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Sample records for arid soils implications

  1. WIRE project- Soil water repellence in biodiverse semi arid environments: new insights and implications for ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Jiménez-Morillo, Nicasio T.; Jordan, Antonio; Zavala, Lorena M.; Stevens, Jason; González-Pérez, Jose Antonio

    2017-04-01

    the canopy of a broad range of plant species composing the dominant vegetation communities of the study areas. Direct analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS) allowed the structural characterization of soil organic matter (SOM) (Jiménez-Morillo et al., 2014). Basic soil physicochemical properties were analysed and soil microbial activity was measured with the 1-day CO2 test, which determine soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst produced after moistening dry soil (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016). Results Main results of the project revealed that SWR is strongly correlated to microbial activity, pH and electrical conductivity. In soil samples under Banksia spp., Py-GC/MS analysis showed that SOM had clear signs of alteration (humified) that included a high contribution of stable families like unspecific aromatic compounds and alkane/alkene pairs. However, under Eucalyptus spp. soils showed a less altered SOM with a high relative contribution from lignocellulose (lignin and carbohydrates), together with a low relative content of recalcitrant families. In soil samples from hummock grasslands of the Pilbara region, very low contents of SOM were found. These results point to possible indirect links between organic substances released by roots and soil wettability involving soil microorganisms. Ecological plant strategies and specific adaptations for water uptake in arid and semi-arid ecosystems of WA are likely the main drivers of SWR. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This research has been funded by the University of Western Australia (Research Collaboration Award 2015: 'Soil water repellence in biodiverse semi arid environments: new insights and implications for ecological restoration') and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (research projects GEOFIRE, CGL2012-38655-C04- 01, and POSTFIRE, CGL 2013-47862-C2-1-R. References Doerr SH, Shakesby RA, Walsh RPD. 2000. Soil water repellency: its causes, characteristics and hydrogeomorphological

  2. The limitations of seedling growth and drought tolerance to novel soil substrates in arid systems: Implications for restoration success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateman, Amber; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Stevens, Jason; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

    2016-04-01

    Introduction With the limited knowledge available regarding the impact of drought on seedling growth, an understanding of seedling tolerance to arid conditions is crucial for restoration success (James et al., 2013; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2014). However, restoration in semi-arid areas faces the challenge of re-establishing plant communities on altered soil substrates (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2015). These substrates are a result of anthropogenic disturbances such as mining which have altered the plant-soil-water dynamics of the ecosystem (Machado et al., 2013). The aim of this study was to assess the impact of mining on the plant-soil-water dynamics of an arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara region, North Western Australia) and the implications these altered relationships have on seedling growth and their responses to drought. Methods Drought responses of native plant species were assessed through a series of glasshouse experiments. Firstly, 21 species dominant to the Pilbara region were subjected to drought in a topsoil growth media to assess variation in responses (leaf water potential at the time of stomatal closure) across species and identify traits associated with drought tolerance. Secondly, four species ranging in their drought tolerance identified previously, were grown to two leaf stages (second and fourth leaf stage) in three mining substrates (topsoil, a topsoil and waste mix and waste) to assess seedling drought responses to various potential restoration substrates and how that varied with plant development stage. Results and discussion Four morphological traits were found to be significantly associated with drought indicators (leaf mass ratio, stem area, stem length, stem weight), however, these were weak correlations. Waste substrate and its addition to topsoil reduced plant total biomass but did not alter species responses to drought. However, the soil physical properties of the waste reduced water retention and water availability for plant uptake

  3. Microorganisms, Organic Carbon, and Their Relationship with Oxidant Activity in Hyper-Arid Mars-Like Soils: Implications for Soil Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Silva, Julio E.; Karouia, Fathi; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Soil samples from the hyper-arid region in the Atacama 23 Desert in Southern Peru (La Joya Desert) were analyzed for total and labile organic carbon (TOC & LOC), phospholipid fatty acids analysis (PLFA), quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), 4',6- diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI)-fluorescent microscopy, culturable microorganisms, and oxidant activity, in order to understand the relationship between the presence of organic matter and microorganisms in these types of soils. TOC content levels were similar to the labile pool of carbon suggesting the absence of recalcitrant carbon in these soils. The range of LOC was from 2 to 60 micro-g/g of soil. PLFA analysis indicated a maximum of 2.3 x 10(exp 5) cell equivalents/g. Culturing of soil extracts yielded 1.1 x 10(exp 2)-3.7 x 10(exp 3) CFU/g. qRT-PCR showed between 1.0 x 10(exp 2) and 8 x 10(exp 3) cells/g; and DAPI fluorescent staining indicated bacteria counts up to 5 x 104 cells/g. Arid and semiarid samples (controls) showed values between 10(exp 7) and 10(exp 11) cells/g with all of the methods used. Importantly, the concentration of microorganisms in hyper-arid soils did not show any correlation with the organic carbon content; however, there was a significant dependence on the oxidant activity present in these soil samples evaluated as the capacity to decompose sodium formate in 10 hours. We suggest that the analysis of oxidant activity could be a useful indicator of the microbial habitability in hyper-arid soils, obviating the need to measure water activity over time. This approach could be useful in astrobiological studies on other worlds.

  4. Fire impact on soil-water repellency and functioning of semi-arid croplands and rangelands: Implications for prescribed burnings and wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavi, Ilan; Barkai, Daniel; Knoll, Yaakov M.; Glion, Hiam Abu; Katra, Itzhak; Brook, Anna; Zaady, Eli

    2017-03-01

    An unintended fire outbreak during summer 2015 in the semi-arid Israeli Negev resulted in the burning of extensive croplands and rangelands. The rangelands have been managed over the long term for occasional grazing, while the croplands have been utilized for rainfed wheat cropping. Yet, during the studied year, the croplands were left fallow, allowing the growth of herbaceous vegetation, which was harvested and baled for hay before the fire outbreak. The study objectives were to investigate the impacts of fire, land-use, and soil depth on water-repellency and on the status and dynamics of some of the most important organic and mineral soil resources. Additionally, we aimed to assess the severity of this fire outbreak. The soil-water repellency was studied by measuring the soil's water drop penetration time (WDPT) and critical surface tension (CST). A significant effect of fire on soil hydrophobicity was recorded, with a slight increase in mean WDPT and a slight decrease in mean CST in the burnt sites than in the non-burnt sites. Yet, soil hydrophobicity in the burnt lands was rather moderate and remained within the water repellency's lowest class. A significant effect of land-use on the means of WDPT and CST was also recorded, being eleven-fold greater and 7% smaller, respectively, in the rangelands than in the croplands. This is consistent with the almost eightfold greater mean above-ground biomass recorded in the non-burnt rangelands than in the non-burnt post-harvest croplands, revealing the positive relations between available fuel load and soil-water repellency. The effect of soil depth was significant for CST but not for WDPT. Overall, the gathered data suggest that fire severity was low to moderate. Fire was also found to significantly affect the fire severity only slightly increased the soil water repellency, and at the same time, increased on-site availability of some important soil resources. Nevertheless, it is acknowledged that such fires could impose

  5. The effect of grazing on soil and water losses under arid and mediterranean climates. Implications for desertification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cerdà, A.

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Two sites, both affected by grazing but under different climatic conditions, were selected in Israel to study the effect of grazing on soil degradation. One site was selected in the Judean Desert, a dry environment (260 mm mean annual rainfall with a long history of overgrazing and very little vegetative cover. The second site was selected in the Galilee Mountains where the climate is of Mediterranean type (650 mm mean annual rainfall and the vegetative cover is much greater in spite of the grazing. Simulated rain experiments were performed in the field and in the laboratory in order to evaluate differences in hydrological and erosional response to rainfall between the two sites. The results show a clear difference between these two ecosystems. In the Judean Desert, where vascular plant cover is sparse, a crust was developed which enhanced overland flow and erosion. In the Mediterranean environment the overland flow and erosion were negligible under shrubs and relatively high at the intershrub corridors. At the hillslope scale a mosaiclike pattern of water and soil contributing and accepting patches was developed. Such a pattern usually protect the hillslope from being eroded. Runoff and erosion rates luere very high in the Judean Desert and negligible in the Galilee Mountains.

    [fr] Afin d'étudier l'effet du pâturage sur la dégradation des sols, deux zones de caractéristiques climatiques différentes soumises au pâturage ont été sélectionnées en Israel. L'une de ces zones se trouve située dans le désert de Judée, un milieu très aride (260 mm de précipitation annuelle moyenne avec un couvert végétal peu dense et une longue influence du surpâturage. La deuxième zone se trouve sur les montagnes de Galilée, caractérisées par un climat méditerranéen (650 mm de précipitation annuelle moyenne et un couvert végétal bien plus dense et ce malgré l'influence du pâturage. Afin d'évaluer le comportement hydrologique et

  6. VOCs in Arid soils: Technology summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-02-01

    The Volatile Organic Compounds In Arid Soils Integrated Demonstration (VOC-Arid ID) focuses on technologies to clean up volatile organic compounds and associated contaminants in soil and groundwater at arid sites. The initial host site is the 200 West Area at DOE's Hanford site in southeastern Washington state. The primary VOC contaminant is carbon tetrachloride, in association with heavy metals and radionuclides. An estimated 580--920 metric tons of carbon tetrachloride were disposed of between 1955 and 1973, resulting in extensive soil and groundwater contamination. The VOC-Arid ID schedule has been divided into three phases of implementation. The phased approach provides for: rapid transfer of technologies to the Environmental Restoration (EM-40) programs once demonstrated; logical progression in the complexity of demonstrations based on improved understanding of the VOC problem; and leveraging of the host site EM-40 activities to reduce the overall cost of the demonstrations. During FY92 and FY93, the primary technology demonstrations within the ID were leveraged with an ongoing expedited response action at the Hanford 200 West Area, which is directed at vapor extraction of VOCs from the vadose (unsaturated) zone. Demonstration efforts are underway in the areas of subsurface characterization including: drilling and access improvements, off-gas and borehole monitoring of vadose zone VOC concentrations to aid in soil vapor extraction performance evaluation, and treatment of VOC-contaminated off-gas. These current demonstration efforts constitute Phase 1 of the ID and, because of the ongoing vadose zone ERA, can result in immediate transfer of successful technologies to EM-40

  7. Shallow Horizontal GCHP Effectiveness in Arid Climate Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Timothy James

    Ground coupled heat pumps (GCHPs) have been used successfully in many environments to improve the heating and cooling efficiency of both small and large scale buildings. In arid climate regions, such as the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area, where the air condi-tioning load is dominated by cooling in the summer, GCHPs are difficult to install and operate. This is because the nature of soils in arid climate regions, in that they are both dry and hot, renders them particularly ineffective at dissipating heat. The first part of this thesis addresses applying the SVHeat finite element modeling soft-ware to create a model of a GCHP system. Using real-world data from a prototype solar-water heating system coupled with a ground-source heat exchanger installed in Menlo Park, California, a relatively accurate model was created to represent a novel GCHP panel system installed in a shallow vertical trench. A sensitivity analysis was performed to evaluate the accuracy of the calibrated model. The second part of the thesis involved adapting the calibrated model to represent an ap-proximation of soil conditions in arid climate regions, using a range of thermal properties for dry soils. The effectiveness of the GCHP in the arid climate region model was then evaluated by comparing the thermal flux from the panel into the subsurface profile to that of the prototype GCHP. It was shown that soils in arid climate regions are particularly inefficient at heat dissipation, but that it is highly dependent on the thermal conductivity inputted into the model. This demonstrates the importance of proper site characterization in arid climate regions. Finally, several soil improvement methods were researched to evaluate their potential for use in improving the effectiveness of shallow horizontal GCHP systems in arid climate regions.

  8. Paclobutrazol biodegradation in unsaturated soil in the Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Paclobutrazol (PBZ) is a plant growth regulator, increasing flowe ring and yield that is widely used in mango cultivation in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. PBZ remains active in the soil for several years. However, it can severely affect the growth and development of subsequent crops, mainly by reducing vegetative vigor.

  9. In situ bioventing in deep soils at arid sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frishmuth, R.A.; Ratz, J.W.; Blicker, B.R.; Hall, J.F.; Downey, D.C.

    1995-01-01

    In situ bioventing has been shown to be a cost-effective remedial alternative for vadose zone soils. The success of the technology relies on the ability of indigenous soil microorganisms to utilize petroleum hydrocarbon contaminants as a primary metabolic substrate. Soil microbial populations are typically elevated in shallow soils due to an abundance of naturally occurring substrates and nutrients, but may be limited at greater depths due to a lack of these constituents. Therefore, the effectiveness of in situ bioventing is questionable in contaminated soil zones that extend far below the ground surface. Also, because the soil microbial population relies on soil moisture to sustain hydrocarbon degradation, the viability of bioventing is questionable in arid climates, where the soil moisture content is suspected to be minimal

  10. Diversity and activity of denitrifiers of Chilean arid soil ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julieta eOrlando

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The Chilean sclerophyllous matorral is a Mediterranean semiarid ecosystem affected by erosion, with low soil fertility and limited by nitrogen. However, limitation of resources is even more severe for desert soils such as from the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme arid deserts on Earth. Topsoil organic matter, nitrogen and moisture content were significantly higher in the semiarid soil compared to the desert soil. Although the most significant loss of biologically preferred nitrogen from terrestrial ecosystems occurs via denitrification, virtually nothing is known on the activity and composition of denitrifier communities thriving in arid soils. In this study, we explored denitrifier communities from two soils with profoundly distinct edaphic factors. While denitrification activity in the desert soil was below detection limit, the semiarid soil sustained denitrification activity. To elucidate the genetic potential of the soils to sustain denitrification processes we performed community analysis of denitrifiers based on nitrite reductase (nirK and nirS genes as functional marker genes for this physiological group. Presence of nirK-type denitrifiers in both soils was demonstrated but failure to amplify nirS from the desert soil suggests very low abundance of nirS-type denitrifiers shedding light on the lack of denitrification activity. Phylogenetic analysis showed a very low diversity of nirK with only three distinct genotypes in the desert soil which conditions presumably exert a high selection pressure. While nirK diversity was also limited to only few, albeit distinct genotypes, the semiarid matorral soil showed a surprisingly broad genetic variability of the nirS gene. The Chilean matorral is a shrub land plant community which form vegetational patches stabilizing the soil and increasing its nitrogen and carbon content. These islands of fertility may sustain the development and activity of the overall microbial community and of

  11. Diversity and activity of denitrifiers of chilean arid soil ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Julieta; Carú, Margarita; Pommerenke, Bianca; Braker, Gesche

    2012-01-01

    The Chilean sclerophyllous matorral is a Mediterranean semiarid ecosystem affected by erosion, with low soil fertility, and limited by nitrogen. However, limitation of resources is even more severe for desert soils such as from the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme arid deserts on Earth. Topsoil organic matter, nitrogen and moisture content were significantly higher in the semiarid soil compared to the desert soil. Although the most significant loss of biologically preferred nitrogen from terrestrial ecosystems occurs via denitrification, virtually nothing is known on the activity and composition of denitrifier communities thriving in arid soils. In this study we explored denitrifier communities from two soils with profoundly distinct edaphic factors. While denitrification activity in the desert soil was below detection limit, the semiarid soil sustained denitrification activity. To elucidate the genetic potential of the soils to sustain denitrification processes we performed community analysis of denitrifiers based on nitrite reductase (nirK and nirS) genes as functional marker genes for this physiological group. Presence of nirK-type denitrifiers in both soils was demonstrated but failure to amplify nirS from the desert soil suggests very low abundance of nirS-type denitrifiers shedding light on the lack of denitrification activity. Phylogenetic analysis showed a very low diversity of nirK with only three distinct genotypes in the desert soil which conditions presumably exert a high selection pressure. While nirK diversity was also limited to only few, albeit distinct genotypes, the semiarid matorral soil showed a surprisingly broad genetic variability of the nirS gene. The Chilean matorral is a shrub land plant community which form vegetational patches stabilizing the soil and increasing its nitrogen and carbon content. These islands of fertility may sustain the development and activity of the overall microbial community and of denitrifiers in particular.

  12. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L Sinsabaugh

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts. We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg ha-1 yr-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0-0.5 cm and bulk soils (0-10 cm were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities (EEA and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N.

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

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    Beatriz Moreno

    2016-07-01

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

  14. Managing soil moisture on waste burial sites in arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, J.E.; Ratzlaff, T.D.; Nowak, R.S.; Markham, O.D.

    1993-01-01

    In semiarid regions, where potential evapotranspiration greatly exceeds precipitation, it is theoretically possible to preclude water form reaching interred wastes by (i) providing a sufficient cap of soil to store precipitation that falls while plants are dormant and (ii) establishing sufficient plant cover to deplete soil moisture during the growing season, thereby emptying the water storage reservoir of the soil. Here the authors discuss the theory and rationale for such an approach and then present the results of a field study to test its efficacy at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). They examined the capacity of four species of perennial plants to deplete soil moisture on simulated waste trenches and determined the effective water storage capacity of the soil. Those data enabled them to estimate the minimum depth of fill soil required to prevent deep drainage. Any of the species studied can use all of the plant-available soil water, even during a very wet growing season. The water storage capacity of the soil studied is 17% by volume, so a trench cap of 1.6 m of soil should be adequate to store precipitation received at the INEL while plants are dormant. They recommend a fill soil depth of 2 m to provide a margin of safety in case water accumulates in local areas as a result of heavy snow accumulation, subsidence, or runoff. Fill soil requirements and choice of plant species will vary, but the concepts and general approach are applicable to other shallow land burial sites in arid or semiarid regions. 23 refs., 5 figs

  15. Bacterial polyextremotolerant bioemulsifiers from arid soils improve water retention capacity and humidity uptake in sandy soil

    KAUST Repository

    Raddadi, Noura; Giacomucci, Lucia; Marasco, Ramona; Daffonchio, Daniele; Cherif, Ameur; Fava, Fabio

    2018-01-01

    Water stress is a critical issue for plant growth in arid sandy soils. Here, we aimed to select bacteria producing polyextremotolerant surface-active compounds capable of improving water retention and humidity uptake in sandy soils.From Tunisian desert and saline systems, we selected eleven isolates able to highly emulsify different organic solvents. The bioemulsifying activities were stable with 30% NaCl, at 4 and 120 °C and in a pH range 4-12. Applications to a sandy soil of the partially purified surface-active compounds improved soil water retention up to 314.3% compared to untreated soil. Similarly, after 36 h of incubation, the humidity uptake rate of treated sandy soil was up to 607.7% higher than untreated controls.Overall, results revealed that polyextremotolerant bioemulsifiers of bacteria from arid and desert soils represent potential sources to develop new natural soil-wetting agents for improving water retention in arid soils.

  16. Bacterial polyextremotolerant bioemulsifiers from arid soils improve water retention capacity and humidity uptake in sandy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raddadi, Noura; Giacomucci, Lucia; Marasco, Ramona; Daffonchio, Daniele; Cherif, Ameur; Fava, Fabio

    2018-05-31

    Water stress is a critical issue for plant growth in arid sandy soils. Here, we aimed to select bacteria producing polyextremotolerant surface-active compounds capable of improving water retention and humidity uptake in sandy soils. From Tunisian desert and saline systems, we selected eleven isolates able to highly emulsify different organic solvents. The bioemulsifying activities were stable with 30% NaCl, at 4 and 120 °C and in a pH range 4-12. Applications to a sandy soil of the partially purified surface-active compounds improved soil water retention up to 314.3% compared to untreated soil. Similarly, after 36 h of incubation, the humidity uptake rate of treated sandy soil was up to 607.7% higher than untreated controls. Overall, results revealed that polyextremotolerant bioemulsifiers of bacteria from arid and desert soils represent potential sources to develop new natural soil-wetting agents for improving water retention in arid soils.

  17. Bacterial polyextremotolerant bioemulsifiers from arid soils improve water retention capacity and humidity uptake in sandy soil

    KAUST Repository

    Raddadi, Noura

    2018-05-31

    Water stress is a critical issue for plant growth in arid sandy soils. Here, we aimed to select bacteria producing polyextremotolerant surface-active compounds capable of improving water retention and humidity uptake in sandy soils.From Tunisian desert and saline systems, we selected eleven isolates able to highly emulsify different organic solvents. The bioemulsifying activities were stable with 30% NaCl, at 4 and 120 °C and in a pH range 4-12. Applications to a sandy soil of the partially purified surface-active compounds improved soil water retention up to 314.3% compared to untreated soil. Similarly, after 36 h of incubation, the humidity uptake rate of treated sandy soil was up to 607.7% higher than untreated controls.Overall, results revealed that polyextremotolerant bioemulsifiers of bacteria from arid and desert soils represent potential sources to develop new natural soil-wetting agents for improving water retention in arid soils.

  18. Soil-moisture transport in arid site vadose zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isaacson, R.E.; Brownell, L.E.; Nelson, R.W.; Roetman, E.L.

    1974-01-01

    Soil-moisture transport processes in the arid soils of the United States Atomic Energy Commission's Hanford site are being evaluated. The depth of penetration of meteoric precipitation has been determined by profiling fall-out tritium at two locations where the water table is about 90 m below ground surface. In situ temperatures and water potentials were measured with temperature transducers and thermocouple psychrometers at the same location to obtain thermodynamic data for identifying the factors influencing soil-moisture transport. Neutron probes are being used to monitor soil-moisture changes in two lysimeters, three metres in diameter by 20 metres deep. The lysimeters are also equipped to measure pressure, temperature and relative humidity as a function of depth and time. Theoretical models based on conservation of momentum expressions are being developed to analyse non-isothermal soil-moisture transport processes. Future work will be concerned with combining the theoretical and experimental work and determining the amount of rainfall required to cause migration of soil-moisture to the water table. (author)

  19. Soil emissions of gaseous reactive nitrogen from North American arid lands: an overlooked source.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, J. P.; McCalley, C. K.; Strahm, B. D.

    2008-12-01

    The biosphere-atmosphere exchange and transformation of nitrogen has important ramifications for both terrestrial biogeochemistry and atmospheric chemistry. Several important mechanisms within this process (e.g., photochemistry, nitrogen deposition, aerosol formation) are strongly influenced by the emission of reactive nitrogen compounds from the Earth's surface. Therefore, a quantification of emission sources is a high priority for future conceptual understanding. One source largely overlooked in most global treatments are the soil emissions from arid and semi-arid landscapes worldwide. Approximately 35-40% of global terrestrial land cover is aridland and emission of reactive nitrogen from soils in these regions has the potential to strongly influence both regional and global biogeochemistry. Here we present estimates of soil emission of oxidized (NO, total NOy including NO2 and HONO) and reduced (NH3) forms of reactive nitrogen from two North American arid regions: the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Plateau. Soil fluxes in these regions are highly dependent on soil moisture conditions. Soil moisture is largely driven by pulsed rain events with fluxes increasing 20-40 fold after a rain event. Using field measurements made across seasons under an array of moisture conditions, precipitation records, and spatially explicit cover type information we have estimated annual estimates for the Mojave Desert (1.5 ± 0.7 g N ha-1 yr-1), the shale derived (1.4 ± 0.9 g N ha-1 yr-1), and sandy soil derived (2.8 ± 1.2 g N ha-1 yr-1) regions of the Colorado Plateau. The chemical composition of soil emissions varies significantly both with season and soil moisture content. Emissions from dry soils tend to be dominated by ammonia and forms of NOy other than NO. In contrast, NO becomes a dominant portion of the flux post rain events (~30% of the total flux). This variability in chemical form has significant implications for the tropospheric fate of the emitted N. NO and other

  20. Reintroduction of locally extinct vertebrates impacts arid soil fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Laurence J; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2015-06-01

    Introduced species have contributed to extinction of native vertebrates in many parts of the world. Changes to vertebrate assemblages are also likely to alter microbial communities through coextinction of some taxa and the introduction of others. Many attempts to restore degraded habitats involve removal of exotic vertebrates (livestock and feral animals) and reintroduction of locally extinct species, but the impact of such reintroductions on microbial communities is largely unknown. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer I (ITS1) region to examine whether replacing exotic vertebrates with reintroduced native vertebrates led to changes in soil fungal communities at a reserve in arid central Australia. Soil fungal diversity was significantly different between dune and swale (interdune) habitats. Fungal communities also differed significantly between sites with exotic or reintroduced native vertebrates after controlling for the effect of habitat. Several fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) found exclusively inside the reserve were present in scats from reintroduced native vertebrates, providing a direct link between the vertebrate assemblage and soil microbial communities. Our results show that changes to vertebrate assemblages through local extinctions and the invasion of exotic species can alter soil fungal communities. If local extinction of one or several species results in the coextinction of microbial taxa, the full complement of ecological interactions may never be restored. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. The use of soil quality indicators to assess soil functionality in restored semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, 1-day CO2 test, microbial activity, mine restoration, soil health, ecosystem services. Introduction Semi-arid and arid environments are highly vulnerable to land degradation and their restoration has commonly showed low rates of success (James et al., 2013). A systematic knowledge of soil functionality is critical to successful restoration of degraded ecosystems since approximately 80% of ecosystem services can be connected to soil functions. The assessment of soil functionality generally involves the evaluation of soil properties and processes as they relate to the ability of soil to function effectively as a component of a healthy ecosystem (Costantini et al., 2015) Using soil quality indicators may be a valuable approach to assess functionality of topsoil and novel substrates used in restoration (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2014; 2015). A key soil chemical indicator is soil organic C, that has been widely used as an attribute of soil quality because of the many functions that it provides and supports (Willaarts et al., 2015). However, microbial indicators can be more sensitive to disturbances and could be a valuable addition in soil assessment studies in restoration programs. Here, we propose a set of soil quality indicators to assess the soil status in restored soils (topsoil and waste material) of semi-arid environments. The study was conducted during March 2015 in the Pilbara biogeographical region (northwestern Australia) at an iron ore mine site rehabilitated in 2011. Methods Soil samples were collected from two sub-areas with different soil materials used as growth media: topsoil retrieved from nearby stockpiles and a lateritic waste material utilised for its erosive stability and physical competence. An undisturbed natural shrub-grassland ecosystem dominated by Triodia spp. and Acacia spp. representative of the restored area was selected as the analogue reference site. Soil physicochemical analysis were undertaken according to standard methods

  2. The Soil-Land use System in a Sand Spit Area in the Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Soil-Land use System in a Sand Spit Area in the Semi-Arid Coastal Savanna Region of Ghana – Development, Sustainability and Threats. ... The investigation comprises soil profile descriptions and analyses on the dominant soil type on the sand spit, measurement of electrical conductivity of well water and in the soil, ...

  3. Characterization of magnetically enhanced buried soil layer in arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovsky, E.; Grison, H.; Kapicka, A.; Silva, P. F.; Font, E.

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic susceptibility (MS) of soils, reflecting the presence of magnetite/maghemite, can be used in several environmental applications. Magnetic topsoil mapping is often used to outline areas polluted by atmospherically deposited dust. However, in these studies, the magnetically enhanced layer is usually shallow, some 5-6 cm under the surface. In our contribution, we present the case when the magnetic susceptibility is enhanced in deeper soil layers. Investigated soils are mostly sandy soils, from several localities in Portugal, in a zone with arid climate. Sample profiles were collected always in forests or forest stands with pines, cork oaks or eucalyptus trees in two areas: around the city of Sines (on the coast south of Lisbon) and around the city of Abrantes (inland, north-east of Lisbon). Both areas are presumably affected by one major source of pollution - power plant. Surface magnetic susceptibility measurements were performed by Bartington MS2D loop; values vary from 10 to 300 x 10-5 SI units. Vertical distribution of magnetic susceptibility was measured already in situ using the SM400 (ZHInstruments) on profiles about 40cm in length. Mass-specific MS was determined using Bartington MS2B dual frequency meter and Agico MFK1. Nine vertical profiles were selected for detailed analyses including the ARM, IRM and hysteresis measurements. Distinctly enhanced magnetic layers were detected in deeper horizons. This enhancement can be ascribed to several mechanisms. Migration of magnetic particles seems to be probable, as observed in our model experiments with sand columns. In coastal areas, the enhanced layer could be due to tsunami deposits, as described in other areas. Finally, in particular at sites close to power plants, the construction works followed by surface remediation have to be also considered as one of the possible mechanisms.

  4. VOCs in Non-Arid Soils Integrated Demonstration: Technology summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-02-01

    The Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Non-Arid Soils Integrated Demonstration (ID) was initiated in 1989. Objectives for the ID were to test the integrated demonstration concept, demonstrate and evaluate innovative technologies/systems for the remediation of VOC contamination in soils and groundwater, and to transfer technologies and systems to internal and external customers for use in fullscale remediation programs. The demonstration brought together technologies from DOE laboratories, other government agencies, and industry for demonstration at a single test bed. The Savannah River Site was chosen as the location for this ID as the result of having soil and groundwater contaminated with VOCS. The primary contaminants, trichlorethylene and tetrachloroethylene, originated from an underground process sewer line servicing a metal fabrication facility at the M-Area. Some of the major technical accomplishments for the ID include the successful demonstration of the following: In situ air stripping coupled with horizontal wells to remediate sites through air injection and vacuum extraction; Crosshole geophysical tomography for mapping moisture content and lithologic properties of the contaminated media; In situ radio frequency and ohmic heating to increase mobility, of the contaminants, thereby speeding recovery and the remedial process; High-energy corona destruction of VOCs in the off-gas of vapor recovery wells; Application of a Brayton cycle heat pump to regenerate carbon adsorption media used to trap VOCs from the offgas of recovery wells; In situ permeable flow sensors and the colloidal borescope to determine groundwater flow; Chemical sensors to rapidly quantify chlorinated solvent contamination in the subsurface; In situ bioremediation through methane/nutrient injection to enhance degradation of contaminants by methanotrophic bateria

  5. Deep Soil Recharge in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions: New Evidences in MU-US Sandy Land of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Y.; Yang, W.; Zhan, H.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitation induced recharge is an important source of groundwater budget but it is very difficult to quantify in arid and semiarid regions. In this study, a newly invented lysimeter was used to monitor deep soil recharge (DSR) under 200 cm depth in MU-US sandy land in western China under three kinds of landforms (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, and fixed dune). We found that the annual DSRs in such three different kinds of landforms varied significantly. Specifically, the annual DSRs were 224.1 mm (50.5% of the annual precipitation), 71.1 mm (50.5% of the annual precipitation), and 1.3 mm (0.3% of the annual precipitation) in mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, and fixed dune, respectively. We also found that vegetation coverage and precipitation pattern significantly affected DSR. A 24-hr precipitation event with the precipitation amount greater than 8 mm was able to infiltrate soil deeper than 200 cm and contributed to ground water recharge directly. Vegetation was a dominant factor influencing infiltration in the fixed sand dune. Our research revealed that precipitation induced DSR in arid and semi-arid regions was a complex process that required long-term monitoring and innovative system analysis of interrelated factors such as precipitation strength and pattern, meteorological parameters, and dynamic soil moisture. Key words: Precipitation pattern, sand dune groundwater, deep soil recharge, infiltration.

  6. Effects of tillage on runoff from a bare clayey soil on a semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    arid areas. However, by adopting appropriate soil management practices, the runoff can be harnessed for improving crop yields. The main objective of this study was to quantify rainfall-runoff relationships under in-field rainwater harvesting ...

  7. Combined effects of leaf litter and soil microsite on decomposition process in arid rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrera, Analía Lorena; Bertiller, Mónica Beatriz

    2013-01-15

    The objective of this study was to analyze the combined effects of leaf litter quality and soil properties on litter decomposition and soil nitrogen (N) mineralization at conserved (C) and disturbed by sheep grazing (D) vegetation states in arid rangelands of the Patagonian Monte. It was hypothesized that spatial differences in soil inorganic-N levels have larger impact on decomposition processes of non-recalcitrant than recalcitrant leaf litter (low and high concentration of secondary compounds, respectively). Leaf litter and upper soil were extracted from modal size plant patches (patch microsite) and the associated inter-patch area (inter-patch microsite) in C and D. Leaf litter was pooled per vegetation state and soil was pooled combining vegetation state and microsite. Concentrations of N and secondary compounds in leaf litter and total and inorganic-N in soil were assessed at each pooled sample. Leaf litter decay and soil N mineralization at microsites of C and D were estimated in 160 microcosms incubated at field capacity (16 month). C soils had higher total N than D soils (0.58 and 0.41 mg/g, respectively). Patch soil of C and inter-patch soil of D exhibited the highest values of inorganic-N (8.8 and 8.4 μg/g, respectively). Leaf litter of C was less recalcitrant and decomposed faster than that of D. Non-recalcitrant leaf litter decay and induced soil N mineralization had larger variation among microsites (coefficients of variation = 25 and 41%, respectively) than recalcitrant leaf litter (coefficients of variation = 12 and 32%, respectively). Changes in the canopy structure induced by grazing disturbance increased leaf litter recalcitrance, and reduced litter decay and soil N mineralization, independently of soil N levels. This highlights the importance of the combined effects of soil and leaf litter properties on N cycling probably with consequences for vegetation reestablishment and dynamics, rangeland resistance and resilience with implications

  8. Polyacrylamide molecular weight and phosphogypsum effects on infiltration and erosion in semi-arid soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...

  9. Role of Aeolian Dust in Shaping Landscapes and Soils of Arid and Semi-Arid South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R. McAuliffe

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The deposition of fine aeolian sediment profoundly influences the morphology of several different landscapes of the arid and semi-arid western portion of South Africa. Such landscapes and features include: (1 regularly-spaced mounds known as heuweltjies of the succulent Karoo region, (2 barren stone pavements in the more arid regions, and (3 hillslopes with smooth, curvilinear slope profiles that are mantled with coarse, stony colluvium. Investigations of each of these are presented, together with comparisons of similar features found within arid and semi-arid portions of Western North America. Recent findings suggest that the formation of the distinct, regularly-spaced heuweltjies involves a linked set of biological and physical processes. These include nutrient accumulation by termites and the production of dense vegetation patches, which, in turn, serve as a trap for aeolian sediments. Dust deposition is also responsible for the formation of stone pavements as demonstrated by research conducted principally in the Mojave Desert region of the United States. Mineralogical and geochronological studies have demonstrated that the stone clasts remain on the surface as fine aeolian sediments are translocated downward beneath the clasts resulting in a silt-rich soil horizon directly beneath the clasts. Pavements examined in South Africa have the same morphological features that can only be explained by the same process. The formation of soils on hillslopes mantled with stony colluvium are commonly viewed as having formed through the in-situ weathering of the stony colluvium. However, like pavements, mantles of coarse, stony colluvium are effective dust traps that provide the long-term stability required for advanced development of thick, fine-grained soils. This process contributes to the evolution of smooth, vegetated, curvilinear slope profiles. In each of these examples, the accumulation of dust has a profound influence, not only in soil formation

  10. Effects of irrigation and plastic mulch on soil properties on semi-arid abandoned fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Meulen, E.S.; Nol, L.; Cammeraat, L.H.

    2006-01-01

    The Guadalentín Basin in Spain is one of the driest areas of Europe and has problems with high evaporation rates, and high risks of desertification exist including soil quality loss and soil erosion. Farmers in this semi-arid region use polyethylene covers on their irrigated croplands to reduce

  11. Simply obtained global radiation, soil temperature and soil moisture in an alley cropping system in semi-arid Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mungai, D.N.; Stigter, C.J.; Coulson, C.L.; Ng'ang'a, J.K.

    2000-01-01

    Global radiation, soil temperature and soil moisture data were obtained from a 4-6 year old Cassia siamea/maize (CM) alley cropping (or hedgerow intercropping) system, at a semi-arid site at Machakos, Kenya, in the late eighties. With the growing need to explore and manage variations in

  12. Identifying key soil cyanobacteria easy to isolate and culture for arid soil restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roncero-Ramos, Beatriz; Ángeles Muñoz-Martín, M.; Chamizo, Sonia; Román, Raúl; Rodriguez-Caballero, Emilio; Mateo, Pilar; Cantón, Yolanda

    2017-04-01

    Drylands represent an important fraction of the Earth land's surface. Low cover of vascular plants characterizes these regions, and the large open areas among plants are often colonized by cyanobacteria, mosses, lichens, algae, bryophytes, bacteria and fungi, known as biocrusts. Because these communities are on or within the soil surface, they contribute to improve physicochemical properties of the uppermost soil layers and have important effects on soil fertility and stability, so they could play an important role on soil restoration. Cyanobacteria appear to be a cross component of biocrusts and they have been demonstrated to enhance water availability, soil fertility (fixing atmospheric C and N), and soil aggregation (thanks to their filamentous morphology and the exopolysaccharides they excrete), and significantly reduce water and wind erosion. Besides, they are able to tolerate high temperatures and UV radiation. All these features convert cyanobacteria in pioneer organisms capable of colonizing degraded soils and may be crucial in facilitating the succession of more developed organisms such as vascular plants. Therefore, the use of native cyanobacteria, already adapted to site environmental conditions, could guarantee a successful restoration approach of degraded soils. However, previous to their application for soil restoration, the most representative species inhabiting these soils should be identified. The objective of this study was to identify (morphologically and genetically) and isolate representative native cyanobacteria species from arid soils in SE Spain, characterized for being easily isolated and cultured with the aim of using them to inoculate degraded arid soil. We selected two study areas in Almería, SE Spain, where biocrust cover most of the open spaces between plants: El Cautivo experimental site located in the Tabernas desert and a limestone quarry located at the southeastern edge of the Gádor massif. The first site is characterized by

  13. Soil water movement in the unsaturated zone of an inland arid region: Mulched drip irrigation experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dongmei; Zhou, Tiantian

    2018-04-01

    Agricultural irrigation with trans-basin water diversion can effectively relieve the water paucity in arid and semi-arid regions, however, this may be accompanied by eco-environmental problems (e.g., saline soils, rising groundwater levels, water quality problems). The mechanism of soil water movement under irrigation in the unsaturated zone of arid regions is a key scientific problem that should be solved in order to evaluate agricultural water management and further improve current irrigation practices. This study investigated the impact of drip irrigation on soil water movement in the unsaturated zone of a cotton field in an inland arid region (the Karamay Agricultural Development Area), northwest China. Combining in situ observational physical data with temporal variation in stable isotopic compositions of soil water, we described the soil water flow system and mechanism in severe (Plot 1) and mild (Plot 2) saline-alkali cotton fields. The infiltration depths are 0-150 cm for both plots. Drip irrigation scheduling makes no significant contribution to local groundwater recharge, however, groundwater can move into the unsaturated zone through capillary rise during cotton flowering and boll periods. Plot 2 is less prone to having secondary soil salinization than Plot 1 due to the existence of a middle layer (approximately 100 cm thick), which elongated the distance between the root zone and aquifer. Rise in the water table (approximately 60 cm for Plot 1 and 50 cm for Plot 2) could be caused by lateral groundwater flow instead of vertical infiltration. We estimated the soil water storage changes in the unsaturated zone and proposed a conceptual model for deciphering the movement process of soil water. This study provides a scientific basis for determining the rise of groundwater levels and potential development of saline soils and improving agricultural water management in arid regions.

  14. Soil quality improvement for crop production in semi-arid West Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil quality maintenance and crop production improvement in semi-arid West Africa require appropriate cropping technologies, which are ecologically sound and economically viable. Thus, on-farm and on-station experiments have been carried out on the central plateau and in the south of Burkina Faso The results show that adoption of improved soil fertility technologies such as composting by farmers is determined by soil fertility status, access to the market and social reasons. Organic amendment...

  15. Soil moisture effects during bioventing in fuel-contaminated arid soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zwick, T.C.; Leeson, A.; Hinchee, R.E.; Hoeppel, R.E.; Bowling, L.

    1995-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of soil moisture addition on microbial activity during bioventing of dry, sandy soils at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, California. Soils at the site have been contaminated to a depth of approximately 80 ft (24 m) with gasoline, JP-5 jet fuel, and diesel fuel. Based on the low soil moisture measured at the site (2 to 3% by weight), it was determined that soil moisture may be limiting biodegradation. To evaluate the effect that moisture addition had on microbial activity under field conditions, a subsurface drip irrigation system was installed above the fuel hydrocarbon plume. Irrigation water was obtained from two monitoring wells on the site, where groundwater was approximately 192 ft (59 m) below ground surface. Advancement of the wetting front was monitored. In situ respiration rates increased significantly after moisture addition. The results of this study provide evidence for the potential applicability of moisture addition in conjunction with bioventing for site remediation in arid environments. Further work is planned to investigate optimization of moisture addition

  16. Effects of added organic matter and water on soil carbon sequestration in an arid region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liming Lai

    Full Text Available It is generally predicted that global warming will stimulate primary production and lead to more carbon (C inputs to soil. However, many studies have found that soil C does not necessarily increase with increased plant litter input. Precipitation has increased in arid central Asia, and is predicted to increase more, so we tested the effects of adding fresh organic matter (FOM and water on soil C sequestration in an arid region in northwest China. The results suggested that added FOM quickly decomposed and had minor effects on the soil organic carbon (SOC pool to a depth of 30 cm. Both FOM and water addition had significant effects on the soil microbial biomass. The soil microbial biomass increased with added FOM, reached a maximum, and then declined as the FOM decomposed. The FOM had a more significant stimulating effect on microbial biomass with water addition. Under the soil moisture ranges used in this experiment (21.0%-29.7%, FOM input was more important than water addition in the soil C mineralization process. We concluded that short-term FOM input into the belowground soil and water addition do not affect the SOC pool in shrubland in an arid region.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The variation of different ecosystems on the terrestrial carbon balance is predicted to be large. We investigated a typical arid region with widespread saline/alkaline soils, and evaluated soil respiration of different agricultural and natural ecosystems. Soil respiration for five ecosystems together with soil temperature, soil moisture, soil pH, soil electric conductivity and soil organic carbon content were investigated in the field. Comparing with the natural ecosystems, the mean seasonal soil respiration rates of the agricultural ecosystems were 96%-386% higher and agricultural ecosystems exhibited lower 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.

  19. Evaluating soil moisture and hydraulic conductivity in semi-arid rangeland soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitaker, M.P.L.

    1993-01-01

    The US DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (DOE-OCRWM) Fellowship Program supports various disciplines of academic research related to the isolation of radionuclides from the biosphere. The purpose of this paper is to provide an example of a university research application in the specific discipline of hydrology and water resources (a multi-disciplinary field encompassing engineering and the earth sciences), and to discuss how this research pertains to the objectives of the DOE-OCRWM Fellowship Program. The university research application is twofold: One portion focuses on the spatial variability of soil moisture (θ) and the other section compares point measurements with small watershed estimates of hydraulic conductivity (K) in a semi-arid rangeland soil in Arizona. For soil moisture measurements collected over a range of horizontal sampling intervals, no spatial correlation was evident. This outcome is reassuring to computer modelers who have assumed no spatial correlation for soil moisture over smaller scales. In regard to hydraulic conductivity, point measurements differed significantly from small watershed estimates of hydraulic conductivity which were derived from a calibrated and verified rainfall-runoff computer model. The estimates of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) were obtained from previous computer simulations in which measured data was collected in the same research location as the present study

  20. Native-plant amendments and topsoil addition enhance soil function in post-mining arid grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneller, Tayla; Harris, Richard J; Bateman, Amber; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

    2018-04-15

    One of the most critical challenges faced in restoration of disturbed arid lands is the limited availability of topsoil. In post-mining restoration, alternative soil substrates such as mine waste could be an adequate growth media to alleviate the topsoil deficit, but these materials often lack appropriate soil characteristics to support the development and survival of seedlings. Thus, addition of exogenous organic matter may be essential to enhance plant survival and soil function. Here, we present a case study in the arid Pilbara region (north-west Western Australia), a resource-rich area subject to intensive mining activities. The main objective of our study was to assess the effects of different restoration techniques such as soil reconstruction by blending available soil materials, sowing different compositions of plant species, and addition of a locally abundant native soil organic amendment (Triodia pungens biomass) on: (i) seedling recruitment and growth of Triodia wiseana, a dominant grass in Australian arid ecosystems, and (ii) soil chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of reconstructed soils, including microbial activity, total organic C, total N, and C and N mineralisation. The study was conducted in a 12-month multifactorial microcosms setting in a controlled environment. Our results showed that the amendment increased C and N contents of re-made soils, but these values were still lower than those obtained in the topsoil. High microbial activity and C mineralisation rates were found in the amended waste that contrasted the low N mineralisation but this did not translate into improved emergence or survival of T. wiseana. These results suggest a short- or medium-term soil N immobilisation caused by negative priming effect of fresh un-composted amendment on microbial communities. We found similar growth and survival rates of T. wiseana in topsoil and a blend of topsoil and waste (50:50) which highlights the importance of topsoil, even in a

  1. Soil fertility management strategies and practices by smallholder farmers in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mapfumo, P.; Giller, K.E.

    2001-01-01

    Indigenous soil fertility management strategies in semi-arid Communal Areas of Zimbabwe have largely been driven by an extensive use of resources. The shrinking of common property resources (CPRs) due to expansion of cultivated lands, the general loss of productivity in natural ecosystems (e.g.,

  2. Spatiotemporal soil and saprolite moisture dynamics across a semi-arid woody plant gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woody plant cover has increased 10-fold over the last 140+ years in many parts of the semi-arid western USA. Woody plant cover can alter the timing and amount of plant available moisture in the soil and saprolite. To assess spatiotemporal subsurface moisture dynamics over two water years in a snow-d...

  3. Recovery of rangelands : the functioning of soil seed banks in a semi-arid African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.

    2011-01-01

    Rangelands in Africa provide important forage resources for herbivores; particularly perennial grasses provide grazing for domestic and wild herbivores. However, semi-arid African rangelands experience severe vegetation and soil degradation due to heavy grazing, causing negative impacts

  4. Soil quality improvement for crop production in semi-arid West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil quality maintenance and crop production improvement in semi-arid West Africa require appropriate cropping technologies, which are ecologically sound and economically viable. Thus, on-farm and on-station experiments have been carried out on the central plateau and in the south of Burkina Faso

  5. Integrated double mulching practices optimizes soil temperature and improves soil water utilization in arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Wen; Feng, Fuxue; Zhao, Cai; Yu, Aizhong; Hu, Falong; Chai, Qiang; Gan, Yantai; Guo, Yao

    2016-09-01

    Water shortage threatens agricultural sustainability in many arid and semiarid areas of the world. It is unknown whether improved water conservation practices can be developed to alleviate this issue while increasing crop productivity. In this study, we developed a "double mulching" system, i.e., plastic film coupled with straw mulch, integrated together with intensified strip intercropping. We determined (i) the responses of soil evaporation and moisture conservation to the integrated double mulching system and (ii) the change of soil temperature during key plant growth stages under the integrated systems. Experiments were carried out in northwest China in 2009 to 2011. Results show that wheat-maize strip intercropping in combination with plastic film and straw covering on the soil surface increased soil moisture (mm) by an average of 3.8 % before sowing, 5.3 % during the wheat and maize co-growth period, 4.4 % after wheat harvest, and 4.9 % after maize harvest, compared to conventional practice (control). The double mulching decreased total evapotranspiration of the two intercrops by an average of 4.6 % ( P < 0.05), compared to control. An added feature was that the double mulching system decreased soil temperature in the top 10-cm depth by 1.26 to 1.31 °C in the strips of the cool-season wheat, and by 1.31 to 1.51 °C in the strips of the warm-season maize through the 2 years. Soil temperature of maize strips higher as 1.25 to 1.94 °C than that of wheat strips in the top 10-cm soil depth under intercropping with the double mulching system; especially higher as 1.58 to 2.11 °C under intercropping with the conventional tillage; this allows the two intercrops to grow in a well "collaborative" status under the double mulching system during their co-growth period. The improvement of soil moisture and the optimization of soil temperature for the two intercrops allow us to conclude that wheat-maize intensification with the double mulching system can be used as an

  6. An injected gamma-tracer method for soil-moisture movement investigations in arid zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nair, A.R.; Navada, S.V.; Rao, S.M.

    1980-01-01

    A method for the in-situ determination of soil-moisture transport rates using K 3 60 Co(CN) 6 is discussed. The tracer compares well with tritiated water in laboratory investigations and the results obtained in limited field studies are very encouraging. The method promises to be of specific interest in arid-zone investigations where the soil-moisture fluxes in liquid and vapour phases could cause complications for tritium tracer data interpretation. (author)

  7. Forests and water - Friends or foes?. Hydrological implications of deforestation and land degradation in semi-arid Tanzania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandstroem, K.

    1995-01-01

    In the study area in Babati District in Tanzania a multi-component research approach was attempted. Two catchments, one forested and one deforested-degraded, were studied regarding soil properties, runoff and groundwater recharge. This was done both in the field and with the use of two computer models: one simulating groundwater recharge as a function of rainfall variability, and one simulating hydrological implications of massive land cover conversion on the flooding of nearby Lake Babati. Three major findings came out of the study. The first is that most forested catchments (in various hydroclimates and landscapes) will increase the runoff following deforestation (due to less evapotranspiration). This is well-established knowledge, but it also depends on the actual conditions at hand. These conditions are defined as hydroclimate, soil texture and slope. In humid-temperate climates with coarse soils on flat land, the conditions strongly favor increased runoff following deforestation. However, in dry regions with fine textured soils on hilly ground, and where deforestation also implies land degradation, less dry season flow is likely to develop after a considerable adjustment period has been allowed. Secondly, the prevalence of preferential flow in a forest soil, as compared to a compacted and eroded soil, must be a key component in an explanation of why more dry season flow can emerge from a forested as compared to a deforested catchment in the dry tropics. Thirdly, there are several aspects of semi-arid and arid tropical hydrology which make comparisons with humid-temperate regions difficult and require special attention in the management of water resources in the dry tropics. 14 refs, 18 figs, 1 tab

  8. Carbon storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils and sequestration potentials in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Munro, Sam; Barthold, Frauke; Steffens, Markus; Schad, Peter; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-10-01

    Organic carbon (OC) sequestration in degraded semi-arid environments by improved soil management is assumed to contribute substantially to climate change mitigation. However, information about the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration potential in steppe soils and their current saturation status remains unknown. In this study, we estimated the OC storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils on the basis of remote, natural steppe fragments in northern China. Based on the maximum OC saturation of silt and clay particles soils (grazing land, arable land, eroded areas) were estimated. The analysis of natural grassland soils revealed a strong linear regression between the proportion of the fine fraction and its OC content, confirming the importance of silt and clay particles for OC stabilization in steppe soils. This relationship was similar to derived regressions in temperate and tropical soils but on a lower level, probably due to a lower C input and different clay mineralogy. In relation to the estimated OC storage capacity, degraded steppe soils showed a high OC saturation of 78-85% despite massive SOC losses due to unsustainable land use. As a result, the potential of degraded grassland soils to sequester additional OC was generally low. This can be related to a relatively high contribution of labile SOC, which is preferentially lost in the course of soil degradation. Moreover, wind erosion leads to substantial loss of silt and clay particles and consequently results in a direct loss of the ability to stabilize additional OC. Our findings indicate that the SOC loss in semi-arid environments induced by intensive land use is largely irreversible. Observed SOC increases after improved land management mainly result in an accumulation of labile SOC prone to land use/climate changes and therefore cannot be regarded as contribution to long-term OC sequestration. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Soil bacterial and fungal community responses to nitrogen addition across soil depth and microhabitat in an arid shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rebecca C.; Belnap, Jayne; Kuske, Cheryl R.

    2015-01-01

    Arid shrublands are stressful environments, typified by alkaline soils low in organic matter, with biologically-limiting extremes in water availability, temperature, and UV radiation. The widely-spaced plants and interspace biological soil crusts in these regions provide soil nutrients in a localized fashion, creating a mosaic pattern of plant- or crust-associated microhabitats with distinct nutrient composition. With sporadic and limited rainfall, nutrients are primarily retained in the shallow surface soil, patterning biological activity. We examined soil bacterial and fungal community responses to simulated nitrogen (N) deposition in an arid Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa field experiment in southern Nevada, USA, using high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes. To examine potential interactions among the N application, microhabitat and soil depth, we sampled soils associated with shrub canopies and interspace biological crusts at two soil depths (0–0.5 or 0–10 cm) across the N-amendment gradient (0, 7, and 15 kg ha−1 yr−1). We hypothesized that localized compositional differences in soil microbiota would constrain the impacts of N addition to a microhabitat distribution that would reflect highly localized geochemical conditions and microbial community composition. The richness and community composition of both bacterial and fungal communities differed significantly by microhabitat and with soil depth in each microhabitat. Only bacterial communities exhibited significant responses to the N addition. Community composition correlated with microhabitat and depth differences in soil geochemical features. Given the distinct roles of soil bacteria and fungi in major nutrient cycles, the resilience of fungi and sensitivity of bacteria to N amendments suggests that increased N input predicted for many arid ecosystems could shift nutrient cycling toward pathways driven primarily by fungal communities.

  10. Soil bacterial and fungal community responses to nitrogen addition across soil depths and microhabitat in an arid shrubland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca C Mueller

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Arid shrublands are stressful environments, typified by alkaline soils low in organic matter, with biologically-limiting extremes in water availability, temperature and UV radiation. The widely-spaced plants and interspace biological soil crusts in these regions provide soil nutrients in a localized fashion, creating a mosaic pattern of plant- or crust-associated microhabitats with distinct nutrient composition. With sporadic and limited rainfall, nutrients are primarily retained in the shallow surface soil, patterning biological activity. We examined soil bacterial and fungal community responses to simulated nitrogen (N deposition in an arid Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa field experiment in southern Nevada, USA, using high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes. To examine potential interactions among the N application, microhabitat and soil depth, we sampled soils associated with shrub canopies and interspace biological crusts at two soil depths (0-0.5 cm or 0-10 cm across the N-amendment gradient (0, 7 and 15 kg ha-1 yr-1. We hypothesized that localized compositional differences in soil microbiota would constrain the impacts of N addition to a microhabitat distribution that would reflect highly localized geochemical conditions and microbial community composition. The richness and community composition of both bacterial and fungal communities differed significantly by microhabitat and with soil depth in each microhabitat. Only bacterial communities exhibited significant responses to the N addition. Community composition correlated with microhabitat and depth differences in soil geochemical features. Given the distinct roles of soil bacteria and fungi in major nutrient cycles, the resilience of fungi and sensitivity of bacteria to N amendments suggests that increased N input predicted for many arid ecosystems could shift nutrient cycling toward pathways driven primarily by fungal communities.

  11. Plant-Microbe Interactions and Water Management in Arid and Saline Soils

    KAUST Repository

    Daffonchio, Daniele; Hirt, Heribert; Berg, Gabriele

    2014-01-01

    Drought and salinity are major factors limiting agriculture in many regions in the world, and their importance is predicted to even increase in the near future in parallel with the ongoing global warming and climate changes. Soil and rhizosphere microbes are potential resources for counteracting such abiotic stresses in plants. The knowledge on the roles of root microorganisms in retaining soil humidity and promoting plant growth under such abiotic stresses is analyzed in this chapter. The importance of microbial diversity in the rhizosphere for alleviating drought and salinity effects on the plant physiology is discussed in the light of “Desert Farming”, the general crop management practice that is frequently used in arid regions. The plant growth promoting functional services exerted by microorganisms within the rhizosphere in arid soils are presented in relation to the plant response under water stress.

  12. Plant-Microbe Interactions and Water Management in Arid and Saline Soils

    KAUST Repository

    Daffonchio, Daniele

    2014-12-05

    Drought and salinity are major factors limiting agriculture in many regions in the world, and their importance is predicted to even increase in the near future in parallel with the ongoing global warming and climate changes. Soil and rhizosphere microbes are potential resources for counteracting such abiotic stresses in plants. The knowledge on the roles of root microorganisms in retaining soil humidity and promoting plant growth under such abiotic stresses is analyzed in this chapter. The importance of microbial diversity in the rhizosphere for alleviating drought and salinity effects on the plant physiology is discussed in the light of “Desert Farming”, the general crop management practice that is frequently used in arid regions. The plant growth promoting functional services exerted by microorganisms within the rhizosphere in arid soils are presented in relation to the plant response under water stress.

  13. Semi-Arid Plantation by Anatolian Black Pine and Its Effects on Soil Erosion and Soil Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sezgin Hacisalihoglu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the effects of Anatolian Black pine [(Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. pallasiana (Lamb. Holmboe] plantation on hydro-physical soil properties and soil loss were investigated. This study was carried out on the afforestation field of Anatolian Black Pine in the Gölbaşı district of Ankara province, which is included in the arid and semi-arid regions. Totally 48 soil sample in two soil depth level (0-20cm, 20-50cm were collected from forest (36 soil sample and barren (control area (12 soil sample. Hydro-physically important soil properties were analysed [Sand (%, Silt (%, Clay (%, Organic Matter (%, pH, Field Capacity (%, Wilting Point (%, Saturation (%, Available Water Holding Capacity (cm/cm Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity (cm/hr, Bulk Density (gr/cm3]. And soil loss in a unit area by using ABAG (Allgemeine Boden Abtrags Gleichung model was estimated. Soil properties and soil loss amount relations among the land use group were determined. Topsoil (0-20cm and subsoil (20-50cm properties except subsoil organic matter were significantly affected by land use group. Finally, Significant changes were found for annual soil loss amounts in a unit area. Avarage annual soil loss in planted area was found approximately 5.5 times less than barren area at 0-50 cm soil depth. Vegetation factor (C which is one of the most important components of the soil loss equation, has been significantly affected by afforestation in a short period of 40 years and thus it was a variable to reduce to soil loss.

  14. Tillage for soil and water conservation in the semi-arid Tropics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogmoed, W.

    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

  15. A threshold in soil formation at Earth’s arid hyperarid transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Stephanie A.; Sutter, Brad; Owen, Justine; Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Sharp, Warren; Cliff, Steven S.; Perry, Kevin; Dietrich, William; McKay, Christopher P.; Amundson, Ronald

    2006-11-01

    The soils of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile have long been known to contain large quantities of unusual salts, yet the processes that form these soils are not yet fully understood. We examined the morphology and geochemistry of soils on post-Miocene fans and stream terraces along a south-to-north (27° to 24° S) rainfall transect that spans the arid to hyperarid transition (21 to ˜2 mm rain y -1). Landform ages are ⩾ 2 My based on cosmogenic radionuclide concentrations in surface boulders, and Ar isotopes in interbedded volcanic ash deposits near the driest site indicate a maximum age of 2.1 My. A chemical mass balance analysis that explicitly accounts for atmospheric additions was used to quantify net changes in mass and volume as a function of rainfall. In the arid (21 mm rain y -1) soil, total mass loss to weathering of silicate alluvium and dust (-1030 kg m -2) is offset by net addition of salts (+170 kg m -2). The most hyperarid soil has accumulated 830 kg m -2 of atmospheric salts (including 260 kg sulfate m -2 and 90 kg chloride m -2), resulting in unusually high volumetric expansion (120%) for a soil of this age. The composition of both airborne particles and atmospheric deposition in passive traps indicates that the geochemistry of the driest soil reflects accumulated atmospheric influxes coupled with limited in-soil chemical transformation and loss. Long-term rates of atmospheric solute addition were derived from the ion inventories in the driest soil, divided by the landform age, and compared to measured contemporary rates. With decreasing rainfall, the soil salt inventories increase, and the retained salts are both more soluble and present at shallower depths. All soils generally exhibit vertical variation in their chemistry, suggesting slow and stochastic downward water movement, and greater climate variability over the past 2 My than is reflected in recent (˜100 y) rainfall averages. The geochemistry of these soils shows that the transition

  16. Life at the hyperarid margin: novel bacterial diversity in arid soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Julia W.; Quade, Jay; Ortiz, Marianyoly; Nelson, William M.; Legatzki, Antje; Tian, Fei; LaComb, Michelle; Betancourt, Julio L.; Wing, Rod A.; Soderlund, Carol A.; Maier, Raina M.

    2012-01-01

    Nearly half the earth's surface is occupied by dryland ecosystems, regions susceptible to reduced states of biological productivity caused by climate fluctuations. Of these regions, arid zones located at the interface between vegetated semiarid regions and biologically unproductive hyperarid zones are considered most vulnerable. The objective of this study was to conduct a deep diversity analysis of bacterial communities in unvegetated arid soils of the Atacama Desert, to characterize community structure and infer the functional potential of these communities based on observed phylogenetic associations. A 454-pyrotag analysis was conducted of three unvegetated arid sites located at the hyperarid-arid margin. The analysis revealed communities with unique bacterial diversity marked by high abundances of novel Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi and low levels of Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria, phyla that are dominant in many biomes. A 16S rRNA gene library of one site revealed the presence of clones with phylogenetic associations to chemoautotrophic taxa able to obtain energy through oxidation of nitrite, carbon monoxide, iron, or sulfur. Thus, soils at the hyperarid margin were found to harbor a wealth of novel bacteria and to support potentially viable communities with phylogenetic associations to non-phototrophic primary producers and bacteria capable of biogeochemical cycling.

  17. Life at the hyperarid margin: novel bacterial diversity in arid soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Julia W; Quade, Jay; Ortiz, Marianyoly; Nelson, William M; Legatzki, Antje; Tian, Fei; LaComb, Michelle; Betancourt, Julio L; Wing, Rod A; Soderlund, Carol A; Maier, Raina M

    2012-05-01

    Nearly half the earth's surface is occupied by dryland ecosystems, regions susceptible to reduced states of biological productivity caused by climate fluctuations. Of these regions, arid zones located at the interface between vegetated semiarid regions and biologically unproductive hyperarid zones are considered most vulnerable. The objective of this study was to conduct a deep diversity analysis of bacterial communities in unvegetated arid soils of the Atacama Desert, to characterize community structure and infer the functional potential of these communities based on observed phylogenetic associations. A 454-pyrotag analysis was conducted of three unvegetated arid sites located at the hyperarid-arid margin. The analysis revealed communities with unique bacterial diversity marked by high abundances of novel Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi and low levels of Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria, phyla that are dominant in many biomes. A 16S rRNA gene library of one site revealed the presence of clones with phylogenetic associations to chemoautotrophic taxa able to obtain energy through oxidation of nitrite, carbon monoxide, iron, or sulfur. Thus, soils at the hyperarid margin were found to harbor a wealth of novel bacteria and to support potentially viable communities with phylogenetic associations to non-phototrophic primary producers and bacteria capable of biogeochemical cycling.

  18. Precipitation alters plastic film mulching impacts on soil respiration in an arid area of northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Guanghui; Hu, Hongchang; Tian, Fuqiang; Peng, Zhenyang; Yang, Pengju; Luo, Yiqi

    2018-05-01

    Plastic film mulching (PFM) has widely been used around the world to save water and improve crop yield. However, the effect of PFM on soil respiration (Rs) remains unclear and could be further confounded by irrigation and precipitation. To address these topics, controlled experiments were conducted in mulched and non-mulched fields under drip irrigation from 2014 to 2016 in an arid area of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China. The spatio-temporal pattern of soil surface CO2 flux as an index of soil respiration under drip irrigation with PFM was investigated, and the confounded effects of PFM and irrigation/precipitation on soil respiration were explored. The main findings were as follows. (1) Furrows, planting holes, and plastic mulch are three important pathways of soil CO2 emissions in mulched fields, of which the planting hole efflux outweighs that from the furrow, with the largest values of 8.0 and 6.6 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively, and the plastic mulch itself can emit up to 3.6 µmol m-2 s-1 of CO2. (2) The frequent application of water (i.e. through irrigation and precipitation) elevates soil moisture and soil respiration and enhances their variation. The resultant higher variation of soil moisture further alleviates the sensitivity of soil respiration to soil temperature, leading to a weak correlation and lower Q10 values. (3) Soil CO2 effluxes from furrows and ridges in mulched fields outweigh the corresponding values in non-mulched fields in arid areas. However, this outweighing relation attenuates with increasing precipitation. Furthermore, by combining our results with those from the literature, we show that the difference in soil CO2 effluxes between non-mulched and mulched fields presents a linear relation with the amount of precipitation, which results in negative values in arid areas and positive values in humid areas. Therefore, whether PFM increases soil respiration or not depends on the amount of precipitation during the crop

  19. The use of spatial empirical models to estimate soil erosion in arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Meshal; Feagin, Rusty; Musawi, Layla

    2017-02-01

    The central objective of this project was to utilize geographical information systems and remote sensing to compare soil erosion models, including Modified Pacific South-west Inter Agency Committee (MPSIAC), Erosion Potential Method (EPM), and Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), and to determine their applicability for arid regions such as Kuwait. The northern portion of Umm Nigga, containing both coastal and desert ecosystems, falls within the boundaries of the de-militarized zone (DMZ) adjacent to Iraq and has been fenced off to restrict public access since 1994. Results showed that the MPSIAC and EPM models were similar in spatial distribution of erosion, though the MPSIAC had a more realistic spatial distribution of erosion and presented finer level details. The RUSLE presented unrealistic results. We then predicted the amount of soil loss between coastal and desert areas and fenced and unfenced sites for each model. In the MPSIAC and EPM models, soil loss was different between fenced and unfenced sites at the desert areas, which was higher at the unfenced due to the low vegetation cover. The overall results implied that vegetation cover played an important role in reducing soil erosion and that fencing is much more important in the desert ecosystems to protect against human activities such as overgrazing. We conclude that the MPSIAC model is best for predicting soil erosion for arid regions such as Kuwait. We also recommend the integration of field-based experiments with lab-based spatial analysis and modeling in future research.

