.13% of the vegetable samples from various agricultural areas of California. The distribution of pyocin types of soil and vegetable isolates was similar to that of clinical strains, and three of the soil isolates were resistant to carbenicillin. Pseudomonas aeruginosa multiplied in lettuce and bean under conditions of high temperature and high relative humidity (27 C and 80-95% relative humidity) but declined when the temperature and humidity were lowered (16 C, 55-75% relative humidity). The results suggest that soil is a reservior for P. aeruginosa and that the bacterium has the capacity to colonize plants during favorable conditions of temperature and moisture. PMID:4217591

  11. Genotoxicity of agricultural soils in the vicinity of industrial area.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Mohd Ikram; Malik, Abdul

    2009-03-17

    Soil samples from agricultural fields (cultivated) in the vicinity of industrial area of Ghaziabad City (India) were collected. In this city, wastewater coming from both industrial and domestic sources and without any treatment is used to irrigate the food crops. This practice has been polluting the soil and pollutants might reach the food chain. Gas chromatographic analysis show the presence of certain organochlorine (DDE, DDT, dieldrin, aldrin and endosulfan) and organophosphorus (dimethoate, malathion, methylparathion and chlorpyrifos) pesticides in soil samples. Samples were extracted using different solvents, i.e. methanol, chloroform, acetonitrile, hexane and acetone (all were HPLC-grade, SRL, India), and the extracts were assayed for genotoxic potential using Ames Salmonella/microsome test, DNA repair defective mutants and bacteriophage lambda systems. TA98 and TA100 were found to be the most sensitive strains to all the soil extracts tested. Methanol extracts exhibited a maximum mutagenicity with TA98 strain {540 (-S9) and 638 (+S9) revertants/g of soil} and 938 (-S9) and 1008 (+S9) revertants/g of soil with TA100 strain. The damage in the DNA repair defective mutants was found maximum with methanolic extract followed by acetonitrile, chloroform, hexane and acetone at the dose level of 40 microl/ml culture after 6h of treatment. The survival was 25, 30, 32, 33 and 35% in polA strain after 6h of treatment when tested with wastewater irrigated soil extracts of methanol, acetonitrile, chloroform, hexane and acetone, respectively. A significant decrease in the plaque forming units of bacteriophage lambda was also observed when treated with 40 microl of test samples. Present results showed that methanolic extracts of soil were more toxic than other soil extracts. The soil is accumulating a large number of pollutants due to wastewater irrigation and this practice of accumulation has an impact on soil health.

  12. Effect of land management on soil properties in flood irrigated citrus orchards in Eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, A.; García-Orenes, F.; Cerdà, A.

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural land management greatly affects soil properties. Microbial soil communities are the most sensitive and rapid indicators of perturbations in land use and soil enzyme activities are sensitive biological indicators of the effects of soil management practices. Citrus orchards frequently have degraded soils and this paper evaluates how land management in citrus orchards can improve soil quality. A field experiment was performed in an orchard of orange trees (Citrus Sinensis) in the Alcoleja Experimental Station (Eastern Spain) with clay-loam agricultural soils to assess the long-term effects of herbicides with inorganic fertilizers (H), intensive ploughing and inorganic fertilizers (P) and organic farming (O) on the soil microbial properties, and to study the relationship between them. Nine soil samples were taken from each agricultural management plot. In all the samples the basal soil respiration, soil microbial biomass carbon, water holding capacity, electrical conductivity, soil organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, available potassium, aggregate stability, cation exchange capacity, pH, texture, macronutrients (Na, Ca and Mg), micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu), calcium carbonate equivalent, calcium carbonate content of limestone and enzimatic activities (urease, dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase) were determined. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial properties, which were highly associated with soil organic matter content. The management practices including herbicides and intensive ploughing had similar results on microbial soil properties. O management contributed to an increase in the soil biology quality, aggregate stability and organic matter content.

  13. Effect of organic amendments on quality indexes in an italian agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, R.; Rao, M. A.; D'Ascoli, R.; Scelza, R.; Marzaioli, R.; Rutigliano, F. A.; Gianfreda, L.

    2009-04-01

    Intensive agricultural practices can determine a decline in soil fertility which represents the main constraint to agricultural productivity. In particular, the progressive reduction in soil organic matter, without an adequate restoration, may threaten soil fertility and agriculture sustainability. Some soil management practices can improve soil quality by adding organic amendments as alternative to the sole use of mineral fertilizers for increasing plant quality and growth. A large number of soil properties can be used to define changes in soil quality. In particular, although more emphasis has been given in literature to physical and chemical properties, biological properties, strictly linked to soil fertility, can be valid even more sensitive indicators. Among these, soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass may provide an "early warning" of soil quality and health changes. The aim of this work was to study the effect of preventive sterilization treatment and organic fertilization on enzymatic activities (dehydrogenase, arylsulphatase, beta-glucosidase, phosphatase, urease) and microbial biomass C in an agricultural soil under crop rotation. The study was carried out on an agricultural soil sited in Campania region (South Italy). At the beginning of experiment sterilizing treatments to control soilborne pathogens and weeds were performed by solarization and calcium cyanamide addition to soil. Organic fertilization was carried out by adding compost from vegetable residues, ricin seed exhaust (Rigen) and straw, singly or in association. Three samplings were performed at three different stages of crop rotation: I) September 2005, immediately after the treatments; II) December 2005, after a lettuce cycle; III) January 2007, after peppers and lettuce cycles. The soil sampling followed a W scheme, with five sub-samples for each plot. Soils were sieved at 2 mm mesh and air dried to determine physical and chemical properties; in addition a suitable amount of soils

  14. Organochlorine insecticide residues in soils and soil invertebrates from agricultural lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gish, C.D.

    1970-01-01

    Soils and earthworms and other soil invertebrates were collected from 67 agricultural fields in eight States. Samples were analyzed by gas chromatography for DDE, DDD, DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, and gamma-chlordane insecticides. Organochlorine insecticides in soils averaged 1.5 ppm, dry weight, and in earthworms, 13.8 ppm. Residues in earthworms averaged nine times that in soils. Residues ranged from a trace to 19.1 ppm in soils and from a trace to 159.4 ppm in earthworms. Residues in beetle larvae from two fields averaged 0.6 ppm; in snails from two fields, 3.5 ppm; and in slugs from four fields, 89.0 ppm. Amounts of insecticides in earthworms varied directly with amounts in soils. Coefficients of correlation between residues in soils and residues in earthworms usually were significant for DDE, DDD, and DDT regardless of crop or soil type.

  15. GEMAS: Unmixing magnetic properties of European agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabian, Karl; Reimann, Clemens; Kuzina, Dilyara; Kosareva, Lina; Fattakhova, Leysan; Nurgaliev, Danis

    2016-04-01

    High resolution magnetic measurements provide new methods for world-wide characterization and monitoring of agricultural soil which is essential for quantifying geologic and human impact on the critical zone environment and consequences of climatic change, for planning economic and ecological land use, and for forensic applications. Hysteresis measurements of all Ap samples from the GEMAS survey yield a comprehensive overview of mineral magnetic properties in European agricultural soil on a continental scale. Low (460 Hz), and high frequency (4600 Hz) magnetic susceptibility k were measured using a Bartington MS2B sensor. Hysteresis properties were determined by a J-coercivity spectrometer, built at the paleomagnetic laboratory of Kazan University, providing for each sample a modified hysteresis loop, backfield curve, acquisition curve of isothermal remanent magnetization, and a viscous IRM decay spectrum. Each measurement set is obtained in a single run from zero field up to 1.5 T and back to -1.5 T. The resulting data are used to create the first continental-scale maps of magnetic soil parameters. Because the GEMAS geochemical atlas contains a comprehensive set of geochemical data for the same soil samples, the new data can be used to map magnetic parameters in relation to chemical and geological parameters. The data set also provides a unique opportunity to analyze the magnetic mineral fraction of the soil samples by unmixing their IRM acquisition curves. The endmember coefficients are interpreted by linear inversion for other magnetic, physical and chemical properties which results in an unprecedented and detailed view of the mineral magnetic composition of European agricultural soils.

  16. Application of soil quality indices to assess the status of agricultural soils irrigated with treated wastewaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, A.; Arcenegui, V.; García-Orenes, F.; Mataix-Solera, J.; Mataix-Beneyto, J.

    2012-12-01

    The supply of water is limited in some parts of the Mediterranean region, such as southeastern Spain. The use of treated wastewater for the irrigation of agricultural soils is an alternative to using better-quality water, especially in semi-arid regions. On the other hand, this practice can modify some soil properties, change their relationships, the equilibrium reached and influence soil quality. In this work two soil quality indices were used to evaluate the effects of irrigation with treated wastewater in soils. The indices were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. This study was carried out in three areas of Alicante Province (SE Spain) irrigated with wastewater, including four study sites. The results showed slight changes in some soil properties as a consequence of irrigation with wastewater, the obtained levels not being dangerous for agricultural soils, and in some cases they could be considered as positive from an agronomical point of view. In one of the study sites, and as a consequence of the low quality wastewater used, a relevant increase in soil organic matter content was observed, as well as modifications in most of the soil properties. The application of soil quality indices indicated that all the soils of study sites are in a state of disequilibrium regarding the relationships between properties independent of the type of water used. However, there were no relevant differences in the soil quality indices between soils irrigated with wastewater with respect to their control sites for all except one of the sites, which corresponds to the site where low quality wastewater was used.

  17. Fate of the antifungal drug clotrimazole in agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Sabourin, Lyne; Al-Rajab, Abdul Jabbar; Chapman, Ralph; Lapen, David R; Topp, Edward

    2011-03-01

    Clotrimazole is a broad-spectrum antimycotic drug used for the treatment of dermatological and gynecological infections; it is incompletely broken down during sewage treatment and could potentially reach agricultural land through the application of municipal biosolids or wastewater. In the absence of any environmental fate data, we evaluated the persistence and dissipation pathways of (3)H-clotrimazole during laboratory incubations of agricultural soils. Clotrimazole was removed from a loam (time to dissipate 50% = 68 d), a sandy loam (time to dissipate 50% = 36 d), and a clay loam (time to dissipate 50% = 55 d), with formation of nonextractable residues being the major sink for (3) H. Their parent compound had no significant mineralization, as evidenced by the lack of formation of (3) H(2) O. Up to 15% of the applied radioactivity was recovered in the form of [(3)H]-(2-chlorophenyl)diphenyl methanol. The rate of clotrimazole dissipation in the loam soil did not vary with moisture content, but it was slower at a lower temperature (number of days to dissipate 50% = 275.6 d at 4°C). Addition of municipal biosolids to the loam soil did not vary the clotrimazole dissipation rate. In summary, the present study has established that clotrimazole is dissipated in soil, at rates that varied with soil texture and temperature. Clotrimazole dissipation was accompanied by the formation of nonextractable residues and detectable extractable residues of the transformation product (2-chlorophenyl)diphenyl methanol. PMID:21298703

  18. Analysis of the sensitivity of soils to the leaching of agricultural pesticides in Ohio

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schalk, C.W.

    1998-01-01

    Pesticides have not been found frequently in the ground waters of Ohio even though large amounts of agricultural pesticides are applied to fields in Ohio every year. State regulators, including representatives from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Departments of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, are striving to limit the presence of pesticides in ground water at a minimum. A proposed pesticide management plan for the State aims at protecting Ohio's ground water by assessing pesticide-leaching potential using geographic information system (GIS) technology and invoking a monitoring plan that targets aquifers deemed most likely to be vulnerable to pesticide leaching. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Ohio Department of Agriculture, assessed the sensitivity of mapped soil units in Ohio to pesticide leaching. A soils data base (STATSGO) compiled by U.S. Department of Agriculture was used iteratively to estimate soil units as being of high to low sensitivity on the basis of soil permeability, clay content, and organic-matter content. Although this analysis did not target aquifers directly, the results can be used as a first estimate of areas most likely to be subject to pesticide contamination from normal agricultural practices. High-sensitivity soil units were found in lakefront areas and former lakefront beach ridges, buried valleys in several river basins, and parts of central and south- central Ohio. Medium-high-sensitivity soil units were found in other river basins, along Lake Erie in north-central Ohio, and in many of the upland areas of the Muskingum River Basin. Low-sensitivity map units dominated the northwestern quadrant of Ohio.

  19. Quantifying the erosion effect on current carbon budget of European agricultural soils at high spatial resolution.

    PubMed

    Lugato, Emanuele; Paustian, Keith; Panagos, Panos; Jones, Arwyn; Borrelli, Pasquale

    2016-05-01

    The idea of offsetting anthropogenic CO2 emissions by increasing global soil organic carbon (SOC), as recently proposed by French authorities ahead of COP21 in the 'four per mil' initiative, is notable. However, a high uncertainty still exits on land C balance components. In particular, the role of erosion in the global C cycle is not totally disentangled, leading to disagreement whether this process induces lands to be a source or sink of CO2. To investigate this issue, we coupled soil erosion into a biogeochemistry model, running at 1 km(2) resolution across the agricultural soils of the European Union (EU). Based on data-driven assumptions, the simulation took into account also soil deposition within grid cells and the potential C export to riverine systems, in a way to be conservative in a mass balance. We estimated that 143 of 187 Mha have C erosion rates <0.05 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), although some hot-spot areas showed eroded SOC >0.45 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1). In comparison with a baseline without erosion, the model suggested an erosion-induced sink of atmospheric C consistent with previous empirical-based studies. Integrating all C fluxes for the EU agricultural soils, we estimated a net C loss or gain of -2.28 and +0.79 Tg yr(-1) of CO2 eq, respectively, depending on the value for the short-term enhancement of soil C mineralization due to soil disruption and displacement/transport with erosion. We concluded that erosion fluxes were in the same order of current carbon gains from improved management. Even if erosion could potentially induce a sink for atmospheric CO2, strong agricultural policies are needed to prevent or reduce soil erosion, in order to maintain soil health and productivity.

  20. Implementation monitoring temperature, humidity and mositure soil based on wireless sensor network for e-agriculture technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumarudin, A.; Ghozali, A. L.; Hasyim, A.; Effendi, A.

    2016-04-01

    Indonesian agriculture has great potensial for development. Agriculture a lot yet based on data collection for soil or plant, data soil can use for analys soil fertility. We propose e-agriculture system for monitoring soil. This system can monitoring soil status. Monitoring system based on wireless sensor mote that sensing soil status. Sensor monitoring utilize soil moisture, humidity and temperature. System monitoring design with mote based on microcontroler and xbee connection. Data sensing send to gateway with star topology with one gateway. Gateway utilize with mini personal computer and connect to xbee cordinator mode. On gateway, gateway include apache server for store data based on My-SQL. System web base with YII framework. System done implementation and can show soil status real time. Result the system can connection other mote 40 meters and mote lifetime 7 hours and minimum voltage 7 volt. The system can help famer for monitoring soil and farmer can making decision for treatment soil based on data. It can improve the quality in agricultural production and would decrease the management and farming costs.

  1. Barley seedling growth in soils amended with fly ash or agricultural lime followed by acidification

    SciTech Connect

    Renken, R.R.; McCallister, D.L.; Tarkalson, D.D.; Hergert, G.W.; Marx, D.B.

    2006-05-15

    Calcium-rich coal combustion fly ash can be used as an amendment to neutralize soil acidity because of its oxides and carbonate content, but its aluminum content could inhibit plant growth if soil pH values fall below optimal agronomic levels. This study measured root and shoot growth of an acid-sensitive barley (Hordeum vulgare L. 'Kearney') grown in the greenhouse on three naturally acid soils. The soils were either untreated or amended with various liming materials (dry fly ash, wet fly ash, and agricultural lime) at application rates of 0, .5, 1, and 1.5 times the recommended lime requirement, then treated with dilute acid solutions to simulate management-induced acidification. Plant growth indexes were measured at 30 days after planting. Root mass per plant and root length per plant were greater for the limed treatments than in the acidified check. Root growth in the limed treatments did not differ from root growth in the original nonacidified soils. Top mass per plant in all limed soils was either larger than or not different from that in the original nonacidified soils. Based on top mass per plant, no liming material or application rate was clearly superior. Both fly ash and agricultural lime reduced the impact of subsequent acidification on young barley plants. Detrimental effects of aluminum release on plant growth were not observed. Calcium-rich fly ash at agronomic rates is an acceptable acid-neutralizing material with no apparent negative effects.

  2. Urban soils: properties for utilitzation for green infrastructure and urban agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanskiy, Merrit; Krebstein, Kadri

    2015-04-01

    The human influenced soils in urban areas are of prime importance to human populations. Also, it is becoming a trend that there is large increase in reclaimed lands and new users for old industrial areas. Very often the urban soils are heavily modified by different anthropogenic factors. Therefore, it makes it essential to collect the data and knowledge of urban soils in order to understand better how such soils can be managed, rehabilitated or reconditioned to support green infrastructure or urban agriculture. Although the soil organic carbon (SOC) is the largest carbon stock in terrestrial ecosystems and the carbon sequestration is a widely accepted soil function there is still few studies mapping the carbon stocks in urban areas using digital soil mapping techniques. For urban land-use planning and decision making in a process of green infrastructure sustainable development it is in major importance. The urban soils are often lacking sufficient amount of organic matter but they are degraded (compacted, builded, contaminated by construction debris, graded) making them unsuitable as a growing medium. Therefore, the use of certain green infrastructure practices and the development of urban agriculture can be challenging in an urban environment. The issue of assessing soil quality becomes two-fold: the health of the soil as a growing medium needs to be addressed as well as the possible contamination that may be present. Knowing the development history of a parcel is key to determining what type of soil testing should be done, if any, prior to redevelopment or reuse. For current, pilot scale study the soil sampling was carried out in Tartu, Estonia. The different microenvironments were determined inside of urban areas. Soils were collected from such a microenvironments as urban garden areas, parks, other green infrastructure elements. The soils were analyzed for main agrochemical and physical properties at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, laboratory of the

  3. Hyperspectral mapping of crop and soils for precision agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiting, Michael L.; Ustin, Susan L.; Zarco-Tejada, Pablo; Palacios-Orueta, Alicia; Vanderbilt, Vern C.

    2006-08-01

    Precision agriculture requires high spectral and spatial resolution imagery for advanced analyses of crop and soil conditions to increase environmental protection and producers' sustainability. GIS models that anticipate crop responses to nutrients, water, and pesticides require high spatial detail to generate application prescription maps. While the added precision of geo-spatial interpolation to field scouting generates improved zone maps and are an improvement over field-wide applications, it is limited in detail due to expense, and lacks the high precision required for pixel level applications. Multi-spectral imagery gives the spatial detail required, but broad band indexes are not sensitive to many variables in the crop and soil environment. Hyperspectral imagery provides both the spatial detail of airborne imagery and spectral resolution for spectroscopic and narrow band analysis techniques developed over recent decades in the laboratory that will advance precise determination of water and bio-physical properties of crops and soils. For several years, we have conducted remote sensing investigations to improve cotton production through field spectrometer measurements, and plant and soil samples in commercial fields and crop trials. We have developed spectral analyses techniques for plant and soil conditions through determination of crop water status, effectiveness of pre-harvest defoliant applications, and soil characterizations. We present the most promising of these spectroscopic absorption and narrow band index techniques, and their application to airborne hyperspectral imagery in mapping the variability in crops and soils.

  4. Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation and Soil Borne Pest Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD; also referred to as Biological Soil Disinfestation (BSD)) is a pre-plant soil treatment method developed to control plant disease and manage yield decline in many crop production systems. The practice involves induction of anaerobic soil conditions by increasing m...

  5. Abatement costs of soil conservation in China's Loess Plateau: balancing income with conservation in an agricultural system.

