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Sample records for agricultural soil management

  1. Agricultural management explains historic changes in regional soil carbon stocks

    PubMed Central

    van Wesemael, Bas; Paustian, Keith; Meersmans, Jeroen; Goidts, Esther; Barancikova, Gabriela; Easter, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Agriculture is considered to be among the economic sectors having the greatest greenhouse gas mitigation potential, largely via soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. However, it remains a challenge to accurately quantify SOC stock changes at regional to national scales. SOC stock changes resulting from SOC inventory systems are only available for a few countries and the trends vary widely between studies. Process-based models can provide insight in the drivers of SOC changes, but accurate input data are currently not available at these spatial scales. Here we use measurements from a soil inventory dating from the 1960s and resampled in 2006 covering the major soil types and agricultural regions in Belgium together with region-specific land use and management data and a process-based model. The largest decreases in SOC stocks occurred in poorly drained grassland soils (clays and floodplain soils), consistent with drainage improvements since 1960. Large increases in SOC in well drained grassland soils appear to be a legacy effect of widespread conversion of cropland to grassland before 1960. SOC in cropland increased only in sandy lowland soils, driven by increasing manure additions. Modeled land use and management impacts accounted for more than 70% of the variation in observed SOC changes, and no bias could be demonstrated. There was no significant effect of climate trends since 1960 on observed SOC changes. SOC monitoring networks are being established in many countries. Our results demonstrate that detailed and long-term land management data are crucial to explain the observed SOC changes for such networks. PMID:20679194

  2. Agricultural management explains historic changes in regional soil carbon stocks.

    PubMed

    van Wesemael, Bas; Paustian, Keith; Meersmans, Jeroen; Goidts, Esther; Barancikova, Gabriela; Easter, Mark

    2010-08-17

    Agriculture is considered to be among the economic sectors having the greatest greenhouse gas mitigation potential, largely via soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. However, it remains a challenge to accurately quantify SOC stock changes at regional to national scales. SOC stock changes resulting from SOC inventory systems are only available for a few countries and the trends vary widely between studies. Process-based models can provide insight in the drivers of SOC changes, but accurate input data are currently not available at these spatial scales. Here we use measurements from a soil inventory dating from the 1960s and resampled in 2006 covering the major soil types and agricultural regions in Belgium together with region-specific land use and management data and a process-based model. The largest decreases in SOC stocks occurred in poorly drained grassland soils (clays and floodplain soils), consistent with drainage improvements since 1960. Large increases in SOC in well drained grassland soils appear to be a legacy effect of widespread conversion of cropland to grassland before 1960. SOC in cropland increased only in sandy lowland soils, driven by increasing manure additions. Modeled land use and management impacts accounted for more than 70% of the variation in observed SOC changes, and no bias could be demonstrated. There was no significant effect of climate trends since 1960 on observed SOC changes. SOC monitoring networks are being established in many countries. Our results demonstrate that detailed and long-term land management data are crucial to explain the observed SOC changes for such networks.

  3. 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

  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. A soil quality and metabolic activity assessment after fifty-seven years of agricultural management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality assessment is a proactive process for understanding the long-term effects of soil and crop management practices within agricultural watersheds. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of management on the soil quality in fields with 57 yrs of known management history. The f...

  6. 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

  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 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...

  11. Bacterial Indicator of Agricultural Management for Soil under No-Till Crop Production

    PubMed Central

    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

  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. Predicting agricultural management influence on long-term soil organic carbon dynamics: implications for biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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,...

  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. 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.

  17. Acidobacterial community responses to agricultural management of soybean in Amazon forest soils.

    PubMed

    Navarrete, Acácio A; Kuramae, Eiko E; de Hollander, Mattias; Pijl, Agata S; van Veen, Johannes A; Tsai, Siu M

    2013-03-01

    This study focused on the impact of land-use changes and agricultural management of soybean in Amazon forest soils on the abundance and composition of the acidobacterial community. Quantitative real-time PCR (q-PCR) assays and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene were applied to study the acidobacterial community in bulk soil samples from soybean croplands and adjacent native forests, and mesocosm soil samples from soybean rhizosphere. Based on qPCR measurements, Acidobacteria accounted for 23% in forest soils, 18% in cropland soils, and 14% in soybean rhizosphere of the total bacterial signals. From the 16S rRNA gene sequences of Bacteria domain, the phylum Acidobacteria represented 28% of the sequences from forest soils, 16% from cropland soils, and 17% from soybean rhizosphere. Acidobacteria subgroups 1-8, 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 responded to decrease in soil aluminum. Subgroups 6 and 7 responded to high content of soil Ca, Mg, Mn, and B. These results showed a differential response of the Acidobacteria subgroups to abiotic soil factors, and open the possibilities to explore acidobacterial subgroups as early-warning bioindicators of agricultural soil management effects in the Amazon area.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Agriculture: Soils

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Productive soils, a favorable climate, and clean and abundant water resources are essential for growing crops, raising livestock, and for ecosystems to continue to provide the critical provisioning services that humans need.

  2. Sustainable agriculture, soil management and erosion from prehistoric times to 2100

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanwalleghem, Tom; Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Infante Amate, Juan; González Molina, Manuel; Fernández, David Soto; Guzmán, Gema; Vanderlinden, Karl; Laguna, Ana; Giráldez, Juan Vicente

    2015-04-01

    The rational use of soil requires the selection of management practices to take profit of the beneficial functions of plant growth, water and nutrient storage, and pollutants removal by filtering and decomposition without altering its properties. However, the first evidence of important and widespread erosion peaks can generally be found with the arrival of the first farmers all over the world. In areas with a long land-use history such as the Mediterranean, clear signs indicating the advanced degradation status of the landscape, such as heavily truncated soils, are visible throughout. Soil conservation practices are then aimed at reducing erosion to geological rates, in equilibrium with long-term soil formation rates, while maximizing agricultural production. The adoption of such practices in most areas of the world are as old as the earliest soil erosion episodes themselves. This work firstly reviews historical evidence linking soil management and soil erosion intensity, with examples from N Europe and the Mediterranean. In particular, work by the authors in olive orchards will be presented that shows how significant variations in soil erosion rates between could be linked to the historical soil management. The potential of historical documents for calibrating a soil erosion model is shown as the model, in this case RUSLE-based and combining tillage and water erosion, adequately represents the measured erosion rate dynamics. Secondly, results from present-day, long-term farm experiments in the EU are reviewed to evaluate the effect of different soil management practices on physical soil properties, such as bulk density, penetration resistance, aggregate stability, runoff coefficient or sediment yield. Finally, we reflect upon model and field data that indicate how future global climate change is expected to affect soil management and erosion and how the examples used above hold clues about sustainable historical management practices that can be used successfully

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. Impact of agricultural management practices on soil organic carbon: simulation of Australian wheat systems.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Gang; Bryan, Brett A; King, Darran; Luo, Zhongkui; Wang, Enli; Song, Xiaodong; Yu, Qiang

    2013-05-01

    Quantifying soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics at a high spatial and temporal resolution in response to different agricultural management practices and environmental conditions can help identify practices that both sequester carbon in the soil and sustain agricultural productivity. Using an agricultural systems model (the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator), we conducted a high spatial resolution and long-term (122 years) simulation study to identify the key management practices and environmental variables influencing SOC dynamics in a continuous wheat cropping system in Australia's 96 million ha cereal-growing regions. Agricultural practices included five nitrogen application rates (0-200 kg N ha(-1) in 50 kg N ha(-1) increments), five residue removal rates (0-100% in 25% increments), and five residue incorporation rates (0-100% in 25% increments). We found that the change in SOC during the 122-year simulation was influenced by the management practices of residue removal (linearly negative) and fertilization (nonlinearly positive) - and the environmental variables of initial SOC content (linearly negative) and temperature (nonlinearly negative). The effects of fertilization were strongest at rates up to 50 kg N ha(-1) , and the effects of temperature were strongest where mean annual temperatures exceeded 19 °C. Reducing residue removal and increasing fertilization increased SOC in most areas except Queensland where high rates of SOC decomposition caused by high temperature and soil moisture negated these benefits. Management practices were particularly effective in increasing SOC in south-west Western Australia - an area with low initial SOC. The results can help target agricultural management practices for increasing SOC in the context of local environmental conditions, enabling farmers to contribute to climate change mitigation and sustaining agricultural production.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

    2016-04-22

    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.

  13. 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

  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. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Agricultural management and labile carbon additions affect soil microbial community structure and interact with carbon and nitrogen cycling.

    PubMed

    Berthrong, Sean T; Buckley, Daniel H; Drinkwater, Laurie E

    2013-07-01

    We investigated how conversion from conventional agriculture to organic management affected the structure and biogeochemical function of soil microbial communities. We hypothesized the following. (1) Changing agricultural management practices will alter soil microbial community structure driven by increasing microbial diversity in organic management. (2) Organically managed soil microbial communities will mineralize more N and will also mineralize more N in response to substrate addition than conventionally managed soil communities. (3) Microbial communities under organic management will be more efficient and respire less added C. Soils from organically and conventionally managed agroecosystems were incubated with and without glucose ((13)C) additions at constant soil moisture. We extracted soil genomic DNA before and after incubation for TRFLP community fingerprinting of soil bacteria and fungi. We measured soil C and N pools before and after incubation, and we tracked total C respired and N mineralized at several points during the incubation. Twenty years of organic management altered soil bacterial and fungal community structure compared to continuous conventional management with the bacterial differences caused primarily by a large increase in diversity. Organically managed soils mineralized twice as much NO3 (-) as conventionally managed ones (44 vs. 23 μg N/g soil, respectively) and increased mineralization when labile C was added. There was no difference in respiration, but organically managed soils had larger pools of C suggesting greater efficiency in terms of respiration per unit soil C. These results indicate that the organic management induced a change in community composition resulting in a more diverse community with enhanced activity towards labile substrates and greater capacity to mineralize N.

  3. Immobilizer-assisted management of metal-contaminated agricultural soils for safer food production.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kwon-Rae; Kim, Jeong-Gyu; Park, Jeong-Sik; Kim, Min-Suk; Owens, Gary; Youn, Gyu-Hoon; Lee, Jin-Su

    2012-07-15

    Production of food crops on metal contaminated agricultural soils is of concern because consumers are potentially exposed to hazardous metals via dietary intake of such crops or crop derived products. Therefore, the current study was conducted to develop management protocols for crop cultivation to allow safer food production. Metal uptake, as influenced by pH change-induced immobilizing agents (dolomite, steel slag, and agricultural lime) and sorption agents (zeolite and compost), was monitored in three common plants representative of leafy (Chinese cabbage), root (spring onion) and fruit (red pepper) vegetables, in a field experiment. The efficiency of the immobilizing agents was assessed by their ability to decrease the phytoavailability of metals (Cd, Pb, and Zn). The fruit vegetable (red pepper) showed the least accumulation of Cd (0.16-0.29 mgkg(-1) DW) and Pb (0.2-0.9 mgkg(-1) DW) in edible parts regardless of treatment, indicating selection of low metal accumulating crops was a reasonable strategy for safer food production. However, safer food production was more likely to be achievable by combining crop selection with immobilizing agent amendment of soils. Among the immobilizing agents, pH change-induced immobilizers were more effective than sorption agents, showing decreases in Cd and Pb concentrations in each plant well below standard limits. The efficiency of pH change-induced immobilizers was also comparable to reductions obtained by 'clean soil cover' where the total metal concentrations of the plow layer was reduced via capping the surface with uncontaminated soil, implying that pH change-induced immobilizers can be practically applied to metal contaminated agricultural soils for safer food production.

  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 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  16. Monitoring changes in soil organic carbon pools, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur under different agricultural management practices in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Verma, Bibhash C; Datta, Siba Prasad; Rattan, Raj K; Singh, Anil K

    2010-12-01

    Soil organic matter not only affects sustainability of agricultural ecosystems, but also extremely important in maintaining overall quality of environment as soil contains a significant part of global carbon stock. Hence, we attempted to assess the influence of different tillage and nutrient management practices on various stabilized and active soil organic carbon pools, and their contribution to the extractable nitrogen phosphorus and sulfur. Our study confined to the assessment of impact of agricultural management practices on the soil organic carbon pools and extractable nutrients under three important cropping systems, viz. soybean-wheat, maize-wheat, and rice-wheat. Results indicated that there was marginal improvement in Walkley and Black content in soil under integrated and organic nutrient management treatments in soybean-wheat, maize-wheat, and rice-wheat after completion of four cropping cycles. Improvement in stabilized pools of soil organic carbon (SOC) was not proportional to the applied amount of organic manures. While, labile pools of SOC were increased with the increase in amount of added manures. Apparently, green manure (Sesbania) was more effective in enhancing the lability of SOC as compared to farmyard manure and crop residues. The KMnO(4)-oxidizable SOC proved to be more sensitive and consistent as an index of labile pool of SOC compared to microbial biomass carbon. Under different cropping sequences, labile fractions of soil organic carbon exerted consistent positive effect on the extractable nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in soil.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Influence of Inorganic Nitrogen Management Regime on the Diversity of Nitrite-Oxidizing Bacteria in Agricultural Grassland Soils

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

    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. PMID:16332819

  2. Impact of agricultural land management systems on soil microbial diversity and plant disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased diversity of fungal rDNA ITS-1 amplicons, as measured by the Shannon-Weiner index, was associated with land management practices that minimise soil disturbance (bahiagrass pasture and undisturbed weed fallow) when compared with organic or conventional land management systems. Diversity de...

  3. Estimating Changes in Soil Organic Carbon Under Selected Agriculture Residue and Fertilizer Management Practices with the Community Land Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drewniak, B. A.; Prell, J.; Kotamarthi, V. R.; Song, J.

    2010-12-01

    Bioenergy from biofuels is becoming an increasingly important component of renewable energy, but generating biofuels from primarily agricultural resources can put tremendous strain on land and water resources, including impacts on soil carbon storage. In order to evaluate the influence of cultivation on the terrestrial carbon cycle, we have integrated agriculture representation into the coupled carbon-nitrogen Community Land Model (CLM-CN) framework through the addition of three new plant functional types: maize, soybean, and spring wheat. The new model, CLM-Crop is validated against observations from two AmeriFlux sites for carbon fluxes. We estimate changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) through several model simulations which include different land use scenarios with agriculture distributions for the years 1990, 2000, and crops simulated as grassland, as well as changing management practices such as fertilizer and residue. We consider changes in SOC from no fertilizer vs. current fertilizer inputs and three different post-harvest leaf and stem residue returns, which compare current residue amounts of 30-40% with a high residue return of 90% and a low residue return of 10%. Our results indicate that agriculture disturbance has a significant impact on SOC, the largest impact as a result of small residue returns. The model simulates US soils have lost 15% of the total SOC since intensive cultivation began, but increasing the residue returned can decrease this loss by 5%. When grassland is converted to agriculture, local soils are estimated to lose 50-60% of the total SOC stored. Our results demonstrate the significance cultivation has on SOC storage and the role management practices have on the carbon cycle.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Bacterial β-glucosidase function and metabolic activity depend on soil management in semiarid rainfed agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Cañizares, Rosa; Moreno, Beatriz; Benitez, Emilio

    2012-01-01

    Genomic and transcriptomic approaches were used to gain insights into the relationship between soil management and bacterial-mediated functions in an olive orchard agroecosystem. Four management practices were assessed in a 30-year trial in a semiarid Mediterranean region. Transcriptional activity of bacterial 16S rRNA genes increased in noncovered soils, indicating higher microbial maintenance requirements to thrive in less favorable environmental conditions. The 16S rRNA transcript:gene copy ratio confirmed this assumption and pointed toward a much higher constitutive expression from rRNA operons in noncovered soils and to even higher expression levels when spontaneous vegetation was removed chemically. As described for 16S rRNA, potential transcription did not reveal the real transcription of bacterial β-glucosidase genes, and higher gene expression in noncovered soils plus herbicides was evidenced. Since no relationship between total or soluble organic carbon and bacterial β-glucosidase transcription was found, the above hypothesis could indicate either that soluble organic carbon is not the main pool of enzyme-inducing substrates or that constitutive production of bacterial β-glucosidase enzymes increases as soil conditions worsen. PMID:22837821

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The impact of agricultural management on selected soil properties in citrus orchards in Eastern Spain: A comparison between conventional and organic citrus orchards with drip and flood irrigation.

    PubMed

    Hondebrink, M A; Cammeraat, L H; Cerdà, A

    2017-03-01

    The agricultural management of citrus orchards is changing from flood irrigated managed orchards to drip irrigated organic managed orchards. Eastern Spain is the oldest and largest European producer of citrus, and is representative of the environmental changes triggered by innovations in orchard management. In order to determine the impact of land management on different soil quality parameters, twelve citrus orchards sites were selected with different land and irrigation management techniques. Soil samples were taken at two depths, 0-2cm and 5-10cm for studying soil quality parameters under the different treatments. Half of the studied orchards were organically managed and the other six were conventionally managed, and for each of these six study sites three fields were flood irrigated plots and the other three drip irrigated systems. The outcome of the studied parameters was that soil organic matter (SOM) and aggregate stability were higher for organic farms. Bulk density and pH were only significantly different for organic farms when drip irrigation was applied in comparison with flooded plots. C/N ratio did not vary significantly for the four treatments. Although there are some points of discussion, this research shows that a combination of different management decisions leads to improvement of a couple of soil quality parameters. Organic management practices were found to be beneficial for soil quality, compared to conventional management for soils with comparable textures and applied irrigation water.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Soil Macronutrient Sensing for Precision Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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-destru...