  20. Vegetation-induced soil water repellency as a strategy in arid ecosystems. A geochemical approach in Banksia woodlands (SW Australia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Jiménez-Morillo, Nicasio T.; González-Pérez, Jose Antonio; Zavala, Lorena M.; Stevens, Jason; Jordan, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    discussion should shed light on possible ecological plant strategies and specific adaptations for water uptake in such arid ecosystems of WA. Acknowledgements This research has been funded by the University of Western Australia (Research Collaboration Award 2015: 'Soil water repellence in biodiverse semi arid environments: new insights and implications for ecological restoration') and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (research projects GEOFIRE, CGL2012-38655-C04-01, and POSTFIRE, CGL 2013-47862-C2-1-R. References Benigno SM, Dixon KW, Stevens JC. 2014. Seedling mortality during biphasic drought in sandy Mediterranean soils. Funct Plant Biol 41: 1239-1248 DOI: 10.1071/FP13366 Doerr SH, Shakesby RA, Walsh RPD. 2000. Soil water repellency: its causes, characteristics and hydro-geomorphological significance. Earth-Sci Rev 51: 33-65. DOI: 10.1016/S0012-8252(00)00011-8. Jordán A, Zavala LM, Mataix-Solera J, Doerr SH. 2013. Soil water repellency: origin, assessment and geomorphological consequences. Catena 108: 1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2013.05.005. Jiménez-Morillo NT, González-Pérez JA, Jordán A, Zavala LM, de la Rosa JM, Jiménez-González MA, González-Vila FJ. 2014 Organic matter fractions controlling soil water repellency in sandy soils from the Doñana National Park (Southwestern Spain). Land Degrad. Develop. published online. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2314 Lozano E, Garcia-Orenes F, Barcenas-Moreno G, Jimenez-Pinilla P, Mataix-Solera J, Arcenegui V, Morugan-Coronado A, Mataix-Beneyto J. 2014. Relationships between soil water repellency and microbial community composition under different plant species in a Mediterranean semiarid forest. J Hydrol Hydromech 62: 101-107. DOI: 10.2478/johh-2014-0017

  1. Effects of irrigation and plastic mulch on soil properties on semi-arid abandoned fields

    OpenAIRE

    van der Meulen, E.S.; Nol, L.; Cammeraat, L.H.

    2006-01-01

    The Guadalentín Basin in Spain is one of the driest areas of Europe and has problems with high evaporation rates, and high risks of desertification exist including soil quality loss and soil erosion. Farmers in this semi-arid region use polyethylene covers on their irrigated croplands to reduce evaporation in order to enhance crop yield. When farmers abandon the acres, they leave the plastic covers on the fields. Up to now research has been concentrating on the effects of plastic covers on cr...

  2. Soil and water science in an arid environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hillel, D.

    1974-01-01

    Nuclear technology plays an important part in the study and development of the soil/water interaction. Tracing and measuring techniques using radioisotopes are vital tools in the elucidation of flows and processes, in order to produce the required knowledge. On the other end of the scale, it will be desalination plants tied to nuclear reactors which will become important in producing sweet water in volume, and at an acceptable cost. Valuable work in both these directions is being furthered by the IAEA, and by governmental and academic research centres in Israel. (author)

  3. Spatial heterogeneity of physicochemical properties explains differences in microbial composition in arid soils from Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Pajares

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Arid ecosystems are characterized by high spatial heterogeneity, and the variation among vegetation patches is a clear example. Soil biotic and abiotic factors associated with these patches have also been well documented as highly heterogeneous in space. Given the low vegetation cover and little precipitation in arid ecosystems, soil microorganisms are the main drivers of nutrient cycling. Nonetheless, little is known about the spatial distribution of microorganisms and the relationship that their diversity holds with nutrients and other physicochemical gradients in arid soils. In this study, we evaluated the spatial variability of soil microbial diversity and chemical parameters (nutrients and ion content at local scale (meters occurring in a gypsum-based desert soil, to gain knowledge on what soil abiotic factors control the distribution of microbes in arid ecosystems. We analyzed 32 soil samples within a 64 m2 plot and: (a characterized microbial diversity using T-RFLPs of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, (b determined soil chemical parameters, and (c identified relationships between microbial diversity and chemical properties. Overall, we found a strong correlation between microbial composition heterogeneity and spatial variation of cations (Ca2, K+ and anions (HCO ${}_{3}^{-}$ 3 − , Cl−, SO ${}_{4}^{2-}$ 4 2 − content in this small plot. Our results could be attributable to spatial differences of soil saline content, favoring the patchy emergence of salt and soil microbial communities.

  4. New Comparative Experiments of Different Soil Types for Farmland Water Conservation in Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiben Cheng

    2018-03-01

    is: clay (54.3 mm, 43.39% of the total irrigation, loam (39.83 mm, 31.83% of the total irrigation, and sand (33.47 mm, 26.75% of the total irrigation. (3 After the irrigation event, DSR below 150 cm occurs for all three soil combinations. This study reveals the characteristics of irrigation-induced soil moisture recharge and DSR, and it shows that farmland consisting of an upper 50 cm plough soil and a lower 100 cm filled clay soil can save more water resource at the study site, which is useful in agricultural control measure and water resource management in arid regions.

  5. Multifrequency passive microwave observations of soil moisture in an arid rangeland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, T. J.; Schmugge, T. J.; Parry, R.; Kustas, W. P.; Ritchie, J. C.; Shutko, A. M.; Khaldin, A.; Reutov, E.; Novichikhin, E.; Liberman, B.

    1992-01-01

    A cooperative experiment was conducted by teams from the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to evaluate passive microwave instruments and algorithms used to estimate surface soil moisture. Experiments were conducted as part of an interdisciplinary experiment in an arid rangeland watershed located in the southwest United States. Soviet microwave radiometers operating at wavelengths of 2.25, 21 and 27 cm were flown on a U.S. aircraft. Radio frequency interference limited usable data to the 2.25 and 21 cm systems. Data have been calibrated and compared to ground observations of soil moisture. These analyses showed that the 21 cm system could produce reliable and useful soil moisture information and that the 2.25 cm system was of no value for soil moisture estimation in this experiment.

  6. Biocrust-forming mosses mitigate the impact of aridity on soil microbial communities in drylands: observational evidence from three continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T; Eldridge, David J; Bowker, Matthew A; Jeffries, Thomas C; Singh, Brajesh K

    2018-04-02

    Recent research indicates that increased aridity linked to climate change will reduce the diversity of soil microbial communities and shift their community composition in drylands, Earth's largest biome. However, we lack both a theoretical framework and solid empirical evidence of how important biotic components from drylands, such as biocrust-forming mosses, will regulate the responses of microbial communities to expected increases in aridity with climate change. Here we report results from a cross-continental (North America, Europe and Australia) survey of 39 locations from arid to humid ecosystems, where we evaluated how biocrust-forming mosses regulate the relationship between aridity and the community composition and diversity of soil bacteria and fungi in dryland ecosystems. Increasing aridity was negatively related to the richness of fungi, and either positively or negatively related to the relative abundance of selected microbial phyla, when biocrust-forming mosses were absent. Conversely, we found an overall lack of relationship between aridity and the relative abundance and richness of microbial communities under biocrust-forming mosses. Our results suggest that biocrust-forming mosses mitigate the impact of aridity on the community composition of globally distributed microbial taxa, and the diversity of fungi. They emphasize the importance of maintaining biocrusts as a sanctuary for soil microbes in drylands. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Tetracycline resistance in semi-arid agricultural soils under long-term swine effluent application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Inna E; Josue, Rosemarie D R; Deng, Shiping; Hattey, Jeffory A

    2017-05-04

    Annually, millions pounds of antibiotics are released unmetabolized into environment along with animal wastes. Accumulation of antibiotics in soils could potentially induce the persistence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibiotics such as tetracyclines and tetracycline-resistant bacteria have been previously detected in fields fertilized with animal manure. However, little is known about the accumulation of tetracyclines and the development of tetracycline resistance in semi-arid soils. Here we demonstrate that continuous land application with swine effluent, containing trace amounts of chlortetracycline, does not necessarily induce tetracycline resistance in soil bacteria. Based on the testing of more than 3,000 bacteria isolated from the amended soils, we found no significant increase in the occurrence and level of chlortetracycline resistant bacteria in soils after 15 years of continuous swine effluent fertilization. To account for a possible transfer of tetracycline-resistant bacteria originated from the swine effluent to soils, we analyzed two commonly found tetracycline resistant genes, tet(O) and tet(M), in the swine effluent and fertilized soils. Both genes were present in the swine effluent, however, they were not detectable in soils applied with swine effluent. Our data demonstrate that agronomic application of manure from antibiotic treated swine effluent does not necessarily result in the development of antibiotic bacterial resistance in soils. Apparently, concentrations of chlortetracycline present in manure are not significant enough to induce the development of antibiotic bacterial resistance.

  8. Soil-atmosphere trace gas exchange in semiarid and arid zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbally, Ian E; Kirstine, Wayne V; Meyer, C P Mick; Wang, Ying Ping

    2008-01-01

    A review is presented on trace gas exchange of CH4, CO, N2O, and NOx arising from agriculture and natural sources in the world's semiarid and arid zones due to soil processes. These gases are important contributors to the radiative forcing and the chemistry of the atmosphere. Quantitative information is summarized from the available studies. Between 5 and 40% of the global soil-atmosphere exchange for these gases (CH4, CO, N2O, and NOx) may occur in semiarid and arid zones, but for each of these gases there are fewer than a dozen studies to support the individual estimates, and these are from a limited number of locations. Significant differences in the biophysical and chemical processes controlling these trace gas exchanges are identified through the comparison of semiarid and arid zones with the moist temperate or wet/dry savanna land regions. Therefore, there is a poorly quantified understanding of the contribution of these regions to the global trace gas cycles and atmospheric chemistry. More importantly, there is a poor understanding of the feedback between these exchanges, global change, and regional land use and air pollution issues. A set of research issues is presented.

  9. Iron and sulfur geochemistry in semi-arid mangrove soils (Ceará, Brazil) in relation to seasonal changes and shrimp farming effluents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nóbrega, G N; Ferreira, T O; Romero, R E; Marques, A G B; Otero, X L

    2013-09-01

    Iron and sulfur are key elements in the biogeochemistry of estuarine soils, in which Fe and sulfate reduction (SR) pathways are important for organic matter decomposition. In the semi-arid coast of NE Brazil, mangroves are characterized by large seasonal variations in weather and the presence of numerous shrimp farms. The objective was to determine the impacts of shrimp farm effluents on iron and sulfur geochemistry in mangrove soils under the semi-arid climate of NE Brazil. A seasonal study was made of two mangrove forest soils (SF, a mangrove forest that directly receives wastewater from shrimp ponds and CS, a control site). Pyrite Fe, oxyhydroxides Fe, acid volatile sulfide, degree of pyritization (DOP), pH, Eh, total organic carbon (TOC) and total S were determined. There was a clear decrease in pyritic Fe and DOP in the SF soils, which may be related to the anaerobic oxidation of pyrite coupled with nitrate reduction, or to the dominance of denitrification over SR. Lower TOC contents in the SF site suggest that below ground decomposition increased in response to eutrophication. The seasonal variations led to important changes in the semi-arid mangrove soils. During the dry period, both soils experienced oxidizing conditions with remarkable loss of reduced and oxidized forms of Fe, which may have important environmental implications as Fe is biolimiting for marine primary production. The data show that both factors (seasonal weather variations and shrimp effluents) play important roles in the geochemical processes that occur in these soils and, thus, may affect their functioning and maintenance.

  10. Parametrization of the increase of the aeolian erosion threshold wind friction velocity due to soil moisture for arid and semi-arid areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Fécan

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Large-scale simulation of the soil-derived dust emission in semi-arid regions needs to account for the influence of the soil moisture on the wind erosion threshold. Soil water retention consists of molecular adsorption on the soil grain surface and capillary forces between the grain. Interparticle capillary forces (characterized by the moisture tension are the main factor responsible for the increase of the wind erosion threshold observed when the soil moisture increases. When the soil moisture content is close to but smaller than the maximum amount of adsorbed water, w' (depending on the soil texture, these capillary forces are considered as not strong enough to significantly increase the erosion threshold. An expression of the moisture tension as a function of soil moisture and w' is derived from retention curves. From this expression, a parametrization of the ratio of the wet to dry erosion thresholds has been developed as a function of soil moisture and soil texture. The coefficients of this parametrization have been determined by using experimental data from the literature. An empirical relationship between w' and soil clay content has been established. The erosion threshold ratios simulated for different soil textures were found to be in good agreement with the experimental data.Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (Aerosols and particles · Hydrology (soil moisture

  11. Impact of soil salinity on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biodiversity and microflora biomass associated with Tamarix articulata Vahll rhizosphere in arid and semi-arid Algerian areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bencherif, Karima; Boutekrabt, Ammar; Fontaine, Joël; Laruelle, Fréderic; Dalpè, Yolande; Sahraoui, Anissa Lounès-Hadj

    2015-11-15

    Soil salinization is an increasingly important problem in many parts of the world, particularly under arid and semi-arid areas. Unfortunately, the knowledge about restoration of salt affected ecosystems using mycorrhizae is limited. The current study aims to investigate the impact of salinity on the microbial richness of the halophytic plant Tamarix articulata rhizosphere. Soil samples were collected from natural sites with increasing salinity (1.82-4.95 ds.m(-1)). Six arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) species were isolated from the different saline soils and identified as Septoglomus constrictum, Funneliformis mosseae, Funneliformis geosporum, Funneliformis coronatum, Rhizophagus fasciculatus, and Gigaspora gigantea. The number of AMF spores increased with soil salinity. Total root colonization rate decreased from 65 to 16% but remained possible with soil salinity. Microbial biomass in T. articulata rhizosphere was affected by salinity. The phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) C16:1ω5 as well as i15:0, a15:0, i16:0, i17:0, a17:0, cy17:0, C18:1ω7 and cy19:0 increased in high saline soils suggesting that AMF and bacterial biomasses increased with salinity. In contrast, ergosterol amount was negatively correlated with soil salinity indicating that ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungal biomasses were reduced with salinity. Our findings highlight the adaptation of arbuscular and bacterial communities to natural soil salinity and thus the potential use of mycorrhizal T. articulata trees as an approach to restore moderately saline disturbed arid lands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Land degradation assessment by geo-spatially modeling different soil erodibility equations in a semi-arid catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saygın, Selen Deviren; Basaran, Mustafa; Ozcan, Ali Ugur; Dolarslan, Melda; Timur, Ozgur Burhan; Yilman, F Ebru; Erpul, Gunay

    2011-09-01

    Land degradation by soil erosion is one of the most serious problems and environmental issues in many ecosystems of arid and semi-arid regions. Especially, the disturbed areas have greater soil detachability and transportability capacity. Evaluation of land degradation in terms of soil erodibility, by using geostatistical modeling, is vital to protect and reclaim susceptible areas. Soil erodibility, described as the ability of soils to resist erosion, can be measured either directly under natural or simulated rainfall conditions, or indirectly estimated by empirical regression models. This study compares three empirical equations used to determine the soil erodibility factor of revised universal soil loss equation prediction technology based on their geospatial performances in the semi-arid catchment of the Saraykoy II Irrigation Dam located in Cankiri, Turkey. A total of 311 geo-referenced soil samples were collected with irregular intervals from the top soil layer (0-10 cm). Geostatistical analysis was performed with the point values of each equation to determine its spatial pattern. Results showed that equations that used soil organic matter in combination with the soil particle size better agreed with the variations in land use and topography of the catchment than the one using only the particle size distribution. It is recommended that the equations which dynamically integrate soil intrinsic properties with land use, topography, and its influences on the local microclimates, could be successfully used to geospatially determine sites highly susceptible to water erosion, and therefore, to select the agricultural and bio-engineering control measures needed.

  13. Chemical-Structural Changes of Organic Matter in a Semi-Arid Soil After Organic Amendment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    C.NICOL(A)S; G.MASCIANDARO; T.HERN(A)NDEZ; C.GARCIA

    2012-01-01

    A 9-month incubation experiment using composted and non-composted amendments derived from vine pruning waste and sewage sludge was carried out to study the effects of the nature and stability of organic amendments on the structural composition of organic matter (OM) in a semi-arid soil. The changes of soil OM,both in the whole soil and in the extractable carbon with pyrophosphate,were evaluated by pyrolysis-gas chromatography and chemical analyses.By the end of the experiment,the soils amended with pruning waste exhibited less organic carbon loss than those receiving sewage sludge.The non-composted residues increased the aliphatic-pyrolytic products of the OM,both in the whole soil and also in the pyrophosphate extract,with the products derived from peptides and proteins being significantly higher.After 9 months,in the soils amended with pruning waste the relative abundance of phenolic-pyrolytic products derived from phenolic compounds,lignin and proteins in the whole soil tended to increase more than those in the soils amended with sewage sludge.However,the extractable OM with pyrophosphate in the soils amended with composted residues tended to have higher contents of these phenolic-pyrolytic products than that in non-composted ones.Thus,despite the stability of pruning waste,the composting of this material promoted the incorporation of phenolic compounds to the soil OM.The pyrolytic indices (furfural/pyrrole and aliphatic/aromatic ratios) showed the diminution of aliphatic compounds and the increase of aromatic compounds,indicating the stabilization of the OM in the amended soils after 9 months.In conclusion,the changes of soil OM depend on the nature and stability of the organic amendments,with composted vine pruning waste favouring humification.

  14. Development of spatial heterogeneity in vegetation and soil properties after land abandonment in a semi-arid ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lesschen, J.P.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Kooijman, A.M.; van Wesemael, B.

    2008-01-01

    To mitigate erosion on abandoned fields in semi-arid ecosystems, it is important to understand how vegetation and soil properties and patterns develop after land abandonment. Our objective was to investigate the development of spatial heterogeneity in vegetation and soil properties after land

  15. Soil nutrient and sediment loss as affected by erosion barriers and nutrient source in semi-arid Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zougmore, R.; Mando, A.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2009-01-01

    In semi-arid Sahel, soil erosion by water is one major factor accounting for negative nutrient balances in agricultural systems. A field experiment was conducted on a Ferric Lixisol in Burkina Faso to assess the effects of soil and water conservation barriers (stone rows or grass strips of

  16. 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

  17. [Effect of Biochar on Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Semi-arid Region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yan-liang; Wang, Dan-dan; Zheng, Ji-yong; Zhao, Shi-wei; Zhang, Xing-chang

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effects of biochar addition on the emission of greenhouse gases from farmland soil in semi-arid region. Through an in-situ experiments, the influence of sawdust biochar(J) and locust tree skin biochar (H) at three doses (1%, 3%, and 5% of quality percentage) on C2, CH4 and N2O emissions were studied within the six months in the south of Ningxiaprovince. The results indicated that soil CO2 emission flux was slightly increased with the addition doses for both biochars, and the averaged CO2 emission flux for sawdust and locust tree skin biochar was enhanced by 1. 89% and 3. 34% compared to the control, but the difference between treatments was not statistically significant. The soil CH4 emission was decreased with the increasing of biochar doses, by 1. 17%, 2. 55%, 4. 32% for J1, J3, J5 and 2. 35%, 5. 83%, 7. 32% for H1, H3, H5, respectively. However, the difference was statistically significant only for J5, H3 and H5 treatments (P effect on soil N2O emission. Our study indicated that the biochar has no significant influence on soil CO2 and N2O emissions within six months in semi-arid region and can significantly influence soil CH4 emissions (P < 0. 05). As for biochar type, the locust tree skin biochar is significantly better than the sawdust biochar in terms of restraining CH4 emission(P = 0. 048).

  18. Effects of soil properties on natural radio-nuclides concentration in arid environment: a case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khater, A.F.M.; Al-Sewaidan, H.A.I.; Al-Saif, A.S.; Diab, H.I.

    2008-01-01

    Soil samples were collected from an arid environment in the central region of Saudi Arabia, 28 samples from selected 14 locations in an agricultural farm. Two samples, one from cultivated land and the second from uncultivated land, of the same origin were collected from each location. This work aims at investigating the changes of soil properties due to dry-land use and its effects on naturally occurring radio-nuclides (NOR) concentration and distribution. The specific activity, in Bq/kg, of 226 Ra ( 238 U series), 228 gRa ( 232 Th series), 40 K and 137 Cs were measured using calibrated gamma-ray spectrometer. The soil physical and chemical properties [e.g. pH, EC, particle size distribution (clay, silt and sand percentages), CaCO 3 %, soluble cations (Ca, Mg, Na and K) and soluble anions (CO 3 , HCO 3 , Cl and SO 4 )] were determined. The radium equivalent activity, in Bq/kg, and absorbed dose rate one meter above the ground, in nGy/y, were calculated. Generally, there are not noticeable changes in soil properties due to agricultural activities or strong correlations between soil properties and NOR specific activities. That could be due to the sandy nature of the soil and the effects of adsorption-filtration processes on the behavior and the distribution pattern of NOR in arid environment. Therefore, the environmental impacts of different man-made activities on underground resources should be carefully considered due to the possible filtration behavior of different pollutants in dry-land environment. (author)(tk)

  19. Estimating soil erosion in Natura 2000 areas located on three semi-arid Mediterranean Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaimes, George N; Emmanouloudis, Dimitris; Iakovoglou, Valasia

    2012-03-01

    A major initiative in Europe is the protection of its biodiversity. To accomplish this, specific areas from all countries of the European Union are protected by the establishment of the "Natura 2000" network. One of the major threats to these areas and in general to ecosystems is soil erosion. The objective of this study was to quantitatively estimate surface soil losses for three of these protected areas that are located on semi-arid islands of the Mediterranean. One Natura 2000 area was selected from each of the following islands: Sicily in Italy, Cyprus and Rhodes in Greece. To estimate soil losses, Gerlach troughs were used. These troughs were established on slopes that ranged from 35-40% in four different vegetation types: i) Quercus ilex and Quercus rotundifolia forests, ii) Pinus brutia forests, iii) "Phrygana" shrublands and iv) vineyards. The shrublands had the highest soil losses (270 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)) that were 5-13 times more than the other three vegetation types. Soil losses in these shrublands should be considered a major concern. However, the other vegetation types also had high soil losses (21-50 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)). Conclusively, in order to enhance and conserve the biodiversity of these Natura 2000 areas protective management measures should be taken into consideration to decrease soil losses.

  20. Hydric balance in subsistence culture in the semi-arid soil of Northeast Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antonino, Antonio C.D.; Sampaio, Everardo V.S.B.; Dall'Olio, Attilio; Salcedo, Ignacio H.; Bernardo, Ana L.; Soares, Adriano A.M.

    1997-01-01

    In spite of being the limiting factor for agricultural production, little has been studied about water dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere system in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. To fill this gap, an experiment was established at Coxixola, PB, with four treatments (corn and beans crops, bare soil and soil covered with mulch), plots 7.7 x 10 m and planting spacing between holes, of 1.1 x 1.0 m. Rainfall was monitored with a pluviometer, evaporation with a class A tank and soil water with a neutron probe with daily measurements each 10 cm until 100 cm depth. the crop cycle, from March to July, was divided into nine periods, 13-14 days each. Results confirm the water limitation, with 212 mm rainfall during the cycle, 81% concentrated in the four first periods. Variations in the water storage in the soil profile, for the four treatments, followed variations in rainfall. Bare soil and much had similar results. Average daily real evapotranspiration for beans was 1.8 mm and for corn 1.9 mm. Average daily real evaporation for bare soil and much was 0.78 e 0.85 mm, respectively. (author). 9 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs

  1. [Soil quality assessment under different cropping system and straw management in farmland of arid oasis region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng Peng; Pu, Xiao Zhen; Zhang, Wang Feng

    2018-03-01

    To reveal the regulatory mechanism of agricultural management practices on soil quality, an experiment was carried out to study the different cropping system and straw management on soil organic carbon and fractions and soil enzyme activity in farmland of arid oasis region, which would provide a scientific basic for enhancing agricultural resources utilization and sustainable development. In crop planting planning area, we took the mainly crop (cotton, wheat, maize) as research objects and designed long-term continues cropping and crop rotation experiments. The results showed that the soil organic carbon (SOC), soil microbial biomass C, labile C, water-soluble organic C, and hot-water-soluble organic C content were increased by 3.6%-9.9%, 41.8%-98.9%, 3.3%-17.0%, 11.1%-32.4%, 4.6%-27.5% by crop rotation compared to continues cropping, and 12%-35.9%, 22.4%-49.7%, 30.7%-51.0%, 10.6%-31.9%, 41.0%-96.4% by straw incorporated compared to straw removed, respectively. The soil catalase, dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, invertase glucose, cellulase glucose activity were increased by 6.4%-10.9%, 6.6%-18.8%, 5.9%-15.3%, 10.0%-27.4%, 28.1%-37.5% by crop rotation compared to continues cropping, and 31.4%-47.5%, 19.9%-46.6%, 13.8%-20.7%, 19.8%-55.6%, 54.1%-70.9% by straw incorporated compared to straw removed, respectively. There were significant positive linear correlations among SOC, labile SOC fractions and soil enzyme. Therefore, we concluded that labile SOC fractions and soil enzyme were effective index for evaluating the change of SOC and soil quality. Based on factor analysis, in arid region, developing agricultural production using cropland management measures, such as straw-incorporated and combined short-term continues cotton and crop rotation, could enhance SOC and labile SOC fractions contents and soil enzyme activity, which could improve soil quality and be conducive to agricultural sustainable development.

  2. Deficit irrigation and fertilization strategies to improve soil quality and alfalfa yield in arid and semi-arid areas of northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Qianmin; Kamran, Muhammad; Ali, Shahzad; Sun, Lefeng; Zhang, Peng; Ren, Xiaolong; Jia, Zhikuan

    2018-01-01

    In the arid and semi-arid areas of northern China, overexploitation of fertilizers and extensive irrigation with brackish groundwater have led to soil degradation and large areas of farmland have been abandoned. In order to improve the soil quality of abandoned farmland and make reasonable use of brackish groundwater, we conducted field trials in 2013 and 2014. In our study, we used three fertilization modes (CF, chemical fertilizer; OM, organic manure and chemical fertilizer; NF, no fertilizer) and three deficit irrigation levels (I 0 : 0 mm; I 75 : 75 mm; I 150 : 150 mm). The results showed that the activities of soil urease, alkaline phosphatase, invertase, catalase, and dehydrogenase in the OM treatment were significantly improved compared with those in the CF and NF treatments under the three deficit irrigation levels. Compared with NF, the OM treatment significantly increased soil organic carbon (SOC), water-soluble carbon (WSC), total nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen (MBC and MBN), and soil respiration rate, and significantly decreased soil C:N and MBC:MBN ratios and the metabolic quotient, thus improving the soil quality of abandoned farmland. Furthermore, the OM treatment increased alfalfa plant height, leaf area index, leaf chlorophyll content, and biomass yield. Under the CF and OM fertilization modes, the activities of urease and catalase in I 150 were significantly higher than those in I 0 , whereas irrigating without fertilizer did not significantly increase the activity of these two enzymes. Regardless of fertilization, alkaline phosphatase activity increased with an increase in irrigation amount, whereas invertase activity decreased. The results showed that deficit irrigation with brackish groundwater under the OM treatment can improve soil quality. Over the two years of the study, maximum SOC, total nitrogen, WSC, MBC, and MBN were observed under the OM-I 150 treatment, and the alfalfa biomass yield of this treatment was also

  3. Deficit irrigation and fertilization strategies to improve soil quality and alfalfa yield in arid and semi-arid areas of northern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qianmin Jia

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Background In the arid and semi-arid areas of northern China, overexploitation of fertilizers and extensive irrigation with brackish groundwater have led to soil degradation and large areas of farmland have been abandoned. In order to improve the soil quality of abandoned farmland and make reasonable use of brackish groundwater, we conducted field trials in 2013 and 2014. Methods In our study, we used three fertilization modes (CF, chemical fertilizer; OM, organic manure and chemical fertilizer; NF, no fertilizer and three deficit irrigation levels (I0: 0 mm; I75: 75 mm; I150: 150 mm. Results The results showed that the activities of soil urease, alkaline phosphatase, invertase, catalase, and dehydrogenase in the OM treatment were significantly improved compared with those in the CF and NF treatments under the three deficit irrigation levels. Compared with NF, the OM treatment significantly increased soil organic carbon (SOC, water-soluble carbon (WSC, total nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen (MBC and MBN, and soil respiration rate, and significantly decreased soil C:N and MBC:MBN ratios and the metabolic quotient, thus improving the soil quality of abandoned farmland. Furthermore, the OM treatment increased alfalfa plant height, leaf area index, leaf chlorophyll content, and biomass yield. Under the CF and OM fertilization modes, the activities of urease and catalase in I150 were significantly higher than those in I0, whereas irrigating without fertilizer did not significantly increase the activity of these two enzymes. Regardless of fertilization, alkaline phosphatase activity increased with an increase in irrigation amount, whereas invertase activity decreased. Discussion The results showed that deficit irrigation with brackish groundwater under the OM treatment can improve soil quality. Over the two years of the study, maximum SOC, total nitrogen, WSC, MBC, and MBN were observed under the OM-I150 treatment, and the alfalfa

  4. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  5. Water repellency and infiltration of biological soil crusts on an arid and a temperate dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Thomas; Yair, Aaron; Geppert, Helmut; Veste, Maik

    2014-05-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) play an important role in many ecosystems and in all climates. We studies hydrological properties of BSCs under arid and temperate climates. The arid study site was located near Nizzana, in the northwestern Negev, Israel and the temperate site was near Lieberose, Brandenburg, Germany. BSCs were sampled at each site near the dune crest, at the center of the dune slope and at the dune base. Using principal component analysis (PCA), we studied the relationships between hydraulic properties and the molecular structure of organic matter using repellency indices, microinfiltrometry, and 13C-CP/MAS-NMR. The soil texture was finer and water holding capacities (WHCs) were higher in Nizzana, whereas surface wettability was reduced in Lieberose. At both sites, BSCs caused extra WHC compared to the mineral substrate. Infiltration after wetting along both catenas generally reached a maximum after 10 min and decreased after 30 min. Carbohydrates were the dominating components in all of the BSCs studied, where the relative peak areas of carbohydrate-derived structures (60-110 ppm) amounted to 28-46% and to 10-14% of total C-peak areas, respectively. PCA revealed that the WHC of the substrate was closely related to the amount of silt and clay, whereas the BSC induced extra WHC was closely related to carbohydrates. It was further found that water repellency was positively related to carbohydrate C, but negatively related to alkyl C. Infiltration kinetics was attributed to polysaccharide hydration and swelling. Our findings support the hypothesis that hydraulic properties of BSCs are determined by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and soil texture. Hydraulic properties in BSCs result from the combination of chemical properties related to C compounds mainly dominated by carbohydrates and physical surface properties related to texture, porosity and water holding capacity. References Fischer, T., Yair, A., Veste, M., Geppert, H. (2013) Hydraulic

  6. Soil surface moisture estimation over a semi-arid region using ENVISAT ASAR radar data for soil evaporation evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Zribi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The present paper proposes a method for the evaluation of soil evaporation, using soil moisture estimations based on radar satellite measurements. We present firstly an approach for the estimation and monitoring of soil moisture in a semi-arid region in North Africa, using ENVISAT ASAR images, over two types of vegetation covers. The first mapping process is dedicated solely to the monitoring of moisture variability related to rainfall events, over areas in the "non-irrigated olive tree" class of land use. The developed approach is based on a simple linear relationship between soil moisture and the backscattered radar signal normalised at a reference incidence angle. The second process is proposed over wheat fields, using an analysis of moisture variability due to both rainfall and irrigation. A semi-empirical model, based on the water-cloud model for vegetation correction, is used to retrieve soil moisture from the radar signal. Moisture mapping is carried out over wheat fields, showing high variability between irrigated and non-irrigated wheat covers. This analysis is based on a large database, including both ENVISAT ASAR and simultaneously acquired ground-truth measurements (moisture, vegetation, roughness, during the 2008–2009 vegetation cycle. Finally, a semi-empirical approach is proposed in order to relate surface moisture to the difference between soil evaporation and the climate demand, as defined by the potential evaporation. Mapping of the soil evaporation is proposed.

  7. Changes in the soil C cycle at the arid-hyperarid transition in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, S.A.; Macalady, J.L.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; McKay, C.P.; Amundson, Ronald

    2008-01-01

    We examined soil organic C (OC) turnover and transport across the rainfall transition from a biotic, arid site to a largely abiotic, hyperarid site. With this transition, OC concentrations decrease, and C cycling slows precipitously, both in surface horizons and below ground. The concentration and isotopic character of soil OC across this transition reflect decreasing rates of inputs, decomposition, and downward transport. OC concentrations in the arid soil increase slightly with depth in the upper meter, but are generally low and variable (???0.05%; total inventory of 1.82 kg m-2); OC-??14C values decrease from modern (+7???) to very 14C-depleted (-966???) with depth; and OC-??13C values are variable (-23.7??? to -14.1???). Using a transport model, we show that these trends reflect relatively rapid cycling in the upper few centimeters, and spatially variable preservation of belowground OC from root inputs, possibly during a previous, wetter climate supporting higher soil OC concentrations. In the driest soil, the OC inventory is the lowest among the sites (0.19 kg m-2), and radiocarbon values are 14C-depleted (-365??? to -696???) but show no trend with depth, indicating belowground OC inputs and long OC residence times throughout the upper meter (104 y). A distinct depth trend in ??13C values and OC/ON values within the upper 40 cm at the driest site may reflect photochemical alteration of organic matter at the soil surface, combined with limited subsurface decomposition and downward transport. We argue that while root inputs are preserved at the wetter sites, C cycling in the most hyperarid soil occurs through infrequent, rapid dissolved transport of highly photodegraded organic matter during rare rain events, each followed by a pulse of decomposition and subsequent prolonged drought. These belowground inputs are likely a primary control on the character, activity, and depth distribution of small microbial populations. While the lack of water is the dominant

  8. How best to quantify soil seed banks in arid rangelands of the Nama Karoo?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreber, Niels

    2011-02-01

    Sampling design and three sample treatments prior the application of the seedling emergence method were tested in order to find the best method for seed bank quantification in arid Nama Karoo rangelands. I analyzed species composition and seed densities by contrasting undercanopy and open-matrix samples from two soil depths and by comparing the effects of cold-, heat-, and no stratification on germination rates of species in a greenhouse setting. The soil seed bank showed minimal similarity to the standing vegetation, with only 20 plant species germinated. Spatial distribution of seeds was highly heterogeneous. Nearly 90% of germinated seeds were located in 0- to 4-cm compared to >4- to 8-cm soil depth. Undercanopy seed banks contained significantly more species and seeds than open-matrix seed banks. Neither the number nor the diversity of seeds germinated differed significantly among the three treatments. Cold stratification tended to detect more species and seeds only at >4- to 8-cm soil depth. The results highlight the importance of spatial heterogeneity in the accurate evaluation of soil seed banks in the arid Nama Karoo and the importance of considering seasonal variability in the availability of readily germinable seeds. Data also suggest that sample pretreatment in germination trials may give little return for cost and effort, which emphasizes that it is more important to choose the sampling design most likely to give a representative number of seed bank species. Further studies are needed to analyze seed bank dynamics and species-specific germination requirements to promote recruitment of plant taxa underrepresented in the seed bank.

  9. Environment, safety, health, and quality plan for the TRU- Contaminated Arid Soils Project of the Landfill Stabilization Focus Area Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, L.R.

    1995-06-01

    The Landfill Stabilization Focus Area (LSFA) is a program funded by the US Department of Energy Office of Technology Development. LSFA supports the applied research, development, demonstration, testing, and evaluation of a suite of advanced technologies that together form a comprehensive remediation system for the effective and efficient remediation of buried waste. The TRU-Contaminated Arid Soils project is being conducted under the auspices of the LSFA Program. This document describes the Environment, Safety, Health, and Quality requirements for conducting LSFA/Arid Soils activities at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Topics discussed in this report, as they apply to LSFA/Arid Soils operations, include Federal, State of Idaho, and Environmental Protection Agency regulations, Health and Safety Plans, Quality Program, Data Quality Objectives, and training and job hazard analysis. Finally, a discussion is given on CERCLA criteria and system and performance audits as they apply to the LSFA Program

  10. Impact of multiple soil nutrients on distribution patterns of shrubs in an arid valley, in southwest china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, C.J.; Yishui, T.; Zao, L.X.

    2014-01-01

    Shrubs play key roles in arid regions and multiple interacting resources limit their distribution patterns. Identifying limiting resources and their coupling effects on shrubs is essential for developing restoration theory and practice. A survey of shrub composition, soil properties and topography was conducted in fifty-seven 15-m * 15-m plots in an arid valley of the upper Minjiang River, Southwest China. With quantitative classification method and ordination technique, 48 shrubs species were classified into four clusters and two categories along soil gradient. Cluster I and II composed Category I and had a significantly higher percentage of dominant legume shrubs than in Cluster III and Cluster IV, which made up Category II. Correlation analysis indicated that both multi-resource limitation and single resource limitation were coexisting simultaneously in this arid area, the extent of which was functional cluster-specific and also quantified hierarchical structure of multiple resource limitation: soil water played a primary limitation role, available nitrogen the next, and available phosphorus the third at community scale. Moreover, this study affirmed that both soil pH and soil texture could effectively regulate retention of soil moisture and available nutrients, respectively. Distinguishing critical limiting resources and their regulators is very meaningful to clarify couplings and controlling mechanisms in restoration practices. Therefore, decreasing soil pH and increasing soil clay content should be conducted thoroughly in plantation sites to remain abundant soil moisture and available nutrients in native restoration projects. (author)

  11. Impact of Direct Soil Moisture and Revised Soil Moisture Index Methods on Hydrologic Predictions in an Arid Climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milad Jajarmizadeh

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The soil and water assessment tool (SWAT is a physically based model that is used extensively to simulate hydrologic processes in a wide range of climates around the world. SWAT uses spatial hydrometeorological data to simulate runoff through the computation of a retention curve number. The objective of the present study was to compare the performance of two approaches used for the calculation of curve numbers in SWAT, that is, the Revised Soil Moisture Index (SMI, which is based on previous meteorological conditions, and the Soil Moisture Condition II (SMCII, which is based on soil features for the prediction of flow. The results showed that the sensitive parameters for the SMI method are land-use and land-cover features. However, for the SMCII method, the soil and the channel are the sensitive parameters. The performances of the SMI and SMCII methods were analyzed using various indices. We concluded that the fair performance of the SMI method in an arid region may be due to the inherent characteristics of the method since it relies mostly on previous meteorological conditions and does not account for the soil features of the catchment.

  12. Bacterial Diversity within the Extreme Arid Atacama Desert Soils of the Yungay Region, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connon, S. A.; Lester, E. D.; Shafaat, H. S.; Obenhuber, D. C.; Ponce, A.

    2006-12-01

    Surface and subsurface soil samples analyzed for this study were collected from the hyper-arid Yungay region of the Atacama Desert, Chile. This is the first report of microbial diversity from DNA extracted directly from these extremely desiccated soils. Our data shows that 94% of the 16S rRNA genes cloned from these soils belong to the Actinobacteria phylum. A 24-hour time course series showed a diurnal water activity (aw) cycle that peaked at 0.52 in the early predawn hours, and ranged from 0.08 0.01 during the day. All measured water activity values were below the level required for microbial growth or enzyme activity. Total organic carbon (TOC) levels in this region were just above the limits of detection and ranged from 220 660 μg/g of soil. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) levels indicated cellular biomass ranging from 2 ×105 to 7 ×106 cell equivalents per gram of soil. The culturable counts were low with most samples showing no growth on standard plates of R2A medium; the highest single count was 47 colony forming units (CFU) per gram.

  13. Determination of uranium partition coefficients of a semi-arid soil in Bahia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandes, Heloisa H.F.; Pontedeiro, Elizabeth M.; Su, Jian, E-mail: heloisa@lasme.coppe.ufrj.br, E-mail: bettinadulley@hotmail.com, E-mail: sujian@lasme.coppe.ufrj.br [Coordenacao dos Cursos de Pos-Graduacao em Engenharia (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Lab. de Simulacao e Metodos de Engenharia; Dourado, Eneida R.G., E-mail: eneida@inb.gov.br [Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2013-07-01

    In mining and processing industries, the subsurface is one of the most vulnerable compartments to environmental contamination. Understanding the interactions between soil and contaminants is critical for predicting the possible environmental impacts caused by mining and milling operations. One of the main parameters used for this purpose is the partition (or distribution) coefficient, K{sub d}, which allows a relatively simple modeling approach by grouping various sorption phenomena into a single value. However, this parameter is strongly influenced by the physical and chemical characteristics of the medium, such as soil type, pH and solution composition. Thus, this study aims to assess the values of K{sub d} for uranium of typical soils from Bahia's semi-arid region using two different types of solute, one being a standard solution of uranyl acetate and one the liquor of uranium generated during processing. To calculate this parameter, batch adsorption experiments were carried out and adsorption isotherms (linear, Langmuir and Freundlich) were constructed using the Mathematica software. Results obtained for a single type of soil showed reduced values of K{sub d} for a liquor containing uranium when compared to values obtained with the uranyl acetate solution. This indicates that uranium from liquor is less adsorbed onto soil particles, and hence may move more quickly into the subsurface. (author)

  14. Determination of uranium partition coefficients of a semi-arid soil in Bahia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandes, Heloisa H.F.; Pontedeiro, Elizabeth M.; Su, Jian

    2013-01-01

    In mining and processing industries, the subsurface is one of the most vulnerable compartments to environmental contamination. Understanding the interactions between soil and contaminants is critical for predicting the possible environmental impacts caused by mining and milling operations. One of the main parameters used for this purpose is the partition (or distribution) coefficient, K d , which allows a relatively simple modeling approach by grouping various sorption phenomena into a single value. However, this parameter is strongly influenced by the physical and chemical characteristics of the medium, such as soil type, pH and solution composition. Thus, this study aims to assess the values of K d for uranium of typical soils from Bahia's semi-arid region using two different types of solute, one being a standard solution of uranyl acetate and one the liquor of uranium generated during processing. To calculate this parameter, batch adsorption experiments were carried out and adsorption isotherms (linear, Langmuir and Freundlich) were constructed using the Mathematica software. Results obtained for a single type of soil showed reduced values of K d for a liquor containing uranium when compared to values obtained with the uranyl acetate solution. This indicates that uranium from liquor is less adsorbed onto soil particles, and hence may move more quickly into the subsurface. (author)

  15. Possible stakeholder concerns regarding volatile organic compound in arid soils integrated demonstration technologies not evaluated in the stakeholder involvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, T.

    1995-12-01

    The Volatile Organic Compounds in Arid Soils Integrated Demonstration (VOC-Arid ID) supported the demonstration of a number of innovative technologies, not all of which were evaluated in the integrated demonstration's stakeholder involvement program. These technologies have been organized into two categories and the first category ranked in order of priority according to interest in the evaluation of the technology. The purpose of this report is to present issues stakeholders would likely raise concerning each of the technologies in light of commentary, insights, data requirements, concerns, and recommendations offered during the VOC-Arid ID's three-year stakeholder involvement, technology evaluation program. A secondary purpose is to provide a closeout status for each of the technologies associated with the VOC-Arid ID. This report concludes with a summary of concerns and requirements that stakeholders have for all innovative technologies

  16. Influence of agricultural management on chemical quality of a clay soil of semi-arid Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibno Namr, Khalid; Mrabet, Rachid

    2004-06-01

    Morocco's semi-arid lands are characterized by unique challenges. The most important obstacles to the development of durable agriculture are (1) limited and unpredictable supply of soil moisture and (2) low soil quality. Intensive use of soil throughout history has led to depletion in soil quality, leading in return to reduced yields because of the consequent reduced organic matter. Recognizing the need to recover soil quality and production decline, INRA scientists began, in the early 1980s, research on the effects of crop rotations, tillage and residue management on the productivity and quality of cropped soils. The present study concerns the short-term effect of rotation, tillage and residue management on selected quality indices of a calcixeroll (organic matter, nitrogen, particulate organic carbon (Cpom), particulate organic nitrogen (Npom) and pH). Hence, three rotations (wheat-wheat, WW; fallow-wheat, FW; and fallow-wheat-barley, FWB), two tillage systems (conventional offset disking, CT and no-tillage, NT), and three levels of residue in the NT system (NT 0 = no-residue cover, NT 50 = half surface residue cover, NT 100 = full surface residue cover) were selected. Three surface horizons were sampled (0-2.5, 2.5-7 and 7-20 cm). The study results showed an improvement of measured soil chemical properties under NT compared to CT, at the surface layer. No-tillage system helped sequestration of carbon and nitrogen, build-up of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen and sensible reduction of pH only at the surface layer. Continuous wheat permitted a slight improvement of soil quality, mainly at the 0-2.5 cm depth. Effects of rotation, tillage and residue level were reduced with depth of measurements.

  17. Abacus to determine soils salinity in presence of saline groundwater in arid zones case of the region of Ouargla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fergougui, Myriam Marie El; Benyamina, Hind; Boutoutaou, Djamel

    2018-05-01

    In order to remedy the limit of salt intake to the soil surface, it is necessary to study the causes of the soil salinity and find the origin of these salts. The arid areas in the region of Ouargla lie on excessively mineralized groundwater whose level is near the soil surface (0 - 1.5 m). The topography and absence of a reliable drainage system led to the rise of the groundwater beside the arid climatic conditions contributed to the salinization and hydromorphy of the soils. The progress and stabilization of cultures yields in these areas can only occur if the groundwater is maintained (drained) to a depth of 1.6 m. The results of works done to the determination of soil salinity depend mainly on the groundwater's salinity, its depth and the climate.

  18. Implementation of a multiangle soil moisture retrieval model using RADARSAT-2 imagery over arid Juyanze, northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Liping; Li, Yanfei; Li, Qi; Sun, Xiaohui; Kong, Jinling; Wang, Le

    2017-07-01

    Accurate retrieval of soil moisture is important for understanding regional environmental changes and sustainable development in arid regions. Through numerical simulation and regression analysis based on advanced integral equation model (AIEM), the study aims to establish a multiangle soil moisture retrieval model based on RADARSAT-2 image in arid Juyanze. A combined roughness parameter Rs was established, and then the influences of roughness and soil moisture on the backscattering simulations were discussed. Finally, the empirical multiangle soil moisture retrieval model was implemented and validated in Juyanze. Inversion results show that the model has favorable validity. The coefficient of determination R2 between the inferred and measured soil moisture is 0.775 with a root-mean-square error (rmse) of 0.626%, implying better retrieval accuracy. Soil moisture varies from about 0.1% to 25% and is no more than 10% in most parts of this region, which is in reasonable agreement with the factual circumstances. The model directly relates the Fresnel reflection coefficient and soil moisture and is independent of ground roughness measurements. With a wider angular range, it has great potential for soil moisture evaluation in arid regions.

  19. 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

  20. Soil Compressibility under Irrigated Perennial and Annual Crops in a Semi-Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Watanabe

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In irrigated soils, a continuous state of high moisture reduces resistance of the soil to applied external forces, favouring compaction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility to compaction of developed calcareous soils in irrigated annual and perennial cropping systems of the Apodi Plateau, located in the Brazilian semi-arid region. Four areas of irrigated crops were evaluated: banana after two (B2 and 15 (B15 years cultivation, pasture (P, and a corn and beans succession (MB, as well as the reference areas for soil quality and corresponding natural vegetation (NVB2, NVB15, NVP and NVMB. Samples were collected at layers of 0.00-0.10 and 0.20-0.30 m; and for B2 and B15, samples were collected in the row and inter-row spaces. The following properties were determined: degree of compactness (DC, preconsolidation pressure (σp, compression index (Cc, maximum density (ρmax, critical water content (WCcrit, total organic carbon (TOC and carbon of light organic matter (Clom. Mean values were compared by the t-test at 5, 10, 15 and 20 % probability. An increase was seen in DC at a layer of 0.20-0.30 m in MB (p<0.15, showing the deleterious effects of preparing the soil by ploughing and chiselling, together with the cumulative traffic of heavy machinery. The TOC had a greater influence on ρmax than the stocks of Clom. Irrigation caused a reduction in Cc, and there was no effect on σp at field capacity. The planting rows showed different behaviour for Cc, ρmax, and WCcrit,, and in general the physical properties displayed better conditions than the inter-row spaces. Values for σp and Cc showed that agricultural soils display greater load-bearing capacity and are less susceptible to compaction in relation to soils under natural vegetation.

  1. Evaluating management-induced soil salinization in golf courses in semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J.; Udeigwe, T. K.; Weindorf, D. C.; Kandakji, T.; Gautam, P.; Mahmoud, M. A.

    2015-04-01

    Site-specific information on land management practices are often desired to make better assessments of their environmental impacts. A study was conducted in Lubbock, Texas, in the Southern High Plains of the United States, an area characterized by semi-arid climatic conditions, to (1) examine the potential management-induced alterations in soil salinity indicators in golf course facilities and (2) develop predictive relationships for a more rapid soil salinity examination within these urban landscape soils using findings from a portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometer. Soil samples were collected from managed (well irrigated) and non-managed (non-irrigated) areas of seven golf course facilities at 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm depths and analyzed for a suite of chemical properties. Among the extractable cations, sodium (Na) was significantly (p golf facilities. Soil electrical conductivity (EC), exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), parameters often used in characterizing soil salinity and sodicity, were for the most part significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the managed areas. Water quality reports collected over a 22-year period (1991-2013, all years not available) indicated a gradual increase in pH, EC, SAR, total alkalinity, and extractable ions, thus supporting the former findings. Findings from the PXRF suggested possible differences in chemical species and sources that contribute to salinity between the managed and non-managed zones. PXRF-quantified Cl and S, and to a lesser extent Ca, individually and collectively explained 23-85% of the variability associated with soil salinity at these facilities.

  2. Numerical simulation of geomorphic, climatic and anthropogenic drivers of soil distribution on semi-arid hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willgoose, G. R.; Cohen, S.; Svoray, T.; Sela, S.; Hancock, G. R.

    2010-12-01

    Numerical models are an important tool for studying landscape processes as they allow us to isolate specific processes and drivers and test various physics and spatio-temporal scenarios. Here we use a distributed physically-based soil evolution model (mARM4D) to describe the drivers and processes controlling soil-landscape evolution on a field-site at the fringe between the Mediterranean and desert regions of Israel. This study is an initial effort in a larger project aimed at improving our understanding of the mechanisms and drivers that led to the extensive removal of soils from the loess covered hillslopes of this region. This specific region is interesting as it is located between the Mediterranean climate region in which widespread erosion from hillslopes was attributed to human activity during the Holocene and the arid region in which extensive removal of loess from hillslopes was shown to have been driven by climatic changes during the late-Pleistocene. First we study the sediment transport mechanism of the soil-landscape evolution processes in our study-site. We simulate soil-landscape evolution with only one sediment transport process (fluvial or diffusive) at a time. We find that diffusive sediment transport is likely the dominant process in this site as it resulted in soil distributions that better corresponds to current observations. We then simulate several realistic climatic/anthropogenic scenarios (based on the literature) in order to quantify the sensitivity of the soil-landscape evolution process to temporal fluctuations. We find that this site is relatively insensitive to short term (several thousands of years) sharp, changes. This suggests that climate, rather then human activity, was the main driver for the extensive removal of loess from the hillslopes.

  3. Evaluating pasture and soil allowance of manganese for Kajli rams grazing in semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Zafar Iqbal; Ahmad, Kafeel; Ashraf, Muhammad; Naqvi, Syed Ali Hassan; Seidavi, Alireza; Akram, Nudrat Aisha; Laudadio, Vito; Tufarelli, Vincenzo

    2015-03-01

    The current research on the manganese (Mn) transfer from soil to plant as well as to grazing Kajli rams in the form of sampling periods was carried out under semi-arid environmental conditions. Forage, soil and blood plasma samples were collected during 4 months of the year after a 1-month interval, and Mn concentrations were assessed after wet digestion using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results showed that Mn concentration in soil ranged from 48.28 to 59.44 mg/kg, with incoherent augment and decline across sampling periods, and effect of sampling period on soil Mn was also found to be significant (P soil appeared higher than the critical value and sufficient for forage crop requirement. The Mn concentration in forage ranged between 24.8 and 37.2 mg/kg, resulting deficient based on the requirement allowance of Mn for livestock grazing animals, therein with almost unchanged forage Mn concentration. The Mn values in blood plasma of rams varied from 0.066 to 0.089 mg/l, with a consistent increase based on sampling period, and the effect of sampling periods on plasma Mn was found to be highly significant (P soil and plant species amassing capability on the transport of Mn in the soil-plant-animal system. Results indicated a much higher accumulation rate at the sampling characterized by vegetation dominated by legumes in comparison to grasses, crop residues and mixed pasture and a pronounced seasonal supply of Mn at the four sampling period of grazing land of diverse botanical composition.

  4. The influence of conservation tillage methods on soil water regimes in semi-arid southern Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mupangwa, W.; Twomlow, S.; Walker, S.

    Planting basins and ripper tillage practices are major components of the recently introduced conservation agriculture package that is being extensively promoted for smallholder farming in Zimbabwe. Besides preparing land for crop planting, these two technologies also help in collecting and using rainwater more efficiently in semi-arid areas. The basin tillage is being targeted for households with limited or no access to draught animals while ripping is meant for smallholder farmers with some draught animal power. Trials were established at four farms in Gwanda and Insiza in southern Zimbabwe to determine soil water contributions and runoff water losses from plots under four different tillage treatments. The tillage treatments were hand-dug planting basins, ripping, conventional spring and double ploughing using animal-drawn implements. The initial intention was to measure soil water changes and runoff losses from cropped plots under the four tillage practices. However, due to total crop failure, only soil water and runoff were measured from bare plots between December 2006 and April 2007. Runoff losses were highest under conventional ploughing. Planting basins retained most of the rainwater that fell during each rainfall event. The amount of rainfall received at each farm significantly influenced the volume of runoff water measured. Runoff water volume increased with increase in the amount of rainfall received at each farm. Soil water content was consistently higher under basin tillage than the other three tillage treatments. Significant differences in soil water content were observed across the farms according to soil types from sand to loamy sand. The basin tillage method gives a better control of water losses from the farmers’ fields. The planting basin tillage method has a greater potential for providing soil water to crops than ripper, double and single conventional ploughing practices.

  5. An Approach for Simulating Soil Loss from an Agro-Ecosystem Using Multi-Agent Simulation: A Case Study for Semi-Arid Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biola K. Badmos

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil loss is not limited to change from forest or woodland to other land uses/covers. It may occur when there is agricultural land-use/cover modification or conversion. Soil loss may influence loss of carbon from the soil, hence implication on greenhouse gas emission. Changing land use could be considered actually or potentially successful in adapting to climate change, or may be considered maladaptation if it creates environmental degradation. In semi-arid northern Ghana, changing agricultural practices have been identified amongst other climate variability and climate change adaptation measures. Similarly, some of the policies aimed at improving farm household resilience toward climate change impact might necessitate land use change. The heterogeneity of farm household (agents cannot be ignored when addressing land use/cover change issues, especially when livelihood is dependent on land. This paper therefore presents an approach for simulating soil loss from an agro-ecosystem using multi-agent simulation (MAS. We adapted a universal soil loss equation as a soil loss sub-model in the Vea-LUDAS model (a MAS model. Furthermore, for a 20-year simulation period, we presented the impact of agricultural land-use adaptation strategy (maize cultivation credit i.e., maize credit scenario on soil loss and compared it with the baseline scenario i.e., business-as-usual. Adoption of maize as influenced by maize cultivation credit significantly influenced agricultural land-use change in the study area. Although there was no significant difference in the soil loss under the tested scenarios, the incorporation of human decision-making in a temporal manner allowed us to view patterns that cannot be seen in single step modeling. The study shows that opening up cropland on soil with a high erosion risk has implications for soil loss. Hence, effective measures should be put in place to prevent the opening up of lands that have high erosion risk.

  6. The Impact of Hydration and Temperature on Bacterial Diversity in Arid Soil Mesocosms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Št'ovíček

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Hot desert ecosystems experience rare and unpredictable rainfall events that resuscitate the arid flora and fauna. However, the effect of this sudden abundance of water on soil microbial communities is still under debate. We modeled varying rainfall amounts and temperatures in desert soil mesocosms and monitored the microbial community response over a period of 21 days. We studied two different wetting events, simulating heavy (50 mm and light (10 mm rain, as well as three different temperature regimes: constant 25° or 36°C, or a temperature diurnal cycle alternating between 36 and 10 °C. Amplicon sequencing of the bacterial ribosomal RNA revealed that rain intensity affects the soil bacterial community, but the effects are mitigated by temperature. The combination of water-pulse intensity with lower temperature had the greatest effect on the bacterial community. These experiments demonstrated that the soil microbial response to rain events is dependent not only on the intensity of the water pulse but also on the ambient temperature, thus emphasizing the complexity of bacterial responses to highly unpredictable environments.

  7. Carbon dioxide emissions from semi-arid soils amended with biochar alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, José M; Nieto, M Aurora; López-de-Sá, Esther G; Gascó, Gabriel; Méndez, Ana; Plaza, César

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid soils cover a significant area of Earth's land surface and typically contain large amounts of inorganic C. Determining the effects of biochar additions on CO2 emissions from semi-arid soils is therefore essential for evaluating the potential of biochar as a climate change mitigation strategy. Here, we measured the CO2 that evolved from semi-arid calcareous soils amended with biochar at rates of 0 and 20tha(-1) in a full factorial combination with three different fertilizers (mineral fertilizer, municipal solid waste compost, and sewage sludge) applied at four rates (equivalent to 0, 75, 150, and 225kg potentially available Nha(-1)) during 182 days of aerobic incubation. A double exponential model, which describes cumulative CO2 emissions from two active soil C compartments with different turnover rates (one relatively stable and the other more labile), was found to fit very well all the experimental datasets. In general, the organic fertilizers increased the size and decomposition rate of the stable and labile soil C pools. In contrast, biochar addition had no effects on any of the double exponential model parameters and did not interact with the effects ascribed to the type and rate of fertilizer. After 182 days of incubation, soil organic and microbial biomass C contents tended to increase with increasing the application rates of organic fertilizer, especially of compost, whereas increasing the rate of mineral fertilizer tended to suppress microbial biomass. Biochar was found to increase both organic and inorganic C contents in soil and not to interact with the effects of type and rate of fertilizer on C fractions. As a whole, our results suggest that the use of biochar as enhancer of semi-arid soils, either alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers, is unlikely to increase abiotic and biotic soil CO2 emissions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Evaluation of soil and water conservation measures in a semi-arid river basin in Tunisia using SWAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Merguellil catchment (Central Tunisia) is a typical Mediterranean semi-arid basin which suffers from regular water shortage aggravated by current droughts. During the recent decades the continuous construction of small and large dams and Soil and Water Conservation Works (i.e. Contour ridges) ha...

  9. Streptomyces asenjonii sp. nov., isolated from arid Atacama Desert soils and emended description of Streptomyces viridosporus Pridham et al. 1958

    Science.gov (United States)

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to establish the taxonomic status of Streptomyces strains isolated from arid Atacama Desert soils. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the isolates showed that they formed a well-defined lineage that was loosely associated with the type strains of several Str...

  10. Evidence for micronutrient limitation of biological soil crusts: Importance to arid-lands restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Belnap, J.; Davidson, D.W.; Phillips, S.L.

    2005-01-01

    Desertification is a global problem, costly to national economies and human societies. Restoration of biological soil crusts (BSCs) may have an important role to play in the reversal of desertification due to their ability to decrease erosion and enhance soil fertility. To determine if there is evidence that lower fertility may hinder BSC recolonization, we investigated the hypothesis that BSC abundance is driven by soil nutrient concentrations. At a regional scale (north and central Colorado Plateau, USA), moss and lichen cover and richness are correlated with a complex water-nutrient availability gradient and have approximately six-fold higher cover and approximately two-fold higher species richness on sandy soils than on shale-derived soils. At a microscale, mosses and lichens are overrepresented in microhabitats under the north sides of shrub canopies, where water and nutrients are more available. At two spatial scales, and at the individual species and community levels, our data are consistent with the hypothesis that distributions of BSC organisms are determined largely by soil fertility. The micronutrients Mn and Zn figured prominently and consistently in the various analyses, strongly suggesting that these elements are previously unstudied limiting factors in BSC development. Structural-equation modeling of our data is most consistent with the hypothesis of causal relationships between the availability of micronutrients and the abundance of the two major nitrogen (N) fixers of BSCs. Specifically, higher Mn availability may determine greater Collema tenax abundance, and both Mn and Zn may limit Collema coccophorum; alternative causal hypotheses were less consistent with the data. We propose experimental trials of micronutrient addition to promote the restoration of BSC function on disturbed lands. Arid lands, where BSCs are most prevalent, cover ???40% of the terrestrial surface of the earth; thus the information gathered in this study is potentially useful

  11. Response of deep soil moisture to land use and afforestation in the semi-arid Loess Plateau, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lei; Wei, Wei; Chen, Liding; Mo, Baoru

    2012-12-01

    SummarySoil moisture is an effective water source for plant growth in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Characterizing the response of deep soil moisture to land use and afforestation is important for the sustainability of vegetation restoration in this region. In this paper, the dynamics of soil moisture were quantified to evaluate the effect of land use on soil moisture at a depth of 2 m. Specifically, the gravimetric soil moisture content was measured in the soil layer between 0 and 8 m for five land use types in the Longtan catchment of the western Loess Plateau. The land use types included traditional farmland, native grassland, and lands converted from traditional farmland (pasture grassland, shrubland and forestland). Results indicate that the deep soil moisture content decreased more than 35% after land use conversion, and a soil moisture deficit appeared in all types of land with introduced vegetation. The introduced vegetation decreased the soil moisture content to levels lower than the reference value representing no human impact in the entire 0-8 m soil profile. No significant differences appeared between different land use types and introduced vegetation covers, especially in deeper soil layers, regardless of which plant species were introduced. High planting density was found to be the main reason for the severe deficit of soil moisture. Landscape management activities such as tillage activities, micro-topography reconstruction, and fallowed farmland affected soil moisture in both shallow and deep soil layers. Tillage and micro-topography reconstruction can be used as effective countermeasures to reduce the soil moisture deficit due to their ability to increase soil moisture content. For sustainable vegetation restoration in a vulnerable semi-arid region, the plant density should be optimized with local soil moisture conditions and appropriate landscape management practices.

  12. Variability of soil CO2 efflux in a semi-arid grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Soil surface CO2 efflux or soil respiration (RS) is one of the most important components of the global carbon cycle. So it is critical to evaluate the response of soil respiration to environmental conditions to predict how future climate and land cover changes influence the ecosystem carbon balance. Continuous half-hourly measurements of RS were made between the end of March to December 2015 in a semi-arid temperate grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA. This first time measurements of Rs over this site using an automated soil chamber were used to investigate the seasonal and diurnal variation of Rs and its relationship to environmental variables. The mean annual air temperature and precipitation at this site were 16 deg C and 370 mm with more than 60% of the annual precipitation was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September). Following the onset of the monsoon, drastic changes in vegetation growth occured turning the ecosystem to a carbon sink by August. Temporal variability in Rs was closely related to the changes in near surface soil temperature at 2 cm (Ts) and soil water content at 5 cm (θ). Half -hourly Rs varied from nearly 0.1 μmol m-2 s-1 in the winter months to a maximum of 5 μmol m-2 s-1 in the peak growing season in August. During the dry pre-monsoon period (May -June), Rs was relatively low ( 0.0.08 m3 m-3, RS was positively correlated to soil temperature at the 2 cm depth following an exponential relationship. Below this value of θ, RS was largely decoupled from TS dropping to less than half of their maximum values during wet soil conditions. Analysis of daily mean nighttime Rs for the year showed that for periods with θ below the threshold, the sensitivity of RS to temperature were substantially reduced resulting in a Q10 significantly < 2, thereby confirming that RS was less affected by soil temperature under low soil water conditions at this

  13. Towards prediction of soil erodibility using hyperspectral information: a case study in a semi-arid region of Iran

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ostovari, Yaser; Ghorbani-Dashtaki, Shoja; Bahrami, Hossein-Ali

    2018-01-01

    and develop Spectrotransfer Function (STF) using spectral reflectance information and Pedotransfer Function (PTF) to predict the K-factor, respectively. The derived STF was compared with developed PTF using measurable soil properties by Ostovari et al. (2016) and the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE......Soil Visible–Near-Infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy has become an applicable and interesting technique to evaluate a number of soil properties because it is a fast, cost-effective, and non-invasive measurement technique. The main objective of the study to predict soil erodibility (K-factor), soil...... organic matter (SOM), and calcium carbonate equivalent (CaCO3) in calcareous soils of semi-arid regions located in south of Iran using spectral reflectance information in the Vis-NIR range. The K-factor was measured in 40 erosion plots under natural rainfall and the spectral reflectance of soil samples...

  14. Rainfall simulations as a tool for quantification of soil erosion processes caused by the trampling of sheep and goats in semi-arid and arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruthenberg, Jonas; Tumbrink, Jonas; Wilms, Tobias; Peter, Klaus Daniel; Wirtz, Stefan; Ries, Johannes B.

