WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological soil crusts

  1. Color characterization of Arctic Biological Soil Crusts

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    Mele, Giacono; Gargiulo, Laura; Ventura, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    Global climate change makes large areas lacking the vegetation coverage continuously available to primary colonization by biological soil crusts (BSCs). This happens in many different environments, included high mountains and Polar Regions where new areas can become available due to glaciers retreat. Presence of BSCs leads to the stabilization of the substrate and to a possible development of protosoil, with an increase of fertility and resilience against erosion. Polar BSCs can exhibit many different proportions of cyanobacteria, algae, microfungi, lichens, and bryophytes which induce a large variability of the crust morphology and specific ecosystem functions. An effective and easy way for identifying the BSCs in the field would be very useful to rapidly recognize their development stage and help in understanding the overall impact of climate change in the delicate polar environments. Color analysis has long been applied as an easily measurable physical attribute of soil closely correlated with pedogenic processes and some soil functions. In this preliminary work we used RGB and CIE-L*a*b* color models in order to physically characterize fourteen different BSCs identified in Spitsbergen island of Svalbard archipelago in Arctic Ocean at 79° north latitude. We found that the "redness parameter "a*" of CIE-L*a*b* model was well correlated to the succession process of some BSCs at given geomorphology condition. Most of color parameters showed, moreover, a great potential to be correlated to photosynthetic activity and other ecosystem functions of BSCs.

  2. Researchers Reveal Ecological Roles of Biological Soil Crusts in Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    @@ Biological soil crust is a complex organic integrity of cyanobacteria, green algae, lichens and mosses, fungi, and other bacteria. This is a common and widespread phenomenon in desert areas all over the world. Biologically,this kind of soil crust differs a lot from physical ones in terms of physical and chemical properties, and become important biological factors in vegetation succession. Despite its unassuming appearance, the crust plays a significant role in the desert ecosystem, involving the process of soil formation, stability and fertility,the prevention of soil erosion by water or wind, the increased possibility of vascular plants colonization, and the stabilization of sand dunes.

  3. Crusts: biological

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  4. Biological soil crusts as soil stabilizers: Chapter 16

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Buedel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina; Buedel, Burkhard; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is of particular concern in dryland regions, as the sparse cover of vascular plants results in large interspaces unprotected from the erosive forces of wind and water. Thus, most of these soil surfaces are stabilized by physical or biological soil crusts. However, as drylands are extensively used by humans and their animals, these crusts are often disturbed, compromising their stabilizing abilities. As a result, approximately 17.5% of the global terrestrial lands are currently being degraded by wind and water erosion. All components of biocrusts stabilize soils, including green algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, lichens, and bryophytes, and as the biomass of these organisms increases, so does soil stability. In addition, as lichens and bryophytes live atop the soil surface, they provide added protection from raindrop impact that cyanobacteria and fungi, living within the soil, cannot. Much research is still needed to determine the relative ability of individual species and suites of species to stabilize soils. We also need a better understanding of why some individuals or combination of species are better than others, especially as these organisms become more frequently used in restoration efforts.

  5. Nitrogen fixation in biological soil crusts from southeast Utah, USA

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    Belnap, J.

    2002-01-01

    Biological soil crusts can be the dominant source of N for arid land ecosystems. We measured potential N fixation rates biweekly for 2 years, using three types of soil crusts: (1) crusts whose directly counted cells were >98% Microcoleus vaginatus (light crusts); (2) crusts dominated by M. vaginatus, but with 20% or more of the directly counted cells represented by Nostoc commune and Scytonema myochrous (dark crusts); and (3) the soil lichen Collema sp. At all observation times, Collema had higher nitrogenase activity (NA) than dark crusts, which had higher NA than light crusts, indicating that species composition is critical when estimating N inputs. In addition, all three types of crusts generally responded in a similar fashion to climate conditions. Without precipitation within a week of collection, no NA was recorded, regardless of other conditions being favorable. Low (26??C) temperatures precluded NA, even if soils were moist. If rain or snow melt had occurred 3 or less days before collection, NA levels were highly correlated with daily average temperatures of the previous 3 days (r2=0.93 for Collema crusts; r2=0.86 for dark crusts and r2=0.83 for light crusts) for temperatures between 1??C and 26??C. If a precipitation event followed a long dry period, NA levels were lower than if collection followed a time when soils were wet for extended periods (e.g., winter). Using a combination of data from a recording weather datalogger, time-domain reflectometry, manual dry-down curves, and N fixation rates at different temperatures, annual N input from the different crust types was estimated. Annual N input from dark crusts found at relatively undisturbed sites was estimated at 9 kg ha-1 year-1. With 20% cover of the N-fixing soil lichen Collema, inputs are estimated at 13 kg ha-1 year-1. N input from light crusts, generally indicating soil surface disturbance, was estimated at 1.4 kg ha-1 year-1. The rates in light crusts are expected to be highly variable, as

  6. Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

    The biology and ecology of biological soil crusts, a soil surface community of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, and bacteria, have only recently been a topic of research. Most efforts began in the western U.S. (Cameron, Harper, Rushforth, and St. Clair), Australia (Rogers), and Israel (Friedmann, Evenari, and Lange) in the late 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Friedmann et al. 1967; Evenari 1985reviewed in Harper and Marble 1988). However, these groups worked independently of each other and, in fact, were often not aware of each other’s work. In addition, biological soil crust communities were seen as more a novelty than a critical component of dryland ecosystems. Since then, researchers have investigated many different aspects of these communities and have shown that although small to microscopic, biological soil crusts are critical in many ecological processes of deserts. They often cover most of desert soil surfaces and substantially mediate inputs and outputs from desert soils (Belnap et al. 2003). They can be a large source of biodiversity for deserts, as they can contain more species than the surrounding vascular plant community (Rosentreter 1986). These communities are important in reducing soil erosion and increasing soil fertility through the capture of dust and the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon into forms available to other life forms (Elbert et al. 2012). Because of their many effects on soil characteristics, such as external and internal morphological characteristics, aggregate stability, soil moisture, and permeability, they also affect seed germination and establishment and local hydrological cycles. Covering up to 70% of the surface area in many arid and semi-arid regions around the world (Belnap and Lange 2003), biological soil crusts are a key component within desert environments.

  7. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

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    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  8. Vulnerability of desert biological soil crusts to wind erosion: The influences of crust development, soil texture, and disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Gillette, Dale A.

    1998-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, consisting of cyanobacteria, green algae, lichens, and mosses, are important in stabilizing soils in semi-arid and arid lands. Integrity of these crusts is compromised by compressional disturbances such as foot, vehicle, or livestock traffic. Using a portable wind tunnel, we found threshold friction velocities (TFVs) of undisturbed crusts well above wind forces experienced at these sites; consequently, these soils are not vulnerable to wind erosion. However, recently disturbed soils or soils with less well-developed crusts frequently experience wind speeds that exceed the stability thresholds of the crusts. Crustal biomass is concentrated in the top 3 mm of soils. Sandblasting by wind can quickly remove this material, thereby reducing N and C inputs from these organisms. This loss can result in reduced site productivity, as well as exposure of unprotected subsurface sediments to wind and water erosion. Actions to reduce impacts to these crusts can include adjustments in type, intensity, and timing of use.

  9. Reconstruction of food webs in biological soil crusts using metabolomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Richard; Brodie, Eoin L.; Mayberry-Lewis, Jazmine; Nunes Da Rocha, Ulisses; Bowen, Benjamin P.; Karaoz, Ulas; Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Northen, Trent R.

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are communities of organisms inhabiting the upper layer of soil in arid environments. BSCs persist in a dessicated dormant state for extended periods of time and experience pulsed periods of activity facilitated by infrequent rainfall. Microcoleus vaginatus, a non-diazotrophic filamentous cyanobacterium, is the key primary producer in BSCs in the Colorado Plateau and is an early pioneer in colonizing arid environments. Over decades, BSCs proceed through developmental stages with increasing complexity of constituent microorganisms and macroscopic properties. Metabolic interactions among BSC microorganisms probably play a key role in determining the community dynamics and cycling of carbon and nitrogen. However, these metabolic interactions have not been studied systematically. Towards this goal, exometabolomic analysis was performed using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry on biological soil crust pore water and spent media of key soil bacterial isolates. Comparison of spent vs. fresh media was used to determine uptake or release of metabolites by specific microbes. To link pore water experiments with isolate studies, metabolite extracts of authentic soil were used as supplements for isolate exometabolomic profiling. Our soil metabolomics methods detected hundreds of metabolites from soils including many novel compounds. Overall, Microcoleus vaginatus was found to release and utilize a broad range of metabolites. Many of these metabolites were also taken up by heterotrophs but there were surprisingly few metabolites uptaken by all isolates. This points to a competition for a small set of central metabolites and specialization of individual heterotrophs towards a diverse pool of available organic nutrients. Overall, these data suggest that understanding the substrate specialization of biological soil crust bacteria can help link community structure to nutrient cycling.

  10. Synthesis on biological soil crust research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Bettina; Belnap, Jayne; Buedel, Burkhard

    2016-01-01

    In this closing chapter, we summarize the advances in biocrust research made during the last 1.5 decades. In the first part of the chapter, we discuss how in some research fields, such as the microbial diversity of fungi, bacteria, and microfauna; the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants; and in the rehabilitation of biocrusts; particularly large achievements have been made. In other fields, previously established knowledge of overall patterns has been corroborated and refined by additional studies, e.g., in the fields of soil stabilization and disturbance effects. In the second part of the chapter, we outline the research gaps and challenges foreseen by us. We identify multiple knowledge gaps, including many understudied geographic regions, the largely missing link between genetic and morphological species identification data, and the answers to some mechanistic questions, such as the overall role of biocrusts in hydrology and nutrient cycles. With some ideas on promising new research questions and approaches we close this chapter and the overall book.

  11. Natural recovery of biological soil crusts after disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Bettina; Bowker, Matthew A.; Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Natural recovery of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) is influenced by a number of different parameters, such as climate, soil conditions, the severity of disturbance, and the timing of disturbance relative to the climatic conditions. In recent studies, it has been shown that recovery is often not linear, but a highly dynamic process directly influenced by non-linear external parameters as extraordinary climatic conditions (e.g., particularly dry or wet year). Natural recovery often follows a general succession pattern, starting out with cyanobacteria and algae, which is then followed by lichens and bryophytes at a later stage. However, this general sequence can be altered by parameters like dust deposition, fire effects, and special climatic conditions as in fog deserts and under mesic climates. Recent studies have proposed that under favorable, stable soil conditions, the initial soil-stabilizing cyanobacteria-dominated succession stages may be omitted and moss-dominated biocrusts can develop in the initial phases of biocrust development. During natural recovery of biocrusts, soil properties change, e.g., soil nutrient and organic matter contents increase. Also, silt and clay contents of encrusted soils increase with biocrust maturity, which may be caused by two mechanisms, i.e. entrapment of fine soil particles by biocrusts and the new formation of smaller particles by weathering of the existing substrate.

  12. Including physical and biological soil crusts properties in gully prediction

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    Gay, A.; Cerdan, O.; Desprats, J. F.; Malam Issa, O.; Valentin, C.; Rajot, J. L.; Descroix, L.

    2012-04-01

    In Sahelian region, concentrated overland flow often leads to the formation of gullies. Although this phenomenon is widespread in those regions, research efforts are still needed to be able to model their spatial distribution and the role of the different parameters involved in this process. In this context, the objectives of this study are twofold. The first step is to investigate to what extent the role of Sahelian soil surface crusts (biological and/or physical) on soil surface infiltrability and detachment affect the formation and development of gullies. The second step is to integrate the results of these investigations in a simple geomorphological model to predict gully location at the watershed scale. The evaluation of the resulting model on two test catchments demonstrated that the integration of soil crusting is a key parameter to insure the quality and relevance of gully prediction. The model is able to distinguish between two types of gullies, those whose width range between 0.5m and 4m and those whose width exceeds 4m. The application of the model at the regional scale is however limited by the resolution of available regional digital elevation model (i.e. the 90m resolution SRTM DEM) which only permits the prediction of large gullies (width > 4m).

  13. Impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfaunal community composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, B.J.; Neher, D.A.; Belnap, J.

    2010-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen are supplied by a variety of sources in the desert food web; both vascular and non-vascular plants and cyanobacteria supply carbon, and cyanobacteria and plant-associated rhizosphere bacteria are sources of biological nitrogen fixation. The objective of this study was to compare the relative influence of vascular plants and biological soil crusts on desert soil nematode and protozoan abundance and community composition. In the first experiment, biological soil crusts were removed by physical trampling. Treatments with crust removed had fewer nematodes and a greater relative ratio of bacterivores to microphytophages than treatments with intact crust. However, protozoa composition was similar with or without the presence of crusts. In a second experiment, nematode community composition was characterized along a spatial gradient away from stems of grasses or shrubs. Although nematodes generally occurred in increasing abundance nearer to plant stems, some genera (such as the enrichment-type Panagrolaimus) increased disproportionately more than others (such as the stress-tolerant Acromoldavicus). We propose that the impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfauna, as reflected in the community composition of microbivorous nematodes, is a combination of carbon input, microclimate amelioration, and altered soil hydrology. ?? Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009.

  14. Biological soil crusts: a fundamental organizing agent in global drylands

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    Belnap, J.; Zhang, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem function is profoundly affected by plant community composition, which is ultimately determined by factors that govern seed retention. Dryland ecosystems constitute ~35% of terrestrial surfaces, with most soils in these regions covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts), a community whose autotrophs are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses. Studies at 550 sites revealed that plant community composition was controlled by the interaction among biocrust type, disturbance regime, and external morphology of seeds. In bare soils (due to disturbance), all seed types were present in the seedbank and plant community. As biocrusts became better developed (i.e., the cover of lichens and mosses increased), they more strongly filtered out seeds with appendages. Thus, soils under late successional biocrusts contained seedbanks dominated by smooth seeds and vascular plants growing in late successional biocrusts were dominated by those with smooth seeds. Therefore, the tension between the removal of biocrusts by soil surface disturbance and their recovery creates a shifting mosaic of plant patch types in both space and time. Because changes in vascular plant communities reverberate throughout both below ground and above ground food webs and thus affect multiple trophic levels, we propose that biocrusts are a fundamental organizing agent in drylands worldwide. Future increased demand for resources will intensify land use both temporally and spatially, resulting in an increased rate of biocrust loss across larger areas. As a result, we can expect shifts in the composition and distribution of plant communities, accompanied by concomitant changes in many aspects of dryland ecosystems. Conceptual model of shifting dryland plant mosaics through space and time. Within the large circles, soil surface type changes with time in the same space, going from bare uncrusted soil (B) to cyanobacterial biocrust (C) to lichen/moss (L/M) biocrust. Disturbance (D) drives the

  15. Six Siderophore-Producing Microorganisms Identified in Biological Soil Crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noonan, K.; Anbar, A. D.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Poret-peterson, A. T.; Hartnett, H. E.

    2011-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are diverse microbial communities that colonize soils in arid and semi-arid environments. Cyanobacteria in BSCs are pioneer organisms that increase ecosystem habitability by providing fixed carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) as well as by reducing water run-off and increasing infiltration. Photosynthesis and N fixation, in particular, require a variety of metals in large quantities, and yet, metals are predominantly insoluble in the environments where BSCs thrive. Therefore, BSC organisms must have efficient strategies for extracting metals from soil minerals. We hypothesized that BSC microbes, particularly the cyanobacteria, produce siderophores to serve their metal-acquisition needs. Siderophores are small organic compounds that bind Fe with high affinity and are produced by a variety of microorganisms, including cyanobacteria. Most siderophores bind Fe, primarily; however, some can also bind Mo, V, and Cu. Soil siderophores are released by microbes to increase the solubility of metals from minerals and to facilitate microbial uptake. Thus, siderophores serve as chemical weathering agents and provide a direct link between soil microbes and minerals. Studying siderophore production in BSCs provides insight into how BSCs tackle the challenge of acquiring insoluble metals, and may help conservationists determine useful fertilizers for BSC growth by facilitating metal acquisition. Biological soil crusts were collected near Moab, UT. Soil slurries were prepared in deionized water and transferred to modified BG-11 agar plates. The O-CAS agar plate assay was used to screen organisms for siderophore production. Siderophore producing microbes were isolated and identified by16S rRNA gene sequencing. Cultures were then grown in 3 L batch cultures under metal limitation, and siderophore presence was monitored using the traditional liquid CAS assay. After siderophore detection, cells were removed by centrifugation, organic compounds were separated using

  16. Fractal scaling of particle size distribution and relationships with topsoil properties affected by biological soil crusts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guang-Lei Gao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biological soil crusts are common components of desert ecosystem; they cover ground surface and interact with topsoil that contribute to desertification control and degraded land restoration in arid and semiarid regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To distinguish the changes in topsoil affected by biological soil crusts, we compared topsoil properties across three types of successional biological soil crusts (algae, lichens, and mosses crust, as well as the referenced sandland in the Mu Us Desert, Northern China. Relationships between fractal dimensions of soil particle size distribution and selected soil properties were discussed as well. The results indicated that biological soil crusts had significant positive effects on soil physical structure (P<0.05; and soil organic carbon and nutrients showed an upward trend across the successional stages of biological soil crusts. Fractal dimensions ranged from 2.1477 to 2.3032, and significantly linear correlated with selected soil properties (R(2 = 0.494∼0.955, P<0.01. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Biological soil crusts cause an important increase in soil fertility, and are beneficial to sand fixation, although the process is rather slow. Fractal dimension proves to be a sensitive and useful index for quantifying changes in soil properties that additionally implies desertification. This study will be essential to provide a firm basis for future policy-making on optimal solutions regarding desertification control and assessment, as well as degraded ecosystem restoration in arid and semiarid regions.

  17. Rehabilitation of European Biological Soil Crusts - The SCIN project

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    Williams, Laura; Zheng, Lingjuan; Maier, Stefanie; Weber, Bettina; Büdel, Burkhard

    2015-04-01

    The ''Soil Crust INternational'' (SCIN) Project aims to improve the appreciation and understanding of European Biological Soil Crusts (BSC) with the goal of developing biodiversity conservation and sustainable management strategies. Our objective is to study the uniqueness of European BSC on a local scale and investigate how these communities thrive in areas with such great macroclimatic differences. In order to cover a wide diversity of European BSC a latitudinal transect was established, extending from the Great Alvar of Öland, Sweden in the north, down to Gössenheim, Central Germany and Hochtor in the Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria, continuing to the Badlands of Tabernas, in southern Spain. The transect stretches over 20° latitude and 2,300 m in altitude and includes natural and also semi-natural sites that require maintenance, for instance, by grazing. Within the SCIN project a rehabilitation study was initiated in order to investigate the recovery potential of BSC under different environmental conditions. This entailed the construction of 10 times 1m2 plots, alongside control plots, at each of the 4 sites, where the BSC was completely removed. Over the course of 2 years (2012-2014) the plots were sampled regularly to assess recovery in the form of returning organisms (cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, bryophytes, higher plants), soil stability, chlorophyll and carbon content and nutrient composition. Cyanobacteria are considered as the pioneering functional group of BSC establishment in many regions, especially arid, and may be critical for the successful formation of any of the further BSC successional stages. Therefore, the cyanobacterial assemblages of recovering plots are being investigated to shed light on the importance of cyanobacteria in the rehabilitation of BSC and whether individual species or specific communities can be ascribed to a local or wide geographical range. It also has to be considered the proximity of recovering BSC to established

  18. The influence of biological soil crusts on mineral uptake by associated vascular plants

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    Harper, K.T.; Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

    Soil surfaces dominated by cyanobacteria and cyanolichens (such as Collema sp.) are widespread in deserts of the world. The influence of these biological soil crusts on the uptake of bioessential elements is reported for the first time for six seed plants of the deserts of Utah. This sample almost doubles the number of species for which the influence of biological soil crusts on mineral uptake of associated vascular plants is known. These new case studies, and others previously published, demonstrate that cyanobacterial or cyanobacteria- Collema crusts significantly alter uptake by plants of many bioessential elements. In studies now available, these crusts always increase the N content of associated seed plants. Uptake of Cu, K, Mg, and Zn is usually (>70% of reported cases) increased in the presence of the biological soil crusts. Soil crusts are generally negatively associated with Fe and P levels in associated seed plant tissue, while plant tissue levels of Ca, Mn, and Na are positively as often as negatively associated with the presence of soil crusts. Increases in bioessential elements in vascular plant tissue from biologically-crusted areas are greatest for short-lived herbs that are rooted primarily within the surface soil, the horizon most influenced by crustal organisms. The mineral content of a deeply rooted shrub (Coleogyne ramosissima) was less influenced by co-occurrence of biological soil crusts.

  19. Influence of disturbance on soil respiration in biologically crusted soil during the dry season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Wei; Zhang, Yu-qing; Wu, Bin; Zha, Tian-shan; Jia, Xin; Qin, Shu-gao; Shao, Chen-xi; Liu, Jia-bin; Lai, Zong-rui; Fa, Ke-yu

    2013-01-01

    Soil respiration (Rs) is a major pathway for carbon cycling and is a complex process involving abiotic and biotic factors. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a key biotic component of desert ecosystems worldwide. In desert ecosystems, soils are protected from surface disturbance by BSCs, but it is unknown whether Rs is affected by disturbance of this crust layer. We measured Rs in three types of disturbed and undisturbed crusted soils (algae, lichen, and moss), as well as bare land from April to August, 2010, in Mu Us desert, northwest China. Rs was similar among undisturbed soils but increased significantly in disturbed moss and algae crusted soils. The variation of Rs in undisturbed and disturbed soil was related to soil bulk density. Disturbance also led to changes in soil organic carbon and fine particles contents, including declines of 60-70% in surface soil C and N, relative to predisturbance values. Once BSCs were disturbed, Q 10 increased. Our findings indicate that a loss of BSCs cover will lead to greater soil C loss through respiration. Given these results, understanding the disturbance sensitivity impact on Rs could be helpful to modify soil management practices which promote carbon sequestration.

  20. Influence of Disturbance on Soil Respiration in Biologically Crusted Soil during the Dry Season

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Feng

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil respiration (Rs is a major pathway for carbon cycling and is a complex process involving abiotic and biotic factors. Biological soil crusts (BSCs are a key biotic component of desert ecosystems worldwide. In desert ecosystems, soils are protected from surface disturbance by BSCs, but it is unknown whether Rs is affected by disturbance of this crust layer. We measured Rs in three types of disturbed and undisturbed crusted soils (algae, lichen, and moss, as well as bare land from April to August, 2010, in Mu Us desert, northwest China. Rs was similar among undisturbed soils but increased significantly in disturbed moss and algae crusted soils. The variation of Rs in undisturbed and disturbed soil was related to soil bulk density. Disturbance also led to changes in soil organic carbon and fine particles contents, including declines of 60–70% in surface soil C and N, relative to predisturbance values. Once BSCs were disturbed, Q10 increased. Our findings indicate that a loss of BSCs cover will lead to greater soil C loss through respiration. Given these results, understanding the disturbance sensitivity impact on Rs could be helpful to modify soil management practices which promote carbon sequestration.

  1. Discussion on wind factor influencing the distribution of biological soil crusts on surface of sand dunes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YongSheng Wu; Hasi Erdun; RuiPing Yin; Xin Zhang; Jie Ren; Jian Wang; XiuMin Tian; ZeKun Li; HengLu Miao

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are widely distributed in arid and semi-arid regions, whose formation and development have an important impact on the restoration process of the desert ecosystem. In order to explore the relationship between surface airflow and development characteristics of biological soil crusts, we studied surface airflow pattern and development characteristics of biological soil crusts on the fixed dune profile through field observation. Results indicate that the speed of near-surface airflow is the lowest at the foot of windward slope and the highest at the crest, showing an increasing trend from the foot to the crest. At the leeward side, although near-surface airflow increases slightly at the lower part of the slope after an initial sudden decrease at upper part of the slope, its overall trend decreases from the crest. Wind velocity variation coefficient varied at different heights over each observation site. The thickness, shear strength of biological soil crusts and percentage of fine particles at crusts layer decreased from the slope foot to the upper part, showing that biological soil crusts are less developed in high wind speed areas and well developed in low wind speed areas. It can be seen that there is a close relationship between the distribution of biological soil crusts in different parts of the dunes and changes in airflow due to geomorphologic variation.

  2. The microstructure and formation of biological soil crusts in their early developmental stage

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yuanming

    2005-01-01

    The biological soil crust serves as one of the biological factors contributing to the sand fixation in the Gurbantunggut Desert, the largest fixed and semi-fixed desert in China. This study was conducted to investigate the microstructure and formation of biological soil crusts which develop as a result of occurrence of cryptogams. One year after removal of biological soil crusts, the exposed surface could be fixed by bacteria, which make sand particles cohere by exopolysaccharides. The exopolysaccharides were mainly composed of glucose, mannitol, arabinose and galactose. The intension of pressure for this kind of crust is 13.42±1.38 Pa. After four-year recovery of the exposed sandy surface, the biological soil crust resulting from the colonization of soil surface by communities of filamentous cyanobacteria were mainly dominated by Microcoleus, which occurred as a cluster of filaments surrounded by a gelatinous sheath. At this developmental stage, the main contributors for sand fixation were changed from bacteria to filamentous cyanobacteria. Microscopic examination of this kind of crust revealed an intricate network of filamentous cyanobacteria and extracellular polymer secretions, which binds and entraps mineral particles and finer particles on the filament surface. These effects enhance soil cohesion and resistance to erosion. The intension of pressure for this kind of crust is 32.53±3.08 Pa.

  3. Lichen-moss interactions within biological soil crusts

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    Ruckteschler, Nina; Williams, Laura; Büdel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) create well-known hotspots of microbial activity, being important components of hot and cold arid terrestrial regions. They colonize the uppermost millimeters of the soil, being composed of fungi, (cyano-) bacteria, algae, lichens, bryophytes and archaea in varying proportions. Biocrusts protect the (semi-) arid landscape from wind and water erosion, and also increase water holding capacity and nutrient content. Depending on location and developmental stage, composition and species abundance vary within biocrusts. As species live in close contact, they are expected to influence each other, but only a few interactions between different organisms have so far been explored. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the lichen Fulgensia fulgens whilst growing on the moss Trichostomum crispulum. While 77% of Fulgensia fulgens thalli were found growing associated with mosses in a German biocrust, up to 95% of Fulgensia bracteata thalli were moss-associated in a Swedish biocrust. In 49% (Germany) and in 78% (Sweden) of cases, thalli were observed on the moss T. crispulum and less frequently on four and three different moss species. Beneath F. fulgens and F. bracteata thalli, the mosses were dead and in close vicinity to the lichens the mosses appeared frail, bringing us to the assumption that the lichens may release substances harming the moss. We prepared a water extract from the lichen F. fulgens and used this to water the moss thalli (n = 6) on a daily basis over a time-span of three weeks. In a control setup, artificial rainwater was applied to the moss thalli (n = 6). Once a week, maximum CO2 gas exchange rates of the thalli were measured under constant conditions and at the end of the experiment the chlorophyll content of the moss samples was determined. In the course of the experiment net photosynthesis (NP) of the treatment samples decreased concurrently with an increase in dark respiration (DR). The control samples

  4. Chlorophytes of biological soil crusts in Gurbantunggut Desert, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, chlorophytes collected from 253 biological soil crust samples in Gurbantunggut Desert in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China were studied by field investigation and microscopical observation in lab. The flora composition, ecological distribution of chlorophytes in the desert and dynamic changes of species composition of chlorophytes in different developing stages of biological soil crusts are preliminarily analyzed. Results showed that there were 26 species belonging to 14 genera and 10 families, in which unicellular chlorophytes were dominant. There existed some differences in distribution of varied sand dune positions. The taxa of chlorophytes in leeward of sand dunes are most abundant, but the taxa in windward, interdune and the top of sand dunes reduced gradually. Chlorophytes were mainly distributed within the crust and the taxa of chlorophytes decrease obviously under the crust. In the devel-oping stages of the biological soil crust, species diversity of chlorophytes changed a little, but species composition pre-sented some differences. Chlorococcum humicola, Chlorella vulgaris, Chlamydomonas ovalis and Chlamydomonas sp. nearly existed in all developing stages of biological crusts. In several former stages of the biological soil crust there were spherical chlorophytes and filamentous ones. When moss crust formed, filamentous chlorophytes disappeared, such as Microspora and Ulothrix.

  5. Soil nematode communities are ecologically more mature beneath late- than early-successional stage biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, B.J.; Neher, D.A.; Belnap, J.

    2007-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are key mediators of carbon and nitrogen inputs for arid land soils and often represent a dominant portion of the soil surface cover in arid lands. Free-living soil nematode communities reflect their environment and have been used as biological indicators of soil condition. In this study, we test the hypothesis that nematode communities are successionally more mature beneath well-developed, late-successional stage crusts than immature, early-successional stage crusts. We identified and enumerated nematodes by genus from beneath early- and late-stage crusts from both the Colorado Plateau, Utah (cool, winter rain desert) and Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico (hot, summer rain desert) at 0-10 and 10-30 cm depths. As hypothesized, nematode abundance, richness, diversity, and successional maturity were greater beneath well-developed crusts than immature crusts. The mechanism of this aboveground-belowground link between biological soil crusts and nematode community composition is likely the increased food, habitat, nutrient inputs, moisture retention, and/or environmental stability provided by late-successional crusts. Canonical correspondence analysis of nematode genera demonstrated that nematode community composition differed greatly between geographic locations that contrast in temperature, precipitation, and soil texture. We found unique assemblages of genera among combinations of location and crust type that reveal a gap in scientific knowledge regarding empirically derived characterization of dominant nematode genera in deserts soils and their functional role in a crust-associated food web. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Rapid recovery of cyanobacterial pigments in desiccated biological soil crusts following addition of water

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abed, R M M; Polerecky, Lubos; Al-Habsi, Amal; Oetjen, Janina; Strous, Marc; de Beer, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    We examined soil surface colour change to green and hydrotaxis following addition of water to biological soil crusts using pigment extraction, hyperspectral imaging, microsensors and 13C labeling experiments coupled to matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time of flight-mass spectrometry

  7. Impacts of biological soil crust disturbance and composition on C and N loss from water erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, N.N.; Herrick, J.E.; Van Zee, J.; Belnap, J.