    PubMed

    Hou, Lingling; Hoag, Dana L K; Keske, Catherine M H

    2015-02-01

    This study proposes the use of marginal abatement cost curves to calculate environmental damages of agricultural systems in China's Loess Plateau. Total system costs and revenues, management characteristics and pollution attributes are imputed into a directional output distance function, which is then used to determine shadow prices and abatement cost curves for soil and nitrogen loss. Marginal abatement costs curves are an effective way to compare economic and conservation tradeoffs when field-specific data are scarce. The results show that sustainable agricultural practices can balance soil conservation and agricultural production; land need not be retired, as is current policy.

  6. Determine metrics and set targets for soil quality on agriculture residue and energy crop pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Ian Bonner; David Muth

    2013-09-01

    There are three objectives for this project: 1) support OBP in meeting MYPP stated performance goals for the Sustainability Platform, 2) develop integrated feedstock production system designs that increase total productivity of the land, decrease delivered feedstock cost to the conversion facilities, and increase environmental performance of the production system, and 3) deliver to the bioenergy community robust datasets and flexible analysis tools for establishing sustainable and viable use of agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops. The key project outcome to date has been the development and deployment of a sustainable agricultural residue removal decision support framework. The modeling framework has been used to produce a revised national assessment of sustainable residue removal potential. The national assessment datasets are being used to update national resource assessment supply curves using POLYSIS. The residue removal modeling framework has also been enhanced to support high fidelity sub-field scale sustainable removal analyses. The framework has been deployed through a web application and a mobile application. The mobile application is being used extensively in the field with industry, research, and USDA NRCS partners to support and validate sustainable residue removal decisions. The results detailed in this report have set targets for increasing soil sustainability by focusing on primary soil quality indicators (total organic carbon and erosion) in two agricultural residue management pathways and a dedicated energy crop pathway. The two residue pathway targets were set to, 1) increase residue removal by 50% while maintaining soil quality, and 2) increase soil quality by 5% as measured by Soil Management Assessment Framework indicators. The energy crop pathway was set to increase soil quality by 10% using these same indicators. To demonstrate the feasibility and impact of each of these targets, seven case studies spanning the US are presented

  7. Environmental Fate of Double-Stranded RNA in Agricultural Soils

    PubMed Central

    Dubelman, Samuel; Fischer, Joshua; Zapata, Fatima; Huizinga, Kristin; Jiang, Changjian; Uffman, Joshua; Levine, Steven; Carson, David

    2014-01-01

    A laboratory soil degradation study was conducted to determine the biodegradation potential of a DvSnf7 dsRNA transcript derived from a Monsanto genetically modified (GM) maize product that confers resistance to corn rootworm (CRW; Diabrotica spp.). This study provides new information to improve the environmental assessment of dsRNAs that become pesticidal through an RNAi process. Three agricultural soils differing in their physicochemical characteristics were obtained from the U.S., Illinois (IL; silt loam), Missouri (MO; loamy sand) and North Dakota (ND; clay loam), and exposed to the target dsRNA by incorporating insect-protected maize biomass and purified (in vitro-transcribed) DvSnf7 RNA into soil. The GM and control (non-GM maize) materials were added to each soil and incubated at ca. 22°C for 48 hours (h). Samples were collected at 12 time intervals during the incubation period, extracted, and analyzed using QuantiGene molecular analysis and insect bioassay methods. The DT50 (half-life) values for DvSnf7 RNA in IL, MO, and ND soils were 19, 28, and 15 h based on QuantiGene, and 18, 29, and 14 h based on insect bioassay, respectively. Furthermore, the DT90 (time to 90% degradation) values for DvSnf7 RNA in all three soils were <35 h. These results indicate that DvSnf7 RNA was degraded and biological activity was undetectable within approximately 2 days after application to soil, regardless of texture, pH, clay content and other soil differences. Furthermore, soil-incorporated DvSnf7 RNA was non-detectable in soil after 48 h, as measured by QuantiGene, at levels ranging more than two orders of magnitude (0.3, 1.5, 7.5 and 37.5 µg RNA/g soil). Results from this study indicate that the DvSnf7 dsRNA is unlikely to persist or accumulate in the environment. Furthermore, the rapid degradation of DvSnf7 dsRNA provides a basis to define relevant exposure scenarios for future RNA-based agricultural products. PMID:24676387

  8. Sewage sludge applied to agricultural soil: Ecotoxicological effects on representative soil organisms.

    PubMed

    Carbonell, G; Pro, J; Gómez, N; Babín, M M; Fernández, C; Alonso, E; Tarazona, J V

    2009-05-01

    Application of sewage sludge to agricultural lands is a current practice in EU. European legislation permits its use when concentrations of metals in soil do not increase above the maximum permissible limits. In order to assess the fate and the effects on representative soil organisms of sewage sludge amendments on agricultural lands, a soil microcosm (multi-species soil system-MS3) experiment was performed. The MS3 columns were filled with spiked soil at three different doses: 30, 60 and 120tha(-1) fresh wt. Seed plants (Triticum aestivum, Vicia sativa and Brassica rapa) and earthworms (Eisenia fetida) were introduced into the systems. After a 21-d exposure period, a statistically significant increase for Cd, Cu, Zn and Hg concentrations was found for the soils treated with the highest application rate. Dose-related increase was observed for nickel concentrations in leachates. Plants and earthworm metal body burden offer much more information than metal concentrations and help to understand the potential for metal accumulation. Bioaccumulation factor (BAF(plant-soil)) presented a different behavior among species and large differences for BAF(earthworm-soil), from control or sewage-amended soil, for Cd and Hg were found. B. rapa seed germination was reduced. Statistically significant decrease in fresh biomass was observed for T. aestivum and V. sativa at the highest application rate, whereas B. rapa biomass decreased at any application rate. Enzymatic activities (dehydrogenase and phosphatase) as well as respiration rate on soil microorganisms were enlarged.

  9. Climate change effects on soil organic carbon changes in agricultural lands of Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvaro-Fuentes, J.; Easter, M.; Arrúe, J. L.; Cantero-Martínez, C.; Paustian, K.

    2012-04-01

    Climate is a key factor to explain changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) at regional scales. Experimental data have showed that spatial and temporal changes in soil temperature and moisture modify microbial activity and thus SOC decomposition. Furthermore, precipitation amount and distribution have a main impact on crop growth and residue production. According to predictions based on atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCM) for the next decades in the Mediterranean region, air temperature will significantly increase and precipitation decrease with a significant impact on SOC turnover. However, in agricultural systems, the study of the impacts of climate on SOC dynamics is a complex task since climate effects will be determined by both soil characteristics and management practices. The establishment of soil monitoring networks within a specific region is a recommended approach to study the interactive effects of climate, management and soil on SOC changes. However, in large areas, the establishment and maintenance of these networks can imply significant cost and time. A lower cost and time consuming approach can be the use of soil organic matter (SOM) models. The use of process based SOM models linked to spatial data through geographical information systems (GIS) permits to integrate the spatial variability of the parameters that control SOM dynamics. This approach can be appropriate for Spanish conditions where the complex orography results in a large range of local climates. Moreover, the large agricultural heterogeneity in terms of management systems could have a noteworthy impact on the effects of climate on SOC turnover in Spanish agroecosystems. Thus, in this study we used the Century model to analyse the impact of climate on SOC changes in a representative area of 40498 km2 located in northeast Spain. The spatial distribution of the different land use categories and their change over time was obtained from the European Corine database. Soil

  10. Soil micronutrients at the plot scale under agricultural and forest soil uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva Días, Rosane; Vidal Vázquez, Eva; dos Santos Batista Bonini, Carolina; Marasca, Indiamara; Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge

    2013-04-01

    Land use practices affect soil properties and nutrient supply. Very limited data are available on the heavy metal extractability in northwest Spain. The aim of this study is to analyze long-term effects of land use on the supply, variability and spatial distribution of soil nutrients, which was undertaken by comparison of a forest and a cultivated stand, rich in organic matter content. The study was carried out in an acid, rich in organic matter soil developed over sediments at the province of Lugo, northwestern of Spain. Adjacent plots with were marked on regular square grids with 2-m spacing. Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu were extracted both by Mehlich-3 and DTPA solutions and determined by ICP-MS. General soil chemical and physical properties were routinely analyzed. In arable land microelement concentration ranges were as follows: Fe (100 and 135 mg/Kg), Mn (7.6 and 21.5 mg/Kg), Zn (0.6 and 3.7 mg/Kg), Cu (0.2 and 0.7 mg/Kg). In forest land, these ranges were: Fe (62 and 309 mg/Kg), Mn (0.2 and 2.1 mg/Kg), Zn (0.2 and 2.9 mg/Kg), Cu (0.1 and 0.2 mg/Kg), Microelement concentrations extracted both with DTPA and Mehlich-3 were higher in the cultivated than in the forest stand, being Fe-DTPA the exception. Coefficients of variation were higher for the microelement content of the soil under forest. Principal component analysis was performed to evaluate associations between extractable microelements and general physico-chemical properties. At the study scale, nutrient management is the main factor affecting the agricultural site, whereas soil-plant interactions are probably driving the higher variation within the forest site. Patterns of spatial variability of the study nutrients at the small plot scale were assessed by geostatistical techniques. Results are discussed in the frame of organic matter decline with conventional tillage and sustainable land use.

  11. Estimating the distribution of radionuclides in agricultural soils - dependence on soil parameters.

    PubMed

    Hormann, Volker; Fischer, Helmut W

    2013-10-01

    In this study it is shown how radionuclide distributions in agricultural soils and their dependence on soil parameters can be quantitatively estimated. The most important sorption and speciation processes have been implemented into a numerical model using the geochemical code PHREEQC that is able to include specific soil and soil solution compositions. Using this model, distribution coefficients (Kd values) for the elements Cs, Ni, U and Se have been calculated for two different soil types. Furthermore, the dependencies of these Kd values on various soil parameters (e.g. pH value or organic matter content) have been evaluated. It is shown that for each element, an individual set of soil parameters is relevant for its solid-liquid distribution. The model may be used for the calculation of input parameters used by reference biosphere models (e.g. used for the risk assessment of nuclear waste repositories). PMID:23871968

  12. Estimating the distribution of radionuclides in agricultural soils - dependence on soil parameters.

    PubMed

    Hormann, Volker; Fischer, Helmut W

    2013-10-01

    In this study it is shown how radionuclide distributions in agricultural soils and their dependence on soil parameters can be quantitatively estimated. The most important sorption and speciation processes have been implemented into a numerical model using the geochemical code PHREEQC that is able to include specific soil and soil solution compositions. Using this model, distribution coefficients (Kd values) for the elements Cs, Ni, U and Se have been calculated for two different soil types. Furthermore, the dependencies of these Kd values on various soil parameters (e.g. pH value or organic matter content) have been evaluated. It is shown that for each element, an individual set of soil parameters is relevant for its solid-liquid distribution. The model may be used for the calculation of input parameters used by reference biosphere models (e.g. used for the risk assessment of nuclear waste repositories).

  13. Single application of Sewage Sludge to an Alluvial Agricultural Soil - impacts on Soil Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suhadolc, M.; Graham, D. B.; Hagn, A.; Doerfler, U.; Schloter, M.; Schroll, R.; Munch, J. C.; Lobnik, F.

    2009-04-01

    Limited information exists on the effects of sewage sludge on soil quality with regard to their ability to maintain soil functions. We studied effects of sewage sludge amendment on soil chemical properties, microbial community structure and microbial degradation of the herbicide glyphosate. Three months soil column leaching experiment has been conducted using alluvial soils (Eutric Fluvisol) with no prior history of sludge application. The soil was loamy with pH 7,4 and organic matter content of 3,5%. Soil material in the upper 2 cm of columns was mixed with dehydrated sewage sludge which was applied in amounts corresponding to the standards governing the use of sewage sludge for agricultural land. Sludge did increase some nutrients (total N, NH4+, available P and K, organic carbon) and some heavy metals contents (Zn, Cu, Pb) in soil. However, upper limits for heavy metals in agricultural soils were not exceeded. Results of heavy metal availability in soil determined by sequential extraction will be also presented. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses of 16s/18s rDNA, using universal fungal and bacterial primers, revealed clear shifts in bacterial and fungal community structure in the upper 2 cm of soils after amendment. Fungal fingerprints showed greater short term effects of sewage sludge, whereas sewage sludge seems to have prolonged effects on soil bacteria. Furthermore, sewage sludge amendment significantly increased glyphosate degradation from 21.6±1% to 33.6±1% over a 2 months period. The most probable reasons for shifts in microbial community structure and increased degradation of glyphosate are beneficial alterations to the physical-chemical characteristics of the soil. Negative effects of potentially toxic substances present in the sewage sludge on soil microbial community functioning were not observed with the methods used in our study.

  14. Value of Available Global Soil Moisture Products for Agricultural Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mladenova, Iliana; Bolten, John; Crow, Wade; de Jeu, Richard

    2016-04-01

    The first operationally derived and publicly distributed global soil moil moisture product was initiated with the launch of the Advanced Scanning Microwave Mission on the NASA's Earth Observing System Aqua satellite (AMSR-E). AMSR-E failed in late 2011, but its legacy is continued by AMSR2, launched in 2012 on the JAXA Global Change Observation Mission-Water (GCOM-W) mission. AMSR is a multi-frequency dual-polarization instrument, where the lowest two frequencies (C- and X-band) were used for soil moisture retrieval. Theoretical research and small-/field-scale airborne campaigns, however, have demonstrated that soil moisture would be best monitored using L-band-based observations. This consequently led to the development and launch of the first L-band-based mission-the ESA's Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission (2009). In early 2015 NASA launched the second L-band-based mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP). These satellite-based soil moisture products have been demonstrated to be invaluable sources of information for mapping water stress areas, crop monitoring and yield forecasting. Thus, a number of agricultural agencies routinely utilize and rely on global soil moisture products for improving their decision making activities, determining global crop production and crop prices, identifying food restricted areas, etc. The basic premise of applying soil moisture observations for vegetation monitoring is that the change in soil moisture conditions will precede the change in vegetation status, suggesting that soil moisture can be used as an early indicator of expected crop condition change. Here this relationship was evaluated across multiple microwave frequencies by examining the lag rank cross-correlation coefficient between the soil moisture observations and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). A main goal of our analysis is to evaluate and inter-compare the value of the different soil moisture products derived using L-band (SMOS

  15. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems.

    PubMed

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Robertson, G Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and [Formula: see text] levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4-5 times during each growing season and analyzed for [Formula: see text] and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3-N. Red clover cover crop increased [Formula: see text] by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on [Formula: see text] in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row

  16. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems.

    PubMed

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Robertson, G Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and [Formula: see text] levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4-5 times during each growing season and analyzed for [Formula: see text] and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3-N. Red clover cover crop increased [Formula: see text] by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on [Formula: see text] in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row

  17. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N.; Robertson, G. Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and NO3--N levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4–5 times during each growing season and analyzed for NO3--N and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3—N. Red clover cover crop increased NO3--N by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on NO3--N in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row-crop agricultural systems. PMID:26600462

  18. Effect of integrating straw into agricultural soils on soil infiltration and evaporation.

    PubMed

    Cao, Jiansheng; Liu, Changming; Zhang, Wanjun; Guo, Yunlong

    2012-01-01

    Soil water movement is a critical consideration for crop yield in straw-integrated fields. This study used an indoor soil column experiment to determine soil infiltration and evaporation characteristics in three forms of direct straw-integrated soils (straw mulching, straw mixing and straw inter-layering). Straw mulching is covering the land surface with straw. Straw mixing is mixing straw with the top 10 cm surface soil. Then straw inter-layering is placing straw at the 20 cm soil depth. There are generally good correlations among the mulch integration methods at p < 0.05, and with average errors/biases <10%. Straw mixing exhibited the best effect in terms of soil infiltration, followed by straw mulching. Due to over-burden weight-compaction effect, straw inter-layering somehow retarded soil infiltration. In terms of soil water evaporation, straw mulching exhibited the best effect. This was followed by straw mixing and then straw inter-layering. Straw inter-layering could have a long-lasting positive effect on soil evaporation as it limited the evaporative consumption of deep soil water. The responses of the direct straw integration modes to soil infiltration and evaporation could lay the basis for developing efficient water-conservation strategies. This is especially useful for water-scarce agricultural regions such as the arid/semi-arid regions of China.

  19. Effect of integrating straw into agricultural soils on soil infiltration and evaporation.

    PubMed

    Cao, Jiansheng; Liu, Changming; Zhang, Wanjun; Guo, Yunlong

    2012-01-01

    Soil water movement is a critical consideration for crop yield in straw-integrated fields. This study used an indoor soil column experiment to determine soil infiltration and evaporation characteristics in three forms of direct straw-integrated soils (straw mulching, straw mixing and straw inter-layering). Straw mulching is covering the land surface with straw. Straw mixing is mixing straw with the top 10 cm surface soil. Then straw inter-layering is placing straw at the 20 cm soil depth. There are generally good correlations among the mulch integration methods at p < 0.05, and with average errors/biases <10%. Straw mixing exhibited the best effect in terms of soil infiltration, followed by straw mulching. Due to over-burden weight-compaction effect, straw inter-layering somehow retarded soil infiltration. In terms of soil water evaporation, straw mulching exhibited the best effect. This was followed by straw mixing and then straw inter-layering. Straw inter-layering could have a long-lasting positive effect on soil evaporation as it limited the evaporative consumption of deep soil water. The responses of the direct straw integration modes to soil infiltration and evaporation could lay the basis for developing efficient water-conservation strategies. This is especially useful for water-scarce agricultural regions such as the arid/semi-arid regions of China. PMID:22643418

  20. Spatial variation of soil salinity in the Mexicali Valley, Mexico: application of a practical method for agricultural monitoring.

    PubMed

    Judkins, Gabriel; Myint, Soe

    2012-09-01

    The degradation of irrigated lands through the process of soil salinization, or the buildup of salts in the soil, has hampered recent increases in agricultural productivity and threatens the sustainability of large-scale cultivation in critical agricultural regions of the world. Rapid detection of soil salinity on a regional basis has been identified as key for effective mitigation of such land degradation. The ability to detect regional patterns of soil salinity at an accuracy sufficient for regional-scale resource management is demonstrated using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery. A case study of the Mexicali Valley of Baja California, Mexico was selected due to the region's agricultural significance and concern for future soil salinity increases. Surface soil salinity was mapped using georeferenced field measurements of electrical conductivity (EC), collected concurrently with Landsat 5 TM imagery. Correlations between EC measurements and common indices derived from the satellite imagery were used to produce a model of soil salinity through regression analysis. Landsat band 7, TNDVI, PCA 1, Tasseled Cap 3 and Tasseled Cap 5 were found to offer the most promising correlations with surface soil salinity. Generally low levels of soil salinity were detected, however, distinct areas of elevated surface salinity were detected at levels potentially impacting sensitive crops cultivated within the region. The difficulty detecting low levels of salinity and the mid-range spatial resolution of Landsat 5 TM imagery restrict the applicability of this methodology to the study of broad regional patterns of degradation most appropriate for use by regional resource managers.

  1. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Banning, Natasha C; Maccarone, Linda D; Fisk, Louise M; Murphy, Daniel V

    2015-06-08

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, and related their distribution to gross nitrification rates. Soil depth had a significant effect on gene abundances, irrespective of management history. Contrary to reports of AOA dominance in soils elsewhere, AOA gene copy numbers were four-fold lower than AOB in the surface (0-10 cm). AOA gene abundance increased with depth while AOB decreased, and sub-soil abundances were approximately equal (10-90 cm). The depth profile of total archaea did not mirror that of AOA, indicating the likely presence of archaea without nitrification capacity in the surface. Gross nitrification rates declined significantly with depth and were positively correlated to AOB but negatively correlated to AOA gene abundances. We conclude that AOB are most likely responsible for regulating nitrification in these semi-arid soils.

