WorldWideScience

Sample records for agriculture soil conservation

  1. Conservation agriculture & soil health: The US perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Idol, Travis

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this presentation was to give a history and current status of soil conservation and conservation agriculture. It discusses soil quality indicators and gave recommendations for policies and practices, including adoption of conservation agriculture production systems that can help conserve soil and maintain agricultural productivity, especially on degraded farmland. LTRA-11 (CAPS among tribal societies in India and Nepal)

  2. Conservation agriculture effects on soil pore characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkholm, Lars Juhl; Abdollahi, Lotfollah

    Conservation tillage in combination with crop rotation, residue management and cover crops are key components of conservation agriculture. A positive long-term effect of applying all components of conservation agriculture on soil structural quality is expected. However, there is a lack of...... quantitative knowledge to support this statement. This study examines the long-term effects of crop rotations, residue management and tillage on soil pore characteristics of two sandy loam soils in Denmark. Results are reported from a split plot field experiment rotation as main plot factor and tillage as...... -1000 cm. Air permeability and gas diffusivity were measured at matric potentials ranging from -30 to -300 cm for 4-8 and 12-16 cm depth (100 cm3 cores). At 18-27 cm depth (250 cm3 cores) air permeability was determined at matric potentials ranging from -10 cm to -100 cm. Tillage systems clearly...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, ...

  4. Knowledge, conservation and sustainable use of soil: agricultural chemistry aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Adamo

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Soil is an environmental resource and plays ecological, social and economic functions which are fundamental for the life. To guarantee its availability to future generations, soil resource needs sustainable management. The CEC Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identifies a series of soil degradation processes or threats, which must be identified and combated. These include erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, salinisation, floods and landslides. With respect to management of contamination with potentially toxic elements, an approach based on the identification and quantification of the various forms or, at least, the main pools, in which contaminants occur in soil, is envisaged. The residence time of an element in soil depends, indeed, by the mobility of its predominant forms. Speciation studies provide information on the mobility and biological availability of contaminants, and seek to assess not simply the contamination level, but rather the risk/toxicity of a polluted soil and to predict its reduction after application of remediation techniques. Soil degradation is often associated with a decrease in the organic matter content, mainly caused by soil use change and global warming. Improving the accumulation of organic matter in soil or contrasting its reduction has positive effects on soil and water quality, crop yields, biodiversity and climate leading to a reduction of green-house gas emissions from soil to the atmosphere. In order to obtain a real accumulation of organic matter in soil, it is not sufficient to temporarily increase its total content, but it is necessary to favour the main processes which govern organic matter stabilization. This requires an approach at both molecular and multidisciplinary level. The reforestation of agricultural and highly degraded soils or conservative agronomic practices, such as the use of humified compounds characterized by

  5. Knowledge, conservation and sustainable use of soil: agricultural chemistry aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Adamo

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Soil is an environmental resource and plays ecological, social and economic functions which are fundamental for the life. To guarantee its availability to future generations, soil resource needs sustainable management. The CEC Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identifies a series of soil degradation processes or threats, which must be identified and combated. These include erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, salinisation, floods and landslides. With respect to management of contamination with potentially toxic elements, an approach based on the identification and quantification of the various forms or, at least, the main pools, in which contaminants occur in soil, is envisaged. The residence time of an element in soil depends, indeed, by the mobility of its predominant forms. Speciation studies provide information on the mobility and biological availability of contaminants, and seek to assess not simply the contamination level, but rather the risk/toxicity of a polluted soil and to predict its reduction after application of remediation techniques. Soil degradation is often associated with a decrease in the organic matter content, mainly caused by soil use change and global warming. Improving the accumulation of organic matter in soil or contrasting its reduction has positive effects on soil and water quality, crop yields, biodiversity and climate leading to a reduction of green-house gas emissions from soil to the atmosphere. In order to obtain a real accumulation of organic matter in soil, it is not sufficient to temporarily increase its total content, but it is necessary to favour the main processes which govern organic matter stabilization. This requires an approach at both molecular and multidisciplinary level. The reforestation of agricultural and highly degraded soils or conservative agronomic practices, such as the use of humified compounds characterized by

  6. Multiple equilibria, soil conservation investments and the resilience of agricultural systems

    OpenAIRE

    Antle, J.M.; Stoorvogel, J.J.; Valdivia, R.O.

    2006-01-01

    This paper provides a new explanation for the persistent land degradation in some parts of the world, despite the availability of seemingly effective soil conservation technologies.We demonstrate that soil conservation technologies may induce agricultural systems to exhibit equilibria characterized by both low and high levels of soil degradation. These two equilibria are separated by a threshold level of soil degradation beyond which a conservation investment will not yield a positive return....

  7. Watershed Sediment Losses to Lakes Accelerating Despite Agricultural Soil Conservation Efforts

    OpenAIRE

    Heathcote, Adam J.; Filstrup, Christopher T.; Downing, John A.

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural soil loss and deposition in aquatic ecosystems is a problem that impairs water quality worldwide and is costly to agriculture and food supplies. In the US, for example, billions of dollars have subsidized soil and water conservation practices in agricultural landscapes over the past decades. We used paleolimnological methods to reconstruct trends in sedimentation related to human-induced landscape change in 32 lakes in the intensively agricultural region of the Midwestern United ...

  8. Impact of Soil Conservation Policies on Carbon Sequestration in Agricultural Soils of the Central United States (The)

    OpenAIRE

    Mitchell, Paul D.; P. G. Lakshminarayan; Toshitsugu Otake; Babcock, Bruce A.

    1996-01-01

    To evaluate the impact of conservation policies on soil organic carbon in agricultural soils, the authors link information from the 1992 National Resources Inventory (NRI) database and the extensive physical data on soils and climate from the SOILS5 database. These data serve as input for a biophysical process model calibrated for the conditions prevalent in the study region. Results indicate that reducing soil erosion, rather than removing land from agricultural production, is the most effec...

  9. Knowledge, conservation and sustainable use of soil: agricultural chemistry aspects

    OpenAIRE

    Paola Adamo; Luisella Celi

    2009-01-01

    Soil is an environmental resource and plays ecological, social and economic functions which are fundamental for the life. To guarantee its availability to future generations, soil resource needs sustainable management. The CEC Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identifies a series of soil degradation processes or threats, which must be identified and combated. These include erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, sa...

  10. Sustainable management and conservation of biota in agricultural soils of the Republic of Moldova

    OpenAIRE

    Senicovscaia, Irina

    2012-01-01

    In present research the ways and methods of the sustainable management and conservation of the soil biota in the modern agricultural ecosystems of the Republic of Moldova are considered. The database of invertebrates, microorganisms and enzymatic activities of different zonal soils in the long-term field experiments has been developed and constantly is updated with a view to the operative evaluation of the degradation processes and ecological effectiveness of the land management. The current ...

  11. Watershed sediment losses to lakes accelerating despite agricultural soil conservation efforts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam J Heathcote

    Full Text Available Agricultural soil loss and deposition in aquatic ecosystems is a problem that impairs water quality worldwide and is costly to agriculture and food supplies. In the US, for example, billions of dollars have subsidized soil and water conservation practices in agricultural landscapes over the past decades. We used paleolimnological methods to reconstruct trends in sedimentation related to human-induced landscape change in 32 lakes in the intensively agricultural region of the Midwestern United States. Despite erosion control efforts, we found accelerating increases in sediment deposition from erosion; median erosion loss since 1800 has been 15.4 tons ha(-1. Sediment deposition from erosion increased >6-fold, from 149 g m(-2 yr(-1 in 1850 to 986 g m(-2 yr(-1 by 2010. Average time to accumulate one mm of sediment decreased from 631 days before European settlement (ca. 1850 to 59 days mm(-1 at present. Most of this sediment was deposited in the last 50 years and is related to agricultural intensification rather than land clearance or predominance of agricultural lands. In the face of these intensive agricultural practices, traditional soil conservation programs have not decelerated downstream losses. Despite large erosion control subsidies, erosion and declining water quality continue, thus new approaches are needed to mitigate erosion and water degradation.

  12. Watershed sediment losses to lakes accelerating despite agricultural soil conservation efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heathcote, Adam J; Filstrup, Christopher T; Downing, John A

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural soil loss and deposition in aquatic ecosystems is a problem that impairs water quality worldwide and is costly to agriculture and food supplies. In the US, for example, billions of dollars have subsidized soil and water conservation practices in agricultural landscapes over the past decades. We used paleolimnological methods to reconstruct trends in sedimentation related to human-induced landscape change in 32 lakes in the intensively agricultural region of the Midwestern United States. Despite erosion control efforts, we found accelerating increases in sediment deposition from erosion; median erosion loss since 1800 has been 15.4 tons ha(-1). Sediment deposition from erosion increased >6-fold, from 149 g m(-2) yr(-1) in 1850 to 986 g m(-2) yr(-1) by 2010. Average time to accumulate one mm of sediment decreased from 631 days before European settlement (ca. 1850) to 59 days mm(-1) at present. Most of this sediment was deposited in the last 50 years and is related to agricultural intensification rather than land clearance or predominance of agricultural lands. In the face of these intensive agricultural practices, traditional soil conservation programs have not decelerated downstream losses. Despite large erosion control subsidies, erosion and declining water quality continue, thus new approaches are needed to mitigate erosion and water degradation. PMID:23326454

  13. Modeling the impact of conservation agriculture on crop production and soil properties in Mediterranean climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moussadek, Rachid; Mrabet, Rachid; Dahan, Rachid; Laghrour, Malika; Lembiad, Ibtissam; ElMourid, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    In Morocco, rainfed agriculture is practiced in the majority of agricultural land. However, the intensive land use coupled to the irregular rainfall constitutes a serious threat that affect country's food security. Conservation agriculture (CA) represents a promising alternative to produce more and sustainably. In fact, the direct seeding showed high yield in arid regions of Morocco but its extending to other more humid agro-ecological zones (rainfall > 350mm) remains scarce. In order to promote CA in Morocco, differents trials have been installed in central plateau of Morocco, to compare CA to conventional tillage (CT). The yields of the main practiced crops (wheat, lentil and checkpea) under CA and CT were analyzed and compared in the 3 soils types (Vertisol, Cambisol and Calcisol). Also, we studied the effect of CA on soil organic matter (SOM) and soil losses (SL) in the 3 different sites. The APSIM model was used to model the long term impact of CA compared to CT. The results obtained in this research have shown favorable effects of CA on crop production, SOM and soil erosion. Key words: Conservation agriculture, yield, soil properties, modeling, APSIM, Morocco.

  14. Conservation agriculture and ecosystem services

    OpenAIRE

    Dillaha, Theo A.; Cheryl B. Heatwole Shenk; Moore, Keith M.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation agriculture has many agricultural and food security benefits. In addition, conservation agriculture has potential on- and off-site ecosystem service benefits that are the focus of this paper. Ecosystem services provided by conservation agriculture fall into three main categories: provisioning services such as increased food production; regulating services such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation, reducing losses of soil, pesticides, nutrients and other potential contam...

  15. Effects of Conservation Agriculture on Soil Physical Properties and Yield of Lentil in Northern Syria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahbi, Ammar; Miwak, Hisham; Singh, Raphy

    2014-05-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) aims to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture and subsequently improve livelihoods of farmers based on three main components, i.e. minimum or no tillage, retention of crop residues and use of crop rotation. However, to promote CA in semi-arid areas where precipitation is erratic, low, and falls over short periods in winter, its effects on soil and crop yield have to be investigated. The present study was conducted at the main research station of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Syria, during the agricultural season of 2010-2011, in the frame of a long term trial (2003-2011), where two treatments; i.e. conservation versus conventional agriculture (replicated twice), and six varieties of lentil (early, medium and late maturity genotypes; 2 each), selected from 100 varieties, were used. Soil samples were taken (before planting and after harvesting), to determine soil bulk density, particle density and total porosity. Aggregate stability was also determined using dry and wet sieving methods for the 0-15 cm soil depth, and the effective diameter of the aggregate was calculated for both treatments of conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional tillage (CT). Soil moisture was monitored in the top soil layer (0-15 cm) using Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) on a weekly or two weekly-intervals. Soil moisture release curve was done for disturbed, 2 mm dry sieved soil at 0-15, 15-30, 30-45 and 45-60 cm depth using pressure plate chamber. Dry plant production (oven dry at 70°C) was estimated at the harvesting stage, and then threshed to estimate grain yield. CA showed higher (p = 0.001) soil moisture values than CT. The difference in volumetric soil moisture content between CA and CT during the studied period ranged from 20 to 30 %. Volumetric water content was higher for, CA compared with CT, at a given soil water potential especially at the lower pressure; this observation was consistent

  16. Effects of Conservation Agriculture and Fertilization on Soil Microbial Diversity and Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Habig

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil microbial communities perform critical functions in ecosystem processes. These functions can be used to assess the impact of agricultural practices on sustainable crop production. In this five-year study, the effect of various agricultural practices on soil microbial diversity and activity was investigated in a summer rainfall area under South African dryland conditions. Microbial diversity and activity were measured in the 0–15 cm layer of a field trial consisting of two fertilizer levels, three cropping systems, and two tillage systems. Using the Shannon–Weaver and Evenness diversity indices, soil microbial species richness and abundance were measured. Microbial enzymatic activities: β-glucosidase, phosphatase and urease, were used to evaluate ecosystem functioning. Cluster analysis revealed a shift in soil microbial community diversity and activity over time. Microbial diversity and activity were higher under no-till than conventional tillage. Fertilizer levels seemed to play a minor role in determining microbial diversity and activity, whereas the cropping systems played a more important role in determining the activity of soil microbial communities. Conservation agriculture yielded the highest soil microbial diversity and activity in diversified cropping systems under no-till.

  17. Tailoring conservation agriculture technologies to West Africa semi-arid zones: Building on traditional local practices for soil restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lahmar, R.; Bationo, B.A.; Lamso, N.D.; Guéro, Y.; Tittonell, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    Low inherent fertility of tropical soils and degradation, nutrient deficiency and water stress are the key factors that hamper rainfed agriculture in semi-arid West Africa. Conservation Agriculture (CA) is currently promoted in the region as a technology to reduce soil degradation, mitigate the effe

  18. Influence of conservation agriculture and tillage on soil quality in selected crop production systems in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    Ella, Victor B.; Manuel R. Reyes; Padre, R.; Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The presentation describes a study to evaluate the influence of conservation agriculture and tillage on selected physical and chemical soil quality parameters in selected upland crop production systems in the Philippines

  19. Soil quality monitoring and evaluation under conventional plow-based and conservation agriculture production systems in southern Philippines.

    OpenAIRE

    Ella, Victor B.; Reyes, Manuel R.; Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    Soil quality under conventional plow-based agriculture production systems has been known to degrade over time owing to greater exposure of soil organic matter to microbial attack. This study was conducted to monitor and evaluate soil quality under conventional plow-based and conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS) in southern Philippines. Six CAPS treatments in the form of cropping patterns with different cover crops under two fertility levels including plow-based system were estab...

  20. Conservation Agriculture and Soil Carbon Sequestration; Between Myth and Farmer Reality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Improving food security, environmental preservation and enhancing livelihood should be the main targets of the innovators of today's farming systems. Conservation agriculture (CA), based on minimum tillage, crop residue retention and crop rotations, has been proposed as an alternative system combining benefits for the farmer with advantages for the society. This paper reviews the potential impact of CA on C sequestration by synthesizing the knowledge of carbon and nitrogen cycling in agriculture, summarizing the influence of tillage, residue management and crop rotation on soil organic carbon stocks and compiling the existing case study information. To evaluate the C sequestration capacity of farming practices, their influence on emissions from farming activities should be considered together with their influence on soil C stocks. The largest contribution of CA to reducing emissions from farming activities is made by the reduction of tillage operations. The soil C case study results are not conclusive. In 7 of the 78 cases withheld, the soil C stock was lower in zero compared to conventional tillage, in 40 cases it was higher and in 31 of the cases there was no significant difference. The mechanisms that govern the balance between increased or no sequestration after conversion to zero tillage are not clear, although some factors that play a role can be distinguished e.g. root development and rhizodeposits, baseline soil C content, bulk density and porosity, climate, landscape position and erosion/deposition history. Altering crop rotation can influence soil C stocks by changing quantity and quality of organic matter input. More research is needed, especially in the tropical areas where good quantitative information is lacking. However, even if C sequestration is questionable in some areas and cropping systems, CA remains an important technology that improves soil processes, controls soil erosion and reduces tillage-related production costs. (author)

  1. Can conservation agriculture reduce the impact of soil erosion in northern Tunisia ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahri, Haithem; Annabi, Mohamed; Chibani, Roukaya; Cheick M'Hamed, Hatem; Hermessi, Taoufik

    2016-04-01

    Mediterranean countries are prone to soil erosion, therefore Tunisia, with Mediterranean climate, is threatened by water erosion phenomena. In fact, 3 million ha of land is threatened by erosion, and 50% is seriously affected. Soils under conservation agriculture (CA) have high water infiltration capacities reducing significantly surface runoff and thus soil erosion. This improves the quality of surface water, reduces pollution from soil erosion, and enhances groundwater resources. CA is characterized by three interlinked principles, namely continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance, permanent organic soil cover and diversification of crop species grown in sequence or associations. Soil aggregate stability was used as an indicator of soil susceptibility to water erosion. Since 1999, In Tunisia CA has been introduced in rainfed cereal areas in order to move towards more sustainable agricultural systems. CA areas increased from 52 ha in 1999 to 15000 ha in 2015. The objective of this paper is to study the effect of CA on soil erosion in northern Tunisia. Soil samples were collected at 10 cm of depth from 6 farmers' fields in northern Tunisia. Conventional tillage (CT), CA during less than 5 years (CA5 years) have been practiced in each farmers field experiment of wheat crop. Soil aggregate stability was evaluated according to the method described by Le Bissonnais (1996), results were expressed as a mean weight diameter (MWD); higher values of MWD indicate higher aggregate stability. Total organic carbon (TOC) was determined using the wet oxidation method of Walkley-Black. A significant increase in SOC content was observed in CA>5years (1.64 %) compared to CT (0.97 %). This result highlights the importance of CA to improve soil fertility. For aggregate stability, a net increase was observed in CA compared to CT. After 5 years of CA the MWD was increased by 16% (MWD=1.8 mm for CT and MWD=2.1 mm for CA<5years). No improvement of aggregate stability level was

  2. Can conservation agriculture reduce the impact of soil erosion in northern Tunisia ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahri, Haithem; Annabi, Mohamed; Chibani, Roukaya; Cheick M'Hamed, Hatem; Hermessi, Taoufik

    2016-04-01

    Mediterranean countries are prone to soil erosion, therefore Tunisia, with Mediterranean climate, is threatened by water erosion phenomena. In fact, 3 million ha of land is threatened by erosion, and 50% is seriously affected. Soils under conservation agriculture (CA) have high water infiltration capacities reducing significantly surface runoff and thus soil erosion. This improves the quality of surface water, reduces pollution from soil erosion, and enhances groundwater resources. CA is characterized by three interlinked principles, namely continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance, permanent organic soil cover and diversification of crop species grown in sequence or associations. Soil aggregate stability was used as an indicator of soil susceptibility to water erosion. Since 1999, In Tunisia CA has been introduced in rainfed cereal areas in order to move towards more sustainable agricultural systems. CA areas increased from 52 ha in 1999 to 15000 ha in 2015. The objective of this paper is to study the effect of CA on soil erosion in northern Tunisia. Soil samples were collected at 10 cm of depth from 6 farmers' fields in northern Tunisia. Conventional tillage (CT), CA during less than 5 years (CA5 years) have been practiced in each farmers field experiment of wheat crop. Soil aggregate stability was evaluated according to the method described by Le Bissonnais (1996), results were expressed as a mean weight diameter (MWD); higher values of MWD indicate higher aggregate stability. Total organic carbon (TOC) was determined using the wet oxidation method of Walkley-Black. A significant increase in SOC content was observed in CA>5years (1.64 %) compared to CT (0.97 %). This result highlights the importance of CA to improve soil fertility. For aggregate stability, a net increase was observed in CA compared to CT. After 5 years of CA the MWD was increased by 16% (MWD=1.8 mm for CT and MWD=2.1 mm for CAsoil organic carbon (r=0.52, n=18). It is assumed that this

  3. Effectiveness of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion processes in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Conservation agriculture: Profitable and sustainable

    OpenAIRE

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.‏ United Nations Development Programme

    2000-01-01

    This pamphlet explores conservation agriculture (CA), including its definition and principles, benefits, technologies, implementation, and frequently asked questions. CA relies on three basic principles: permanent soil cover, minimal soil disturbance, and crop rotations. CA provides numerous environmental, social and economic benefits, but adoption of CA has been relatively slow world-wide.

  5. Conservation agriculture practices to enhance soil organic in Lombardy plain (Northern Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perego, Alessia; Giussani, Andrea; Corsi, Stefano; Tosini, Andrea; Acutis, Marco

    2016-04-01

    It has been demonstrated that conservation agriculture (CA) determines a long-term increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in cropland. The present study aimed to estimate the amount of SOC stored in soil of Lombardy plain (Northern Italy) following the change from tillage agriculture (TA) to CA by using crop ARMOSA crop over 23 years (1989-2011). The territorial analysis was performed at agrarian region scale (AR) after identification of the representative crops rotation and soil types. The land use information were data available at cadastral scale and referred to 5 years (from 2007 to 2011). The meteorological data (i.e. maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation) were measured at 14 monitoring stations. Solar radiation was estimated using the equation of the Bristow and Campbell model (1994). A spatial interpolation method was used to extend the meteorological data throughout the entire plain of the region by employing Thiessen polygon method; the meteorological data of the polygon were assigned to each AR. ARMOSA was parameterized to simulate the two tillage systems. For TA and CA scenario the depth of tillage was limited to 35 and 10 cm, respectively; crop residual incorporation was not simulated under CA. In TA scenario, we used the parameters calibrated and validated by Perego et al.(2013) on a wide dataset collected at six monitoring sites in Lombardy plain. In CA, the rate of C decomposition of humified organic C was assumed to be smaller by 30% in no-tillage than in TA (Oorts et al., 2007). The model results showed a significant improve of SOC (pJournal of Agrometeorology 3:23-38.

  6. Conservation agriculture practices to enhance soil organic in Lombardy plain (Northern Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perego, Alessia; Giussani, Andrea; Corsi, Stefano; Tosini, Andrea; Acutis, Marco

    2016-04-01

    It has been demonstrated that conservation agriculture (CA) determines a long-term increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in cropland. The present study aimed to estimate the amount of SOC stored in soil of Lombardy plain (Northern Italy) following the change from tillage agriculture (TA) to CA by using crop ARMOSA crop over 23 years (1989-2011). The territorial analysis was performed at agrarian region scale (AR) after identification of the representative crops rotation and soil types. The land use information were data available at cadastral scale and referred to 5 years (from 2007 to 2011). The meteorological data (i.e. maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation) were measured at 14 monitoring stations. Solar radiation was estimated using the equation of the Bristow and Campbell model (1994). A spatial interpolation method was used to extend the meteorological data throughout the entire plain of the region by employing Thiessen polygon method; the meteorological data of the polygon were assigned to each AR. ARMOSA was parameterized to simulate the two tillage systems. For TA and CA scenario the depth of tillage was limited to 35 and 10 cm, respectively; crop residual incorporation was not simulated under CA. In TA scenario, we used the parameters calibrated and validated by Perego et al.(2013) on a wide dataset collected at six monitoring sites in Lombardy plain. In CA, the rate of C decomposition of humified organic C was assumed to be smaller by 30% in no-tillage than in TA (Oorts et al., 2007). The model results showed a significant improve of SOC (psoil type did not affect significantly the SOC sequestration, crop residue determined relevant increases in SOC. That was particularly evident in grain maize monoculture with or without cover crop. References: Oorts K., Garnier P., Findeling A., Mary B., Richard G., Nicolardot B., (2007). Modeling soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in no-till and conventional tillage using PASTIS model. Soil Sci. Soc. Am

  7. Initial results on soil quality; SANREM-CRSP conservation agriculture for food security in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    Ella, Victor B.

    2011-01-01

    This electronic presentation described initial results uncovered by farmer-managed and researcher-managed Conservation Agriculture trials in Claveria, Misamis Oriental, Philippines, completed by SANREM CRSP Long Term Research Activity 12.

  8. Large-Scale Agricultural Management and Soil Meso- and Macrofauna Conservation in the Argentine Pampas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Camilo Bedano

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil is the most basic resource for sustainable agricultural production; it promotes water quality, is a key component of the biogeochemical cycles and hosts a huge diversity of organisms. However, we are not paying enough attention to soil degradation produced by land use. Modern agriculture has been successful in increasing yields but has also caused extensive environmental damage, particularly soil degradation. In the Argentine Pampas, agriculturization reached a peak with the generalized use of the no-till technological package: genetically modified soybeans tolerant to glyphosate, no-till, glyphosate, and inorganic fertilizers. This phenomenon has been widely spread in the country; the no-till package has been applied in large areas and has been used by tenants in a 60%–70% of cultivated lands. Thus, those who were involved in developing management practices may not be the same as those who will face degradation issues related to those practices. Indeed, most evidence reviewed in this paper suggests that the most widely distributed practices in the Pampas region are actually producing severe soil degradation. Biological degradation is particularly important because soil biota is involved in numerous soil processes on which soil functioning relies, affecting soil fertility and productivity. For example, soil meso- and macrofauna are especially important in nutrient cycling and in soil structure formation and maintenance, and they are key components of the network that links microbial process to the scale of fields and landscapes where ecosystem services are produced. However, the knowledge of the impact of different agricultural managements on soil meso- and macrofauna in Pampas agroecosystems is far from conclusive at this stage. The reason for this lack of definite conclusions is that this area has been given less attention than in other parts of the world; the response of soil fauna to agricultural practices is complex and taxa

  9. Effects of Conservation Agriculture and Fertilization on Soil Microbial Diversity and Activity

    OpenAIRE

    Johan Habig; Corrie Swanepoel

    2015-01-01

    Soil microbial communities perform critical functions in ecosystem processes. These functions can be used to assess the impact of agricultural practices on sustainable crop production. In this five-year study, the effect of various agricultural practices on soil microbial diversity and activity was investigated in a summer rainfall area under South African dryland conditions. Microbial diversity and activity were measured in the 0–15 cm layer of a field trial consisting of two fertilizer leve...

  10. The assessment of soil conservation technologies for sustainable agricultural production. Report of the FAO/IAEA consultants meeting. Working material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A Consultants' Meeting on 'The assessment of soil conservation technologies for sustainable agricultural production' was held in Vienna at the IAEA Headquarters from May 28-30, 2001. The consultants' presentations reviewed recent advances in the use of fallout radionuclides to measure soil erosion as well as approaches and technologies applied for soil conservation worldwide. Also, activities and experiences of FAO and UNEP in the field of land degradation, soil conservation and related issues were presented. Based on the information provided by the Scientific Secretary, a full project proposal was prepared during the second part of the Consultants' Meeting. The consultants also provided recommendations on the formulation and implementation of a future CRP on the subject

  11. Measuring, understanding and implementing (or at least trying) soil and water conservation in agricultural areas in Mediterranean conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Burguet, María; Castillo, Carlos; de Luna, Elena; Guzmán, Gema; Lora, Ángel; Lorite, Ignacio; Mora, José; Pérez, Rafael; Soriano, María A.; Taguas, Encarnación V.

    2015-04-01

    Understanding soil erosion processes is the first step for designing and implementing effective soil conservation strategies. In agricultural areas, spatially in arid and semiarid conditions, water conservation is interlinked with soil conservation, and usually need to be addressed simultaneously to achieve success in their use by farmers. This is so for different reasons, but usually because some reduction in runoff is required to prevent soil erosion or to the need to design soil conservation systems that do maintain a favourable water balance for the crop to prevent yield reductions. The team presenting this communication works around both issues in Southern Spain, interconnecting several lines of research with the final objective of contribute to reverse some severe issues relating soil conservation in agricultural areas, mostly on tree crops (olives and vineyards). One of these lines is long-term experiments measuring, runoff and sediment losses at plot and small catchment scale. In these experiments we test the effect of different soil management alternatives on soil and water conservation. We also measured the evolution of soil properties and, in some cases, the evolution of soil moisture as well as nutrient and carbon losses with runoff and sediment. We also tests in these experiments new cover crops, from species better adapted to the rainfall regime of the region to mixes with several species to increase biodiversity. We complement these studies with surveys of soil properties in commercial farms. I some of these farms we follow the introduction by farmers of the cover crop strategies previously developed in our experimental fields. These data are invaluable to elaborate, calibrate and validate different runoff generation, water balance, and water erosion models and hillslope and small catchment scale. This allows us to elaborate regional analysis of the effect of different strategies to soil and water conservation in olive growing areas, and to refine

  12. Integrated soil, water and nutrient management in conservation agriculture. Report of the FAO/IAEA consultants' meeting. Working material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Consultants' Meeting (CM) was organized in close consultation with the Land and Water Development Division (AGL) of FAO. Five Consultants from Australia, Brazil, India, Kenya, and the USA, and two IAEA staff participated in the CM. The objectives of the CM were: (i) To review current knowledge concerning the optimal management of external inputs and natural resources under conservation agriculture (CA) practice (ii) To define research priorities in conservation agriculture (iii) To define the role of nuclear techniques in research in conservation agriculture (iv) To draft a Project Document for an FAO/IAEA Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) in Conservation Agriculture (2005-2009). The Scientific Secretary opened the CM and provided an overview of the activities within the Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition (SWMCN) Sub-programme. The Consultants and the IAEA staff member made oral presentations. The Consultants from Australia and the USA each made two presentations. The Consultants' provided overviews of past and current work on zero- vs. conventional tillage, in particular carbon and nutrient (N and P) dynamics, water balance and soil physical properties. The Consultants identified research priorities within CA and the role of nuclear techniques in research on CA. Conclusions and Recommendations were formulated, and a proposal for a new Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on CA was drafted

  13. Developing conservation agriculture in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.; Manuel R. Reyes; Ella, Victor B.

    2011-01-01

    This presentation describes the implementation of Conservation Agriculture production practices in Claveria, Misamis, Philippines, as well as its impacts on soil conservation and marketable produce yields. This research was conducted by the SANREM CRSP Long Term Research Activity 12, Conservation agriculture for food security in Cambodia and the Philippines.

  14. Conservation agriculture and tillage effects on soil organic matter and residual moisture content in selected upland crop production systems in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    Ella, Victor B.; Manuel R. Reyes; Padre, R.; Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    This presentation describes a study to analyze the influence of conservation agriculture and tillage on soil organic matter and residual moisture content in selected upland crop production systems in the Philippines LTRA-12 (Conservation agriculture for food security in Cambodia and the Philippines)

  15. Urban conservation agriculture with vegetables

    OpenAIRE

    D.I.A. Edralin; Kieu, L.N.; TRAN, D; Creason, S.; Manuel R. Reyes

    2014-01-01

    This poster describes the implementation of a project to promote vegetable gardening with conservation agriculture in urban schools. LTRA-12 (Conservation agriculture for food security in Cambodia and the Philippines)

  16. Effects of Zero Tillage (No-Till) Conservation Agriculture on soil physical and biological properties and their contributions to sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landers, John N.; Rass, Gerard; de Freitas, Pedro L.; Basch, Gottlieb; González Sanchez, Emilio J.; Tabaglio, Vincenzo; Kassan, Amir; Derpsch, Rolf; Friedrich, Theodor; Giupponi, Luca

    2013-04-01

    Not cultivating soil, rotating crops over the years, and leaving crop residues on the surface in the practice of zero tillage/conservation agriculture (ZT/CA) reverses the historically accelerating degradation of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil structure, while increasing soil biological activity by a factor of 2 to 4. The results of this are many: (a) not cultivating reduces soil compaction, leaving old root holes to facilitate internal drainage, averts the pulverization of soil aggregates and formation of pans, reduces draft power for planting and gives shelter, winter food and nesting sites for fauna, (b) crop residues on the surface practically eliminate wind and water erosion, reduce soil moisture loss through the mulch effect, slow spring warm-up (possibly offset by a lower specific heat demand with less water retention in surface soil) and act as a reserve of organically-compounded nutrients (as they decompose to humus), (c) more SOM means higher available water and nutrient retention, higher biological activity year round (enhancing biological controls), higher levels of water-stable aggregates and a positive carbon sink in incremental SOM. The positive impacts for society are: (i) more and cheaper food, (ii) reduced flood and drought-induced famine risks, (iii) a positive carbon sink in SOM and possible reductions in NO2 emissions, (iv) cleaner water and greater aquifer recharge due to reduced runoff, (v) cleaner air through effective elimination of dust as a product of cultivation (vi) less water pollution and greater aquifer recharge from reduced rainfall runoff, (vii) farm diesel consumption halved, (viii) reduced demand for (tropical) de-forestation, by permitting crop expansion on steeper lands, (ix) increased wildlife populations (skylarks, plovers, partridge and peccaries) and (x) an improved conservation mindset in farmers. It is notable that, in spite of successful practitioners in all European countries, mainstream adoption is still to come

  17. Influence of maize-based conservation agriculture production system (CAPS) on some basic soil indices in the hilly terrains of Odisha

    OpenAIRE

    Mishra, K.N.; Roul, Pravat K.; Dash, S.N.; A Mohanty; Chan-Halbrendt, Catherine; Idol, Travis; Pradhan, Aliza; Ray, Chittaranjan

    2013-01-01

    The soils in the hilly terrains of North Central Plateau agro-climatic zones of Odisha are subjected to various kinds of soil degradation due loss of forest cover, accelerated soil erosion, shifting cultivation and intense mining activities, thus rendering them unproductive. The farmers of this zone are traditionally growing maize as the only rainfed crop under high tillage without any scientific agro-techniques. Conservation agriculture production system (CAPS) involving minimum tillage, leg...

  18. Food, soil, and agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The growing pressures on the world's land resources will result in problems requiring a major research effort.The first group of problems relates to increased soil degradation. The research to alleviate this will have to incorporate not only physical and biological solutions, but also pay much more attention to the socio-economic context in which the conservation programmes need to succeed.The second major area for research on land resource is to make better use of low-capacity or problem soils.This could be by reducing the existing limitations, such as changing physical or chemical characteristics of the soil, or by developing plants and production techniques which reduce the detrimental effects of constraints. Example of these are acidity, salinity, and aluminium toxicity. Finally the broadest and more important area is that of research to enable more intensive use of better-quality land. Research topics here may relate to optimal plant nutrient management, soil moisture management, and developing cultivation techniques with minimum commercial energy requirements. Making plants more productive will involve research aimed at increasing photosynthetic efficiency, nitrogen fixation, disease and pest resistance, improved weed control, and bio-engineering to adjust plant types to maximize production potentials. Improved rotational systems for the achievement of many of the above goals will become increasingly important, as the potential problems or inappropriate cultivation practices become evident. In conclusion, food supplies of the world could meet the rapidly rising demands that are made on them, if agriculture receives sufficient attention and resources. Even with most modern development, land remains the base for agriculture, and optimal use of the world's land resources is thus crucial for future agricultural production

  19. Eight years of Conservation Agriculture-based cropping systems research in Eastern Africa to conserve soil and water and mitigate effects of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Tesfay; Nyssen, Jan; Govaerts, Bram; Lanckriet, Sil; Baudron, Frédéric; Deckers, Jozef; Cornelis, Wim

    2014-05-01

    In Ethiopia, repeated plowing, complete removal of crop residues at harvest, aftermath grazing of crop fields and occurrence of repeated droughts have reduced the biomass return to the soil and aggravated cropland degradation. Conservation Agriculture (CA)-based resource conserving cropping systems may reduce runoff and soil erosion, and improve soil quality, thereby increasing crop productivity. Thus, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2012) on a Vertisol to quantify - among others - changes in runoff and soil loss for two local tillage practices, modified to integrate CA principles in semi-arid northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, ploughed only once at planting by refreshing the furrow from 2005 to 2012 and 30% standing crop residue retention, (ii) terwah+ (TER+) with furrows made at 1.5 m interval, plowed once at planting, 30% standing crop residue retention and fresh broad beds, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three plain tillage operations and complete removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plough mahresha and wheat, teff, barley and grass pea were grown. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year onwards (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weeds in CA plots. Runoff and soil loss were measured daily. Soil water content was monitored every 6 days. Significantly different (psoil losses were 4 t ha-1 y-1 in DER+, 13 in TER+ and 18 in CT. Soil water storage during the growing season was constantly higher in CA-based systems compared with CT. A period of at least three years of cropping was required before improvements in crop yield became significant. Further, modeling of the sediment budgets shows that total soil loss

  20. Agroecology-based aggradation-conservation agriculture (ABACO): Targeting innovations to combat soil degradation and food insecurity in semi-arid Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tittonell, P.A.; Scopel, E.; Andrieu, N.; Posthumus, H.; Mapfumo, P.; Corbeels, M.; Halsema, van G.E.; Lahmar, R.; Lugandu, S.; Rakotoarisoa, J.; Mtambanengwe, F.; Pound, B.; Chikowo, R.; Naudin, K.; Triomphe, B.; Mkomwa, S.

    2012-01-01

    Smallholder farmers in semi-arid Africa are in an increasingly vulnerable position due to the direct and indirect effects of climate change, demographic pressure and resource degradation. Conservation agriculture (CA) is promoted as an alternative to restore soil productivity through increased water

  1. Malawi - Conservation Agriculture

    Data.gov (United States)

    Millenium Challenge Corporation — The randomized control trial impact evaluation tests different strategies for communicating information about agricultural technologies to smallholder maize farmers...

  2. Creative Soil Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Martha

    2010-01-01

    Take plant lessons outdoors with this engaging and inquiry-based activity in which third-grade students learn how to apply soil conservation methods to growing plants. They also collect data and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of their method of soil conservation. An added benefit to this activity is that the third-grade students played…

  3. Soil physics and agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The approach that integrates knowledge is very important in Agriculture, including farmers, extensionists, researchers and professors. The specialists, including the soil physicists, must have a global view of the crop production system. Therefore, their expertise can be useful for the society. The Essence of scientific knowledge is its practical application. The soil physics is a sub area of Agronomy. There are many examples of this specific subject related to Agriculture. This paper will focus, in general, the following cases: (i) erosion, environmental pollution and human health, (ii) plant population and distribution, soil fertility, evapo-transpiration and soil water flux density, and (iii) productivity, effective root depth, water deficit and yield

  4. Conservation agriculture among small scale farmers in semi-arid region of Kenya does improve soil biological quality and soil organic carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waweru, Geofrey; Okoba, Barrack; Cornelis, Wim

    2016-04-01

    The low food production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been attributed to declining soil quality. This is due to soil degradation and fertility depletion resulting from unsustainable conventional farming practices such as continuous tillage, crop residue burning and mono cropping. To overcome these challenges, conservation agriculture (CA) is actively promoted. However, little has been done in evaluating the effect of each of the three principles of CA namely: minimum soil disturbance, maximum surface cover and diversified/crop rotation on soil quality in SSA. A study was conducted for three years from 2012 to 2015 in Laikipia East sub county in Kenya to evaluate the effect of tillage, surface cover and intercropping on a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological soil quality indicators, crop parameters and the field-water balance. This abstract reports on soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and soil organic carbon (SOC). The experimental set up was a split plot design with tillage as main treatment (conventional till (CT), no-till (NT) and no-till with herbicide (NTH)), and intercropping and surface cover as sub treatment (intercropping maize with: beans, MB; beans and leucaena, MBL; beans and maize residues at 1.5 Mg ha-1 MBMu, and dolichos, MD). NT had significantly higher SMBC by 66 and 31% compared with CT and NTH respectively. SOC was significantly higher in NTH than CT and NT by 15 and 4%, respectively. Intercropping and mulching had significant effect on SMBC and SOC. MBMu resulted in higher SMBC by 31, 38 and 43%, and SOC by 9, 20 and 22% as compared with MBL, MD and MB, respectively. SMBC and SOC were significantly affected by the interaction between tillage, intercropping and soil cover with NTMBMu and NTHMBMu having the highest SMBC and SOC, respectively. We conclude that indeed tillage, intercropping and mulching substantially affect SMBC and SOC. On the individual components of CA, tillage and surface cover had the highest effect on SMBC and

  5. Dynamics of soil carbon, nitrogen and soil respiration in farmer’s field with conservation agriculture Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Science.gov (United States)

    The years of intensive tillage in many countries, including Cambodia, have caused significant decline in agriculture’s natural resources that could threaten the future of agricultural production and sustainability worldwide. Long-term tillage system and site-specific crop management can affect chang...

  6. Integrating Agriculture and Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandever, Mark W.

    2010-01-01

    The USGS produces the needed science-based information to guide management actions and policy decisions that support wildlife habitat and other environmental services compatible with USDA conservation goals and farm operations. The Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) has conducted research involving a national landowner survey and numerous short- and long-term evaluations regarding vegetation responses to land management practices. This research helps land and resource managers to make informed decisions and resolve resource management conflicts.

  7. Addressing Soil Degradation in EU Agriculture: Relevant Processes, Practices and Policies - Report on the project 'Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation (SoCo)'

    OpenAIRE

    GAY Stephan; Louwagie, Geertrui; SAMMETH Frank; Ratinger, Tomas; Cristoiu, Adriana; Marechal, Brechje; Prosperi, Paolo; Rusco, Ezio; TERRES Jean; Adhikari, Kabindra; BODIS Katalin; Roberto CENCI; Gardi, Ciro; Houskova, Beata; Reuter, Hannes

    2009-01-01

    Agriculture occupies a substantial proportion of the European land, and consequently plays an important role in maintaining natural resources and cultural landscapes, a precondition for other human activities in rural areas. Unsustainable farming practices and land use, including mismanaged intensification as well as land abandonment, have an adverse impact on natural resources. Having recognised the environmental challenges of agricultural land use, the European Parliament requested the Euro...

  8. Plant-conservative agriculture of acid and degraded Raña-grassland enhances diversity of the common soil mites (Oribatida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Jorrín

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The seminatural prairie of the Raña of Cañamero (Spain is a degraded and unproductive agrosystem with acid and stony soils, and low coverage of xerophytic grasses. In a project about secondary reconversion of the raña-prairie to a more productive cropland, an experimental field (EF was established to assess the effect on plot-productivity of the interaction between correction of soil pH (liming with three cropping systems: a no-tilled and annually fertilized and improved prairies, and a conventionally-tilled forage crop. The EF model of management was designed as plant-conservative, because no herbicide was applied after seeding to preserve the post-emergence of wild herbs and the natural grass diversity of the prairie. Between 2008 and 2012, we analysed the effect of managing factors (initial conventional-tillage, fertilization, liming and cropping and agricultural predictors (pH, C:N ratio, soil bulk density and herbaceous biomass on the alpha(α-diversity of one of the major group of soil animals, the oribatids. In relation to the raña-prairie, all EF-plots improved their soil bulk density (ρs and herbaceous biomass (t/ha, and enhanced desirable α-diversity values (richness, abundance and community equity. We conclude that the plant-conservative model: i do not affect statistically the species richness of the prairie; ii the desirable α-diversity responses are negatively correlated with soil bulk density and positively with herbaceous biomass, and iii the low input or minimum intervention model, of an initial and conventional till and annual fertilisation, is the threshold and optimal model of agricultural management to improving oribatids diversity of the raña-soil.

  9. Management and conservation of acid soils in the savannahs of Latin America: Lessons from the agricultural development of the Brazilian cerrados

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Acid-soil savannahs represent most of the remaining land suitable for agricultural development in the world. Considered as marginal lands, they are of low inherent productivity for agriculture, and susceptible to rapid degradation. The vast Brazilian 'cerrados' were opened up some 30 years ago, and today they supply a considerable portion of the country's agricultural commodities. Monocultures of grain crops and pastures are proving to be unsustainable under today's conditions, and alternative production systems are being developed and implemented that incorporate improved production technologies and conservation of the natural resources. No-till, minimum tillage and integrated crop-livestock systems are proving to be successful in terms of farmer adoption. However, there is a need to elucidate the principles and functioning of these systems in order to assess their suitability for long-term sustainability of marginal savannah lands. The challenges that remain to ensure that these lands are developed in a sustainable manner include social, cultural and economic aspects, a favourable policy environment and a clearer understanding of sustainability and its measurement. In this article we review the lessons learned from the cerrados experience. Future research should include the development of new crop options with tolerance of acid soils, a better understanding of water and nutrient cycles, the development of principles of soil organic matter and crop-residue management, and the biological management of soil fertility. (author)

  10. Effectiveness of Conservation Measures in Reducing Runoff and Soil Loss Under Different Magnitude-Frequency Storms at Plot and Catchment Scales in the Semi-arid Agricultural Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, T. X.

    2016-03-01

    In this study, multi-year stormflow data collected at both catchment and plot scales on an event basis were used to evaluate the efficiency of conservation. At the catchment scale, soil loss from YDG, an agricultural catchment with no conservation measures, was compared with that from CZG, an agricultural catchment with an implementation of a range of conservation measures. With an increase of storm recurrence intervals in the order of 20 years, the mean event sediment yield was 639, 1721, 5779, 15191, 19627, and 47924 t/km2 in YDG, and was 244, 767, 3077, 4679, 8388, and 15868 t/km2 in CZG, which represented a reduction effectiveness of 61.8, 55.4, 46.7, 69.2, 57.2, and 66.8 %, respectively. Storm events with recurrence intervals greater than 2 years contributed about two-thirds of the total runoff and sediment in both YDG and CZG catchments. At the plot scale, soil loss from one cultivated slopeland was compared with that from five conservation plots. The mean event soil loss was 1622 t/km2 on the cultivated slopeland, in comparison to 27.7 t/km2 on the woodland plot, 213 t/km2 on the grassland plot, 467 t/km2 on the alfalfa plot, 236 t/km2 on the terraceland plot, and 642 t/km2 on the earthbank plot. Soil loss per unit area from all the plots was significantly less than that from the catchments for storms of all categories of recurrence intervals.

  11. Compaction properties of agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    TANG, Anh Minh; CUI, Yu Jun; Eslami, Javad; DEFOSSEZ BERTHOUD, Pauline

    2007-01-01

    The compaction of field soils due to repeated rolling of agricultural vehicles is one of the main reasons for the agricultural soil degradation. A good understanding of the compaction properties of these soils is essential for an optimum organisation of agricultural activities, and therefore for environmental protection in terms of nitrate migrations. In the present work, the compaction properties of agricultural soils from four sites in France are studied after experimental data ...

  12. Developing conservation agriculture production systems: An analysis of local networks

    OpenAIRE

    Swenson, S.; Moore, Keith M.