    2006-01-01

    In this study, we conducted rainfall simulation experiments in a cool desert ecosystem to examine the role of biological soil crust disturbance and composition on dissolved and sediment C and N losses. We compared runoff and sediment C and N losses from intact late-successional dark cyanolichen crusts (intact) to both trampled dark crusts (trampled) and dark crusts where the top 1 cm of the soil surface was removed (scraped). In a second experiment, we compared C and N losses in runoff and sediments in early-successional light cyanobacterial crusts (light) to that of intact late-successional dark cyanolichen crusts (dark). A relatively high rainfall intensity of approximately 38 mm per 10-min period was used to ensure that at least some runoff was generated from all plots. Losses of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and ammonium (NH 4+ ) were significantly higher from trampled plots as compared to scraped and intact plots. Sediment C and N losses, which made up more than 98% of total nutrient losses in all treatments, were more than 4-fold higher from trampled plots relative to intact plots (sediment C g/m2, intact = 0.74, trampled = 3.47; sediment N g/m2, intact = 0.06, trampled = 0.28). In light crusts, DOC loss was higher relative to dark crusts, but no differences were observed in dissolved N. Higher sediment loss in light crusts relative to dark crusts resulted in 5-fold higher loss of sediment-bound C and N. Total C flux (sediment + dissolved) was on the order of 0.9 and 7.9 g/m2 for dark and light crusts, respectively. Sediment N concentration in the first minutes after runoff from light crusts was 3-fold higher than the percent N of the top 1 cm of soil, suggesting that even short-term runoff events may have a high potential for N loss due to the movement of sediments highly enriched in N. Total N loss from dark crusts was an order of magnitude lower than light crusts (dark = 0.06 g N/m2, light = 0.63 g/m2). Overall, our

  8. Biological soil crusts in subtropical China and their influence on initial soil erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitz, Steffen; Goebes, Philipp; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Soil is one of the most valuable resources we have on our planet. The erosion of this resource is a major environmental problem, in particular in subtropical China where high rainfall intensity causes severe and continuous soil losses. One of the main mechanisms controlling soil erosion is surface coverage, typically by vegetation, litter, stones and biological soil crusts (BSCs). BSCs play significant functional roles in soil systems, such as accelerating soil formation, changing water and nutrient cycling rates, enhancing soil stability and thus preventing erosion by wind or water. In initial ecosystems, cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, mosses and lichens are the first organisms to colonize the substrate; they form a biological crust within the first millimetres of the surface. BSCs and their effect on erosion are rarely mentioned in literature and most of the work done focussed on arid and semi-arid environments. This study aims to investigate the role of BSCs controlling the amount of runoff generated and sediment detached during soil erosion events in an initial ecosystem in subtropical China. The study took place on a deforested experimental site (BEF China) near Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province, PR China. We used a total number of 350 runoff plots (ROP, 40cmx40cm) to measure sediment discharge and surface runoff. BSC cover in each ROP was determined photogrammetrically in 4 time steps (autumn 2011, spring 2012, summer 2012 and summer 2013). Perpendicular images were taken and then processed to measure the coverage of BSCs using a 1 cm² digital grid overlay. Additionally BSCs were sampled in the field and identified by their taxonomy. In our ROPs we found 65 different moos, algae and lichen species, as well as cyanobacteria's. Mean BSC cover per ROP in 2013 was 17 % with a maximum of 62 % and a minimum of 0 %. Compared to stone cover with 3 %, our findings highlight the role of BSC in soil erosion processes. The total BSC covered area is slightly decreasing since

  9. Dew formation on the surface of biological soil crusts in central European sand ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Fischer

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Dew formation was investigated in three developmental stages of biological soil crusts (BSC, which were collected along a catena of an inland dune and in the initial substrate. The Penman equation, which was developed for saturated surfaces, was modified for unsaturated surfaces and used for prediction of dewfall rates. The levels of surface saturation required for this approach were predicted using the water retention functions and the thicknesses of the BSCs. During a first field campaign (2–3 August 2011, dewfall increased from 0.042 kg m−2 for the initial sandy substrate to 0.058, 0.143 and 0.178 kg m−2 for crusts 1 to 3, respectively. During a second field campaign (17–18 August 2011, where dew formation was recorded in 1.5 to 2.75-h intervals after installation at 21:30 CEST, dewfall increased from 0.011 kg m−2 for the initial sandy substrate to 0.013, 0.028 and 0.055 kg m−2 for crusts 1 to 3, respectively. Dewfall rates remained on low levels for the substrate and for crust 1, and decreased overnight for crusts 2 and 3 (with crust 3 > crust 2 > crust 1 throughout the campaign. Dew formation was well reflected by the model response. The suggested mechanism of dew formation involves a delay in water saturation in near-surface soil pores and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS where the crusts were thicker and where the water capacity was high, resulting in elevated vapor flux towards the surface. The results also indicate that the amount of dewfall was too low to saturate the BSCs and to observe water flow into deeper soil. Analysis of the soil water retention curves revealed that, despite the sandy mineral matrix, moist crusts clogged by swollen EPS pores exhibited a clay-like behavior. It is hypothesized that BSCs gain double benefit from suppressing their competitors by runoff generation and from improving their water supply by dew collection. Despite higher amounts of dew, the

  10. Geomorphic controls on biological soil crust distribution: A conceptual model from the Mojave Desert (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Amanda J.; Buck, Brenda J.; Soukup, Deborah A.; Merkler, Douglas J.

    2013-08-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are bio-sedimentary features that play critical geomorphic and ecological roles in arid environments. Extensive mapping, surface characterization, GIS overlays, and statistical analyses explored relationships among BSCs, geomorphology, and soil characteristics in a portion of the Mojave Desert (USA). These results were used to develop a conceptual model that explains the spatial distribution of BSCs. In this model, geologic and geomorphic processes control the ratio of fine sand to rocks, which constrains the development of three surface cover types and biogeomorphic feedbacks across intermontane basins. (1) Cyanobacteria crusts grow where abundant fine sand and negligible rocks form saltating sand sheets. Cyanobacteria facilitate moderate sand sheet activity that reduces growth potential of mosses and lichens. (2) Extensive tall moss-lichen pinnacled crusts are favored on early to late Holocene surfaces composed of mixed rock and fine sand. Moss-lichen crusts induce a dust capture feedback mechanism that promotes further crust propagation and forms biologically-mediated vesicular (Av) horizons. The presence of thick biogenic vesicular horizons supports the interpretation that BSCs are long-lived surface features. (3) Low to moderate density moss-lichen crusts grow on early Holocene and older geomorphic surfaces that display high rock cover and negligible surficial fine sand. Desert pavement processes and abiotic vesicular horizon formation dominate these surfaces and minimize bioturbation potential. The biogeomorphic interactions that sustain these three surface cover trajectories support unique biological communities and soil conditions, thereby sustaining ecological stability. The proposed conceptual model helps predict BSC distribution within intermontane basins to identify biologically sensitive areas, set reference conditions for ecological restoration, and potentially enhance arid landscape models, as scientists address impacts

  11. Effects of Altered Temperature & Precipitation on Soil Bacterial & Microfaunal Communities as Mediated by Biological Soil Crusts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neher, Deborah A. [University of Vermont

    2004-08-31

    With increased temperatures in our original pot study we observed a decline in lichen/moss crust cover and with that a decline in carbon and nitrogen fixation, and thus a probable decline of C and N input into crusts and soils. Soil bacteria and fauna were affected negatively by increased temperature in both light and dark crusts, and with movement from cool to hot and hot to hotter desert climates. Crust microbial biomass and relative abundance of diazotrophs was reduced greatly after one year, even in pots that were not moved from their original location, although no change in diazotroph community structure was observed. Populations of soil fauna moved from cool to hot deserts were affected more negatively than those moved from hot to hotter deserts.

  12. Stabilization of Desert Surfaces and Accumulation of Dust Under Biological Soil Crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finstad, K. M.; Mcnicol, G.; Pfeiffer, M.; Amundson, R.

    2014-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSC) are known to play a critical role in the stabilization of desert surfaces by helping to protect sediment from wind and water erosion and aiding in the trapping of airborne particles. The crusts are often composed of cyanobacteria, algae, and fungi, and occupy the upper few cm of a soil. Due to their high tolerance of desiccation and ability to utilize fog and dew sources, BSC are able to exist in environments that may otherwise be too dry for vascular plants. In the hyperarid Atacama Desert, decades or more between measurable precipitation events has created a landscape devoid of macroscopic life. While precipitation is rare, coastal fog occurs regularly and microbial communities capable of utilizing fog and dew water are able to persist. Here we found cyanobacteria and lichen living in association with a thin sulfate and dust crust (~2 cm) covering the surface of 'dust plateaus'. Topographically the region is highly irregular and part of a largely erosional landscape. We hypothesized that these flat-topped plateaus are accretionary features that have been able to maintain dust accumulation for thousands of years as a result of the surface crusts. To test this hypothesis we conducted radiocarbon analysis of crusts and soil profiles at two sites approximately 30 km apart, one in a high fog zone and another in lower fog frequency zone. The radiocarbon analysis shows that sediment has been accumulating in the 'plateaus' for the past 15,000 years and that biological activity and rates of C cycling in the crust increase with increasing fog frequency and intensity. The ages of organic material in the dust decrease monotonically with decreasing soil thickness, suggestive of progressive upward growth by dust accumulation. Our data indicate that the BSC are capable of surviving in hyperarid the Atacama Desert, a Mars analogue, through the utilization of fog water, and that their presence can leave a visible geomorphic imprint on the landscape.

  13. Rapid recovery of cyanobacterial pigments in desiccated biological soil crusts following addition of water.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raeid M M Abed

    Full Text Available We examined soil surface colour change to green and hydrotaxis following addition of water to biological soil crusts using pigment extraction, hyperspectral imaging, microsensors and 13C labeling experiments coupled to matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALD-TOF MS. The topsoil colour turned green in less than 5 minutes following water addition. The concentrations of chlorophyll a (Chl a, scytonemin and echinenon rapidly increased in the top <1 mm layer while in the deeper layer, their concentrations remained low. Hyperspectral imaging showed that, in both wet and dehydrated crusts, cyanobacteria formed a layer at a depth of 0.2-0.4 mm and this layer did not move upward after wetting. 13C labeling experiments and MALDI TOF analysis showed that Chl a was already present in the desiccated crusts and de novo synthesis of this molecule started only after 2 days of wetting due to growth of cyanobacteria. Microsensor measurements showed that photosynthetic activity increased concomitantly with the increase of Chl a, and reached a maximum net rate of 92 µmol m-2 h-1 approximately 2 hours after wetting. We conclude that the colour change of soil crusts to green upon water addition was not due to hydrotaxis but rather to the quick recovery and reassembly of pigments. Cyanobacteria in crusts can maintain their photosynthetic apparatus intact even under prolonged periods of desiccation with the ability to resume their photosynthetic activities within minutes after wetting.

  14. Restoring the biological crust cover of soils across biomes in arid North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Antoninka, Anita; Bowker, Matthew; Giraldo Silva, Ana; Nelson, Corey; Velasco Ayuso, Sergio; Barger, Nichole; Belnap, Jayne; Reed, Sasha; Duniway, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crust communities provide important ecosystem services to arid lands, particularly regarding soil fertility and stability against erosion. In North America, and in many other areas of the globe, increasingly intense human activities, ranging from cattle grazing to military training, have resulted in the significant deterioration of biological soil surface cover of soils. With the intent of attaining sustainable land use practices, we are conducting a 5-year, multi-institutional research effort to develop feasible soil crusts restoration strategies for US military lands. We are including field sites of varying climatic regions (warm and cold deserts, in the Chihuahuan Desert and in the Great Basin, respectively) and varying edaphic characteristics (sandy and silty soils in each). We have multiple aims. First, we aim to establishing effective "biocrust nurseries" that produce viable and pedigreed inoculum, as a supply center for biocrust restoration and for research and development. Second, we aim to develop optimal field application methods of biocrust inoculum in a series of field trials. Currently in our second year of research, we will be reporting on significant advances made on optimizing methodologies for the large-scale supply of inoculum based on a) pedigreed laboratory cultures that match the microbial community structure of the original sites, and b) "in soil" biomass enhancement, whereby small amounts of local crusts are nursed under greenhouse conditions to yield hundred-fold increases in biomass without altering significantly community structure. We will also report on field trials for methodologies in field application, which included shading, watering, application of chemical polymers, and soil surface roughening. In a soon-to-be-initiated effort we also aim to evaluate soil and plant responses to biocrust restoration with respect to plant community structure, soil fertility, and soil stability, in multi-factorial field experiments. An

  15. Ecological succession, hydrology and carbon acquisition of biological soil crusts measured at the micro-scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tighe, Matthew; Haling, Rebecca E; Flavel, Richard J; Young, Iain M

    2012-01-01

    The hydrological characteristics of biological soil crusts (BSCs) are not well understood. In particular the relationship between runoff and BSC surfaces at relatively large (>1 m(2)) scales is ambiguous. Further, there is a dearth of information on small scale (mm to cm) hydrological characterization of crust types which severely limits any interpretation of trends at larger scales. Site differences and broad classifications of BSCs as one soil surface type rather than into functional form exacerbate the problem. This study examines, for the first time, some hydrological characteristics and related surface variables of a range of crust types at one site and at a small scale (sub mm to mm). X-ray tomography and fine scale hydrological measurements were made on intact BSCs, followed by C and C isotopic analyses. A 'hump' shaped relationship was found between the successional stage/sensitivity to physical disturbance classification of BSCs and their hydrophobicity, and a similar but 'inverse hump' relationship exists with hydraulic conductivity. Several bivariate relationships were found between hydrological variables. Hydraulic conductivity and hydrophobicity of BSCs were closely related but this association was confounded by crust type. The surface coverage of crust and the microporosity 0.5 mm below the crust surface were closely associated irrespective of crust type. The δ (13)C signatures of the BSCs were also related to hydraulic conductivity, suggesting that the hydrological characteristics of BSCs alter the chemical processes of their immediate surroundings via the physiological response (C acquisition) of the crust itself. These small scale results illustrate the wide range of hydrological properties associated with BSCs, and suggest associations between the ecological successional stage/functional form of BSCs and their ecohydrological role that needs further examination.

  16. Ecological succession, hydrology and carbon acquisition of biological soil crusts measured at the micro-scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tighe, Matthew; Haling, Rebecca E; Flavel, Richard J; Young, Iain M

    2012-01-01

    The hydrological characteristics of biological soil crusts (BSCs) are not well understood. In particular the relationship between runoff and BSC surfaces at relatively large (>1 m(2)) scales is ambiguous. Further, there is a dearth of information on small scale (mm to cm) hydrological characterization of crust types which severely limits any interpretation of trends at larger scales. Site differences and broad classifications of BSCs as one soil surface type rather than into functional form exacerbate the problem. This study examines, for the first time, some hydrological characteristics and related surface variables of a range of crust types at one site and at a small scale (sub mm to mm). X-ray tomography and fine scale hydrological measurements were made on intact BSCs, followed by C and C isotopic analyses. A 'hump' shaped relationship was found between the successional stage/sensitivity to physical disturbance classification of BSCs and their hydrophobicity, and a similar but 'inverse hump' relationship exists with hydraulic conductivity. Several bivariate relationships were found between hydrological variables. Hydraulic conductivity and hydrophobicity of BSCs were closely related but this association was confounded by crust type. The surface coverage of crust and the microporosity 0.5 mm below the crust surface were closely associated irrespective of crust type. The δ (13)C signatures of the BSCs were also related to hydraulic conductivity, suggesting that the hydrological characteristics of BSCs alter the chemical processes of their immediate surroundings via the physiological response (C acquisition) of the crust itself. These small scale results illustrate the wide range of hydrological properties associated with BSCs, and suggest associations between the ecological successional stage/functional form of BSCs and their ecohydrological role that needs further examination. PMID:23119058

  17. Effects of altered temperature and precipitation on desert protozoa associated with biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, B.J.; Housman, D.C.; Zaki, A.M.; Shamout, Y.; Adl, S.M.; Belnap, J.; Neher, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are diverse assemblages of bacteria, cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, lichens, and mosses that cover much of arid land soils. The objective of this study was to quantify protozoa associated with biological soil crusts and test the response of protozoa to increased temperature and precipitation as is predicted by some global climate models. Protozoa were more abundant when associated with cyanobacteria/lichen crusts than with cyanobacteria crusts alone. Amoebae, flagellates, and ciliates originating from the Colorado Plateau desert (cool desert, primarily winter precipitation) declined 50-, 10-, and 100-fold, respectively, when moved in field mesocosms to the Chihuahuan Desert (hot desert, primarily summer rain). However, this was not observed in protozoa collected from the Chihuahuan Desert and moved to the Sonoran desert (hot desert, also summer rain, but warmer than Chihuahuan Desert). Protozoa in culture began to encyst at 37??C. Cysts survived the upper end of daily temperatures (37-55??C), and could be stimulated to excyst if temperatures were reduced to 15??C or lower. Results from this study suggest that cool desert protozoa are influenced negatively by increased summer precipitation during excessive summer temperatures, and that desert protozoa may be adapted to a specific desert's temperature and precipitation regime. ?? 2006 by the International Society of Protistologists.

  18. 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.

  19. Modelling and interpreting biologically crusted dryland soil sub-surface structure using automated micropenetrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoon, Stephen R.; Felde, Vincent J. M. N. L.; Drahorad, Sylvie L.; Felix-Henningsen, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Soil penetrometers are used routinely to determine the shear strength of soils and deformable sediments both at the surface and throughout a depth profile in disciplines as diverse as soil science, agriculture, geoengineering and alpine avalanche-safety (e.g. Grunwald et al. 2001, Van Herwijnen et al. 2009). Generically, penetrometers comprise two principal components: An advancing probe, and a transducer; the latter to measure the pressure or force required to cause the probe to penetrate or advance through the soil or sediment. The force transducer employed to determine the pressure can range, for example, from a simple mechanical spring gauge to an automatically data-logged electronic transducer. Automated computer control of the penetrometer step size and probe advance rate enables precise measurements to be made down to a resolution of 10's of microns, (e.g. the automated electronic micropenetrometer (EMP) described by Drahorad 2012). Here we discuss the determination, modelling and interpretation of biologically crusted dryland soil sub-surface structures using automated micropenetrometry. We outline a model enabling the interpretation of depth dependent penetration resistance (PR) profiles and their spatial differentials using the model equations, σ {}(z) ={}σ c0{}+Σ 1n[σ n{}(z){}+anz + bnz2] and dσ /dz = Σ 1n[dσ n(z) /dz{} {}+{}Frn(z)] where σ c0 and σ n are the plastic deformation stresses for the surface and nth soil structure (e.g. soil crust, layer, horizon or void) respectively, and Frn(z)dz is the frictional work done per unit volume by sliding the penetrometer rod an incremental distance, dz, through the nth layer. Both σ n(z) and Frn(z) are related to soil structure. They determine the form of σ {}(z){} measured by the EMP transducer. The model enables pores (regions of zero deformation stress) to be distinguished from changes in layer structure or probe friction. We have applied this method to both artificial calibration soils in the

  20. Green algae in alpine biological soil crust communities: acclimation strategies against ultraviolet radiation and dehydration

    OpenAIRE

    Karsten, Ulf; Holzinger, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Green algae are major components of biological soil crusts in alpine habitats. Together with cyanobacteria, fungi and lichens, green algae form a pioneer community important for the organisms that will succeed them. In their high altitudinal habitat these algae are exposed to harsh and strongly fluctuating environmental conditions, mainly intense irradiation, including ultraviolet radiation, and lack of water leading to desiccation. Therefore, green algae surviving in these environments must ...

  1. Controls of biological soil crust cover and composition shift with succession in sagebrush shrub-steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dettweiler-Robinson, E.; Bakker, J.D.; Grace, J.B.

    2013-01-01

    Successional stage may determine strength and causal direction of interactions among abiotic and biotic factors; e.g., species that facilitate the establishment of other species may later compete with them. We evaluated multivariate hypotheses about abiotic and biotic factors shaping biological soil crusts (BSCs) in early and late successional stages. We surveyed vegetation and BSC in the shrub-steppe ecosystem of the Columbia Basin. We analyzed the relationships with bryophyte and lichen covers using structural equation models, and analyzed the relationships with BSC composition using Indicator Species Analysis and distance-based linear models. Cover, indicator species, and composition varied with successional stage. Increasing elevation and bryophyte cover had higher lichen cover early in succession; these relationships were negative in the later successional stage. Lichen cover did not appear to impede B. tectorum cover, but B. tectorum appeared to strongly negatively affect lichen cover in both stages. Biological soil crust composition varied with bunchgrass cover in the early successional stage, but with elevation and B. tectorum cover later in succession. Our findings support the hypotheses that as succession progresses, the strength and direction of certain community interactions shift, and B. tectorum leads to reductions in biological soil crust cover regardless of successional stage.

  2. High resolution mapping of Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) of biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, T.; Veste, M.; Eisele, A.; Bens, O.; Spyra, W.; Hüttl, R. F.

    2012-04-01

    Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) are typically determined using satellite or airborne remote sensing, or field portable spectrometers, which give an averaged signal on centimetre to meter scale plots. Biological soil crust (BSC) patches may have smaller sizes, and ecophysiological, hydrological as well as pedological processes may be heterogeneously distributed within this level of resolution. A ground-based NDVI imaging procedure using low-cost equipment (Olympus Camedia 5000z digital camera equipped with a Hoya R72 infrared filter) was developed in this study to fill this gap at the level of field research, where carrying costly and bulky equipment to remote locations is often the limiting factor for data collection. A commercially available colour rendition chart (GretagMacbeth ColorChecker®) with known red (600-700 nm) and NIR (800-900 nm) reflectances was placed into each scene and used for calibration purposes on a per-image basis. Generation of NDVI images involved (i) determination of red and NIR reflectances from the pixel values of the red and NIR channels, respectively, and (ii) calculation and imaging of the NDVI, where NDVI values of -1 to +1 were mapped to grey values of 0 to 255. The correlation between NDVI values retrieved from these images and NDVI values determined using conventional field spectrometry (ASD FieldSpec 3 portable spectroradiometer) was close (r2 =0.91), the 95% confidence interval amounted to 0.10 NDVI units. The pixel resolution was 0.8 mm in the field and 0.2 mm in the laboratory, but can still be improved significantly with closer distance to the crust or with higher camera resolution. Geostatistical analysis revealed that both spatial variability as well as size of individual objects characterized by the NDVI increased with crust development. The latter never exceeded 4 mm in the investigated crusts, which points to the necessity of high resolution imaging for linking remote sensing with ecophysiology

  3. Biological soil crusts reduce soil erosion in early successional subtropical forests in PR China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitz, Steffen; Goebes, Philipp; Käppeler, Kathrin; Nebel, Martin; Webber, Carla; Scholten, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) have major influences on terrestrial ecosystems and play significant functional roles in soil systems, such as accelerating soil formation, changing water flows or enhancing soil stability. By that, they have the potential to protect soil surfaces against erosive forces by wind or water. However, the effect of BSCs on erosion processes is rarely mentioned in literature and most of the work done focused on arid and semi-arid environments. Furthermore, compared to the structure and function of BSCs, less attention was paid to their temporal and topographical distribution. This study aims to investigate the influence of BSCs on initial soil erosion, and their topographical development over time in initial subtropical forest ecosystems. Therefore, measurements have been conducted within a biodiversity and ecosystem functioning experiment (BEF China) near Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province, PR China. Interrill erosion was measured on 220 microscale run-off plots (ROPs, 0.4 m × 0.4 m) and the occurrence, distribution and development of BSCs within the measuring setup were recorded. BSC cover in each ROP was determined photogrammetrically in four time steps (autumn 2011, summer 2012, summer 2013 and summer 2014). BSC species were identified by morphological characteristics and classified to higher taxonomic levels. Higher BSC cover led to reduced sediment discharge and runoff volume due to its protection against splash energy, the adherence of soil particles and enhanced infiltration. Canopy ground cover and leaf area index had a positive effect on the development of BSC cover at this initial stage of the forest ecosystem. Moreover, BSC cover decreased with increasing slope, as we presume that developing BSCs are washed away more easily at steep gradients. Elevation and aspect did not show an influence. BSCs in this study were moss-dominated and 26 different moos species were found. Mean BSC cover on ROPs was 14 % in the 3rd year of the tree

  4. Biological soil crusts on initial soils: organic carbon dynamics and chemistry under temperate climatic conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Dümig

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have been carried out on the community structure and diversity of biological soil crusts (BSCs as well as their important functions on ecosystem processes. However, the amount of BSC-derived organic carbon (OC input into soils and its chemical composition under natural conditions has rarely been investigated. In this study, different development stages of algae- and moss-dominated BSCs were investigated on a~natural (<17 yr old BSCs and experimental sand dune (<4 yr old BSCs in northeastern Germany. We determined the OC accumulation in BSC-layers and the BSC-derived OC input into the underlying substrates for bulk materials and fractions <63 μm. The chemical composition of OC was characterized by applying solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and analysis of the carbohydrate-C signature.14C contents were used to assess the origin and dynamic of OC in BSCs and underlying substrates. Our results indicated a rapid BSC establishment and development from algae- to moss-dominated BSCs within only 4 yr under this temperate climate. The distribution of BSC types was presumably controlled by the surface stability according to the position in the slope. We found no evidence that soil properties influenced the BSC distribution on both sand dunes. 14C contents clearly indicated the existence of two OC pools in BSCs and substrates, recent BSC-derived OC and lignite-derived "old" OC (biologically refractory. The input of recent BSC-derived OC strongly decreased the mean residence time of total OC. The downward translocation of OC into the underlying substrates was only found for moss-dominated BSCs at the natural sand dune which may accelerate soil formation at these spots. BSC-derived OC mainly comprised O-alkyl C (carbohydrate-C and to a lesser extent also alkyl C and N-alkyl C in varying compositions. Accumulation of alkyl C was only detected in BSCs at the experimental dune which may induce a~lower water

  5. Biological soil crusts as an organizing principle in drylands: Chapter 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina; Büdel, Burkhard; Weber, Bettina; Buedel, Burkhard; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) have been present on Earth’s terrestrial surfaces for billions of years. They are a critical part of ecosystem processes in dryland regions, as they cover most of the soil surface and thus mediate almost all inputs and outputs from soils in these areas. There are many intriguing, but understudied, roles these communities may play in drylands. These include their function in nutrient capture and transformation, influence on the movement and distribution of nutrients and water within dryland soils, ability to structure vascular plant communities, role in creating biodiversity hotspots, and the possibility that they can be used as indicators of soil health. There are still many fascinating aspects of these communities that need study, and we hope that this chapter will facilitate such efforts.

  6. Species composition,distribution patterns and ecological functions of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    As one of the most important biological factors that maintain the stability of the largest fixed and semi-fixed desert in China,the Gurbantunggut Desert,the biological soil crusts (BSCs) develop well and play critical ecological roles in the desert ecosystem. In this paper,we briefly summarize our research findings since 2002 including species composition,distribution pattern and ecological functions of BSCs in the desert. Our results indicate abundant species diversity of BSCs in the Gurbantunggut Desert in comparison to other deserts in China. At the scales of sand dune or whole desert,the distribution patterns of BSCs are location-specific. The existence of BSCs in this desert could:(1) accelerate the formation of desert soil and the weathering of minerals; (2) accumulate organic matter in surface soil through related species in soil crusts; (3) enhance the abilities of sand surface to resist wind erosion; (4) influence seed germination of vascular plants; and (5) enhance the production of dew deposition on sandy soil surface.

  7. Revisiting classic water erosion models in drylands: The strong impact of biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Belnap, J.; Bala, Chaudhary V.; Johnson, N.C.

    2008-01-01

    Soil erosion and subsequent degradation has been a contributor to societal collapse in the past and is one of the major expressions of desertification in arid regions. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) models soil lost to water erosion as a function of climate erosivity (the degree to which rainfall can result in erosion), topography, soil erodibility, and land use/management. The soil erodibility factor (K) is primarily based upon inherent soil properties (those which change slowly or not at all) such as soil texture and organic matter content, while the cover/management factor (C) is based on several parameters including biological soil crust (BSC) cover. We examined the effect of two more precise indicators of BSC development, chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharides (EPS), upon soil stability, which is closely inversely related to soil loss in an erosion event. To examine the relative influence of these elements of the C factor to the K factor, we conducted our investigation across eight strongly differing soils in the 0.8 million ha Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We found that within every soil group, chlorophyll a was a moderate to excellent predictor of soil stability (R2 = 0.21-0.75), and consistently better than EPS. Using a simple structural equation model, we explained over half of the variance in soil stability and determined that the direct effect of chlorophyll a was 3?? more important than soil group in determining soil stability. Our results suggest that, holding the intensity of erosive forces constant, the acceleration or reduction of soil erosion in arid landscapes will primarily be an outcome of management practices. This is because the factor which is most influential to soil erosion, BSC development, is also among the most manageable, implying that water erosion in drylands has a solution. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  9. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  10. Measurement of dinitrogen fixation by Biological soil crust (BSC) from the Sahelian zone: an isotopic method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrhardt, F.; Alavoine, G.; Bertrand, I.