  2. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banning, Natasha C.; Maccarone, Linda D.; Fisk, Louise M.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2015-06-01

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, and related their distribution to gross nitrification rates. Soil depth had a significant effect on gene abundances, irrespective of management history. Contrary to reports of AOA dominance in soils elsewhere, AOA gene copy numbers were four-fold lower than AOB in the surface (0-10 cm). AOA gene abundance increased with depth while AOB decreased, and sub-soil abundances were approximately equal (10-90 cm). The depth profile of total archaea did not mirror that of AOA, indicating the likely presence of archaea without nitrification capacity in the surface. Gross nitrification rates declined significantly with depth and were positively correlated to AOB but negatively correlated to AOA gene abundances. We conclude that AOB are most likely responsible for regulating nitrification in these semi-arid soils.

  3. Agricultural machineries wheeling and soil qualities mapping in climatic changes conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergonzoli, S.; Servadio, P.

    2012-04-01

    As argued in the Fourth Assessment Report of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in 2007 the global climate is changing and will continue to change in the near future. Due to the changing in time distribution and intensity of rainfall, the available time to carry out soil tillage operations, seedbed preparation and fertilizers distribution is becoming shorter. These issues are worsened by soil compaction that is one of the major problems facing modern agriculture. Soil compaction impedes infiltration of rainfall, so the increasing scale of mechanization might well be responsible for greater runoff, soil loss by water erosion and water-logging. Overuse of machinery, intensive cropping, short crop rotations, intensive grazing and inappropriate soil management leads to compaction. The objective of this research was to study the compacting effect of two wheeled tractors fitted with different type of tires during fertilizing operations with soil water content over field capacity. Field tests were carried out in a farm near Rome (41°52'502'' Latitude (N); 12°12'866" Longitude (E)) in March 2010 on a clay soil (Vertic Cambisol) during wheat fertilizing. One tractor was fitted with very narrow and high aspect ratio tires with mounted broadcaster coded (WTN), the other tractor was equipped with extra large and low aspect ratio tires with trailed broadcaster for a total of four axles coded (WTEL). Immediately after fertilising operations, such effects have been quantified through spatial variation of some soil parameters: soil water content, soil penetration resistance (CI) and soil shear strength (SS). Soil samplings have been carried out on the tracks left by the tractors and on soil not interested by the passage (control). To monitor all tractors passes across the field and to compute the total area covered by tractors tires a DGPS receiver was placed into the tractors; to map soil parameters studied, both on tracks left by the tractors passes

  4. Organic Phosphorus Characterisation in Agricultural Soils by Enzyme Addition Assays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarosch, Klaus; Frossard, Emmanuel; Bünemann, Else K.

    2013-04-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a non-renewable resource and it is a building block of many molecules indispensable for life. Up to 80 per cent of total soil P can be in organic form. Hydrolysability and thereby availability to plants and microorganisms differ strongly among the multitude of chemical forms of soil organic P. A recent approach to characterise organic P classes is the addition of specific enzymes which hydrolyse organic P to inorganic orthophosphate, making it detectable by colorimetry. Based on the substrate specificity of the added enzymes, conclusions about the hydrolysed forms of organic P can then be made. The aim of this study was to determine the applicability of enzyme addition assays for the characterisation of organic P species in soil:water suspensions of soils with differing properties. To this end, ten different soil samples originating from four continents, with variable pH (in water) values (4.2-8.0), land management (grassland or cropped land) and P fertilization intensity were analysed. Three different enzymes were used (acid phosphatase, nuclease and phytase). Acid phosphatase alone or in combination with nuclease was applied to determine the content of P in simple monoesters (monoester-like P) and P in DNA (DNA-like P), while P hydrolysed from myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (Ins6P-like P) was calculated from P release after incubation with phytase minus P release by acid phosphatase. To reduce sorption of inorganic P on soil particles of the suspension, especially in highly weathered soils, soil specific EDTA additions were determined in extensive pre-tests. The results of these pre-tests showed that recoveries of at least 30 per cent could be achieved in all soils. Thus, detection of even small organic P pools, such as DNA-like P, was possible in all soils if a suitable EDTA concentration was chosen. The enzyme addition assays provided information about the hydrolysable quantities of the different classes of soil organic P compounds as affected

  5. Effects of Nitrogen Fertilizer and Harvesting Frequency on Soil Organic Matter Pools Under Switchgrass Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valdez, Z. P.; Hockaday, W. C.; Gallagher, M. E.; Masiello, C. A.; Gao, X.

    2013-12-01

    Intensive agriculture has the potential to reduce soil carbon stocks in the years following initial cultivation, although the magnitude and direction of the effect can vary with ecosystem and management factors. The cropping of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) for biomass shows potential for high yields in marginal lands with low fertilizer inputs, while the extensive root system can act to improve soil quality and sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide in the soil carbon pool. We are investigating the impact of nitrogen fertilizer inputs and harvesting frequency on soil organic matter quantity and quality in a biofuels cropping trial in Michigan. Here we test the hypothesis that harvest and fertilization rate can affect the partitioning of organic matter into different storage pools within the 0-60 cm of soil: roots, particulate organic matter (POM) (density <1.8 g/cm3), and protected organic matter (density > 1.8 g/cm3). Additionally, we use 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study the bulk chemistry (carbohydrate, lignin, lipid, and protein) of the roots and POM. The NMR data also allow us to estimate the relative decomposition of the soil organic matter using a standard decomposition index (alkyl/O-alkyl peak ratio). We use the data to infer the influence of crop management on the mechanisms of soil C storage and mechanisms of stabilization in switchgrass agriculture. Initial results have shown a significant change in carbon stocks at depths between 15-60 cm for the high and low fertilization rates, 196 kg/m3 and 0kg/m3 respectively, although the harvesting time and frequency did not create a substantial difference on carbon stocks. The root bulk chemistry has not shown consistent results among management practices

  6. The effects of soil management on subsoil organic matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregory, Andrew; Coleman, Kevin; Jenkinson, David; Powlson, David; Poulton, Paul; Whitmore, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    Soil management has a clear effect on the organic matter (OM) content of soils in agricultural systems. For instance, grassland soils tend to have a greater OM content than arable soils due to the difference in the management of the surface vegetation between the two systems. Our knowledge of this is largely restricted to the topsoil however, as this is the part of the profile that is most obviously influenced by the inputs and losses of OM. How agricultural management at the surface affects OM contents in the subsoil is rarely considered, let alone understood. We present the state of our current knowledge of the effect of soil management on subsoil OM based on measurements made on soils from some of the established field experiments at Rothamsted Research, UK. We have examined subsoil OM data collected by us and other scientists at Rothamsted representing different timescales: long-term (Broadbalk wilderness and arable, Geescroft wilderness, and Park Grass: 130 years), medium-term (Highfield ley-arable: 40-60 years), and short-term (Highfield and Geescroft reversion: 2 years). Samples to depths of up to 96 cm in the profile were collected from the field experiments periodically between 1870 and 2009 and analysed for C and N. Both C and N increased in soils converted from arable to long-term woodland and grassland throughout the profile. The C:N ratio also increased in comparison to long-term arable soils which suggested either the preferential accumulation of C or the preferential decomposition of N at depth in grassland and woodland soils, or the converse at depth in the arable soils. Small increases in C and N in both long-term grassland and arable soils were also apparent. In the medium-term, differences in the pattern of soil C and N with depth were found, with homogenisation in the cultivated layer in arable and fallow soils and a more gradual decrease with depth in the grassland soil. In general, differences between soils subjected to different management

  7. Implementing agricultural phosphorus science and management to combat eutrophication.

    PubMed

    Kleinman, Peter J A; Sharpley, Andrew N; Withers, Paul J A; Bergström, Lars; Johnson, Laura T; Doody, Donnacha G

    2015-03-01

    Experience with implementing agricultural phosphorus (P) strategies highlights successes and uncertainty over outcomes. We examine case studies from the USA, UK, and Sweden under a gradient of voluntary, litigated, and regulatory settings. In the USA, voluntary strategies are complicated by competing objectives between soil conservation and dissolved P mitigation. In litigated watersheds, mandated manure export has not wrought dire consequences on poultry farms, but has adversely affected beef producers who fertilize pastures with manure. In the UK, regulatory and voluntary approaches are improving farmer awareness, but require a comprehensive consideration of P management options to achieve downstream reductions. In Sweden, widespread subsidies sometime hinder serious assessment of program effectiveness. In all cases, absence of local data can undermine recommendations from models and outside experts. Effective action requires iterative application of existing knowledge of P fate and transport, coupled with unabashed description and demonstration of tradeoffs to local stakeholders.

  8. [Characteristics of soil nematode community of different agricultural areas in Jiangsu Province, China].

    PubMed

    Jiao, Jia-guo; Liu, Bei-bei; Mao, Miao; Ye, Cheng-long; Yu, Li; Hu, Feng

    2015-11-01

    This paper investigated the genus diversity of soil nematodes of different agricultural areas in Jiangsu Province, analyzed the relationship between soil nematodes and soil environmental factors, and discussed the roles of soil nematodes as biological indicators of soil health. The results showed that, a total of 41 nematode genera were found in all six agricultural areas, belonging to 19 families, 7 orders, 2 classes. The numbers and community compositions of nematodes were obviously influenced by soil texture, fertilization and tillage practices. In all six agricultural areas, the numbers of nematodes in coastal agricultural area (400 individuals per 100 g dry soil) were significantly larger than that in Xuhuai, Ningzhenyang, and riverside agricultural areas. While the smallest number of nematodes was found in Yanjiang agricultural area (232 individuals per 100 g dry soil), which might be due to the differences in soil texture, annual rainfall and annual air temperature and other factors. The dominant genera of nematodes were similar in the adjacent agricultural areas. Correlation analysis showed that there was a significant positive correlation between the number of soil nematodes and levels of soil nutrients (soil organic matter, total nitrogen, available nitrogen, available potassium and available phosphorus). Redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated the total nitrogen, available potassium and pH obviously affected some soil nematode genera. The analysis of spatial distribution characteristics of soil nematode community in farmland of Jiangsu Province could provide data for health assessment of agricultural ecosystems. PMID:26915207

  9. Innovations in information management to enhance agriculture: A research perspective

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information management should be the cornerstone for innovative agricultural systems; however, the challenge remains on how to utilize all of the components to enhance agriculture. The enhancement of agriculture is often considered from only a yield perspective. This is an important factor and effo...

  10. The residence time of intensively managed agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, Laura; Cherkauer, Keith; Chiu, Chun-mei; Rahman, Sanoar

    2015-04-01

    Much of the agricultural landscape across the Midwestern United States is intensively managed through numerous surface and subsurface drainage improvements, and the growing extraction of groundwater resources. The relatively recent glaciation of the North Central region means that the landscape is less dissected and hydrologically connected than older till areas. Low topographic gradients and underlying dense till which restricts vertical water movement, as well as kettle depressions, have led to poorly drained soils and extensive wetlands within the landscape. Large areas of this land could only be farmed once the excess water was removed through artificial surface and subsurface drainage. Conventional wisdom in the region maintains that subsurface tile drainage reduces the occurrence of peak flow events by increasing soil water storage capacity. At the watershed scale, this view does not take into account the coincident increase in surface drainage and reduction in residence time in surface depressions. This paper explores to what degree water management and irrigation has changed surface and subsurface water storage and residence time over the last century and how this has impacted flow duration throughout the Wabash River system in Indiana, USA. The effects of subsurface tile drains, wetlands and aquifer storage are explicitly represented within the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrology model. We maintain a focus on the entire Wabash River, a river system of historic importance that is also representative of many similar areas in the till plain region of the agricultural Midwest, which contribute to water quality and flood dynamics of the Mississippi river system. By lowering the water table, surface and subsurface drainage improvements have increased the subsurface storage capacity at the beginning of rain events, but this is overwhelmed by the decrease in surface storage capacity for intermediate to large events, decreasing the current

  11. Agricultural soil moisture experiment, Colby, Kansas 1978: Measured and predicted hydrological properties of the soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arya, L. M. (Principal Investigator)

    1980-01-01

    Predictive procedures for developing soil hydrologic properties (i.e., relationships of soil water pressure and hydraulic conductivity to soil water content) are presented. Three models of the soil water pressure-water content relationship and one model of the hydraulic conductivity-water content relationship are discussed. Input requirements for the models are indicated, and computational procedures are outlined. Computed hydrologic properties for Keith silt loam, a soil typer near Colby, Kansas, on which the 1978 Agricultural Soil Moisture Experiment was conducted, are presented. A comparison of computed results with experimental data in the dry range shows that analytical models utilizing a few basic hydrophysical parameters can produce satisfactory data for large-scale applications.

  12. Water Resources and Agricultural Water Use in the North China Plain: Current Status and Management Options

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Serious water deficits with deteriorating environmental quality are threatening agricultural sustainability in the North China Plain (NCP). This paper addresses spatial and temporal availability of water resources in the NCP, and identifies the effects of soil management, irrigation and crop genetic...

  13. Measurement of nitrogen oxide emissions from an agricultural soil with a dynamic chamber system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roelle, Paul; Aneja, Viney P.; O'Connor, J.; Robarge, W.; Kim, Deug-Soo; Levine, Joel S.

    1999-01-01

    Biogenic soil emissions of nitric oxide (NO) were measured from an intensively managed agricultural row crop (corn, Zea mays) during a 4 week period (May 15 through June 9, 1995). The site was located in Washington County, near the town of Plymouth, which is in the Lower Coastal Plain of North Carolina. Soil NO flux was determined using a dynamic flowthrough chamber technique. The measurement period was characterized by two distinguishing features: an application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer at the midpoint of the experiment and a nontypical rainfall pattern. Average NO flux prior to the application of N fertilizer was 31.5 ± 10.1 ng N m-2 s-1, and more than doubled (77.7 ± 63.7 ng N m-2 s-1) after the application of a side-dressing of N fertilizer. Average soil extractable nitrogen values did not change significantly following application of the side-dressing of N fertilizer. We attribute this failure to detect a significant difference in soil extractable nitrogen following N fertilization to the method in which the fertilizer was applied, the subsequent rainfall pattern, and the technique of soil sampling. NO flux followed the same diurnal trend as soil temperature, with maximum NO emissions coinciding with maximum soil temperature, and minimum NO emissions coinciding with minimum soil temperature. NO flux was found to increase exponentially with soil temperature, but only after fertilization. Due to subsurface irrigation practices employed by the farmer, changes in soil water content were minimal, and no relation could be drawn between soil water content and NO flux. Simultaneous measurements of NOy, NO2, and NO emissions revealed that NO and NO2 emissions represent 86 and 8.7%, respectively, of NOy emissions leaving the soil. Simultaneous NO flux measurements made by a closed box flux technique, at the same site, revealed no statistically significant differences between the two different methodologies for measuring NO flux.

  14. Use of treated wastewater in agriculture: effects on soil environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, Guy J.; Lado, Marcos

    2014-05-01

    Disposal of treated sewage, both from industrial and domestic origin (herein referred to as treated wastewater [TWW]), is often considered as an environmental hazard. However, in areas afflicted by water scarcity, especially in semi-arid and arid regions, where the future of irrigated agriculture (which produces approximately one third of crop yield and half the return from global crop production) is threatened by existing or expected shortage of fresh water, the use of TWW offers a highly effective and sustainable strategy to exploit a water resource. However, application of TWW to the soil is not free of risks both to organisms (e.g., crops, microbiota) and to the soil. Potential risks may include reduction in biological activity (including crop yield) due to elevated salinity and specific ion toxicity, migration of pollutants towards surface- and ground-water, and deterioration of soil structure. In recent years, new evidence about the possible negative impact of long-term irrigation with TWW on soil structure and physical and chemo-physical properties has emerged, thus putting the sustainability of irrigation with TWW in question. In this presentation, some aspects of the effects of long-term irrigation with TWW on soil properties are shown.

  15. The economics of soil C sequestration and agricultural emissions abatement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, P.; Paustian, K.; Smith, P.; Moran, D.

    2015-04-01

    Carbon is a critical component of soil vitality and is crucial to our ability to produce food. Carbon sequestered in soils also provides a further regulating ecosystem service, valued as the avoided damage from global climate change. We consider the demand and supply attributes that underpin and constrain the emergence of a market value for this vital global ecosystem service: markets being what economists regard as the most efficient institutions for allocating scarce resources to the supply and consumption of valuable goods. This paper considers how a potentially large global supply of soil carbon sequestration is reduced by economic and behavioural constraints that impinge on the emergence of markets, and alternative public policies that can efficiently transact demand for the service from private and public sector agents. In essence, this is a case of significant market failure. In the design of alternative policy options, we consider whether soil carbon mitigation is actually cost-effective relative to other measures in agriculture and elsewhere in the economy, and the nature of behavioural incentives that hinder policy options. We suggest that reducing the cost and uncertainties of mitigation through soil-based measures is crucial for improving uptake. Monitoring and auditing processes will also be required to eventually facilitate wide-scale adoption of these measures.

  16. An inventory of trace elements inputs to French agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Belon, E; Boisson, M; Deportes, I Z; Eglin, T K; Feix, I; Bispo, A O; Galsomies, L; Leblond, S; Guellier, C R

    2012-11-15

    The inputs of ten trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, Zn) to French agricultural soils have been assessed. The six main sources considered were: pesticides, mineral fertilizers, animal manure, liming materials, sludge and composts and atmospheric deposition. Data were collected to compute inputs at both national and regional (departmental) scales. The inventory methodology is based on two principles: data are traceable and easy to update. At a national scale, the inventory showed that trace elements inputs can be ranked: Zn≫Cu≫Cr>Pb>Ni>As=Mo>Se>Cd>Hg. Animal manure, mineral fertilizers and pesticides are the predominant sources of TEs. These results are globally in agreement with literature data though atmospheric deposition is shown to be lower than in more industrial countries such as China and United Kingdom where similar surveys were conducted. The inputs of trace elements vary strongly between regions in relation with agricultural activities. This inventory (and the related database) provides basis for developing and monitoring policies to control and reduce trace elements contamination of agricultural soils at both national and regional (departmental) scales.

  17. Effects of long-term soil and crop management on soil hydraulic properties for claypan soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Regional and national soil maps have been developed along with associated soil property databases to assist users in making land management decisions based on soil characteristics. These soil properties include average values from soil characterization for each soil series. In reality, these propert...

  18. Trace metal enrichment in agricultural soils of Jianghan Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, R.; Ying, S.; Daniel, J. N.; Bu, J.; Gan, Y.; Wang, Y.; Schaefer, M.; Fendorf, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Coal consumption in China is increasing annually due to constantly rising energy demand. As a result, a massive amount of coal combustion byproducts, particularly in the form of fly ash, are expelled from power plants and distributed through atmospheric transport. The fly ash is eventually deposited on to land, potentially contaminating agricultural soils. Coal fly ash contains high concentration of a suite of toxic trace metals including lead, chromium, and arsenic. In this study, we surveyed the concentration of trace metals in agricultural soils at 131 sites within a 20 km radius of Yangluo Power Plant, a 2400 MW plant within the highly populated Jianghan Plain of Central China. Using X-ray fluorecence (XRF) spectrometry, the total concentration of trace metals in homogenized surface and subsurface soil samples were measured to calculate the corresponding enrichment factor at each site. Our initial findings demonstrate that Pb is enriched in a majority of sites, independent of land use, whereas As and Cr are generally not enriched in this region. Further studies using Pb isotopes as a source-tracing tool will help determine the Pb pollution's origin. Ultimately, the results of this study may inform whether crops grown within the Jianghan Plain have the potential of being contaminated by metals emitted from coal power plants.

  19. Searsville Sediment Experiment: What is the ideal agricultural soil?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leal, J.; Lo, D.; Patel, N.; Gu, S.