    2009-01-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) has been trumpeted as the solution for reducing soil degradation and increasing agricultural productivity around the world. Some farmland settings, such as in Brazil and the United States, have established substantial hectarage in conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS) establishment, while other locations, such as in Africa, have little permanent adoption of CA practices. A close review of the literature on adoption of CA technologies indicates that s...

  13. Exploring Alternative Solutions Regarding Conservation Agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Reza Movahedi; Hadi Fathi; Mousa Aazami; Somaye Latifi

    2011-01-01

    Problem statement: Studies show that no effective measures have been taken towards conservative agriculture in Iran. Social, economical and technical agricultural factors and conditions need to be provided to meet conservation agriculture at the farm, regional and national level. Accordingly, this research aimed at exploring some solutions to protect and conserve agriculture. Approach: To achieve this, of all 100 populations, included both 80 faculty members of college of agriculture at Bu-Al...

  14. Developing Conservation Agriculture Production Systems in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.; Arcinal, Gil A.; Edralin, Don Immanuel; Ella, Victor B.; Manuel R. Reyes

    2014-01-01

    Conservation agriculture with trees (CAT) offers solution to this pressing problem through following 5 key principles: Minimum soil disturbance, continuous mulch, maintaining diverse crop species, integrated pests and nutrient management. CAT is very important in soil and water conservation, enhancing agri-diversity, improving farm carbon sequestration potential, maximization of land area usage in the Philippines as well as the reversal of soil degradation thus improving food and nutritional ...

  15. EFFECT OF CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE ON YIELD AND PROTECTING ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES

    OpenAIRE

    Teodor RUSU; Bogdan, Ileana; MARIN, Doru Ioan; MORARU, Paula Ioana; Adrian Ioan POP; Bogdan Matei DUDA

    2015-01-01

    Conservative soil tillage (minimum tillage and no-tillage) are considered among the most important components of conservation agriculture. Their research and extension was imposed especially in hilly areas with specific problems of desertification (erosion, drought) as bioremedial measures. Our research follows the effects of the three tillage systems: conventional systems, minimum tillage and no-tillage on soil properties (bulk density, penetration resistance, temperature and moisture, soil ...

  16. Exploring Alternative Solutions Regarding Conservation Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Movahedi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Studies show that no effective measures have been taken towards conservative agriculture in Iran. Social, economical and technical agricultural factors and conditions need to be provided to meet conservation agriculture at the farm, regional and national level. Accordingly, this research aimed at exploring some solutions to protect and conserve agriculture. Approach: To achieve this, of all 100 populations, included both 80 faculty members of college of agriculture at Bu-Ali-Sina University and 20 subject matter specialists in Hamedan's State Agricultural Organization, 35 people were selected based on the criterion type of purposeful sampling. Data were gathered through interviews. Content analysis method was used to analyze textual data. Results: Results of this study showed that the building awareness and culture along with factors such as proper conservation agriculture practices, effective planning and management and attention to agro-ecological issues are basic factors to promote conservation agriculture in the surveyed area. Conclusions/Recommendations: Lack of awareness and knowledge of farmers and people towards conservation agriculture, no adoption of conservation agriculture by farmers and lack of education and training services for conservation agriculture were the most important issues that found in this research about conservation agriculture. Therefore, support the creating of cooperatives to provide necessary services for implementing conservation agriculture practices is definitely recommended.

  17. Conservation agriculture in urban deserts

    OpenAIRE

    D.I.A. Edralin; Hok, L.; LeNgoc, K.; Williams, M.; Gayle, G.; Raczkowski, C.W.; Manuel R. Reyes

    2012-01-01

    Limited access to nutritious and affordable food is experienced by 23 million people in the US as they live in 'food desserts' making them food and health insecure. Resources such as land, water, labor and capital are used not in the context of sustainability making the problem more severe. Urban conservation agriculture will be an ‘oasis’ or a sustainable solution to this problem on food desserts and unsustainable resource use. A part of a human disturbed landscape, a turf grass lawn, was co...

  18. Management and conservation of acid soils in the Savannahs of Latin America: Lessons from the agricultural development of the Brazilian cerrados

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: Acid-soil savannahs represent most of the remaining land suitable for agricultural development in the world. They are considered to be marginal lands as they have low inherent productivity for agriculture and are susceptible to rapid degradation. In Latin America the majority of these lands are found in the Brazilian 'cerrados' or savannahs. They were opened up for agriculture some 30 years ago and today they supply a considerable portion of the country's agricultural produce. The development pathway in the cerrados has shifted from extensive grazing on native grasslands to improved pastures and annual monocrops. More recently no-tillage systems have been introduced along with perennial crops and integrated crop-pasture systems. Monocultures of either grain crops or pastures have proved to be unsustainable under today's conditions and alternative production systems are being developed and implemented that incorporate improved production technologies and conservation of the natural resources. No-till, minimum till and integrated crop-livestock systems are proving to be successful in terms of farmer adoption. A number of variations in no-till systems have been developed mainly by farmers in response to climate and/or soil conditions. No-till systems are more productive and economical and are perceived to be more sustainable. However there is a need to elucidate the principles and functioning of these systems in order to assess their suitability for long-term sustainability of the marginal savannah lands. The challenges that remain to ensure that these lands are developed in a more sustainable manner include social, cultural and economic aspects, a favourable policy environment and a clearer understanding of sustainability, its measurement and how farmers perceive this concept. In this article we review the lessons learned from the 'cerrados' experience including the scientific breakthroughs made. The relevance of these lessons to other tropical acid soil

  19. Effects of conservation practices on fishes, amphibians, and reptiles within agricultural streams and wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation practices have been traditionally used to manage soil and water resources to improve agricultural production, and now include methods to reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture on streams and wetlands. These practices have been regularly implemented within agricultural watershed...

  20. Conservation agriculture and smallholder farming in Africa: The heretics' view

    OpenAIRE

    Giller, K.; Witter, E.; Corbeels, Marc; Tittonell, P.

    2009-01-01

    International research and development organizations promote conservation agriculture (CA) as a solution to poor soil conditions and agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). CA is claimed to improve soil health, reduce erosion, increase yields and reduce labor requirements, but empirical evidence does not decisively support these points, nor is it clear which CA principle produces which benefit. Convincing scientific reports both support and dispute the benefits of CT. Credible ...

  1. Developing conservation agriculture with trees learning center in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.; Ella, Victor B.; Javier, E.; Manuel R. Reyes

    2013-01-01

    This poster presented crop production in a conservation agriculture with tree (CAT) system in the upland area in Claveria, Misamis, Philippines. CAT is very important in soil and water conservation, enhancing agri-diversity, improving farm carbon sequestration potential, maximization of land area usage in the Philippines as well as the reversal of soil degradation thus improving food and nutritional security of the upland dwellers.

  2. Agricultural intensification escalates future conservation costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phelps, Jacob; Carrasco, Luis Roman; Webb, Edward L; Koh, Lian Pin; Pascual, Unai

    2013-05-01

    The supposition that agricultural intensification results in land sparing for conservation has become central to policy formulations across the tropics. However, underlying assumptions remain uncertain and have been little explored in the context of conservation incentive schemes such as policies for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, conservation, sustainable management, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). Incipient REDD+ forest carbon policies in a number of countries propose agricultural intensification measures to replace extensive "slash-and-burn" farming systems. These may result in conservation in some contexts, but will also increase future agricultural land rents as productivity increases, creating new incentives for agricultural expansion and deforestation. While robust governance can help to ensure land sparing, we propose that conservation incentives will also have to increase over time, tracking future agricultural land rents, which might lead to runaway conservation costs. We present a conceptual framework that depicts these relationships, supported by an illustrative model of the intensification of key crops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a leading REDD+ country. A von Thünen land rent model is combined with geographic information systems mapping to demonstrate how agricultural intensification could influence future conservation costs. Once postintensification agricultural land rents are considered, the cost of reducing forest sector emissions could significantly exceed current and projected carbon credit prices. Our analysis highlights the importance of considering escalating conservation costs from agricultural intensification when designing conservation initiatives. PMID:23589860

  3. Farming for the future: A guide to conservation agriculture in Zimbabwe

    OpenAIRE

    Harford, N; Le Breton, J.

    2009-01-01

    Conservation agriculture is a way of farming that conserves soil and water while promoting sustained, improved crop yields. Farming for the Future is the indispensible manual on conservation agriculture for agricultural extension officers, trainers, project officers and field staff in Zimbabwe.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Using Caesium-137 Techniques to Estimate Soil Erosion and Deposition Rates on Agricultural Fields with Specific Conservation Measures in the Tutova Rolling Hills, Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the period from 2003 until 2007 a study was conducted at four representative micro-catchments in the Tutova Rolling Hills of Romania to estimate soil erosion and deposition rates on agricultural fields and to assess the efficiency of soil conservation measures. In the study several categories of soil conservation measures were evaluated, such as strip farming, bench terraces and forest belts. As a first step in the analysis, two reference sites were selected on an uneroded meadow and in an old rural cemetery. The 137Cs inventory calculated for the first site was 6.90 kBq m-2 and for the second site 4.98 kBq m-2. The 137Cs results revealed that the highest erosion rates could be found in the centre of the strip crops where 137Cs inventory varied between 2.12 and 4.77 kBq m-2, while deposition of sediments was the largest on the bench terraces with a maximum inventory of 137Cs of 14 kBq m-2 (exceptionally 44 kBq m-2). The forest belts were characterized by high spatial variability in the deposition pattern; 137Cs inventory ranged between 7.98 and 11.22 kBq m-2. The comparative analysis between in situ and laboratory measurements of the 137Cs inventories revealed that the portable detector has to be used with care, especially on steep slopes with strong roughness. Nevertheless, generally in situ measurements gave good estimates of soil erosion and sedimentation rates. Conventional measurements made on the runoff plots at the Perieni Center in the period of 1985-2006 indicated that annual erosion rates ranged between 2.1 and 8.9 t ha-1 a-1, depending on the crop rotation. A maximum value of 52.3 t ha-1 a-1 was registered for the plot of 150 m2 under bare fallow. The smallest differences between the conventionally measured and the empirically and 137Cs based estimated values have been observed in the case of those plots well covered by vegetation throughout the years, especially by brome grass. On the plots with annual crops like maize, bean, soybean and especially

  6. Household adoption behaviour and agricultural sustainability in the northeastern mountains of Tanzania : the case of soil conservation in the North Pare and West Usambara Mountains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Semgalawe, Z.M.

    1998-01-01

    The northeastern mountains make up the major part of agricultural land in Tanzania. These areas have been experiencing rapid population growth, leading to increased demand for food, fuelwood and agricultural land. Most parts of the slopes have been experiencing declining soil fertility and severe so

  7. Soil erosion, fertility and water conservation factors in agricultural activities in Kenya: A look at problems and efforts being made to solve them using radioisotope techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inadequate nutrient supply is the major factor limiting production in the adequately rainfed region of Kenya around Lake Victoria. Phosphorus is particularly deficient and its availability difficult to determine. Soil P availability and optimum fertilizer P placement is being determined with 32P. Serious soil erosion problems have been reduced by establishing tea on the steep slopes. The uneven rainfall distribution on the lowlands results in serious soil and water conservation problems. Residue management and terracing have provided erosion protection. Neutron probes have been used to measure water conservation. Stress tolerant crops such as an early maturing maize have proven useful. The role of International Organizations in supporting the research activities is acknowledged

  8. Developing sustainable conservation agriculture for smallholder farmers in Southern Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Eash, Neal S.; Walker, Forbes; Thierfelder, Christian; Marake, Makoala V.; Wilcox, M; Lambert, D; Basson, A.

    2012-01-01

    Metadata only record This presentation was given at the Soil Science Society of America annual meeting on October 22nd, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio at 11:10 in the morning. Conservation agricultural practices were used in Southern Africa's cropping system to improve soil nutrient, improve food security, sequester carbon, and mitigate green house gases. LTRA-9 (Developing sustainable CAPS for smallholder farmers in Southern Africa)

  9. Soil compaction and soil tillage - studies in agricultural soil mechanics

    OpenAIRE

    Keller, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    This thesis deals with various aspects of soil compaction due to agricultural field traffic, the draught force requirement of tillage implements and soil structures produced by tillage. Several field experiments were carried out to study the mechanical impact of agricultural machines. It was shown that the stress interaction from the different wheels in dual and tandem wheel configurations is small and these wheels can be considered separate wheels with regard to soil stress. Hence, soil stre...

  10. Soil erosion and agricultural sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Montgomery, David R.

    2007-01-01

    Data drawn from a global compilation of studies quantitatively confirm the long-articulated contention that erosion rates from conventionally plowed agricultural fields average 1–2 orders of magnitude greater than rates of soil production, erosion under native vegetation, and long-term geological erosion. The general equivalence of the latter indicates that, considered globally, hillslope soil production and erosion evolve to balance geologic and climate forcing, whereas conventional plow-bas...

  11. Sustainable agriculture and soil conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Preben; Dubgaard, Alex

    The Danish case study area consists of the two municipalities Bjerringbro and Hvorslev, being located in the central part of the peninsula of Jutland, approximately 30 km southwest of the city of Randers. In 2007 the municipality of Bjerringbro was merged with 5 other municipalities forming a new...

  12. Conservation agriculture cropping systems in temperate and tropical conditions, performances and impacts . A review

    OpenAIRE

    Triomphe, Bernard; Affholder, François; Da Silva, Fernando Antonio Macena; Corbeels, Marc; Xavier, José Humberto Valadares; Lahmar, Rabah; Recous, Sylvie; BERNOUX, MARTIAL,; Blanchart, Eric; Mendes, Ieda de Carvalho; de Tourdonnet, Stephane

    2013-01-01

    Nowadays, in a context of climate change, economical uncertainties and social pressure to mitigate agriculture externalities, farmers have to adopt new cropping systems to achieve a sustainable and cost-effective grain production. Conservation agriculture consists of a range of cropping systems based on a combination of three main principles: (1) soil tillage reduction, (2) soil protection by organic residues and (3) diversification in crop rotation. Conservation agriculture has been promoted...

  13. Conservation agriculture is shaped through advisory schemes

    OpenAIRE

    Brives, Hélène; Riousset, Pauline; de Tourdonnet, Stephane

    2012-01-01

    This communication challenges the idea that participatory extension methods are required to develop more sustainable forms of agriculture. It is based on a comparison of two case studies presenting how Conservation Agriculture is promoted by a French agribusiness company. In one case a participatory extension scheme is organized when in the second case CA is promoted through technology transfer. The paper explores how do CA practices evolve when developed through participatory and non partici...

  14. Mitigation of phosphorus leaching from agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Svanbäck, Annika

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential element in crop production, but P losses from agricultural soils are a major contributor to surface water eutrophication. This thesis examined the effects of chemical soil properties and soil structure, as governed by agricultural management practices, on P leaching from agricultural soils and how this leaching can be reduced. An initial investigation on the effect of plant-available P concentration in the soil (P-AL) on topsoil P leaching from five soils clearl...

  15. Conservation Tillage Impacts on Soil Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hake, K.

    2012-04-01

    As recent as the 1970's in University lecture halls cotton production was vilified for being "hard on the soil". This stigma is still perpetuated today in the popular press, deserving a close scrutiny of its origin and its reality as soil quality is an essential but unappreciated component of cotton's unique tolerance to heat and drought. The objective of expanding food, feed and fiber production to meet the global demand, during forecast climate disruption requires that scientists improve both the above and below ground components of agriculture. The latter has been termed the "final frontier" for its inaccessibility and complexity. The shift to conservation tillage in the U.S.A. over the previous three decades has been dramatic in multiple crops. Cotton and its major rotation crops (corn, soybean, and wheat) can be grown for multiple years without tillage using herbicides instead to control weeds. Although pesticide resistant insects and weeds (especially to Bt proteins and glyphosate) are a threat to Integrated Pest Management and conservation tillage that need vigilance and proactive management, the role of modern production tools in meeting agricultural objectives to feed and clothe the world is huge. The impact of these tools on soil quality will be reviewed. In addition ongoing research efforts to create production practices to further improve soil quality and meet the growing challenges of heat and drought will be reviewed.

  16. Conservation Agriculture Practices and Adoption by Smallholder Farmers in Zimbabwe

    OpenAIRE

    Mazvimavi, Kizito; Ndlovu, Patrick V.; Nyathi, Putso; Minde, Isaac J.

    2010-01-01

    This study is based on a panel survey interviewing 416 farmers practising conservation agriculture for at least five cropping seasons. Farmers obtained higher yields on conservation agriculture plots than on nonconservation agriculture ones. The mean maize yield on conservation agriculture was 1546 kg/ha compared to 970 kg/ha for non-conventional draft tillage plots across all 15 districts. However, the contribution of conservation agriculture to total household food security requirements was...

  17. Rethinking soil and water conservation in a changing society : A case study in eastern Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazzucato, V.M.; Niemeijer, D.

    2000-01-01

    Soil and water conservation is at the top of development agendas in Africa. Virtually every project related to agriculture or the environment has a soil and water conservation component to it and environmental protection plans are being drawn up by African governments in which soil and water conserv

  18. No-tillage and conservation agriculture: A progress report

    OpenAIRE

    Derpsch, R.

    2008-01-01

    Metadata only record This report describes the mindset change that needs to take place in order to shift from conventional farming to conservation agriculture. The author starts with a brief history of reduced tillage and no-tillage farming systems and the move toward conservation agriculture. Constraints and limitations of the adoption of conservation agriculture are explained, along with examples of how they have been overcome. Information regarding the status of conservation agriculture...

  19. Rethinking soil and water conservation in a changing society : A case study in eastern Burkina Faso

    OpenAIRE

    Mazzucato, V.M.; Niemeijer, D.

    2000-01-01

    Soil and water conservation is at the top of development agendas in Africa. Virtually every project related to agriculture or the environment has a soil and water conservation component to it and environmental protection plans are being drawn up by African governments in which soil and water conservation figures dominantly. This focus on soil and water conservation is due to its being perceived as a way to address both productivity and environmental sustainability questions. Land degradation ...

  20. Practicing Conservation Agriculture to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change in Jordan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khresat, Saeb

    2016-04-01

    Climate change scenarios indicate that Jordan and the Middle East could suffer from reduced agricultural productivity and water availability among other negative impacts. Based on the projection models for the area, average temperature in Jordan is projected to increase between 1.2 and 1.6 °C by 2050. Projections for precipitation trends are projected to decrease by 16% by the year 2050. Evaporation is likely to increase due to higher temperatures. This is likely to increase the incidence of drought potential since precipitation is projected to decrease. The dominant form of agriculture system in Jordan is based on intensive tillage. This form of tillage has resulted in large losses of organic soil carbon, weaker soil structure, and cause compaction. It has negative effects on soil aeration, root development and water infiltration among other factors. There is a need to transform farming practices to conservation agriculture to sequester carbon so that climate change mitigation becomes an inherent property of future farming systems. Conservation Agriculture, a system avoiding or minimizing soil disturbance, combined with soil cover and crop diversification, is considered to be a sustainable production system that can also sequester carbon unlike tillage agriculture. Conservation agriculture promotes minimal disturbance of the soil by tillage (zero tillage), balanced application of chemical inputs and careful management of residues and wastes. This study was conducted to develop a clear understanding of the impacts and benefits of the two most common types of agriculture, traditional tillage agriculture and conservation agriculture with respect to their effects on land productivity and on soil carbon pools. The study results indicated that conservation agriculture contributed to the reduction of the farming systems' greenhouse gas emissions and enhance its role as carbon sinks. Also, it was found that by shifting to conservation agriculture labor cost needed for

  1. Short-term effects of conservation agriculture on Vertisols under tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) in the northern Ethiopian highlands

    OpenAIRE

    Tigist Oicha; Cornelis, WM; Verplancke, H; Nyssen, J; Govaerts, B; Mintesinot Behailu; Mitiku Haile; Deckers, Jozef A.

    2010-01-01

    Soil erosion and declining soil quality are the major constraints for crop production and sustainable land management in Ethiopia. A conservation agriculture (CA) experiment was conducted in 2006 at Gumselasa, Northern Ethiopia, on experimental plots established in 2005 on a farmer’s field. The objectives of this experiment were to evaluate the short-term changes in soil quality of a Vertisol due to the implementation of conservation agriculture practices and to assess their effect on soil...

  2. Integrating agricultural expansion into conservation biogeography: conflicts and priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Dobrovolski

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Increasing food production without compromising biodiversity is one of the great challenges for humanity. The aims of my thesis were to define spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation and to evaluate conservation conflicts considering agricultural expansion in the 21st century. I also tested the effect of globalizing conservation efforts on both food production and biodiversity conservation. I found spatial conflicts between biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion. However, incorporating agricultural expansion data into the spatial prioritization process can significantly alleviate conservation conflicts, by reducing spatial correlation between the areas under high impact of agriculture and the priority areas for conservation. Moreover, developing conservation blueprints at the global scale, instead of the usual approach based on national boundaries, can benefit both food production and biodiversity. Based on these findings I conclude that the incorporation of agricultural expansion as a key component for defining global conservation strategies should be added to the list of solutions for our cultivated planet.

  3. Conservation Agriculture in Lesotho: Residue Use Patterns Among CA adopters vs. Non-Adopters

    OpenAIRE

    Wilcox, M.D.; Bisangwa, E.; Lambert, Dayton M.; Marake, Makoala V.; Walker, F.R.; Eash, Neal S.; Moore, Keith M.; Park, W M

    2012-01-01

    Recent efforts by the Government of Lesotho, non-government organizations (NGOs), and international attention have focused on developing conservation agriculture (CA) practices adapted to the cultural, economic, and agro-ecological conditions in Lesotho. Understanding the influence of the introduction of CA technologies on soil erosion, yields, labor allocation and gender roles is of critical importance for successfully deploying sustainable agriculture technologies.

  4. Soil Management in Organic Agriculture: a Case Study of Denmark

    OpenAIRE

    Khattak, Asif Khan

    2008-01-01

    The research work in this thesis is based on the review of empirical studies on soil degradation and soil conservation in both organic and conventional agriculture conducted in Denmark and published in international/Danish journals and other sources. This provides a scientific support to the methodology in general and to the findings in particular. The findings are not based on assumptions or expectations but on proved scientific information. The methodology adopted for this...

  5. EFFECT OF CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE ON YIELD AND PROTECTING ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teodor RUSU

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Conservative soil tillage (minimum tillage and no-tillage are considered among the most important components of conservation agriculture. Their research and extension was imposed especially in hilly areas with specific problems of desertification (erosion, drought as bioremedial measures. Our research follows the effects of the three tillage systems: conventional systems, minimum tillage and no-tillage on soil properties (bulk density, penetration resistance, temperature and moisture, soil respiration and on the production of wheat, maize and soybean, obtained on an Argic Faeoziom from the Somes Plateau. Average soil bulk density grows, compared to the conventional system (1.20-1.24 g/cm3 , in all variants with minimum tillage (1.22-1.32 g/cm3 ; the highest growth is recorded at no-tillage, being 1.35- 1.38 g/cm3 with statistically significant positive differences. Soil moisture increases in all variants with minimum and no-tillage with different percentages, ranging from 1-15% v/v, compared to the conventional system. This is also reflected in the values of resistance to penetration. Tillage appeared to affect the timing rather than the total amount of CO2 production: the daily average is lower at no-tillage (315-1914 mmoles m-2s -1, followed by minimum tillage (318- 2395 mmoles m-2s -1 and is higher in the conventional system (321-2480 mmoles m-2s -1. Productions obtained at minimum tillage and no-tillage did not have significant differences for the wheat culture but were higher for soybean. The differences in crop yields were recorded at maize and can be a direct consequence of loosening, mineralization and intensive mobilization of soil fertility.

  6. Profitability and opportunity of conservation agriculture in acid savannah grasslands of Laos

    OpenAIRE

    Lienhard, P.; Panyasiri, K.; Sayphoummie, S.; Leudphanane, B.; Lestrelin, Guillaume; Seguy, L.; Tivet, F.

    2014-01-01

    In north-eastern Laos, the savannah grasslands of the Plain of Jars cover vast areas of potentially cultivable land. However, soil acidity, low inherent fertility, and the absence of alternatives to tillage represent significant constraints to the development of sustainable smallholder agriculture. Our objective was to evaluate the potential for conservation agriculture (CA) to enhance soil productivity and farming system profitability. A three-year rotation of rice/maize/soybean was tested u...

  7. The conundrum of conservation agriculture and livelihoods in Southern Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nkala, P.; Mango, N.; Corbeels, M.; Veldwisch, G.J.A.; Huising, J.

    2011-01-01

    Low crop productivity, food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition; inadequate farming knowledge and skills, implements and inputs are characteristic of smallholder agriculture in Southern Africa. Many researchers argue that conservation agriculture can guarantee higher crop productivity, food security

  8. Data on four criteria for targeting the placement of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Qiu, Zeyuan; Dosskey, Michael G.; Kang, Yang

    2016-01-01

    Four criteria are generally used to prioritize agricultural lands for placing conservation buffers. The criteria include soil erodibility, hydrological sensitivity, wildlife habitat, and impervious surface rate that capture conservation buffers’ benefits in reducing soil erosion, controlling runoff generation, enhancing wildlife habitat, and mitigating stormwater impacts, respectively. This article describes the data used to derive the values of those attributes and a scheme to classify the v...

  9. Remote sensing techniques for the detection of soil erosion and the identification of soil conservation practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelletier, R. E.; Griffin, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    The following paper is a summary of a number of techniques initiated under the AgRISTARS (Agriculture and Resources Inventory Surveys Through Aerospace Remote Sensing) project for the detection of soil degradation caused by water erosion and the identification of soil conservation practices for resource inventories. Discussed are methods to utilize a geographic information system to determine potential soil erosion through a USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) model; application of the Kauth-Thomas Transform to detect present erosional status; and the identification of conservation practices through visual interpretation and a variety of enhancement procedures applied to digital remotely sensed data.

  10. Data on four criteria for targeting the placement of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Zeyuan; Dosskey, Michael G; Kang, Yang

    2016-06-01

    Four criteria are generally used to prioritize agricultural lands for placing conservation buffers. The criteria include soil erodibility, hydrological sensitivity, wildlife habitat, and impervious surface rate that capture conservation buffers' benefits in reducing soil erosion, controlling runoff generation, enhancing wildlife habitat, and mitigating stormwater impacts, respectively. This article describes the data used to derive the values of those attributes and a scheme to classify the values in multi-criteria analysis of conservation buffer placement in "Choosing between alternative placement strategies for conservation buffers using borda count" [1]. PMID:27222843

  11. The price of soil erosion; an economic evaluation of soil conservation and watershed development.

    OpenAIRE

    Graaff, de, G.C.

    1996-01-01

    Soil erosion by water is the principal cause of land degradation, and a major constraint to agricultural development in developing countries. In semi-arid zones measures have to be taken to reduce on-site soil, water and nutrient losses and in sub-humid mountainous zones the focus should also be on reducing sedimentation of reservoirs and on other downstream effects. Soil conservation and watershed development activities and projects are hard to evaluate, since neither their effects nor their...

  12. Effects of Conventional and Conservation Tillage on Soil Hydraulic Properties of a Silty-loamy Soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahl, Niels Arne; Bens, O.; Buczko, U.;

    2004-01-01

    both tillage systems, the visual recording of stained and unstained macropores (1 mm) resulted in macropore densities ranging between 100 and 1,000 macropores/m, with the highest numbers in the topsoil and a gradual decrease with soil depth. At the conservation tillage plot, below 20 cm soil depth......Infiltration into soils is strongly correlated with macroporosity. Under agricultural land use, the properties of the macropore network are governed by the applied management and tillage system. On an experimental site with a silt loam soil partly under conventional and conservation tillage, the...... penetration depth of only 50 cm was recorded on the conventionally tilled plot. For both tillage treatments, infiltration rates were lower in the topsoil than in soil depths >30 cm. The conservation tillage plot showed higher infiltration rates at 50 and 90 cm soil depth than the conventional tilled plot. For...

  13. Bentazone adsorption and desorption on agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Boivin, A.; Cherrier, R.; Schiavon, M

    2005-01-01

    Herbicide fate and transport in soils greatly depend upon adsorption-desorption processes. Batch adsorption and desorption experiments were performed with the herbicide bentazone using 13 contrasted agricultural soil samples. Bentazone was found to be weakly sorbed by the different soils, showing average Freundlich adsorption coefficients (Kf) value of 1.4 ± 2.3 mg1 - nf Lnf kg-1. Soil organic matter content did not have a significant effect on bentazone sorption (r2 = 0.12), whereas natural ...

  14. Virginia Tech to host Biodiversity Conservation in Agriculture Symposium

    OpenAIRE

    Felker, Susan B.

    2006-01-01

    Virginia Tech will host the Biodiversity Conservation in Agriculture Symposium at its Caribbean Center for Education and Research in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic, May 31 - June 2. The symposium is designed to promote inclusion of biodiversity conservation objectives in agricultural development activities.

  15. Carbon Sequestration in Agricultural Soils

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to improve the knowledge base for facilitating investments in land management technologies that sequester soil organic carbon. While there are many studies on soil carbon sequestration, there is no single unifying volume that synthesizes knowledge on the impact of different land management practices on soil carbon sequestration rates across the world. A meta-a...

  16. Effectiveness Of Soil Conservation To Erosion Control On Several Land Use Types

    OpenAIRE

    Satriawan Halus; Harahap Erwin Masrul; Rahmawaty; Karim Abubakar

    2015-01-01

    The erosion plot method for direct evaluation in agriculture became necessary to (1) quantify soil erosion on cocoa, areca and oil palm, (2) determine the most effective soil conservation, and (3) calculate nutrient content in sediment. The experiment was treated with three conservation practices and the conventional treatment as control in a completely randomised block design. The results showed for the areca land use, that soil conservation with ridges + maize produced the lowest erosion (1...

  17. Integrating Green Fiscal Reforms into the Agricultural Transformation Agenda: Panacea for Boosting Soil Enrichment and Water Conservation for Sustainable Food Production in Nigeria

    OpenAIRE

    Okojie, L.O.; Sanusi, R.A.; A. R. Popoola

    2015-01-01

    Nigeria had a booming agricultural industry and prominent world market shares in many of its commodities at independence. With the continuous decline in these, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) has been floated to promote twelve commodities in production along their value chains. Various innovations and expected benefits feature in the programme. The cultivation methods and other activities within the nodes of the value chains do not however specify green growth strategy promoted b...

  18. Influencia de la agricultura de conservación en la temperatura del suelo y su relación con las poblaciones microbianas Influence of conservation agriculture over soil temperature and the relation with microbial populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Muñoz

    2009-01-01

    óptimos de temperatura para el crecimiento microbiano en los manejos de agricultura de conservación.The temperature of the soil is a key factor in the growth of the maize, a sensible culture to the temperature variations, with high optimal temperature for germination of the seed, growth of plant and fruition. The conservation agriculture tends to diminish the temperature of the soil, due to the stubbles that are left in surface, in whose decomposition the microorganisms of the soil play a fundamental role, and to the associated increase of humidity this type of management. For a suitable management of soils under conservation agriculture is recommendable the study of the temperature and the microbial populations in the surface horizon. For these reasons, the objective of this study has been to make a comparative study of the oscillations of temperature in different managements from agriculture of conservation as opposed to the obtained with a conventional management, and to determine how affect these variations of temperature to the microbial populations associated to the rhizosphere of the culture. Field experiences have been made in four different managements under a same soil, located in contiguous subparcels; one of direct seeding (DS, two of direct seeding with cover (DSC with different antiquity from implantation and a conventional tillage (CT. It has been made an exhaustive measurement of the temperature of the soil during three years and a monitoring of the evolution of the microbial populations. The analysis of the results allows to conclude that during the period of culture takes place a diminution of the temperature in SD and SDC with respect to LC, with smaller oscillations of temperature for the conservation agriculture. In addition, an increase in the microbial populations associated to SD and SDC with respect to LC is observed, that would indicate the existence of optimal intervals of temperature for the microbial growth in the managements of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoli; Chen, Qiuwen; Zeng, Zhaoxia

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Impact of Soil Conservation Measures on Erosion Control and Soil Quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This publication summarises the lessons learnt from a FAO/IAEA coordinated research project on the impact of soil conservation measures on erosion control and soil quality over a five-year period across a wide geographic area and range of environments. It demonstrates the new trends in the use of fallout radionuclide-based techniques as powerful tools to assess the effectiveness of soil conservation measures. As a comprehensive reference material it will support IAEA Member States in the use of these techniques to identify practices that can enhance sustainable agriculture and minimize land degradation.

  1. Gliocladium and Trichoderma in agricultural soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG Chen; LI Bao-du; LU Guo-zhong

    2004-01-01

    @@ Gliocladium and Trichoderma are common fungi in agricultural soil. Several species of them were isolated and identified, great diversity was displayed in different agricultural soils of different crops,agricultural climate zones, different seasons, depths, different treated soybean cyst nematode soil,healthy and diseased crop soil. Among five crops soil samples, wheat and corn soil were found to possess the largest number of Gliocladium and Trichoderma separately. Gliocladium and Trichoderma of three major crops showed consistent changing patterns with seasonal variation. Corn soil displayed distinct vertical distribution of Trichoderna. There is a different distribution of the two fungi in diseased and healthy plant soil. Among the various isolated methods, diluted plate method is the best for isolating Gliocladium, and Trichoderma could be found in plant residue method and be tolerant to steam for two minutes. In the soybean cyst nematode soil mycobiota, the frequency of Gliocladium is higher than that of the others fungi, and Trichoderma may have the role of bioremediation in herbicide treated soil. Similarly, Gliocladium occurred frequently in different climate zones.

  2. Denitrification in frozen agricultural soil. A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen (N) in agricultural fertilizers is denitrified by soil bacteria when oxygen is limited, which effectively removes plant-available N from the soil to the atmosphere. Reported denitrification rates range from 0 to 239 kg N ha-1 yr-1 and may reduce the amount of N available for crop growth by...

  3. Phosphorus speciation in Swedish agricultural clay soils

    OpenAIRE

    Eriksson, Ann Kristin

    2016-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an important element for crop production, but build-up of excess soil P can promote P leaching and eutrophication of surface waters. To better understand the dynamics of P release from soil to waters, more knowledge is needed about sorption patterns and P speciation in agricultural soils. Two new indices were developed to assess the importance of P sorption to hydroxy-interlayered clay minerals, and to evaluate the amount of hydroxy-interlayering and hydroxy-interlayer ...

  4. Agricultural Land Use and Conservation Options

    OpenAIRE

    Zander, P.

    2003-01-01

    The thesis presents the modeling system MODAM (Multi-Objective Decision support tool for Agroecosystem Management) which was developed at the Centre for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research (ZALF) Müncheberg. The aim of the development of MODAM is to foster sustainable development of agricultural landscapes by decision support at farm and at policy level. Therefore, indicators assessing the environmental performance of agricultural activities are included in an economic farm decision ...

  5. Plant-conservative agriculture of acid and degraded Raña-grassland enhances diversity of the common soil mites (Oribatida)

    OpenAIRE

    Juan Jorrín; Pedro González-Fernández

    2016-01-01

    The seminatural prairie of the Raña of Cañamero (Spain) is a degraded and unproductive agrosystem with acid and stony soils, and low coverage of xerophytic grasses. In a project about secondary reconversion of the raña-prairie to a more productive cropland, an experimental field (EF) was established to assess the effect on plot-productivity of the interaction between correction of soil pH (liming) with three cropping systems: a no-tilled and annually fertilized and improved prairies, and a co...

  6. Soil Conservation and Sediment Control in Europe

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anton Charles Imeson

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of soil conservation and sediment control in Europe from the perspectives of policy makers seeking solutions to current problems of soil loss and flooding. Data and information are derived from detailed reports written in support of the European Soils Directive, that addressed the threats facing European soils and from workshops organised to identify best practices and achieve sustainable land use in different EU countries. These were organised by the SCAPE (Strategies for Soil Conservation and Protection in Europe) supporting action. Regarding technical measures used to limit erosion and restore ecosystems, there is much similarity between Europe and China. The main soil and land degradation problems that soil conservation practitioners and scientists have to address are caused by land use and management impacts that have proved difficult or impossible to resist because of political conditions. The political leadership that regarded soil conservation and sediment control, as a cornerstone of sustainable economic development, which seemed to be present eight years, is urgently required once more.

  7. Soil conservation, land use and property rights in northern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Beyene, Atakilte

    2003-01-01

    Land resources are key aspects in food production and livelihood systems for the majority of the population of developing countries. For these reasons promotion of sustainable management of agricultural land resources is, and will continue to be, of concern to a range of actors: the public, the state, donor agencies, the scientific community and not the least the smallholders themselves. Major initiatives to address such concerns are soil and water conservation programmes. It is, however, wid...

  8. Conservation agriculture in Lesotho: The drivers of adoption and the role of extension

    OpenAIRE

    Bisangwa, E.; Wilcox, M.D.; Lambert, Dayton M.; Marake, Makoala V.; Walker, F.R.; Eash, Neal S.; Park, W M

    2012-01-01

    Recent efforts by the Government of Lesotho, non-government organizations (NGOs), and international attention have focused on developing conservation agriculture (CA) practices adapted to the cultural, economic, and agro-ecological conditions. In particular, understanding the influence of the introduction of CA technologies on soil erosion, yields, labor allocation and gender roles is of critical importance for developing sustainable agriculture technologies. This research is a collaborative ...

  9. Conservation agriculture, a sustainable production alternative for the (sub)tropical highlands : toward an integrated evaluation of the system

    OpenAIRE

    Govaerts, Bram

    2007-01-01

    (Sub)tropical highlands of the world are densely populated and intensively cropped. Agricultural sustainability problems resulting from soil erosion and fertility decline have arisen throughout this agro-ecological zone. Major changes are needed in land, livestock and water management in line with traditional lifestyles and customs to remedy the agricultural system. Can conservation agriculture, based on three basic principles (1) minimal soil movement, (2) retention of rational amounts of cr...

  10. Social and economic factors for adoption of soil and water conservation in West Usambara highlands, Tanzania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tenge, A.J.M.; Graaff, de J.; Hella, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Accelerated soil erosion is one of the major constraints to agricultural production in many parts of the Tanzanian highlands. Although several soil and water conservation technologies have been developed and promoted, the adoption of many recommended measures is minimal and soil erosion continues to

  11. Soil Quality Changes with No-Till Management and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Take-out

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural producers in eastern Washington are adopting no-till farming in an effort to reduce soil erosion. In addition, lands returning to production after enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) must be managed in order to maintain improvements in soil quality. The soil character...

  12. Conservation agriculture for food security in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    University of the Philippines - Los Baños

    2010-01-01

    This brochure describes the project to promote Conservation Agriculture as a technologically-feasible, economically-viable, environmentally-sustainable and gender-responsive production system that will contribute to food security of small farm communities in the Philippines.

  13. Strategies for Water-soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture of Southern Hilly and Mountainous Regions%南方丘陵山地水土保持与循环农业发展策略研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄颖; 罗旭辉; 钟珍梅; 曾玉荣; 翁伯琦

    2015-01-01

    As one of the most severely eroded areas in China,the hilly and mountainous regions of southern China faces an unprecedented challenge in water-soil conservation.This article shows the current situation of the serious soil erosion and degradation of the red soil lands in the regions,as well as the efforts in the past to remedy and prevent further deterioration.Based on the information,4 potentially applicable approaches for the development of a sustainable agriculture were drawn.They included (1 ) the " Theme Agriculture" that focuses on the local specialties taking the over-all planning for the regions into consideration,(2)the" Three-dimensional Agriculture"that maximize the utilization of all available resources,(3 )the " Recycling Agriculture" that surrounds the generation and utilization of methane gas,and (4)the " Tourism Agriculture" that combines leisure and ecology-oriented activities.For execution,the following measures were recommended:(1)mapping strategies to fit for the local conditions,(2 ) streamlining organizational structures to facilitate efficient operations, (3 ) encouraging cooperation between research institutions and industrial entities to foster innovation,(4)upgrading management to fully capitalize investments,and (5)providing trainings to enhance employee quality.%从南方丘陵山地水土流失现状分析入手,阐述南方丘陵红壤侵蚀退化地的水土流失特征与主要防控成效,总结4种具有示范推广意义的治理型循环农业开发模式:(1)以合理统筹兼顾为主线的特色农业开发模式;(2)以资源合理配置为核心的立体农业开发模式;(3)以沼气综合利用为纽带的循环农业开发模式;(4)以拓展生态旅游为特色的观光农业开发模式,并据此提出与南方山区农村社会、经济、生态的实际情况相适应的乡村循环农业发展对策:一是结合区域实际,制定山区科学发展规划;二是优化产业结构,

  14. Tailoring conservation agriculture to the needs of small farmers in developing countries: An analysis of issues

    OpenAIRE

    Wall, P.C.

    2007-01-01

    Metadata only record The defining characteristics of conservation agriculture (CA) are retention of crop residues on the soil surface and minimized soil disturbance. A major barrier to adoption of CA is the extensive prerequisite knowledge required for successful implementation. Other factors inhibiting the spread of CA among small scale farmers are the prevalence of crop-livestock systems, which often depend upon crop residues for animal feed; limited access to markets, capital or credit;...

  15. Adoption and extent of conservation agriculture practices among smallholder farmers in Malawi

    OpenAIRE

    Ngwira, Robert Amos; Johnsen, Fred Håkon; Aune, Jens Bernt; Mekuria, Mulugetta; Thierfelder, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Understanding factors affecting farmers' adoption of improved technologies is critical to success of conservation agriculture (CA) program implementation. This study, which explored the factors that determine adoption and extent of farmers' use of the three principles of CA (i.e., minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover with crop residues, and crop rotations), was conducted in 10 target communities in 8 extension planning areas in Malawi. The primary data was collected using structured...

  16. Integrating Green Fiscal Reforms into the Agricultural Transformation Agenda: Panacea for Boosting Soil Enrichment and Water Conservation for Sustainable Food Production in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. O. Okojie

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Nigeria had a booming agricultural industry and prominent world market shares in many of its commodities at independence. With the continuous decline in these, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA has been floated to promote twelve commodities in production along their value chains. Various innovations and expected benefits feature in the programme. The cultivation methods and other activities within the nodes of the value chains do not however specify green growth strategy promoted by green fiscal reform policies. This implies the shortchanging of green growth strategy in the national development process and so the compromising of sustainability. This paper valued the environmental services loss resulting from deforestation associated with “slash and burn” arable crop expansion and the benefits of “green grabbing” - the deliberate appropriation of nature in the ATA. The profitability of food crop production with and without green fiscal reform policies integration was also assessed. Sampling procedures that included the stratified, simple random and purposive sampling were used at various stages depending on the objective. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire. The analytical tools adopted were the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM of the referendum type, on-day site travel cost method and the budgetary analysis. Results showed that 66.37% forest land use changes occurred in a seven year periods for arable food crops expansion. The environmental services loss as depicted by the Willingness To Pay (WTP was averagely N0.60billion/year. The stock recreation value derived from “green grabbing” for the same period with 5% of the Nigerian population of 150 million visiting the Obudu Mountain Resort (OMR for recreational purposes considered was N4.41 x 1012 million. The recreation use benefits of the OMR based on the Marshalian consumer surplus computation was slightly higher for the same period. Profitability

  17. The role of soil quality and soil conservation for private gardening in South-West Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teuber, Sandra; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    In the past centuries, agriculture played a major role in the economy of Germany, and private gardening was common practice. With the shift from agriculture to (service-) industry, less people work in their own garden for subsistence purposes and thus are no longer in direct contact with soil. However, the "Kleingarten"- and "Schrebergarten"-movements still exist in Germany, within which gardeners use soil to provide themselves with fruit and vegetables. The gardeners spend their leisure time cultivating the soil, planting, and harvesting. We ask as to whether these gardeners have a specific relation to soil quality and soil conservation, and what it is they associate with soil. Moreover, how do they use soil? Is soil quality assessed prior to planting? How do private gardeners conserve their soil? Interviewer-administered questionnaires were carried out in the respective gardens. Additionally, management practices were observed, and the fertility of the topsoil was measured. The research area is located in South-West Germany between the Black Forest and the Swabian Jura in a rural district. However, the "Kleingärten" investigated belong to the regional centre there and thus developed in an urban context. The theoretical framework of the SFB 1070 ResourceCultures was used for the study. A small portion of the surveyed private gardeners used simple box kits to analyse soil quality. However, the majority relied on experience and traditional knowledge to determine their management practices. This behaviour complicates the establishment of up-to-date knowledge about sustainable soil use like no-till and raised vegetable beds. Many surveyed persons have an agricultural background inasmuch as their (grand-) parents were farmers or at least owned a garden. Soil conservation practices are common, like the use of green manure to prevent the soil from drying out and supplementing soil with compost. Soil pollution is related to the use of chemical fertilizers which many

  18. Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Karlsson, Thord

    2012-01-01

    An understanding of soil organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics is essential for efficient and environmentally sustainable agricultural production. This thesis includes model studies of C mineralization at regional/national level with annual time steps, N balances at field level with annual time steps, and N dynamics at 34 locations within a single field with daily time steps. The same model family (ICBM) was used in all studies. Generally, carbon stocks in mineral soils increased from ...

  19. The magnetic susceptibility of European agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, K.; Reimann, C.

    2012-04-01

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

  20. Agricultural Land Use and Conservation Options

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zander, P.

    2003-01-01

    The thesis presents the modeling system MODAM (Multi-Objective Decision support tool for Agroecosystem Management) which was developed at the Centre for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research (ZALF) Müncheberg. The aim of the development of MODAM is to foster sustainable development o

  1. Precision Farming and Conservation Advances Agricultural Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    To many, Precision Farming, more formally termed Precision Agriculture, seems like an oxymoron. Yet site-specific management makes sense to an exponentially growing number of farmers. So where is Precision Farming headed? The short answer is that it is being extended from a focus on crop productio...

  2. Impact of soil conservation on crop production in the Northern Ethiopian Highlands:

    OpenAIRE

    Kassie, Menale; Pender, John; Yesuf, Mahmud; Kohlin, Gunnar; Bluffstone, Randy; Mulugeta, Elias

    2007-01-01

    "Land degradation, in the form of soil erosion and nutrient depletion, threatens food security and the sustainability of agricultural production in many developing countries. Governments and development agencies have invested substantial resources in promoting soil conservation practices, in an effort to improve environmental conditions and reduce poverty. However, very limited rigorous empirical work has examined the economics of adopting soil conservation technology. This paper investigates...