    2015-04-01

    As there is a massive increase of livestock husbandry in semi-arid and arid landscapes, the investigation of trampling-induced soil erosion has become indispensable for a better understanding of erosive processes such as loosening and translocation of sediment, as well as the genesis of rill erosion and gully systems. Our work will support other studies focusing on desertification and land-use changes in the investigated landscapes. Up to this date, research on livestock-induced soil erosion, even in relation to other erosion processes such as aeolian and fluvial/pluvial sediment translocation, is very scarcely found in literature. The presented study on trampling-induced soil erosion by sheep and goats in arid and semi-arid landscapes aims to create a general understanding, an estimation and quantification of the influencing factors of these erosive processes. Within this study, we present the first results of several field rainfall experiments on rock fragment translocation as well as loosening and transportation of coarse and fine sediment depending on the motion sequence and the individual weight, size, and hoof beat of the animals. Furthermore, we conducted additional experiments to investigate the trampling-induced erosion processes for various other sediments, especially those in the range of clay, silt, and sand. To do so, we used a specially designed test plot, equipped with sediment traps on each side. For a clear and reliable analysis of the measured parameters, univariate as well as multivariate statistical methods have been used. For all field methods, we developed relevant statements concerning flock size. The rock fragment translocation experiments done so fare have shown that a flock of 45 sheep or goats moved 87 % of 320 spread out rock fragments with a mean translocation distance of 0.123 m when trampling across a test plot of 3.2 m^2. Besides that we found out that the soil surface was worked up in a way that the loosened fine sediment proved to

  15. Pedotransfer functions to estimate soil water content at field capacity and permanent wilting point in hot Arid Western India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santra, Priyabrata; Kumar, Mahesh; Kumawat, R. N.; Painuli, D. K.; Hati, K. M.; Heuvelink, G. B. M.; Batjes, N. H.

    2018-04-01

    Characterization of soil water retention, e.g., water content at field capacity (FC) and permanent wilting point (PWP) over a landscape plays a key role in efficient utilization of available scarce water resources in dry land agriculture; however, direct measurement thereof for multiple locations in the field is not always feasible. Therefore, pedotransfer functions (PTFs) were developed to estimate soil water retention at FC and PWP for dryland soils of India. A soil database available for Arid Western India ( N=370) was used to develop PTFs. The developed PTFs were tested in two independent datasets from arid regions of India ( N=36) and an arid region of USA ( N=1789). While testing these PTFs using independent data from India, root mean square error (RMSE) was found to be 2.65 and 1.08 for FC and PWP, respectively, whereas for most of the tested `established' PTFs, the RMSE was >3.41 and >1.15, respectively. Performance of the developed PTFs from the independent dataset from USA was comparable with estimates derived from `established' PTFs. For wide applicability of the developed PTFs, a user-friendly soil moisture calculator was developed. The PTFs developed in this study may be quite useful to farmers for scheduling irrigation water as per soil type.

  16. Occurrence and sources of natural and anthropogenic lipid tracers in surface soils from arid urban areas of Saudi Arabia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rushdi, Ahmed I.; Al-Mutlaq, Khalid F.; El-Mubarak, Aarif H.; Al-Saleh, Mohammed A.; El-Otaibi, Mubarak T.; Ibrahim, Sami M.M.; Simoneit, Bernd R.T.

    2016-01-01

    Soil particles contain a variety of natural and anthropogenic organic components, and in urban areas can be considered as local collectors of pollutants. Surface soil samples were taken from ten urban areas in Riyadh during early winter of 2007. They were extracted with dichloromethane-methanol mixture and the extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The major compounds were unresolved complex mixture (UCM), plasticizers, n-alkanes, carbohydrates, n-alkanoic acids, hopanes, n-alkanols, and sterols. Vegetation detritus was the major natural source of organic compounds (24.0 ± 15.7%) in samples from areas with less human activities and included n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids, n-alkanols, sterols and carbohydrates. Vehicular emission products and discarded plastics were the major anthropogenic sources in the soil particles (53.3 ± 21.3% and 22.7 ± 10.7%, respectively). The anthropogenic tracers were UCM, plasticizers, n-alkanes, hopanes and traces of steranes. Vegetation and human activities control the occurrence and distribution of natural and anthropogenic extractable organic matter in this arid urban area. - Highlights: • Human activities influence the distribution of EOM in soils of urban arid regions. • Petroleum residues and plastics are the dominant anthropogenic input. • Low soil organic matter and moisture limit microbial/fungal alteration. - This work shows that human activities are critical factors that influence the characteristics and distribution of EOM in soils of arid urban regions.

  17. Salinity shapes food webs in shallow lakes: implications for increasing aridity with climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas; Yu, Jinlei; Gutierrez, Maria Florencia

    2015-01-01

    on community and food web structure in 24 lakes along a wide salinity gradient, from freshwater (0.5 g L-1) to hypersaline lakes (115 g L-1), in a semiarid region in North West China. Fish, zooplankton and macroinvertebrate communities were sampled during July 2014 for determination of taxonomy and size......A reduction in runoff and higher evaporation rates are expected to occur towards 2050 in arid and semiarid regions of the world, resulting in a reduction of water level and salinization of inland waters. Besides the natural process of catchment erosion, human activities such as irrigation of crops...... may also increase salinization. Reduced biodiversity in freshwater systems is the most commonly reported effect of salinization, which may have implications for food web structure and likely for ecosystem functioning as well. The objective of the study was to analyze the effects of salinity...

  18. Machine learning for predicting soil classes in three semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brungard, Colby W.; Boettinger, Janis L.; Duniway, Michael C.; Wills, Skye A.; Edwards, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    Mapping the spatial distribution of soil taxonomic classes is important for informing soil use and management decisions. Digital soil mapping (DSM) can quantitatively predict the spatial distribution of soil taxonomic classes. Key components of DSM are the method and the set of environmental covariates used to predict soil classes. Machine learning is a general term for a broad set of statistical modeling techniques. Many different machine learning models have been applied in the literature and there are different approaches for selecting covariates for DSM. However, there is little guidance as to which, if any, machine learning model and covariate set might be optimal for predicting soil classes across different landscapes. Our objective was to compare multiple machine learning models and covariate sets for predicting soil taxonomic classes at three geographically distinct areas in the semi-arid western United States of America (southern New Mexico, southwestern Utah, and northeastern Wyoming). All three areas were the focus of digital soil mapping studies. Sampling sites at each study area were selected using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling (cLHS). We compared models that had been used in other DSM studies, including clustering algorithms, discriminant analysis, multinomial logistic regression, neural networks, tree based methods, and support vector machine classifiers. Tested machine learning models were divided into three groups based on model complexity: simple, moderate, and complex. We also compared environmental covariates derived from digital elevation models and Landsat imagery that were divided into three different sets: 1) covariates selected a priori by soil scientists familiar with each area and used as input into cLHS, 2) the covariates in set 1 plus 113 additional covariates, and 3) covariates selected using recursive feature elimination. Overall, complex models were consistently more accurate than simple or moderately complex models. Random

  19. Effects of environmental conditions on soil salinity and arid region in Tunisia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ben Ahmed, C.; Ben Rouina, B.; Boukhris, M.

    2009-01-01

    The shortage of water resources of good water quality is becoming an issue in the arid and semi arid regions. for this reason, the use of water resources of marginal quality such as treated wastewater and saline groundwater has become and important consideration, particularly in arid region in Tunisia, where large quantities of saline water are used for irrigation. (Author)

  20. Comparing soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching under extreme precipitation events in arid and semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ting; Wang, Liang; Feng, Xiaojuan; Zhang, Jinbo; Ma, Tian; Wang, Xin; Liu, Zongguang

    2018-03-01

    Respiration and leaching are two main processes responsible for soil carbon loss. While the former has received considerable research attention, studies examining leaching processes are limited, especially in semiarid grasslands due to low precipitation. Climate change may increase the extreme precipitation event (EPE) frequency in arid and semiarid regions, potentially enhancing soil carbon loss through leaching and respiration. Here we incubated soil columns of three typical grassland soils from Inner Mongolia and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and examined the effect of simulated EPEs on soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching. EPEs induced a transient increase in CO2 release through soil respiration, equivalent to 32 and 72 % of the net ecosystem productivity (NEP) in the temperate grasslands (Xilinhot and Keqi) and 7 % of NEP in the alpine grasslands (Gangcha). By comparison, leaching loss of soil carbon accounted for 290, 120, and 15 % of NEP at the corresponding sites, respectively, with dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, biogenic DIC + lithogenic DIC) as the main form of carbon loss in the alkaline soils. Moreover, DIC loss increased with recurring EPEs in the soil with the highest pH due to an elevated contribution of dissolved CO2 from organic carbon degradation (indicated by DIC-δ13C). These results highlight the fact that leaching loss of soil carbon (particularly in the form of DIC) is important in the regional carbon budget of arid and semiarid grasslands and also imply that SOC mineralization in alkaline soils might be underestimated if only measured as CO2 emission from soils into the atmosphere. With a projected increase in EPEs under climate change, soil carbon leaching processes and the influencing factors warrant a better understanding and should be incorporated into soil carbon models when estimating carbon balance in grassland ecosystems.

  1. Comparing soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching under extreme precipitation events in arid and semiarid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Liu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Respiration and leaching are two main processes responsible for soil carbon loss. While the former has received considerable research attention, studies examining leaching processes are limited, especially in semiarid grasslands due to low precipitation. Climate change may increase the extreme precipitation event (EPE frequency in arid and semiarid regions, potentially enhancing soil carbon loss through leaching and respiration. Here we incubated soil columns of three typical grassland soils from Inner Mongolia and the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and examined the effect of simulated EPEs on soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching. EPEs induced a transient increase in CO2 release through soil respiration, equivalent to 32 and 72 % of the net ecosystem productivity (NEP in the temperate grasslands (Xilinhot and Keqi and 7 % of NEP in the alpine grasslands (Gangcha. By comparison, leaching loss of soil carbon accounted for 290, 120, and 15 % of NEP at the corresponding sites, respectively, with dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, biogenic DIC + lithogenic DIC as the main form of carbon loss in the alkaline soils. Moreover, DIC loss increased with recurring EPEs in the soil with the highest pH due to an elevated contribution of dissolved CO2 from organic carbon degradation (indicated by DIC-δ13C. These results highlight the fact that leaching loss of soil carbon (particularly in the form of DIC is important in the regional carbon budget of arid and semiarid grasslands and also imply that SOC mineralization in alkaline soils might be underestimated if only measured as CO2 emission from soils into the atmosphere. With a projected increase in EPEs under climate change, soil carbon leaching processes and the influencing factors warrant a better understanding and should be incorporated into soil carbon models when estimating carbon balance in grassland ecosystems.

  2. Comparing soil organic carbon dynamics in perennial grasses and shrubs in a saline-alkaline arid region, northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yong; Pei, Zhiqin; Su, Jiaqi; Zhang, Jingli; Zheng, Yuanrun; Ni, Jian; Xiao, Chunwang; Wang, Renzhong

    2012-01-01

    Although semi-arid and arid regions account for about 40% of terrestrial surface of the Earth and contain approximately 10% of the global soil organic carbon stock, our understanding of soil organic carbon dynamics in these regions is limited. A field experiment was conducted to compare soil organic carbon dynamics between a perennial grass community dominated by Cleistogenes squarrosa and an adjacent shrub community co-dominated by Reaumuria soongorica and Haloxylon ammodendron, two typical plant life forms in arid ecosystems of saline-alkaline arid regions in northwestern China during the growing season 2010. We found that both fine root biomass and necromass in two life forms varied greatly during the growing season. Annual fine root production in the perennial grasses was 45.6% significantly higher than in the shrubs, and fine root turnover rates were 2.52 and 2.17 yr(-1) for the perennial grasses and the shrubs, respectively. Floor mass was significantly higher in the perennial grasses than in the shrubs due to the decomposition rate of leaf litter in the perennial grasses was 61.8% lower than in the shrubs even though no significance was detected in litterfall production. Soil microbial biomass and activity demonstrated a strong seasonal variation with larger values in May and September and minimum values in the dry month of July. Observed higher soil organic carbon stocks in the perennial grasses (1.32 Kg C m(-2)) than in the shrubs (1.12 Kg C m(-2)) might be attributed to both greater inputs of poor quality litter that is relatively resistant to decay and the lower ability of microorganism to decompose these organic matter. Our results suggest that the perennial grasses might accumulate more soil organic carbon with time than the shrubs because of larger amounts of inputs from litter and slower return of carbon through decomposition.

  3. Soil Microbial Activity Responses to Fire in a Semi-arid Savannah Ecosystem Pre- and Post-Monsoon Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, J. R.; Raub, H. D.; Jong, E. L.; Muscarella, C. R.; Smith, W. K.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) of soil microorganisms can act as important proxies for nutrient limitation and turnover in soil and provide insight into the biochemical requirements of microbes in terrestrial ecosystems. In semi-arid ecosystems, microbial activity is influenced by topography, disturbances such as fire, and seasonality from monsoon rains. Previous studies from forest ecosystems show that microbial communities shift to similar compositions after severe fires despite different initial conditions. In semi-arid ecosystems with high spatial heterogeniety, we ask does fire lead to patch intensification or patch homogenization and how do monsoon rains influence the successional trajectories of microbial responses? We analyzed microbial activity and soil biogeochemistry throughout the monsoon season in paired burned and unburned sites in the Santa Rita Experimental Range, AZ. Surface soil (5cm) from bare-ground patches, bole, canopy drip line, and nearby grass patches for 5 mesquite trees per site allowed tests of spatiotemporal responses to fire and monsoon rain. Microbial activity was low during the pre-monsoon season and did not differ between the burned and unburned sites. We found greater activity near mesquite trees that reflects soil water and nutrient availability. Fire increased soil alkalinity, though soils near mesquite trees were less affected. Soil water content was significantly higher in the burned sites post-monsoon, potentially reflecting greater hydrophobicity of burned soils. Considering the effects of fire in these semi-arid ecosystems is especially important in the context of the projected changing climate regime in this region. Assessing microbial community recovery pre-, during, and post-monsoon is important for testing predictions about whether successional pathways post-fire lead to recovery or novel trajectories of communities and ecosystem function.

  4. Mapping Soil hydrologic features in a semi-arid irrigated area in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Aguirre, M.° Teresa; Isidoro, Daniel; Usón, Asunción

    2016-04-01

    The lack of soil information is a managerial problem in irrigated areas in Spain. The Violada Irrigation District (VID; 5234 ha) is a gypsic, semi-arid region in the Middle Ebro River Basin, northeast Spain. VID is under irrigation since the 1940's. The implementation of the flood irrigation system gave rise to waterlogging problems, solved along the years with the installation of an artificial drainage network. Aggregated water balances have been performed in VID since the early 1980's considering average soil properties and aggregated irrigation data for the calculations (crop evapotranspiration, canal seepage, and soil drainage). In 2008-2009, 91% of the VID was modernized to sprinkler irrigation. This new system provides detailed irrigation management information that together with detailed soil information would allow for disaggregated water balances for a better understanding of the system. Our goal was to draw a semi-detailed soil map of VID presenting the main soil characteristics related to irrigation management. A second step of the work was to set up pedotransfer functions (PTF) to estimate the water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) from easily measurable parameters. Thirty four pits were opened, described and sampled for chemical and physical properties. Thirty three additional auger holes were sampled for water holding capacity (WHC; down to 60 cm), helping to draw the soil units boundaries. And 15 Ks tests (inverse auger hole method) were made. The WHC was determined as the difference between the field capacity (FC) and wilting point (WP) measured in samples dried at 40°C during 5 days. The comparison with old values dried at 105°C for 2 days highlighted the importance of the method when gypsum is present in order to avoid water removal from gypsum molecules. The soil map was drawn down to family level. Thirteen soil units were defined by the combination of five subgroups [Typic Calcixerept (A), Petrocalcic Calcixerept (B), Gypsic

  5. Soil salinity under deficit drip irrigation of potato and millet in in an arid environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamel Nagaz

    2017-06-01

    received rainfall. For millet experiments, salinity was lowest under emitters and highest midway to the margin of wetted bands and higher soil salinity was maintained in the root zone with deficit irrigation treatments than full irrigation. Millet and potato yields were highest under Full treatment. Yields decreased almost linearly when applied water was reduced. However, reduction in quality was significantly important for DI60 and DI40. The analysis outcome of the crops sensitivity to salt indicated respectively for autumn, winter and spring potato and millet crops that thresholds are close to the value calculated from published salt tolerance data (1.9, 1.55, 1.85 vs. 1.7 dS/m for potato and 3.46 vs. 3.65 dS/m for millet but the slopes are considerably steeper (34, 54, 47 vs. 12%; 17 vs. 6.7%, apparently because of the combined effect of salinity and water stresses. The results provide information’s to farmers for formulating improved planning regarding irrigation management practices. The results support the practicality of using the full irrigation (100% of ETc methodology to optimize irrigation with saline water for potato and millet production and to control soil salinity. Under situations of water shortage, the deficit irrigation strategy (DI80 and DI60 is recommended as a tool to schedule irrigation of potato and millet crops in arid regions of Tunisia.

  6. Temporal variations of natural soil salinity in an arid environment using satellite images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, M.; Johnson, E.

    2010-11-01

    In many remote arid areas the scarce amount of conventional soil salinity data precludes detailed analyses of salinity variations for the purpose of predicting its impact on agricultural production. A tool that is an appropriate surrogate for on-ground testing in determining temporal variations of soil salinity is Landsat satellite data. In this study six Landsat scenes over El Cuervo, a closed basin adjacent to the middle Rio Conchos basin in northern Mexico, were used to show temporal variation of natural salts from 1986 to 2005. Natural salts were inferred from ground reference data and spectral responses. Transformations used were Tasseled Cap, Principal Components and several (band) ratios. Classification of each scene was performed from the development of Regions Of Interest derived from geochemical data collected by SGM, spectral responses derived from ENVI software, and a small amount of field data collected by the authors. The resultant land cover classes showed a relationship between climatic drought and areal coverage of natural salts. When little precipitation occurred three months prior to the capture of the Landsat scene, approximately 15%-20% of the area was classified as salt. This is compared to practically no classified salt in the wetter years of 1992 and 2005 Landsat scenes.

  7. Intrinsic Problems In Determination Of Soil Texture In Calcareous Soils Of Arid Zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mozna A. Ahmed

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed at studying the effect of removal of CaCO3 on the texture of the soil profile and that of the control section in some Aridisols of the Sudan. Sixty soil profiles were sampled from Shendi area latitude1636 and longitude 33 48 River Nile State Sudan. These soils were analyzed for CaCO3 and 20 of these profiles were found to be of relatively appreciable calcareousness and were therefore selected for this study. The following three weighted soil textures were determined 1 before any removal of the CaCO3 Texture1 2 after the removal of CaCO3 Texture2 3 after amending the texture by adding the clay sized CaCO3 to the silt fraction Texture 3. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences among soil separates in the three textures except between clay of T2 and clay of T3 and among sand fractions in the three textures. That was not unexpected because the first texture included both mineral separates plus their equivalent size of CaCO3 the second texture included only the mineral separates in complete absence of CaCO3 while texture 3 was an amended texture. The change in the textural class amounted to 72 of the profiles. Statistical analysis in the weighted texture of the control section revealed that this texture was not affected except in two profiles. That could be attributed to the fact that the clay content of the soils of the study area did not fall at or near the boundary between any two major textural classes used in the Soil Taxonomy. The size of the CaCO3 was found in the order of clay size silt size sand size.

  8. Using ISBA model for partitioning evapotranspiration into soil evaporation and plant transpiration of irrigated crops under semi-arid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aouade, Ghizlane; Jarlan, Lionel; Ezzahar, Jamal; Er-raki, Salah; Napoly, Adrien; Benkaddour, Abdelfettah; Khabba, Said; Boulet, Gilles; Chehbouni, Abdelghani; Boone, Aaron

    2016-04-01

    MEB version simulates more accurately the crop transpiration compared to the standard version. The RMSE and R² were about 0.79 mm and 0.67 for MEB and 1.37mm and 0.65 for standard version. An in-depth analysis of the results points out : (1) a deficiency of the standard version in simulating soil evaporation, in particular after an irrigation event, that directly impact the latent heat fluxes prediction because of two much energy reaching the soil and (2) a significant improvement of the surface temperature predictions with the double energy balance version; an interesting feature in the context of data assimilation; (3) a poor parameterization of the stomatal conductance in the A-gs photosynthetic module that is corrected thanks to a stochastic parameter identification approach. Results have direct implication for the prediction of evapotranspiration and its partition over irrigated crops in semi-arid areas of the South Mediterranean region.

  9. Soil Moisture Variability and its Effects on Herbage Production in Semi-arid Rangelands of Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Too, D.K.; Trlica, M.J.; Swift, D.M.; Musembi, D.K.

    1999-01-01

    Results obtained from recent studies focused on rangelands potential as influenced by human activity and climatic factors in the semi-arid and arid pastoral ecosystems of Northern Kenya indicated great temporal and spatial forage production variability. The objective of the studies was to document primary production in relation to water stress (drought), herbivory and direct human activities. Efforts also focused on finding possibilities of increasing productivity while conserving the finite resources for sustainable use. Laboratory, field and numerical methods were employed over several seasons and years. Forb and grass production was more variable than that of the browse (dwarf shrub) layer. Compared to forbs and dwarf shrubs, the grass layer contributed less to the total production in all seasons, indicating that the region had less potential for grazers compared to browsers. Spatial-temporal variation in rangeland carrying capacity reflected the great spatial heterogeneity in vegetation types and production. Similarly, seasonal differences were very evident, with highest estimates in the long rainy and the lowest during the dry and short rainy seasons, respectively. Factors limiting rangeland production potential were identified to be moisture deficiency, resource-use conflicts, an increasing and partially sedentarised nomadic population, overgrazing, tree felling, and land degradation (desert encroachment). Measures that can improve rangeland production potential and provide a better way of life for the inhabitants of the region include: (a) identification of land degradation (e.g. by means of bio-indicators and Geographical Information Systems, GIS); (b) technical interventions (i.e. soil and water conservation, restoration of degraded areas, fodder production); (c) social-economic interventions (i.e. resolution of resource-use conflicts, alleviation of poverty, infrastructure development improvement of livestock marketing channels etc.) and (d) continued

  10. Research Note:Determination of soil hydraulic properties using pedotransfer functions in a semi-arid basin, Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Tombul

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties such as soil moisture q(h and hydraulic conductivity K(q or K(h, may affect the performance of hydrological models. Moreover, the cost of determining soil hydraulic properties by field or laboratory methods makes alternative indirect methods desirable. In this paper, various pedotransfer functions (PTFs are used to estimate soil hydraulic properties for a small semi-arid basin (Kurukavak in the north-west of Turkey. The field measurements were a good fit with the retention curve derived using Rosetta SSC-BD for a loamy soil. To predict parameters to describe soil hydraulic characteristics, continuous PTFs such as Rosetta SSC-BD (Model H3 and SSC-BD-q33q1500 (Model H5 have been applied. Using soil hydraulic properties that vary in time and space, the characteristic curves for three soil types, loam, sandy clay loam and sandy loam have been developed. Spatial and temporal variations in soil moisture have been demonstrated on a plot and catchment scale for loamy soil. It is concluded that accurate site-specific measurements of the soil hydraulic characteristics are the only and probably the most promising method to progress in the future. Keywords: soil hydraulic properties, soil characteristic curves, PTFs

  11. Detection and differentiation of pollution in urban surface soils using magnetic properties in arid and semi-arid regions of northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Dunsheng; Yu, Ye; Jia, Jia; Xu, Shujing

    2014-01-01

    Increasing urbanization and industrialization over the world has caused many social and environmental problems, one of which drawing particular concern is the soil pollution and its ecological degradation. In this study, the efficiency of magnetic methods for detecting and discriminating contaminates in the arid and semi-arid regions of northwestern China was investigated. Topsoil samples from six typical cities (i.e. Karamay, Urumqi, Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Shizuishan and Wuhai) were collected and a systematic analysis of their magnetic properties was conducted. Results indicate that the topsoil samples from the six cities were all dominated by coarse low-coercivity magnetite. In addition, the average magnetite contents in the soils from Urumqi and Lanzhou were shown to be much higher than those from Karamay, Yinchuan, Shizuishan and Wuhai, and they also have relatively higher χlf and χfd% when compared with cities in eastern China. Moreover, specific and distinctive soil pollution signals were identified at each sampling site using the combined various magnetic data, reflecting distinct sources. Industrial and traffic-derived pollution was dominant in Urumqi and Lanzhou, in Yinchuan industrial progress was observed to be important with some places affected by vehicle emission, while Karamay, Shizuishan and Wuhai were relatively clean. The magnetic properties of these latter three cities are significantly affected by both anthropogenic pollution and local parent materials from the nearby Gobi desert. The differences in magnetic properties of topsoil samples affected by mixed industrial and simplex traffic emissions are not obvious, but significant differences exist in samples affected by simplex industrial/vehicle emissions and domestic pollution. The combined magnetic analyses thus provide a sensitive and powerful tool for classifying samples according to likely sources, and may even provide a valuable diagnostic tool for discriminating among different cities

  12. Influence of Acacia trees on soil nutrient levels in arid lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Boever, Maarten; Gabriels, Donald; Ouessar, Mohamed; Cornelis, Wim

    2014-05-01

    mechanism is of crucial importance for soil nutrient conservation and the restoration of degraded arid environments.

  13. Changes of soil bacterial diversity as a consequence of agricultural land use in a semi-arid ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Chun Ding

    Full Text Available Natural scrublands in semi-arid deserts are increasingly being converted into fields. This results in losses of characteristic flora and fauna, and may also affect microbial diversity. In the present study, the long-term effect (50 years of such a transition on soil bacterial communities was explored at two sites typical of semi-arid deserts. Comparisons were made between soil samples from alfalfa fields and the adjacent scrublands by two complementary methods based on 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (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. Redundancy analysis suggested that the community composition of phyla responding to agricultural use (except for Spirochaetes correlated with soil parameters that were significantly different between the agricultural and scrubland soil. The arable soils were lower in organic matter and phosphate concentration, and higher in salinity. The variation in the bacterial community composition was higher in soils from scrubland than from agriculture, as revealed by DGGE and PhyloChip analyses, suggesting reduced beta diversity due to agricultural practices. The long-term use for agriculture resulted in profound changes in the bacterial community and physicochemical characteristics of former scrublands, which may irreversibly affect the natural soil ecosystem.

  14. Detection and differentiation of pollution in urban surface soils using magnetic properties in arid and semi-arid regions of northwestern China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Dunsheng; Yu, Ye; Jia, Jia; Xu, Shujing

    2014-01-01

    Increasing urbanization and industrialization over the world has caused many social and environmental problems, one of which drawing particular concern is the soil pollution and its ecological degradation. In this study, the efficiency of magnetic methods for detecting and discriminating contaminates in the arid and semi-arid regions of northwestern China was investigated. Topsoil samples from six typical cities (i.e. Karamay, Urumqi, Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Shizuishan and Wuhai) were collected and a systematic analysis of their magnetic properties was conducted. Results indicate that the topsoil samples from the six cities were all dominated by coarse low-coercivity magnetite. In addition, the average magnetite contents in the soils from Urumqi and Lanzhou were shown to be much higher than those from Karamay, Yinchuan, Shizuishan and Wuhai, and they also have relatively higher χ lf and χ fd % when compared with cities in eastern China. Moreover, specific and distinctive soil pollution signals were identified at each sampling site using the combined various magnetic data, reflecting distinct sources. Industrial and traffic-derived pollution was dominant in Urumqi and Lanzhou, in Yinchuan industrial progress was observed to be important with some places affected by vehicle emission, while Karamay, Shizuishan and Wuhai were relatively clean. The magnetic properties of these latter three cities are significantly affected by both anthropogenic pollution and local parent materials from the nearby Gobi desert. The differences in magnetic properties of topsoil samples affected by mixed industrial and simplex traffic emissions are not obvious, but significant differences exist in samples affected by simplex industrial/vehicle emissions and domestic pollution. The combined magnetic analyses thus provide a sensitive and powerful tool for classifying samples according to likely sources, and may even provide a valuable diagnostic tool for discriminating among different cities

  15. Soil quality evaluation following the implementation of permanent cover crops in semi-arid vineyards. Organic matter, physical and biological soil properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Virto, I.; Imaz, M. J.; Fernandez-Ugalde, O.; Urrutia, I.; Enrique, A.; Bescansa, P.

    2012-07-01

    Changing from conventional vineyard soil management, which includes keeping bare soil through intense tilling and herbicides, to permanent grass cover (PGC) is controversial in semi-arid land because it has agronomic and environmental advantages but it can also induce negative changes in the soil physical status. The objectives of this work were (i) gaining knowledge on the effect of PGC on the soil physical and biological quality, and (ii) identifying the most suitable soil quality indicators for vineyard calcareous soils in semi-arid land. Key soil physical, organic and biological characteristics were determined in a Cambic Calcisol with different time under PGC (1 and 5 years), and in a conventionally managed control. Correlation analysis showed a direct positive relationship between greater aggregate stability (WSA), soil-available water capacity (AWC), microbial biomass and enzymatic activity in the topsoil under PGC. Total and labile organic C concentrations (SOC and POM-C) were also correlated to microbial parameters. Factor analysis of the studied soil attributes using principal component analysis (PCA) was done to identify the most sensitive soil quality indicators. Earthworm activity, AWC, WSA, SOC and POM-C were the soil attributes with greater loadings in the two factors determined by PCA, which means that these properties can be considered adequate soil quality indicators in this agrosystem. These results indicate that both soil physical and biological attributes are different under PGC than in conventionally-managed soils, and need therefore to be evaluated when assessing the consequences of PGC on vineyard soil quality. (Author) 65 refs.

  16. In vitro antagonistic activity, plant growth promoting traits and phylogenetic affiliation of rhizobacteria associated with wild plants grown in arid soil

    OpenAIRE

    El-Sayed, Wael S.; Akhkha, Abdellah; El-Naggar, Moustafa Y.; Elbadry, Medhat

    2014-01-01

    The role of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in adaptation of plants in extreme environments is not yet completely understood. For this study native bacteria were isolated from rhizospeheric arid soils and evaluated for both growth-promoting abilities and antagonistic potential against phytopathogenic fungi and nematodes. The phylogentic affiliation of these representative isolates was also characterized. Rhizobacteria associated with 11 wild plant species from the arid soil of Alm...

  17. Modeling of Soil Water and Salt Dynamics and Its Effects on Root Water Uptake in Heihe Arid Wetland, Gansu, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huijie Li

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In the Heihe River basin, China, increased salinity and water shortages present serious threats to the sustainability of arid wetlands. It is critical to understand the interactions between soil water and salts (from saline shallow groundwater and the river and their effects on plant growth under the influence of shallow groundwater and irrigation. In this study, the Hydrus-1D model was used in an arid wetland of the Middle Heihe River to investigate the effects of the dynamics of soil water, soil salinization, and depth to water table (DWT as well as groundwater salinity on Chinese tamarisk root water uptake. The modeled soil water and electrical conductivity of soil solution (ECsw are in good agreement with the observations, as indicated by RMSE values (0.031 and 0.046 cm3·cm−3 for soil water content, 0.037 and 0.035 dS·m−1 for ECsw, during the model calibration and validation periods, respectively. The calibrated model was used in scenario analyses considering different DWTs, salinity levels and the introduction of preseason irrigation. The results showed that (I Chinese tamarisk root distribution was greatly affected by soil water and salt distribution in the soil profile, with about 73.8% of the roots being distributed in the 20–60 cm layer; (II root water uptake accounted for 91.0% of the potential maximal value when water stress was considered, and for 41.6% when both water and salt stress were considered; (III root water uptake was very sensitive to fluctuations of the water table, and was greatly reduced when the DWT was either dropped or raised 60% of the 2012 reference depth; (IV arid wetland vegetation exhibited a high level of groundwater dependence even though shallow groundwater resulted in increased soil salinization and (V preseason irrigation could effectively increase root water uptake by leaching salts from the root zone. We concluded that a suitable water table and groundwater salinity coupled with proper irrigation

  18. Determining the amount of soil erosion in an arid desert area based on RS, GIS and USLE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Huawei; Bai Youliang; Chen Jianjie; Chu Yucheng

    2010-01-01

    Based on RS, GIS and USLE model, this paper calculates the amount of soil erosion of a near surface waste disposal siting region in an arid area and makes a distribution map of soil erosion by using Landsat TM image combined with the terrain and relief data. Results which are valuable for engineering siting indicate that in most of the region the erosion is tiny, only in some small areas they are light or moderate. Under the conditions of normal rainfall, upslope runoff does little harm to the engineering site. The conclusion may provides a useful gist for engineering siting. (authors)

  19. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

  20. GEMAS - Soil geochemistry and health implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernstsen, Vibeke; Ladenberger, Anna; Wragg, Joanna; Gulan, Aleksandra

    2014-05-01

    The GEMAS Project resulted in a large coherent data set displaying baseline levels of elements in agricultural and grazing land soil, which has a wide variety of applications. Medical geology is an emerging new discipline providing a link between geoscience and medicine by interpreting natural geological factors in relation to human and animal health and their geographical distribution. Medical geology shows not only problems related to harmful health effects of natural geological materials and processes, but also deals with their beneficial aspects. Since the GEMAS project demonstrates the importance of geological factors in geochemical patterns in European soil, this data set can be used in improving our understanding of how the geological processes may affect human health in Europe. The main potential health problems are related to deficiency of nutrients in soil and toxic effects of potentially harmful elements. Deficiency in macro- (e.g., K, Fe, Mg, P) and micro-nutrients (e.g., Se, Zn, Cl) can be responsible for a reduction in crop productivity and certain health issues for livestock and humans. On the other hand, bioavailability of crucial elements depends on soil parameters, e.g., pH; namely, low pH in soil (in northern Europe) makes more micronutrients bioavailable, with the exception of Mo, P and Ca. Rocks underlying the soil layer have a major impact on soil composition, and soil parent material can be a main source of toxic metals, for instance, soil developed on black shale (e.g., Oslo region) shows potentially toxic levels of metals, such as As, Cd, U, Zn and Pb. High content of organic matter is another factor amplifying the toxic levels of metals in soil. Several important topics with health implications can be then addressed using the GEMAS data set, namely, soil properties and element bioavailability, arsenic toxicity, selenium deficiency, potential health effects of liming, uranium in European soil, influence of recent and historical volcanic

  1. Hydric soils and the relationship to plant diversity within reclaimed stream channels in semi-arid environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schladweiler, B.K.; Rexroat, S.; Benson, S.

    1999-01-01

    Wetlands are especially important in semi-arid environments, such as the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming, where water is a limiting factor for living organisms. Within this coal mining region of northeastern Wyoming, jurisdictional wetlands are mapped according to the US Army Corps of Engineers 1987 delineation procedure. Within the coal mining region of northeastern Wyoming, little or no full-scale mitigation or reconstruction attempts of jurisdictional wetland areas have been made until recently. Based on the importance of wetlands in a semi-arid environment and lack of information on existing or reconstructed areas, the specific objectives of the 1998 fieldwork were: (1) To define the pre-disturbance ecological state of hydric soils within jurisdictional sections of stream channels on two coal permit areas in northeastern Wyoming, and (2) To determine the effect that hydric soil parameters have on plant community distribution and composition within the two coal permit areas. Undisturbed sections of stream channels and disturbed sections of reconstructed or modified stream channels at the Rawhide Mine and Buckskin Mine, located north of Gillette, Wyoming, were selected for the study. Soils field and laboratory information and field vegetation cover were collected during 1998 within native stream channels and disturbed stream channels that had been reclaimed at each mine. Soils laboratory information is currently preliminary and included pH, electrical conductivity and sodium adsorption ratio. Results and statistical comparisons between soils and vegetation data will be presented

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. The Effect of Vegetation on Soil Water Infiltration and Retention Capacity by Improving Soil Physiochemical Property in Semi-arid Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    A, Y.; Wang, G.

    2017-12-01

    Water shortage is the main limiting factor for semi-arid grassland development. However, the grassland are gradually degraded represented by species conversion, biomass decrease and ecosystem structure simplification under the influence of human activity. Soil water characteristics such as moisture, infiltration and conductivity are critical variables affecting the interactions between soil parameters and vegetation. In this study, Cover, Height, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Pielou evenness index and Richness index are served as indexes of vegetation productivity and community structure. And saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and soil moisture content are served as indexes of soil water characters. The interaction between vegetation and soil water is investigated through other soil parameters, such as soil organic matter content at different vertical depths and in different degradation area (e.g., initial, transition and degraded plots). The results show that Ks significantly controlled by soil texture other than soil organic matter content. So the influence of vegetation on Ks through increasing soil organic content (SOM) might be slight. However, soil moisture content (SMC) appeared significantly positive relationship with SOM and silt content and negative relationship with sand content at all depth, significantly. This indicated that capacity of soil water storage was influenced both by soil texture and organic matter. In addition, the highest correlation coefficient of SMC was with SOM at the sub-surficial soil layer (20 40 cm). At the depth of 20 40 cm, the soil water content was relatively steady which slightly influenced by precipitation and evaporation. But it significantly influenced by soil organic matter content which related to vegetation. The correlation coefficient between SOM and SMC at topsoil layer (0 20 cm) was lowest (R2=0.36, pwater content not only by soil organic matter content but also the other influential factors, such as the root

  4. Managing saltwater intrusion in coastal arid regions and its societal implications for agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Grundmann

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Coastal aquifers in arid and semiarid regions are particularly at risk due to intrusion of salty marine water. Since groundwater is predominantly used in irrigated agriculture, its excessive pumping – above the natural rate of replenishment – strengthen the intrusion process. Using this increasingly saline water for irrigation, leads to a destruction of valuable agricultural resources and the economic basis of farmers and their communities. The limitation of resources (water and soil in these regions requires a societal adaptation and change in behaviour as well as the development of appropriate management strategies for a transition towards stable and sustainable future hydrosystem states. Besides a description of the system dynamics and the spatial consequences of adaptation on the resources availability, the contribution combines results of an empirical survey with stakeholders and physically based modelling of the groundwater-agriculture hydrosystem interactions. This includes an analysis of stakeholders' (farmers and decision makers behaviour and opinions regarding several management interventions aiming on water demand and water resources management as well as the thinking of decision makers how farmers will behave. In this context, the technical counter measures to manage the saltwater intrusion by simulating different groundwater pumping strategies and scenarios are evaluated from the economic and social point of view and if the spatial variability of the aquifer's hydrogeology is taken into consideration. The study is exemplarily investigated for the south Batinah region in the Sultanate of Oman, which is affected by saltwater intrusion into a coastal aquifer system due to excessive groundwater withdrawal for irrigated agriculture.

  5. Qualitative soil moisture assessment in semi-arid Africa - the role of experience and training on inter-rater reliability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, M.; Komakech, H. C.; Müller, D.; Wiesenberg, G. L. B.; Seibert, J.

    2015-08-01

    Soil and water management is particularly relevant in semi-arid regions to enhance agricultural productivity. During periods of water scarcity, soil moisture differences are important indicators of the soil water deficit and are traditionally used for allocating water resources among farmers of a village community. Here we present a simple, inexpensive soil wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators which one can see or touch on the soil surface. It incorporates the local farmers' knowledge on the best soil moisture conditions for seeding and brick making in the semi-arid environment of the study site near Arusha, Tanzania. The scheme was tested twice in 2014 with farmers, students and experts (April: 40 persons, June: 25 persons) for inter-rater reliability, bias of individuals and functional relation between qualitative and quantitative soil moisture values. During the test in April farmers assigned the same wetness class in 46 % of all cases, while students and experts agreed on about 60 % of all cases. Students who had been trained in how to apply the method gained higher inter-rater reliability than their colleagues with only a basic introduction. When repeating the test in June, participants were given improved instructions, organized in small subgroups, which resulted in a higher inter-rater reliability among farmers. In 66 % of all classifications, farmers assigned the same wetness class and the spread of class assignments was smaller. This study demonstrates that a wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators is a robust tool and can be applied successfully regardless of experience in crop growing and education level when an in-depth introduction and training is provided. The use of a simple and clear layout of the assessment form is important for reliable wetness class assignments.

  6. Qualitative soil moisture assessment in semi-arid Africa: the role of experience and training on inter-rater reliability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, M.; Komakech, H.; Müller, D.; Seibert, J.

    2015-03-01

    Soil and water management is particularly relevant in semi-arid regions to enhance agricultural productivity. During periods of water scarcity soil moisture differences are important indicators of the soil water deficit and are traditionally used for allocating water resources among farmers of a village community. Here we present a simple, inexpensive soil wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators which one can see or touch on the soil surface. It incorporates the local farmers' knowledge on the best soil moisture conditions for seeding and brick making in the semi-arid environment of the study site near Arusha, Tanzania. The scheme was tested twice in 2014 with farmers, students and experts (April: 40 persons, June: 25 persons) for inter-rater reliability, bias of individuals and functional relation between qualitative and quantitative soil moisture values. During the test in April farmers assigned the same wetness class in 46% of all cases while students and experts agreed in about 60% of all cases. Students who had been trained in how to apply the method gained higher inter-rater reliability than their colleagues with only a basic introduction. When repeating the test in June, participants were given improved instructions, organized in small sub-groups, which resulted in a higher inter-rater reliability among farmers. In 66% of all classifications farmers assigned the same wetness class and the spread of class assignments was smaller. This study demonstrates that a wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators is a robust tool and can be applied successfully regardless of experience in crop growing and education level when an in-depth introduction and training is provided. The use of a simple and clear layout of the assessment form is important for reliable wetness class assignments.

  7. Influence of grazing on soil seed banks determines the restoration potential of aboveground vegetation in a semi-arid savanna in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.; Boer, de W.F.; Baars, R.M.T.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    Species composition, number of emerging seedlings, species diversity and functional group of the soil seed banks, and the influence of grazing on the similarity between the soil seed banks and aboveground vegetation, were studied in 2008 and 2009 in a semi-arid savanna of Ethiopia. We tested whether

  8. Soil Fertility, Salinity and Nematode Diversity Influenced by Tamarix ramosissima in Different Habitats in an Arid Desert Oasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong-zhong, Su; Xue-fen, Wang; Rong, Yang; Xiao, Yang; Wen-jie, Liu

    2012-08-01

    The aim of this paper was to assess the influence of tamarisk shrubs on soil fertility, salinity and nematode communities in various habitats located in an arid desert-oasis region in northwest China. Three habitats were studied: sand dune, riparian zone and saline meadow, where tamarisk shrubs have been established in recent decades in order to vegetation restoration used as desertification control and saline land rehabilitation projects and become the dominant plant community. The parameters measured include soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen, available phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), pH, salt component, and nematode community characteristics. Enrichment ratios (a comparison of the soil measurements between soils under canopy and in the open interspaces) for soil nutrients and salinity were used to evaluate fertility and salinity islands underneath the tamarisk shrubs. The soil nematode community was used as a biological indicator of soil condition. SOC and available P and K were higher beneath the plant canopy than in the open interspaces outside that canopy. The enrichment ratios for SOC and nutrients were highest for the sand dune habitat and tamarisk shrubs clearly created islands of greater salinity under the canopies. Nematode abundance per 100 g dry soil varied considerably between the locations and habitats, with the highest abundance found in sand dune and the lowest in saline meadow. A significantly higher nematode abundance and a lower trophic diversity were found in soils under the canopy compared to the soils in the open interspaces. With the exception of saline meadow, the abundance of bacterivores increased and fungivores decreased under the canopy relative to the open interspaces, and bacterivores dominated under the canopies in the sand dune and riparian habitats. The enrichment ratios for salinity were higher than for fertility, suggesting that improved soil fertility can not limit the impact of salinization beneath tamarisk shrubs. The

  9. Assessment of Trace Metals in Soil, Vegetation and Rodents in Relation to Metal Mining Activities in an Arid Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez-Rodríguez, Lia C; Alvarez-Castañeda, Sergio Ticul

    2016-07-01

    Areas where abandoned metal-extraction mines are located contain large quantities of mineral wastes derived from environmentally unsafe mining practices. These wastes contain many pollutants, such as heavy metals, which could be released to the environment through weathering and leaching, hence becoming an important source of environmental metal pollution. This study evaluates differences in the levels of lead, iron, nickel, manganese, copper and cadmium in rodents sharing the same type of diet under different microhabitat use in arid areas with past mining activities. Samples of soil, roots, branches and seeds of Palo Adán (Fouquieria diguetii) and specimens of two rodent species (Chaetodipus arenarius and C. spinatus) were collected in areas with impact from past metal mining activities as well as from areas with no mining impact. Both rodent species mirrored nickel and iron levels in soil and seeds, as well as lead levels in soil; however, C. arenarius accumulated higher levels of manganese, copper and cadmium.

  10. Effects of organic amendments on the mobility of Pb and Zn from mine tailings added to semi-arid soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barajas-Aceves, M; Rodríguez-Vázquez, R

    2013-01-01

    The effects of mine tailings and three organic amendments (compost, bokashi and vermicompost) on the mobility factor for Pb and Zn and on the potential C and N mineralization in semi-arid agricultural and rangeland soils were examined. During the experiment, soil samples were analyzed periodically for CO(2)-C evolution, inorganic N, dehydrogenase activity and percent Pb and Zn mobility during 169 d of incubation. The dehydrogenase activity and CO(2)-C evolved were strongly inhibited by mine tailings mixed with organic compost in both agricultural and rangeland soils (37 to 43 %), followed by N mineralization in treatments with mine tailings plus bokashi or compost (13 to 26.5 %) at 169 d incubation. The highest % mobility of Pb and Zn were observed in soils amended with mine tailings alone, while the lowest was observed in agricultural soils treated with vermicompost plus mine tailings. The CO(2)-C evolved was fitted to first order E, while the cumulative N mineralization was fitted to the linearized power function. Mine tailings were found to influence the potential C and N mineralization rate constants in both soils. The models for C and N mineralization could be used to evaluate the effects of mine tailings, which include intrinsic parameters in the soil.

  11. Impact of Surface Soil Moisture Variations on Radar Altimetry Echoes at Ku and Ka Bands in Semi-Arid Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Fatras

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Radar altimetry provides information on the topography of the Earth surface. It is commonly used for the monitoring not only sea surface height but also ice sheets topography and inland water levels. The radar altimetry backscattering coefficient, which depends on surface roughness and water content, can be related to surface properties such as surface soil moisture content. In this study, the influence of surface soil moisture on the radar altimetry echo and backscattering coefficient is analyzed over semi-arid areas. A semi-empirical model of the soil’s complex dielectric permittivity that takes into account that small-scale roughness and large-scale topography was developed to simulate the radar echoes. It was validated using waveforms acquired at Ku and Ka-bands by ENVISAT RA-2 and SARAL AltiKa respectively over several sites in Mali. Correlation coefficients ranging from 0.66 to 0.94 at Ku-band and from 0.27 to 0.96 at Ka-band were found. The increase in surface soil moisture from 0.02 to 0.4 (i.e., the typical range of variations in semi-arid areas increase the backscattering from 10 to 15 dB between the core of the dry and the maximum of the rainy seasons.

  12. Growing season soil moisture following restoration treatments of varying intensity in semi-arid ponderosa pine forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, F. C.; Springer, A. E.; Sankey, T.; Masek Lopez, S.

    2014-12-01

    Forest restoration projects are being planned for large areas of overgrown semi-arid ponderosa pine forests of the Southwestern US. Restoration involves the thinning of smaller trees and prescribed or managed fire to reduce tree density, restore a more natural fire regime, and decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfire. The stated goals of these projects generally reduced plant water stress and improvements in hydrologic function. However, little is known about how to design restoration treatments to best meet these goals. As part of a larger project on snow cover, soil moisture, and groundwater recharge, we measured soil moisture, an indicator of plant water status, in four pairs of control and restored sites near Flagstaff, Arizona. The restoration strategies used at the sites range in both amount of open space created and degree of clustering of the remaining trees. We measured soil moisture using 30 cm vertical time domain reflectometry probes installed on 100 m transects at 5 m intervals so it would be possible to analyze the spatial pattern of soil moisture. Soil moisture was higher and more spatially variable in the restored sites than the control sites with differences in spatial pattern among the restoration types. Soil moisture monitoring will continue until the first snow fall, at which point measurements of snow depth and snow water equivalent will be made at the same locations.

  13. Effects of 22 years of re-vegetation on soil quality in the semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-12-15

    Dec 15, 2009 ... Key words: Re-vegetation, soil properties, soil quality index, the Loess Plateau. INTRODUCTION. Soil quality is defined as the capacity of a soil to sustain biological ...... 27: 1673-1683. Famiglietti JS, Rudnicki JW, Rodell M (1998). Variability ... Soil quality: A concept, definition, and framework for evaluation.

  14. Spatial variations in vegetation as related to the soil moisture regime over an arid limestone hillside, northern Negev, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yair, A; Danin, A

    1980-01-01

    A detailed study of the distribution of plant communities was conducted in an experimental site, located in the arid northern Negev of Israel, where the spatial variation in rainfall, runoff and soil moisture regime are currently being studied. Phytogeographical methods of analysis usually used for studies on a regional scale were applied for a small area extending over 11,325 m 2 of a north-facing hillside. Data obtained indicate that the best water regime and a high diversity of plant species are characteristic of a massive limestone rock unit; whereas worse water regimes characterize densely jointed and thinly bedded limestones. Over slopes, developed in a uniform lithology, whose lower part is composed of a colluvial mantle, a gradual downslope worsening of the soil moisture regime is recorded within the colluvium. These changes are well expressed in the distribution of the plant communities and their phytogeographical affinities along the slopes.

  15. Environmental isotope profiles of the soil water in loess unsaturated zone in semi-arid areas of china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Ruifen; Wei Keqin

    2001-01-01

    According to the IAEA Research Contract No. 9402, soil cores CHN/97 and CHN/98 were taken from loess deposits of China in Inner-Mongolia and Shanxi Province, respectively. Isotope and chemical constituents of the interstitial water from these cores, compared with data obtained from the same places before, were used for estimating the infiltration rate. Tritium profiles from the loess unsaturated zone show clearly defined peaks of 1963 fallout. It implies that piston-flow model is the dominant process for soil water movement in the highly homogeneous loess deposits. It has been shown from this study that vertical infiltration through the unsaturated zone accounts for 12%-13% of the annual precipitation and perhaps is not the main mechanism of groundwater recharge in semi-arid loess areas. (author)

  16. Isotopic composition of rainfall and runoff in a small arid basin with implications for deep percolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dody, A.

    1995-08-01

    The aim of this work was to characterize the isotopic composition of potential recharge in an arid rocky watershed. Unique field observations were obtained from an arid watershed in the Negev Highlands, Israel, through utilization of the dynamic variations in the isotopic composition of rainfall and runoff. The hydrological system's inputs are rainfall and its isotopic composition. Rainfall and runoff were sampled in eight storms. High variability in the isotopic composition of rainfall was observed during any single rainstorm. The isotopic distribution in the runoff at the outlet of the basin appeared often not to be correlated to the isotopic patterns of the associated rain storm. A new mathematical model was developed to describe these physical processes. The model called A Double-Component Kinematic Wave Flow and Transport Approach, was designated to assess the dynamic isotopic distribution in arid rain storms and runoff. This model simulates the transport of rainfall into overland flow and runoff in an arid rocky watershed with uniformly distributed shallow depression storage. A numerical solution for the problem was developed, to estimate the depression storage parameters. The model also reflects the isotopic memory effect due to the depression storage between sequential rain showers. A good agreement between the observed and computed hydrograph and the change of the δ 18O values in runoff in time confirms the validity of the model. (author) 138 figs., 125 refs

  17. Isotopic composition of rainfall and runoff in a small arid basin with implications for deep percolation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dody, A [Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Beersheba (Israel)

    1995-08-01

    The aim of this work was to characterize the isotopic composition of potential recharge in an arid rocky watershed. Unique field observations were obtained from an arid watershed in the Negev Highlands, Israel, through utilization of the dynamic variations in the isotopic composition of rainfall and runoff. The hydrological system`s inputs are rainfall and its isotopic composition. Rainfall and runoff were sampled in eight storms. High variability in the isotopic composition of rainfall was observed during any single rainstorm. The isotopic distribution in the runoff at the outlet of the basin appeared often not to be correlated to the isotopic patterns of the associated rain storm. A new mathematical model was developed to describe these physical processes. The model called A Double-Component Kinematic Wave Flow and Transport Approach, was designated to assess the dynamic isotopic distribution in arid rain storms and runoff. This model simulates the transport of rainfall into overland flow and runoff in an arid rocky watershed with uniformly distributed shallow depression storage. A numerical solution for the problem was developed, to estimate the depression storage parameters. The model also reflects the isotopic memory effect due to the depression storage between sequential rain showers. A good agreement between the observed and computed hydrograph and the change of the {delta}{sup 18O} values in runoff in time confirms the validity of the model. (author) 138 figs., 125 refs.

  18. Long-term effect of land use change on soil quality: Afforestation and land abandonment in semi-arid Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zethof, Jeroen; Cammeraat, Erik; Nadal-Romero, Estela

    2016-04-01

    Soils under the Mediterranean climate are vulnerable for degradation, especially after land abandonment. Abandonment is an important factor in the Mediterranean landscape as vegetation regeneration is hampered due to the characteristic semi-arid and sub-humid Mediterranean climate regime. During the past 70 year extensive afforestation projects have been conducted with the aim to protect landscapes and soils against degradation. While large investments are still being made, little is known about the impact of afforestation on soil quality on a longer time scale. During the past decade, there is a growing interest in qualifying and quantifying the carbon storage in soils by such afforestation projects, to get a better understanding of the carbon cycle and look for possibilities to fixate atmospheric CO2 in the soil. It is generally accepted that afforestation projects will increase the soil carbon pool, but data on this process is scarce. Therefore an intensive fieldwork has been carried out in Murcia, southeastern Spain to study the effects of land abandonment and afforestation on soil quality along a chronosequence and included two afforested areas (from the early '70s and 1993). The Pinus halepensis trees were planted in rows, for which the underlying calcrete was broken. Samples were taken to study changes in soil quality (Aggregate stability, Corg, N, P, K, Na), Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) stocks and soil hydraulic properties, such as infiltration and water retention, between the afforestation projects, abandoned agricultural plots of similar age, semi-natural vegetation, cereal crop fields and almond orchards. As the natural vegetation is characterized by a spotted pattern of bare areas and trees, forming so-called "islands of fertility", both bare and vegetation covered sub-sites were sampled. First results showed a positive effect of both land abandonment and afforestation on the soil aggregation. Especially the 40-year-old plots showed underneath trees

  19. Analysis of soil and vegetation patterns in semi-arid Mediterranean landscapes by way of a conceptual water balance model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Portoghese

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the impact of various vegetation types on water balance variability in semi-arid Mediterranean landscapes, and the different strategies they may have developed to succeed in such water-limited environments. The existence of preferential associations between soil water holding capacity and vegetation species is assessed through an extensive soil geo-database focused on a study region in Southern Italy. Water balance constraints that dominate the organization of landscapes are investigated by a conceptual bucket approach. The temporal water balance dynamics are modelled, with vegetation water use efficiency being parameterized through the use of empirically obtained crop coefficients as surrogates of vegetation behavior in various developmental stages. Sensitivity analyses with respect to the root zone depth and soil water holding capacity are carried out with the aim of explaining the existence of preferential soil-vegetation associations and, hence, the spatial distribution of vegetation types within the study region. Based on these sensitivity analyses the degrees of suitability and adaptability of each vegetation type to parts of the study region are explored with respect of the soil water holding capacity, and the model results were found consistent with the observed affinity patterns.

  20. Nitrogen (15 N) fertilizer use in subsistence culture in the semi-arid soil of Northeast-Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sampaio, Everardo V.S.B.; Antonino, Antonio C.D.; Salcedo, Ignacio H.; Tiessen, Holm

    1997-01-01

    Productivity in the semi-arid area of Northeast Brazil is limited by nitrogen deficiency but fertilizers are not used due to the risk of this investment, usually calculated considering the year of application. Part of the fertilizer accumulates in the soil and can be used in subsequent crops. To provide information on accumulation, an experiment was established at Coxixola, city Pernambuco state consisting of combinations of single and intercropped corn and beans, with and without nitrogen fertilization (16 Kg.ha-1). Planting was done in holes, 1,1 x 1,0 m apart and 15N ammonium nitrate was applied in the there central holes of the plots. At harvest, plants in these hole were analysed separately and the soil was sampled at threre depths and five distances from the point of application of the fertilizer. Productivities were low, without differences between fertilized and non fertilized treatments for grain but with differences for straw. Single corn absorbed more (34%) and retained more of the N fertilizer in the soil (50%) than single beans (16 e 28%) and intercrop (corn 15% beans 11% soil 48%). Part of the unrecovered fertilizer may have migrated out of the sampled volume. This migration and the losses in beans indicate that only a small effect is expected for the accumulated N in the soil. (author). 31 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs

  1. Field evaluation of support practice (P-factor) for stone walls to control soil erosion in an arid area (Northern Jordan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gharaibeh, Mamoun; Albalasmeh, Ammar

    2017-04-01

    Stone walls have been adopted for long time to control water erosion in many Mediterranean countries. In soil erosion equations, the support practice factor (P-factor) for stone walls has not been fully studied or rarely taken into account especially in semi-arid and arid regions. Field studies were conducted to evaluate the efficiency of traditional stone walls and to quantify soil erosion in six sites in north and northeastern Jordan. Initial estimates using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) showed that rainfall erosion was reduced by 65% in areas where stone walls are present. Annual soil loss ranged from 5 to 15 t yr-1. The mean annual soil loss in the absence of stone walls ranged from 10-60 t ha-1 with an average value of 35 t ha-1. Interpolating the slope of thickness of A horizon provided an average initial estimate of 0.3 for P value.

  2. Spatial and temporal estimation of soil loss for the sustainable management of a wet semi-arid watershed cluster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejani, R; Rao, K V; Osman, M; Srinivasa Rao, Ch; Reddy, K Sammi; Chary, G R; Pushpanjali; Samuel, Josily

    2016-03-01

    The ungauged wet semi-arid watershed cluster, Seethagondi, lies in the Adilabad district of Telangana in India and is prone to severe erosion and water scarcity. The runoff and soil loss data at watershed, catchment, and field level are necessary for planning soil and water conservation interventions. In this study, an attempt was made to develop a spatial soil loss estimation model for Seethagondi cluster using RUSLE coupled with ARCGIS and was used to estimate the soil loss spatially and temporally. The daily rainfall data of Aphrodite for the period from 1951 to 2007 was used, and the annual rainfall varied from 508 to 1351 mm with a mean annual rainfall of 950 mm and a mean erosivity of 6789 MJ mm ha(-1) h(-1) year(-1). Considerable variation in land use land cover especially in crop land and fallow land was observed during normal and drought years, and corresponding variation in the erosivity, C factor, and soil loss was also noted. The mean value of C factor derived from NDVI for crop land was 0.42 and 0.22 in normal year and drought years, respectively. The topography is undulating and major portion of the cluster has slope less than 10°, and 85.3% of the cluster has soil loss below 20 t ha(-1) year(-1). The soil loss from crop land varied from 2.9 to 3.6 t ha(-1) year(-1) in low rainfall years to 31.8 to 34.7 t ha(-1) year(-1) in high rainfall years with a mean annual soil loss of 12.2 t ha(-1) year(-1). The soil loss from crop land was higher in the month of August with an annual soil loss of 13.1 and 2.9 t ha(-1) year(-1) in normal and drought year, respectively. Based on the soil loss in a normal year, the interventions recommended for 85.3% of area of the watershed includes agronomic measures such as contour cultivation, graded bunds, strip cropping, mixed cropping, crop rotations, mulching, summer plowing, vegetative bunds, agri-horticultural system, and management practices such as broad bed furrow, raised sunken beds, and harvesting available water

  3. Aeolian nutrient fluxes following wildfire in sagebrush steppe: implications for soil carbon storage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. J. Hasselquist

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Pulses of aeolian transport following fire can profoundly affect the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients in semi-arid and arid ecosystems. Our objective was to determine horizontal nutrient fluxes occurring in the saltation zone during an episodic pulse of aeolian transport that occurred following a wildfire in a semi-arid sagebrush steppe ecosystem in southern Idaho, USA. We also examined how temporal trends in nutrient fluxes were affected by changes in particle sizes of eroded mass as well as nutrient concentrations associated with different particle size classes. In the burned area, total carbon (C and nitrogen (N fluxes were as high as 235 g C m−1 d−1 and 19 g N m−1 d−1 during the first few months following fire, whereas C and N fluxes were negligible in an adjacent unburned area throughout the study. Temporal variation in C and N fluxes following fire was largely attributable to the redistribution of saltation-sized particles. Total N and organic C concentrations in the soil surface were significantly lower in the burned relative to the unburned area one year after fire. Our results show how an episodic pulse of aeolian transport following fire can affect the spatial distribution of soil C and N, which, in turn, can have important implications for soil C storage. These findings demonstrate how an ecological disturbance can exacerbate a geomorphic process and highlight the need for further research to better understand the role aeolian transport plays in the biogeochemical cycling of C and N in recently burned landscapes.

  4. Soil tillage and water infiltration in semi-arid Morocco: the role fo surface and sub-surface soil conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dimanche, P.H.; Hoogmoed, W.B.

    2002-01-01

    Production of cereals in a dryland farming system forms an important part of agricultural production in Morocco. Yield levels on the Saïs Plateau between Meknès and Fez in the semi-arid zone, however, remain low possibly because of sub-optimum water use due to inefficient tillage systems. A study

  5. Effects of plant–soil feedback on tree seedling growth under arid conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijer, S.S.; Holmgren, M.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Aims Plants are able to influence their growing environment by changing biotic and abiotic soil conditions. These soil conditions in turn can influence plant growth conditions, which is called plant–soil feedback. Plant–soil feedback is known to be operative in a wide variety of ecosystems ranging

  6. Effects of plant-soil feedback on tree seedling growth under arid conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijer, S.S.; Holmgren, M.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Aims: Plants are able to influence their growing environment by changing biotic and abiotic soil conditions. These soil conditions in turn can influence plant growth conditions, which is called plant–soil feedback. Plant–soil feedback is known to be operative in a wide variety of ecosystems ranging

  7. Examining the relationship between intermediate-scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. B. Jana

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite-based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here, we present a study to assess the utility of CRNP soil moisture observations in validating model evaporation estimates. The CRNP soil moisture product from a pasture in the semi-arid central west region of New South Wales, Australia, was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley–Taylor (PT-JPL, Penman–Monteith (PM-Mu, and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS sensor. Pearson's correlations, quantile–quantile (Q–Q plots, and analysis of variance (ANOVA were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly 2 years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q–Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the CRNP measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold

  8. Examining the relationship between intermediate-scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra B.

    2016-09-30

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP) was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here, we present a study to assess the utility of CRNP soil moisture observations in validating model evaporation estimates. The CRNP soil moisture product from a pasture in the semi-arid central west region of New South Wales, Australia, was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley–Taylor (PT-JPL), Penman–Monteith (PM-Mu), and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Pearson’s correlations, quantile–quantile (Q–Q) plots, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly 2 years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q–Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the CRNP measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold temperatures were

  9. Examining the relationship between intermediate scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra Belur

    2016-05-17

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale-mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite-based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS) was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here we present an examination of the links observed between COSMOS soil moisture retrievals and evaporation estimates over a pasture in the semi-arid central-west region of New South Wales, Australia. The COSMOS soil moisture product was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley-Taylor (PT-JPL), Penman-Monteith (PM-Mu) and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Pearson’s Correlations, Quantile-Quantile (Q-Q) plots, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly two years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q-Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the COSMOS measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold

  10. Evaluating the coupling effects of climate aridity and vegetation restoration on soil erosion over the Loess Plateau in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Baoqing; He, Chansheng; Burnham, Morey; Zhang, Lanhui

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the coupling effects of climate aridity and vegetation restoration on runoff and sediment yield over the Loess Plateau were examined and characterized. To take into consideration the complexity of drought, as well as the varied strengths and weaknesses of different drought measures, two drought indices are selected to identify and evaluate drought variability. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data were obtained to monitor and express spatiotemporal variations in vegetation cover. The results show that most regions of the Loess Plateau experienced increasingly severe droughts over the past 40years, and these regions comprise the major source of the Yellow River sediment. Climatic drying initially occurred in the 1990s, and became statistically significant in 2000s. The increasingly severe droughts could negatively impact surface and groundwater supplies as well as soil water storage, but may also minimize surface runoff yield, which is one of the major causes of soil erosion on the Loess Plateau. Vegetation cover on the Loess Plateau was significantly improved after the implementation of "Grain for Green" project, which were helpful for controlling severe soil erosion. With the impacts of the construction of check dams, terraces and large reservoirs, runoff and sediment yield over the Loess Plateau initially exhibited downward trends between 1970 and 1990. After 1990, with the effects of the climate warming and drying, a second sharp reduction in runoff and sediment yield occurred. The coupling effects of climate aridity and vegetation restoration have led to a third significant decrease in runoff and sediment yield over the Loess Plateau after 2000. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Potential soil organic carbon stocks in semi arid areas under climate change scenarios: an application of CarboSOIL model in northern Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Abd-Elmabod, Sameh K.; Jordán, Antonio; Zavala, Lorena M.; Anaya-Romero, Maria; De la Rosa, Diego

    2014-05-01

    1. INTRODUCTION Climate change is predicted to have a large impact on semi arid areas which are often degraded and vulnerable to environmental changes (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2012a; 2012b; 2013). However, these areas might play a key role in mitigation of climate change effects through sequestration of carbon in soils (United Nations, 2011). At the same time, increasing organic carbon in these environments could be beneficial for soil erosion control, soil fertility and, ultimately, food production (Lal, 2004). Several approaches have been carried out to evaluate climate change impacts on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, but soil carbon models are amongst the most effective tools to assess C stocks, dynamics and distribution and to predict trends under climate change scenarios (Jones et al., 2005 ). CarboSOIL is an empirical model based on regression techniques and developed to predict SOC contents at standard soil depths of 0 to 25, 25 to 50 and 50-75 cm (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2013). CarboSOIL model has been designed as a GIS-integrated tool and is a new component of the agroecological decision support system for land evaluation MicroLEIS DSS (De la Rosa et al., 2004). 2. GENERAL METHODS In this research, CarboSOIL was applied in El-Fayoum depression, a semi arid region located in northern Egypt with a large potential for agriculture (Abd-Elmabod et al, 2012). The model was applied in a total of six soil-units classified according the USDA Soil Taxonomy system within the orders Entisols and Aridisols under different climate climate change scenarios. Global climate models based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Agrawala at al., 2004) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) were applied to predict short-, medium- and long-term trends (2030, 2050 and 2100) of SOC dynamics and sequestration at different soil depths (0-25, 25-50 and 50-75) and land use types (irrigated areas, olive groves, wheat, cotton and other annual

  12. Salts in soil and water within the arid climate zone. Effects on engineering geology, exemplified from Saudi Arabia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jergman, K.