    2014-12-01

    The purpose of this experiment is to decide whether or not the sediment located within Searsville Dam at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is well suited for agricultural soil. By utilizing various combinations of sediment, farm soil, compost, and horse manure to grow basil plants, we underwent an exploratory study in order to better understand what type of materials and nutrients plants can best thrive within. Our general experiment protocol includes watering the crops with irrigation every day while young, and then limiting that water exposure to only Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as they become more established. The basil is growing in pots filled with the different amounts of material, and are arranged randomly to prevent certain plants from getting more sunlight than others. The whole experiment plot is covered with a thin white fabric and secured with bricks and wood to keep out pests in the garden. In order to observe trends in the basil development, plant height and leaf number is recorded once every week. During the third week of the study we performed soil texture tests, and within the fourth week we calculated pH data. We discovered that the sediment our project focuses upon is 10-18% clay and 50% sand which categorizes it as loam, and the Stanford farm soil that serves as our control group contains 20-26% clay and 30% sand so it is a silt loam material. The pH tests also showed an average of 7.45 for sediment, 7.3 for farm soil, 7.85 for compost, and 7.65 for horse manure. By looking at all of the data recorded over the five-week time period, we have so far noticed that the 50% sediment and 50% horse manure combination consistently has the best height increase as well as leaf size and content. The 50% sediment and 50% compost mixture has also performed well in those terms, and is therefore a possibility for the best agricultural soil. However, future lab work conducted by Stanford students to examine the nutrient content of the basil tissue, along

  20. Analytical Results for Agricultural Soils Samples from a Monitoring Program Near Deer Trail, Colorado (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crock, J.G.; Smith, D.B.; Yager, T.J.B.

    2009-01-01

    alpha and beta activity (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division, 1997; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment,1998; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1993). Since these were the identified priority parameters for the biosolids, the soils have the same set of priority parameters. Although the composite soils' priority analytes have been reported earlier to Metro District, the remaining elemental datasets for both the composite soils samples and selected fields' individual subsamples' data are presented here for the first time. More information about the other monitoring components is presented elsewhere in the literature (http://co.water.usgs.gov/projects/CO406/CO406.html). In general, the objective of each component of the study was to determine whether concentrations of priority parameters (1) were higher than regulatory limits, (2) were increasing with time, and(or) (3) were significantly higher in biosolids-applied areas than in a similar farmed area where biosolids were not applied. The method chosen for sampling the soils proved to be an efficient and reliable representation of the average composition of each field. This was shown by analyzing individual subsamples, averaging the resulting values, and then comparing the values to the composited samples' values. The soil chemistry shows distinct differences between the two sites, most likely due to the different underlying parent material. Biosolids data were used to compile an inorganic-chemical biosolids signature that can be contrasted with the geochemical signature of the agricultural soils for this site. The biosolids signature and an understanding of the geology and hydrology of the site can be used to separate biosolids effects from natural geochemical effects. Elements of particular interest for a biosolids signature after application in the soils include bismuth, copper, silver, mercury, and phosphorus. This signat

  1. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Bowles, Timothy M.; Hollander, Allan D.; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E.

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  2. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  3. Short-term soil loss by eolian erosion in response to different rain-fed agricultural practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner, Smadar; Katra, Itzhak; Zaady, Eli

    2016-04-01

    Eolian (wind) erosion is a widespread process and a major form of soil degradation in arid and semi-arid regions. The present study examined changes in soil properties and eolian soil loss at a field scale in response to different soil treatments in two rain-fed agricultural practices. Field experiments with a boundary-layer wind tunnel and soil analysis were used to obtain the data. Two practices with different soil treatments (after harvest), mechanical tillage and stubble grazing intensities, were applied in the fallow phase of the rotation (dry season). The mechanical tillage and the stubble grazing had an immediate and direct effects on soil aggregation but not on the soil texture, and the contents of soil water, organic matter, and CaCO3. Higher erosion rates, that was measured as fluxes of total eolian sediment and particulate matter <10 μm (PM10), were recorded under mechanical tillage and grazing intensities compared with the undisturbed topsoil of the control plots. The erosion rates were higher in grazing plots than in tillage plots. The calculated soil fluxes in this study indicate potentially rapid soil degradation due to loss of fine particles by wind. The finding may have implications for long-term management of agricultural soils in semi-arid areas.

  4. Management controls on nitrous oxide emissions from row crop agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelfand, I.; Shcherbak, I.; Millar, N.; Robertson, G. P.

    2011-12-01

    Agriculture is a significant source of the potent greenhouse gas (GHG) nitrous oxide (N2O), accounting for ~70% of total anthropic N2O emissions in the US primarily as a result of N fertilizer application. Emissions of N2O are the largest contributor to the global warming potential of row-crop agriculture. Management, including choice of crop type and rotation strongly impacts N2O emissions, but continuous emissions data from row-crops over multiple rotations are lacking. Empirical quantification of these long-term emissions and the development of crop- and rotation-specific N2O emission factors are vital for improving estimates of agricultural GHG emissions, important for informing management practices to reduce agriculture's GHG footprint, and developing mitigation protocols for environmental markets. Over 20 years we measured soil N2O emissions and calculated crop and management specific emission factors in four continuous rotations of corn (Zea mays) - soybean (Glycine max) - wheat (Triticum aestivum) under conventional tillage (CT), zero tillage (NT), low chemical input (LI), and biologically (Org) based management. Two of these systems (LI and Org) included winter cover crops, red clover (Trifolium pratense) or ray (Secale cereale). While average soil N2O fluxes in all systems where similar (2.9±0.2 to 3.8±0.5 g N2O-N ha-1 d-1), there was a significant interaction of total emissions with crop and phase. Surprisingly, the lowest total emissions from the corn period of the rotation were from CT, and the highest from LI, with 608±4 and 983±8 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, respectively. Total emissions during the wheat period of the rotation showed the opposite trend, with total emissions of 942±7 and 524±38 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, for CT ant LI, respectively. Total emissions from the soybean period of the rotation were highest under NT and lowest under CT management (526±5 and 296±2 g N2O-N ha-1 crop year-1, respectively). Emission efficiency, N2O emitted

  5. Fine dust emissions in sandy and silty agricultural soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dust emissions from strong winds are common in arid and semi-arid regions and occur under both natural and managed land systems. A portable field wind tunnel has been developed to allow measurements of dust emissions from soil surfaces to test the premise that dust concentrations are highly correlat...

  6. Soil quality impacts of current South American agricultural practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing global demand for oil seeds and cereals during the past 50 years has caused an expansion in the cultivated areas and resulted in major soil management and crop production changes throughout Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil. Unprecedented adoption of no-tillage as ...

  7. A Spatial Data Model Desing For The Management Of Agricultural Data (Farmer, Agricultural Land And Agricultural Production)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taşkanat, Talha; İbrahim İnan, Halil

    2016-04-01

    Since the beginning of the 2000s, it has been conducted many projects such as Agricultural Sector Integrated Management Information System, Agriculture Information System, Agricultural Production Registry System and Farmer Registry System by the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and the Turkish Statistical Institute in order to establish and manage better agricultural policy and produce better agricultural statistics in Turkey. Yet, it has not been carried out any study for the structuring of a system which can meet the requirements of different institutions and organizations that need similar agricultural data. It has been tried to meet required data only within the frame of the legal regulations from present systems. Whereas the developments in GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and standardization, and Turkey National GIS enterprise in this context necessitate to meet the demands of organizations that use the similar data commonly and to act in terms of a data model logic. In this study, 38 institutions or organization which produce and use agricultural data were detected, that and thanks to survey and interviews undertaken, their needs were tried to be determined. In this study which is financially supported by TUBITAK, it was worked out relationship between farmer, agricultural land and agricultural production data and all of the institutions and organizations in Turkey and in this context, it was worked upon the best detailed and effective possible data model. In the model design, UML which provides object-oriented design was used. In the data model, for the management of spatial data, sub-parcel data model was used. Thanks to this data model, declared and undeclared areas can be detected spatially, and thus declarations can be associated to sub-parcels. Within this framework, it will be able to developed agricultural policies as a result of acquiring more extensive, accurate, spatially manageable and easily updatable farmer and

  8. Effect of crop residue incorporation on soil organic carbon (SOC) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in European agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehtinen, Taru; Schlatter, Norman; Baumgarten, Andreas; Bechini, Luca; Krüger, Janine; Grignani, Carlo; Zavattaro, Laura; Costamagna, Chiara; Spiegel, Heide

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) improves soil physical (e.g. increased aggregate stability), chemical (e.g. cation exchange capacity) and biological (e.g. biodiversity, earthworms) properties. The sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) may mitigate climate change. However, as much as 25-75% of the initial SOC in world agricultural soils may have been lost due to intensive agriculture (Lal, 2013). The European Commission has described the decline of organic matter (OM) as one of the major threats to soils (COM(2006) 231). Incorporation of crop residues may be a sustainable and cost-efficient management practice to maintain the SOC levels and to increase soil fertility in European agricultural soils. Especially Mediterranean soils that have low initial SOC concentrations, and areas where stockless croplands predominate may be suitable for crop residue incorporation. In this study, we aim to quantify the effects of crop residue incorporation on SOC and GHG emissions (CO2 and N2O) in different environmental zones (ENZs, Metzger et al., 2005) in Europe. Response ratios for SOC and GHG emissions were calculated from pairwise comparisons between crop residue incorporation and removal. Specifically, we investigated whether ENZs, clay content and experiment duration influence the response ratios. In addition, we studied how response ratios of SOM and crop yields were correlated. A total of 718 response ratios (RR) were derived from a total of 39 publications, representing 50 experiments (46 field and 4 laboratory) and 15 countries. The SOC concentrations and stocks increased by approximately 10% following crop residue incorporation. In contrast, CO2 emissions were approximately six times and N2O emissions 12 times higher following crop residue incorporation. The effect of ENZ on the response ratios was not significant. For SOC concentration, the >35% clay content had significantly approximately 8% higher response ratios compared to 18-35% clay content. As the duration of the

  9. Glucosinolates in collard greens grown under three soil management practices.

    PubMed

    Antonious, George F

    2015-01-01

    Glucosinolates (GSLs, β-D-thioglucoside-N-hydroxysulfates) are polar compounds present in varying amounts in members of the Brassicaceae family. They suppress soil-borne pests due to the biofumigant properties of the highly toxic isothiocyanates present in Brassica vegetables. The objectives of this investigation were to: (1) assess variation in GSLs concentrations among collard plants grown under three soil management practices: sewage sludge (SS) mixed with native soil, chicken manure (CM) mixed with native soil, and no-mulch (NM) native soil, (2) quantify GSLs concentrations in collard roots, leaves, and stems at harvest for potential use of their crude extracts in plant protection, and (3) assess myrosinase activity in soil amended with CM and SS mixed with native soil. Separation of GSLs was accomplished by adsorption on a DEAE-Sephadex ion exchange resin using disposable pipette tips filled with DEAE, a weak base, with a net positive charge when ionized and exchange anions such as GSLs (hydrophilic plant secondary metabolites). Quantification of total GSLs was based on inactivation of collard endogenous myrosinase and liberation of the glucose moiety from the GSLs molecule by addition of standardized myrosinase and colorimetric determination of the liberated glucose moiety. Across all treatments, SS and CM increased soil organic matter content from 2.2% in native soil to 4.2 and 6.5%, respectively. GSLs concentrations were significantly greater in collard leaves (30.9 µmoles g(-1) fresh weight) compared to roots and stems (7.8 and 1.2 µmoles g(-1) fresh weight), respectively. Leaves of collard grown in soil amended with SS contained the greatest concentrations of GSLs compared to leaves of plants grown in CM and NM treatments. Accordingly, leaves of collard plants grown in soil amended with SS could play a significant role in sustainable agriculture as alternative tools for soil-borne disease management in conventional and organic agriculture. PMID

  10. Glucosinolates in collard greens grown under three soil management practices.

    PubMed

    Antonious, George F

    2015-01-01

    Glucosinolates (GSLs, β-D-thioglucoside-N-hydroxysulfates) are polar compounds present in varying amounts in members of the Brassicaceae family. They suppress soil-borne pests due to the biofumigant properties of the highly toxic isothiocyanates present in Brassica vegetables. The objectives of this investigation were to: (1) assess variation in GSLs concentrations among collard plants grown under three soil management practices: sewage sludge (SS) mixed with native soil, chicken manure (CM) mixed with native soil, and no-mulch (NM) native soil, (2) quantify GSLs concentrations in collard roots, leaves, and stems at harvest for potential use of their crude extracts in plant protection, and (3) assess myrosinase activity in soil amended with CM and SS mixed with native soil. Separation of GSLs was accomplished by adsorption on a DEAE-Sephadex ion exchange resin using disposable pipette tips filled with DEAE, a weak base, with a net positive charge when ionized and exchange anions such as GSLs (hydrophilic plant secondary metabolites). Quantification of total GSLs was based on inactivation of collard endogenous myrosinase and liberation of the glucose moiety from the GSLs molecule by addition of standardized myrosinase and colorimetric determination of the liberated glucose moiety. Across all treatments, SS and CM increased soil organic matter content from 2.2% in native soil to 4.2 and 6.5%, respectively. GSLs concentrations were significantly greater in collard leaves (30.9 µmoles g(-1) fresh weight) compared to roots and stems (7.8 and 1.2 µmoles g(-1) fresh weight), respectively. Leaves of collard grown in soil amended with SS contained the greatest concentrations of GSLs compared to leaves of plants grown in CM and NM treatments. Accordingly, leaves of collard plants grown in soil amended with SS could play a significant role in sustainable agriculture as alternative tools for soil-borne disease management in conventional and organic agriculture.

  11. Increasing organic carbon stocks in Swedish agricultural soils due to unexpected socio-economic drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poeplau, Christopher; Bolinder, Martin A.; Eriksson, Jan O.; Lundblad, Mattias; Kätterer, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Management changes can induce significant alterations of soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. Including trends in SOC within a certain land-use category can thus strongly influence the annual national inventory reports for greenhouse gas emissions. In 2013, the European Union has therefore decided that all member states shall report the evolvement of SOC within agricultural soils to increase the incentives to mitigate climate change by improving the management of those soils. Here, we present the country and county-wise SOC trends in Swedish agricultural mineral soils on the basis of three soil inventories conducted between 1988 and 2013. In the past two decades, the average topsoil (0-20 cm) SOC content of the whole country increased from 2.48% to 2.67% representing a relative change of 7.7% or 0.38% yr-1. This is in contrast to trends observed in neighboring countries such as Norway and Finland. We attributed this positive SOC trend to the increasing cultivation of leys throughout the country. Indeed, the below-ground carbon input of perennial grasses is up to fourfold as compared to cereals, which leads to a significant soil carbon sequestration potential under cropping systems with ley. The increase in ley proportion was significantly correlated to the increase in horse population in each county (R2=0.71), which has more than doubled in the past three decades. Due to subsidies introduced in the early 1990s, the area as long-term set-aside land (mostly old leys) also contributed to an increase in leys. This discloses the strong impact of rather local socio-economic trends on soil carbon storage, which also need to be considered in larger-scale model applications. This database is used in the continuous validation process of the Swedish national system for reporting changes in SOC stocks.

  12. Informing Lake Erie agriculture nutrient management via scenario evaluation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scavia, Donald; Kalcic, Margaret; Muenich, Rebecca Logsdon; Aloysius, Noel; Arnold, Jeffrey; Boles, Chelsie; Confesor, Remegio; DePinto, Joseph; Gildow, Marie; Martin, Jay; Read, Jennifer; Redder, Todd; Robertson, Dale; Sowa, Scott P.; Wang, Yu-Chen; White, Michael; Yen, Haw

    2016-01-01

    Therefore, the overall goal of this study was to identify potential options for agricultural management to reduce phosphorus loads and lessen future HABs in Lake Erie. We applied multiple watershed models to test the ability of a series of land management scenarios, developed in consultation with agricultural and environmental stakeholders, to reach the proposed targets. 

  13. Energy Management Lesson Plans for Vocational Agriculture Instructors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hedges, Lowell E., Ed.; Miller, Larry E., Ed.

    This notebook provides vocational agricultural teachers with 10 detailed lesson plans on the major topic of energy management in agriculture. The lesson plans present information about energy and the need to manage it wisely, using a problem-solving approach. Each lesson plan follows this format: lesson topic, lesson performance objectives,…

  14. Mapping and determinism of soil microbial community distribution across an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    Constancias, Florentin; Terrat, Sébastien; Saby, Nicolas P A; Horrigue, Walid; Villerd, Jean; Guillemin, Jean-Philippe; Biju-Duval, Luc; Nowak, Virginie; Dequiedt, Samuel; Ranjard, Lionel; Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Despite the relevance of landscape, regarding the spatial patterning of microbial communities and the relative influence of environmental parameters versus human activities, few investigations have been conducted at this scale. Here, we used a systematic grid to characterize the distribution of soil microbial communities at 278 sites across a monitored agricultural landscape of 13 km². Molecular microbial biomass was estimated by soil DNA recovery and bacterial diversity by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Geostatistics provided the first maps of microbial community at this scale and revealed a heterogeneous but spatially structured distribution of microbial biomass and diversity with patches of several hundreds of meters. Variance partitioning revealed that both microbial abundance and bacterial diversity distribution were highly dependent of soil properties and land use (total variance explained ranged between 55% and 78%). Microbial biomass and bacterial richness distributions were mainly explained by soil pH and texture whereas bacterial evenness distribution was mainly related to land management. Bacterial diversity (richness, evenness, and Shannon index) was positively influenced by cropping intensity and especially by soil tillage, resulting in spots of low microbial diversity in soils under forest management. Spatial descriptors also explained a small but significant portion of the microbial distribution suggesting that landscape configuration also shapes microbial biomass and bacterial diversity. PMID:25833770

  15. Biochar has no effect on soil respiration across Chinese agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoyu; Zheng, Jufeng; Zhang, Dengxiao; Cheng, Kun; Zhou, Huimin; Zhang, Afeng; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Smith, Pete; Crowley, David; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Pan, Genxing

    2016-06-01

    Biochar addition to soil has been widely accepted as an option to enhance soil carbon sequestration by introducing recalcitrant organic matter. However, it remains unclear whether biochar will negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux from soil (soil respiration). The objectives of this study were to address: 1) whether biochar addition increases soil respiration; and whether biochar application rate and biochar type (feedstock and pyrolyzing system) affect soil respiration. Two series of field experiments were carried out at 8 sites representing the main crop production areas in China. In experiment 1, a single type of wheat straw biochar was amended at rates of 0, 20 and 40 tha(-1) in four rice paddies and three dry croplands. In experiment 2, four types of biochar (varying in feedstock and pyrolyzing system) were amended at rates of 0 and 20 tha(-1) in a rice paddy under rice-wheat rotation. Results showed that biochar addition had no effect on CO2 efflux from soils consistently across sites, although it increased topsoil organic carbon stock by 38% on average. Meanwhile, CO2 efflux from soils amended with 40 t of biochar did not significantly higher than soils amended with 20 t of biochar. While the biochars used in Experiment 2 had different carbon pools and physico-chemical properties, they had no effect on soil CO2 efflux. The soil CO2 efflux following biochar addition could be hardly explained by the changes in soil physic-chemical properties and in soil microbial biomass. Thus, we argue that biochar will not negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux in agricultural soils. PMID:26950640

  16. Biochar has no effect on soil respiration across Chinese agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoyu; Zheng, Jufeng; Zhang, Dengxiao; Cheng, Kun; Zhou, Huimin; Zhang, Afeng; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Smith, Pete; Crowley, David; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Pan, Genxing

    2016-06-01

    Biochar addition to soil has been widely accepted as an option to enhance soil carbon sequestration by introducing recalcitrant organic matter. However, it remains unclear whether biochar will negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux from soil (soil respiration). The objectives of this study were to address: 1) whether biochar addition increases soil respiration; and whether biochar application rate and biochar type (feedstock and pyrolyzing system) affect soil respiration. Two series of field experiments were carried out at 8 sites representing the main crop production areas in China. In experiment 1, a single type of wheat straw biochar was amended at rates of 0, 20 and 40 tha(-1) in four rice paddies and three dry croplands. In experiment 2, four types of biochar (varying in feedstock and pyrolyzing system) were amended at rates of 0 and 20 tha(-1) in a rice paddy under rice-wheat rotation. Results showed that biochar addition had no effect on CO2 efflux from soils consistently across sites, although it increased topsoil organic carbon stock by 38% on average. Meanwhile, CO2 efflux from soils amended with 40 t of biochar did not significantly higher than soils amended with 20 t of biochar. While the biochars used in Experiment 2 had different carbon pools and physico-chemical properties, they had no effect on soil CO2 efflux. The soil CO2 efflux following biochar addition could be hardly explained by the changes in soil physic-chemical properties and in soil microbial biomass. Thus, we argue that biochar will not negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux in agricultural soils.