  3. Life cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental impact of biochar implementation in conservation agriculture in Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparrevik, Magnus; Field, John L; Martinsen, Vegard; Breedveld, Gijs D; Cornelissen, Gerard

    2013-02-01

    Biochar amendment to soil is a potential technology for carbon storage and climate change mitigation. It may, in addition, be a valuable soil fertility enhancer for agricultural purposes in sandy and/or weathered soils. A life cycle assessment including ecological, health and resource impacts has been conducted for field sites in Zambia to evaluate the overall impacts of biochar for agricultural use. The life cycle impacts from conservation farming using cultivation growth basins and precision fertilization with and without biochar addition were in the present study compared to conventional agricultural methods. Three different biochar production methods were evaluated: traditional earth-mound kilns, improved retort kilns, and micro top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier stoves. The results confirm that the use of biochar in conservation farming is beneficial for climate change mitigation purposes. However, when including health impacts from particle emissions originating from biochar production, conservation farming plus biochar from earth-mound kilns generally results in a larger negative effect over the whole life cycle than conservation farming without biochar addition. The use of cleaner technologies such as retort kilns or TLUDs can overcome this problem, mainly because fewer particles and less volatile organic compounds, methane and carbon monoxide are emitted. These results emphasize the need for a holistic view on biochar use in agricultural systems. Of special importance is the biochar production technique which has to be evaluated from both environmental/climate, health and social perspectives. PMID:23272937

  4. Intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity across Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tsiafouli, M.A.; Thébault, E.; Sgardelis, S.P.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Van der Putten, W. H.; Birkhofer, K.; Hemerik, L.; de Vries, F.T.; Bardgett, R.D.; Brady, M.V.; Bjornlund, L.; Bracht Jorgensen, H.; Christensen, S.; Hertefeldt, T.D.; Hotes, S.; Hol, W.H.G.; Frouz, Jan; Liiri, M.; Mortimer, S. R.; Setälä, H.; Tzanopoulos, J.; Uteseny, K.; Pižl, Václav; Starý, Josef; Wolters, V.; Hedlund, K.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 2 (2015), s. 973-985. ISSN 1354-1013 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : agricultural intensification * body mass * ecosystem services * functional groups * soil food web Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 8.044, year: 2014

  5. Soil biology and carbon in dryland agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Transport of agricultural contaminants through karst soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  7. Sorption of phenanthrene in agricultural soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soares, António Carlos Alves; Minh, Luong Nhat; Vendelboe, Anders Lindblad;

    for predicting average Koc for agricultural topsoils. Subsoils mostly followed Abdul, in agreement with that this model was developed for deeper soils and groundwater sediments lower in organic carbon (0.4 - 2%). This study only concerns solid-liquid partioning and thus the probability for PAH adsorption onto......Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are among the major contaminants in the terrestrial environment. The background level in normal agricultural land has increased for many years and it is expected to further increase in the future. Because of the very low water solubility and high Kow values......, KD for more than one hundred Danish and European agricultural top and sub soils (122 topsoils and 28 subsoils) as well as the normalized distribution coefficient of the organic carbon content (KOC), through single point isotherm measurements. Possible effect of clay-complexed organic carbon...

  8. Social psychology and biodiversity conservation in agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Wauters, Erwin; D'Haene, Karoline; Lauwers, Ludwig

    2014-01-01

    We investigate farmers’ intentions to apply biodiversity conservation practices from psychological perspective, using an adapted version of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), including group norms and putting emphasis on moral norms and self-identity. The study is based on a quantitative survey (n = 106) in Belgium, analyzed using confirmatory factor analyses and path analysis. Results show that the impact of attitudes, social norms and perceived behavioural control on intentions is almos...

  9. Conservation practices in US agriculture and their implication for global climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Increase in the use of conservation practices by agriculture in the United States will enhance soil organic carbon and potentially increase carbon sequestration. This, in turn, will decrease the net emission of carbon dioxide. A number of studies exist that calibrate the contribution of various individual, site-specific conservation practices on changes in soil organic carbon. There is a general absence, however, of a comprehensive effort to measure objectively the contribution of these practices including conservation tillage, the Conservation Reserve Program and conservation buffer strips to a change in soil organic carbon. This paper fills that void. After recounting the evolution of the use of the various conservation practices, it is estimated that organic carbon in the soil in 1998 in the United States attributable to these practices was approximately 12200000 metric tons. By 2008, there will be an increase of approximately 25%. Given that there is a significant potential for conservation practices to lead to an increase in carbon sequestration, there are a number of policy options that can be pursued. These include education and technical assistance, financial assistance, research and development, land retirement and regulation and taxes

  10. The conundrum of conservation agriculture and livelihoods in Southern Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Nkala, P.; Mango, N.; Corbeels, M.; Veldwisch, G.J.A.; J. Huising

    2011-01-01

    Low crop productivity, food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition; inadequate farming knowledge and skills, implements and inputs are characteristic of smallholder agriculture in Southern Africa. Many researchers argue that conservation agriculture can guarantee higher crop productivity, food security, improved livelihoods and environmental protection, better than the unsustainable traditional systems of slash and burn practices. In this paper, we present the results of a meta-analysis of over ...

  11. Gendered impacts of conservation agriculture and paradox of herbicide use among smallholder farmers

    OpenAIRE

    Nyanga, Progress H.; Johnsen, Fred Håkon; Kalinda, Thomson H.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation Agriculture (CA) is increasingly taking a central stage in agricultural policies and rural development among developing countries like Zambia. The challenge of gender gaps in agriculture has persisted despite efforts of gender mainstreaming. This paper assesses gender based impacts of conservation agriculture (CA) basins among smallholder farmers under the Conservation Agriculture Programme (CAP) in Zambia. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to colle...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. RESEARCH TO MEET AGRICULTURE-CONSERVATION INFORMATION NEEDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    An integrated research approach can be helpful problem solving tool when simple experiments cannot provide all the information needed to answer complex concerns about the impacts of agriculture on natural resource conservation. A series of on-farm research experiments has provided information detail...

  14. Laggards or Leaders: Conservers of Traditional Agricultural Knowledge in Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilles, Jere L.; Thomas, Justin L.; Valdivia, Corinne; Yucra, Edwin S.

    2013-01-01

    Many sustainable agricultural practices are based on local and traditional farming knowledge. This article examines the conservation and loss of three traditional practices in the Bolivian Altiplano that agronomic research has shown increase the resiliency of small farmers in the face of climate-related risks. These practices are the use of…

  15. An integrative approach for introducing conservation agricultural practices to tribal societies in India

    OpenAIRE

    Halbrendt, Jacqueline; Lai, Cynthia; Chan-Halbrendt, Catherine; Idol, Travis; Ray, Chittaranjan; Evensen, Carl; Roul, Pravat K.

    2011-01-01

    Small-holder farms in rural India struggle with reduced maize yields due to traditional farming methods. The introduction of modern conservation agriculture practices can provide higher yields and household income while boosting soil productivity. This poster abstract presents the results of CAPS implementation on experimental plots in tribal villages located in the Indian state of Odessa. LTRA-11 (CAPS among tribal societies in India and Nepal)

  16. An integrated social and ecological modeling framework—impacts of agricultural conservation practices on water quality

    OpenAIRE

    Irem Daloğlu; Joan Iverson. Nassauer; Rick Riolo; Donald Scavia

    2014-01-01

    We present a modeling framework that synthesizes social, economic, and ecological aspects of landscape change to evaluate how different agricultural policy and land tenure scenarios and land management preferences affect landscape pattern and downstream water quality. We linked a stylized agent-based model (ABM) of farmers’ conservation practice adoption decisions with a water quality model, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), to simulate the water quality effects of changing land tenu...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Digital spatial soil and land information for agriculture development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  19. The use of stable isotopes for the assessment and optimisation of conservation agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    FAO is engaged in the development of methodologies and tools to analyse win-win options for small farmers aiming at preventing land degradation, enhancing soil fertility, land productivity and carbon sequestration, which contribute to mitigating atmospheric CO2 levels. The conversion from conventional tillage to no-tillage (zero tillage)/conservation agriculture has been suggested as one possible win-win option. Nuclear techniques in particular stable isotopes are extremely useful in the analysis and assessment of the nutrient, water and carbon, inflows and outflows of such complex farming systems. With international networks of experienced scientists and the capacity to train and develop further expertise, the FAO/IAEA is in a unique position to coordinate a global research programme to assess and optimise conservation agriculture systems. A preliminary SWOT analysis was done to explore the issues of undertaking a CRP in this area. The Soils Unit in the FAO/IAEA Laboratory, Seibersdorf, has a range of backup services to offer the CRP, including, quality assurance, isotope analysis and training. In addition the Unit has over 30 years institutional experience of conducting isotope experiments in developing countries. The Unit has conducted extensive research in the areas of: inorganic fertilizer usage, biological nitrogen fixation, measurement of plant N uptake from organic residues, measurement of soil water, and more recently in the areas of: below ground N, carbon cycling, using of the isotopes of water. A number of methods and techniques, which could potentially be used to study conservation agriculture practices will be presented

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Soil physical properties on Venezuelan steeplands: Applications to soil conservation planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper presents a framework to support decision making for soil conservation on Venezuelan steeplands. The general approach is based on the evaluation of two important land qualities: soil productivity and soil erosion risk, both closely related to soil physical properties. Soil productivity can be estimated from soil characteristics such as soil air-water relationships, soil impedances and soil fertility. On the other hand, soil erosion risk depends basically on soil hydrologic properties, rainfall aggressiveness and terrain slope. Two indexes are obtained from soil and land characteristics: soil productivity index (PI) and erosion risk index (ERI), each one evaluates the respective land quality. Subsequently, a matrix with these two qualities shows different land classes as well as soil conservation priorities, conservation requirements and proposed land uses. The paper shows also some applications of the soil productivity index as an approach to evaluate soil loss tolerance for soil conservation programs on tropical steeplands. (author)

  3. Conservation of soil moisture in deep tillage rigosol under wheat and maize

    OpenAIRE

    Tapanarova Angelina

    2005-01-01

    At the experimental field "Radmilovac" of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Belgrade the study of the conservation of soil moisture in deep tillage Rigosol was carried out. The so called type of soil Rigosol was covered by wheat and maize. The Rigosol was formed by special treatment of the parent soil the Eutric Cambisol. The researches have been conducted during the most important phenophases of the crop growth, including formation of kernels, flowering, fertilization, grain fi...

  4. Impact of conservation agriculture on harnessing sustainability and building resilience against land degradation in the northern Ethiopian highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Tesfay; Cornelis, Wim M.; Govaerts, Bram; Bauer, Hans; Deckers, Jozef; Nyssen, Jan

    2013-04-01

    Conservation Agriculture (CA) aims at improving soil quality and crop yield whilst reducing runoff and topsoil erosion which raises the soil resilience to combat soil degradation. Different chemical, physical, and biological properties of a soil interact in complex ways that determine the crop productivity potential of the soil. Hence, a medium-term tillage experiment was carried out (2005 to 2011) on a Vertisol to evaluate changes in soil quality, runoff and soil loss due to CA-based field conservation practices in northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was implemented in a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, plowed once at planting by refreshing the furrow and with 30% standing crop residue retention, terwah+ (TER+) with plowing once at planting with 30% standing crop residue retention and contour furrows made at 1.5 m distance interval, and conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three tillage operations and removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plow mahresha. Local crop rotation practices followed during the seven years sequentially from the first to the seventh year included wheat-teff-wheat-barley-wheat-teff-grass pea. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weed in DER+ and TER+. Significantly different (pplanting system compared to CT, specifically at 0-10 cm depth. Aggregate instability index, crack size at harvest, relative water capacity and plastic limit were significantly larger in CT compared to CA treatments. Adoption of improved local practices of DER+ and TER+ planting systems that employ conservation agriculture principles can reduce runoff, soil loss and improve crop yield and soil quality and thus, sustainability in Vertisols. Keywords: Soil resilience

  5. Biodiversity, Urban Areas, and Agriculture: Locating Priority Ecoregions for Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Marc Imhoff; Taylor Ricketts

    2003-01-01

    Urbanization and agriculture are two of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide. The intensities of these land-use phenomena, however, as well as levels of biodiversity itself, differ widely among regions. Thus, there is a need to develop a quick but rigorous method of identifying where high levels of human threats and biodiversity coincide. These areas are clear priorities for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we combine distribution data for eight major plant and animal...

  6. Socio-economic analysis of conservation agriculture in southern Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.‏ United Nations Development Programme

    2011-01-01

    Southern Africa, a region little affected by the Green Revolution and likely to suffer severe detrimental impacts from climate change, faces pervasive poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation. Conservation agriculture may be a sustainable and effective way to resolve these issues, but stakeholders need accessible and solid evidence of its effectiveness. The purpose of this report is to analyze the impact of CA on the Southern Africans countries of South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe thro...

  7. Water conservation in agriculture -a step in combating the water crisis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In Pakistan, the agricultural sector is the largest water user with 95%, leaving only marginal quantities for households and industry. On one hand, agriculture is a very important sector in Pakistan's economic development, contributing about 23 % to the national GDP -but industry contributes slightly more using only about 2 % of the available water resources. As Pakistan faces a growing problem of water shortage, significant achievements in water conservation have to be materialized, predominantly on the agricultural sector. There is scope for a higher degree of efficiency in water use, as water losses, namely in irrigation, are still rather high. There is another good reason for water conservation in agriculture: Over-irrigation results in rising water tables and increased soil salinity, which has reduced Pakistan's agricultural output during the last 2 decades by nearly 25%. Water conservation measures can be divided into (1) measures which are only applicable under rain-fed agricultural conditions, (2) measures which are relevant to save water in rain-fed agriculture as well as in irrigated agriculture and (3) measures, which are relevant in irrigated agriculture only. The first group centres around efficient rainwater management, which can be either 'in-situ moisture conservation' or 'rainwater harvesting'. The second group includes (1) improving crop selection, (2) improving crop husbandry, (3) combining cropping with animal husbandry, (4) reduction of transpiration losses, (5) reduction of evaporation losses and (6) reduction of percolation losses. Efficient irrigation can be accomplished by (1) reduction of conveying and distribution losses, (2) reduction of application losses, (3) use of efficient irrigation methods, (4) use of efficient application techniques, (5) application of supplemental and deficit irrigation and (6) improving water availability. The awareness of the problem, the knowledge of adapted and affordable techniques, the creation of suitable

  8. Soil conservation through sediment trapping: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekonnen, Mulatie; Keesstra, Saskia; Baartman, Jantiene; Maroulis, Jerry; Stroosnijder, Leo

    2014-05-01

    Preventing the off-site effects of soil erosion is an essential part of good catchment management. Most efforts are in the form of on-site soil and water conservation measures. However, sediment trapping (ST) can be an alternative (or additional) measure to prevent the negative off-site effects of soil erosion. Therefore, not all efforts should focus solely on on-site soil conservation, but also on the safe routing of sediment-laden flows and on creating sites and conditions where sediment can be trapped, preferably in a cost effective or even profitable way. ST can be applied on-site (in-field) and off-site and involves both vegetative and structural measures. The main vegetative measures include grass strips, tree or bush buffers, grassed waterways and restoration of the waterways and their riparian zone; while structural measures include terraces, ponds and check dams. This paper provides a review of studies that have assessed the sediment trapping efficacy (STE) of such vegetative and structural measures. Vegetation type and integration of two or more measures (vegetative as well as structural) are important factors influencing STE. In this review, the STE of most measures was evaluated either individually or in such combinations. In real landscape situations, it is not only important to select the most efficient erosion control measures, but also to determine their optimum location in the catchment. Hence, there is a need for research that shows a more integrated determination of STE at the catchment scale. If integrated measures are implemented at the most appropriate spatial locations within a catchment where they can disconnect landscape units from each other, they will decrease runoff velocity and sediment transport and, subsequently, reduce downstream flooding and sedimentation problems. KEY WORDS: Integrated sediment trapping, sediment trapping efficacy, vegetative, structural, on-site and off-site measures.

  9. Soil nitrogen fluxes in Swedish and Nigerian agricultural systems

    OpenAIRE

    Röing, Kristina

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this thesis was to study selected processes of N fluxes in Swedish and Nigerian agricultural systems and relate them to the use of mineral and organic amendments and other agricultural management practices. Long-term effects of crop rotation, crop residue treatment and mineral fertiliser application levels on topsoil carbon (C), plant N uptake, net N mineralisation and soil organic matter fractions in temperate soils were investigated using soils from Swedish long-term agricultural...

  10. Using the Concept of a Soil Quality Index (SQI) to Evaluate Agricultural Soils with and without Soil Protection Measures in Lower Austria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Higher environmental standards in developed countries, in particular Europe, demand changes in agricultural land use and management practices. Modern agriculture needs to achieve high crop yields with decreasing equipment and labour inputs while reducing negative environmental impacts. Soil erosion causes many on-site and off-site damages; it has negative effects on the soil functions and soil quality. Improved soil management practices, including reduced tillage are often reported as a potential solution. The investigation and evaluation of different tillage practices and the assessment of soil quality as an indicator for sustainability are nowadays an issue of wide public concern and international debate. The objective of this study was to 1) to investigate the impact of different tillage systems and therefore the effect of soil conservation measures on physical, chemical and biological soil properties, and 2) to develop and adopt a model to assess changes in soil quality due to agricultural practices. Since 1994 the impact of conventional, conservation tillage and direct seeding has been investigated at three sites in Lower Austria. The field studies included continuous measurement of surface runoff, erosion and determination of crop yield. This study was conducted by computing a Soil Quality Index (SQI) for agricultural soils in Lower Austria. The model calculated improved soil quality for reduced tillage practices. For one site this improvement was statistically significant. The results are confirmed by long term erosion measurements from runoff plots and by determination of crop yields. Lower soil erosion led to higher SQI and higher yield. Computing the SQI helps combine different soil properties and processes within a simple tool that explains changes due to different soil tillage/management practices. These results support previous studies suggesting that calculation of soil quality indices can be useful for selecting management practices to maintain or

  11. Conservation Agriculture versus Conventional Agriculture: The Influence of Agriculture System, Fertilization and Plant Protection on Wheat Yield

    OpenAIRE

    Mircea Adrian GRIGORAS; Agatha POPESCU; Doru PAMFIL; Ioan HAS; Mihai GIDEA

    2012-01-01

    The paper aimed at making a comparison between conservation agriculture and conventional agriculture on wheat yield, in a three crop rotation (wheat, maize and soybean) system. A three factorial experiment based on the split-plot model and variance analysis was set in the Transylvania area of Romania, as follows: A factor-agriculture system: A1-tillage, A2-no-tillage, B factor-fertilization: B1-N40P40 kg/ha. B2-N40P40 kg/ha+N50P30 kg/ha; C factor- treatments: C1-4 treatments, C2-3 treatments,...

  12. Guidelines for Using Fallout Radionuclides to Assess Erosion and Effectiveness of Soil Conservation Strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soil degradation currently affects 1.9 billion hectares of agricultural land worldwide, and the area of degraded land is increasing rapidly at a rate of 5 to 7 million hectares each year. Most of this degradation is caused by inappropriate and poor land management practices in agriculture and livestock production. Among all degradation processes, including soil acidification, salinization and nutrient mining, soil erosion is by far the most common type of land degradation, accounting for 84% of affected areas, with more than three quarters of the affected surface land area located in developing countries. Current concerns about the impacts of soil erosion on crop productivity and the environment, as well as the deployment of effective soil conservation measures, have generated an urgent need to obtain reliable quantitative data on the extent and actual rates of soil erosion to underpin sustainable soil conservation strategies. The quest for new approaches for assessing soil erosion to complement conventional methods has led to the development of methodologies based on the use of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) as soil erosion tracers. With increasing attention being paid to land degradation worldwide, this publication explains and demonstrates FRN based methods to trace soil movement and to assess soil erosion at different spatial and temporal scales, and to evaluate the effectiveness of soil conservation strategies to ensure sustainable land management in agricultural systems. This publication summarizes the experiences and knowledge gained since the end of the 1990s in the use of FRNs by the IAEA and by scientists from both developed and developing countries involved in IAEA research networks. This publication provides guidance in the application of FRNs to stakeholders involved in sustainable agricultural development

  13. Radionuclide ageing in agricultural soils: A qualitative approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radionuclide partitioning and downward migration in soils, as well as the nutrient status in the soil solution (mainly Ca, Mg, K and NH4) are the most significant factors to be used in predicting and explaining radionuclide soil to plant transfer factors. Radionuclide migration and ageing has been studied in two Mediterranean agricultural soils, in the frame of a collaborative project called 'Transfer of accidentally released radionuclides in agricultural systems - TARRAS'. 6 refs, 1 fig

  14. Soil Properties in Natural Forest Destruction and Conversion to Agricultural Land,in Gunung Leuser National Park, North Sumatera Province

    OpenAIRE

    Basuki Wasis

    2012-01-01

    Destruction of the Gunung Leuser National Park area of North Sumatera Province through land clearing and land cover change from natural forest to agricultural land. Less attention to land use and ecosystem carrying capacity of the soil can cause soil degradation and destruction of flora, fauna, and wildlife habitat destruction. Environmental damage will result in a national park wild life will come out of the conservation area and would damage the agricultural community. Soil sampling conduct...

  15. Biodiversity, Urban Areas, and Agriculture: Locating Priority Ecoregions for Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Imhoff

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization and agriculture are two of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide. The intensities of these land-use phenomena, however, as well as levels of biodiversity itself, differ widely among regions. Thus, there is a need to develop a quick but rigorous method of identifying where high levels of human threats and biodiversity coincide. These areas are clear priorities for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we combine distribution data for eight major plant and animal taxa (comprising over 20,000 species with remotely sensed measures of urban and agricultural land use to assess conservation priorities among 76 terrestrial ecoregions in North America. We combine the species data into overall indices of richness and endemism. We then plot each of these indices against the percent cover of urban and agricultural land in each ecoregion, resulting in four separate comparisons. For each comparison, ecoregions that fall above the 66th quantile on both axes are identified as priorities for conservation. These analyses yield four “priority sets” of 6–16 ecoregions (8–21% of the total number where high levels of biodiversity and human land use coincide. These ecoregions tend to be concentrated in the southeastern United States, California, and, to a lesser extent, the Atlantic coast, southern Texas, and the U.S. Midwest. Importantly, several ecoregions are members of more than one priority set and two ecoregions are members of all four sets. Across all 76 ecoregions, urban cover is positively correlated with both species richness and endemism. Conservation efforts in densely populated areas therefore may be equally important (if not more so as preserving remote parks in relatively pristine regions.

  16. CLASSIFICATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAND SOILS A DATA MINING APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramesh Vamanan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The problem of the knowledge acquisition and efficient knowledge exploitation is very popular also in agriculture area. One of the methods for knowledge acquisition from the existing agricultural databases is the methods of classification. In agricultural decision making process, weather and soil characteristics are play an important role. This research aimed to assess the various lassification techniques of data mining and apply them to a soil science database to establish if meaningful relationships can be found. A large data set of soil database is extracted from the Soil Science & Agricultural department, Kanchipuram and National Informatics Centre, Tamil Nadu. The application of data mining techniques has never been conducted for Tamil Nadu soil data sets. The research compares the different classifiers and the outcome of this research could improve the management and systems of soil uses throughout a large number of fields that include agriculture, horticulture, environmental and land use management.

  17. Water-conserving Potential for Agriculture in the Tarim Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1999-01-01

    To satisfy the water demand for Tarim Basin's economic development in the year 2000, about 33.4×108 m3 water needs to be further tapped. Acco rding t o the analysis of the current status of water utilization, it is pointed out th at, to achieve such economic objectives, the policy of emphasizing both water ex ploitation and water conservation with the preference given to conservation meas ures must be followed. For this end, the potentials of exploring new additional sources and strengthening water conservation have been well analyzed, along with the calculation and tech-economic-assessment of some related parameters like the canal transmission efficiency in water delivery systems and the water irrigation effi ciency in the field. The results indicate the potentials of water resource expan sion and conservation are 34×108 m3 and 57×108 m3, respectively. Bas ed on such rese arch outputs, a water conservation program has been developed for the Tarim Basi n, to provide important references and policy recommendations for the decision- makers in Xinjiang agricultural department to implement water utilization measur es.

  18. Agriculture and nature conservation in the Moravian karst (Czech Republic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balàk Ivan

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Moravian Karst is a narrow strip of limestone with long history of settlement, agricultural use and man impact to karst. It is naturally divided into smaller units - karst plateaus - separated by deep valleys (glens. Each plateau has different proportion of land use, i.e. the percentage of agricultural land, forests, etc. The agricultural land constitutes now up to 70% in the north and max. 30% in the centre and south of the total area of plateaus. Intensive agricultural use of the arable land since 60ties of this Century caused great impact to quality of soils and groundwater by overdoses of fertilisers and other artificial chemical substances. Detailed research in 1980 to 1997 resulted in a plan of care based on the zonation of land. There were defined zones with different degree of restriction of land use, agricultural activities and application of fertilisers and biocides. Arable lands has been gradually changed to meadows and pastures by introduction of grass since 1987 in the most strictly protected zone to protect especially subsurface karst forms.

  19. Projection of aggregate and farm benefits of conservation agriculture productions systems using economic surplus analysis and linear programing in Nepal

    OpenAIRE

    Paudel, B.; Chan-Halbrendt, Catherine; Nguema, A.; Norton, George W.; Tamang, Bishal B.; T.J.K. Radovich; Crow, S.; Halbrendt, Jacqueline

    2013-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in central mid hills of Nepal is characterized by cultivation of sloping lands, resulting in lower productivity and soil loss. The Sustainable Management of Agro-ecological Resources in Tribal Societies (SMARTS) project applied a participatory agro-ecological research framework to develop improved conservation agriculture practices system (CAPS) to contribute to sustainable livelihood of marginalized tribal farmers. This paper used economic surplus analysis at macro le...

  20. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiesari, Luis; Waichman, Andrea; Brock, Theo; Adams, Cristina; Grillitsch, Britta

    2013-06-01

    Agricultural frontiers are dynamic environments characterized by the conversion of native habitats to agriculture. Because they are currently concentrated in diverse tropical habitats, agricultural frontiers are areas where the largest number of species is exposed to hazardous land management practices, including pesticide use. Focusing on the Amazonian frontier, we show that producers have varying access to resources, knowledge, control and reward mechanisms to improve land management practices. With poor education and no technical support, pesticide use by smallholders sharply deviated from agronomical recommendations, tending to overutilization of hazardous compounds. By contrast, with higher levels of technical expertise and resources, and aiming at more restrictive markets, large-scale producers adhered more closely to technical recommendations and even voluntarily replaced more hazardous compounds. However, the ecological footprint increased significantly over time because of increased dosage or because formulations that are less toxic to humans may be more toxic to other biodiversity. Frontier regions appear to be unique in terms of the conflicts between production and conservation, and the necessary pesticide risk management and risk reduction can only be achieved through responsibility-sharing by diverse stakeholders, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, financial institutions, pesticide and agricultural industries, producers, academia and consumers. PMID:23610177

  1. Soil Properties in Natural Forest Destruction and Conversion to Agricultural Land,in Gunung Leuser National Park, North Sumatera Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basuki Wasis

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Destruction of the Gunung Leuser National Park area of North Sumatera Province through land clearing and land cover change from natural forest to agricultural land. Less attention to land use and ecosystem carrying capacity of the soil can cause soil degradation and destruction of flora, fauna, and wildlife habitat destruction. Environmental damage will result in a national park wild life will come out of the conservation area and would damage the agricultural community. Soil sampling conducted in purposive sampling in natural forest and agricultural areas.  Observation suggest that damage to the natural forest vegetation has caused the soil is not protected so that erosion has occurred. Destruction of natural forest into agricultural are as has caused damage to soil physical properties, soil chemical properties, and biological soil properties significantly. Forms of soil degradation caused by the destruction of natural forests, which is an increase in soil density (density Limbak by 103%, a decrease of 93% organic C and soil nitrogen decreased by 81%. The main factors causing soil degradation is the reduction of organic matter and soil erosion due to loss of natural forest vegetation.  Criteria for soil degradation in Governance Regulation Number 150/2000 can be used to determine the extent of soil degradation in natural forest ecosystems.Keywords: Gunung Leuser National Park, natural forest, agricultural land, land damage, soil properties

  2. The times they are changing: soil and water conservation in the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changing climate, increased bio-energy demands, and population growth are anticipated to have significant impacts on soil and water conservation in agricultural watersheds in the United States. Only by looking beyond the traditional approaches of the last century and embracing an expanded view of so...

  3. MANGANESE SPECIATION IN SELECTED AGRICULTURAL SOILS OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA

    OpenAIRE

    J. Habibah; J. Khairiah; Ismail, B. S.; M.D. Kadderi

    2014-01-01

    Manganese speciation in selected agricultural soils of Peninsular Malaysia is discussed in this study. Manganese concentration in the Easily Leacheable and Ion Exchangeable (ELFE), Acid Reducible (AR), Organic Oxidizable (OO) and Resistant (RR) fractions of soils developed on weathered rocks, soils of mixed nature, alluvium and peat deposits are described. The total manganese concentration in soils developed on weathered rocks was found to be higher than that in soils of mixed nature, alluviu...

  4. Soil management and conservation for small farms: Strategies and methods of introduction, technologies and equipment

    OpenAIRE

    Hercilio de Freitas, V.

    2000-01-01

    This report is intended for development practitioners, extensionists and leaders or pioneers in farming communities, to inform them about the experiences and initiatives of farming communities in conservation agriculture in Santa Catarina State, Brazil. On the basis of several local initiatives, inventions and developments, there have been widespread improvements in soil management in various parts of the State, resulting in lower costs and improved returns, combined with conservation and imp...

  5. CLASSIFICATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAND SOILS A DATA MINING APPROACH

    OpenAIRE

    Ramesh Vamanan; K. Ramar

    2011-01-01

    The problem of the knowledge acquisition and efficient knowledge exploitation is very popular also in agriculture area. One of the methods for knowledge acquisition from the existing agricultural databases is the methods of classification. In agricultural decision making process, weather and soil characteristics are play an important role. This research aimed to assess the various lassification techniques of data mining and apply them to a soil science database to establish if meaningful rel...

  6. Sorption behavior of 137Cs in Japanese agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We investigated sorption behavior of Cs in Japanese agricultural soils with taking into account effects of chemical properties, soil organic matter, and competitive ions. Measurements of the soil-soil solution distribution coefficients (Kds) of Cs for 112 agricultural soil samples (50 paddy soil and 62 upland soil samples) collected throughout Japan were carried out using the batch sorption test. Then, for 22 selected agricultural soil samples, sequential extraction methods were carried out for determination of Ca-exchangeable and pyrophosphate-extractable fraction. K concentrations in these fractions were also measured. The Kds for all soil samples ranged from 270 to 35730 L kg-1 and upland soil samples had higher Kds than paddy soil samples (p ds. Therefore, Cs may be more mobile in soils due to application of fertilizers such as lime. In addition, when estimating the competitive ion effect on Cs sorption in soils, more attention should be paid to non-ion-exchange sites for Cs sorption on soil organic matter because soil organic matter could provide sorption sites for Cs besides ion-exchange site. (author)

  7. Conservation agriculture for smallholder farms in Eastern Uganda and Western Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Norton, James; Omondi, E.; Norton, U.; Ngosia, D.S.; Odhiambo, J.A. (Jack A.); Okeyo, J.; Okalebo, J. R.; Oluko, P.S.

    2012-01-01

    Metadata only record Soil quality and crop yield parameters resulting from conservation agriculture practices were evaluated in on-station and on-farm studies established in two highland sites and two lowland sites in the Mount Elgon region of western Kenya and eastern Uganda. Each of the four study areas consists of an on-station and four on-farm sites, each with of three tillage practices (conventional moldboard, no-till, and minimum till); two levels of nitrogen fertilizer (60 Kg N Ha-1...

  8. Is it appropriate to support the farmers for adopting conservation agriculture? Economic and environmental impact assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Antonio Troccoli; Carmen Maddaluno; Massimo Mucci; Mario Russo; Michele Rinaldi

    2015-01-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) in the last decades has been spread in several parts of the world, especially in South and North America and Australia. In Italy, however, its adoption is often restrained by the risk to have a reduction in crop production in the early years of transition from conventional (CT) to CA. To quantify sufficient financial support to promote no-tillage and CA, a mini-review about main effects of CA was conducted. The effect on crop yield, soil fertility - especially as...

  9. Adoption intensity of soil and water conservation practices by smallholders: evidence from Northern Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Kwame Nkegbe

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Soil and water conservation practices are being promoted in Ghana as a way of sustainably managing the environment to support agricultural production. Despite the important role the adoption of the practices plays in conserving the environment, very few studies have been conducted to analyse the factors influencing their intensive adoption. This study analyses the determinants of intensity of adoption of soil and water conservation practices using data from a cross-section of smallholder producers in Northern Ghana. Count data models are used for the analysis. The empirical results show that access to information, social capital, per capita landholding and wealth play an important role in smallholder producers’ decision to intensively adopt soil and water conservation practices.

  10. Engaging Stakeholders To Define Feasible and Desirable Agricultural Conservation in Western Lake Erie Watersheds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalcic, Margaret McCahon; Kirchhoff, Christine; Bosch, Nathan; Muenich, Rebecca Logsdon; Murray, Michael; Griffith Gardner, Jacob; Scavia, Donald

    2016-08-01

    Widespread adoption of agricultural conservation measures in Lake Erie's Maumee River watershed may be required to reduce phosphorus loading that drives harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. We engaged agricultural and conservation stakeholders through a survey and workshops to determine which conservation practices to evaluate. We investigated feasible and desirable conservation practices using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool calibrated for streamflow, sediment, and nutrient loading near the Maumee River outlet. We found subsurface placement of phosphorus applications to be the individual practice most influential on March-July dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loading from row croplands. Perennial cover crops and vegetated filter strips were most effective for reducing seasonal total phosphorus (TP) loading. We found that practices effective for reducing TP and DRP load were not always mutually beneficial, culminating in trade-offs among multiple Lake Erie phosphorus management goals. Adoption of practices at levels considered feasible to stakeholders led to nearly reaching TP targets for western Lake Erie on average years; however, adoption of practices at a rate that goes beyond what is currently considered feasible will likely be required to reach the DRP target. PMID:27336855

  11. Phosphorus accumulation and spatial distribution in agricultural soils in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rubæk, Gitte Holton; Kristensen, Kristian; Olesen, S E;

    2013-01-01

    .75–1.00 m in the nationwide 7 km Grid System in Denmark. Changes in soil P content between 1987 and 1998 at 0–0.25 and 0.25–0.50 m were also examined in 337 and 335 agricultural soil profiles, respectively. Compared to forest soils, the agricultural soils contained more total P down to 0.75 m depth (264 mg......Over the past century, phosphorus (P) has accumulated in Danish agricultural soils. We examined the soil P content and the degree of P saturation in acid oxalate (DPS) in 337 agricultural soil profiles and 32 soil profiles from deciduous forests sampled at 0–0.25, 0.25–0.50, 0.50–0.75 and 0...... P kg− 1, or 88% more at 0–0.25 m depth, 191 mg P kg− 1 or 82% more at 0.25–0.50 m depth and 120 mg P kg− 1 or 63% more at 0.50–0.75 m depth). The mean degrees of phosphorus saturation (DPS) of the agricultural soils were 32, 23 and 15% in the three upper soil layers, which were approximately twice...

  12. Conservation Agriculture for combating land degradation in Central Asia: a synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.P.A. Lamers

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This manuscript reviews scientific findings on agricultural systems, associated land degradation and selected remedies such as Conservation Agricultural (CA practices to counterbalance these. In particular, this review addresses the research findings onCA practices conducted in the rainfed and irrigated systems in Central Asia. The arid and semi-arid croplands in this region are vulnerable to different types of soil and environmental degradation, and particularly to degradation caused by intensive tillage, irrigation water mismanagement, and cropping practices, especially in the Aral Sea Basin. Overall, the evidence shows that various CA elements, such as permanent beds, seems to be technically suitable for the major cropping systems and despite the heterogeneous conditions in the region. CA practices can contribute to combating on-going land degradation. No-till seeding along with the maintenance of a permanent soil coverage e.g. by residue retention, reduces wind and water erosion, increases water infiltration and storage which can reduce crop water stress, improve soil quality and increase soil organic matter. Further, CA practices can lead to similar or even higher crop yields while reducing production resource needs and costs considerably, including fuel, seeds, agrochemicals, water and labour. Nevertheless, the growing research evidence on the productivity, economic and environmental benefits that can be harnessed with CA, still is from a limited number of studies and hence more research at local scale is needed.

  13. Pore Size Distribution as a Soil Physical Quality Index for Agricultural and Pasture Soils in Northeastern Iran

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    H.SHAHAB, H.EMAMI; G.H.HAGHNIA; A.KARIMI

    2013-01-01

    Assessment of soil quality is important for optimum production and natural resources conservation.Agricultural and pasture soil qualities of Deh-Sorkh region located at south of Mashhad,northeastern Iran were assessed using the integrated quality index (IQI) and Nemero quality index (NQI) models in combination with two datasets,i.e.,total data set (TDS) and minimum data set (MDS).In this study 6 soil properties considered as MDS were selected out of 18 properties as TDS using principle component analysis.Soil samples were divided into 3 groups based on optimum ranges of 8 soil physical quality indicators.Soil samples with the most indicators at optimum range were selected as group 1 and the samples having fewer indicators at optimum range were located in groups 2 and 3.Optimum ranges of soil pore size distribution functions were also determined as soil physical quality indices based on 8 soil physical quality indicators.Pore size distribution curves of group 1 were considered as the optimum pore size functions.The results showed that relatively high organic carbon contents could improve pore size distribution.Mean comparisons of soil physical quality indicators demonstrated that mean weight diameter of wet aggregates,structural stability index,the slope of moisture retention curve at inflection point,and plant available water content in agricultural land use decreased significantly in relation to pasture land use.In addition,the results demonstrated that the studied MDS could be a suitable representative of TDS.78% of pasture soils had the optimum pore size distribution functions,while this parameter for agricultural soils was only 13%.In general,the soils of the studied region showed high limitations for plant growth according to the studied indicators.

  14. Effect of restoring soil hydrological poperties on water conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moore, D.; Kostka, S.J.; Boerth, T.J.; Franklin, M.A.; Ritsema, C.J.; Dekker, L.W.; Oostindie, K.; Stoof, C.R.; Park, D.M.

    2008-01-01

    Water repellency in soil is more wide spread than previously thought ¿ and has a significant impact on irrigation efficiency and water conservation. Soil water repellency has been identified in many soil types under a wide array of climatic conditions world wide. Consequences include increased runof

  15. Identifying Potential Recommendation Domains for Conservation Agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km2) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.

  16. Determination of bioavailable rhenium fraction in agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rhenium (Re) mobility in agricultural soils was studied in order to obtain information relevant to 99Tc mobility in soil-to-plant systems. Since water soluble Tc and Re are highly bioavailable, extraction of Re with water was carried out in addition to a total Re determination in the soils. The geometric means of total Re for paddy field, upland field and other soils were 0.34, 0.23, and 0.28 ng g-1, respectively, while those of water soluble Re (-1, respectively. There were no differences for total Re among soil uses; however, the water soluble Re/total Re ratio was significantly higher in paddy field soils (16%) than in other soil uses (6% for upland fields and 3% for other uses). Rhenium mobility and plant availability were higher in paddy fields than in other agricultural fields, and similar phenomena would be expected for 99Tc

  17. Soil sustainability in organic agricultural production

    OpenAIRE

    May-Roberts, S; Robertson, J.; K. Killham; Paton, G

    2006-01-01

    Traditionally, the assessment of soil sustainability and the potential impact of cultivation are based upon the application of chemical procedures. In the absence of a biological context, these measurements offer little in understanding longterm changes in soil husbandry. Detailed microcosm investigations were applied as a predictive tool for management change. The microcosms were designed with homogenised soils treated with organic amendments. Key soil functional relationships were quantifie...

  18. Effectiveness Of Soil Conservation To Erosion Control On Several Land Use Types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satriawan Halus

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The erosion plot method for direct evaluation in agriculture became necessary to (1 quantify soil erosion on cocoa, areca and oil palm, (2 determine the most effective soil conservation, and (3 calculate nutrient content in sediment. The experiment was treated with three conservation practices and the conventional treatment as control in a completely randomised block design. The results showed for the areca land use, that soil conservation with ridges + maize produced the lowest erosion (1.68 t/ha. For cocoa land use, the ridges + groundnut treatment produced the lowest erosion (8.2 t/ha. For oil palm land use, the cover crop of Mucuna bracteata had lowest erosion yield (12.2 t/ha. Soil conservation techniques significantly affected the levels of organic C and available P under the cocoa land use, where ridges + maize have the lowest content of organic C and available P in soil sediment (1.03% and 0.69 ppm. Soil conservation at areca land use also has a significant effect on the levels of organic C and available N, but it did not affect significantly the levels of available P and exchangeable K sediments, where ridges + groundnut have lowest organic C and available N in sediment (1.4% and 0.18%. Furthermore, soil conservation on the land use of oil palm showed a significant effect on the levels of available P, but did not significantly affect the levels of organic C, available N and exchangeable K sediments. Soil conservation with cover crops Mucuna bracteata showed the lowest available P in sediments (0.86 ppm.

  19. Assessment of the microbiological activity in agricultural and urban soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DEC DOROTA

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the enzymatic soil and the number of selected microorganisms in urban soil, which are located in the lane of the reconstructed road and compare it with a soil cultivated for agricultural purposes. The conducted analysis showed significant differences between the results of the soil taken from the roadway and the soil cultivated from agricultural purposes. The C:N ratio in soils of the roadway (from 24 to 31 indicated that they were degraded and heavily degraded soils. Urban soils had a neutral pH. The activity of dehydrogenase (1.93–6.95 μg TPF g−1·h−1, acid phosphatase (2.42–4.92 mM pNP·g−1·h−1 and alkaline phosphatase (2.34–4.80 mM pNP·g−1·h−1 in urban soils were low. In agricultural soils the acid phosphatase enzyme levels ranged 6.32–8.04 mM pNP·g−1·h−1, and alkaline phosphatase were 7.26–9.16 mM pNP·g−1·h−1. In urban soil samples collected along the roadway, a significant correlation between potassium and dehydrogenase activity, and between the C:N ratio and the activity of acid phosphatase was found.

  20. Statistical approach to estimating soil-soil solution distribution coefficient of radionickel in agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soil-soil solution distribution coefficient (Kd) is an important parameter in radiation dose assessment models for the environmental transfer of radionuclides. Since Kd values vary with soil properties, development of their estimation method using some soil properties is useful. In this study, we estimate Kd values of radionickel using selected soil properties. We determined Kd values of Ni for 142 agricultural soil samples collected throughout Japan and measured such soil properties as pH, cation exchangeable capacity, exchangeable Ca, clay content, concentrations of major elements in soil, and concentrations of major elements in water soluble fractions. The relationship between the Kd of Ni and each soil property was calculated using Spearman's rank correlation test. Then, in order to estimate Kd values of Ni based on soil properties, we used the method which we developed in the previous study for strontium using multiple linear regression analysis. Our results showed that potassium concentration in soil and phosphorus concentration in water soluble fraction were the most important factors contributing to estimation of Kd values. Finally, a predictive expression including three selected variables was created to estimate Kd values of Ni. Predicted Kd values from the expression were in good agreement with observed Kd values. (author)

  1. The Brief Introduction to the Sino-US Joint Centers for Soil and Water Conservation and Environmental Protection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Jing; LI Rui; ZHENG Fen-li

    2004-01-01

    Erosion and transport of soil has worldwide implications for agriculture, landscape stability, climate, natural hazards, and clean, renewable resources of water and air. Assured access to clean water and a healthy and safe environment requires an ethic of conservation and protection. The minimum scale in which these principles apply successfully is basin wide. These are the fundamental concerns of the Sino-US Centers for Soil and Water Conservation and Environmental Protection.

  2. Modelling seasonal variations of natural radionuclides in agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Guagliardi I.; Buttafuoco G; Ricca N.; Cipriani M. G.; Civitelli D.; Froio R.; Gabriele A. L.; De, Rosa R.

    2013-01-01

    Estimating activity of natural radionuclides in agricultural soil is very important for the protection of public health because the released radioactivity can enter the food chain. Radioactivity measurements were carried out in two different dates (winter and summer) in agricultural soil using a GRM-260 gamma-ray spectrometer. The study area (100 m x 100 m) was an olive orchard in southern Italy. Measurements were carried out at 361 locations in January and July 2011. At the same locations, s...

  3. GEMAS: unmixing magnetic properties of European agricultural soil

    OpenAIRE

    Fabian, Karl; Reimann, Clemens; Kuzina, Dilyara; Kosareva, Lina; Fattakhova, Leysan; Nurgaliev, Danis; Flight, Dee; Johnson, Christopher; Scheib, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    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 c...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:24984834

  5. Organic matter matters for ice nuclei of agricultural soil origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Tobo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Heterogeneous ice nucleation is a~crucial process for forming ice-containing clouds and subsequent ice-induced precipitation. The importance for ice nucleation of airborne desert soil dusts composed predominantly of minerals is relatively well understood. On the other hand, the potential influence of agricultural soil dusts on ice nucleation has been poorly recognized, despite recent estimates that they may account for up to ∼25% of the global atmospheric dust load. We have conducted freezing experiments with various dusts, including agricultural soil dusts derived from the largest dust source region in North America. Here we show evidence for the significant role of soil organic matter (SOM in particles acting as ice nuclei (IN under mixed-phase cloud conditions. We find that the ice nucleating ability of the agricultural soil dusts is similar to that of desert soil dusts, but is reduced to almost the same level as that of clay minerals (e.g., kaolinite after either H2O2 digestion or dry heating to 300 °C. In addition, based on chemical composition analysis, we show that organic-rich particles are more important than mineral particles for the ice nucleating ability of the agricultural soil dusts at temperatures warmer than about −36 °C. Finally, we suggest that such organic-rich particles of agricultural origin (namely, SOM particles may contribute significantly to the ubiquity of organic-rich IN in the global atmosphere.