    1981-01-01

    In the arid climate zone, where the potential evaporation is much higher than the precipitation, soil and water generally are enriched by salts. In this research project it has been pointed out how salts affect engineering geology in different ways. The extensive study of the Al Khafji area in Saudi Arabia has shown that salts have affected soil and water so that - the crust hardness has increased due to a development of duricrust. The strength of the upper part of the crust is similar to weak rock. - the coastal terrace area moves vertically - groundwater affects the salinization of the soil profile A general description of the effect of salts on engineering geology can be summarized as below: The precipitated salts affect the profile so that 1.Stability changes. 2.Swelling alternatively contraction can occur due to variations of the water content. 3.Vegetation growth becomes difficult or impossible. 4.Excavation work is difficult. 5.Aggregate sources are affected. 6.Concrete corrosion is caused. 7.There is demand for proper field and laboratory tests and for special design criteria.The occurance of salts in the water causes due special conditions that 1.The soil profile is enriched by salts 2. The plants are damaged. 3.Concrete corrosion is developed. 4.The water is not suitable for drinking or irrigation purposes. 5. The density increases to such an extent that it effects the direction of the groundwater flow.

  13. Differential Responses of Soil Microbial Community to Four-Decade Long Grazing and Cultivation in a Semi-Arid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yating He

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Grazing and cultivation are two important management practices worldwide that can cause significant soil organic carbon (SOC losses. However, it remains elusive how soil microbes have responded to soil carbon changes under these two practices. Based on a four-decade long field experiment, this study investigated the effects of grazing and cultivation on SOC stocks and microbial properties in the semi-arid grasslands of China. We hypothesize that grazing and cultivation would deplete SOC and depress microbial activities under both practices. However, our hypotheses were only partially supported. As compared with the adjacent indigenous grasslands, SOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC were decreased by 20% or more under grazing and cultivation, which is consistent with the reduction of fungi abundance by 40% and 71%, respectively. The abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes was decreased under grazing but increased under cultivation, which likely enhanced microbial diversity in cultivation. Invertase activity decreased under the two treatments, while urease activity increased under grazing. These results suggest that nitrogen fertilizer input during cultivation may preferentially favor bacterial growth, in spite of SOC loss, due to rapid decomposition, while overgrazing may deteriorate the nitrogen supply to belowground microbes, thus stimulating the microbial production of nitrogen acquisition enzymes. This decade-long study demonstrated differential soil microbial responses under grazing and cultivation and has important applications for better management practices in the grassland ecosystem.

  14. Soil development on stable landforms and implications for landscape studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harden, J.W.

    1990-01-01

    Soil development parameters include a wide variety of morphological, chemical, and mineralogical parameters, but some of the best indicators of time and surface stability are derived from field morphology. Over long time-spans, the most common time function for soil development is exponential or logarithmic, in which rates decrease with increasing age. Over shorter time-spans in semi-arid and moister climates, Holocene and Pleistocene soil development functions appear as linear segments, with Holocene rates about 10 to 50 times those of Pleistocene rates. In contrast to significant temporal variation in rates, geographical variation in rates within (a) the southern Great Basin and (b) the east Central Valley of California is on the order of 2 or 3 times. When comparing soil development indices of the semi-arid Great Basin to those of moister central California, Holocene rates are similar, but Pleistocene rates are more than 10 times slower in the Great Basin. In a range of climatic settings, the reasons for declining rates over time are several and are complexly related to erosional history, fluxes in water and dust related to climatic changes, rates of primary mineral dissolution, and intrinsic soil processes. ?? 1990.

  15. Restoration of degraded arid farmland at Project Wadi Attir: Impact of conservation on biological productivity and soil organic matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mor-Mussery, Amir; Helman, David; Ben Eli, Michael; Leu, Stefan

    2017-04-01

    The Israeli Negev Desert, as most Mediterranean drylands, is profoundly degraded. We have been documenting degradation and successful rehabilitation approaches in recent research, aiming at maximizing environmental and economic benefits while restoring healthy dryland soils and perennial vegetation to act as carbon sinks. These methods have been implemented for rehabilitation of Project Wadi Attir's. 50 hectares of heavily degraded farmland suffering from intensive soil erosion (expressed in dense gullies net and massive overland flow). Project Wadi Attir is a groundbreaking initiative of the Bedouin community in the Negev, for establishing a model sustainable agricultural operation. The project was initiated by the US-based Sustainability Laboratory and the Hura Municipal Council. The project is designed to demonstrate implementation of holistic sustainability principles developed by The Lab. The project's ecosystem restoration component involves site development, erosion control, soil conservation and improvement, planting of native and agroforestry trees, together with conservation and protection of biodiversity hotspots and avoiding grazing have, within three years, revealed the high biodiversity and productivity potential of this arid/semi-arid landscape. A number of shrublands and loess plots were subject to strict conservation, avoiding tilling and grazing. Soil fertility, productivity and biodiversity of these conserved plots inside the farm boundaries was compared to similar unprotected plots outside the farm fences by sampling in the field and by using satellite imaging. Our findings indicate a gradual improvement of SOM content specifically in the conserved shrubland area. Water infiltration, herbaceous biomass productivity and ants' activity of the protected plots also significantly increased within 3 years compared to the unprotected control areas. Starting from similar soil organic matter content in 2013 (3.3%) in the rocky slopes, in 2016 1% higher

  16. Soil moisture and its consequences under different management in a six year old hedged agroforestry demonstration plot in semi-arid Kenya, for two successive contrasting seasons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Otengi, S.B.B.; Stigter, C.J.; Ng'anga, J.K.; Liniger, H.

    2007-01-01

    Hedged agroforestry (AF) demonstration plots with maize/bean intercrops were studied at Matanya in Laikipia district, Kenya, between 1991 and 1995 inclusive, to understand crop yield behaviour due to selected soil moisture conservation methods applicable in semi-arid areas. The treatments were:

  17. Voluntary cooperation in the provision of a semi-public good : Community-based soil and water conservation in semi-arid India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouma, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    This dissertation analyses the question whether households in India’s semi-arid tropics can be expected to voluntarily maintain semi-public investments in soil and water conservation. Increasingly, public investment programs decentralise project planning, implementation and management to local

  18. Evapotranspiration and soil water relationships in a range of disturbed and undisturbed ecosystems in the semi-arid Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan Lu; Shiping Chen; Burkhard Wilske; Ge Sun; Jiquan Chen

    2011-01-01

    Aims: Evapotranspiration (ET) is a key component of water balance and is closely linked to ecosystem productivity. In arid regions, large proportion of precipitation (PPT) is returned to the atmosphere through ET, with only a small amount available to plants. Our objective was to examine the variability in ET–soil water relationship based on a set of ecosystems that...

  19. Land Surface Model and Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm Based on the Model-Optimization Method for Improving Soil Moisture Simulation in a Semi-Arid Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qidong; Zuo, Hongchao; Li, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    Improving the capability of land-surface process models to simulate soil moisture assists in better understanding the atmosphere-land interaction. In semi-arid regions, due to limited near-surface observational data and large errors in large-scale parameters obtained by the remote sensing method, there exist uncertainties in land surface parameters, which can cause large offsets between the simulated results of land-surface process models and the observational data for the soil moisture. In this study, observational data from the Semi-Arid Climate Observatory and Laboratory (SACOL) station in the semi-arid loess plateau of China were divided into three datasets: summer, autumn, and summer-autumn. By combing the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm and the land-surface process model SHAW (Simultaneous Heat and Water), the soil and vegetation parameters that are related to the soil moisture but difficult to obtain by observations are optimized using three datasets. On this basis, the SHAW model was run with the optimized parameters to simulate the characteristics of the land-surface process in the semi-arid loess plateau. Simultaneously, the default SHAW model was run with the same atmospheric forcing as a comparison test. Simulation results revealed the following: parameters optimized by the particle swarm optimization algorithm in all simulation tests improved simulations of the soil moisture and latent heat flux; differences between simulated results and observational data are clearly reduced, but simulation tests involving the adoption of optimized parameters cannot simultaneously improve the simulation results for the net radiation, sensible heat flux, and soil temperature. Optimized soil and vegetation parameters based on different datasets have the same order of magnitude but are not identical; soil parameters only vary to a small degree, but the variation range of vegetation parameters is large.

  20. Understanding cropping systems in the semi-arid environments of Zimbabwe: options for soil fertility management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ncube, B.

    2007-01-01

    African smallholder farmers face perennial food shortages due to low crop yields. The major cause of poor crop yields is soil fertility decline. The diversity of sites and soils between African farming systems isgreat,therefore strategies to solve soil fertility problems

  1. Burrowing herbivores alter soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in a semi-arid ecosystem, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth L. Clark; Lyn C. Branch; Jose L. Hierro; Diego Villarreal

    2016-01-01

    Activities of burrowing herbivores, including movement of soil and litter and deposition of waste material, can alter the distribution of labile carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in soil, affecting spatial patterning of nutrient dynamics in ecosystems where they are abundant. Their role in ecosystem processes in surface soil has been studied extensively, but effects of...

  2. Soil macrofauna affect crop nitrogen and water use efficiencies in semi-arid West Africa.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.; Mando, A.; Brussaard, L.

    2006-01-01

    It is increasingly recognised that soil fauna have a significant role in soil processes affecting nutrient availability and crop performance. A field experiment was conducted in southern Burkina Faso (West Africa) to investigate the contribution of soil fauna to nutrient availability and crop

  3. Disentangling above- and below-ground facilitation drivers in arid environments: the role of soil microorganisms, soil properties and microhabitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano, Yudi M; Armas, Cristina; Hortal, Sara; Casanoves, Fernando; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2017-12-01

    Nurse plants promote establishment of other plant species by buffering climate extremes and improving soil properties. Soil biota plays an important role, but an analysis to disentangle the effects of soil microorganisms, soil properties and microclimate on facilitation is lacking. In three microhabitats (gaps, small and large Retama shrubs), we placed six microcosms with sterilized soil, two per soil origin (i.e. from each microhabitat). One in every pair received an alive, and the other a sterile, inoculum from its own soil. Seeds of annual plants were sown into the microcosms. Germination, survival and biomass were monitored. Soil bacterial communities were characterized by pyrosequencing. Germination in living Retama inoculum was nearly double that of germination in sterile inoculum. Germination was greater under Retama canopies than in gaps. Biomass was up to three times higher in nurse than in gap soils. Soil microorganisms, soil properties and microclimate showed a range of positive to negative effects on understory plants depending on species identity and life stage. Nurse soil microorganisms promoted germination, but the effect was smaller than the positive effects of soil properties and microclimate under nurses. Nurse below-ground environment (soil properties and microorganisms) promoted plant growth and survival more than nurse microhabitat. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Relative Efficacy of On-Farm Weeds as Soil-Amendement for Managing Dry Root Rot of Clusterbean in an Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mawar

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The effectiveness of certain on-farm weeds as soil amendments was ascertained against Macrophomina phaseolina, a soil-borne pathogen causing dry root rot of crops grown under rainfed conditions in arid regions. Population changes in M. phaseolina were determined in soils amended separately with residues (1%, w:w of Aerva persica, Celosia argentea, Corchorus depressus, Euphorbia hirta, Heliotropium subulatum and Polycarpaea corymbosa, for a period of 90 days. Significant reductions by 90.4–100% in the population of M. phaseolina were achieved with all the weed residues except P. corymbosa. Celosia and Euphorbia residues completely eradicated viable propagules of M. phaseolina. A strong increase (44–61% in the population of antagonistic actinomycetes was also found in soil amended with Corchorus and Euphorbia. In field tests, soil amended (50 g m2 with Euphorbia, Aerva and Celosia residues significantly reduced dry root rot incidence on clusterbean and also reduced M. phaseolina propagules in the soil. However, dry root rot incidence in Polycarpaea-amended soil (5.8–24.6% was not significantly different from that in non-amended soil (4.3–25.3% in both years of the experiment. P. corymbosa also increased the number of propagules of M. phaseolina in the soil. The results demonstrate that dry root rot of rainfed-cultivated annual crops in arid land can be managed with certain weeds as a soil amendment.

  5. Soils of the Pacific Northwest shrub-steppe. Occurrence and properties of soils on the Arid Land Ecology Reserve, Hanford Reservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wildung, R.E.

    1977-07-01

    The soils of the Arid Land Ecology Reserve, encompassing the IBP Grassland Biome intensive study site on the ERDA Hanford Reservation, are representative of a larger geographical region including much of the Columbia Plateau and Pacific Northwest shrub-steppe. This results from a unique diversity in parent materials of mixed origin derived from the loess eolian, lacustrine and stream-laid material including glacial outwashes, river terraces, flood plains and alluvial fans and meteorological factors accompanying a marked change in altitude within the Reserve resulting in development of soils over a range in temperature, moisture and vegetative regimes. The Reserve and the IBP Grassland Biome intensive study site serve as valuable, representative areas for the study of soil genesis and morphology in the shrub-steppe. The role of soils can be determined in basic environmental processes involving the flow of energy, cyclization of nutrients or the fate and behavior of pollutants. These processes may be examined to provide baseline information for comparison to other, more disturbed areas. Or, for investigative purposes, processes may be systematically altered to determine the influence of soil-perturbing activities such as agriculture, mining and industry on the terrestrial ecosystem

  6. Changes in Soil Organic Matter Abundance, Molecular Composition, and Diversity in an Arid Ecosystem in Response to Long-term Elevated CO2 Manipulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, N. J.; Tfaily, M.; Evans, R. D.; Koyama, A.

    2017-12-01

    Little is known about how soils in arid ecosystems will respond to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration yet arid and semi-arid ecosystems cover more than 40% of Earth's land surface. Previous work in the Mojave Desert (Evans et al., 2014 Nature Climate Change) reported higher soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (N) concentrations following 10 years exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2 at the Nevada Desert Free-Air-Carbon dioxide-Enrichment (FACE) Facility (NDFF). In this study, we investigated potential mechanisms that resulted in increased SOC and total N accumulation and stabilization using high resolution mass spectrometry at the NDFF site. Samples were collected from soil profiles to 1 m in depth with a 0.2 m a increment under the dominant evergreen shrub Larrea tridentata. The differences in the molecular composition and diversity of soil organic matter (SOM) were more evident in surface soils and declined with depth, and were consistent with higher SOC and total N concentrations under elevated than ambient CO2. Our molecular analysis also suggested increased root exudation and/or microbial necromass from stabilization of labile C and N contributed to SOM and N stocks. Increased microbial activity and metabolism under elevated CO2 compared to ambient plots suggested that elevated CO2 altered microbial carbon (C) use patterns, reflecting changes in the quality and quantity of SOC inputs. We found that plant-derived compounds were primary substrates for microbial activity under elevated CO2 and microbial products were the main constituents of stabilized SOM. Our results suggest that arid ecosystems are a potential large C sink under elevated CO2, give the extensive coverage of the land surface, and that labile compounds are transformed to stable SOM via microbial processes. Arid systems are limited by water, and thus may have a different C storage potential under changing climates than other ecosystems that are limited by nitrogen or phosphorus.

  7. Exploiting the synergy between SMAP and SMOS to improve brightness temperature simulations and soil moisture retrievals in arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi, Mohsen; Alavipanah, Seyed Kazem; Hamzeh, Saeid; Amiraslani, Farshad; Neysani Samany, Najmeh; Wigneron, Jean-Pierre

    2018-02-01

    The objective of this study was to exploit the synergy between SMOS and SMAP based on vegetation optical depth (VOD) to improve brightness temperature (TB) simulations and land surface soil moisture (SM) retrievals in arid regions of the world. In the current operational algorithm of SMAP (level 2), vegetation water content (VWC) is considered as a proxy to compute VOD which is calculated by an empirical conversion function of NDVI. Avoiding the empirical estimation of VOD, the SMOS algorithm is used to retrieve simultaneously SM and VOD from TB observations. The present study attempted to improve SMAP TB simulations and SM retrievals by benefiting from the advantages of the SMOS (L-MEB) algorithm. This was achieved by using a synergy method based on replacing the default value of SMAP VOD with the retrieved value of VOD from the SMOS multi angular and bi-polarization observations of TB. The insitu SM measurements, used as reference SM in this study, were obtained from the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN) over 180 stations located in arid regions of the world. Furthermore, four stations were randomly selected to analyze the temporal variations in VOD and SM. Results of the synergy method showed that the accuracy of the TB simulations and SM retrievals was respectively improved at 144 and 124 stations (out of a total of 180 stations) in terms of coefficient of determination (R2) and unbiased root mean squared error (UbRMSE). Analyzing the temporal variations in VOD showed that the SMOS VOD, conversely to the SMAP VOD, can better illustrate the presence of herbaceous plants and may be a better indicator of the seasonal changes in the vegetation density and biomass over the year.

  8. ASSESSMENT OF THE PRESENCE OF Toxocara EGGS IN SOILS OF AN ARID AREA IN CENTRAL-WESTERN ARGENTINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Viviana Bojanich

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available With the aim of studying the contamination of soils with eggs of Toxocara spp. in an arid area in the central-western region of Argentina, 76 soil samples were collected from 18 towns belonging to six provinces of central-western Argentina. They were processed by the centrifugal flotation method. No eggs of Toxocara spp. were found. It can be concluded that the negative results are directly related to the characteristics of the environment and climate present in the studied area. The finding of eggs in soils depends on several factors: the presence of canine or feline feces, the hygienic behavior of pet owners, the presence of stray animals without veterinary supervision, the weather and environmental conditions, and laboratory techniques used; and all these circumstances must be considered when comparing the results found in different geographical regions. In order to accurately define the importance of public spaces in the transmission of infection to humans, it is important to consider the role of backyards or green spaces around housing in small towns, where the population is not used to walking pets in public spaces, and in such cases a significant fraction of the population may acquire the infection within households.

  9. Occurrence and sources of natural and anthropogenic lipid tracers in surface soils from arid urban areas of Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushdi, Ahmed I; Al-Mutlaq, Khalid F; El-Mubarak, Aarif H; Al-Saleh, Mohammed A; El-Otaibi, Mubarak T; Ibrahim, Sami M M; Simoneit, Bernd R T

    2016-01-01

    Soil particles contain a variety of natural and anthropogenic organic components, and in urban areas can be considered as local collectors of pollutants. Surface soil samples were taken from ten urban areas in Riyadh during early winter of 2007. They were extracted with dichloromethane-methanol mixture and the extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The major compounds were unresolved complex mixture (UCM), plasticizers, n-alkanes, carbohydrates, n-alkanoic acids, hopanes, n-alkanols, and sterols. Vegetation detritus was the major natural source of organic compounds (24.0 ± 15.7%) in samples from areas with less human activities and included n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids, n-alkanols, sterols and carbohydrates. Vehicular emission products and discarded plastics were the major anthropogenic sources in the soil particles (53.3 ± 21.3% and 22.7 ± 10.7%, respectively). The anthropogenic tracers were UCM, plasticizers, n-alkanes, hopanes and traces of steranes. Vegetation and human activities control the occurrence and distribution of natural and anthropogenic extractable organic matter in this arid urban area. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Heavy metal pollutionof soil and new approch to its remediation: Research experiences in arid region in Morocco

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Hari, A.; Lekouch, N.; Chaik, M.; El Fadeli, S.; Sedki, A.

    2012-01-01

    Full text: With climate change and water scarcity remarkable for agricultural soils in the countries of North Africa, pollution with heavy metals represent a great danger for aquatic as well as terrestrial ecosystems. Indeed, they are persistent and non-biodegradable in the environment. When in excess, these metals may influence the soil's biochemical and physico-chemical characteristics, or disturb plants' physiology and contaminate alimentary chains. Therefore, a possible action for rehabilitation of contaminated sites would be an original approach: phytostabilisation. This technique, which is used in Europe but not yet in Morocco, consists of using plants in order to stop soil contaminant migration towards the aquifer. The objective of this study is to try to find vegetal species that are both adapted to the arid climate of Marrakech and capable of purifying the soil and the ground water. In addition, we have chosen to study waters and soils of two sites with different sources of contamination, both located in the surroundings of Marrakech, one representing the used water zone, namely the region of El Azzouzia and the other being the mining zone called D raa Lasfar . On the other hand, thanks to germination and growing tests, we have tried to apply the phytostabilisation technique on different soils by selecting varieties, among 15 vegetal species, which can resist the presence of heavy metals the most, especially Cadmium, and accumulate heavy metals in order to play a purifying role. Our study results have shown that among these 15 vegetal species, only three show the highest growth and most important resistance to Cadmium. The three vegetal species in question are Corn, Wheat and Trigonella. The study has also been able to demonstrate that among these three species, Trigonella is the most hyper accumulative of Zinc and Cadmium. It could therefore be suggested to be a means of phytostabilisation on polluted soils of the city and surroundings of Marrakech

  11. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  12. Soil and Plant Water Relations Determine Photosynthetic Responses of C3 and C4 Grasses in a Semi‐arid Ecosystem under Elevated CO2

    OpenAIRE

    LECAIN, DANIEL R.; MORGAN, JACK A.; MOSIER, ARVIN R.; NELSON, JIM A.

    2003-01-01

    To model the effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 on semi‐arid grasslands, the gas exchange responses of leaves to seasonal changes in soil water, and how they are modified by CO2, must be understood for C3 and C4 species that grow in the same area. In this study, open‐top chambers were used to investigate the photosynthetic and stomatal responses of Pascopyrum smithii (C3) and Bouteloua gracilis (C4) grown at 360 (ambient CO2) and 720 µmol mol–1 CO2 (elevated CO2) in a semi‐arid shortgrass s...

  13. Analysing the mechanisms of soil water and vapour transport in the desert vadose zone of the extremely arid region of northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Chaoyang; Yu, Jingjie; Wang, Ping; Zhang, Yichi

    2018-03-01

    The transport of water and vapour in the desert vadose zone plays a critical role in the overall water and energy balances of near-surface environments in arid regions. However, field measurements in extremely dry environments face many difficulties and challenges, so few studies have examined water and vapour transport processes in the desert vadose zone. The main objective of this study is to analyse the mechanisms of soil water and vapour transport in the desert vadose zone (depth of ∼350 cm) by using measured and modelled data in an extremely arid environment. The field experiments are implemented in an area of the Gobi desert in northwestern China to measure the soil properties, daily soil moisture and temperature, daily water-table depth and temperature, and daily meteorological records from DOYs (Days of Year) 114-212 in 2014 (growing season). The Hydrus-1D model, which simulates the coupled transport of water, vapour and heat in the vadose zone, is employed to simulate the layered soil moisture and temperature regimes and analyse the transport processes of soil water and vapour. The measured results show that the soil water and temperatures near the land surface have visible daily fluctuations across the entire soil profile. Thermal vapour movement is the most important component of the total water flux and the soil temperature gradient is the major driving factor that affects vapour transport in the desert vadose zone. The most active water and heat exchange occurs in the upper soil layer (depths of 0-25 cm). The matric potential change from the precipitation mainly re-draws the spatio-temporal distribution of the isothermal liquid water in the soil near the land surface. The matric potential has little effect on the isothermal vapour and thermal liquid water flux. These findings offer new insights into the liquid water and vapour movement processes in the extremely arid environment.

  14. Application of Electromagnetic Induction to Monitor Changes in Soil Electrical Conductivity Profiles in Arid Agriculture

    KAUST Repository

    Jadoon, K.Z.

    2015-09-06

    In this research, multi-configuration electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements were conducted in a corn field to estimate variation in soil electrical conductivity profiles in the roots zone. Electromagnetic forward model based on the full solution of Maxwell\\'s equation was used to simulate the apparent electrical conductivity measured with EMI system (the CMD mini-Explorer). Joint inversion of multi-configuration EMI measurements were performed to estimate the vertical soil electrical conductivity profiles. The inversion minimizes the misfit between the measured and modeled soil apparent electrical conductivity by DiffeRential Evolution Adaptive Metropolis (DREAM) algorithm, which is based on Bayesain approach. Results indicate that soil electrical conductivity profiles have low values close to the corn plants, which indicates loss of soil moisture due to the root water uptake. These results offer valuable insights into future potential and emerging challenges in the development of joint analysis of multi-configuration EMI measurements to retrieve effective soil electrical conductivity profiles.

  15. Seasonal dynamics of CO2 efflux in soils amended with composted and thermally-dried sludge as affected by soil tillage systems in a semi-arid agroecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Gil, Juan Carlos; Soler-Rovira, Pedro; López-de-Sa, Esther G.; Polo, Alfredo

    2014-05-01

    In semi-arid agricultural soils, seasonal dynamic of soil CO2 efflux (SCE) is highly variable. Based on soil respiration measurements the effects of different management systems (moldboard plowing, chisel and no-tillage) and the application of composted sludge (CS) and thermally-dried sewage sludge (TSS) was investigated in a long-term field experiment (28 years) conducted on a sandy-loam soil at the experimental station 'La Higueruela' (40o 03'N, 4o 24'W). Both organic amendments were applied at a rate of 30 Mg ha-1 prior to tillage practices. Unamended soils were used as control for each tillage system. SCE was moderate in late spring (2.2-11.8 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1) when amendments were applied and tillage was performed, markedly decreased in summer (0.4-3.2 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1), following a moderate increase in autumn (3.4-14.1 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1), rising sharply in October (5.6-39.8 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1 ). In winter, SCE was low (0.6-6.5 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1). In general, SCE was greater in chisel and moldboard tilled soils, and in CS and particularly TSS-amended soils, due to the addition of labile C with these amendments, meanwhile no-tillage soils exhibited smaller increases in C efflux throughout the seasons. Soil temperature controlled the seasonal variations of SCE. In summer, when drought occurs, a general decrease of SCE was observed due to a deficit in soil water content. After drought period SCE jumped to high values in response to rain events ('Birch effect') that changed soil moisture conditions. Soil drying in summer and rewetting in autumn may promotes some changes on the structure of soil microbial community, affecting associated metabolic processes, and enhancing a rapid mineralization of water-soluble organic C compounds and/or dead microbial biomass that acts as an energy source for soil microorganisms. To assess the effects of tillage and amendments on SCE, Q10 values were calculated. Data were grouped into three groups according to soil moisture (0

  16. Biocrusts modulate warming and rainfall exclusion effects on soil respiration in a semi-arid grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Escolar, Cristina; Maestre, Fernando T.; Rey, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Soil surface communities composed of cyanobacteria, algae, mosses, liverworts, fungi, bacteria and lichens (biocrusts) largely affect soil respiration in dryland ecosystems. Climate change is expected to have large effects on biocrusts and associated ecosystem processes. However, few studies so far have experimentally assessed how expected changes in temperature and rainfall will affect soil respiration in biocrust-dominated ecosystems. We evaluated the impacts of biocrust development, increa...

  17. Cropping Effects on Microbial Population and Nitrogenase Activity in Saline Arid Soil

    OpenAIRE

    EGAMBERDIEVA, Dilfuza; KUCHAROVA, Zulfiya

    2008-01-01

    Soil salinization is a major problem in irrigated agriculture. A field study was conducted in the Sariosiyo district in the Surkhandarya region of southeast Uzbekistan to evaluate soil nitrogenase activity and nitrogen-fixing bacteria populations in saline serozem soils under wheat, maize, and alfalfa, as well as from adjacent fallow land. Composite soil samples were randomly collected from depths of 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm in autumn, winter, spring, and summer, which were then 2-mm sieved ...

  18. Book title: Exotic brome grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems of the western US: causes, consequences, and management implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exotic invasive annual grass research and management in arid and semiarid ecosystems of the western US have historically focused on the outcome of efforts to reduce weed abundance. Given the current impact of invasive annual grasses and their continued spread in this region, we assessed components ...

  19. Soil, plant, and structural considerations for surface barriers in arid environments: Application of results from studies in the Mojave Desert near Beatty, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andraski, Brian J.; Prudic, David E.; ,

    1997-01-01

    The suitability of a waste-burial site depends on hydrologic processes that can affect the near-surface water balance. In addition, the loss of burial trench integrity by erosion and subsidence of trench covers may increase the likelihood of infiltration and percolation, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the site in isolating waste. Although the main components of the water balance may be defined, direct measurements can be difficult, and actual data for specific locations are seldom available. A prevalent assumption is that little or no precipitation will percolate to buried wastes at an arid site. Thick unsaturated zones, which are common to arid regions, are thought to slow water movement and minimize the risk of waste migration to the underlying water table. Thus, reliance is commonly placed on the natural system to isolate contaminants at waste-burial sites in the arid West.Few data are available to test assumptions about the natural soil-water flow systems at arid sites, and even less is known about how the natural processes are altered by construction of a waste-burial facility. The lack of data is the result of technical complexity of hydraulic characterization of the dry, stony soils, and insufficient field studies that account for the extreme temporal and spatial variations in precipitation, soils, and plants in arid regions. In 1976, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a long-term study at a waste site in the Mojave Desert. This paper summarizes the findings of ongoing investigations done under natural-site and waste-burial conditions, and discusses how this information may be applied to the design of surface barriers for waste sites in arid environments.The waste-burial site is in one of the most arid parts of the United States and is about 40 km northeast of Death Valley, near Beatty, Nev. (Figure 1). Precipitation averaged 108 mm/yr during 1981-1992. The water table is 85-115 m below land surface (Fischer, 1992). Sediments are largely alluvial

  20. Soil-geomorphic heterogeneity governs patchy vegetation dynamics at an arid ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bestelmeyer, Brandon T; Ward, Judy P; Havstad, Kris M

    2006-04-01

    Soil properties are well known to affect vegetation, but the role of soil heterogeneity in the patterning of vegetation dynamics is poorly documented. We asked whether the location of an ecotone separating grass-dominated and sparsely vegetated areas reflected only historical variation in degradation or was related to variation in inherent soil properties. We then asked whether changes in the cover and spatial organization of vegetated and bare patches assessed using repeat aerial photography reflected self-organizing dynamics unrelated to soil variation or the stable patterning of soil variation. We found that the present-day ecotone was related to a shift from more weakly to more strongly developed soils. Parts of the ecotone were stable over a 60-year period, but shifts between bare and vegetated states, as well as persistently vegetated and bare states, occurred largely in small (<40 m2) patches throughout the study area. The probability that patches were presently vegetated or bare, as well as the probability that vegetation persisted and/or established over the 60-year period, was negatively related to surface calcium carbonate and positively related to subsurface clay content. Thus, only a fraction of the landscape was susceptible to vegetation change, and the sparsely vegetated area probably featured a higher frequency of susceptible soil patches. Patch dynamics and self-organizing processes can be constrained by subtle (and often unrecognized) soil heterogeneity.

  1. Plant species effects on soil nutrients and chemistry in arid ecological zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brittany G; Verburg, Paul S J; Arnone, John A

    2016-09-01

    The presence of vegetation strongly influences ecosystem function by controlling the distribution and transformation of nutrients across the landscape. The magnitude of vegetation effects on soil chemistry is largely dependent on the plant species and the background soil chemical properties of the site, but has not been well quantified along vegetation transects in the Great Basin. We studied the effects of plant canopy cover on soil chemistry within five different ecological zones, subalpine, montane, pinyon-juniper, sage/Mojave transition, and desert shrub, in the Great Basin of Nevada all with similar underlying geology. Although plant species differed in their effects on soil chemistry, the desert shrubs Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex spp., Coleogyne ramosissima, and Larrea tridentata typically exerted the most influence on soil chemistry, especially amounts of K(+) and total nitrogen, beneath their canopies. However, the extent to which vegetation affected soil nutrient status in any given location was not only highly dependent on the species present, and presumably the nutrient requirements and cycling patterns of the plant species, but also on the background soil characteristics (e.g., parent material, weathering rates, leaching) where plant species occurred. The results of this study indicate that the presence or absence of a plant species, especially desert shrubs, could significantly alter soil chemistry and subsequently ecosystem biogeochemistry and function.

  2. Adsorption of Cs-137 and U-238 in semi-arid soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hernandez T, U. O.; Monroy G, F.; Anguiano A, J.; Fernandez R, E.

    2013-10-01

    Is of great importance to determine the adsorption properties of the soils where radioactive wastes are stored, fundamentally of the radioisotopes contained in these wastes, with the purpose of knowing like will be their behavior in the event of happening radionuclide migration toward the surrounding means. Therefore, in this work the adsorption properties of 137 Cs + and 238 UO 2 2+ in soils coming from the Storage Center of Radioactive Wastes are studied. Was studied the effect of the soil type and the particle size of the soil in the adsorption properties of Cs (I) and U (Vi). 13 soil samples and six different particle sizes were analyzed. The adsorption studies were carried out by the radiotracers technique in static way. The results indicate an important adsorption affinity toward the Cs-137 and a very vulnerable affinity for the 238 UO 2 2+ . (author)

  3. Initiation of soil formation in weathered sulfidic Cu-Pb-Zn tailings under subtropical and semi-arid climatic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Fang; Dalal, Ram; Huang, Longbin

    2018-08-01

    Field evidence has been scarce about soil (or technosol) formation and direct phytostabilization of base metal mine tailings under field conditions. The present study evaluated key attributes of soil formation in weathered and neutral Cu-Pb-Zn tailings subject to organic amendment (WC: woodchips) and colonization of pioneer native plant species (mixed native woody and grass plant species) in a 2.5-year field trial under subtropical and semi-arid climatic conditions. Key soil indicators of engineered soil formation process were characterized, including organic carbon fractions, aggregation, microbial community and key enzymatic activities. The majority (64-87%) of the OC was stabilized in microaggregate or organo-mineral complexes in the amended tailings. The levels of OC and water soluble OC were elevated by 2-3 folds across the treatments, with the highest level in the treatment of WC and plant colonization (WC+P). Specifically, the WC+P treatment increased the proportion of water stable macroaggregates. Plants further contributed to the N rich organic matter in the tailings, favouring organo-mineral interactions and organic stabilization. Besides, the plants played a major role in boosting microbial biomass and activities in the treated tailings. WC and plants enhanced the contents of organic carbon (OC) associated with aggregates (e.g., physically protected OC), formation of water-stable aggregates (e.g., micro and macroaggregates), chemical buffering capacity (e.g., cation exchange capacity). Microbial community and enzymatic activities were also stimulated in the amended tailings. The present results showed that the formation of functional technosol was initiated in the eco-engineered and weathered Cu-Pb-Zn tailings under field conditions for direct phytostabilization. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Rehabilitation of semi-arid coal mine spoil bank soils with mine residues and farm organic by-products

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salazar, M.; Bosch-Serra, A.; Estudillos, G.; Poch, R.M. [University of Lleida, Lleida (Spain). Dept. of Environmental & Soil Science

    2009-07-01

    A method of rehabilitating coal mine soils was studied under the conditions of a semi-arid climate, lack of topsoil but availability of farm by-products in NE Spain. The objectives of the research were to assess a new method in order to achieve a suitable substrate for the establishment of native vegetation, to evaluate environmental impacts associated with the reclamation process, and to determine the time necessary to integrate the treated area into the surrounding environment. Eight plots (10 x 35 m{sup 2}) were established in September 1997. Substrate combinations of two types of mine spoil (coal dust and coarse-sized material), two levels of pig slurry (39 and 94 Mg ha{sup -1}dry-wt), and cereal straw (0 and 15 Mg ha{sup -1}) were applied. Monitoring of select physical and chemical soil properties and vegetation characteristics was performed from 1997 until 2005. The bulk density and the saturated hydraulic conductivity measured did not limit plant development and water availability. Initial substrate salinity (1.37 S m{sup -1}) decreased with time and in the long term did not limit plant colonization to salinity-adapted species. Initial nitrate concentration was 298 mg kg{sup -1}, but was reduced significantly to acceptable values in 3 years (55 mg kg{sup -1}) and the measured pH (7.6) was maintained at the level of initial spoil values. Vegetation cover reached up to 90%. In the treated area, spontaneous vegetation cover (15 to 70%) colonized the nonsown areas widely. In the medium term, vegetation cover tended to be higher in plots with a thicker layer of coal dust material and the higher slurry rate. Soil rehabilitation and environmental reintegration, taking into account soil and vegetation indicators, was possible in the studied area with low cost inputs using residual materials from mining activities and animal husbandry by-products.

  5. Soil fauna and organic amendment interactions affect soil carbon and crop performance in semi-arid West Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Ouédraogo, E.; Brussaard, L.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2007-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted at Kaibo in southern Burkina Faso on an Eutric Cambisol during the 2000 rainy season to assess the interaction of organic amendment quality and soil fauna, affecting soil organic carbon and sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) performance. Plots were treated with the pesticides Dursban and Endosulfan to exclude soil fauna or left untreated. Sub-treatments consisted of surface-placed maize straw ( C/N ratio= 58), Andropogon straw ( C/N ratio= 153), cattle dung ...

  6. Applying soil science for restoration of post mining degraded landscapes in semi-arid Australia: challenges and opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction Current challenges in ecological restoration of post mining environments include the deficit of original topsoil which is frequently lost or damaged, and the lack of soil forming materials. A comprehensive knowledge of soil properties and processes and an adequate management of soil resources are critical to improve the restoration success of these degraded areas. In particular, understanding soil physical, chemical and biological parameters is decisive in environments where water is a limiting factor for seedling establishment and plant survival. To improve the restoration success of biodiverse semi-arid areas disturbed by mining activities (Pilbara region, Western Australia), we conducted experiments to (i) analyse changes in soil physico-chemical properties and soil microbial activity of topsoil stockpiles to optimise its handling and minimise deterioration of nutrients and soil biota, (ii) test climate effects on seedling emergence of native plant species and (iii) assess the potential of mine waste materials as a suitable growth medium for seedling emergence of native plant species under various water regimes. Methods The experimental studies were conducted in controlled environment facilities where air temperature, relative humidity and soil moisture were monitored routinely. Watering regimes were selected to represent rainfall patterns of the area. As a growth media we used material obtained from topsoil stockpiles and waste materials from an active mine site, which were mixed at different ratios. Samples were collected from different parts of the topsoil stockpiles and analysed to determine physical, chemical and biological properties. Results No large discrepancies in physical and chemical values were detected at different positions of the stockpiles. However, microbial activity was highly variable, particularly inside the stockpiles. Seedling emergence on topsoil growth media was highly dependent on climate factors with emergence rates

  7. Desert farming benefits from microbial potential in arid soils and promotes diversity and plant health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Köberl

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To convert deserts into arable, green landscapes is a global vision, and desert farming is a strong growing area of agriculture world-wide. However, its effect on diversity of soil microbial communities, which are responsible for important ecosystem services like plant health, is still not known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied the impact of long-term agriculture on desert soil in one of the most prominent examples for organic desert farming in Sekem (Egypt. Using a polyphasic methodological approach to analyse microbial communities in soil as well as associated with cultivated plants, drastic effects caused by 30 years of agriculture were detected. Analysing bacterial fingerprints, we found statistically significant differences between agricultural and native desert soil of about 60%. A pyrosequencing-based analysis of the 16S rRNA gene regions showed higher diversity in agricultural than in desert soil (Shannon diversity indices: 11.21/7.90, and displayed structural differences. The proportion of Firmicutes in field soil was significantly higher (37% than in the desert (11%. Bacillus and Paenibacillus play the key role: they represented 96% of the antagonists towards phytopathogens, and identical 16S rRNA sequences in the amplicon library and for isolates were detected. The proportion of antagonistic strains was doubled in field in comparison to desert soil (21.6%/12.4%; disease-suppressive bacteria were especially enriched in plant roots. On the opposite, several extremophilic bacterial groups, e.g., Acidimicrobium, Rubellimicrobium and Deinococcus-Thermus, disappeared from soil after agricultural use. The N-fixing Herbaspirillum group only occurred in desert soil. Soil bacterial communities were strongly driven by the a-biotic factors water supply and pH. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: After long-term farming, a drastic shift in the bacterial communities in desert soil was observed. Bacterial communities in agricultural

  8. Stable and radioactive carbon in Indian soils: implications to soil carbon dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laskar, A.H.; Yadava, M.G.; Ramesh, R.

    2011-01-01

    Radiocarbon is a very useful tool to study soil carbon dynamic. The mean residence time of SOC in Indian soils is about a century at the top 0-15 cm, increases linearly to reach values ranging from 2000 to 4000 yrs at a depth of 100 cm. It mainly depends on the clay content indicating that the clay is the main governing factor for SOC stabilization. Stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in soil carbonates and SOC are good proxies for paleoclimate and paleovegetation reconstruction. The present day sub-humid climate in the lower Narmada valley has been established prior to ∼ 3 ka. Two comparatively arid phases around 2.1 and 1.3 ka are recorded by oxygen isotopes of soil carbonates; consistent with other proxy records showing its regional significance

  9. Soil fauna and organic amendment interactions affect soil carbon and crop performance in semi-arid West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.; Brussaard, L.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2007-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted at Kaibo in southern Burkina Faso on an Eutric Cambisol during the 2000 rainy season to assess the interaction of organic amendment quality and soil fauna, affecting soil organic carbon and sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) performance. Plots were treated with the

  10. Impact of direct seeding on soil water retention in semi-arid area ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    , twentyfive years after the first of zero tillage farming experiences, this new method was named crop conservation agriculture because it helps preserve soil nutrients, water absorption enhancing and infiltration and biodiversity by maintaining ...

  11. Application of Electromagnetic Induction to Monitor Changes in Soil Electrical Conductivity Profiles in Arid Agriculture

    KAUST Repository

    Jadoon, K.Z.; McCabe, Matthew; Moghadas, D.

    2015-01-01

    In this research, multi-configuration electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements were conducted in a corn field to estimate variation in soil electrical conductivity profiles in the roots zone. Electromagnetic forward model based on the full

  12. Digital Soil Mapping Using Landscape Stratification for Arid Rangelands in the Eastern Great Basin, Central Utah

    OpenAIRE

    Fonnesbeck, Brook B.

    2015-01-01

    Digital soil mapping typically involves inputs of digital elevation models, remotely sensed imagery, and other spatially explicit digital data as environmental covariates to predict soil classes and attributes over a landscape using statistical models. Digital imagery from Landsat 5, a digital elevation model, and a digital geology map were used as environmental covariates in a 67,000-ha study area of the Great Basin west of Fillmore, UT. A “pre-map” was created for selecting sampling locatio...

  13. Mycostimulation in a glyphosate treated arable soil: implications on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mycostimulation in a glyphosate treated arable soil: implications on the yield and agronomic characters of Talinum fruticosum (L.) Juss. ... If properly managed and stimulated, fungi can contribute significantly to improving soil health, thus improving food security in a sustainable manner. Keywords: Mycoaugmentation ...

  14. Mobility of indaziflam influenced by soil properties in a semi-arid area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir M González-Delgado

    Full Text Available Indaziflam, a broad-spectrum, pre-emergence herbicide was the focus of a field investigation conducted after the identification of sporadic injury symptoms on the pecan trees a few months after the application. The study was conducted in two pecan orchards located in southern New Mexico, USA, and southeastern Arizona, USA. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the occurrence and distribution of indaziflam in the soil profile of areas where pecan trees were injured (impacted and areas where no injury symptoms were observed (unimpacted, and to determine the relationship between indaziflam concentrations and soil properties in those locations. Soil samples were collected, one year after applications, from six depth representing 0-7, 7-15, 15-30, 30-60, 60-90 and 90-120 cm depth to determine the concentration of indaziflam in impacted and unimpacted areas of the two orchards. Soil samples were analyzed to determine texture, bulk density, organic matter content, cation exchange capacity, pH, nitrate, chloride and calcium concentrations. The detection frequency of indaziflam was higher in Arizona than in New Mexico, likely due to the differences between the tillage practices and sand contents of the orchards. No significant correlations were observed between indaziflam and soil properties, however indaziflam was mostly detected in areas where pecan trees were unimpacted probably as result of greater organic matter content and soil porosity. More research is needed to understand the causes of injury to pecan trees by indaziflam application.

  15. Biological soil crust and disturbance controls on surface hydrology in a semi-arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faist, Akasha M; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Belnap, Jayne; Van Zee, Justin W; Barger, Nichole N

    2017-01-01

    Biological soil crust communities (biocrusts) play an important role in surface hydrologic processes in dryland ecosystems, and these processes may then be dramatically altered with soil surface disturbance. In this study, we examined biocrust hydrologic responses to disturbance at different developmental stages on sandy soils on the Colorado Plateau. Our results showed that all disturbance (trampling, scalping and trampling+scalping) of the early successional light cyanobacterial biocrusts generally reduced runoff. In contrast, trampling well-developed dark-cyano-lichen biocrusts increased runoff and sediment loss relative to intact controls. Scalping did not increase runoff, implying that soil aggregate structure was important to the infiltration process. Well-developed, intact dark biocrusts generally had lower runoff, low sediment loss, and highest aggregate stability whereas the less-developed light biocrusts were highest in runoff and sediment loss when compared to the controls. These results suggest the importance of maintaining the well-developed dark biocrusts, as they are beneficial for lowering runoff and reducing soil loss and redistribution on the landscape. These data also suggest that upslope patches of light biocrust may either support water transport to downslope vegetation patches or alternatively this runoff may place dark biocrust patches at risk of disruption and loss, given that light patches increase runoff and thus soil erosion potential.

  16. Multi-satellite sensor study on precipitation-induced emission pulses of NOx from soils in semi-arid ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Zörner

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available We present a top-down approach to infer and quantify rain-induced emission pulses of NOx ( ≡  NO + NO2, stemming from biotic emissions of NO from soils, from satellite-borne measurements of NO2. This is achieved by synchronizing time series at single grid pixels according to the first day of rain after a dry spell of prescribed duration. The full track of the temporal evolution several weeks before and after a rain pulse is retained with daily resolution. These are needed for a sophisticated background correction, which accounts for seasonal variations in the time series and allows for improved quantification of rain-induced soil emissions. The method is applied globally and provides constraints on pulsed soil emissions of NOx in regions where the NOx budget is seasonally dominated by soil emissions. We find strong peaks of enhanced NO2 vertical column densities (VCDs induced by the first intense precipitation after prolonged droughts in many semi-arid regions of the world, in particular in the Sahel. Detailed investigations show that the rain-induced NO2 pulse detected by the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument, GOME-2 and SCIAMACHY satellite instruments could not be explained by other sources, such as biomass burning or lightning, or by retrieval artefacts (e.g. due to clouds. For the Sahel region, absolute enhancements of the NO2 VCDs on the first day of rain based on OMI measurements 2007–2010 are on average 4 × 1014  molec cm−2 and exceed 1 × 1015  molec cm−2 for individual grid cells. Assuming a NOx lifetime of 4 h, this corresponds to soil NOx emissions in the range of 6 up to 65 ng N m−2 s−1, which is in good agreement with literature values. Apart from the clear first-day peak, NO2 VCDs are moderately enhanced (2 × 1014  molec cm−2 compared to the background over the following 2 weeks, suggesting potential further emissions during that period of about 3.3 ng N m−2

  17. A simulation of soil water content based on remote sensing in a semi-arid Mediterranean agricultural landscape

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchez, N.; Martinez-Fernandez, J.; Rodriguez-Ruiz, M.; Torres, E.; Calera, A.

    2012-11-01

    This paper shows the application of a water balance based on remote sensing that integrated a Landsat 5 series from 2009 in an area of 1,300 km{sup 2} in the Duero Basin (Spain). The objective was to simulate the daily soil water content (SWC), actual evapotranspiration, deep percolation and irrigation rates. The accuracy of the application is tested in a semi-arid Mediterranean agricultural landscape with crops over natural conditions. The results of the simulated SWC were compared against 19 in situ stations of the Soil Moisture Measurement Stations Network (REMEDHUS), in order to check the feasibility and accuracy of the application. The theoretical basis of the application was the FAO56 calculation assisted by remotely sensed imagery. The basal crop coefficient (Kcb), as well as other parameters of the calculation came from the remote reflectance of the images. This approach was implemented in the computerized tool HIDROMORE+, which integrates various spatial databases. The comparison of simulated and observed values (at different depths and different land uses) showed a good global agreement for the area (R{sup 2} = 0.92, RMSE = 0.031 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.027 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3). The land uses better described were rainfed cereals (R2 = 0.86, RMSE = 0.030 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.025 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3) and vineyards (R{sup 2} = 0.86, RMSE = 0.016 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.013 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3). In general, an underestimation of the soil water content is noticed, more pronounced into the root zone than at surface layer. The final aim was to convert the application into a hydrological tool available for agricultural water management. (Author) 42 refs.

  18. Organo-mineral interactions promote greater soil organic carbon stability under aspen in semi-arid montane forests in Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Miegroet, H.; Roman Dobarco, M.

    2014-12-01

    Forest species influence soil organic carbon (SOC) storage through litter input, which in interaction with soil microclimate, texture and mineralogy, lead to different SOC stabilization and storage patterns. We sampled mineral soil (0-15 cm) across the ecotone between aspen (Populus tremuloides) and mixed conifers stands (Abies lasiocarpa and Pseudotsuga menziesii) in semi-arid montane forests from Utah, to investigate the influence of vegetation vs. site characteristics on SOC stabilization, storage and chemistry. SOC was divided into light fraction (LF), mineral-associated SOC in the silt and clay fraction (MoM), and a dense subfraction > 53 μm (SMoM) using wet sieving and electrostatic attraction. SOC decomposability and solubility was derived from long term laboratory incubations and hot water extractions (HWE). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to study differences in chemical functional groups in LF and MoM. Vegetation cover did not affect SOC storage (47.0 ± 16.5 Mg C ha-1), SOC decomposability (cumulative CO2-C release of 93.2 ± 65.4 g C g-1 C), or SOC solubility (9.8 ± 7.2 mg C g-1 C), but MoM content increased with presence of aspen [pure aspen (31.2 ± 15.1 Mg C ha-1) > mixed (25.7 ± 8.8 Mg C ha-1) > conifer (22.8 ± 9.0 Mg C ha-1)]. Organo-mineral complexes reduced biological availability of SOC, indicated by the negative correlation between silt+clay (%) and decomposable SOC per gram of C (r = -0.48, p = 0.001) or soluble SOC (r = -0.59, p plant or microbial origin. FTIR spectra clustered by sites with similar parent material rather than by vegetation cover. This suggests that initial differences in litter chemistry between aspen and conifers converged into similar MoM chemistry within sites.

  19. Natural revegetation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil in semi-arid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bizecki Robson, D.; Knight, J. D.; Farrell, R. E.; Germida, J. J.

    2004-01-01

    Phytoremediation, or the use of plants to degrade and contain soil contaminants is considered a cost-effective decontaminant for sites contaminated by spills in the oil and gas producing areas of Western Canada. The objective of this study was to determine if contamination by hydrocarbons changes soil properties, species composition, and species abundance when compared with uncontaminated plots, and to identify species and functional groups unique to contaminated sites that may be further screened for their hydrocarbon-degrading ability. In pursuit of these objectives the effect of contamination on coverage, litter and bare ground was examined, differences in species composition between contaminated and uncontaminated sites were assessed, and the ability to fix nitrogen, and form mycorrhiza, life form, pollination mode, seed dispersal and reproduction mode of each species was determined. Results showed less vegetation and litter cover in contaminated plots, and significantly higher soil carbon to nitrogen ratios. Species diversity was also lower on contaminated sites, although species richness was not significantly different. Self-pollinated species were significantly more common on contaminated sites. Five grasses and three forbs were identified as tolerant of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, with two grasses -- Agropyron smithii, and Agropyron trachycaulum -- being the most promising for reclamation. The low vegetation cover on contaminated plots is attributed to high pH and carbon to nitrogen ratios, and low nitrogen and phosphorus that results from soil disturbance. High electrical conductivity is also considered to adversely affect vegetation and litter cover on contaminated sites. 54 refs., 3 tabs., 1 fig

  20. Natural revegetation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil in semi-arid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bizecki Robson, D.; Knight, J. D.; Farrell, R. E.; Germida, J. J. [University of Saskatchewan, Dept. of Soil Science, Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2004-01-01

    Phytoremediation, or the use of plants to degrade and contain soil contaminants is considered a cost-effective decontaminant for sites contaminated by spills in the oil and gas producing areas of Western Canada. The objective of this study was to determine if contamination by hydrocarbons changes soil properties, species composition, and species abundance when compared with uncontaminated plots, and to identify species and functional groups unique to contaminated sites that may be further screened for their hydrocarbon-degrading ability. In pursuit of these objectives the effect of contamination on coverage, litter and bare ground was examined, differences in species composition between contaminated and uncontaminated sites were assessed, and the ability to fix nitrogen, and form mycorrhiza, life form, pollination mode, seed dispersal and reproduction mode of each species was determined. Results showed less vegetation and litter cover in contaminated plots, and significantly higher soil carbon to nitrogen ratios. Species diversity was also lower on contaminated sites, although species richness was not significantly different. Self-pollinated species were significantly more common on contaminated sites. Five grasses and three forbs were identified as tolerant of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, with two grasses -- Agropyron smithii, and Agropyron trachycaulum -- being the most promising for reclamation. The low vegetation cover on contaminated plots is attributed to high pH and carbon to nitrogen ratios, and low nitrogen and phosphorus that results from soil disturbance. High electrical conductivity is also considered to adversely affect vegetation and litter cover on contaminated sites. 54 refs., 3 tabs., 1 fig.

  1. [Study on ecological risk assessment technology of fluoride pollution from arid oasis soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Su-Yin; Li, Ping; Wang, Sheng-Li; Nan, Zhong-Ren

    2014-03-01

    According to translocation regulation of fluoride in the typical oasis soil-plant system under field, an ecological risk assessment model of fluoride was established, and this model was used to assess ecological risk to fluoride pollution from suburban oasis soils in Baiyin City, which was specifically expressed with the potential ecological risk of bioavailability (ER(bc)) model to assess ecological risk of fluoride pollution in oasis regions. Results showed that the ecological risk indices of fluoride pollution from this region were 1.37-24.81, the level of risk at most sites was high to very high, the average ecological risk index was 11.28, belonged to very high risk. This indicated that in the suburb soil of Baiyin City needs to be concerned about the remediation of fluoride pollution.

  2. Modeling Soil Moisture in Support of the Revegetation of Military Lands in Arid Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, T. G.; McDonald, E. V.; Young, M. H.

    2003-12-01

    The National Training Center (NTC), the Army's primary mechanized maneuver training facility, covers approximately 2600 km2 within the Mojave Desert in southern California, and is the subject of ongoing studies to support the sustainability of military lands in desert environments. Revegetation of these lands by the Integrated Training Areas Management (ITAM) Program requires the identification of optimum growing conditions to reestablish desert vegetation from seed and seedling, especially with regard to the timing and abundance of plant-available water. Water content, soil water potential, and soil temperature were continuously monitored and used to calibrate the Simultaneous Heat And Water (SHAW) model at 3 re-seeded sites. Modeled irrigation scenarios were used to further evaluate the most effective volume, frequency, and timing of irrigation required to maximize revegetation success and minimize water use. Surface treatments including straw mulch, gravel mulch, soil tackifier and plastic sheet

  3. Improvement in remote sensing of low vegetation cover in arid regions by correcting vegetation indices for soil ''noise''

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Escadafal, R.; Huete, A.

    1991-01-01

    The variations of near-infrared red reflectance ratios of ten aridic soil samples were correlated with a ''redness index'' computed from red and green spectral bands. These variations have been shown to limit the performances of vegetation indices (NDVI and SAVI) in discriminating low vegetation covers. The redness index is used to adjust for this ''soil noise''. Dala simulated for vegetation densities of 5 to 15% cover showed that the sensitivity of the corrected vegetation indices was significantly improved. Specifically, the ''noise-corrected'' SAVI was able to assess vegetation amounts with an error four times smaller than the uncorrected NDVI. These promising results should lead to a significant improvement in assessing biomass in arid lands from remotely sensed data. (author) [fr

  4. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. A. Timms

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall, potential evapotranspiration >2000 mm yr−1 such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB. In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8–1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0–2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91–229 t ha−1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m−1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5, whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m−1 with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3–9.5 mm yr−1 (0.7–2.1% rainfall based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total, and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low

  5. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timms, W. A.; Young, R. R.; Huth, N.

    2012-04-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (2000 mm yr-1) such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8-1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0-2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91-229 t ha-1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m-1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5), whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m-1) with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3-9.5 mm yr-1 (0.7-2.1% rainfall) based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total), and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low rainfall and large potential evapotranspiration, transient hydrological conditions after changes in land use and a thick clay dominated vadose zone. This is in

  6. Application of hyper spectral imagings techniques to study soil degradation in arid environments. (Los Monegros, Spain); Aplicacion de tecnicas hiperespectrales de imagen al estudio de la degradacion de suelos en ambientes aridos (Los Monegros, Espana)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gumuzzio Such, A.; Palacios Orueta, A.; Schmid, T.; Dominguez, J. A.; Gumuzzio, J.

    2009-07-01

    The aim of this work is to identify characteristics associated to soils affected by degradation within and arid area of Spain using optical hyper spectral airborne data. The methodological approach was developed to determine the spatial distribution of selected soils affected by degradation processes. A satisfactory spatial distribution is obtained where the corresponding soil characteristics are closely related to degradation processes. (Author) 2 refs.

  7. fertility of soils of the semi-arid zone of Nigeria

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    2010-12-17

    Alcantara, 1978; Nutman ... to fix atmospheric N2 gas. This attribute is confirmed on the legumes by soil bacteria of the genus ... achieving this noble goal. In deed, so much has been and is still being expected of the legumes, but, ...

  8. [Rainfall and soil moisture redistribution induced by xerophytic shrubs in an arid desert ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zheng Ning; Wang, Xin Ping; Liu, Bo

    2016-03-01

    Rainfall partitioning by desert shrub canopy modifies the redistribution of incident rainfall under the canopy, and may affect the distribution pattern of soil moisture around the plant. This study examined the distribution of rainfall and the response of soil moisture beneath the canopy of two dominant desert shrubs, Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica, in the revegetation area at the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert. The results showed that throughfall and stemflow ave-ragely occupied 74.4%, 11.3% and 61.8%, 5.5% of the gross precipitation for C. korshinskii and A. ordosica, respectively. The mean coefficients of variation (CV) of throughfall were 0.25 and 0.30, respectively. C. korshinski were more efficient than A. ordosica on stemflow generation. The depth of soil wetting front around the stem area was greater than other areas under shrub canopy for C. korshinski, and it was only significantly greater under bigger rain events for A. ordosica. The shrub canopy could cause the unevenness of soil wetting front under the canopy in consequence of rainfall redistribution induced by xerophytic shrub.

  9. Short Term Soil Respiration Response to Fire in a Semi-arid Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozin, A. G.

    2015-12-01

    In the Intermountain West (USA), fire is an important driver of carbon cycling in the environment. Increasing frequency and severity of fires, either through management actions or wildfires, is expected with changing climates in the Western United States. When burning is used as a management tool, it may be beneficial and control the growth of nuisance vegetation, promote the regeneration of grasses and forage species, and reduce hazardous fuel loads to minimize the risk of future wildfires. However, high intensity wildfires often have a negative effect, resulting in a loss of carbon storage and a shift of vegetation communities. This delays recovery of the ecosystem for years or decades and alters the historic fire regime. A 2000 acre prescribed burn in the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory provided the opportunity to quantify pre and post-burn soil carbon stores and soil carbon losses by heterotrophic respiration. Pre and post-burn soil samples were collected for physical and biogeochemical characterization to quantify substrate availability and possible limitations for heterotrophic respiration. CO2 fluxes were continuously monitored in situ before and immediately after the fire to understand the short-term response of soil respiration to varying burn severities.

  10. Dust dynamics in off-road vehicle trails: Measurements on 16 arid soil types, Nevada, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goossens, Dirk; Buck, Brenda

    2009-08-01

    Soil analyses and measurements with the Portable In Situ Wind Erosion Laboratory (PI-SWERL) were conducted on 16 soil types in an area heavily affected by off-road vehicle (ORV) driving. Measurements were performed in ORV trails as well as on undisturbed terrain to investigate how ORV driving affects the vulnerability of a soil to emit PM10 (particlestrail affects those properties of the topsoil that determine its capability to emit PM10. Also, recommendations are given for adequate management of ORV-designed areas. The type of surface (sand, silt, gravel, drainage) is a key factor with respect to dust emission in an ORV trail. Trails in sand, defined in this study as the grain size fraction 63-2000microm, show higher deflation thresholds (the critical wind condition at which wind erosion starts) than the surrounding undisturbed soil. Trails in silt (2-63microm) and in drainages, on the other hand, have lower deflation thresholds than undisturbed soil. The increase in PM10 emission resulting from the creation of a new ORV trail is much higher for surfaces with silt than for surfaces with sand. Also, the creation of a new trail in silt decreases the supply limitation in the top layer: the capacity of the reservoir of emission-available PM10 increases. For sand the situation is reversed: the supply limitation increases, and the capacity of the PM10 reservoir decreases. Finally, ORV trails are characterized by a progressive coarsening of the top layer with time, but the speed of coarsening is much lower in trails in silt than in trails in sand or in drainages. The results of this study suggest that, to minimize emissions of PM10, new ORV fields should preferably be designed on sandy terrain rather than in silt areas or in drainages.

  11. Implication of climate change for the persistence of raptors in arid savanna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wichmann, M.C.; Wissel, C. [UFZ-Center for Environmental Research, Dept. of Ecological Modelling, Leipzig (Germany); Jeltsch, F. [Univ. of Potsdam, Inst. for Biochemistry and Biology, Potsdam (Germany); Dean, W.R.J. [Univ. of Cape Town, Percy FitzPatrick Inst. of African Ornithology, Rondebosch (South Africa); Moloney, K.A. [Iowa State Univ., Dept. of Botany, Ames, IA (United States)

    2003-07-01

    Arid savannas are regarded as one of the ecosystems most likely to be affected by climate change. In these dry conditions, even top predators like raptors are affected by water availability and precipitation. However, few research initiatives have a adressed the question of how climate change will affect population dynamics and extinction risk of particular species in and ecosystems. Here, we use an individual-oriented modeling approach to conduct experiments on the population dynamics of long lived raptors. We investigate the potential impact of precipitation variation caused by climate change on raptors in and savanna using the tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) in the southern Kalahari as a case study. We simulated various modifications of precipitation scenarios predicted for climate change, such as lowered annual precipitation mean, increased inter-annual variation and increased auto-correlation in precipitation. We found a high impact of these modifications on extinction risk of tawny eagles, with reduced population persistence in most cases. Decreased mean annual precipitation and increased inter-annual variation both caused dramatic decreases in population persistence. Increased autocorrelation in precipitation led only to slightly accelerated extinction of simulated populations. Finally. for various patterns of periodically fluctuating precipitation, we found both increased and decreased population persistence. In summary, our results suggest that the impacts on raptor population dynamics and survival caused by climate change in and savannas will be great. We emphasize that even if under climate change the mean annual precipitation remains constant but the inter-annual variation increases the persistence of raptor populations in and savannas will decrease considerably. This suggests a new dimension, of climate change driven impacts on population persistence and consequently on biodiversity. However, more investigations on particular species and/or species groups

  12. Influence of biocrusts coverage on microbial communities from underlying arid lands soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anguita-Maeso, Manuel; Miralles*, Isabel; van Wesemael, Bas; Lázaro, Roberto; Ortega, Raúl; García-Salcedo, José Antonio; Soriano**, Miguel

    2017-04-01

    In regions where the water availability limits the plant cover, biological soil crusts are especially essential in the development of an almost continuous living skin mediating the inputs and outputs across the soil surface boundary. However, the entire area is not covered equally and microbial communities from underlying soils might be influenced by biocrust type and the percentage of biocrust coverage. To clarify this question, we have collected underlying soils from biocrusts samples dominated by i) incipient colonization by cyanobacteria, ii) cyanobacteria, biocrusts formed by the lichens: iii) Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera and iv) Lepraria issidiata from Tabernas desert (southeast of Spain) so as to determine the differences in the microbial communities from these underlying soils at two extremes of its spatial distribution range: one with a high percentage of biocrust coverage and fewer degradation and other with a huge degradation and less percentage of biocrust coverage. DNA from these samples was isolated by using a commercial kit and it was taken as template for metagenomic analysis. We conducted a sequencing of the amplicons V4-V5 of the 16S rRNA gene with Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Illumina MiSeq platform and a relative quantity of bacteria and fungi were accomplished by quantitative qPCR of rRNA 16S and ITS1-5.8S, respectively. The high biocrust coverage position revealed the highest number of bacteria per gram of soil (1.64E+09 in L. issidiata, in 1.89E+09 D. diacapsis and S. lentigera, 1.63E+09 in cyanobacteria and 2.08E+09 in incipient colonization by cyanobacteria) whereas the less favourable position according to the percentage of biocrust coverage showed fewer amount (1.16E+09 in L. issidiata, 6.98E+08 in D. diacapsis and S. lentigera, 1.46E+09 in cyanobacteria and 7.92E+08 in incipient cyanobacteria biocrust). Similarly, the amount of fungi per gram of soil presented identical correlation ranging from the favourable

  13. Sensitivity of stomatal conductance to soil moisture: implications for tropospheric ozone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Anav

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Soil moisture and water stress play a pivotal role in regulating stomatal behaviour of plants; however, in the last decade, the role of water availability has often been neglected in atmospheric chemistry modelling studies as well as in integrated risk assessments, despite the fact that plants remove a large amount of atmospheric compounds from the lower troposphere through stomata. The main aim of this study is to evaluate, within the chemistry transport model CHIMERE, the effect of soil water limitation on stomatal conductance and assess the resulting changes in atmospheric chemistry testing various hypotheses of water uptake by plants in the rooting zone. Results highlight how dry deposition significantly declines when soil moisture is used to regulate the stomatal opening, mainly in the semi-arid environments: in particular, over Europe the amount of ozone removed by dry deposition in one year without considering any soil water limitation to stomatal conductance is about 8.5 TgO3, while using a dynamic layer that ensures that plants maximize the water uptake from soil, we found a reduction of about 10 % in the amount of ozone removed by dry deposition ( ∼  7.7 TgO3. Although dry deposition occurs from the top of canopy to ground level, it affects the concentration of gases remaining in the lower atmosphere, with a significant impact on ozone concentration (up to 4 ppb extending from the surface to the upper troposphere (up to 650 hPa. Our results shed light on the importance of improving the parameterizations of processes occurring at plant level (i.e. from the soil to the canopy as they have significant implications for concentration of gases in the lower troposphere and resulting risk assessments for vegetation or human health.