  17. Assessment of the soil water content temporal variations in an agricultural area of Galicia (NW Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mestas-Valero, Roger Manuel; Miras-Avalos, Jose Manuel; Paz-González, Antonio

    2010-05-01

    The direct and continuous assessment of the temporal variation on soil water content is of paramount importance for agricultural practices and, in particular, for the management of water resources. Soil water content is affected by many factors such as topography, particle size, clay and organic matter contents, and tillage systems. There are several techniques to measure or estimate soil water content. Among them, Frequency Domain Reflectometry (FDR) stands out. It is based on measuring the dielectrical constant of the soil environment. This technique allows to describe water dynamics in time and space, to determine the main patterns of soil moisture, the water uptake by roots, the evapotranspiration and the drainage. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the daily variation of soil water content in the root-influenced zone in plots devoted to maize and grassland as a function of the soil water volumetric content. The studied site is located in an experimental field of the Centre for Agricultural Research (CIAM) in Mabegondo located in the province of A Coruña, Spain (43°14'N, 8°15'W; 91 masl). The study was carried out from June 2008 to September 2009 in a field devoted to maize (Zea mays, L.) and another field devoted to grassland. The soil of these sites is silt-clay textured. Long-term mean annual temperature and rainfall figures are 13.3 °C and 1288 mm, respectively. During the study period, maize crop was subjected to conventional agricultural practices. A weekly evaluation of the phenological stage of the crop was performed. An EnviroSCAN FDR equipment, comprising six capacitance sensors, was installed in the studied sites following the manufacturer's recommendations, thus assuring a proper contact between the probe and the soil. Soil water content in the root-influenced zone (40 cm depth in grassland and 60 cm depth in maize were considered) was hourly monitored in 20 cm ranges (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, and 40-60 cm) using FDR. Evaluations were

  18. Soil phosphorus mobilization in the rhizosphere of cover crops has little effect on phosphorus cycling in California agricultural soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    External phosphorus (P) inputs to agricultural soils are needed to replace soil P removed by harvest and maintain soil fertility. Alternative fertilization approaches that maintain soil fertility while reducing P inputs could improve current practices that often result in excessive P application and...

  19. Soil heterotrophic respiration responses to meteorology, soil types and cropping systems in a temperate agricultural watershed.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buysse, Pauline; Viaud, Valérie; Fléchard, Chris

    2015-04-01

    Within the context of Climate Change, a better understanding of soil organic matter dynamics is of considerable importance in agro-ecosystems, due to their large mitigation potential. This study aims at better understanding the process of soil heterotrophic respiration at the annual scale and at the watershed scale, with these temporal and spatial scales allowing an integration of the most important drivers: cropping systems and management, topography, soil types, soil organic carbon content and meteorological conditions. Twenty-four soil CO2 flux measurement sites - comprising three PVC collars each - were spread over the Naizin-Kervidy catchment (ORE AgrHys, 4.9 km², W. France) in March 2014. These sites were selected in order to represent most of the diversity in drainage classes, soil types and cropping systems. Soil CO2 flux measurements were performed about every ten to fifteen days at each site, starting from 20 March 2014, using the dynamic closed chamber system Li-COR 8100. Soil temperature and soil moisture content down to 5 cm depth were measured simultaneously. An empirical model taking the influence of meteorological drivers (soil temperature and soil water content) on soil CO2 fluxes was applied to each site and the different responses were analyzed with regard to site characteristics (topography, soil organic carbon content, soil microbial biomass, crop type, crop management,…) in order to determine the most important driving variables of soil heterotrophic respiration. The modeling objective is then to scale the fluxes measured at all sites up to the full watershed scale.

  20. Biochar soil amendments as a tool for climate change adaptation in PNW agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, C. L.; Trippe, K. M.; Murphy, B. A.; Beovich, A. V.; Griffith, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    Loss of snow pack, changing hydrographs, and increased temperatures and irrigation demands as a result of climate change all threaten to create transformational drought for growers in the Pacific Northwest. One approach for adapting to drought is to improve moisture retention through soil management practices. Recent efforts at the FSCRU to develop on-farm power have produced a biochar from gasification of seed mill waste that may prove useful as a tool for drought adaption. Testing of this biochar revealed that it contains no toxic elements, making it suitable as a soil amendment, and additions of 20 tonnes ha-1 in dryland wheat system showed improved soil moisture and yield increases of 250%. Persistent but weaker impacts were observed in growing years 2 and 3 following the biochar amendments. Here we present results from a series of laboratory and field studies characterizing how grass seed screening biochar, which is produced from a regionally abundant feedstock, impacted soil hydraulic and thermal properties, soil chemistry, and plant growth. Because of the liming qualities of gasified biochar, the greatest growth benefits are likely to be realized in acidified soils, a growing problem in the PNW. Although the persistence of biochar impacts in soil is still unknown, our results indicate that gasified biochar, particularly when utilized as part of a system of on-farm power production, waste reduction, and nutrient recycling, can improve agricultural sustainability in the context of climate change.

  1. A new baseline of organic carbon stock in European agricultural soils using a modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Lugato, Emanuele; Panagos, Panos; Bampa, Francesca; Jones, Arwyn; Montanarella, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Proposed European policy in the agricultural sector will place higher emphasis on soil organic carbon (SOC), both as an indicator of soil quality and as a means to offset CO2 emissions through soil carbon (C) sequestration. Despite detailed national SOC data sets in several European Union (EU) Member States, a consistent C stock estimation at EU scale remains problematic. Data are often not directly comparable, different methods have been used to obtain values (e.g. sampling, laboratory analysis) and access may be restricted. Therefore, any evolution of EU policies on C accounting and sequestration may be constrained by a lack of an accurate SOC estimation and the availability of tools to carry out scenario analysis, especially for agricultural soils. In this context, a comprehensive model platform was established at a pan-European scale (EU + Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Norway) using the agro-ecosystem SOC model CENTURY. Almost 164 000 combinations of soil-climate-land use were computed, including the main arable crops, orchards and pasture. The model was implemented with the main management practices (e.g. irrigation, mineral and organic fertilization, tillage) derived from official statistics. The model results were tested against inventories from the European Environment and Observation Network (EIONET) and approximately 20 000 soil samples from the 2009 LUCAS survey, a monitoring project aiming at producing the first coherent, comprehensive and harmonized top-soil data set of the EU based on harmonized sampling and analytical methods. The CENTURY model estimation of the current 0-30 cm SOC stock of agricultural soils was 17.63 Gt; the model uncertainty estimation was below 36% in half of the NUTS2 regions considered. The model predicted an overall increase of this pool according to different climate-emission scenarios up to 2100, with C loss in the south and east of the area

  2. Future trends in soil cadmium concentration under current cadmium fluxes to European agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Six, L; Smolders, E

    2014-07-01

    The gradual increase of soil cadmium concentrations in European soils during the 20th century has prompted environmental legislation to limit soil cadmium (Cd) accumulation. Mass balances (input-output) reflecting the period 1980-1995 predicted larger Cd inputs via phosphate (P) fertilizers and atmospheric deposition than outputs via crop uptake and leaching. This study updates the Cd mass balance for the agricultural top soils of EU-27+Norway (EU-27+1). Over the past 15 years, the use of P fertilizers in the EU-27+1 has decreased by 40%. The current mean atmospheric deposition of Cd in EU is 0.35 g Cd ha(-1) yr(-1), this is strikingly smaller than values used in the previous EU mass balances (~3 g Cd ha(-1) yr(-1)). Leaching of Cd was estimated with most recent data of soil solution Cd concentrations in 151 soils, which cover the range of European soil properties. No significant time trends were found in the data of net applications of Cd via manure, compost, sludge and lime, all being small sources of Cd at a large scale. Modelling of the future long-term changes in soil Cd concentrations in agricultural top soils under cereal or potato culture predicts soil Cd concentrations to decrease by 15% over the next 100 years in an average scenario, with decreasing trends in some scenarios being more prevalent than increasing trends in other scenarios. These Cd balances have reverted from the general positive balances estimated 10 or more years ago. Uncertainty analysis suggests that leaching is the most uncertain relative to other fluxes.

  3. Biodiversity management of organic farming enhances agricultural sustainability.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haitao; Meng, Jie; Bo, Wenjing; Cheng, Da; Li, Yong; Guo, Liyue; Li, Caihong; Zheng, Yanhai; Liu, Meizhen; Ning, Tangyuan; Wu, Guanglei; Yu, Xiaofan; Feng, Sufei; Wuyun, Tana; Li, Jing; Li, Lijun; Zeng, Yan; Liu, Shi V; Jiang, Gaoming

    2016-04-01

    Organic farming (OF) has been believed to be capable of curtailing some hazardous effects associated with chemical farming (CF). However, debates also exist on whether OF can feed a world with increasing human population. We hypothesized that some improvements on OF may produce adequate crops and reduce environmental pollutions from CF. This paper makes comparative analysis of crop yield, soil organic matter and economic benefits within the practice on Biodiversity Management of Organic Farming (BMOF) at Hongyi Organic Farm (HOF) over eight years and between BMOF and CF. Linking crop production with livestock to maximal uses of by-products from each production and avoid xenobiotic chemicals, we have achieved beneficial improvement in soil properties, effective pest and weed control, and increased crop yields. After eight years experiment, we have obtained a gradual but stable increase in crop yields with a 9.6-fold increase of net income. The net income of HOF was 258,827 dollars and 24,423 dollars in 2014 and 2007 respectively. Thus, BMOF can not only feed more population, but also increase adaptive capacity of agriculture ecosystems and gain much higher economic benefits.

  4. Biodiversity management of organic farming enhances agricultural sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haitao; Meng, Jie; Bo, Wenjing; Cheng, Da; Li, Yong; Guo, Liyue; Li, Caihong; Zheng, Yanhai; Liu, Meizhen; Ning, Tangyuan; Wu, Guanglei; Yu, Xiaofan; Feng, Sufei; Wuyun, Tana; Li, Jing; Li, Lijun; Zeng, Yan; Liu, Shi V.; Jiang, Gaoming

    2016-04-01

    Organic farming (OF) has been believed to be capable of curtailing some hazardous effects associated with chemical farming (CF). However, debates also exist on whether OF can feed a world with increasing human population. We hypothesized that some improvements on OF may produce adequate crops and reduce environmental pollutions from CF. This paper makes comparative analysis of crop yield, soil organic matter and economic benefits within the practice on Biodiversity Management of Organic Farming (BMOF) at Hongyi Organic Farm (HOF) over eight years and between BMOF and CF. Linking crop production with livestock to maximal uses of by-products from each production and avoid xenobiotic chemicals, we have achieved beneficial improvement in soil properties, effective pest and weed control, and increased crop yields. After eight years experiment, we have obtained a gradual but stable increase in crop yields with a 9.6-fold increase of net income. The net income of HOF was 258,827 dollars and 24,423 dollars in 2014 and 2007 respectively. Thus, BMOF can not only feed more population, but also increase adaptive capacity of agriculture ecosystems and gain much higher economic benefits.

  5. Biodiversity management of organic farming enhances agricultural sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Haitao; Meng, Jie; Bo, Wenjing; Cheng, Da; Li, Yong; Guo, Liyue; Li, Caihong; Zheng, Yanhai; Liu, Meizhen; Ning, Tangyuan; Wu, Guanglei; Yu, Xiaofan; Feng, Sufei; Wuyun, Tana; Li, Jing; Li, Lijun; Zeng, Yan; Liu, Shi V.; Jiang, Gaoming

    2016-01-01

    Organic farming (OF) has been believed to be capable of curtailing some hazardous effects associated with chemical farming (CF). However, debates also exist on whether OF can feed a world with increasing human population. We hypothesized that some improvements on OF may produce adequate crops and reduce environmental pollutions from CF. This paper makes comparative analysis of crop yield, soil organic matter and economic benefits within the practice on Biodiversity Management of Organic Farming (BMOF) at Hongyi Organic Farm (HOF) over eight years and between BMOF and CF. Linking crop production with livestock to maximal uses of by-products from each production and avoid xenobiotic chemicals, we have achieved beneficial improvement in soil properties, effective pest and weed control, and increased crop yields. After eight years experiment, we have obtained a gradual but stable increase in crop yields with a 9.6-fold increase of net income. The net income of HOF was 258,827 dollars and 24,423 dollars in 2014 and 2007 respectively. Thus, BMOF can not only feed more population, but also increase adaptive capacity of agriculture ecosystems and gain much higher economic benefits. PMID:27032369

  6. Biodiversity management of organic farming enhances agricultural sustainability.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haitao; Meng, Jie; Bo, Wenjing; Cheng, Da; Li, Yong; Guo, Liyue; Li, Caihong; Zheng, Yanhai; Liu, Meizhen; Ning, Tangyuan; Wu, Guanglei; Yu, Xiaofan; Feng, Sufei; Wuyun, Tana; Li, Jing; Li, Lijun; Zeng, Yan; Liu, Shi V; Jiang, Gaoming

    2016-01-01

    Organic farming (OF) has been believed to be capable of curtailing some hazardous effects associated with chemical farming (CF). However, debates also exist on whether OF can feed a world with increasing human population. We hypothesized that some improvements on OF may produce adequate crops and reduce environmental pollutions from CF. This paper makes comparative analysis of crop yield, soil organic matter and economic benefits within the practice on Biodiversity Management of Organic Farming (BMOF) at Hongyi Organic Farm (HOF) over eight years and between BMOF and CF. Linking crop production with livestock to maximal uses of by-products from each production and avoid xenobiotic chemicals, we have achieved beneficial improvement in soil properties, effective pest and weed control, and increased crop yields. After eight years experiment, we have obtained a gradual but stable increase in crop yields with a 9.6-fold increase of net income. The net income of HOF was 258,827 dollars and 24,423 dollars in 2014 and 2007 respectively. Thus, BMOF can not only feed more population, but also increase adaptive capacity of agriculture ecosystems and gain much higher economic benefits. PMID:27032369

  7. Potential for Recharge in Agricultural Soils of the Mississippi Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perkins, K. S.; Nimmo, J. R.; Coupe, R. H.; Rose, C. E.; Manning, M. A.

    2007-12-01

    Ground water models predict that 5 percent or less of precipitation in the Mississippi Delta region recharges the heavily-used alluvial aquifer; however the presence of agricultural chemicals in ground water suggests more substantial recharge. In a preliminary assessment of the potential for aerial recharge through the agricultural soils of the Bogue Phalia basin in the Mississippi Delta, we applied a method for rapidly measuring field- saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) in 26 locations in cotton and soybean fields. The technique makes use of a portable falling-head, small-diameter, single-ring infiltrometer and an analytical formula for Kfs that compensates both for falling head and for subsurface radial spreading. Soil samples were also collected at the surface and at about 6 cm depth at each location for particle size analysis. Kfs values are generally higher than anticipated and vary over more than three orders of magnitude from 1x10-2 to 5x10-6 cm/s. There is also a correlation between Kfs and mean particle size which may prove useful in generalizing recharge rates over larger areas. A 2-m ring infiltration test is planned that will include the use of tracers and subsurface instruments for measuring water content and matric potential from the near surface to about 5 m to evaluate flow and transport below the root zone.

  8. Soil conservation under climate change: use of recovery biomasses on agricultural soil subjected to the passage of agricultural machinery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergonzoli, S.; Beni, C.; Servadio, P.

    2012-04-01

    Biomass administration is a good practice to preserve the soil fertility in climate change conditions. A test regarding the use of compost derived by wine distillation residues was conducted in the coastal area sited west of Rome, on a sandy soil in continuous cropping with carrot, two cycles per year, with a consequent deep environmental impact. The soil was fertilized with different systems: T = unfertilized soil; F = fertigation 200 kg N ha-1; FC = fertigation 100 kg N ha-1 plus half agronomic dose of compost 4 t ha-1; C2 = double compost dose 16 t ha-1; C4 = quadruple compost dose 32 t ha-1. The functional qualities of the soil, subjected to the passage of agricultural machineries, were determined through the following parameters: bulk density, shear strength, water infiltration rate, organic matter and nitrogen content, cation exchange capacity. At the summer harvest, yield of carrots, their sugar content, firmness and nutrients concentration were determined. The plots only amended (C2 and C4), compared to other treatments, presented lower bulk density (1.36 and 1.28 Mg m-3 respectively), higher shear strength (9 and 8 kPa respectively), as well as increased hydraulic conductivity. In these treatments (C2 and C4), in addition, occurred a higher content of organic matter (0.95 and 1.07% respectively) and nitrogen (0.11 and 0.12% respectively) and increased CEC (541 and 556 respectively) respect to the T treatment that was 521 meq 100g-1. In plots T and F, the organic matter content was reduced at the end of the field test. The yield of carrots increased in FC, C2, and C4, compared to the other treatments. In plots C4, however, morphological changes were induced in approximately 30% of tap-roots, due to the excessive compost dose. In treatments C2 and C4 was observed a reduction of the concentration of Na in the roots, as opposed to the higher concentration of Ca and K and trace elements. The administration of compost has also induced the increase of soluble

  9. Relating management practices and nutrient export in agricultural watersheds of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sprague, Lori A.; Gronberg, Jo Ann M.

    2012-01-01

    Relations between riverine export (load) of total nitrogen (N) and total phosphorus (P) from 133 large agricultural watersheds in the United States and factors affecting nutrient transport were evaluated using empirical regression models. After controlling for anthropogenic inputs and other landscape factors affecting nutrient transport-such as runoff, precipitation, slope, number of reservoirs, irrigated area, and area with subsurface tile drains-the relations between export and the area in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) (N) and conservation tillage (P) were positive. Additional interaction terms indicated that the relations between export and the area in conservation tillage (N) and the CRP (P) progressed from being clearly positive when soil erodibility was low or moderate, to being close to zero when soil erodibility was higher, to possibly being slightly negative only at the 90th to 95th percentile of soil erodibility values. Possible explanations for the increase in nutrient export with increased area in management practices include greater transport of soluble nutrients from areas in conservation tillage; lagged response of stream quality to implementation of management practices because of nitrogen transport in groundwater, time for vegetative cover to mature, and/or prior accumulation of P in soils; or limitations in the management practice and stream monitoring data sets. If lags are occurring, current nutrient export from agricultural watersheds may still be reflecting the influence of agricultural land-use practices that were in place before the implementation of these management practices.

  10. Carbon and Phosphorus in soil particulate fraction: effect of continuous agriculture, tillage and fertilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyngaard, N.; Echeverrıa, H. E.; Vidaurreta, A.; Picone, L. I.; Divito, G. A.