  6. Distribution coefficient of selenium in Japanese agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The soil/soil solution distribution coefficient (Kd) of selenium (Se) was measured by the batch technique using 58 Japanese agricultural soils in order to evaluate Se migration behavior. Soils used were air-dried and passed through a 2-mm mesh sieve. Three gram amounts of each soil were transferred into a plastic bottle and 30 mL of deionized water were added to the soil. Prior to adding 75Se, a radioactive tracer of Se, the mixture was shaken for 24 h using an end-over-end shaker. Seven days after the addition of 75Se tracer, the soil solution was separated by centrifugation and filtration. Activity was measured with a NaI (Tl) autowell scintillation counter, and Kd-Se values were calculated. For the agricultural soils, the Kd-Se values ranged from 12 to 1060. Among the soil groups, Andosols had higher Kd-Se values. All the Kd-Se values were significantly correlated with acid oxalate extractable Al (Alo) and Fe (Feo) at the 0.1% level. Alo and Feo contents refer to the amount of active-Al and active-Fe, respectively. These results indicated that the active-Al and the active-Fe were the major adsorbents of Se in Japanese agricultural soils. (author)

  7. Selenium speciation and extractability in Dutch agricultural soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    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 1.97mgkg-1(on average

  8. CHARACTERIZATION OF SOME IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL SOILS UNDER OLIVE TREES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CUMHUR AYDINALP

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Olive production is important and intensive agricultural activity in this region. Generally, olive trees occur coastal side of the region under brown forest soils. Ten olive tree plantations were selected in this research. The some important physical, chemical and morphological properties were investigated and classifi ed according to USDA Soil Taxonomy as Typic Xerochrepts.

  9. CHARACTERIZATION OF SOME IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL SOILS UNDER OLIVE TREES

    OpenAIRE

    CUMHUR AYDINALP; MALCOLM CRESSER; Colin MCCLEAN

    2004-01-01

    Olive production is important and intensive agricultural activity in this region. Generally, olive trees occur coastal side of the region under brown forest soils. Ten olive tree plantations were selected in this research. The some important physical, chemical and morphological properties were investigated and classifi ed according to USDA Soil Taxonomy as Typic Xerochrepts.

  10. Soil Quality Impacts of Current South American Agricultural Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B. Wingeyer

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 well as improved soil fertility and plant genetics have increased yields, but the use of purchased inputs, monocropping i.e., continuous soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr., and marginal land cultivation have also increased. These changes have significantly altered the global food and feed supply role of these countries, but they have also resulted in various levels of soil degradation through wind and water erosion, soil compaction, soil organic matter (SOM depletion, and nutrient losses. Sustainability is dependent upon local interactions between soil, climate, landscape characteristics, and production systems. This review examines the region’s current soil and crop conditions and summarizes several research studies designed to reduce or prevent soil degradation. Although the region has both environmental and soil resources that can sustain current agricultural production levels, increasing population, greater urbanization, and more available income will continue to increase the pressure on South American croplands. A better understanding of regional soil differences and quantifying potential consequences of current production practices on various soil resources is needed to ensure that scientific, educational, and regulatory programs result in land management recommendations that support intensification of agriculture without additional soil degradation or other unintended environmental consequences.

  11. Distribution coefficient of selenium in Japanese agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamaru, Yasuo; Tagami, Keiko; Uchida, Shigeo

    2005-03-01

    In order to evaluate the selenium (Se) sorption level in Japanese soils, soil/soil solution distribution coefficients (K(d)s) were obtained for 58 agricultural soil samples (seven soil classification groups) using 75Se as a tracer. Although several chemical forms of Se are present in agricultural fields, selenite was used, because it is the major inorganic Se form in acid soils such as found in Japan. The Kd values obtained covered a wide range, from 12 to 1060l/kg, and their arithmetic mean was 315l/kg. Among the soil groups, Andosols had higher Kd values. The Kd values for all samples were highly correlated with soil active-aluminum (Al) and active-iron (Fe) contents. Thus, active-Al and active-Fe were considered to be the major adsorbents of Se. Then, a new sequential extraction procedure was applied to 12 soil samples in order to quantify the effect of soil components on Se adsorption. The sequential extraction results showed that 80-100% of the adsorbed Se was recovered as Al-bound Se and Fe-bound Se. The amount of Al-bound Se was the highest in the soils that showed high Kd values, though the relative contribution of Fe-bound Se tended to increase with decreasing Kd values. The high values of Kd seemed to be caused mainly by the adsorption of Se onto active-Al in Japanese soils. PMID:15686752

  12. Agricultural Commercialisation, Diversification, and Conservation of Renewable Resources in Northern Thailand Highlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guy Trébuil

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The process of commercialisation-diversification in the highlands of upper northern Thailand and the accompanying dismissal of self-subsistence are documented based on the findings from seven case studies carried out in different agricultural and social situations during the past decade. The characteristics of the key driving forces powering this agrarian transition such as rapid economic growth, decrease in the share of labour employed in the agriculture, urbanization and changes in food consumption patterns, and improved communication infrastructures, are presented in the Thai context. The environmental impact of these profound agrarian transformations on the degradation of key renewable resources, particularly soil erosion, is assessed. Their socio-economic consequences on an extensive differentiation among farming households and equity issues are also discussed. Finally the authors draw several lessons from this Thai experience that illustrate the very strong adaptive capacity of small highland farmers. They could be useful in similar agro-ecological zones of neighbouring countries that are presently experiencing the same kind of agricultural transition in the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia ecoregion. Particularly, the article underlines the need for more holistic and integrated approaches to agricultural development and the management of renewable resources in highland agro-ecosystems to alleviate poverty while conserving the resource base.

  13. Sorption of Phenanthrene on Agricultural Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soares, Antonio Alves; Møldrup, Per; Minh, Luong Nhat;

    2013-01-01

    Polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) sorption to soil is a key process deciding the transport and fate of PAH, and potential toxic impacts in the soil and groundwater ecosystems, for example in connection with atmospheric PAH deposition on soils. There are numerous studies on PAH sorption in relatively...... needs further investigations to develop more realistic and accurate models for PAH mobility and effects in the environment, also with regard to colloid-facilitated PAH transport...

  14. Soil and Water Conservation Districts of New Mexico

    Data.gov (United States)

    Earth Data Analysis Center, University of New Mexico — The New Mexico Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) shapefile includes forty-seven boudaries which cover each SWCD throughout the State.

  15. Nitrate Sorption in an Agricultural Soil Profile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wissem Hamdi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing concentrations of in surface water and groundwater can cause ecological and public health effects and has come under increased scrutiny by both environmental scientists and regulatory agencies. For many regions though, including the Sahel of Tunisia, little is known about the sorption capacity of soils. In this project we measured sorption by a profile of an iso-humic soil from Chott Meriem, Tunisia. Soil samples were collected from four soil depths (0–25, 25–60, 60–90, and 90–120 cm on 1 June 2011, and their sorption capacity was determined using batch experiments under laboratory conditions. The effects of contact time, the initial concentration, and the soil-solution ratio on sorption were investigated. In general, the results suggested that was weakly retained by the Chott Meriem soil profile. The quantity of sorption increased with depth, contact time, initial concentration, and soil-solution ratios. To evaluate the sorption capacities of the soil samples at concentrations ranging between 25 and 150 mg L−1 experimental data were fitted to both Freundlich and Langmuir isotherm sorption models. The results indicated that Freundlich model was better for describing sorption in this soil profile.

  16. Is it appropriate to support the farmers for adopting conservation agriculture? Economic and environmental impact assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Troccoli

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Conservation agriculture (CA in the last decades has been spread in several parts of the world, especially in South and North America and Australia. In Italy, however, its adoption is often restrained by the risk to have a reduction in crop production in the early years of transition from conventional (CT to CA. To quantify sufficient financial support to promote no-tillage and CA, a mini-review about main effects of CA was conducted. The effect on crop yield, soil fertility - especially as it is influenced by the chemical, physical and microbiological factors - on soil compaction, the economic balance of the farm and the cost of equipment for direct seeding, the influence of environment on soil erosion, water retention, emissions of greenhouse gases, and carbon sequestration are briefly treated. The paper reports findings from national and international scientific literature and some results from long-term experiments conducted in Southern Italy. The main conclusions are about the reduction of yield in the first years of transition from CT to CA (from -5 to -10%, an improvement of soil fertility (soil organic carbon increases in the upper layers, reduction of management cost (less machinery operations, improvement of soil C sequestration (in specific conditions, a reduction of greenhouse gases emission and soil erosion risk. The paper provides the scientific basis in order to justify and quantify the amount to be paid to the farmers who decide to adopt the model of CA, oriented to protect the agro-ecosystem and to promote the principle of subsidiarity. Finally, a proposal of public subsidy in cash and for machinery purchase has been described.

  17. Co-Occurring Anammox, Denitrification, and Codenitrification in Agricultural Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Long, Andrew; Heitman, Joshua; Tobias, Craig; Philips, Rebecca; Song, Bongkeun

    2013-01-01

    Anammox and denitrification mediated by bacteria are known to be the major microbial processes converting fixed N to N2 gas in various ecosystems. Codenitrification and denitrification by fungi are additional pathways producing N2 in soils. However, fungal codenitrification and denitrification have not been well investigated in agricultural soils. To evaluate bacterial and fungal processes contributing to N2 production, molecular and 15N isotope analyses were conducted with soil samples colle...

  18. The impact of agricultural soil erosion on biogeochemical cycling

    OpenAIRE

    Quinton, John N.; Govers, Gerard; Van Oost, Kristof; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2010-01-01

    Soils are the main terrestrial reservoir of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and of organic carbon. Synthesizing earlier studies, we find that the mobilization and deposition of agricultural soils can significantly alter nutrient and carbon cycling. Specifically, erosion can result in lateral fluxes of nitrogen and phosphorus that are similar in magnitude to those induced by fertilizer application and crop removal. Furthermore, the translocation and burial of soil reduces decomposi...

  19. Proximal soil sensors and geostatistical tools in precision agriculture applications

    OpenAIRE

    Shaddad, Sameh

    2014-01-01

    Recognition of spatial variability is very important in precision agriculture applications. The use of proximal soil sensors and geostatistical techniques is highly recommended worldwide to detect spatial variation not only in fields but also within-field (micro-scale). This study involves, as a first step, the use of visible and near infrared (vis-NIR) spectroscopy to estimate soil key properties (6) and obtain high resolution maps that allow us to model the spatial variability in the soil. ...

  20. Agricultural practices that store organic carbon in soils: is it only a matter of inputs ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenu, Claire; Cardinael, Rémi; Autret, Bénédicte; Chevallier, Tiphaine; Girardin, Cyril; Mary, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    Increasing the world soils carbon stocks by a factor of 4 per mil annually would compensate the annual net increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This statement is the core of an initiative launched by the French government at the recent COP21, followed by many countries and international bodies, which attracts political attention to the storage potential of C in soils. Compared to forest and pasture soils, agricultural soils have a higher C storage potential, because they are often characterized by low C contents, and increasing their C content is associated with benefits in terms of soil properties and ecosystem services. Here we quantified, under temperate conditions, the additional C storage related to the implementation of two set of practices that are recognized to be in the framework of agroecology: conservation tillage on the one hand and agroforestry on the other hand. These studies were based on long-term experiments, a 16-years comparison on cropping systems on luvisols in the Paris area and a 18-year-old silvoarable agroforestry trial, on fluvisols in southern France, the main crops being cereals in both cases. C stocks were measured on an equivalent soil mass basis. Both systems allowed for a net storage of C in soils, which are, for the equivalent of the 0-30 cm tilled layer, of 0.55 ± 0.16 t ha‑ 1 yr‑ 1 for conservation agriculture (i.e. no tillage with permanent soil coverage with an associated plant, fescue or alfalfa) and of 0.25 ± 0.03 t ha-1 yr-1 for the agroforestry system. These results are in line with estimates proposed in a recent French national assessment concerning the potential of agricultural practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to recent literature, they further show that practices that increase C inputs to soil through additional biomass production would be more effective to store C in soil (tree rows, cover crops in conservation agriculture) than practices, such as no-tillage, that are assumed to

  1. VALUING SOIL CONSERVATION PRACTICES USING CONTINGENT VALUATION TECHNIQUE: EVIDENCE FROM THE CENTRAL RIFT VALLEY OF ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Musa H. AHMED

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Land degradation mainly in the form of soil and nutrient depletion is the prominent problem that the Ethiopian agriculture is facing. Due to this, farmers should be aware of this problem and the necessity of implementing conservation measures. Hence, this study assesses farm households’ willingness to participate in soil conservation practice through a Contingent Valuation method in one of the most degraded parts of the country. Double Bounded Dichotomous choice with an Open-ended follow up format was used to elicit the households’ willingness to pay using data collected from randomly selected 140 sample households. Results show that the mean willingness to participate in soil conservation practices was about 25 person days per annum and the total aggregate value of soil conservation was computed to be at 975622.73 person days (24390568.3 Birr. Moreover, the Tobit regression model results indicate that the education level of the household head, initial-bid, income, labour shortage and number of days on holiday and social ceremony were important factors influencing the willingness to participate in soil conservation practices. Hence, to improve the participation level, policy should target on supporting adult education, introducing ways to increase farm income and creating awareness on the loss associated with too many days of social ceremonies.

  2. Agricultural Waste Management Systems on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 312

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP312),...

  3. Soil governance in the agricultural landscapes of New South Wales, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley A Webb

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil is a valuable natural resource. In the state of New South Wales, Australia, the governance of soil has evolved since Federation in 1901. Following rapid agricultural development, and in the face of widespread soil degradation, the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service marked a turning point in the management of soil. Throughout the 20th century, advances in knowledge were translated into evolving governance frameworks that were largely reactionary but saw progressive reforms such as water pollution legislation and case studies of catchment-scale land and vegetation management. In the 21st century, significant reforms have embedded sustainable use of agricultural soils within catchment- and landscape-scale legislative and institutional frameworks. What is clear, however, is that a multitude of governance strategies and models are utilised in NSW. No single governance model is applicable to all situations because it is necessary to combine elements of several different mechanisms or instruments to achieve the most desired outcomes. Where an industry, such as the sugar industry, has taken ownership of an issue such as acid sulfate soil management, self-regulation has proven to be extremely effective. In the case of co-managing agricultural soils with other landuses, such as mining, petroleum exploration and urban development, regulation, compliance and enforcement mechanisms have been preferred. Institutional arrangements in the form of independent commissioners have also played a role. At the landscape or total catchment level, it is clear that a mix of mechanisms is required. Fundamental, however, to the successful evolution of soil governance is strategic investment in soil research and development that informs the ongoing productive use of agricultural landscapes while preventing land degradation or adverse environmental effects.

  4. Improving food security in Nepal: An economic analysis of conservation agriculture adoption in three subsistence farming villages

    OpenAIRE

    Chan-Halbrendt, Catherine; Reed, B.F.; Halbrendt, Jacqueline; T.J.K. Radovich; Crow, S.; Limbu, P.

    2012-01-01

    International efforts to increase food security struggle with increasing populations and decreasing quantities of productive farmland, especially in developing countries. Conservation agriculture (CA) practices can improve regional food security, preserve land fertility, and improve community resilience against climate change. This makes the incorporation of such practices an imperative in these regions. In Nepal, traditional farming practices on marginal land have led to widespread soil degr...

  5. Potential of conservation agriculture practices (CAPs) in enhancing food security of tribal people in central mid-hills of Nepal

    OpenAIRE

    Paudel, B.; T.J.K. Radovich; Halbrendt, Jacqueline; Thapa, K

    2012-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in central mid hills of Nepal is characterized by cultivation of steep sloping lands, resulting lower productivity, degradation of soil health and reduction of livelihood options. The Sustainable Management of Agro-ecological Resources in Tribal Societies (SMARTS) project applied a participatory agro-ecological framework to develop improved conservation practices (CAPs) to contribute to sustainable livelihood of Chepang tribal people in central Nepal. CAPs were identif...

  6. Conservation Tillage Systems on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 329

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP329 ),...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  9. Phenylurea herbicide sorption to biochars and agricultural soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Soil and Water Conservation Plan: Farm plan no. Delair Unit

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Soil and Water Conservation Plan for the Delair Unit of Great River NWR provides a description of each of the different soil types found on the Unit. A map is...

  11. Efficiency of soil and fertilizer nitrogen in relation to variety and application time, using N-15 labelled fertilizer. Part of a coordinated programme on agricultural nitrogen residues with particular reference to their conservation as fertilizers and behaviour as potential pollutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A series of experiments with flooded rice were carried out on 36 locations to study the influence of rice variety, fertilizer source, frequency of fertilizer application and soil conditions on the uptake of fertilizer N and grain yield. 15N-labelled fertilizer was used in this study. The results show that (i) urea is a better source of N than ammonium sulphate on saline soils and also for the leading local rice variety (Milyang 15). The new variety Tongil utilized ammonium sulphate more efficiently; (ii) Fertilizer was more efficiently utilized on high organic matter soils; (iii) Varieties differed in fertilizer use efficiency; (iv) Hybrid Tongil lines gave higher grain yields than the local varieties, and made better use of fertilizer N, especially on saline soil, when applied at transplanting; (v) Sulphur-coated urea gave higher yield than urea on saline soils (27-39%), virgin soils (20%) and unmatured soils (10%)

  12. Barriers to Uptake of Conservation Agriculture in southern Africa: Multi-level Analyses from Malawi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougill, Andrew; Stringer, Lindsay; Whitfield, Stephen; Wood, Ben; Chinseu, Edna

    2015-04-01

    Conservation agriculture is a key set of actions within the growing body of climate-smart agriculture activities being advocated and rolled out across much of the developing world. Conservation agriculture has purported benefits for environmental quality, food security and the sustained delivery of ecosystem services. In this paper, new multi-level analyses are presented, assessing the current barriers to adoption of conservation agriculture practices in Malawi. Despite significant donor initiatives that have targeted conservation agriculture projects, uptake rates remain low. This paper synthesises studies from across 3 levels in Malawi: i.) national level- drawing on policy analysis, interviews and a multi-stakeholder workshop; ii.) district level - via assessments of development plans and District Office and extension service support, and; iii) local level - through data gained during community / household level studies in Dedza District that have gained significant donor support for conservation agriculture as a component of climate smart agriculture initiatives. The national level multi-stakeholder Conservation Agriculture workshop identified three areas requiring collaborative research and outlined routes for the empowerment of the National Conservation Agriculture Task Force to advance uptake of conservation agriculture and deliver associated benefits in terms of agricultural development, climate adaptation and mitigation. District level analyses highlight that whilst District Development Plans are now checked against climate change adaptation and mitigation criteria, capacity and knowledge limitations exist at the District level, preventing project interventions from being successfully up-scaled. Community level assessments highlight the need for increased community participation at the project-design phase and identify a pressing requirement for conservation agriculture planning processes (in particular those driven by investments in climate

  13. Lunar base agriculture: Soils for plant growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Transformation of diphenylarsinic acid in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maejima, Yuji; Arao, Tomohito; Baba, Koji

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the transformation and fate of diphenylarsinic acid (DPAA) during incubation in two types of soils (Entisol and Andisol) under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Under anaerobic conditions only, DPAA was transformed into methyldiphenylarsine oxide by methylation. Under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, DPAA was degraded to phenylarsonic acid by dephenylation, and phenylarsonic acid was subsequently methylated to form methylphenylarsinic acid and dimethylphenylarsine oxide. The degradation of DPAA in the Andisol was less extensive than in the Entisol. In autoclaved soil under anaerobic conditions, DPAA underwent little degradation during the 24-wk incubation. In unautoclaved soils, the concentration of DPAA in soil clearly decreased after 24 wk of incubation, indicating that DPAA degradation was driven by microbial activity. PMID:21488495

  15. Soybean phytoremediation of cadmium polluted agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Mihajlov, Ljupco; Zajkova-Paneva, Vesna; Balabanova, Biljana

    2015-01-01

    Soil pollution with cadmium is a result of the strengthened industrial development, especially in the areas of drilling, exploitation and processing of mineral raw materials. On the territory of the Republic of Macedonia there are several areas with significant higher content of cadmium in the soil, including the vicinity of the mine lead and zinc “Zletovo” near the town of Probištip. Phytoremediation is one of the most convenient techniques for remediation of heavy metals from conta...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnwell, T.O. Jr.; Jackson, R.B.; Mulkey, L.A. [Environmental Research Laboratory, Athens, GA (United States)

    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.

  17. Natural attenuation of diesel aliphatic hydrocarbons in contaminated agricultural soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A diesel fuel spill at a concentration of 1 L m-2 soil was simulated on a 12 m2 plot of agricultural land, and natural attenuation of aliphatic hydrocarbons was monitored over a period of 400 days following the spill after which the aliphatic hydrocarbon concentrations were found to be below the legal contamination threshold for soil. The main fraction of these compounds (95%) remained at the surface layer (0-10 cm). Shortly after the spill (viz. between days 0 and 18), evaporation was the main origin of the dramatic decrease in pollutant concentrations in the soil. Thereafter, soil microorganisms used aliphatic hydrocarbons as sources of carbon and energy, as confirmed by the degradation ratios found. Soil quality indicators, soil microbial biomass and dehydrogenase activity, regained their original levels about 200 days after the spill. - The effect of aliphatic hydrocarbons contamination on soil quality was monitored over a period of 400 days after a Diesel fuel spill

  18. Farmers’ Sustainable Strategies for Soil Conservation on Sloping Arable Lands in the Upper Yangtze River Basin, China

    OpenAIRE

    Qiang Tang; Chansheng He; Xiubin He; Yuhai Bao; Ronghua Zhong; Anbang Wen

    2014-01-01

    The Upper Yangtze River Basin comprises a densely-populated agricultural region with mountainous and hilly landforms. Intensive cultivation has been extended onto steep hillslopes, which constitute the principal source area for sediment production. Soil conservation on sloping arable lands is thus of utmost priority for persisting sustainable agricultural production and maintaining sound ecosystem services. Although there have been many soil conservation techniques, either promoted by the gov...

  19. Enzyme activities in agricultural soils fumigated with methyl bromide alternatives

    OpenAIRE

    Klose, Susanne; Ajwa, H A

    2004-01-01

    Pre-plant fumigation of agricultural soils with a combination of methyl bromide (MeBr) and chloropicrin (CP) to control nematodes, soil-borne pathogens and weeds has been a common practice in strawberry (Fragaria X ananassa Duchesne) production since the 1960s. MeBr will be phased out by 2005, but little is known about the impacts of alternative fumigants on soil microbial processes. We investigated the response of microbial biomass and enzyme activities in soils fumigated over two years with...

  20. Assessment of Effectiveness of Soil Conservation Measures in Reducing Soil Erosion and Improving Soil Quality in China Using Fallout Radionuclide Techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    China is one of the countries perhaps suffering from the most serious soil erosion in the world. Soil erosion and associated sediment production has become a major environmental problem. A wide variety of soil conservation measures, such as re-vegetation, terracing, and conservation agriculture practices, exist in China but they require an effective evaluation to establish specific regional recommendations of integrated soil and water management practices. Using fallout radionuclide techniques, IAEA-funded studies for the assessment of soil erosion and soil conservation have been undertaken in three sites from SW China through to NE China (Baiquan County of North East China, Fengning County of Northern China and Xichang city of South Western China). In the Baiquan County of North East China, the study showed that soil erosion, measured by the fallout 137Cs tracer, decreased by 16% due to terracing and 54% due to contour cultivation as compared to downslope cultivation practice. In the Fengning County of Northern China, the authors assessed the short term impact of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion and soil quality parameters. The data from 7Be measurements indicated that all sites with conservation practices contained higher 7Be inventories than the conventional tillage treatment site. Four years of no tillage with high amount of crop residues reduced soil erosion by 44% and no tillage with low residue amounts reduced soil erosion rates by 33% as compared with conventional tillage practices in the Fengning site. In Xichang city of South Western China, the results showed that shrubs and grasses increased soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks more than trees as compared with bare land. Re-vegetation, especially by using shrubs and grasses increased SOC, available nitrogen (AN) and available phosphorus (AP) indicating a significant positive role of vegetation restoration in improving soil quality. Re-vegetation increased SOC stocks under trees, shrubs and

  1. Management and conservation of tropical acid soils for sustainable crop production. Proceedings of a consultants meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forests of the tropics are invaluable ecosystems of global, regional and local importance, particularly in terms of protection and conservation of biodiversity and water resources. The indiscriminate conversion of tropical forests into agricultural land as a result of intense human activities - logging and modem shifting cultivation - continues to cause soil erosion and degradation. However, the acid savannahs of the world, such as the cerrado of Brazil, the Llanos in Venezuela and Colombia, the savannahs of Africa, and the largely anthropic savannahs of tropical Asia, encompass vast areas of potentially arable land. The acid soils of the savannahs are mostly considered marginal because of low inherent fertility and susceptibility to rapid degradation. These constraints for agricultural development are exacerbated by the poverty of new settlers who try to cultivate such areas after deforestation. Low- or minimum-input systems are not sustainable on these tropical acid soils but, with sufficient investment and adequate technologies, they can be highly productive. Thus, there is a need to develop management practices for sustainable agricultural production systems on such savannah acid soils. The Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Sub-programme of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture strongly supports an integrated approach to soil, water and nutrient management within cropping systems. In this context, nuclear and related techniques can be used to better understand the processes and factors influencing the productivity of agricultural production systems, and improve them through the use of better soil, water and nutrient management practices. A panel of experts actively engaged in field projects on acid soils of savannah agro-ecosystems in the humid and sub-humid tropics convened in March 1999 in Vienna to review and discuss recent research progress, along the following main lines of investigation: (i) utilization of

  2. Supporting food security in the 21st century through resource-conserving increases in agricultural production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uphoff Norman

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The Green Revolution was accomplished under a set of demographic, economic, climatic and other conditions in the 20th century that have been changing and will surely be different and more difficult in the decades ahead. The suitability and sustainability of any given agricultural technology depends on factors like resource availability and productivity, energy costs, and environmental constraints. The achievements of Green Revolution technologies in the 1960s and 1970s came at a critical time of impending food shortages, and the world’s people would be worse off without them. However, the rate of yield improvement for cereal production has been slowing since the mid-1980s. Looking ahead at the foreseeable circumstances under which 21st century agricultural producers must try to assure food security, there will be need for technologies that are less dependent on resources that are becoming relatively scarcer, like arable land and water, or becoming relatively more costly, like energy and petrochemical-based inputs. This paper considers agroecologically-based innovations that reduce farmers’ dependence on external inputs, relying more on endogenous processes and existing potentials in plants and soil systems. Such resource-conserving production represents a different approach to meeting food security goals. While these innovations are not yet fully understood and are still being researched, there are good agronomic reasons to account for their effectiveness, and scientific validations are accumulating. Enough successes have been recorded from making changes in the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients that more attention from researchers, policy-makers and practitioners is warranted, especially given the need to adapt to, and to mitigate the effects of, climate change. The same agroecological concepts and management methods that are enhancing factor productivity in rice production are giving similar results with other crops

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Aerobic Methanotrophs in Natural and Agricultural Soils of European Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Kravchenko

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Human activities such as land management and global warming have great impact on the environment. Among changes associated with the global warming, rising methane emission is a serious concern. Therefore, we assessed methane oxidation activity and diversity of aerobic methanotrophic bacteria in eight soil types (both unmanaged and agricultural distributed across the European part of Russia. Using a culture-independent approach targeting pmoA gene, we provide the first baseline data on the diversity of methanotrophs inhabiting most typical soil types. The analysis of pmoA clone libraries showed that methanotrophic populations in unmanaged soils are less diverse than in agricultural areas. These clone sequences were placed in three groups of, so far, uncultured methanotrophs: USC-gamma, cluster I, and pmoA/amoA cluster, which are believed to be responsible for atmospheric methane oxidation in upland soils. Agricultural soils harbored methanotrophs related to genera Methylosinus, Methylocystis, Methylomicrobium, Methylobacter, and Methylocaldum. Despite higher numbers of detected molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs, managed soils showed decreased methane oxidation rates as observed in both in situ and laboratory experiments. Our results also suggest that soil restoration may have a positive effect on methane consumption by terrestrial ecosystems.

  5. Proteomics of Durum Wheat Grain during Transition to Conservation Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visioli, Giovanna; Galieni, Angelica; Stagnari, Fabio; Bonas, Urbana; Speca, Stefano; Faccini, Andrea; Pisante, Michele; Marmiroli, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen management in combination with sustainable agronomic techniques can have a great impact on the wheat grain proteome influencing its technological quality. In this study, proteomic analyses were used to document changes in the proportion of prolamins in mature grains of the newly released Italian durum wheat cv Achille. Such an approach was applied to wheat fertilized with urea (UREA) and calcium nitrate (NITRATE), during the transition to no-till Conservation Agriculture (CA) practice in a Mediterranean environment. Results obtained in a two-years field experiment study suggest low molecular weight glutenins (LMW-GS) as the fraction particularly inducible regardless of the N-form. Quantitative analyses of LMW-GS by 2D-GE followed by protein identification by LC-ESI-MS/MS showed that the stable increase was principally due to C-type LMW-GS. The highest accumulation resulted from a physiologically healthier state of plants treated with UREA and NITRATE. Proteomic analysis on the total protein fraction during the active phase of grain filling was also performed. For both N treatments, but at different extent, an up-regulation of different classes of proteins was observed: i) enzymes involved in glycolysis and citric acid cycles which contribute to an enhanced source of energy and carbohydrates, ii) stress proteins like heat shock proteins (HSPs) and antioxidant enzymes, such as peroxidases and superoxide dismutase which protect the grain from abiotic stress during starch and storage protein synthesis. In conclusion N inputs, which combined rate with N form gave high yield and improved quality traits in the selected durum wheat cultivar. The specific up-regulation of some HSPs, antioxidant enzymes and defense proteins in the early stages of grain development and physiological indicators related to fitness traits, could be useful bio-indicators, for wheat genotype screening under more sustainable agronomic conditions, like transition phase to no-till CA in

  6. Proteomics of Durum Wheat Grain during Transition to Conservation Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galieni, Angelica; Stagnari, Fabio; Bonas, Urbana; Speca, Stefano; Faccini, Andrea; Pisante, Michele; Marmiroli, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen management in combination with sustainable agronomic techniques can have a great impact on the wheat grain proteome influencing its technological quality. In this study, proteomic analyses were used to document changes in the proportion of prolamins in mature grains of the newly released Italian durum wheat cv Achille. Such an approach was applied to wheat fertilized with urea (UREA) and calcium nitrate (NITRATE), during the transition to no-till Conservation Agriculture (CA) practice in a Mediterranean environment. Results obtained in a two-years field experiment study suggest low molecular weight glutenins (LMW-GS) as the fraction particularly inducible regardless of the N-form. Quantitative analyses of LMW-GS by 2D-GE followed by protein identification by LC-ESI-MS/MS showed that the stable increase was principally due to C-type LMW-GS. The highest accumulation resulted from a physiologically healthier state of plants treated with UREA and NITRATE. Proteomic analysis on the total protein fraction during the active phase of grain filling was also performed. For both N treatments, but at different extent, an up-regulation of different classes of proteins was observed: i) enzymes involved in glycolysis and citric acid cycles which contribute to an enhanced source of energy and carbohydrates, ii) stress proteins like heat shock proteins (HSPs) and antioxidant enzymes, such as peroxidases and superoxide dismutase which protect the grain from abiotic stress during starch and storage protein synthesis. In conclusion N inputs, which combined rate with N form gave high yield and improved quality traits in the selected durum wheat cultivar. The specific up-regulation of some HSPs, antioxidant enzymes and defense proteins in the early stages of grain development and physiological indicators related to fitness traits, could be useful bio-indicators, for wheat genotype screening under more sustainable agronomic conditions, like transition phase to no-till CA in

  7. Modern trends in the development of agriculture and demands on plant breeding and soil management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kovačević Dušan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture is usually developed as much and just society where there is a branch of the economy. Today, there are different directions from industry agriculture to many concepts based on ecological principles. Future of agriculture development in the XXI century will imply sustainable agriculture as the alternative to the industrial agriculture. Conventional agriculture as an intensive one has a duty to ensure maximum production in terms of quantity and quality with the low cost. For this purpose we have many cultural practices, sometimes in addition to the expected positive but sometimes with many unexpected long-term negative effects in agroecosystems. Organic agriculture is one of the most interesting current trends in agriculture completely based on strong ecological principles and the absence of application of agrochemicals (pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, GMO, etc. Organic agriculture is a holistic way of farming: besides production of goods of high quality (better flavor, high content dry matter, vitamins, antioxidants; conservation of the natural resources (soil, water and richness of biodiversity.

  8. NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF AN AGRICULTURAL SOIL SHEAR STRESS TEST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Formato

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available In this work a numerical simulation of agricultural soil shear stress tests was performed through soil shear strength data detected by a soil shearometer. We used a soil shearometer available on the market to measure soil shear stress and constructed special equipment that enabled automated detection of soil shear stress. It was connected to an acquisition data system that displayed and recorded soil shear stress during the full field tests. A soil shearometer unit was used to the in situ measurements of soil shear stress in full field conditions for different types of soils located on the right side of the Sele river, at a distance of about 1 km from each other, along the perpendicular to the Sele river in the direction of the sea. Full field tests using the shearometer unit were performed alongside considered soil characteristic parameter data collection. These parameter values derived from hydrostatic compression and triaxial tests performed on considered soil samples and repeated 4 times and we noticed that the difference between the maximum and minimum values detected for every set of performed tests never exceeded 4%. Full field shear tests were simulated by the Abaqus program code considering three different material models of soils normally used in the literature, the Mohr-Coulomb, Drucker-Prager and Cam-Clay models. We then compared all data outcomes obtained by numerical simulations with those from the experimental tests. We also discussed any further simulation data results obtained with different material models and selected the best material model for each considered soil to be used in tyre/soil contact simulation or in soil compaction studies.

  9. Substantial dust loss of bioavailable phosphorus from agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Agricultural intensification exacerbates spillover effects on soil biogeochemistry in adjacent forest remnants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphael K Didham

    Full Text Available Land-use intensification is a central element in proposed strategies to address global food security. One rationale for accepting the negative consequences of land-use intensification for farmland biodiversity is that it could 'spare' further expansion of agriculture into remaining natural habitats. However, in many regions of the world the only natural habitats that can be spared are fragments within landscapes dominated by agriculture. Therefore, land-sparing arguments hinge on land-use intensification having low spillover effects into adjacent protected areas, otherwise net conservation gains will diminish with increasing intensification. We test, for the first time, whether the degree of spillover from farmland into adjacent natural habitats scales in magnitude with increasing land-use intensity. We identified a continuous land-use intensity gradient across pastoral farming systems in New Zealand (based on 13 components of farmer input and soil biogeochemistry variables, and measured cumulative off-site spillover effects of fertilisers and livestock on soil biogeochemistry in 21 adjacent forest remnants. Ten of 11 measured soil properties differed significantly between remnants and intact-forest reference sites, for both fenced and unfenced remnants, at both edge and interior. For seven variables, the magnitude of effects scaled significantly with magnitude of surrounding land-use intensity, through complex interactions with fencing and edge effects. In particular, total C, total N, δ15N, total P and heavy-metal contaminants of phosphate fertilizers (Cd and U increased significantly within remnants in response to increasing land-use intensity, and these effects were exacerbated in unfenced relative to fenced remnants. This suggests movement of livestock into surrounding natural habitats is a significant component of agricultural spillover, but pervasive changes in soil biogeochemistry still occur through nutrient spillover channels alone

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 data describing soil fluxes in Africa, based on measurements of limited duration of only a few crop types and agroecological zones, are inadequate to use as a basis for estimating the impact of agricultural soils on GHG budgets. A targeted effort to understand the magnitude and mechanisms underlying African agricultural soil fluxes is necessary to accurately estimate the influence of this source on the global climate system and for determining mitigation strategies.

  14. Mapping Spatial Moisture Content of Unsaturated Agricultural Soils with Ground-Penetrating Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamir, O.; Goldshleger, N.; Basson, U.; Reshef, M.

    2016-06-01

    Soil subsurface moisture content, especially in the root zone, is important for evaluation the influence of soil moisture to agricultural crops. Conservative monitoring by point-measurement methods is time-consuming and expensive. In this paper we represent an active remote-sensing tool for subsurface spatial imaging and analysis of electromagnetic physical properties, mostly water content, by ground-penetrating radar (GPR) reflection. Combined with laboratory methods, this technique enables real-time and highly accurate evaluations of soils' physical qualities in the field. To calculate subsurface moisture content, a model based on the soil texture, porosity, saturation, organic matter and effective electrical conductivity is required. We developed an innovative method that make it possible measures spatial subsurface moisture content up to a depth of 1.5 m in agricultural soils and applied it to two different unsaturated soil types from agricultural fields in Israel: loess soil type (Calcic haploxeralf), common in rural areas of southern Israel with about 30% clay, 30% silt and 40% sand, and hamra soil type (Typic rhodoxeralf), common in rural areas of central Israel with about 10% clay, 5% silt and 85% sand. Combined field and laboratory measurements and model development gave efficient determinations of spatial moisture content in these fields. The environmentally friendly GPR system enabled non-destructive testing. The developed method for measuring moisture content in the laboratory enabled highly accurate interpretation and physical computing. Spatial soil moisture content to 1.5 m depth was determined with 1-5% accuracy, making our method useful for the design of irrigation plans for different interfaces.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 0.45 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. PMID:26679897

  16. Greenhouse gas emissions under conservation agriculture compared to traditional cultivation of maize in the central highlands of Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In 1991, the ‘International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center’ (CIMMYT) started a field experiment in the rain fed Mexican highlands to investigate conservation agriculture (CA) as a sustainable alternative for conventional maize production practices (CT). CT techniques, characterized by deep tillage, monoculture and crop residue removal, have deteriorated soil fertility and reduced yields. CA, which combines minimum tillage, crop rotations and residue retention, restores soil fertility and increases yields. Soil organic matter increases in CA compared to CT, but increases in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in CA might offset the gains obtained to mitigate global warming. Therefore, CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions, soil temperature, C and water content were monitored in CA and CT treatments in 2010–2011. The cumulative GHG emitted were similar for CA and CT in both years, but the C content in the 0–60 cm layer was higher in CA (117.7 Mg C ha−1) than in CT (69.7 Mg C ha−1). The net global warming potential (GWP) of CA (considering soil C sequestration, GHG emissions, fuel use, and fertilizer and seeds production) was − 7729 kg CO2 ha−1 y−1 in 2008–2009 and − 7892 kg CO2 ha−1 y−1 in 2010–2011, whereas that of CT was 1327 and 1156 kg CO2 ha−1 y−1. It was found that the contribution of CA to GWP was small compared to that of CT. - Highlights: ► Conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional agriculture (CT) systems ► Greenhouse gasses emitted were similar from CA and CT. ► C content in the 0–60 cm layer was much higher in CA than in CT. ► The net global warming potential of CA was negative, but positive in CT. ► C sequestered in soil is far more important than GHG emitted.

  17. Mulch tillage for conserving soil water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulching is the practice of maintaining organic or inorganic materials on or applying them to the soil surface. It is an ancient practice, but through the years clean tillage that incorporated crop residues and also controlled weeds became the norm. Frequent and deep tillage often was promoted to co...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Remote sensing of soil properties in precision agriculture: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Yufeng; Thomasson, J. Alex; Sui, Ruixiu

    2011-09-01

    The success of precision agriculture (PA) depends strongly upon an efficient and accurate method for in-field soil property determination. This information is critical for farmers to calculate the proper amount of inputs for best crop performance and least environmental effect. Grid sampling, as a traditional way to explore in-field soil variation, is no longer considered appropriate since it is labor intensive, time consuming and lacks spatial exhaustiveness. Remote sensing (RS) provides a new tool for PA information gathering and has advantages of low cost, rapidity, and relatively high spatial resolution. Great progress has been made in utilizing RS for in-field soil property determination. In this article, recent publications on the subject of RS of soil properties in PA are reviewed. It was found that a large array of agriculturally-important soil properties (including textures, organic and inorganic carbon content, macro- and micro-nutrients, moisture content, cation exchange capacity, electrical conductivity, pH, and iron) were quantified with RS successfully to the various extents. The applications varied from laboratory-analysis of soil samples with a bench-top spectrometer to field-scale soil mapping with satellite hyper-spectral imagery. The visible and near-infrared regions are most commonly used to infer soil properties, with the ultraviolet, mid-infrared, and thermal-infrared regions have been used occasionally. In terms of data analysis, MLR, PCR, and PLSR are three techniques most widely used. Limitations and possibilities of using RS for agricultural soil property characterization were also identified in this article.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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???.

  1. Ex Situ and In Situ Conservation of Agricultural Biodiversity: Major Advances and Research Needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Ehsan DULLOO

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The effective conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity is vital for creating and maintaining sustainable increases in the productivity of healthy food for mankind, as well as contributing to the increased resilience of agricultural systems. Major advances in the two main complementary strategies for agricultural biodiversity conservation, namely ex situ and in situ, over the last decade are presented to reflect on their current global status and trends. The FAO Second State of the World Report on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture reports that the total number of accessions conserved in ex situ collections is about 7.4 million, in over 1750 genebanks around the world. There has also been increasing awareness of the importance and value of conserving crop wild relatives (CWR in situ and a greater understanding of the scientific issues surrounding on farm management of genetic diversity. Recent research outputs produced by Bioversity International to ensure the effective and efficient conservation and use of genetic diversity are cited. These have involved development of best practices for genebank management and the development of enhanced technologies and methodologies for conserving and promoting the use of the genetic diversity. Bioversity International has led the development of methodologies for on farm conservation, and promoted the drafting of policies and strategies for the in situ conservation of crop wild relatives and their management inside and outside protected areas. Also an outlook of the research priorities and needs for conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity is described.

  2. Effectiveness of sloping agricultural land technology on soil fertility status of mid-hills in Nepal

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kiran Lamichhane

    2013-01-01

    Hedgerows with intercropping systems were established at the ICIMOD test and demonstration site at Godawari to assess the effective-ness of Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) in reducing run-off water volume, controlling soil loss, increasing crop production, and improving soil fertility in the mid-hills of Nepal. Runoff water volume (1996-2002), soil loss (1996-2002) and maize yield (1995-2001), and soil fertility-related parameters were assessed on SALT models with three factors:the type of nitrogen-fixing plant, the farmers’ practice, and fertilizer use. Results showed a significant effect of Alnus nepalensis and/or Indigofera dosua on runoff water volume, soil loss, crop produc-tion, soil water retention, and soil nutrients (NPK). Farmers’ practice and fertilization did not play a significant role in reducing runoff water and soil loss. However, farmers’ practice significantly increased crop produc-tion. Therefore, integrating soil conservation approaches on SALT sys-tems enhances stable economic output to hills and mountain farmers.

  3. Guiding soil conservation strategy in headwater mediterranean catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Slimane, Abir; Raclot, Damien; Evrard, Olivier; Sanaa, Mustapha; Lefèvre, Irène; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Reservoir siltation due to water erosion is an important environmental issue in Mediterranean countries where storage of clear surface water is crucial for their economic and agricultural development. In order to reduce water erosion, this study aimed to design a methodology for guiding the implementation of efficient conservation strategies by identifying the dominant sediment sources in Mediterranean context. To this end, a fingerprinting method was combined with long-term field monitoring of catchment sediment yield in five headwater catchments (0.1-10 km2) equipped with a small reservoir between 1990 and 1995. The five catchments were chosen to cover the large diversity of environmental conditions found along the Tunisian Ridge and in the Cape Bon region. The fingerprinting techniques based on measurements of cesium-137 and Total Organic Carbon within the catchments and in reservoir sediment deposits successfully identified the contribution of rill/interrill and gully/channel erosion to sediment yield at the outlet of five small headwater catchments during the last 15-20 years. Results showed the very large variability of erosion processes among the selected catchments, with rill/interrill erosion contributions to sediment accumulated in outlet reservoirs ranging from 20 to 80%. Overall, rill/interrill erosion was the dominant process controlling reservoir siltation in three catchments whereas gully/channel erosion dominated in the other two catchments. This demonstrates that the dominant erosion process in the Mediterranean regions highly depends on the local environmental context. The lowest rill/interrill erosion contribution (2.2 Mg ha-1 yr-1) in the five catchments remained significantly higher than the tolerable soil loss indicating the severe levels reached by soil erosion along the Tunisian Ridge and in the Cape Bon region. This study also showed that although the implementation of improved topsoil management measures greatly reduced rill

  4. Cesium and strontium sorption behavior in amended agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  5. Deforestation, forest fallowing, and soil conservation in shifting cultivation

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    To design effective policies for rainforest conservation in shifting cultivation systems, it is crucial to have a better understanding of shifting cultivators f decision making. This paper develops a unified dynamic farm model of shifting cultivation, addressing two lacunae in extant theoretical works: taking into account differences between primary and secondary forests and potential roles of on-farm soil conservation. The model unifies shifting cultivator fs decisions about primary-forest c...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-28

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

  7. Chemistry of subsurface drain discharge from an agricultural polder soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hesterberg, D.; Vos, de B.; Raats, P.A.C.

    2006-01-01

    Protecting groundwater and surface water quality in drained agricultural lands is aided by an understanding of soil physical and chemical processes affecting leaching of plant nutrients and other chemical constituents, and discharge from subsurface drains. Our objectives were to determine which chem

  8. Phytoextraction and assisted phytoextraction of metals from agriculture used soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Trakal, L.; Neuberg, M.; Száková, J.; Vohník, Martin; Tejnecký, V.; Drábek, O.; Tlustoš, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 12 (2013), s. 1862-1872. ISSN 0010-3624 Grant ostatní: Norwegian Financial Mechanism(CZ) EEA Grants CZ0092 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : phytoextraction * heavy metals * agriculture soil Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.423, year: 2013

  9. Carbon sequestration in the agricultural soils of Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freibauer, A.; Rounsevell, M.D.A.; Smith, P.; Verhagen, A.

    2004-01-01

    In this review, technical and economically viable potentials for carbon sequestration in the agricultural soils of Europe by 2008¿2012 are analysed against a business-as-usual scenario. We provide a quantitative estimation of the carbon absorption potential per hectare and the surface of agricultura

  10. Economic Modelling of Soil Conservation: An Endogenous Growth Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Kwan Soo Kim

    1998-01-01

    This paper ï¬ rst develops the model, based on endogenous growth argument, in which environmental quality is included as input and thus makes possible the explanation of issues related to resource allocation and its impacts on the environment. Second, it analyzes the relationship between land market performance and underinvestment by incorporating information about soil quality into the analytical framework It extends existing literature on the economic modelling of soil conservation in sever...