  19. Leaching of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Diverse Soils under Various Agricultural Management Practices

    PubMed Central

    Gagliardi, Joel V.; Karns, Jeffrey S.

    2000-01-01

    Application of animal manures to soil as crop fertilizers is an important means for recycling the nitrogen and phosphorus which the manures contain. Animal manures also contain bacteria, including many types of pathogens. Manure pathogen levels depend on the source animal, the animal's state of health, and how the manure was stored or treated before use. Rainfall may result in pathogen spread into soil by runoff from stored or unincorporated manure or by leaching through the soil profile. Steady rainfall consisting of 16.5 mm h−1 was applied to 100-mm disturbed soil cores that were treated with manure and inoculated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain B6914. The level of B6914 in leachate was near the inoculum level each hour for 8 h, as was the level of B6914 at several soil depths after 24 h, indicating that there was a high rate of growth. Bacterial movement through three different types of soil was then compared by using disturbed (tilled) and intact (no-till) soil cores and less intense rainfall consisting of 25.4 mm on 4 consecutive days and then four more times over a 17-day period. Total B6914 levels exceeded the inoculum levels for all treatments except intact clay loam cores. B6914 levels in daily leachate samples decreased sharply with time, although the levels were more constant when intact sandy loam cores were used. The presence of manure often increased total B6914 leachate and soil levels in intact cores but had the opposite effect on disturbed soil cores. Ammonia and nitrate levels correlated with B6914 and total coliform levels in leachate. We concluded that tillage practice, soil type, and method of pathogen delivery affect but do not prevent vertical E. coli O157:H7 and coliform transport in soil and that soluble nitrogen may enhance transport. PMID:10698745

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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

  5. Salinity Management in Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Existing guidelines and standards for reclamation of saline soils and management to control salinity exist but have not been updated for over 25 years. In the past few years a looming water scarcity has resulted in questioning of the long term future of irrigation projects in arid and semi arid regi...

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Using the soil and water assessment tool to estimate achievable water quality targets through implementation of beneficial management practices in an agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qi; Benoy, Glenn A; Chow, Thien Lien; Daigle, Jean-Louis; Bourque, Charles P-A; Meng, Fan-Rui

    2012-01-01

    Runoff from crop production in agricultural watersheds can cause widespread soil loss and degradation of surface water quality. Beneficial management practices (BMPs) for soil conservation are often implemented as remedial measures because BMPs can reduce soil erosion and improve water quality. However, the efficacy of BMPs may be unknown because it can be affected by many factors, such as farming practices, land-use, soil type, topography, and climatic conditions. As such, it is difficult to estimate the impacts of BMPs on water quality through field experiments alone. In this research, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to estimate achievable performance targets of water quality indicators (sediment and soluble P loadings) after implementation of combinations of selected BMPs in the Black Brook Watershed in northwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Four commonly used BMPs (flow diversion terraces [FDTs], fertilizer reductions, tillage methods, and crop rotations), were considered individually and in different combinations. At the watershed level, the best achievable sediment loading was 1.9 t ha(-1) yr(-1) (89% reduction compared with default scenario), with a BMP combination of crop rotation, FDT, and no-till. The best achievable soluble P loading was 0.5 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) (62% reduction), with a BMP combination of crop rotation and FDT and fertilizer reduction. Targets estimated through nonpoint source water quality modeling can be used to evaluate BMP implementation initiatives and provide milestones for the rehabilitation of streams and rivers in agricultural regions.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Ice nucleation properties of agricultural soil dusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinke, Isabelle; Funk, Roger; Busse, Jacqueline; Iturri, Antonela; Kirchen, Silke; Leue, Martin; Möhler, Ottmar; Schwartz, Thomas; Sierau, Berko; Toprak, Emre; Ulrich, Andreas; Hoose, Corinna; Leisner, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Soil dust particles emitted from agricultural areas contain large amounts of organic material such as fungi, bacteria and plant debris. Being carrier for potentially highly ice-active biological particles, agricultural soil dusts are candidates for being very ice-active as well. In this work, we present ice nucleation experiments conducted in the AIDA cloud chamber. We investigated the ice nucleation efficiency of four types of soil dust from different regions of the world. Results are presented for the immersion freezing and the deposition nucleation mode: all soil dusts show higher ice nucleation efficiencies than desert dusts, especially at temperatures above 254 K. For one soil dust sample, the effect of heat treatments was investigated. Heat treatments did not affect the ice nucleation efficiency which presumably excludes primary biological particles as the only source of the increased ice nucleation efficiency. Therefore, organo-mineral complexes or organic compounds may contribute substantially to the high ice nucleation activity of agricultural soil dusts.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Biological responses of agricultural soils to fly-ash amendment.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rajeev Pratap; Sharma, Bhavisha; Sarkar, Abhijit; Sengupta, Chandan; Singh, Pooja; Ibrahim, Mahamad Hakimi

    2014-01-01

    The volume of solid waste produced in the world is increasing annually, and disposing of such wastes is a growing problem. Fly ash (FA) is a form of solid waste that is derived from the combustion of coal. Research has shown that fly ash may be disposed of by using it to amend agricultural soils. This review addresses the feasibility of amending agricultural field soils with fly ash for the purpose of improvings oil health and enhancing the production of agricultural crops. The current annual production of major coal combustion residues (CCRs) is estimated to be -600 million worldwide, of which about 500 million t (70-80%) is FA (Ahmaruzzaman 2010). More than 112 million t of FA is generated annually in India alone, and projections show that the production (including both FA and bottom ash) may exceed 170 million t per annum by 2015 (Pandey et al. 2009; Pandey and Singh 20 I 0). Managing this industrial by-product is a big challenge, because more is produced each year, and disposal poses a growing environmental problem.Studies on FA clearly shows that its application as an amendment to agricultural soils can significantly improve soil quality, and produce higher soil fertility. What FA application method is best and what level of application is appropriate for any one soil depends on the following factors: type of soil treated, crop grown, the prevailing agro climatic condition and the character of the FA used. Although utilizing FA in agricultural soils may help address solid waste disposal problems and may enhance agricultural production, its use has potential adverse effects also. In particular, using it in agriculture may enhance amounts of radionuclides and heavy metals that reach soils, and may therefore increase organism exposures in some instances.

  2. 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...

  3. An Underground Revolution: Biodiversity and Soil Ecological Engineering for Agricultural Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Bender, S Franz; Wagg, Cameron; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2016-06-01

    Soil organisms are an integral component of ecosystems, but their activities receive little recognition in agricultural management strategies. Here we synthesize the potential of soil organisms to enhance ecosystem service delivery and demonstrate that soil biodiversity promotes multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously (i.e., ecosystem multifunctionality). We apply the concept of ecological intensification to soils and we develop strategies for targeted exploitation of soil biological traits. We compile promising approaches to enhance agricultural sustainability through the promotion of soil biodiversity and targeted management of soil community composition. We present soil ecological engineering as a concept to generate human land-use systems, which can serve immediate human needs while minimizing environmental impacts.

  4. 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.

  5. Organic matter and soil structure in the Everglades Agricultural Area

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, Alan L.; Hanlon, Edward A.

    2013-01-01

    This publication pertains to management of organic soils (Histosols) in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). These former wetland soils are a major resource for efficient agricultural production and are important globally for their high organic matter content. Recognition of global warming has led to considerable interest in soils as a repository for carbon. Soils rich in organic matter essentially sequester or retain carbon in the profile and can contribute directly to keeping that sequestered carbon from entering the atmosphere. Identification and utilization of management practices that minimize the loss of carbon from organic soils to the atmosphere can minimize effects on global warming and increase the longevity of subsiding Histosols for agricultural use. Understanding and predicting how these muck soils will respond to current and changing land uses will help to manage soil carbon. The objectives of this document are to: a. Discuss organic soil oxidation relative to storing or releasing carbon and nitrogen b. Evaluate effects of cultivation (compare structure for sugarcane vs. uncultivated soil) Based upon the findings from the land-use comparison (sugarcane or uncultivated), organic carbon was higher with cultivation in the lower depths. There is considerable potential for minimum tillage and residue management to further enhance carbon sequestration in the sugarcane system. Carbon sequestration is improved and soil subsidence is slowed with sugarcane production, and both of these are positive outcomes. Taking action to increase or maintain carbon sequestration appears to be appropriate but may introduce some risk to farming operations. Additional management methods are needed to reduce this risk. For both the longevity of these organic soils and from a global perspective, slowing subsidence through BMP implementation makes sense. Since these BMPs also have considerable societal benefit, it remains to be seen if society will help to offset a part or all

  6. 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 ...

  7. Agricultural land management options following large-scale environmental contamination - evaluation for Fukushima affected agricultural land

    SciTech Connect

    Vandenhove, Hildegarde

    2013-07-01

    The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has raised questions about the accumulation of radionuclides in soils, the transfer in the food chain and the possibility of continued restricted future land use. This paper summarizes what is generally understood about the application of agricultural countermeasures as a land management option to reduce the radionuclides transfer in the food chain and to facilitate the return of potentially affected soils to agricultural practices in areas impacted by a nuclear accident. (authors)

  8. Agricultural drainage water management: Potential impact and implementation strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The unique soil and climate of the Upper Mississippi River Basin (and the Lake Erie Basin) area provide the resources for bountiful agricultural production. Agricultural drainage (both surface and subsurface drainage) is essential for achieving economically viable crop production and management. Dra...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Simulating Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics in Long-term Agricultural Experiments Using CQESTR

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil carbon (C) models are useful for examining the complex interactions between climate, crop, and soil management practices and their influences on long-term changes in soil organic carbon (SOC). The CQESTR model was developed to evaluate the effect of agricultural management practices on short- a...

  13. 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

  14. 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).

  15. 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 (...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Agricultural Drainage Water Management in the Upper Mississippi River Basin: Potential Impact and Implementation Strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The unique soil and climate of the Upper Mississippi River Basin area provide the resources for bountiful agricultural production. Agricultural drainage (both surface and subsurface drainage) is essential for achieving economically viable crop production and management. Drainage practices alter the ...

  4. Regional Limits to Sequestration of Atmospheric C in Soils: Influence of Soil C Fractions and Agricultural Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conant, R. T.; Six, J.; Paustian, K.; Paul, E. A.

    2001-05-01

    Agricultural management has substantial effects on C output from soil, primarily through tillage, and on quantity and amount of C input to soil through residue management. The dynamics of agricultural management impacts are reasonably well understood and soil C responses are adequately predicted by a number of soil organic matter models in most systems. However, some data suggests that responses to increases in residue return do not always lead to increased soil C, as most models would predict; some soils appear to be saturated with respect to C. Therefore, models may over-predict the capacity of soils to stabilize soil C in some regions. Similarly, soil C levels may be near saturation in some systems and estimates of C sequestration potential in these systems may be too large. Conversely, soils in other regions are substantially below saturation level and could stabilize significant amounts of C in soils. The purpose of this presentation is to explore the implications of the concept of soil C saturation to identify areas (1) likely to be saturated with respect to soil C, (2) likely to become saturated with changes in agricultural management, and (3) areas far from saturation capable of stabilizing large amounts of C in soil. We compare output from a new model that explicitly accounts for limits to physical protection of soil organic matter with a more traditional soil organic matter model for a range of long-term agricultural research plots with different cultivation, rotation, and fertilization treatments. The result is a map of soils saturated with respect to C and of areas with soil C saturation deficits of varying magnitude.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Approximating Phosphorus Leaching from Agricultural Organic Soils by Soil Testing.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Z M; Zhang, T Q; Kessel, C; Tan, C S; O'Halloran, I P; Wang, Y T; Speranzini, D; Van Eerd, L L

    2015-11-01

    Phosphorus applied to soils in excess of crop requirement could create situations favorable to P enrichment in subsurface flow that contributes to eutrophication of surface water. This pathway of P loss can be more severe in muck (i.e., organic) soils where agricultural production is intensive. This study evaluated the suitability of various environmental and agronomic soil P tests initially designed for mineral soils to predict dissolved reactive P (DRP) in subsurface flow from organic soils. Intact soil columns were collected from 44 muck soils in Ontario to provide a wide range of soil test P levels. A lysimeter leaching study was conducted by evenly adding water in an amount equivalent to 5 mm of rainfall. The leachate DRP concentration was linearly related to soil water-extractable P and CaCl-extractable P with values of 0.90 and 0.93, respectively, and to Bray-1 P and FeO-impregnated filter paper extractable P in a split-line model with a change point. Mehlich-3 P and Olsen P, a method recommended for agronomic P calibration in Ontario, were not related to leachate DRP concentration. All P sorption index (PSI) based degree of P saturation (DPS) values were closely related to leachate DRP in split-line models, with the DPS indices expressed as Bray-1 P/PSI and FeO-P/PSI having the highest correlation with leachate DRP concentration. Because it is desirable from practical and economic standpoints that the environmental risk assessment shares the same soil test with agronomic P calibration, the two PSI-based DPS indices as presented can be considered as environmental risk indicators of DRP subsurface loss from organic soils.

  8. 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.

  9. Considerations for sampling contaminants in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Charles A

    2015-01-01

    Sampling agricultural soils for contaminants is relatively new. Existing standard sampling protocols used for the evaluation of soil nutrients are likely insufficient for contaminants. The main reasons are the very low analyte levels and differences in heterogeneity between nutrients and contaminants. To evaluate the adequacy of existing sampling protocols or to develop new protocols, a systematic scientific approach is needed. This approach begins with the development of the Sample Quality Criteria followed by a realistic understanding of the properties of the material to be sampled, most notably its heterogeneity. The Sample Quality Criteria and material properties are inputs into the Theory of Sampling. With these inputs, the Theory of Sampling can be used to determine the specifics of the sampling protocol (e.g., mass, number of increments, tool selection) that must be implemented to control error to reliably estimate the concentration of the analyte(s) of interest. Development of sampling protocols in this manner will ensure sample representativeness and therefore improve data equivalency among various parties involved. This is the only way to provide a sound technical basis for defensible decision making to ensure increased safety of food and feed, specifically with respect to contaminants in agricultural soils.

  10. 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...

  11. Adaptive management for soil ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Birge, Hannah E.; Bevans, Rebecca A.; Allen, Craig R.; Angeler, David G.; Baer, Sara G.; Wall, Diana H.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem services provided by soil include regulation of the atmosphere and climate, primary (including agricultural) production, waste processing, decomposition, nutrient conservation, water purification, erosion control, medical resources, pest control, and disease mitigation. The simultaneous production of these multiple services arises from complex interactions among diverse aboveground and belowground communities across multiple scales. When a system is mismanaged, non-linear and persistent losses in ecosystem services can arise. Adaptive management is an approach to management designed to reduce uncertainty as management proceeds. By developing alternative hypotheses, testing these hypotheses and adjusting management in response to outcomes, managers can probe dynamic mechanistic relationships among aboveground and belowground soil system components. In doing so, soil ecosystem services can be preserved and critical ecological thresholds avoided. Here, we present an adaptive management framework designed to reduce uncertainty surrounding the soil system, even when soil ecosystem services production is not the explicit management objective, so that managers can reach their management goals without undermining soil multifunctionality or contributing to an irreversible loss of soil ecosystem services.

  12. Expert systems in agriculture and resource management

    SciTech Connect

    Plant, R.E.

    1993-05-01

    This paper gives a description of some representative examples of expert systems applied to problems in agriculture and biological resource management. The discussion of agricultural expert systems focuses on several decision support systems for crop management, describing the systems themselves and the implementation efforts surrounding them. The examples of the application of expert systems to biological resource management focus on the integration of expert systems with geographic information systems. A description of some of the more recent developments in agricultural expert systems, still in the prototype stage, is then given, followed by a summary discussion of possible environmental implications of the use of expert systems in agriculture and resource management. 63 refs.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    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.

  17. The Temperature Dependence of Soil Moisture Characteristics of Agricultural Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salehzadeh, Amir

    1990-01-01

    limits the speed of measurement for typical agricultural soils to about 12-14 hours for each main branch over the potential range 0 to -2000 cm. (2) Although the stripper tensiometer can operate with soil air presures greater than 2 atmospheres gauge, the tensiometer contact problem appears likely to limit the range, at least for certain soils.