    2012-04-01

    Amongst the described ecological roles of Biological Soil Crust, N fixation is of importance for soil fertility, especially in arid and semi-arid ecosystems with low inputs. In BSC, the quantification of N fixation fluxes using an indirect method is widespread, usually with the Acetylene Reduction Assay (ARA) which consists in measuring the nitrogenase activity through the process of acetylene reduction into ethylene. A converting factor, still discussed in the literature and greatly depending of the constitutive organisms of the BSC, is the tool used to convert the amount of reduced ethylene into quantitative fixed Nitrogen. The aim of this poster is to describe an isotopic direct method to quantify the atmospheric dinitrogen fixation fluxes in BSC, while minimizing the variability due to manipulations. Nine different BSC from the Sahelian zone were selected and placed in an incubation room at 28° C in dark and light conditions during three days, while moisture equivalent to pF=2 was regularly adjusted using the gravimetric method with needles and deionized water, in order to activate and reach a dynamic stability of their metabolisms. Subsequently, each crust was placed into a gas-tight glass vial for incubation with a reconstituted 15N2 enriched atmosphere (31.61 % atom 15N, while the proportion of each main gas present in the air was conserved, i.e. 78% N2, 21% O2 and 0.04% CO2). Principal difficulties are to guarantee the airtighness of the system, to avoid crust desiccation and to keep the crust metabolically active under stable conditions for six hours. Several tests were performed to determine the optimum time for 15N2 incubation. Three replicated control samples per crust were also stabilized for three days and then dried at 105° C, without any incubation with 15N2 enriched atmosphere. Total N and 15N were then measured in the grounded (80μm) and dried (105° C) crust, using a Flash EA elemental analyzer (Eurovector, Milan, Italy) coupled to a Delta

  11. Bacterial community dynamics over successional stages of Australian biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chilton, Angela; Woodhouse, Jason; Neilan, Brett

    2015-04-01

    A key aspect for successful ecological rehabilitation is understanding the naturally occurring ecosystem and landscape function which is to be restored. This allows for recovery indicators to be identified and criteria to be developed to assess progress and outcomes. In arid rangelands, environmental stresses result in characteristically heterogeneous landscapes where biological soil crusts (BSCs) cover large expanses of inter-plant areas. Here, BSCs perform crucial roles in nutrient cycling and re-distribution, affect hydrological patterns and stabilise the soil surface. They also serve as a large reservoir of microbial and avascular plant biodiversity. The recognition of these important roles has resulted in increased global arid rehabilitation efforts employing BSCs. Within Australia, research has focused on the macro components of BSCs including lichens and mosses, however, there have been insufficient studies examining the BSC bacterial communities and their dynamics over different successional stages. This project surveyed the bacterial community of crust-free soil and three successional stages of undisturbed BSCs from New South Wales (NSW), Australia, in order to provide reference standards of naturally occurring Australian BSCs. Visual assessments were conducted and BSCs were categorised as Early, Mid or Late stage depending on colour, thickness, topography and presence of lichens and mosses. The crust-free soil and different stages were sampled within three 50 m2 plots of the same edaphic conditions near the town of Cobar, NSW. High throughput sequencing using the Illumina MiSeq platform was performed targeting the V2 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Preliminary analysis has revealed a clear distinction between the crust-free and crusted soil while Canonical Analysis of Principal Co-ordinates (CAP) suggests the presence of two distinct BSC microbial communities despite three stages being sampled. Across all sample types, the dominant phyla were Actinobacteria

  12. Cyanobacterial diversity of western European biological soil crusts along a latitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Laura; Loewen-Schneider, Katharina; Maier, Stefanie; Büdel, Burkhard

    2016-10-01

    Cyanobacteria associated with biological soil crusts (BSCs) have important attributes, such as nitrogen fixation and soil stabilisation. However, research on these organisms has been minimal, and their diversity and distribution throughout temperate Europe is currently unknown. The SCIN (Soil Crust International) project is a multidisciplinary research initiative that aims to achieve improved understanding of the BSCs of Europe, one facet being an investigation into the cyanobacterial communities of BSCs across a latitudinal gradient. Cyanobacteria assemblages were analysed by both morphological and molecular analysis. Two treatments were applied prior to DNA extraction, continued sample wetting and a dry sample process, and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicons were processed by Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The results reveal high and variable cyanobacterial diversity with each site showing a unique assemblage. Many common cyanobacterial genera, for example Nostoc and Microcoleus, were found in all sites but the abundances of different genera varied considerably. The polyphasic approach was found to be essential in recording the presence of important cyanobacteria that a single method itself did not highlight. The wet and dry treatments showed some differences in diversity, but mainly in abundance, this may suggest how cyanobacterial composition of BSCs changes with seasonal variability. PMID:27411981

  13. Frequent fire promotes diversity and cover of biological soil crusts in a derived temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Bryan, Katharine E; Prober, Suzanne Mary; Lunt, Ian D; Eldridge, David J

    2009-04-01

    The intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH) predicts that species diversity is maximized at moderate disturbance levels. This model is often applied to grassy ecosystems, where disturbance can be important for maintaining vascular plant composition and diversity. However, effects of disturbance type and frequency on cover and diversity of non-vascular plants comprising biological soil crusts are poorly known, despite their potentially important role in ecosystem function. We established replicated disturbance regimes of different type (fire vs. mowing) and frequency (2, 4, 8 yearly and unburnt) in a high-quality, representative Themeda australis-Poa sieberiana derived grassland in south-eastern Australia. Effects on soil crust bryophytes and lichens (hereafter cryptogams) were measured after 12 years. Consistent with expectations under IDH, cryptogam richness and abundance declined under no disturbance, likely due to competitive exclusion by vascular plants as well as high soil turnover by soil invertebrates beneath thick grass. Disturbance type was also significant, with burning enhancing richness and abundance more than mowing. Contrary to expectations, however, cryptogam richness increased most dramatically under our most frequent and recent (2 year) burning regime, even when changes in abundance were accounted for by rarefaction analysis. Thus, from the perspective of cryptogams, 2-year burning was not an adequately severe disturbance regime to reduce diversity, highlighting the difficulty associated with expression of disturbance gradients in the application of IDH. Indeed, significant correlations with grassland structure suggest that cryptogam abundance and diversity in this relatively mesic (600 mm annual rainfall) grassland is maximised by frequent fires that reduce vegetation and litter cover, providing light, open areas and stable soil surfaces for colonisation. This contrasts with detrimental effects of 2-year burning on native perennial grasses

  14. Climate change and physical disturbance manipulations result in distinct biological soil crust communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Kuske, Cheryl R; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Reed, Sasha C; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-11-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) colonize plant interspaces in many drylands and are critical to soil nutrient cycling. Multiple climate change and land use factors have been shown to detrimentally impact biocrusts on a macroscopic (i.e., visual) scale. However, the impact of these perturbations on the bacterial components of the biocrusts remains poorly understood. We employed multiple long-term field experiments to assess the impacts of chronic physical (foot trampling) and climatic changes (2°C soil warming, altered summer precipitation [wetting], and combined warming and wetting) on biocrust bacterial biomass, composition, and metabolic profile. The biocrust bacterial communities adopted distinct states based on the mechanism of disturbance. Chronic trampling decreased biomass and caused small community compositional changes. Soil warming had little effect on biocrust biomass or composition, while wetting resulted in an increase in the cyanobacterial biomass and altered bacterial composition. Warming combined with wetting dramatically altered bacterial composition and decreased Cyanobacteria abundance. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing identified four functional gene categories that differed in relative abundance among the manipulations, suggesting that climate and land use changes affected soil bacterial functional potential. This study illustrates that different types of biocrust disturbance damage biocrusts in macroscopically similar ways, but they differentially impact the resident soil bacterial communities, and the communities' functional profiles can differ depending on the disturbance type. Therefore, the nature of the perturbation and the microbial response are important considerations for management and restoration of drylands.

  15. How biological soil crusts became recognized as a functional unit: a selective history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    It is surprising that despite the world-wide distribution and general importance of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), scientific recognition and functional analysis of these communities is a relatively young field of science. In this chapter, we sketch the historical lines that led to the recognition of biocrusts as a community with important ecosystem functions. The idea of biocrusts as a functional ecological community has come from two main scientific branches: botany and soil science. For centuries, botanists have long recognized that multiple organisms colonize the soil surface in the open and often dry areas occurring between vascular plants. Much later, after the initial taxonomic and phyto-sociological descriptions were made, soil scientists and agronomists observed that these surface organisms interacted with soils in ways that changed the soil structure. In the 1970’s, research on these communities as ecological units that played an important functional role in drylands began in earnest, and these studies have continued to this day. Here, we trace the history of these studies from the distant past until 1990, when biocrusts became well-known to scientists and the public.

  16. Biological Soil Crusts Influence Hydrologic Function Differently in Various Deserts And Future Climate and Land Use will Affect These Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Wilcox, B.; Barger, N.; Herrick, J.; van Soyoc, M.

    2012-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) can completely cover plant interspaces in dryland regions, and can constitute 70% or more of the living ground cover. In these areas, where precipitation is low and soils have low fertility, native plants often rely on intact biological soil crusts to provide water and nutrient flow to the broadly scattered vegetation. In cool desert systems, well-developed biocrusts (dominated by lichens and mosses) roughen the soil surface, increasing residence time of surface water flow. This results in increased and relatively homogenous infiltration of water into the soils. Filaments associated with cyanobacteria, fungi, mosses and lichens increase aggregate formation and stabilize soils, thus reducing sediment production, with well-developed biocrusts conferring much more stability on soils than less developed cyanobacterial dominated biocrusts. In hot and hyper-arid desert systems, biocrusts are generally less developed and dominated by cyanobacteria. These biocrusts generally increase runoff from plant interspaces to downslope vegetation. While reduced infiltration may seem to be negative, it can actually be advantageous to the downslope plants, as they may require small watersheds above them to provide the needed amount of water and nutrients required for their growth. Thus, infiltration and nutrient additions are more heterogenous than in cool desert systems. Soil surface disturbance and climate change have the potential to dramatically alter the species composition and thereby function of biological soil crusts in different deserts. Compressional disturbances results in reduced cover and a loss of lichen and moss species. Changes in climate regimes, such as an increase in temperature or a shift in the amount, timing, or intensity of rainfall, will influence the composition and physiological functioning of biological soil crusts, as various crust components have different photosynthetic and respiration responses to temperature and

  17. Biological soil crusts emit large amounts of NO and HONO affecting the nitrogen cycle in drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Alexandra; Wu, Dianming; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Steinkamp, Jörg; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J.; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich; Weber, Bettina

    2016-04-01

    Dryland systems currently cover ˜40% of the world's land surface and are still expanding as a consequence of human impact and global change. In contrast to that, information on their role in global biochemical processes is limited, probably induced by the presumption that their sparse vegetation cover plays a negligible role in global balances. However, spaces between the sparse shrubs are not bare, but soils are mostly covered by biological soil crusts (biocrusts). These biocrust communities belong to the oldest life forms, resulting from an assembly between soil particles and cyanobacteria, lichens, bryophytes, and algae plus heterotrophic organisms in varying proportions. Depending on the dominating organism group, cyanobacteria-, lichen-, and bryophyte-dominated biocrusts are distinguished. Besides their ability to restrict soil erosion they fix atmospheric carbon and nitrogen, and by doing this they serve as a nutrient source in strongly depleted dryland ecosystems. In this study we show that a fraction of the nitrogen fixed by biocrusts is metabolized and subsequently returned to the atmosphere in the form of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). These gases affect the radical formation and oxidizing capacity within the troposphere, thus being of particular interest to atmospheric chemistry. Laboratory measurements using dynamic chamber systems showed that dark cyanobacteria-dominated crusts emitted the largest amounts of NO and HONO, being ˜20 times higher than trace gas fluxes of nearby bare soil. We showed that these nitrogen emissions have a biogenic origin, as emissions of formerly strongly emitting samples almost completely ceased after sterilization. By combining laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data we made a best estimate of global annual emissions amounting to ˜1.1 Tg of NO-N and ˜0.6 Tg of HONO-N from biocrusts. This sum of 1.7 Tg of reactive nitrogen emissions equals ˜20% of the soil release under natural vegetation according

  18. Development of biological soil crusts and their influence on soil hydrology in the recultivation area of lignite open-cast mining district in Lower Lusatia (Germany)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spröte, R.; Veste, M.; Fischer, T.; Raab, T.; Bens, O.; Hüttl, R. F.

    2012-04-01

    Cyanobacteria, green algae, mosses and lichens are often the first colonizers of substrate and initial soil surfaces. They are an important factor of initial soil formation as they stabilize the substrate and decrease erosion processes. Biological soil crusts accumulate the initial soil organic matter and provide nitrogen fixation. Once settled, the crusts influence the soil water regime by delaying or limiting infiltration through enhanced water repellency. Aim of this study was to compare the influence of biological soil crusts on soil hydrology under conditions on various substrates and of different ages in recultivated areas of the open-cast mining district of Lower Lusatia (Brandenburg, NE Germany) with various recultivation aims. In Brandenburg (NE Germany), where the climate is transitional between oceanic and continental and the summers are characterized by generally low of precipitation (mean annual rainfall 559 mm, mean annual temperature 9.3° C) open landscapes provide ideal conditions for biological soil crusts, e. g. on mobile sand dunes in former military training areas and in recultivation areas related to open-cast mining with initial soil development. Here biological soil crusts are commonly found (Spröte et al., 2010). At five study sites in recultivation areas with different reclamation approaches (natural development, pine reforestation, birch reforestation) we defined four types of biological soil crusts: i) cyanobacterial and green algae crusts on the soil surface with no vegetation where dominating sand grains were physically stabilized in their contact zones by this crust type (type 1), ii) cyanobacteria and green algae partially filled in the matrix pores and enmeshed sand grains between sparse vegetation cover (type 2), iii) biological soil crusts with mosses which covered most of the surface between the vegetation (type 3) and (iv) with soil lichens (type 4). We investigated the development of the amount of chlorophyll a which is an

  19. Temporal-spatial dynamics of distribution patterns of microorganism relating to biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Nan; WANG Hongling; LIANG Shaoming; NIE Huali; ZHANG Yuanming

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts serve as an important biological factor contributing to the sand fixation. This study was conducted to investigate the temporal-spatial variability of microorganism in crusts relating to locations, soil layers of sand dunes and seasons. At moss-dominated inter-dune areas,higher soil nutrient and water concentrations were likely to maintain the microbial activities. Bacteria showed the highest capabilities of settlement and growth in inter-dunes in both spring and autumn. Soil water content reached the highest value in soil crusts in the inter-dune areas, especially in spring. Variations of quantities of actinomyces and fungi basically showed the consistent trend in different locations of sand dunes. With the deepening of soil layers, vertical distribution of quantities of each microorganism group showed different characteristics because environmental factors fluctuated in both spring and autumn. Among different microorganism groups, bacteria were predominant, actinomyces the next and fungi the least in both spring and autumn in all soil layers (0-20 cm). The proportion of bacteria and soil water content were higher in spring than those in autumn in all soil layers (0-20 cm). No consistent trends were found in actinomyces and fungi. The results showed that the quantities of microorganisms were significantly positive correlated with organic matter content,soil water content, total N, total P, available P, available K, pH, electrical conductivity, total salt content,catalase, urease, phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase.

  20. Activation of methanogenesis in arid biological soil crusts despite the presence of oxygen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roey Angel

    Full Text Available Methanogenesis is traditionally thought to occur only in highly reduced, anoxic environments. Wetland and rice field soils are well known sources for atmospheric methane, while aerated soils are considered sinks. Although methanogens have been detected in low numbers in some aerated, and even in desert soils, it remains unclear whether they are active under natural oxic conditions, such as in biological soil crusts (BSCs of arid regions. To answer this question we carried out a factorial experiment using microcosms under simulated natural conditions. The BSC on top of an arid soil was incubated under moist conditions in all possible combinations of flooding and drainage, light and dark, air and nitrogen headspace. In the light, oxygen was produced by photosynthesis. Methane production was detected in all microcosms, but rates were much lower when oxygen was present. In addition, the δ(13C of the methane differed between the oxic/oxygenic and anoxic microcosms. While under anoxic conditions methane was mainly produced from acetate, it was almost entirely produced from H(2/CO(2 under oxic/oxygenic conditions. Only two genera of methanogens were identified in the BSC-Methanosarcina and Methanocella; their abundance and activity in transcribing the mcrA gene (coding for methyl-CoM reductase was higher under anoxic than oxic/oxygenic conditions, respectively. Both methanogens also actively transcribed the oxygen detoxifying gene catalase. Since methanotrophs were not detectable in the BSC, all the methane produced was released into the atmosphere. Our findings point to a formerly unknown participation of desert soils in the global methane cycle.

  1. Isolation of a significant fraction of non-phototroph diversity from a desert Biological Soil Crust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulisses eNunes da Rocha

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs are organosedimentary assemblages comprised of microbes and minerals in topsoil of terrestrial environments. BSCs strongly impact soil quality in dryland ecosystems (e.g., soil structure and nutrient yields due to pioneer species such as Microcoleus vaginatus; phototrophs that produce filaments that bind the soil together, and support an array of heterotrophic microorganisms. These microorganisms in turn contribute to soil stability and biogeochemistry of BSCs. Non-cyanobacterial populations of BSCs are less well known than cyanobacterial populations. Therefore, we attempted to isolate a broad range of numerically significant and phylogenetically representative BSC aerobic heterotrophs. Combining simple pre-treatments (hydration of BSCs under dark and light and isolation strategies (media with varying nutrient availability and protection from oxidative stress we recovered 402 bacterial and one fungal isolate in axenic culture, which comprised 116 phylotypes (at 97% 16S rRNA gene sequence homology, 115 bacterial and one fungal. Each medium enriched a mostly distinct subset of phylotypes, and cultivated phylotypes varied due to the BSC pre-treatment. The fraction of the total phylotype diversity isolated, weighted by relative abundance in the community, was determined by the overlap between isolate sequences and OTUs reconstructed from metagenome or metatranscriptome reads. Together, more than 8% of relative abundance of OTUs in the metagenome was represented by our isolates, a cultivation efficiency much larger than typically expected from most soils. We conclude that simple cultivation procedures combined with specific pre-treatment of samples afford a significant reduction in the culturability gap, enabling physiological and metabolic assays that rely on ecologically relevant axenic cultures.

  2. Biological soil crusts accelerate the nitrogen cycle through large NO and HONO emissions in drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Bettina; Wu, Dianming; Tamm, Alexandra; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Steinkamp, Jörg; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2015-12-15

    Reactive nitrogen species have a strong influence on atmospheric chemistry and climate, tightly coupling the Earth's nitrogen cycle with microbial activity in the biosphere. Their sources, however, are not well constrained, especially in dryland regions accounting for a major fraction of the global land surface. Here, we show that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are emitters of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). Largest fluxes are obtained by dark cyanobacteria-dominated biocrusts, being ∼20 times higher than those of neighboring uncrusted soils. Based on laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data, we obtain a best estimate of ∼1.7 Tg per year for the global emission of reactive nitrogen from biocrusts (1.1 Tg a(-1) of NO-N and 0.6 Tg a(-1) of HONO-N), corresponding to ∼20% of global nitrogen oxide emissions from soils under natural vegetation. On continental scales, emissions are highest in Africa and South America and lowest in Europe. Our results suggest that dryland emissions of reactive nitrogen are largely driven by biocrusts rather than the underlying soil. They help to explain enigmatic discrepancies between measurement and modeling approaches of global reactive nitrogen emissions. As the emissions of biocrusts strongly depend on precipitation events, climate change affecting the distribution and frequency of precipitation may have a strong impact on terrestrial emissions of reactive nitrogen and related climate feedback effects. Because biocrusts also account for a large fraction of global terrestrial biological nitrogen fixation, their impacts should be further quantified and included in regional and global models of air chemistry, biogeochemistry, and climate.

  3. 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

  4. Nitrogen fixation activity in biological soil crusts dominated by cyanobacteria in the Subpolar Urals (European North-East Russia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patova, Elena; Sivkov, Michail; Patova, Anna

    2016-09-01

    The nitrogen fixation by biological soil crusts with a dominance of cyanobacteria was studied using the acetylene reduction assay in the territory of the Subpolar Urals (65°11' N, 60°18' E), Russia. The field measurements of nitrogen fixation activity were conducted in situ for two different types of soil crusts dominated by Stigonema (V1 type) and Nostoc with Scytonema (V2 type). The nitrogen fixation process had similar dynamics in both crusts but nitrogen fixation rates were different. The crusts of the V2 type showed a significantly higher acetylene reduction activity, with ethylene production rate of 1.76 ± 0.49 g C2H4 m(-2) h(-1) at 15°C, compared with V1-type soil crusts, with a rate of 0.53 ± 0.21 mg C2H4 m(-2) h(-1) at 15°C. The daily value of acetylene reduction activity in V2-type soil crusts was 32.7 ± 6.2 mg C2H4 m(-2) d(-1) and in V1-type crusts, 12.3 ± 1.8 mg C2H4 m(-2) d(-1) After recalculation for N, the daily values of nitrogen fixation were in the range 3.3-22.3 mg N m(-2) d(-1), which is a few times higher than the values of N input from the precipitation to the soil in the studied regions. The dependence of nitrogen-fixation activity on temperature and light intensity of biological soil crusts was investigated. On the basis of temperature models obtained from the dependence, the nitrogen balance was calculated for the growing season (approximately 120 days). The crusts dominated by Stigonema species were fixing 0.3 g N m(-2) (ethylene production rate, 1.10 g C2H4 m(-2)) and crusts dominated by Nostoc and Scytonema were fixing 1.3 g N m(-2) (4.10 g C2H4 m(-2)). PMID:27306556

  5. Biological Soil Crusts from Coastal Dunes at the Baltic Sea: Cyanobacterial and Algal Biodiversity and Related Soil Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Dreßler, Mirko; Leinweber, Peter; Karsten, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are known as "ecosystem-engineers" that have important, multifunctional ecological roles in primary production, in nutrient and hydrological cycles, and in stabilization of soils. These communities, however, are almost unstudied in coastal dunes of the temperate zone. Hence, for the first time, the biodiversity of cyanobacterial and algal dominated BSCs collected in five dunes from the southern Baltic Sea coast on the islands Rügen and Usedom (Germany) was investigated in connection with physicochemical soil parameters. The species composition of cyanobacteria and algae was identified with direct determination of crust subsamples, cultural methods, and diatom slides. To investigate the influence of soil properties on species composition, the texture, pH, electrical conductivity, carbonate content, total contents of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and the bioavailable phosphorus-fraction (PO4 (3-)) were analyzed in adjacent BSC-free surface soils at each study site. The data indicate that BSCs in coastal dunes of the southern Baltic Sea represent an ecologically important vegetation form with a surprisingly high site-specific diversity of 19 cyanobacteria, 51 non-diatom algae, and 55 diatoms. All dominant species of the genera Coleofasciculus, Lyngbya, Microcoleus, Nostoc, Hydrocoryne, Leptolyngbya, Klebsormidium, and Lobochlamys are typical aero-terrestrial cyanobacteria and algae, respectively. This first study of coastal sand dunes in the Baltic region provides compelling evidence that here the BSCs were dominated by cyanobacteria, algae, or a mixture of both. Among the physicochemical soil properties, the total phosphorus content of the BSC-free sand was the only factor that significantly influenced the cyanobacterial and algal community structure of BSCs in coastal dunes.

  6. Climate change and physical disturbance cause similar community shifts in biological soil crusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrenberg, Scott; Reed, Sasha C; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-09-29

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts)—communities of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, and heterotrophs living at the soil surface—are fundamental components of drylands worldwide, and destruction of biocrusts dramatically alters biogeochemical processes, hydrology, surface energy balance, and vegetation cover. Although there has been long-standing concern over impacts of physical disturbances on biocrusts (e.g., trampling by livestock, damage from vehicles), there is increasing concern over the potential for climate change to alter biocrust community structure. Using long-term data from the Colorado Plateau, we examined the effects of 10 y of experimental warming and altered precipitation (in full-factorial design) on biocrust communities and compared the effects of altered climate with those of long-term physical disturbance (>10 y of replicated human trampling). Surprisingly, altered climate and physical disturbance treatments had similar effects on biocrust community structure. Warming, altered precipitation frequency [an increase of small (1.2 mm) summer rainfall events], and physical disturbance from trampling all promoted early successional community states marked by dramatic declines in moss cover and increases in cyanobacteria cover, with more variable effects on lichens. Although the pace of community change varied significantly among treatments, our results suggest that multiple aspects of climate change will affect biocrusts to the same degree as physical disturbance. This is particularly disconcerting in the context of warming, as temperatures for drylands are projected to increase beyond those imposed as treatments in our study.

  7. Climate change and physical disturbance cause similar community shifts in biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrenberg, Scott; Reed, Sasha C.; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts)—communities of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, and heterotrophs living at the soil surface—are fundamental components of drylands worldwide, and destruction of biocrusts dramatically alters biogeochemical processes, hydrology, surface energy balance, and vegetation cover. While there has been long-standing concern over impacts of 5 physical disturbances on biocrusts (e.g., trampling by livestock, damage from vehicles), there is also increasing concern over the potential for climate change to alter biocrust community structure. Using long-term data from the Colorado Plateau, USA, we examined the effects of 10 years of experimental warming and altered precipitation (in full-factorial design) on biocrust communities, and compared the effects of altered climate with those of long-term physical 10 disturbance (>10 years of replicated human trampling). Surprisingly, altered climate and physical disturbance treatments had similar effects on biocrust community structure. Warming, altered precipitation frequency [an increase of small (1.2 mm) summer rainfall events], and physical disturbance from trampling all promoted early successional community states marked by dramatic declines in moss cover and increased cyanobacteria cover, with more variable effects 15 on lichens. While the pace of community change varied significantly among treatments, our results suggest that multiple aspects of climate change will affect biocrusts to the same degree as physical disturbance. This is particularly disconcerting in the context of warming, as temperatures for drylands are projected to increase beyond those imposed by the climate treatments used in our study.

  8. Green algae in alpine biological soil crust communities: acclimation strategies against ultraviolet radiation and dehydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karsten, Ulf; Holzinger, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Green algae are major components of biological soil crusts in alpine habitats. Together with cyanobacteria, fungi and lichens, green algae form a pioneer community important for the organisms that will succeed them. In their high altitudinal habitat these algae are exposed to harsh and strongly fluctuating environmental conditions, mainly intense irradiation, including ultraviolet radiation, and lack of water leading to desiccation. Therefore, green algae surviving in these environments must have evolved with either avoidance or protective strategies, as well as repair mechanisms for damage. In this review we have highlighted these mechanisms, which include photoprotection, photochemical quenching, and high osmotic values to avoid water loss, and in some groups flexibility of secondary cell walls to maintain turgor pressure even in water-limited situations. These highly specialized green algae will serve as good model organisms to study desiccation tolerance or photoprotective mechanisms, due to their natural capacity to withstand unfavorable conditions. We point out the urgent need for modern phylogenetic approaches in characterizing these organisms, and molecular methods for analyzing the metabolic changes involved in their adaptive strategies. PMID:24954980

  9. Weathering of Carbonate Rocks by Biological Soil Crusts in Karst Areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ye Chen; Bin Lian; Zuoying Yin; Yuan Tang

    2014-01-01

    The weathering of carbonate rocks by biological soil crusts (BSC) in karst areas is very common. It is helpful to understand the weathering mechanisms and processes for avoiding karst rock-desertification. The weathering of carbonate rocks by BSC in karst areas, namely the expansion, contraction and curl resulting from environmental wetting-drying cycles, was investigated and ana-lyzed in this paper. The bulk density, area and thickness of BSC were determined and the weathering amount of limestone and dolomite per unit area of BSC was calculated as 3 700 and 3 400 g·m-2; the amount of biomass on the surface of limestone and dolomite was calculated as 1 146 and 1 301 g·m-2, respectively. Such an increased weathering amount was not only the result of chemical and physical weathering of BSC on carbonate rocks, but also the attachment and cementation of BSC to clay parti-cles, dust-fall, sand particles, solid particles brought by strong air currents, wind and other factors in the surrounding environment, which may also be related to the special environment and the special time period. Based on the results obtained, a weathering mode of BSC is studied, and the mechanisms of weathering by BSC are discussed. In conclusion, we suggest that the mechanical force exerted by the expansion and constriction of gelatinous and mucilaginous substances through wetting and drying of BSC play a significant role in the physical weathering process of the carbonate substrates.

  10. Carbon budgets of biological soil crusts at micro-, meso-, and global scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sancho, Leopoldo G; Belnap, Jayne; Colesie, Claudia; Raggio, Jose; Weber, Bettina

    2016-01-01

    The importance of biocrusts in the ecology of arid lands across all continents is widely recognized. In spite of this broad distribution, contributions of biocrusts to the global biogeochemical cycles have only recently been considered. While these studies opened a new view on the global role of biocrusts, they also clearly revealed the lack of data for many habitats and of overall standards for measurements and analysis. In order to understand carbon cycling in biocrusts and the progress which has been made during the last 15 years, we offer a multi-scale approach covering different climatic regions. We also include a discussion on available measurement techniques at each scale: A micro-scale section focuses on the individual organism level, including modeling based on the combination of field and lab data. The meso-scale section addresses the CO2 exchange of a complete ecosystem or at the community level. Finally, we consider the contribution of biocrusts at a global scale, giving a general perspective of the most relevant findings regarding the role of biological soil crusts in the global terrestrial carbon cycle.