  14. Sensitivity of stomatal conductance to soil moisture: implications for tropospheric ozone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anav, Alessandro; Proietti, Chiara; Menut, Laurent; Carnicelli, Stefano; De Marco, Alessandra; Paoletti, Elena

    2018-04-01

    Soil moisture and water stress play a pivotal role in regulating stomatal behaviour of plants; however, in the last decade, the role of water availability has often been neglected in atmospheric chemistry modelling studies as well as in integrated risk assessments, despite the fact that plants remove a large amount of atmospheric compounds from the lower troposphere through stomata. The main aim of this study is to evaluate, within the chemistry transport model CHIMERE, the effect of soil water limitation on stomatal conductance and assess the resulting changes in atmospheric chemistry testing various hypotheses of water uptake by plants in the rooting zone. Results highlight how dry deposition significantly declines when soil moisture is used to regulate the stomatal opening, mainly in the semi-arid environments: in particular, over Europe the amount of ozone removed by dry deposition in one year without considering any soil water limitation to stomatal conductance is about 8.5 TgO3, while using a dynamic layer that ensures that plants maximize the water uptake from soil, we found a reduction of about 10 % in the amount of ozone removed by dry deposition ( ˜ 7.7 TgO3). Although dry deposition occurs from the top of canopy to ground level, it affects the concentration of gases remaining in the lower atmosphere, with a significant impact on ozone concentration (up to 4 ppb) extending from the surface to the upper troposphere (up to 650 hPa). Our results shed light on the importance of improving the parameterizations of processes occurring at plant level (i.e. from the soil to the canopy) as they have significant implications for concentration of gases in the lower troposphere and resulting risk assessments for vegetation or human health.

  15. Affecting factors analysis of soil moisture for arid mining area based on TM images

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bian, Zheng-fu; Lei, Shao-gang; Chang, Lu-qun; Zhang, Ri-chen [Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Informatics Engineering, Xuzhou (China)

    2009-04-15

    The model for calculating soil moisture (SM) in terms of thermal inertia using thematic mapper (TM) image and MODIS image was developed. There was a remarkable difference between two sets of average SM calculated by limited field sampling points taken from two different sampling sites, mined site and unmined site, and there were not a distinct difference between two sets of average SM calculated by the model using TM image. Domain factors affecting the SM were analyzed. The SM is in inverse proportion to the elevation and in direct proportion to the vegetation index. Coal mining resulted in a change of soil infiltration capacity. The vertical filtration index increased at the mined site, thereafter, the condition to supply ground water changed,the soil surface transpiration increased and SM changed. A drop of ground water level caused by mining can affect plant growth. When the plant root is extends downwards to reach the zone of capillary zone, ground water will be available for plant growth. 18 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  16. Transfer factors of 137Cs and 9Sr from soil to trees in arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Oudat, M.; Asfary, A.F.; Mukhalallti, H.; Al-Hamwi, A.; Kanakri, S.

    2006-01-01

    Transfer factors of 137 Cs and 9 Sr from contaminated soil (Aridisol) to olive, apricot trees and grape vines were determined under irrigated field conditions for four successive years. The transfer factors (calculated as Bq kg -1 dry plant material per Bq kg -1 dry soil) of both radionuclides varied among tree parts and were highest in olive and apricot fruits. However, the values for 9 Sr were much higher than those for 137 Cs in all plant parts. The geometric mean of the transfer factors in olives, apricots and grapes were 0.007, 0.095 and 0.0023 for 137 Cs and 0.093, 0.13 and 0.08 for 9 Sr, respectively, and were negligible in olive oil for both radionuclides. The transfer factors of both radionuclides were similar to, or in the lower limits of, those obtained in other areas of the world. This could be attributed to differences in soil characteristics: higher pH, lower organic matter, high clay content, and higher exchangeable potassium and calcium

  17. Implication of zinc excess on soil health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyszkowska, Jadwiga; Boros-Lajszner, Edyta; Borowik, Agata; Baćmaga, Małgorzata; Kucharski, Jan; Tomkiel, Monika

    2016-01-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate zinc's influence on the resistance of organotrophic bacteria, actinomyces, fungi, dehydrogenases, catalase and urease. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse of the University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM) in Olsztyn, Poland. Plastic pots were filled with 3 kg of sandy loam with pHKCl - 7.0 each. The experimental variables were: zinc applied to soil at six doses: 100, 300, 600, 1,200, 2,400 and 4,800 mg of Zn(2+) kg(-1) in the form of ZnCl2 (zinc chloride), and species of plant: oat (Avena sativa L.) cv. Chwat and white mustard (Sinapis alba) cv. Rota. Soil without the addition of zinc served as the control. During the growing season, soil samples were subjected to microbiological analyses on experimental days 25 and 50 to determine the abundance of organotrophic bacteria, actinomyces and fungi, and the activity of dehydrogenases, catalase and urease, which provided a basis for determining the soil resistance index (RS). The physicochemical properties of soil were determined after harvest. The results of this study indicate that excessive concentrations of zinc have an adverse impact on microbial growth and the activity of soil enzymes. The resistance of organotrophic bacteria, actinomyces, fungi, dehydrogenases, catalase and urease decreased with an increase in the degree of soil contamination with zinc. Dehydrogenases were most sensitive and urease was least sensitive to soil contamination with zinc. Zinc also exerted an adverse influence on the physicochemical properties of soil and plant development. The growth of oat and white mustard plants was almost completely inhibited in response to the highest zinc doses of 2,400 and 4,800 mg Zn(2+) kg(-1).

  18. Dynamics of Soil Erosion as Influenced by Watershed Management Practices: A Case Study of the Agula Watershed in the Semi-Arid Highlands of Northern Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenta, Ayele Almaw; Yasuda, Hiroshi; Shimizu, Katsuyuki; Haregeweyn, Nigussie; Negussie, Aklilu

    2016-11-01

    Since the past two decades, watershed management practices such as construction of stone bunds and establishment of exclosures have been widely implemented in the semi-arid highlands of northern Ethiopia to curb land degradation by soil erosion. This study assessed changes in soil erosion for the years 1990, 2000 and 2012 as a result of such watershed management practices in Agula watershed using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation factors were computed in a geographic information system for 30 × 30 m raster layers using spatial data obtained from different sources. The results revealed significant reduction in soil loss rates by about 55 % from about 28 to 12 t ha -1 per year in 1990-2000 and an overall 64 % reduction from 28 to 10 t ha -1 per year in 1990-2012. This change in soil loss is attributed to improvement in surface cover and stone bund practices, which resulted in the decrease in mean C and P-factors, respectively, by about 19 % and 34 % in 1990-2000 and an overall decrease in C-factor by 29 % in 1990-2012. Considerable reductions in soil loss were observed from bare land (89 %), followed by cultivated land (56 %) and shrub land (49 %). Furthermore, the reduction in soil loss was more pronounced in steeper slopes where very steep slope and steep slope classes experienced over 70 % reduction. Validation of soil erosion estimations using field observed points showed an overall accuracy of 69 %, which is fairly satisfactory. This study demonstrated the potential of watershed management efforts to bring remarkable restoration of degraded semi-arid lands that could serve as a basis for sustainable planning of future developments of areas experiencing severe land degradation due to water erosion.

  19. In vitro antagonistic activity, plant growth promoting traits and phylogenetic affiliation of rhizobacteria associated with wild plants grown in arid soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sayed, Wael S; Akhkha, Abdellah; El-Naggar, Moustafa Y; Elbadry, Medhat

    2014-01-01

    The role of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in adaptation of plants in extreme environments is not yet completely understood. For this study native bacteria were isolated from rhizospeheric arid soils and evaluated for both growth-promoting abilities and antagonistic potential against phytopathogenic fungi and nematodes. The phylogentic affiliation of these representative isolates was also characterized. Rhizobacteria associated with 11 wild plant species from the arid soil of Almadinah Almunawarah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were investigated. From a total of 531 isolates, only 66 bacterial isolates were selected based on their ability to inhibit Fusarium oxysporum, and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The selected isolates were screened in vitro for activities related to plant nutrition and plant growth regulation as well as for antifungal and nematicidal traits. Isolated bacteria were found to exhibit capabilities in fix atmospheric nitrogen, produce ammonia, indoleacetic acid (IAA), siderophores, solubilize phosphate and zinc, and showed an antagonistic potential against some phytopathogenic fungi and one nematode species (Meloidogyne incognita) to various extent. Isolates were ranked by their potential ability to function as PGPR. The 66 isolates were genotyped using amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The taxonomic composition of the representative genotypes from both rhizosphere and rhizoplane comprised Bacillus, Enterobacter and Pseudomonas. Out of the 10 genotypes, three strains designated as PHP03, CCP05, and TAP02 might be regarded as novel strains based on their low similarity percentages and high bootstrap values. The present study clearly identified specific traits in the isolated rhizobacteria, which make them good candidates as PGPR and might contribute to plant adaption to arid environments. Application of such results in agricultural fields may improve and enhance plant growth in arid soils.

  20. In vitro Antagonistic Activity, Plant Growth Promoting Traits and Phylogenetic Affiliation of Rhizobacteria Associated with Wild Plants Grown in Arid Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wael Samir El-Sayed

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The role of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR in adaptation of plants in extreme environments is not yet completely understood. For this study native bacteria were isolated from rhizospeheric arid soils and evaluated for both growth-promoting abilities and antagonistic potential against phytopathogenic fungi and nematodes. The phylogentic affiliation of these representative isolates was also characterized. Rhizobacteria associated with eleven wild plant species from the arid soil of Almadinah Almunawarah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA were investigated. From a total of 531 isolates, only 66 bacterial isolates were selected based on their ability to inhibit Fusarium oxysporum, and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The selected isolates were screened in vitro for activities related to plant nutrition and plant growth regulation as well as for antifungal and nematicidal traits. Isolated bacteria were found to exhibit capabilities in fix atmospheric nitrogen, produce ammonia, indoleacetic acid (IAA, siderophores, solubilize phosphate and zinc, and showed an antagonistic potential against some phytopathogenic fungi and one nematode species (Meloidogyne incognita to various extent. Isolates were ranked by their potential ability to function as PGPR. The 66 isolates were genotyped using amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The taxonomic composition of the representative genotypes from both rhizosphere and rhizoplane comprised Bacillus, Enterobacter and Pseudomonas. Out of the ten genotypes, three strains designated as PHP03, CCP05, and TAP02 might be regarded as novel strains based on their low similarity percentages and high bootstrap values. The present study clearly identified specific traits in the isolated rhizobacteria, which make them good candidates as PGPR and might contribute to plant adaption to arid environments. Application of such results in agricultural fields may improve and enhance plant

  1. Topographic Controls on Spatial Patterns of Soil Texture and Moisture in a Semi-arid Montane Catchment with Aspect-Dependent Vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehman, B. M.; Niemann, J. D.

    2008-12-01

    Soil moisture exerts significant control over the partitioning of latent and sensible energy fluxes, the magnitude of both vertical and lateral water fluxes, the physiological and water-use characteristics of vegetation, and nutrient cycling. Considerable progress has been made in determining how soil characteristics, topography, and vegetation influence spatial patterns of soil moisture in humid environments at the catchment, hillslope, and plant scales. However, understanding of the controls on soil moisture patterns beyond the plant scale in semi-arid environments remains more limited. This study examines the relationships between the spatial patterns of near surface soil moisture (upper 5 cm), terrain indices, and soil properties in a small, semi-arid, montane catchment. The 8 ha catchment, located in the Cache La Poudre River Canyon in north-central Colorado, has a total relief of 115 m and an average elevation of 2193 m. It is characterized by steep slopes and shallow, gravelly/sandy soils with scattered granite outcroppings. Depth to bedrock ranges from 0 m to greater than 1 m. Vegetation in the catchment is highly correlated with topographic aspect. In particular, north-facing hillslopes are predominately vegetated by ponderosa pines, while south-facing slopes are mostly vegetated by several shrub species. Soil samples were collected at a 30 m resolution to characterize soil texture and bulk density, and several datasets consisting of more than 300 point measurements of soil moisture were collected using time domain reflectometry (TDR) between Fall 2007 and Summer 2008 at a 15 m resolution. Results from soil textural analysis performed with sieving and the ASTM standard hydrometer method show that soil texture is finer on the north-facing hillslope than on the south-facing hillslope. Cos(aspect) is the best univariate predictor of silts, while slope is the best predictor of coarser fractions up to fine gravel. Bulk density increases with depth but shows no

  2. Plant assemblage composition and soil P concentration differentially affect communities of AM and total fungi in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klabi, Rim; Bell, Terrence H; Hamel, Chantal; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike; Raies, Aly; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Adding inorganic P- and N-fixing legumes to semi-arid grasslands can increase forage yield, but soil nutrient concentrations and plant cover may also interact to modify soil fungal populations, impacting short- and long-term forage production. We tested the effect of plant assemblage (seven native grasses, seven native grasses + the domesticated N-fixing legume Medicago sativa, seven native grasses + the native N-fixing legume Dalea purpurea or the introduced grass Bromus biebersteinii + M. sativa) and soil P concentration (addition of 0 or 200 P2O5 kg ha(-1) at sowing) on the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and total fungi over two consecutive years, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and ITS amplicons. Treatment effects were stronger in the wet year (2008) than the dry year (2009). The presence of an N-fixing legume with native grasses generally increased AM fungal diversity, while the interaction between soil P concentration and plant assemblage modified total fungal community structure in 2008. Excluding interannual variations, which are likely driven by moisture and plant productivity, AM fungal communities in semi-arid grasslands appear to be primarily affected by plant assemblage composition, while the composition of other fungi is more closely linked to soil P. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Erosion of soil organic carbon: implications for carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Oost, Kristof; Van Hemelryck, Hendrik; Harden, Jennifer W.; McPherson, B.J.; Sundquist, E.T.

    2009-01-01

    Agricultural activities have substantially increased rates of soil erosion and deposition, and these processes have a significant impact on carbon (C) mineralization and burial. Here, we present a synthesis of erosion effects on carbon dynamics and discuss the implications of soil erosion for carbon sequestration strategies. We demonstrate that for a range of data-based parameters from the literature, soil erosion results in increased C storage onto land, an effect that is heterogeneous on the landscape and is variable on various timescales. We argue that the magnitude of the erosion term and soil carbon residence time, both strongly influenced by soil management, largely control the strength of the erosion-induced sink. In order to evaluate fully the effects of soil management strategies that promote carbon sequestration, a full carbon account must be made that considers the impact of erosion-enhanced disequilibrium between carbon inputs and decomposition, including effects on net primary productivity and decomposition rates.

  4. Sensitivity of long-term bare soil infiltration simulations to hydraulic properties in an arid environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stothoff, S.A.

    1997-01-01

    The suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for emplacement of a high-level nuclear waste geologic repository is currently being evaluated. Assessments of the repository performance suggest that the uncertainty in infiltration rates strongly affects predicted repository performance. Most of the ground surface over the potential repository footprint is characterized by shallow to deep colluvium/alluvium overlying densely fractured, welded tuffs. In order to identify characteristic behavior of infiltration that might be expected at the site, two idealizations of this situation are examined: an effectively semi-infinite column of alluvium and a two-layer column of alluvium over a fractured impermeable matrix. For each idealization the impact of hydraulic properties is assessed. Examining the sensitivity of bare soil simulator predictions for an effectively semi-infinite column, it is found that decreasing the air entry pressure while holding all other parameters at a fixed level tends to increase both the long-term average moisture content and the long-term average net infiltration flux for homogeneous media. In contrast, increasing the van Genuchten scale parameter (m = 1 - 1/n) or decreasing the porosity tends to decrease the average soil moisture but increase the infiltration. Most interestingly, three regimes are found for permeability. For relatively high permeabilities, there is a trend toward increasing average infiltration and increasing average moisture content with decreasing permeability. For relatively low permeabilities, vapor transport dominates over liquid transport, runoff and evaporation overwhelm infiltration, and the soil becomes very dry with essentially no infiltration flux Between the extreme cases of high and low permeability, there is a zone where decreasing permeability results in decreased infiltration but increased moisture content

  5. Vescicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza and Azospirillum brasilense rhizocoenosis in pearlmillet in a semi-arid soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tilak, K.V.B.R.; Sachdev, M.S.; Sachdev, Pamila

    2007-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted in an alluvial sandy loam soil using Pearlmillet as the test crop to study the effect of Vescicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (VAM) and Azospirillum with phosphorus on yield and other parameters. Dual inoculation gave a significant increase in Azospirillum and VAM infection in root over the control plants, and resulted in significant increase in grain yield. Combined inoculation alongwith N and P application showed maximum P uptake. Nitrogen fixation increased with plant growth with dually inoculated N and P treatment, The effect was more pronounced in the presence of phosphrous indicating that P is required for nitrogen fixation. (author)

  6. THE EFFECT OF INTRODUCED FORAGE LEGUMES ON IMPROVEMENT OF SOIL FERTILITY IN NATURAL PASTURES OF SEMI-ARID RANGELANDS OF KAJIADO DISTRICT, KENYA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter N Macharia

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available A two phase study was carried out from 2002 to 2005 in the semi-arid rangelands of Kajiado District, Kenya to determine the effect of introduced forage legumes on soil fertility improvement of natural pastures. During legume evaluation phase, Neonotonia wightii (Glycine, Macroptilium atropurpureum (Siratro, Lablab purpureus cv. Rongai (Dolichos, Mucuna pruriens (Velvet bean and Stylosanthes scabra var. Seca (Stylo were screened for adaptability and growth performance under the semi-arid conditions for two years. Results of soil analysis showed there were significant increases in soil pH (4.92 to 5.36, organic carbon (1.17 to 2.57% , nitrogen (0.17 to 0.22% and potassium (1.23 to 1.68 me% probably due to the large amounts of organic residues produced by the legumes (particularly Glycine, Siratro and Stylo which are perennials. The calcium content decreased significantly from 7.97 to 4.50 me% (which was attributed to plant uptake while the decrease of phosphorus was not significant. During the second phase of study for 1½ years Glycine, Siratro and Stylo were integrated into natural pastures. The results showed that only the soil pH significantly increased from 5.23 to 5.31 while all the other nutrients decreased results, which were attributed to production of less organic residues by the legumes compared to the residues produced during the legume evaluation phase. The study concluded that Glycine, Siratro and Stylo were capable of improving the soil fertility of semi-arid natural pastures only if the respective dry matter production was 10.31, 7.81 and 3.52 tha-1, amounts which were able to produce large amounts of organic residues. Â

  7. Composition and fate of mine- and smelter-derived particles in soils of humid subtropical and hot semi-arid areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ettler, Vojtěch, E-mail: ettler@natur.cuni.cz [Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Resources, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2 (Czech Republic); Johan, Zdenek [BRGM, Avenue Claude Guillemin, 45082 Orléans Cedex 2 (France); Kříbek, Bohdan; Veselovský, František [Czech Geological Survey, Geologická 6, 152 00 Praha 5 (Czech Republic); Mihaljevič, Martin [Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Resources, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2 (Czech Republic); Vaněk, Aleš; Penížek, Vít [Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6 (Czech Republic); Majer, Vladimír [Czech Geological Survey, Geologická 6, 152 00 Praha 5 (Czech Republic); Sracek, Ondra [Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc, 17. listopadu 12, 771 46 Olomouc (Czech Republic); Mapani, Ben; Kamona, Fred [Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Namibia, Private Bag 13301, Windhoek (Namibia); Nyambe, Imasiku [University of Zambia, School of Mines, P. O. Box 32 379, Lusaka (Zambia)

    2016-09-01

    We studied the heavy mineral fraction, separated from mining- and smelter-affected topsoils, from both a humid subtropical area (Mufulira, Zambian Copperbelt) and a hot semi-arid area (Tsumeb, Namibia). High concentrations of metal(loid)s were detected in the studied soils: up to 1450 mg As kg{sup −1}, 8980 mg Cu kg{sup −1}, 4640 mg Pb kg{sup −1}, 2620 mg Zn kg{sup −1}. A combination of X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS), and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) helped to identify the phases forming individual metal(loid)-bearing particles. Whereas spherical particles originate from the smelting and flue gas cleaning processes, angular particles have either geogenic origins or they are windblown from the mining operations and mine waste disposal sites. Sulphides from ores and mine tailings often exhibit weathering rims in contrast to smelter-derived high-temperature sulphides (chalcocite [Cu{sub 2}S], digenite [Cu{sub 9}S{sub 5}], covellite [CuS], non-stoichiometric quenched Cu–Fe–S phases). Soils from humid subtropical areas exhibit higher available concentrations of metal(loids), and higher frequencies of weathering features (especially for copper-bearing oxides such as delafossite [Cu{sup 1+} Fe{sup 3+} O{sub 2}]) are observed. In contrast, metal(loid)s are efficiently retained in semi-arid soils, where a high proportion of non-weathered smelter slag particles and low-solubility Ca–Cu–Pb arsenates occur. Our results indicate that compared to semi-arid areas (where inorganic contaminants were rather immobile in soils despite their high concentrations) a higher potential risk exists for agriculture in mine- and smelter-affected humid subtropical areas (where metal(loid) contaminants can be highly available for the uptake by crops). - Highlights: • Mining- and smelter-derived particles identified in subtropical and semi-arid soils • Sulphides, oxides, and metal-bearing arsenates most frequently encountered

  8. Assessing Jatropha Crop Production Alternatives in Abandoned Agricultural Arid Soils Using MCA and GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serafin Corral

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the assessment of various biofuel crop production alternatives on the island of Fuerteventura using Jatropha crops. It adopts an integrated approach by carrying out a multi-criteria assessment with the support of participatory techniques and geographical information systems. Sixteen production alternatives were analyzed for growing Jatropha, and the results suggest that the best alternative involves using typical torrifluvent soils irrigated with recycled urban wastewater using surface drip irrigation covering 100% evapotranspiration. It was also determined that a potential area of 2546 ha could be used for cultivation within a radius of 10 km from a wastewater treatment plant. This level of production would supply 27.56% of the biofuel needs of Fuerteventura, thereby contributing to the 2020 target of the European Commission regarding biofuels for land transport.

  9. Degradation of bisphenol A and acute toxicity reduction by different thermo-tolerant ascomycete strains isolated from arid soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mtibaà, Rim; Olicón-Hernández, Dario Rafael; Pozo, Clementina; Nasri, Moncef; Mechichi, Tahar; González, Jesus; Aranda, Elisabet

    2018-07-30

    Four different laccase-producing strains were isolated from arid soils and used for bisphenol A (BPA) degradation. These strains were identified as Chaetomium strumarium G5I, Thielavia arenaria CH9, Thielavia arenaria HJ22 and Thielavia arenaria SM1(III) by internal transcribed spacer 5.8 S rDNA analysis. Residual BPA was evaluated by HPLC analysis during 48 h of incubation. A complete removal of BPA was observed by the whole cell fungal cultures within different times, depending on each strain. C. strumarium G5I was the most efficient degrader, showing 100% of removal within 8 h of incubation. The degradation of BPA was accompanied by the production of laccase and dye decolorizing peroxidase (DyP) under degradation conditions. The presence of aminobenzotriazole (ABT) as an inhibitor of cytochrome P450s monooxygenases (CYP) demonstrated a slight decrease in BPA removal rate, suggesting the effective contribution of CYP in the conversion. The great involvement of laccase in BPA transformation together with cell-associated enzymes, such as CYP, was supported by the identification of hydroxylated metabolites by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (UHPLC-MS). The metabolic pathway of BPA transformation was proposed based on the detected metabolites. The acute toxicity of BPA and its products was investigated and showed a significant reduction, except for T. arenaria SM1(III) that did not caused reduction of toxicity (IC 50 strumarium G5I as an efficient degrader of BPA. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The fate of seeds in the soil: a review of the influence of overland flow on seed removal and its consequences for the vegetation of arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochet, E.

    2015-01-01

    Since seeds are the principle means by which plants move across the landscape, the final fate of seeds plays a fundamental role in the assemblage, functioning and dynamics of plant communities. Once seeds land on the soil surface after being dispersed from the parent plant, they can be moved horizontally by surface runoff. In arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems, where seeds are scattered into a very heterogeneous environment and intense rainfalls occur, the transport of seeds by runoff to new sites may be an opportunity for seeds to reach more favourable sites for seed germination and seedling survival. Although seed transport by runoff may be of vital importance for the recruitment of plants in these ecosystems, it has received little attention in the scientific literature, especially among soil scientists. The main goals of this review paper are (1) to offer an updated conceptual model of seed fate with a focus on seed destiny in and on the soil; (2) to review studies on seed fate in overland flow and the ecological implications seed transport by runoff has for the origin, spatial patterning and maintenance of patches in arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems; and finally (3) to point out directions for future research. This review shows that seed fate in overland flow may result either in the export of seeds from the system (seed loss) or in the spatial redistribution of seeds within the system through short-distance seed movements (seed displacement). Seed transport by runoff depends on rainfall, slope and soil characteristics. Susceptibility of seed removal varies highly between species and is mainly related to seed traits, including seed size, seed shape, presence of appendages, and ability of a seed to secrete mucilage. Although initially considered as a risk of seed loss, seed removal by runoff has recently been described as an ecological driver that shapes plant composition from the first phases of the plant life by favouring species with seeds able to resist

  11. Effects of legume species introduction on vegetation and soil nutrient development on abandoned croplands in a semi-arid environment on the Loess Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zi-Qiang; Yu, Kai-Liang; Epstein, Howard; Fang, Chao; Li, Jun-Ting; Liu, Qian-Qian; Liu, Xue-Wei; Gao, Wen-Juan; Li, Feng-Min

    2016-01-15

    Revegetation facilitated by legume species introduction has been used for soil erosion control on the Loess Plateau, China. However, it is still unclear how vegetation and soil resources develop during this restoration process, especially over the longer term. In this study, we investigated the changes of plant aboveground biomass, vegetation cover, species richness and density of all individuals, and soil total nitrogen, mineral nitrogen, total phosphorus and available phosphorus over 11 years from 2003 to 2013 in three treatments (natural revegetation, Medicago sativa L. introduction and Melilotus suaveolens L. introduction) on the semi-arid Loess Plateau. Medicago significantly increased aboveground biomass and vegetation cover, and soil total nitrogen and mineral nitrogen contents. The Medicago treatment had lower species richness and density of all individuals, lower soil moisture in the deep soil (i.e., 1.4-5m), and lower soil available phosphorus. Melilotus introduction significantly increased aboveground biomass in only the first two years, and it was not an effective approach to improve vegetation biomass and cover, and soil nutrients, especially in later stages of revegetation. Overall, our study suggests that M. sativa can be the preferred plant species for revegetation of degraded ecosystems on the Loess Plateau, although phosphorus fertilizer should be applied for the sustainability of the revegetation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Structure and Function of Ephemeral Streams in the Arid and Semiarid Southwest: Implications for Conservation and Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-24

    Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law , no person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection...stream channels in southern Arizona that span three aridity zones and a range of geomorphic conditions (Fig. 3.1, Table 3.1).We calculated aridity...in the field until they were transported to lab freezers. We later thawed samples and measured and identified all macroinvertebrates to the family

  13. Soil and vegetation-atmosphere exchange of NO, NH3, and N2O from field measurements in a semi arid grazed ecosystem in Senegal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delon, C.; Galy-Lacaux, C.; Serça, D.; Loubet, B.; Camara, N.; Gardrat, E.; Saneh, I.; Fensholt, R.; Tagesson, T.; Le Dantec, V.; Sambou, B.; Diop, C.; Mougin, E.

    2017-05-01

    The alternating between dry and wet seasons and the consecutive microbial responses to soil water content in semiarid ecosystems has significant consequences on nitrogen exchanges with the atmosphere. Three field campaigns were carried out in a semi arid sahelian rangeland in Dahra (Ferlo, Senegal), two at the beginning of the wet season in July 2012 and July 2013, and the third one in November 2013 at the end of the wet season. The ammonia emission potentials of the soil ranged from 271 to 6628, indicating the soil capacity to emit NH3. The ammonia compensation point in the soil ranged between 7 and 150 ppb, with soil temperatures between 32 and 37 °C. Ammonia exchange fluctuated between emission and deposition (from -0.1-1.3 ng N.m-2 s-1), depending on meteorology, ambient NH3 concentration (5-11 ppb) and compensation point mixing ratios. N2O fluxes are supposed to be lower than NO fluxes in semi arid ecosystems, but in Dahra N2O fluxes (5.5 ± 1.3 ng N m-2 s-1 in July 2013, and 3.2 ± 1.7 ng N m-2 s-1 in November 2013) were similar to NO fluxes (5.7 ± 3.1 ng N m-2 s-1 in July 2012, 5.1 ± 2.1 ng N m-2 s-1 in July 2013, and 4.0 ± 2.2 ngN m-2 s-1 in November 2013). Possible reasons are the influence of soil moisture below the surface (where N2O is produced) after the beginning of the wet season, the potential aerobic denitrification in microsites, the nitrifier denitrification, and nitrification processes. The presence of litter and standing straw, and their decomposition dominated N compounds emissions in November 2013, whereas emissions in July 2012 and 2013, when the herbaceous strata was sparse, were dominated by microbial processes in the soil. CO2 respiration fluxes were high in the beginning (107 ± 26 mg m-2 h-1 in July 2013) and low in the end of the wet season (32 ± 5 mg m-2 h-1 in November 2013), when autotrophic and heterotrophic activity is reduced due to low soil moisture conditions These results confirm that contrasted ecosystem conditions due

  14. The net effect of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in a semi-arid ecosystem NE Spain: implications for the management and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pueyo, Yolanda; Arroyo, Antonio I.; Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2014-05-01

    Degradation in arid and semiarid lands can be irreversible without human intervention, due to a positive plant-soil feedback where the loss of vegetation cover leads to soil degradation, which in turn hampers plant establishment. Human intervention in restoration actions usually involves the amendment of the degraded abiotic conditions, revegetation of bare areas, or both. However, abiotic amelioration is often expensive and too intrusive, and revegetation is not successful in many cases. Biotic interactions between plants, and more specifically facilitation by a "nurse" plant, have been proposed as a new via to take profit of improved abiotic conditions without intervention, and to increase the success rate of revegetation actions. But "nurse" plants can also interfere with others (i.e. by competition for resources or the release of allelopathic compounds), and the net balance between facilitation and interference could depend on plant types involved. We present recent observational and experimental studies performed in the semiarid ecosystems of the Middle Ebro Valley (NE Spain) about the role of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in the productivity, dynamics and diversity of plant communities under different stress conditions (aridity and grazing). We found that all plant types studied (shrubs and perennial grasses) improved abiotic conditions (soil temperature and water availability for plants) with respect to open areas. However, only some shrubs (mainly Salsola vermiculata) had a positive net balance in the biotic interactions between plants, while other shrubs (Artemisia herba-alba) and perennial grasses (Lygeum spartum) showed interference with other plants. Moreover, the net balance between facilitation and interference among plants in the community shifted from competitive to neutral or from neutral to facilitative with increasing aridity. Grazing status did not strongly change the net biotic interactions between plants. Our results suggest that

  15. Detecting the Spatio-temporal Distribution of Soil Salinity and Its Relationship to Crop Growth in a Large-scale Arid Irrigation District Based on Sampling Experiment and Remote Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, D.; Huang, G., Sr.; Xu, X.; Huang, Q., Sr.; Xiong, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Soil salinity analysis on a regional scale is of great significance for protecting agriculture production and maintaining eco-environmental health in arid and semi-arid irrigated areas. In this study, the Hetao Irrigation District (Hetao) in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, with suffering long-term soil salinization problems, was selected as the case study area. Field sampling experiments and investigations related to soil salt contents, crop growth and yields were carried out across the whole area, during April to August in 2015. Soil salinity characteristics in space and time were systematically analyzed for Hetao as well as the corresponding impacts on crops. Remotely sensed map of soil salinity distribution for surface soil was also derived based on the Landsat OLI data with a 30 m resolution. The results elaborated the temporal and spatial dynamics of soil salinity and the relationships with irrigation, groundwater depth and crop water consumption in Hetao. In addition, the strong spatial variability of salinization was clearly presented by the remotely sensed map of soil salinity. Further, the relationship between soil salinity and crop growth was analyzed, and then the impact degrees of soil salinization on cropping pattern, leaf area index, plant height and crop yield were preliminarily revealed. Overall, this study can provide very useful information for salinization control and guide the future agricultural production and soil-water management for the arid irrigation districts analogous to Hetao.

  16. Hydric balance in subsistence culture in the semi-arid soil of Northeast Brazil; Balanco hidrico em cultura de subsistencia no semi-arido nordestino

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antonino, Antonio C.D.; Sampaio, Everardo V.S.B.; Dall`Olio, Attilio; Salcedo, Ignacio H.; Bernardo, Ana L.; Soares, Adriano A.M. [Pernambuco Univ., Recife, PE (Brazil). Dept. de Energia Nuclear

    1997-12-01

    In spite of being the limiting factor for agricultural production, little has been studied about water dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere system in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. To fill this gap, an experiment was established at Coxixola, PB, with four treatments (corn and beans crops, bare soil and soil covered with mulch), plots 7.7 x 10 m and planting spacing between holes, of 1.1 x 1.0 m. Rainfall was monitored with a pluviometer, evaporation with a class A tank and soil water with a neutron probe with daily measurements each 10 cm until 100 cm depth. the crop cycle, from March to July, was divided into nine periods, 13-14 days each. Results confirm the water limitation, with 212 mm rainfall during the cycle, 81% concentrated in the four first periods. Variations in the water storage in the soil profile, for the four treatments, followed variations in rainfall. Bare soil and much had similar results. Average daily real evapotranspiration for beans was 1.8 mm and for corn 1.9 mm. Average daily real evaporation for bare soil and much was 0.78 e 0.85 mm, respectively. (author). 9 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  17. Land Cover Land Use change and soil organic carbon under climate variability in the semi-arid West African Sahel (1960-2050)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieye, Amadou M.

    Land Cover Land Use (LCLU) change affects land surface processes recognized to influence climate change at local, national and global levels. Soil organic carbon is a key component for the functioning of agro-ecosystems and has a direct effect on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the soil. The capacity to model and project LCLU change is of considerable interest for mitigation and adaptation measures in response to climate change. A combination of remote sensing analyses, qualitative social survey techniques, and biogeochemical modeling was used to study the relationships between climate change, LCLU change and soil organic carbon in the semi-arid rural zone of Senegal between 1960 and 2050. For this purpose, four research hypotheses were addressed. This research aims to contribute to an understanding of future land cover land use change in the semi-arid West African Sahel with respect to climate variability and human activities. Its findings may provide insights to enable policy makers at local to national levels to formulate environmentally and economically adapted policy decisions. This dissertation research has to date resulted in two published and one submitted paper.

  18. Tectonic uplift and denudation rate influence soil chemical weathering intensity in a semi-arid environment, southeast Spain: physico-chemical and mineralogical evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ameijeiras-Mariño, Yolanda; Opfergelt, Sophie; Schoonejans, Jérôme; Vanacker, Veerle; Sonnet, Philippe; Delmelle, Pierre

    2015-04-01

    Tectonic uplift is known to influence denudation rates. Denudation, including chemical weathering and physical erosion, affects soil production rates and weathering intensities. At topographic steady state, weathering can be transport- or weathering-limited. In the transport-limited regime, low denudation rates should lead to comparatively high weathering intensities, while in the weathering-limited case high denudation rates are associated with lower weathering intensities. Here, we test if this relationship applies to semi-arid environments where chemical weathering is generally slow. Three catchments (EST, FIL and CAB) were studied in the Internal Zone of the Betic Cordillera in southeast Spain, spanning a range of increasing uplift rates (10-170 mm/kyr) and increasing denudation rates (20-250 mm/kyr) from EST to CAB. In each catchment, two ridgetop soil profiles were sampled down to the bedrock. The three catchments have similar vegetation and climatic conditions, with precipitation of 250- 315 mm/yr and mean annual temperature of 15-17 °C. The mineralogy of the bedrock, as determined by XRD, is similar across the three catchments and is characterized by the presence of quartz, muscovite, clinochlore, biotite and plagioclase. This primary mineral assemblage is also found in the catchment soils, indicating that the soils studied derive from the same parent material. The soil clay-size fraction is dominated by kaolinite, vermiculite and illite. However, the proportions of the soil primary and secondary minerals vary between the catchment sites. The abundance of biotite decreases from CAB (14%) to EST (4%), whereas the quartz and clay contents show an opposite tendency (from 30 to 69% and 9.9 to 14.3%, respectively). Further, the abundance of vermiculite increases from CAB to EST. The results are interpreted in terms of increasing weathering intensity from CAB to EST by weathering of biotite into vermiculite and enrichment of soils on more weathering resistant

  19. Pollution characteristics and health risk assessment of phthalate esters in urban soil in the typical semi-arid city of Xi'an, Northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lijun; Liu, Mengmei; Tao, Wendong; Zhang, Wenjuan; Wang, Li; Shi, Xingmin; Lu, Xinwei; Li, Xiaoping

    2018-01-01

    A total of 62 urban soil samples were collected in the city of Xi'an in Northwest China, and analyzed for six U.S. Environmental Protection Agency priority phthalate esters (PAEs). Unlike earlier studies on PAEs in agricultural soil as well as urban soil in humid climates, this paper for the first time comprehensively assessed pollution characteristics and health risks of human exposure to PAEs in urban soil in a typical semi-arid climate. The total concentrations of the six PAEs (Σ6PAEs) in the urban soil varied between 193.0 and 19146.4 μg kg -1 with a mean of 1369.3 μg kg -1 . The PAEs were dominated by di-n-butyl phthalate and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Magnetic susceptibility and soil texture were controlling factors influencing the concentrations of PAEs in the urban soil. The concentrations of benzyl butyl phthalate, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and Σ6PAEs increased from the first to third ring roads, while the concentrations of di-n-octyl phthalate decreased. Relatively higher levels of PAEs were observed in industrial, traffic, and residential areas. The PAEs in the urban soil originated mainly from the application of plasticizers or additives, use of cosmetics and personal care products, emissions of construction materials and home furnishings, industrial processes, and atmospheric deposition. The concentrations of some PAEs in the urban soil exceeded soil allowable concentrations and environmental risk levels. The non-cancer and carcinogenic risks of human exposure to the PAEs were relatively low. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. High resolution mapping of soil organic carbon stocks using remote sensing variables in the semi-arid rangelands of eastern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Waters, Cathy; Orgill, Susan; Gray, Jonathan; Cowie, Annette; Clark, Anthony; Liu, De Li

    2018-07-15

    Efficient and effective modelling methods to assess soil organic carbon (SOC) stock are central in understanding the global carbon cycle and informing related land management decisions. However, mapping SOC stocks in semi-arid rangelands is challenging due to the lack of data and poor spatial coverage. The use of remote sensing data to provide an indirect measurement of SOC to inform digital soil mapping has the potential to provide more reliable and cost-effective estimates of SOC compared with field-based, direct measurement. Despite this potential, the role of remote sensing data in improving the knowledge of soil information in semi-arid rangelands has not been fully explored. This study firstly investigated the use of high spatial resolution satellite data (seasonal fractional cover data; SFC) together with elevation, lithology, climatic data and observed soil data to map the spatial distribution of SOC at two soil depths (0-5cm and 0-30cm) in semi-arid rangelands of eastern Australia. Overall, model performance statistics showed that random forest (RF) and boosted regression trees (BRT) models performed better than support vector machine (SVM). The models obtained moderate results with R 2 of 0.32 for SOC stock at 0-5cm and 0.44 at 0-30cm, RMSE of 3.51MgCha -1 at 0-5cm and 9.16MgCha -1 at 0-30cm without considering SFC covariates. In contrast, by including SFC, the model accuracy for predicting SOC stock improved by 7.4-12.7% at 0-5cm, and by 2.8-5.9% at 0-30cm, highlighting the importance of including SFC to enhance the performance of the three modelling techniques. Furthermore, our models produced a more accurate and higher resolution digital SOC stock map compared with other available mapping products for the region. The data and high-resolution maps from this study can be used for future soil carbon assessment and monitoring. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Physical and chemical properties of soils under some wild Pistachio (Pistacia atlantica Desf) canopies in a semi-arid ecosystem, southwestern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owliaie, Hamidreza

    2010-05-01

    Pistacia atlantica Desf. is one of the most important wild species in Zagros forests which is of high economical and environmental value. Sustainability of these forests primarily depends on soil quality and water availability. Study the relationships between trees and soil is one of the basic factors in management and planning of forests. Hence, this study was undertaken with the objective of assessing the effect of tree species on soil physical and chemical properties in a semi-arid region (Kohgilouye Province) in the southwestern part of Iran. The experimental design was a factorial 4×2 (4 depths and 2 distances) in a randomized complete block design with six replications. Soil samples (0-20, 20-40, 40-60 and 60-80 cm depth) were taken from beneath the tree crowns and adjacent open areas. Soil samples were analyzed for physical and chemical properties. The results showed that wild pistachio canopy increased mostly organic carbon, hydraulic conductivity, total N, SP, available K+, P (olsen), EC, EDTA extractable Fe2+ and Mn2+, while bulk density, CCE and DTPA extractable Cu2+ were decreased. Pistachio canopy had no significant effect on soil texture, Zn2+ and pH.

  2. [Effects of grazing disturbance on soil active organic carbon in mountain forest-arid valley ecotone in the upper reaches of Minjiang River].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shan-Shan; Zhang, Xing-Hua; Gong, Yuan-Bo; Li, Yuan; Wang, Yan; Yin, Yan-Jie; Ma, Jin-Song; Guo, Ting

    2014-02-01

    Effects of grazing disturbance on the soil carbon contents and active components in the four vegetations, i.e., artificial Robinia pseudoacacia plantation, artificial poplar plantation, Berberis aggregate shrubland and grassland, were studied in the mountain forest-arid valley ecotone in the upper Minjiang River. Soil organic carbon and active component contents in 0-10 cm soil layer were greater than in 10-20 cm soil layer at each level of grazing disturbance. With increasing the grazing intensity, the total organic carbon (TOC), light fraction organic carbon (LFOC), particulate organic carbon (POC) and easily oxidized carbon (LOC) contents in 0-10 cm soil layer decreased gradually in the artificial R. pseudoacacia plantation. The LFOC content decreased, the POC content increased, and the TOC and LOC contents decreased initially and then increased with increasing the grazing intensity in the artificial poplar plantation. The POC content decreased, and the TOC, LFOC and LOC contents decreased initially and then increased with increasing the grazing intensity in the B. aggregate shrubland. The POC and TOC contents decreased, and the LFOC and LOC contents decreased initially and then increased with increasing the grazing intensity in the grassland. The decreasing ranges of LOC, LFOC and POC contents were 0.1-7.9 times more than that of TOC content. There were significant positive relationships between TOC and LOC, LFOC and POC, suggesting that the active organic carbon components could reflect the change of soil total carbon content.

  3. Concentration and Risk Evaluation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Urban Soil in the Typical Semi-Arid City of Xi’an in Northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijun Wang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs are ubiquitous environmental pollutants, presenting potential threats to the ecological environment and human health. Sixty-two urban soil samples were collected in the typical semi-arid city of Xi’an in Northwest China. They were analyzed for concentration, pollution, and ecological and health risk of sixteen U.S. Environmental Protection Agency priority PAHs. The total concentrations of the sixteen PAHs (Σ16PAHs in the urban soil ranged from 390.6 to 10,652.8 µg/kg with an average of 2052.6 µg/kg. The concentrations of some individual PAHs in the urban soil exceeded Dutch Target Values of Soil Quality and the Σ16PAHs represented heavy pollution. Pyrene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene had high ecological risk to aquatic/soil organisms, while other individual PAHs showed low ecological risk. The total ecological risk of PAHs to aquatic/soil organisms is classified as moderate. Toxic equivalency quantities (TEQs of the sixteen PAHs varied between 21.16 and 1625.78 µg/kg, with an average of 423.86 µg/kg, indicating a relatively high toxicity potential. Ingestion and dermal adsorption of soil dust were major pathways of human exposure to PAHs from urban soil. Incremental lifetime cancer risks (ILCRs of human exposure to PAHs were 2.86 × 10−5 for children and 2.53 × 10−5 for adults, suggesting that the cancer risk of human exposure to PAHs from urban soil is acceptable.

  4. Concentration and Risk Evaluation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Urban Soil in the Typical Semi-Arid City of Xi’an in Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lijun; Zhang, Shengwei; Wang, Li; Zhang, Wenjuan; Shi, Xingmin; Lu, Xinwei; Li, Xiaoping; Li, Xiaoyun

    2018-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous environmental pollutants, presenting potential threats to the ecological environment and human health. Sixty-two urban soil samples were collected in the typical semi-arid city of Xi’an in Northwest China. They were analyzed for concentration, pollution, and ecological and health risk of sixteen U.S. Environmental Protection Agency priority PAHs. The total concentrations of the sixteen PAHs (Σ16PAHs) in the urban soil ranged from 390.6 to 10,652.8 µg/kg with an average of 2052.6 µg/kg. The concentrations of some individual PAHs in the urban soil exceeded Dutch Target Values of Soil Quality and the Σ16PAHs represented heavy pollution. Pyrene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene had high ecological risk to aquatic/soil organisms, while other individual PAHs showed low ecological risk. The total ecological risk of PAHs to aquatic/soil organisms is classified as moderate. Toxic equivalency quantities (TEQs) of the sixteen PAHs varied between 21.16 and 1625.78 µg/kg, with an average of 423.86 µg/kg, indicating a relatively high toxicity potential. Ingestion and dermal adsorption of soil dust were major pathways of human exposure to PAHs from urban soil. Incremental lifetime cancer risks (ILCRs) of human exposure to PAHs were 2.86 × 10−5 for children and 2.53 × 10−5 for adults, suggesting that the cancer risk of human exposure to PAHs from urban soil is acceptable. PMID:29584654

  5. Dynamics and sources of soil organic C following afforestation of croplands with poplar in a semi-arid region in northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya-Lin Hu

    Full Text Available Afforestation of former croplands has been proposed as a promising way to mitigate rising atmospheric CO2 concentration in view of the commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. Central to this C sequestration is the dynamics of soil organic C (SOC storage and stability with the development of afforested plantations. Our previous study showed that SOC storage was not changed after afforestation except for the 0-10 cm layer in a semi-arid region of Keerqin Sandy Lands, northeast China. In this study, soil organic C was further separated into light and heavy fractions using the density fractionation method, and their organic C concentration and (13C signature were analyzed to investigate the turnover of old vs. new SOC in the afforested soils. Surface layer (0-10 cm soil samples were collected from 14 paired plots of poplar (Populus × xiaozhuanica W. Y. Hsu & Liang plantations with different stand basal areas (the sum of the cross-sectional area of all live trees in a stand, ranging from 0.2 to 32.6 m(2 ha(-1, and reference maize (Zea mays L. croplands at the same sites as our previous study. Soil ΔC stocks (ΔC refers to the difference in SOC content between a poplar plantation and the paired cropland in bulk soil and light fraction were positively correlated with stand basal area (R (2 = 0.48, p<0.01 and R (2 = 0.40, p = 0.02, respectively, but not for the heavy fraction. SOCcrop (SOC derived from crops contents in the light and heavy fractions in poplar plantations were significantly lower as compared with SOC contents in croplands, but tree-derived C in bulk soil, light and heavy fraction pools increased gradually with increasing stand basal area after afforestation. Our study indicated that cropland afforestation could sequester new C derived from trees into surface mineral soil, but did not enhance the stability of SOC due to a fast turnover of SOC in this semi-arid region.

  6. Rainfed agriculture in a semi-arid tropical climate : aspects of land- and watermanagement for red soils in India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

    Rainfed agriculture is defined as the production of field crops that completely depend on the local precipitation for their water supply. Although in the semi-arid tropics the mean annual precipitation might seem to be sufficient to grow (adapted) crops, its variability over the years and

  7. Photosynthesis of green algal soil crust lichens from arid lands in southern Utah, USA: Role of water content on light and temperature responses of CO2 exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne; Meyer, Angelika

    1997-01-01

    Biotic soil crusts are a worldwide phenomenon in arid and semi-arid landscapes. Metabolic activity of the poikilohydric organisms found in these crusts is dominated by quick and drastic changes in moisture availability and long periods of drought. Under controlled conditions, we studied the role of water content on photosynthetic and respiratory CO2 exchange of three green algal soil crust lichens from a desert site in southern Utah (USA): Diploschistes diacapsis (Ach.) Lumbsch, Psora cerebriformis W. Weber, and Squamarina lentigera (Weber) Poelt.Photosynthetic metabolism is activated by extremely small amounts of moisture; lower compensation values for net photosynthesis (NP) are reached between 0.05 and 0.27 mm of precipitation equivalent. Thus, the lichens can use very low degrees of hydration for carbon gain. Maximal NP occurs between 0.39 and 0.94 mm precipitation equivalent, and area-related rates equal 2.6–5.2 μmol CO2 m−2s−1. All three tested species show ‘sun plant’ features, including high light requirements for CO2 exchange compensation and for NP saturation.Diploschistes diacapsis maintains high rates of NP at full water saturation. In contrast, suprasaturated thalli of the other two species show a strong depression in NP which can be removed or reduced by increased external CO2 concentration. Consequently, this depression is most probably caused by increased thallus diffusive resistances due to pathway blockage by water. This depression will greatly limit carbon gain of these species in the field after heavy rain. It occurs at all temperatures of ecological relevance and also under conditions of low light. However, maximum water holding capacity of P. cerebriformis and S. lentigera is higher than that of D. diacapsis. This could mean that periods of hydration favorable for metabolic activity for those two species last longer than those of D. diacapsis. This might compensate for their lower rates of NP during suprasaturation. Thus, two

  8. Contribution of raindrop impact to the change of soil physical properties and water erosion under semi-arid rainfalls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vaezi, Ali Reza; Ahmadi, Morvarid; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio

    2017-01-01

    Soil erosion by water is a three-phase process that consists of detachment of soil particles from the soil mass, transportation of detached particles either by raindrop impact or surface water flow, and sedimentation. Detachment by raindrops is a key component of the soil erosion process. However,

  9. Seasonal variability in soil-surface CO{sub 2} efflux in selected young tree plantations in semi-arid eco-climate of Madurai

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saraswathi, S.G.; Lalrammawia, C.; Paliwal, K. [Madurai Kamaraj Univ., Madurai (India). Dept. of Plant Sciences

    2008-07-10

    Atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations have been increasing in response to the disruption of the global carbon cycle by anthropogenic activities such as deforestation, agricultural practices and burning of fossil fuels. This has resulted in large shifts among carbon pools. The efflux of CO{sub 2} from soil results from the combined rates of autotrophic (root) and heterotrophic (microbial and soil fauna) respiration. It is often called soil respiration. The response of soil respiration (SR) to varying soil temperature and soil moisture was studied in three year-old plantation sites of Dalbergia sissoo, Dalbergia latifolia, Albizia lebbeck, Hardwickia binata and Cassia siamea during 2005--06. Significant seasonal differences in SR rates were observed in each site (P {<=} 0.001). The highest rates of soil CO{sub 2} efflux were generally found during the rainy season and the lowest during summer in all the study sites. Highest SR rates were found in D. sissoo, 9.89 {+-} 0.78 {mu}mol m{sup -2} s{sup -1} in November and December, followed by H. binata, 9.68 {+-} 0.45 {mu}mol m{sup -2} s{sup -1} in September and October 2005, A. lebbeck, 8.84 {+-} 0.43 {mu}mol m{sup -2} s{sup -1} between November 2005 and January 2006, D. latifolia, 7.6 {+-} 0.12 {mu}mol m{sup -2} s{sup -1} in November and December 2005 and C. siamea, 7.3 {mu}mol m{sup -2} s{sup -1} in December 2005. There was a positive and significant (P {<=} 0.001) relationship between SR rates and soil moisture in all the sites (r{sup 2} above 0.60), except C. siamea (r{sup 2} = 0.30). A poor relationship was observed between SR and soil temperature in all the sites (r{sup 2} below 0.2). Examination of the seasonal pattern of SR rates suggests that much of the variability could be attributed to variations in soil moisture. There was a strong indication suggesting that the soil-water deficits served to reduce SR rates during summer and after subsequent rain events. Overall sensitivity of SR rate to soil moisture seems to

  10. Total and bioavailable arsenic concentration in arid soils and its uptake by native plants from the pre-Andean zones in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, O; Tapia, Y; Pastene, R; Montes, S; Núñez, N; Vélez, D; Montoro, R

    2011-06-01

    Arsenic is the most important contaminant of the environment in northern Chile. Soil samples and plant organs from three native plant species, Pluchea absinthioides, Atriplex atacamensis and Lupinus microcarpus, were collected from arid zones in order to determine the total and bioavailable arsenic concentrations in soils and to assess the bioconcentration factor (BCF) and transport index (Ti) of arsenic in the plants. Total arsenic concentrations in soils (pH 8.3-8.5) where A. atacamensis and P. absinthioides were collected, reached levels considered to be contaminated (54.3 ± 15.4 and 52.9 ± 9.9 mg kg⁻¹, respectively), and these values were approximately ten times higher than in soils (pH 7.6) where L. microcarpus was collected. Bioavailable arsenic ranged from 0.18 to 0.42% of total arsenic concentration. In the three plant species, arsenic concentration in leaves were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher than in roots. L. microcarpus showed the highest arsenic concentration in its leaves (9.7 ± 1.6 mg kg⁻¹) and higher values of BCF (1.8) and Ti (6.1), indicating that this species has a greater capacity to accumulate and translocate the metalloid to the leaf than do the other species.

  11. Factors Influencing Farmers’ Adoption of Soil and Water Control Technology (SWCT in Keita Valley, a Semi-Arid Area of Niger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boureima Yacouba Karidjo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The AderDoutchiMaggia in Niger, as with other Sahelian zones, undergoes a process of climatic deterioration, which combines with the growing social and economic needs of the increasing population and causes a general economic crisis. Land degradation due to biophysical factors requires that priority action be given to land reclamation and soil conservation and to activities intended to increase agricultural production. This paper takes a look at socio-economic and established factors affecting the adoption of soil and water control technology (SWCT in Keita valley, a semi-arid area in the central of Niger. Well-designed questionnaire survey on key agents was used to gather the indispensable data from farm ménages. The binary dichotomous logistic regression model prognosticated six factors to be affecting the adoption of soil and water control technology in Keita. These variables cover the gender of the respondent, age of the household’s head, income evolution within the family, small craft referring to off farm income, training provide by local institutions, use of credit and, possession of full rights on land and its resources. The results revealed that diffusion of adoption from local organized community is a good alternative to increase the adoption of soil and water control technology in Keita valley agriculture system in Niger. Researchers and policy makers should conceive proper strategies and agenda reflecting the farmers’ interest, position and restriction in advocating new technologies for greater assumption and adoption by the farmers.

  12. Effect of synthetic and natural water-absorbing soil amendments on photosynthesis characteristics and tuber nutritional quality of potato in a semi-arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shengtao; Zhang, Lei; McLaughlin, Neil B; Mi, Junzhen; Chen, Qin; Liu, Jinghui

    2016-02-01

    The effect of water-absorbing soil amendments on photosynthesis characteristics and tuber nutritional quality was investigated in a field experiment in a semi-arid region in northern China in 2010-2012. Treatments included two synthetic water-absorbing amendments, potassium polyacrylate (PAA) and polyacrylamide (PAM), and one natural amendment, humic acid (HA), both as single amendments and compound amendments (HA combined with PAA or PAM), and a no amendment control. Soil amendments had a highly significant effect (P ≤ 0.01) on photosynthesis characteristics, dry biomass, crop root/shoot (R/S) ratio and tuber nutritional quality. They improved both dry biomass above ground and dry biomass underground in the whole growing season by 4.6-31.2 and 1.1-83.1% respectively in all three years. Crop R/S ratio was reduced in the early growing season by 2.0-29.4% and increased in the later growing season by 2.3-32.6%. Soil amendments improved leaf soil plant analysis development value, net photosynthesis rate, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate by 1.4-17.0, 5.1-45.9, 2.4-90.6 and 2.0-22.6% respectively and reduced intercellular CO2 concentration by 2.1-19.5% in all three years. Amendment treatment with PAM + HA always had the greatest effect on photosynthesis characteristics and tuber nutritional quality among all amendment treatments and thus merits further research. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.

  13. Rainfed agriculture in a semi-arid tropical climate : aspects of land- and watermanagement for red soils in India

    OpenAIRE

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

    Rainfed agriculture is defined as the production of field crops that completely depend on the local precipitation for their water supply. Although in the semi-arid tropics the mean annual precipitation might seem to be sufficient to grow (adapted) crops, its variability over the years and its erratic distribution over the season pose problems. During relatively dry periods, the crop might suffer from moisture stress, at other times excessive rainfall occurs, causing water logging an...

  14. Effects of deficit drip-irrigation scheduling regimes with saline water on pepper yield, water productivity and soil salinity under arid conditions of Tunisia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamel Nagaz

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A two-year study was carried out in order to assess the effects of different irrigation scheduling regimes with saline water on soil salinity, yield and water productivity of pepper under actual commercial-farming conditions in the arid region of Tunisia. Pepper was grown on a sandy soil and drip-irrigated with water having an ECi of 3.6 dS/m. Irrigation treatments consisted in water replacements of accumulated ETc at levels of 100% (FI, full irrigation, 80% (DI-80, 60% (DI-60, when the readily available water in the control treatment (FI is depleted, deficit irrigation during ripening stage (FI-MDI60 and farmer method corresponding to irrigation practices implemented by the local farmers (FM. Results on pepper yield and soil salinity are globally consistent between the two-year experiments and shows significant difference between irrigation regimes. Higher soil salinity was maintained over the two seasons, 2008 and 2009, with DI-60 and FM treatments than FI. FI-MDI60 and DI-80 treatments resulted also in low ECe values. Highest yields for both years were obtained under FI (22.3 and 24.4 t/ha although we didn’t find significant differences with the regulated deficit irrigation treatment (FI-DI60. However, the DI-80 and DI-60 treatments caused significant reductions in pepper yields through a reduction in fruits number/m² and average fruit weight in comparison with FI treatment. The FM increased soil salinity and caused significant reductions in yield with 14 to 43%, 12 to 39% more irrigation water use than FI, FI-MDI60 and DI-80 treatments, respectively, in 2008 and 2009. Yields for all irrigation treatments were higher in the second year compared to the first year. Water productivity (WP values reflected this difference and varied between 2.31 and 5.49 kg/m3. The WP was found to vary significantly among treatments, where the highest and the lowest values were observed for DI-60 treatment and FM, respectively. FI treatment provides

  15. Comment on: Shukla, M.K. et al., 2006: Physical and chemical properties of soils under some pinon-juniper-oak canopies in a semi-arid ecosystem in New Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mollerup, Mikkel; Jensen, Jens Raunsø

    2008-01-01

    The paper by Shukla et al. [2006. Physical and chemical properties of soils under some pinon-juniper-oak canopies in an semi-arid ecosystem in New Mexico. Journal of Arid Environment 66, 673-685] treats interesting topics of sustainability of different ecosystems and their water availability....... However, the physical-based infiltration theories by Green and Ampt [1911. Studies on soil physics, I, flow of air and water through soils. Journal of Agricultural Science 4, 1-24] and Philip [1957. The theory of infiltration: 1. The infiltration equation and its solution. Soil Science 83, 345-357] seems...... to be applied without necessary reflections. The actual analysis can have resulted in coefficients without their original physical significance...

  16. Selected micrometeorological and soil-moisture data at Amargosa Desert Research Site, an arid site near Beatty, Nye County, Nevada, 1998-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Michael J.; Mayers, Charles J.; Andraski, Brian J.

    2002-01-01

    Selected micrometeorological and soil-moisture data were collected at the Amargosa Desert Research Site adjacent to a low-level radioactive waste and hazardous chemical waste facility near Beatty, Nev., 1998-2000. Data were collected in support of ongoing research studies to improve the understanding of hydrologic and contaminant-transport processes in arid environments. Micrometeorological data include precipitation, air temperature, solar radiation, net radiation, relative humidity, ambient vapor pressure, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, soil temperature, and soil-heat flux. All micrometeorological data were collected using a 10-second sampling interval by data loggers that output daily mean, maximum, and minimum values, and hourly mean values. For precipitation, data output consisted of daily, hourly, and 5-minute totals. Soil-moisture data included periodic measurements of soil-water content at nine neutron-probe access tubes with measurable depths ranging from 5.25 to 29.75 meters. The computer data files included in this report contain the complete micrometeorological and soil-moisture data sets. The computer data consists of seven files with about 14 megabytes of information. The seven files are in tabular format: (1) one file lists daily mean, maximum, and minimum micrometeorological data and daily total precipitation; (2) three files list hourly mean micrometeorological data and hourly precipitation for each year (1998-2000); (3) one file lists 5-minute precipitation data; (4) one file lists mean soil-water content by date and depth at four experimental sites; and (5) one file lists soil-water content by date and depth for each neutron-probe access tube. This report highlights selected data contained in the computer data files using figures, tables, and brief discussions. Instrumentation used for data collection also is described. Water-content profiles are shown to demonstrate variability of water content with depth. Time-series data are

  17. Influence of tree species on the herbaceous understory and soil chemical characteristics in a silvopastoral system in semi-arid northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. C. Menezes

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Studies from some semi-arid regions of the world have shown the beneficial effect of trees in silvopastoral systems, by promoting the formation of resource islands and increasing the sustainability of the system. No data are available in this respect for tree species of common occurrence in semi-arid Northeastern Brazil. In the present study, conducted in the summer of 1996, three tree species (Zyziphus joazeiro, Spondias tuberosa and Prosopis juliflora: found within Cenchrus ciliaris pastures were selected to evaluate differences on herbaceous understory and soil chemical characteristics between samples taken under the tree canopy and in open grass areas. Transects extending from the tree trunk to open grass areas were established, and soil (0-15 cm and herbaceous understory (standing live biomass in 1 m² plots samples were taken at 0, 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200% of the average canopy radius (average radius was 6.6 ± 0.5, 4.5 ± 0.5, and 5.3 ± 0.8 m for Z. joazeiro, P. juliflora, and S. tuberosa , respectively. Higher levels of soil C, N, P, Ca, Mg, K, and Na were found under the canopies of Z. joazeiro and P. juliflora: trees, as compared to open grass areas. Only soil Mg organic P were higher under the canopies of S. tuberosa trees, as compared to open grass areas. Herbaceous understory biomass was significantly lower under the canopy of S. tuberosa and P. juliflora trees (107 and 96 g m-2, respectively relatively to open grass areas (145 and 194 g m-2. No herbaceous biomass differences were found between Z. joazeiro canopies and open grass areas (107 and 87 g m-2, respectively. Among the three tree species studied, Z. joazeiro was the one that presented the greatest potential for use in a silvopastoral system at the study site, since it had a larger nutrient stock in the soil without negatively affecting herbaceous understory biomass, relatively to open grass areas.