  18. Landscape evolution by soil redistribution in a Mediterranean agricultural context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciampalini, Rossano; Follain, Stéphane; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2010-05-01

    Soils and landscapes are frequently subjected to rapid evolutions induced by climate changes and humans disturbances. Early, soil scientists had already sought to identify the dynamic interactions between soils and landscapes. Soil redistribution modelling is an appropriate analyse methodology widely utilized (Kirkby, 1985; Van Oost et al., 2000; Van Rompaey et al., 2001; Minasny and McBratney, 1999; Van Oost et al., 2005; Govers et al., 2006) to understand space time evolution in soil and landscape processes at short and medium term. The aims of this research is to develop a model able to simulate soil evolution as affected by soil redistribution processes (e.g. water-erosion processes and mechanical erosion) and to use pedological knowledge acquired from a field study coupled with the present research. The LandSoil model, here proposed, is an event based model, dimensioned for fine spatial [1 m] and medium [10 -100 years] temporal scales, taking into account a detailed representation of the agricultural landscape structure. It is composed of three modules for soil erosion/redistribution: rill erosion (Souchère et al., 2003); interrill erosion (Cerdan et al., 2002); and tillage erosion based on the mechanistic rules developed by Govers et al., 1994. After each rain and tillage event a new topography is evaluated as well as all the geometric landscape parameters. Specificities of the model are: i) long-term landscape analysis and topography balance after each rainfall; ii) evaluation of water erosion and soil mechanistic redistribution (tillage erosion); iii) taking in consideration of the landscape geometry, especially connectivity, as a significant information in describing the landscape and useful in modelling (Landscape structure management and landscape design); and iv) utilisation of various and different climate scenarios thanks to the event based model. Subsequently we apply this model to study the effect of different scenarios of land management and

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  2. Plant-soil feedbacks and soil sickness: from mechanisms to application in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Huang, Li-Feng; Song, Liu-Xia; Xia, Xiao-Jian; Mao, Wei-Hua; Shi, Kai; Zhou, Yan-Hong; Yu, Jing-Quan

    2013-02-01

    Negative plant-soil feedbacks play an important role in soil sickness, which is one of the factors limiting the sustainable development of intensive agriculture. Various factors, such as the buildup of pests in the soil, disorder in physico-chemical soil properties, autotoxicity, and other unknown factors may contribute to soil sickness. A range of autotoxins have been identified, and these exhibit their allelopathic potential by influencing cell division, water and ion uptake, dark respiration, ATP synthesis, redox homeostasis, gene expression, and defense responses. Meanwhile, there are great interspecific and intraspecific differences in the uptake and accumulation of autotoxins, which contribute to the specific differences in growth in response to different autotoxins. Importantly, the autotoxins also influence soil microbes and vice versa, leading to an increased or decreased degree of soil sickness. In many cases, autotoxins may enhance soilborne diseases by predisposing the roots to infection by soilborne pathogens through a direct biochemical and physiological effect. Some approaches, such as screening for low autotoxic potential and disease-resistant genotypes, proper rotation and intercropping, proper soil and plant residue management, adoption of resistant plant species as rootstocks, introduction of beneficial microbes, physical removal of phytotoxins, and soil sterilization, are proposed. We discuss the challenges that we are facing and possible approaches to these.

  3. Optimum soil frost depth to alleviate climate change effects in cold region agriculture.

    PubMed

    Yanai, Yosuke; Iwata, Yukiyoshi; Hirota, Tomoyoshi

    2017-03-21

    On-farm soil frost control has been used for the management of volunteer potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.), a serious weed problem caused by climate change, in northern Japan. Deep soil frost penetration is necessary for the effective eradication of unharvested small potato tubers; however, this process can delay soil thaw and increase soil wetting in spring, thereby delaying agricultural activity initiation and increasing nitrous oxide emissions from soil. Conversely, shallow soil frost development helps over-wintering of unharvested potato tubers and nitrate leaching from surface soil owing to the periodic infiltration of snowmelt water. In this study, we synthesised on-farm snow cover manipulation experiments to determine the optimum soil frost depth that can eradicate unharvested potato tubers without affecting agricultural activity initiation while minimising N pollution from agricultural soil. The optimum soil frost depth was estimated to be 0.28-0.33 m on the basis of the annual maximum soil frost depth. Soil frost control is a promising practice to alleviate climate change effects on agriculture in cold regions, which was initiated by local farmers and further promoted by national and local research institutes.

  4. Optimum soil frost depth to alleviate climate change effects in cold region agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Yanai, Yosuke; Iwata, Yukiyoshi; Hirota, Tomoyoshi

    2017-01-01

    On-farm soil frost control has been used for the management of volunteer potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.), a serious weed problem caused by climate change, in northern Japan. Deep soil frost penetration is necessary for the effective eradication of unharvested small potato tubers; however, this process can delay soil thaw and increase soil wetting in spring, thereby delaying agricultural activity initiation and increasing nitrous oxide emissions from soil. Conversely, shallow soil frost development helps over-wintering of unharvested potato tubers and nitrate leaching from surface soil owing to the periodic infiltration of snowmelt water. In this study, we synthesised on-farm snow cover manipulation experiments to determine the optimum soil frost depth that can eradicate unharvested potato tubers without affecting agricultural activity initiation while minimising N pollution from agricultural soil. The optimum soil frost depth was estimated to be 0.28–0.33 m on the basis of the annual maximum soil frost depth. Soil frost control is a promising practice to alleviate climate change effects on agriculture in cold regions, which was initiated by local farmers and further promoted by national and local research institutes. PMID:28322258

  5. Optimum soil frost depth to alleviate climate change effects in cold region agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanai, Yosuke; Iwata, Yukiyoshi; Hirota, Tomoyoshi

    2017-03-01

    On-farm soil frost control has been used for the management of volunteer potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.), a serious weed problem caused by climate change, in northern Japan. Deep soil frost penetration is necessary for the effective eradication of unharvested small potato tubers; however, this process can delay soil thaw and increase soil wetting in spring, thereby delaying agricultural activity initiation and increasing nitrous oxide emissions from soil. Conversely, shallow soil frost development helps over-wintering of unharvested potato tubers and nitrate leaching from surface soil owing to the periodic infiltration of snowmelt water. In this study, we synthesised on-farm snow cover manipulation experiments to determine the optimum soil frost depth that can eradicate unharvested potato tubers without affecting agricultural activity initiation while minimising N pollution from agricultural soil. The optimum soil frost depth was estimated to be 0.28–0.33 m on the basis of the annual maximum soil frost depth. Soil frost control is a promising practice to alleviate climate change effects on agriculture in cold regions, which was initiated by local farmers and further promoted by national and local research institutes.

  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. 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

  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. Vertical distribution of phosphorus in agricultural drainage ditch soils.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Robert E; Needelman, Brian A; Kleinman, Peter J A; Allen, Arthur L

    2007-01-01

    Pedological processes such as gleization and organic matter accumulation may affect the vertical distribution of P within agricultural drainage ditch soils. The objective of this study was to assess the vertical distribution of P as a function of horizonation in ditch soils at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Research Farm in Princess Anne, Maryland. Twenty-one profiles were sampled from 10 agricultural ditches ranging in length from 225 to 550 m. Horizon samples were analyzed for total P; water-extractable P; Mehlich-3 P; acid ammonium oxalate-extractable P, Fe, and Al (P ox, Fe ox, Al ox); pH; and organic C (n = 126). Total P ranged from 27 to 4882 mg kg(-1), P ox from 4 to 4631 mg kg(-1), Mehlich-3 P from 2 to 401 mg kg(-1), and water-extractable P from 0 to 17 mg kg(-1). Soil-forming processes that result in differences between horizons had a strong relationship with various P fractions and P sorption capacity. Fibric organic horizons at the ditch soil surface had the greatest mean P ox, Fe ox, and Al ox concentrations of any horizon class. Gleyed A horizons had a mean Fe ox concentrations 2.6 times lower than dark A horizons and were significantly lower in total P and P ox. Variation in P due to organic matter accumulation and gleization provide critical insight into short- and long-term dynamics of P in ditch soils and should be accounted for when applying ditch management practices.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Agriculture: Nutrient Management and Fertilizer

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Fertilizers and soil amendments can be derived from raw materials, composts and other organic matter, and wastes, such as sewage sludge and certain industrial wastes. Overuse of fertilizers can result in contamination of surface water and groundwater.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  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. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. Crop rotations with annual and perennial forages under no-till soil management: soil attributes, soybean mineral nutrition, and yield

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extensive use of sustainable and intensive agricultural systems would result in profitable farms producing greater yields while maintaining or enhancing natural resources. Development of sustainable crop and soil management systems depends on understanding complex relationships between soil managem...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Management considerations for organic waste use in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Westerman, P W; Bicudo, J R

    2005-01-01

    Organic wastes are utilized in agriculture mainly for improving the soil physical and chemical properties and for nutrient sources for growing crops. The major source of organic waste used in agriculture is animal manure, but small amounts of food processing and other industrial wastes (along with municipal wastes) are also applied to land. In the last 35 years, and especially in the last 10 years, there have been increasing environmental regulations affecting farms that have resulted in more animal manure treatment options, and thus affecting characteristics of residues that are subsequently applied to land. Farms are being assessed for nutrient balances, with the entire nutrient and manure management system evaluated for best management alternatives. Because of inadequate available land on the animal farm in some cases, organic wastes must be treated and/or transported to other farms, or utilized for horticultural or other uses. This paper discusses the various factors and challenges for utilizing organic wastes in agriculture.

  15. 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…

  16. Diversity of green-like and red-like ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large-subunit genes (cbbL) in differently managed agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Selesi, Drazenka; Schmid, Michael; Hartmann, Anton

    2005-01-01

    A PCR-based approach was developed to detect ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) form I large-subunit genes (cbbL) as a functional marker of autotrophic bacteria that fix carbon dioxide via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle. We constructed two different primer sets, targeting the green-like and red-like phylogenetic groups of cbbL genes. The diversity of these cbbL genes was analyzed by the use of three differently managed agricultural soils from a long-term field experiment. cbbL gene fragments were amplified from extracted soil DNAs, and PCR products were cloned and screened by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Selected unique cbbL clones were sequenced and analyzed phylogenetically. The green-like cbbL sequences revealed a very low level of diversity, being closely related to the cbbL genes of Nitrobacter winogradskyi and Nitrobacter vulgaris. In contrast, the red-like cbbL gene libraries revealed a high level of diversity in the two fertilized soils and less diversity in unfertilized soil. The majority of environmental red-like cbbL genes were only distantly related to already known cbbL sequences and even formed separate clusters. In order to extend the database of available red-like cbbL sequences, we amplified cbbL sequences from bacterial type culture strains and from bacterial isolates obtained from the investigated soils. Bacterial isolates harboring the cbbL gene were analyzed phylogenetically on the basis of their 16S rRNA gene sequences. These analyses revealed that bacterial genera such as Bacillus, Streptomyces, and Arthrobacter harbor red-like cbbL genes which fall into the cbbL gene clusters retrieved from the investigated soils.

  17. Using data mining to predict soil quality after application of biosolids in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Cortet, Jérôme; Kocev, Dragi; Ducobu, Caroline; Džeroski, Sašo; Debeljak, Marko; Schwartz, Christophe

    2011-01-01

    The amount of biosolids recycled in agriculture has steadily increased during the last decades. However, few models are available to predict the accompanying risks, mainly due to the presence of trace element and organic contaminants, and benefits for soil fertility of their application. This paper deals with using data mining to assess the benefits and risks of biosolids application in agriculture. The analyzed data come from a 10-yr field experiment in northeast France focusing on the effects of biosolid application and mineral fertilization on soil fertility and contamination. Biosolids were applied at agriculturally recommended rates. Biosolids had a significant effect on soil fertility, causing in particular a persistent increase in plant-available phosphorus (P) relative to plots receiving mineral fertilizer. However, soil fertility at seeding and crop management method had greater effects than biosolid application on soil fertility at harvest, especially soil nitrogen (N) content. Levels of trace elements and organic contaminants in soils remained below legal threshold values. Levels of extractable metals correlated more strongly than total metal levels with other factors. Levels of organic contaminants, particularly polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, were linked to total metal levels in biosolids and treated soil. This study confirmed that biosolid application at rates recommended for agriculture is a safe option for increasing soil fertility. However, the quality of the biosolids selected has to be taken into account. The results also indicate the power of data mining in examining links between parameters in complex data sets.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Managing adaptively for multifunctionality in agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Hodbod, Jennifer; Barreteau, Olivier; Allen, Craig; Magda, Danièle

    2016-12-01

    The critical importance of agricultural systems for food security and as a dominant global landcover requires management that considers the full dimensions of system functions at appropriate scales, i.e. multifunctionality. We propose that adaptive management is the most suitable management approach for such goals, given its ability to reduce uncertainty over time and support multiple objectives within a system, for multiple actors. As such, adaptive management may be the most appropriate method for sustainably intensifying production whilst increasing the quantity and quality of ecosystem services. However, the current assessment of performance of agricultural systems doesn't reward ecosystem service provision. Therefore, we present an overview of the ecosystem functions agricultural systems should and could provide, coupled with a revised definition for assessing the performance of agricultural systems from a multifunctional perspective that, when all satisfied, would create adaptive agricultural systems that can increase production whilst ensuring food security and the quantity and quality of ecosystem services. The outcome of this high level of performance is the capacity to respond to multiple shocks without collapse, equity and triple bottom line sustainability. Through the assessment of case studies, we find that alternatives to industrialized agricultural systems incorporate more functional goals, but that there are mixed findings as to whether these goals translate into positive measurable outcomes. We suggest that an adaptive management perspective would support the implementation of a systematic analysis of the social, ecological and economic trade-offs occurring within such systems, particularly between ecosystem services and functions, in order to provide suitable and comparable assessments. We also identify indicators to monitor performance at multiple scales in agricultural systems which can be used within an adaptive management framework to increase

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Infrared sensors to map soil carbon in agricultural ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rapid methods of measuring soil carbon such as near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) diffuse reflectance spectroscopy have gained interest but problems of accurate and precise measurement still persist resulting from the high spatial variability of soil carbon within agricultural landscapes. T...

  6. Suppression of plant parasitic nematodes in the chinampa agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Zuckerman, B M; Dicklow, M B; Coles, G C; Garcia-E, R; Marban-Mendoza, N

    1989-06-01

    Soil from the chinampa agricultural system in the Valley of Mexico suppressed damage by plant-parasitic nematodes to tomatoes and beans in greenhouse and growth chamber trials. Sterilization of the chinampa soil resulted in a loss of the suppressive effect, thereby indicating that one or more biotic factors were responsible for the low incidence of nematode damage. Nine organisms were isolated from chinampa soil, which showed antinematodal properties in culture. Naturally occurring populations of plant-parasitic nematodes were of lower incidence in chinampa soil than in Chapingo soil.

  7. 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.

  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. 25 CFR 162.201 - Must agricultural land be managed in accordance with a tribe's agricultural resource management...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... tribe's agricultural resource management plan? 162.201 Section 162.201 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS... Must agricultural land be managed in accordance with a tribe's agricultural resource management plan... and objectives in any agricultural resource management plan developed by the tribe, or by us in...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Soil structural changes caused by agricultural machinery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Effects of tractor traffic with high axle load on the aggregate size distribution, the total soil porosity, and the aggregate porosity were studied in a field experiment on a silty clay loam Greyzem soil. One and three tractors passes were made at pre-irrigated and non-irrigated 10x10 m plots. The v...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Impact of 57 years of management on the soil quality of a Vertisol in Central Texas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality assessment is a proactive process for understanding the long-term effects of soil and crop management practices within agricultural watersheds. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of management on the soil quality in fields where the management history is known for clos...

  1. Soil physical properties of agricultural systems in a large-scale study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A large-scale field study was performed to determine the effects of agricultural management systems on soil physical properties, including their spatial and temporal variations. Replicates were established in 1998 at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, Goldsboro, North Carolina; replicates...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Agricultural Drainage Water Management: Potential Impact and Implementation Strategies for Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The unique soil and climate of the Upper Mississippi River Basin (and the Lake Erie Basin) area provide the resources for bountiful agricultural production. Agricultural drainage (both surface and subsurface drainage) is essential for achieving economically viable crop production and management. Dra...

  8. Soil, land use time, and sustainable intensification of agriculture in the Brazilian Cerrado region.

    PubMed

    Trabaquini, Kleber; Galvão, Lênio Soares; Formaggio, Antonio Roberto; de Aragão, Luiz Eduardo Oliveira E Cruz

    2017-02-01

    The Brazilian Cerrado area is in rapid decline because of the expansion of modern agriculture. In this study, we used extensive field data and a 30-year chronosequence of Landsat images (1980-2010) to assess the effects of time since conversion of Cerrado into agriculture upon soil chemical attributes and soybean/corn yield in the Alto do Rio Verde watershed. We determined the rates of vegetation conversion into agriculture, the agricultural land use time since conversion, and the temporal changes in topsoil (0-20 cm soil depth) and subsurface (20-40 cm) chemical attributes of the soils. In addition, we investigated possible associations between fertilization/over-fertilization and land use history detected from the satellites. The results showed that 61.8% of the native vegetation in the Alto do Rio Verde watershed was already converted into agriculture with 31% of soils being used in agriculture for more than 30 years. While other fertilizers in cultivated soils (e.g., Ca(+2), Mg(+2), and P) have been compensated over time by soil management practices to keep crop yield high, large reductions in C org (38%) and N tot (29%) were observed in old cultivated areas. Furthermore, soybean and cornfields having more than 10 years of farming presented higher values of P and Mg(+2) than the ideal levels necessary for plant development. Therefore, increased risks of over-fertilization of the soils and environmental contamination with these macronutrients were associated with soybean and cornfields having more than 10 years of farming, especially those with more than 30 years of agricultural land use.