  11. Impacts of off-road vehicles on nitrogen cycles in biological soil crusts: Resistance in different U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.

    2002-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are an important component of desert ecosystems, as they influence soil stability and fertility. This study examined and compared the short-term vehicular impacts on lichen cover and nitrogenase activity (NA) of biological soil crusts. Experimental disturbance was applied to different types of soil in regions throughout the western U.S. (Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mojave deserts). Results show that pre-disturbance cover of soil lichens is significantly correlated with the silt content of soils, and negatively correlated with sand and clay. While disturbance appeared to reduce NA at all sites, differences were statistically significant at only 12 of the 26 sites. Cool desert sites showed a greater decline than hot desert sites, which may indicate non-heterocystic cyanobacterial species are more susceptible to disturbance than non-heterocystic species. Sandy soils showed greater reduction of NA as sand content increased, while fine-textured soils showed a greater decline as sand content increased. At all sites, higher NA before the disturbance resulted in less impact to NA post-disturbance. These results may be useful in predicting the impacts of off-road vehicles in different regions and different soils. ?? 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  12. Biological soil crusts across disturbance-recovery scenarios: effect of grazing regime on community dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concostrina-Zubiri, L.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Martínez, I.; Flores Flores, J. L.; Reyes-Agüero, J. A.; Escudero, A.; Belnap, Jayne

    2014-01-01

    Grazing represents one of the most common disturbances in drylands worldwide, affecting both ecosystem structure and functioning. Despite the efforts to understand the nature and magnitude of grazing effects on ecosystem components and processes, contrasting results continue to arise. This is particularly remarkable for the biological soil crust (BSC) communities (i.e., cyanobacteria, lichens, and bryophytes), which play an important role in soil dynamics. Here we evaluated simultaneously the effect of grazing impact on BSC communities (resistance) and recovery after livestock exclusion (resilience) in a semiarid grassland of Central Mexico. In particular, we examined BSC species distribution, species richness, taxonomical group cover (i.e., cyanobacteria, lichen, bryophyte), and composition along a disturbance gradient with different grazing regimes (low, medium, high impact) and along a recovery gradient with differently aged livestock exclosures (short-, medium-, long-term exclusion). Differences in grazing impact and time of recovery from grazing both resulted in slight changes in species richness; however, there were pronounced shifts in species composition and group cover. We found we could distinguish four highly diverse and dynamic BSC species groups: (1) species with high resistance and resilience to grazing, (2) species with high resistance but low resilience, (3) species with low resistance but high resilience, and (4) species with low resistance and resilience. While disturbance resulted in a novel diversity configuration, which may profoundly affect ecosystem functioning, we observed that 10 years of disturbance removal did not lead to the ecosystem structure found after 27 years of recovery. These findings are an important contribution to our understanding of BCS dynamics from a species and community perspective placed in a land use change context.

  13. Nutrient availability affects pigment production but not growth in lichens of biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Koch, G.W.; Belnap, J.; Johnson, N.C.

    2008-01-01

    Recent research suggests that micronutrients such as Mn may limit growth of slow-growing biological soil crusts (BSCs) in some of the drylands of the world. These soil surface communities contribute strongly to arid ecosystem function and are easily degraded, creating a need for new restoration tools. The possibility that Mn fertilization could be used as a restoration tool for BSCs has not been tested previously. We used microcosms in a controlled greenhouse setting to investigate the hypothesis that Mn may limit photosynthesis and consequently growth in Collema tenax, a dominant N-fixing lichen found in BSCs worldwide. We found no evidence to support our hypothesis; furthermore, addition of other nutrients (primarily P, K, and Zn) had a suppressive effect on gross photosynthesis (P = 0.05). We also monitored the growth and physiological status of our microcosms and found that other nutrients increased the production of scytonemin, an important sunscreen pigment, but only when not added with Mn (P = 0.01). A structural equation model indicated that this effect was independent of any photosynthesis-related variable. We propose two alternative hypotheses to account for this pattern: (1) Mn suppresses processes needed to produce scytonemin; and (2) Mn is required to suppress scytonemin production at low light, when it is an unnecessary photosynthate sink. Although Mn fertilization does not appear likely to increase photosynthesis or growth of Collema, it could have a role in survivorship during environmentally stressful periods due to modification of scytonemin production. Thus, Mn enrichment should be studied further for its potential to facilitate BSC rehabilitation. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  14. The effects of extracellular sugar extraction on the 3D-structure of biological soil crusts from different ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felde, Vincent; Rossi, Federico; Colesie, Claudia; Uteau-Puschmann, Daniel; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Peth, Stephan; De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) play important roles in the hydrological cycles of many different ecosystems around the world. In arid and semi-arid regions, they alter the availability and redistribution of water. Especially in early successional stage BSCs, this feature can be attributed to the presence and characteristics of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) that are excreted by the crusts' organisms. In a previous study, the extraction of EPS from BSCs of the SW United States lead to a significant change in their hydrological behavior, namely the sorptivity of water (Rossi et al. 2012). This was concluded to be the effect of a change in the pore structure of these crusts, which is why in this work we investigated the effect of the EPS-extraction on soil structure using 3D-computed micro-tomography (µCT). We studied different types of BSCs from Svalbard, Germany, Israel and South Africa with varying grain sizes and species compositions (from green algae to light and dark cyanobacterial crusts with and without lichens and/or mosses). Unlike other EPS-extraction methods, the one utilized here is aimed at removing the extracellular matrix from crust samples whilst acting non-destructively (Rossi et al. 2012). For every crust sample, we physically cut out a small piece (1cm) from a larger sample contained in Petri dish, and scanned it in a CT at a high resolution (voxel edge length: 7µm). After putting it back in the dish, approximately in the same former position, it was treated for EPS-extraction and then removed and scanned again in order to check for a possible effect of the EPS-extraction. Our results show that the utilized EPS-extraction method had varying extraction efficiencies: while in some cases the amount removed was barely significant, in other cases up to 50% of the total content was recovered. Notwithstanding, no difference in soil micro-structure could be detected, neither in total porosity, nor in the distribution of pore sizes, the

  15. Bacterial diversity and community along the succession of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingchang; Kong, Weidong; Wu, Nan; Zhang, Yuanming

    2016-06-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are common and play critical roles in semi-arid and arid ecosystems. Bacteria, as an important community in BSCs, play critical roles in biochemical processes. However, how bacterial diversity and community change in different successional stages of BSCs is still unknown. We used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to investigate the bacterial composition and community, and the relationships between bacterial composition and environmental factors were also explored. In different successional stages of BSCs, the number of bacteria operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected in each sample ranged from 2572 to 3157. Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes were dominant in BSCs, followed by Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria. At the successional stages of BSCs, bacterial communities, OTU composition and their relative abundance notably differentiated, and Cyanobacteria, especially Microcoleus vaginatus, dominated algal crust and lichen crust, and were the main C-fixing bacteria in BSCs. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes increased with the development of BSCs. OTUs related to Planomicrobium Chinese, Desulfobulbus sp., Desulfomicrobium sp., Arthrobacter sp., and Ahhaerbacter sp. showed higher relative abundance in bare sand than other successional stages of BSCs, while relative abundance of Sphingomonas sp. Niastella sp., Pedobacter, Candidatus solobacter, and Streptophyta increased with the development of BSCs. In successional stages of BSCs, bacterial OTUs composition demonstrated strong correlations with soil nutrients, soil salts, and soil enzymes. Additionally, variation of bacterial composition led to different ecological function. In bare sand, some species were related with mineral metabolism or promoting plant growth, and in algal crust and lichen crust, C-fixing bacteria increased and accumulated C to the desert soil. In later developed stage of BSCs, bacteria related with decomposition of organic matter, such as

  16. Mapping biological soil crusts for understanding their functional relevance in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, E.; Escribano, P.; Chamizo, S.; Canton, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are considered a key element in the functioning of arid and semiarid ecosystems as they modify numerous soil surface properties involved in primary ecosystem processes such as hydrological and erosion processes, and nutrient cycling.. It is known that arid and semiarid ecosystems are conformed by a complex matrix of vegetated and open ground patches usually covered by BSCs. Geomorphic evolution of drylands depends on the individual response of patches and also on the interactions and feedback-processes among patches. These interactions are controlled by patch spatial distribution. On this account, to understand the role of BSCs in the system, it is necessary to introduce their effect at coarser scales, and to have accurate and spatially continuous information of BSC distribution. The inherent complexity and the spatial heterogeneity of drylands make field survey methods very limited for BSC mapping. Images reported by remote sensors are presented as a powerful tool for mapping BSC spatial distribution. Remote sensors provide synoptic and spatially continuous information of the territory. Different indices for mapping BSCs have been published. These indices are based on distinctive spectral characteristic of BSCs and differ in nature and objectives. The aim of this work was to analyze the feasibility of some of these indices in a semiarid area characterized by sparse vegetation cover usually mixed at subpixel level with elements characterized by very similar spectral response (bare soil, BSCs and dry vegetation). These indices were: i) CRCIA, index applied for mapping BSCs from hyperspectral images. ii) CI, index developed for mapping of cyanobacteria-dominated BSCs and iii) BSCI, index for mapping of lichen-dominated BSCs. The multispectral indices (CI and BSCI) classified as BSCs 50% of the pixels dominated by BSCs. The CRCIA hyperspectral index, showed better results than those obtained with multispectral indices. This index

  17. Condensation of water vapour on moss-dominated biological soil crust, NW China

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Xin-Ping Wang; Yan-Xia Pan; Rui Hu; Ya-Feng Zhang; Hao Zhang

    2014-03-01

    Characteristics of water vapour condensation, including the onset, duration, and amount of water vapour condensation on moss-dominated biological soil crust (BSC) and dune sand were studied under simulated conditions with varying air temperature and relative humidity. The simulations were performed in a plant growth chamber using an electronic balance recording the weight of condensation. There was a positive linear correlation between the water vapour condensation and relative humidity while the mean temperature was negatively linearly related to amounts of water vapour condensation for both soil surfaces. The amount of water vapour condensation on BSC and dune sand can be described by the difference between air temperature and dew point with an exponential function, indicating that when the difference of air temperature and dew point exceeds a value of 35.3°C, there will be zero water vapour condensed on BSC. In contrast, when the difference of air temperature and dew point exceeds a value of 20.4°C, the water vapour condensation will be zero for dune sand. In general, when the air is fully saturated with water and the dew point is equal to the current air temperature, the water vapour condensed on BSC attained its maximum value of 0.398 mm, whereas it was 0.058 mm for dune sand. In comparison, water vapour condensed on BSC was at a relatively high temperature and low relative humidity, while we did not detect water vapour condensation on the dune sand under the similar conditions. Physical and chemical analyses of the samples pointed to a greater porosity, high content of fine particles, and high salinity for BSC compared to the dune sand. These results highlight that soil physicochemical properties are the likely factors influencing the mechanism of water vapour condensation under specific meteorological conditions, as onset was earlier and the duration was longer for water vapour condensation on BSC in comparison with that of dune sand. This contributed to

  18. Germination, survival and growth of three vascular plants on biological soil crusts from a Mexican tropical desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godínez-Alvarez, H; Morín, C; Rivera-Aguilar, V

    2012-01-01

    Information about the effects of biological soil crusts (BSC) on germination, seedling survival and growth of vascular plants is controversial because they can have positive, neutral or negative effects. This controversy may be because most studies conducted until now have just analysed one or two recruitment stages independently. To understand the BSC effects on vascular plants, it is necessary to consider each stage of the recruitment process and synthesise all this information. The goal of this study was twofold. First, we analyse germination, seedling survival and growth of three vascular plants (Agave marmorata, Prosopis laevigata and Neobuxbaumia tetetzo) on BSC (cyanobacteria and mixed crust) from a tropical desert region of south-central México. Second, we synthesise the information to determine the total effect of BSC on plant species performance. We conducted experiments under controlled conditions to evaluate the proportion of germinated seeds, proportion of surviving seedlings and seedling dry weight in BSC and bare soil. Results showed that BSC have different effects on germination, seedling survival and growth of plant species. Plant species performance was qualitatively higher on BSC than bare soil. The highest performance of A. marmorata and P. laevigata was observed on cyanobacteria and mixed crusts, respectively. The highest performance of N. tetetzo was on both crust types.

  19. Biodiversity of Klebsormidium (streptophyta) from alpine biological soil crusts (alps, tyrol, Austria, and Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Glaser, Karin; Holzinger, Andreas; Karsten, Ulf

    2015-08-01

    Forty Klebsormidium strains isolated from soil crusts of mountain regions (Alps, 600–3,000 m elevation) were analyzed. The molecular phylogeny (internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequences) showed that these strains belong to clades B/C, D, E, and F. Seven main (K. flaccidum, K. elegans, K. crenulatum, K. dissectum, K. nitens, K. subtile, and K. fluitans) and four transitional morphotypes (K. cf. flaccidum, K. cf. nitens, K. cf. subtile, and K. cf. fluitans) were identified. Most strains belong to clade E, which includes isolates that prefer humid conditions. One representative of the xerophytic lineage (clade F) as well as few isolates characteristic of temperate conditions (clades B/C, D) were found. Most strains of clade E were isolated from low/middle elevations (<1,800 m above sea level; a.s.l.) in the pine-forest zone. Strains of clades B/C, D, and F occurred sporadically at higher elevations (1,548–2,843 m a.s.l.), mostly under xerophytic conditions of alpine meadows. Comparison of the alpine Klebsormidium assemblage with data from other biogeographic regions indicated similarity with soil crusts/biofilms from terrestrial habitats in mixed forest in Western Europe, North America, and Asia, as well as walls of buildings in Western European cities. The alpine assemblage differed substantially from crusts from granite outcrops and sand dunes in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), and fundamentally from soil crusts in South African drylands. Epitypification of the known species K. flaccidum, K. crenulatum, K. subtile, K. nitens, K. dissectum, K. fluitans, K. mucosum, and K. elegans is proposed to establish taxonomic names and type material as an aid for practical studies on these algae, as well as for unambiguous identification of alpine strains. New combination Klebsormidium subtile (Kützing) Mikhailyuk, Glaser, Holzinger et Karsten comb. nov. is made.

  20. Responses of photosynthetic properties and chloroplast ultrastructure of two moss crusts from a desert biological soil crust to supplementary UV-B radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Rong; Li, Xinrong; Zhao, Yang; Pan, Yanxia

    2016-04-01

    Our understanding of plant responses to supplementary ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation due to stratospheric ozone depletion has improved over recent decades. However, research on biological soil crusts (BSCs) is scarce and it remains controversial. Laboratory studies were conducted to investigate the influence of UV-B radiation on the Bryum argenteum and Didymodon vinealis isolated from BSCs, which are both dominant species in moss crusts found within patches of shrubs and herbs in the Tengger Desert of northern China. The aim of the current work was to evaluate whether supplementary UV-B radiation affected photosynthetic properties and chloroplast ultrastructure of two moss crusts and whether response differences were observed between the crusts. Four levels of UV-B radiation of 2.75 (control), 3.08, 3.25, and 3.41 W m-2 was achieved using fluorescence tube systems for 10 days, simulating 0, 6, 9, and 12% of stratospheric ozone at the latitude of Shapotou, respectively. We measured photosynthetic apparatus as assessed by chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters, photosynthetic pigment contents, and observations of chloroplast ultrastructure. Additionally, soluble proteins and UV-B absorbing compounds were simultaneously investigated. The results of this study showed that chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters (i.e., the maximal quantum yield of PSII photochemistry, the effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry, and photochemical quenching coefficient), photosynthetic pigment contents, soluble protein contents, total flavonoid contents and the ultrastructure were negatively influenced by elevated UV-B radiation and the degree of detrimental effects significantly increased with the intensity of UV-B radiation. Moreover, results demonstrated that the negative effects on photosynthesis and chloroplast ultrastructure were more serious in B. argenteum than that in D. vinealis. These results may not only provide a potential mechanism for supplemental UV-B effects on

  1. Common and distinguishing features of the bacterial and fungal communities in biological soil crusts and shrub root zone soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Yeager, Chris; Belnap, Jayne; Kuske, Cheryl R.

    2013-01-01

    Soil microbial communities in dryland ecosystems play important roles as root associates of the widely spaced plants and as the dominant members of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) colonizing the plant interspaces. We employed rRNA gene sequencing (bacterial 16S/fungal large subunit) and shotgun metagenomic sequencing to compare the microbial communities inhabiting the root zones of the dominant shrub, Larrea tridentata (creosote bush), and the interspace biocrusts in a Mojave desert shrubland within the Nevada Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment. Most of the numerically abundant bacteria and fungi were present in both the biocrusts and root zones, although the proportional abundance of those members differed significantly between habitats. Biocrust bacteria were predominantly Cyanobacteria while root zones harbored significantly more Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Pezizomycetes fungi dominated the biocrusts while Dothideomycetes were highest in root zones. Functional gene abundances in metagenome sequence datasets reflected the taxonomic differences noted in the 16S rRNA datasets. For example, functional categories related to photosynthesis, circadian clock proteins, and heterocyst-associated genes were enriched in the biocrusts, where populations of Cyanobacteria were larger. Genes related to potassium metabolism were also more abundant in the biocrusts, suggesting differences in nutrient cycling between biocrusts and root zones. Finally, ten years of elevated atmospheric CO2 did not result in large shifts in taxonomic composition of the bacterial or fungal communities or the functional gene inventories in the shotgun metagenomes.

  2. [Greenhouse gases fluxes of biological soil crusts and soil ecosystem in the artificial sand-fixing vegetation region in Shapotou area].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yi-Gang; Feng, Yu-Lan; Zhang, Zhi-Shan; Huang, Lei; Zhang, Peng; Xu, Bing-Xin

    2014-01-01

    Uncertainties still existed for evaluating greenhouse gases fluxes (GHGs), including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) at the regional scale for desert ecosystem because available GHGs data about biological soil crusts (BSCs) was very scarce. In 2011 and 2012, soil ecosystem covered by various types of BSCs and BSCs at different succession stages in an artificial sand-fixing vegetation region established in various periods at southeast of the Shapotou area in Tengger Desert was selected to measure fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O using static chamber and gas chromatography. The results showed that curst type, recovery time and their interactions with sampling date significantly affected CO2 flux. Recovery time and interaction of crust type and sampling date significantly affected CH4 flux. Sampling date significantly affected the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O. The mean annual flux of CO2 for moss crust (105.1 mg x m(-2) x h(-1)) was significantly higher than that of algae crust (37.7 mg x m(-2) x h(-1)) at the same succession stage. Annual mean CH4 and N2O consumption was 19.9 and 3.4 microg x m(-2) x h(-1), respectively. Mean annual consumption of CH4 and N2O for algae crust was slightly higher than that of moss crust, however, significant difference was not found. Ecosystem respiration (Re) of desert soil covered by BSCs increased with the recovery process of desert ecosystem, in contrast, consumption of CH4 and N2O decreased. Re of moss crust was more sensitive to temperature and moisture variation than algae crust and Re sensitivity of temperature and moisture gradually increased with the development and succession of BSCs. Both soil temperature and moisture were not the main factor to determine CH4 and N2O fluxes of BSCs-soil in desert ecosystem.

  3. Biological soil crust as a bio-mediator alters hydrological processes in stabilized dune system of the Tengger Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinrong

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crust (BSC) is a vital component in the stabilized sand dunes with a living cover up to more than 70% of the total, which has been considered as a bio-mediator that directly influences and regulates the sand dune ecosystem processes. However, its influences on soil hydrological processes have been long neglected in Chinese deserts. In this study, BSCs of different successional stages were chose to test their influence on the hydrological processes of stabilized dune, where the groundwater deep exceeds 30m, further to explore why occur the sand-binding vegetation replacement between shrubs and herbs. Our long-term observation (60 years) shows that cyanobacteria crust has been colonized and developed after 3 years since the sand-binding vegetation has been established and dune fixation using planted xerophytic shrubs and made sand barrier (straw-checkerboard) on shifting dune surface, lichen and moss crust occurred after 20 years, and the cover of moss dominated crust could reach 70 % after 50 years. The colonization and development of BSC altered the initial soil water balance of revegetated areas by influencing rainfall infiltration, soil evaporation and dew water entrapment. The results show that BSC obviously reduced the infiltration that occurred during most rainfall events (80%), when rainfall was greater than 5 mm or less than 20 mm. The presence of BSC reduced evaporation of topsoil after small rainfall (facilitated topsoil evaporation when rainfall reached 10 mm. The amount of dew entrapment increases with the succession of BSC. Moreover, the effect of the later successional BSC to dew entrapment, rainfall infiltration and evaporation was more obvious than the early successional BSC on stabilized dunes. In general, BSC reduced the amount of rainfall water that reached deeper soil (0.4-3m), which is where the roots of shrubs are primarily distributed. These changes in the soil moisture pattern induced shifting of sand-binding vegetation from

  4. Biological soil crust as a bio-mediator alters hydrological processes in stabilized dune system of the Tengger Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinrong

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crust (BSC) is a vital component in the stabilized sand dunes with a living cover up to more than 70% of the total, which has been considered as a bio-mediator that directly influences and regulates the sand dune ecosystem processes. However, its influences on soil hydrological processes have been long neglected in Chinese deserts. In this study, BSCs of different successional stages were chose to test their influence on the hydrological processes of stabilized dune, where the groundwater deep exceeds 30m, further to explore why occur the sand-binding vegetation replacement between shrubs and herbs. Our long-term observation (60 years) shows that cyanobacteria crust has been colonized and developed after 3 years since the sand-binding vegetation has been established and dune fixation using planted xerophytic shrubs and made sand barrier (straw-checkerboard) on shifting dune surface, lichen and moss crust occurred after 20 years, and the cover of moss dominated crust could reach 70 % after 50 years. The colonization and development of BSC altered the initial soil water balance of revegetated areas by influencing rainfall infiltration, soil evaporation and dew water entrapment. The results show that BSC obviously reduced the infiltration that occurred during most rainfall events (80%), when rainfall was greater than 5 mm or less than 20 mm. The presence of BSC reduced evaporation of topsoil after small rainfall (BSC. Moreover, the effect of the later successional BSC to dew entrapment, rainfall infiltration and evaporation was more obvious than the early successional BSC on stabilized dunes. In general, BSC reduced the amount of rainfall water that reached deeper soil (0.4-3m), which is where the roots of shrubs are primarily distributed. These changes in the soil moisture pattern induced shifting of sand-binding vegetation from initial planted xerophytic shrub communities with higher coverage (35%) to complex communities dominated by shallow

  5. Growth responses of five desert plants as influenced by biological soil crusts from a temperate desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In almost all dryland systems, biological soil crusts (biocrusts) coexist alongside herbaceous and woody vegetation, creating landscape mosaics of vegetated and biocrusted patches. Results from past studies on the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants have been contradictory. In the Gurbantunggut desert, a large temperate desert in northwestern China, well-developed lichen-dominated crusts dominate the areas at the base and between the sand dunes. We examined the influence of these lichen-dominated biocrusts on the germination, growth, biomass accumulation, and elemental content of five common plants in this desert: two shrubs (Haloxylon persicum, Ephedra distachya) and three herbaceous plants (Ceratocarpus arenarius, Malcolmia africana and Lappula semiglabra) under greenhouse conditions. The influence of biocrusts on seed germination was species-specific. Biocrusts did not affect percent germination in plants with smooth seeds, but inhibited germination of seeds with appendages that reduced or eliminated contact with the soil surface or prevented seeds from slipping into soil cracks. Once seeds had germinated, biocrusts had different influences on growth of shrub and herbaceous plants. The presence of biocrusts increased concentrations of nitrogen but did not affect phosphorus or potassium in tissue of all tested species, while the uptake of the other tested nutrients was species-specific. Our study showed that biocrusts can serve as a biological filter during seed germination and also can influence growth and elemental uptake. Therefore, they may be an important trigger for determining desert plant diversity and community composition in deserts.

  6. Biological soil crusts cause subcritical water repellency in a sand dune ecosystem located along a rainfall gradient in the NW Negev desert, Israel

    OpenAIRE

    Keck Hannes; Felde Vincent John Martin Noah Linus; Drahorad Sylvie Laureen; Felix-Henningsen Peter

    2016-01-01

    The biological soil crusts (BSCs) in the NW Negev cause local water redistribution by increasing surface runoff. The effects of pore clogging and swelling of organic and inorganic crust components were intensively investigated in earlier studies. However, the effect of water repellency (WR) was not addressed systematically yet. This study investigates subcritical WR of BSCs in three different study sites in the NW Negev. For this purpose, three common methods to determine soil WR were used: (...

  7. Biological soil crust formation under artificial vegetation effect and its properties in the Mugetan sandy land, northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y. F.; Li, Z. W.; Jia, Y. H.; Zhang, K.

    2016-08-01

    Mugetan sandy land is an inland desertification area of about 2,065 km2 in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In the ecological restoration region of the Mugetan sandy land, different crusts have formed under the action of vegetation in three types of sandy soil (i.e. semi-fixed sand dune, fixed sand dune and ancient fixed aeolian sandy soil). The surface sand particle distribution, mineral component and vegetation composition of moving sand dunes and three types of sandy soil were studied in 2010-2014 to analyze the biological crust formation properties in the Mugetan sandy land and the effects of artificial vegetation. Results from this study revealed that artificial vegetation increases the clay content and encourages the development of biological curst. The fine particles (i.e. clay and humus) of the surface layer of the sand dunes increased more than 15% ten years after the artificial vegetation planting, and further increased up to 20% after one hundred years. The interaction of clay, humus, and other fine particles formed the soil aggregate structure. Meanwhile, under the vegetation effect from the microbes, algae, and moss, the sand particles stuck together and a biological crust formed. The interconnection of the partial crusts caused the sand dunes to gradually be fixed as a whole. Maintaining the integrity of the biological crust plays a vital role in fixing the sand under the crust. The precipitation and temperature conditions in the Mugetan sandy land could satisfy the demand of biological crust formation and development. If rational vegetation measures are adopted in the region with moving sand dunes, the lichen-moss-algae biological curst will form after ten years, but it still takes more time for the sand dunes to reach the nutrient enrichment state. If the biological curst is partly broken due to human activities, reasonable closure and restoration measures can shorten the restoration time of the biological crust.