  11. Mechanisms of Soil Aggregates Stability in Purple Paddy Soil under Conservation Tillage of Sichuan Basin, China

    OpenAIRE

    Tang, Xiaohong; Luo, Youjin; Lv, Jiake; Wei, Chaofu

    2011-01-01

    Part 1: Decision Support Systems, Intelligent Systems and Artificial Intelligence Applications International audience Ridge culture is a special conservation tillage method, but the long-term influence of this tillage system on soil aggregate-size stability in paddy fields is largely unknown in southwest of china. The objectives of this paper are to evaluate soil aggregates stability and to determine the relationship between SOC and soil aggregate stability. Soil samples at 0-20 cm laye...

  12. Adopted Engineering and Agronomic Conservation Measures of Agricultural Land Use in Lafia L. G. A. Nasarawa State of Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Kuje Yohanna

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The study examined agricultural land use and adopted conservation measures in Lafia local government Area of Nasarawa state. The data were collected by oral interview and structured questionnaire. Two hundred farmers were randomly selected across the local government area. The field survey revealed that 42% of the farmers are at the range of 35-45 years of age. 60% of the farmers within the study area don’t practice irrigation farming. The results also showed that 58% of the farmers have attended post primary school. 66% of the land area is relatively flat thereby leading to moderate erosion. 88% of the farmers used local methods of cultivation leading to small area (1-4ha of land being cultivated per a farmer. 44% of the farmers experienced sheet erosion on their farm lands leading to 40% of low yield. 22% of the farmers practiced most of the conservation practices on the land to minimize soil degradation and nutrient restoration. 40% of farmers surveyed encountered problem of high cost of labour and 46% of them obtained loan from the agricultural bank to solve some of the problems encountered. It is therefore recommended among other things that agricultural land use should be studied and conservation methods should be adopted to increase agricultural production in the study area.

  13. SUSTAINABILITY EFFECTS OF Crotalaria juncea L. AND Crotalaria spectabilis ROTH ON SOIL FERTILITY AND SOIL CONSERVATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    László, Márton, ,, Dr.

    2010-05-01

    Sustainable agriculture is defined as the successful management of resources for agriculture to satisfy changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment and conserving natural resources. A sustained increase of agricultural production becomes a great possibility for international community. In this process a green manure crops application for example crotalaria get a new chance for improvement process on soil fertility and soil conservation. Field experiment was carried out on a calcareous chernozem soil (Experiment station Nagyhörcsök of RISSAC-HAS) in partly of experiment series (3 years) at Hungary in 1998. The soil with about 20% clay, 3% humus, 5% CaCO3 in its ploughed layer. To ensure a sufficient macro and micronutrient supply in the whole experiment, 100 kg N, 100 kg P2O5 and 100 kg K2O were given hectare. The Crotalaria juncea L. and Crotalaria spectabilis ROTH were applied with 2 replications. Each plot has an area of 45 m2 with 230-230 individual plants. In vegetation grown period were measured green and dry matter yield. The soil and plant samples were analysed for the macro and microelements contents. The main results achieved in 1998 are summarized as follows: 1. The green matter yield at before flowering reached 63.8 t ha-1 in case of Crotalaria juncea L. 2. Total dry matter yield at harvest (without roots) fluctuated between 9.6 and 17.0 t ha-1, depending on the crotalaria species. 3. The average of element concentration (including stems, leaves of Crotalaria juncea L. and Crotalaria spectabilis ROTH) before flowering reached to 3.2 % N, 2.3 % Ca, 1.3 % K, 0.39 % Mg, 0.22 % P and 0.24 % S. The content of Al and Fe total 14 - 25, while that of Sr, Mn, Na, B and Ba 2 - 6 ppm in dry matter. The Zn, Cu, Mo, Cr, Se, Ni, As, Pb, Cd and Co concentration did not reach here the value of 1 ppm. 4. The average of biological activated element uptake (including stems, leaves of Crotalaria juncea L. and Crotalaria spectabilis

  14. Mycorrhizal fungal establishment in agricultural soils: factors determining inoculation success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbruggen, Erik; van der Heijden, Marcel G A; Rillig, Matthias C; Kiers, E Toby

    2013-03-01

    Soil biota provide a number of key ecological services to natural and agricultural ecosystems. Increasingly, inoculation of soils with beneficial soil biota is being considered as a tool to enhance plant productivity and sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. However, one important bottleneck is the establishment of viable microbial populations that can persist over multiple seasons. Here, we explore the factors responsible for establishment of the beneficial soil fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which can enhance the yield of a wide range of agricultural crops. We evaluate field application potential and discuss ecological and evolutionary factors responsible for application success. We identify three factors that determine inoculation success and AM fungal persistence in soils: species compatibility (can the introduced species thrive under the imposed circumstances?); field carrying capacity (the habitat niche available to AMF); and priority effects (the influence of timing and competition on the establishment of alternative stable communities). We explore how these factors can be employed for establishment and persistence of AMF. We address the importance of inoculum choice, plant choice, management practices and timing of inoculation for the successful manipulation of the resulting AMF community. PMID:23495389

  15. Caring for the land : best practice in soil and water conservation in Beressa watershed, highlands of Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amsalu Taye, A.

    2006-01-01

    Land degradation in the form of soil erosion and nutrient loss is a major constraint to farming activities and agricultural development in the highlands of Ethiopia. Though large-scale conservation projects have been initiated and carried out by the government during the past few decades, the conser

  16. Structure, composition and metagenomic profile of soil microbiomes associated to agricultural land use and tillage systems in Argentine Pampas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belén Carbonetto

    Full Text Available Agriculture is facing a major challenge nowadays: to increase crop production for food and energy while preserving ecosystem functioning and soil quality. Argentine Pampas is one of the main world producers of crops and one of the main adopters of conservation agriculture. Changes in soil chemical and physical properties of Pampas soils due to different tillage systems have been deeply studied. Still, not much evidence has been reported on the effects of agricultural practices on Pampas soil microbiomes. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of agricultural land use on community structure, composition and metabolic profiles on soil microbiomes of Argentine Pampas. We also compared the effects associated to conventional practices with the effects of no-tillage systems. Our results confirmed the impact on microbiome structure and composition due to agricultural practices. The phyla Verrucomicrobia, Plactomycetes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were more abundant in non cultivated soils while Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospirae and WS3 were more abundant in cultivated soils. Effects on metabolic metagenomic profiles were also observed. The relative abundance of genes assigned to transcription, protein modification, nucleotide transport and metabolism, wall and membrane biogenesis and intracellular trafficking and secretion were higher in cultivated fertilized soils than in non cultivated soils. We also observed significant differences in microbiome structure and taxonomic composition between soils under conventional and no-tillage systems. Overall, our results suggest that agronomical land use and the type of tillage system have induced microbiomes to shift their life-history strategies. Microbiomes of cultivated fertilized soils (i.e. higher nutrient amendment presented tendencies to copiotrophy while microbiomes of non cultivated homogenous soils appeared to have a more oligotrophic life-style. Additionally, we propose that conventional

  17. Agricultural soils potentially contaminated: risk assessment procedure case studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleonora Beccaloni

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available At the moment, the health-environmental risk analysis is used to decision-making targets in the contaminated sites management; this procedure allows to assess the quantitative health risk related to the pollutants presence in environmental compartments, as soil and waters. As regards potentially contaminated agricultural soils, the ingestion of food from vegetable and/or animal source, produced inside the contaminated area, is the most suitable way to assess the health risk. As an official procedure to this assessment is not available, the National Institute for Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, ISS has worked out an operating procedure, organized into several phases, depending on the available specific-site know-how. In this document, agricultural soils potentially contaminated in two sites have been studied; the sites are the following: Brescia Caffaro and Torviscosa.

  18. MANGANESE SPECIATION IN SELECTED AGRICULTURAL SOILS OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Habibah

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Manganese speciation in selected agricultural soils of Peninsular Malaysia is discussed in this study. Manganese concentration in the Easily Leacheable and Ion Exchangeable (ELFE, Acid Reducible (AR, Organic Oxidizable (OO and Resistant (RR fractions of soils developed on weathered rocks, soils of mixed nature, alluvium and peat deposits are described. The total manganese concentration in soils developed on weathered rocks was found to be higher than that in soils of mixed nature, alluvium and peat deposits because of the occurrence of resistant manganese oxide at the topsoils. Manganese speciation in paddy soils is influenced by the redox condition resulting from the alternate flooding and drying of the soils. Under reducing conditions, this metal tends to get dissolved and be available for plant uptake. Upon oxidation, manganese is precipitated into the acid reducible fraction as poorly crystalline manganese oxide and hydroxide and/or the resistant Fe-Mn mottles. In non-paddy cultivated alluvial soils, manganese speciation varies widely and is less understood. For the non-paddy cultivated peat soils, manganese is mainly associated with organic material, as indicated by the high manganese concentration in the OO fraction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Measuring the Contribution of Agricultural Conservation Practices to Observed Trends and Recent Condition in Water Quality Indicators in Ohio, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miltner, Robert J

    2015-11-01

    Over the last three decades, significant investments made to upgrade wastewater infrastructure and manage pollution from diffuse sources have resulted in measurably improved water quality and biological conditions in Ohio's rivers and streams. Conservation measures to reduce soil loss appear to have contributed significantly to the improvement witnessed over the last two decades and should therefore be continued. Within the most recent timeframe examined, little difference was found in either total phosphorus or suspended sediment concentration in relation to conservation measures, indicating that the environmental benefits of measures targeting soil loss may be approaching an asymptote. Conservation measures targeting livestock and forage management, however, appear to have reduced nitrogen concentrations within the recent time frame. An examination of the interrelationships between habitat quality, conservation measures, and land use indicated that water quality was generally mediated by interactions with stream habitat quality. However, the positive effect of habitat quality was reduced in catchments draining fine-textured soils. The implication of these latter two findings suggest that proscriptively adding natural function to the large network of ditched and maintained conveyances draining agricultural lands would substantially improve water quality, but management at the field level is necessary to minimize phosphorus losses. PMID:26641334

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. - Highlights: ► PAEs levels in four types of soils in suburban area of Tianjin were studied. ► Vegetable soil and wasteland soil exhibited higher PAEs concentrations. ► PAEs in wasteland soils from suburban area of cities in China should be paid attention. - (1) Vegetable soil and wasteland soil exhibited higher PAEs concentrations; (2) PAEs in wasteland soils from suburban area of cities in China should be paid attention.

  3. Agricultural use of soil, consequences in soil organic matter and hydraulic conductivity compared with natural vegetation in central Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, Verónica; Carral, Pilar; Alvarez, Ana Maria; Marques, Maria Jose

    2014-05-01

    When ecosystems are under pressure due to high temperatures and water scarcity, the use of land for agriculture can be a handicap for soil and water conservation. The interactions between plants and soils are site-specific. This study provides information about the influence of the preence vs. The absence of vegetation on soil in a semi-arid area of the sout-east of Madrid (Spain, in the Tagus River basin. In this area soil materials are developed over a calcareous-evaporitic lithology. Soils can be classified as Calcisols, having horizons of accumulation with powdered limestone and irregular nodules of calcium carbonate. They can be defined as Haplic Cambisols and Leptic Calcisols (WRB 2006-FAO). The area is mainly used for rainfed agriculture, olive groves, vineyards and cereals. There are some patches of bushes (Quercus sp.) and grasses (Stipa tenacissima L.) although only found on the top of the hills. This study analyses the differences found in soils having three different covers: Quercus coccifera, Stipa tenacissima and lack of vegetation. This last condition was found in the areas between cultivated olive trees. Soil organic matter, porosity and hydraulic conductivity are key properties of soil to understand its ability to adapt to climate or land use changes. In order to measure the influence of different soil covers, four replicates of soil were sampled in each condition at two soil depth, (0-10 cm and 10-20 cm). Hydraulic conductivity was measured in each soil condition and replicate using a Mini-disk® infiltrometer. There were no differences between the two depths sampled. Similarly, there were no changes in electric conductivity (average 0.1±0.03 dS m-1); pH (8.7±0.2) or calcium carbonate content (43±20 %). Nevertheless, significant differences (p>0.001) were found in soil organic matter. The maximum was found in soils under Quercus (4.7±0.5 %), followed by Stipa (2.2±1.1 %). The soil without vegetation in the areas between olive trees had only 0

  4. An overview of Conservation Agriculture in the dry Mediterranean environments with a special focus on Syria and Lebanon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Hansmann

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Conservation Agriculture (CA, comprising minimum or no mechanical soil disturbance through no-till seeding, organic soil mulch cover, and crop diversification is now practiced on some 157 million ha worldwide, corresponding to about 11% of the global cropped land. CA adoption in the Middle-East is low compared to other regions. Lack of knowledge on CA practices and systems discourages farmers from giving up ploughing. The main reason why farmers in the Middle-East have begun to apply the no-till system has been the cost reduction in fuel, labor and machinery required for land preparation. Soil and water conservation concerns do not appear to be the main drivers in the Middle-Eastern farmers’ decision to adopt or not to adopt CA. The adoption and uptake of CA by Middle Eastern farmers has been slow but it is nonetheless occurring gradually. Collection of information and research parameters related to agricultural practices are needed for designing a suitable soil and water conservation program for sustainable production intensification. Governmental policy encouraging the adoption and spread of CA systems in the Middle-East region is certainly a necessary condition for uptake. The objective of this article is to review the current status of adoption and spread of CA in the Middle-East, focusing mainly on Syria and Lebanon, and the potential beneficial consequences that can be harnessed through CA systems under rainfed conditions in both countries. The benefits include: higher factor productivity, yield and income; improved soil properties; climate change adaptation, including reduced vulnerability to the erratic rainfall distribution; and reduction in machinery, fuel and labor costs.

  5. You can’t eat your mulch and have it too : cropping system design and tradeoffs around biomass use for Conservation Agriculture in Cameroon and Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Naudin, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation agriculture is defined by three main principles: minimum soil   disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. CA is promoted as a   promising technology for Africa, but to date, only a small area under CA fully   complies with the above three principles. CA has both short and long term   effects on crop productivity and sustainability through the modification of various   agroecological functions. These functions are relat...

  6. Strategies for soil-based precision agriculture in cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. ORGANIZATIONAL AND ECONOMIC BASES OF ENERGY CONSERVATION IN AGRICULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Lisjutchenko

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Russian agricultural production at current stage is very energy intensive. At the cost of agricultural production overall cost of energy resources is growing: in 2000 was 36.5 billion rubles, 2008 - 92 billion rubles, 2009 - 110.6 billion rubles, and in 2010 rose to 119.8 billion rubles, or increased by 3.3 times. The analysis of consumption of the main energy sources for the period from 1990 to 2010 showed a decrease in general and the specific consumption of diesel fuel, gasoline and electricity by 5-7 times. Reducing energy consumption is explained as a forced saving resources because of lack of funds for the acquisition and implementation of agricultural enterprises of energy and resource saving measures (resource-saving technologies in the production process, motor fuel, biofuels and alternative energy sources. To solve this problem State and business in a matter of priority should be to build an effective system of innovation development for agriculture, promote the participation of agricultural science and education system in this process, modernize the domestic agricultural machinery, engineering and technology infrastructure.

  8. 137Cesium and soil carbon in a small agricultural watershed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scientific, political, and social interests have developed recently in the concept of using agricultural soils to sequester carbon. Studies supporting this concept indicate that soil erosion and subsequent redeposition of eroded soils in the same field may establish an ecosystem disequilibrium that promotes the buildup of carbon on agricultural landscapes. The problem is to determine the patterns of soil erosion and redeposition on the landscape and to relate these to soil carbon patterns. Radioactive 137cesium (137Cs) can be used to estimate soil erosion patterns and, more importantly, redeposition patterns at the field level. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between 137Cs, soil erosion, and soil carbon patterns on a small agricultural watershed. Profiles of soils from an upland area and soils in an adjacent riparian system were collected in 5 cm increments and the concentrations of 137Cs and carbon were determined. 137Cs and carbon were uniformly mixed in the upper 15-20 cm of upland soils. 137Cs (Bq g-1) and carbon (%) in the upland soils were significantly correlated (r2=0.66). Carbon content of the 0-20 cm layer was higher (1.4±0.3%) in areas of soil deposition than carbon content (1.1±0.3%) in areas of soil erosion as determined by the 137Cs technique. These data suggest that measurements of 137Cs in the soils can be useful for understanding carbon distribution patterns in surface soil. Carbon content of the upland soils ranged from 0.5 to 1.9% with an average of 1.2±0.4% in the 0-20 cm layer while carbon below this upper tilled layer (20-30 cm) ranged from 0.2 to 1.5% with an average of 0.5±0.3%. Total carbon was 2.66 and 3.20 kg m-2 in the upper 20 cm and upper 30 cm of the upland soils, respectively. Carbon content of the 0-20 cm layer in the riparian system ranged from 1.1 to 67.0% with an average 11.7±17.1%. Carbon content below 20 cm ranged from 1.8 to 79.3% with an average of 18.3±17.5%. Soil carbon in the upper 20 cm

  9. Effectiveness and Efficacy of Soil Conservation Practices in Potato Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potato production systems in the Northeast U.S. are characterized by intensive tillage, minimal ground cover, low crop residue return, and steep slopes. Soil conservation can be especially challenging after potato harvest. We used rainfall simulators in the greenhouse and field to assess sediment ...

  10. Statement on the Tianshui Experimental Site of Soil and Water Conservation in 1940s

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hongwei; YANG

    2013-01-01

    The Tianshui Experimental Site of Soil and Water Conservation was set up in 1942.Then the first construction publicized the thinking of soil and water conservation,and popularized the technologies of soil and water conservation and related plants.Their efforts established the foundation of the science of soil and water conservation with the first high-tech and high quality R&D team,and pushed the research of soil and water conservation building on the stage of systematization.All of this provided rare good scientific data and theoretical support for the soil and water conservation and the development of the regional economy in Northwest China.

  11. Soil solution Ni concentrations over which Kd is constant in Japanese agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The soil-soil solution distribution coefficient (Kd) is one of the most important parameters required by the models used for radioactive waste disposal environmental impact assessment. The models are generally based on the assumption that Kd is independent of the element concentration in soil solution. However, at high soil solution concentrations, this assumption is not valid. Since the sorption of most radionuclides in soil is influenced by their stable isotope concentrations, it is necessary to consider if the range in the naturally occurring stable isotope concentrations in the soil solution is within the range over which Kd is valid. The objective of this study was to determine if the Kd for nickel (Ni) can be assumed to be constant over the ranges of stable Ni concentration in five main Japanese agricultural soil types. To obtain Ni sorption isotherms for five Japanese soils, two types of batch sorption tests were carried out using radioactive 63Ni as a tracer. The concentration at which the relationship between soil and soil solution concentration became nonlinear was determined using the two types of sorption isotherms: the Langmuir and Henry isotherms. The result showed that the Ni concentration in the soil solution at which the assumption of a constant Kd becomes valid is at least ten times higher than the natural Ni concentrations in solutions of Japanese agricultural soils. This value is sufficient to treat Kd for Ni as constant for environmental impact assessment models for the disposal of radioactive waste. (author)

  12. Use of Fallout Caesium-137 and Beryllium-7 to Assess the Effectiveness of Changes in Tillage Systems in Promoting Soil Conservation and Environmental Protection on Agricultural Land in Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The current study developed a simplified method for using 137Cs depth distribution datasets to estimate soil loss or accumulation at a sampling point under conventional tillage and after the shift to a no-till system. Previous applications of 137Cs measurements had been limited to the estimation of erosion rates during the period extending from the beginning of fallout receipt to the time of sampling. The new procedure allows the change in erosion rates associated with a shift in land tillage practices to be estimated. In an additional study to assess no-till systems with and without burning of crop residues after harvesting, 7Be was used to quantify the erosion that occurred within the same field area, as a result of burning and a period of extreme rainfall (400 mm in 27 days, May 2005). The studied site is located in the Coastal Mountains of the Araucania Region, Chile. The soil is Ultisol (Typic Hapludult), and the area has a temperate climate and a mean annual precipitation of 1100 mm year-1. The obtained fallout radionuclide (FRN) data showed that 16 years after implementing the no-till system there was a reduction in the erosion rate of about 87% (from 11 t ha-1 year-1 to 1.4 t ha-1 year-1). In addition, the proportion of the study area, subject to erosion, decreased from 100% to 57%. The net erosion associated with crop residue burning and an extreme rainfall event (400 mm in 27 days occurring in May 2005) as estimated from the FRN was approximately 12 t ha-1. This indicated that large proportions of soil and ashes were mobilized by erosion and transported beyond the study area during the period of heavy rainfall. Comparing these results with those estimated for the medium long term net erosion rate (1.4 t ha-1 year-1) during a prolonged period of no-till without the burning of crop residues, it would appear that burning in autumn is a highly undesirable practice, since it could promote soil loss in the following rainy season, especially under high magnitude

  13. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  14. Using Agricultural Residue Biochar to Improve Soil Quality of Desert Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhe Zhang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A laboratory study was conducted to test the effects of biochars made from different feedstocks on soil quality indicators of arid soils. Biochars were produced from four locally-available agricultural residues: pecan shells, pecan orchard prunings, cotton gin trash, and yard waste, using a lab-scale pyrolyzer operated at 450 °C under a nitrogen environment and slow pyrolysis conditions. Two local arid soils used for crop production, a sandy loam and a clay loam, were amended with these biochars at a rate of 45 Mg·ha−1 and incubated for three weeks in a growth chamber. The soils were analyzed for multiple soil quality indicators including soil organic matter content, pH, electrical conductivity (EC, and available nutrients. Results showed that amendment with cotton gin trash biochar has the greatest impact on both soils, significantly increasing SOM and plant nutrient (P, K, Ca, Mn contents, as well as increasing the electrical conductivity, which creates concerns about soil salinity. Other biochar treatments significantly elevated soil salinity in clay loam soil, except for pecan shell biochar amended soil, which was not statistically different in EC from the control treatment. Generally, the effects of the biochar amendments were minimal for many soil measurements and varied with soil texture. Effects of biochars on soil salinity and pH/nutrient availability will be important considerations for research on biochar application to arid soils.

  15. Effects of Governance on Availability of Land for Agriculture and Conservation in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparovek, Gerd; Barretto, Alberto Giaroli de Oliveira Pereira; Matsumoto, Marcelo; Berndes, Göran

    2015-09-01

    The 2012 revision of the Brazilian Forest Act changed the relative importance of private and public governance for nature conservation and agricultural production. We present a spatially explicit land-use model for Brazilian agricultural production and nature conservation that considers the spatial distribution of agricultural land suitability, technological and management options, legal command, and control frameworks including the Atlantic Forest Law, the revised Forest Act, and the Amazonian land-titling, "Terra Legal," and also market-driven land use regulations. The model is used to analyze land use allocation under three scenarios with varying priorities among agricultural production and environmental protection objectives. In all scenarios, the legal command and control frameworks were the most important determinants of conservation outcomes, protecting at least 80% of the existing natural vegetation. Situations where such frameworks are not expected to be effective can be identified and targeted for additional conservation (beyond legal requirements) through voluntary actions or self-regulation in response to markets. All scenarios allow for a substantial increase in crop production, using an area 1.5-2.7 times the current cropland area, with much of new cropland occurring on current pastureland. Current public arrangements that promote conservation can, in conjunction with voluntary schemes on private lands where conversion to agriculture is favored, provide important additional nature conservation without conflicting with national agricultural production objectives. PMID:26241204

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Morugán-Coronado

    2013-03-01

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

  17. Distribution coefficients of selenium in Japanese agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Selenium (Se) is a toxic element, an it is a significant pollutant from mining and smelting sites. Among Se radioisotopes, 79Se (half life: 65000 y) is of interest because it is present in spent nuclear fuel and the wastes resulting from reprocessing this fuel. Therefore, knowledge about the environmental behavior of Se is important for the risk-assessment of Se contamination, and also for the safe disposal of radioactive wastes. Se sorption to soil is an important factor limiting Se mobility in the environment. Thus, in this study, we measured soil-soil solution distribution coefficient (Kd) of Se (Kd-Se) as an index of Se sorption level in order to evaluate the mobility of Se in Japanese agricultural soils. We also evaluated relationships between the Kd and soil properties. The Kd value is defined as 'concentration of radionuclide in or on the soil solid phase' divided by concentration of radionuclide in the soil solution'. Soil samples were collected from 110 sites throughout Japan. The Kd-Se was measured by the batch process using 75Se as a tracer. Since the primary sorption mechanism of Se has regarded to be ligand-exchange, which is the same adsorption mechanism as for phosphate, effect of phosphate concentration on the Se sorption onto soil was also determined. After the Kd-Se measurement, soil-sorbed 75Se was extracted by 1 M Na2HPO4 solution for 22 selected samples. Moreover, inhibition of Se sorption by phosphate ion was measured using the batch process Kd-Se measurement for two typical soils under elevated levels of phosphate (0.1-10 mM PO4). The measured Kd-Se ranged from 4 to 1616 L/kg and the geometric mean was 219 L/kg. Among the soil groups, volcanic ash soils (Andosols) had higher Kd values. Previously, it was reported that active-Al and active-Fe were considered to be the major adsorbents of Se in soil. The high Kd-Se values of Andosols may be due to the large amount of active-Al. The extraction experiment showed that the 1 M Na2HPO4 solution

  18. Differentiation of nitrous oxide emission factors for agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) direct soil emissions from agriculture are often estimated using the default IPCC emission factor (EF) of 1%. However, a large variation in EFs exists due to differences in environment, crops and management. We developed an approach to determine N2O EFs that depend on N-input sources and environmental factors. The starting point of the method was a monitoring study in which an EF of 1% was found. The conditions of this experiment were set as the reference from which the effects of 16 sources of N input, three soil types, two land-use types and annual precipitation on the N2O EF were estimated. The derived EF inference scheme performed on average better than the default IPCC EF. The use of differentiated EFs, including different regional conditions, allows accounting for the effects of more mitigation measures and offers European countries a possibility to use a Tier 2 approach. - Highlights: → We developed an N2O emission factor inference scheme for agricultural soils. → This scheme accounts for different N-input sources and environmental conditions. → The derived EF inference scheme performed better than the default IPCC EF. → The use of differentiated EFs allows for better accounting of mitigation measures. - Emission factors for nitrous oxide from agricultural soils are derived as a function of N-input sources and environmental conditions on the basis of empirical information.

  19. Epigeic soil arthropod abundance under different agricultural land uses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-Bote, J. L.; Romero, A. J.

    2012-11-01

    The study of soil arthropods can provide valuable information how ecosystems respond to different management practices. The objective was to assess the total abundance, richness, and composition of epiedaphic arthropods in different agrosystems from southwestern Spain. Six sites with different agricultural uses were selected: olive grove, vineyards, olive grove with vineyards, wheat fields, fallows (150-300 m long), and abandoned vineyards. Crops were managed in extensive. Field margins were used as reference habitats. At the seven sites a total of 30 pitfall traps were arranged in a 10 × 3 grid. Traps were arranged to short (SD, 1 m), medium (MD, 6 m) and large (LD, 11 m) distance to the field margins in the middle of selected plots. Pitfall traps captured a total of 11,992 edaphic arthropods belonging to 11 different taxa. Soil fauna was numerically dominated by Formicidae (26.60%), Coleoptera (19.77%), and Aranae (16.76%). The higher number of soil arthropods were captured in the field margins followed by the abandoned vineyard. Significant differences were found between sites for total abundance, and zones. However, no significant differences for total abundance were found between months (April-July). Richness and diversity was highest in field margins and abandoned vineyards. Significant differences were found for these variables between sites. Our results suggest that agricultural intensification affects soil arthropods in Tierra de Barros area, a taxonomic group with an important role in the functioning of agricultural ecosystems. (Author) 32 refs.

  20. Aerosol emissions from biochar-amended agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Soil Conservation and Nitrogen Dynamics in Hillside Maize Cropping in Tropical Mountainous Regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Land use intensification on steep slopes has led to severe soil degradation by erosion in many tropical countries. This problem has been exacerbated by increased rainfall intensities due to climate change. The overall goal of this study was to assess the short to medium term changes in soil erosion, runoff, nitrogen (N) losses and crop response, as affected by contour barrier/hedgerow and conservation agriculture systems (minimum tillage and retaining crop residues). Particular emphasis was given to changes in the pathways of N loss, for e.g. above vs. below ground losses, and to gaining a better understanding of competition leading to a decline in crop response close to hedges. Finally the magnitude and dynamics of key processes influencing the efficiency of soil conservation measures were assessed by using the WaNuLCAS model (Water, Nutrient and Light Capture in Agroforestry Systems). The study was conducted over a 3-year period (2003-2005) at Ban Bo Muang Noi village in the Loei province of Thailand (17o33' N and 101o1' E, 572 m a.s.l.). The experiment was laid out as a split-plot design, with fertilizer application as the main factor and soil conservation as a subfactor, with two replicates. Plot size was 4 by 18 m with a collection device for runoff water and eroded soil. In all treatments maize (Zea mays L.) was planted along the contours on a moderate slope gradient (21-28%) under minimum tillage conditions and relay cropped with a legume cover crop (Canavalia ensiformis). The two main factor treatments were (i) no fertilizer application and (ii) 60 kg N ha-1 plus 14 kg P ha-1 via split application. Subfactor treatments were: (i) Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash) barriers, (ii) Ruzi grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis Germain et Evrard) barriers, (iii) Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam) de Wit) hedges, and (iv) a control without hedgerows. Contour barriers/hedgerows combined with minimum tillage and legume relay cropping provide sustainable

  3. Using Agricultural Residue Biochar to Improve Soil Quality of Desert Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Yunhe Zhang; Omololu John Idowu; Catherine E. Brewer

    2016-01-01

    A laboratory study was conducted to test the effects of biochars made from different feedstocks on soil quality indicators of arid soils. Biochars were produced from four locally-available agricultural residues: pecan shells, pecan orchard prunings, cotton gin trash, and yard waste, using a lab-scale pyrolyzer operated at 450 °C under a nitrogen environment and slow pyrolysis conditions. Two local arid soils used for crop production, a sandy loam and a clay loam, were amended with these bioch...

  4. Identifying forest ecosystem regions for agricultural use and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chinsu Lin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Balancing agricultural needs with the need to protect biodiverse environments presents a challenge to forestry management. An imbalance in resource production and ecosystem regulation often leads to degradation or deforestation such as when excessive cultivation damages forest biodiversity. Lack of information on geospatial biodiversity may hamper forest ecosystems. In particular, this may be an issue in areas where there is a strong need to reassign land to food production. It is essential to identify and protect those parts of the forest that are key to its preservation. This paper presents a strategy for choosing suitable areas for agricultural management based on a geospatial variation of Shannon's vegetation diversity index (SHDI. This index offers a method for selecting areas with low levels of biodiversity and carbon stock accumulation ability, thereby reducing the negative environmental impact of converting forest land to agricultural use. The natural forest ecosystem of the controversial 1997 Ex-Mega Rice Project (EMRP in Indonesia is used as an example. Results showed that the geospatial pattern of biodiversity can be accurately derived using kriging analysis and then effectively applied to the delineation of agricultural production areas using an ecological threshold of SHDI. A prediction model that integrates a number of species and families and average annual rainfall was developed by principal component regression (PCR to obtain a geospatial distribution map of biodiversity. Species richness was found to be an appropriate indicator of SHDI and able to assist in the identification of areas for agricultural use and natural forest management.

  5. Long Term Surveillance of The Vojvodina Agricultural Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nuclear Physics Group in Novi Sad has more than 30 years long tradition in low-level gamma spectrometry measurement of agricultural soil in Vojvodina region and the area of Novi Sad. When the issue of depleted uranium emerged, the experimental advantages of the measuring equipment (GMX type of HPGe detector with enhanced efficiency below 100 keV, and iron low-level shielding) were fully exploited. A detection technique selective for depleted uranium was developed. The details of this method together with the results for about 400 samples of soil are presented and discussed. Based on the assessment of radionuclides transfer factors from soil to plants the safety of the food grown on the investigated soil is considered.(author)

  6. Department of Energy programs and objectives: energy conservation in agricultural production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-12-01

    This document describes the current Department of Energy agriculture research program as it relates to the research recommendations submitted by a 1976 workshop on energy conservation in agricultural production. In-depth discussions on fertilizers, irrigation, crop drying, fuel substitution, crop and animal production systems, greenhouses, materials handling, and transport systems are included. (MCW)

  7. Achieving production and conservation simultaneously in tropical agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Renwick, Anna R.; Vickery, Juliet A.; Potts, Simon G.;

    2014-01-01

    Increasing population size and demand for food in the developing world is driving the intensification of agriculture, often threatening the biodiversity within the farmland itself and in the surrounding landscape. This paper quantifies bird and tree species richness, tree carbon and farmer's gross...... income, and interactions between these four variables, across an agricultural gradient in central Uganda. We showed that higher cultivation intensities in farmed landscapes resulted in increased income but also a decline in species richness of birds and trees, and reductions in tree carbon storage....... These declines were particularly marked with a shift from high intensity smallholder mixed cropping to plantation style agriculture. This was especially evident for birds where significant declines only occurred in plantations. Small scale farming will likely continue to be a key source of cash income...

  8. Knowledge, conservation and sustainable use of soil: physic and morphological aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Pagliai

    Full Text Available The main aspects of environmental degradation can be ascribed to soil (erosion, soil compaction, soil crusting, deterioration of soil structure, flooding, losses of organic matter, salinisation, onsite and offsite damages, etc. following the impact of human activities. Since agricultural conventional production systems have resulted in excessive erosion and soil degradation, there is need to control and fight such degradation. Scientific results have clearly showed that the agricultural management systems can play an important role in preventing soil degradation provide that appropriate management practices are adopted. Long-term field experiments in different types of soils have shown that alternative tillage systems, like minimum tillage, ripper subsoiling, etc., improve the soil structural quality. The continuous conventional tillage causes a decrease of soil organic matter content that is associated to a decrease of aggregate stability, leading, as a consequence, to the formation of surface crusts, with an increase of runoff and erosion risks. Other aspects of very dangerous soil degradation (erosion in the hilly environments are represented by land levelling and scraping. After levelling, slopes being prepared for plantation (in particularly vineyard are almost always characterised by the presence of large amounts of incoherent earth materials accumulated with scraper. In this vulnerable condition, a few summer storms can easily cause soil losses exceeding 500 Mg ha-1y-1. Moreover, the land levelling and the following soil loss causes drastic alteration of the landscape and loss of the cultural value of soil. Subsoil compaction is strongly under evaluated, even though the presence of a ploughpan at the lower limit of cultivation is largely widespread in the alluvial soils of the plains cultivated by monoculture and it is responsible of the frequent flooding of such plains in occasion of heavy rains concentrated in a short time (rainstorm

  9. Economic Impacts of Water Conservation Measures in Agriculture and Energy Within the Upper Colorado River Basin

    OpenAIRE

    Franklin, Douglas R.

    1982-01-01

    The demand for water is increasing in the western United States. Coupled with growing emphasis on development of the western resources, the limited supply of water will create an expanding competitive market for water by agricultural, energy, industrial and municipal users. The Upper Colorado River Basin is faced with a question of what water conservation measures in the agricultural and energy sectors can be instigated without reducing agricultural output. If the decision is made to adopt wa...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. GEMAS: Mineral magnetic properties of European agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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 than by k itself, which is largely controlled by geological and climatic background variability. Mapping the isothermal mineral magnetic properties shows again a clear relation to large scale European geology. Thereby, the GEMAS data set of magnetic parameters provides a continent wide reference of the natural background in Ap soil. For the first time the geological background variability of magnetic minerals for national and local soil studies is defined at the European scale.

  12. GEMAS: Unmixing magnetic properties of European agricultural soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Morugán-Coronado

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available 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. Degradation of a chiral nonylphenol isomer in two agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The degradation of a chiral nonylphenol isomer, 4-(1-ethyl-1,4-dimethylpentyl)phenol (NP112), in two agricultural soils from Monheim and Dortmund, Germany has been studied. The degradation of NP112 and the formation of a nitro-nonylphenol metabolite were determined by means of GC-MS analysis. The degradation followed bi-exponential order kinetics, with half-life of less than 5 days in both soils. The nitro-metabolite was found at different concentration levels in the two soils. The nitro-metabolite of NP112 was more persistent than its parent compound. After 150 days about 13% of the initially applied NP112 remained in the Monheim soil as its nitro-metabolite. Results of the E-screen assay revealed that the nitro-NP112 has oestrogenic potency of 85% of that of NP112. Furthermore, the results of chiral GC-MS analysis revealed that no chiral degradation of NP112 occurred in this study. - The degradation of a chiral nonylphenol isomer in agricultural soils followed bi-exponential order kinetics resulting in a more persistent nitro-metabolite.

  15. Leaching effect on arsenic mobility in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dousova, Barbora; Buzek, Frantisek; Lhotka, Miloslav; Krejcova, Stanislava; Boubinova, Radka

    2016-04-15

    The stability of soil arsenic during long-term leaching was studied in four soils from an agricultural area. Two identical columns simulating soil profiles of three layers were leached with As-free natural rainwater (flow (μgg(-1)day(-1)) showed a comparable run for all soils, with the peak corresponding to maximum As release in the first leaching stage, and then with a tendency to equilibrate. The amount of released As was controlled by the saturated hydraulic conductivity Ksat and free Fe oxides, and the kinetics of the leaching process correlated with the content of organic matter (OM). An overall stability and accumulation of soil arsenic were mostly affected by soil properties (Ksat, particle size, clay fraction), while the chemical composition (Fe, OM content) and surface properties (specific surface area SBET, theoretical adsorption capacity Qt) were of marginal significance. The distribution of As forms was performed by sequential extraction (SEP), which indicated negligible transformation (<12%) of As species in upper soil layers. PMID:26785213

  16. A planning approach for agricultural watersheds using precision conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    This brief article, written for a non-technical audience, discusses a recently-developed approach for watershed planning and nutrient reduction. The approach can help local stakeholders identify conservation practices that are locally preferred and determine how those practices can be distributed ac...

  17. Phosphorus and water management in soil under no-till agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Under no-till conservation agricultural practices, crop residues are returned to the soil's surface whereas under conventional tillage they are mixed within the top ploughed layer (5-20 cm depth). Moreover, P fertilizer drilled in the soil at sowing of the previous crop is also mixed in ploughed soil while in no-till it concentrates in rows or slits, usually near the soil surface. Generally, this results in the stratification of phosphorus with depth under no-till more than under CT. In a semi-arid region, where topsoil layer remains dry for prolonged periods during crop growth, the possibility exists that plant roots may not be able to access the fertiliser P stranded in the dry layer. For example, Strong et al. (1997) showed that residual fertiliser value of P applied in the previous year was only 20-40% under low soil water regime to that of well-watered soil. However, water use efficiency increases as the P application increases in P responsive soils. Water use efficiency is generally higher under no-till than CT practice in semi-arid regions (Gibson et al. 1992; Norwood 1999). In spite of these findings, with adequate P fertilisation of crops, the drying of the topsoil layer does not appear to be a limiting factor for crop production (Weil et al. 1988). On the other hand, repeated P application in a limited area of soil and without further mixing with soil under NT results in enhanced P uptake and greater grain yields (Hargrove 1985). Controlled traffic under NT practice may prove to be even more beneficial in soils with high P sorption capacity since only the limited soil volume is fertilized

  18. Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge : Soil and Moisture Conservation Plan : 1972 Calendar Year

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Soil and Moisture Conservation Plan. The Soil and Moisture Conservation Plan outlines the relationship between refuge...

  19. Softwood biochar as a soil amendment material for boreal agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    Tammeorg, Priit

    2014-01-01

    Biochar is a porous carbonaceous solid material produced by pyrolysis. Application of biochar is considered as an efficient way of carbon (C) sequestration since the C in biochar is relatively resistant to microbial degradation. Furthermore, previous research in (sub-) tropical conditions suggests that it may enhance soil fertility and the yields of agricultural crops. To target the lack of knowledge about the effects of biochar in the boreal zone, softwood biochar was added to two boreal soi...

  20. Aerobic Methanotrophs in Natural and Agricultural Soils of European Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Irina Kravchenko; Andrey Yurkov; Anna Kizilova

    2013-01-01

    Human activities such as land management and global warming have great impact on the environment. Among changes associated with the global warming, rising methane emission is a serious concern. Therefore, we assessed methane oxidation activity and diversity of aerobic methanotrophic bacteria in eight soil types (both unmanaged and agricultural) distributed across the European part of Russia. Using a culture-independent approach targeting pmoA gene, we provide the first baseline data on the di...

  1. Autotrophic growth of nitrifying community in an agricultural soil

    OpenAIRE

    Xia, Weiwei; Zhang, Caixia; Zeng,Xiaowei; Feng, Youzhi; Weng, Jiahua; Lin, Xiangui; Zhu, Jianguo; Xiong, Zhengqin; Xu, Jian; Cai, Zucong; Jia, Zhongjun

    2011-01-01

    The two-step nitrification process is an integral part of the global nitrogen cycle, and it is accomplished by distinctly different nitrifiers. By combining DNA-based stable isotope probing (SIP) and high-throughput pyrosequencing, we present the molecular evidence for autotrophic growth of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) in agricultural soil upon ammonium fertilization. Time-course incubation of SIP microcosms indicated t...

  2. A rainfall simulation experiment on soil and water conservation measures - Undesirable results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hösl, R.; Strauss, P.

    2012-04-01

    Sediment and nutrient inputs from agriculturally used land into surface waters are one of the main problems concerning surface water quality. On-site soil and water conservation measures are getting more and more popular throughout the last decades and a lot of research has been done within this issue. Numerous studies can be found about rainfall simulation experiments with different conservation measures tested like no till, mulching employing different types of soil cover, as well as sub soiling practices. Many studies document a more or less great success in preventing soil erosion and enhancing water quality by implementing no till and mulching techniques on farmland but few studies also indicate higher erosion rates with implementation of conservation tillage practices (Strauss et al., 2003). In May 2011 we conducted a field rainfall simulation experiment in Upper Austria to test 5 different maize cultivation techniques: no till with rough seedbed, no till with fine seedbed, mulching with disc harrow and rotary harrow, mulching with rotary harrow and conventional tillage using plough and rotary harrow. Rough seedbed refers to the seedbed preparation at planting of the cover crops. On every plot except on the conventionally managed one cover crops (a mix of Trifolium alexandrinum, Phacelia, Raphanus sativus and Herpestes) were sown in August 2010. All plots were rained three times with deionised water (<50 μS.cm-1) for one hour with 50mm.h-1 rainfall intensity. Surface runoff and soil erosion were measured. Additionally, soil cover by mulch was measured as well as soil texture, bulk density, penetration resistance, surface roughness and soil water content before and after the simulation. The simulation experiments took place about 2 weeks after seeding of maize in spring 2011. The most effective cultivation techniques for soil prevention expectedly proved to be the no till variants, mean erosion rate was about 0.1 kg.h-1, mean surface runoff was 29 l.h-1

  3. Effects of 24 Years of Conservation Tillage Systems on Soil Organic Carbon and Soil Productivity

    OpenAIRE

    Olson, Kenneth R.; Stephen A. Ebelhar; James M. Lang

    2013-01-01

    The 24-year study was conducted in southern Illinois (USA) on land similar to that being removed from Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to evaluate the effects of conservation tillage systems on: (1) amount and rates of soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and retention, (2) the long-term corn and soybean yields, and (3) maintenance and restoration of soil productivity of previously eroded soils. The no-till (NT) plots did store and retain 7.8 Mg C ha−1 more and chisel plow (CP) −1.6 Mg C ha−1 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Dubelman

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Impact of soil movement on carbon sequestration in agricultural ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarty, G W; Ritchie, J C

    2002-01-01

    Recent modeling studies indicate that soil erosion and terrestrial sedimentation may establish ecosystem disequilibria that promote carbon (C) sequestration within the biosphere. Movement of upland eroded soil into wetland systems with high net primary productivity may represent the greatest increase in storage capacity potential for C sequestration. The capacity of wetland systems to capture sediments and build up areas of deposition has been documented as well as the ability of these ecosystems to store substantial amounts of C. The purpose of our work was to assess rates of sediment deposition and C storage in a wetland site adjacent to a small first-order stream that drains an agricultural area. The soils of the wetland site consist of a histosol buried by sediments from the agricultural area. Samples of deposited sediments in the riparian zone were collected in 5 cm increments and the concentration of 137Cs was used to determine the 1964 and 1954 deposition layers. Agricultural activity in the watershed has caused increased sediment deposition to the wetland. The recent upland sediment is highly enriched in organic matter indicating that large amounts of organic C have been sequestered within this zone of sediment deposition. Rates of sequestration are much higher than rates that have occurred over the pre-modern history of the wetland. These data indicate the increased sedimentation rates in the wetland ecosystem are associated with increased C sequestration rates. PMID:11822721

  6. A review of soil conservation in the Sudan (1940-1979)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soil Conservation in the Sudan started in the late thirties, and in 1942 a Soil Conservation Committee was set up to report on Soil Conservation Situation. Later a Soil Conservation Section was set which developed into a department taking the responsibility of drinking water points distribution and soil and water management in rural areas. In 1974 a desert encroachment project was proposed to cover most affected areas with the help of F.A.O. Soil Conservation is an important problem in Sudan and much work is needed to tackle this problem. The application of radioisotope and radio-tracer techniques are also needed for tackling this problem. (author)

  7. Farmers’ Sustainable Strategies for Soil Conservation on Sloping Arable Lands in the Upper Yangtze River Basin, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Tang

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The Upper Yangtze River Basin comprises a densely-populated agricultural region with mountainous and hilly landforms. Intensive cultivation has been extended onto steep hillslopes, which constitute the principal source area for sediment production. Soil conservation on sloping arable lands is thus of utmost priority for persisting sustainable agricultural production and maintaining sound ecosystem services. Although there have been many soil conservation techniques, either promoted by the government or adopted by local farmers, the practiced area was very limited relative to the total area affected by soil erosion. This paper attempts to introduce four popular soil conservation measures on sloping arable lands in this region to enhance a broader scale of implementation, including hedgerow buffers, level trenches, sloping terraces and limited downslope tillage. These practices, although developed from local farmers’ indigenous knowledge for productive purposes, have well conformed to our contemporary understanding of soil erosion processes on sloping landscape affected by human disturbances, were of sound suitability to regional manual tillage agriculture and more trade-off-efficient on rill prevention, runoff harvest and nutrient management.