  9. Agricultural Education Curriculum Guide. Agricultural Production and Management I. Course No. 6811. Agricultural Production and Management II. Course No. 6812.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    North Carolina State Dept. of Public Instruction, Raleigh.

    This document is designed for use by teachers of Agricultural Production and Management courses in North Carolina. It updates the competencies and content outlines from the previous guide. It lists core and optional competencies for two courses in seven areas as follows: leadership; supervised agricultural experience programs; animal science;…

  10. 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.

  11. 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)…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Effects of copper in flooded Florida agricultural soils on Hyalella azteca.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Tham C; Schuler, Lance J; Rand, Gary M

    2009-04-01

    This study examined the uptake and effects of copper (Cu) from flooded agricultural soils to epibenthic amphipods (Hyalella azteca) using 10-day sediment toxicity tests. Soils were collected from 10 citrus agricultural sites in South Florida. One sediment toxicity test was conducted with one flooding of the 10 soils, and based on the results of this test a second sediment toxicity test was conducted with 4 of the soils, after four 14-day flooding and four 14-day drying intervals over 4 months. Sediment toxicity tests were conducted under flow-through conditions using U.S. EPA methodology. Effects on survival, dry weight, and whole-body Cu concentrations of H. azteca were determined. Cu concentrations in overlying water and sediment of both sediment toxicity tests exceeded regulatory criteria for aquatic organisms. Although survival of H. azteca was not consistently affected from the first to the second sediment toxicity tests, dry weight was consistently reduced and related to Cu concentrations in soil, overlying water, and pore water. Furthermore, whole-body tissue Cu concentrations were significantly higher in H. azteca in all 10 soil-water treatments in the first sediment toxicity test and in all 4 soil-water treatments in the second sediment toxicity test compared to controls. Whole-body tissue concentrations and effects on dry weight were related to Cu exposures in soil, overlying water, and pore water. In these managed soil-water systems, small fish consuming H. azteca with high concentrations of Cu may be at risk.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Root zone sensors for irrigation management in intensive agriculture.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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. 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, ...

  2. 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...

  3. Modelling of nitrate leaching from arable land into unsaturated soil and chalk 2. Model confirmation and application to agricultural and sewage sludge management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, R. J.; Lloyd, J. W.; Lerner, D. N.

    1997-12-01

    A layered deterministic N-leaching model, IMPACT, has been calibrated using data from two study sites on the unconfined Chalk aquilfer of East Anglia, UK. The model predicts nitrogen species movement resulting from the application of sewage sludges and fertilizers to arable land for different vegetation-soil-hydrogeological conditions. One site received sludge in the form of digested sewage cake (DSC) for the first time during the study period, whilst the other site had over 15 years history of liquid undigested sludge (LUS) applications at 3 year intervals. Site data included: 3-monthly concentration profiles at 0.3 m intervals to depths of up to 6 m for N-species and chloride; unsaturated potential measurements; water level and saturated groundwater solute concentrations, fertilizer and sludge input; daily recharge, and soil/chalk type and moisture content. The observed average movement rate for nitrate peaks in the Lower Chalk, measured at one site, was 0.2 m year -2. Leachate peaks were not observed annually but approximately every third year, being associated with large sludge applications and ploughing of grass crops. Significant correlation between observed and modelled nitrate profiles in soil and chalk were obtained which demonstrated applications. The relationship between crop demand, application times of fertilizers and sludge, nitrate availability and recharge was shown strongly to control the shape of nitrate profiles in the soil and chalk and the quantity of nitrate leached tochalk. The change in hydrogeological conditions at the soil-chalk contact and associated potential for denitrification was also shown to exert a significant control on the shape of the nitrate profile. Following calibration, different arable crop and sludge application regimes were examined for a 6 year period and ranked according to their nitrate leaching risk. Of the modelled cereal farming scenarios, the crop/sludge regime giving the least nitrate leaching was a late autumn

  4. GEMAS: Distribution of major elements in Polish agricultural soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dusza-Dobek, Aleksandra; Pasieczna, Anna; Kwecko, Paweł

    2014-05-01

    Amount and quality of produced food is highly dependent on soil chemical properties and composition. The GEMAS project (Geochemical Mapping of Agricultural and Grazing Land Soil of Europe) has provided new homogeneous geochemical data for Polish agricultural soils. This study presents the distribution of common major elements such as CaO, MgO, Fe2O3, Al2O3, K2O, Na2O, SiO2, determined in 129 samples of agricultural soil of Poland. The total element concentrations obtained by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) were compared with the results from aqua regia acid digestion determined by ICP-MS. The distribution patterns of selected major elements reveal two major geochemical provinces - the northern province and the southern province, distinguished with respect to the natural geochemical background and resulting from the geological evolution of the region. The soil of the northern province (Polish Lowland), dominated by glacial deposits, show low contents of CaO, MgO, Fe2O3, Al2O3, K2O, Na2O, and high contents of SiO2. High silica content reflects the presence of sand-rich deposits which belong to the larger European feature with cover sands and loess of mainly Weichselian age and stretching from Ukraine to western Germany and Denmark. The southern province is characterised by high concentrations of almost all major elements (except SiO2). Soils in the Sudetes, Upper Silesia and the Carpathian Mountains developed in majority on pre-Quaternary rocks. In the Sudetes, soil formed on magmatic and metamorphic rocks of Paleozoic age. In the Carpathians and Upper Silesia, the flysch and molasse formations containing various material of magmatic and sedimentary origin constitute the immediate substratum of soil.

  5. 7 CFR 205.203 - Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal... 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...

  6. 7 CFR 205.203 - Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal... 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal... 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...

  8. 7 CFR 205.203 - Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal... 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...

  9. 7 CFR 205.203 - Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice... Requirements § 205.203 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard. (a) The producer...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 15N-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. PMID:24145428

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-05

    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.

  12. Linking energy-sanitation-agriculture: Intersectional resource management in smallholder households in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Krause, Ariane; Rotter, Vera Susanne

    2017-07-15

    In order to create sustainable systems for resource management, residues from cooking and ecological sanitation (EcoSan) can be employed in recycling-driven soil fertility management. However, the link between energy, sanitation, and agricultural productivity is often neglected. Hence, the potential self-sufficient nature of many smallholdings in sub-Saharan Africa is underexploited.

  13. Sediment from Agricultural Constructed Wetland Immobilizes Soil Phosphorus.

    PubMed

    Laakso, Johanna; Uusitalo, Risto; Leppänen, Janette; Yli-Halla, Markku

    2017-03-01

    Phosphorus (P) losses from agricultural soils impair the quality of receiving surface waters by enhancing eutrophication. This study tested the potential of using sediment from agricultural constructed wetlands (CWs) to immobilize soil P using two soils differing in texture and soil test P (STP). A silty clay soil (SIC) with high STP (24 mg ammonium acetate-extractable P [P] L) and a sandy loam soil (SL) with excessive STP (210 mg P L) were incubated with increasing amounts of clayey CW sediment. The soil-sediment mixtures were studied with the quantity/intensity (Q/I) technique, using chemical extractions, and by exposing the mixtures to simulated rainfall. In both Q/I and simulated rainfall tests, P solubility steadily decreased with increasing sediment proportion in the mixtures. However, in chemical extractions this effect was observed only at high sediment addition rates (10 or 50% [v/v] sediment). At a practically feasible sediment addition rate of 5%, dissolved reactive P (DRP) in percolating water from simulated rainfall decreased by 55% in SIC and by 54% in SL ( < 0.001 in both cases). Particulate P (PP) also showed a decreasing trend with increasing sediment addition rate. Upon prolonged simulated rainfall, the decreasing effect of sediment on DRP and PP declined somewhat. The effects of sediment addition can be attributed partly to increased salt concentrations in the sediment, which have a short-term effect on P mobilization, but mostly to increased concentrations of Al and Fe (hydr)oxides, increasing long-term P sorption capacity. Adding CW sediment at a rate of up to 5% of surface soil volume to soils could provide an alternative to chemical treatment (e.g., with metal salts) for immobilizing P in small, high-risk P leaching areas, such as around drinking troughs in pastures.

  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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Environmental behavior of benalaxyl and furalaxyl enantiomers in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Qin, Fang; Gao, Yong X; Guo, Bao Y; Xu, Peng; Li, Jian Z; Wang, Hui L

    2014-01-01

    The enantioselective environmental behavior of the chiral fungicides benalaxy and furalaxyl in agricultural soils in China was studied. Although sorption onto soils was non-enantioselective, the leaching of benalaxy and furalaxyl was enantioselective in soil columns. The concentrations of the S-enantiomers of both fungicides in the leachates were higher than the R-enantiomers. This can be attributed to enantioselective degradation of the two fungicides in the soil column. Enantioselective degradation of the two fungicides was verified by soil dissipation experiments, and the R-enantiomers degraded faster than the S-enantiomers in partial soils. The half-life was 27.7-57.8 days for S-benalaxyl, 20.4-53.3 days for R-benalaxyl, 19.3-49.5 days for S-furalaxyl and 11.4-34.7 days for R-furalaxyl. The degradation process of the two fungicide enantiomers followed the first-order kinetics (R(2) > 0.96). Compared to furalaxyl, benalaxyl degraded more slowly and degradation was less enantioselective. These results are attributed to the influence of soil physicochemical properties, soil microorganisms, and environmental factors.

  19. Biodegradability of a polyacrylate superabsorbent in agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Wilske, Burkhard; Bai, Mo; Lindenstruth, Beate; Bach, Martin; Rezaie, Zahra; Frede, Hans-Georg; Breuer, Lutz

    2014-01-01

    Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) are used, inter alia, as soil amendment to increase the water holding capacity of soils. Biodegradability of soil conditioners has become a desired key characteristic to protect soil and groundwater resources. The present study characterized the biodegradability of one acrylate based SAP in four agricultural soils and at three temperatures. Mineralisation was measured as the (13)CO₂ efflux from (13)C-labelled SAP in soil incubations. The SAP was either single-labelled in the carboxyl C-atom or triple-labelled including additionally the two C-atoms interlinked in the SAP backbone. The dual labelling allowed estimating the degradation of the polyacrylate main chain. The (13)CO₂ efflux from samples was measured using an automated system including wavelength-scanned cavity ring-down spectroscopy. Based on single-labelled SAP, the mean degradation after 24 weeks varied between 0.45% in loamy sand and 0.82% in loam. However, the differences between degradation rates in different soils were not significant due to a large intra-replicate variability. Similarly, mean degradation did not differ significantly between effective temperature regimes of 20° and 30 °C after 12 weeks. Results from the triple-labelled SAP were lower as compared to their single-labelled variant. Detailed results suggest that the polyacrylate main chain degraded in the soils, if at all, at rates of 0.12-0.24 % per 6 months.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    DOE PAGES

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; ...

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. Transforming Agricultural Water Management in Support of Ecosystem Restoration

    SciTech Connect

    Hanlon, Edward; Capece, John

    2009-11-20

    Threats to ecosystems are not local; they have to be handled with the global view in mind. Eliminating Florida farms, in order to meet its environmental goals, would simply move the needed agricultural production overseas, where environmentally less sensitive approaches are often used, thus yielding no net ecological benefit. South Florida is uniquely positioned to lead in the creation of sustainable agricultural systems, given its population, technology, and environmental restoration imperative. Florida should therefore aggressively focus on developing sustainable systems that deliver both agricultural production and environmental services. This presentation introduces a new farming concept of dealing with Florida’s agricultural land issues. The state purchases large land areas in order to manage the land easily and with ecosystem services in mind. The proposed new farming concept is an alternative to the current “two sides of the ditch” model, in which on one side are yield-maximizing, input-intensive, commodity price-dependent farms, while on the other side are publicly-financed, nutrient-removing treatment areas and water reservoirs trying to mitigate the externalized costs of food production systems and other human-induced problems. The proposed approach is rental of the land back to agriculture during the restoration transition period in order to increase water storage (allowing for greater water flow-through and/or water storage on farms), preventing issues such as nutrients removal, using flood-tolerant crops and reducing soil subsidence. Since the proposed approach is still being developed, there exist various unknown variables and considerations. However, working towards a long-term sustainable scenario needs to be the way ahead, as the threats are global and balancing the environment and agriculture is a serious global challenge.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Strong soil source of carbonyl sulfide in an agricultural field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Seibt, U.; Berry, J. A.; Billesbach, D. P.; Campbell, J.; Torn, M. S.

    2012-12-01

    A promising new approach to constrain biosphere-atmosphere carbon and water exchange is the use of carbonyl sulfide (COS). COS is taken up by leaves via the same pathway as CO2, leading to a close coupling of vegetation COS and CO2 fluxes during photosynthesis. Therefore it has been proposed that the gross fluxes of photosynthesis and respiration can be quantified through the concurrent measurements of COS and CO2. A necessary requirement for this approach at ecosystem and continental scales are estimates of soil COS fluxes. Soil is largely considered a sink for COS, but our knowledge of in situ soil COS fluxes remains very limited. We measured soil COS fluxes in a wheat field in Oklahoma from April to June 2012, using a novel combination of an automated soil chamber coupled to a COS laser analyzer. We provide the first continuous record of soil COS fluxes under natural conditions, and report on a phenomenon that has not been observed before. In contrast to the majority of published results, we found that the agricultural soil was a strong source of COS under most conditions during the campaign. The COS flux over the study period was highly correlated with soil temperature. Up to a soil temperature of around 15°C, the soil acted as a COS sink. Above 15°C, it acted a source of COS, with fluxes of up to 25 pmol m-2 s-1. To locate the source of the COS production, we investigated different soil components. Wheat roots were found to be emitting COS under all conditions. Root-free soil was a COS sink up to a soil temperature of around 25°C, but turned into a COS source at higher soil temperatures. We also observed COS production from the roots of several other species, indicating that this may be a widespread phenomenon. Using eddy covariance data of COS and CO2 that was collected concurrently with the soil measurements, we also demonstrate how the soil COS source can be taken into account when partitioning net ecosystem exchange into photosynthesis and respiration.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Micronutrient Fractionation in Coal Mine-Affected Agricultural Soils, India.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Rahul; Kumar, Bijendra; Priyanka, Kumari; Narayan, Chandravir; Shukla, Kriti; Sarkar, Jhuma; Anshumali

    2016-04-01

    Assessment of the anthropogenic impacts on bioavailability, mobility, immobility and toxicity of four micronutrients (Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn) were carried out by Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) fractionation scheme in agricultural soils (n = 10) around Jharia coalfield, eastern India. The relative abundance of micronutrients was as follows: Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu. The enrichment factor was >1 for Zn (6.1) and Cu (1.8) near coal mining area indicated toward soil pollution due to coal mining activities and application of inorganic fertilizers. The I geo values of micronutrients were <0 suggest no pollution with respect to Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn. Correlation analysis showed geogenic origin of soil micronutrients and derived mainly from weathering of minerals present in the parent rock. The mean values of Cu, Mn and Zn were less than certified reference material indicating highly leached agricultural soils in the study region. BCR fractionation of micronutrients showed that a single element could not reveal all types of chemical reactions occurring in soil consortium.

  1. Environmental Protection Tools in Agricultural Management Works

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glowacka, Agnieszka; Taszakowski, Jaroslaw; Janus, Jaroslaw; Bozek, Piotr

    2016-10-01

    Land consolidation is a fundamental instrument for agricultural management. It facilitates comprehensive changes in the agricultural, social, and ecological domains. Consolidation and post-consolidation development-related investments are an opportunity to improve living conditions in rural areas, and simultaneously ensure its positive impact on the environment. One of the primary goals of consolidation, directly specified in the Act on land consolidation, is to improve farming conditions. In Poland, consolidation is possible due to EU funds: RDP 2007-2013 and RDP 2014-2020. In order for individual villages to be granted EU funds for consolidation and post-consolidation development under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, their consolidation has to implement actions with positive impact on the environment and the landscape. The goal of this paper is to analyse documentation in the form of assumptions for a land consolidation project enclosed to an RDP 2014-2020 grant application and project information sheets as the basis for environmental impact assessment in the context of detailed presentation of environmental protection solutions that ensure a positive impact of the project on the environment and landscape. The detailed study involved 9 villages in the Malopolskie Voivodeship, which applied for EU grants for land consolidation in the current financial perspective. The paper specifies the existing state of the analysed villages as regards the natural environment, lists agricultural management instruments that have a positive impact on the environment, and demonstrates that planning of actions aimed at environmental protection is a necessary element of assumptions for land consolidation projects.

  2. 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.