  8. Molecular and chemical features of the excreted extracellular polysaccharides in Induced Biological Soil Crusts of different ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Federico; Lanzhou, Chen; Liu, Yongding; Adessi, Alessandra; De Philippis, Roberto

    2014-05-01

    Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs) are complex microbial associations widely distributed in arid and semiarid environments. These microbial associations have recently been acknowledged as important in restoration ecology (Bowker 2007). The primary colonization of cyanobacteria and other crust organisms after events such as fire or cessation of plowing is considered critical for later vascular plant establishment, due to the control of seed germination and due to the complex pathways that BSCs are capable to establish between plants and crust organisms and exudates (Rossi et al. 2013). In a ten year study carried out in the hyper-arid region of Inner Mongolia (China), introduction of man - made BSCs (induced BSCs, IBSCs) proved to be effective in producing a shift of the ecosystem state from high abiotic to low abiotic stress, evidenced by an increase in photothrophic abundance and subshrub cover. The prerequisite for an efficient exploitation of crust organisms as soil colonizers is their capability to secrete large amount of exopolysaccharides (EPS) which are important, among the reasons, as they lead to soil and BSC stabilization and represent a noticeable source of C that can be respired by the crustal community. By these means, a deep chemical and physiological knowledge concerning these exudates is required. Notwithstanding the large amount of literature available, recently thoroughly reviewed by Mager and Thomas (2011), the chemical characteristics of EPS from BSCs, and in particular from IBSCs, have not been investigated yet. We analyzed the monosaccharidic composition and the molecular weight distribution of two EPS fractions, the more soluble fraction and the fraction more tightly bound to cells, extracted from IBSCs collected in the Inner Mongolian desert, inoculated in different years (namely 4, 6 and 8 years before the sampling), thus characterized by different developmental stages. We thereafter investigated the degradation processes involving EPS

  9. Hydraulic and nutritional feedback controls surface patchiness of biological soil crusts at a post-mining site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Thomas; Gypser, Stella; Subbotina, Maria; Veste, Maik

    2015-04-01

    , and decreased to BSC2, BSC1 and BSC3. Non-metric multidimensional scaling revealed that the lichens and BSC3 were associated with water soluble nutrients (NO3, NH4, K, Mg, Ca) and with pyrite weathering products (pH, SO4), thus representing a high nutrient low hydraulic feedback mode. The mosses and BSC2 represented a low nutrient high hydraulic feedback mode. These feedback mechanisms were considered as synergic, consisting of run-off generating (low hydraulic) and run-on receiving (high hydraulic) BSC patches. Three scenarios for BSC succession were proposed. (1) Initial BSCs sealed the surface until they reached a successional stage (represented by BSC1) from which the development into either of the feedback modes was triggered, (2) initial heterogeneities of the mineral substrate controlled the development of the feedback mode, and (3) complex interactions between lichens and mosses occurred at later stages of system development. It was concluded that, irrespective of successional pathways, two synergic feedback mechanisms contributed to the generation of self-organized surface patchiness. Such small-scale microsite differentiation with different BSCs has important implications for the vegetation in post-mining sites. Reference Fischer, T., Gypser, S., Subbotina, M., Veste, M. (2014) Synergic hydraulic and nutritional feedback mechanisms control surface patchiness of biological soil crusts on tertiary sands at a post-mining site. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics 62(4):293-302

  10. Biological soil crusts: a microenvironment characterized by complex microbial interrelations affected by the presence of the exopolysaccharidic matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs) are complex microbial communities, commonly found in arid and semiarid areas of the world. The capability of the microorganisms residing in BSCs to withstand the harsh environmental conditions typical of these habitats, namely drought and high solar irradiation, is related with the presence of a matrix constituted by microbial-produced extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs), which also accomplish for a wide array of key ecological roles. EPSs represent a huge carbon source directly available to heterotrophic organisms, affect soil characteristics, water regimes, and establish complex interactions with plants. The induction of BSCs on degraded soils is considered a feasible approach to amend and maintain land fertility, as it was reported in a number of recent studies. It was recently shown that BSC induction is beneficial in enhancing SOC (Soil Organic Carbon) and in increasing the abundance of phototrophic organisms and vegetation cover. This lecture will describe the results of a study showing that cyanobacterial-EPS resulted advantageous to the growth and metabolism of seedlings of Caragana korshinskii, a desert sub-shrub widely diffused in the area under study, also contributing a defensive effect against the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), generated under UV-irradiation, salt stress and desiccation. A study aimed at investigating the possible correlation between the chemical composition and the macromolecular features of the EPS matrix of induced BSCs of different age, collected in the hyper-arid plateau of Hobq desert, Inner Mongolia, China, will be also presented. The results of this study showed that the characteristics of the EPS of the matrix of the investigated IBSCs cannot be put only in relation with the age of the crusts and the activity of phototrophic microorganisms but, more properly, it has to be taken into account the biotic interactions ongoing between EPS producers (cyanobacteria, green microalgae

  11. The role of microbial-produced extracellular polymeric matrix in the formation and survival of biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Federico; Adessi, Alessandra; De Philippis, Roberto

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are complex communities commonly constituting organo-mineral layers in arid and semiarid environment having a major influence on these ecosystems (Belnap and Lange, 2001). They have high tolerance towards a-biotic stresses and fluctuations in moisture, illumination, salinity and nutrients. The plasticity exhibited by BSCs is hugely contributed by the presence of the extracellular polymeric matrix (EPM) that is synthesized by crustal organisms, notably cyanobacteria and microalgae. This polysaccharidic net plays key roles in biofilm relations with the surrounding constrained environment. Notably, EPM concurs in coping with water scarcity, freezing and salt stress; increases biolayers stability against erosion, and is involved in nutrient provision (Rossi and De Philippis, 2015). We conducted several investigations in a research area located in the Inner Mongolian desert (Inner Mongolia, China) where BSCs were induced over different sites through inoculation-based techniques performed in different years. Our studies were aimed at determining the role of EPM in BSC development and survival in such a hyper-arid system. This presentation will report the results concerning the role of EPM in water capture from non-rainfall sources, water maintenance at the topsoil, and in water infiltrability, the latter being a factor with important ecological implications. In additions we investigated the role of the matrix as a source of carbon for the crustal heterotrophs. Furthermore, EPM was extracted with methods optimized in our lab, aiming at removing tightly bound fractions and loosely bound fractions from BSCs having different ages. The fractions were analyzed in terms of monosaccharidic composition, and molecular weight (MW) distribution. We show how the relative amounts of uronic acids increase in the EPM with the age of the crusts, implying advantages for the community-water relations. In addition, we observed significant differences in MW

  12. Development and hydrology of biological soil crusts -- first results from a surface inoculation experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mykhailova, Larysa; Raab, Thomas; Gypser, Stella; Fischer, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Representing a set of various micro-biocoenoses, biocrusts often reside in adjacent patches, which not necessarily relate to structural elements of the habitat, like (micro-) topography or vegetational patterns. Such biocrust patches may become more stable through the formation of mutually dependent ecohydrological regimes. For example, algal patches inhibiting infiltration and generating runoff alternate with runoff-receiving moss patches possessing high water holding capacities. Here, we preliminarily report on a lysimeter field experiment where natural biocrust isolates were used for surface inoculation to (I) prove stochastic vs. deterministic biocrust development and (II) to quantitatively relate biocrust development to soil hydrology. Lysimeter sand was collected from 3-4 m below surface at natural dune outcrops in south-eastern Brandenburg, Germany (Glashütte (GLA) and Neuer Lugteich (LUG)), where biocrust samples were collected at the respective dune bases. The lysimeters were designed to prevent runoff. In a completely randomized full-factorial design, three factors were considered. (A) Inocolum in three treatments (bare control, mosses, algae), (B) mineral substrate texture in two treatments (GLA: 55% and LUG: 79% particles >630 μm), and (C) surface compaction in two treatments (control, 41.5 kN m‑2 for 30 seconds). The samples were kept dry and re-moistened to -60 hPa two days before inoculation. After a species inventory, the inoculate was isolated by gently washing off sand particles from the biocrust samples. Algal/lichen crusts were dominated by Zygogonium ericetorum and Cladonia sp. at both sites. All moss crusts were dominated by Polytrichum piliferum and Ceratodon purpureus, whereas Brachythecium albicans was present at GLA only. 20 g of homogenized moist inoculate were spread over the surface of each lysimeter (Ø 19 cm, 22 cm depth). We performed autochthonous inoculation, i.e. biocrust isolates collected from GLA were used for inoculation

  13. Development and hydrology of biological soil crusts -- first results from a surface inoculation experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mykhailova, Larysa; Raab, Thomas; Gypser, Stella; Fischer, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Representing a set of various micro-biocoenoses, biocrusts often reside in adjacent patches, which not necessarily relate to structural elements of the habitat, like (micro-) topography or vegetational patterns. Such biocrust patches may become more stable through the formation of mutually dependent ecohydrological regimes. For example, algal patches inhibiting infiltration and generating runoff alternate with runoff-receiving moss patches possessing high water holding capacities. Here, we preliminarily report on a lysimeter field experiment where natural biocrust isolates were used for surface inoculation to (I) prove stochastic vs. deterministic biocrust development and (II) to quantitatively relate biocrust development to soil hydrology. Lysimeter sand was collected from 3-4 m below surface at natural dune outcrops in south-eastern Brandenburg, Germany (Glashütte (GLA) and Neuer Lugteich (LUG)), where biocrust samples were collected at the respective dune bases. The lysimeters were designed to prevent runoff. In a completely randomized full-factorial design, three factors were considered. (A) Inocolum in three treatments (bare control, mosses, algae), (B) mineral substrate texture in two treatments (GLA: 55% and LUG: 79% particles >630 μm), and (C) surface compaction in two treatments (control, 41.5 kN m-2 for 30 seconds). The samples were kept dry and re-moistened to -60 hPa two days before inoculation. After a species inventory, the inoculate was isolated by gently washing off sand particles from the biocrust samples. Algal/lichen crusts were dominated by Zygogonium ericetorum and Cladonia sp. at both sites. All moss crusts were dominated by Polytrichum piliferum and Ceratodon purpureus, whereas Brachythecium albicans was present at GLA only. 20 g of homogenized moist inoculate were spread over the surface of each lysimeter (Ø 19 cm, 22 cm depth). We performed autochthonous inoculation, i.e. biocrust isolates collected from GLA were used for inoculation of

  14. Climate and Physical Disturbance Effects on the Spectral Signatures of Biological Soil Crusts: Implications for Future Dryland Energy Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, W. A.; Flagg, C.; Painter, T. H.; Okin, G. S.; Belnap, J.; Reed, S.

    2014-12-01

    Drylands comprise ≈40% of the terrestrial Earth surface and observations suggest they can respond markedly to climate change. A vital component of dryland ecosystems are biological soil crusts (biocrusts) - a network of surface soil lichens, mosses, and cyanobacteria - that perform critical ecosystem functions, such as stabilizing soil and fixing carbon and nitrogen. Yet, our understanding of the role biocrusts play in dryland energy balance remains poor. Changes in climate can rapidly affect biocrust communities and we have long known that biocrusts respond dramatically to physical disturbance, such as human trampling and grazing animals. Associated changes in biocrust cover often result in increased bare soil; creating higher surface reflectance. We used spectral solar reflectance measurements in two manipulative experiments to compare the effects of climate and physical disturbance on biocrusts of the Colorado Plateau We measured reflectance at two heights: at crust surface and 1 m above. The climate disturbance site has four treatments: control, warming (4°C), altered precipitation, and warming plus altered precipitation. The physical disturbance site was trampled by foot annually since 1998. At the climate experiment, the largest change in reflectance was in the altered precipitation treatment (35% increase) at the surface-level, and the smallest difference was in the warmed (17% increase) at the meter-level. Physical disturbance differences were 10% at meter-level and 25% at surface-level. Unexpectedly, these results suggest that, via effects on biocrust communities, climate change could have a larger effect on dryland energy balance relative to physical disturbance, and result in more radiation from drylands returned to the atmosphere. Biocrusts cover large portions of the Earth's surface and, to our knowledge, these are the first data showing climate-induced changes to biocrust reflectance, with negative feedback in the global energy balance.

  15. Key Factors Controlling the Growth of Biological Soil Crusts: Towards a Protocol to Produce Biocrusts in Greenhouse Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasco Ayuso, Sergio; María Giraldo Silva, Ana; Nelson, Corey; Barger, Nichole; Antoninka, Anita; Bowker, Matthew; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (= biocrusts) are topsoil communities comprise of, but not limited to, cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, and mosses that grow intimately associated with soil particles in drylands. Biocrusts have central ecological roles in these areas as sources of carbon and nutrients, and efficiently retain water and prevent soil erosion, which improves soil structure and promotes soil fertility. However, human activities, such as cattle grazing, hiking or military training, are rapidly striking biocrusts. Although it is well known that the inoculation with cyanobacteria or lichens can enhance the recovery of biocrusts in degraded soils, little is known about the factors that control their growth rates. Using soil and inocula from four different sites located in one cold desert (Utah) and in one hot desert (New Mexico), we performed a fractional factorial experiment involving seven factors (water, light, P, N, calcium carbonate, trace metals and type of inoculum) to screen their effects on the growth of biocrusts. After four months, we measured the concentration of chlorophyll a, and we discovered that water, light and P, N or P+N were the most important factors controlling the growth of biocrusts. In the experimental treatments involving these three factors we measured a similar concentration of chlorophyll a (or even higher) to this found in the field locations. Amplification of the 16S rRNA gene segment using universal bacteria primers revealed a microbial community composition in the biocrusts grown that closely corresponds to initial measurements made on inocula. In summary, based on our success in obtaining biocrust biomass from natural communities in greenhouse facilities, without significantly changing its community composition at the phylum and cyanobacterial level, we are paving the road to propose a protocol to produce a high quality-nursed inoculum aiming to assist restoration of arid and semi-arid ecosystems affected by large-scale disturbances.

  16. Development, calibration, and performance of a novel biocrust wetness probe (BWP) measuring the water content of biological soil crusts and surface soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Bettina; Berkemeier, Thomas; Ruckteschler, Nina; Caesar, Jennifer; Ritter, Holger; Heintz, Henno; Brass, Henning

    2015-04-01

    The surface layer of soils as transition zone between pedosphere and atmosphere plays a crucial role in exchange processes of nutrients, atmospheric gases and water. In arid and semiarid regions, this uppermost soil layer is commonly colonized by biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which cover about 46 million km2 worldwide being highly relevant in the global terrestrial carbon and nitrogen cycles. Their water status is of major concern, as activity of these poikilohydric organisms is directly controlled by their water content. On-site analyses of both bare and crusted soils thus are urgently needed to correctly model exchange processes of water, nutrients and trace gases at the soil surface. In this study we present the biocrust wetness probe (BWP), which is the first low-cost sensor to reliably measure the water content within biocrusts or the uppermost 5 mm of the substrate. Using a weak alternating current, the electrical conductivity is assessed and an automatic calibration routine allows calculating the water content and precipitation equivalent of the surface layer over time. During one year of continuous field measurements, 60 BWPs were installed in different types of biocrusts and bare soil to measure at 5-minute intervals in the Succulent Karroo, South Africa. All sensors worked reliably and responded immediately and individually upon precipitation events. Upon completion of field measurements, soil and biocrust samples were collected from all measurement spots to compile calibration curves in the lab. In most soil and biocrust samples the water content rose linearly with increasing electrical conductivity values and only for few samples an exponential relationship was observed. Measurements revealed characteristic differences in biocrust and soil wetness patterns, which affect both the water regime and physiological processes in desert regions. Thus BWPs turned out to be well suited sensors for spatio-temporal monitoring of soil water content, allowing

  17. Influence of biological soil crusts at different successional stages in the implantation of biogeochemical cycles in arid and semiarid zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Sotres, F.; Miralles, I.; Canton-Castilla, Y.; Domingo, F.; Leiros, M. C.; Trasar-Cepeda, C.

    2012-04-01

    Influence of biological soil crusts at different successional stages in the implantation of biogeochemical cycles in arid and semiarid zones I. Miralles1, F. Gil-Sotres2, Y. Cantón-Castilla3, F. Domingo1, M.C. Leirós2, C. Trasar-Cepeda4 1 Experimental Estation of Arid Zones (CSIC), E-04230 La Cañada de San Urbano, Almería, Spain. 2 Departamento Edafología y Química Agrícola, Grupo de Evaluación de la Calidad del Suelo, Unidad Asociada CSIC, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 3 University of Almería, Departamento de Edafología y Química Agrícola, E-04230-La Cañada de San Urbano, Almería, Spain. 4 Departamento Bioquímica del Suelo, IIAG-CSIC, Apartado 122, E-15708 Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Crusts (BSCs) are formed by a close association between soil particles and cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, bryophytes and microfungi in varying proportions. Their habitat is within or immediately on top of the uppermost millimetres of the soil and are the predominant surface cover in arid and semiarid zones. Among the diverse functions developed by BSCs in the ecosystem (hydrology, erosion, soil properties, etc.), one of the most important is its role in nutrient cycling. Within arid and semiarid environments, BSCs have been termed 'mantles of fertility' being considered hotspots of biogeochemical inputs, fixing C, N and P above- and below-ground. However, there are differences in N and C fixation rates between BSCs types. Early successional BSCs, dominated by cyanobacterial species, fix lower quantities of C and N than mature BSCs dominated by lichens. Although the positive effects of BSCs on biogeochemical soil cycles are widely accepted, no previous studies have evaluated the activities of the enzymes involved in C, N and P cycles of BSCs and how they are affected by the successional stage of the BSC. In this work, performed in the Tabernas desert (SE Spain), we studied the hydrolase enzymes

  18. Elevated CO2 did not mitigate the effect of a short-term drought on biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertin, Timothy M.; Phillips, Susan L.; Reed, Sasha C.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are critical components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems that contribute significantly to carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) fixation, water retention, soil stability, and seedling recruitment. While dry-land ecosystems face a number of environmental changes, our understanding of how biocrusts may respond to such perturbation remains notably poor. To determine the effect that elevated CO2 may have on biocrust composition, cover, and function, we measured percent soil surface cover, effective quantum yield, and pigment concentrations of naturally occurring biocrusts growing in ambient and elevated CO2 at the desert study site in Nevada, USA, from spring 2005 through spring 2007. During the experiment, a year-long drought allowed us to explore the interacting effects that elevated CO2 and water availability may have on biocrust cover and function. We found that, regardless of CO2 treatment, precipitation was the major regulator of biocrust cover. Drought reduced moss and lichen cover to near-zero in both ambient and elevated CO2 plots, suggesting that elevated CO2 did not alleviate water stress or increase C fixation to levels sufficient to mitigate drought-induced reduction in cover. In line with this result, lichen quantum yield and soil cyanobacteria pigment concentrations appeared more strongly dependent upon recent precipitation than CO2 treatment, although we did find evidence that, when hydrated, elevated CO2 increased lichen C fixation potential. Thus, an increase in atmospheric CO2 may only benefit biocrusts if overall climate patterns shift to create a wetter soil environment.

  19. Prioritizing conservation effort through the use of biological soil crusts as ecosystem function indicators in an arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Miller, M.E.; Belnap, J.; Sisk, T.D.; Johnson, N.C.

    2008-01-01

    Conservation prioritization usually focuses on conservation of rare species or biodiversity, rather than ecological processes. This is partially due to a lack of informative indicators of ecosystem function. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) trap and retain soil and water resources in arid ecosystems and function as major carbon and nitrogen fixers; thus, they may be informative indicators of ecosystem function. We created spatial models of multiple indicators of the diversity and function of BSCs (species richness, evenness, functional diversity, functional redundancy, number of rare species, number of habitat specialists, nitrogen and carbon fixation indices, soil stabilization, and surface roughening) for the 800,000-ha Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Utah, U.S.A.). We then combined the indicators into a single BSC function map and a single BSC biodiversity map (2 alternative types of conservation value) with an unweighted averaging procedure and a weighted procedure derived from validations performance. We also modeled potential degradation with data from a rangeland assessment survey. To determine which areas on the landscape were the highest conservation priorities, we overlaid the function- and diversity-based conservation-value layers on the potential degradation layer. Different methods for ascribing conservation-value and conservation-priority layers all yielded strikingly similar results (r = 0.89-0.99), which suggests that in this case biodiversity and function can be conserved simultaneously. We believe BSCs can be used as indicators of ecosystem function in concert with other indicators (such as plant-community properties) and that such information can be used to prioritize conservation effort in drylands. ?? 2008 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Dryland biological soil crust cyanobacteria show unexpected decreases in abundance under long-term elevated CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Yeager, Chris M.; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R. David; Kuske, Cheryl R.

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) cover soil surfaces in many drylands globally. The impacts of 10 years of elevated atmospheric CO2 on the cyanobacteria in biocrusts of an arid shrubland were examined at a large manipulated experiment in Nevada, USA. Cyanobacteria-specific quantitative PCR surveys of cyanobacteria small-subunit (SSU) rRNA genes suggested a reduction in biocrust cyanobacterial biomass in the elevated CO2 treatment relative to the ambient controls. Additionally, SSU rRNA gene libraries and shotgun metagenomes showed reduced representation of cyanobacteria in the total microbial community. Taxonomic composition of the cyanobacteria was similar under ambient and elevated CO2 conditions, indicating the decline was manifest across multiple cyanobacterial lineages. Recruitment of cyanobacteria sequences from replicate shotgun metagenomes to cyanobacterial genomes representing major biocrust orders also suggested decreased abundance of cyanobacteria sequences across the majority of genomes tested. Functional assignment of cyanobacteria-related shotgun metagenome sequences indicated that four subsystem categories, three related to oxidative stress, were differentially abundant in relation to the elevated CO2 treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that elevated CO2 affected a generalized decrease in cyanobacteria in the biocrusts and may have favoured cyanobacteria with altered gene inventories for coping with oxidative stress.

  1. Rain pulse response of soil CO2 exchange by biological soil crusts and grasslands of the semiarid Colorado Plateau, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowling, David R.; Grote, E.E.; Belnap, J.

    2011-01-01

    Biological activity in arid grasslands is strongly dependent on moisture. We examined gas exchange of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), the underlying soil biotic community, and the belowground respiratory activity of C3 and C4 grasses over 2 years in southeast Utah, USA. We used soil surface CO2 flux and the amount and carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of soil CO2 as indicators of belowground and soil surface activity. Soil respiration was always below 2 μmol m-2s-1 and highly responsive to soil moisture. When moisture was available, warm spring and summer temperature was associated with higher fluxes. Moisture pulses led to enhanced soil respiration lasting for a week or more. Biological response to rain was not simply dependent on the amount of rain, but also depended on antecedent conditions (prior moisture pulses). The short-term temperature sensitivity of respiration was very dynamic, showing enhancement within 1-2 days of rain, and diminishing each day afterward. Carbon uptake occurred by cyanobacterially dominated biocrusts following moisture pulses in fall and winter, with a maximal net carbon uptake of 0.5 μmol m-2s-1, although typically the biocrusts were a net carbon source. No difference was detected in the seasonal activity of C3 and C4 grasses, contrasting with studies from other arid regions (where warm- versus cool-season activity is important), and highlighting the unique biophysical environment of this cold desert. Contrary to other studies, the δ13C of belowground respiration in the rooting zone of each photosynthetic type did not reflect the δ13C of C3 and C4 physiology.

  2. Effects of Re-vegetation on Herbaceous Species Composition and Biological Soil Crusts Development in a Coal Mine Dumping Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Zhang, Peng; Hu, Yigang; Huang, Lei

    2016-02-01

    Despite the critical roles of plant species' diversity and biological soil crusts (BSCs) in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, the restoration of the diversity of herbaceous species and BSCs are rarely discussed during the process of vegetation restoration of anthropogenically damaged areas in these regions. In this study, the herbaceous plant species composition, along with the BSCs coverage and thicknesses, was investigated at six different re-vegetation type sites, and the natural vegetation site of the Heidaigou open pit coal mine in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was used as a reference. The highest total species richness (16), as well as the species richness (4.4), occurred in the Tree and Herbaceous vegetation type site. The species composition similarities between the restored sites and the reference site were shown to be very low, and ranged from 0.09 to 0.42. Also, among the restored sites, the similarities of the species were fairly high and similar, and ranged from 0.45 to 0.93. The density and height of the re-vegetated woody plants were significantly correlated with the indexes of the diversity of the species. The Shrub vegetation type site showed the greatest total coverage (80 %) of BSCs and algae crust coverage (48 %). The Shrub and Herbaceous type had the greatest thicknesses of BSCs, with as much as 3.06 mm observed, which was followed by 2.64 mm for the Shrub type. There was a significant correlation observed between the coverage of the total BSCs, and the total vegetation and herbaceous vegetation coverage, as well as between the algae crust coverage and the herbaceous vegetation coverage. It has been suggested that the re-vegetated dwarf woody plant species (such as shrubs and semi-shrubs) should be chosen for the optimal methods of the restoration of herbaceous species diversity at dumping sites, and these should be planted with low density. Furthermore, the effects of vegetation coverage on the colonization and development the BSCs

  3. Effects of Re-vegetation on Herbaceous Species Composition and Biological Soil Crusts Development in a Coal Mine Dumping Site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Zhang, Peng; Hu, Yigang; Huang, Lei

    2016-02-01

    Despite the critical roles of plant species' diversity and biological soil crusts (BSCs) in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, the restoration of the diversity of herbaceous species and BSCs are rarely discussed during the process of vegetation restoration of anthropogenically damaged areas in these regions. In this study, the herbaceous plant species composition, along with the BSCs coverage and thicknesses, was investigated at six different re-vegetation type sites, and the natural vegetation site of the Heidaigou open pit coal mine in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was used as a reference. The highest total species richness (16), as well as the species richness (4.4), occurred in the Tree and Herbaceous vegetation type site. The species composition similarities between the restored sites and the reference site were shown to be very low, and ranged from 0.09 to 0.42. Also, among the restored sites, the similarities of the species were fairly high and similar, and ranged from 0.45 to 0.93. The density and height of the re-vegetated woody plants were significantly correlated with the indexes of the diversity of the species. The Shrub vegetation type site showed the greatest total coverage (80%) of BSCs and algae crust coverage (48%). The Shrub and Herbaceous type had the greatest thicknesses of BSCs, with as much as 3.06 mm observed, which was followed by 2.64 mm for the Shrub type. There was a significant correlation observed between the coverage of the total BSCs, and the total vegetation and herbaceous vegetation coverage, as well as between the algae crust coverage and the herbaceous vegetation coverage. It has been suggested that the re-vegetated dwarf woody plant species (such as shrubs and semi-shrubs) should be chosen for the optimal methods of the restoration of herbaceous species diversity at dumping sites, and these should be planted with low density. Furthermore, the effects of vegetation coverage on the colonization and development the BSCs

  4. Three distinct clades of cultured heterocystous cyanobacteria constitute the dominant N2-fixing members of biological soil crusts of the Colorado Plateau, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeager, C.M.; Kornosky, J.L.; Morgan, R.E.; Cain, E.C.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Housman, D.C.; Belnap, J.; Kuske, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    The identity of the numerically dominant N2-fixing bacteria in biological soil crusts of the Colorado Plateau region and two outlying areas was determined using multiple approaches, to link the environmental diversity of nifH gene sequences to cultured bacterial isolates from the regions. Of the nifH sequence-types detected in soil crusts of the Colorado Plateau, 89% (421/473) were most closely related to nifH signature sequences from cyanobacteria of the order Nostocales. N2-fixing cyanobacterial strains were cultured from crusts and their morphotypes, 16S rRNA gene and nifH gene sequences were characterized. The numerically dominant diazotrophs in the Colorado Plateau crusts fell within three clades of heterocystous cyanobacteria. Two clades are well-represented by phylogenetically and morphologically coherent strains, corresponding to the descriptions of Nostoc commune and Scytonema hyalinum, which are widely recognized as important N2-fixing components of soil crusts. A third, previously-overlooked clade was represented by a phylogenetically coherent but morphologically diverse group of strains that encompass the morphogenera Tolypothrix and Spirirestis. Many of the strains in each of these groups contained at least two nifH copies that represent different clusters in the nifH environmental survey. ?? 2007 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  5. The stability and the hydrological behavior of biological soil crusts is significantly affected by the complex nature of their polysaccharidic matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological crusts (BSCs) are complex microbial associations constituted by cells and microbial filaments embedded in a polysaccharidic matrix (EPS) that binds them together and with soil particles. EPSs of BSCs play a key role in structuring the soil and in affecting the hydrological processes taking place at the topsoil in desert environments. Recently, the amphiphilic nature of the EPSs, due to the contemporaneous presence in the macromolecules of hydrophilic and hydrophobic constituents, was put in relation with their capability to contribute to the structuring of the soil particles in BSCs and to hydrological behavior of the crusts. Indeed, in the EPSs the hydrophobicity due to the non-polar constituents (i.e. deoxysugars, ester-linked fatty acids, non polar aminoacids) was associated with the adhesion of the microbial cells to solid surfaces and to the clogging of micropores in the crusts. On the other hand, the hydrophilic constituents of the EPSs (i.e. acidic sugars, ketal-linked pyruvic acid, sulphate groups etc) were suggested to determine the final water content and distribution in the soil. The presence of BSCs facilitates the uptake of moisture from the atmosphere and at the same time contributes to enriching the soils with organic matter. In this lecture, the role of the EPSs in affecting the hydrological behavior of BSCs will be discussed by comparing the results obtained with natural and artificially induced BSCs also in relation with the texture of the soils. Furthermore, the contribution to the structuring of the soils of the polysaccharidic matrix of the crusts will be discussed moving from the different characteristics of two operationally-defined EPS fractions, the colloidal (C-EPS) and the EDTA extractable (tightly bound, TB-EPS) fractions. In BSCs, C-EPSs are loosely bound to cells and sediments while TB-EPSs are tightly bound to the crustal biotic and abiotic constituents of the crusts. The results obtained in a recent study suggest that the

  6. Biological Soil Crusts are Ecohydrological Hotspots in Dryland and Subhumid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Chamizo de la Piedra, S.

    2015-12-01

    Dry and subhumid lands cover ~41% of Earth's terrestrial surface and biocrusts are often a dominant lifeform in these regions. These soil surface communities are known to be critical component in determining dryland hydrologic cycles by altering infiltration, runoff and evaporation processes; thus, they create a hotspot for ecohydrologic processes. Biocrust properties, such as micro-topography and the spatial distribution of overall cover and individual species, are believed to be the most influential; these properties vary with climate. Across the gradient from higher potential evapo-transpiration (PET; lower rainfall/higher temperatures such as hyper-arid deserts) to lower PET (higher rainfall/lower temperature such as semi-arid steppe), the external morphology of biocrusts generally goes from very smooth to highly roughened, with water residence time thus increasing as well. This change in PET is also accompanied by increasing species number and biomass; while these changes increase water absorption, they also clogs soil pores. It has long been believed that as biocrust roughness, species, and biomass increases, so does water infiltration and retention. However, the majority of these studies have occurred at a very small (dogma holds: smooth biocrusts with low biomass decrease infiltration and increase runoff, whereas roughened ones with higher biomass increase infiltration. However, studies done at larger spatial scales across a gradient of roughness, species composition, and biomass, show biocrusts almost always increase infiltration and decrease runoff, regardless of biocrust characteristics. This finding runs counter to long-held views regarding the role of biocrusts in hydrologic cycles. These findings have large implications for modelling of soil moisture cycles in drylands under current and future conditions and the concept of ecohydrologic hotspots and hot moments in drylands.

  7. Small-Scale Vertical Distribution of Bacterial Biomass and Diversity in Biological Soil Crusts from Arid Lands in the Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Pichel, F.; Johnson, S.L.; Youngkin, D.; Belnap, J.

    2003-01-01

    We characterized, at millimeter resolution, bacterial biomass, diversity, and vertical stratification of biological soil crusts in arid lands from the Colorado Plateau. Microscopic counts, extractable DNA, and plate counts of viable aerobic copiotrophs (VAC) revealed that the top centimeter of crusted soils contained atypically large bacterial populations, tenfold larger than those in uncrusted, deeper soils. The plate counts were not always consistent with more direct estimates of microbial biomass. Bacterial populations peaked at the immediate subsurface (1-2 mm) in light-appearing, young crusts, and at the surface (0-1 mm) in well-developed, dark crusts, which corresponds to the location of cyanobacterial populations. Bacterial abundance decreased with depth below these horizons. Spatially resolved DGGE fingerprints of Bacterial 16S rRNA genes demonstrated the presence of highly diverse natural communities, but we could detect neither trends with depth in bacterial richness or diversity, nor a difference in diversity indices between crust types. Fingerprints, however, revealed the presence of marked stratification in the structure of the microbial communities, probably a result of vertical gradients in physicochemical parameters. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses indicated that most of the naturally occurring bacteria are novel types, with low sequence similarity (83-93%) to those available in public databases. DGGE analyses of the VAC populations indicated communities of lower diversity, with most types having sequences more than 94% similar to those in public databases. Our study indicates that soil crusts represent small-scale mantles of fertility in arid ecosystems, harboring vertically structured, little-known bacterial populations that are not well represented by standard cultivation methods.