  8. Agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The report entitled Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation : A Canadian Perspective, presents a summary of research regarding the impacts of climate change on key sectors over the past five years as it relates to Canada. This chapter on agriculture describes how climate change will affect primary agriculture production in Canada with particular focus on potential adaptation options, and vulnerability of agriculture at the farm level. Agriculture is a vital part of the Canadian economy, although only 7 per cent of Canada's land mass is used for agricultural purposes due to the limitations of climate and soils. Most parts of Canada are expected to experience warmer conditions, longer frost-free seasons and increased evapotranspiration. The impacts of these changes on agriculture will vary depending on precipitation changes, soil conditions, and land use. Northern regions may benefit from longer farming seasons, but poor soil conditions will limit the northward expansion of agricultural crops. Some of the negative impacts associated with climate change on agriculture include increased droughts, changes in pest and pathogen outbreaks, and moisture stress. In general, it is expected that the positive and negative impacts of climate change would offset each other. 74 refs., 2 tabs., 1 fig

  9. Sorption of dodecyltrimethylammonium chloride (DTAC) to agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Lei; Sun, Teng-Fei; Zheng, Mei-Jie; Li, Yan-Wen; Li, Hui; Wong, Ming-Hung; Cai, Quan-Ying; Mo, Ce-Hui

    2016-08-01

    Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) used as cationic surfactants are intensively released into environment to be pollutants receiving more and more concerns. Sorption of dodecyltrimethylammonium chloride (DTAC), one of commonly used alkyl QACs, to five types of agricultural soils at low concentrations (1-50mg/L) was investigated using batch experiments. DTAC sorption followed pseudo-second-order kinetics and reached reaction equilibrium within 120min. Both Freundlich model and Langmuir model fitted well with DTAC isotherm data with the latter better. DTAC sorption was spontaneous and favorable, presenting a physical sorption dominated by ion exchanges. Sorption distribution coefficient and sorption affinity demonstrated that soil clay contents acted as a predominant phase of DTAC sorption. DTAC could display a higher mobility and potential accumulation in crops in the soils with lower clay contents and lower pH values. Sorption of DTAC was heavily affected by ions in solution with anion promotion and cation inhibition. PMID:27101455

  10. Conservation challenge at the agricultural frontier: deforestation, fire, and land use dynamics in Mato Grosso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth S. DeFries

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Achieving conservation objectives within the rapidly changing agricultural frontier in Mato Grosso State requires tradeoffs between production and preservation. We provide a description of deforestation, fire, and land use dynamics during 2000-2005 to consider a range of strategies for conservation planning. Long-term conservation of Cerrado, transition forest, and Amazon biomes in the state can benefit from direct consideration of landscape structure, duration of post-clearing land use, and the mosaic of land uses surrounding potential conservation corridors or reserve areas. Although the creation of new protected areas may not be feasible, since few large, uninterrupted forest areas exist within the state, some conservation objectives can be met through greater coordination of the legal reserve system among property owners. We present three examples of landscape-level prioritization based on existing Forest Code regulations stipulating 80% forest reserves on private property. Through a state mediated system, property owners could augment existing reserve areas on their property through purchase of lands in: 1 buffers surrounding existing conservation units and indigenous reserves; 2 small watersheds with little or no deforestation; 3 forest patches with high connectivity within specified mosaics of different land uses. Any final approach for property-level coordination will depend on the specific conservation goals (e.g., river corridors, bird habitat, or plant biodiversity, but we provide a framework for developing and implementing a conservation plan at the agricultural frontier. Tradeoffs in both conservation value and productive use are required to achieve coordinated conservation at scale.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. 26 CFR 1.175-1 - Soil and water conservation expenditures; in general.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Soil and water conservation expenditures; in... (continued) § 1.175-1 Soil and water conservation expenditures; in general. Under section 175, a farmer may deduct his soil or water conservation expenditures which do not give rise to a deduction for...

  13. Modelling uranium leaching from agricultural soils to groundwater

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phosphate (P) fertilizers are typically applied annually to agricultural fields, partly in inorganic form.(e.g. Ca(H2PO4)2 ). Mineral P-fertilizers contain some natural alpha-activity due to the presence of 238U (among other alpha emitters). Uranium concentrations in P-bearing fertilizers have been reported to be in the range of 300 to 9200 Bq kg-1 of fertilizer (for both 238U and 234U). The migration of U and other elements in soils depends on a large number of processes, including their interactions with other aqueous components and the solid phase (e.g., cation exchange, surface complexation) as well as time-variable water fluxes and water contents between the soil surface and the groundwater table. Predicting U transport hence requires an advanced reactive transport model integrating water flow, multiple solute transport and biogeochemical reactions. At SCK-CEN, a new reactive transport code for transient flow conditions, HP1, was recently developed. The HP1 code results from the coupling of the HYDRUS-1D water flow and solute transport model with the PHREEQC geochemical speciation model. The capabilities of the HP1 code are illustrated considering natural uranium leaching from agricultural soils to groundwater. The objectives of the study are (1) to provide insight into the complex system of interacting biogeochemical processes that govern uranium mobility in soils using a new state-of-the-art coupled transport model (HP1), with special emphasis on effects of the imposed water flow boundary condition (steady-state infiltration versus atmospheric) on the migration of U in an acid sandy soil profile, and (2) to use the calculated uranium fluxes from soils to groundwater as yardsticks or reference levels for alternative or complementary safety indicators such as radionuclide fluxes from surface repositories for low- and intermediate level short-lived waste

  14. Estimating the distribution of radionuclides in agricultural soils – Dependence on soil parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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). -- Highlights: • We present a geochemical model for radionuclide distribution in agricultural soils. • The model has been validated by using experimental studies from the literature. • The model works well for Cs, Ni, U and Se. • The dependencies of nuclide distribution on soil parameters have been evaluated

  15. New findings and setting the research agenda for soil and water conservation for sustainable land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keesstra, Saskia; Argaman, Eli; Gomez, Jose Alfonso; Quinton, John

    2014-05-01

    The session on soil and water conservation for sustainable land management provides insights into the current research producing viable measures for sustainable land management and enhancing the lands role as provider of ecosystem services. The insights into degradation processes are essential for designing and implementing feasible measures to mitigate against degradation of the land resource and adapt to the changing environment. Land degradation occurs due to multiple pressures on the land, such as population growth, land-use and land-cover changes, climate change and over exploitation of resources, often resulting in soil erosion due to water and wind, which occurs in many parts of the world. Understanding the processes of soil erosion by wind and water and the social and economic constraints faced by farmers forms an essential component of integrated land development projects. Soil and water conservation measures are only viable and sustainable if local environmental and socio-economic conditions are taken into account and proper enabling conditions and policies can be achieved. Land degradation increasingly occurs because land use, and farming systems are subject to rapid environmental and socio-economic changes without implementation of appropriate soil and water conservation technologies. Land use and its management are thus inextricably bound up with development; farmers must adapt in order to sustain the quality of their, and their families, lives. In broader perspective, soil and water conservation is needed as regulating ecosystem service and as a tool to enhance food security and biodiversity. Since land degradation occurs in many parts of the world and threatens food production and environmental stability it affects those countries with poorer soils and resilience in the agriculture sector first. Often these are the least developed countries. Therefore the work from researchers from developing countries together with knowledge from other disciplines

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

    OpenAIRE

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. [Characteristics of soil nematode community of different agricultural areas in Jiangsu Province, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Jia-guo; Liu, Bei-bei; Mao, Miao; Ye, Cheng-long; Yu, Li; Hu, Feng

    2015-11-01

    This paper investigated the genus diversity of soil nematodes of different agricultural areas in Jiangsu Province, analyzed the relationship between soil nematodes and soil environmental factors, and discussed the roles of soil nematodes as biological indicators of soil health. The results showed that, a total of 41 nematode genera were found in all six agricultural areas, belonging to 19 families, 7 orders, 2 classes. The numbers and community compositions of nematodes were obviously influenced by soil texture, fertilization and tillage practices. In all six agricultural areas, the numbers of nematodes in coastal agricultural area (400 individuals per 100 g dry soil) were significantly larger than that in Xuhuai, Ningzhenyang, and riverside agricultural areas. While the smallest number of nematodes was found in Yanjiang agricultural area (232 individuals per 100 g dry soil), which might be due to the differences in soil texture, annual rainfall and annual air temperature and other factors. The dominant genera of nematodes were similar in the adjacent agricultural areas. Correlation analysis showed that there was a significant positive correlation between the number of soil nematodes and levels of soil nutrients (soil organic matter, total nitrogen, available nitrogen, available potassium and available phosphorus). Redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated the total nitrogen, available potassium and pH obviously affected some soil nematode genera. The analysis of spatial distribution characteristics of soil nematode community in farmland of Jiangsu Province could provide data for health assessment of agricultural ecosystems. PMID:26915207

  19. Iodine transfer from agricultural soils to edible part of crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Information about the distribution and cycling of stable iodine (I) in the environment is useful for dose estimation from its long-lived radioiodisotope, 129I, which is one of the most critical radionuclides to be managed for the safe disposal of nuclear fuel waste. The soil-to-plant transfer factor (TF) is an important parameter to predict internal radiation exposure pathways through the food chains using mathematical models. Therefore, we have measured stable I and bromine (Br) for comparison, in 142 crop samples and associated agricultural field soil samples collected throughout Japan. The crops were classified into eight groups, i.e. leafy vegetables, white part of leeks, fruit vegetables, tubers, root crops, legumes, wheat and barley (WB), and rice. The results showed that Br and I concentrations were higher in upland field soil samples than in paddy field soil samples. However, when we compared TF values of WB and brown rice, no statistical difference was observed. The highest geometric mean of TF for I, 1.4 x 10-2, was obtained for leafy vegetables and fruit vegetables and that for Br, 1.5, was for fruit vegetables. TF for I was much lower than Br, as reported previously, maybe due to their different chemical forms in soil and uptake behaviors by plant roots. (orig.)

  20. A soil's perspective on sustainable agriculture (Philippe Duchaufour Medal Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Six, Johan

    2014-05-01

    One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is to provide food security across the world and in the long term. One of the prerequisites to tackle this great challenge is to understand how sustainable agroecosystems function and provide ecosystem services. I will discuss how we have and hope to continue to elucidate the feedbacks between agroecosystem management options (e.g., tillage, organic practices, integrated soil fertility management, etc.), global change (e.g., elevated CO2, elevated O3, and climate change), soil properties (e.g. soil structure and soil biota) and carbon and nutrient cycling. I will make the argument, based on some case studies, of how we need to conduct experimental soil work from the micro- to landscape scale over day to decadal times scales and subsequently integrate the experimental results within simulation models to interpolate and extrapolate them to the regional and global scale over decadal to century-long time scales. These modeling results can then be linked to socioeconomic models in order to holistically assess the sustainability of agriculture. Finally, I will show some case studies on how to bring our improved understanding into practice to effectively ensure a better food security.

  1. Use of treated wastewater in agriculture: effects on soil environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Iodine transfer from agricultural soils to edible part of crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uchida, S.; Tagami, K. [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba (Japan). Office of Biospheric Assessment for Waste Disposal

    2011-07-01

    Information about the distribution and cycling of stable iodine (I) in the environment is useful for dose estimation from its long-lived radioiodisotope, {sup 129}I, which is one of the most critical radionuclides to be managed for the safe disposal of nuclear fuel waste. The soil-to-plant transfer factor (TF) is an important parameter to predict internal radiation exposure pathways through the food chains using mathematical models. Therefore, we have measured stable I and bromine (Br) for comparison, in 142 crop samples and associated agricultural field soil samples collected throughout Japan. The crops were classified into eight groups, i.e. leafy vegetables, white part of leeks, fruit vegetables, tubers, root crops, legumes, wheat and barley (WB), and rice. The results showed that Br and I concentrations were higher in upland field soil samples than in paddy field soil samples. However, when we compared TF values of WB and brown rice, no statistical difference was observed. The highest geometric mean of TF for I, 1.4 x 10{sup -2}, was obtained for leafy vegetables and fruit vegetables and that for Br, 1.5, was for fruit vegetables. TF for I was much lower than Br, as reported previously, maybe due to their different chemical forms in soil and uptake behaviors by plant roots. (orig.)

  3. Utilization of Agricultural Wastes in Stabilization of Landfill Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidzam Rahmat Mohamad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Palm Oil Fuel Ash (POFA and Rice Husk Ash (RHA are local agricultural waste material from Palm Oil Industry and from Paddy Industry in Malaysia. Currently, the disposal of these ashes from a burning process is a problem to both industries, and hence leads to environmental pollution. The main aim of this research was to investigate the potential of utilizing POFA and RHA as sustainable stabilizer material as partial replacement of traditional one which is lime and Portland Cement (PC. Laboratory investigations were carried out to establish the potential utilization of Malaysian Agricultural wastes POFA and RHA in stabilizing Teluk Kapas Landfill soil. Landfill soil on its own and combination with laterite clay soil were stabilized using POFA or RHA either on its own or in combination with Lime or Portland Cement (PC. The traditional stabilizers of lime or Portland Cement (PC were used as controls. Compacted cylinder test specimens were made at typical stabilizer contents and moist cured for up to 60 days prior to testing for compressive and water absorption tests. The results obtained showed that landfill soil combined with laterite clay (50:50 stabilized with 20% RHA:PC (50:50and POFA: PC (50:50 recorded the highest values of compressive strength compared to the other compositions of stabilizers and soils. However, when the amount of POFA and RHA increased in the system the compressive strength values of the samples tends to increase. These results suggest technological, economic as well as environmental advantages of using POFA and RHA and similar industrial by-products to achieve sustainable infrastructure development with near zero industrial waste.

  4. Assessment of soil erosion and effectiveness of soil conservation measures in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    China is one of the countries suffering from the most serious soil erosion in the world. For the Loess Plateau and the North-Eastern China, severe water erosion is the major cause, resulting from the intensive tillage operations and potato growing on steep slopes in the Loess Plateau and downslope cultivation and inappropriate crop rotation in North East-China. For the North China site, wind erosion is the main process, resulting from conventional tillage operations without surface cover. In South West (SW) China, the overgrazing is considered a major cause of accelerated soil and water loss. IAEA-funded studies were conducted in the Loess Plateau (Nianzhuang watershed in Yan'an), North China (Fengning site), North East China (Baiquan site), and SW China (Xichang site). Results obtained show that soil erosion rates from cultivated land as measured by fallout radionuclides (137Cs, 210Pb, and 7Be) are substantial. Soil erosion rates, as measured by the fallout radionuclide tracer method, declined by 16 to 80% depending on the type of conservation measure (terraced hillslopes, vegetated hillslopes, contour cultivation and no tillage, species of vegetation) and the studied sites, highlighting the importance of the use of radionuclide tracers in targeting the appropriate soil conservation measures to sites with different levels and types of erosion. The information gained from IAEA-funded studies has been adopted by the Office of the World Bank Project in Baota district, Yan'an for selecting effective soil conservation measures to control soil erosion

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Project AProWa: a national view on managing trade-offs between agricultural production and conservation of aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietzel, Anne; Rahn, Eric; Stamm, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Swiss agriculture is legally committed to fulfill several, partially conflicting goals such as agricultural production on the one hand and the conservation of natural resources on the other hand. In the context of the research project AProWa ("Agricultural Production and Water"), the relationships between the production aspect and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems is analyzed with a holistic approach. Agricultural production and the protection of water resources have high potential for conflicts: Farmers use ground and surface water to irrigate their fields. On the other hand, drainage systems enable the production on otherwise unfavorably wet soils. These in turn often affect ground water recharge and divert precipitation directly into surface waters, which changes their hydrological regime. Typically, drainage systems also elevate the input of nutrients and pesticides into the water bodies. In general, applied fertilizers, plant protection products, veterinary drugs and phytohormones of cultivated plants are introduced into the ground and surface waters through different processes such as drift, leaching, runoff, preferential flow or erosion. They influence the nutrient cycles and ecological health of aquatic systems. The nutrient and pesticide loss processes themselves can be altered by tillage operations and other agricultural practices. Furthermore, the competition for space can lead to additional conflicts between agriculture and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. For example, channelized or otherwise morphologically changed rivers do not have a natural discharge pattern and are often not suitable for the local flora and fauna; but naturally meandering rivers need space that cannot be used for agriculture. In a highly industrialized and densely populated country like Switzerland, all these potential conflicts are of importance. Although it is typically seen as a water-rich country, local and seasonal overexploitation of rivers through water extraction

  7. Searsville Sediment Experiment: What is the ideal agricultural soil?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Greenhouse gas emissions under conservation agriculture compared to traditional cultivation of maize in the central highlands of Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dendooven, Luc, E-mail: dendooven@me.com [Laboratory of Soil Ecology, ABACUS, Cinvestav, Avenida Instituto Politecnico Nacional 2508, C.P. 07360 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Gutierrez-Oliva, Vicente F. [Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Instituto Tecnologico de Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Chiapas (Mexico); Patino-Zuniga, Leonardo [Laboratory of Soil Ecology, ABACUS, Cinvestav, Avenida Instituto Politecnico Nacional 2508, C.P. 07360 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Ramirez-Villanueva, Daniel A. [Departamento de Microbiologia, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas-IPN, Av. Prolongacion de Carpio y Plan de Ayala, C.P. 11340 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Verhulst, Nele [International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600, Mexico D.F. (Mexico); Luna-Guido, Marco; Marsch, Rodolfo [Laboratory of Soil Ecology, ABACUS, Cinvestav, Avenida Instituto Politecnico Nacional 2508, C.P. 07360 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Montes-Molina, Joaquin; Gutierrez-Miceli, Federico A. [Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Instituto Tecnologico de Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Chiapas (Mexico); Vasquez-Murrieta, Soledad [Departamento de Microbiologia, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas-IPN, Av. Prolongacion de Carpio y Plan de Ayala, C.P. 11340 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Govaerts, Bram [International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)

    2012-08-01

    In 1991, the 'International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center' (CIMMYT) started a field experiment in the rain fed Mexican highlands to investigate conservation agriculture (CA) as a sustainable alternative for conventional maize production practices (CT). CT techniques, characterized by deep tillage, monoculture and crop residue removal, have deteriorated soil fertility and reduced yields. CA, which combines minimum tillage, crop rotations and residue retention, restores soil fertility and increases yields. Soil organic matter increases in CA compared to CT, but increases in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in CA might offset the gains obtained to mitigate global warming. Therefore, CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4} and N{sub 2}O emissions, soil temperature, C and water content were monitored in CA and CT treatments in 2010-2011. The cumulative GHG emitted were similar for CA and CT in both years, but the C content in the 0-60 cm layer was higher in CA (117.7 Mg C ha{sup -1}) than in CT (69.7 Mg C ha{sup -1}). The net global warming potential (GWP) of CA (considering soil C sequestration, GHG emissions, fuel use, and fertilizer and seeds production) was - 7729 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} in 2008-2009 and - 7892 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} in 2010-2011, whereas that of CT was 1327 and 1156 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} y{sup -1}. It was found that the contribution of CA to GWP was small compared to that of CT. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional agriculture (CT) systems Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Greenhouse gasses emitted were similar from CA and CT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer C content in the 0-60 cm layer was much higher in CA than in CT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The net global warming potential of CA was negative, but positive in CT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer C sequestered in soil is far more important than GHG emitted.

  9. Management and Area-wide Evaluation of Water Conservation Zones in Agricultural Catchments for Biomass Production, Water Quality and Food Security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Global land and water resources are under threat from both the agricultural and urban development to meet increased demand for food and from the resulting degradation of the environment. Poor crop yields due to water stress is one of the main reasons for the prevailing hunger and rural poverty in parts of the world. The Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s particularly in Latin America and Asia resulted in increased agricultural production and depended partly on water management. In the future, most food will still need to come from rain-fed agriculture. Water conservation zones in agricultural catchments, particularly in rainfed areas, play an important role in the capture and storage of water and nutrients from farmlands and wider catchments, and help improve crop production in times of need in these areas. Water conservation zones are considered to be an important part of water resource management strategies that have been developed to prevent reservoir siltation, reduce water quality degradation, mitigate flooding, enhance groundwater recharge and provide water for farming. In addition to making crop production possible in dry areas, water conservation zones minimize soil erosion, improve soil moisture status through capillary rise and enhance soil fertility and quality. These water conservation zones include natural and constructed wetlands (including riparian wetlands), farm ponds and riparian buffer zones. The management of water conservation zones has been a challenge due to the poor understanding of the relationship between upstream land use and the functions of these zones and their internal dynamics. Knowledge of sources and sinks of water and redefining water and nutrient budgets for water conservation zones are important for optimizing the capture, storage and use of water and nutrients in agricultural landscapes. The overall objective of this coordinated research project (CRP) was to assess and enhance ecosystem services provided by wetlands, ponds

  10. Weeds in conservation agriculture. Biology, emergence dynamics and modelling to improve their control

    OpenAIRE

    Gasparini, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    The increasing attention of public opinion towards the environmental impact of production activities has made it imperative to reduce the aggressiveness of productive systems on the environment. Also the agricultural sector, considered one of the principal strengths of transformation of the territory, is asked to predispose eco-compatible programmes of production. The institutions and national and international organisms encourage the adoption of techniques of conservative agriculture as a to...

  11. Challenges for Low-Carbon Agriculture and Forest Conservation in Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Britaldo Soares Filho; Letícia Lima; Maria Bowman; Letícia Viana

    2012-01-01

    This paper discusses the feedbacks between climate change, deforestation, and agricultural expansion and presents scenarios of agricultural demand and forest conservation and restoration policies in Brazil. In addition, it discusses the implications of these scenarios for food and befoul supply, the provision of ecosystem services, and climate change mitigation. Modeling these scenarios provides an integrated assessment of plausible pathways for achieving the goals of the National Climate Cha...

  12. Conservation agriculture for small holder rainfed farming: Opportunities and constraints of new mechanized seeding systems

    OpenAIRE

    Johansen, C; Haque, M.E.; R. W. Bell; Thierfelder, Christian; Esdaile, R.J.

    2012-01-01

    In the past, development and dissemination of conservation agriculture technologies, such as mechanized seeders and herbicides, has suited large-scale agricultural operations. Recent innovations specifically designed for smallholders have been developed in Brazil and introduced in Africa. These include animal-drawn rippers and direct seeders, which have produced equal yields to conventional tillage and seed broadcasting. However, more research is needed concerning weed management and place-ba...

  13. Effects of extreme drought on agriculture soil and sustainability of different drought soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. M. Geng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Content of microbial biomass carbon was selected as indicator for identifying effects of extreme drought on agriculture soil ecosystem. Through a series of prototype observation experiments, changing tendencies of microbial biomass carbon content and the proportion of microbial biomass carbon in soil organic carbon were identified. The optimum mass water content of soil for microbial biomass carbon was 19.5% and the demarcation point of microbial biomass carbon to drought was 14.3%, which could be used to demonstrate alters and degradation of soil ecosystem as well as the irrigation requirement of crops. We evaluated sustainability of different drought soil ecosystems after experiencing rainstorm with rehabilitation. The results suggested that soil ecosystem which was interfered by moderate drought could recover and its tolerance to drought was improved, as well as its function and activity. Soil ecosystem could barely recover from severe drought and could not adapt to severe drought stress. Soil ecosystem could not restore from extreme drought within a few days, the function and structure were damaged. We came to the conclusion that mass water content of soil should kept above 10% to avoid destroying function and structure while soil ecosystem would better be watered when mass water content was lower than 14.3% in order to maintain high productivity.

  14. Soil respiration in different agricultural and natural ecosystems in an arid region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liming Lai

    Full Text Available 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 CO(2 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 CO(2 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.

  15. Biochar has no effect on soil respiration across Chinese agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 40tha(-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 20tha(-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 40t of biochar did not significantly higher than soils amended with 20t of biochar. While the biochars used in Experiment 2 had different carbon pools and physico-chemical properties, they had no effect on soil CO2 efflux. The soil CO2 efflux following biochar addition could be hardly explained by the changes in soil physic-chemical properties and in soil microbial biomass. Thus, we argue that biochar will not negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux in agricultural soils. PMID:26950640

  16. A comparative study of conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS) for tribal people of Odisha, India

    OpenAIRE

    Pradhan, Aliza; Halbrendt, Jacqueline; Lai, Cynthia; Idol, Travis; Chan-Halbrendt, Catherine; Evensen, Carl; Ray, Chittaranjan; Roul, Pravat K.; Mishra, K.N.

    2012-01-01

    Tribal farming in Kendujhar district of Odisha, India is primarily based on traditional shifting cultivation which is becoming unsustainable - resulting in natural resources degradation, reduced production efficiency, and threatened food security. As maize (Zea mays L.) was the primary field crop grown by the tribal farmers, maize-based Conservation Agriculture Production Systems (CAPS) were taken as an innovative approach for conserving resources, enhancing productivity and sustaining liveli...

  17. Soils under conservation agriculture with vegetables in Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smallholder vegetable farmers in Siem Reap, Cambodia experienced declining crop productivity. It could be a result of a mixture of factors such as nutrient and pest problems and extreme weather events such as droughts and/or heavy rains. The no-till, continuous mulch and diverse species principles o...

  18. Use of the phosphogypsum wastes in agriculture soils : radiological impact

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The phosphate fertilizer industry produce an important amount of phosphogypsum (PG) as a residue of its activity. Its is well known that such wastes contain significant amounts of natural radionuclides from the U, Th and K series. The raw material for the production (phosphate rock) has uranium activity concentrations of around 1 kBq Kg -1 from which about 15 % passes to the PG. At the Huelva industrial area (SW Spain) the wastes produced per year can reach some 3.10 6 Mg, but in spite of the recent scientific efforts its accumulation still being a problem of great concern for the area. In the other hand, reclamation of sodic soils for agriculture users requires a Ca amendment to diminish Na saturation. Then, PG (with a high proportion of CaSO4 -2H2O) is an effective amendment that has been widely used in the saline-sodic marsh soils from SW Spain. Using PG as an amendment dilutes the radionuclides down to background levels, becoming this practice a possible way to eliminate these wastes with a considerable additional value for the agricultural process. However, it is necessary to study the amount of radioisotopes that can move to water and plants to ensure the radiological safety of the amendment. PG has relatively high concentration of 226 Ra and other radionuclides, with an special concern due to the 22Rn emissions. These wastes could be used to improve the fertility of agriculture soils in a large former marsh area of the Guadalquivir river. Thus, it is interesting to study the levels and behaviour of natural radionuclides within this system to evaluate the radioactive impact if this amendment. An agronomical test is being conducted by one of the authors in an experimental farm in Lebrija (Seville). The soils are treated with 13 and 26 t ha-1 of PG, 30 t ha-1 of manure. Each treatment was repeated twice and continued for two years with beetroot and cotton plant production. We are measuring 226Ra (by alpha counting and gamma spectrometry) and U isotopes (by

  19. Forest Hydrology, Soil Conservation and Green Barriers in Canary Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos SANTAMARTA-CEREZAL

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In volcanic islands, the rainfall regime and its torrential nature, together with the steep slopes and the soil types present are considered to be some of the main factors affecting forest hydrology and soil conservation. In such environments, rain regime is generally irregular and characterized by short and intense rainfalls, which could cause destructive flows at times, followed by long periods of rain absence. The volcanic nature of these islands have as a direct resultant steep slopes which influences the runoff volume and speed, as well as the amount of topsoil susceptible to be detached and transported downstream. The soil type also affects the susceptibility to erosion processes. Andisols are the most typical soil on volcanic islands. Their particularities derive their mineral constituents, called short-range-order products, which provide these soils with an increased structural stability, which in turn reduces their susceptibility to erosion. However, the land use changes and the environmental factors such as rain regime and steep slopes may be determinant factor in destabilizing these soils and ultimately a cause for soil erosion and runoffs, which become a threat to the population downstream. Green barriers have been traditionally used to prevent or reduce these processes, also to enhance the dew effect and the fog water collection, and as a firebreak which acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a wildfire. Wooded species present and subsequently their performance have a major influence on their effectiveness. The use of this natural erosion and fire control methods on volcanic islands is discussed in this paper.

  20. The Subtropical Grasslands LTAR: balancing agricultural production and conservation goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Boughton, E.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.; Sparks, J. P.; Silveira, M.; Boughton, R. K.; Swain, H.

    2015-12-01

    Subtropical grazing lands of peninsular Florida have been shaped by a long evolutionary history of lightning ignited fire followed by flooding resulting in a vast treeless prairie region in south-central Florida. In these grassland ecosystems fire return intervals are between 1-3 years. Beginning in the 1500's, Andalusian cattle began grazing in this region and the cattle industry began in earnest in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Today, Florida's prairie region is largely occupied by cow/calf ranch operations and also occupies the Northern Everglades watershed where water quality/quantity issues are at the forefront of environmental concerns. Florida ranches are characterized by a gradient of management intensities, ranging from sown pastures (most intensively managed) to semi-native pastures with a mix of introduced and native grasses, and rangeland (least managed ecosystem). Located at Archbold Biological Station, MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center, and University of Florida Range Cattle Research Center (www.maerc.org; www.rcrec-ona.ifas.ufl.edu), a primary goal of the Subtropical Grasslands US Department of Agriculture Long-term Agro-Ecosystem Research LTAR is to balance intensification of sown pastures while enhancing management of native systems in a way that maximizes other ecosystem services (regulating, supporting, cultural, biodiversity). Here, we describe our proposed experimental design to compare ecosystem delivery from conventional and aspirational management regimes in sown pastures and native systems. Aspirational management goals are to (i) maximize productivity in sown pastures with a neutral effect on other ecosystem services, and (ii) manage native systems in a way that maximizes regulating, supporting, and biodiversity ecosystem services by utilizing patch burn grazing. Ultimately, we will determine if enhanced production in sown pasture under the aspirational management system can offset any reduction in productivity in semi

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moslem Ladoni

    Full Text Available 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

  2. Using changes in agricultural utility to quantify future climate-induced risk to conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, Lyndon D; Paroz, Lydie-Line; Bradley, Bethany A; Green, Jonathan M H; Hole, David G; Holness, Stephen; Ziv, Guy; Oppenheimer, Michael G; Wilcove, David S

    2014-04-01

    Much of the biodiversity-related climate change impacts research has focused on the direct effects to species and ecosystems. Far less attention has been paid to the potential ecological consequences of human efforts to address the effects of climate change, which may equal or exceed the direct effects of climate change on biodiversity. One of the most significant human responses is likely to be mediated through changes in the agricultural utility of land. As farmers adapt their practices to changing climates, they may increase pressure on some areas that are important to conserve (conservation lands) whereas lessening it on others. We quantified how the agricultural utility of South African conservation lands may be altered by climate change. We assumed that the probability of an area being farmed is linked to the economic benefits of doing so, using land productivity values to represent production benefit and topographic ruggedness as a proxy for costs associated with mechanical workability. We computed current and future values of maize and wheat production in key conservation lands using the DSSAT4.5 model and 36 crop-climate response scenarios. Most conservation lands had, and were predicted to continue to have, low agricultural utility because of their location in rugged terrain. However, several areas were predicted to maintain or gain high agricultural utility and may therefore be at risk of near-term or future conversion to cropland. Conversely, some areas were predicted to decrease in agricultural utility and may therefore prove easier to protect from conversion. Our study provides an approximate but readily transferable method for incorporating potential human responses to climate change into conservation planning. PMID:24372589

  3. What are the effects of agricultural management on soil organic carbon in boreo-temperate systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haddaway, Neal R.; Hedlund, Katarina; Jackson, Louise E.;

    2015-01-01

    Background Soils contain the largest stock of organic carbon (C) in terrestrial ecosystems and changes in soil C stocks may significantly affect atmospheric CO2. A significant part of soil C is present in cultivated soils that occupy about 35 % of the global land surface. Agricultural...... intensification has led to practices that may decrease soil organic carbon (SOC), and agricultural management has the potential to be a powerful tool for climate change mitigation and increased soil fertility through SOC sequestration. Here, we systematically map evidence relating to the impacts of agricultural...

  4. Consultants meeting on conservation of soil water storage for biomass production in riparian zones, natural wetlands and strategically constructed wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: Five consultants from Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Estonia, and the USA plus three observers from France, Austria and China attended this CM. The objectives of this CM were: 1) To obtain an inventory of different methods of water conservation systems (WCS) that can be strategically deployed within agricultural catchments to enhance water quantity and quality for biomass production and environmental sustainability. 2) To review recent advances in the use of nuclear, isotopic, and related technologies in the sustainable management and conservation of water in these WCS systems for ecological and agricultural purposes. 3) To identify critical areas where further knowledge is required to enhance conservation of soil water storage for biomass production through strategic placing of WCS in agricultural catchments. The outcome of this CM was the development of a proposal for a CRP entitled 'Strategic placement and evaluation of water conservation areas in agricultural catchments for biomass production, water quality and food security', to assess and enhance ecosystem services provided by wetlands, ponds and riparian zones for improving water storage and quality in agricultural catchments. (author)

  5. Integrated Water-Less Management of Night Soil for Depollution of Water Resources and Water Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pramod R. Chaudhari

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Use of water for flushing night soil and enormous sewage disposal are responsible for pollution and depletion of fresh water resources in India and other countries. The review of traditional methods in the world provides idea of zero-waste discharge residential units. Experiences and research in India, China, Japan, America and Sweden has indicated feasibility of waterless management of night soil, composting and use of biofertilizer product in agriculture. A novel idea of ecological management of night soil and urine is presented in which night soil may be conditioned for transportation and treatment by adding suitable waste product(s from industry and other sources. Different night soil treatment methods are reviewed and emphasized the need for further research on whole cycle of ecological management or sustainable sanitation depending on local conditions. The benefits of this system are zero sewage discharge, reuse of waste as resource, recovery of nutrients in waste as fertilizer, production of fuel gas and reduction of pathogens in biofertilizer. This will help in water conservation and regenerating the quality and quantity of river flow for use as water ways and irrigation and to improve the public health. Potential technical intervention and research needs are discussed in this article

  6. The effects of forward speed and depth of conservation tillage on soil bulk density

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Mahmoudi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: In recent years, production techniques and equipment have been developed for conservation of tillage systems that have been adopted by many farmers. With proper management, overall yield averages for conventional and reduced tillage systems are nearly identical. Sometimes, field operations can be combined by connecting two or more implements. Combined operations reduce both fuel consumption, and time and labor requirements by eliminating at least one individual trip over the field. Light tillage, spraying, or fertilizing operations can be combined with either primary or secondary tillage or planting operations. Tillage helps seed growth and germination through providing appropriate conditions for soil to absorb sufficient temperature and humidity. Moreover, it helps easier development of root through reducing soil penetration resistance. Tillage is a time-consuming and expensive procedure. With the application of agricultural operations, we can save substantial amounts of fuel, time and energy consumption. Conservation tillage loosens the soil without turning, but by remaining the plant left overs, stems and roots. Bulk density reflects the soil’s ability to function for structural support, water and solute movement, and soil aeration. Bulk densities above thresholds indicate impaired function. Bulk density is also used to convert between weight and volume of soil. It is used to express soil physical, chemical and biological measurements on a volumetric basis for soil quality assessment and comparisons between management systems. This increases the validity of comparisons by removing the error associated with differences in soil density at the time of sampling. The aim of conservation tillage is to fix the soil structure. This investigation was carried out considering the advantages of conservation tillage and less scientific research works on imported conservation tillage devices and those which are made inside the country

  7. Varietal trial of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.)for Conservation Agriculture Production Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Mercado, Agustin R., Jr.; Arcinal, Gil A.; Bensive Gabitano; Manuel R. Reyes

    2014-01-01

    Sorghum is being cultivated all over the world mainly as feed for animals and in some areas it is used for human consumption and in a variety of industrial application like paper making and used as adhesives. The poster describes a trial of sorghum as a replacement for hybrid maize in conservation agriculture production systems.

  8. A Web-based spatial decision supporting system for land management and soil conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terribile, F.; Agrillo, A.; Bonfante, A.; Buscemi, G.; Colandrea, M.; D'Antonio, A.; De Mascellis, R.; De Michele, C.; Langella, G.; Manna, P.; Marotta, L.; Mileti, F. A.; Minieri, L.; Orefice, N.; Valentini, S.; Vingiani, S.; Basile, A.

    2015-07-01

    Today it is evident that there are many contrasting demands on our landscape (e.g. food security, more sustainable agriculture, higher income in rural areas, etc.) as well as many land degradation problems. It has been proved that providing operational answers to these demands and problems is extremely difficult. Here we aim to demonstrate that a spatial decision support system based on geospatial cyberinfrastructure (GCI) can address all of the above, so producing a smart system for supporting decision making for agriculture, forestry, and urban planning with respect to the landscape. In this paper, we discuss methods and results of a special kind of GCI architecture, one that is highly focused on land management and soil conservation. The system allows us to obtain dynamic, multidisciplinary, multiscale, and multifunctional answers to agriculture, forestry, and urban planning issues through the Web. The system has been applied to and tested in an area of about 20 000 ha in the south of Italy, within the framework of a European LIFE+ project (SOILCONSWEB). The paper reports - as a case study - results from two different applications dealing with agriculture (olive growth tool) and environmental protection (soil capability to protect groundwater). Developed with the help of end users, the system is starting to be adopted by local communities. The system indirectly explores a change of paradigm for soil and landscape scientists. Indeed, the potential benefit is shown of overcoming current disciplinary fragmentation over landscape issues by offering - through a smart Web-based system - truly integrated geospatial knowledge that may be directly and freely used by any end user (www.landconsultingweb.eu). This may help bridge the last very important divide between scientists working on the landscape and end users.

  9. A web based spatial decision supporting system for land management and soil conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terribile, F.; Agrillo, A.; Bonfante, A.; Buscemi, G.; Colandrea, M.; D'Antonio, A.; De Mascellis, R.; De Michele, C.; Langella, G.; Manna, P.; Marotta, L.; Mileti, F. A.; Minieri, L.; Orefice, N.; Valentini, S.; Vingiani, S.; Basile, A.

    2015-02-01

    Today it is evident that there are many contrasting demands on our landscape (e.g. food security, more sustainable agriculture, higher income in rural areas, etc.) but also many land degradation problems. It has been proved that providing operational answers to these demands and problems is extremely difficult. Here we aim to demonstrate that a Spatial Decision Support System based on geospatial cyber-infrastructure (GCI) can embody all of the above, so producing a smart system for supporting decision making for agriculture, forestry and urban planning with respect to the landscape. In this paper, we discuss methods and results of a special kind of GCI architecture, one that is highly focused on soil and land conservation (SOILCONSWEB-LIFE+ project). The system allows us to obtain dynamic, multidisciplinary, multiscale, and multifunctional answers to agriculture, forestry and urban planning issues through the web. The system has been applied to and tested in an area of about 20 000 ha in the South of Italy, within the framework of a European LIFE+ project. The paper reports - as a case study - results from two different applications dealing with agriculture (olive growth tool) and environmental protection (soil capability to protect groundwater). Developed with the help of end users, the system is starting to be adopted by local communities. The system indirectly explores a change of paradigm for soil and landscape scientists. Indeed, the potential benefit is shown of overcoming current disciplinary fragmentation over landscape issues by offering - through a smart web based system - truly integrated geospatial knowledge that may be directly and freely used by any end user (http://www.landconsultingweb.eu). This may help bridge the last much important divide between scientists working on the landscape and end users.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie R Kirk

    Full Text Available 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.

  11. Evidence and Lessons Learned from Long-Term On-Farm Research on Conservation Agriculture Systems in Communities in Malawi and Zimbabwe

    OpenAIRE

    Christian Thierfelder; William Trent Bunderson; Walter Mupangwa

    2015-01-01

    A long-term study was carried out in the Zidyana Extension Planning Area (EPA), Malawi and in the Zimuto Communal Area, Zimbabwe, to evaluate the effect of different conservation agriculture (CA) systems on crop productivity, soil quality and economic performance. Maize productivity results from Zidyana showed that CA systems out-yielded the conventional system in seven out of nine cropping seasons. Labour savings relative to the conventional control ranged from 34–42 labour days ha−1 due to ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. Soil quality indices for evaluating smallholder agricultural land uses in northern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Aweke M. Gelaw; Singh, B R; Lal, R.

    2015-01-01

    Population growth and increasing resource demands in Ethiopia are stressing and degrading agricultural landscapes. Most Ethiopian soils are already exhausted by several decades of over exploitation and mismanagement. Since many agricultural sustainability issues are related to soil quality, its assessment is very important. We determined integrated soil quality indices (SQI) within the surface 0–15 cm depth increment for three agricultural land uses: rain fed cultivation (RF); agroforestry (...

  14. Use of 7Be to Assess Soil Erosion and to Study the Effectiveness of Soil Conservation Methods in the Sehoul Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Accelerated erosion and soil degradation currently cause serious problems to the Sehoul region, Morocco, located between the highway from Rabat to Fes in the north and the Grou River in the south. Furthermore, there is still only limited information on rates of soil loss for optimising strategies for soil conservation. In this study we have used the 7Be technique to assess the soil erosion rates on an agricultural land in Sehoul area, Morocco. Three representatives agricultural fields; under same natural conditions; were selected for to years 2009 and 2010 to investigate the soil degradation required by soil managers in this region; first field is planted with rotation cereal / cereal (barley / wheat), the second one with monoculture (vine) and the last one is neglected for 15 years and in 2009 the site owner tried bean culture. The transect approach was applied for sampling to identify the spatial redistribution of 7Be. The results obtained from this study show erosion rates of about 6.7 t ha-1, 0.9 t ha-1 and 5.8 t ha-1 in 2009 and 13.9 t ha-1, 3.3 t ha-1 and 1.7 t ha-1 in 2010 for agricultural sites; wheat / barley rotation, vine monoculture and bean in a field neglected for 15 years; respectively for two years. (author)

  15. 26 CFR 1.175-2 - Definition of soil and water conservation expenditures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... of soil or water conservation in respect of land used in farming, or for the prevention of erosion of... of water, to check soil erosion on sloping land, to intercept runoff, and to divert excess water to... produce vegetation primarily to conserve soil or water or to prevent erosion. Thus, for example,...

  16. Using 137Cs technique to quantify soil erosion and deposition rates in an agricultural catchment in the black soil region, Northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Haiyan; Sun, Liying; Qi, Deli; Cai, Qiangguo

    2012-10-01

    Soil erosion significantly affects the productive black soil region in Northeast China. Quantification of the soil erosion is necessary for designing efficient degradation control strategies. 137Cs measurements undertaken on 61 sampling points collected within a 28.5 ha agricultural catchment in the black soil region of Northeast China were used to establish the magnitude and spatial pattern of soil redistribution rates as well as sediment budget within the catchment. Estimated soil redistribution rates using the Mass Balance Model 2 (MBM2) ranged from - 56.8 to 171.4 t ha- 1 yr- 1 for the sampling points that were verified by means of both runoff plot data and pedological investigation. Erosion generally occurred behind the shelterbelts, especially in the ephemeral gully susceptible areas, while deposition mainly occurred along the shelterbelts and at the catchment outlet. In the study catchment, 69% of the eroded sediments came from the slopes and 31% the ephemeral gullies. Sediments deposited along the shelterbelts at a rate of ca. 78 t yr- 1 and ca. 33 t yr- 1 at the catchment outlet. The gross soil loss rate for the catchment was - 4.4 t ha- 1 yr- 1 with a sediment delivery ratio of 53%. The mean rate of - 14.5 t ha- 1 yr- 1 in the erosion areas was much higher than the tolerable value, suggesting that effective soil conservation measures are urgently required to reduce the severe black soil loss for sustainable management of the soil resource.

  17. Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Vegetables from Agricultural Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ELJAN KASA

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzed the heavy metals in vegetables cultivated in private gardens in Bregu i Matit, an important agricultural area in the NW Albania.The plant and soil samples taken from irrigated and non-irrigated fields in this area were analyzed for the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb and Ni using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS, after extraction by HNO3 and H2O2.The transfer factors (TF were used to evaluate the risk of metal transfer from soil to plant and the FAO/WHO safe limits to assess the potential hazards of heavy metals to human health. The ranges of heavy metal concentrations ± standard deviation in vegetable samples were (mg kg- 1: Cu 2.98-12.90 (±3.08, Ni 4.82-35.79 (±7.68, Zn Zn > Cu > Ni > Pb. The TF values indicate that only Cd was accumulated in plants.The contents of Cd in three vegetable samples, Pb in four samples, and Cu in one sample were above the safe limits set by the FAO/WHO for heavy metals in foods and vegetables indicating that consumption of vegetables grown in the studied soils could be dangerous to human health.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ho, A.; Reim, A.; Kim, S.Y.; Meima-Franke, M.; Termorshuizen, Aad J; De Boer, W.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Bodelier, P.L.E.

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ho, A.; Reim, A.; Kim, S.; Meima-Franke, M.; Termorshuizen, A.; Boer, de W.; Putten, van der W.H.; Bodelier, P.

    2015-01-01

    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 eve

  20. Modelling soil organic carbon in Danish agricultural soils suggests low potential for future carbon sequestration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taghizadeh-Toosi, Arezoo; Olesen, Jørgen Eivind

    2016-01-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is in active exchange with the atmosphere. The amount of organic carbon (OC) input into the soil and SOC turnover rate are important for predicting the carbon (C) sequestration potential of soils subject to changes in land-use and climate. The C-TOOL model was developed to......, various agricultural management scenarios were considered including characteristic crop rotations with and without the presence of cover crops, and the application of organic amendments. We compared these simulated management effects with management effects estimated from Danish SOC monitoring network...... over the same period of time. The results of the C-TOOL simulations demonstrated that application of organic manure, use of cover crop, and converting the croplands to grassland had the potential to increase SOC in Danish mineral soils. The simulated data also suggested that C-TOOL gave a reasonably...

  1. Challenges in linking agricultural soil erosion studies to landscape scale processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, C.-H.; Norton, L. D.; Flanagan, D. C.

    2009-04-01

    Soil erosion studies are usually implemented to collect data for specific processes, surface conditions or treatments. The ease of conducting the proposed erosion study, the associated quality of the data, and the confidence level of the findings, are generally related to the degree of the control on the experimental variables. With a proper experimental design, the collected erosion data and interpretation are valid within the realm of the study setting, which can be at any spatial and temporal scale. Simply, erosion data reflect the detachment-transport-deposition processes that occurred under the forcing function and conditions of the soil exposed for the duration of the observation. Scaling becomes an issue when one intends to make erosion assessments outside the range which the data support, both spatially and temporally. This issue is further aggravated by the misuse of physical models to simulate erosion processes at different scales beyond the original intent of the model formulation. Sometimes, processes and conditions controlling sediment detachment and deposition at meter scale areas are extrapolated to hectare or kilometer square areas without considering changes in boundary conditions and driving forces as the scale is increased. In the US, we have seen the evolution from collecting natural runoff plot data that led to the development of Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) to the emergence of process-based erosion science using erodibility parameters derived from small-scale controlled plot experiments. These efforts are intended for assessing erosion at the field scale for implementing conservation practices. The nationwide usage of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) in USDA Field Offices demonstrates the successful development of a field scale erosion assessment technology. Recently, we have been challenged to assess conservation effects at the watershed scale. From the standpoint of erosion assessment in agricultural watersheds, we

  2. Use of Trichoderma spp.on soil microbiology improvement for organic agriculture in Costa Rica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Miguel Obregón-Gómez

    2004-01-01

    @@ The soil is a complex system where processes have direct influence on crop nutrition and plant health.Unfortunately, most of the agricultural soil management practices, compact them producing poor oxygenation, low benefic microorganism populations and metabolic disorders in plants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Agricultural soils – a fundamental common good in urban areas: a strategy for recovering their identity'

    OpenAIRE

    Freire, Maria; Ramos, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    Good agricultural soils are a scarce and exhaustible resource, essential for providing regular food production to societies and to the idea of sustainability. The protection of these soils is particularly important in Mediterranean landscapes, where there are strong natural and cultural contrasts and the fertility of land is based mostly on human activity. In Portugal, law protects soils since the early 1970s and in 1982 good agricultural soils were classified and safeguarded by law as Nat...