  3. Soil acidification and the importance of liming agricultural soils with particular reference to the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Goulding, K W T

    2016-09-01

    Soil acidification is caused by a number of factors including acidic precipitation and the deposition from the atmosphere of acidifying gases or particles, such as sulphur dioxide, ammonia and nitric acid. The most important causes of soil acidification on agricultural land, however, are the application of ammonium-based fertilizers and urea, elemental S fertilizer and the growth of legumes. Acidification causes the loss of base cations, an increase in aluminium saturation and a decline in crop yields; severe acidification can cause nonreversible clay mineral dissolution and a reduction in cation exchange capacity, accompanied by structural deterioration. Soil acidity is ameliorated by applying lime or other acid-neutralizing materials. 'Liming' also reduces N2O emissions, but this is more than offset by CO 2 emissions from the lime as it neutralizes acidity. Because crop plants vary in their tolerance to acidity and plant nutrients have different optimal pH ranges, target soil pH values in the UK are set at 6.5 (5.8 in peaty soils) for cropped land and 6.0 (5.3 in peaty soils) for grassland. Agricultural lime products can be sold as 'EC Fertiliser Liming Materials' but, although vital for soil quality and agricultural production, liming tends to be strongly influenced by the economics of farming. Consequently, much less lime is being applied in the UK than required, and many arable and grassland soils are below optimum pH.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Adsorption of the antiepileptic carbamazepine onto agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Calisto, Vania; Esteves, Valdemar I

    2012-05-01

    Carbamazepine is an antiepileptic pharmaceutical which is commonly found in environmental matrices. It passes through wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) almost completely unaffected and has been found to be highly persistent in the environment. The application of sludge in agricultural fields and the use of WWTP effluents for irrigation constitute a potential source of soil contamination. Consequently, the assessment of the interaction between carbamazepine and soils is of crucial importance to understand its fate in the environment. To monitor the sorption behavior of carbamazepine onto agricultural soils, batch equilibrium experiments were performed using soils subjected to distinct long-term fertilizations. In order to follow the adsorption experiments, an UV spectral deconvolution methodology was applied and the results compared with those from micellar electrokinetic chromatography. The results obtained by both methods did not present significant statistical differences at 95% confidence level. Therefore, it was proven that, in the context of adsorption studies, UV spectral deconvolution is a valid alternative to common chromatographic methods, with the major advantage of being a simple and fast procedure. The adsorption of carbamazepine onto the selected soils was satisfactorily described by the Freundlich model. The obtained Freundlich parameters (K(F)) (between 1.79 ± 0.07 and 4.8 ± 0.2 mg kg(-1) (mg L(-1))(-N)) indicate that the adsorption behavior of carbamazepine is dependent on the soil fertilization. Also, it is not extensively sorbed, indicating that carbamazepine present in soils can be a potential source of contamination of surface and ground waters through run-off and infiltration.

  8. 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.

  9. Environmental fate of double-stranded RNA in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. Greater soil carbon stocks and faster turnover rates with increasing agricultural productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanderman, Jonathan; Creamer, Courtney; Baisden, W. Troy; Farrell, Mark; Fallon, Stewart

    2017-01-01

    Devising agricultural management schemes that enhance food security and soil carbon levels is a high priority for many nations. However, the coupling between agricultural productivity, soil carbon stocks and organic matter turnover rates is still unclear. Archived soil samples from four decades of a long-term crop rotation trial were analyzed for soil organic matter (SOM) cycling-relevant properties: C and N content, bulk composition by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, amino sugar content, short-term C bioavailability assays, and long-term C turnover rates by modeling the incorporation of the bomb spike in atmospheric 14C into the soil. After > 40 years under consistent management, topsoil carbon stocks ranged from 14 to 33 Mg C ha-1 and were linearly related to the mean productivity of each treatment. Measurements of SOM composition demonstrated increasing amounts of plant- and microbially derived SOM along the productivity gradient. Under two modeling scenarios, radiocarbon data indicated overall SOM turnover time decreased from 40 to 13 years with increasing productivity - twice the rate of decline predicted from simple steady-state models or static three-pool decay rates of measured C pool distributions. Similarly, the half-life of synthetic root exudates decreased from 30.4 to 21.5 h with increasing productivity, indicating accelerated microbial activity. These findings suggest that there is a direct feedback between accelerated biological activity, carbon cycling rates and rates of carbon stabilization with important implications for how SOM dynamics are represented in models.

  13. Rhamnolipid surface thermodynamic properties and transport in agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Renfro, Tyler Dillard; Xie, Weijie; Yang, Guang; Chen, Gang

    2014-03-01

    Rhamnolipid is a biosurfactant produced by several Pseudomonas species, which can wet hydrophobic soils by lowering the cohesive and/or adhesive surface tension. Because of its biodegradability, rhamnolipid applications bring minimal adverse impact on the soil and groundwater as compared with that of chemical wetting agents. Subsequently, rhamnolipid applications have more advantages when used to improve irrigation in the agricultural soil, especially under draught conditions. In the presence of rhamnolipid, water surface tension dropped linearly with the increase of rhamnolipid concentration until the rhamnolipid critical micelle concentration (CMC) of 30 mg/L was reached. Below the CMC, rhamnolipid had linear adsorption isotherms on the soil with a partition coefficient of 0.126 L/kg. Rhamnolipid transport breakthrough curves had a broad and diffuse infiltration front, indicating retention of rhamnolipid on the soil increased with time. Rhamnolipid transport was found to be well represented by the advection-dispersion equation based on a local equilibrium assumption. When applied at concentrations above the CMC, the formed rhamnolipid micelles prevented rhamnolipid adsorption (both equilibrium adsorption and kinetic adsorption) in the soil. It was discovered in this research that rhamnolipid surface thermodynamic properties played the key role in controlling rhamnolipid transport. The attractive forces between rhamnolipid molecules contributed to micelle formation and facilitated rhamnolipid transport.

  14. Prehistoric agricultural depletion of soil nutrients in Hawai'i.

    PubMed

    Hartshorn, A S; Chadwick, O A; Vitousek, P M; Kirch, P V

    2006-07-18

    We investigated the fate of soil nutrients after centuries of indigenous dryland agriculture in Hawai'i using a coupled geochemical and archaeological approach. Beginning approximately 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Spatial Variation of Soil Salinity in the Mexicali Valley, Mexico: Application of a Practical Method for Agricultural Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Spatial and Temporal Variation of Archaeal, Bacterial and Fungal Communities in Agricultural Soils

    PubMed Central

    Pereira e Silva, Michele C.; Dias, Armando Cavalcante Franco; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana Falcão

    2012-01-01

    Background Soil microbial communities are in constant change at many different temporal and spatial scales. However, the importance of these changes to the turnover of the soil microbial communities has been rarely studied simultaneously in space and time. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, we explored the temporal and spatial responses of soil bacterial, archaeal and fungal β-diversities to abiotic parameters. Taking into account data from a 3-year sampling period, we analyzed the abundances and community structures of Archaea, Bacteria and Fungi along with key soil chemical parameters. We questioned how these abiotic variables influence the turnover of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities and how they impact the long-term patterns of changes of the aforementioned soil communities. Interestingly, we found that the bacterial and fungal β-diversities are quite stable over time, whereas archaeal diversity showed significantly higher fluctuations. These fluctuations were reflected in temporal turnover caused by soil management through addition of N-fertilizers. Conclusions Our study showed that management practices applied to agricultural soils might not significantly affect the bacterial and fungal communities, but cause slow and long-term changes in the abundance and structure of the archaeal community. Moreover, the results suggest that, to different extents, abiotic and biotic factors determine the community assembly of archaeal, bacterial and fungal communities. PMID:23284712

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26053257

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The rangeland management and soil health connection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil health is defined as the capacity of soil to function and provide ecosystem services to society. The importance of managing for the improvement and maintenance of soil health transcends political boundaries, generations, societies and languages. The challenge of communicating soil health conc...

  9. Evaluation of Soil Moisture Derived from Passive Microwave Remote Sensing Over Agricultural Sites in Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champagne, C.; McNairn, H.; Berg, A.

    2008-12-01

    Spatial information on soil moisture conditions is a critical agri-environmental variable and can be used alone as a decision support tool for a number of land management decisions, including soil trafficability, seeding options and pesticide applications. Large-area estimations of soil moisture derived from passive microwave sensors are available over Canada from AMSR-E and SSM/I sensors, and in some instances are being used as decision-support tools (AAFC, 2008). These coarse spatial estimates can be used to assess overall conditions on a daily or weekly basis, and potentially be used as a monitoring tool to trigger assessment using higher spatial resolution active microwave sensors. Retrieval algorithms to derive soil moisture from passive microwave brightness temperature produce variable results depending on input frequency and the reliance on ancillary data to estimate vegetation water content and land surface temperature. There is a need to characterize regional errors in these data sets to contextualize their operational use and facilitate integration of these data sets into land surface models. Several soil moisture information products derived from passive microwave remote sensing were evaluated for their potential use in assessing moisture conditions over agricultural regions in Canada. Soil wetness maps derived from SSM/I (Basist et al., 2001), AMSR-E NASA soil moisture products (Njoku, 2008) and two AMSR-E soil moisture products derived using C and X band frequencies using an alternative retrieval algorithm (Owe et al., 2008) were evaluated over agricultural regions in Canada. Evaluations were based on in-situ measurements from sites in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario for spring and fall periods in 2007 and 2008. Differences in the satellite climatology relative to surface soil moisture observations in Canada will be discussed.

  10. Atrazine contamination in agricultural soils from the Yangtze River Delta of China and associated health risks.

    PubMed

    Sun, J T; Pan, L L; Zhan, Yu; Tsang, Daniel C W; Zhu, L Z; Li, X D

    2017-04-01

    Atrazine is one of the most widely applied and persistent herbicides in the world. In view of limited information on the regional contamination of atrazine in soils in China, this study investigated the spatial distribution and environmental impacts of atrazine in agricultural soils collected from the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) as an illustrative analysis of rapidly developing regions in the country. The results showed that the concentrations of atrazine in the YRD agricultural soils ranged from <1.0 to 113 ng/g dry weight, with a mean of 5.7 ng/g, and a detection rate of 57.7 % in soils. Pesticide factory might be a major source for the elevated levels of atrazine in Zhejiang Province. The contamination of atrazine was closely associated with land use types. The concentrations and detection rates of atrazine were higher in corn fields and mulberry fields than in rice paddy fields. There was no significant difference in compositions of soil microbial phospholipids fatty acids among the areas with different atrazine levels. Positive relationship (R = 0.417, p < 0.05, n = 30) was observed between atrazine and total microbial biomass. However, other factors, such as soil type and land management practice, might have stronger influences on soil microbial communities. Human health risks via exposure to atrazine in soils were estimated according to the methods recommended by the US EPA. Atrazine by itself in all the soil samples imposed very low carcinogenic risks (<10(-6)) and minimal non-cancer risks (hazard index <1) to adults and children.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Status of phthalate esters contamination in agricultural soils across China and associated health risks.

    PubMed

    Niu, Lili; Xu, Yang; Xu, Chao; Yun, Lingxiang; Liu, Weiping

    2014-12-01

    The extensive utilization of phthalate-containing products has lead to ubiquitous contamination of phthalate esters (PAEs) in various matrices. However, comprehensive knowledge of their pollution in Chinese farmland and associated risks is still limited. In this study, 15 PAEs were determined in soils from agricultural fields throughout the Mainland China. The concentrations of Σ15PAEs were in the range of 75.0-6369 μg kg(-1). Three provinces (i.e., Fujian, Guangdong and Xinjiang, China) showed the highest loadings of PAEs. Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) was found as the most abundant component and contributed 71.5% to the ∑15PAEs. The major source of PAEs in arable soils was associated with the application of agricultural plastic films, followed by the activities for soil fertility. Furthermore, the non-cancer and carcinogenic risks of target PAEs were estimated. The hazard indexes (HIs) of PAEs in all samples were below 1 and the carcinogenic risk levels were all within 10(-4). Results from this study will provide valuable information for Chinese agricultural soil management and risk avoidance.

  15. Soil bacterial diversity changes in response to agricultural land use in semi-arid soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Guo-Chun; Piceno, Yvette M.; Heuer, Holger; Weinert, Nicole; Dohrmann, Anja B.; Carrillo, Angel; Andersen, Gary L.; Castellanos, Thelma; Tebbe, Christoph C.; Smalla, Kornelia

    2013-04-01

    Natural scrublands in semi-arid deserts are increasingly being converted into agricultural lands. The long-term effect of such a transition in land use on soil bacterial communities was explored at two sites typical of semi-arid deserts in Mexico (Baja California). Comparisons were made between soil samples from alfalfa fields and the adjacent scrublands by two complementary methods - denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and PhyloChip hybridization -employed to analyze 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. DGGE analyses revealed significant effects of the transition on community composition of Bacteria, Actinobacteria, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria at both sites. PhyloChip hybridization analysis uncovered that the transition negatively affected taxa such as Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidimicrobiales, Rubrobacterales, Deltaproteobacteria and Clostridia, while Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria increased in abundance. The arable soils were lower in organic matter and phosphate concentration, and higher in salinity. Soil parameters that differed between land uses were highly correlated with the community composition of taxa responding to land use. Variation in the bacterial community composition was higher in soils from scrubland than from agriculture, as revealed by DGGE and PhyloChip analyses. The long term use for agriculture resulted in profound changes in the bacterial community composition and physicochemical characteristics of former scrublands, which may affect various soil ecosystem functions.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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 ...

  4. GEMAS: Mineral magnetic properties of European agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The GEMAS survey of European agricultural soil provides a unique opportunity to create the first comprehensive overview of mineral magnetic properties in agricultural soil on a continental scale. Samples from the upper 20 cm were taken in large agricultural fields (Ap-sample) at a density of 1 site/2500 km2. After air drying and sieving to < 2 mm, low (460 Hz), and high frequency (4600 Hz) magnetic susceptibility k was measured on 2500 samples using a Bartington MS2B sensor to obtain frequency dependence of magnetic susceptibility kfd. Hysteresis properties are determined using a J coercivity spectrometer, built in 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, taking approximately 15 minutes. This allows to measure a wide range of magnetic parameters for large sample collections. Because the GEMAS geochemical atlas provides a comprehensive set of geochemical measurements characterizing the individual soil samples, the new data allow to study magnetic parameters in relation to chemical and geological parameters. The results show a clear large scale spatial distribution with e.g. broad distinct lows of k over sandy sediments of the last glaciation in central northern Europe and other sedimentary basins. More localized positive k anomalies occur near young volcanism, or old basalts exposed on the surface. On the other hand, frequency dependence of k displays a much more scattered behavior, indicating either high noise level, or large local variability. Clearly distinguishable, small-scale patterns in the randomized data set indicate that the latter is more likely. This indicates that local influences on soil magnetic properties, including anthropogenic effects, may be easier detected by frequency dependence

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Expanding soil health assessment methods for agricultural systems of the southern great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In agricultural systems, soil health (also referred as soil quality) is critical for sustainable production and ecosystem services. Soil health analyses dependent upon singular parameters fail to account for the host of interactions occurring within the soil ecosystem. Soil health is in flux with m...

  8. Soil Respiration in Different Agricultural and Natural Ecosystems in an Arid Region

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Liming; Zhao, Xuechun; Jiang, Lianhe; Wang, Yongji; Luo, Liangguo; Zheng, Yuanrun; Chen, Xi; Rimmington, Glyn M.

    2012-01-01

    The variation of different ecosystems on the terrestrial carbon balance is predicted to be large. We investigated a typical arid region with widespread saline/alkaline soils, and evaluated soil respiration of different agricultural and natural ecosystems. Soil respiration for five ecosystems together with soil temperature, soil moisture, soil pH, soil electric conductivity and soil organic carbon content were investigated in the field. Comparing with the natural ecosystems, the mean seasonal soil respiration rates of the agricultural ecosystems were 96%–386% higher and agricultural ecosystems exhibited lower CO2 absorption by the saline/alkaline soil. Soil temperature and moisture together explained 48%, 86%, 84%, 54% and 54% of the seasonal variations of soil respiration in the five ecosystems, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship between soil respiration and soil electrical conductivity, but a weak correlation between soil respiration and soil pH or soil organic carbon content. Our results showed that soil CO2 emissions were significantly different among different agricultural and natural ecosystems, although we caution that this was an observational, not manipulative, study. Temperature at the soil surface and electric conductivity were the main driving factors of soil respiration across the five ecosystems. Care should be taken when converting native vegetation into cropland from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions. PMID:23082234

  9. 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.

  10. Do Agricultural Soils of California have the Potential to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate Greenhouse Gases?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suddick, E. C.; Scow, K. M.; Six, J. W.

    2008-12-01

    Agricultural ecosystems play a major role in the global carbon cycle and can be both sources of carbon emissions to the atmosphere and also carbon sinks which may be used to offset any future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In California, climate change predictions indicate major impacts and substantial alterations of agricultural systems over the next decades. In 2006, California passed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) that requires reduction of the three major GHG's (CO2, N2O and CH4) to 1990 levels by 2020. We surveyed and synthesized available data from recent studies describing the potential to sequester carbon and reduce other GHG emissions in California agricultural soils. The studies evaluated various management practices in both annual row and perennial cropping systems, with other studies focusing upon biogeochemical model predictions for carbon sequestration and GHG mitigation calibrated towards California agriculture. Management practices considered included minimum or no tillage, cover cropping, organic residue (low and high inputs) and nitrogen fertilizer management. Though practices involving inputs of carbon, such as cover cropping and organic amendments, were often associated with increases in soil organic carbon (SOC) in the top soil layer (0-20 cm), results were not consistent across farming systems. Several studies indicated that conservation tillage, alone, increased above-ground biomass, especially when used with a cover crop. However, the reduced soil disturbance from conservation tillage merely resulted in a redistribution of the soil carbon rather than an overall accumulation, when compared with standard tillage and cover cropping practices together. Predictions from biogeochemical models indicated that increased inputs of manure and increased organic residues led to substantial carbon sequestration but did not consistently reduce non-CO2 related GHG emissions. The most effective way to reduce non-CO2 GHG

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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. 