  18. Soil water effect on crop growth, leaf gas exchange, water and radiation use efficiency of Saccharum spontaneum L. ssp. aegyptiacum (Willd. Hackel in semi-arid Mediterranean environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Scordia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Great effort has been placed to identify the most suited bioenergy crop under different environments and management practices, however, there is still need to find new genetic resources for constrained areas. For instance, South Mediterranean area is strongly affected by prolonged drought, high vapour pressure deficit (VPD and extremely high temperatures during summertime. In the present work we investigated the soil water effect on crop growth and leaf gas exchange of Saccharum spontaneum L. ssp. aegyptiacum (Willd. Hackel, a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous grass. Furthermore, the net increase of biomass production per unit light intercepted [radiation use efficiency (RUE] and per unit water transpired [water use efficiency (WUE] was also studied. To this end a field trial was carried out imposing three levels of soil water availability (I100, I50 and I0, corresponding to 100%, 50% and 0% of ETm restutition under a semi-arid Mediterranean environment. Leaf area index (LAI, stem height, biomass dry matter yield, CO2 assimilation rate, and transpiration rate resulted significantly affected by measurement time and irrigation treatment, with the highest values in I100 and the lowest in I0. RUE was the highest in I100 followed by I50 and I0; on the other hand, WUE was higher in I0 than I50 and I100. At LAI values greater than 2.0, 85% photosynthetically active radiation was intercepted by the Saccharum stand, irrespective of the irrigation treatment. Saccharum spontaneum spp. aegyptiacum is a potential species for biomass production in environment characterized by drought stress, high temperatures and high VPD, as those of Southern Europe and similar semi-arid areas.

  19. Modestobacter caceresii sp. nov., novel actinobacteria with an insight into their adaptive mechanisms for survival in extreme hyper-arid Atacama Desert soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busarakam, Kanungnid; Bull, Alan T; Trujillo, Martha E; Riesco, Raul; Sangal, Vartul; van Wezel, Gilles P; Goodfellow, Michael

    2016-06-01

    A polyphasic study was designed to determine the taxonomic provenance of three Modestobacter strains isolated from an extreme hyper-arid Atacama Desert soil. The strains, isolates KNN 45-1a, KNN 45-2b(T) and KNN 45-3b, were shown to have chemotaxonomic and morphological properties in line with their classification in the genus Modestobacter. The isolates had identical 16S rRNA gene sequences and formed a branch in the Modestobacter gene tree that was most closely related to the type strain of Modestobacter marinus (99.6% similarity). All three isolates were distinguished readily from Modestobacter type strains by a broad range of phenotypic properties, by qualitative and quantitative differences in fatty acid profiles and by BOX fingerprint patterns. The whole genome sequence of isolate KNN 45-2b(T) showed 89.3% average nucleotide identity, 90.1% (SD: 10.97%) average amino acid identity and a digital DNA-DNA hybridization value of 42.4±3.1 against the genome sequence of M. marinus DSM 45201(T), values consistent with its assignment to a separate species. On the basis of all of these data, it is proposed that the isolates be assigned to the genus Modestobacter as Modestobacter caceresii sp. nov. with isolate KNN 45-2b(T) (CECT 9023(T)=DSM 101691(T)) as the type strain. Analysis of the whole-genome sequence of M. caceresii KNN 45-2b(T), with 4683 open reading frames and a genome size of ∽4.96Mb, revealed the presence of genes and gene-clusters that encode for properties relevant to its adaptability to harsh environmental conditions prevalent in extreme hyper arid Atacama Desert soils. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  20. Effects of legume cover crop and sub-soiling on soil properties and Maize (Zea mays L) growth in semi arid area of Machakos district, Kenya = Efecto del cultivo de cobertua y el subsolado sobre las propiedades del suelo y crecimiento de maiz (Zea mays L.) en la region semi arida de Machakos, Kenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karuma, A.; Gachene, C.K.K.; Gicheru, P.; Mwangombe, A.W.; Mwangi, H.W.; Clavel, D.; Verhagen, A.; Kaufmann, Von R.; Francis, J.; Ekaya, W.

    2011-01-01

    Low crop yields in the semi arid areas of Kenya have been attributed to, among other factors, low soil fertility, low farm inputs, labour constraints and inappropriate tillage practices that lead to pulverized soils. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of legume cover crops (LCC) on

  1. Spatial-temporal variability of soil water content in a cropland-shelterbelt-desert site in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Qin; Gao, Guangyao; Hu, Wei; Fu, Bojie

    2016-09-01

    Knowledge of the spatial-temporal variability of soil water content (SWC) is critical for understanding a range of hydrological processes. In this study, the spatial variance and temporal stability of SWC were investigated in a cropland-shelterbelt-desert site at the oasis-desert ecotone in the middle of the Heihe River Basin, China. The SWC was measured on 65 occasions to a depth of 2.8 m at 45 locations during two growing seasons from 2012 to 2013. The standard deviation of the SWC versus the mean SWC exhibited a convex upward relationship in the shelterbelt with the greatest spatial variation at the SWC of around 22.0%, whereas a linearly increasing relationship was observed for the cropland, desert, and land use pattern. The standard deviation of the relative difference was positively linearly correlated with the SWC (p < 0.05) for the land use pattern, whereas such a relationship was not found in the three land use types. The spatial pattern of the SWC was more time stable for the land use pattern, followed by desert, shelterbelt, and cropland. The spatial pattern of SWC changed dramatically among different soil layers. The locations representing the mean SWC varied with the depth, and no location could represent the whole soil profile due to different soil texture, root distribution and irrigation management. The representative locations of each soil layer could be used to estimate the mean SWC well. The statistics of temporal stability of the SWC could be presented equally well with a low frequency of observation (30-day interval) as with a high frequency (5-day interval). Sampling frequency had little effect on the selection of the representative locations of the field mean SWC. This study provides useful information for designing the optimal strategy for sampling SWC at the oasis-desert ecotone in the arid inland river basin.

  2. [Storages and distributed patterns of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen during the succession of artificial sand-binding vegetation in arid desert ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiao-Hong; Li, Xin-Rong; Zhou, Yu-Yan; Li, Yuan-Shou

    2012-03-01

    Soil carbon pool acts as the largest one of carbon pools in the terrestrial ecosystem. The storages and distributed patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) evaluated accurately are helpful to predict the feedback between the terrestrial ecosystem and climate changes. Based on the data about bulk density, content of SOC and TN at 0-100 cm soil profile, the density of SOC and TN at the temporal (chronosequence of artificial vegetation) and spatial (vertical) distributed patterns have been estimated. The results indicated that storages of SOC and TN at 0-100 cm depth increased with the chronosequence of artificial vegetation. The storages of SOC and TN showed the same tendency with the succession time of artificial vegetation. Storages of SOC and TN significantly increased at the early stage of banding sand by artificially vegetation ( 25 a). The variation of storages mainly occurred in the 0-20 cm depth. The storages decreased with the soil vertical depth. At the early stage of banding sand, increase in storage included every depth (0-100 cm). Whereas, at the later stage, increase in storage at 0-20 cm depth was main, and increase in the 20-100 cm was inconspicuous. The accumulation of storage at the shallow soil depth was more notability with the succession of artificial vegetation. The distributed pattern of storage in SOC and TN has been confirmed in arid desert regions below 200 mm annual precipitation. This was beneficial to understand the carbon cycle and to predict the feedback relationship between desert ecosystem and climate changes.

  3. Evaporation as the transport mechanism of metals in arid regions

    KAUST Repository

    Lima, Ana T.; Safar, Zeinab; Loch, J.P. Gustav

    2014-01-01

    in soils. Due to the low rainfall and high evaporation rates in arid regions, groundwater quality is not threatened and all soil contamination issues tend to be overlooked. But if soil contamination happens, where do contaminants go? This study tests

  4. Study of 137Cs redistribution in semi-arid land of western Algeria for soil loss assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Azbouche

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Soil erosion is a global environmental problem, and anthropogenic fallout radionuclides offer a promising tool for describing and quantifying soil redistribution on decadal time scales. The 137Cs technique for investigating rates and patterns of soil erosion has now been successfully applied in a wide range of environments. This radionuclide strongly adheres to soil particles and therefore can be used as a tracer in soil movement studies. In this work we present the 137Cs redistribution in an agricultural area, to assess the soil erosion and sedimentation zones. 36 samples were collected in small watershed called Sidi Mohamed Cherif at Oued Isser located in North West of Algeria. The preparation of soil samples required drying, crushing and sieving to finally lower than 2mm diameter. The sample analysis was analyzed by gamma spectrometry technique composed with a high resolution HPGe semi-conductor detector with 1.8 keV to 60Co 1332.5 keV line, after soil characterization with WDXRF. The spectrums treatment was carried out using the Genie 2000 software dedicated to the processing of gamma spectra. The specific activity of 137Cs is obtained variable from 0.25Bq kg-1 and 7.8 Bq kg-1. These results allow determining the erosion global erosion rate, is about 12.5 t ha?1 yr?1. Keywords: 137Cs, Soil Characterization, Soil erosion, Gamma spectrometry, North West of Algeria.

  5. WEPP and ANN models for simulating soil loss and runoff in a semi-arid Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albaradeyia, Issa; Hani, Azzedine; Shahrour, Isam

    2011-09-01

    This paper presents the use of both the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) and the artificial neural network (ANN) for the prediction of runoff and soil loss in the central highland mountainous of the Palestinian territories. Analyses show that the soil erosion is highly dependent on both the rainfall depth and the rainfall event duration rather than on the rainfall intensity as mostly mentioned in the literature. The results obtained from the WEPP model for the soil loss and runoff disagree with the field data. The WEPP underestimates both the runoff and soil loss. Analyses conducted with the ANN agree well with the observation. In addition, the global network models developed using the data of all the land use type show a relatively unbiased estimation for both runoff and soil loss. The study showed that the ANN model could be used as a management tool for predicting runoff and soil loss.

  6. Determination of soil degradation in argentine semi-arid environments from remote sensors: case department of patagones, province of buenos aires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzola, Alejandro; Cacella, Alejandra; Enrique, Mario; Winschel, Cristina

    2017-04-01

    The continental territory of the Argentine Republic owns 75% of its surface under arid and semiarid conditions to the west of the meridian of 64°. Wind erosion is the main physical cause of desertification. In the Pampena area, studies showed that the sandy loam soils were more pronounced than the sandy loam with significant losses of organic matter, decreases in the cation exchange capacity and modification of the mineral composition of the very fine sand fraction (From 73 to 100 μm), with increases in the proportion of heavy minerals (magnetite) relative to light (quartz). In the Patagones department, Buenos Aires province, the soils with a sandy-loamy texture, which are transported by wind and deposited on calcium carbonate (tosca), with little moisture retention and susceptible to wind erosion. In the 1980s and 1990s, increases in rainfall above the historical average led to a shift of the isohytes towards the southwest, leading to agricultural intensification that caused greater pressure on the soil and native vegetation. This advance on the native vegetation within the Patagones produced a reduction between 1975 and 2009 of 432,280 ha, leaving only 31% of the area covered by native forest - shrub xerophyte today. Between 2005-2009, the call "agricultural drought" caused losses in crops, wheat - oats and natural pastures associated with the native forest, causing a significant deterioration of the soil, exposing them to wind erosion. Remote sensors represent a very valuable technology for the mapping and evaluation of soil erosion. The availability of multispectral images allows the mapping and monitoring of changes in the dynamics of the erosion process. The objective of this work was to make an expeditious diagnosis of the surface affected by wind erosion and to evaluate the degree to which the soils destined for agriculture and livestock were affected. For this purpose, Terra's MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor information was

  7. Validation and Scaling of Soil Moisture in a Semi-Arid Environment: SMAP Validation Experiment 2015 (SMAPVEX15)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colliander, Andreas; Cosh, Michael H.; Misra, Sidharth; Jackson, Thomas J.; Crow, Wade T.; Chan, Steven; Bindlish, Rajat; Chae, Chun; Holifield Collins, Chandra; Yueh, Simon H.

    2017-01-01

    The NASA SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) mission conducted the SMAP Validation Experiment 2015 (SMAPVEX15) in order to support the calibration and validation activities of SMAP soil moisture data products. The main goals of the experiment were to address issues regarding the spatial disaggregation methodologies for improvement of soil moisture products and validation of the in situ measurement upscaling techniques. To support these objectives high-resolution soil moisture maps were acquired with the airborne PALS (Passive Active L-band Sensor) instrument over an area in southeast Arizona that includes the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW), and intensive ground sampling was carried out to augment the permanent in situ instrumentation. The objective of the paper was to establish the correspondence and relationship between the highly heterogeneous spatial distribution of soil moisture on the ground and the coarse resolution radiometer-based soil moisture retrievals of SMAP. The high-resolution mapping conducted with PALS provided the required connection between the in situ measurements and SMAP retrievals. The in situ measurements were used to validate the PALS soil moisture acquired at 1-km resolution. Based on the information from a dense network of rain gauges in the study area, the in situ soil moisture measurements did not capture all the precipitation events accurately. That is, the PALS and SMAP soil moisture estimates responded to precipitation events detected by rain gauges, which were in some cases not detected by the in situ soil moisture sensors. It was also concluded that the spatial distribution of the soil moisture resulted from the relatively small spatial extents of the typical convective storms in this region was not completely captured with the in situ stations. After removing those cases (approximately10 of the observations) the following metrics were obtained: RMSD (root mean square difference) of0.016m3m3 and correlation of 0.83. The

  8. Effects of different management regimes on soil erosion and surface runoff in semi-arid to sub-humid rangelands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oudenhoven, van A.P.E.; Veerkamp, C.J.; Alkemade, Rob; Leemans, Rik

    2015-01-01

    Over one billion people's livelihoods depend on dry rangelands through livestock grazing and agriculture. Livestock grazing and other management activities can cause soil erosion, increase surface runoff and reduce water availability. We studied the effects of different management regimes on soil

  9. Response of biological soil crust diazotrophs to season, altered summer precipitation and year-round increased temperature in an arid grassland of the Colorado Plateau, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris M Yeager

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (biocrusts, which supply significant amounts of fixed nitrogen into terrestrial ecosystems worldwide (~33 Tg y-1, are likely to respond to changes in temperature and precipitation associated with climate change. Using nifH gene-based surveys, we explored variation in the diazotrophic community of biocrusts of the Colorado Plateau, USA in response to season (autumn vs. spring, as well as field manipulations that increased the frequency of small-volume precipitation events and year-round soil temperature. Abundance of nifH genes in biocrusts ranged from 3x106 – 1x108 g-1 soil, and nifH from heterocystous cyanobacteria closely related to Scytonema hyalinum, Spirirestis rafaelensis, and Nostoc commune comprised > 98% of the total. Although there was no apparent seasonal effect on total nifH gene abundance in the biocrusts, T-RFLP analysis revealed a strong seasonal pattern in nifH composition. Spirirestis nifH abundance was estimated to oscillate 1 to >2 orders of magnitude between autumn (low and spring (high. A year-round increase of soil temperature (2 − 3 °C had little effect on the diazotroph community structure over 2 years. Altered summer precipitation had little impact on diazotroph community structure over the first 1.5 years of the study, when natural background patterns across years and seasons superseded any treatment effects. However, after the second summer of treatments, nifH abundance was 2.6 fold lower in biocrusts receiving altered precipitation. Heterocystous cyanobacteria were apparently more resilient to altered precipitation than other cyanobacteria. The results demonstrate that diazotrophic community composition of biocrusts in this semi-arid grassland undergoes strong seasonal shifts and that the abundance of its dominant members decreased in response to more frequent, small-volume precipitation events.

  10. Response of biological soil crust diazotrophs to season, altered summer precipitation, and year-round increased temperature in an arid grassland of the Colorado Plateau, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeager, Chris M.; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Carney, Travis D.; Johnson, Shannon L.; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which supply significant amounts of fixed nitrogen into terrestrial ecosystems worldwide (~33Tg y-1), are likely to respond to changes in temperature and precipitation associated with climate change. Using nifH gene-based surveys, we explored variation in the diazotrophic community of biocrusts of the Colorado Plateau, USA in response to season (autumn vs. spring), as well as field manipulations that increased the frequency of small volume precipitation events and year-round soil temperature. Abundance of nifH genes in biocrusts ranged from 3×106 to 1×8 g-1 soil, and nifH from heterocystous cyanobacteria closely related to Scytonema hyalinum, Spirirestis rafaelensis, and Nostoc commune comprised >98% of the total. Although there was no apparent seasonal effect on total nifH gene abundance in the biocrusts, T-RFLP analysis revealed a strong seasonal pattern in nifH composition. Spirirestis nifH abundance was estimated to oscillate 1 to >2 orders of magnitude between autumn (low) and spring (high). A year-round increase of soil temperature (2–3°C) had little effect on the diazotroph community structure over 2 years. Altered summer precipitation had little impact on diazotroph community structure over the first 1.5years of the study, when natural background patterns across years and seasons superseded any treatment effects. However, after the second summer of treatments, nifH abundance was 2.6-fold lower in biocrusts receiving altered precipitation. Heterocystous cyanobacteria were apparently more resilient to altered precipitation than other cyanobacteria. The results demonstrate that diazotrophic community composition of biocrusts in this semi-arid grassland undergoes strong seasonal shifts and that the abundance of its dominant members decreased in response to more frequent, small volume precipitation events.

  11. Shifts in Abundance and Diversity of Soil Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria and Archaea Associated with Land Restoration in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Chen

    Full Text Available The Grain to Green Project (GGP is an unprecedented land restoration action in China. The project converted large areas (ca 10 million ha of steep-sloped/degraded farmland and barren land into forest and grassland resulting in ecological benefits such as a reduction in severe soil erosion. It may also affect soil microorganisms involved in ammonia oxidization, which is a key step in the global nitrogen cycle. The methods for restoration that are typically adopted in semi-arid regions include abandoning farmland and growing drought tolerant grass (Lolium perenne L. or shrubs (Caragana korshinskii Kom.. In the present study, the effects of these methods on the abundance and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA were evaluated via quantitative real-time PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library analysis of amoA genes. Comparisons were made between soil samples from three restored lands and the adjacent farmland in Inner Mongolia. Both the abundance and community composition of AOB were significantly different between the restored lands and the adjacent control. Significantly lower nitrification activity was observed for the restored land. Clone library analysis revealed that all AOB amoA gene sequences were affiliated with Nitrosospira. Abundance of the populations that were associated with Nitrosospira sp. Nv6 which had possibly adapted to high concentrations of inorganic nitrogen, decreased on the restored land. Only a slight difference in the AOB communities was observed between the restored land with and without the shrub (Caragana korshinskii Kom.. A minor effect of land restoration on AOA was observed. In summary, land restoration negatively affected the abundance of AOB and soil nitrification activities, suggesting the potential role of GGP in the leaching of nitrates, and in the emission of N2O in related terrestrial ecosystems.

  12. Necrophagous beetles associated with carcasses in a semi-arid environment in northeastern Brazil: implications for forensic entomology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Ana C G; Vasconcelos, Simão D

    2013-03-10

    Data on the ecology and bionomics of necrophagous beetles are scarce in tropical countries despite their relevance in forensic investigations. We performed a survey on the diversity and temporal pattern of colonization of beetles on pig carcasses in a fragment of dry forest in northeastern Brazil. We collected 1550 adults of diverse feeding habits from 12 families, of which 96% had necrophagous and/or copro-necrophagous habits and belonged to four families: Dermestidae, Scarabaeidae, Cleridae and Trogidae. Three species, Dermestes maculatus, Necrobia rufipes and Omorgus suberosus are reported for the first time with an expanded geographical distribution that includes the semi-arid region in Brazil. Adult beetles were collected as early as 24h after death. One endemic species, Deltochilum verruciferum, stood out in terms of numerical dominance and temporal occurrence during different stages of decomposition. Its intimate association with carrion emphasizes their potential role in forensic entomology in the region. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Sandy soil plantation in semi-arid zones by polyacrylamide gel conditioner prepared by ionizing radiation. Part of a coordinated programme on radiation modified polymers for biomedical and biochemical applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azzam, R.A.I.

    1983-07-01

    Polyacrylamide gel prepared by ionizing radiation was found to be capable of furnishing adequate conditions for sandy-soil plantation in semi-arid zones. The gel can be tailored for any soil texture under various climatic conditions. The sand-gel combination maintains three cycles of complete destruction and reformation without significant changes in erosion index. Water holding capacity and retention at different suctions in treated sand are increased. This increases water use efficiency. Fertilizers use efficiency is also increased to almost three times that of fertile clayey soil

  14. Hydric balance of a soil in ebb tide system in the half-arid of Pernambuco, Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antonino, Antonio C.D.; Audry, Pierre; Maciel Netto, Andre

    2000-01-01

    Dam basin agriculture consists in planting the gentle slopes of the dams as they are uncovered by receding waters. Crops use only soil water in their production cycle which occurs during the dry season. Since data on the water dynamics of dam basin agriculture in Northeast Brazil have not been published, a water balance study was established in a bare soil plot in the basin of Flocos dam, municipality of Tuparetama, PE (7 deg 36' S and 37 deg 18' O). The plot was equipped with one neutron probe access tube, one piezometer and tensiometers at different soil depths. Humidity was measured with a Nardeaux-20 neutron probe. Rainfall and class A tank evaporation were measured in a nearby micro-meteorological station. The water balance was performed for the top 30 cm soil layer, along 67 days (September 29 to December 5, 1998) which were divided in seven sub-periods. Soil water content indicated three time intervals with different soil water dynamics. For the complete period, soil water content decreased 53.9 mm and average daily evaporation and reference evaporation were 4.3 and 7.9 mm, respectively. (author)

  15. Precipitation Regime Shift Enhanced the Rain Pulse Effect on Soil Respiration in a Semi-Arid Steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Liming; Chen, Shiping; Xia, Jianyang; Luo, Yiqi

    2014-01-01

    The effect of resource pulses, such as rainfall events, on soil respiration plays an important role in controlling grassland carbon balance, but how shifts in long-term precipitation regime regulate rain pulse effect on soil respiration is still unclear. We first quantified the influence of rainfall event on soil respiration based on a two-year (2006 and 2009) continuously measured soil respiration data set in a temperate steppe in northern China. In 2006 and 2009, soil carbon release induced by rainfall events contributed about 44.5% (83.3 g C m−2) and 39.6% (61.7 g C m−2) to the growing-season total soil respiration, respectively. The pulse effect of rainfall event on soil respiration can be accurately predicted by a water status index (WSI), which is the product of rainfall event size and the ratio between antecedent soil temperature to moisture at the depth of 10 cm (r 2 = 0.92, Psoil temperature/moisture ratio which is usually associated with longer dry spells. We then analyzed a long-term (1953–2009) precipitation record in the experimental area. We found both the extreme heavy rainfall events (>40 mm per event) and the long dry-spells (>5 days) during the growing seasons increased from 1953–2009. It suggests the shift in precipitation regime has increased the contribution of rain pulse effect to growing-season total soil respiration in this region. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating precipitation regime shift and its impacts on the rain pulse effect into the future predictions of grassland carbon cycle under climate change. PMID:25093573

  16. Differential activity of autochthonous bacteria in controlling drought stress in native Lavandula and Salvia plants species under drought conditions in natural arid soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armada, Elisabeth; Roldán, Antonio; Azcon, Rosario

    2014-02-01

    The effectiveness of autochthonous plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria was studied in Lavandula dentata and Salvia officinalis growing in a natural arid Mediterranean soil under drought conditions. These bacteria identified as Bacillus megaterium (Bm), Enterobacter sp. (E), Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and Bacillus sp. (Bsp). Each bacteria has different potential to meliorate water limitation and alleviating drought stress in these two plant species. B. thuringiensis promoted growth and drought avoidance in Lavandula by increasing K content, by depressing stomatal conductance, and it controlled shoot proline accumulation. This bacterial effect on increasing drought tolerance was related to the decrease of glutathione reductase (GR) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) that resulted sensitive indexes of lower cellular oxidative damage involved in the adaptative drought response in B. thuringiensis-inoculated Lavandula plants. In contrast, in Salvia, having intrinsic lower shoot/root ratio, higher stomatal conductance and lower APX and GR activities than Lavandula, the bacterial effects on nutritional, physiological and antioxidant enzymatic systems were lower. The benefit of bacteria depended on intrinsic stress tolerance of plant involved. Lavadula demonstrated a greater benefit than Salvia to control drought stress when inoculated with B. thuringiensis. The bacterial drought tolerance assessed as survival, proline, and indolacetic acid production showed the potential of this bacteria to help plants to grow under drought conditions. B. thuringiensis may be used for Lavandula plant establishment in arid environments. Particular characteristic of the plant species as low shoot/root ratio and high stomatal conductance are important factors controlling the bacterial effectiveness improving nutritional, physiological, and metabolic plant activities.

  17. Examining the relationship between intermediate scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra Belur; Ershadi, Ali; McCabe, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability

  18. Examining the relationship between intermediate-scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra Belur; Ershadi, Ali; McCabe, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability

  19. High rates of denitrification and nitrous oxide emission in arid biological soil crusts from the Sultanate of Oman

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abed, Raeid M M; Lam, Phyllis; De Beer, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Using a combination of process rate determination, microsensor profiling and molecular techniques, we demonstrated that denitrification, and not anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), is the major nitrogen loss process in biological soil crusts from Oman. Potential denitrification rates were 584...... that nitrogen loss via denitrification is a dominant process in crusts from Oman, which leads to N 2 O gas emission and potentially reduces desert soil fertility....

  20. Soil moisture and its role in growth-climate relationships across an aridity gradient in semiarid Pinus halepensis forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manrique-Alba, Àngela; Ruiz-Yanetti, Samantha; Moutahir, Hassane; Novak, Klemen; De Luis, Martin; Bellot, Juan

    2017-01-01

    In Mediterranean areas with limited availability of water, an accurate knowledge of growth response to hydrological variables could contribute to improving management and stability of forest resources. The main goal of this study is to assess the temporal dynamic of soil moisture to better understand the water-growth relationship of Pinus halepensis forests in semiarid areas. The estimates of modelled soil moisture and measured tree growth were used at four sites dominated by afforested Pinus halepensis Mill. in south-eastern Spain with 300 to 609mm mean annual precipitation. Firstly, dendrochronological samples were extracted and the widths of annual tree rings were measured to compute basal area increments (BAI). Secondly, soil moisture was estimated over 20 hydrological years (1992-2012) by means of the HYDROBAL ecohydrological model. Finally, the tree growth was linked, to mean monthly and seasonal temperature, precipitation and soil moisture. Results depict the effect of soil moisture on growth (BAI) and explain 69-73% of the variance in semiarid forests, but only 51% in the subhumid forests. This highlights the fact that that soil moisture is a suitable and promising variable to explain growth variations of afforested Pinus halepensis in semiarid conditions and useful for guiding adaptation plans to respond pro-actively to water-related global challenges. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of land conversion from native shrub to pistachio orchard on soil erodibility in an arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakupoglu, Tugrul; Gundogan, Recep; Dindaroglu, Turgay; Kara, Zekeriya

    2017-10-29

    Land-use change through degrading natural vegetation for agricultural production adversely affects many of soil properties particularly organic carbon content of soils. The native shrub land and grassland of Gaziantep-Adiyaman plateau that is an important pistachio growing eco-region have been cleared to convert into pistachio orchard for the last 50 to 60 years. In this study, the effects of conversion of natural vegetation into agricultural uses on soil erodibility have been investigated. Soil samples were collected from surface of agricultural fields and adjacent natural vegetation areas, and samples were analyzed for some soil erodibility indices such as dispersion ratio (DR), erosion ratio (ER), structural stability index (SSI), Henin's instability index (I s ), and aggregate size distribution after wet sieving (AggSD). According to the statistical evaluation, these two areas were found as different from each other in terms of erosion indices except for I s index (P < 0.001 for DR and ER or P < 0.01 for SSI). In addition, native shrub land and converted land to agriculture were found different in terms of AggSD in all aggregate size groups. As a contrary to expectations, correlation tests showed that there were no any interaction between soil organic carbon and measured erodibility indices in two areas. In addition, significant relationships were determined between measured variables and soil textural fractions as statistical. These obtaining findings were attributed to changing of textural component distribution and initial aggregate size distribution results from land-use change in the study area. Study results were explained about hierarchical aggregate formation mechanism.

  2. Effects of long-term fertilisation on aggregates and dynamics of soil organic carbon in a semi-arid agro-ecosystem in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiaoyang Zhang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Long-term fertilisation has a large influence on soil physical and chemical properties in agro-ecosystems. The effects on the distribution of aggregates, however, are not fully understood. We determined the dynamic change of the distribution of aggregates and soil organic carbon (SOC content over time in a long-term field experiment established in 1998 on the Loess Plateau of China and illustrated the relationship between them. Methods We determined SOC content and the distribution of aggregates in nine fertiliser treatments: manure (M; nitrogen (N; phosphorus (P; M and N; M, N, and P; M and P; N and P; bare land; and an unfertilised control. These parameters were then used for a path analysis and to analyse the fractal dimension (Dv. Results The organic fertiliser increased SOC content. The proportions of 0.1–0.25 mm microaggregates and 0.25–0.5 mm macroaggregates were higher and the proportion of the 0.01–0.05 mm size class of the silt + clay fraction was lower in the treatments receiving organic fertiliser (M, MN, MNP, and MP than that in the control, indicating that the addition of organic fertiliser promoted aggregation. The distribution of aggregates characterised by their fractal dimension (Dv, however, did not differ among the treatments. Discussion Dv was strongly correlated with the proportion of the <0.002 mm size class of the silt + clay fraction that did not differ significantly among the treatments. The change in the distribution of aggregates was strongly correlated with SOC content, which could produce organic polymer binding agents to increase the proportion of larger particles. Long-term application of organic fertiliser is thus necessary for the improvement and maintenance of soil quality in semi-arid agricultural land when residues are removed.

  3. Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer on crop yields in a field pea-spring wheat-potato rotation system with calcareous soil in semi-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang-An Liu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The object of the present study was to investigate the yield-affecting mechanisms influenced by N and P applications in rainfed areas with calcareous soil. The experimental treatments were as follows: NF (no fertilizer, N (nitrogen, P (phosphorus, and NP (nitrogen plus phosphorus in a field pea-spring wheat-potato cropping system. This study was conducted over six years (2003-2008 on China’s semi-arid Loess Plateau. The fertilizer treatments were found to decrease the soil water content more than the NF treatment in each of the growing seasons. The annual average yields of the field pea crops during the entire experimental period were 635, 677, 858, and 1117 kg/ha for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. The annual average yields were 673, 547, 966, and 1056 kg/ha for the spring wheat crops for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. Also, the annual average yields were 1476, 2120, 1480, and 2424 kg/ha for the potato crops for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. In the second cycle of the three-year rotation, the pea and spring wheat yields in the P treatment were 1.2 and 2.8 times higher than that in the N treatment, respectively. Meanwhile, the potato crop yield in the N treatment was 3.1 times higher than that in the P treatment. In conclusion, the P fertilizer was found to increase the yields of the field pea and wheat crops, and the N fertilizer increased the potato crop yield in rainfed areas with calcareous soil.

  4. Effects of Tillage Methods on Some Soil Physical Properties, Growth and Yield of Water Melon in a Semi-Arid Region of Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Dauda

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available An appropriate tillage method is necessary to create an optimum seed bed condition for optimum crop growth and yield. Two-year field experiment was conducted in 2013 and 2014 to investigate the effects of different tillage methods on the physical properties of sandy loam soil, growth and yield of water melon (Citrullus vulgaris in a semi-arid environment. The Tillage treatments were disc ploughing plus disc harrowing (DP+DH, double disc ploughing (DDP, double disc harrowing (DDH, disc ploughing (DP and disc harrowing (DH as minimum tillage (MT and zero tillage (ZT and direct drilling method (control. The watermelon seeds were Planted manually placing three (3 seeds per hole at an interval of 1.5m along the rows and 50cm between the rows at an average depth of 5cm. The treatments were laid in a randomized complete block design (RCBD with four replications. Results showed that disc ploughing + disc harrowing (DP+DH was found to be more appropriate and profitable tillage method in improving soil physical properties and growth and yield of water melon in a sandy loam soil. Watermelon yield, fruit weight (FW, fruit length (FL, fruit diameter (FD and leaf area index (LAI were significantly influenced (P=0.05, but influence of tillage treatments were not significant on the number of fruit per plant (NFPP. A numerical value of 31.0t/ha, 26.0, 5.4kg, 29.0cm, and 33.8cm were recorded for maximum crop yield, NFPP, FW, FD and FL respectively in DP+DH-treated plots. For zero tillage (ZT treatment, maximum of crop yield and NFPP were 26.5t/ha and 20.0 respectively. Thus for enhanced growth and yield of watermelon, DP/DH would be more preferable. The orthodox method of zero tillage is out rightly discouraged

  5. Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer on crop yields in a field pea-spring wheat-potato rotation system with calcareous soil in semi-arid environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, C.A.; Zhang, S.; Hua, S.; Rao, X.

    2016-11-01

    The object of the present study was to investigate the yield-affecting mechanisms influenced by N and P applications in rainfed areas with calcareous soil. The experimental treatments were as follows: NF (no fertilizer), N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus), and NP (nitrogen plus phosphorus) in a field pea-spring wheat-potato cropping system. This study was conducted over six years (2003-2008) on China’s semi-arid Loess Plateau. The fertilizer treatments were found to decrease the soil water content more than the NF treatment in each of the growing seasons. The annual average yields of the field pea crops during the entire experimental period were 635, 677, 858, and 1117 kg/ha for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. The annual average yields were 673, 547, 966, and 1056 kg/ha for the spring wheat crops for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. Also, the annual average yields were 1476, 2120, 1480, and 2424 kg/ha for the potato crops for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. In the second cycle of the three-year rotation, the pea and spring wheat yields in the P treatment were 1.2 and 2.8 times higher than that in the N treatment, respectively. Meanwhile, the potato crop yield in the N treatment was 3.1 times higher than that in the P treatment. In conclusion, the P fertilizer was found to increase the yields of the field pea and wheat crops, and the N fertilizer increased the potato crop yield in rainfed areas with calcareous soil. (Author)

  6. Management of Atriplex nummularia Lindl. in a salt affected soil in a semi arid region of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Edivan Rodrigues; Freire, Maria Betânia Galvão dos Santos; de Melo, Diego Vandeval Maranhão; Montenegro, Abelardo de Antônio Assunção

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to investigate the behavior of Atriplex nummularia under field conditions, including its growth, periodic cuttings, salt extraction, and soil chemical properties monitored for 16 months. Three treatments were evaluated: soil cultivated with Atriplex pruned at 6 and 12 months after transplanting (MAT); soil cultivated with plants that were harvested only at the end of the experiment (16 MAT); and a control (uncultivated soil) with four replications. Soil samplings were taken at 0, 6, 12, and 16 MAT. The samples were taken at depths of 0-20, 20-40, 40-60, and 60-80 cm. Biometric variables for growth were monitored monthly. The shoot was divided into leaves, thin stems ( 3 mm diameter) to determine its content of Ca, Mg, Na, K, and Cl. We concluded that pruning regime for Atriplex was efficient mainly because it stimulated regrowth of less lignified material (leaves and stems plant tissue can be quantified accurately, making them valuable indicators of the efficiency of the recovery process. The use of the Atriplex is recommended because the the possibility of revegetating areas inhospitable to most species used in conventional farming.

  7. Biological soil crusts: An organizing principle in dryland ecosystems (aka: the role of biocrusts in arid land hydrology)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamizo, Sonia; Belnap, Jayne; Elridge, David J; Issa, Oumarou M

    2016-01-01

    Biocrusts exert a strong influence on hydrological processes in drylands by modifying numerous soil properties that affect water retention and movement in soils. Yet, their role in these processes is not clearly understood due to the large number of factors that act simultaneously and can mask the biocrust effect. The influence of biocrusts on soil hydrology depends on biocrust intrinsic characteristics such as cover, composition, and external morphology, which differ greatly among climate regimes, but also on external factors as soil type, topography and vegetation distribution patterns, as well as interactions among these factors. This chapter reviews the most recent literature published on the role of biocrusts in infiltration and runoff, soil moisture, evaporation and non-rainfall water inputs (fog, dew, water absorption), in an attempt to elucidate the key factors that explain how biocrusts affect land hydrology. In addition to the crust type and site characteristics, recent studies point to the crucial importance of the type of rainfall and the spatial scale at which biocrust effects are analyzed to understand their role in hydrological processes. Future studies need to consider the temporal and spatial scale investigated to obtain more accurate generalizations on the role of biocrusts in land hydrology.

  8. Geochemical speciation and dynamic of copper in tropical semi-arid soils exposed to metal-bearing mine wastes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perlatti, Fabio [Department of Environmental Technology, National Department of Mineral Production – DNPM, Rua Dr. José Lourenço, 90560115-280 Fortaleza, CE (Brazil); Graduate Course of Ecology and Natural Resources, Department of Biology, Federal University of Ceará – UFC, Building 906, 60455-760, Fortaleza, CE (Brazil); Otero, Xosé Luis; Macias, Felipe [Department of Edaphology and Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Biology, University of Santiago de Compostela – USC, Rúa Lope Gómez de Marzoa, s/n. Campus sur, 15782 Santiago de Compostela (Spain); Ferreira, Tiago Osório, E-mail: toferreira@usp.br [Department of Soil Science, University of São Paulo (ESALQ/USP), Av. Pádua Dias, 11, 13418-900, Piracicaba, SP (Brazil); Graduate Course of Ecology and Natural Resources, Department of Biology, Federal University of Ceará – UFC, Building 906, 60455-760, Fortaleza, CE (Brazil)

    2014-12-01

    The potentially hazardous effects of rock wastes disposed at open pit in three different areas (Pr: Ore processing; Wr: Waste rock and Bd: Border) of an abandoned copper mine were evaluated in this study, with emphasis on acid drainage generation, metal contamination and copper geochemical dynamics in soils. Samples of waste rock were analyzed by Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy with microanalysis (SEM-EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Soil samples were analyzed to determine the total metal contents (XRF), mineralogy (XRD), pH (H2O and H2O2), organic and inorganic carbon, % of total N, S and P, particle size, and a sequential extraction procedure was used to identify the different copper fractions. As a result of the prevalence of carbonates over sulphides in the wastes, the soil pH remained close to neutral, with absence of acid mine drainage. The geochemical interaction between these mineral phases seems to be the main mechanism to release Cu{sup 2+} ions. Total Cu in soils from the Pr area reached 11,180 mg.kg{sup −1}, while in Wr and Bd areas the values reached, on average, 4683 and 1086 mg.kg{sup −1}, respectively, indicating a very high level of soil contamination. In the Pr and Wr, the Cu was mainly associated with carbonates and amorphous iron oxides. In the Bd areas, the presence of vegetation has influenced the geochemical behavior of copper by increasing the dissolution of carbonates, affecting the buffer capacity of soils against sulphide oxidation, reducing the pH levels and enhancing the proportion of exchangeable and organic bound Cu. The present findings show that the use of plants or organic amendments in mine sites with high concentration of Cu carbonate-containing wastes should be viewed with caution, as the practice may enhance the mobilization of copper to the environment due to an increase in the rate of carbonates dissolution. - Highlights: • The hazardous effects of mine waste rocks at

  9. Pedotransfer functions to estimate soil water content at field capacity and permanent wilting point in hot arid western India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santra, P.; Kumar, M.; Kumawat, R.N.; Painuli, D.K.; Hati, K.M.; Heuvelink, G.B.M.; Batjes, N.H.

    2018-01-01

    Characterization of soil water retention, e.g., water content at field capacity (FC) and permanent wilting point (PWP) over a landscape plays a key role in efficient utilization of available scarce water resources in dry land agriculture; however, direct measurement thereof for multiple locations in

  10. The relationship between plant species richness and soil pH vanishes with increasing aridity across Eurasian dry grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Palpurina, S.; Wagner, V.; von Wehrden, H.; Hájek, M.; Horsák, M.; Brinkert, A.; Hölzel, N.; Wesche, K.; Kamp, J.; Hájková, Petra; Danihelka, Jiří; Lustyk, P.; Merunková, K.; Preislerová, Z.; Kočí, M.; Kubešová, S.; Cherosov, M. M.; Ermakov, N.; German, D.; Gogoleva, P. A.; Lashchinsky, N.; Martynenko, V. B.; Chytrý, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 4 (2017), s. 425-434 ISSN 1466-822X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : diversity-environment relationship * dry grassland * precipitation * soil pH Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 6.045, year: 2016

  11. Biological soil attributes in oilseed crops irrigated with oilfield produced water in the semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Clarice Melo Azevedo de Meneses

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Wastewater from oil is the main residue of the oil industry. Studies have shown that wastewater, or produced water, can be treated and used as an alternative source for the irrigation of oilseed crops. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of treated produced water on the biological properties of soil cultivated with the castor bean cv. BRS Energy and the sunflower cv. BRS 321 respectively, for two and three successive cycles of grain production. The first cycle in the sunflower and castor bean corresponds to the dry season and the second cycle to the rainy season. The third crop cycle in the sunflower relates to the dry season. The research was carried out from August 2012 to October 2013, in the town of Aracati, in the State of Ceará (Brazil, where both crops were submitted to irrigation with filtered produced water (FPW, produced water treated by reverse osmosis (OPW, or groundwater water from the Açu aquifer (ACW, and to no irrigation (RFD. The treatments, with three replications, were evaluated during the periods of pre-cultivation and plant reproduction for soil respiration (Rs, total organic carbon (TOC and the population density of bacteria (Bact and filamentous fungi (Fung in the soil. In the sunflower crop, these soil attributes are sensitive to the irrigation water used. Irrigation of the castor bean affects soil respiration. Under the conditions of this study, irrigation with FPW may be a short-term alternative in the castor bean and sunflower crops.

  12. Livestock induces strong spatial heterogeneity of soil CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions within a semi-arid sylvo-pastoral landscape in West Africa

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mohamed H ASSOUMA; Dominique SER(C)A; Frédéric GU(E)RIN; Vincent BLANFORT; Philippe LECOMTE; Ibra TOUR(E); Alexandre ICKOWICZ

    2017-01-01

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the surface soils and surface water receiving animal excreta may be important components of the GHG balance of terrestrial ecosystems,but the associated processes are poorly documented in tropical environments,especially in tropical arid and semi-arid areas.A typical sylvo-pastoral landscape in the semi-arid zone of Senegal,West Africa,was investigated in this study.The study area (706 km2 of managed pastoral land) was a circular zone with a radius of 15 km centered on a borehole used to water livestock.The landscape supports a stocking rate ranging from 0.11 to 0.39 tropical livestock units per hectare depending on the seasonal movements of the livestock.Six landscape units were investigated (land in the vicinity of the borehole,natural ponds,natural rangelands,forest plantations,settlements,and enclosed plots).Carbon dioxide (CO2),nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) fluxes were measured with static chambers set up at 13 sites covering the six landscape units,and the 13 sites are assumed to be representative of the spatial heterogeneity of the emissions.A total of 216 fluxes were measured during the one-year study period (May 2014 to April 2015).At the landscape level,soits and surface water emitted an average 19.8 t C-CO2 eq/(hm2·a) (CO2:82%,N2O:15%,and CH4:3%),but detailed results revealed notable spatial heterogeneity of GHG emissions.CO2 fluxes ranged from 1148.2 (±91.6) mg/(m2·d) in rangelands to 97,980.2 (±14,861.7) mg/(m2·d) in surface water in the vicinity of the borehole.N2O fluxes ranged from 0.6 (±0.1) mg/(m2·d) in forest plantations to 22.6 (±10.8) mg/(m2·d) in the vicinity of the borehole.CH4 fluxes ranged from-3.2 (±0.3) mg/(m2·d) in forest plantations to 8788.5 (±2295.9) mg/(m2·d) from surface water in the vicinity of the borehole.This study identified GHG emission "hot spots" in the landscape.Emissions from the surface soilts were significantly higher in the landscape units most frequently

  13. Water use efficiency and crop water balance of rainfed wheat in a semi-arid environment: sensitivity of future changes to projected climate changes and soil type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yanmin; Liu, De Li; Anwar, Muhuddin Rajin; O'Leary, Garry; Macadam, Ian; Yang, Yonghui

    2016-02-01

    Wheat production is expected to be affected by climate change through changing components of the crop water balance such as rainfall, evapotranspiration (ET), runoff and drainage. We used the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM)-wheat model to simulate the potential impact of climate change on field water balance, ET and water use efficiency (WUE) under the SRES A2 emissions scenario. We ran APSIM with daily climate data statistically downscaled from 18 Global Circulation Models (GCMs). Twelve soil types of varying plant available water holding capacity (PAWC) at six sites across semi-arid southeastern Australia were considered. Biases in the GCM-simulated climate data were bias-corrected against observations for the 1961-1999 baseline period. However, biases in the APSIM output data relative to APSIM simulations forced with climate observations remained. A secondary bias correction was therefore performed on the APSIM outputs. Bias-corrected APSIM outputs for a future period (2021-2040) were compared with APSIM outputs generated using observations for the baseline period to obtain future changes. The results show that effective rainfall was decreased over all sites due to decreased growing season rainfall. ET was decreased through reduced soil evaporation and crop transpiration. There were no significant changes in runoff at any site. The variation in deep drainage between sites was much greater than for runoff, ranging from less than a few millimetres at the drier sites to over 100 mm at the wetter. However, in general, the averaged drainage over different soil types were not significantly different between the baseline (1961-1999) and future period of 2021-2040 ( P > 0.05). For the wetter sites, the variations in the future changes in drainage and runoff between the 18 GCMs were larger than those of the drier sites. At the dry sites, the variation in drainage decreased as PAWC increased. Overall, water use efficiency based on transpiration (WUE

  14. Community Characteristics and Leaf Stoichiometric Traits of Desert Ecosystems Regulated by Precipitation and Soil in an Arid Area of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Tianyu; Zhou, Jihua; Cai, Wentao; Gao, Nannan; Du, Hui; Jiang, Lianhe; Lai, Liming; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation is a key environmental factor determining plant community structure and function. Knowledge of how community characteristics and leaf stoichiometric traits respond to variation in precipitation is crucial for assessing the effects of global changes on terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we measured community characteristics, leaf stoichiometric traits, and soil properties along a precipitation gradient (35–209 mm) in a desert ecosystem of Northwest China to explore the drivers of these factors. With increasing precipitation, species richness, aboveground biomass, community coverage, foliage projective cover (FPC), and leaf area index (LAI) all significantly increased, while community height decreased. The hyperarid desert plants were characterized by lower leaf carbon (C) and nitrogen/phosphorus (N/P) levels, and stable N and P, and these parameters did not change significantly with precipitation. The growth of desert plants was limited more by N than P. Soil properties, rather than precipitation, were the main drivers of desert plant leaf stoichiometric traits, whereas precipitation made the biggest contribution to vegetation structure and function. These results test the importance of precipitation in regulating plant community structure and composition together with soil properties, and provide further insights into the adaptive strategy of communities at regional scale in response to global climate change. PMID:29320458

  15. Community Characteristics and Leaf Stoichiometric Traits of Desert Ecosystems Regulated by Precipitation and Soil in an Arid Area of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaolong; Guan, Tianyu; Zhou, Jihua; Cai, Wentao; Gao, Nannan; Du, Hui; Jiang, Lianhe; Lai, Liming; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2018-01-10

    Precipitation is a key environmental factor determining plant community structure and function. Knowledge of how community characteristics and leaf stoichiometric traits respond to variation in precipitation is crucial for assessing the effects of global changes on terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we measured community characteristics, leaf stoichiometric traits, and soil properties along a precipitation gradient (35-209 mm) in a desert ecosystem of Northwest China to explore the drivers of these factors. With increasing precipitation, species richness, aboveground biomass, community coverage, foliage projective cover (FPC), and leaf area index (LAI) all significantly increased, while community height decreased. The hyperarid desert plants were characterized by lower leaf carbon (C) and nitrogen/phosphorus (N/P) levels, and stable N and P, and these parameters did not change significantly with precipitation. The growth of desert plants was limited more by N than P. Soil properties, rather than precipitation, were the main drivers of desert plant leaf stoichiometric traits, whereas precipitation made the biggest contribution to vegetation structure and function. These results test the importance of precipitation in regulating plant community structure and composition together with soil properties, and provide further insights into the adaptive strategy of communities at regional scale in response to global climate change.

  16. Are Rainfall and Temperature Really Changing? Farmer’s Perceptions, Meteorological Data, and Policy Implications in the Tanzanian Semi-Arid Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Msafiri Y. Mkonda

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Although various climate models, statistical crop models and economic simulations have been established to determine the level of farmers’ vulnerability, there has been little systematic assessment of farmers’ perception towards climate change in association with meteorological analyses and policy implications in Tanzania. The results from this assessment will enhance the formation of robust policies that improve resilient livelihoods and the capacity to adapt to climate change and variability. This paper seeks to (i reveal the farmers’ perception on variation, change of rainfall, and temperature in the Tanzanian semi-arid area; (ii depict meteorological evidence for the perceived rainfall and temperature changes; (iii assess the policy perception and responses for the changing climate; and (iv discuss the correlation between farmers’ perception and meteorological data. Household surveys, informative interviews and discussions were employed during data collection. The Mann-Kendall Test and SPSS (version 20 were used for climate data analyses, while qualitative data were thematically analyzed. The results showed that from 1980 to 2015 the mean annual rainfall decreased ( R2 = 0.21 while temperature increased (R2 = 0.30. Even though majority farmers agreed with these results, they had not yet taken serious measures to curb the situation. Besides, Agricultural Policy has lightly addressed and enforced the implementations of adaptation strategies to reduce climate impacts and vulnerability. Thereby, creation of awareness and intensification of climate adaptation strategies is needed at both farm and policy level.

  17. Effects of Straw Return in Deep Soils with Urea Addition on the Soil Organic Carbon Fractions in a Semi-Arid Temperate Cornfield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Hongtao; Ye, Xuhong; Li, Jiaqi; Lu, Jia; Fan, Qingfeng; Yu, Na; Zhang, Yuling; Dang, Xiuli; Zhang, Yulong

    2016-01-01

    Returning straw to deep soil layers by using a deep-ditching-ridge-ploughing method is an innovative management practice that improves soil quality by increasing the soil organic carbon (SOC) content. However, the optimum quantity of straw return has not been determined. To solve this practical production problem, the following treatments with different amounts of corn straw were investigated: no straw return, CK; 400 kg ha-1 straw, S400; 800 kg ha-1 straw, S800; 1200 kg ha-1 straw, S1200; and 1600 kg ha-1 straw, S1600. After straw was returned to the soil for two years, the microbial biomass C (MBC), easily oxidized organic C (EOC), dissolved organic C (DOC) and light fraction organic C (LFOC) content were measured at three soil depths (0-10, 10-20, and 20-40 cm). The results showed that the combined application of 800 kg ha-1 straw significantly increased the EOC, MBC, and LFOC contents and was a suitable agricultural practice for this region. Moreover, our results demonstrated that returning straw to deep soil layers was effective for increasing the SOC content.

  18. Implications of meltwater pulse events for soil biology and biogeochemical cycling in a polar desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Becky A. Ball

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The McMurdo Dry Valleys are one of the most arid environments on Earth. Over the soil landscape for the majority of the year, biological and ecosystem processes in the dry valleys are constrained by the low temperatures and limited availability of water. The prevalence of these physical limitations in controlling biological and ecosystem processes makes the dry valleys a climate-sensitive system, poised to experience substantial changes following projected future warming. Short-duration increases in summer temperatures are associated with pulses of water from melting ice reserves, including glaciers, snow and permafrost. Such pulses alter soil geochemistry by mobilizing and redistributing soil salts (via enhanced weathering, solubility and mobility, which can alter habitat suitability for soil organisms. Resulting changes in soil community composition or distribution may alter the biogeochemical processes in which they take part. Here, we review the potential impacts of meltwater pulses and present new field data documenting instances of meltwater pulse events that result from different water sources and hydrological patterns, and discuss their potential influence on soil biology and biogeochemistry. We use these examples to discuss the potential impacts of future climate change on the McMurdo Dry Valley soil ecosystem.

  19. 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

  20. Sensitivity of mountain ecosystems to human-accelerated soil erosion. Contrasting geomorphic response between tropical and semi-arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanacker, Veerle; Bellin, Nicolas; Schoonejans, Jerome; Molina, Armando; Kubik, Peter W.

    2014-05-01

    Human-induced land cover changes are causing important adverse effects on the ecological services rendered by mountain ecosystems, and the number of case-studies of the impact of humans on soil erosion and sediment yield has mounted rapidly. A modelling framework that is specifically adapted to mountain environments is currently lacking. Most studies make use of general river basin models that were originally parameterized and calibrated for temperate, low relief landscapes. Transposing these modelling concepts directly to steep environments with shallow and stony soils often leads to unrealistic model predictions, as model input parameters are rarely calibrated for the range of environmental conditions found in mountain regions. Here, we present a conceptual model that evaluates erosion regulation as a function of human disturbances in vegetation cover. The basic idea behind this model is that soil erosion mechanisms are independent of human impact, but that the frequency-magnitude distributions of erosion rates change as a response to human disturbances. Pre-disturbance (or natural) erosion rates are derived from in-situ produced 10Be concentrations in river sediment, while post-disturbance (or modern) erosion rates are derived from sedimentation rates in small catchments. In its simplicity, the model uses vegetation cover change as a proxy of human disturbance in a given vegetation system. The model is then calibrated with field measurements from two mountainous sites with strongly different vegetation dynamics, climatic and geological settings: the Tropical Andes, and the Spanish Betic Cordillera. Natural erosion processes are important in mountainous sites, and natural erosion benchmarks are primordial to assess human-induced changes in erosion rates. While the Spanish Betic Cordillera is commonly characterized as a degraded landscape, there is no significant change in erosion due to human disturbance for uncultivated sites. The opposite is true for the

  1. Geochemical background of zinc, cadmium and mercury in anthropically influenced soils in a semi-arid zone (SE, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Lorenzo, M. L.; Pérez-Sirvent, C.; Martínez-Sánchez, M. J.; Molina, J.; Tudela, M. L.; Hernández-Córdoba, M.

    2009-04-01

    This work seeks to establish the geochemical background for three potentially toxic trace elements (Zn, Cd and Hg) in a pilot zone included in the DesertNet project in the province of Murcia. The studied area, known as Campo de Cartagena, Murcia (SE Spain) is an area of intensive agriculture and has been much affected over the years by anthropic activity. The zone can be considered an experimental pilot zone for establishing background levels in agricultural soils. Sixty four samples were collected and corresponded to areas subjected to high and similar agricultural activity or soils with natural vegetation, which correspond to abandoned agricultural areas. The Zn content was determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The Cd content was determined by electrothermal atomization atomic absorption spectrometry and mercury content was determined by atomic fluorescence spectrometry. Geostatistical analysis consisting of kriging and mapping was performed using the geostatistical analyst extension of ArcGIS 8.3. Zinc values ranged from 10 mg kg-1 to 151 mg kg-1, with an average value of 45 mg kg-1. Cadmium values ranged between 0.1 mg kg-1 and 0.9mg kg-1, with a mean value of 0.3 mg kg-1 and mercury values ranged from 0.1 mg kg-1 to 2.3 mg kg-1, with a mean value of 0.5 mg kg-1. At a national level, the Spanish Royal Decree 9/2005 proposes toxicological and statistical approaches to establish background values. According to the statistical approach, background values consist of the median value for the selected element. The background values for Zn, Cd and Hg in the studied area were 40 mg kg-1 for Zn, 0.3 mg kg-1 for Cd and 0.4 mg kg-1 for Hg.

  2. Carbon exchange in biological soil crust communities under differential temperatures and soil water contents: implications for global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grote, Edmund E.; Belnap, Jayne; Housman, David C.; Sparks, Jed P.

    2010-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are an integral part of the soil system in arid regions worldwide, stabilizing soil surfaces, aiding vascular plant establishment, and are significant sources of ecosystem nitrogen and carbon. Hydration and temperature primarily control ecosystem CO2 flux in these systems. Using constructed mesocosms for incubations under controlled laboratory conditions, we examined the effect of temperature (5-35 1C) and water content (WC, 20-100%) on CO2 exchange in light cyanobacterially dominated) and dark cyanobacteria/lichen and moss dominated) biocrusts of the cool Colorado Plateau Desert in Utah and the hot Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico. In light crusts from both Utah and New Mexico, net photosynthesis was highest at temperatures 430 1C. Net photosynthesis in light crusts from Utah was relatively insensitive to changes in soil moisture. In contrast, light crusts from New Mexico tended to exhibit higher rates of net photosynthesis at higher soil moisture. Dark crusts originating from both sites exhibited the greatest net photosynthesis at intermediate soil water content (40-60%). Declines in net photosynthesis were observed in dark crusts with crusts from Utah showing declines at temperatures 425 1C and those originating from New Mexico showing declines at temperatures 435 1C. Maximum net photosynthesis in all crust types from all locations were strongly influenced by offsets in the optimal temperature and water content for gross photosynthesis compared with dark respiration. Gross photosynthesis tended to be maximized at some intermediate value of temperature and water content and dark respiration tended to increase linearly. The results of this study suggest biocrusts are capable of CO2 exchange under a wide range of conditions. However, significant changes in the magnitude of this exchange should be expected for the temperature and precipitation changes suggested by current climate models.

  3. Heavy metal distribution in soils near Palapye, Botswana: An evaluation of the environmental impact of coal mining and combustion on soils in a semi-arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, M.; Totolo, O.; Modisi, M.P.; Finkelman, R.B.; Kelesitse, S.M.; Menyatso, M.

    2009-01-01

    Morupule Colliery near Palapye in eastern Botswana is the only coalmine in production in Botswana at present. Its coal is mainly used in the nearby coal-fired Morupule Power Station, which generates approximately 1,000 GWh of electricity per annum. After more than 30 years mining and more than 20 years of combustion, the sedimentation of outlet fly ash from the Morupule Power Station has increased concentrations of Cr, Ni, Zn and As by 13, 2.5, 16 and 5 ppm, respectively, in the fine portion (<53 ??m) of surface soils for approximately 9 km downwind. Elements that have higher concentrations in coal have stronger small-particle association during coal combustion and are less mobile in surface soils, thus showing stronger contaminations in surface soils around the coal-fired plant. Although the degree of contamination of Cr, Ni, Zn and As from coal combustion in the Palapye area at present is low, it is necessary to monitor concentrations of these elements in surface soils routinely in the future. This study also reveals moderate Pb and Zn contaminations in the Palapye area. The former is due to the use of leaded petroleum in motor vehicle traffic and the latter is mainly due to the use of galvanized iron sheets in construction. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  4. Groundwater–surface water interactions, vegetation dependencies and implications for water resources management in the semi-arid Hailiutu River catchment, China – a synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Zhou

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available During the last decades, large-scale land use changes took place in the Hailiutu River catchment, a semi-arid area in northwest China. These changes had significant impacts on the water resources in the area. Insights into groundwater and surface water interactions and vegetation-water dependencies help to understand these impacts and formulate sustainable water resources management policies. In this study, groundwater and surface water interactions were identified using the baseflow index at the catchment scale, and hydraulic and water temperature methods as well as event hydrograph separation techniques at the sub-catchment scale. The results show that almost 90% of the river discharge consists of groundwater. Vegetation dependencies on groundwater were analysed from the relationship between the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and groundwater depth at the catchment scale and along an ecohydrogeological cross-section, and by measuring the sap flow of different plants, soil water contents and groundwater levels at different research sites. The results show that all vegetation types, i.e. trees (willow (Salix matsudana and poplar (Populus simonii, bushes (salix – Salix psammophila, and agricultural crops (maize – Zea mays, depend largely on groundwater as the source for transpiration. The comparative analysis indicates that maize crops use the largest amount of water, followed by poplar trees, salix bushes, and willow trees. For sustainable water use with the objective of satisfying the water demand for socio-economical development and to prevent desertification and ecological impacts on streams, more water-use-efficient crops such as sorghum, barley or millet should be promoted to reduce the consumptive water use. Willow trees should be used as wind-breaks in croplands and along roads, and drought-resistant and less water-use intensive plants (for instance native bushes should be used to vegetate sand dunes.

  5. Concentration and distributions of the natural radioactives elements in tropical and semi-arid soils, Fazenda Bela Vista-Bahia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azevedo, A.M.R. de.

    1975-01-01

    U, th and K concentrations were determinated on 239 samples collected from a grid of 3 km 3 in a part of the Bela Vista Farm, Jaguarari County, Bahia. The samples are mainly surface soils and rocks, but includes a few ones from trenches as well. This area consist of metamorphic rocks of granulitic facies, pait of the precambrian migmatitic complex of Bahia, with banded gneisses, pyroxenites and amphibolites. Since the area studied is closer to a cupriferous district, in addition to the radioactive elements determined by gamma-ray spectrometry, the samples were also analysed for copper and nickel content by flame atomic absorption in order to abtain complementary geochemical information. Correlation between elements as well as with local geology studied and its was found that: a) except for uranium, the isoconcentration for all elements were aproximately parallel to the geological structure and geophysical anomaly. b) potassium showed an irregular distribution. c) uranium concentration were in general very low. d) The U/Th ratios were very high. Indicating a probable low geochemical evolution. e) The concentration found for C, Ni and Th were closer to average concentrations of intermediate igneous rocks than those of basic and ultra basic rocks. (C.D.G.) [pt

  6. Rainfall events and soil moisture deviations as detected by operational ASCAT soil moisture data: case study in semi-arid regions of Somalia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doubkova, M.; Bartsch, A.; Wagner, W.

    2009-04-01

    Large and widely dispersed populations in Somalia depend on pastoralism and on rainfed and irrigated farming. Droughts and floods that have plagued the country in the course of its history were critical for the herders and farmers and have often initiated long-lasting food crises. Recently, the Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) has initiated collaborative activities to identify and quantify the physical causes of drought for better understanding of this phenomenon and better addressing the humanitarian aid in Somalia. The soil moisture was identified as one of the parameter that may improve the drought assessment studies in Somalia. The poor accessibility and long-lasting conflicts in Somalia region caused periods of missing values in the meteorological networks that complicate or disable further weather analyses. In this study, a comparison of operational available spatial soil moisture dataset from active microwave sensor with 50 km spatial resolution - ASCAT scatterometer - with existing in-situ rainfall data is performed. The ASCAT data are processed at the Vienna University of Technology (TU WIEN), and recently became operationally available via EUMETCAST. Together with its predecessor - ERS 1/2 - the ASCAT/ERS scatterometers embrace period of 1992 until recent with existing gap over Somalia (2001-2007). The rainfall data were provided by the SWALIM organization. The focus is brought on the ability of the ASCAT scatterometer to detect first rains in the season that dictate the schedule of agricultural activities from land preparation, crop variety to selection to planting. Further, the ability to detect moisture deviations with coarse resolution soil moisture data is studied. The remote sensing data are especially important for countries like Somalia with the poor field accessibility. The improved understanding of the soil moisture data from active microwave sensor may help in interpolating data from existing in-situ networks both

  7. Arid Zone Hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arid zone hydrology encompasses a wide range of topics and hydro-meteorological and ecological characteristics. Although arid and semi-arid watersheds perform the same functions as those in humid environments, their hydrology and sediment transport characteristics cannot be readily predicted by inf...

  8. Stability measures in arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosshi, M. I.; Brunsell, N. A.; Koerner, S.

    2015-12-01

    Stability, the capacity of ecosystems to persist in the face of change, has proven its relevance as a fundamental component of ecological theory. Here, we would like to explore meaningful and quantifiable metrics to define stability, with a focus on highly variable arid and semi-arid savanna ecosystems. Recognizing the importance of a characteristic timescale to any definition of stability, our metrics will be focused scales from annual to multi-annual, capturing different aspects of stability. Our three measures of stability, in increasing order of temporal scale, are: (1) Ecosystem resistance, quantified as the degree to which the system maintains its mean state in response to a perturbation (drought), based on inter-annual variability in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). (2) An optimization approach, relevant to arid systems with pulse dynamics, that models vegetation structure and function based on a trade off between the ability to respond to resource availability and avoid stress. (3) Community resilience, measured as species turnover rate (β diversity). Understanding the nature of stability in structurally-diverse arid ecosystems, which are highly variable, yields theoretical insight which has practical implications.

  9. Mycostimulation in a glyphosate treated arable soil: implications on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    ABSTRACT: The use of pesticide, although increases agricultural yield and improves public health is also fraught ... mycostimulation of one of the in-situ soil fungi on some agronomic .... and Struwe, 2002) that are vital for degradation of.

  10. Chemodynamics of chromium reduction in soils: Implications to bioavailability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choppala, Girish [Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, Building-X, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, South Australia 5095 (Australia); Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment, PO Box 486, Salisbury, South Australia 5106 (Australia); Bolan, Nanthi, E-mail: Nanthi.Bolan@unisa.edu.au [Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, Building-X, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, South Australia 5095 (Australia); Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment, PO Box 486, Salisbury, South Australia 5106 (Australia); Seshadri, Balaji [Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, Building-X, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, South Australia 5095 (Australia); Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment, PO Box 486, Salisbury, South Australia 5106 (Australia)

    2013-10-15

    Highlights: • Examined the effects of sorption, pH and C sources on Cr(VI) reduction and toxicity. • The rate of Cr(VI) reduction decreased with an increase in Cr(VI) adsorption and pH. • The proton dynamics in Cr(VI) reduction was assessed in relation to remediation. • A novel black carbon showed the highest reduction rate of Cr(VI) in soils. • Black carbon decreased the bioavailability and phytotoxicity of Cr(VI) in soils. -- Abstract: Chromium toxicity in soils can be mitigated by reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) which is influenced by the presence of free Cr(VI) species in soil solution, and the supply of protons and electrons. In this study, the effects of Cr(VI) adsorption (i.e. availability of free Cr(VI) species in soil solution), soil pH (i.e. supply of protons) and three electron donor carbon sources [black carbon (BC), chicken manure biochar (CMB) and cow manure (CM)] on the reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in soils were investigated. The results indicated that the rate of Cr(VI) reduction decreased with an increase in Cr(VI) adsorption and soil pH, which is attributed to decreased supply of free Cr(VI) ions and protons, respectively. Among the three different amendments tested, BC showed the highest rate of Cr(VI) reduction followed by CM and CMB. Furthermore, addition of BC, CM and CMB decreased the bioavailability of Cr(VI) in contaminated soils. The high efficiency of BC on Cr(VI) reduction was due to the electron donor's functional groups such as phenolic, hydroxyl, carbonyl and amides. The study demonstrated that free form of Cr(VI) ions in soil solution and carbon amendments enriched with acidic functional groups favored the reduction of Cr(VI), thereby mitigating its bioavailability and toxicity in contaminated soils.