    2012-04-01

    In Argentinean Pampas region, the practice of intensive agriculture has diminished total organic carbon (TOC) content in soil. This degradation process can impact over phosphorus (P) organic fractions associated to it, and therefore limit soil capacity to provide P through mineralization. Along this line, P content in soil particulate fraction (PF) has been proposed as an index to estimate this capacity. The aims of this work were to evaluate (1) the effect of continuous agriculture, tillage and P fertilization over TOC and P fractions content in soil and PF, and (2) the stability of P-PF as a mineralization index. To this end, a long term experiment initiated in 2001 in Balcarce, Argentina, under continuous agriculture, was analyzed. There, two tillage systems - conventional till (CT) and no till (NT) - and two fertilization treatments - nitrogen (N) and N + P (NP) - were evaluated. Phosphorus rate was 30 kg ha-1 year-1. In each plot, the following parameters were determined in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011: TOC, P Bray, total P (Pt), inorganic P (Pi), and organic P (Po) content in the whole soil and in the PF. Also, C supply by residues and P soil balance during the experiment were calculated, and the P sorption capacity was determined in samples from 2011. C supply was greater in CT (7% relative to NT) and in NP (14% relative to N). However, TOC in soil was not modified neither by tillage or fertilization. Even though, C in the PF decreased (3% annually) by the use of continuous agriculture. This reduction was positively associated to the one observed in other soil properties as Pt, Pi and Po in the PF. P fertilization lessened this reduction in Pt (18,9 mg kg-1 in N and 23,1 mg kg-1 in NP in 2011) and Pi (4,2 mg kg-1 in N and 6,2 mg kg-1 in NP in 2011), but not in Po. This indicates that, Po is affected by management practices and, contrary to Pt, is stable to fertilization. Therefore Po can be studied as a potential P mineralization index. The difference among P

  11. Effects of Long-term Soil and Crop Management on Soil Hydraulic Properties for Claypan Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Regional and national soil maps and associated databases of soil properties have been developed to help land managers make decisions based on soil characteristics. Hydrologic modelers also utilize soil hydraulic properties provided in these databases, in which soil characterization is based on avera...

  12. Recycling soil nitrate nitrogen by amending agricultural lands with oily food waste.

    PubMed

    Rashid, M T; Voroney, R P

    2003-01-01

    With current agricultural practices the amounts of fertilizer N applied are frequently more than the amounts removed by the crop. Excessive N application may result in short-term accumulation of nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) in soil, which can easily be leached from the root zone and into the ground water. A management practice suggested for conserving accumulated NO3-N is the application of oily food waste (FOG; fat + oil + greases) to agricultural soils. A two-year field study (1995-1996 and 1996-1997) was conducted at Elora Research Center (43 degrees 38' N, 80 degrees W; 346 m above mean sea level), University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada to determine the effect of FOG application in fall and spring on soil NO3-N contents and apparent N immobilization-mineralization of soil N in the 0- to 60-cm soil layer. The experiment was planned under a randomized complete block design with four replications. An unamended control and a reference treatment [winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cover crop] were included in the experiment to compare the effects of fall and spring treatment of oily food waste on soil NO3-N contents and apparent N immobilization-mineralization. Oily food waste application at 10 Mg ha(-1) in the fall decreased soil NO3-N by immobilization and conserved 47 to 56 kg NO3-N ha(-1), which would otherwise be subject to leaching. Nitrogen immobilized due to FOG application in the fall was subsequently remineralized by the time of fertilizer N sidedress, whereas no net mineralization was observed in spring-amended plots at the same time.

  13. Tylosin-resistant bacteria cultivated from agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Onan, Leslie J; LaPara, Timothy M

    2003-03-14

    In this study we analyzed the numbers and types of cultivable tylosin-resistant bacteria from six agricultural soils that differed with respect to their association with subtherapeutic antibiotic use. The proportion of tylosin-resistant bacteria to the total number of bacteria cultivated was significantly higher (7.2-16.5%) at three sites affected by subtherapeutic antibiotic use compared to three sites unaffected by subtherapeutic antibiotic use (0.7-2.5%). We also detected differences in the types of cultivable tylosin-resistant bacteria. At a site affected by subtherapeutic antibiotic use, we detected tylosin-resistant bacteria from the alpha- and beta-subdivisions of Proteobacteria. In contrast, at a site unaffected by subtherapeutic use, we detected only Streptomyces-like (high-G+C Gram-positive) tylosin-resistant bacteria. Our results suggest a link between subtherapeutic use of antibiotics and the numbers and types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in nearby soil. However, other factors, such as soil type and temporal variation, may have also contributed to the differences observed.

  14. Prehistoric agricultural depletion of soil nutrients in Hawai'i

    PubMed Central

    Hartshorn, A. S.; Chadwick, O. A.; Vitousek, P. M.; Kirch, P. V.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated the fate of soil nutrients after centuries of indigenous dryland agriculture in Hawai‘i using a coupled geochemical and archaeological approach. Beginning ≈500 years ago, farmers began growing dryland taro and sweet potato on the leeward slopes of East Maui. Their digging sticks pierced a subsurface layer of cinders, enhancing crop access to the soil water stored below the intact cinders. Cultivation also catalyzed nutrient losses, directly by facilitating leaching of mobile nutrients after disturbing a stratigraphic barrier to vertical water movement, and indirectly by increasing mineral weathering and subsequent uptake and harvest. As a result, centuries of cultivation lowered volumetric total calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus content by 49%, 28%, 75%, 37%, and 32%, respectively. In the absence of written records, we used the difference in soil phosphorus to estimate that prehistoric yields were sufficient to meet local demand over very long time frames, but the associated acceleration of nutrient losses could have compromised subsequent yields. PMID:16832047

  15. Soil physical quality changes under different management systems after 10 years in Argentinian Humid Pampa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, J. L.; Aparicio, V. C.; Cerda, A.

    2014-08-01

    The Argentinian Humid Pampa extends over about 60 million ha, 90% of which are agricultural lands. The southeast of the Buenos Aires Province is part of the Humid Pampa (1 206 162 ha). The main crops are wheat, sunflower, corn and soybean. The management systems used in the area are: moldboard plow (MP), chisel plow (CP) and no-till (NT). Excessive soil cultivation under MP causes decreases in the soil organic carbon content (SOC). Adopting NT may reduce the effects of intensive agriculture, through the maintenance and accumulation of SOC. However, the soil compaction under NT causes degradation of the soil structure, reduces the soil water availability and reduces the soil hydraulic conductivity. We evaluated the evolution of the soil physical parameters in three management systems. After 10 years of experiments in four farmers' fields, we found that: soil bulk density was significantly higher under NT. The change in mean weight diameter (CMWD) of aggregates increased as the management system became more intensive. We did not find significant differences in time and management systems in hydraulic conductivity at tension (h)0 cm and h=20 cm. The reduction in total porosity under NT is mainly a product of a reduction in the percentage of mesopores in the soil. Time had no statistically significant effect on the SOC content. The management system did not affect the yields of crop. In this work, the results indicate a modification of some soil physical parameters (porosity, near-saturated hydraulic conductivity, soil structure) due to uninterrupted agricultural production.

  16. Case Analysis of Farm Agriculture Machinery Informatization Management Network System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hui; Wang, Xi; Zhuang, Weidong

    In the process of China's agricultural modernization, especially agricultural machinery modernization, in terms of equipment, we've chose the way that foreign imports (and domestic research) with the combination of self-developed, in the software, it is difficult to fully apply this approach, the specific reasons are: the modernization of China's agriculture development model is diversified, it is difficult to find a unified management model, even in the scale of operations of the representative state-owned farms and the abroad farms are also very different management models. Due to various types of growth models of biological complexity, diverse climatic and geographical environment factors, coupled with the characteristics such as long cycle of agricultural production, high input, high-risk, and decentralized management, industrial management mode it is very difficult to apply. Moreover, the application of modern management tools is also difficult to quantify the benefits, leading to the current research and application are in a state of comparatively dropped behind.

  17. Nitrous oxide emissions in southern Poland from agricultural soils under various tillage conditions and from urban soils under strong anthropopression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galkowski, M.; Bartyzel, J.; Zięba, D.; Ciaciek, K.; Nęcki, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    We present the results of field measurements performed at: (i) the agricultural sites managed by Institute of Plant Acclimatization and Husbandry (ZDHAR) in Grodkowice (Malopolska, Poland), and (ii) the urban sites located in Kraków, Poland. For agricultural measurements, several sites have been selected for measurements of N2O emissions during two campaigns - in spring and autumn 2014. The investigated crops were chosen to represent the regional agriculture and included wheat, canola and maize under various tillage conditions, as well as an uncultivated grassland as a control site. For urban environment, measurement campaigns have been performed at the university's campus lawn and at a large urban meadow, both located in the centre of Kraków agglomeration. The sites were chosen to be representative of the urban green areas typical of Central Europe. The static chamber method was chosen to quantify soil-atmosphere N2O fluxes. Chamber enclosures have been performed every 3-5 days, depending on the conditions prevailing at the sites during the intermediate periods. From each enclosure, five 50-ml air samples have been collected for subsequent analysis of nitrous oxide concentrations. Well-established gas chromatography methods, with a precision of a single N2O measurement better than 0.5 ppb were employed. The measured concentrations were then used in a linear emission model to calculate N2O fluxes. Results of agricultural campaigns show large variability of N2O emissions, with maximum fluxes in the order of 120 ng N-N2O m-2 s-1, driven mainly by availability of nitrogen in soil and water. For fertilized sites, largest emissions values were observed several days after the rainfall events. Notable differences between sites under alternative tillage techniques have been observed. Observations at the urban sites revealed significant fluxes of N2O, with average daily values in some cases exceeding those observed at agricultural fields.

  18. Estimating the Soil Thermal Conductivity in a Agricultural Crop Site in Southern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Tamíres; Roberti, Debora; Moreira, Virnei; Silveira, Marcos

    The thermal conductivity is higher when the heat storage is higher and the soil surface temperature is lower. The soil thermal conductivity is also dependant on the soil texture, porosity and moisture. Therefore, it varies from soil to soil and in the same soil, depending on its soil moisture. In the present work, it is shown soil thermal conductivity estimates in a agricultural crop located at the Cruz Alta city in southern Brazil. Also the dynamic of soil heat flux (G) is analyzed and the soil thermal conductivity (Ks) is estimated using experimental data form soil heat flux and soil temperature in a agricultural crop farm in a subtropical location in Southern Brazil. In this specific site, there is a crop rotation scheme along the year. The soil type is Rhodic Hapludox (FAO) or Typic Haplorthox (US Soil Taxonomy), characterized as a deep, clay soil. The experimental soil heat flux was compared with estimated soil heat flux by two forms: (1) using a known Ks from literature for this type of soil; (2) using Ks estimated using the inversion of the equation Qg=-ks* ((T2-T1)/ (Z2-Z1)), where T1 and T2 are the temperature in different layers above the soil and Z2-Z1 is the difference between the positions in temperature measurement. The general results agree with the literature for the specific agricultural crop for Ks values in the current study for the measurement period.

  19. Use of airborne hyperspectral imagery to map soil parameters in tilled agricultural fields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hively, W. Dean; McCarty, Gregory W.; Reeves, James B.; Lang, Megan W.; Oesterling, Robert A.; Delwiche, Stephen R.

    2011-01-01

    Soil hyperspectral reflectance imagery was obtained for six tilled (soil) agricultural fields using an airborne imaging spectrometer (400–2450 nm, ~10 nm resolution, 2.5 m spatial resolution). Surface soil samples (n = 315) were analyzed for carbon content, particle size distribution, and 15 agronomically important elements (Mehlich-III extraction). When partial least squares (PLS) regression of imagery-derived reflectance spectra was used to predict analyte concentrations, 13 of the 19 analytes were predicted with R2 > 0.50, including carbon (0.65), aluminum (0.76), iron (0.75), and silt content (0.79). Comparison of 15 spectral math preprocessing treatments showed that a simple first derivative worked well for nearly all analytes. The resulting PLS factors were exported as a vector of coefficients and used to calculate predicted maps of soil properties for each field. Image smoothing with a 3 × 3 low-pass filter prior to spectral data extraction improved prediction accuracy. The resulting raster maps showed variation associated with topographic factors, indicating the effect of soil redistribution and moisture regime on in-field spatial variability. High-resolution maps of soil analyte concentrations can be used to improve precision environmental management of farmlands.

  20. Patterns and scaling properties of surface soil moisture in an agricultural landscape: An ecohydrological modeling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korres, W.; Reichenau, T. G.; Schneider, K.

    2013-08-01

    Soil moisture is a key variable in hydrology, meteorology and agriculture. Soil moisture, and surface soil moisture in particular, is highly variable in space and time. Its spatial and temporal patterns in agricultural landscapes are affected by multiple natural (precipitation, soil, topography, etc.) and agro-economic (soil management, fertilization, etc.) factors, making it difficult to identify unequivocal cause and effect relationships between soil moisture and its driving variables. The goal of this study is to characterize and analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of surface soil moisture (top 20 cm) in an intensively used agricultural landscape (1100 km2 northern part of the Rur catchment, Western Germany) and to determine the dominant factors and underlying processes controlling these patterns. A second goal is to analyze the scaling behavior of surface soil moisture patterns in order to investigate how spatial scale affects spatial patterns. To achieve these goals, a dynamically coupled, process-based and spatially distributed ecohydrological model was used to analyze the key processes as well as their interactions and feedbacks. The model was validated for two growing seasons for the three main crops in the investigation area: Winter wheat, sugar beet, and maize. This yielded RMSE values for surface soil moisture between 1.8 and 7.8 vol.% and average RMSE values for all three crops of 0.27 kg m-2 for total aboveground biomass and 0.93 for green LAI. Large deviations of measured and modeled soil moisture can be explained by a change of the infiltration properties towards the end of the growing season, especially in maize fields. The validated model was used to generate daily surface soil moisture maps, serving as a basis for an autocorrelation analysis of spatial patterns and scale. Outside of the growing season, surface soil moisture patterns at all spatial scales depend mainly upon soil properties. Within the main growing season, larger scale

  1. Ecological value of soil carbon management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Management of soil carbon is critical to the climate change debate, as well as to the long-term productivity and ecosystem resilience of the biosphere. Soil organic carbon is a key ecosystem property that indicates inherent productivity of land, controls soil biological functioning and diversity, r...

  2. Assessing microbial activities in metal contaminated agricultural volcanic soils--An integrative approach.

    PubMed

    Parelho, C; Rodrigues, A S; Barreto, M C; Ferreira, N G C; Garcia, P

    2016-07-01

    Volcanic soils are unique naturally fertile resources, extensively used for agricultural purposes and with particular physicochemical properties that may result in accumulation of toxic substances, such as trace metals. Trace metal contaminated soils have significant effects on soil microbial activities and hence on soil quality. The aim of this study is to determine the soil microbial responses to metal contamination in volcanic soils under different agricultural land use practices (conventional, traditional and organic), based on a three-tier approach: Tier 1 - assess soil microbial activities, Tier 2 - link the microbial activity to soil trace metal contamination and, Tier 3 - integrate the microbial activity in an effect-based soil index (Integrative Biological Response) to score soil health status in metal contaminated agricultural soils. Our results showed that microbial biomass C levels and soil enzymes activities were decreased in all agricultural soils. Dehydrogenase and β-glucosidase activities, soil basal respiration and microbial biomass C were the most sensitive responses to trace metal soil contamination. The Integrative Biological Response value indicated that soil health was ranked as: organic>traditional>conventional, highlighting the importance of integrative biomarker-based strategies for the development of the trace metal "footprint" in Andosols. PMID:27057992

  3. Ecology and management of agricultural drainage ditches: a literature review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural drainage ditches are headwater streams that have been modified or constructed for agricultural drainage, and are often used in conjunction with tile drains. These modified streams are a common landscape feature in Ohio, and constitute 25% of stream habitat within the state. Management o...

  4. Mitigation of dimethazone residues in soil and runoff water from agricultural field.

    PubMed

    Antonious, George F

    2011-01-01

    Dimethazone, also known as clomazone [2-[(2-chlorophenyl) methyl]- 4,4-dimethyl-3-isoxaolidinone] is a pre-emergent nonionic herbicide commonly used in agriculture. A field study was conducted on a silty-loam soil of 10 % slope to monitor off-site movement and persistence of dimethazone in soil under three management practices. Eighteen plots of 22 x 3.7 m each were separated using stainless steel metal borders and the soil in six plots was mixed with municipal sewage sludge (MSS) and yard waste (YW) compost (MSS+YW) at 15 t acre⁻¹ on dry weight basis, six plots were mixed with MSS at 15 t acre⁻¹, and six unamended plots (NM) were used for comparison purposes. The objectives of this investigation were to: (i) monitor the dissipation and half-life (T₁/₂) of dimethazone in soil under three management practices; (ii) determine the concentration of dimethazone residues in runoff and infiltration water following natural rainfall events; and (iii) assess the impact of soil amendments on the transport of NO₃, NH₄, and P into surface and subsurface water. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometery (GC/MS) analyses of soil extracts indicated the presence of ion fragments at m/z 125 and 204 that can be used for identification of dimethazone residues. Intitial deposits of dimethazone varied from 1.3 μg g⁻¹ dry native soil to 3.2 and 11.8 μg g⁻¹ dry soil in MSS and MSS+YW amended soil, respectively. Decline of dimethazone residues in the top 15 cm native soil and soil incorporated with amendments revealed half-life (T₁/₂) values of 18.8, 25.1, and 43.0 days in MSS+YW, MSS, and NM treatments, respectively. Addition of MSS+YW mix and MSS alone to native soil increased water infiltration, lowering surface runoff water volume and dimethazone residues in runoff following natural rainfall events.

  5. Effects of straw carbon input on carbon dynamics in agricultural soils: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang; Lu, Meng; Cui, Jun; Li, Bo; Fang, Changming

    2014-05-01

    Straw return has been widely recommended as an environmentally friendly practice to manage carbon (C) sequestration in agricultural ecosystems. However, the overall trend and magnitude of changes in soil C in response to straw return remain uncertain. In this meta-analysis, we calculated the response ratios of soil organic C (SOC) concentrations, greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission, nutrient contents and other important soil properties to straw addition in 176 published field studies. Our results indicated that straw return significantly increased SOC concentration by 12.8 ± 0.4% on average, with a 27.4 ± 1.4% to 56.6 ± 1.8% increase in soil active C fraction. CO2 emission increased in both upland (27.8 ± 2.0%) and paddy systems (51.0 ± 2.0%), while CH4 emission increased by 110.7 ± 1.2% only in rice paddies. N2 O emission has declined by 15.2 ± 1.1% in paddy soils but increased by 8.3 ± 2.5% in upland soils. Responses of macro-aggregates and crop yield to straw return showed positively linear with increasing SOC concentration. Straw-C input rate and clay content significantly affected the response of SOC. A significant positive relationship was found between annual SOC sequestered and duration, suggesting that soil C saturation would occur after 12 years under straw return. Overall, straw return was an effective means to improve SOC accumulation, soil quality, and crop yield. Straw return-induced improvement of soil nutrient availability may favor crop growth, which can in turn increase ecosystem C input. Meanwhile, the analysis on net global warming potential (GWP) balance suggested that straw return increased C sink in upland soils but increased C source in paddy soils due to enhanced CH4 emission. Our meta-analysis suggested that future agro-ecosystem models and cropland management should differentiate the effects of straw return on ecosystem C budget in upland and paddy soils. PMID:24395454

  6. Soil water and vegetation management for cleanup of selenium contaminated soils

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-05-01

    Over the past year scientists have initiatived a new effort aimed at developing a soil water and vegetation management plan for Kesterson Reservoir. The plan is intended to result in a gradual depletion of the inventory of soluble selenium at the Reservoir through a combination agriculturally oriented practices that enhance dissipation of selenium from near surface soils. Agriculturally oriented processes that will contribute to depletion include microbial volatilization from the soils, direct volatilization by living plants, decomposition and volatilization of selenium-bearing vegetation, harvest and removal of seleniferous vegetation, and leaching. The benefits of using this integrated approach are that (1) no single mechanism needs to be relied upon to detoxify the soils, (2) a stable plant community can be established during this period so that impacts to wildlife can be more easily evaluated and controlled, (3) cleanup and management of the site can be carried out in a cost-effective manner. The management plan is also intended to facilitate control over wildlife exposure to selenium contaminated biota by creating a well managed environment. The majority of research associated with this new effort is being carried out at a 200 m by 50 m test plot in Pond 7. A two-line irrigation system , providing local groundwater as an irrigation supply, has been installed. Through an intensive program of soil water sampling, soil gas sampling, vegetation sampling, groundwater monitoring, and soil moisture monitoring, the mass balance for selenium under irrigated conditions is being evaluated. These studies, in conjunction with supplementary laboratory experiments will provide the information needed to develop an optimal management plan for the site. 23 refs., 38 figs., 10 tabs.