  5. Assessing microbial activities in metal contaminated agricultural volcanic soils - An integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parelho, C; Rodrigues, A S; Barreto, M C; Ferreira, N G C; Garcia, P

    2016-07-01

    Volcanic soils are unique naturally fertile resources, extensively used for agricultural purposes and with particular physicochemical properties that may result in accumulation of toxic substances, such as trace metals. Trace metal contaminated soils have significant effects on soil microbial activities and hence on soil quality. The aim of this study is to determine the soil microbial responses to metal contamination in volcanic soils under different agricultural land use practices (conventional, traditional and organic), based on a three-tier approach: Tier 1 - assess soil microbial activities, Tier 2 - link the microbial activity to soil trace metal contamination and, Tier 3 - integrate the microbial activity in an effect-based soil index (Integrative Biological Response) to score soil health status in metal contaminated agricultural soils. Our results showed that microbial biomass C levels and soil enzymes activities were decreased in all agricultural soils. Dehydrogenase and β-glucosidase activities, soil basal respiration and microbial biomass C were the most sensitive responses to trace metal soil contamination. The Integrative Biological Response value indicated that soil health was ranked as: organic>traditional>conventional, highlighting the importance of integrative biomarker-based strategies for the development of the trace metal "footprint" in Andosols. PMID:27057992

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Effect of different mulching materials on maize growth and yield in conservation agriculture systems of sub-humid Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Mupangwa

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of conservation agriculture (CA for smallholders increased the competition for crop residues between crop and livestock enterprises of the mixed smallholder farming system. Smallholders practicing CA have resorted to using grass and leaf litter in addition to available crop residues. The effect of these different mulching materials on maize (Zea mays L. growth and yield is not well documented in smallholder CA systems of southern Africa. A two-year experiment was run in 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons to evaluate the effect of maize residues, grass (Hyparrhenia filipendula (L. Stapf. and leaf litter that farmers are currently using and residues from leguminous species, sunhemp (Crotolaria juncea L. and Tephrosia (Tephrosia vogelii ((Hook f. on maize nitrogen (N uptake, growth and yield. Significant differences in soil water content across treatments were only observed during March in 2012/13 season. Maize residues retained more soil water and Tephrosia had the lowest soil water content when seasonal rainfall pattern was erratic. Grass and Tephrosia treatments had the lowest chlorophyll content. Conventional ploughing, maize residues and leaf litter had similar chlorophyll content which was significantly higher than grass and Tephrosia treatments. At a site with higher initial soil fertility conventional ploughing treatment out yielded the other treatments by 727–1265 kg ha−1. With more degraded sandy soil conventional practice had 119–430 kg ha−1 more maize grain than the CA treatments. With adequate fertilization, the mulching materials have a similar effect on maize growth in basins and direct seeding. Further studies on different application rates of mulching materials and mineral N fertilizer, and nutrient release patterns of these residues are critical in order to better understand soil fertility management under smallholder CA systems.

  8. Use of {sup 137}Cs technique for soil erosion study in the agricultural region of Casablanca in Morocco

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nouira, A.; Sayouty, E.H. E-mail: hassayout@caramail.com; Benmansour, M

    2003-07-01

    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 {sup 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 {sup 137}Cs. The spatial variability of {sup 137}Cs inventory has provided evidence of the importance of tillage process and the human effects on the redistribution of {sup 137}Cs. The mean {sup 137}Cs inventory was found about 842 Bq m{sup -2}, this value corresponds to an erosion rate of 82 tha{sup -1} yr{sup -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{sup -1} yr{sup -1}. The aspects related to the sampling procedures and the models for calculation of erosion rates are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26691498

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 137Cs 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 137Cs. The spatial variability of 137Cs inventory has provided evidence of the importance of tillage process and the human effects on the redistribution of 137Cs. The mean 137Cs 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

  11. Selenium speciation and extractability in Dutch agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26093220

  12. Heavy metal contamination and source in arid agricultural soil in central Gansu Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yu; GOU Xin; WANG Gang; ZHANG Qiang; SU Qiong; XIAO Guoju

    2008-01-01

    Concentrations of copper (Cu), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), mercury (Hg), and arsenic (As) were measured in arid agricultural and irrigated agricultural soils collected in Daba Village, Shajiawuan Village, Gangou Village and Sifangwu Village, located in central Gansu Province, China. Concentrations except Hg and Pb were lower than the background values in grey calcareous soil in the selected arid agricultural soils. Pb concentration exceeded the threshold of arid agricultural soils in China by 72. 46%. These results showed that there was indeed serious pollution with Pb, a slight pollution problem for other selected metals in the irrigated agricultural soils in Daba Village. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to assess the soil data, applying varimax rotation with Kaiser Normalization. The result showed that the irrigated factor, agricultural factor and anthropogenic factor all contributed to the relations between selected chemical properties. The main factor of accumulation of Cu, Pb, Cr, Hg and As was lithological factor in arid agricultural areas. There is a striking dissimilarity of origin of Cu, Pb, Cr, Hg and As in agricultural soil between the irrigate agriculture and arid agriculture.

  13. PHYSICO-CHEMICAL ASSESSMENT OF AGRICULTURAL POLLUTION ON GROUNDWATER AND SOIL QUALITY IN AN AGRICULTURAL FARM (NORTH EASTERN MOROCCO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Fetouani

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available To ensure sustainable food security, Morocco gives priority to agricultural and rural development by promoting investment in agricultural sector and use of intensification factors to improve incomes in rural areas. The Triffa irrigated perimeter is one of the oldest and the most productive in the country thanks to the Mohammed the V dam activity and the beginning of agricultural development intensification. Although this intensification has a positive effect on agricultural yields, it has negative impacts on soil and generatesgroundwater quality degradation. Indeed, recent studies performed in this area by us and Bendra (Fetouani et al., 2008; Bendra et al, 2012 have mentioned the existence of salinity problems, nitric groundwater pollution and soils salinization. This degradation is caused essentially by intensive use of agrochemicals, including nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides, and non-control of irrigation and cultivated plots drainage. However, a degradation of groundwater and soil quality is not without risk to Human health. Having a global vision about situation of groundwater and soil quality in the Triffa plain we have decided to deepen this theme to a local scale and to study in details the impact of intensive agriculture on groundwater and soil quality in a farm, located in the centre of the Triffa plain.To sum up the results of this study the state of soil quality in the farm is not alarming. However, the groundwater quality is mainly dramatic, because it is a receptacle of all the nutrients applied on the surface, especially nitrates.

  14. Construction and Application of Soil Erosion Control and Circular Agriculture Mode in Hilly Red Soil of Southern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Boqi WENG; Zhenmei ZHONG; Xuhui LUO; Zhaoyang YING; Yixiang WANG; Jing YE

    2012-01-01

    Abstract [Objective] The paper was to construct agriculture mode in hilly red [Method] The cause of soil soil of southern China, erosion in hilly red so soil erosion control and circular and analyze its application effort. of southern China and the rea- son for long-term treatment without remarkable effort were analyzed. On this basis, the key technology, economic benefit, ecological service function and carbon se- questration sink enhancement effect of various modes were further analyzed. [Result] The basic idea for comprehensive control of hilly soil erosion in southern China was as follows: the control of soil erosion was combined with modern agricultural produc- tion, in order to build "fruit (tea)-grass-livestock-methane" circular agriculture mode with comprehensive control of soil erosion; application effect analysis showed that the establishment of circular agriculture mode in southern hilly area to control soil erosion ~lad remarkable effect, which could simultaneously meet the coordinated de- velopment of ecological, economic and social benefits. [Conclusion] This study estab- lished an effective mode suitable for soil erosion control and agricultural protection development in southern red soil mountain, which could drive the sustainable devel- opment of ecological restoration of mountainous area and rural agricultural economy.

  15. Analysis of Coupling between Soil and Water Conservation and Economic-social Development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sun Xihua; Zhang Daimin; Wan Han; Chen Tingting; Yan Fujiang

    2009-01-01

    The coupling relation exists in water and soil conservation and economic-social development.The article analyses the relation of soil and water conservation and economic-social development stages as well as the coupling analytical method.Then calculates the expecting income by dispersing Markov decision and calculates the correlation coefficient and the relationship degree.The article obtains the relationship of soil and water conservation investments and all kinds of incomes.Finally,it analyzes the important meaning in socio-economic development of water and soil conservation.

  16. Regional estimates of ecological services derived from U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkner, Stephen P.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Waddle, Hardin; Keeland, Bobby D.; Walls, Susan C.; James, Dale; Moorman, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) is the Nation?s largest floodplain and this once predominantly forested ecosystem provided significant habitat for a diverse flora and fauna, sequestered carbon in trees and soil, and stored floodwater, sediments, and nutrients within the floodplain. This landscape has been substantially altered by the conversion of nearly 75% of the riparian forests, predominantly to agricultural cropland, with significant loss and degradation of important ecosystem services. Large-scale efforts have been employed to restore the forest and wetland resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) represent some of the most extensive restoration programs in the MAV. The objective of the WRP is to restore and protect the functions and values of wetlands in agricultural landscapes with an emphasis on habitat for migratory birds and wetland-dependent wildlife, protection and improvement of water quality, flood attenuation, ground water recharge, protection of native flora and fauna, and educational and scientific scholarship.

  17. Atrazine soil core residue analysis from an agricultural field 21 years after its ban.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonberg, David; Hofmann, Diana; Vanderborght, Jan; Lelickens, Anna; Köppchen, Stephan; Pütz, Thomas; Burauel, Peter; Vereecken, Harry

    2014-07-01

    Atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine) groundwater monitoring in the Zwischenscholle aquifer in western Germany revealed concentrations exceeding the threshold value of 0.1 μg L and increasing concentration trends even 20 yr after its ban. Accordingly, the hypothesis was raised that a continued release of bound atrazine residues from the soil into the Zwischenscholle aquifer in combination with the low atrazine degradation in groundwater contributes to elevated atrazine in groundwater. Three soil cores reaching down to the groundwater table were taken from an agricultural field where atrazine had been applied before its ban in 1991. Atrazine residues were extracted from eight soil layers down to 300 cm using accelerated solvent extraction and analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Extracted atrazine concentrations ranged between 0.2 and 0.01 μg kg for topsoil and subsoil, respectively. The extracted mass from the soil profiles represented 0.07% of the applied mass, with 0.01% remaining in the top layer. A complete and instantaneous remobilization of atrazine residues and vertical mixing with the groundwater body below would lead to atrazine groundwater concentrations of 0.068 μg L. Considering the area where atrazine was applied in the region and assuming instantaneous lateral mixing in the Zwischenscholle aquifer would result in a mean groundwater concentration of 0.002 μg L. A conservative estimation suggests an atrazine half-life value of about 2 yr for the soil zone, which significantly exceeds highest atrazine half-lives found in the literature (433 d for subsurface soils). The long-term environmental behavior of atrazine and its metabolites thus needs to be reconsidered. PMID:25603092

  18. Effects of agricultural intensification in the tropics on soil carbon losses and soil fertility

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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 associated

  19. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Kashif Javaid

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. Effectivity of soil conservation practices in vineyard soils from catalonia region, spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poch R.M.

    1998-09-01

    Full Text Available Erosion due to concentrated runoff is one of the main problems in the Anoia-Penedes region (Catalonia, Spain. The conventional tillage practices seem to be the reason for the high erosion and runoff observed, together with soil and rainfall characteristics. An experiment was carried out to test cover crop as an alternative management practice. During two years a mixture of legumes and grasses was sown to evaluate the effect on soil losses and vineyard production. Vineyard crop status (leaf water potential, soil water content and final grape yield and runoff production were measured in three locations. As a result, only a slight reduction of leaf water potential in the vine was found, mostly during the second year. Soil water content and grape yield were not significantly affected by cover crops. The effectivity of cover crops to reduce soil losses was higher in case of highly erosive events during spring, but not at all locations. In autumn there was not enough soil cover to reduce runoff and soil losses. Selective nutrient losses were found, that justify the application of conservation measures.

  3. Application of food industry waste to agricultural soils mitigates green house gas emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashid, M T; Voroney, R P; Khalid, M

    2010-01-01

    Application of organic waste materials such as food processing and serving industry cooking oil waste (OFW) can recycle soil nitrate nitrogen (NO(3)-N), which is otherwise prone to leaching after the harvest of crop. Nitrogen (N) recycling will not only reduce the amount of N fertilizer application for corn crop production but is also expected to mitigate green house gas (GHG) emissions by saving energy to be used for the production of the same amount of industrial fertilizer N required for the growth of corn crop. Application of OFW at 10Mg solid ha(-1)y(-1) conserved 68 kg N ha(-1)y(-1) which ultimately saved 134 L diesel ha(-1)y(-1), which would otherwise be used for the production of fertilizer N as urea. Average fossil energy substitution value (FESV) of N conserved/recycled was calculated to be 93 US$ ha(-1)y(-1), which is about 13 million US$y(-1). Potential amount of GHG mitigation through the application of OFW to agricultural soils in Canada is estimated to be 57 Gg CO(2)Eq y(-1). PMID:19765979

  4. Use of advanced information technologies for water conservation on salt-affected soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water conservation on arid and semi-arid soils must be done with constant and careful consideration of the distribution of salinity across the landscape and through the soil profile. Soil salinity can be managed through leaching and the application of various soil amendments. The field-scale manag...

  5. Water and solute transport in agricultural soils predicted by volumetric clay and silt contents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karup, Dan; Moldrup, Per; Paradelo, Marcos; Katuwal, Sheela; Norgaard, Trine; Greve, Mogens H.; de Jonge, Lis W.

    2016-09-01

    Solute transport through the soil matrix is non-uniform and greatly affected by soil texture, soil structure, and macropore networks. Attempts have been made in previous studies to use infiltration experiments to identify the degree of preferential flow, but these attempts have often been based on small datasets or data collected from literature with differing initial and boundary conditions. This study examined the relationship between tracer breakthrough characteristics, soil hydraulic properties, and basic soil properties. From six agricultural fields in Denmark, 193 intact surface soil columns 20 cm in height and 20 cm in diameter were collected. The soils exhibited a wide range in texture, with clay and organic carbon (OC) contents ranging from 0.03 to 0.41 and 0.01 to 0.08 kg kg- 1, respectively. All experiments were carried out under the same initial and boundary conditions using tritium as a conservative tracer. The breakthrough characteristics ranged from being near normally distributed to gradually skewed to the right along with an increase in the content of the mineral fines (particles ≤ 50 μm). The results showed that the mineral fines content was strongly correlated to functional soil structure and the derived tracer breakthrough curves (BTCs), whereas the OC content appeared less important for the shape of the BTC. Organic carbon was believed to support the stability of the soil structure rather than the actual formation of macropores causing preferential flow. The arrival times of 5% and up to 50% of the tracer mass were found to be strongly correlated with volumetric fines content. Predicted tracer concentration breakthrough points as a function of time up to 50% of applied tracer mass could be well fitted to an analytical solution to the classical advection-dispersion equation. Both cumulative tracer mass and concentration as a function of time were well predicted from the simple inputs of bulk density, clay and silt contents, and applied tracer

  6. Examining soil erosion and nutrient accumulation in forested and agriculture lands of the low mountainous area of Northern Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, A. T.; Gomi, T.; Takahisa, F.; Phung, K. V.

    2011-12-01

    We examined soil erosion and nutrient accumulations in the Xuanmai area located in the low mountainous region of Northern Vietnam, based on field investigations and remote sensing approaches. The study area had been degraded by land-use change from forest to agriculture in the last 20 years. In contrast, around the study area, the Vietnam government promoted reforestation projects. Such changes in land-use conditions, which may or may not be associated with vegetation ground cover conditions, potentially alter soil erosion and nutrient accumulation. We selected 10 dominant land-use types including forested land (e.g., Pinus massoniana and Acacia mangium plantation) agriculture land (e.g., Cassava), and bare land. We established three 1 x 1 m plots in each land-use type in September 2010. Vegetation biomass, litter cover, soil erosion (height of soil pedestal), and soil physical (soil bulk density and particle size distribution) and chemical properties (Total soil carbon, nitrate, and phosphorus) were measured. Height of soil pedestal can be a record of soil erosion by rain splash during rainy periods from April to August (prior to our field study). We also conducted remote sensing analysis using Landsat TM images obtained in 1993, 2000, and 2007 for identifying temporal patterns of land-use types. We found that the intensity of soil erosion depended primary on current vegetation ground cover condition with no regard of land-use. Hence, nutrient accumulation varied among vegetation ground cover and soil erosion. Remote sensing analysis suggested that shrub and bare lands had been altered from forested land more recently. Our finding suggested that variability of soil nutrient conditions can be associated with long-term soil erosion and production processes. Findings of our study are that: (1) current vegetation and litter ground cover affected the amount of surface soil erosion, and (2) legacy of land-use can be more critical for soil nutrient accumulation. Both

  7. Transfer factors of technetium from soil to various agricultural products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laboratory experiments of the transfer of technetium from soil to various kind of agricultural products have been carried out. The soil to plant transfer factors of Tc for rice plants were ≤ 0.005 for the grains and about 1.1 for the lower leaf blade. In contrast to this, higher transfer factors were found for wheat plants i.e. 0.027 for the grains (hulled) and 230 for the lower leaf blade. The Tc concentrations in the grains of both plants were lower than in the leaves. In the case of vegetables, transfer of technetium form soil to edible parts of vegetables have also been studied. Transfer factors of Tc for leaf vegetables such as spinach and komatsuna were considerably higher than those for non-leaf vegetable (e.g carrot, onion, sweet potato, tomato). Values for cabbages and Chinese cabbages were intermediate. Older leaves contained higher Tc than younger ones. It was suggested that Tc was readily taken up through roots and transported with water into leaves without any significant deposition in roots and stems. Technetium accumulated in leaves, while water was transpired from the leaves. This nuclide was associated strongly with constituents in leaves and hardly translocated into the other parts of the plants such as tubers, bulbs and fruits. The transfer factors (on a wet weight basis) in edible parts of vegetables obtained in this study were as follows; cabbage: 0.3, Chinese cabbage: 0.1, spinach: 2.4, komatsuna: 1.1, carrot: 0.3, onion: 0.05, sweet potato: 0.03 and tomato: 0.03. (author)

  8. Social networks and environmental management at multiple levels: soil conservation in Sumatra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Matous

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Many agrarian communities in developing countries suffer from insufficient productivity and use farming practices that deteriorate the environment both locally and globally. Research suggests that social networks play a role in environmental management, different studies emphasize different aspects of network structures, and the implications of the scales at which networks operate are not explicitly discussed. Here, I ask what types of social structures in farmer networks are conducive to environmental protection and agricultural productivity enhancement, and I show that the answer depends on the scale of the investigation. Using original data representing 16 farmer groups comprising 315 households and 1575 information-sharing links, I analyzed the structure of farmers' social connections in relation to their soil conservation and productivity-enhancing practices, assessed through their usage of organic and chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, I conducted qualitative interviews with 25 stakeholders from different levels of the agricultural system to gain additional insights into the drivers of farmers' behaviors. The quantitative analysis distinguishes the effects of intra- and extra-group links and reciprocity at the household and group levels. Fixed-effects logistic regression was applied at the household level to examine farmers' soil management practices. At the collective level, I used linear regression to estimate the proportion of adopters for each soil management practice. A lack of education and a lack of extra-group links are associated with unproductive practices, and a lack of reciprocity is associated with a lack of conservation efforts at both the household and collective levels. Dense intra-group links have opposite effects at the two levels. Whereas links within the farmer groups are associated with unproductive soil management by households, these links are associated with productivity maximization at the collective level

  9. Impact of the Gabcikovo hydro power structures on the soils and agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monitoring of soils of the Zitny ostrov area has confirmed that after setting the Gabcikovo project into operation there did not occur such changes in ground water level in the agricultural areas, which would give rise to negative changes in the ground water and the soil moisture regime, and would create negative changes in the soil quality and in the natural soil processes. The original soil moisture regime on the all soil monitoring plots has remained , and by that have preserved the original state of the other soil quality parameters, soil processes and development trends. Pre-dam conditions of agricultural production on the Zitny ostrov island remain unchanged, and in the region at the Cunovo reservoir agricultural conditions are improved. (author). 10 figs., 1 map, 9 refs

  10. An examination of soil and water conservation practices in the paddy fields of Guilan province, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashoori, Daryoush; Bagheri, Asghar; Allahyari, Mohammad S; Al-Rimawi, Ahmad S

    2016-06-01

    This study examined the use of soil and water conservation (SWC) practices among rice farmers in Iran. A random sample of 400 rice paddy farmers in the Foumanat plain of Guilan province, who use SWC measures, was drawn from a population of 52 thousand farmers. A two-part questionnaire was used to examine the level of utilization of SWC practices and to profile paddy farmers. Internal consistency was demonstrated with a coefficient alpha of 0.76, and the content and face validity of the instrument was confirmed by a panel of soil and water experts. Descriptive and analytical statistics were used to analyze the data. Results of ANOVA indicated that the mean levels of SWC practices vary considerably at the 0.01 level of significance by groups of age, education, non-agricultural income, production costs, yield, cultivated paddies and distance from home to the farm or to the main road. Similarly, significant differences were observed by groups of family size, rice production, ownership of livestock and profits from rice production at 0.05 level. The levels of experience in agriculture and ownership of poultry were found to have no significant effects on SWC practices. PMID:27276379

  11. Soils - SOILS_STATSGO_IN: Soil Associations in Indiana (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1:250,000, Polygon Shapefile)

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — Natural Resources Conservation Service, STATSGO metadata reports- "This data set is a digital general soil association map developed by the National Cooperative...

  12. Crop-Diversification for Conservation of Water Resource and Agricultural Growth: A Comparative Dynamic Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Joydeb Sasmal

    2013-01-01

    This article has addressed the problem of overexploitation of ground water for irrigation and built up a theoretical model to demonstrate how crop diversification in favour of water-saving crops can help conservation of water resource and agricultural growth. The comparative dynamic analysis on the optimal path of ground water stock has been done using variational differential equation. The qualitative results in Phase-Diagram show that if R&D expenditure is increased by the government or inp...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. Environmental change: prospects for conservation and agriculture in a southwest Australia biodiversity hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil E. Pettit

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Accelerating environmental change is perhaps the greatest challenge for natural resource management; successful strategies need to be effective for decades to come. Our objective is to identify opportunities that new environmental conditions may provide for conservation, restoration, and resource use in a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot in southwestern Australia. We describe a variety of changes to key taxonomic groups and system-scale characteristics as a consequence of environmental change (climate and land use, and outline strategies for conserving and restoring important ecological and agricultural characteristics. Opportunities for conservation and economic adaptation are substantial because of gradients in rainfall, temperature, and land use, extensive areas of remnant native vegetation, the ability to reduce and ameliorate areas affected by secondary salinization, and the existence of large national parks and an extensive network of nature reserves. Opportunities presented by the predicted environmental changes encompass agricultural as well as natural ecosystems. These may include expansion of aquaculture, transformation of agricultural systems to adapt to drier autumns and winters, and potential increases in spring and summer rain, carbon-offset plantings, and improving the network of conservation reserves. A central management dilemma is whether restoration/preservation efforts should have a commercial or biodiversity focus, and how they could be integrated. Although the grand challenge is conserving, protecting, restoring, and managing for a future environment, one that balances economic, social, and environmental values, the ultimate goal is to establish a regional culture that values the unique regional environment and balances the utilization of natural resources against protecting remaining natural ecosystems.

  15. Sorption and desorption of organophosphate pesticides, parathion and cadusafos, on tropical agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Olvera-Velona, Angeluz; Benoit, Pierre; Barriuso, Enrique; Ortiz-Hernandez, Laura

    2008-01-01

    Ecotoxicological impacts of organic pesticides on soil and aquatic ecosystems depend primarily on their behavior in soils. Actual pesticide knowledge is mostly restricted to soils from temperate climates, whereas knowledge of pesticide behavior in tropical soils is scarce. Here, the sorption behavior of two organophosphorous insecticides, parathion and cadusafos, was studied in three agricultural soil samples from central Mexico, Vertisols and Andosols. Using 14C-labeled substances, we assess...

  16. Multivariate-Statistical Assessment of Heavy Metals for Agricultural Soils in Northern China

    OpenAIRE

    Pingguo Yang; Miao Yang; Renzhao Mao; Hongbo Shao

    2014-01-01

    The study evaluated eight heavy metals content and soil pollution from agricultural soils in northern China. Multivariate and geostatistical analysis approaches were used to determine the anthropogenic and natural contribution of soil heavy metal concentrations. Single pollution index and integrated pollution index could be used to evaluate soil heavy metal risk. The results show that the first factor explains 27.3% of the eight soil heavy metals with strong positive loadings on Cu, Zn, and C...

  17. Evaluation on Heavy Metal Pollution of Soil in Pollution-free Agricultural Product Bases in Guangxi

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Minjun; DENG; Yan; LUO

    2014-01-01

    Using data of 6 pollution-free agricultural product bases in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,this paper analyzed content of heavy metals,including arsenic(As),mercury(Hg),lead(Pb),cadmium(Cd),and chromium(Cr) in soil.After Pb,Cd,Cr,Hg and As content in soil is determined,it evaluated the pollution of soil using single factor pollution index method and Nemerow synthetic pollution index method in combination with evaluation standard of heavy metals in soil and grading standard for soil pollution.Analysis results indicate that As,Hg,Pb,Cd,Cr content is different in pollution-free agricultural product bases,but all conform to related standards and there is no standard exceeding problem.It is concluded that the quality of soil in pollution-free agricultural product bases is excellent,not polluted and completely meet requirements of evaluation standards,and suitable for developing pollution-free agricultural products.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (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. PMID:25093299

  19. Effects of 24 Years of Conservation Tillage Systems on Soil Organic Carbon and Soil Productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth R. Olson

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The 24-year study was conducted in southern Illinois (USA on land similar to that being removed from Conservation Reserve Program (CRP to evaluate the effects of conservation tillage systems on: (1 amount and rates of soil organic carbon (SOC storage and retention, (2 the long-term corn and soybean yields, and (3 maintenance and restoration of soil productivity of previously eroded soils. The no-till (NT plots did store and retain 7.8 Mg C ha−1 more and chisel plow (CP −1.6 Mg C ha−1 less SOC in the soil than moldboard plow (MP during the 24 years. However, no SOC sequestration occurred in the sloping and eroding NT, CP, and MP plots since the SOC level of the plot area was greater at the start of the experiment than at the end. The NT plots actually lost a total of −1.2 Mg C ha−1, the CP lost −9.9 Mg C ha−1, and the MP lost −8.2 Mg C ha−1 during the 24-year study. The long-term productivity of NT compared favorably with that of MP and CP systems.

  20. Conservation program works as an alternative irrigation districts in sustainable water management of agricultural use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Manuel Peinado Guevara

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Water scarcity is an issue of worldwide concern since it is already having an impact on social development. Mexico is not an exception to this problem because in several regions of the country are great difficulties in supplying water, primarily for agricultural use. In Sinaloa, it had been mentioned repeatedly by the media that in the Irrigation District 063, located in the northern of the state, there are problems of water scarcity, and yet there still exist difficulties in conserving the resource. More than 49% of the water used for agriculture is wasted. To resolve this problem, producers and government agencies spend significant resources for investment in water conservation. However, the results have not been entirely satisfactory because the waste is high, a situation that motivates them to study more deeply the main weaknesses that affect sustainable resource use. Farmer’s participation in the administration of water infrastructure is important, as well as providing financial resources for the conservation of water system; and participation in activities of construction and repaired of water infrastructure. Farmer’s should also plan and design strategies for water conservation. This situation requires an appropriate level of technology and intellectual, rather than local producers and thus no complicated sustainable resource management. That is what local producers don’t have and therefore it complicates the sustainable management of the resource.

  1. Comparison among monitoring strategies to assess water flow dynamic and soil hydraulic properties in agricultural soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Valdes-Abellan

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Irrigated agriculture is usually performed in semi-arid regions despite scarcity of water resources. Therefore, optimal irrigation management by monitoring the soil is essential, and assessing soil hydraulic properties and water flow dynamics is presented as a first measure. For this purpose, the control of volumetric water content, θ, and pressure head, h, is required. This study adopted two types of monitoring strategies in the same experimental plot to control θ and h in the vadose zone: i non-automatic and more time-consuming; ii automatic connected to a datalogger. Water flux was modelled with Hydrus-1D using the data collected from both acquisition strategies independently (3820 daily values for the automatic; less than 1000 for the non-automatic. Goodness-of-fit results reported a better adjustment in case of automatic sensors. Both model outputs adequately predicted the general trend of θ and h, but with slight differences in computed annual drainage (711 mm and 774 mm. Soil hydraulic properties were inversely estimated from both data acquisition systems. Major differences were obtained in the saturated volumetric water content, θs, and the n and α van Genuchten model shape parameters. Saturated hydraulic conductivity, Ks, shown lower variability with a coefficient of variation range from 0.13 to 0.24 for the soil layers defined. Soil hydraulic properties were better assessed through automatic data acquisition as data variability was lower and accuracy was higher.

  2. The role of subsoil properties for phosphorus leaching in agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Andersson, Helena

    2016-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) leaching from agricultural land is a large contributor to eutrophication of many surface waters and the Baltic Sea. Better knowledge of P sorption and release in the subsoil could enable the development of effective mitigation strategies for P leaching. This thesis examined the impact of soil properties on P leaching from four Swedish agricultural soils (two clays, two sands), using intact soil columns extracted with (length 1.05 m) and without (length 0.77 m) topsoil. The role...

  3. Capacitive Sensors and Breakthrough Curves in Automated Irrigation for Water and Soil Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahmy Hussein, Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Shortness of water resources is the dominant criterion that dampens agricultural expansion in Egypt. Ten times population increase was recorded versus twice increase in the cultivated area during the last 100 years. Significant increase in freshwater supply is not expected in the near future. Consequently, a great deal of water-conservation is required to ameliorate water-use efficiency and to protect soils against sodicity under the prevailing arid-zone conditions. Modern irrigation (pivot, drip and sprinkling) was introduced during the last three decades in newly cultivated lands. However, this was done without automated watering. Moreover, dynamic chemical profile data is lacking in the cultivated lands. These current water conditions are behind this work. Two experimental procedures were used for a conjunctive goal of water and soil conservation. The first procedure used the resonance of analog-oscillators (relative permittivity sensors) based on capacitive Frequency Domain Reflectometry, FDR. Commercially available FDR sensors were calibrated for three soil textures, and solenoids were used to automatically turn on and off irrigation pipes in three experimental plots (via low power AC latching-valves on relay solid-state boards connected to sensors; the valve got closed when soil became sufficiently moist near saturation and opened before reaching wilting point as the relay contacts were defined by variable-resistor on board after sensor calibration). This article reports the results of sensor mV readings versus soil-moisture in the linear parts of calibration diagrams, for known moisture contents from wilting point to saturation, fitted as "power-law of dielectric mixing". The results showed close to optimum watering at soil-surface in the nursery beds when the sensors were sampled every 10 minutes to update the relays. This work is planned to extend to different sensors and drippers for soils with field crops / fruit trees to account for aspects of concern

  4. Biodegradation of Mexican Diesel for a bacteria consortium of an agricultural soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biodegradation of diesel in water was done by means of the microorganisms present in an agriculture soil. The kinetics of biodegradation and adsorption of diesel were determined in order to applying the procedure in soil and water resources contaminated with diesel. The methodology and results of biodegradation and adsorption of diesel in synthetic water is presented with a soil characterization. Degradation takes place using the original microorganisms present in the soil but giving nitrogen as nutrient. As oxygen source the hydrogen peroxide was used. The kinetics of diesel volatility is presented too. Kinetics equations for degradation, adsorption and speed constant were determined with the obtained results biodegradation, diesel, agriculture soil, bacterium group

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Nitrogen fertilisation of durum wheat: a case study in Mediterranean area during transition to conservation agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelica Galieni

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogen (N nutrition plays a key role for high yields and quality in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum (Desf. Husn; in Mediterranean environments, data regarding N fertilisation management during the transition phase to conservation agriculture (CA are limited. The aim of this work was to study the effects of N fertiliser forms and rates on yield and some quality traits of durum wheat, during the transition period to CA in Mediterranean areas; moreover, indication on the recommendable N form/rate combinations have been given. Field trials were carried out in south of Italy, during the first two years of transition to CA (from 2010 to 2012 in a durum wheat-based rotation. Following a split-plot design arranged on a randomised complete blocks with three replications, two N forms (main plots - urea and calcium nitrate - and four N rates (sub-plots - 50, 100, 150 and 200 kg N ha–1 - plus an un-fertilised Control, were compared. The following parameters were analysed: grain yield, N-input efficiency, grains protein concentration (GPC, total gluten, gluten fractions and minerals concentration in kernels. Calcium nitrate gave the highest yield (4.48 t ha–1, as predicted by the quadratic model, at 146 kg N ha–1, on average. This was particularly noticeable in 2012, when the distribution of rainfall and temperatures regimes as well as residues’ status could have favoured such N-form. These results were confirmed by the observed higher values of all indices describing N-input efficiency. High GPC values (14.8% were predicted at slightly higher N-rates (173 kg N ha–1, averaging both N forms. In particular, gluten proteins and glutenin/gliadin ratio accrued as the N doses increased, reaching the highest values at 150 kg N ha–1, also positively affecting the quality of durum wheat flour. Iron and zinc concentrations were noticeably increased (38% and 37% on average by N supply, probably due to the enhanced water use efficiency under

  7. Climatic and agricultural drivers of soil erosion in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. Tillage for soil and water conservation in the semi-arid tropics

    OpenAIRE

    Hoogmoed, W. B.

    1999-01-01

    Soil tillage is the manipulation of soil which is generally considered as necessary to obtain optimum growth conditions for a crop. In the same time the resulting modification of soil structure has serious implications for the behaviour of the soil to erosive forces by water and wind. In Chapter 1 an introduction is given to the most important aspects: the objectives of tillage, the conflicting requirements set to tillage, the characteristics of soil and water conservation in the semi-arid tr...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Implementing a soil framework directive in Italy: a contribution from the Italian scientific societies working in agriculture and forestry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobbetti, Marco; Terribile, Fabio; Authors, Other

    2013-04-01

    Soil Thematic Strategy (STS, COM 2006) acknowledge that soil can be considered essentially as a nonrenewable resource and it provides food, biomass, raw materials and many ecosystems functions. STS emphasizes that these functions are often subjected to a series of degradation processes or threats. These include erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, salinisation, floods and landslides. A combination of some of these threats can ultimately lead to desertification, then soil conservation actions are very much required ! Some six years after the adoption of the Soil Thematic Strategy, on 13 February 2012 the European Commission published a policy report on the implementation of the Strategy and ongoing activities (COM(2012) 46). From this report it was rather evident that the road leading to the key issue of producing a Soil Framework Directive it seems still very far and this proposal remains on the EU Council's table. Such important time delay is rather worrying considering that many soil degradation processes, including soil sealing, do not experience any pause. In such scenario, the 19 Italian Scientific Societies working in the field of agriculture and forestry and gathered into the AISSA association decided to activate a series of activities (initiator, organizing, technical, steering committees) in order to produce a proposal for a "Soil Framework Directive". This proposal aims to operate on the Italian scenario where soil issues are governed by the interaction of 3 major (plus many other minor) public bodies namely: Ministry of Agriculture (MIPAF), Ministry of Environment (MATTM) and Administrative regions. AISSA plans to present this proposal to the general public and to politicians sometime in 2013 but it is presented here at EGU 2013 for an open discussion. With this work AISSA aims also to show that scientific societies have to take onboard the third mission of universities and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26498099

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    Sustainable agricultural production relies on soil communities as the main actors in key soil processes necessary to maintain sustainable soil functioning. Soil biodiversity influences soil physical and chemical characteristics and thus the sustainability of crop and agro-ecosystems functioning. Agricultural practices (e.g.: soil tillage, pesticides and fertilizer applications, irrigation) may affects negatively or positively soil biodiversity and abundances by modifying the relationships between organisms in the soil ecosystem. The present study aimed to study the influence of agricultural practices of three crops (potato, onion and maize) under Mediterranean climate conditions on soil macro- and mesofauna during their entire crop cycles. Effects on soil communities were assessed at a higher tier of environmental risk assessment comprising field testing of indigenous edaphic communities in a selected study-site located in a major agriculture region of Central Portugal, Ribatejo e Oeste, neighbouring protected wetlands. A reference site near the agricultural field site was selected as a Control site to compare the terrestrial communities' composition and variation along the crop cycle. The field soil and Control site soil are sandy loam soils. Crops irrigation was performed by center-pivot (automated sprinkler that rotates in a half a circle area) and by sprinklers. Soil macro- and mesofauna were collected at both sites (field and Control) using two methodologies through pitfall trapping and soil sampling. The community of soil macro- and mesofauna of the three crops field varied versus control site along the crops cycles. Main differences were due to arachnids, coleopterans, ants and adult Diptera presence and abundance. The feeding activity of soil fauna between control site and crop areas varied only for potato and onion crops vs. control site but not among crops. Concentration of pesticides residues in soil did not cause apparent negative effects on the soil

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Effects of soil stripping and dressing for decontamination of radioactive materials on soil fertility of agricultural land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farms that were highly contaminated with radioactive materials following the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident were decontaminated by removing topsoil and subsequently dressing with fresh soil. We investigated the chemical properties of soils following such decontamination on farms in Iitate village, Fukushima. The nitrogen content of dressed soil was considerably lower than that of the subsoil that was not stripped for decontamination, as a result of which the amount of dressed soil greatly affected the soil fertility of decontaminated farms. The potassium (K) content of soil differs markedly depending on the type of soil dressing material used; accordingly, the type of soil dressing material affected the soil K content on decontaminated farms. On most of the decontaminated farms where sandy soils were used as the soil dressing material, soil exchangeable K contents were less than 25 mg K2O/100 g, which is the criterion value for inhibiting cesium absorption in rice and soybean cultivation. However, even in the soil dressing material from agricultural land, soil K content after soil dressing was generally lower than that before soil dressing. During fallow management and at the restart of cultivation on decontaminated farms, it is important to know in advance the chemical properties of soil and take the necessary measures based on this information. (author)

  17. Analysis of soil and crop properties for precision agriculture for winter wheat

    OpenAIRE

    Vrindts, Els; Reyniers, Marieke; Darius, Paul; De Baerdemaeker, Jos; Gilot, Marc; Sadaoui, Youssef; Frankinet, Marc; Hanquet, Bernard; Destain, Marie-France

    2003-01-01

    In a precision farming research project financed by the Belgian Ministry of Small Trade and Agriculture, the methods of precision agriculture are tested on grain fields with a view of implementation of precision agriculture methods in Belgian field agriculture. The project encompasses methods for automatic information gathering on soil and crop and analysis of this data for management of within-field variability. Automatic information capturing is combined with traditional data sources of soi...

  18. Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes: challenges and opportunities of coffee agroforests in the Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Claude A; Bhagwat, Shonil A; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Nath, Cheryl D; Nanaya, Konerira M; Kushalappa, Chepudira G; Raghuramulu, Yenugula; Nasi, Robert; Vaast, Philippe

    2010-04-01

    The new approaches advocated by the conservation community to integrate conservation and livelihood development now explicitly address landscape mosaics composed of agricultural and forested land rather than only protected areas and largely intact forests. We refer specifically to a call by Harvey et al. (2008) to develop a new approach based on six strategies to integrate biodiversity conservation with sustainable livelihoods in Mesoamerican landscape mosaics. We examined the applicability of this proposal to the coffee agroforests of the Western Ghats, India. Of the six strategies, only one directly addresses livelihood conditions. Their approach has a clear emphasis on conservation and, as currently formulated risks repeating the failures of past integrated conservation and development projects. It fails to place the aspirations of farmers at the core of the agenda. Thus, although we acknowledge and share the broad vision and many of the ideas proposed by this approach, we urge more balanced priority setting by emphasizing people as much as biodiversity through a careful consideration of local livelihood needs and aspirations. PMID:20028413

  19. Multivariate Analysis of Rangeland Vegetation and Soil Organic Carbon Describes Degradation, Informs Restoration and Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devan Allen McGranahan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural expansion has eliminated a high proportion of native land cover and severely degraded remaining native vegetation. Managers must determine where degradation is severe enough to merit restoration action, and what action, if any, is necessary. We report on grassland degraded by multiple factors, including grazing, soil disturbance, and exotic plant species introduced in response to agriculture management. We use a multivariate method to categorize plant communities by degradation state based on floristic and biophysical degradation associated with historical land use. The variables we associate with degradation include abundance of the invasive cool-season grass, tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix (Scop. Holub; soil organic carbon (SOC; and heavy livestock grazing. Using a series of multivariate analyses (ordination, hierarchical clustering, and multiple regression, we identify patterns in plant community composition and describe floristic degradation states. We found vegetation states to be described largely by vegetation composition associated primarily with tall fescue and secondarily by severe grazing, but not soil organic carbon. Categorizing grasslands by vegetation states helps managers efficiently apply restoration inputs that optimize ecosystem response, so we discuss potential restoration pathways in a state-and-transition model. Reducing stocking rate on grassland where grazing is actively practiced is an important first step that might be sufficient for restoring grassland with high native species richness and minimal degradation from invasive plants. More severe degradation likely requires multiple approaches to reverse degradation. Of these, we recommend restoration of ecological processes and disturbance regimes such as fire and grazing. We suggest old-field grasslands in North America, which are similar to European semi-natural grassland in composition and function, deserve more attention by conservation biologists.

  20. Dynamic edge effects in small mammal communities across a conservation-agricultural interface in Swaziland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary M Hurst

    Full Text Available Across the planet, high-intensity farming has transformed native vegetation into monocultures, decreasing biodiversity on a landscape scale. Yet landscape-scale changes to biodiversity and community structure often emerge from processes operating at local scales. One common process that can explain changes in biodiversity and community structure is the creation of abrupt habitat edges, which, in turn, generate edge effects. Such effects, while incredibly common, can be highly variable across space and time; however, we currently lack a general analytical framework that can adequately capture such spatio-temporal variability. We extend previous approaches for estimating edge effects to a non-linear mixed modeling framework that captures such spatio-temporal heterogeneity and apply it to understand how agricultural land-uses alter wildlife communities. We trapped small mammals along a conservation-agriculture land-use interface extending 375 m into sugarcane plantations and conservation land-uses at three sites during dry and wet seasons in Swaziland, Africa. Sugarcane plantations had significant reductions in species richness and heterogeneity, and showed an increase in community similarity, suggesting a more homogenized small mammal community. Furthermore, our modeling framework identified strong variation in edge effects on communities across sites and seasons. Using small mammals as an indicator, intensive agricultural practices appear to create high-density communities of generalist species while isolating interior species in less than 225 m. These results illustrate how agricultural land-use can reduce diversity across the landscape and that effects can be masked or magnified, depending on local conditions. Taken together, our results emphasize the need to create or retain natural habitat features in agricultural mosaics.

  1. Mapping soil fractal dimension in agricultural fields with GPR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Oleschko

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available We documented that the mapping of the fractal dimension of the backscattered Ground Penetrating Radar traces (Fractal Dimension Mapping, FDM accomplished over heterogeneous agricultural fields gives statistically sound combined information about the spatial distribution of Andosol' dielectric permittivity, volumetric and gravimetric water content, bulk density, and mechanical resistance under seven different management systems. The roughness of the recorded traces was measured in terms of a single number H, the Hurst exponent, which integrates the competitive effects of volumetric water content, pore topology and mechanical resistance in space and time. We showed the suitability to combine the GPR traces fractal analysis with routine geostatistics (kriging in order to map the spatial variation of soil properties by nondestructive techniques and to quantify precisely the differences under contrasting tillage systems. Three experimental plots with zero tillage and 33, 66 and 100% of crop residues imprinted the highest roughness to GPR wiggle traces (mean HR/S=0.15, significantly different to Andosol under conventional tillage (HR/S=0.47.

  2. Radionuclide transfer from soil to agricultural plants: measurements and modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    To assess the internal doses to humans from ingestion of radionuclides present in agricultural products it is necessary to know the main processes which determine the transport of radionuclides in the environment (Russel, 1966; Peterson, 1983; IAEA, 1995). The available data, generally, do not reflect natural conditions, and the mechanisms of translocation and mobility of radionuclides within the soil-plant system are still not fully understood (Coughtrey and Thorne, 1983; Fresquez et a., 1998; Krouglov et al., 1997; Frissel, 1992; Roca and Vallejo, 1995; Desmet et al., 1990). The knowledge of the contributions of direct contamination of plant fruits and of the process of root to fruit transfer can improve the understanding of exposure through ingestion and of the mechanisms determining sorption and translocation. Several studies on the relations among specific activities of various radionuclides in different environmental compartments have been performed in the last decades (Coughtrey and Thorne, 1983; Fresquez et al., 1998; Krouglov et al., 1997; Howard et al., 1995; Strand et al., 1994; Konshin, 1992; Frissel, 1992; Alexakhin and Korneev, 1992; Desmet et al., 1990)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Use of fallout radionuclides to investigate soil erosion on agricultural fields in Morocco

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soil erosion is a major environmental threat to the sustainability and productive capacity of agriculture in Morocco and causes a weighty economical loss for the country. Reliable data about soil erosion are essential in order to evaluate the severity of the problem and to optimize strategies for sustainable crop production. The radioactive tracers constitute an excellent tool in soil erosion investigations and possess many advantages compared to the traditional methods. The aim of this study, under the contract research project - CRP D1.50.08 - supported by IAEA/FAO, is the use of environmental radionuclides; 137Cs, excess 210Pb (210Pbex) and 7Be; to estimate the soil erosion, over spatial and time scales, in one agricultural site 'Merchouh' located in the 'Bouregrag' basin at 60 km south east of Rabat, and to assess the effectiveness of soil conservation methods. Experimental plots have been installed in the study field and the 'no-till' practice with cereals has been used as soil conservation technique. The mean annual precipitation is about 405 mm, with high rainfall from December to March period. The mean temperature is ranged between 10 and 23 deg C. The altitude is about 350 to 400 m. The mean slope and the length of the field are about 17 % and 100 m respectively. Fallout 137Cs and 210Pbex allowed to obtain a retrospective assessment of long-term (45 and 100 yr respectively) rates of soil redistribution while 7Be with short half-life (∼53 days), was used to document short-term of soil erosion associated with individual event or short period. Thus, 7Be permitted to assess erosion on experimental plots under conventional cultivation and 'no till' practices. Estimates of rates loss of erosion or deposition were derived from measurements of loss or gain in the radionuclide inventory relative to the local reference level that represents the radionuclide amount at a stable site. Sampling campaigns were carried out by collecting, along several transects, both

  5. Effects of conservation tillage on water infiltration in two soils in south-eastern Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Bissett, M.J.; G.J. O'Leary

    1996-01-01

    Metadata only record This paper reports on a study in Southeast Australia comparing water infiltration on two soil types (gray cracking clay and sandy loam) under two tillage systems - conservation tillage (zero and sub-soil, residues retained) and conventional tillage (frequently tined tillage, no surface residues). The objective of the study is to determine if conservation tillage increases the water infiltration rate on two different soils, with the hope of better explaining the mechani...