  18. 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,…

  19. 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.

  20. Diversity and infectivity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in agricultural soils of the Sichuan Province of mainland China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan Yuan; Vestberg, Mauritz; Walker, Christopher; Hurme, Timo; Zhang, Xiaoping; Lindström, Kristina

    2008-02-01

    Knowledge about the presence and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in a specific area is an essential first step for utilizing these fungi in any application. The community composition of AMF in intensively managed agricultural soil in the Sichuan Province of southwest China currently is unknown. In one set of samples, AMF were trapped in pot cultures from 40 fields growing legumes in the Panxi region, southeast Sichuan. In a second set of samples, the MPN method with four-fold dilutions and maize as host was used to estimate infective propagules in soil from another 50 agricultural sites throughout the province. Soil types were heterogeneous and were classified as purple, yellow, paddy and red. Crops at each site were either maize, wheat or sweet orange. From this set of soil, AMF spores were also extracted and identified. Including all ninety soils, thirty glomeromycotan species in Glomus (20 species), Acaulospora (four species), Scutellospora (three species), Ambispora (one species), Archaeospora (one species) and Paraglomus (one species) were identified. Yellow, red and purple soils yielded similar numbers of AMF species, while AMF species diversity was clearly lower in paddy soil. In trap culture soils, the most frequent species were Glomus aggregatum or Glomus intraradices, Glomus claroideum and Glomus etunicatum. The species Acaulospora capsicula, Acaulospora delicata, G. aggregatum (or intraradices), G. claroideum, Glomus epigaeum, G. etunicatum, Glomus luteum, Glomus monosporum, Glomus mosseae and Glomus proliferum were successfully cultured as single-species pot cultures in Plantago lanceolata. The three most frequent species in field soils were G. mosseae, Glomus caledonium and Glomus constrictum. MPN values varied between 17 and 3334 propagules 100 g soil(-1) among the fifty field sites sampled. Regression analysis, including host&soil, log(P) and pH as explanatory variables explained 59% of the variation in log(MPN). The highest MPN

  1. Streptococcus suis sorption on agricultural soils: role of soil physico-chemical properties.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wenqiang; Liu, Xing; Huang, Qiaoyun; Cai, Peng

    2015-01-01

    Understanding pathogen sorption on natural soil particles is crucial to protect public health from soilborne and waterborne diseases. Sorption of pathogen Streptococcus suis on 10 agricultural soils was examined, and its correlations with soil physico-chemical properties were also elucidated. S. suis sorption isotherms conformed to the linear equation, with partition coefficients (Ks) ranging from 12.7 mL g(-1) to 100.1 mL g(-1). Bacteria were observed to sorb on the external surfaces of soil aggregates by scanning electron microscopy. Using Pearson correlation and linear regression analysis, solution pH was found to have significant negative correlations with Ks. Stepwise multiple regression and path analysis revealed that pH and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were the main factors influencing sorption behaviors. The obtained overall model (Ks=389.6-45.9×pH-1.3×CEC, R(2)=0.943, P<0.001) can accurately predict Ks values. However, the variability in Ks was less dependent on soil organic matter, specific surface area, soil texture and zeta potential, probably due to the internal-surface shielding phenomenon of soil aggregates. Additionally, the sorption trends cannot be interpreted by interaction energy barriers calculated using the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory, suggesting the limits of DLVO theory in describing pathogen sorption on natural soils. Our results also indicated soil pH and CEC should be preferentially considered when modeling S. suis sorption process.

  2. Diversities of phthalate esters in suburban agricultural soils and wasteland soil appeared with urbanization in China.

    PubMed

    Kong, Shaofei; Ji, Yaqin; Liu, Lingling; Chen, Li; Zhao, Xueyan; Wang, Jiajun; Bai, Zhipeng; Sun, Zengrong

    2012-11-01

    The distribution of six priority phthalic acid esters (PAEs) in suburban farmland, vegetable, orchard and wasteland soils of Tianjin were obtained with gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis in 2009. Results showed that total PAEs varied from 0.05 to 10.4 μg g(-1), with the median value as 0.32 μg g(-1). Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and di-n-butyl phthalate are most abundant species. PAEs concentrations for the four types of soils exhibited decreasing order as vegetable soil > wasteland soil > farmland soil > orchard soil. PAEs exhibited elevated levels in more developed regions when compared with other studies. The agricultural plastic film could elevate the PAEs contents in soils. Principal component analysis indicated the emission from cosmetics and personal care products and plasticizers were important sources for PAEs in suburban soils in Tianjin. The higher PAEs contents in wasteland soils from suburban area should be paid more attention owing to large amounts of solid wastes appeared with the ongoing urbanization.

  3. CQESTR Simulation of Soil Organic Matter Dynamics in Long-term Agricultural Experiments across USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gollany, H.; Liang, Y.; Albrecht, S.; Rickman, R.; Follett, R.; Wilhelm, W.; Novak, J.

    2009-04-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) has important chemical (supplies nutrients, buffers and adsorbs harmful chemical compounds), biological (supports the growth of microorganisms and micro fauna), and physical (improves soil structure and soil tilth, stores water, and reduces surface crusting, water runoff) functions. The loss of 20 to 50% of soil organic carbon (SOC) from USA soils after converting native prairie or forest to production agriculture is well documented. Sustainable management practices for SOC is critical for maintaining soil productivity and responsible utilization of crop residues. As crop residues are targeted for additional uses (e.g., cellulosic ethanol feedstock) developing C models that predict change in SOM over time with change in management becomes increasingly important. CQESTR, pronounced "sequester," is a process-based C balance model that relates organic residue additions, crop management and soil tillage to SOM accretion or loss. The model works on daily time-steps and can perform long-term (100-year) simulations. Soil organic matter change is computed by maintaining a soil C budget for additions, such as crop residue or added amendments like manure, and organic C losses through microbial decomposition. Our objective was to simulate SOM changes in agricultural soils under a range of soil parent materials, climate and management systems using the CQESTR model. Long-term experiments (e.g. Champaign, IL, >100 yrs; Columbia, MO, >100 yrs; Lincoln, NE, 20 yrs) under various tillage practices, organic amendments, crop rotations, and crop residue removal treatments were selected for their documented history of the long-term effects of management practice on SOM dynamics. Simulated and observed values from the sites were significantly related (r2 = 94%, P < 0.001) with slope not significantly different from 1. Recent interest in crop residue removal for biofuel feedstock prompted us to address that as a management issue. CQESTR successfully simulated a

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service research in application technology for pest management.

    PubMed

    Smith, L A; Thomson, S J

    2003-01-01

    A research summary is presented that emphasizes ARS achievements in application technology over the past 2-3 years. Research focused on the improvement of agricultural pesticide application is important from the standpoint of crop protection as well as environmental safety. Application technology research is being actively pursued within the ARS, with a primary focus on application system development, drift management, efficacy enhancement and remote sensing. Research on application systems has included sensor-controlled hooded sprayers, new approaches to direct chemical injection, and aerial electrostatic sprayers. For aerial application, great improvements in on-board flow controllers permit accurate field application of chemicals. Aircraft parameters such as boom position and spray release height are being altered to determine their effect on drift. Other drift management research has focused on testing of low-drift nozzles, evaluation of pulsed spray technologies and evaluation of drift control adjuvants. Research on the use of air curtain sprayers in orchards, air-assist sprayers for row crops and vegetables, and air deflectors on aircraft has documented improvements in application efficacy. Research has shown that the fate of applied chemicals is influenced by soil properties, and this has implications for herbicide efficacy and dissipation in the environment. Remote sensing systems are being used to target areas in the field where pests are present so that spray can be directed to only those areas. Soil and crop conditions influence propensity for weeds and insects to proliferate in any given field area. Research has indicated distinct field patterns favorable for weed growth and insect concentration, which can provide further assistance for targeted spraying.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Selenium speciation and extractability in Dutch agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Supriatin, Supriatin; Weng, Liping; Comans, Rob N J

    2015-11-01

    The study aimed to understand selenium (Se) speciation and extractability in Dutch agricultural soils. Top soil samples were taken from 42 grassland fields and 41 arable land fields in the Netherlands. Total Se contents measured in aqua regia were between 0.12 and 1.97 mg kg(-1) (on average 0.58 mg kg(-1)). Organic Se after NaOCl oxidation-extraction accounted for on average 82% of total Se, whereas inorganic selenite (selenate was not measurable) measured in ammonium oxalate extraction using HPLC-ICP-MS accounted for on average 5% of total Se. The predominance of organic Se in the soils is supported by the positive correlations between total Se (aqua regia) and total soil organic matter content, and Se and organic C content in all the other extractions performed in this study. The amount of Se extracted followed the order of aqua regia > 1 M NaOCl (pH8) > 0.1 M NaOH>ammonium oxalate (pH3) > hot water>0.43 M HNO3 > 0.01 M CaCl2. None of these extractions selectively extracts only inorganic Se, and relative to other extractions 0.43 M HNO3 extraction contains the lowest fraction of organic Se, followed by ammonium oxalate extraction. In the 0.1M NaOH extraction, the hydrophobic neutral (HON) fraction of soil organic matter is richer in Se than in the hydrophilic (Hy) and humic acid (HA) fractions. The organic matter extracted in 0.01 M CaCl2 and hot water is in general richer in Se compared to the organic matter extracted in 0.1M NaOH, and other extractions (HNO3, ammonium oxalate, NaOCl, and aqua regia). Although the extractability of Se follows to a large extent the extractability of soil organic carbon, there is several time variations in the Se to organic C ratios, reflecting the changes in composition of organic matter extracted.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Impact of woodchip biochar amendment on the sorption and dissipation of pesticide acetamiprid in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiang-Yang; Mu, Chang-Li; Gu, Cheng; Liu, Cun; Liu, Xian-Jin

    2011-11-01

    Pyrolysis of vegetative biomass into biochar and application of the more stable form of carbon to soil have been shown to be effective in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, improving soil fertility, and sequestering soil contaminants. However, there is still lack of information about the impact of biochar amendment in agricultural soils on the sorption and environmental fate of pesticides. In this study, we investigated the sorption and dissipation of a neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid in three typical Chinese agricultural soils, which were amended by a red gum wood (Eucalyptus spp.) derived biochar. Our results showed that the amendment of biochar (0.5% (w/w)) to the soils could significantly increase the sorption of acetamiprid, but the magnitudes of enhancement were varied. Contributions of 0.5% newly-added biochar to the overall sorption of acetamiprid were 52.3%, 27.4% and 11.6% for red soil, paddy soil and black soil, respectively. The dissipation of acetamiprid in soils amended with biochar was retarded compared to that in soils without biochar amendment. Similar to the sorption experiment, in soil with higher content of organic matter, the retardation of biochar on the dissipation of acetamiprid was lower than that with lower content of organic matter. The different effects of biochar in agricultural soils may attribute to the interaction of soil components with biochar, which would block the pore or compete for binding site of biochar. Aging effect of biochar application in agricultural soils and field experiments need to be further investigated.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. Flexing the PECs: Predicting environmental concentrations of veterinary drugs in Canadian agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Kullik, Sigrun A; Belknap, Andrew M

    2017-03-01

    Veterinary drugs administered to food animals primarily enter ecosystems through the application of livestock waste to agricultural land. Although veterinary drugs are essential for protecting animal health, their entry into the environment may pose a risk for nontarget organisms. A means to predict environmental concentrations of new veterinary drug ingredients in soil is required to assess their environmental fate, distribution, and potential effects. The Canadian predicted environmental concentrations in soil (PECsoil) for new veterinary drug ingredients for use in intensively reared animals is based on the approach currently used by the European Medicines Agency for VICH Phase I environmental assessments. The calculation for the European Medicines Agency PECsoil can be adapted to account for regional animal husbandry and land use practices. Canadian agricultural practices for intensively reared cattle, pigs, and poultry differ substantially from those in the European Union. The development of PECsoil default values and livestock categories representative of typical Canadian animal production methods and nutrient management practices culminates several years of research and an extensive survey and analysis of the scientific literature, Canadian agricultural statistics, national and provincial management recommendations, veterinary product databases, and producers. A PECsoil can be used to rapidly identify new veterinary drugs intended for intensive livestock production that should undergo targeted ecotoxicity and fate testing. The Canadian PECsoil model is readily available, transparent, and requires minimal inputs to generate a screening level environmental assessment for veterinary drugs that can be refined if additional data are available. PECsoil values for a hypothetical veterinary drug dosage regimen are presented and discussed in an international context. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:331-341. © 2016 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada

  13. Calculating Nitrogen Gas Fluxes from Agricultural Soils in the Central US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Grosso, S.; Ogle, S. M.; Parton, W. J.; Breidt, F. J.

    2009-12-01

    The DAYCENT model is currently used to estimate N2O emissions from agricultural soils for the US National GHG Inventory. DAYCENT is a process based terrestrial ecosystem model of intermediate complexity. The model has been extensively tested with field data from various locations representing a wide range of vegetation types, soil classifications, and land management practices. DAYCENT simulates direct soil N2O emissions, as well as indirect NO emissions from NO3 leaching and N volatilization, at sub-county level resolution. Meteorological data required to drive DAYCENT were acquired from DAYMET and soils data were obtained from STATSGO. A Monte Carlo analysis was combined with an empirically-based approach to quantify uncertainties. The Monte Carlo analysis involved drawing model drivers from probability distribution functions for major model inputs (i.e. weather, soil class, N addition rate). A structural uncertainty estimator was developed by deriving a statistical equation from a comparison of DAYCENT simulated N2O emissions with measured emissions from experiments in North America. Spatial variability in emissions was driven primarily by differences in N inputs from fertilizer and manure, while temporal variability was driven more by weather. A higher portion of total uncertainty was due to model structure compared to model inputs suggesting that improvements in model algorithms and parameterization are needed to increase confidence in emission estimates

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Linking trace metals and agricultural land use in volcanic soils--a multivariate approach.

    PubMed

    Parelho, C; Rodrigues, A S; Cruz, J V; Garcia, P

    2014-10-15

    The concern about the environmental impacts caused by agriculture intensification is growing as large amounts of nutrients and contaminants are introduced into soil ecosystems. Volcanic soils are unique naturally fertile resources extensively used for agricultural purposes, with particular physical and chemical properties that may result in possible accumulation of toxic substances, such as metals. Within this particular geological context, the present study aims to evaluate the impact of different agricultural systems (conventional, traditional and organic) in trace metal (TM) soil pollution and define the tracers for each one. Physicochemical properties and TM contents in agricultural topsoils were determined. Enrichment Factors (EF) were calculated to distinguish geogenic and anthropogenic contribution to TM contents in agricultural soils. An ensemble of multivariate statistical analyses (PCA and FDA) was performed to reduce the multidimensional space of variables and samples, thus defining a set of TM as tracers of distinct agricultural farming systems. Results show that agricultural soils have low organic matter content (<5%) compared to reference soil (>30%); in addition, electric conductivity in conventional farming soils is higher (262.3 ± 162.6 μS cm(-1)) while pH is lower (5.8 ± 0.3). Regarding metal inputs, V, Ba and Hg soil contents are mainly of geogenic origin, while Li, P, K, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Mo, Cd and Pb result primarily from anthropogenic inputs. Li revealed to be a tracer of agricultural pollution in conventional farming soils, whereas V allowed the discrimination of traditional farming soils. This study points to agriculture as a diffuse source of anthropogenic TM soil pollution and is the first step to identify priority chemicals affecting agricultural Andosols.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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,…

  2. Dynamics of soil organic carbon and microbial activity in treated wastewater irrigated agricultural soils along soil profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jüschke, Elisabeth; Marschner, Bernd; Chen, Yona; Tarchitzky, Jorge

    2010-05-01

    Treated wastewater (TWW) is an important source for irrigation water in arid and semiarid regions and already serves as an important water source in Jordan, the Palestinian Territories and Israel. Reclaimed water still contains organic matter (OM) and various compounds that may effect microbial activity and soil quality (Feigin et al. 1991). Natural soil organic carbon (SOC) may be altered by interactions between these compounds and the soil microorganisms. This study evaluates the effects of TWW irrigation on the quality, dynamics and microbial transformations of natural SOC. Priming effects (PE) and SOC mineralization were determined to estimate the influence of TWW irrigation on SOC along soil profiles of agricultural soils in Israel and the Westbank. The used soil material derived from three different sampling sites allocated in Israel and The Palestinian Authority. Soil samples were taken always from TWW irrigated sites and control fields from 6 different depths (0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-50, 50-70, 70-100 cm). Soil carbon content and microbiological parameters (microbial biomass, microbial activities and enzyme activities) were investigated. In several sites, subsoils (50-160 cm) from TWW irrigated plots were depleted in soil organic matter with the largest differences occurring in sites with the longest TWW irrigation history. Laboratory incubation experiments with additions of 14C-labelled compounds to the soils showed that microbial activity in freshwater irrigated soils was much more stimulated by sugars or amino acids than in TWW irrigated soils. The lack of such "priming effects" (Hamer & Marschner 2005) in the TWW irrigated soils indicates that here the microorganisms are already operating at their optimal metabolic activity due to the continuous substrate inputs with soluble organic compounds from the TWW. The fact that PE are triggered continuously due to TWW irrigation may result in a decrease of SOC over long term irrigation. Already now this could be

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. Enhancing soil sorption capacity of an agricultural soil by addition of three different organic wastes.