  7. Crop monoculture rather than agriculture reduces the spatial turnover of soil bacterial communities at a regional scale.

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Eva L M; Guerrero, Leandro D; Türkowsky, Dominique; Wall, Luis G; Erijman, Leonardo

    2015-03-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the spatial turnover of soil bacterial communities in response to environmental changes introduced by the practices of soybean monoculture or crop rotations, relative to grassland soils. Amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was used to analyse bacterial diversity in producer fields through three successive cropping cycles within one and a half years, across a regional scale of the Argentinean Pampas. Unlike local diversity, which was not significantly affected by land use type, agricultural management had a strong influence on β-diversity patterns. Distributions of pairwise distances between all soils samples under soybean monoculture had significantly lower β-diversity and narrower breadth compared with distributions of pairwise distances between soils managed with crop rotation. Interestingly, good agricultural practices had similar degree of β-diversity as natural grasslands. The higher phylogenetic relatedness of bacterial communities in soils under monoculture across the region was likely determined by the observed loss of endemic species, and affected mostly to phyla with low regional diversity, such as Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia and the candidates phyla SPAM and WS3. These results suggest that the implementation of good agricultural practices, including crop rotation, may be critical for the long-term conservation of soil biodiversity. PMID:24803003

  8. Crop monoculture rather than agriculture reduces the spatial turnover of soil bacterial communities at a regional scale.

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Eva L M; Guerrero, Leandro D; Türkowsky, Dominique; Wall, Luis G; Erijman, Leonardo

    2015-03-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the spatial turnover of soil bacterial communities in response to environmental changes introduced by the practices of soybean monoculture or crop rotations, relative to grassland soils. Amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was used to analyse bacterial diversity in producer fields through three successive cropping cycles within one and a half years, across a regional scale of the Argentinean Pampas. Unlike local diversity, which was not significantly affected by land use type, agricultural management had a strong influence on β-diversity patterns. Distributions of pairwise distances between all soils samples under soybean monoculture had significantly lower β-diversity and narrower breadth compared with distributions of pairwise distances between soils managed with crop rotation. Interestingly, good agricultural practices had similar degree of β-diversity as natural grasslands. The higher phylogenetic relatedness of bacterial communities in soils under monoculture across the region was likely determined by the observed loss of endemic species, and affected mostly to phyla with low regional diversity, such as Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia and the candidates phyla SPAM and WS3. These results suggest that the implementation of good agricultural practices, including crop rotation, may be critical for the long-term conservation of soil biodiversity.

  9. Deriving soil function maps to assess related ecosystem services using imaging spectroscopy in the Lyss agricultural area, Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diek, Sanne; de Jong, Rogier; Braun, Daniela; Böhler, Jonas; Schaepman, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Soils play an important role in the benefits offered by ecosystems services. In densely populated Switzerland soils are a scarce resource, with high pressure on services ranging from urban expansion to over-utilization. Key change drivers include erosion, soil degradation, land management change and (chemical) pollution, which should be taken into consideration. Therefore there is an emerging need for an integrated, sustainable and efficient system assessing the management of soil and land as a resource. The use of remote sensing can offer spatio-temporal and quantitative information of extended areas. In particular imaging spectroscopy has shown to perfectly complement existing sampling schemes as secondary information for digital soil mapping. Although only the upper-most layer of soil interacts with light when using reflectance spectroscopy, it still can offer valuable information that can be utilized by farmers and decision makers. Fully processed airborne imaging spectrometer data from APEX as well as land cover classification for the agricultural area in Lyss were available. Based on several spectral analysis methods we derived multiple soil properties, including soil organic matter, soil texture, and mineralogy; complemented by vegetation parameters, including leaf area index, chlorophyll content, pigment distribution, and water content. The surface variables were retrieved using a combination of index-based and physically-based retrievals. Soil properties in partly to fully vegetated areas were interpolated using regression kriging based methods. This allowed the continuous assessment of potential soil functions as well as non-contiguous maps of abundances of combined soil and vegetation parameters. Based on a simple regression model we could make a rough estimate of ecosystem services. This provided the opportunity to look at the differences between the interpolated soil function maps and the non-contiguous (but combined) vegetation and soil function maps

  10. Uranium, Thorium and Potassium concentrations in agricultural and grazing land soils of Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Vivo, Benedetto; Cicchella, Domenico; Albanese, Stefano; Birke, Manfred; Demetriades, Alecos; De Vos, Walter; Dinelli, Enrico; Lima, Annamaria; O'Connor, Patrick J.; Salpeteur, Ignace; Tarvainen, Timo

    2014-05-01

    Two thousand two hundred and eighteen samples of agricultural soil and 2127 samples of grazing land soil were collected with an average sampling density of 1 site per 2500 km2 over an area of 5.6 million km2 across Europe. The uranium concentrations over the survey area vary from <0.1 to 23.55 mg/kg in agricultural soil and from <0.1 to 73.32 mg/kg in grazing land soil, with a median value of 0.77 and 0.74, respectively. The median Th content is 2.89 mg/kg in agricultural soil and 2.5 mg/kg in grazing land soil; the range varies from <0.1 to 63.1 mg/kg in agricultural soil and <0.1 to 55.64 mg/kg in grazing land soil. The median potassium content is 16 000 mg/kg in agricultural soil and 14 900 mg/kg in grazing land soil, with a range between 241 mg/kg and 79,200 mg/kg in agricultural soil and between 241 mg/kg and 50000 mg/kg in grazing land soil. The new data define the soil geochemical U, Th and K background for European agricultural and grazing land soil, providing information of crucial importance to increase our knowledge about 'soil quality' at the European scale. Such data are essential for agriculture, animal and human health, setting of environmental standards, water quality, land use planning and the identification of mineral resource potential.

  11. The impact of land use on biological activity of agriculture soils. An State-of-the-Art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Cerdà, Artemi; García-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2014-05-01

    Biological activity is a crucial soil property affecting soil sustainability and crop production. The unsuitable land management can lead to a loss in soil fertility and a reduction in the abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms. This can be as a consequence of high erosion rates due to the mismanagement of farmers (Cerdà et al., 2009a). However ecological practices and some organic amendments can promote the activities of soil microbial communities, and increase its biodiversity (García-Orenes et al., 2010; 2013). The impact of land use in microbiological properties of agriculture soil are presented and discussed in this review. Biological activity is quantified by microbial soil communities and soil enzyme activities to interpret the effects of soil management practices (Morugán-Coronado et al., 2013). The aim of biological activity tests is to give a reliable description of the state of agricultural soils under the effect of different land uses. Numerous methods have been used to determine the impact of land uses on microbiological properties. The current used methods for detecting microbial diversity are based on molecular techniques centered on the 16S and 18S rRNA encoding sequences such as CLPP: community-level physiological profiles; T-RFLP: terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism; DGGE: denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; OFRG: oligonucleotide fingerprinting of rRNA genes, ARISA: Automated Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, SSCP: single-strand conformation polymorphism. And techniques based on the cellular composition of the microbes such as PLFA: phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Other methods are based on the activity of microbes, for example, Cmic: microbial biomass carbon; SIR: substrate induced respiration; BSR: Basal soil respiration; qCO2 metabolic quotient; enzymatic activities (Urease, ß-glucosidase and phosphatase) (Deng, 2012). Agricultural land management can contribute to increased rates of erosion due to

  12. Overview of engineering and agricultural design considerations of the Raft River soil-warming and heat-dissipation experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Stanley, N.E.; Engen, I.A.; Yrene, C.S.

    1982-04-01

    The engineering and agricultural considerations of the Raft River soil-warming and heat-dissipation experiment are presented. The experiment is designed to investigate the thermal characteristics of a subsurface pipe network for cooling power-plant condenser effluent, and crop responses to soil warming in an open-field plot. The subsurface soil-warming system is designed to dissipate approximately 100 kW of heat from circulating, 38/sup 0/C geothermal water. Summer operating conditions in the Raft River area, located on the Intermountain Plateau are emphasized. Design is based on the thermal characteristics of the local soil, the climate of the Raft River Valley, management practices for normal agriculture, and the need for an unheated control plot. The resultant design calls for 38-mm polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe in a grid composed of parallel loops, for dissipating heat into a 0.8-hectare experimental plot.

  13. Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in Maine Agricultural Soils

    PubMed Central

    Huettel, W N.; Francl, L. J.; Henn, A.; Bourgoin, T.

    1990-01-01

    In a survey of plant-parasitic nematodes associated with agricultural crops in nine Maine counties, 744 soil samples from 26 potential host plants were analyzed between November 1987 and January 1989. The most commonly encountered nematode genus was Pratylenchus, occurring in 85% of the samples from most crops, except blueberries and onions. Pratylenchus penetrans and P. crenatus were found commonly as species mixtures, with P. penetrans composing 40-80% of the mixture. Meloidogyne hapla was encountered in 16% of the samples in four counties, generally in potato rotations. Other nematodes encountered were Aphelenchoides spp., Criconemella curvature, Ditylenchus spp., Helicotylenchus pseudorobustus, H. digonicus, Heterodera trifolii, Paratylenchus projectus, Trichodorus spp., Tylenchorhynchus maximus, and Xiphinema americanum. Potato fields were the most heavily sampled and thus weighted the statewide results. PMID:19287791

  14. Unexpected stimulation of soil methane uptake by bio-based residue application: An emerging property of agricultural soils offsetting greenhouse gas balance.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Adrian; Reim, Andreas; Ruijs, Rienke; Meima-Franke, Marion; Termorshuizen, Aad; de Boer, Wietse; Putten, Wim H. vd.; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2016-04-01

    some residues also increased crop (common wheat; Triticum aestivum) yield. Hence, even if agriculture exerts an adverse impact on soil methane uptake, implementing carefully designed management strategies (e.g. repeated application of specific residues) may compensate for the loss of the methane sink function, while increasing crop production following land-use change.

  15. Phosphorus adsorption and desorption potential of stream sediments and field soils in agricultural watersheds.

    PubMed

    Agudelo, Sandra C; Nelson, Nathan O; Barnes, Philip L; Keane, Timothy D; Pierzynski, Gary M

    2011-01-01

    Phosphorus release from stream sediments into water could increase P loads leaving agricultural watersheds and contribute to lag-time between implementation of best management practices and improvement in water quality. Improved understanding of P release from stream sediments can assist in setting water quality goals and designing stream monitoring programs. The objective of this study was to estimate the relative potential of sediments and soils to release P to stream water in two agricultural watersheds. Stream sediments were collected from banks, pools, riffles, and depositional features. Soils were sampled from wheat, row crop, pasture, and manure-amended fields. Sediments and soils were analyzed for equilibrium P concentration at zero net P sorption (EPC0), maximum P adsorption capacity (P(max)), anion exchange extractable P (P(lab)), and degree of P saturation. Dissolved reactive P (DRP) of stream water was monitored. Stream sediment EPC0 was similar to or less than EPC0 from field soils; however, P(lab) of stream sediments was three times less than field soils. Sediments were sandy and had low P(max) due to low oxalate-extractable Fe and Al, which could be explained by stream geomorphology. Manure-amended fields had the highest EPC0 and P(lab) due to continued inputs of manure-based P; however, conventionally fertilized fields also represented an important P source due to their vast extent. Stream water DRP was similar to EPC0 of sediments during base flow and similar to EPC0 of field soils during storm flow. These results indicate that sediments in these streams are a relatively minor P source. PMID:21488503

  16. Interdependence of soil and agricultural practice in a two - year phytoremediation in situ experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nwaichi, Eucharia; Onyeike, Eugene; Frac, Magdalena; Iwo, Godknows

    2016-04-01

    A two - year plant - based soil clean - up was carried out at a crude oil spill agricultural site in a Niger Delta community in Nigeria to access further clean - up potentials of Cymbopogon citratus. Applied diagnostic ratios identified mixed petrogenic and pyrogenic sources as the main contributors of PAHs. Up to 90.8% sequestration was obtained for carcinogenic PAHs especially Benz (a) pyrene in a 2 - phase manner. A community level approach for assessing patterns of sole carbon source utilization by mixed microbial samples was employed to differentiate spatial and temporal changes in the soil microbial communities. In relation to pollution, soil conditioning notably decreased the lag times and showed mixed effects for colour development rates, maximum absorbance and the overall community pattern. For rate and utilization of different carbon substrates in BIOLOG wells, after day 3, in comparison to control soil communities, contamination with hydrocarbons and associated types increased amines and amides consumption. Consumption of carbohydrates in all polluted and unamended regimes decreased markedlyin comparison to those cultivated with C. citratus. We found a direct relationship between cellulose breakdown, measurable with B-glucosidase activity, organic matter content and CO2 realease within all soils in the present study. Organic amendment rendered most studied contaminants unavailable for uptake in preference to inorganic fertilizer in both study years. Generally, phytoremediation improved significantly the microbial community activity and thus would promote ecosystem restoration in relation to most patronised techniques. Supplementation with required nutrients, in a long - term design would present many ecological benefits. Keywords: Agricultural soils; Recovery; Hydrocarbon pollution; Ecology; Management practice.

  17. Extracting DNA of nematodes communities from Argentine Pampas agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Mondino, Eduardo A; Covacevich, Fernanda; Studdert, Guillermo A; Pimentel, João P; Berbara, Ricardo L L

    2015-01-01

    We examined four strategies (Tris/EDTA, sodium dodecyl sulfate, Chelex 100 resin and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide -CTAB-) for extracting nucleic acid (DNA) from communities of nematodes. Nematodes were isolated from an agricultural area under different management of long-term crop rotation experiment from Argentina during three seasons. After DNA extraction, Polymerase Chain Reaction-amplifications were performed and considered as indicators of successful DNA extraction. The CTAB combined with proteinase K and phenol-chloroform-isoamyl alcohol was the unique successful method because positive amplifications were obtained by using both eukaryotic and nematode specific primers. This work could contribute to biodiversity studies of nematodes on agroecosystems.

  18. Water management, agriculture, and ground-water supplies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nace, Raymond L.

    1960-01-01

    Encyclopedic data on world geography strikingly illustrate the drastic inequity in the distribution of the world's water supply. About 97 percent of the total volume of water is in the world's oceans. The area of continents and islands not under icecaps, glaciers, lakes, and inland seas is about 57.5 million square miles, of which 18 million (36 percent) is arid to semiarid. The total world supply of water is about 326.5 million cubic miles, of which about 317 million is in the oceans and about 9.4 million is in the land areas. Atmospheric moisture is equivalent to only about 3,100 cubic miles of water. The available and accessible supply of ground water in the United States is somewhat more than 53,000 cubic miles (about 180 billion acre ft). The amount of fresh water on the land areas of the world at any one time is roughly 30,300 cubic miles and more than a fourth of this is in large fresh-water lakes on the North American Continent. Annual recharge of ground water in the United States may average somewhat more than 1 billion acre-feet yearly, but the total volume of ground water in storage is equivalent to all the recharge in about the last 160 years. This accumulation of ground water is the nation's only reserve water resource, but already it is being withdrawn or mined on a large scale in a few areas. The principal withdrawals of water in the United States are for agriculture and industry. Only 7.4 percent of agricultural land is irrigated, however; so natural soil moisture is the principal source of agricultural water, and on that basis agriculture is incomparably the largest water user. In view of current forecasts of population and industrial expansion, new commitments of water for agriculture should be scrutinized very closely, and thorough justification should be required. The 17 Western States no longer contain all the large irrigation developments. Nearly 10 percent of the irrigated area is in States east of the western bloc, chiefly in several

  19. Effects of agricultural intensification in the tropics on soil carbon losses and soil fertility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillaume, Thomas; Buttler, Alexandre; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-04-01

    Tropical forest conversion to agricultural land leads to strong decrease of soil organic carbon (SOC). Nonetheless, the impacts of SOC losses on soil fertility remain unclear. We quantified SOC losses in forest, oil palm plantations, extensive rubber plantations and rubber monocultures on Sumatra Island (Indonesia). Furthermore, we assessed the response of biological (basal respiration, microbial biomass, acid phosphatase) and chemical fertility indicators (light fraction of OM, DOC, total N, available P) to SOC losses. We used a new approach based on (non-)linear regressions between SOC losses and the indicators, normalized to natural ecosystem values, to assess the sensitivity or resistance of fertility indicators to SOC losses. Carbon contents in the Ah horizon under oil palm and intensive rubber plantations were strongly reduced: up to 70% and 62%, respectively. The decrease was lower under extensive rubber (41%). The negative impact of land-use changes on all measured indicators increased in the following sequence: extensive rubber < rubber < oil palm. Basal respiration, microbial biomass and nutrients were comparatively resistant to SOC losses, whereas the light fraction of OM was lost faster than the SOC. The resistance of the microbial activity to SOC losses is an indication that microbial-mediated soil functions sustain SOC losses. However, responses of basal respiration and microbial biomass to SOC losses were non-linear. Below 2.7% C content, the relationship was reversed. The basal respiration decreased faster than the SOC, resulting in a stronger drop of microbial activity under oil palm compared to rubber, despite small difference in C content. We conclude that the new approach allows a quantitative assessment of the sensitivity and threshold of various soil functions to land-use changes and consequently, can be used to assess their resistance to agricultural intensification. Therefore, this method is appropriate to evaluate the environmental impacts

  20. Classification and soil moisture determination of agricultural fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandenbroek, A. C.; Groot, J. S.

    1993-01-01

    During the Mac-Europe campaign of 1991 several SAR (Synthetic Aperature Radar) experiments were carried out in the Flevoland test area in the Netherlands. The test site consists of a forested and an agricultural area with more than 15 different crop types. The experiments took place in June and July (mid to late growing season). The area was monitored by the spaceborne C-band VV polarized ERS-1, the Dutch airborne PHARS with similar frequency and polarization and the three-frequency PP-, L-, and C-band) polarimetric AIRSAR system of NASA/JPL. The last system passed over on June 15, 3, 12, and 28. The last two dates coincided with the overpasses of the PHARS and the ERS-1. Comparison of the results showed that backscattering coefficients from the three systems agree quite well. In this paper we present the results of a study of crop type classification (section 2) and soil moisture determination in the agricultural area (section 3). For these studies we used field averaged Stokes matrices extracted from the AIRSAR data (processor version 3.55 or 3.56).

  1. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    PubMed Central

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  2. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil.

    PubMed

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  3. Alternative Agricultural Enterprises. Production, Management & Marketing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Linda Kirk; And Others

    These nine cooperative extension bulletins provide basic information on various alternative agricultural enterprises. Discussed in the first eight bulletins are the following topics: business ownership (sole proprietorship, partnership, incorporation, cooperatives); business and the family (goals, qualifications, ways of ensuring family support,…

  4. 25 CFR 162.201 - Must agricultural land be managed in accordance with a tribe's agricultural resource management...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... and objectives in any agricultural resource management plan developed by the tribe, or by us in close... management objectives for the resources; (4) Define critical values of the Indian tribe and its members and identify holistic management objectives; and (5) Identify actions to be taken to reach...

  5. Implication of soil C sequestration on sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Mondini, C; Sequi, P

    2008-01-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is the largest C stock of the continental biosphere with 1550Pg. The size of C reservoir in the soil and environmental concerns on climate change have recently attracted the attention of scientist and politicians on C sequestration as an effective strategy to tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It has been estimated that the potential for C storage in world cropland is relevant (about 0.6-1.2PgCy(-1)). However, there are several constraints of C sequestration that raise concern about its effectiveness as a strategy to offset climate change. C sequestration is finite in quantity and time, reversible, and can be further decreased by socio-economic restrictions. Given these limitations, C sequestration can play only a minor role in the reduction of emissions (2-5% of total GHG emission under the highest emission scenarios). Yet, C sequestration is still attractive for two main reasons: it is likely to be particularly effective in reducing atmospheric CO2 levels in the first 20-30yr of its implementation and presents ancillary benefits for environment and sustainability that make it a real win-win strategy. These beneficial implications are discussed in this paper with emphasis on the need of C sequestration not only to offset climatic changes, but also for the equilibria of the environment and for the sustainability of agriculture and of entire human society.