  8. 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.

  9. The effect of lichen-dominated biological soil crusts on growth and physiological characteristics of three plant species in a temperate desert of northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, W W; Serpe, M; Zhang, Y M

    2015-11-01

    Biocrusts (biological soil crusts) cover open spaces between vascular plants in most arid and semi-arid areas. Information on effects of biocrusts on seedling growth is controversial, and there is little information on their effects on plant growth and physiology. We examined impacts of biocrusts on growth and physiological characteristics of three habitat-typical plants, Erodium oxyrhynchum, Alyssum linifolium and Hyalea pulchella, growing in the Gurbantunggut Desert, northwest China. The influence of biocrusts on plant biomass, leaf area, leaf relative water content, photosynthesis, maximum quantum efficiency of PSII (F(v)/F(m)), chlorophyll, osmotic solutes (soluble sugars, protein, proline) and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase) was investigated on sites with or without biocrust cover. Biomass, leaf area, leaf water content, photosynthesis, F(v)/F(m) and chlorophyll content in crusted soils were higher than in uncrusted soils during early growth and lower later in the growth period. Soluble sugars, proline and antioxidant enzyme activity were always higher in crusted than in uncrusted soils, while soluble protein content was always lower. These findings indicate that biocrusts have different effects on these three ephemeral species during growth in this desert, primarily via effects on soil moisture, and possibly on soil nutrients. The influence of biocrusts changes during plant development: in early plant growth, biocrusts had either positive or no effect on growth and physiological parameters. However, biocrusts tended to negatively influence plants during later growth. Our results provide insights to explain why previous studies have found different effects of biocrusts on vascular plant growth. PMID:26084731

  10. 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

    layer and thus apparently originated from incomplete denitrification. Using quantitative PCR, denitrification genes were detected in both the crusts and were expressed either in comparable (nirS) or slightly higher (narG) numbers in the cyanobacterial crusts. Although 99% of the nirS sequences in the...

  11. Biological soil crusts cause subcritical water repellency in a sand dune ecosystem located along a rainfall gradient in the NW Negev desert, Israel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keck Hannes

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The biological soil crusts (BSCs in the NW Negev cause local water redistribution by increasing surface runoff. The effects of pore clogging and swelling of organic and inorganic crust components were intensively investigated in earlier studies. However, the effect of water repellency (WR was not addressed systematically yet. This study investigates subcritical WR of BSCs in three different study sites in the NW Negev. For this purpose, three common methods to determine soil WR were used: (i the repellency index (RI method (ii the water drop penetration time (WDPT test and (iii the Wilhelmy plate method (WPM. Furthermore, the potential influence of WR on local water redistribution is discussed and the applied methods are compared. We found the BSC to be subcritically water repellent. The degree of WR may only affect water redistribution on a microscale and has little influence on the ecosystem as a whole. The RI method was clearly the most appropriate to use, whereas the WDPT and the WPM failed to detect subcritical WR.

  12. Dynamics of cover, UV-protective pigments, and quantum yield in biological soil crust communities of an undisturbed Mojave Desert shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Smith, S.D.

    2007-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are an integral part of dryland ecosystems. We monitored the cover of lichens and mosses, cyanobacterial biomass, concentrations of UV-protective pigments in both free-living and lichenized cyanobacteria, and quantum yield in the soil lichen species Collema in an undisturbed Mojave Desert shrubland. During our sampling time, the site received historically high and low levels of precipitation, whereas temperatures were close to normal. Lichen cover, dominated by Collema tenax and C. coccophorum, and moss cover, dominated by Syntrichia caninervis, responded to both increases and decreases in precipitation. This finding for Collema spp. at a hot Mojave Desert site is in contrast to a similar study conducted at a cool desert site on the Colorado Plateau in SE Utah, USA, where Collema spp. cover dropped in response to elevated temperatures, but did not respond to changes in rainfall. The concentrations of UV-protective pigments in free-living cyanobacteria at the Mojave Desert site were also strongly and positively related to rainfall received between sampling times (R2 values ranged from 0.78 to 0.99). However, pigment levels in the lichenized cyanobacteria showed little correlation with rainfall. Quantum yield in Collema spp. was closely correlated with rainfall. Climate models in this region predict a 3.5-4.0 ??C rise in temperature and a 15-20% decline in winter precipitation by 2099. Based on our data, this rise in temperature is unlikely to have a strong effect on the dominant species of the soil crusts. However, the predicted drop in precipitation will likely lead to a decrease in soil lichen and moss cover, and high stress or mortality in soil cyanobacteria as levels of UV-protective pigments decline. In addition, surface-disturbing activities (e.g., recreation, military activities, fire) are rapidly increasing in the Mojave Desert, and these disturbances quickly remove soil lichens and mosses. These stresses combined are likely to lead to

  13. Evolution of Fractal Parameters through Development Stage of Soil Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ospina, Abelardo; Florentino, Adriana; Tarquis, Ana Maria

    2016-04-01

    Soil surface characteristics are subjected to changes driven by several interactions between water, air, biotic and abiotic components. One of the examples of such interactions is provided through biological soil crusts (BSC) in arid and semi-arid environments. BSC are communities composed of cyanobacteria, fungi, mosses, lichens, algae and liverworts covering the soil surface and play an important role in ecosystem functioning. The characteristics and formation of these BSC influence the soil hydrological balance, control the mass of eroded sediment, increase stability of soil surface, and influence plant productivity through the modification of nitrogen and carbon cycle. The site of this work is located at Quibor and Ojo de Agua (Lara state, Venezuela). The Quibor Depression in Venezuela is a major agricultural area being at semi-arid conditions and limited drainage favor the natural process of salinization. Additionally, the extension and intensification of agriculture has led to over-exploitation of groundwater in the past 30 years (Méndoza et al., 2013). The soil microbial crust develops initially on physical crusts which are mainly generated since wetting and drying, being a recurrent feature in the Quíbor arid zone. The microbiotic crust is organic, composed of macro organisms (bryophytes and lichens) and microorganisms (cyanobacteria, fungi algae, etc.); growing on the ground, forming a thickness no greater than 3 mm. For further details see Toledo and Florentino (2009). This study focus on characterize the development stage of the BSC based on image analysis. To this end, grayscale images of different types of biological soil crust at different stages where taken, each image corresponding to an area of 12.96 cm2 with a resolution of 1024x1024 pixels (Ospina et al., 2015). For each image lacunarity and fractal dimension through the differential box counting method were calculated. These were made with the software ImageJ/Fraclac (Karperien, 2013

  14. Effects of nitrogen deposition and soil fertility on cover and physiology of Cladonia foliacea (Huds.) Willd., a lichen of biological soil crusts from Mediterranean Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raul, E-mail: raul.ochoa@ccma.csic.e [Instituto de Recursos Naturales, Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, C/Serrano 115 bis, 28006 Madrid (Spain); Manrique, Esteban [Instituto de Recursos Naturales, Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, C/Serrano 115 bis, 28006 Madrid (Spain)

    2011-02-15

    We are fertilizing a thicket with 0, 10, 20 and 50 kg nitrogen (N) ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} in central Spain. Here we report changes in cover, pigments, pigment ratios and FvFm of the N-tolerant, terricolous, lichen Cladonia foliacea after 1-2 y adding N in order to study its potential as biomarker of atmospheric pollution. Cover tended to increase. Pigments increased with fertilization independently of the dose supplied but only significantly with soil nitrate as covariate. {beta}-carotene/chlorophylls increased with 20-50 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} (over the background) and neoxanthin/chlorophylls also increased with N. (Neoxanthin+lutein)/carotene decreased with N when nitrate and pH seasonalities were used as covariates. FvFm showed a critical load above 40 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}. Water-stress, iron and copper also explained variables of lichen physiology. We conclude that this tolerant lichen could be used as biomarker and that responses to N are complex in heterogeneous Mediterranean-type landscapes. - Research highlights: We are providing evidence of the potential use of the crust-forming lichen Cladonia foliacea as biomarker of atmospheric pollution in Mediterranean ecosystems of Europe, which are understudied with regard to this topic. Pigment concentration increased with N addition and FvFm, used as indicator of physiological status, showed a critical load above 20 kg N ha{sup -1} y{sup -1}. Soil nitrate and pH were important in modulating responses to simulated N pollution and other soil parameters (micro-nutrients, water content...) also explained variables of lichen physiology. We conclude that Cladonia foliacea could be used as biomarker and that responses to N are complex in heterogeneous Mediterranean-type landscapes. - Nitrogen deposition and soil variables affect the physiology of terrestrial Mediterranean lichens.

  15. Wind erodibility response of physical and biological crusts to rain and flooding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubault, H.; Bullard, J. E.; Strong, C. L.; Ghadiri, H.; McTainsh, G. H.

    2015-12-01

    Soil surface crusts are important controllers of the small-scale wind entrainment processes that occur across all dust source regions globally. The crust type influences water and wind erosion by impacting infiltration, runoff, threshold wind velocity and surface storage capacity of both water and loose erodible material. The spatial and temporal patterning of both physical and biological crusts is known to change with rainfall and flooding. However, little is known about the impact of differing water quantity (from light rainfall through to flooding) on soil crusting characteristics (strength, roughness, sediment loss). This study compares the response of two soil types (loamy sand - LS, sandy loam - SL) with and without BSCs to three different rainfall events (2mm, 8mm, 15mm). Two BSC treatments were used one that simulated a young cyanobacteria dominated crust and an older flood induced multi species biological crust. For both soil types, soil surface strength increased with increasing rainfall amount with LS having consistently higher resistance to rupture than SL. Regardless of texture, soils with BSCs were more resistant and strength did not change in response to rainfall impact. Soil loss due to wind erosion was substantially higher on bare LS (4 times higher) and SL (3 times higher) soils compared with those with BSCs. Our results also show that young biological crust (formed by the rainfall event) have reduced soil erodibility with notably greater strength, roughness and reduced sediment losses when compared to soils with physical crust. Interestingly though, the erodibility of the old BSC did not differ greatly from that of the young BSC with respect to strength, roughness and sediment loss. This raises questions regarding the rapid soil surface protection offered by young colonising cyanobacteria crusts. Further analyses exploring the role of biological soil crusts on surface response to rainfall and wind saltation impact are ongoing.

  16. 黄土丘陵区生物结皮对土壤可蚀性的影响%Effects of biological soil crust on soil erodibility in Hilly Loess Plateau Region of Northwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高丽倩; 赵允格; 秦宁强; 张国秀

    2013-01-01

    在采样分析生物结皮对土壤理化属性影响的基础上,采用EPIC模型估算与模拟降雨试验相结合的方法,研究了黄土丘陵区不同生物量、不同土壤质地和不同季节的生物结皮对土壤可蚀性(K值)的影响.结果表明:生物结皮显著降低了土壤可蚀性,生物结皮层土壤可蚀性较下层土壤降低17%;土壤可蚀性随生物结皮生物量的增加呈降低趋势,藓结皮土壤可蚀性K值较藻结皮土壤降低21%;生物结皮土壤可蚀性在不同季节因其生物活性不同而存在差异,雨季中显著高于雨季前和雨季末;不同质地土壤上生物结皮对可蚀性的影响不同,可蚀性K值为砂壤>粉壤>砂土;模拟降雨条件下测定表明,生物结皮的发育使土壤可蚀性较对照(下层5~10 cm土壤)降低约90%.%Based on the analysis of the effects of biological soil crust (biocrust) in re-vegetated grasslands on soil physical and chemical properties, and by using EPIC estimation model in combi-ning with simulated rainfall trials, this paper studied the effects of biocrust with different biomass and different soil texture on the soil credibility (K value) in Hilly Loess Plateau Region of North-west China in different seasons. The results showed biocrust could significantly decrease soil erod-ibility, with the K value of biocrust soil decreased by about 17% , compared with subsoil. The soil erodibility decreased with the increasing biomass of biocrust. The K value of moss crust soil de-creased by 21% , compared with cyanobacteria crust soil. The erodibiliy of biocrust soil differed with different seasons, being significantly higher in rainy season than before or after the rainy season due to the differences in the biological activity of the biocrust organisms. The erodibilty of biocrust soil with different texture also varied significantly, with the K value in the order of sandy loam soil > silt soil > sandy soil. The measurement under simulated

  17. Habitat stress initiates changes in composition, CO2 gas exchange and C-allocation as life traits in biological soil crusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colesie, Claudia; Green, T G Allan; Haferkamp, Ilka; Büdel, Burkhard

    2014-10-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSC) are the dominant functional vegetation unit in some of the harshest habitats in the world. We assessed BSC response to stress through changes in biotic composition, CO2 gas exchange and carbon allocation in three lichen-dominated BSC from habitats with different stress levels, two more extreme sites in Antarctica and one moderate site in Germany. Maximal net photosynthesis (NP) was identical, whereas the water content to achieve maximal NP was substantially lower in the Antarctic sites, this apparently being achieved by changes in biomass allocation. Optimal NP temperatures reflected local climate. The Antarctic BSC allocated fixed carbon (tracked using (14)CO2) mostly to the alcohol soluble pool (low-molecular weight sugars, sugar alcohols), which has an important role in desiccation and freezing resistance and antioxidant protection. In contrast, BSC at the moderate site showed greater carbon allocation into the polysaccharide pool, indicating a tendency towards growth. The results indicate that the BSC of the more stressed Antarctic sites emphasise survival rather than growth. Changes in BSC are adaptive and at multiple levels and we identify benefits and risks attached to changing life traits, as well as describing the ecophysiological mechanisms that underlie them. PMID:24694713

  18. Living in biological soil crust communities of African deserts—Physiological traits of green algal Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) to cope with desiccation, light and temperature gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karsten, Ulf; Herburger, Klaus; Holzinger, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Green algae of the genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical members of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. The phylogeny and ecophysiology of Klebsormidium has been intensively studied in recent years, and a new lineage called superclade G, which was isolated from BSCs in arid southern Africa and comprising undescribed species, was reported. Three different African strains, that have previously been isolated from hot-desert BSCs and molecular-taxonomically characterized, were comparatively investigated. In addition, Klebsormidium subtilissimum from a cold-desert habitat (Alaska, USA, superclade E) was included in the study as well. Photosynthetic performance was measured under different controlled abiotic conditions, including dehydration and rehydration, as well as under a light and temperature gradient. All Klebsormidium strains exhibited optimum photosynthetic oxygen production at low photon fluence rates, but with no indication of photoinhibition under high light conditions pointing to flexible acclimation mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus. Respiration under lower temperatures was generally much less effective than photosynthesis, while the opposite was true for higher temperatures. The Klebsormidium strains tested showed a decrease and inhibition of the effective quantum yield during desiccation, however with different kinetics. While the single celled and small filamentous strains exhibited relatively fast inhibition, the uniserate filament forming isolates desiccated slower. Except one, all other strains fully recovered effective quantum yield after rehydration. The presented data provide an explanation for the regular occurrence of Klebsormidium strains or species in hot and cold deserts, which are characterized by low water availability and other stressful conditions. PMID:26422081

  19. Soil crusts to warm the planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Couradeau, Estelle; Karaoz, Ulas; da Rocha Ulisses, Nunes; Lim Hsiao, Chiem; Northen, Trent; Brodie, Eoin

    2016-04-01

    Soil surface temperature, an important driver of terrestrial biogeochemical processes, depends strongly on soil albedo, which can be significantly modified by factors such as plant cover. In sparsely vegetated lands, the soil surface can also be colonized by photosynthetic microbes that build biocrust communities. We used concurrent physical, biochemical and microbiological analyses to show that mature biocrusts can increase surface soil temperature by as much as 10 °C through the accumulation of large quantities of a secondary metabolite, the microbial sunscreen scytonemin, produced by a group of late-successional cyanobacteria. Scytonemin accumulation decreases soil albedo significantly. Such localized warming had apparent and immediate consequences for the crust soil microbiome, inducing the replacement of thermosensitive bacterial species with more thermotolerant forms. These results reveal that not only vegetation but also microorganisms are a factor in modifying terrestrial albedo, potentially impacting biosphere feedbacks on past and future climate, and call for a direct assessment of such effects at larger scales. Based on estimates of the global biomass of cyanobacteria in soil biocrusts, one can easily calculate that there must currently exist about 15 million metric tons of scytonemin at work, warming soil surfaces worldwide

  20. Effects of biological soil crust development on the hydrological behavior of vegetation-stabilized sand dunes in arid desert ecosystems of NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppola, Antonio; Wang, Xinping; Pan, Yan-xia; Basile, Angelo; Comegna, Alessandro

    2014-05-01

    Approximately 24.5% of the Chinese area locates in arid and semi-arid area in northwest China, which has been severely affected by desertification. An experiment to evaluate the effects of dunes fixation by vegetation was carried out at Shapotou in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region at the southeast edge of the Tengger Desert using xerophyte shrubs (Caragana korshinskii, Hedysarum scoparium and Artemisia ordosica) planted in straw checkerboard plots initiated in 1956. The artificially stabilized shrub-covered dunes have strongly enhanced the formation of biotic crusts. Knowing if and how local hydrological processes are altered by desert ecosystems restoration is basic to create vegetation-protective systems that control or cease migration of sand dunes. Accordingly, the main objective of this work was to evaluate the time dynamics of the hydraulic properties and surface infiltration behavior with the general soil formation processes. We compared the soil physical and hydraulic properties, along with infiltration characteristics of soils of vegetated and un-vegetated sand dunes. Finally, by numerically simulating water flow processes naturally occurring in the area, we investigated if the changes in the surface infiltration behavior, local by nature, have consequences on the fluxes deeper in the soil profile Key words: Microbiotic crusts, Hydraulic properties, Sand dune migration, Tension infiltrometer method, Numerical simulations

  1. 沙坡头地区吸湿凝结水对生物土壤结皮的生态作用%Ecological effect of hygroscopic and condensate water on biological soil crusts in Shapotou region of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘颜霞; 王新平; 张亚峰; 虎瑞

    2013-01-01

    以沙坡头植被固沙区为研究对象,采用野外试验与室内分析相结合的方法,探讨了吸湿凝结水对生物土壤结皮的生态作用.结果表明:在沙坡头人工固沙植被区内,吸湿凝结水90%分布在表层3 cm以内,不影响土壤表层水分含量;夜间形成的吸湿凝结水在日间参与了地表水分与大气层水汽的交换过程,弥补了日间蒸发作用导致的土壤水分的散失,使表层土壤水分不会迅速降低.吸湿凝结水形成量与生物土壤结皮中的叶绿素含量呈正相关关系,能够提高该区生物土壤结皮的生长活性,有利于其生物量的积累.%By the method of field experiment combined with laboratory analysis, this paper studied the ecological significance of hygroscopic and condensate water on the biological soil crusts in the vegetation sand-fixing area in Shapotou region of China.In the study area, 90% of hygroscopic and condensate water was within the 3 cm soil depth, which didn' t affect the surface soil water content.The hygroscopic and condensate water generated at night involved in the exchange process of soil surface water and atmosphere water vapor, made up the loss of soil water due to the evaporation during the day, and made the surface soil water not reduced rapidly.The amount of the generated hygroscopic and condensate water had a positive correlation with the chlorophyll content of biological soil crusts, indicating that the hygroscopic and condensate water could improve the growth activity of the biological soil crusts, and thus, benefit the biomass accumulation of the crusts.

  2. The physiology mechanisms on drought tolerance and adaptation of biological soil crust moss Bryum argenteum and Didymodon vinealis in Tenger Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, X.; Shi, Y.; Chen, C.; Jia, R.; Li, X.

    2012-04-01

    Bryum argenteum Hedw. and Didymodon vinealis Brid are two dominant moss species in the restored vegetation area in Tenger Desert, which sampled from biological soil crusts and where is an extreme drought regions. We found that they resorted to different osmotic adjustment strategies to mitigate osmotic stress. Under the gradual drought stress, both Bryum argenteum and Didymodon vinealis accumulated K+ and soluble sugar such as sucrose and trehalose. Their glycine betaine contents both decreased, while their proline content had no significant change. With enhanced drought stress, Bryum argenteum's Na+ content was low and decreased significantly, whereas Didymodon vinealis's Na+ content increased sharply and reached to a high level. We found the different of the mechanism of between active oxygen scavenging on Enzymatic and non - enzymatic system in two species moss of Bryum argenteum Hedw and Didymodon vinealis Brid under extreme drought stress. The result showed that two species of Moss of SOD activity gradually enhanced, and they have the material basis for effectively eliminates in vivo of Superoxide free radical. POD in Didymodon nigrescen and CAT in Bryum argeneum are major resistance o oxidative stress effects. The content of GSH rise with the stress also enhanced. The mechanism of finding Bryum argenteum Hedw and Didymodon vinealis Brid tolerance of dehydration ability were focus on different direction, but they are all given positive response to stress and enhance resistance. We investigated the responses of signal transduction substances to gradual drought stress in Didymodon vinealis and Bryum argenteum. The results suggested that: under gradual drought stress, the activities of TP H+-ATPase and PM H+-ATPase of Didymodon vinealis and Bryum argenteum both increased, resulting in their increase of K+ contents and turgor pressures, and triggered biosynthesis of signal transduction substances. ABA had no obvious effect in signal transduction of Bryum argenteum

  3. Development of Soil Crusts Under Simulated Rainfall and Crust Formation on a Loess Soil as Influenced by Polyacrylamide

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Xia; LIU Lian-You; LI Shun-Jiang; CAI Qiang-Guo; L(U) Yan-Li; GUO Jin-Rui

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the morphological characteristics and dynamic variation in characteristics of soil crust and identified the relationships between soil crust and splash erosion under simulated rainfall.The effect of polyacrylamide (PAM) on soil aggregate stabilization and crust formation was also investigated.A laboratory rainfall simulation experiment was carried out using soil sample slices.The slices were examined under a polarized light microscopy and a scanning electron microscope (SEM).The results revealed that the soil crusts were thin and were characterized by a greater density,higher shear strength,finer porosity,and lower saturated hydraulic conductivity than the underlying soil.Two types of crusts,i.e.,structural and depositional crusts,were observed.Soil texture was determined to be the most important soil variable influencing surface crust formation; depositional crust formation was primarily related to the skeleton characteristics of the soil and happened when the soil contained a high level of medium and large aggregates.The crust formation processes observed were as follows:1) The fine particles on the soil surface became spattered,leached,and then rough in response to raindrop impact and 2) the fine particles were washed into the subsoil pores while a compact dense layer concurrently formed at soil surface due to the continual compaction by the raindrops.Therefore,the factors that influenced structural crust formation were a large amount of fine particles in the soil surface,continual impact of raindrops,dispersion of aggregates into fine particles,and the formation of a compact dense layer concurrently at the soil surface.It was concluded that the most important factor in the formation of soil crusts was raindrop impact.When polyacrylamide (PAM) was applied,it restored the soil structure and greatly increased soil aggregate stabilization.This effectively prevented crust formation.However,this function of PAM was not continuously effective and

  4. Acoustic techniques for studying soil-surface seals and crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    The impact of raindrops on a soil surface during a rainstorm may cause soil-surface sealing and upon drying, soil crusting. Soil-surface sealing is a result of the clogging of interaggregate pores by smaller suspended particles in the water and by structural deformation of the soil fabric, which red...

  5. NITROGEN FIXATION OF BIOLOGICAL SOIL CRUSTS ON COPPER MINING TAILINGS AND ITS INFLUENCE FACTORS%铜尾矿生物结皮的生物固氮及其影响因素研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋勇生; 龚亚龙; 廖斌; 刘蔚秋

    2011-01-01

    The dumping site for copper mining tailings at Yangshanchong at Tongling city ( Anhui Province) has been deserted for 20-years. The area is characterized by extremely high concentrations of heavy metals, poverty of nutrients, easy acidification and severe desertification. Biological soil crusts ( BSCs) , extensively existing on tailings is a major early stage of the ecological succession of the tailing ecosystem. The method of in situ acetylene reduction was applied to explore characteristics of biological nitrogen-fixation of algae, algae-moss and moss crusts on tailings. It was found that biological crusts significantly increased total nitrogen and lower Cu content in the tailings, and the nitrogen-fixing capability of the crusts varied sharply from type to type. Among the three types, the algae-moss type of crust was the highest in N2 fixation rates, ranging between 1. 32 -8.78 kg hm ~ a , and followed by the algae type and the moss type, ranging between 4. 36 ~ 30. 39 kg hm-2a-1 and between 0 ~16. 34 kg hm -2 a-1, respectively, and followed a decreasing order of algae-moss, moss, and algae BSCs. N2 fixation capacity of the BSCs varied with the season, too showing a decrease order of summer, spring, fall and winter. Besides, a negative line relationship was observed of the capacity with soil bulk density, NO3--N, and total Cu concentration and a positive one with pH, NH4+-N, and water soluble organic carbon. On the whole, BSCs significantly enhanced total nitrogen content, and decrease total Cu concentration in tailings. The anomalous wet conditions experienced during the year of the study may have increased the temporal availability of soil mineral N and decreased N fixation rates. However, the presence of N fixation activity in all crusts analyzed their ability to survive at high Cu concentration, which may contribute to ecosystem resilience and recovery in areas under severe heavy metal stress.%在铜尾矿生态系统自然恢复过程中,生物结皮广

  6. Formation and development of salt crusts on soil surfaces

    KAUST Repository

    Dai, Sheng

    2015-12-14

    The salt concentration gradually increases at the soil free surface when the evaporation rate exceeds the diffusive counter transport. Eventually, salt precipitates and crystals form a porous sodium chloride crust with a porosity of 0.43 ± 0.14. After detaching from soils, the salt crust still experiences water condensation and salt deliquescence at the bottom, brine transport across the crust driven by the humidity gradient, and continued air-side precipitation. This transport mechanism allows salt crust migration away from the soil surface at a rate of 5 μm/h forming salt domes above soil surfaces. The surface characteristics of mineral substrates and the evaporation rate affect the morphology and the crystal size of precipitated salt. In particular, substrate hydrophobicity and low evaporation rate suppress salt spreading.

  7. Effects of physical soil crusts on infiltration and splash erosion in three typical Chinese soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chong-feng BU; Shu-fang WU; Kai-bao YANG

    2014-01-01

    Physical soil crusts likely have significant effects on infiltration and soil erosion, however, little is known on whether the effects of the crusts change during a rainfall event. Further, there is a lack of discussions on the differences among the crusting effects of different soil types. The objectives of this study are as follows: (i) to study the effects of soil crusts on infiltration, runoff, and splash erosion using three typical soils in China, (ii) to distinguish the different effects on hydrology and erosion of the three soils and discuss the primary reasons for these differences, and (iii) to understand the variations in real soil shear strength of the three soils during rainfall events and mathematically model the effects of the crusts on soil erosion. This study showed that the soil crusts delayed the onset of infiltration by 5 to 15 min and reduced the total amount of infiltration by 42.9 to 53.4%during rainfall events. For a purple soil and a loess soil, the initial crust increased the runoff by 2.8%and 3.4%, respectively, and reduced the splash erosion by 3.1% and 8.9%, respectively. For a black soil, the soil crust increased the runoff by 42.9%and unexpectedly increased the splash erosion by 95.2%. In general, the effects of crusts on the purple and loess soils were similar and negligible, but the effects were significant for the black soil. The soil shear strength decreased dynamically and gradually during the rainfall events, and the values of crusted soils were higher than those of incrusted soils, especially during the early stage of the rainfall. Mathematical models were developed to describe the effects of soil crusts on the splash erosion for the three soils as follows:purple soil, 0.384Fc =0.002t− ; black soil, 3.060Fc =−0.022t+ ; and loess soil, Fc =0.233 ln t−1.239 . Combined with the equation 1)Rc=Fc⋅(Ruc− , the splash erosion of the crusted soil can be predicted over time.

  8. Influence of crust formation under natural rain on physical attributes of soils with different textures

    OpenAIRE

    Selene Cristina de Pierri Castilho; Miguel Cooper; Carlos Eduardo Pinto Juhász

    2011-01-01

    One of the main negative anthropic effects on soil is the formation of crusts, resulting in soil degradation. This process of physical origin reduces soil water infiltration, causing increased runoff and consequently soil losses, water erosion and/or soil degradation. The study and monitoring of soil crusts is important for soil management and conservation, mainly in tropical regions where research is insufficient to explain how soil crusts are formed and how they evolve. The purpose of this ...

  9. [Effects of soil crusts on surface hydrology in the semiarid Loess hilly area].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Wen, Zhi; Chen, Li-Ding; Chen, Jin; Wu, Dong-Ping

    2012-11-01

    Soil crusts are distributed extensively in the Chinese Loess Plateau and play key roles in surface hydrological processes. In this study, a typical loess hilly region in Anjiagou catchment, Dingxi city, Gansu province was selected as the study region, and soil crusts in the catchment were investigated. Then, the hydrological effect of soil crusts was studied by using multi-sampling and hydrological monitoring experiments. Several key results were shown as follows. Firstly, compared with bared soil without crust cover, soil crusts can greatly reduce the bulk density, improve the porosity of soil, and raise the holding capacity of soil moisture which ranges from 1.4 to 1.9 times of that of bared soil. Secondly, the role of soil crust on rainfall interception was very significant. Moss crust was found to be strongest on rainfall interception, followed by synantectic crusts and lichen crusts. Bared soil without covering crusts was poorest in resisting rainfall splash. Thirdly, hydrological simulation experiments indicate that soil crusts play a certain positive role in promoting the water infiltration capacity, and the mean infiltration rate of the crusted soil was 2 times higher than that of the no-crust covered soils. While the accumulated infiltrated water amounts was also far higher than that of the bared soil.