    PubMed

    Rojas, Raquel; Morillo, José; Usero, José; Delgado-Moreno, Laura; Gan, Jay

    2013-08-01

    This study evaluated the ability of three unmodified organic residues (composted sewage sludge, RO1; chicken manure, RO2; and a residue from olive oil production called 'orujillo', RO3) and a soil to sorb six pesticides (atrazine, lindane, alachlor, chlorpyrifos, chlorfenvinphos and endosulfan sulfate) and thereby explored the potential environmental value of these organic residues for mitigating pesticide pollution in agricultural production and removing contaminants from wastewater. Pesticide determination was carried out using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Adsorption data were analyzed by the Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption approaches. Experimental results showed that the Freundlich isotherm model best described the adsorption process and that Kf values increased with an increase in organic matter (OM) content of the amended soil. The order of adsorption of pesticides on soils was: chlorpyrifos≥endosulfan sulfate>chlorfenvinphos≥lindane>alachlor≥atrazine. The sorption was greater for the most hydrophobic compounds and lower for the most polar ones, as corroborated by a negative correlation between Kf values and solubility. Sorption increased with an increase in organic matter. Sorption capacity was positively correlated with the organic carbon (OC) content. The organic amendment showing the maximum sorption capacity was RO3 in all cases, except for chlorfenvinphos, in which it was RO2. The order of adsorption capacity of the amendments depended on the pesticide and the organic dosage. In the case of the 10% amendment the order was RO3>RO2>RO1>soil, except for chlorfenvinphos, in which it was RO2>RO3>RO1>soil, and atrazine, where RO2 and RO3 amendments had the same effect on the soil sorption capacity (RO2≥RO3>RO1>soil).

  12. 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;…

  13. Terra Pretas: Charcoal Amendments Influence on Relict Soils and Modern Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ricigliano, Kristin

    2011-01-01

    Most soils found in the Amazon region are characterized by highly weathered profiles that are incapable of longterm agricultural production. However, small patches of highly fertile relict soil referred to as Terra Pretas, are also found in the Amazon region, and have maintained their integrity for thousands of years. These soils were…

  14. Detecting buried archaeological soils with TGA in an agricultural terrace setting in Northern Calabria, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koster, K.; Guttmann-Bond, E.; Kluiving, S.; van Leusen, M.

    2012-04-01

    Agricultural terraces are geomorphologic features created by humans. These structures protect farming land by reducing soil erosion, they collect water in their hydrological infrastructure, and preserve crops and vegetation. Their construction could however negatively affect underlying soils and archaeology present in those soils. However, if a terrace is constructed on a hill slope without destroying the underlying soil, the agricultural terrace could create a stable environment in regard to erosion, and preserve the underlying soil and potential archaeological remains in it. In order to detect soils within agricultural terraces in Northern-Calabria, Italy, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) was performed on exposures of four agricultural terraces, two agricultural fields in a non-terraced setting and five natural geomorphological features. Results are the detection of a buried soil horizon which contains archaeological remains dating from the Hellenistic period 60 cm below the surface of an agricultural terrace, and a buried soil horizon which contains archaeological remains dating from the Hellenistic period at the interface of an agricultural field and a river valley. Both soil horizons were indentified by an increase in organic components, and a decrease in calcium carbonates relative to their surrounding context. Conclusions are that the construction of agricultural terraces and fields does not necessarily lead to the destruction of underlying soils. This could open new doors for archaeological field investigations in agricultural areas in southern Italy. This study was conducted as part of the Raganello Archaeological Project of the Groningen Institute of Archaeology, Rijks Universiteit Groningen, in collaboration with the Institute for Geo- and Bioarchaeology at the VU University Amsterdam.

  15. Introduction to Soil Fumigant Management Plans

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Soil fumigant pesticide labels require users to prepare a site-specific fumigation management plan (FMP) before the application begins. EPA has developed templates that outline the elements required by the labels.

  16. Variations in the bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in industrial and agricultural soils after bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Guo, Meixia; Gong, Zongqiang; Allinson, Graeme; Tai, Peidong; Miao, Renhui; Li, Xiaojun; Jia, Chunyun; Zhuang, Jie

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate the variations in bioavailability remaining in industrial and agricultural soils contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) after bioremediation. After inoculation of Mycobacterium sp. and Mucor sp., PAH biodegradation was tested on a manufactured gas plant (MGP) soil and an agricultural soil. PAH bioavailability was assessed before and after biodegradation using solid-phase extraction (Tenax-TA extraction) and solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) to represent bioaccessibility and chemical activity of PAHs, respectively. Only 3- and 4-ring PAHs were noticeably biodegradable in the MGP soil. PAH biodegradation in the agricultural soil was different from that in the MGP soil. The rapidly desorbing fractions (F(rap)) extracted by Tenax-TA and the freely dissolved concentrations of 3- and 4-ring PAHs determined by SPME from the MGP soil decreased after 30 days biodegradation; those values of the 5- and 6-ring PAHs changed to a lesser degree. For the agricultural soil, the F(rap) values of the 3- and 4-ring PAHs also decreased after the biodegradation experiment. The Tenax-TA extraction and the SPME have the potential to assess variations in the bioavailability of PAHs and the degree of biodegradation in contaminated MGP soils. In addition, Tenax-TA extraction is more sensitive than SPME when used in the agricultural soil.

  17. Deep ploughing increases agricultural soil organic matter stocks.

    PubMed

    Alcántara, Viridiana; Don, Axel; Well, Reinhard; Nieder, Rolf

    2016-08-01

    Subsoils play an important role within the global C cycle, since they have high soil organic carbon (SOC) storage capacity due to generally low SOC concentrations. However, measures for enhancing SOC storage commonly focus on topsoils. This study assessed the long-term storage and stability of SOC in topsoils buried in arable subsoils by deep ploughing, a globally applied method for breaking up hard pans and improving soil structure to optimize crop growing conditions. One effect of deep ploughing is translocation of SOC formed near the surface into the subsoil, with concomitant mixing of SOC-poor subsoil material into the 'new' topsoil. Deep-ploughed croplands represent unique long-term in situ incubations of SOC-rich material in subsoils. In this study, we sampled five loamy and five sandy soils that were ploughed to 55-90 cm depth 35-50 years ago. Adjacent, similarly managed but conventionally ploughed subplots were sampled as reference. The deep-ploughed soils contained on average 42 ± 13% more SOC than the reference subplots. On average, 45 years after deep ploughing, the 'new' topsoil still contained 15% less SOC than the reference topsoil, indicating long-term SOC accumulation potential in the topsoil. In vitro incubation experiments on the buried sandy soils revealed 63 ± 6% lower potential SOC mineralisation rates and also 67 ± 2% lower SOC mineralisation per unit SOC in the buried topsoils than in the reference topsoils. Wider C/N ratio in the buried sandy topsoils than in the reference topsoils indicates that deep ploughing preserved SOC. The SOC mineralisation per unit SOC in the buried loamy topsoils was not significantly different from that in the reference topsoils. However, 56 ± 4% of the initial SOC was preserved in the buried topsoils. It can be concluded that deep ploughing contributes to SOC sequestration by enlarging the storage space for SOC-rich material.

  18. Fate and Transport of Agricultural Nutrients in Macro-porous Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Royem, A. A.; Walter, M. T.

    2010-12-01

    The major objective of this study is to address water quality problems associated with application of liquid manure to subsurface-drained agricultural lands. There are over 600 large and medium sized confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in New York, most of which utilize land application to manage this waste stream. Due to the regions shallow soil and humid weather, most fields have been equipped with tile drainage. The concern is that handling the manure is a liquefied state may enhance the likelihood of contamination of the tile drainage discharge and its potential impacts on downstream water quality. Laboratory studies were used to investigate how manure liquidity (percent solids) affects the transport of manure constituents through varying macropore sizes in the soil. Soil columns of 3 different macropore sizes (0, 1, 3 millimeter) were constructed, subjected to simulated rainfall over several weeks, and effluent was collected from both the soil matrix and macropores separately. Effluent samples were analyzed for soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP). As expected, the preliminary results show enhanced SRP transport through macropores with decreasing percent solids (i.e., more liquidy manure). The implications at field and watershed scales are still being investigated.

  19. Glyphosate and AMPA contents in sediments produced by wind erosion of agricultural soils in Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aparicio, Virginia; Aimar, Silvia; De Gerónimo, Eduardo; Buschiazzo, Daniel; Mendez, Mariano; Costa, José Luis

    2014-05-01

    Wind erosion of soils is an important event in arid and semiarid regions of Argentina. The magnitude of wind erosion occurring under different management practices is relatively well known in this region but less information is available on the quality of the eroded material. Considering that the intensification of agriculture may increase the concentrations of substances in the eroded material, producing potential negative effects on the environment, we analyzed the amount of glyphosate and AMPA in sediments produced by wind erosion of agricultural soils of Argentina. Wind eroded materials were collected by means of BSNE samplers in two loess sites of the semiarid region of Argentina: Chaco and La Pampa. Samples were collected from 1 ha square fields at 13.5, 50 and 150 cm height. Results showed that at higher heights the concentrations of glyphosate and AMPA were mostly higher. The glyphosate concentration was more variable and higher in Chaco (0.66 to 313 µg kg-1) than in La Pampa (4.17 to 114 µg kg-1). These results may be due to the higher use of herbicides in Chaco, where the predominant crops are soybeans and corn, produced under no-tillage. Under these conditions the use of glyphosate for weeds control is a common practice. Conversely, AMPA concentrations were higher in La Pampa (13.1 to 101.3 µg kg-1) than in Chaco (1.3 to 83 µg kg-1). These preliminary results show high concentrations of glyphosate and AMPA in wind eroded materials of agricultural soils of Argentina. More research is needed to confirm these high concentrations in other conditions in order to detect the temporal and spatial distribution patterns of the herbicide.

  20. Changes in soil microbial community structure following the abandonment of agricultural terraces in mountainous areas of Eastern Spain

    PubMed Central

    Zornoza, R.; Guerrero, C.; Mataix-Solera, J.; Scow, K.M.; Arcenegui, V.; Mataix-Beneyto, J.

    2012-01-01

    In Eastern Spain, almond trees have been cultivated in terraced orchards for centuries, forming an integral part of the Mediterranean forest scene. In the last decades, orchards have been abandoned due to changes in society. This study investigates effects of changes in land use from forest to agricultural land and the posterior land abandonment on soil microbial community, and the influence of soil physico-chemical properties on the microbial community composition (assessed as abundances of phospholipids fatty acids, PLFA). For this purpose, three land uses (forest, agricultural and abandoned agricultural) at four locations in SE Spain were selected. Multivariate analysis showed a substantial level of differentiation in microbial community structure according to land use. The microbial communities of forest soils were highly associated with soil organic matter content. However, we have not found any physical or chemical soil property capable of explaining the differences between agricultural and abandoned agricultural soils. Thus, it was suggested that the cessation of the perturbation caused by agriculture and shifts in vegetation may have led to changes in the microbial community structure. PLFAs indicative of fungi and ratio of fungal to bacterial PLFAs were higher in abandoned agricultural soils, whereas the relative abundance of bacteria was higher in agricultural soils. Actinomycetes were generally lower in abandoned agricultural soils, while the proportions of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhyzal fungi were, as a general trend, higher in agricultural and abandoned agricultural soils than in forests. Total microbial biomass and richness increased as agricultural < abandoned agricultural < forest soils. PMID:22291451

  1. Changes in soil microbial community structure following the abandonment of agricultural terraces in mountainous areas of Eastern Spain.

    PubMed

    Zornoza, R; Guerrero, C; Mataix-Solera, J; Scow, K M; Arcenegui, V; Mataix-Beneyto, J

    2009-07-01

    In Eastern Spain, almond trees have been cultivated in terraced orchards for centuries, forming an integral part of the Mediterranean forest scene. In the last decades, orchards have been abandoned due to changes in society. This study investigates effects of changes in land use from forest to agricultural land and the posterior land abandonment on soil microbial community, and the influence of soil physico-chemical properties on the microbial community composition (assessed as abundances of phospholipids fatty acids, PLFA). For this purpose, three land uses (forest, agricultural and abandoned agricultural) at four locations in SE Spain were selected. Multivariate analysis showed a substantial level of differentiation in microbial community structure according to land use. The microbial communities of forest soils were highly associated with soil organic matter content. However, we have not found any physical or chemical soil property capable of explaining the differences between agricultural and abandoned agricultural soils. Thus, it was suggested that the cessation of the perturbation caused by agriculture and shifts in vegetation may have led to changes in the microbial community structure. PLFAs indicative of fungi and ratio of fungal to bacterial PLFAs were higher in abandoned agricultural soils, whereas the relative abundance of bacteria was higher in agricultural soils. Actinomycetes were generally lower in abandoned agricultural soils, while the proportions of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhyzal fungi were, as a general trend, higher in agricultural and abandoned agricultural soils than in forests. Total microbial biomass and richness increased as agricultural < abandoned agricultural < forest soils.

  2. Soil-profile distribution of organic C and N at the end of 6 years of tillage and grazing management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total soil nitrogen (TSN) are key determinants for evaluating agricultural management practices to address climate change, environmental quality, and soil productivity issues. We determined SOC, TSN, and particulate organic C and N depth distributions and cum...

  3. Plant available silicon in South-east Asian rice paddy soils - relevance of agricultural practice and of abiotic factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marxen, A.; Klotzbücher, T.; Vetterlein, D.; Jahn, R.

    2012-12-01

    Background Silicon (Si) plays a crucial role in rice production. Si content of rice plants exceeds the content of other major nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous or potassium. Recent studies showed that in some environments external supply of Si can enhance the growth of rice plants. Rice plants express specific Si transporters to absorb Si from soil solutions in form of silicic acid, which precipitates in tissue cells forming amorphous silica bodies, called phytoliths. The phytoliths are returned to soils with plant residues. They might be a main source of plant available silicic acid in soils. Aims In this study we assess the effects of rice paddy cultivation on the stocks of `reactive` Si fractions in mineral topsoils of rice paddy fields in contrasting landscapes. The `reactive` Si fractions are presumed to determine the release of plant-available silicic acid in soils. We consider the relevance of abiotic factors (mineral assemblage; soil weathering status) and agricultural practice for these fractions. Agricultural practices, which were assumed to affect the stocks of `reactive` Si were (i) the usage of different rice varieties (which might differ in Si demand), (ii) straw residue management (i.e., whether straw residues are returned to the fields or removed and used e.g. as fodder), and (iii) yield level and number of crops per year. Material and methods Soils (top horizon of about 0-20 cm depth) were sampled from rice paddy fields in 2 mountainous and 5 lowland landscapes of contrasting geologic conditions in Vietnam and the Philippines. Ten paddy fields were sampled per landscape. The rice paddy management within landscapes differed when different farmers and/or communities managed the fields. We analysed the following fractions of `reactive` Si in the soils: acetate-extractable Si (dissolved and easily exchangeable Si), phosphate-extractable Si (adsorbed Si), oxalate extractable Si (Si associated with poorly-ordered sesquioxides), NaOH extractable Si

  4. Assessment of soil redistribution rates by (137)Cs and (210)Pbex in a typical Malagasy agricultural field.

    PubMed

    Rabesiranana, N; Rasolonirina, M; Solonjara, A F; Ravoson, H N; Raoelina Andriambololona; Mabit, L

    2016-02-01

    Soil degradation processes affect more than one-third of the Malagasy territory and are considered as the major environmental threat impacting the natural resources of the island. This innovative study reports about a pioneer test and use of radio-isotopic techniques (i.e. Cs-137 and Pb-210ex) under Madagascar agroclimatic condition to evaluate soil erosion magnitude. This preliminary investigation has been conducted in a small agricultural field situated in the eastern central highland of Madagascar, 40 km East from Antananarivo. Both anthropogenic Cs-137 and geogenic Pb-210 soil tracers provided similar results highlighting soil erosion rates reaching locally 18 t ha(-1) yr(-1,) a level almost two times higher than the sustainable soil loss rate under Madagascar agroclimatic condition. The sediment delivery ratio established with both radiotracers was above 80% indicating that most of the mobilized sediment exits the field. Assessing soil erosion rate through fallout radionuclides in Madagascar is a first step towards an efficient land and water resource management policy to optimise the effectiveness of future agricultural soil conservation practices.