  6. The maintenance of soil fertility in Amazonian managed systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luizão, Flávio J.; Fearnside, Philip M.; Cerri, Carlos E. P.; Lehmann, Johannes

    Most of Brazilian Amazonia faces important limitations for conventional agriculture and pastures due to a generally poor chemical fertility as well as the region's environmental conditions, especially high temperature and moisture. Without proper management, degradation of the soil and resulting unsustainability of agricultural and ranching production occur within a few years, leading to land abandonment. Use of perennial crops, especially those based on native tree species, would be instrumental in order to achieve best management such as that which assure recycling processes similar to those in the primary forest. Recommended alternative land uses are those producing high soil organic matter, recycling of nutrients, substantial agricultural production, and economic viability. These include agroforestry systems, enrichment of second growth with valuable native timber or fruit species, accelerated fallow regrowth via enrichment plantings, sequential agroforestry with slash-and-mulch, and diversified forest plantations. Improvement of agricultural soils can be based on lessons learned from the study of processes involved in the formation and maintenance of the rich "dark earths" (terra preta), which owe their high carbon content and fertility in part to high content of charcoal. Adding powdered charcoal combined with selected nutrients can increase soil carbon in modern agriculture. Considering that limitations to expansion of intensified land uses in Amazonia are serious, regional development should emphasize the natural forest, which can maintain itself without external inputs of nutrients. Instead of creating conditions to further expand deforestation, these forests may be used as they stand to provide a variety of valuable environmental services that could offer a sustainable basis for development of Amazonia.

  7. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change and extremes on soil erosion in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preservation of top soil is critical for the long term sustainability of agricultural productivity, food security, and biodiversity. However, today’s growing population and increasing demand for food and fiber is stressing the agricultural soil and water resources. Climate change imposes additional ...

  8. Identification of vulnerable sites in salts affected agricultural soils from South-Eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acosta, Jose A.; Faz, Angel; Kalbitz, Karsten; Jansen, Boris; Silvia, Martinez-Martinez

    2010-05-01

    Soil salinization is one of the main problems in many soils under intensive agricultural practices, especially in arid and semiarid zones. Two important reasons for the occurrence of salinization are i) the use of low quality irrigation water and ii) climatic conditions reducing soil quality. The results of salinization can be quite serious. It limits the growing of crops, constrains agricultural productivity, and in severe cases, leads to the abandonment of agricultural soils. There are mainly two kinds of soil salinity: naturally occurring dry-land salinity and human-induced salinity caused by the low quality of irrigation water, excessive water and fertilizer applications. In both cases the development of plants and soil organisms is limited. Natural occurrence of salts in soils is very difficult to handle and requires higher investments than the reduction of human-induced salinity. For these reasons, identification of vulnerable sites is essential for sustainable agricultural management, especially in these semiarid and arid environments. The main aim of this study was to examine spatial and vertical distribution pattern of salts in a semi-arid study site in South-Eastern Spain in order to identify vulnerable sites. In order to achieve this objective, surface soil samples were collected in January and July 2009 at 48 sites located in a representative lemon production area close to City of Murcia, covering a surface area of 44 km2. The area was divided using a square grid of 1000 m and the samples were taken from these squares. The ionic concentrations were used as the input data for distribution maps. The software used for the spatial analysis was Arcview 3.1. An interpolation method called the Inverse Distanced Weighted (IDW) method was adopted for the interpolation of the data. The results indicated that the concentrations of most anions are higher in summer. The difference was particularly large for chloride, most likely because of its high mobility and

  9. Technological advances to enhance agricultural pest management.

    PubMed

    Miller, Thomas A; Lauzon, Carol R; Lampe, David J

    2008-01-01

    Biotechnology offers new solutions to existing and future pest problems in agriculture including, for the first time, possible tools to use against insect transmitted pathogens causing plant diseases. Here, we describe the strategy first described as Autocidal Biological Control applied for the development of conditional lethal pink bollworm strains. When these strains are mass-reared, the lethal gene expression is suppressed by a tetracycline repressor element, which is activated by the presence of chlorotetracycline, a normal component of the mass-rearing diet. Once removed from the tetracycline diet, the lethal genes are passed on to offspring when ordinary lab-reared pink bollworms mate with special lethal strains. Lethality is dominant (one copy sufficient for lethality), expressed in the egg stage and affects all eggs (100% lethal expression). The initial investment by the California Cotton Pest Control Board is an outstanding example of research partnerships between agriculture industry, the USDA and land grant universities.

  10. Soil fertility management on natural pastures in Eastern Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghambashidze, Giorgi; Jolokhava, Tamar; Kenchiashvili, Naira; Tarkhnishvili, Maia

    2015-04-01

    The development of livestock production in Georgia is mainly based on productivity of natural common pasturelands as it is the cheapest way to keep animals. Therefore it is crucial to manage those pastures in order to supply domestic animals with adequate amount of green grass during whole grazing season. The problems associated with poor grassland management is especially evident under limited rainfall conditions. Usually farmers do not consider suitability of existing stocking rates with pasture productivity leading to overutilization of pastureland causing reduction of palatable plant species and total grass cover stimulating soil erosion processes, which deflates soil nutrients and soil organic matter. Intensification of negative processes may result in loss of soil fertility and poor grass regrowth capacities. Current study aims to evaluate existing grazing system on a selected plots from common pasturelands in Eastern Georgia and to develop a proper soil fertility management plan accepted in organic agriculture taking into account local soil-climatic conditions, pasture vegetation stand and its richness with palatable plant species.

  11. Spatial variation of soil salinity in the Mexicali Valley, Mexico: application of a practical method for agricultural monitoring.

    PubMed

    Judkins, Gabriel; Myint, Soe

    2012-09-01

    The degradation of irrigated lands through the process of soil salinization, or the buildup of salts in the soil, has hampered recent increases in agricultural productivity and threatens the sustainability of large-scale cultivation in critical agricultural regions of the world. Rapid detection of soil salinity on a regional basis has been identified as key for effective mitigation of such land degradation. The ability to detect regional patterns of soil salinity at an accuracy sufficient for regional-scale resource management is demonstrated using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery. A case study of the Mexicali Valley of Baja California, Mexico was selected due to the region's agricultural significance and concern for future soil salinity increases. Surface soil salinity was mapped using georeferenced field measurements of electrical conductivity (EC), collected concurrently with Landsat 5 TM imagery. Correlations between EC measurements and common indices derived from the satellite imagery were used to produce a model of soil salinity through regression analysis. Landsat band 7, TNDVI, PCA 1, Tasseled Cap 3 and Tasseled Cap 5 were found to offer the most promising correlations with surface soil salinity. Generally low levels of soil salinity were detected, however, distinct areas of elevated surface salinity were detected at levels potentially impacting sensitive crops cultivated within the region. The difficulty detecting low levels of salinity and the mid-range spatial resolution of Landsat 5 TM imagery restrict the applicability of this methodology to the study of broad regional patterns of degradation most appropriate for use by regional resource managers. PMID:22744157

  12. Effect of soil type and soil management on soil physical, chemical and biological properties in commercial organic olive orchards in Southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Jose Alfonso; Auxiliadora Soriano, Maria; Montes-Borrego, Miguel; Navas, Juan Antonio; Landa, Blanca B.

    2014-05-01

    One of the objectives of organic agriculture is to maintain and improve soil quality, while simultaneously producing an adequate yield. A key element in organic olive production is soil management, which properly implemented can optimize the use of rainfall water enhancing infiltration rates and controlling competition for soil water by weeds. There are different soil management strategies: eg. weed mowing (M), green manure with surface tillage in spring (T), or combination with animal grazing among the trees (G). That variability in soil management combined with the large variability in soil types on which organic olive trees are grown in Southern Spain, difficult the evaluation of the impact of different soil management on soil properties, and yield as well as its interpretation in terms of improvement of soil quality. This communications presents the results and analysis of soil physical, chemical and biological properties on 58 soils in Southern Spain during 2005 and 2006, and analyzed and evaluated in different studies since them. Those 58 soils were sampled in 46 certified commercial organic olive orchards with four soil types as well as 12 undisturbed areas with natural vegetation near the olive orchards. The four soil types considered were Eutric Regosol (RGeu, n= 16), Eutric Cambisol (CMeu, n=16), Calcaric Regosol (RGca, n=13 soils sampled) and Calcic Cambisol (CMcc), and the soil management systems (SMS) include were 10 light tillage (LT), 16 sheep grazing (G), 10 tillage (T), 10 mechanical mowing (M), and 12 undisturbed areas covered by natural vegetation (NV-C and NV-S). Our results indicate that soil management had a significant effect on olive yield as well as on key soil properties. Among these soil properties are physical ones, such as infiltration rate or bulk density, chemical ones, especially organic carbon concentration, and biological ones such as soil microbial respiration and bacterial community composition. Superimpose to that soil

  13. Landscape patterns and soil organic carbon stocks in agricultural bocage landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viaud, Valérie; Lacoste, Marine; Michot, Didier; Walter, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) has a crucial impact on global carbon storage at world scale. SOC spatial variability is controlled by the landscape patterns resulting from the continuous interactions between the physical environment and the society. Natural and anthropogenic processes occurring and interplaying at the landscape scale, such as soil redistribution in the lateral and vertical dimensions by tillage and water erosion processes or spatial differentiation of land-use and land-management practices, strongly affect SOC dynamics. Inventories of SOC stocks, reflecting their spatial distribution, are thus key elements to develop relevant management strategies to improving carbon sequestration and mitigating climate change and soil degradation. This study aims to quantify SOC stocks and their spatial distribution in a 1,000-ha agricultural bocage landscape with dairy production as dominant farming system (Zone Atelier Armorique, LTER Europe, NW France). The site is characterized by high heterogeneity on short distance due to a high diversity of soils with varying waterlogging, soil parent material, topography, land-use and hedgerow density. SOC content and stocks were measured up to 105-cm depth in 200 sampling locations selected using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling. Additive sampling was designed to specifically explore SOC distribution near to hedges: 112 points were sampled at fixed distance on 14 transects perpendicular from hedges. We illustrate the heterogeneity of spatial and vertical distribution of SOC stocks at landscape scale, and quantify SOC stocks in the various landscape components. Using multivariate statistics, we discuss the variability and co-variability of existing spatial organization of cropping systems, environmental factors, and SOM stocks, over landscape. Ultimately, our results may contribute to improving regional or national digital soil mapping approaches, by considering the distribution of SOC stocks within each modeling unit and

  14. Economic Potential of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions: Comparative Role for Soil Sequestration in Agriculture and Forestry

    SciTech Connect

    Mccarl, Bruce A.; Schneider, Uwe; Murray, Brian; Williams, Jimmy; Sands, Ronald D.

    2001-05-14

    This paper examines the relative contribution of agricultural and forestry activities in an emission reduction program, focusing in part on the relative desirability of sequestration in forests and agricultural soils. The analysis considers the effects of competition for land and other resources between agricultural activities, forestry activities and traditional production. In addition, the paper examines the influence of saturation and volatility.

  15. Equine Management and Production. Vocational Agriculture Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rudolph, James A.

    This basic core of instruction for equine management and production is designed to assist instructors in preparing students for successful employment or management of a one- or two-horse operation. Contents include seven instructional areas totaling seventeen units of instruction: (1) Orientation (basic horse production; handling and grooming;…

  16. Soil Functional Zone Management: A Vehicle for Enhancing Production and Soil Ecosystem Services in Row-Crop Agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Williams, Alwyn; Kane, Daniel A; Ewing, Patrick M; Atwood, Lesley W; Jilling, Andrea; Li, Meng; Lou, Yi; Davis, Adam S; Grandy, A Stuart; Huerd, Sheri C; Hunter, Mitchell C; Koide, Roger T; Mortensen, David A; Smith, Richard G; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Spokas, Kurt A; Yannarell, Anthony C; Jordan, Nicholas R

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM) is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture, and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimeter-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of 'active turnover', optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services); and adjacent zones of 'soil building', that promote soil structure development, carbon storage, and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services). These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown). We present a conceptual model of 'virtuous cycles', illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple goods and services in

  17. Soil Functional Zone Management: A Vehicle for Enhancing Production and Soil Ecosystem Services in Row-Crop Agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Williams, Alwyn; Kane, Daniel A; Ewing, Patrick M; Atwood, Lesley W; Jilling, Andrea; Li, Meng; Lou, Yi; Davis, Adam S; Grandy, A Stuart; Huerd, Sheri C; Hunter, Mitchell C; Koide, Roger T; Mortensen, David A; Smith, Richard G; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Spokas, Kurt A; Yannarell, Anthony C; Jordan, Nicholas R

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM) is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture, and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimeter-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of 'active turnover', optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services); and adjacent zones of 'soil building', that promote soil structure development, carbon storage, and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services). These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown). We present a conceptual model of 'virtuous cycles', illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple goods and services in

  18. Soil Functional Zone Management: A Vehicle for Enhancing Production and Soil Ecosystem Services in Row-Crop Agroecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Alwyn; Kane, Daniel A.; Ewing, Patrick M.; Atwood, Lesley W.; Jilling, Andrea; Li, Meng; Lou, Yi; Davis, Adam S.; Grandy, A. Stuart; Huerd, Sheri C.; Hunter, Mitchell C.; Koide, Roger T.; Mortensen, David A.; Smith, Richard G.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Spokas, Kurt A.; Yannarell, Anthony C.; Jordan, Nicholas R.

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM) is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture, and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimeter-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of ‘active turnover’, optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services); and adjacent zones of ‘soil building’, that promote soil structure development, carbon storage, and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services). These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown). We present a conceptual model of ‘virtuous cycles’, illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple goods and services

  19. Site-specific management of soil pH and nutrients in blueberry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Site-specific management of soil pH and fertilizers is one of the most promising strategies in precision agriculture and is potentially applicable to many horticultural crops, including blueberry. Unlike most fruit crops, blueberry is adapted to low soil pH conditions in the range of 4-5.5 and has ...

  20. Ammonia- and methane-oxidizing microorganisms in high-altitude wetland sediments and adjacent agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yuyin; Shan, Jingwen; Zhang, Jingxu; Zhang, Xiaoling; Xie, Shuguang; Liu, Yong

    2014-12-01

    Ammonia oxidation is known to be carried out by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA), while methanotrophs (methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB)) play an important role in mitigating methane emissions from the environment. However, the difference of AOA, AOB, and MOB distribution in wetland sediment and adjacent upland soil remains unclear. The present study investigated the abundances and community structures of AOA, AOB, and MOB in sediments of a high-altitude freshwater wetland in Yunnan Province (China) and adjacent agricultural soils. Variations of AOA, AOB, and MOB community sizes and structures were found in water lily-vegetated and Acorus calamus-vegetated sediments and agricultural soils (unflooded rice soil, cabbage soil, and garlic soil and flooded rice soil). AOB community size was higher than AOA in agricultural soils and lily-vegetated sediment, but lower in A. calamus-vegetated sediment. MOB showed a much higher abundance than AOA and AOB. Flooded rice soil had the largest AOA, AOB, and MOB community sizes. Principal coordinate analyses and Jackknife Environment Clusters analyses suggested that unflooded and flooded rice soils had relatively similar AOA, AOB, and MOB structures. Cabbage soil and A. calamus-vegetated sediment had relatively similar AOA and AOB structures, but their MOB structures showed a large difference. Nitrososphaera-like microorganisms were the predominant AOA species in garlic soil but were present with a low abundance in unflooded rice soil and cabbage soil. Nitrosospira-like AOB were dominant in wetland sediments and agricultural soils. Type I MOB Methylocaldum and type II MOB Methylocystis were dominant in wetland sediments and agricultural soils. Moreover, Pearson's correlation analysis indicated that AOA Shannon diversity was positively correlated with the ratio of organic carbon to nitrogen (p < 0.05). This work could provide some new insights toward ammonia and methane oxidation in soil and wetland sediment

  1. Effectiveness of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion processes in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chikwari, Emmanuel; Mhaka, Luke; Gwandu, Tariro; Chipangura, Tafadzwa; Misi Manyanga, Amos; Sabastian Matsenyengwa, Nyasha; Rabesiranana, Naivo; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - The application of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) in soil erosion and redistribution studies has gained popularity since the late 1980s. In Zimbabwe, soil erosion research was mostly based on conventional methods which included the use of erosion plots for quantitative measurements and erosion models for predicting soil losses. Only limited investigation to explore the possibility of using Caesium-137 (Cs-137) has been reported in the early 1990s for undisturbed and cultivated lands in Zimbabwe. In this study, the Cs-137 technique was applied to assess the impact of soil conservation practices on soil losses and to develop strategies and support effective policies that help farmers in Zimbabwe for sustainable land management. The study was carried out at the Makoholi research station 30 km north of the Masvingo region which is located 260 km south of Harare. The area is semi-arid and the study site comprises coarse loamy sands, gleyic lixisols. The conservation agriculture (CA) practices used within the area since 1988 include (i) direct seeding (DS) with mulch, (ii) CA basins with mulch, and (iii) 18 years direct seeding, left fallow for seven years and turned into conventional tillage since 2012 (DS/F/C). The Cs-137 reference inventory was established at 214 ± 16 Bq/m2. The mean inventories for DS, CA basins and DS/F/C were 195, 190 and 214 Bq/m2 respectively. Using the conversion Mass Balance Model 2 on the Cs-137 data obtained along transects for each of the practices, gross erosion rates were found to be 7.5, 7.3 and 2.6 t/ha/yr for direct seeding, CA basins and the DS/F/C while the net erosion rates were found to be 3.8, 4.6 and 0 t/ha/yr respectively. Sediment delivery ratios were 50%, 63% and 2% in the respective order. These preliminary results showed the effectiveness of DS over CA basins in erosion control. The efficiency of fallowing in controlling excessive soil loss was significant in the plot that started as DS for 18 years but left fallow for 7

  2. Hydrological controls on heterotrophic soil respiration across an agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water availability is an important determinant of variation in soil respiration, but a consistent relationship between soil water and the relative flux rate of carbon dioxide across different soil types remains elusive. Using large undisturbed soil columns (N = 12), we evaluated soil water controls...

  3. Pesticide fate modeling in soils with the crop model STICS: Feasibility for assessment of agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Queyrel, Wilfried; Habets, Florence; Blanchoud, Hélène; Ripoche, Dominique; Launay, Marie

    2016-01-15

    Numerous pesticide fate models are available, but few of them are able to take into account specific agricultural practices, such as catch crop, mixing crops or tillage in their predictions. In order to better integrate crop management and crop growth in the simulation of diffuse agricultural pollutions, and to manage both pesticide and nitrogen pollution, a pesticide fate module was implemented in the crop model STICS. The objectives of the study were: (i) to implement a pesticide fate module in the crop model STICS; (ii) to evaluate the model performance using experimental data from three sites with different pedoclimatic contexts, one in The Netherlands and two in northern France; (iii) to compare the simulations with several pesticide fate models; and (iv) to test the impact of specific agricultural practices on the transfer of the dissolved fraction of pesticides. The evaluations were carried out with three herbicides: bentazone, isoproturon, and atrazine. The strategy applied in this study relies on a noncalibration approach and sensitivity test to assess the operating limits of the model. To this end, the evaluation was performed with default values found in the literature and completed by sensitivity tests. The extended version of the STICS named STICS-Pest, shows similar results with other pesticide fate models widely used in the literature. Moreover, STICS-Pest was able to estimate realistic crop growth and catch crop dynamic, which thus illustrate agricultural practices leading to a reduction of nitrate and a change in pesticide leaching. The dynamic plot-scale model, STICS-Pest is able to simulate nitrogen and pesticide fluxes, when the hydrologic context is in the validity range of the reservoir (or capacity) model. According to these initial results, the model may be a relevant tool for studying the effect of long-term agricultural practices on pesticide residue dynamics in soil and the associated diffuse pollution transfer.