  11. Disturbance of Soil Organic Matter and Nitrogen Dynamics: Implications for Soil and Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-06-30

    Elliott, E.T., 1992. Particulate soil organic- matter changes across a grassland cultivation sequence. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 56, 777–783. Dale, V.H...C.A., Elliott, E.T., 1992. Particulate soil organic-matter changes across a grassland cultivation sequence. Soil Science Society of America Journal...1645-1650. Van Straalen, N.M. 1997. How to measure no effect. 2. Threshold effects in ecotoxicology . Environmetrics 8: 249-253. Verburg, P.S.J

  12. Improvement in remote sensing of low vegetation cover in arid regions by correcting vegetation indices for soil ''noise''; Etude des propriétés spectrales des sols arides appliquée à l'amélioration des indices de végétation obtenus par télédétection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Escadafal, R. [Institut Francais de Recherche Scientifique pour le Developpement en Cooperation, Bondy (France); Huete, A.

    1991-05-23

    The variations of near-infrared red reflectance ratios of ten aridic soil samples were correlated with a ''redness index'' computed from red and green spectral bands. These variations have been shown to limit the performances of vegetation indices (NDVI and SAVI) in discriminating low vegetation covers. The redness index is used to adjust for this ''soil noise''. Dala simulated for vegetation densities of 5 to 15% cover showed that the sensitivity of the corrected vegetation indices was significantly improved. Specifically, the ''noise-corrected'' SAVI was able to assess vegetation amounts with an error four times smaller than the uncorrected NDVI. These promising results should lead to a significant improvement in assessing biomass in arid lands from remotely sensed data. (author) [French] Les variations du rapport de la réflectance dans les bandes rouge et infrarouge sont mises en relation avec un (( indice de coloration )) pouf une série de dix sols arides. Ces variations gZnent fortement la détection des faibles taux de couvert végétal avec les indices de végétation (NDVI et SAVI) calculés à partir de ces deux bandes. Il est proposé d’utiliser l’indice de coloration comme facteur de correction de ce (( bruit )) dû au sol. Une simulation de la reflectance des sols avec une couverture végétale variant de O à 15 % en évidence un doublement de la sensibilité des indices de végétation ainsi corrigés. En particulier, le SAVI corrigé permet d’estimer le taux de végétation avec une erreur quatre fois inférieure à celle du NDVI non corrigé. Ces premiers résultats devraient conduire à une amélioration sensible de la mesure de la biomasse végétale des régions arides par télédétection. (author)

  13. Biological soil crusts exhibit a dynamic response to seasonal rain and release from grazing with implications for soil stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, Aguilar A.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Belnap, J.; Smart, D.R.; Arredondo, Moreno J.T.

    2009-01-01

    In Northern Mexico, long-term grazing has substantially degraded semiarid landscapes. In semiarid systems, ecological and hydrological processes are strongly coupled by patchy plant distribution and biological soil crust (BSC) cover in plant-free interspaces. In this study, we asked: 1) how responsive are BSC cover/composition to a drying/wetting cycle and two-year grazing removal, and 2) what are the implications for soil erosion? We characterized BSC morphotypes and their influence on soil stability under grazed/non-grazed conditions during a dry and wet season. Light- and dark-colored cyanobacteria were dominant at the plant tussock and community level. Cover changes in these two groups differed after a rainy season and in response to grazing removal. Lichens with continuous thalli were more vulnerable to grazing than those with semi-continuous/discontinuous thalli after the dry season. Microsites around tussocks facilitated BSC colonization compared to interspaces. Lichen and cyanobacteria morphotypes differentially enhanced resistance to soil erosion; consequently, surface soil stability depends on the spatial distribution of BSC morphotypes, suggesting soil stability may be as dynamic as changes in the type of BSC cover. Longer-term spatially detailed studies are necessary to elicit spatiotemporal dynamics of BSC communities and their functional role in biotically and abiotically variable environments. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  14. The effectiveness of arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungi and Aspergillus niger or Phanerochaete chrysosporium treated organic amendments from olive residues upon plant growth in a semi-arid degraded soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, A; Roldán, A; Azcón, R

    2010-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and a residue from dry olive cake (DOC) supplemented with rock phosphate (RP) and treated with either Aspergillus niger (DOC-A) or Phanerochaete chrysosporium (DOC-P), were assayed in a natural, semi-arid soil using Trifolium repens or Dorycnium pentaphyllum plants. The effects of the AM fungi and/or DOC-A were compared with P-fertilisation (P) over eleven successive harvests to evaluate the persistence of the effectiveness of the treatments. The biomass of dually-treated plants after four successive harvests was greater than that obtained for non-treated plants or those receiving the AM inoculum or DOC-A treatments after eleven yields. The AM inoculation was critical for obtaining plant growth benefit from the application of fermented DOC-A residue. The abilities of the treatments to prevent plant drought stress were also assayed. Drought-alleviating effects were evaluated in terms of plant growth, proline and total sugars concentration under alternative drought and re-watering conditions (8th and 9th harvests). The concentrations of both compounds in plant biomass increased under drought when DOC-A amendment and AM inoculation were employed together: they reinforced the plant drought-avoidance capabilities and anti-oxidative defence. Water stress was less compensated in P-fertilised than in DOC-A-treated plants. DOC-P increased D. pentaphyllum biomass, shoot P content, nodule number and AM colonisation, indicating the greater DOC-transforming ability of P. chrysosporium compared to A. niger. The lack of AM colonisation and nodulation in this soil was compensated by the application of DOC-P, particularly with AM inoculum. The management of natural resources (organic amendments and soil microorganisms) represents an important strategy that assured the growth, nutrition and plant establishment in arid, degraded soils, preventing the damage that arises from limited water and nutrient supply. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  15. Research-Based Learning for Undergraduate Students in Soil and Water Sciences: A Case Study of Hydropedology in an Arid-Zone Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Maktoumi, Ali; Al-Ismaily, Said; Kacimov, Anvar

    2016-01-01

    This article reports the efficacy of a research-based learning (RBL) exercise on hydropedology of arid zones, with guided and open research projects (OPR) carried out by teams of undergraduate students in Oman. A range of activities and assessments was used to support student learning during the three-month course. Assessment included monitoring…

  16. Fuel consumption of tractor for different soil types in semi-arid regions; Consumo de combustivel de um trator agricola para diferentes tipos de solo em regioes semi-aridas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montanha, Gustavo K. [Universidade Estadual Paulista (FAC/UNESP), Botucatu, SP (Brazil). Fac. de Ciencias Agronomicas. Dept. de Engenharia Rural], E-mail: gmontanha@fca.unesp.br; Guerra, Saulo P.S. [Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Botucatu, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Gestao e Tecnologia Agroindustrial; Andrade-Sanchez, Pedro; Heun, John [The University of Arizona, Maricopa, AZ (United States); Monteiro, Leonardo A. [The University of Arizona (MAC/UA), Maricopa, AZ (United States). Maricopa Agricultural Center

    2010-07-01

    The appropriate use of agricultural machinery enables greater operational efficiency and higher productivity for the farmer. Some factors such as soil type can influence the fuel consumption, one of the biggest costs. This study aimed to compare the fuel consumption of a tractor operating in two different conditions of soil in semi-arid regions. The area used for testing is located in the city of Maricopa, in Arizona, belonging to 'The University of Arizona'. The area 1 is classified as sandy clay loam soil (52% sand, 35% clay, 13% silt). The area 2 is classified as a sandy loam soil (71% sand, 12% clay and 17% silt). The tractor 4 x 2 TDA, with 88 kw (120 hp) engine power equipped with auto pilot system and an implement for tillage were used in the experiment. A data acquisition system was installed in the tractor to collect the data generated by the GPS and fuel consumption sensor. The results showed significant statistical difference in fuel consumption between soil textures. (author)

  17. Mixed contaminant interactions in soil: Implications for bioavailability ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    Liu H, Zhang D, Li M, Tong L, Feng L (2013b). Competitive adsorption and transport of phthalate esters in the clay layer of JiangHan plain,. China. Chemosphere 92(11):1542-1549. Loffredo E, Senesi N (2006). Fate of anthropogenic organic pollutants in soils with emphasis on adsorption/desorption processes of endocrine.

  18. Implications and application of the Raats superclass of soils equations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heinen, Marius; Bakker, Gerben

    2016-01-01

    According to the Richards equation, the capacity of a soil to hold and conduct water is determined by the water retention and hydraulic conductivity characteristics. Many mathematical relationships have been proposed in the literature to describe these characteristics. Raats introduced a general

  19. Implications of market access on soil and water conservation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Market access is one of the motivating mechanisms for farmers to invest in soil and water conservation (SWC). Areas of relatively high agricultural potential but remote from major markets face numerous challenges in marketing their outputs. The objective of this study was to explore the market access determinants of farmer ...

  20. Mycostimulation in a glyphosate treated arable soil: implications on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    ABSTRACT: The use of pesticide, although increases agricultural yield and improves public health is also fraught with a number of ecologic, agronomic and health concerns. This research investigated the impact of an ex-situ mycostimulation of one of the in-situ soil fungi on some agronomic characters and yield of Talinum ...

  1. Don’t bust the biological soil crust: Preserving and restoring an important desert resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sue Miller; Steve Warren; Larry St. Clair

    2017-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are a complex of microscopic organisms growing on the soil surface in many arid and semi-arid ecosystems. These crusts perform the important role of stabilizing soil and reducing or eliminating water and wind erosion. One of the largest threats to biological soil crusts in the arid and semi-arid areas of the western United States is mechanical...

  2. A disconnect between O horizon and mineral soil carbon - Implications for soil C sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garten, Charles T., Jr.

    2009-03-01

    Changing inputs of carbon to soil is one means of potentially increasing carbon sequestration in soils for the purpose of mitigating projected increases in atmospheric CO 2 concentrations. The effect of manipulations of aboveground carbon input on soil carbon storage was tested in a temperate, deciduous forest in east Tennessee, USA. A 4.5-year experiment included exclusion of aboveground litterfall and supplemental litter additions (three times ambient) in an upland and a valley that differed in soil nitrogen availability. The estimated decomposition rate of the carbon stock in the O horizon was greater in the valley than in the upland due to higher litter quality (i.e., lower C/N ratios). Short-term litter exclusion or addition had no effect on carbon stock in the mineral soil, measured to a depth of 30 cm, or the partitioning of carbon in the mineral soil between particulate- and mineral-associated organic matter. A two-compartment model was used to interpret results from the field experiments. Field data and a sensitivity analysis of the model were consistent with little carbon transfer between the O horizon and the mineral soil. Increasing aboveground carbon input does not appear to be an effective means of promoting carbon sequestration in forest soil at the location of the present study because a disconnect exists in carbon dynamics between O horizon and mineral soil. Factors that directly increase inputs to belowground soil carbon, via roots, or reduce decomposition rates of organic matter are more likely to benefit efforts to increase carbon sequestration in forests where carbon dynamics in the O horizon are uncoupled from the mineral soil.

  3. The variations of aluminium species in mountainous forest soils and its implications to soil acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradová, Monika; Tejnecký, Václav; Borůvka, Luboš; Němeček, Karel; Ash, Christopher; Šebek, Ondřej; Svoboda, Miroslav; Zenáhlíková, Jitka; Drábek, Ondřej

    2015-11-01

    Aluminium (Al) speciation is a characteristic that can be used as a tool for describing the soil acidification process. The question that was answered is how tree species (beech vs spruce) and type of soil horizon affect Al speciation. Our hypotesis is that spruce and beech forest vegetation are able to modify the chemical characteristics of organic horizon, hence the content of Al species. Moreover, these characteristics are seasonally dependent. To answer these questions, a detailed chromatographic speciation of Al in forest soils under contrasting tree species was performed. The Jizera Mountains area (Czech Republic) was chosen as a representative mountainous soil ecosystem. A basic forestry survey was performed on the investigated area. Soil and precipitation samples (throughfall, stemflow) were collected under both beech and spruce stands at monthly intervals from April to November during the years 2008-2011. Total aluminium content and Al speciation, pH, and dissolved organic carbon were determined in aqueous soil extracts and in precipitation samples. We found that the most important factors affecting the chemistry of soils, hence content of the Al species, are soil horizons and vegetation cover. pH strongly affects the amount of Al species under both forests. Fermentation (F) and humified (H) organic horizons contain a higher content of water extractable Al and Al(3+) compared to organo-mineral (A) and mineral horizons (B). With increasing soil profile depth, the amount of water extractable Al, Al(3+) and moisture decreases. The prevailing water-extractable species of Al in all studied soils and profiles under both spruce and beech forests were organically bound monovalent Al species. Distinct seasonal variations in organic and mineral soil horizons were found under both spruce and beech forests. Maximum concentrations of water-extractable Al and Al(3+) were determined in the summer, and the lowest in spring.

  4. Evaporation as the transport mechanism of metals in arid regions

    KAUST Repository

    Lima, Ana T.

    2014-09-01

    Soils of arid regions are exposed to drought and drastic temperature oscillations throughout the year. Transport mechanisms in these soils are therefore very different from the ones in temperate regions, where rain dictates the fate of most elements in soils. Due to the low rainfall and high evaporation rates in arid regions, groundwater quality is not threatened and all soil contamination issues tend to be overlooked. But if soil contamination happens, where do contaminants go? This study tests the hypothesis of upward metal movement in soils when evaporation is the main transport mechanism. Laboratory evaporation tests were carried out with heavy metal spiked Saudi soil, using circulation of air as the driving force (Fig. 1). Main results show that loamy soil retains heavy metals quite well while evaporation drives heavy metals to the surface of a sandy soil. Evaporation transports heavy metals upward in sandy soils of arid regions, making them accumulate at the soil surface. Sand being the dominating type of soil in arid regions, soils can then be a potential source of contaminated aerosols and atmospheric pollution - a transboundary problem. Some other repercussions for this problem are foreseen, such as the public ingestion or inhalation of dust. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Abundant and stable char residues in soils: implications for soil fertility and carbon sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, J-D; Johnson, R L; Lehmann, J; Olk, D C; Neves, E G; Thompson, M L; Schmidt-Rohr, K

    2012-09-04

    Large-scale soil application of biochar may enhance soil fertility, increasing crop production for the growing human population, while also sequestering atmospheric carbon. But reaching these beneficial outcomes requires an understanding of the relationships among biochar's structure, stability, and contribution to soil fertility. Using quantitative (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, we show that Terra Preta soils (fertile anthropogenic dark earths in Amazonia that were enriched with char >800 years ago) consist predominantly of char residues composed of ~6 fused aromatic rings substituted by COO(-) groups that significantly increase the soils' cation-exchange capacity and thus the retention of plant nutrients. We also show that highly productive, grassland-derived soils in the U.S. (Mollisols) contain char (generated by presettlement fires) that is structurally comparable to char in the Terra Preta soils and much more abundant than previously thought (~40-50% of organic C). Our findings indicate that these oxidized char residues represent a particularly stable, abundant, and fertility-enhancing form of soil organic matter.

  6. Sewage sludge fertiliser use: implications for soil and plant copper evolution in forest and agronomic soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreiro-Domínguez, Nuria; Rigueiro-Rodríguez, Antonio; Mosquera-Losada, M Rosa

    2012-05-01

    Fertilisation with sewage sludge may lead to crop toxicity and environmental degradation. This study aims to evaluate the effects of two types of soils (forest and agronomic), two types of vegetation (unsown (coming from soil seed bank) and sown), and two types of fertilisation (sludge fertilisation and mineral fertilisation, with a no fertiliser control) in afforested and treeless swards and in sown and unsown forestlands on the total and available Cu concentration in soil, the leaching of this element and the Cu levels in plant. The experimental design was completely randomised with nine treatments and three replicates. Fertilisation with sewage sludge increased the concentration of Cu in soil and plant, but the soil values never exceeded the maximum set by Spanish regulations. Sewage sludge inputs increased both the total and Mehlich 3 Cu concentrations in agronomic soils and the Cu levels in plant developed in agronomic and forest soils, with this effect pronounced in the unsown swards of forest soils. Therefore, the use of high quality sewage sludge as fertiliser may improve the global productivity of forest, agronomic and silvopastoral systems without creating environmental hazards. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Abundant and stable char residues in soils: Implications for soil fertility and carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Large-scale soil application of biochar might enhance soil fertility and increase crop production, while also sequestering atmospheric carbon. Reaching these outcomes requires an undertanding of the chemical structure of biochar. Using advanced solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy...

  8. Review of progress in soil inorganic carbon research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, S. G.; Jiao, Y.; Yang, W. Z.; Gu, P.; Yang, J.; Liu, L. J.

    2017-12-01

    Soil inorganic carbon is one of the main carbon banks in the near-surface environment, and is the main form of soil carbon library in arid and semi-arid regions, which plays an important role in the global carbon cycle. This paper mainly focuses on the inorganic dynamic process of soil inorganic carbon in soil environment in arid and semi-arid regions, and summarized the composition and source of soil inorganic carbon, influence factors and soil carbon sequestration.

  9. Is annual recharge coefficient a valid concept in arid and semi-arid regions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Cheng

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Deep soil recharge (DSR (at depth greater than 200 cm is an important part of water circulation in arid and semi-arid regions. Quantitative monitoring of DSR is of great importance to assess water resources and to study water balance in arid and semi-arid regions. This study used a typical bare land on the eastern margin of Mu Us Sandy Land in the Ordos Basin of China as an example to illustrate a new lysimeter method of measuring DSR to examine if the annual recharge coefficient is valid or not in the study site, where the annual recharge efficient is the ratio of annual DSR over annual total precipitation. Positioning monitoring was done on precipitation and DSR measurements underneath mobile sand dunes from 2013 to 2015 in the study area. Results showed that use of an annual recharge coefficient for estimating DSR in bare sand land in arid and semi-arid regions is questionable and could lead to considerable errors. It appeared that DSR in those regions was influenced by precipitation pattern and was closely correlated with spontaneous strong precipitation events (with precipitation greater than 10 mm other than the total precipitation. This study showed that as much as 42 % of precipitation in a single strong precipitation event can be transformed into DSR. During the observation period, the maximum annual DSR could make up 24.33 % of the annual precipitation. This study provided a reliable method of estimating DSR in sandy areas of arid and semi-arid regions, which is valuable for managing groundwater resources and ecological restoration in those regions. It also provided strong evidence that the annual recharge coefficient was invalid for calculating DSR in arid and semi-arid regions. This study shows that DSR is closely related to the strong precipitation events, rather than to the average annual precipitation, as well as the precipitation patterns.

  10. Hydropedological interpretation of arid soilscapes, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinnefeld, Martin; Van Tol, Jacobus; Le Roux, Pieter

    2017-04-01

    Hydropedological investigations in arid regions are scarce due to the low the low contribution of these areas to water resources. Infrequent rainfall and few flow events also complicates measurements hydrological studies. Hydropedological studies, relating soil morphological properties and their spatial distribution to hydrological response, have been studied in detail in semi-arid, temperate, and sub-humid regions. In this paper, we investigated the relation between soil morphological properties and selected hydrological properties of soils in an arid landscape. We also studied the spatial distribution of the morphological properties to conceptualise the hydrological behaviour of different soilscapes in the area. A total of 806 soil profiles, covering an area of 4836 ha in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa were described and classified. The geology is dominated by Dwyka tillite overlain by aeolian sands with scattered Dolerite buttes. Thirteen modal profiles, representing the dominant soils types were selected, sampled at horizon level, and analysed for pH, CEC, iron, manganese, carbonate content. In situ measurements of saturated and near saturated (tension) hydraulic conductivity (Ks) were conducted to determine the water conducting macroporosity (WCM). Undisturbed cores were collected on which water retention characteristics were determined under laboratory conditions. Results indicate that dry soil colour, degree of structure development and the presence, absence, and abundance of carbonates as well as the degree of precipitation, are important indicators of hydrological response. For example; grey soils typically have lower Ks with higher storage capacity than soils dominated by red colours, whereas abundant carbonate precipitations in the soil matrix have lower WCM due to clogging of macropores. The dominant soil distribution pattern indicates that rapid vertical flow, through and out of the pedon, might contribute to recharge of an accumulative

  11. Chemistry and Mineralogy of Antarctica Dry Valley Soils: Implications for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, J. E.; Golden, D. C.; Graff, T. G.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Douglas, S.; Kounaves, S. P.; McKay, C. P.; Tamppari, L, K.; Smith, P. H.; hide

    2011-01-01

    The Antarctic Dry Valleys (ADV) comprise the largest ice-free region of Antarctica. Precipitation almost always occurs as snow, relative humidity is frequently low, and mean annual temperatures are about -20 C. The ADV soils have previously been categorized into three soil moisture regimes: subxerous, xerous and ultraxerous, based on elevation and climate influences. The subxerous regime is predominately a coastal zone soil, and has the highest average temperature and precipitation, while the ultraxerous regime occurs at high elevation (>1000 m) and have very low temperature and precipitation. The amounts and types of salts present in the soils vary between regions. The nature, origin and significance of salts in the ADV have been previously investigated. Substantial work has focused on soil formation in the ADVs, however, little work has focused on the mineralogy of secondary alteration phases. The dominant weathering process in the ADV region is physical weathering, however, chemical weathering has been well documented. The objective of this study was to characterize the chemistry and mineralogy, including the alteration mineralogy, of soils from two sites, a subxerous soil in Taylor Valley, and an ultraxerous soil in University Valley. The style of aqueous alteration in the ADVs may have implications for pedogenic processes on Mars.

  12. Evaporation as the transport mechanism of metals in arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lima, A.T.; Safar, Z.; Loch, J.P.G.

    Soils of arid regions are exposed to drought and drastic temperature oscillations throughout the year. Transport mechanisms in these soils are therefore very different from the ones in temperate regions, where rain dictates the fate of most elements in soils. Due to the low rainfall and high

  13. Growth and Nutrient Status of Introduced Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) Afforestation in Arid and Semi Arid Areas of Iran

    OpenAIRE

    Moshki, A.; Lamersdorf, N. P.

    2011-01-01

    Under global climate change it is expected that many arid regions in the world will experience enhanced desertification in the next decades. Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is a one commonly used species for afforestation projects in arid regions of Iran due to its soil rehabilitation capabilities. This study aims to characterize how Robinia growth parameters and nutrient status interacted and were influenced soil properties. The experiment was conducted at three Robinia plantations in...

  14. Clumped Isotope Thermometry Reveals Variations in Soil Carbonate Seasonal Biases Over >4 km of Relief in the Semi-Arid Andes of Central Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgener, L. K.; Huntington, K. W.; Hoke, G. D.; Schauer, A. J.; Ringham, M. C.; Latorre Hidalgo, C.; Díaz, F.

    2015-12-01

    The application of carbonate clumped isotope thermometry to soil carbonates has the potential to shed new light on questions regarding terrestrial paleoclimate. In order to better utilize this paleoclimate tool, outstanding questions regarding seasonal biases in soil carbonate formation and the relationship between soil carbonate formation temperatures (T(Δ47)) and surface temperatures must be resolved. We address these questions by comparing C, O, and clumped isotope data from Holocene/modern soil carbonates to modern meteorological data. The data were collected along a 170 km transect with >4 km of relief in central Chile (~30°S). Previous studies have suggested that soil carbonates should record a warm season bias and form in isotopic equilibrium with soil water and soil CO2. We identify two discrete climate zones separated by the local winter snow line (~3200 m). Below this boundary, precipitation falls as rain and soil carbonate T(Δ47) values at depths >40 cm resemble summer soil temperatures; at higher elevations, precipitation falls as snow and T(Δ47) values resemble mean annual soil temperatures. Soil carbonates from the highest sample site (4700 m), which is devoid of vegetation and located near perennial snow fields, yield anomalous δ18O, δ13C, and T(Δ47) values, indicative of kinetic isotope effects that we attribute to cryogenic carbonate formation. Our results suggest that soil carbonates from depths temperature and precipitation, and should not be used as paleotemperature proxies. These findings (1) highlight the role of soil moisture in modulating soil carbonate formation and the resulting T(Δ47) values, (2) underscore the importance of understanding past soil moisture conditions when attempting to reconstruct paleotemperatures using carbonate clumped isotope thermometry, and (3) suggest that soil carbonates from high elevation or high latitude sites may form under non-equilibrium conditions.

  15. The Hydrologic Implications Of Unique Urban Soil Horizon Sequencing On The Functions Of Passive Green Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuster, W.; Schifman, L. A.; Herrmann, D.

    2017-12-01

    Green infrastructure represents a broad set of site- to landscape-scale practices that can be flexibly implemented to increase sewershed retention capacity, and can thereby improve on the management of water quantity and quality. Although much green infrastructure presents as formal engineered designs, urbanized landscapes with highly-interspersed pervious surfaces (e.g., right-of-way, parks, lawns, vacant land) may offer ecosystem services as passive, infiltrative green infrastructure. Yet, infiltration and drainage processes are regulated by soil surface conditions, and then the layering of subsoil horizons, respectively. Drawing on a unique urban soil taxonomic and hydrologic dataset collected in 12 cities (each city representing a major soil order), we determined how urbanization processes altered the sequence of soil horizons (compared to pre-urbanized reference soil pedons) and modeled the hydrologic implications of these shifts in layering with an unsaturated zone code (HYDRUS2D). We found that the different layering sequences in urbanized soils render different types and extents of supporting (plant-available soil water), provisioning (productive vegetation), and regulating (runoff mitigation) ecosystem services.

  16. Interpretation of environmental isotopic groundwater data. Arid and semi-arid zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geyh, M.A.

    1980-01-01

    Various hydrodynamic aspects are discussed in order to show their implication for the hydrogeological interpretation of environmental isotope and hydrochemical groundwater data. Special attention is drawn to radiocarbon and tritium studies carried out in arid and semi-arid zones. An exponential model has been utilized to determine the mean residence time of the long-term water from springs in karst and crystalline regions. Hydrogeological parameters such as the porosity can be checked by this result. In addition, the exponential model offers the possibility of determining the initial 14 C content of spring water, which is sensitively dependent on the soil of the recharge area. A base-flow model has been introduced to interpret the 14 C and 3 H data of groundwater samples from older karst regions. Differences between pumped and drawn samples exist with respect to the groundwater budget. Owing to pumping, the old base flow is accelerated and becomes enriched in pumped groundwater in comparison to the short-term water. Radiocarbon ages of groundwater in alluvium may be dubious because of isotope exchange with the CO 2 in the root zone along the river bank. Under confined conditions 14 C groundwater ages are diminished if the hydraulic head of the confined aquifer is lower than that of the shallow one. This is due to the radiocarbon downwards transport by convection of shallow groundwater. The same effect occurs, though much faster, if the groundwater table is depleted by groundwater withdrawal. The decrease of the radiocarbon groundwater ages in time can be used to determine the hydraulic transmissibility coefficient of the aquitarde. According to the practical and theoretic results obtained the hydrodynamic aspects require at least the same attention for the interpretation of environmental isotope and hydrochemical data of groundwater as do hydrochemical and isotope fractionation processes. (author)

  17. Plant-available soil water capacity: estimation methods and implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Montoani Silva

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The plant-available water capacity of the soil is defined as the water content between field capacity and wilting point, and has wide practical application in planning the land use. In a representative profile of the Cerrado Oxisol, methods for estimating the wilting point were studied and compared, using a WP4-T psychrometer and Richards chamber for undisturbed and disturbed samples. In addition, the field capacity was estimated by the water content at 6, 10, 33 kPa and by the inflection point of the water retention curve, calculated by the van Genuchten and cubic polynomial models. We found that the field capacity moisture determined at the inflection point was higher than by the other methods, and that even at the inflection point the estimates differed, according to the model used. By the WP4-T psychrometer, the water content was significantly lower found the estimate of the permanent wilting point. We concluded that the estimation of the available water holding capacity is markedly influenced by the estimation methods, which has to be taken into consideration because of the practical importance of this parameter.

  18. Fine-grained quartz OSL dating chronology of loess sequence from southern Tajikistan: Implications for climate change in arid central Asia during MIS 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Leibin; Jia, Jia; Li, Guoqiang; Li, Zaijun; Wang, Xin; Chen, Fahu

    2018-04-01

    The desert and semi-desert region of arid central Asia is one of the most important areas of middle-latitude dust emission and deposition in the Northern Hemisphere. Marine isotope stage 2 (MIS 2) was the latest and one of the most representative intervals of dust emission from the region, and it is especially important for research into processes of dust transportation and deposition. Here, we report the results of an optically stimulated luminescence study of the Hoalin section in southern Tajikistan, which was deposited during MIS 2. The fine-grained quartz single aliquot regeneration (SAR) approach was used and its reliability was verified by internal checks. In addition, grain-size analyses, calculated dust accumulation rates (DARs) and mass accumulation rates (MARs) were used to reconstruct the pattern of climate change during MIS 2. The mean DAR for southern Tajikistan during MIS 2 was 0.43 m/ka, and the corresponding average MAR was 673 g/cm2/a for a non-river-terrace site, which is higher than the average MARs estimated for the central and southern Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). In contrast to previous suggestions, the high dust DARs and MARs during the LGM indicate a 'cold-dry' climatic pattern, rather than a 'cold-humid' pattern. Our results also confirm that the patterns of high dust emission and deposition during the LGM in the mid-latitude arid zone of Asia were synchronous.

  19. Structure of peat soils and implications for biogeochemical processes and hydrological flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezanezhad, F.; McCarter, C. P. R.; Gharedaghloo, B.; Kleimeier, C.; Milojevic, T.; Liu, H.; Weber, T. K. D.; Price, J. S.; Quinton, W. L.; Lenartz, B.; Van Cappellen, P.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost peatlands contain globally important amounts of soil organic carbon and play major roles in global water, nutrient and biogeochemical cycles. The structure of peatland soils (i.e., peat) are highly complex with unique physical and hydraulic properties; where significant, and only partially reversible, shrinkage occurs during dewatering (including water table fluctuations), compression and/or decomposition. These distinct physical and hydraulic properties controls water flow, which in turn affect reactive and non-reactive solute transport (such as, sorption or degradation) and biogeochemical functions. Additionally, peat further attenuates solute migration through molecular diffusion into the inactive pores of Sphagnum dominated peat. These slow, diffusion-limited solute exchanges between the pore regions may give rise to pore-scale chemical gradients and heterogeneous distributions of microbial habitats and activity in peat soils. Permafrost peat plateaus have the same essential subsurface characteristics as other widely organic soil-covered peatlands, where the hydraulic conductivity is related to the degree of decomposition and soil compression. Increasing levels of decomposition correspond with a reduction of effective pore diameter and consequently restrict water and solute flow (by several orders of magnitude in hydraulic conductivity between the ground surface and a depth of 50 cm). In this presentation, we present the current knowledge of key physical and hydraulic properties related to the structure of globally available peat soils and discuss their implications for water storage, flow and the migration of solutes.

  20. Dependence of the cyclization of branched tetraethers (CBT) on soil moisture in the Chinese Loess Plateau and the adjacent areas: implications for palaeorainfall reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, H.; Liu, W.; Zhang, C. L.

    2014-06-01

    Branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (bGDGTs) have been show promising for continental paleotemperature studies in loess-paleosol sequences (LPSs). Thus far, however, little is known about the effect of soil moisture on their distributions on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). In this study, the relationships between environmental variables and the cyclization of bGDGTs (the so called CBT index) were investigated in a comprehensive set of surface soils in the CLP and its adjacent arid/semi-arid areas. We find that CBT correlates best with soil water content (SWC) or mean annual precipitation (MAP) for the total sample set. Particularly for the CLP soils, there is a significant positive relationship between CBT and MAP (CBT = -0.0021 · MAP + 1.7, n = 37, R2 = 0.87; MAP range: 210-680 mm). This indicates that CBT is mainly controlled by soil moisture in the alkalescent soils (pH > 7) in arid/semi-arid regions, where it is not sensitive to soil pH. Therefore, we suggest that CBT can potentially be used as a palaeorainfall proxy on the CLP. According to the preliminary CBT-MAP relationship for modern CLP soils, palaeorainfall history was reconstructed from three LPSs (Yuanbao, Lantian, and Mangshan) with published bGDGT data spanning the past 70 ka. The CBT-derived MAP records of the three sites consistently show precession-driven variations resembling the speleothem δ18O monsoon record, and are also in general accord with the fluctuations of the respective magnetic susceptibility (MS) record, supporting CBT as a reasonable proxy for palaeorainfall reconstruction in LPS studies. Moreover, the comparison of CBT-derived MAP and bGDGT-derived temperature may enable us to further assess the relative timing and magnitude of hydrological and thermal changes on the CLP, independent of chronology.

  1. Iron and silicon isotope behaviour accompanying weathering in Icelandic soils, and the implications for iron export from peatlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opfergelt, S.; Williams, H. M.; Cornelis, J. T.; Guicharnaud, R. A.; Georg, R. B.; Siebert, C.; Gislason, S. R.; Halliday, A. N.; Burton, K. W.

    2017-11-01

    Incipient warming of peatlands at high latitudes is expected to modify soil drainage and hence the redox conditions, which has implications for Fe export from soils. This study uses Fe isotopes to assess the processes controlling Fe export in a range of Icelandic soils including peat soils derived from the same parent basalt, where Fe isotope variations principally reflect differences in weathering and drainage. In poorly weathered, well-drained soils (non-peat soils), the limited Fe isotope fractionation in soil solutions relative to the bulk soil (Δ57Fesolution-soil = -0.11 ± 0.12‰) is attributed to proton-promoted mineral dissolution. In the more weathered poorly drained soils (peat soils), the soil solutions are usually lighter than the bulk soil (Δ57Fesolution-soil = -0.41 ± 0.32‰), which indicates that Fe has been mobilised by reductive mineral dissolution and/or ligand-controlled dissolution. The results highlight the presence of Fe-organic complexes in solution in anoxic conditions. An additional constraint on soil weathering is provided by Si isotopes. The Si isotope composition of the soil solutions relative to the soil (Δ30Sisolution-soil = 0.92 ± 0.26‰) generally reflects the incorporation of light Si isotopes in secondary aluminosilicates. Under anoxic conditions in peat soils, the largest Si isotope fractionation in soil solutions relative to the bulk soil is observed (Δ30Sisolution-soil = 1.63 ± 0.40‰) and attributed to the cumulative contribution of secondary clay minerals and amorphous silica precipitation. Si supersaturation in solution with respect to amorphous silica is reached upon freezing when Al availability to form aluminosilicates is limited by the affinity of Al for metal-organic complexes. Therefore, the precipitation of amorphous silica in peat soils indirectly supports the formation of metal-organic complexes in poorly drained soils. These observations highlight that in a scenario of decreasing soil drainage with

  2. Soil erosion and runoff response in almond orchards under two shrub cover-crops strips in a high slope in semi-arid environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carceles-Rodriguez, B.; Francia-Martinez, J. R.; Martinez-Raya, A.; Duran-Zuazo, V. H.; Rodriguez-Pleguezuelo, C. R.; Casado-Mateos, J. P.

    2009-01-01

    Soil erosion is one of the main physical processes of land degradation in Spain. Several studies in the Mediterranean environment have demonstrated the positive effect of vegetation covers on the reduction of water erosion and their indirect improvement of the soil physical and chemical properties, essentially by the incorporation of organic matter. (Author)

  3. Land Cover Land Use Change and Soil Organic Carbon under Climate Variability in the Semi-Arid West African Sahel (1960-2050)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieye, Amadou M.

    2016-01-01

    Land Cover Land Use (LCLU) change affects land surface processes recognized to influence climate change at local, national and global levels. Soil organic carbon is a key component for the functioning of agro-ecosystems and has a direct effect on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the soil. The capacity to model and project…

  4. Relationships between soil parameters and vegetation in abandoned terrace fields vs. non-terraced fields in arid lands (Lanzarote, Spain): An opportunity for restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arévalo, José Ramón; Fernández-Lugo, Silvia; Reyes-Betancort, J. Alfredo; Tejedor, Marisa; Jiménez, Concepción; Díaz, Francisco J.

    2017-11-01

    Over 90% of terraced fields have been abandoned on the island of Lanzarote in the last 40 years. The present work analyses the effects of abandonment on the soil and vegetation recovery of terraced field agroecosystems by comparing them with adjacent non-terraced fields in Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain). This information is necessary to take the appropriate management actions to achieve goals such as soil protection and biodiversity conservation. Results indicate that terraced fields display better soil quality than non-terraced ones, as shown by the significant differences found in parameters such as SAR, exchangeable Na, CaCO3, B content, moisture content or soil depth. Moreover, the terraced fields' plant community has more species similarities with the native plant community when compared with non-terraced areas. Owing to characteristics such as deeper soils, more water capacity, lower salinity and less sodic soils, terraced soils provide better conditions for passive restoration of both soil and vegetation. Therefore, the recovery and maintenance of wall structures and revegetation with native/endemic species are proposed to promote the restoration of native systems and preserve a landscape with cultural and aesthetic value.

  5. Adsorption of Cs-137 and U-238 in semi-arid soils; Adsorcion de Cs-137 y U-238 en suelos semiaridos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hernandez T, U. O. [Instituto Tecnologico de Toluca, Av. Tecnologico s/n, 52140 Metepec, Estado de Mexico (Mexico); Monroy G, F.; Anguiano A, J. [ININ, Carretera Mexico-Toluca s/n, 52750 Ocoyoacac, Estado de Mexico (Mexico); Fernandez R, E., E-mail: uohtrejo@gmail.com [Universidad Politecnica del Valle de Toluca, Carretera Toluca-Almoloya de Juarez Km. 5.6, Santiaguito Tlalcilalcali, Estado de Mexico (Mexico)

    2013-10-15

    Is of great importance to determine the adsorption properties of the soils where radioactive wastes are stored, fundamentally of the radioisotopes contained in these wastes, with the purpose of knowing like will be their behavior in the event of happening radionuclide migration toward the surrounding means. Therefore, in this work the adsorption properties of {sup 137}Cs{sup +} and {sup 238}UO{sub 2}{sup 2+} in soils coming from the Storage Center of Radioactive Wastes are studied. Was studied the effect of the soil type and the particle size of the soil in the adsorption properties of Cs (I) and U (Vi). 13 soil samples and six different particle sizes were analyzed. The adsorption studies were carried out by the radiotracers technique in static way. The results indicate an important adsorption affinity toward the Cs-137 and a very vulnerable affinity for the {sup 238}UO{sub 2}{sup 2+}. (author)

  6. Assessment of soil erosion and conservation on agricultural sloping lands using plot data in the semi-arid hilly loess region of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.X. Zhu

    2014-11-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: The results revealed that runoff per unit area slightly increased with slope angle on SSP, but reached a maximum at 15° and then decreased with slope angle on LSP. Soil loss per unit area increased with slope angle on both SSP and LSP. An average of 36.4% less runoff but only 3.6% less soil loss per unit area was produced on LSP than on SSP. The S factor calculated using the slope factor equations in USLE/RUSLE was significantly greater than that estimated from the measured soil loss on the plots. Rainstorms with recurrence intervals greater than 2 years were responsible for more than two thirds of the total soil and water loss. The effectiveness in reducing surface runoff by five types of conservation practices was mixed. However, all the conservation practices yielded much less soil loss than cropland.

  7. Use of carbon isotope analysis to understand semi-arid erosion dynamics and long-term semi-arid land degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, Laura; Brazier, Richard E; Wainwright, John; Dixon, Liz; Bol, Roland

    2008-06-01

    Many semi-arid areas worldwide are becoming degraded, in the form of C(4) grasslands being replaced by C(3) shrublands, which causes an increase in surface runoff and erosion, and altered nutrient cycling, which may affect global biogeochemical cycling. The prevention or control of vegetation transitions is hindered by a lack of understanding of their temporal and spatial dynamics, particularly in terms of interactions between biotic and abiotic processes. This research investigates (1) the effects of soil erosion on the delta(13)C values of soil organic matter (SOM) throughout the soil profile and its implications for reconstructing vegetation change using carbon-isotope analysis and (2) the spatial properties of erosion over a grass-shrub transition to increase understanding of biotic-abiotic interactions by using delta(13)C signals of eroded material as a sediment tracer. Results demonstrate that the soils over grass-shrub transitions are not in steady state. A complex interplay of factors determines the input of SOM to the surface horizon of the soil and its subsequent retention and turnover through the soil profile. A positive correlation between event runoff and delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment was found in all plots. This indicates that the delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment may provide a means of distinguishing between changes in erosion dynamics over runoff events of different magnitudes and over different vegetation types. The development of this technique using delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment provides a new means of furthering existing understanding of erosion dynamics over vegetation transitions. This is critical in terms of understanding biotic-abiotic feedbacks and the evolution of areas subject to vegetation change in semi-arid environments. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

  8. River sediment metal and nutrient variations along an urban-agriculture gradient in an arid austral landscape: implications for environmental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalu, Tatenda; Wasserman, Ryan J; Wu, Qihang; Froneman, William P; Weyl, Olaf L F

    2018-01-01

    The effect of metals on environmental health is well documented and monitoring these and other pollutants is considered an important part of environmental management. Developing countries are yet to fully appreciate the direct impacts of pollution on aquatic ecosystems and as such, information on pollution dynamics is scant. Here, we assessed the temporal and spatial dynamics of stream sediment metal and nutrient concentrations using contaminant indices (e.g. enrichment factors, pollution load and toxic risk indices) in an arid temperate environment over the wet and dry seasons. The mean sediment nutrient, organic matter and metal concentration were highest during the dry season, with high values being observed for the urban environment. Sediment contaminant assessment scores indicated that during the wet season, the sediment quality was acceptable, but not so during the dry season. The dry season had low to moderate levels of enrichment for metals B, Cu, Cr, Fe, Mg, K and Zn. Overall, applying the sediment pollution load index highlighted poor quality river sediment along the length of the river. Toxic risk index indicated that most sites posed no toxic risk. The results of this study highlighted that river discharge plays a major role in structuring temporal differences in sediment quality. It was also evident that infrastructure degradation was likely contributing to the observed state of the river quality. The study contributes to our understanding of pollution dynamics in arid temperate landscapes where vast temporal differences in base flow characterise the riverscape. Such information is further useful for contrasting sediment pollution dynamics in aquatic environments with other climatic regions.

  9. Kinetically limited weathering at low denudation rates in semi-arid climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanacker, V.; Schoonejans, J.; Opfergelt, S.; Ameijeiras-Marino, Y.; Christl, M.

    2016-12-01

    On Earth, the Critical Zone supports terrestrial life, being the near-surface environment where interactions between the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere take place Quantitative understanding of the interaction between mechanical rock breakdown, chemical weathering, and physical erosion is essential for unraveling Earth's biogeochemical cycles. In this study, we explore the role of soil water balance on regulating soil chemical weathering under water deficit regimes. Weathering rates and intensities were evaluated for nine soil profiles located on convex ridge crests of three mountain ranges in the Spanish Betic Cordillera. We present and compare quantitative information on soil weathering, chemical depletion and total denudation that were derived based on geochemical mass balance, 10Be cosmogenic nuclides and U-series disequilibria. Soil production rates determined based on U-series isotopes (238U, 234U, 230Th and 226Ra) are of the same order of magnitude as 10Be-derived denudation rates, suggesting steady state soil thickness, in two out of three sampling sites. The chemical weathering intensities are relatively low (˜5 to 30% of the total denudation of the soil) and negatively correlated with the magnitude of the water deficit in soils. Soil weathering extents increase (nonlinearly) with soil thickness and decrease with increasing surface denudation rates, consistent with kinetically limited or controlled weathering. Our study suggests that soil residence time and water availability limit weathering processes in semi-arid climates, which has not been validated previously with field data. An important implication of this finding is that climatic regimes may strongly regulate soil weathering by modulating soil solute fluxes.

  10. Geomorphic and Hydrological challenges in Africa: implications for soil and water conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanmaercke, Matthias; Poesen, Jean

    2017-04-01

    Expected scenarios of climate change and population growth confront Africa with various important challenges related to food, water and energy security. Many of these challenges are closely linked to the impacts of soil erosion and other geomorphic processes, such as reduced crop yields, sedimentation of reservoirs and reduced freshwater quality. Despite the urgency and extent of many of these challenges, the causes and dynamics of these processes and their impacts remain severely understudied. This becomes apparent when the availability of e.g. soil erosion and catchment sediment export measurements for Africa is compared to that of other continents. Nonetheless, a substantial amount of geomorphic research has been conducted in Africa. Many of this work dates back from several decades ago, and were often only reported in 'gray literature' (e.g. internal reports). Here we present an overview of our current state of knowledge on soil erosion and its implications in Africa. We discuss which geomorphic process rate measurements are currently available and what can be learned from these with respect to the challenged raised above. We especially focus on our current understanding about the effectiveness of soil and water conservation techniques at various spatial and temporal scales. Based on specific case-studies (e.g. in Ethiopia and Uganda) and a meta-analysis of previous work, we highlight some research gaps, research needs and research opportunities when aiming to use Africa's soil and water resources sustainably and efficiently.

  11. The maximum reservoir capacity of soils for persistent organic pollutants: implications for global cycling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dalla Valle, M.; Jurado, E.; Dachs, J.; Sweetman, A.J.; Jones, K.C.

    2005-01-01

    The concept of maximum reservoir capacity (MRC), the ratio of the capacities of the surface soil and of the atmospheric mixed layer (AML) to hold chemical under equilibrium conditions, is applied to selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the surface 'skin' (1 mm) of soils. MRC is calculated as a function of soil organic matter (SOM) content and temperature-dependent K OA and mapped globally for selected PCB congeners (PCB-28; -153; -180) and HCB, to identify regions with a higher tendency to retain POPs. It is shown to vary over many orders of magnitude, between compounds, locations and time (seasonally/diurnally). The MRC approach emphasises the very large capacity of soils as a storage compartment for POPs. The theoretical MRC concept is compared to reality and its implications for the global cycling of POPs are discussed. Sharp gradients in soil MRC can exist in mountainous areas and between the land and ocean. Exchanges between oceans and land masses via the atmosphere is likely to be an important driver to the global cycling of these compounds, and net ocean-land transfers could occur in some areas. - Major global terrestrial sinks/stores for POPs are identified and the significance of gradients between them discussed

  12. Arsenic in garden soils and vegetable crops in Cornwall, England: Implications for human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, J; Thornton, I

    1985-12-01

    Total concentrations of arsenic in surface (0-15cm) garden soils in the historical mining area of Hayle-Camborne-Godolphin, Cornwall, England are large and range widely (144-892 μg/g). Amounts of water soluble and acid-fluoride extractable soil arsenic are significantly correlated with total content.Examination of 6 salad and vegetable crops grown in 32 gardens has shown arsenic concentrations in the edible tissues to be only slightly elevated. There were strong correlations between arsenic in beetroot, lettuce, onion and peas and soil arsenic (total, water soluble and acid extractable). Regression equations have been calculated. Ridge regression analysis applied to test the importance of other soil variables has shown both iron and phosphorus to influence the uptake of arsenic.Arsenic in all the vegetables sampled was below the statutory limit in the U.K. of 1 mg/kg fresh weight. Implications for health should be assessed in relation to other exposure routesvia water, air and directly ingested dust and soil.

  13. Organic nitrogen storage in mineral soil: Implications for policy and management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bingham, Andrew H., E-mail: drew_bingham@nps.gov [Air Resources Division, National Park Service, P.O. Box 25287, Denver, CO 80225 (United States); Cotrufo, M. Francesca [Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, 200 West Lake Street, Fort Collins, CO 80523 (United States)

    2016-05-01

    Nitrogen is one of the most important ecosystem nutrients and often its availability limits net primary production as well as stabilization of soil organic matter. The long-term storage of nitrogen-containing organic matter in soils was classically attributed to chemical complexity of plant and microbial residues that retarded microbial degradation. Recent advances have revised this framework, with the understanding that persistent soil organic matter consists largely of chemically labile, microbially processed organic compounds. Chemical bonding to minerals and physical protection in aggregates are more important to long-term (i.e., centuries to millennia) preservation of these organic compounds that contain the bulk of soil nitrogen rather than molecular complexity, with the exception of nitrogen in pyrogenic organic matter. This review examines for the first time the factors and mechanisms at each stage of movement into long-term storage that influence the sequestration of organic nitrogen in the mineral soil of natural temperate ecosystems. Because the factors which govern persistence are different under this newly accepted paradigm we examine the policy and management implications that are altered, such as critical load considerations, nitrogen saturation and mitigation consequences. Finally, it emphasizes how essential it is for this important but underappreciated pool to be better quantified and incorporated into policy and management decisions, especially given the lack of evidence for many soils having a finite capacity to sequester nitrogen. - Highlights: • We review the current framework for long-term nitrogen stabilization in soils. • We highlight the most important factors according to this framework. • We discuss how these factors may influence management and policy decisions.

  14. Rates of wood and dung disintegration in arid South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dead shrubs lying on the soil surface in an arid shrubland in the southern Karoo have half-lives of 9 to 18 years depending on wood density which varies among species. Dung pellets of sheep and springbok can remain intact on the soil surface in Karoo shrubland and desert grassland for five years or more. Highlights the ...

  15. The effect of different evapotranspiration methods on portraying soil water dynamics and ET partitioning in a semi-arid environment in Northwest China

    OpenAIRE

    Yu, L.; Zeng, Yijian; Su, Zhongbo; Cai, H.; Zheng, Z.

    2016-01-01

    Different methods for assessing evapotranspiration (ET) can significantly affect the performance of land surface models in portraying soil water dynamics and ET partitioning. An accurate understanding of the impact a method has is crucial to determining the effectiveness of an irrigation scheme. Two ET methods are discussed: one is based on reference crop evapotranspiration (ET0) theory, uses leaf area index (LAI) for partitioning into soil evaporation and transpiration, and...

  16. Effects of progressive soil water deficit on growth, and physiological and biochemical responses of populus euphratica in arid area: a case study in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Y.; Chen, Y.; Li, W.; Zhu, C.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the responses of Populus euphratica seedlings under a short-term soil water deficit. To mimic natural conditions in which drought stress develops gradually, stress was imposed by subjecting plants to a gradual decrease of soil water content for a period of 21 d. We studied growth, physiological and biochemical responses to progressive soil water deficit of potted Populus euphratica seedlings at outdoors. Results showed that, in 6 d of water withholding, the soil moisture content decreased to a slight drought stress level, and it reached a severe drought stress level after 15 d of water withholding in July. In the process of soil water declining from saturated to severe drought levels, the increasing soil water deficit resulted in decreases in the height, stem base diameter, number of lateral branches. Leaf predawn water potential decreased after 15 d of withholding irrigation. After 21 d of withholding irrigation, actual photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) in light-adapted leaves and photochemical quenching coefficient decreased, respectively; the peroxidase activity, the content of chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b decreased. There were no significant changes in proline, malondialdehyde content, chlorophyll a/b value and superoxide dismutase activity. (author)

  17. Perdas de solo e de água em sistemas de captação in situ no Semi-Árido brasileiro Soil and water losses in situ water harvesting systems in the brazilian semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiza T. L. Brito

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Os sistemas de cultivo utilizados no semi-árido brasileiro apresentam riscos de perda devido à irregularidade das chuvas, devendo-se associá-los a práticas que propiciem maior infiltração e, conseqüentemente, menor erosão, o que pode ser obtido por meio de técnicas de captação de água de chuva in situ. Neste trabalho, teve-se o objetivo de avaliar as perdas de água e de solo em área cultivada com milho (Zea mays L., submetida a diferentes sistemas de preparo do solo, correspondendo aos tratamentos Guimarães Duque (T1; aração profunda (T2; aração parcial (T3 e sulcos barrados (T4, comparados com o sistema tradicional (T5, que corresponde ao plantio sem preparo do solo. Após cada evento de chuva, a água e o solo escoados foram coletados e medidos. A umidade do solo em diferentes profundidades foi monitorada durante o ciclo de produção da cultura e avaliada a produtividade dos grãos por meio da análise de variância. A partir dos resultados, pode-se observar que o método Guimarães Duque (T1 proporcionou maiores perdas de água (6.696 L e de solo (15.225 kg ha-1, enquanto as menores perdas foram obtidas com os sulcos barrados (T4, correspondendo a 1.066 L e 1.022 kg ha-1, respectivamente. Nesse tratamento (T4, também foi obtida a maior produtividade de grãos (606 kg ha-1, apresentando-se como o sistema mais indicado para as condições analisadas.The cropping systems used in the Brazilian semi-arid show risks of losses due to irregularity of rainfall, requiring the use of practices which produce higher water infiltration and, as a consequence, lower soil erosion, which can be obtained through in situ rainwater harvest techniques. This study had the objective of evaluating soil and water losses in a corn (Zea mays L. area subjected to different soil preparation systems: Guimarães Duque (T1, deep plowing (T2, partial plowing (T3, and furrows with barriers (T4, compared to the traditional system (T5, i.e., plain planting

  18. Effect of Sowing Quantity on Soil Temperature and Yield of Winter Wheat under Straw Strip Mulching in Arid Region of Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Xuemei; Chai, Yuwei; Li, Rui; Li, Bowen; Cheng, Hongbo; Chang, Lei; Chai, Shouxi

    2018-01-01

    In order to explore the characteristics and relationship between soil temperature and yield of winter wheat, under different sowing quantities conditions of straw mulching conventional drilling in Northwest China, this study took Lantian 26 as material, under the whole corn mulching conventional drilling in Changhe town and Pingxiang town, setting up 3 different seeding quantities of 270 kg/ha (SSMC1), 324 kg/ha (SSMC2) and 405 kg/ha (SSMC3), to study the difference of soil temperature during the growth period of winter wheat and its correlation with yield components. Results showed: the average soil temperature of 0∼25cm in two ecological zones in the whole growth period have a significant change with the increase of sowing quantities; too much seeding had a sharp drop in soil temperature; the highest temperature of SSMC in Changhe town was the middle quantity of SSMC 2; the highest temperature of SSMC in Pingxiang town was the lowest sowing quantity of SSMC1. Diurnal variation of soil temperature at all growth stages showed: with the increase of SSMC, in the morning it increased with the increase of soil depth, noon and evening reducing with the depth of the soil. The average soil temperature of SSMC2 was higher than that of in all the two ecological zones in the whole growth period of SSMC.The maximum day temperature difference of each treatment was at noon. With the increase of SSMC, the yield increase varied with two ecological zones. SSMC of the local conventional sowing quantity of 270kg/ha SSMC1 yield was the highest in Changhe Town. SSMC of the middle sowing quantity SSMC2 of 324kg/ha yield was the highest in Pingxiang town. The difference of grain number per spike was the main cause of yield difference among these 3 treatments. Correlation analysis showed: the correlation among the yield and yield components, growth index and soil temperature varied with different ecological zones; thousand kernel weight and grain number per ear (.964** and.891**) had a

  19. Remote sensing for mapping soil moisture and drainage potential in semi-arid regions: Applications to the Campidano plain of Sardinia, Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filion, Rébecca; Bernier, Monique; Paniconi, Claudio; Chokmani, Karem; Melis, Massimo; Soddu, Antonino; Talazac, Manon; Lafortune, Francois-Xavier

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the potential of radar (ENVISAT ASAR and RADARSAT-2) and LANDSAT data to generate reliable soil moisture maps to support water management and agricultural practice in Mediterranean regions, particularly during dry seasons. The study is based on extensive field surveys conducted from 2005 to 2009 in the Campidano plain of Sardinia, Italy. A total of 12 small bare soil fields were sampled for moisture, surface roughness, and texture values. From field scale analysis with ENVISAT ASAR (C-band, VV polarized, descending mode, incidence angle from 15.0° to 31.4°), an empirical model for estimating bare soil moisture was established, with a coefficient of determination (R(2)) of 0.85. LANDSAT TM5 images were also used for soil moisture estimation using the TVX slope (temperature/vegetation index), and in this case the best linear relationship had an R(2) of 0.81. A cross-validation on the two empirical models demonstrated the potential of C-band SAR data for estimation of surface moisture, with and R(2) of 0.76 (bias +0.3% and RMSE 7%) for ENVISAT ASAR and 0.54 (bias +1.3% and RMSE 5%) for LANDSAT TM5. The two models developed at plot level were then applied over the Campidano plain and assessed via multitemporal and spatial analyses, in the latter case against soil permeability data from a pedological map of Sardinia. Encouraging estimated soil moisture (ESM) maps were obtained for the SAR-based model, whereas the LANDSAT-based model would require a better field data set for validation, including ground data collected on vegetated fields. ESM maps showed sensitivity to soil drainage qualities or drainage potential, which could be useful in irrigation management and other agricultural applications. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. [Irrigated perimeters as a geopolitical strategy for the development of the semi-arid region and its implications for health, labor and the environment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontes, Andrezza Graziella Veríssimo; Gadelha, Diego; Freitas, Bernadete Maria Coêlho; Rigotto, Raquel Maria; Ferreira, Marcelo José Monteiro

    2013-11-01

    An analysis was made of irrigated perimeters as a geopolitical strategy for expanding Brazilian agricultural frontiers and the "development" of the northeastern semi-arid region with respect to social determinants in health in rural communities. Research was conducted in the Chapada do Apodi in the states of Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte between 2007 and 2011. Various research techniques and tools were adopted, such as research-action, ethnographic studies, questionnaires and laboratory exams, water contamination analyses, social cartography and focal groups. In the context of agribusiness expansion, it was revealed that public policies of irrigation have had consequences for health, labor and the environment with the implementation of the Jaguaribe-Apodi Irrigated Perimeter in Ceará. The social and environmental conflict and resistance in the phase prior to the installation of the Santa Cruz do Apodi Irrigated Perimeter in Rio Grande do Norte was significant as it had consequences for the health-disease process on rural communities. It is important for the evaluation of public irrigation policies to consider the impacts of the perimeters on the lifestyle, labor, health and the environment of the affected territories.

  1. The chemical reactivity of the Martian soil and implications for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1994-01-01

    Possible interpretations of the results of the Viking Biology Experiments suggest that greater than 1 ppm of a thermally labile oxidant, perhaps H2O2, and about 10 ppm of a thermally stable oxidant are present in the martian soil. We reexamine these results and discuss implications for future missions, the search for organics on Mars, and the possible health and engineering effects for human exploration. We conclude that further characterization of the reactivity of the martian regolith materials is warrented-although if our present understanding is correct the oxidant does not pose a hazard to humans. There are difficulties in explaining the reactivity of the Martian soil by oxidants. Most bulk phase compounds that are capable of oxidizing H2O to O2 per the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEx) are thermally labile or unstable against reduction by atmospheric CO2. Models invoking trapped O2 or peroxynitrates (NOO2(-)) require an unlikely geologic history for the Viking Lander 2 site. Most suggested oxidants, including H2O2, are expected to decompose rapidly under martian UV. Nonetheless, we conclude that the best model for the martian soil contains oxidants produced by heterogeneous chemical reactions with a photochemically produced atmospheric oxidant. The GEx results may be due to catalytic decomposition of an unstable oxidizing material by H2O. We show that interfacial reaction sites covering less than 1% of the available soil surfaces could explain the Viking Biology Experiments results.

  2. The risk implications of approaches to setting soil remediation goals at hazardous waste contaminated sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Labieniec, Paula Ann [Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)

    1994-08-01

    An integrated exposure and carcinogenic risk assessment model for organic contamination in soil, SoilRisk, was developed and used for evaluating the risk implications of both site-specific and uniform-concentration approaches to setting soil remediation goals at hazardous-waste-contaminated sites. SoilRisk was applied to evaluate the uncertainty in the risk estimate due to uncertainty in site conditions at a representative site. It was also used to evaluate the variability in risk across a region of sites that can occur due to differences in site characteristics that affect contaminant transport and fate when a uniform concentration approach is used. In evaluating regional variability, Ross County, Ohio and the State of Ohio were used as examples. All analyses performed considered four contaminants (benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), chlordane, and benzo[a]pyrene (BAP)) and four exposure scenarios (commercial, recreational and on- and offsite residential). Regardless of whether uncertainty in risk at a single site or variability in risk across sites was evaluated, the exposure scenario specified and the properties of the target contaminant had more influence than variance in site parameters on the resulting variance and magnitude of the risk estimate. In general, variance in risk was found to be greater for the relatively less degradable and more mobile of the chemicals studied (TCE and chlordane) than for benzene which is highly degradable and BAP which is very immobile in the subsurface.

  3. The risk implications of approaches to setting soil remediation goals at hazardous waste contaminated sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labieniec, P.A.

    1994-08-01

    An integrated exposure and carcinogenic risk assessment model for organic contamination in soil, SoilRisk, was developed and used for evaluating the risk implications of both site-specific and uniform-concentration approaches to setting soil remediation goals at hazardous-waste-contaminated sites. SoilRisk was applied to evaluate the uncertainty in the risk estimate due to uncertainty in site conditions at a representative site. It was also used to evaluate the variability in risk across a region of sites that can occur due to differences in site characteristics that affect contaminant transport and fate when a uniform concentration approach is used. In evaluating regional variability, Ross County, Ohio and the State of Ohio were used as examples. All analyses performed considered four contaminants (benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), chlordane, and benzo[a]pyrene (BAP)) and four exposure scenarios (commercial, recreational and on- and offsite residential). Regardless of whether uncertainty in risk at a single site or variability in risk across sites was evaluated, the exposure scenario specified and the properties of the target contaminant had more influence than variance in site parameters on the resulting variance and magnitude of the risk estimate. In general, variance in risk was found to be greater for the relatively less degradable and more mobile of the chemicals studied (TCE and chlordane) than for benzene which is highly degradable and BAP which is very immobile in the subsurface

  4. Soil stabilization by a prokaryotic desert crust - Implications for Precambrian land biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, S. E.

    1979-01-01

    The ecology of the cyanophyte-dominated stromatolitic mat forming the ground cover over desert areas of Utah and Colorado is investigated and implications for the formation of mature Precambrian soils are discussed. The activation of the growth of the two species of filamentous cyanophyte identified and the mobility of their multiple trichromes upon wetting are observed, accompanied by the production and deposition of a sheath capable of accreting and stabilizing sand and clay particles. The formation of calcium carbonate precipitates upon the repeated wetting and drying of desert crust is noted, and it is suggested that the desert crust community may appear in fossil calcrete deposits as lithified microscopic tubes and cellular remains of algal trichromes. The invasion of dry land by both marine and freshwater algae on the model of the desert crust is proposed to be responsible for the accumulation, stabilization and biogenic modification of mature Precambrian soils.

  5. Differential responses of short-term soil respiration dynamics to the experimental addition of nitrogen and water in the temperate semi-arid steppe of Inner Mongolia, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yuchun; Liu, Xinchao; Dong, Yunshe; Peng, Qin; He, Yating; Sun, Liangjie; Jia, Junqiang; Cao, Congcong

    2014-04-01

    We examined the effects of simulated rainfall and increasing N supply of different levels on CO2 pulse emission from typical Inner Mongolian steppe soil using the static opaque chamber technique, respectively in a dry June and a rainy August. The treatments included NH4NO3 additions at rates of 0, 5, 10, and 20 g N/(m(2)·year) with or without water. Immediately after the experimental simulated rainfall events, the CO2 effluxes in the watering plots without N addition (WCK) increased greatly and reached the maximum value at 2 hr. However, the efflux level reverted to the background level within 48 hr. The cumulative CO2 effluxes in the soil rang ed from 5.60 to 6.49 g C/m(2) over 48 hr after a single water application, thus showing an increase of approximately 148.64% and 48.36% in the effluxes during both observation periods. By contrast, the addition of different N levels without water addition did not result in a significant change in soil respiration in the short term. Two-way ANOVA showed that the effects of the interaction between water and N addition were insignificant in short-term soil CO2 effluxes in the soil. The cumulative soil CO2 fluxes of different treatments over 48 hr accounted for approximately 5.34% to 6.91% and 2.36% to 2.93% of annual C emission in both experimental periods. These results stress the need for improving the sampling frequency after rainfall in future studies to ensure more accurate evaluation of the grassland C emission contribution. Copyright © 2014 The Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Effect of in situ water harvesting techniques on soil and nutriënt losses in semi-arid Northern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grum, Berhane; Assefae, Dereje; Hessel, R.; Woldearegay, Kifle; Kessler, C.A.; Ritsema, C.J.; Geissen, V.

    2017-01-01

    Land degradation, mainly due to soil erosion and nutrient losses, is a global problem for sustainable agriculture. Farmlands in the Ethiopian
    highlands are susceptible to water erosion because of steep slopes and extensive cultivation. A field experiment was conducted in the

  7. Tree cover, tree height and bare soil cover differences along a land use degradation gradient in semi-arid savannas, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mathieu, R

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available High resolution airborne hyperspectral and discrete return LiDAR data were used to assess bare soil and tree cover differences along a land use transect consisting of state-owned, privately-owned conservation areas, and communal areas in South...

  8. Caesium-137 in soils in relation to the nine unit landsurface model in a semi-arid environment in Western Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loughran, R.J.; Pilgrim, A.T.; Conacher, A.J.