  6. Legislation on The Protection of Agricultural Land in the context of the implementation of the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection in Slovak Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Palšová Lucia

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Protecting the qualitative aspect of the agricultural land is in the interest of European Union policies and Slovakia as well. The EU adopted in 2006 a Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection to ensure protection and sustainable use of land, including agricultural land. The aim of this paper is to analyze and evaluate legislation protecting agricultural land in the context of the implementation of the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection in Slovakia. The basic legislation for the protection of agricultural land in Slovakia is the Act No. 220/2004 Coll. on the conservation and use of agricultural land and amending Act No. 245/2003 Coll. concerning integrated pollution prevention and control and amending certain laws, as amended, which provides a basic framework for conservation of the agricultural land. In terms of preserving, agricultural land has significant importance in the Common Agricultural Policy -pillar I and II which stipulate cross-compliance requirements, requirements for agri-environmental measures for applicants for single area payment scheme, for applicants for support under agri-environmental measures respectively.

  7. Conserving energy in smallholder agriculture. A multi-objective programming case-study of northwest India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thankappan, Samarthia [Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society, Cardiff University, CF10 3AT (United Kingdom); Midmore, Peter [School of Management and Business, The University of Wales Aberystwyth, SY23 3DD (United Kingdom); Jenkins, Tim [Institute of Rural Studies, The University of Wales Aberystwyth, SY23 3AL (United Kingdom)

    2006-02-15

    In semi-arid conditions in Northwest India, smallholder agriculture has made increasing use of subsidised mechanisation and energy inputs to reduce short-term risks. However, detrimental environmental consequences have occurred, not least a rapidly falling water table, and energy-intensive production is threatened by the prospect of increasing scarcity and expense of energy supplies, especially as urban demands are forecast to grow rapidly. This paper describes the energy flows through four subsystems of smallholder agricultural villages: the crop system; non-crop land uses; livestock systems; and households. It employs a multi-objective programming model to demonstrate choices available for maximands either of net solar energy capture or financial surpluses. Applied to three villages selected to represent major settlement types in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, the results demonstrate that both energy conservation and financial performance can be improved. Although these results need qualifying because of the reductionist, linear character of the model used, they do provide important insights into the cultural role of mechanisation and the influence of traditional agricultural practices. They also underline the need for local energy conservation strategies as part of an overall approach to improved self-determination in progress towards rural sustainability. (author)

  8. Conserving energy in smallholder agriculture. A multi-objective programming case-study of northwest India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In semi-arid conditions in Northwest India, smallholder agriculture has made increasing use of subsidised mechanisation and energy inputs to reduce short-term risks. However, detrimental environmental consequences have occurred, not least a rapidly falling water table, and energy-intensive production is threatened by the prospect of increasing scarcity and expense of energy supplies, especially as urban demands are forecast to grow rapidly. This paper describes the energy flows through four subsystems of smallholder agricultural villages: the crop system; non-crop land uses; livestock systems; and households. It employs a multi-objective programming model to demonstrate choices available for maximands either of net solar energy capture or financial surpluses. Applied to three villages selected to represent major settlement types in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, the results demonstrate that both energy conservation and financial performance can be improved. Although these results need qualifying because of the reductionist, linear character of the model used, they do provide important insights into the cultural role of mechanisation and the influence of traditional agricultural practices. They also underline the need for local energy conservation strategies as part of an overall approach to improved self-determination in progress towards rural sustainability. (author)

  9. Irrigation System by Tailwater Recovery on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 447

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP447), Irrigation...

  10. Irrigation Water Conveyance by Pipelines on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 430

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP430), Irrigation...

  11. Irrigation Water Management Recovery on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 449

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP449), Irrigation...

  12. Irrigation Canals or Laterals on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 320

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP320), Irrigation...

  13. Gravity and Pressure Irrigation on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice IT03

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CPIT03), Gravity...

  14. Irrigation Land Leveling on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 464

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP464), Irrigation...

  15. Subsurface Drains on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 606

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP606), Subsurface...

  16. Surface Drainage, Field Ditches on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 607

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP607), Surface...

  17. Terrace Farming on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 600

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP600), Terrace...

  18. Contour Farming on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 330

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP330), Contour...

  19. Pressure Irrigation on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice IT02

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CPIT02), Pressure...

  20. Biochar Effect on Maize Yield and Soil Characteristics in Five Conservation Farming Sites in Zambia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Obia

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Biochar addition to agricultural soils can improve soil fertility, with the added bonus of climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. Conservation farming (CF is precision farming, often combining minimum tillage, crop rotation and residue retention. In the present farmer-led field trials carried out in Zambia, the use of a low dosage biochar combined with CF minimum tillage was tested as a way to increase crop yields. Using CF minimum tillage allows the biochar to be applied to the area where most of the plant roots are present and mirrors the fertilizer application in CF practices. The CF practice used comprised manually hoe-dug planting 10-L sized basins, where 10%–12% of the land was tilled. Pilot trials were performed with maize cob biochar and wood biochar on five soils with variable physical/chemical characteristics. At a dosage as low as 4 tons/ha, both biochars had a strong positive effect on maize yields in the coarse white aeolian sand of Kaoma, West-Zambia, with yields of 444% ± 114% (p = 0.06 and 352% ± 139% (p = 0.1 of the fertilized reference plots for maize and wood biochar, respectively. Thus for sandy acidic soils, CF and biochar amendment can be a promising combination for increasing harvest yield. Moderate but non-significant effects on yields were observed for maize and wood biochar in a red sandy clay loam ultisol east of Lusaka, central Zambia (University of Zambia, UNZA, site with growth of 142% ± 42% (p > 0.2 and 131% ± 62% (p > 0.2 of fertilized reference plots, respectively. For three other soils (acidic and neutral clay loams and silty clay with variable cation exchange capacity, CEC, no significant effects on maize yields were observed (p > 0.2. In laboratory trials, 5% of the two biochars were added to the soil samples in order to study the effect of the biochar on physical and chemical soil characteristics. The large increase in crop yield in Kaoma soil was tentatively explained by a combination

  1. Evaluation for Water Conservation in Agriculture: Using a Multi-Method Econometric Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, A.; Eaton, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    Since the 1960's, farmers have implemented new irrigation technology to increase crop production and planting acreage. At that time, technology responded to the increasing demand for food due to world population growth. Currently, the problem of decreased water supply threatens to limit agricultural production. Uncertain precipitation patterns, from prolonged droughts to irregular rains, will continue to hamper planting operations, and farmers are further limited by an increased competition for water from rapidly growing urban areas. Irrigation technology promises to reduce water usage while maintaining or increasing farm yields. The challenge for water managers and policy makers is to quantify and redistribute these efficiency gains as a source of 'new water.' Using conservation in farming as a source of 'new water' requires accurately quantifying the efficiency gains of irrigation technology under farmers' actual operations and practices. From a water resource management and policy perspective, the efficiency gains from conservation in farming can be redistributed to municipal, industrial and recreational uses. This paper presents a methodology that water resource managers can use to statistically verify the water savings attributable to conservation technology. The specific conservation technology examined in this study is precision leveling, and the study includes a mixed-methods approach using four different econometric models: Ordinary Least Squares, Fixed Effects, Propensity Score Matching, and Hierarchical Linear Models. These methods are used for ex-post program evaluation where random assignment is not possible, and they could be employed to evaluate agricultural conservation programs, where participation is often self-selected. The principal method taken in this approach is Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM), a useful model for agriculture because it incorporates the hierarchical nature of the data (fields, tenants, and landowners) as well as crop rotation

  2. Assessing and managing soil quality for sustainable agricultural systems

    OpenAIRE

    Jintaridth, B.

    2008-01-01

    This presentation was compiled as a class project presented at the Graduate seminar in the Soils department at the University of Missouri-Columbia. It sets forth the importance of monitoring soil quality and reducing soil degradation and erosion in the global context. The presentation also describes the basics of good soil quality and how these may be quantified.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26993667

  4. Measuring Soil Water Potential for Water Management in Agriculture: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Bittelli

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Soil water potential is a soil property affecting a large variety of bio-physical processes, such as seed germination, plant growth and plant nutrition. Gradients in soil water potential are the driving forces of water movement, affecting water infiltration, redistribution, percolation, evaporation and plants’ transpiration. The total soil water potential is given by the sum of gravity, matric, osmotic and hydrostatic potential. The quantification of the soil water potential is necessary for a variety of applications both in agricultural and horticultural systems such as optimization of irrigation volumes and fertilization. In recent decades, a large number of experimental methods have been developed to measure the soil water potential, and a large body of knowledge is now available on theory and applications. In this review, the main techniques used to measure the soil water potential are discussed. Subsequently, some examples are provided where the measurement of soil water potential is utilized for a sustainable use of water resources in agriculture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Exploitation of soil biota ecosystem services in agriculture: a bioeconomic approach.

    OpenAIRE

    Foudi, Sébastien

    2012-01-01

    This paper analyzes the interactions between soil biota and agricultural practices in the exploitation of soil ecosystem services. A theoretical bioeconomic model stylized this set of interactions and combined a production function approach with optimal control theory. In the model, a farmer decides his optimal use of external input and land use given that (i) land uses modify soil biota composition, (ii) the external input reduces soil biota population. The results show how the combination o...

  9. Atmospheric Deposition Effects on Agricultural Soil Acidification State — Key Study: Krupanj Municipality

    OpenAIRE

    Čakmak Dragan; Beloica Jelena; Perović Veljko; Kadović Ratko; Mrvić Vesna; Knežević Jasmina; Belanović Snežana

    2014-01-01

    Acidification, as a form of soil degradation is a process that leads to permanent reduction in the quality of soil as the most important natural resource. The process of soil acidification, which in the first place implies a reduction in soil pH, can be caused by natural processes, but also considerably accelerated by the anthropogenic influence of excessive S and N emissions, uncontrolled deforestation, and intensive agricultural processes. Critical loads, i.e. the upper limit of harmful dep...

  10. Distribution of tetraether lipids in agricultural soils – differentiation between paddy and upland management

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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, bu...

  11. Evaluation on Heavy Metal Pollution of Soil in Pollution-free Agricultural Product Bases in Guangxi

    OpenAIRE

    DENG, Minjun; Luo, Yan

    2014-01-01

    Using data of 6 pollution-free agricultural product bases in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, this paper analyzed content of heavy metals, including arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and chromium (Cr) in soil. After Pb, Cd, Cr, Hg and As content in soil is determined, it evaluated the pollution of soil using single factor pollution index method and Nemerow synthetic pollution index method in combination with evaluation standard of heavy metals in soil and grading standard ...

  12. Development of a New Zealand SedNet model for assessment of catchment-wide soil-conservation works

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dymond, John R.; Herzig, Alexander; Basher, Les; Betts, Harley D.; Marden, Mike; Phillips, Chris J.; Ausseil, Anne-Gaelle E.; Palmer, David J.; Clark, Maree; Roygard, Jon

    2016-03-01

    Much hill country in New Zealand has been converted from indigenous forest to pastoral agriculture, resulting in increased soil erosion. Following a severe storm that hit the Manawatu-Wanaganui region in 2004 and caused 62,000 landslides, the Horizons Regional Council have implemented the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI), a programme of widespread soil conservation. We have developed a New Zealand version (SedNetNZ) of the Australian SedNet model to evaluate the impact of the SLUI programme in the 5850 km2 Manawatu catchment. SedNetNZ spatially distributes budgets of fine sediment in the landscape. It incorporates landslide, gully, earthflow erosion, surficial erosion, bank erosion, and flood-plain deposition, the important forms of soil erosion in New Zealand. Modelled suspended sediment loads compared well with measured suspended sediment loads with an R2 value of 0.85 after log transformation. A sensitivity analysis gave the uncertainty of estimated suspended sediment loads to be approximately plus or minus 50% (at the 95% confidence level). It is expected that by 2040, suspended sediment loads in targeted water management zones will decrease by about 40%. The expected decrease for the whole catchment is 34%. The expected reduction is due to maturity of tree planting on land at risk to soil erosion. The 34% reduction represents an annual rate of return of 20% on 20 million NZ of investment on soil conservation works through avoided damage to property and infrastructure and avoided clean-up costs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:24611988

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Sulphur biochemistry in agricultural managed soils using 34S

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    To gain a better understanding of sulphur transformation within soil, stable sulphur and oxygen isotopes were used. Four soils with different histories of fertilizing were studied under field conditions to observe the influence of fertilizing on the isotopic composition of different sulphur forms in soils. In laboratory experiments the behaviour of these soils observed under sulphur deficiency and sulphate fertilization conditions was investigated. The natural sulphur isotopic composition of inorganic sulphate in the four soils shows a difference with respect to organic sulphur in soil and precipitation sulphate which is attributed to fractionation during transformation processes. Mineralization was recognized as a biochemical process which affects the 18O content of sulphate. The irrigation experiment showed that sulphate is mineralized at different rates, depending upon the content of soil organic matter (SOM). Whereas in soils with high SOM mineralization is the predominant mechanism, in soils with low SOM sulphate can be immobilized. (author). 11 refs, 2 figs, 2 tabs

  16. Chapter 5. Radioactivity of soil and its connection with mechanical structure and chemical composition of soil as well as with used agricultural-technical and agricultural-chemical procedures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This is a chapter of textbook of radioecology for university students. In this chapter authors deal with radioactivity of soil and its connection with mechanical structure and chemical composition of soil as well as with used agricultural-technical and agricultural-chemical procedures. Chapter consists of next parts: (1) Natural radioactivity of soil; (2) Radioactive contamination of soil. (3) Connection with mechanical structure and radioactive contamination; (4) Connection with chemical composition of soil and radioactive contamination; (5) Influence of agricultural-technical and agricultural-chemical procedures on radioactivity of soil

  17. Constructing community fuzzy cognitive maps to promote adoption of conservation agricultural production practices

    OpenAIRE

    Halbrendt, Jacqueline; Chan-Halbrendt, Catherine; Shariq, L.; Gray, S.; Lai, Cynthia

    2011-01-01

    FCM was used to identify and map the factors involved in decision-making regarding the adoption of conservation agricultural practices in three villages in Central Nepal. Face-to-face interviews with farmers were conducted to develop an initial list of relevant factors, followed by extensive surveys conducted with both farmers and in-country NGO staff and researchers to develop the “mental models” used by these groups to guide decision-making. Mental models of the groups were quantitatively c...

  18. Behaviour of cesium in contaminated soils with and without agricultural practices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The migration of cesium into affected agricultural soils, five years after the Chernobyl accident, is examined in this study. Samples of soil were taken from an undisturbed non-cultivated rural area in the north of Greece, where an important contamination has been detected. The migration of 137Cs into these soils was measured by γ spectrometry. Slight movement of 137Cs was observed during the five year period following the accident. The agricultural practices, used in this area from 1986 up to now, have diluted the contamination into the 0-40 cm horizon and thus only low concentration of cesium in the cultivated soils was detected. (orig.)

  19. The Role of Biochar in Ameliorating Disturbed Soils and Sequestering Soil Carbon in Tropical Agricultural Production Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Wolde Mekuria; Andrew Noble

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural soils in the tropics have undergone significant declines in their native carbon stock through the long-term use of extractive farming practices. However, these soils have significant capacity to sequester CO2 through the implementation of improved land management practices. This paper reviews the published and grey literature related to the influence of improved land management practices on soil carbon stock in the tropics. The review suggests that the implementation of improved ...

  20. A conservation ontology and knowledge base to support delivery of technical assistance to agricultural producers in the united states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information systems supporting the delivery of conservation technical assistance by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to agricultural producers on working lands have become increasingly complex over the past 25 years. They are constrained by inconsistent coordination of domain knowl...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:21862101

  2. Assessment and mapping of environmental quality in agricultural soils of Zhejiang Province,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENG Jie-liang; SHI Zhou; ZHU You-wei

    2007-01-01

    Heavy metal concentrations in agricultural soils of Zhejiang Province were monitored to indicate the status of heavy metal contamination and assess environmental quality of agricultural soils. A total of 908 soil samples were collected from 38 counties in Zhejiang Province and eight heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg, Cu, Zn, Ni and As) concentrations had been evaluated in agricultural soil. It was found 775 samples were unpolluted and 133 samples were slightly polluted and more respectively, that is about 14.65% agricultural soil samples had the heavy metal concentration above the threshold level in this province by means of Nemerow's synthetical pollution index method according to the second grade of Standards for Soil Environmental Quality of China (GB15618-1995). Contamination of Cd was the highest, followed by Pb, As and Hg were lower correspondingly. Moreover, Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation method was used to make an assessment map of soil environmental quality based on the Nemerow's pollution index and the soil environmental quality was categorized into five grades. Moreover, ten indices were calculated as input parameters for Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the principal components (PCs) were created to compare environmental quality of different soils and regions. The results revealed that environmental quality of tea soils was better than that of paddy soils, vegetable soils and fruit soils. This study indicated that GIS combined with multivariate statistical approaches proved to be effective and powerful tool in the mapping of soil contaminations distribution and the assessment of soil environmental quality on provincial scale, which is benefited to environmental protection and management decision-making by local government.

  3. Biodegradability of pharmaceutical compounds in agricultural soils irrigated with treated wastewater

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pharmaceutical compounds (PCs) are introduced into agricultural soils via irrigation with treated wastewater (TWW). Our data show that carbamazepine, lamotrigine, caffeine, metoprolol, sulfamethoxazole and sildenafil are persistent in soils when introduced via TWW. However, other PCs, namely diclofenac, ibuprofen, bezafibrate, gemfibrozil and naproxen were not detected in soils when introduced via TWW. This is likely due to rapid degradation as confirmed in our microcosm studies where they exhibited half-lives (t1/2) between 0.2–9.5 days when soils were spiked at 50 ng/g soil and between 3 and 68 days when soils were spiked at 5000 ng/g soil. The degradation rate and extent of PCs observed in microcosm studies were similar in soils that had been previously irrigated with TWW or fresh water. This suggests that pre-exposure of the soils to PCs via irrigation with TWW does not enhance their biodegradation. This suggests that PCs are probably degraded in soils via co-metabolism. Highlights: • Some pharmaceuticals are highly persistent in arable soils. • Weak acid pharmaceuticals are readily degradable in agricultural soils. • Irrigation with treated wastewater does not enhance degradation of pharmaceuticals. • Degradation of pharmaceuticals in soil is probably occurred via co-metabolism. -- Some pharmaceutical compounds are persistent in arable soils when introduced via irrigation with treated wastewater

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. A micro focus with macro impact: Exploration of initial abstraction coefficient ratio (λ) in Soil Conservation Curve Number (CN) methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Researchers started to cross examine United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Soil Conservation Services (SCS) Curve Number (CN) methodology after the technique produced inconsistent results throughout the world. More field data from recent decades were leaning against the assumption of the initial abstraction coefficient ratio value proposed by SCS in 1954. Physiographic conditions were identified as vital influencing factors to be considered under this methodology while practitioners of this method are encouraged to validate and derive regional specific relationship and employ the method with caution

  6. EnviroAtlas - Percent Agriculture on Hydric Soil for the Conterminous United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This EnviroAtlas dataset contains data on Agricultural Land Coverage on Hydric Soils for each Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) 12-Digit Hydrologic Unit Code...

  7. Improved Biodegradation of 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene by Adapted Microorganisms in Agricultural Soil and in Soil Suspension Cultures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SONG Yang; WANG Fang; F. O. KENGARA; BIAN Yong-Rong; YANG Xing-Lun; LIU Cui-Ying; JIANG Xin

    2011-01-01

    Inoculating soil with an adapted microbial community is a more effective bioaugrnentation approach than inoculation with pure strains in bioremediation.However,information on the potential of different inocula from sites with varying contamination levels and pollution histories in soil remediation is lacking.The objective of the study was to investigate the potential of adapted microorganisms in soil inocula,with different contamination levels and pollution histories,to degrade 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TCB).Three different soils from chlorobenzene-contaminated sites were inoculated into agricultural soils and soil suspension cultures spiked with 1,2,4-TCB.The results showed that 36.52% of the initially applied 1,2,4-TCB was present in the non-inoculated soil,whereas about 19.00% of 1,2,4-TCB was present in the agricultural soils inoculated with contaminated soils after 28 days of incubation.The soils inoculated with adapted microbial biomass (in the soil inocula) showed higher respiration and lower 1,2,4-TCB volatilization than the non-inoculated soils,suggesting the existence of 1,2,4-TCB adapted degraders in the contaminated soils used for inoculation.It was further confirmed in the contaminated soil suspension cultures that the concentration of inorganic chloride ions increased continuously over the entire experimental period.Higher contamination of the inocula led not only to higher degradation potential but also to higher residue formation.However,even inocula of low-level contamination were effective in enhancing the degradation of 1,2,4-TCB.Therefore,applying adapted microorganisms in the form of soil inocula,especially with lower contamination levels,could be an effective and environment-friendly strategy for soil remediation.

  8. Conservation of invertebrates' biodiversity in soils of the Republic of Moldova

    OpenAIRE

    Senicovscaia, Irina

    2013-01-01

    The role of invertebrates and their contribution in functioning of soils is considered. The edaphic fauna of zonal untouched soils in natural ecosystems located in the different zones of the Republic of Moldova has been investigated. Soils of the natural ecosystems are the habitat and the source of the conservation and reproduction of the edaphic fauna. They represent themselves the standards of the biodiversity for soil invertebrates. The database of the invertebrates’ diversity of virgin an...

  9. Assessing the habitat conservation status by soil parameters and plant ecoindicators

    OpenAIRE

    Sicuriello F; De Nicola C; Dowgiallo G; Testi A

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the conservation status of a Natural Reserve through an integrated approach analysing simultaneously soils, lithotypes, land forms, edaphic parameters and plant species. In focusing the relationships between soil and vegetation, plant ecoindicators, expressed by i) the Ellenberg bioindication model and by ii) the Hemeroby Index, and soil measured parameters were utilized.Vegetation and soil data have been collected simultaneously through thirty vegetation ...

  10. Biochar amendment and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Case, Sean

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of biochar amendment on soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to elucidate the mechanisms behind these effects. I investigated the suppression of soil carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in a bioenergy and arable crop soil, at a range of temperatures and with or without wetting/drying cycles. More detailed investigation on the underlying mechanisms focused on soil N2O emissions. I tested how biochar alter...

  11. Study on the Value of Forest to Conserve Soil and Water in Beijing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Forest has a strongfunction in storing water, conserving soil and protecting farmland. In the study, based on fleld management and survey, these effects of forest in Beijing were determined and quantified. According to the principles and methodology of environment economics, the values of forest to conserve soil and water were accounted. The result shows that the total value of forest to conserve soil and water in Beijing is as much as 1129.58×10~8 yuan, in which the value of water storage is 1107.92×10...

  12. Cadmium contamination of agricultural soils and crops resulting from sphalerite weathering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biogeochemistry and bioavailability of cadmium, released during sphalerite weathering in soils, were investigated under contrasting agricultural scenarios to assess health risks associated with sphalerite dust transport to productive soils from mining. Laboratory experiments (365 d) on temperate and sub-tropical soils amended with sphalerite (−1). Wheat grown in spiked temperate soil accumulated ≈38% (29 μmol kg−1) of the liberated Cd, exceeding food safety limits. In contrast, rice grown in flooded sub-tropical soil accumulated far less Cd (0.60 μmol kg−1) due to neutral soil pH and Cd bioavailability was possibly also controlled by secondary sulfide formation. The results demonstrate long-term release of Cd to soil porewaters during sphalerite weathering. Under oxic conditions, Cd may be sufficiently bioavailable to contaminate crops destined for human consumption; however flooded rice production limits the impact of sphalerite contamination. -- Highlights: • Sphalerite containing cadmium presents a hazard when present in agricultural soils. • Sphalerite dissolution was slow (0.6–1.2% y−1) but constant in contrasting soils. • Cadmium was released during dissolution and was bioavailable to wheat and rice. • Wheat grains accumulated potentially harmful cadmium concentrations. • Flooded paddy (reducing) soils reduced cadmium bioavailability to rice. -- Sphalerite dissolves steadily in oxic agricultural soils and can release highly bioavailable Cd, which may contaminate food crops destined for human consumption

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Estimation of PCB content in agricultural soils associated with long-term fertilization with organic waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antolín-Rodríguez, Juan M; Sánchez-Báscones, Mercedes; Martín-Ramos, Pablo; Bravo-Sánchez, Carmen T; Martín-Gil, Jesús

    2016-06-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollution related to the use of organic waste as fertilizers in agricultural soils is a cause of major concern. In the study presented herein, PCB concentration was studied through a field trial conducted in two agricultural soils in the province of Palencia (Spain) over a 4-year period, assessing the impact of irrigation and of different types of organic waste materials. The amounts of organic waste added to the soil were calculated according to the nitrogen needs of the crop, and the concentration of PCBs was determined before and after the application of the organic waste. The resulting persistence of the total PCB content in the agricultural soils, compared with the PCB concentration in the original soils, ranged from 27% to 90%, with the lowest value corresponding to irrigated soils treated with municipal solid waste compost (MSWC) and the highest value to non-irrigated soils treated with composted sewage sludge (CSS). An estimate of the PCB content in agricultural soils after the application of organic waste materials until year 2050 was obtained, resulting in a value below 5 ng·g(-1), considered a background value for soils in sites far away from potential pollution sources. PMID:26983809

  15. Integrating Federal and State data records to report progress in establishing agricultural conservation practices on Chesapeake Bay farms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hively, W. Dean; Devereux, Olivia H.; Claggett, Peter

    2013-01-01

    In response to the Executive Order for Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration (E.O. #13508, May 12, 2009), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) took on the task of acquiring and assessing agricultural conservation practice data records for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, and transferred those datasets in aggregated format to State jurisdictional agencies for use in reporting conservation progress to the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership (CBP Partnership). Under the guidelines and regulations that have been developed to protect and restore water-quality in the Chesapeake Bay, the six State jurisdictions that fall within the Chesapeake Bay watershed are required to report their progress in promoting agricultural conservation practices to the CBP Partnership on an annual basis. The installation and adoption of agricultural best management practices is supported by technical and financial assistance from both Federal and State conservation programs. The farm enrollment data for USDA conservation programs are confidential, but agencies can obtain access to the privacy-protected data if they are established as USDA Conservation Cooperators. The datasets can also be released to the public if they are first aggregated to protect farmer privacy. In 2012, the USGS used its Conservation Cooperator status to obtain implementation data for conservation programs sponsored by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) for farms within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Three jurisdictions (Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) used the USGS-provided aggregated dataset to report conservation progress in 2012, whereas the remaining three jurisdictions (Maryland, New York, and Virginia) used jurisdictional Conservation Cooperator Agreements to obtain privacy-protected data directly from the USDA. This report reviews the status of conservation data sharing between the USDA and the various jurisdictions, discusses the

  16. BEHAVIOR OF THE NON-SELECTIVE HERBICIDE GLYPHOSATE IN AGRICULTURAL SOIL

    OpenAIRE

    Abdul Jabbar Al-Rajab; Othman M. Hakami

    2014-01-01

    Glyphosate [N-phosphonomethyl]glycine is a systematic, non-selective, organophosphorus herbicide used worldwide in agriculture and industrial zones. Following its application, residues of glyphosate can threaten soil or aquatic organisms in adjacent water. In this study, we followed the degradation, stabilization, remobilization and leaching of 14C-glyphosate in three agricultural soils in laboratory incubations and in lysimeters under field condition...

  17. Contents of metals Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu in Agricultural Soils of Zagreb and Its Surroundings

    OpenAIRE

    Marija Romić; D. Romić

    1998-01-01

    In the area of 540 km2 belonging to the County of Zagreb, 280 samples of surface soil layer were taken on agricultural land intended for different purposes and under different utilization intensity. After aqua regia extraction, samples were analyzed for the contents of lead, cadmium, zinc and copper. More then 13,000 ha of agricultural land are situated in a specially sensitive water protection area. According to the geomorphological characteristics and participation of soil types, three regi...

  18. Microbial biomass and size-density factions differ between soils of organic and conventional agricultural systems

    OpenAIRE

    Fliessbach, Andreas; Mäder, Paul

    2000-01-01

    Agricultural production systems have to combine management practices in order to sustain soil quality and also pro®tability. We investigated microbial biomass and size-density fractions of soils from a long-term field trial set up in 1978 at Therwil, Switzerland. It compares the economic and ecological performance of organic and conventional agricultural systems. Main differences of the systems were the amount and form of fertiliser as well as the plant protection strategy, whilst crop rotati...

  19. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac is readily biodegradable in agricultural soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Rajab, Abdul Jabbar; Sabourin, Lyne [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON, Canada N5V 4T3 (Canada); Lapen, David R. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa ON, Canada K1A 0C6 (Canada); Topp, Edward, E-mail: ed.topp@agr.gc.ca [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON, Canada N5V 4T3 (Canada)

    2010-12-01

    Diclofenac, 2-[2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino]phenyl]acetic acid, is an important non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug widely used for human and animals to reduce inflammation and pain. Diclofenac could potentially reach agricultural lands through the application of municipal biosolids or wastewater, and in the absence of any environmental fate data, we evaluated its persistence in agricultural soils incubated in the laboratory. {sup 14}C-Diclofenac was rapidly mineralized without a lag when added to soils varying widely in texture (sandy loam, loam, clay loam). Over a range of temperature and moisture conditions extractable {sup 14}C-diclofenac residues decreased with half lives < 5 days. No extractable transformation products were detectable by HPLC. Diclofenac mineralization in the loam soil was abolished by heat sterilization. Addition of biosolids to sterile or non-sterile soil did not accelerate the dissipation of diclofenac. These findings indicate that diclofenac is readily biodegradable in agricultural soils.

  20. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac is readily biodegradable in agricultural soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diclofenac, 2-[2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino]phenyl]acetic acid, is an important non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug widely used for human and animals to reduce inflammation and pain. Diclofenac could potentially reach agricultural lands through the application of municipal biosolids or wastewater, and in the absence of any environmental fate data, we evaluated its persistence in agricultural soils incubated in the laboratory. 14C-Diclofenac was rapidly mineralized without a lag when added to soils varying widely in texture (sandy loam, loam, clay loam). Over a range of temperature and moisture conditions extractable 14C-diclofenac residues decreased with half lives < 5 days. No extractable transformation products were detectable by HPLC. Diclofenac mineralization in the loam soil was abolished by heat sterilization. Addition of biosolids to sterile or non-sterile soil did not accelerate the dissipation of diclofenac. These findings indicate that diclofenac is readily biodegradable in agricultural soils.

  1. Mineralization of soil organic matter in biochar amended agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chintala, R.; Clay, D. E.; Schumacher, T. E.; Kumar, S.; Malo, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    Pyrogenic biochar materials have been identified as a promising soil amendment to enhance climate resilience, increase soil carbon recalcitrance and achieve sustainable crop production. A three year field study was initiated in 2013 to study the impact of biochar on soil carbon and nitrogen storage on an eroded Maddock soil series - Sandy, Mixed, Frigid Entic Hapludolls) and deposition Brookings clay loam (Fine-Silty, Mixed, Superactive, Frigid Pachic Hapludolls) landscape positions. Three biochars produced from corn stover (Zea mays L.), Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson and C. Lawson) wood residue, and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) were incorporated at 9.75 Mg ha-1 rate (≈7.5 cm soil depth and 1.3 g/cm3 soil bulk density) with a rototiller. The changes in chemical fractionation of soil carbon (soluble C, acid hydrolyzable C, total C, and δ13 C) and nitrogen (soluble N, acid hydrolyzable N, total N, and δ14 N) were monitored for two soil depths (0-7.5 and 7.5 - 15 cm). Soluble and acid hydrolyzable fractions of soil C and N were influenced by soil series and were not significantly affected by incorporation of biochars. Based on soil and plant samples to be collected in the fall of 2015, C and N budgets are being developed using isotopic and non-isotopic techniques. Laboratory studies showed that the mean residence time for biochars used in this study ranged from 400 to 666 years. Laboratory and field studies will be compared in the presentation.

  2. Degradation of zearalenone and ochratoxin A in three Danish agricultural soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, G.K.; Strobel, B.W.; Hansen, H.C.B.

    2006-01-01

    Degradation of two mycotoxins: zearalenone (ZON) produced by species of Fusarium and ochratoxin A (OTA) produced by species of Penicillium were followed in pot experiments using agricultural topsoils from Danish experimental farms: a sandy soil, a sandy clay soil and a gyttja soil with a high...... content of silt. Experiments with unplanted soil and pots planted with barley were included. Soil samples were withdrawn during a period of 225 days and analysed for the content of OTA and ZON. The degradation of both toxins consisted of an initial fast degradation followed by a slower transformation step...... 11 days, whereas the half-lives for OTA were about 0.2-1 day. The slowest degradation was measured in soil rich in clay. After 225 days, neither OTA nor ZON was detected in any of the soil types. Generally, the degradation of ZON and OTA was faster in planted soil than in unplanted soil, probably due...

  3. Soil organic carbon as a factor in passive microwave retrievals of soil water content over agricultural croplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manns, Hida R.; Berg, Aaron A.; Colliander, Andreas

    2015-09-01

    Remote sensing has the potential to deliver global soil water content (SWC) on vast scales with frequent revisit times for progress in the fields of climate, weather forecasting, agriculture and hydrology. Although surface roughness, vegetation and soil texture have been established as sources of variability in passive microwave interpretation, soil organic carbon (SOC) has not typically been considered as a factor that affects SWC estimation during field sampling campaigns. SOC was observed along with soil texture and bulk density during the Soil Moisture Active Passive Validation Experiment in 2012 (SMAPVEX12), the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite algorithm development field sampling campaign held June 6 to July 19 in Southern Manitoba, Canada. Aerial measurements from the PALS (Passive Active L-band System) instrument were recorded over agricultural fields and forest areas from aircraft while SWC was measured simultaneously on the ground with resistance probes on 17 sampling dates. Additionally, fields were sampled for surface roughness, vegetation growth and water content, soil and vegetation temperature and soil physical characteristics. A soil core was collected on each field each sampling time to assess bulk density, soil particle size and SOC. SOC accounted for more variability in the anomalies between PALS and ground sampled SWC than sand, clay or bulk density, although all soil variables explained significant variability. With analysis by partial least squares multiple regression over 11 sampling dates and 39 fields where both ground and PALS data were well represented, only SOC contributed significantly to the regression of SWC beyond the variance all soil variables had in common. The significance of SOC in the relative SWC anomalies was highest in very wet and very dry conditions and in loam soil over all sampling dates, while bulk density was more significant in sand soils. This analysis suggests SOC is a simple variable that incorporates

  4. Comparison of some quality properties of soils around land-mined areas and adjacent agricultural fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozturkmen, Ali Rıza; Kavdir, Yasemin

    2012-03-01

    When agricultural lands are no longer used for agriculture and allowed to recover its natural vegetation, soil organic carbon can accumulate in the soil. Measurements of soil organic carbon and aggregate stability changes under various forms of land use are needed for the development of sustainable systems. Therefore, comparison of soil samples taken from both agricultural and nearby area close to land-mined fields where no agricultural practices have been done since 1956 can be a good approach to evaluate the effects of tillage and agriculture on soil quality. The objective of this study was to compare tillage, cropping and no tillage effects on some soil-quality parameters. Four different locations along the Turkey-Syria border were selected to determine effects of tillage and cropping on soil quality. Each location was evaluated separately because of different soil type and treatments. Comparisons were made between non-tilled and non-cropped fallow since 1956 and adjacent restricted lands that were tilled about every 2 years but not planted (T) or adjacent lands tilled and planted with wheat and lentil (P). Three samples were taken from the depths of 0-20 and 20-40 cm each site. Soil organic carbon (SOC), pH ,electrical conductivity, water soluble Ca(++), Mg(++), CO₃⁻² and HCO₃⁻, extractable potassium (K(+)) and sodium (Na(+)), soil texture, ammonium (NH₄⁺-N) and nitrate (NO(3)-N), extractable phosphorous and soil aggregate stability were determined. While the SOC contents of continuous tillage without cropping and continuous tillage and cropping were 2.2 and 11.6 g kg(-1), respectively, it was 30 g kg(-1) in non-tilled and non-planted site. Tillage of soil without the input of any plant material resulted in loss of carbon from the soil in all sites. Soil extractable NO(3)-N contents of non-tilled and non-cropped sites were greatest among all treatments. Agricultural practices increased phosphorus and potassium contents in the soil profile. P(2)O(5

  5. Using machine learning to predict the impact of agricultural factors on communities of soil microarthropods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dem?ar, D.; D?eroski, S.; Krogh, P. H.; Larsen, T.

    2005-01-01

    With the newly arisen ecological awareness in the agriculture the sustainable use and development of the land is getting more important. With the sustainable use of soil in mind, we are developing a decision support system that helps making decisions on managing agricultural systems and is able t...

  6. Lead in urban soils - A real or perceived concern for urban agriculture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban agriculture is growing in cities across the U.S. and 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. A review ...

  7. Low-intensity agricultural landscapes in Transylvania support high butterfly diversity: implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loos, Jacqueline; Dorresteijn, Ine; Hanspach, Jan; Fust, Pascal; Rakosy, László; Fischer, Joern

    2014-01-01

    European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation to provide

  8. Low-intensity agricultural landscapes in Transylvania support high butterfly diversity: implications for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline Loos

    Full Text Available European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation

  9. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. PMID:26400720

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  11. Managing soil organic carbon in agriculture: the net effect on greenhouse gas emissions

    OpenAIRE

    Marland, Gregg; West, Tristram O.; Schlamadinger, Bernhard; Canella, Lorenza

    2011-01-01

    A change in agricultural practice can increase carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. To know the net effect on greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, however, we consider associated changes in CO2 emissions resulting from the consumption of fossil fuels, emissions of other greenhouse gases and effects on land productivity and crop yield. We also consider how these factors will evolve over time. A change from conventional tillage to no-till agriculture, based on data for average pra...

  12. Pesticides in household dust and soil: exposure pathways for children of agricultural families.

    OpenAIRE

    Simcox, N J; Fenske, R A; Wolz, S A; Lee, I C; Kalman, D A

    1995-01-01

    Child of agriculture families are likely to be exposed to agricultural chemicals, even if they are not involved in farm activities. This study was designed to determine whether such children are exposed to higher levels of pesticides than children whose parents are not involved in agriculture and whose homes are not close to farms. Household dust and soil samples were collected in children's play areas from 59 residences in eastern Washington State (26 farming, 22 farmworker, and 11 nonfarmin...

  13. Landscape and Local Controls of Insect Biodiversity in Conservation Grasslands: Implications for the Conservation of Ecosystem Service Providers in Agricultural Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O. Crist

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes depends on the amount and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. Conservation incentives that create semi-natural grasslands may increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects and their associated ecosystem services, such as pollination and the regulation of insect pests, but the effectiveness of these incentives for insect conservation are poorly known, especially in North America. We studied the variation in species richness, composition, and functional-group abundances of bees and predatory beetles in conservation grasslands surrounded by intensively managed agriculture in Southwest Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches and surrounding land-cover types were used to predict insect species richness, composition, and functional-group abundance using linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by forb cover and beetle richness was positively related to grass cover; both taxa had greater richness in grasslands surrounded by larger amounts of semi-natural land cover. Functional groups of bees and predatory beetles defined by body size and sociality varied in their abundance according to differences in plant composition of grassland patches, as well as the surrounding land-cover diversity. Intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape acted as a filter to both bee and beetle species composition in conservation grasslands. Our results support the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level processes in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  14. Water and soil conservation for food security in Niger and its constraints for adoption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildemeersch, Jasmien; Timmerman, Emma; Garba, Maman; Mazijn, Bernard; Sabiou, Mahamane; Ibro, Germaine; Cornelis, Wim

    2013-04-01

    Nigerien subsistence farmers increasingly rely on marginal degraded lands for food production as a result of ongoing soil degradation, limited fertile land availability and growing population pressure. These degraded lands, however, generally provide poor yields which are largely assigned to an increased vulnerability to drought as a major part of the rainfall is lost through inefficient rain water partitioning. More efficient use of rainwater can be achieved with the aid of water and soil conservation (WSC) techniques such as zaï (Z) and demi-lunes (DL) which positively alter the soil water-balance in favour of productive water and deliver a wide range of ecosystem services. The results of our in situ root-zone water balance experiment at Sadoré-village (2011-2012) confirm improved agronomical, hydrological and soil quality parameters under the Z and DL treatments. The highest grain yield is produced by the zaï, which is 3 times better than the grain yield of the demi-lunes. Zaï moreover reduce cumulative actual evaporation and both Z and DL increase soil water content in the catchment as measured by a neutron probe and biological soil quality indicated by an extended nematode population of free living species. The techniques therefore show promising potential to rehabilitate and to increase the agronomic efficiency of marginal land in Niger, but the adoption of the techniques has not been widespread and the dissemination generally encounters difficulties. To identify and quantify the importance and presence of several adoption obstacles in the Tillabéri region, we conducted 100 households surveys exploring farmers' erosion perception, WSC technique knowledge and resource availability. Although the important adoption triggers such as food insecurity and limited fertile land availability are present, the regions' adoption rate is low due to a general lack of manure availability and a profound knowledge of erosion and the techniques themselves, which indicates

  15. Development of methods for remediation of artificial polluted soils and improvement of soils for ecologically clean agricultural production systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of the research: Development of methods for the remediation of artificial polluted soils and the improvement of polluted lands to ecologically clean agricultural production.The following tasks will be implemented in this project to achieve viable practical solutions: - To determine the priority pollutants, their ecological pathways, and sources of origin. - To form a supervised environmental monitoring data bank throughout the various geo system conditions. - To evaluate the degree of the bio geo system pollution and the influence on the health of the local human populations. - To establish agricultural plant tolerance levels to the priority pollutants. - To calculate the standard concentrations of the priority pollutants for main agricultural plant groups. - To develop a soil remediation methodology incorporating the structural, functional geo system features. - To establish a territory zone division methodology in consideration of the degree of component pollution, plant tolerance to pollutants, plant production conditions, and human health. - Scientific grounding of the soil remediation proposals and agricultural plant material introductions with soil pollution levels and relative plant tolerances to pollutants. Technological Means, Methods, and Approaches Final proposed solutions will be based upon geo system and ecosystem approaches and methodologies. The complex ecological valuation methods of the polluted territories will be used in this investigation. Also, laboratory culture in vitro, application work, and multi-factor field experiments will be conducted. The results will be statistically analyzed using appropriate methods. Expected Results Complex biogeochemical artificial province assessment according to primary pollutant concentrations. Development of agricultural plant tolerance levels relative to the priority pollutants. Assessment of newly introduced plant materials that may possess variable levels of pollution tolerance. Remediation

  16. A virtual, interactive and dynamic excursion in Google Earth on soil management and conservation (AgroGeovid)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanwalleghem, Tom; Giráldez, Juan Vicente

    2013-04-01

    Many courses on natural resources require hands-on practical knowledge and experience that students traditionally could only acquire by expensive and time-consuming field excursions. New technologies and social media however provide an interesting alternative to train students and help them improve their practical knowledge. AgroGeovid is a virtual excursion, based on Google Earth, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter that is aimed at agricultural engineering students, but equally useful for any student interested in soil management and conservation, e.g. geography, geology and environmental resources. Agrogeovid provides the framework for teachers and students to upload geotagged photos, comments and discussions. After the initial startup phase, where the teacher uploaded material on e.g. soil erosion phenomena, soil conservation structures and different soil management strategies under different agronomic systems, students contributed with their own material gathered throughout the academic year. All students decided to contribute via Facebook, in stead of Twitter, which was not known to most of them. The final result was a visual and dynamic tool which students could use to train and perfect skills adopted in the classroom using case-studies and examples from their immediate environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Soil and Moisture Conservation Practice Report for Long Island Refuges Fiscal Year 1972

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Soil and moisture conservation practices were carried out on four Long Island Refuges during fiscal year 1972. This report outlines the reasoning behind the changes...

  19. An assessment of actual evapotranspiration and soil water deficit in agricultural regions in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kurnik, Blaž; Kajfež-Bogataj, Lučka; Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F

    2015-01-01

    Changes in agricultural droughts were investigated using simulations of soil water deficit (SWD) and actual evapotranspiration (ETA) from a distributed semi-empirical soil water balance model – swbEWA. At European scale, both SWD and ETA did not change significantly between 1951 and 2011. However...

  20. Biodegradation of spilled diesel fuel in agricultural soil: Effect of humates, zeolite, and bioaugmentation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kuráň, P.; Trögl, J.; Nováková, J.; Pilařová, V.; Dáňová, P.; Pavlorková, J.; Kozler, J.; Novák, František; Popelka, J.

    -, č. 642427 (2014). ISSN 1537-744X Grant ostatní: GA MPO(CZ) FR-TI1/456 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : biodegradation * spilled diesel fuel * agricultural soil Subject RIV: DK - Soil Contamination ; De-contamination incl. Pesticides Impact factor: 1.219, year: 2013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/642427