  10. Tillage and farmyard manure efects on crusting and compacting soils at Katumani, Semi-arid Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biamah, E.K.; Sterk, G.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2008-01-01

    In semi-arid Kenya, the most dominatn soil types are of limited agricultural productivity due to crusting and compaction. The occurence of soil crusting and compaction is attributed to seasonal rainfall characteristics, physical soil properties and bad tillage practices. Soil crusting and compaction

  11. Effects of crust and cracks on simulated catchment discharge and soil loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolte, J.; Ritsema, C.J.; Roo, de A.P.J.

    1997-01-01

    Sealing, crusting and cracking of crusts of the soil surface has been observed in many parts of the world in areas with sandy, silty and loamy soils. Sealing and crust formation occurs under the influence of rain storm and drying weather. With prolonged drying, surface crusts might crack, leading to

  12. EFFECTS OF SOIL CRUSTING ON SOIL MOISTURE, RUNOFF AND EROSION: FIELD OBSERVATIONS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tongxin ZHU

    2002-01-01

    Soil crusting may have significant impacts on infiltration, runoff generation and erosion in agricultural lands or semi-arid and arid soils. The previous investigations on soil crusting were often conducted under simulated rainfall conditions. This study aims to evaluate the effects of soil crusting on soil moisture during inter-storm periods and soil and water losses during storm periods under natural rainfalls. The study site was located in the Loess Plateau of China. Four plots with a uniform slope and size were selected. Soil crusts were kept intact on the two plots throughout the monitoring periods of 1999 and 2000,but were broken after each rain storm event on the other two plots. Soil moisture was measured on all plots with an interval of one week at three depths and total event runoff and sediment discharges were measured in each storm. It was found that no marked difference in soil moisture and runoff exists between the crusted and uncrusted plots. This is because the rapid development of new crusts on the uncrusted plots during the storm events. However, the erosion rate on the uncrusted plots was significantly higher than that on the crusted plots, which was mainly caused by the disturbance of the surface soils on the uncrusted plots. This study questions the effectiveness of a common agricultural practice in the Loess Plateau, hoeing lands after rainfall, in reducing runoff and erosion.

  13. La costra biológica del suelo: Avances recientes en el conocimiento de su estructura y función ecológica Biological soil crusts: Recent advances in our knowledge of their structure and ecological function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANDREA P CASTILLO-MONROY

    2011-03-01

    estructura y funcionamiento de los ecosistemas en los que se encuentran.Biological soil crusts (BSCs result from an intimate association between soil particles and cyanobacteria, algae, microfungi, lichens, and bryophytes. These crusts are widespread in many type of soils and in almost all plant communities where sunlight can reach the soil surface. However, BSCs are particulary dominant in environments with low productivity such as arid, semi-arid, alpine and polar areas. Biological soil crusts affect soil nutrient cycling, influence the local hidrological cycle, increase soil stability, and affect the establisment and performance of vascular plants. The knowledge on the biology, ecology and physiology of BSCs has substantially increased in recent years. However, there are important gaps in our knowledge concerning the influence of BSCs on biogeochemical cycles, particularly of phosphorus and carbon, as well as on many aspects related to biotic interactions among BSC components, and between these components and microorganisms, vascular plants and invertebrates. It is necessary to expand current research efforts to other parts of the world, as most studies have been conducted mainly in arid and semi-arid areas of USA, Israel, Australia and China. Of particular concern is the lack of studies from Central and South America, despite BSCs must be a key biotic component in countries such as Chile, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. With the aim of increasing the interest of the scientific community of Spanish-speaking countries about this important group of organisms, in this review we illustrate recent advances on the importance of BSCs to maintain the structure and functioning of those ecosystems in which they are present. We also highlight the main gaps in our knowledge on the ecology of these organisms, and discuss key areas for future research.

  14. Comparison of diurnal dynamics in evaporation rate between bare soil and moss-crusted soil within a revegetated desert ecosystem of northwestern China

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ya-Feng Zhang; Xin-Ping Wang; Yan-Xia Pan; Rui Hu

    2016-02-01

    Effects of biological soil crusts (BSCs) on soil evaporation is quite controversial in literature, being either facilitative or inhibitive, and therein few studies have actually conducted direct evaporation measurements. Continuous field measurements of soil water evaporation were conducted on two microlysimeters, i.e., one with sand soil collected from bare sand dune area and the other with moss-crusted soil collected from an area that was revegetated in 1956, from field capacity to dry, at the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert. We mainly aimed to quantify the diurnal variations of evaporation rate from two soils, and further comparatively discuss the effects of BSCs on soil evaporation after revegetation. Results showed that in clear days with high soil water content (Day 1 and 2), the diurnal variation of soil evaporation rate followed the typical convex upward parabolic curve, reaching its peak around midday. Diurnal evaporation rate and the accumulated evaporation amount of moss-crusted soil were lower (an average of 0.90 times) than that of sand soil in this stage. However, as soil water content decreased to a moderately low level (Day 3 and 4), the diurnal evaporation rate from moss-crusted soil was pronouncedly higher (an average of 3.91 times) than that of sand soil, prolonging the duration of this higher evaporation rate stage; it was slightly higher in the final stage (Day 5 and 6) when soil moisture was very low. We conclude that the effects of moss crusts on soil evaporation vary with different evaporation stages, which is closely related to soil water content, and the variation and transition of evaporation rate between bare soil and moss-crusted soil are expected to be predicted by soil water content.

  15. [Seasonal dynamics of soil net nitrogen mineralization under moss crust in Shapotou region, northern China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Rui; Wang, Xin-ping; Pan, Yan-xia; Zhang, Ya-feng; Zhang, Hao; Cheng, Ning

    2015-04-01

    Seasonal variations of soil inorganic nitrogen (N) pool and net N transformation rate in moss-covered soil and in the bare soil were comparatively observed by incubating intact soil columns with parafilm capping in the field in a natural vegetation area of Shapotou, southeastern fringe of the Tengger Desert. We found pronounced seasonal variations in soil available N content and net N transformation rate in both moss-covered soil and bare soil, with significant differences among different months. In non-growing season, soil available N content and net N transformation rate were significantly higher in March and October than in other months. Furthermore, immobilization was the dominant form of N mineralization, and no significant difference in net soil N mineralization rate was found between the two sampling soils. In growing season, soil available N content and net N transformation rate markedly increased and reached their peak values during June to August (17.18 mg x kg(-1) and 0.11 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1), respectively). Both soil net nitrification and N mineralization rates in moss-covered soil were significantly higher than in bare soil. Soil ammonium and nitrate N content in April and May were higher in moss-covered soil (2.66 and 3.16 mg x kg(-1), respectively) than in bare soil (1.02 and 2.37 mg x kg(-1), respectively); while the tendency was the converse in June and September, with 7.01 mg x kg(-1) for soil ammonium content and 7.40 mg x kg(-1) for nitrate N content in bare soil, and they were 6.39 and 6.36 mg x kg(-1) in moss-covered soil, respectively. Therefore, the existence and succession of moss crusts could be considered as one of the important biological factors affecting soil N cycling through regulating soil available N content and promoting soil N mineralization process.

  16. 不同程度干扰下人工固沙植被区生物结皮对草本植物生长的影响%Influence of Biological Soil Crust Incurred Different Intensities of Disturbance on Herbal Plants in Artificial Fixed-Dunes Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    富远年; 马风云; 刘立超

    2011-01-01

    通过对沙坡头人工固沙植被区不同类型的生物结皮进行不同程度的人工干扰,对生长在结皮上的两种草本植物雾冰藜和小画眉草的繁衍和生长进行了研究。结果表明:与未受干扰的对照相比,轻度干扰下3种类型生物结皮上雾冰藜的密度、冠幅、高度、根系长度和生物量都有显著增加,重度干扰下3种类型结皮上的雾冰藜生长有所增加,密度则显著下降;轻度干扰下苔藓和藻类苔藓混生结皮上的小画眉草生长有所增加,密度基本未变,藻类结皮上小画眉草密度和生长都无显著变化。重度干扰下苔藓和藻类苔藓混生结皮上的小画眉草生长有所增加,密度和生长量下降。同时分析讨论了两种维管束植物在生物结皮受到干扰时不同表现的机理。%Biological soil crusts exist in a wide variety of environments around the world.It serves as an important biological factor contributing to the sand fixation.Disturbances are also widely existing phenomena in any ecosystem,especially in arid and semiarid areas in our country,where under the pressure of human population,disturbances such as grazing and trampling have important influences on the ecosystem.Our objective was to learn the influences of different disturbances for biological soil crusts on vascular plants by experiments of imitation disturbances set in artificial fixed-dunes area in Shapotou region.The results showed: the density,average crown,height,root length,and biomass of Bassia dasyphylla grown on three types of biological soil crusts increased significantly with the crusts being slightly disturbed.When the crusts were severely disturbed,the growth of Bassia dasyphylla increased moderately,while the density decreased.Under the circumstance of slight disturbance,the density and growth of Eragrostis minor grown on the moss crusts as well as on the the algae-moss crusts increased slightly and its density did not change significantly

  17. Responses of biological soil crust to and its relief effect on raindrop kinetic energy%生物土壤结皮对雨滴动能的响应及削减作用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    秦宁强; 赵允格

    2011-01-01

    Based on the field investigation and by the method of simulated single-drop rain, this pa-per studied the responses of different types of biological soil crusts ( biocrusts) in the wind-water erosion interleaving region of Loess Plateau to and their relief effect on the kinetic energy of rain-drops. The responses of the biocrusts to raindrop kinetic energy had close relations with their biolog-ical composition. The cyanobacteria-dominated biocrusts with a thickness of 1 cm and the moss-dominated biocrusts with the coverage of 80% could resist in 0.99 J and 75. 56 J of cumulative rain drop kinetic energy, respectively, and the potential resistance of the biocrusts with the same biologi-cal compositions was relative to the biomass of the biological compositions, i. e. , the larger the bio-mass , the higher the resistance. As the chlorophyll a content of cyanobacteria- dominated biocrusts (which characterizes the cyanobacterial biomass) increased from 3. 32 to 3. 73μg · g-1, the resist-ance of the biocrusts against the cumulative raindrop kinetic energy increased from 0. 99 to 2. 17 J; when the moss biomass in the moss- dominated biocrusts increased from 2.03 to 4. 73 g · dm-2, the resistance of the crusts increased from 6. 08 to 75. 56 J. During the succession of the biocrusts, their responses to the raindrop kinetic energy presented an "S" pattern. No significant differences in the resistance against raindrop cumulative kinetic energy were observed between the cyanobacte-ria-dominated biocrusts with variable biomass, but the resistance of moss-dominated biocrusts in-creased significantly as their biomass per unit area increased. The resistance of moss-dominated bio-crusts increased linearly when their biomass increased from 2.03 g ·dm-2 to 4. 73g·dm-2. The moss-dominated biocrusts could resist in 62.03 J of raindrop kinetic energy when their biomass was up to 3.70 g · dm-2. Biocrusts had obvious effects in relieving raindrop kinetic energy, and the re

  18. Impact of Biological Soil Crust on Soil Physical Properties in the Hilly Loess Plateau Region,China%黄土丘陵区生物结皮对土壤物理属性的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高丽倩; 赵允格; 秦宁强; 张国秀; 杨凯

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts(biocrusts) are ubiquitous living surface covers in many arid and semi-arid regions.It has been demonstrated that the coverage of biocrusts was over 70% in the hilly Loess Plateau region of China and it played many important roles,such as exerting observably impact on soil properties and improving soil antierodibility.But the response of soil physical properties to the development of biocrusts has been unclear so far.The objective of the study was to determine the impact of development of biocrusts(i.e.with variable biomass) on soil physical properties in hilly Loess Plateau region.In this study,soil samples were collected after biocrusts and vegetation coverage survey,and the soil physical properties including soil bulk density,soil porosity,field water holding capacity,cohesion and hardness of biocrusts in different developmental stages were determined.The results showed: 1) Fine particles content increased due to the development of biocrusts.The content of coarse sand decreased by 86% while fine sand increased by 45% with biocrusts developing from cyanobacteria dominated to moss dominated(biomass of moss was 4.31±0.12 g/dm^2).2) With the development of biocrusts,soil bulk density and hardness were reduced while field water holding capacity,soil porosity and cohesion were increased significantly.Along with the development of biocrusts,soil bulk density was dropped by 15%.Soil hardness of biocrusts in later development stage was reduced by 68% compared with the early stage.Field water holding capacity was increased to 57%,adding about 36% compared with the early stage,while soil porosity gone up to 58%,increasing by about 14%.Cohesion of biocrusts was 6 or 7 times as much as that of subsurface soil(0-2 cm).3) Impact of biocrusts on soil physical properties was closely related to biocrusts'biomass.When biomass of moss in biocrusts was to 2.91±0.12 g/dm^2,soil physical properties changed no longer significantly.4

  19. 黄土丘陵区不同降水量带生物结皮对土壤氮素的影响%Impacts of biological soil crusts on soil nitrogen in different rainfall regions in hilly areas of the Loess Plateau, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    明姣; 赵允格; 许明祥; 杨丽娜; 王爱国; 姚春竹

    2013-01-01

    黄土丘陵区生物结皮广泛发育,可通过固氮作用影响土壤氮素水平,但该区生物结皮对土壤氮素水平的影响鲜见报道.本文通过野外调查结合采样分析,研究了黄土丘陵区不同降水量带生物结皮组成、覆盖度差异及其对土壤氮素水平的影响.结果表明,1)黄土丘陵区不同降水量带生物结皮覆盖度无显著差异,但组成有差别;2)不同降水量带土壤氮素含量剖面分布具有明显的分层特征,生物结皮显著增加了结皮层土壤氮素含量,对下层土壤影响较小,结皮层下0-2 cm、2-5 cm、5-10 cm土层中氮素含量差异不显著;3)生物结皮层土壤全氮、碱解氮及微生物氮在不同降水量带差异不显著,而0-2 cm、2-5 cm、5-10 cm土壤全氮、碱解氮及土壤微生物氮含量在200~300 mm降水量带小于300~600 mm降水量带.研究结果揭示了黄土丘陵区生物结皮对土壤氮素的贡献,而不同降水量带生物结皮对土壤氮素的贡献差异不显著的原因有待于进一步研究.%Biocrusts ( biological soil crusts) , as ubiquitous living covers on soil surface of the revegetated grasslands in the hilly Loess Plateau regions, are potential influence factors on soil nitrogen contents. However, studies on the influence of biocrusts on soil nitrogens in this region were fresh. The objective of the paper was to determine the impact of biological soil crusts on soil nitrogen contents. Field investigation was conducted, and the contents of soil total nitrogen, soil alkali-hydrolyzable nitrogen and soil microbial nitrogen in different soil layers from various rainfall regions were analyzed. The results show that the coverage of biocrusts in different rainfall regions have no significant differences, while the compositions of biocrusts are different. The formation of the biocrusts enriched nitrogen (soil total nitrogen, alkali-hydrolyzable nitrogen and soil microbial nitrogen) in the upper layers of soils

  20. The role of termites and mulch in the rehabilitation of crusted Sahelian soils.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mando, A.

    1997-01-01

    During recent decades Sahelian soils have gone through various forms of degradation, the most spectacular one being the extension of bare and crusted soils. Mulch, when placed on a crusted and bare soil, triggers termite activity within a few months. Many burrows are opened through the sealed surfac

  1. Physical characterization, spectral response and remotely sensed mapping of Mediterranean soil surface crusts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jong, S.M. de; Addink, E.A.; Duijsing, D.; Beek, L.P.H. van

    2011-01-01

    Soil surface crusting and sealing are frequent but unfavorable processes in Mediterranean areas. Soil crust and seals form on bare soil subject to high-intensity rainfall, resulting in a hard, impenetrable layer that impedes infiltration and hampers the germination and establishment of plants. The a

  2. 黄土丘陵区不同演替阶段生物结皮对土壤CO2通量的影响%Effects of biological soil crust at different succession stages in hilly region of Loess Plateau on soil CO2 flux

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王爱国; 赵允格; 许明祥; 杨丽娜; 明姣

    2013-01-01

    生物结皮是土壤表面具有光合活性的致密复合层,是土-气界面CO2通量的影响因子之一.本文采用改进的Li-8100土壤碳通量测量系统,研究了黄土丘陵区退耕地上不同演替阶段生物结皮对土壤CO2通量的影响.结果表明:光照条件下,生物结皮土壤CO2通量较除去生物结皮显著下降,其中藻结皮和藓结皮分别下降了92%和305%;生物结皮对土壤CO2通量的降低程度与其生物组成和生物量有关,深色藻结皮和藓结皮土壤CO2通量较裸地分别降低了141%和484%.生物结皮土壤CO2通量的日变化呈降低-升高-降低的趋势,而裸地CO2通量日变化趋势为单峰曲线,藻结皮、藓结皮的碳吸收峰值分别出现在8:00和9:00前后,其CO2通量分别为0.13和-1.02 μmol CO2·m-2·s-1;藻结皮24 h CO2通量排放总量较裸地增加7.7%,而藓结皮减少了29.6%.生物结皮对土壤CO2通量的影响显著,在评价退耕地土壤碳循环时,应考虑生物结皮的影响.%Biological soil crust ( biocrust) is a compact complex layer of soil, which has photosyn-thetic activity and is one of the factors affecting the CO2 flux of soil-atmosphere interface.In this paper, the soil CO2 flux under the effects of biocrust at different succession stages on the re-vegetated grassland in the hilly region of Loess Plateau was measured by a modified LI-8100 automated CO2 flux system.Under light condition, the soil CO2 flux under effects of cyanobacteria crust and moss crust was significantly decreased by 92% and 305% , respectively, as compared with the flux without the effects of the biocrusts.The decrement of the soil CO2 flux by the biocrusts was related to the biocrusts components and their biomass.Under the effects of dark colored cyanobacteria crust and moss crust, the soil CO2 flux was decreased by 141% and 484% , respectively, as compared with that in bare land.The diurnal curve of soil CO2 flux under effects of biocrusts presented a

  3. Influence of crust formation under natural rain on physical attributes of soils with different textures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Cristina de Pierri Castilho

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the main negative anthropic effects on soil is the formation of crusts, resulting in soil degradation. This process of physical origin reduces soil water infiltration, causing increased runoff and consequently soil losses, water erosion and/or soil degradation. The study and monitoring of soil crusts is important for soil management and conservation, mainly in tropical regions where research is insufficient to explain how soil crusts are formed and how they evolve. The purpose of this study was to monitor these processes on soils with different particle size distributions. Soil crusts on a sandy/sandy loam Argissolo Vermelho-Amarelo (Typic Hapludult, sandy loam Latossolo Vermelho-Amarelo (Typic Hapludox and a clayey Nitossolo Vermelho eutroférrico (Rhodic Kandiudalf were monitored. The soil was sampled and data collected after 0, 3, 5 and 10 rain storms with intensities above 25 mm h-1, from December 2008 to May 2009. Soil chemical and particle size distribution analysis were performed. The changes caused by rainfall were monitored by determining the soil roughness, hydraulic conductivity and soil water retention curves and by micromorphological analysis. Reduced soil roughness and crust formation were observed for all soils during the monitored rainfall events. However, contrary to what was expected according to the literature, crust formation was not always accompanied by reductions in total porosity, hydraulic conductivity and soil water retention.

  4. Soil Crust Changes due to Wetting and Drying Analyzed by Non-Invasive Images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this work a γ-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner was used to evaluate soil crust changes due to wetting and drying (W-D) cycles. Changes in soil porous system (SPS) due to W-D cycles of samples with crust have important practical consequences, because they can affect the soil water retention curve (SWRC) representativeness. CT data allowed detailed analyses of the soil bulk density (db) for thick layers, which cannot be achieved by traditional methods commonly used in soil physics. It was also possible to observe a decrease in db in the crust region. These results show that important changes can occur in SPS during SWRC evaluations.

  5. 生物土壤结皮对准噶尔盆地5种荒漠植物幼苗生长与元素吸收的影响%Effects of biological soil crusts on seedling growth and element uptake in five desert plants in Junggar Basin,western China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张元明; 聂华丽

    2011-01-01

    生物土壤结皮广泛分布于许多干旱和半干旱地区,它影响土壤物理过程、水文、侵蚀和养分循环过程,从而影响植物种子萌发与生长发育.该文以新疆准噶尔盆地腹地的古尔班通古特沙漠的生物土壤结皮为研究对象,分析了生物土壤结皮对准噶尔盆地5种荒漠植物(白梭梭(Haloxylon persicum)、蛇麻黄(Ephedra distachya)、角果藜(Ceratocarpus arenaarius)、涩芥(Malcolmia africana)和狭果鹤虱(Lappula semiglabra))的生长及其对元素吸收的影响.结果表明:1)相对于裸沙而言,生物土壤结皮显著促进了荒漠植物的生长速率,并增加了草本植物地上和地下的生物量,但对灌木的生物量无显著影响;2)生物土壤结皮使部分一年生草本植物的开花和结实期提前,这可能有利于荒漠植物在有限的环境资源下快速完成生活史.并繁衍后代;3)生物土壤结皮能够影响荒漠植物对土壤中营养元素的吸收,具体表现在生物土壤结皮显著促进了5种植物对N的吸收,增加了荒漠植物在N贫乏的荒漠生态系统的适应能力,而对P和K的吸收均没有影响.生物土壤结皮对荒漠植物对元素吸收的影响因种而异,对不同的植物有不同的影响.荒漠植物对Mg、Mn和Cu的吸收受生物土壤结皮的影响最小.%Aims Biological soil crusts improve soil formation, increase landscape stability and fertility, prevent soil erosion by water or wind, and affect surface hydrological and nutrient cycles.Furthermore, biological soil crusts affect the germination, growth and establishment of vascular plants.The interaction between crusts and vascular plants is controversial, and the importance of biological crusts has not been well analyzed in the Gurbantunggut Desert of western China.Our objective was to examine effects of biological crusts on growth and nutrient uptake in vascular plants of the Gurbantunggut Desert.Methods We conducted manipulation experiments to

  6. Process and Mechanism for the Development of Physical Crusts in Three Typical Chinese Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    BU Chong-Feng; W.J.GALE; CAI Qiang-Guo; WU Shu-Fang

    2013-01-01

    To compare the development of physical crusts in three typical cultivated soils of China,a black soil (Luvic Phaeozem),a loess soil (Haplic Luvisol),and a purple soil (Calcaric Regosol) were packed in splash plates with covered and uncovered treatments,and exposed to simulated rainfall.Meshes covered above the surfaces of half of soil samples to simulate the effects of crop residue on crusting.The results indicated a progressive breakdown of aggregates on the soil surface as rainfall continued.The bulk density and shear strength on the surface of the three soil types increased logarithmically as rainfall duration increased.During the first 30 min of simulated rainfall,the purple soil developed a 7-8 mm thick crust and the loess soil developed a 3-4 mm thick crust.The black soil developed a distinguishable,but still unstable,crust after 80 min of simulated rainfall.Soil organic matter (SOM) content,the mean weight diameter (MWD) of soil aggregates,and soil clay content were negatively correlated with the rate of crust formation,whereas the percentage of aggregate dispersion (PAD),the exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP),and the silt and sand contents were positively correlated with crusting.Mechanical breakdown caused by raindrop impact was the primary mechanism of crust formation in the black soil with more stable aggregates (MWD 25.0 mm,PAD 3.1%) and higher SOM content (42.6 g kg-1).Slaking and mechanical eluviation were the primary mechanisms of crust formation in the purple soil with low clay content (103 g kg-1),cation exchange capacity (CEC,228 mmol kg-1),ESP (0.60%),and SOM (17.2 g kg-1).Mechanical breakdown and slaking were the most important in the loess soil with low CEC (80.6 mmol kg-1),ESP (1.29%),SOM (9.82 g kg-1),and high PAD (71.7%) and MWD (4.6 mm).Simulated residue cover reduced crust formation in black and loess soils,but increased crust formation in purple soil.

  7. Spectroscopic surrogates of soil organic matter resilience in crusted semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miralles Mellado, Isabel; Almendros, Gonzalo; Ortega, Raúl; Cantón, Yolanda; Poveda, Francisco; van Wesemael, Bas

    2016-04-01

    Arid and semiarid ecosystems represent nearly a third of the Earth's total land surface. In these ecosystems, there is a critical balance between C sequestration and biodegradation that could easily be altered due to human disturbance or global change. These ecosystems are widely characterized by the presence of biological soil crusts (BSCs) which play the most important role in the C-cycle in arid and semiarid areas. Consequently, soil organic matter (SOM) characteristics of crusted soil could readily reflect important information on the resilience of SOM in response to any global temperature increase or to inappropriate soil management practices. In this research, representative BSCs and underlying soils were studied in two different semiarid ecosystems in Southern Spain, i.e., Amoladeras (located in Cabo de Gata Natural Park), and El Cautivo (located in Tabernas desert). Chemical fractionation and characterization of the SOM in BSCs and underlying soils were carried out in order to assess not only the total amount of organic C sequestered but mainly the quality of humic-type organic fractions. After isolating the major organic fractions (particulate fraction, humic acid-like (HA), alkali-extracted fulvic acid (FA) and H3PO4-FAs), the macromolecular, HA fraction was purified and studied by derivative visible spectroscopy and resolution-enhanced infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Our results show differences in the structural characteristics of the HA-type substances, interpreted as progressive stages of diagenetic transformation of biomacromolecules. Amoladeras showed higher SOM content, and higher values of HA and HA/FA ratio than El Cautivo, with lower SOM content in BSCs and underlying soils. The latter site accumulates SOM consisting mainly of comparatively less recalcitrant organic fractions with small molecular sizes (H3PO4-FAs and FAs). Moreover HAs in samples from Amoladeras showed higher condensation and aromaticity (higher E4, lower E4/E6 ratio), pointing to

  8. Effect of soil crust on evaporation and dew deposition in Mu Us sandy land, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yongliang SUN; Xiaoyan LI; Heye XU; Zhipeng YANG; Jia TANG; Xiaoying ZHANG

    2008-01-01

    The development of soil crust on sandy land may affect the surface hydrological process. This paper investigates the process of evaporation and dew depos-ition influenced by different soil surface types which were dominated by sand, primitive biotic crust, and advanced biotic crust, respectively, in the south fringe of Mu Us sandy land in Northwest China from 7 to 9 of 2006. The experimental results indicate that the advanced biotic crust could increase evapora-tion and dew deposition compared to the primitive bio-tic crust and bare sand although the differences between them were not significant. The average evaporation from advanced biotic crust, primitive biotic crust and sand was 6.8, 6.6, and 6.5 mrn/d, respectively, and water content is around 16.2 % in the condition of initially identical soil. The average dew amount on advanced biotic crust was 0.116 mm/d with extreme 0.05 and 0.24 mm/d. The average values on primitive biotic crust and sand were 0.105 and 0.101 mm/d, respectively, with extreme 0.04 and 0.21 mm/d for both treatments. Also, the dew deposition on advanced biotic crust seemed stable and might rest for a longer time than that on primitive biotic crust and sand. The results suggest that the advanced biotic crust possibly facilitates evaporation and dew deposition. Therefore, the development of bio-tic crust may potentially enhance the hydrological cir-culation in the upper sand layer in sandy land.