  5. Use of (137)Cs technique for soil erosion study in the agricultural region of Casablanca in Morocco.

    PubMed

    Nouira, A; Sayouty, E H; Benmansour, M

    2003-01-01

    Accelerated erosion and soil degradation currently cause serious problems to the Oued El Maleh basin (Morocco). Furthermore, there is still only limited information on rates of soil loss for optimising strategies for soil conservation. In the present study we have used the (137)Cs technique to assess the soil erosion rates on an agricultural land in Oued el Maleh basin near Casablanca (Morocco). A small representative agricultural field was selected to investigate the soil degradation required by soil managers in this region. The transect approach was applied for sampling to identify the spatial redistribution of (137)Cs. The spatial variability of (137)Cs inventory has provided evidence of the importance of tillage process and the human effects on the redistribution of (137)Cs. The mean (137)Cs inventory was found about 842 Bq m(-2), this value corresponds to an erosion rate of 82 tha(-1) yr(-1) by applying simplified mass balance model in a preliminary estimation. When data on site characteristics were available, the refined mass balance model was applied to highlight the contribution of tillage effect in soil redistribution. The erosion rate was estimated about 50 tha(-1) yr(-1). The aspects related to the sampling procedures and the models for calculation of erosion rates are discussed.

  6. Temporal changes of eroded soils depending on their agricultural use in the southern Cis-Ural region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabbasova, I. M.; Suleimanov, R. R.; Khabirov, I. K.; Komissarov, M. A.; Fruehauf, M.; Liebelt, P.; Garipov, T. T.; Sidorova, L. V.; Khaziev, F. Kh.

    2016-10-01

    Temporal changes of eroded soils in the southern Cis-Ural region (Republic of Bashkortostan) depending on their agricultural use during the period from 1975 to 2011 were studied. In the northern foreststeppe zone, the development of erosion processes was retarded upon the use of soil-saving management practices and grain-fallow-grass crop rotations. In slightly eroded light gray forest soils (Eutric Retisols (Cutanic)), the thickness of humus-accumulative horizons and the content of humus increased; the conversion of cropland into permanent fallow was found to be the most efficient measure to control soil erosion. In podzolized chernozems (Luvic Greyzemic Chernic Phaeozems) and typical chernozems (Haplic Chernozems) of the Cis-Ural steppe, the content of humus in the plow layer under grain-row crop rotation and classical soil management decreased, especially in moderately eroded soils. The development of water and wind erosion on slopes depended on the slope shape: the texture of soils at different degrees of erosion on slopes with free runoff became coarser by one gradation after 35 years; in the presence of linear obstacles in the lower part of slopes, the content of fine fractions in moderately and strongly eroded soils increased.

  7. Arsenic behaviour from groundwater and soil to crops: impacts on agriculture and food safety.

    PubMed

    Heikens, Alex; Panaullah, Golam M; Meharg, Andy A

    2007-01-01

    High levels of As in groundwater commonly found in Bangladesh and other parts of Asia not only pose a risk via drinking water consumption but also a risk in agricultural sustainability and food safety. This review attempts to provide an overview of current knowledge and gaps related to the assessment and management of these risks, including the behaviour of As in the soil-plant system, uptake, phytotoxicity, As speciation in foods, dietary habits, and human health risks. Special emphasis has been given to the situation in Bangladesh, where groundwater via shallow tube wells is the most important source of irrigation water in the dry season. Within the soil-plant system, there is a distinct difference in behaviour of As under flooded conditions, where arsenite (AsIII) predominates, and under nonflooded conditions, where arsenate (AsV) predominates. The former is regarded as most toxic to humans and plants. Limited data indicate that As-contaminated irrigation water can result in a slow buildup of As in the topsoil. In some cases the buildup is reflected by the As levels in crops, in others not. It is not yet possible to predict As uptake and toxicity in plants based on soil parameters. It is unknown under what conditions and in what time frame As is building up in the soil. Representative phytotoxicity data necessary to evaluate current and future soil concentrations are not yet available. Although there are no indications that crop production is currently inhibited by As, long-term risks are clearly present. Therefore, with concurrent assessments of the risks, management options to further prevent As accumulation in the topsoil should already have been explored. With regard to human health, data on As speciation in foods in combination with food consumption data are needed to assess dietary exposure, and these data should include spatial and seasonal variability. It is important to control confounding factors in assessing the risks. In a country where malnutrition

  8. Role of nanotechnology in agriculture with special reference to management of insect pests.

    PubMed

    Rai, Mahendra; Ingle, Avinash

    2012-04-01

    Nanotechnology is a promising field of interdisciplinary research. It opens up a wide array of opportunities in various fields like medicine, pharmaceuticals, electronics and agriculture. The potential uses and benefits of nanotechnology are enormous. These include insect pests management through the formulations of nanomaterials-based pesticides and insecticides, enhancement of agricultural productivity using bio-conjugated nanoparticles (encapsulation) for slow release of nutrients and water, nanoparticle-mediated gene or DNA transfer in plants for the development of insect pest-resistant varieties and use of nanomaterials for preparation of different kind of biosensors, which would be useful in remote sensing devices required for precision farming. Traditional strategies like integrated pest management used in agriculture are insufficient, and application of chemical pesticides like DDT have adverse effects on animals and human beings apart from the decline in soil fertility. Therefore, nanotechnology would provide green and efficient alternatives for the management of insect pests in agriculture without harming the nature. This review is focused on traditional strategies used for the management of insect pests, limitations of use of chemical pesticides and potential of nanomaterials in insect pest management as modern approaches of nanotechnology.

  9. Soil hydrological and soil property changes resulting from termite activity on agricultural fields in Burkina Faso

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mettrop, I.; Cammeraat, L. H.; Verbeeten, E.

    2009-04-01

    Termites are important ecosystem-engineers in subtropical and tropical regions. The effect of termite activity affecting soil infiltration is well documented in the Sahelian region. Most studies find increased infiltration rates on surfaces that are affected by termite activity in comparison to crusted areas showing non-termite presence. Crusted agricultural fields in the Sanmatenga region in Burkina Faso with clear termite activity were compared to control fields without visual ground dwelling termite activity. Fine scale rainfall simulations were carried out on crusted termite affected and control sites. Furthermore soil moisture change, bulk density, soil organic matter as well as general soil characteristics were studied. The top soils in the study area were strongly crusted (structural crust) after the summer rainfall and harvest of millet. They have a loamy sand texture underlain by a shallow sandy loam Bt horizon. The initial soil moisture conditions were significantly higher on the termite plots when compared to control sites. It was found that the amount of runoff produced on the termite plots was significantly higher, and also the volumetric soil moisture content after the experiments was significantly lower if compared to the control plots. Bulk density showed no difference whereas soil organic matter was significantly higher under termite affected areas, in comparison to the control plots. Lab tests showed no significant difference in hydrophobic behavior of the topsoil and crust material. Micro and macro-structural properties of the topsoil did not differ significantly between the termite sites and the control sites. The texture of the top 5 cm of the soil was also found to be not significantly different. The infiltration results are contradictory to the general literature, which reports increased infiltration rates after prolonged termite activity although mostly under different initial conditions. The number of nest entrances was clearly higher in

  10. The expeditious survey of soils as a management strategy against degradation processes of agroecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machado Siqueira, Glécio; Medeiros Bezerra, Joel

    2013-04-01

    The pressure for agricultural use in hilly areas regarded as marginal to the productive process, committed to carrying capacity of natural systems and exposes the available resources, especially soil and water with higher rates of degradation. This fact, coupled with the lack of planning of production activities, knowing the limitations and capabilities of environmental elements, as well as the use of inappropriate agricultural practices and intensive, quickened the processes that generate environmental imbalance. To circumvent these problems, it is necessary to find mechanisms that mitigate the conflicts generated between productive activities and the environment. One should then respect the specificities and restrictions local soil and their interactions with other components of the environment, trying to select and adapt agricultural practices and techniques best suited to local conditions and enabling the sustainable use of land. For this detailed information and appropriate scale, consistent with the need for rural communities become indispensable instrument to support the management of natural resource use. The expeditious survey of soil provides subsidies to use planning and land management and propose management strategies that ensure higher productivity of soils and maintenance of the environmental quality of the area in question, so as to eliminate or at least alleviate the problems of erosion soil. The joint use of land mapping and topographical and use and occupancy permits integrated management for the recovery of degraded areas, the use of soil conservation practices and indicating areas for reforestation, agriculture and pasture. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the use of GIS tools for improving the expeditious survey of soil. The present study was conducted using data from the municipality of Campo do Meio (Minas Gerais, Brazil). Were prepared soil maps, topography and land use and occupation. Later he was made a map of land use capability (FAO

  11. Positive trends in organic carbon storage in Swedish agricultural soils due to unexpected socio-economic drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poeplau, C.; Bolinder, M. A.; Eriksson, J.; Lundblad, M.; Kätterer, T.

    2015-06-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a crucial role in the global carbon cycle as a potential sink or source. Land management influences SOC storage, so the European Parliament decided in 2013 that changes in carbon stocks within a certain land use type, including arable land, must be reported by all member countries in their national inventory reports for greenhouse gas emissions. Here we show the temporal dynamics of SOC during the past 2 decades in Swedish agricultural soils, based on soil inventories conducted in 1988-1997 (Inventory I), 2001-2007 (Inventory II) and from 2010 onwards (Inventory III), and link SOC changes with trends in agricultural management. From Inventory I to Inventory II, SOC increased in 16 out of 21 Swedish counties, while from Inventory I to Inventory III it increased in 18 out of 21 counties. Mean topsoil (0-20 cm) SOC concentration for the entire country increased from 2.48 to 2.67% C (a relative increase of 7.7%, or 0.38% yr-1) over the whole period. We attributed this to a substantial increase in ley as a proportion of total agricultural area in all counties. The horse population in Sweden has more than doubled since 1981 and was identified as the main driver for this management change (R2 = 0.72). Due to subsidies introduced in the early 1990s, the area of long-term set-aside (mostly old leys) also contributed to the increase in area of ley. The carbon sink function of Swedish agricultural soils demonstrated in this study differs from trends found in neighbouring countries. This indicates that country-specific or local socio-economic drivers for land management must be accounted for in larger-scale predictions.

  12. Positive trends in organic carbon storage in Swedish agricultural soils due to unexpected socio-economic drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poeplau, C.; Bolinder, M. A.; Eriksson, J.; Lundblad, M.; Kätterer, T.

    2015-03-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a crucial role in the global carbon cycle as a potential sink or source. Land management influences SOC storage, so the European Parliament decided in 2013 that changes in carbon stocks within a certain land use type, including arable land, must be reported by all member countries in their national inventory reports for greenhouse gas emissions. Here we show the temporal dynamics of SOC during the past two decades in Swedish agricultural soils, based on soil inventories conducted in 1988-1997 (Inventory I), 2001-2007 (Inventory II) and from 2010 onwards (Inventory III), and link SOC changes with trends in agricultural management. From Inventory I to Inventory II, SOC increased in 16 out of 21 Swedish counties, while from Inventory I to Inventory III it increased in 18 out of 21 counties. Mean topsoil (0-20 cm) SOC concentration for the entire country increased from 2.48 to 2.67% C (a relative increase of 7.7%, or 0.38% yr-1) over the whole period. We attributed this to a substantial increase in ley as a proportion of total agricultural area in all counties. The horse population in Sweden has more than doubled since 1981 and was identified as the main driver for this management change (R2 = 0.72). Due to subsidies introduced in the early 1990s, the area of long-term set-aside (mostly old leys) also contributed to the increase in area of ley. The carbon sink function of Swedish agricultural soils demonstrated in this study differs from trends found in neighbouring countries. This indicates that country-specific or local socio-economic drivers for land management must be accounted for in larger-scale predictions.

  13. Hydrological problems of water resources in irrigated agriculture: A management perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Ajay

    2016-10-01

    The development of irrigated agriculture is necessary for fulfilling the rising food requirements of the burgeoning global population. However, the intensification of irrigated agriculture causes the twin menace of waterlogging and soil salinization in arid and semiarid regions where more than 75% of the world's population lives. These problems can be managed by either adopting preventive measures which decrease the inflow of water and salt or by employing remedial measures which increase the outflow. This paper presents an overview of various measures used for the management of waterlogging and salinity problems. The background, processes involved, and severity of waterlogging and salinity problems are provided. The role of drainage systems, conjunctive use of different water sources, use of computer-based mathematical models, and the use of remote sensing and GIS techniques in managing the problems are discussed. Conclusions are provided which could be useful for all the stakeholders.

  14. Resistance and resilience of N and P cycling microbes in differently managed agricultural systems after heat perturbation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Priyashiela; Scow, Kate

    2013-04-01

    Agricultural management and resistance and resilience of microbial communities is key to long-term agricultural sustainability. Agricultural management practices impact soil through physical disturbance, inputs of fertilizers and pesticides, and cultivation of monoculture or low-diversity plant systems. Resistance and resilience of soil microbial communities to disturbance events is a topic of growing importance with predicted rising temperatures and large unpredictability in rainfall patterns associated with global climate change. Diverse microbial communities are essential for the sustainability of agriculture. Previous research has focused on the resistance of soil systems in relation to total microbial biomass but has ignored relationships with specific functional groups of microbes. Denitrifiers are key organisms in N cycling and these organisms control the pools of plant-available N in soil, while alkaline phosphatase is a key microbially produced enzyme involved in the regulation of pools of available phosphate. In this soil incubation experiment abundance of total bacteria and archaea were quantified along with denitrifying and alkaline phosphatase genes after subjecting differently managed agricultural soils to severe temperature perturbation (60 oC for 15 minutes). The organic treatment showed the lowest resistance and resilience in terms of total bacterial and archaeal abundance but was resilient in terms of respiration activity. The high input systems show lower resistance for key functional groups of N and P cycling organisms compared to low input systems. However, all of the differently managed soils have similar resilience and show higher levels of N cycling organisms and lower levels of P cycling organisms after 30 days compared to starting levels.

  15. Groundwater pumping effects on contaminant loading management in agricultural regions.

    PubMed

    Park, Dong Kyu; Bae, Gwang-Ok; Kim, Seong-Kyun; Lee, Kang-Kun

    2014-06-15

    Groundwater pumping changes the behavior of subsurface water, including the location of the water table and characteristics of the flow system, and eventually affects the fate of contaminants, such as nitrate from agricultural fertilizers. The objectives of this study were to demonstrate the importance of considering the existing pumping conditions for contaminant loading management and to develop a management model to obtain a contaminant loading design more appropriate and practical for agricultural regions where groundwater pumping is common. Results from this study found that optimal designs for contaminant loading could be determined differently when the existing pumping conditions were considered. This study also showed that prediction of contamination and contaminant loading management without considering pumping activities might be unrealistic. Motivated by these results, a management model optimizing the permissible on-ground contaminant loading mass together with pumping rates was developed and applied to field investigation and monitoring data from Icheon, Korea. The analytical solution for 1-D unsaturated solute transport was integrated with the 3-D saturated solute transport model in order to approximate the fate of contaminants loaded periodically from on-ground sources. This model was further expanded to manage agricultural contaminant loading in regions where groundwater extraction tends to be concentrated in a specific period of time, such as during the rice-growing season, using a method that approximates contaminant leaching to a fluctuating water table. The results illustrated that the simultaneous management of groundwater quantity and quality was effective and appropriate to the agricultural contaminant loading management and the model developed in this study, which can consider time-variant pumping, could be used to accurately estimate and to reasonably manage contaminant loading in agricultural areas.

  16. High natural erosion rates are the backdrop for present-day soil erosion in the agricultural Middle Hills of Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, A. J.; Arnold, M.; AumaItre, G.; Bourles, D. L.; Keddadouche, K.; Bickle, M.; Ojha, T.

    2015-07-01

    poorly constrained. The deficit between our best estimates for soil production rates and measurements of soil loss rates supports conclusions from previous studies that terraced agriculture in the Likhu may not be associated with a large systematic soil deficit, at least when terraces are well maintained, but that poorly managed terraces, forest, and scrubland may lead to rapid depletion of soil resources.

  17. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons bioavailability in industrial and agricultural soils: Linking SPME and Tenax extraction with bioassays.

    PubMed

    Guo, Meixia; Gong, Zongqiang; Li, Xiaojun; Allinson, Graeme; Rookes, James; Cahill, David

    2017-06-01

    The aims of this study were to evaluate the bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in industrial and agricultural soils using chemical methods and a bioassay, and to study the relationships between the methods. This was conducted by comparing the quantities of PAHs extracted from two manufactured gas plant (MGP) soils and an agricultural soil with low level contamination by solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) and Tenax-TA extraction with the quantities taken up by the earthworm (Eisenia fetida). In addition, a biodegradation experiment was conducted on one MGP soil (MGP-A) to clarify the relationship between PAH removal by biodegradation and the variation in PAH concentrations in soil pore water. Results demonstrated that the earthworm bioassay could not be used to examine PAH bioavailability in the tested MGP soils; which was the case even in the diluted MGP-A soils after biodegradation. However, the bioassay was successfully applied to the agricultural soil. These results suggest that earthworms can only be used for bioassays in soils with low toxicity. In general, rapidly desorbing concentrations extracted by Tenax-TA could predict PAH concentrations accumulated in earthworms (R(2)=0.66), while SPME underestimated earthworm concentrations by a factor of 2.5. Both SPME and Tenax extraction can provide a useful tool to predict PAH bioavailability for earthworms, but Tenax-TA extraction was proven to be a more sensitive and precise method than SPME for the prediction of earthworm exposure in the agricultural soil.