    1987-01-01

    The comparison of 137Cs levels at hillslope sites with input sites used in this study presented data time-averaged for the period since the onset of fallout, 1954. It also took no account of temporary fluctuations in fallout and soil movement. Consequently, relationships sought between shorter-term measurements of sediment yield and 137Cs loss may not be in total agreement. Furthermore, soil samples for 137Cs in each washtray catchment represented only a small fraction of the landsurface. Despite these apparent shortcomings, the 137Cs technique was able to discriminate between the more stable (unit 1) interfluve landsurfaces and units 5 (transportational midslope) and 6 (colluvial footslope) on Catena One, and to a lesser degree on Catena Two. The unit 6 sites had less 137Cs than unit 1 (input) sites and some of the profiles were truncated. Indications were that, while there was no 137Cs evidence for net soil gain over the past 30 years, the degree of soil loss was generally lower than on unit 5 sites on the same catena. Since the model does not define most landsurface unit in terms of dominance of a particular process but rather in terms of what pedogeomorphic processes and their diagnostic properties distinguish any given unit from other units' (Conacher and Dalrymple, 1977: 65), it may be concluded that 137Cs levels are another of these properties

  9. Effects of tillage, organic resources and nitrogen fertiliser on soil carbon dynamics and crop nitrogen uptake in semi-arid West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.; Mando, A.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2006-01-01

    Tillage, organic resources and fertiliser effects on soil carbon (C) dynamics were investigated in 2000 and 2001 in Burkina Faso (West Africa). A split plot design with four replications was laid-out on a loamy-sand Ferric Lixisol with till and no-till as main treatments and fertiliser types as

  10. Stable oxygen isotope analysis reveal vegetation influence on soil water movement and ecosystem water fluxes in a semi-arid oak woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piayda, Arndt; Dubbert, Maren; Werner, Christiane; Cuntz, Matthias

    2015-04-01

    Mechanistically disentangling the role and function of vegetation within the hydrological cycle is one of the key questions in the interdisciplinary field of ecohydrology. The presence of vegetation can have various impacts on soil water relations: transpiration of active vegetation causes great water losses, rainfall is intercepted, soil evaporation can be reduced and infiltration, hydraulic redistribution and translatory flow might be altered. In drylands, covering around 40% of the global land surface, the carbon cycle is closely coupled to water availability due to (seasonal) droughts. Specifically savannah type ecosystems, which cover large areas worldwide, are, due to their bi-layered structure, very suitable to study the effects of distinct vegetation types on the ecosystem water cycle. Oxygen isotope signatures (δ18O) have been used to partition ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET ) because of the distinct isotopic compositions of water transpired by leaves relative to soil evaporated vapor. Recent developments in laser spectroscopy enable measurements of δ18O in the vapor phase with high temporal resolution in the field and bear a novel opportunity to trace water movement within the ecosystem. In the present study, the effects of distinct vegetation layers (i.e. trees and herbaceous vegetation) on soil water infiltration and redistribution as well as ecosystem water fluxes in a Mediterranean cork-oak woodland are disentangled. An irrigation experiment was carried out using δ18O labeled water to quantify the distinct effects of trees and herbaceous vegetation on 1) infiltration and redistribution of water in the soil profile and 2) to disentangle the effects of tree cover on the contribution of unproductive soil evaporation and understory transpiration to total ET . First results proof that stable δ18O isotopes measured onsite with laser spectroscopy is a valuable tool to trace water movement in the soil showing a much higher sensitivity than common TDR

  11. Biological Invasion Influences the Outcome of Plant-Soil Feedback in the Invasive Plant Species from the Brazilian Semi-arid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Tancredo Augusto Feitosa; de Andrade, Leonaldo Alves; Freitas, Helena; da Silva Sandim, Aline

    2017-05-30

    Plant-soil feedback is recognized as the mutual interaction between plants and soil microorganisms, but its role on the biological invasion of the Brazilian tropical seasonal dry forest by invasive plants still remains unclear. Here, we analyzed and compared the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities and soil characteristics from the root zone of invasive and native plants, and tested how these AMF communities affect the development of four invasive plant species (Cryptostegia madagascariensis, Parkinsonia aculeata, Prosopis juliflora, and Sesbania virgata). Our field sampling revealed that AMF diversity and frequency of the Order Diversisporales were positively correlated with the root zone of the native plants, whereas AMF dominance and frequency of the Order Glomerales were positively correlated with the root zone of invasive plants. We grew the invasive plants in soil inoculated with AMF species from the root zone of invasive (I changed ) and native (I unaltered ) plant species. We also performed a third treatment with sterilized soil inoculum (control). We examined the effects of these three AMF inoculums on plant dry biomass, root colonization, plant phosphorous concentration, and plant responsiveness to mycorrhizas. We found that I unaltered and I changed promoted the growth of all invasive plants and led to a higher plant dry biomass, mycorrhizal colonization, and P uptake than control, but I changed showed better results on these variables than I unaltered . For plant responsiveness to mycorrhizas and fungal inoculum effect on plant P concentration, we found positive feedback between changed-AMF community (I changed ) and three of the studied invasive plants: C. madagascariensis, P. aculeata, and S. virgata.

  12. Aridity and decomposition processes in complex landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossola, Alessandro; Nyman, Petter

    2015-04-01

    Decomposition of organic matter is a key biogeochemical process contributing to nutrient cycles, carbon fluxes and soil development. The activity of decomposers depends on microclimate, with temperature and rainfall being major drivers. In complex terrain the fine-scale variation in microclimate (and hence water availability) as a result of slope orientation is caused by differences in incoming radiation and surface temperature. Aridity, measured as the long-term balance between net radiation and rainfall, is a metric that can be used to represent variations in water availability within the landscape. Since aridity metrics can be obtained at fine spatial scales, they could theoretically be used to investigate how decomposition processes vary across complex landscapes. In this study, four research sites were selected in tall open sclerophyll forest along a aridity gradient (Budyko dryness index ranging from 1.56 -2.22) where microclimate, litter moisture and soil moisture were monitored continuously for one year. Litter bags were packed to estimate decomposition rates (k) using leaves of a tree species not present in the study area (Eucalyptus globulus) in order to avoid home-field advantage effects. Litter mass loss was measured to assess the activity of macro-decomposers (6mm litter bag mesh size), meso-decomposers (1 mm mesh), microbes above-ground (0.2 mm mesh) and microbes below-ground (2 cm depth, 0.2 mm mesh). Four replicates for each set of bags were installed at each site and bags were collected at 1, 2, 4, 7 and 12 months since installation. We first tested whether differences in microclimate due to slope orientation have significant effects on decomposition processes. Then the dryness index was related to decomposition rates to evaluate if small-scale variation in decomposition can be predicted using readily available information on rainfall and radiation. Decomposition rates (k), calculated fitting single pool negative exponential models, generally

  13. The role of the water tankers market in water stressed semi-arid urban areas:Implications on water quality and economic burden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constantine, Kinda; Massoud, May; Alameddine, Ibrahim; El-Fadel, Mutasem

    2017-03-01

    Population growth and development are associated with increased water demand that often exceeds the capacity of existing resources, resulting in water shortages, particularly in urban areas, where more than 60% of the world's population resides. In many developing communities, shortages often force households to depend on water tankers amongst other potential sources for the delivery of water for domestic and/or potable use. While water tankers have become an integral part of the water supply system in many countries, the sector is often unregulated and operates with little governmental supervision. Users are invariably unaware of the origin or the quality of purchased water. In an effort to better assess this sector, a field survey of water vending wells and tankers coupled with a water quality sampling and analysis program was implemented in a pilot semi-arid urban area (Beirut, Lebanon) to shed light on the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the water tanker sector. Total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride (Cl - ), and microbial loads exceeded drinking water quality standards. While TDS and Cl - levels were mostly due to saltwater intrusion in coastal wells, tankers were found to be a significant source of total coliforms. Delivered water costs varied depending on the tanker size, the quality of the distributed water, and pre-treatment used, with a markup of nearly 8-24 folds of the public water supply and an equivalent economic burden of 16% of the average household income excluding environmental externalities of water quality. The study concludes with a management framework towards consumer protection under integrated supply and demand side measures. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Effect of sheep manure and phosphorus application on growth, yield, and N2 - fixation of inoculated soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr) grown on Syrian arid soils using the 15N isotopic dilution technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khalifa, Kh.; Al-Ain, F.; Al-Shamma'a, M.

    2003-10-01

    A field experiment was carried out in Syrian arid soils at Deir Al-Hajar research station to study the effect of different rates of sheep manure (0, 20, and 40 ton/ha) and levels of P- fertilizer (0, 40 and 80 kg P 2 O 5 /ha) on dry matter production and N 2 fixation by Soybean [(Glycine max) (SB171 variety)], of which seeds were inoculated by Bradyrhizobium japonicum-FA3 bacterial. Sorghum bicolor L. was employed as a reference crop ti evaluate N 2 -fixation using the 15 N-isotope dilution technique. In general, results indicated that, a positive effects were found to adding Sheep Manure or P-fertilizer on D.M production in different plants parts of soybean (shoots, roots, pods). This effect was more pronounced when adding sheep manure and phosphorus together especially under the optimum M40P80 treatment. Quantity of N-fixed by Soybean responds positively to sole application of Sheep Manure or P-fertilizer. Moreover, the optimum combined treatment showed significant increases in the quantity of nitrogen derived from the atmosphere (Qndfa), which were (3.29, 25.54, 53.49 kg N/ha) in roots, shoots, and pods respectively. P-fertilization resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) with increasing phosphorus levels added to Sorghum plants; However, an adverse effect was noticed for the NUE when using sheep manure solely or in combination with P-fertilizer. (author)

  15. 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/km(2) in YDG, and was 244, 767, 3077, 4679, 8388, and 15868 t/km(2) 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/km(2) on the cultivated slopeland, in comparison to 27.7 t/km(2) on the woodland plot, 213 t/km(2) on the grassland plot, 467 t/km(2) on the alfalfa plot, 236 t/km(2) on the terraceland plot, and 642 t/km(2) 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.

  16. Soil to plant 137Cs transfer factors in Zea mays and Phaseolus vulgaris in a semi-arid ecosystem from a radioactive waste site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cervantes, M.L.; Segovia, N.; Gaso, M.I.; Palacios, J.C.

    2002-01-01

    A study of 137 Cs in soil, maize plants, (Zea mays) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) has been performed at the confined Storage Centre for Radioactive Waste from Mexico. Under field conditions the site was divided in four zones with different soil contamination characteristics. The plants were grown 'in situ' reproducing the local agricultural practices without fertilizers, pesticides or artificial irrigation.The 137 Cs determinations were performed using a low background gamma spectrometry system with an HPGe detector. The results indicate that one of the zones had a striking 137 Cs contamination in the soil and the uptake by the grown plants showed the highest specific activities at the root. For the edible parts of the plants the amount of 137 Cs in the maize grains was one order of magnitude lower than for the beans. The transfer factors ranges for the different parts of the maize plants was from 0.001 in the grain to 0.6 in the root. (author)

  17. An ecological engineering approach for keeping water from reaching interred wastes in arid or semiarid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, J.E.

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes application of a soil-plant cover system (SPCS) to preclude water from reaching interred wastes in arid and semiarid regions. Where potential evapotranspiration far exceeds precipitation, water can be kept from reaching buried wastes by (1) providing a sufficiently deep cap of soil to store precipitation that falls while plants are dormant and (2) maintaining plant cover to deplete soil moisture during the growing season, thereby emptying the storage reservoir. Research at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) has shown that 2 m of soil is adequate to store moisture from snowmelt and spring rains. Healthy stands of perennial grasses and shrubs adapted to the INEL climate use all available soil moisture, even during a very wet growing season. However, burrowing by small mammals or ants may affect the performance of a SPCS by increasing infiltration of water. Intrusion barriers of gravel and cobble can be used to restrict burrowing, but emplacement of such barriers affects soil moisture storage and plant rooting depths. A replicated field experiment to investigate the implications of those effects is in progress. Incorporation of an SPCS should be considered in the design of isolation barriers for shallow land burial of hazardous wastes in and regions

  18. Development of an arid site closure plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nyhan, J.W.; Barnes, F.J.

    1987-01-01

    This document describes the development of a prototype plan for the effective closure and stabilization of an arid low-level waste disposal site. This plan will provide demonstrated closure techniques for a trench in a disposal site at Los Alamos. The accuracy of modeling soil water storage by two hydrologic models, CREAMS and HELP, was tested by comparing simulation results with field measurements of soil moisture in eight experimental landfill cover systems having a range of well-defined soil profiles and vegetative covers. Regression analysis showed that CREAMS generally represented soil moisture more accurately than HELP simulations. Precautions for determining parameter values for model input and for interpreting simulation results are discussed. A specific example is presented showing how the field-validated hydrologic models can be used to develop a final prototype closure plan. 15 refs., 13 figs., 3 tabs

  19. Microbial diversity in soil : Selection of microbial populations by plant and soil type and implications for disease suppressiveness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garbeva, P; van Veen, JA; van Elsas, JD

    2004-01-01

    An increasing interest has emerged with respect to the importance of microbial diversity in soil habitats. The extent of the diversity of microorganisms in soil is seen to be critical to the maintenance of soil health and quality, as a wide range of microorganisms is involved in important soil

  20. CHARACTERISTICS OF ARIDITY CONDITIONS IN SOUTH DOBRUDJA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. TISCOVSCHI

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Characteristics of Aridity Conditions in South Dobrudja. For most people, the arid and semi-arid lands are those where precipitation is low (less than 200 mm per year, and yet enough for supplying streams capable of temporarily carrying the debris resulted from weathering, but insufficient for encouraging the development of a vegetal cover meant to protect the soil blanket against eroding agents. The drought is a major and permanent climatic risk for the Dobrudja territory as a whole and for South Dobrudja in particular, a territory where hydrographic network is underdeveloped, streams are ephemeral, and semi-endorheic areas are well developed. When the period of moisture deficiency lasts longer, it can bring about a significant water imbalance, which results in crop losses or restrictions in water consumption, thus leading to a number of economic problems. Under the circumstances, the risk of aridity expansion is significant, this being the reason why a better water management system in Romania is urgently needed. In the last decades, the numerous specialty studies undertaken in the area have emphasized an intensification of the process of dryness, because atmospheric and pedological droughts have become more and more serious. Romania is a member of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO. It actively participates within the drought management network and the Drought Management Center for Southeastern Europe, which comprises 11 countries. The scope is to work together and exchange experience with the neighboring countries that have recorded positive results and acquired a rich experience in terms of drought management. The employment of appropriate pluvial indices in identifying the areas prone to aridity may prove to be convenient tool for finding practical solutions meant to mitigate the impact of this phenomenon on the local communities living in South Dobrudja.

  1. Impact of grazing on range plant community components under arid Mediterranean climate in northern Syria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niane, A.A.

    2013-01-01

    Keywords: Rotational grazing, full protection, continuous grazing species richness,

    species diversity, soil seed bank, Bayesian methods, Salsola vermiculata, seed

    longevity, rangeland management, Syria.

    Rangelands represent 70% of the semi-arid and arid

  2. Quicklime-induced changes of soil properties: Implications for enhanced remediation of volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminated soils via mechanical soil aeration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yan; Dong, Binbin; He, Xiaosong; Shi, Yi; Xu, Mingyue; He, Xuwen; Du, Xiaoming; Li, Fasheng

    2017-04-01

    Mechanical soil aeration is used for soil remediation at sites contaminated by volatile organic compounds. However, the effectiveness of the method is limited by low soil temperature, high soil moisture, and high soil viscosity. Combined with mechanical soil aeration, quicklime has a practical application value related to reinforcement remediation and to its action in the remediation of soil contaminated with volatile organic compounds. In this study, the target pollutant was trichloroethylene, which is a volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon pollutant commonly found in contaminated soils. A restoration experiment was carried out, using a set of mechanical soil-aeration simulation tests, by adding quicklime (mass ratios of 3, 10, and 20%) to the contaminated soil. The results clearly indicate that quicklime changed the physical properties of the soil, which affected the environmental behaviour of trichloroethylene in the soil. The addition of CaO increased soil temperature and reduced soil moisture to improve the mass transfer of trichloroethylene. In addition, it improved the macroporous cumulative pore volume and average pore size, which increased soil permeability. As soil pH increased, the clay mineral content in the soils decreased, the cation exchange capacity and the redox potential decreased, and the removal of trichloroethylene from the soil was enhanced to a certain extent. After the addition of quicklime, the functional group COO of soil organic matter could interact with calcium ions, which increased soil polarity and promoted the removal of trichloroethylene. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Changes in the pastoral sheep systems of semi-arid Mediterranean areas: association with common agricultural policy reform and implications for sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula M. Toro-Mujica

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The dynamics of sheep systems the Mediterranean region have been influenced by reforms coming from the Common Agricultural Policy, and the general economic evolution of markets. The aim of this study was the analysis of the structural changes that occurred between 1999 and 2009, and the identification of future implications for the sheep systems in Andalusia region, Spain. Analysis of the structural changes allowed the generation of strategic information, identified trends that should suggest new rural policies and changes that are likely to have social and environmental impacts, and lastly, prioritize future research. The application of multivariate methodology allowed clustering the farm population into four groups. The typology of these systems was determined by variables related to the sheep subsystem, by the set of agricultural activities, and by changes in swine husbandry, within a context of changes in land tenure and the drive for agricultural intensification. Major modifications of extant systems included a 42% reduction in the number of farms, a decrease in sheep numbers, replacement of native rangelands with improved pastures, olive trees and orchards, a reduction of traditional extensive pastoral activities, and increases in hog production in Dehesa grasslands. Given the historical economic and social importance of the sheep-cereal system, the observed substantial modifications of land use suggest a need to assess their consequences in terms of social and environmental impacts, as well as their implications for climate change.

  4. Growth, Yield and WUE of Drip and Sprinkler Irrigated Okra Grown On Sandy Soil Under Semi-Arid Conditions in Southeast Ghana

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plauborg, Finn

    Vegetable production systems at the Keta sand spit, Southeast Ghana, are typically managed with excessive amounts of irrigation water and fertilizers on sandy soils with low inherent water and nutrient retention capacities. The shallow groundwater which is the primary irrigation water resource...... is prone to salinization from the Keta lagoon, the Atlantic Ocean and brackish water underneath (Kortatsi and Agyeku, 1999). To ensure the sustainability of vegetable production at the Keta spit, introduction of water saving irrigation systems and improved irrigation management schemes are important. Thus......, the main aim of our study was to explore the water sa ving potential of drip irrigation in order to save the shallow groundwater from over exploitation. A two season study (minor dry season, 2011 and major dry season, 2012) were carried out to determine the okra crop response to the following treatments: 1...

  5. Using climate-soil-socioeconomic parameters for a drought vulnerability assessment in a semi-arid region: Application at the region of El Hodna, (M’sila, Algeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boultif Meriem

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to contribute in assessing and monitoring drought’s vulnerability by developing a GIS-based model to determine vulnerable areas to this natural hazard; the model utilizes a series of agricultural, statistical, meteorological and remotely sensed data, using GIS weighed ponderation and multicriteria analysis decision making, with the integration of three components: climatic sensibility, soil sensibility and socioeconomic sensibility. The result is a vulnerability map classified into five classes according to pixel values. Very Vulnerable class forms 19.46% of the study area, vulnerable class forms 32.81% and 21.37% of the area is not vulnerable, the study presents a modeling procedure of which the final results provide to researchers, users and decision makers important information on the environmental situation of the study area, for better prediction, and risk management.

  6. Influence of soil physical and chemical variables on species composition and richness of plants in the arid region of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al-Mutairi Khalid Awadh

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study aims to investigate the effect of soil physical and chemical variables on the species richness and the floristic composition in four sites (Alwaz, Alqan, Sharma and Zetah of Tabuk region in the Northwestern part of Arabian Peninsula. Only organic matter (OM, pH and calcium (Ca showed significant differences (P < 0.05 amongst the four studied sites. Only magnesium and sodium were selected in the forward regression model and showed to be strong drivers of species richness of plants in Tabuk region (Adj-R2 = 0.438, F2,13 = 6.85, P = 0.009. The multivariate analysis of canonical correspondence analysis (CCA was applied to reveal the effect of the physical and chemical variables on the species composition of the plants. The CCA classifies the plant species into three groups based on their preference to the environmental variables. The first group of plant species (Group 1 is characterised by positive preference to the chloride (Cl and negative relationship with OM and pH. The second group (Group 2 is positively correlated with most of the soil variables such as OM, calcium (Ca, potassium (K, bicarbonate (HCO3, electrical conductivity (EC, sulphate (SO4 and sodium (Na. The third group (Group 3 has positive relationship with carbonate (CO3 and negative relationship with EC and magnesium (Mg. The chloride, sodium, sulphate, EC and carbonate are the main environmental factors influencing the plant species composition in Tabuk region. The cluster analysis based on the Euclidian measure shows that Alqan and Zetah have closer species composition compared to Sharma.

  7. Description of Deinococcus oregonensis sp. nov., from biological soil crusts in the Southwestern arid lands of the United States of America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gundlapally, Sathyanarayana Reddy; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2017-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are distinct habitats, harbor unique prokaryotic diversity and gave an impetus to isolate novel species. In the present study, a pink-pigmented bacterium, (OR316-6 T ), was isolated from biological soil crusts using oligotrophic BG11-PGY medium. Strain OR316-6 T was Gram-positive, short rods, non-motile and non-spore forming. Cells were positive for catalase, oxidase and β-galactosidase and negative for most of the enzymatic activities. The major fatty acids present were C 16:0 , C 17:0 , and C 16:1 ω7c and contained MK-8 and MK-10 as the predominant menaquinones. The cell wall peptidoglycan was of A3β variant with L-ornithine as the diamino acid. Based on the above characteristics, strain OR316-6 T was assigned to the genus Deinococcus. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that strain OR316-6 T was closely related to D. aquatilis DSM 23025 T with a 16S rRNA gene similarity of 99.3 % and clustered with a bootstrap value of 100 %. DNA-DNA similarity between strain OR316-6 T and D. aquatilis DSM 23025 T was 37.0 % indicating that strain OR316-6 T was a novel species. Further, DNA fingerprinting of stains OR316-6 T and D. aquatilis DSM 23035 T demonstrated that both strains were related to each other with a similarity coefficient of only 0.32 and supported the species status to strain OR316-6 T . In addition, phenotypic characteristics distinguished strain OR316-6 T from D. aquatilis DSM 23025 T . Based on the cumulative differences, strain OR316-16 T exhibited with its closely related species, it was identified as a novel species and proposed the name Deinococcus oregonensis sp. nov. The type strain is D. oregonensis sp. nov. (OR316-6 T  = JCM 13503 T  = DSM 17762 T ).

  8. Direct Seeding of Pinus halepensis Mill. for Recovery of Burned Semi-Arid Forests: Implications for Post-Fire Management for Improving Natural Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Antonio García-Morote

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: In order to maximize the resiliency of Pinus halepensis in semiarid forests, we analyzed direct seeding methods to recover burned stands by simulating post-fire soil treatments. Methods: Seeding was done by installing spot seeding (100 seeds in a 50 × 50 cm plot, using five methods: (1 covering seeding with wood chips; (2 seeding in branch piles; (3 seeding along trunks on contour-felled logs (on the shaded side; (4 seeding next to grass (Stipa tenacissima; and (5 seeding on the bare ground (control. The experiment was replicated according to aspect (northern and southern aspects. The response variables were seed germination (%, and seedling survival after the summer (measured in autumn 2015 and 2016. Direct seeding was carried out in 32 plots with 160-spot seeding, and data were analyzed using general linear models, including nested random effects. Results: Wood chips as a surface-covering material represented the only treatment that significantly improved seed germination and seedling survival (by 12.4%, and 17.4 seedlings m−2 in year 2, respectively compared with the control in the two topographic aspects. Conclusions: Covering seeding with wood chips, and thus chipping wood within the burned stand, form a recommended post-fire treatment to improve regeneration in Pinus halepensis semiarid stands.

  9. Persistent organic pollutants in the Tibetan surface soil: Spatial distribution, air–soil exchange and implications for global cycling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Xiaoping; Sheng Jiujiang; Gong Ping; Xue Yonggang; Yao Tandong; Jones, Kevin C.

    2012-01-01

    There are limited data on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the soils of the Tibetan Plateau. This paper presents data from a survey of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in 40 background surface (0–5 cm) soils of the Tibetan Plateau. Soil concentrations (pg/g, dw) ranged as follows: DDTs, 13-7700; HCHs, 64-847; HCB, 24-564; sum of 15 PCBs, 75-1021; and sum of 9 PBDEs, below detection limit −27. Soil DDT, HCB, PCB and PBDE concentrations were strongly influenced by soil organic carbon content. HCH concentrations were clearly associated with the proximity to source regions in south Asia. The air–soil equilibrium status of POPs suggested the Tibetan soils may be partial “secondary sources” of HCB, low molecular weight PCBs and HCHs and will likely continue to be “sinks” for the less volatile DDE and DDT. - Highlights: ► Soil organic carbon content influence the spatial distribution of persistent organic pollutants. ► The Tibetan soil acts as “secondary sources” for HCB, low molecular weight PCBs and HCHs. ► The Tibetan soil will continue to be “sinks” for DDE and DDT. - Tibetan soils may be potential “secondary sources” of the HCB, low molecular weight PCBs and HCHs that are observed in air.

  10. Water requirement and use by Jatropha curcas in a semi-arid tropical location

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kesava Rao, A.V.R.; Wani, Suhas P.; Singh, Piara; Srinivas, K.; Srinivasa Rao, Ch.

    2012-01-01

    Increasing emphasis on biofuel to meet the growing energy demand while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, Jatropha curcas has attracted the attention of researchers, policy makers and industries as a good candidate for biodiesel. It is a non-edible oil crop, drought tolerant and could be grown on degraded lands in the tropics without competing for lands currently used for food production. J. curcas being a wild plant, much about its water requirement and production potential of promising clones in different agroclimatic conditions is not known. Water use assessment of J. curcas plantations in the semi-arid tropical location at ICRISAT, Patancheru indicated that crop evapotranspiration of J. curcas under no moisture stress varied from 1410 to 1538 mm per year during 2006–2009. Under field conditions the crop evapotranspiration varied from 614 to 930 mm depending on the atmospheric demand, rainfall and crop phenological stage. Patterns of soil-water depletion indicated that with growing plant age from two to five years, depth of soil-water extraction increased from 100 to 150 cm by fifth year. Monthly water use of Jatropha varied from 10–20 (leaf shedding period) to 140 mm depending on water availability and environmental demand. This study indicated that J. curcas has a good drought tolerance mechanism, however under favorable soil moisture conditions Jatropha could use large amounts of water for luxurious growth and high yield. These findings highlight the need to carefully identify suitable niche areas for Jatropha cultivation and assess the implications of large J. curcas plantations on water availability and use under different agroecosystems, particularly so in water scarce regions such as semi-arid and arid regions in the tropics. -- Highlights: ► Jatropha ET varied from 1410 to 1538 mm in optimal and 614 to 930 mm in field conditions. ► Depth of soil-water extraction increased from 100 to 150 cm by fifth year of age. ► Jatropha yields varied

  11. Changes in the pastoral sheep systems of semi-arid Mediterranean areas: association with common agricultural policy reform and implications for sustainability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toro-Mujica, P.M.; Aguilar, C.; Vera, R.; Barba, C.; Rivas, J.; García-Martínez, A.

    2015-07-01

    The dynamics of sheep systems the Mediterranean region have been influenced by reforms coming from the Common Agricultural Policy, and the general economic evolution of markets. The aim of this study was the analysis of the structural changes that occurred between 1999 and 2009, and the identification of future implications for the sheep systems in Andalusia region, Spain. Analysis of the structural changes allowed the generation of strategic information, identified trends that should suggest new rural policies and changes that are likely to have social and environmental impacts, and lastly, prioritize future research. The application of multivariate methodology allowed clustering the farm population into four groups. The typology of these systems was determined by variables related to the sheep subsystem, by the set of agricultural activities, and by changes in swine husbandry, within a context of changes in land tenure and the drive for agricultural intensification. Major modifications of extant systems included a 42% reduction in the number of farms, a decrease in sheep numbers, replacement of native rangelands with improved pastures, olive trees and orchards, a reduction of traditional extensive pastoral activities, and increases in hog production in Dehesa grasslands. Given the historical economic and social importance of the sheep-cereal system, the observed substantial modifications of land use suggest a need to assess their consequences in terms. (Author)

  12. Local soil classification and crop suitability: Implications for the historical land use and soil management in Monti di Trapani (Sicily)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Vila, Margarita; Corselli, Rocco; Bonet, María Teresa; Lopapa, Giuseppe; Pillitteri, Valentina; Fereres, Elias

    2017-04-01

    In the past, the lack of technologies (e.g. synthetic fertilizers) to overcome biophysical limitations has played a central role in land use planning. Thus, landscape management and agronomic practices are reactions to local knowledge and perceptions on natural resources, particularly soil. In the framework of the European research project MEMOLA (FP7), the role of local farmers knowledge and perceptions on soil for the historical land use through the spatial distribution of crops and the various management practices have been assessed in three different areas of Monti di Trapani region (Sicily). The identification of the soil classification systems of farmers and the criteria on which it is based, linked to the evaluation of the farmers' ability to identify and map the different soil types, was a key step. Nevertheless, beyond the comparison of the ethnopedological classification approach versus standard soil classification systems, the study also aims at understanding local soil management and land use decisions. The applied methodology was based on an interdisciplinary approach, combining soil science methods and participatory appraisal tools, particularly: i) semi-structured interviews; ii) soil sampling and analysis; iii) discussion groups; and iv) a workshop with local edafologists and agronomists. A rich local glossary of terms associated with the soil conditions and an own soil classification system have been identified in the region. Also, a detailed soil map, including process of soil degradation and soil capability, has been generated. This traditional soil knowledge has conditioned the management and the spatial distribution of the crops, and therefore the configuration of the landscape, until the 1990s. Acknowledgements This work has been funded by the European Union project MEMOLA (Grant agreement no: 613265).

  13. Soil texture drives responses of soil respiration to precipitation pulses in the sonoran desert: Implications for climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cable, J.M.; Ogle, K.; Williams, D.G.; Weltzin, J.F.; Huxman, T. E.

    2008-01-01

    Climate change predictions for the desert southwestern U.S. are for shifts in precipitation patterns. The impacts of climate change may be significant, because desert soil processes are strongly controlled by precipitation inputs ('pulses') via their effect on soil water availability. This study examined the response of soil respiration-an important biological process that affects soil carbon (C) storage-to variation in pulses representative of climate change scenarios for the Sonoran Desert. Because deserts are mosaics of different plant cover types and soil textures-which create patchiness in soil respiration-we examined how these landscape characteristics interact to affect the response of soil respiration to pulses. Pulses were applied to experimental plots of bare and vegetated soil on contrasting soil textures typical of Sonoran Desert grasslands. The data were analyzed within a Bayesian framework to: (1) determine pulse size and antecedent moisture (soil moisture prior to the pulse) effects on soil respiration, (2) quantify soil texture (coarse vs. fine) and cover type (bare vs. vegetated) effects on the response of soil respiration and its components (plant vs. microbial) to pulses, and (3) explore the relationship between long-term variation in pulse regimes and seasonal soil respiration. Regarding objective (1), larger pulses resulted in higher respiration rates, particularly from vegetated fine-textured soil, and dry antecedent conditions amplified respiration responses to pulses (wet antecedent conditions dampened the pulse response). Regarding (2), autotrophic (plant) activity was a significant source (???60%) of respiration and was more sensitive to pulses on coarse- versus fine-textured soils. The sensitivity of heterotrophic (microbial) respiration to pulses was highly dependent on antecedent soil water. Regarding (3), seasonal soil respiration was predicted to increase with both growing season precipitation and mean pulse size (but only for pulses

  14. Soil temperature response to 21st century global warming: the role of and some implications for peat carbon in thawing permafrost soils in North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Wisser

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Northern peatlands contain a large terrestrial carbon pool that plays an important role in the Earth's carbon cycle. A considerable fraction of this carbon pool is currently in permafrost and is biogeochemically relatively inert; this will change with increasing soil temperatures as a result of climate warming in the 21st century. We use a geospatially explicit representation of peat areas and peat depth from a recently-compiled database and a geothermal model to estimate northern North America soil temperature responses to predicted changes in air temperature. We find that, despite a widespread decline in the areas classified as permafrost, soil temperatures in peatlands respond more slowly to increases in air temperature owing to the insulating properties of peat. We estimate that an additional 670 km3 of peat soils in North America, containing ~33 Pg C, could be seasonally thawed by the end of the century, representing ~20 % of the total peat volume in Alaska and Canada. Warming conditions result in a lengthening of the soil thaw period by ~40 days, averaged over the model domain. These changes have potentially important implications for the carbon balance of peat soils.

  15. Levels of tritium in soils and vegetation near Canadian nuclear facilities releasing tritium to the atmosphere: implications for environmental models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thompson, P.A.; Kwamena, N.-O.A.; Ilin, M.; Wilk, M.; Clark, I.D.

    2015-01-01

    Concentrations of organically bound tritium (OBT) and tritiated water (HTO) were measured over two growing seasons in vegetation and soil samples obtained in the vicinity of four nuclear facilities and two background locations in Canada. At the background locations, with few exceptions, OBT concentrations were higher than HTO concentrations: OBT/HTO ratios in vegetation varied between 0.3 and 20 and values in soil varied between 2.7 and 15. In the vicinity of the four nuclear facilities OBT/HTO ratios in vegetation and soils deviated from the expected mean value of 0.7, which is used as a default value in environmental transfer models. Ratios of the OBT activity concentration in plants ([OBT] plant ) to the OBT activity concentration in soils ([OBT] soil ) appear to be a good indicator of the long-term behaviour of tritium in soil and vegetation. In general, OBT activity concentrations in soils were nearly equal to OBT activity concentrations in plants in the vicinity of the two nuclear power plants. [OBT] plant /[OBT] soil ratios considerably below unity observed at one nuclear processing facility represents historically higher levels of tritium in the environment. The results of our study reflect the dynamic nature of HTO retention and OBT formation in vegetation and soil during the growing season. Our data support the mounting evidence suggesting that some parameters used in environmental transfer models approved for regulatory assessments should be revisited to better account for the behavior of HTO and OBT in the environment and to ensure that modelled estimates (e.g., plant OBT) are appropriately conservative. - Highlights: • We measured tritium in soils and plants near four nuclear facilities in Canada. • OBT/HTO ratios in plants are higher than default value in environmental models. • OBT/HTO ratios in background soils reflect historically higher atmospheric tritium. • Implications for environmental transfer models are discussed

  16. The Unified North American Soil Map and Its Implication on the Soil Organic Carbon Stock in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Y.; Liu, S.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Michalak, A. M.; Post, W. M.; Cook, R. B.; Schaefer, K. M.; Thornton, M.

    2014-12-01

    The Unified North American Soil Map (UNASM) was developed by Multi-scale Synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project (MsTMIP) to provide more accurate regional soil information for terrestrial biosphere modeling. The UNASM combines information from state-of-the-art US STATSGO2 and Soil Landscape of Canada (SLCs) databases. The area not covered by these datasets is filled by using the Harmonized World Soil Database version 1.21 (HWSD1.21). The UNASM contains maximum soil depth derived from the data source as well as seven soil attributes (including sand, silt, and clay content, gravel content, organic carbon content, pH, and bulk density) for the topsoil layer (0-30 cm) and the subsoil layer (30-100 cm), respectively, of the spatial resolution of 0.25 degrees in latitude and longitude. There are pronounced differences in the spatial distributions of soil properties and soil organic carbon between UNASM and HWSD, but the UNASM overall provides more detailed and higher-quality information particularly in Alaska and central Canada. To provide more accurate and up-to-date estimate of soil organic carbon stock in North America, we incorporated Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD) into the UNASM. The estimate of total soil organic carbon mass in the upper 100 cm soil profile based on the improved UNASM is 365.96 Pg, of which 23.1% is under trees, 14.1% is in shrubland, and 4.6% is in grassland and cropland. This UNASM data has been provided as a resource for use in terrestrial ecosystem modeling of MsTMIP both for input of soil characteristics and for benchmarking model output.

  17. Efeito da Gliricidia sepium sobre nutrientes do solo, microclima e produtividade do milho em sistema agroflorestal no Agreste Paraibano Effects of Gliricidia sepium on soil nutrients, microclimate and maize yield in an agroforestry system in semi-arid Paraiba, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldrin Martin Pérez Marin

    2006-06-01

    Northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil because of its good development under water stress conditions. However, little information is available on the effects of the introduction of this species into regional agroecosystems. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the influence of the distance of Gliricidia sepium plants on the characteristics of maize crop, soil properties and microclimate conditions in the semi-arid region of Paraiba, Brazil. The study was conducted in the Esperança County, Paraíba State, Brazil., where G. sepium trees were planted on a 0.5 ha field in 1996. The spacing used was 6 m between rows and 1 m between plants within the rows. In 2002, four 48 m² plots were established within this field. Within each plot, three sampling positions were established: (1 under tree crowns in the rows (0 m; (2 1 m apart from tree rows; and (3 3 m apart from the tree rows. The experiment had a randomized block design with four replications. Litterfall dry matter amounted to 1.390 kg ha-1 under the trees and decreased to 270 kg ha-1 at a distance of 3 m from the trees. Soil P, K and light fraction of organic matter were significantly greater under the trees as compared to those between the tree rows. Soil and air monthly minimum temperature averages were not influenced by the distance from the trees. However, soil and air monthly maximum temperature averages were 6 and 2 °C lower under the trees, respectively. Soil moisture was significantly lower under the trees as compared to positions 1 and 3 m away from tree rows. Maize grain and straw yields as well as nutrient accumulation were higher under the trees and decreased with increasing the distance from the trees.

  18. Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emily Moghaddas; Ken Hubbert

    2014-01-01

    When managing for resilient forests, each soil’s inherent capacity to resist and recover from changes in soil function should be evaluated relative to the anticipated extent and duration of soil disturbance. Application of several key principles will help ensure healthy, resilient soils: (1) minimize physical disturbance using guidelines tailored to specific soil types...

  19. Hierarchy of responses to resource pulses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwinning, Susanne; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2004-10-01

    In arid/semi-arid ecosystems, biological resources, such as water, soil nutrients, and plant biomass, typically go through periods of high and low abundance. Short periods of high resource abundance are usually triggered by rainfall events, which, despite of the overall scarcity of rain, can saturate the resource demand of some biological processes for a time. This review develops the idea that there exists a hierarchy of soil moisture pulse events with a corresponding hierarchy of ecological responses, such that small pulses only trigger a small number of relatively minor ecological events, and larger pulses trigger a more inclusive set and some larger ecological events. This framework hinges on the observation that many biological state changes, where organisms transition from a state of lower to higher physiological activity, require a minimal triggering event size. Response thresholds are often determined by the ability of organisms to utilize soil moisture pulses of different infiltration depth or duration. For example, brief, shallow pulses can only affect surface dwelling organisms with fast response times and high tolerance for low resource levels, such as some species of the soil micro-fauna and -flora, while it takes more water and deeper infiltration to affect the physiology, growth or reproduction of higher plants. This review first discusses how precipitation, climate and site factors translate into soil moisture pulses of varying magnitude and duration. Next, the idea of the response hierarchy for ecosystem processes is developed, followed by an exploration of the possible evolutionary background for the existence of response thresholds to resource pulses. The review concludes with an outlook on global change: does the hierarchical view of precipitation effects in ecosystems provide new perspectives on the future of arid/semiarid lands?

  20. Diversity in soil seed bank of Sinai and implications for conservation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Understanding the diversity level of seed bank is important for designing conservation and restoration programs especially in arid ecosystems. A diverse of diversity indices has been used in evaluating seed communities regardless of its suitability to measure the ecological quality of the targeted biological community.

  1. Co-evolution of Vegetation, Sediment Transport and Infiltration on semi-arid hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harman, C. J.; Troch, P. A.; Lohse, K. A.; Sivapalan, M.

    2011-12-01

    Soils in semi-arid landscapes can vary over very small distances, with a great deal of variation associated with 'resource islands' created and maintained by woody vegetation. The distinct physical and hydraulic properties that arise in these islands can lead to spatial patterns of infiltration that have been implicated in the maintenance of the vegetation populating the island. Less well understood are the roles that the small-scale variability in soils plays in determining the transport of sediments, water and sediment-bound carbon and nitrogen across hillslopes. Here we explore these relationships using a coupled field and modeling approach. Detailed field data from hillslopes underlain by both granite and schist parent materials in the Santa Catalina mountains (part of the JSC Critical Zone Observatory) suggest that soils under individual velvet mesquite (latin name) contain higher concentration of soil organic matter and have higher hydraulic conductivity and water holding capacity. Greater infiltration and increased roughness under the canopy appears to lead to the formation of mounds that alter overland flow lines around the area under the canopy, particularly in the finer schist soils. This diversion leads to a complex distribution of shear stresses across the hillslope, creating systematic patterns in the transport of carbon and nitrogen rich soils under the canopies. The relationship between the small scale mechanism and the emergent pattern dynamics in the temporal variability of materials delivered to the stream from the hillslope are also examined, and the implications of these results for the modeling of water, sediment and nutrient fluxes at hillslope scales will be discussed.

  2. Rainwater harvesting in arid and semi-arid zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boers, T.M.

    1994-01-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, the scarcity of water can be alleviated by rainwater harvesting, which is defined as a method of inducing, collecting, storing, and conserving local surface runoff for agriculture. Rainwater harvesting can be applied with different

  3. Greening reclamation of arid region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamichika, Makio [Tottori Univ. (Japan)

    1989-01-20

    Arid regions occupy a third of the whole land in the world, and desertification in the rimland makes a problem become more acute. It is also a problem that the large part of such areas is distributed in developing countries. Desertification is defined as a phenomenon, by which the ecological system is degenerated by the change of weather conditions and the pressure of human beings and livestock, and productivity of land is markedly deteriorated. In order to prevent desertification and to promote greening reclamation and agricultural development, it is necessary to analyze desertification mechanism in detail. Artificial factors are overpopulation, too much pasturage, and conversion of grassland into farmland. Natural environmental factors are weather conditions, water resources, soil conditions, etc. It is also important for greening reclamation and development of farm land to evaluate the amount of meteorological resources (such as water resources, energy resources, etc.) and to search for the possibility of their utilization. Because of major condition to grow plants is water environment, investigation and development of water resources are important. If a project ignores the cycle of the ecological system, it might be in danger of retrogradation toward desertification. 8 refs., 10 figs., 4 tabs.

  4. Reductions in soil surface albedo as a function of biochar application rate: implications for global radiative forcing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verheijen, Frank G A; Bastos, Ana Catarina; Keizer, Jan Jacob; Jeffery, Simon; Van der Velde, Marijn; Penížek, Vít; Beland, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Biochar can be defined as pyrolysed (charred) biomass produced for application to soils with the aim of mitigating global climate change while improving soil functions. Sustainable biochar application to soils has been estimated to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 71–130 Pg CO 2 -C e over 100 years, indicating an important potential to mitigate climate change. However, these estimates ignored changes in soil surface reflection by the application of dark-coloured biochar. Through a laboratory experiment we show a strong tendency for soil surface albedo to decrease as a power decay function with increasing biochar application rate, depending on soil moisture content, biochar application method and land use. Surface application of biochar resulted in strong reductions in soil surface albedo even at relatively low application rates. As a first assessment of the implications for climate change mitigation of these biochar–albedo relationships, we applied a first order global energy balance model to compare negative radiative forcings (from avoided CO 2 emissions) with positive radiative forcings (from reduced soil surface albedos). For a global-scale biochar application equivalent to 120 t ha −1 , we obtained reductions in negative radiative forcings of 5 and 11% for croplands and 11 and 23% for grasslands, when incorporating biochar into the topsoil or applying it to the soil surface, respectively. For a lower global biochar application rate (equivalent to 10 t ha −1 ), these reductions amounted to 13 and 44% for croplands and 28 and 94% for grasslands. Thus, our findings revealed the importance of including changes in soil surface albedo in studies assessing the net climate change mitigation potential of biochar, and we discuss the urgent need for field studies and more detailed spatiotemporal modelling. (letter)

  5. Heavy metal accumulation and ecosystem engineering by two common mine site-nesting ant species: implications for pollution-level assessment and bioremediation of coal mine soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shbbir R; Singh, Satish K; Rastogi, Neelkamal

    2017-04-01

    The present study focuses on the abundance, heavy metal content, and the impact of ecosystem engineering activities of two coal mine site-inhabiting ant species, Cataglyphis longipedem and Camponotus compressus. The abundance of Ct. longipedem increased while that of C. compressus decreased, with increasing soil pollution. Correspondence analysis reveals a close association between soil heavy metal concentrations and Ct. longipedem abundance, but this association is lacking in the case of C. compressus. Cataglyphis ants which occupy stress-characterized niches appear to be pre-adapted to tolerate heavy metal pollution. Higher concentrations of Zn and Mn in Ct. longipedem may contribute to the strengthening of the cuticular structures, necessary for nest excavation in the hard, arid soil and for single load carrying. C. compressus ants appear to be pollution sensitive. Their higher Fe content may be related to metal uptake via plant-derived liquids and species-specific regulatory mechanisms. The metal pollution index and biota-to-soil accumulation factors, calculated by using the ant body metal content of the two species, indicate an overall decrease of soil heavy metal concentrations with increase of the site age, which reflects the degree of pollution related to the mine site age. The concentrations of total and available heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Mn, Pb, and Cu) were significantly lower in the ant nest debris soil as compared to the reference soil. The results of the present study highlight the role of ants as bioindicators and in bioremediation of contaminated soil.

  6. Characteristics of soil under variations in clay, water saturation, and water flow rates, and the implications upon soil remediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aikman, M.; Mirotchnik, K.; Kantzas, A.

    1997-01-01

    A potential remediation method for hydrocarbon contaminated soils was discussed. The new method was based on the use of proven and economic petroleum reservoir engineering methods for soil remediation. The methods that were applied included water and gas displacement methods together with horizontal boreholes as the flow inlet and outlets. This system could be used in the case of spills that seep beneath a plant or other immovable infrastructure which requires in-situ treatment schemes to decontaminate the soil. A study was conducted to characterize native soils and water samples from industrial plants in central Alberta and Sarnia, Ontario and to determine the variables that impact upon the flow conditions of synthetic test materials. The methods used to characterize the soils included X-Ray computed tomographic analysis, grain size and density measurements, and X-Ray diffraction. Clay content, initial water saturation, and water and gas flow rate were the variables that impacted on the flow conditions

  7. Decoding implicit information from the soil map of Belgium and implications for spatial modelling and soil classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dondeyne, Stefaan; Legrain, Xavier; Colinet, Gilles; Van Ranst, Eric; Deckers, Jozef

    2014-05-01

    A systematic soil survey of Belgium was conducted from 1948 to 1991. Field surveys were done at the detailed scale of 1:5000 with the final maps published at a 1:20,000 scale. Soil surveyors were classifying soils in the field according to physical and morphogenetic characteristics such as texture, drainage class and profile development. Mapping units are defined as a combination of these characteristics but to which modifiers can be added such as parent material, stoniness or depth to substrata. Interpretation of the map towards predicting soil properties seems straight forward. Consequently, since the soil map has been digitized, it has been used for e.g. hydrological modelling or for estimating soil organic carbon content at sub-national and national level. Besides the explicit information provided by the legend, a wealth of implicit information is embedded in the map. Based on three cases, we illustrate that by decoding this information, properties pertaining to soil drainage or soil organic carbon content can be assessed more accurately. First, the presence/absence of fragipans affects the soil hydraulic conductivity. Although a dedicated symbol exits for fragipans (suffix "...m"), it is only used explicitly in areas where fragipans are not all that common. In the Belgian Ardennes, where fragipans are common, their occurrence is implicitly implied for various soil types mentioned in explanatory booklets. Second, whenever seasonal or permanent perched water tables were observed, these were indicated by drainage class ".h." or ".i.", respectively. Stagnic properties have been under reported as typical stagnic mottling - i.e. when the surface of soil peds are lighter and/or paler than the more reddish interior - were not distinguished from mottling due to groundwater gley. Still, by combining information on topography and the occurrence of substratum layers, stagnic properties can be inferred. Thirdly, soils with deep anthropogenic enriched organic matter

  8. The Fingerprint of Present and Past Rainfall on Soil Geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, R.; Owen, J.; Ewing, S.; Nishiizumi, K.; Finkel, R.; Chadwick, O.; Dietrich, W.

    2007-12-01

    since that time has generally experienced its present condition of cold upwelling offshore waters and corresponding aridity. Presently, the soils are in arid to hyperarid regions where the main geochemical process is sulfate (north) and carbonate (south) retention, and the soils show enormous gains of these solutes. In stark contrast, the silicate matrix of the soils shows elemental losses of Si, Al, and Fe (and clay formation) that increase with southerly distance (and rainfall), illustrating that past (pre-late Pliocene) geochemical processes differed greatly from modern conditions. These starkly different geochemical signatures (salts over a weathered silicate matrix) reflect soil polygenesis, and have significant implications for Mars soils which contain both weathered silicates and secondary phyllosilicates, and a later stage overlay of sulfates and chlorides.

  9. Aridity and grazing as convergent selective forces: an experiment with an Arid Chaco bunchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiroga, R Emiliano; Golluscio, Rodolfo A; Blanco, Lisandro J; Fernández, Roberto J

    2010-10-01

    It has been proposed that aridity and grazing are convergent selective forces: each one selects for traits conferring resistance to both. However, this conceptual model has not yet been experimentally validated. The aim of this work was to experimentally evaluate the effect of aridity and grazing, as selective forces, on drought and grazing resistance of populations of Trichloris crinita, a native perennial forage grass of the Argentinean Arid Chaco region. We collected seeds in sites with four different combinations of aridity and grazing history (semiarid/ subhumid x heavily grazed/lightly grazed), established them in pots in a common garden, and subjected the resulting plants to different combinations of drought and defoliation. Our results agreed with the convergence model. Aridity has selected T. crinita genotypes that respond better to drought and defoliation in terms of sexual reproduction and leaf growth, and that can evade grazing due to a lower shoot: root ratio and a higher resource allocation to reserves (starch) in stem bases. Similarly, grazing has selected genotypes that respond better to drought and defoliation in terms of sexual reproduction and that can evade grazing due to a lower digestibility of leaf blades. These results allow us to extend concepts of previous models in plant adaptation to herbivory to models on plant adaptation to drought. The only variable in which we obtained a result opposite to predictions was plant height, as plants from semiarid sites were taller (and with more erect tillers) than plants from subhumid sites; we hypothesize that this result might have been a consequence of the selection exerted by the high solar radiation and soil temperatures of semiarid sites. In addition, our work allows for the prediction of the effects of dry or wet growing seasons on the performance of T. crinita plants. Our results suggest that we can rely on dry environments for selecting grazing-resistant genotypes and on high grazing pressure

  10. the use of integrated soil fertility approach in the improvement of soil

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sammy

    Innovational practices in the management of organic matters in semi-arid soil, ... Compared to other areas, a large proportion of soil in semi-arid areas has low .... combine old and new methods of nutrient management into ecologically sound and ... Furthermore, organic matter is the energy source for soil fauna and micro ...

  11. Germination of Acacia harpophylla (Brigalow seeds in relation to soil water potential: implications for rehabilitation of a threatened ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Arnold

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Initial soil water conditions play a critical role when seeding is the primary approach to revegetate post-mining areas. In some semi-arid climates, such as the Brigalow Belt Bioregion in eastern Australia, extensive areas are affected by open-cut mining. Together with erratic rainfall patterns and clayey soils, the Brigalow Belt denotes a unique biome which is representative of other water-limited ecosystems worldwide. Apart from other environmental stressors, germination is governed by the water potential of the surrounding soil material. While previous studies have confirmed the high tolerance of Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla seeds to a broad range of temperature and salinity, the question of how soil water potential triggers seed germination remains. In this study, we used three replicates of 50 seeds of Brigalow to investigate germination in relation to water potential as an environmental stressor. Solutions of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG 6000 were applied to expose seeds to nine osmotic water potentials ranging from soil water saturation (0 MPa and field capacity (−.01 to −.03 MPa to the permanent wilting point (−1.5 MPa. We measured germinability (number of germinated seeds relative to total number of seeds per lot and mean germination time (mean time required for maximum germination of a seed lot to quantify germination. Based on the empirical data of the germination we estimated the parameters of the hydrotime model which simulates timing and success of seed emergence. Our findings indicate that Brigalow seeds are remarkably tolerant to water stress, with germination being observed at a water potential as low as −1.5 MPa. Likewise, the average base water potential of a seed population (hydrotime model was very low and ranged between −1.533 and −1.451 MPa. In general, Brigalow seeds germinate opportunistically over a broad range of abiotic conditions related to temperature, salinity, and water availability. Direct seeding and

  12. Crop residue harvest for bioenergy production and its implications on soil functioning and plant growth: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurício Roberto Cherubin

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The use of crop residues as a bioenergy feedstock is considered a potential strategy to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG emissions. However, indiscriminate harvesting of crop residues can induce deleterious effects on soil functioning, plant growth and other ecosystem services. Here, we have summarized the information available in the literature to identify and discuss the main trade-offs and synergisms involved in crop residue management for bioenergy production. The data consistently showed that crop residue harvest and the consequent lower input of organic matter into the soil led to C storage depletions over time, reducing cycling, supply and availability of soil nutrients, directly affecting the soil biota. Although the biota regulates key functions in the soil, crop residue can also cause proliferation of some important agricultural pests. In addition, crop residues act as physical barriers that protect the soil against raindrop impact and temperature variations. Therefore, intensive crop residue harvest can cause soil structure degradation, leading to soil compaction and increased risks of erosion. With regard to GHG emissions, there is no consensus about the potential impact of management of crop residue harvest. In general, residue harvest decreases CO2 and N2O emissions from the decomposition process, but it has no significant effect on CH4 emissions. Plant growth responses to soil and microclimate changes due to crop residue harvest are site and crop specific. Adoption of the best management practices can mitigate the adverse impacts of crop residue harvest. Longterm experiments within strategic production regions are essential to understand and monitor the impact of integrated agricultural systems and propose customized solutions for sustainable crop residue management in each region or landscape. Furthermore, private and public investments/cooperations are necessary for a better understanding of the potential environmental

  13. Use of composts in revegetating arid lands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brandt, C.A.; Hendrickson, P.L.

    1991-09-01

    Compost has been suggested as a soil amendment for arid lands at the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. The operating contractor of the site, Westinghouse Hanford Company, requested that the Pacific Northwest Laboratory conduct a literature review to compile additional information on the use of compost amendments and their benefits. This report provides background information on the factors needed for plant growth and the consequences of severe soil disturbance. This report also discussed the characteristics of composts relative to other amendments and how they each affect plant growth. Finally,regulatory requirements that could affect land application of sludge-based compost on the Hanford Site are reviewed.

  14. Modeling of hydrological processes in arid agricultural regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang LI,Xiaomin MAO,Shaozhong KANG,David A. BARRY

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding of hydrological processes, including consideration of interactions between vegetation growth and water transfer in the root zone, underpins efficient use of water resources in arid-zone agriculture. Water transfers take place in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, and include groundwater dynamics, unsaturated zone flow, evaporation/transpiration from vegetated/bare soil and surface water, agricultural canal/surface water flow and seepage, and well pumping. Models can be categorized into three classes: (1 regional distributed hydrological models with various land uses, (2 groundwater-soil-plant-atmosphere continuum models that neglect lateral water fluxes, and (3 coupled models with groundwater flow and unsaturated zone water dynamics. This review highlights, in addition, future research challenges in modeling arid-zone agricultural systems, e.g., to effectively assimilate data from remote sensing, and to fully reflect climate change effects at various model scales.

  15. How development and disturbance of biological soil crust do affect runoff and erosion in drylands?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chamizo, S.; Canton, Y.; Afana, A.; Lazaro, R.; Domingo, F.; Sole-Benet, A.

    2009-07-01

    Deserts and semiarid ecosystems (shrub lands and grasslands) are the largest terrestrial biome, covering more than 40% of the Earth's terrestrial surface and Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs) are the predominant surface type in most of those ecosystems covering up to 70% of its surface. BSCs have been demonstrated to be very vulnerable to disturbance due to human activities and their loss has been implicated as a factor leading to accelerate soil erosion and other forms of land degradation. Incorporation of the response of different type of soil crusts and the effects of the their disturbance is likely to improve the prediction of runoff and water erosion models in arid and semi-arid catchments. The aim of this work is to analyse the influence of crust disturbance on infiltration and erosion. Extreme rainfall simulations at micro plots scale were performed in two semiarid ecosystems with different lithology and conditions of occurrence of BSCs: El Cautivo and Amoladeras. (Author) 10 refs.

  16. How development and disturbance of biological soil crust do affect runoff and erosion in drylands?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chamizo, S.; Canton, Y.; Afana, A.; Lazaro, R.; Domingo, F.; Sole-Benet, A.

    2009-01-01

    Deserts and semiarid ecosystems (shrub lands and grasslands) are the largest terrestrial biome, covering more than 40% of the Earth's terrestrial surface and Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs) are the predominant surface type in most of those ecosystems covering up to 70% of its surface. BSCs have been demonstrated to be very vulnerable to disturbance due to human activities and their loss has been implicated as a factor leading to accelerate soil erosion and other forms of land degradation. Incorporation of the response of different type of soil crusts and the effects of the their disturbance is likely to improve the prediction of runoff and water erosion models in arid and semi-arid catchments. The aim of this work is to analyse the influence of crust disturbance on infiltration and erosion. Extreme rainfall simulations at micro plots scale were performed in two semiarid ecosystems with different lithology and conditions of occurrence of BSCs: El Cautivo and Amoladeras. (Author) 10 refs.

  17. Avoidance, biomass and survival response of soil dwelling (endogeic) earthworms to OECD artificial soil: potential implications for earthworm ecotoxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brami, C; Glover, A R; Butt, K R; Lowe, C N

    2017-05-01

    Soil dwelling earthworms are now adopted more widely in ecotoxicology, so it is vital to establish if standardised test parameters remain applicable. The main aim of this study was to determine the influence of OECD artificial soil on selected soil-dwelling, endogeic earthworm species. In an initial experiment, biomass change in mature Allolobophora chlorotica was recorded in Standard OECD Artificial Soil (AS) and also in Kettering Loam (KL). In a second experiment, avoidance behaviour was recorded in a linear gradient with varying proportions of AS and KL (100% AS, 75% AS + 25% KL, 50% KS + 50% KL, 25% AS + 75% KL, 100% KL) with either A. chlorotica or Octolasion cyaneum. Results showed a significant decrease in A. chlorotica biomass in AS relative to KL, and in the linear gradient, both earthworm species preferentially occupied sections containing higher proportions of KL over AS. Soil texture and specifically % composition and particle size of sand are proposed as key factors that influenced observed results. This research suggests that more suitable substrates are required for ecotoxicology tests with soil dwelling earthworms.

  18. The interactions of composting and biochar and their implications for soil amendment and pollution remediation: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Haipeng; Lai, Cui; Zeng, Guangming; Liang, Jie; Chen, Jin; Xu, Jijun; Dai, Juan; Li, Xiaodong; Liu, Junfeng; Chen, Ming; Lu, Lunhui; Hu, Liang; Wan, Jia

    2017-09-01

    Compost and biochar, used for the remediation of soil, are seen as attractive waste management options for the increasing volume of organic wastes being produced. This paper reviews the interaction of biochar and composting and its implication for soil amendment and pollution remediation. The interaction of biochar and composting affect each other's properties. Biochar could change the physico-chemical properties, microorganisms, degradation, humification and gas emission of composting, such as the increase of nutrients, cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic matter and microbial activities. The composting could also change the physico-chemical properties and facial functional groups of biochar, such as the improvement of nutrients, CEC, functional groups and organic matter. These changes would potentially improve the efficiency of the biochar and composting for soil amendment and pollution remediation. Based on the above review, this paper also discusses the future research required in this field.

  19. Dynamic of epigeous macrofauna under organic soil management in the Brazilian semi-arid regionDinâmica da macrofauna epígea sob manejo orgânico do solo no semi-árido brasileiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio Sampaio Pimentel

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Soil macrofauna is responsible for soil fertility through cycling of nutrients, tillage and fragmentation of organic matter, as well as through the association between groups of fauna with conserved and/or degraded pedoenvironments. Nevertheless, under the conditions of the Brazilian semi-arid region, there is little information about this resource. The objective of this study was to evaluate the epigeous macrofauna in successive cropping using previous green manure and subsequent planting of melon (Cucumis melo L. in Juazeiro county, Bahia, Brazil. Sampling dates were undertaken in November 2007 and February, April and July 2008, using traps containing 4 % formaldehyde for seven days in plots of 64 m2. Results obtained indicate that there is no difference among the treatments with mixed cover crops, and epigeous macrofauna is influenced by the time of collection. Diversity and uniformity are inversely correlated with total density of epigeous macrofauna. Diversification of plant species favors the increase of diversity and uniformity of epigeous macrofauna. Formicidae, followed by Isopoda, Coleoptera and Oligochaeta are the groups of fauna most numerous in the areas. A macrofauna do solo é responsável pela melhoria da fertilidade do solo através da ciclagem de nutrientes, revolvimento e fragmentação da matéria orgânica, como também, pela associação entre grupos de fauna com pedoambientes conservados e/ou degradados. No entanto, nas condições de semi-árido brasileiro pouca informação se tem a respeito deste recurso. Neste sentido, na região do sub-médio do Rio São Francisco, pólo de desenvolvimento da agricultura irrigada objetivou-se avaliar a macrofauna epígea em sucessão cultural utilizando prévia adubação verde e subseqüente plantio de melão (Cucumis melo L.. As coletas foram realizadas em novembro de 2007 e fevereiro, abril e julho de 2008 no município de Juazeiro, BA, utilizando armadilhas contendo formol 4

  20. Can biochar be used as a seed coating to improve native plant germination and growth in arid conditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary I. Williams; R. Kasten Dumroese; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Stuart P. Hardegree

    2016-01-01

    Direct seeding is a common large-scale restoration practice for revegetating arid and semi-arid lands, but success can be limited by moisture and temperature. Seed coating technologies that use biochar may have the potential to overcome moisture and temperature limitations on native plant germination and growth. Biochar is a popular agronomic tool for improving soil...

  1. Role of biological soil crusts in desert hydrology and geomorphology: Implications for military training operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven D. Warren

    2014-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, composed of soil surfaces stabilized by a consortium of cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, lichens, and/or bryophytes, are common in most deserts and perform functions of primary productivity, nitrogen fixation, nutrient cycling, water redistribution, and soil stabilization. The crusts are highly susceptible to disturbance. The degree of perturbation...

  2. Soil water sensing: Implications of sensor capabilities for variable rate irrigation management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irrigation scheduling using soil water sensors aims at maintaining the soil water content in the crop root zone above a lower limit defined by the management allowed depletion (MAD) for that soil and crop, but not so wet that too much water is lost to deep percolation, evaporation and runoff or that...

  3. Integrated modelling of climate, water, soil, agricultural and socio-economic processes: A general introduction of the methodology and some exemplary results from the semi-arid north-east of Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Martinus S.; Jaeger, Annekathrin; Bronstert, Axel; Güntner, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Many semi-arid regions are characterised by water scarcity and vulnerability of natural resources, pronounced climatic variability and social stress. Integrated studies including climatology, hydrology, and socio-economic studies are required both for analysing the dynamic natural conditions and to

  4. Variabilidade espacial da salinidade de um solo aluvial no semi-árido Paraibano Spatial variability of soil salinity in an alluvial soil of the semi-arid region of Paraíba state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lázaro Costa de Souza

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available O objetivo deste trabalho foi estudar a variabilidade espacial do pH da pasta de saturação (pHps, condutividade elétrica do extrato de saturação (CEes e porcentagem de sódio trocável (PST de um solo aluvial afetado por sais. Foram coletadas amostras de solo nas camadas 0-20, 20-40 e 40-60 cm, numa área do Projeto de Irrigação Capoeira, localizado em São José do Bonfim, Estado da Paraíba, utilizando-se um esquema sistemático de amostragem numa malha regular de 10 x 15 m. Os dados foram analisados através da estatística descritiva e geoestatística. Verificou-se baixa variabilidade para o pHps (CV 60 %. Modelos esférico e gaussiano foram ajustados aos semivariogramas das variáveis que apresentaram estrutura de dependência espacial, tendo-se obtido alcances variando de 20 a 40 m. Os mapas de isolinhas da combinação da CEes e PST permitiram visualizar o padrão de variabilidade da salinidade e sodicidade, constituindo-se em uma ferramenta para a definição de estratégias de manejo edáfico e recuperação da área afetada.The objective of this work was to study the spatial variability of pH of saturation paste (pHsp, the electrical conductivity of saturation extract (ECe and the exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP in an alluvial salt affected soil. Soil samples were collected in 0 - 20, 20 - 40 and 40 - 60 cm depths, in an area of the Irrigation Project of Capoeira, located in São José do Bonfim - Paraíba (Brazil, following a systematic scheme of sampling in a 10 x 15 m mesh. The data were analyzed through the descriptive statistics and geostatistics. Low variability was observed for the pHsp (CV 60%. Spherical and gaussian models were adjusted to the experimental semivariograms of the variables that presented a spatial dependence structure. Structures of spatial dependence, with range varying from 20 to 40 m were observed. The maps of isohypsas of the combination of ECe and ESP allowed the visualization of the pattern of