  9. Experimental investigation of the early interaction between cyanobacterial soil crusts and vascular plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemens Zaplata, Markus; Veste, Maik; Pohle, Ina; Schümberg, Sabine; Abreu Schonert, Iballa; Hinz, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    While there are hints that biological soil crusts (BSCs) can constitute physical barriers for the emergence of vascular plants, a conceptual approach for the quantitative evaluation of these effects is still missing. Here we present an experimental design to test the emergence of seedlings in situ with (i) capping natural intact, (ii) destroyed and (iii) removed BSC. The selected field site is directly adjacent to the constructed Hühnerwasser catchment (Lusatia, Germany). This site exists since the end of 2008 and consists of loamy sand. Serving as proxy for seedling thrust, we inserted pre-germinated seeds of three confamiliar plant species with different seed masses (members of the Fabaceae family: Lotus corniculatus L., Ornithopus sativus Brot., and Glycine max (L.) Merr.). In each treatment as well as in the control group planting depths were 10 mm. We took care that experimental plots had identical crust thickness, slightly less than 4 mm, serving as proxy for mechanical resistance. A plot became established as follows: Firstly, the pristine crusted surface was vertically cut. To the windward side the BSC remained intact (i: "with BSC" stripe). To the downwind side soil material was temporarily excavated for laterally inserting the seeds beneath the surface of the first stripe. Then at the thereby disturbed second stripe pulverised BSC material became filled as a top layer (ii: "BSC mix" stripe). From the next stripe the BSC was removed (iii: "no BSC" stripe). Thus each plot had each experimental group in spatial contiguity (within 50 cm × 50 cm). The overall 50 plots were distributed across an area of 40 m × 12 m. When individuals of a species either emerged at all stripes, "× × ×", or at no stripe of a plot, "- - -", there was no reason to suppose any effect of a crust. The "- × ×" emergence pattern (depicting the appearance of seedlings in both stripes possessing manipulated surfaces) points towards hindrance more clearly than "- × -" or "- -

  10. Effects of Biological Soil Crusts on Seed Emergence and Seedling Growth in Loess Plateau,North Shaanxi Province%黄土高原土壤生物结皮对植物种子出苗和生长的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王蕊; 朱清科; 赵磊磊; 常存; 马浩

    2011-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are prevalent in arid and semiarid regions,they are the complex mixtures of cyanobacteria,green algae,phycolichens,mosses,liverworts,fungi and bacteria.In order to understand the effect of biological soil crusts(BSCs) on seed emergence and seedling growth in loess region,we conducted field surveys and studied the impact of intact crusts,broken crusts and soil on seed emergence of 4 plant species including Pinus tabulaeformis,Caragana korshinskii,Hippophae rhamnoides and Pyrus betulifolia based on the field emergence experiment in Wuqi County,Shaanxi Province during the period from July to August 2009.The results reveal that the vegetation coverage was reduced significantly with the increase of BSCs coverage and thickness(P0.01),and vegetation types were in an increase trend(P0.05).Seed emergence rate and emergence process were affected by plant species and crust types(intact crusts,broken crusts and soil)(P0.01),and the interaction between the two affected slightly the seedling emergence(P0.05),but affected significantly the emergence process(P0.01).The seed emergence rate under broken BSCs was higher than that under intact BSCs,but there was no significant difference with soil.Broken BSCs could increase plant biomass and root-shoot ratio of plants,but intact BSCs affected the plant biomass and root-shoot ratio depending on the types of seed.%为了解生物土壤结皮对植物种子萌发出苗和植物生长的影响,于2009年7~8月在陕西省吴起县进行野外调查,对油松(Pinus tabulaeformis)、柠条(Caragana korshinskii)、沙棘(Hippophae rhamnoides)和杜梨(Pyrus betulae-folia)种子进行萌发实验,研究生物结皮与植被之间的相互关系以及完整结皮、破碎结皮和覆土处理对这4种种子出苗和生长的影响。结果表明:随着生物结皮盖度和厚度的增加,植被盖度和数量显著减少(P〈0.01),植被种类有增加的趋势(P〉0

  11. 黄土丘陵区生物结皮对土壤磷素有效性及碱性磷酸酶活性的影响%Impacts of biological soil crust on availability of phosphorus and phosphatase activity in hilly regions of the Loess Plateau, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张国秀; 赵允格; 许明祥; 高丽倩

    2012-01-01

    Biocrusts (biological soil crusts ), as ubiquitous living covers on soil surface of the revegetated grasslands in hilly regions of the Loess Plateau, are potential influence factors on the availability of soil P (phosphorus). However, researches focus on the relationship between soil P availability and development of biocrusts were still fresh so far. Impacts of biocrusts on soil total P, available P and phosphatase activity were investigated in revegetated grasslands at different stages of biocrusts developed after the survey of biocrusts distribution. The objects of the study were to determine the influences of biocrusts development on the availability of soil P in the region. The results show that the biological crusts could significantly improve soil total phosphorus contents in the biocrusts layers, while the contents of total phosphorus in 0-10 cm layers are not significant. Soil available phosphorus contents of the biocrusts in the study area are in the range of 3.27-5.87 mg/kg, which are accounting for O. 57%-0. 95% of total P in the same layer. The alkaline phosphatase activities in biocrusts are significantly higher than those of the lower soils (0-10 cm) 3-81 times. The effects of biological crusts on the availability of soil P and phosphatase activity are related to the developmental stages of biocrusts. The biological crusts increase availability alkaline phosphatase activity and organic matter, of soil phosphorus. These results suggest that and reduce the crusts on soil pH, finally improve the availability of soil P could be significantlyenhanced for the formation of biocrusts.%黄土丘陵区生物结皮广泛发育,可影响土壤磷素有效性。目前鲜见生物结皮对土壤磷素有效性的研究报道。本文以该区不同年限退耕地的生物结皮为研究对象,通过野外调查和室内分析,研究了生物结皮对土壤全磷、有效磷及碱性磷酸酶活性的影响。结果表明,1)生物结皮的形

  12. 古尔班通古特沙漠生物结皮中微生物量与土壤酶活性的季节变化%Seasonal Variations of Microbial Biomass and Soil Enzyme Activity in Biological Soil Crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    玛伊努尔·依克木; 张丙昌; 买买提明·苏来曼

    2013-01-01

    In the Gurbantunggut Desert,seasonal variations of microbial biomass and soil enzymes were measured with 60 soil samples collected from the inter-dune of the sand dune.The results indicated that:significant seasonal differences were observed in microbial biomass and the activity of invertase,alkaline phosphatase,urease,polyphenol oxidase,peroxidase of biological soil crusts.The changing trends of microbial biomass N in different season was spring>summer>autumn>winter; the value of microbial biomass N reached the highest point in March; two peaks were found for the invertase activity in a year; invertase activity was higher from April to September than in the other months and was the highest in April; the changing trends of alkaline phosphatase,urease,polyphenol oxidase,and peroxidase acitivity all presented single-peaked curve and their highest values were observed in different month from March to July; organic matter and total N of the soil in March and September were higher than in the other months; microbial biomass N was significantly and positively correlated with alkaline phosphatase activity and urease activity,respectively; significant positive correlations were observed between soil temperature and invertase,polyphenol oxidase,peroxidase acitivity; soil moisture was significantly correlated with invertase,urease and peroxidase activity; increasing microbial biomass offered substrate or energetic substance for urease and alkaline phosphatase activities and then increased enzymatic activities; the seasonal change of soil enzyme may be impacted by direct roles and indirect roles of soil moisture and temperature.%研究了古尔班通古特沙漠生物结皮土壤中微生物N量与酶活性的季节变化.结果表明:微生物N量及蔗糖酶、碱性磷酸酶、脲酶、过氧化物酶和多酚氧化酶的活性在不同月份差异极显著;微生物N量春季>夏季>秋季>冬季,在3月达到最高值;蔗糖酶在4-9月均保

  13. Importance of Biological Loess Crusts for Loess Formation in Semi-Arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svirčev, Z.; Marković, S. B.; Stevens, T.; Smalley, I. J.; Hambach, U.; Obreht, I.; Lukić, T.; Vasiljević, Dj. A.

    2012-04-01

    The essential components for loess deposition are: material, atmospheric circulation and appropriate surface conditions for the trapping of aeolian material as well as the subsequent development of typical loess sedimentary structures. In spite of the world-wide distribution of loess deposits, knowledge of the processes of transformation from accumulated dust to mature loess sediment is still inadequate. Some recent studies highlight the potential importance of biologically crusted surfaces (BCS) in loess formation. BCS are highly specialized extremophile communities and generally play an important role in atmospheric dust trapping and erosion prevention. Our initial results indicate that cyanobacterial strains isolated from loess exhibit some specific morphological and ecophysiological characteristics that play a key role in loess formation, warranting adoption of the new term biological loess crusts (BLC). We suggest that loessification is heavily influenced by the metabolic activity of BLC microorganisms mainly through polysaccharides. The sticky polysaccharide glue on the topographic surface, exuded mostly by cyanobacteria, can trap silty particles suspended in a dusty atmosphere. This collection of airborne loess forming particles is part of the life strategy of crust organisms in so far as they provide the necessary minerals for further growth of the BLC, which in turn provides protection from desiccation during dry periods. Simultaneously, polysaccharides secreted by crust organisms bind particles inside the BLC zone, forming a cohesive crust that resists both wind and water erosion during dry periods. Metabolized particles, exuded metabolites and unused airborne particles become the uppermost loess sediment covered with BLC. During moist periods, accumulation of dust and loess forming particles is very active. During the dry phases, the BLC becomes very stable and develops a resistant surface preventing wind and water erosion. The drying period induces

  14. Nitrogenase activity of biological soil crusts and its response to hydrothermic factors in the Shapotou region of northern China%沙坡头地区生物土壤结皮的固氮活性及其对水热因子的响应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张鹏; 李新荣; 贾荣亮; 胡宜刚; 黄磊

    2011-01-01

    Aims In arid and semi-arid environments such as deserts, nitrogen is often the most limiting nutrient for biological activity. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an important component of vegetation in the Shapotou region in the Tengger Desert, northern China. However, their importance as contributors to soil fertility such as nitrogen fixation is relatively unknown. This study was conducted to quantify the potential nitrogenase activity (NA) of different types of BSCs in artificial vegetation areas, as well as their responses to variation in moisture and temperature.Methods Algae crust, lichen crust and moss crust were collected from an artificial vegetation area in the Shapotou region, and were incubated under three gradients of moisture (3, 5 and 10 mm simulated rainfall) and temperature in open-top growth chambers from June to October. The NA was measured using acetylene reduction assay. One-way ANOVA and general linear models (GLM) procedure were applied to compare NA between treatments and interactions between type of BSCs, water and temperature.Important findings NA for each type of BSC was highly variable, ranging from 2.5 × 103 to 6.2 × 104 nmol C2H4·m-2·h-1. The NA of algae crust was higher than that of lichen crust and moss crust (2.8 vs. 2.4 and 1.4 × 104 nmol C2H4·m-2·-1, respectively). The three types of BSCs under the 3 mm simulated rainfall reached the maximum rate of nitrogen fixation, but > 3 mm did not affect NA. Significant negative correlation was observed between NA of all three types of BSCs and temperature. The optimal temperature for NA in algae crust, moss crust and lichen crust were 25-30 ℃, 25-30 ℃ and 20-30 ℃, respectively.%氮是除水分之外影响干旱区生态系统生物活性的关键因子.生物土壤结皮是干旱半干旱荒漠地表景观的重要组成部分,也是荒漠生态系统氮素的主要贡献者.通过野外调查采样,利用开顶式生长室,模拟不同降水梯度,采用乙炔还原法连续

  15. Potential fate of SOC eroded from natural crusted soil surface under simulated wind driven storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Liangang; Fister, Wolfgang; Greenwood, Philip; Hu, Yaxian; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2016-04-01

    Improving the assessment of the impact of soil erosion on carbon (C) cycling requires a better understanding of the redistribution of eroded sediment and associated soil organic carbon (SOC) across agricultural landscapes. Recent studies conducted on dry-sieved aggregates in the laboratory demonstrated that aggregation can profoundly skew SOC redistribution and its subsequent fate by accelerating settling velocities of aggregated sediment compared to mineral grains, which in turn can increase SOC mineralization into greenhouse gases. However, the erodibility of the soil in the field is more variable than in the laboratory due to tillage, crus formation, drying-wetting and freeze-thaw cycles, and biological effects. This study aimed to investigate the potential fate of the SOC eroded from naturally developed soil surface and to compare the observations with those made in the laboratory. Simulated, short, high intensity wind driven storms were conducted on a crusted loam in the field. The sediments were fractionated with a settling tube according to their potential transport distances. The soil mass, SOC concentration and cumulative 80-day CO2 emission of each fraction were identified. The results show: 1) 53% of eroded sediment and 62% of eroded SOC from the natural surface in the field would be deposited across landscapes, which is six times and three times higher compared to that implied by mineral grains, respectively; 2) the preferential deposition of SOC-rich fast-settling sediment potentially releases approximately 50% more CO2 than the same layer of the non-eroded soil; 3) the respiration of the slow-settling fraction that is potentially transported to the aquatic systems was much more active compared to the other fractions and the bulk soil. Our results confirm in general the conclusions drawn from laboratory and thus demonstrate that aggregation can affect the redistribution of sediment associated SOC under field conditions, including an increase in

  16. Surface disturbance of cryptobiotic soil crusts: nitrogenase activity, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Harper, Kimball T.; Warren, Steven D.

    1994-01-01

    Cryptobiotic soil crusts are an important component of semiarid and arid ecosystems. An important role of these crusts is the contribution of fixed nitrogen to cold‐desert ecosystems. This study examines the residual effects of various intensities and combinations of different surface disturbances (raking, scalping, and tracked vehicles) on nitrogenase activity, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll degradation in these soil crusts. Nine months after disturbance chlorophyll content of disturbed soils was not statistically different from undisturbed controls, except in the scalped treatments, indicating recovery of this characteristic is fairly quick unless surface material is removed. Differences in chlorophyll degradation among treatments were not statistically significant. However, nitrogenase activity in all treatments showed tremendous reductions, ranging from 77–97%, when compared to the control, indicating this characteristic is slow to recover. Consequently, assessment of crustal recovery from disturbance must include not only visual and biomass characteristics but other physiological measurements as well. Areas dominated by these crusts should be managed conservatively until the implications of crustal disturbance is better understood.

  17. Spectra and vegetation index variations in moss soil crust in different seasons, and in wet and dry conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Shibo; Yu, Weiguo; Qi, Yue

    2015-06-01

    Similar to vascular plants, non-vascular plant mosses have different periods of seasonal growth. There has been little research on the spectral variations of moss soil crust (MSC) over different growth periods. Few studies have paid attention to the difference in spectral characteristics between wet MSC that is photosynthesizing and dry MSC in suspended metabolism. The dissimilarity of MSC spectra in wet and dry conditions during different seasons needs further investigation. In this study, the spectral reflectance of wet MSC, dry MSC and the dominant vascular plant (Artemisia) were characterized in situ during the summer (July) and autumn (September). The variations in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), biological soil crust index (BSCI) and CI (crust index) in different seasons and under different soil moisture conditions were also analyzed. It was found that (1) the spectral characteristics of both wet and dry MSCs varied seasonally; (2) the spectral features of wet MSC appear similar to those of the vascular plant, Artemisia, whether in summer or autumn; (3) both in summer and in autumn, much higher NDVI values were acquired for wet than for dry MSC (0.6 ∼ 0.7 vs. 0.3 ∼ 0.4 units), which may lead to misinterpretation of vegetation dynamics in the presence of MSC and with the variations in rainfall occurring in arid and semi-arid zones; and (4) the BSCI and CI values of wet MSC were close to that of Artemisia in both summer and autumn, indicating that BSCI and CI could barely differentiate between the wet MSC and Artemisia.

  18. Anaerobic Fungi: A Potential Source of Biological H2 in the Oceanic Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivarsson, Magnus; Schnürer, Anna; Bengtson, Stefan; Neubeck, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The recent recognition of fungi in the oceanic igneous crust challenges the understanding of this environment as being exclusively prokaryotic and forces reconsiderations of the ecology of the deep biosphere. Anoxic provinces in the igneous crust are abundant and increase with age and depth of the crust. The presence of anaerobic fungi in deep-sea sediments and on the seafloor introduces a type of organism with attributes of geobiological significance not previously accounted for. Anaerobic fungi are best known from the rumen of herbivores where they produce molecular hydrogen, which in turn stimulates the growth of methanogens. The symbiotic cooperation between anaerobic fungi and methanogens in the rumen enhance the metabolic rate and growth of both. Methanogens and other hydrogen-consuming anaerobic archaea are known from subseafloor basalt; however, the abiotic production of hydrogen is questioned to be sufficient to support such communities. Alternatively, biologically produced hydrogen could serve as a continuous source. Here, we propose anaerobic fungi as a source of bioavailable hydrogen in the oceanic crust, and a close interplay between anaerobic fungi and hydrogen-driven prokaryotes. PMID:27433154

  19. Anaerobic fungi: a potential source of biological H2 in the oceanic crust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnus eIvarsson

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The recent recognition of fungi in the oceanic igneous crust challenges the understanding of this environment as being exclusively prokaryotic and forces reconsiderations of the ecology of the deep biosphere. Anoxic provinces in the igneous crust are abundant and increase with age and depth of the crust. The presence of anaerobic fungi in deep-sea sediments and on the seafloor introduces a type of organism with attributes of geobiological significance not previously accounted for. Anaerobic fungi are best known from the rumen of herbivores where they produce molecular hydrogen, which in turn stimulates the growth of methanogens. The symbiotic cooperation between anaerobic fungi and methanogens in the rumen enhance the metabolic rate and growth of both. Methanogens and other hydrogen-consuming anaerobic archaea are known from subseafloor basalt; however, the abiotic production of hydrogen is questioned to be sufficient to support such communities. Alternatively, biologically produced hydrogen could serve as a continuous source. Here we propose anaerobic fungi as a source of bioavailable hydrogen in the oceanic crust, and a close interplay between anaerobic fungi and hydrogen-driven prokaryotes.

  20. Experimental design to model infiltration into a water repellent soil using a crust-type infiltration equation

    OpenAIRE

    Adnès, Cyriel; Morschel, Jean; Darboux, Frédéric

    2011-01-01

    The combustion of vegetation during forest fires can lead to the condensation of hydrophobic compounds on mineral matter near the soil surface. The resulting water repellent layer then inhibits water infiltration by altering soil hydraulic conductivity and the water content–soil matric suction relationship. This situation resembles that of a crust or seal capped soil, where a thin layer of reduced hydraulic conductivity overlays a more permeable soil. Although the physical processes leading t...

  1. Responses of signal transduction substances of Didymodon vinealis and Bryum argenteum in biological soil crust to gradual drought stress%逐渐干旱胁迫下生物土壤结皮中土生对齿藓和真藓信号转导物质的响应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    石勇; 杨小菊; 赵昕; 李新荣

    2012-01-01

    Didymodon vinealis and Bryum argenteum were sampled from biological soil crusts to study the responses of their signal transduction substances to gradual drought stress. With increasing drought stress, the activities of TP H+-ATPase and PM H+-ATPase in D. vinealis and B. argenteum increased. As a result, the K+ content and turgor pressure increased, and the biosynthesis of drought resistance signal transduction substances were stimulated. ABA had no obvious effects on the signal Iransduction mechanisms of D. vinealis and B. argenteum. NO was involved in the signal transduction mechanisms of 6. argenteum, but had no obvious effects on D. vinealis. Ca2+ played an important role in the signal transduction mechanisms of D. vinealis, but did not for B. argenteum.%以生物土壤结皮中土生对齿藓(Didymodon vinealis)和真藓(Bryum argenteum)为材料,研究了逐渐干旱胁迫下二者的信号传导相关物质的响应.结果表明:随干旱胁迫的增强,2种苔藓的细胞膜与液泡膜H+-ATPase活性增强,提高了二者的K+含量,增加了二者的渗透压,促进了二者的抗旱信号转导物质的合成;ABA对二者的信号转导作用都不明显,NO对土生对齿藓的抗旱作用不明显,但能提高真藓的抗旱性,而Ca2+只对土生对齿藓有明显信号转导作用,对真藓作用不明显.

  2. Untangling the biological contributions to soil stability in semiarid shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, V. Bala; Bowker, Matthew A.; O'Dell, Thomas E.; Grace, James B.; Redman, Andrea E.; Rillig, Matthias C.; Johnson, Nancy C.

    2009-01-01

    Communities of plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known to influence soil stability individually, but their relative contributions, interactions, and combined effects are not well understood, particularly in arid and semiarid ecosystems. In a landscape-scale field study we quantified plant, BSC, and AM fungal communities at 216 locations along a gradient of soil stability levels in southern Utah, USA. We used multivariate modeling to examine the relative influences of plants, BSCs, and AM fungi on surface and subsurface stability in a semiarid shrubland landscape. Models were found to be congruent with the data and explained 35% of the variation in surface stability and 54% of the variation in subsurface stability. The results support several tentative conclusions. While BSCs, plants, and AM fungi all contribute to surface stability, only plants and AM fungi contribute to subsurface stability. In both surface and subsurface models, the strongest contributions to soil stability are made by biological components of the system. Biological soil crust cover was found to have the strongest direct effect on surface soil stability (0.60; controlling for other factors). Surprisingly, AM fungi appeared to influence surface soil stability (0.37), even though they are not generally considered to exist in the top few millimeters of the soil. In the subsurface model, plant cover appeared to have the strongest direct influence on soil stability (0.42); in both models, results indicate that plant cover influences soil stability both directly (controlling for other factors) and indirectly through influences on other organisms. Soil organic matter was not found to have a direct contribution to surface or subsurface stability in this system. The relative influence of AM fungi on soil stability in these semiarid shrublands was similar to that reported for a mesic tallgrass prairie. Estimates of effects that BSCs, plants, and AM fungi have

  3. Dynamic effects of wet-dry cycles and crust formation on the saturated hydraulic conductivity of surface soils in the constructed Hühnerwasser ("Chicken Creek") catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinz, Christoph; Schümberg, Sabine; Kubitz, Anita; Frank, Franzi; Cheng, Zhang; Nanu Frechen, Tobias; Pohle, Ina

    2016-04-01

    Highly disturbed soils and substrates used in land rehabilitation undergo rapid changes after the first wetting events which in turn can lead to ecosystem degradation. Such changes were detected during the early development of the constructed Hühnerwasser ("Chicken Creek") catchment in Lusatia, Germany. Surface substrates consisting of quaternary sandy sediments formed surface seals during the first rainfall events leading to reduced infiltration and substantially increased surface runoff. Subsequently biological soil crusts formed and stabilised the surface. The aim of this study is to investigate the factors that cause the hydraulic conductivity to decrease using undisturbed and disturbed soil samples. Based on the hypothesis that physical and biological crusts lower the hydraulic conductivity, the first set of experiments with undisturbed soil cores from the Hühnerwasser catchment were carried out to measure the saturated hydraulic conductivity using the constant head method. Measurements were done with intact cores and repeated after the surface crust was removed. As the quaternary glacial sediments tend to display hard setting behaviour, we further hypothesised that the mobilisation of fine particles within the cores lead to pore clogging and that wet-dry cycles will therefore decrease hydraulic conductivity. A second set of experiments using the same methodology consisted of five repeated measurements of hydraulic conductivity after each drying cycle. These measurements were done with undisturbed core samples as well as repacked cores in order to assess how dry packing affects the dynamics of the hydraulic conductivity somewhat similar to the situation during the first wetting after completion of the catchment construction. For all experiments, the temporal evolution of hydraulic conductivity was measured and the turbidity of the effluent was recorded. The results clearly demonstrated that the substrate is highly unstable. The first set of experiments

  4. Response of Surface Soil Hydrology to the Micro-Pattern of Bio-Crust in a Dry-Land Loess Environment, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Wei

    Full Text Available The specific bio-species and their spatial patterns play crucial roles in regulating eco-hydrologic process, which is significant for large-scale habitat promotion and vegetation restoration in many dry-land ecosystems. Such effects, however, are not yet fully studied. In this study, 12 micro-plots, each with size of 0.5 m in depth and 1 m in length, were constructed on a gentle grassy hill-slope with a mean gradient of 8° in a semiarid loess hilly area of China. Two major bio-crusts, including mosses and lichens, had been cultivated for two years prior to the field simulation experiments, while physical crusts and non-crusted bare soils were used for comparison. By using rainfall simulation method, four designed micro-patterns (i.e., upper bio-crust and lower bare soil, scattered bio-crust, upper bare soil and lower bio-crust, fully-covered bio-crust to the soil hydrological response were analyzed. We found that soil surface bio-crusts were more efficient in improving soil structure, water holding capacity and runoff retention particularly at surface 10 cm layers, compared with physical soil crusts and non-crusted bare soils. We re-confirmed that mosses functioned better than lichens, partly due to their higher successional stage and deeper biomass accumulation. Physical crusts were least efficient in water conservation and erosion control, followed by non-crusted bare soils. More importantly, there were marked differences in the efficiency of the different spatial arrangements of bio-crusts in controlling runoff and sediment generation. Fully-covered bio-crust pattern provides the best option for soil loss reduction and runoff retention, while a combination of upper bio-crust and lower bare soil pattern is the least one. These findings are suggested to be significant for surface-cover protection, rainwater infiltration, runoff retention, and erosion control in water-restricted and degraded natural slopes.

  5. Highlights on progress in forest soil biology

    OpenAIRE

    Uroz, S.; Bispo, A; Buee, M.; Cebron, A.; Cortet, J.; Decaens, T.; Hedde, M.; Peres, G; Vennetier, M.; Villenave, C.

    2014-01-01

    Determining the identity and function of forest soil organisms is essential to understand their relative roles, but also to determine their resilience after environmental perturbations. These characteristics are scientific challenges because of the high biological diversity of forest soil organisms, but also because many of them currently remain unknown. In this context, this review presents a snapshot of the difficulty associated with soil organism characterization, the uniqueness of forest ...

  6. Microbiotic crusts on soil, rock and plants: neglected major players in the global cycles of carbon and nitrogen?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Elbert

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Microbiotic crusts consisting of bacteria, fungi, algae, lichens, and bryophytes colonize most terrestrial surfaces, and they are able to fix carbon and nitrogen from the atmosphere. Here we show that microbiotic crusts are likely to play major roles in the global biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen, and we suggest that they should be further characterized and taken into account in studies and models of the Earth system and climate.

    For the global annual net uptake of carbon by microbiotic crusts we present a first estimate of ~3.6 Pg a−1. This uptake corresponds to ~6% of the estimated global net carbon uptake by terrestrial vegetation (net primary production, NPP: ~60 Pg a−1, and it is of the same magnitude as the global annual carbon turnover due to biomass burning. The estimated rate of nitrogen fixation by microbiotic crusts (~45 Tg a−1 amounts to ~40% of the global estimate of biological nitrogen fixation (107 Tg a−1. With regard to Earth system dynamics and global change, the large contribution of microbiotic crusts to nitrogen fixation is likely to be important also for the sequestration of CO2 by terrestrial plants (CO2 fertilization, because the latter is constrained by the availability of fixed nitrogen.

  7. Effect of rainfall and tillage direction on the evolution of surface crusts, soil hydraulic properties and runoff generation for a sandy loam soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndiaye, Babacar; Esteves, Michel; Vandervaere, Jean-Pierre; Lapetite, Jean-Marc; Vauclin, Michel

    2005-06-01

    The study was aimed at evaluating the effect of rainfall and tillage-induced soil surface characteristics on infiltration and runoff on a 2.8 ha catchment located in the central region of Senegal. This was done by simulating 30 min rain storms applied at a constant rate of about 70 mm h -1, on 10 runoff micro-plots of 1 m 2, five being freshly harrowed perpendicularly to the slope and five along the slope (1%) of the catchment. Runoff was automatically recorded at the outlet of each plot. Hydraulic properties such as capillary sorptivity and hydraulic conductivity of the sandy loam soil close to saturation were determined by running 48 infiltration tests with a tension disc infiltrometer. That allowed the calculation of a mean characteristic pore size hydraulically active and a time to ponding. Superficial water storage capacity was estimated using data collected with an electronic relief meter. Because the soil was subject to surface crusting, crust-types as well as their spatial distribution within micro-plots and their evolution with time were identified and monitored by taking photographs at different times after tillage. The results showed that the surface crust-types as well as their tillage dependent dynamics greatly explain the decrease of hydraulic conductivity and sorptivity as the cumulative rainfall since tillage increases. The exponential decaying rates were found to be significantly greater for the soil harrowed along the slope (where the runoff crust-type covers more than 60% of the surface after 140 mm of rain) than across to the slope (where crusts are mainly of structural (60%) and erosion (40%) types). That makes ponding time smaller and runoff more important. Also it was shown that soil hydraulic properties after about 160 mm of rain were close to those of untilled plot not submitted to any rain. That indicates that the effects of tillage are short lived.

  8. Salt crust development in paddy fields owing to soil evaporation and drainage : contribution of chloride and deuterium profile analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Grunberger, Olivier; Macaigne, P.; Michelot, J. L.; Hartmann, Christian; Sukchan, S.

    2008-01-01

    In Northeast Thailand lowlands with shallow saline watertable, rainfed paddy fields often present high salt concentration in the dry season, forming patches or spots of salt crusts on the soil surface. In this context, the mechanisms implied in salt concentration during dry season were studied by establishing salt budget with evaporation and drainage estimates inside and outside a saline patch. Drainage was estimated by Hydrus-1D modelling constrained by an hydrodynamic characterization and t...

  9. Distribution and floristics of moss- and lichen-dominated soil crusts in a patterned Callitris glaucophylla woodland in eastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, David J.

    1999-05-01

    The distribution and abundance of soil crust lichens and bryophytes was examined in a patterned Callitris glaucophylla woodland in eastern Australia. Twenty-one lichen species and 26 bryophyte species were collected within thirty quadrats along a sequence of runoff, interception and runoff zones. Crust cover was significantly greatest in the interception zones (79.0 %), followed by the runoff zones (24.0 %), and lowest in the groved, runon zones (6.6 %). Lichens and bryophytes were distributed across all geomorphic zones, and, although there were significantly more moss species in the interception zones (mean = 9.1) compared with either the runoff (4.2) or runon (3.2) zones, the number of lichen species did not vary between zones. Ordination of a reduced data set of 32 species revealed a separation of taxa into distinct groups corresponding to the three geomorphic zones. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) of the 32 species and thirteen environmental variables revealed that the most important factors associated with the distribution of species were sheet and scarp erosion, soil stability and coherence, litter cover and crust cover. Surface cracking, microtopography and plant cover were of intermediate importance. The CCA biplot revealed that the timbered runon zones (groves) were dominated by `shade-tolerant' mosses Fissidens vittatus and Barbula hornschuchiana, whilst the heavily eroded runoff zones supported sparse populations of `erosion tolerant' lichens ( Endocarpon rogersii) and mosses (Bryum argenteum and Didymodon torquatus). Interception zones supported a rich suite of `crust forming' mosses and lichens capable of tolerating moderate inundation by overland flow. Two other groups of taxa were identified by this analysis: the `pioneer' group, comprising mainly nitrogen-fixing lichens which occupy the zone of active erosion at the lower edge of the groves, and the `opportunists' dominated by liverworts, occupying the shallow depressions or bays at the

  10. Understanding and Enhancing Soil Biological Health: The Solution for Reversing Soil Degradation

    OpenAIRE

    R Michael Lehman; Cynthia A. Cambardella; Diane E. Stott; Veronica Acosta-Martinez; Manter, Daniel K; Buyer, Jeffrey S.; Jude E. Maul; Smith, Jeffrey L.; Harold P. Collins; Halvorson, Jonathan J.; Kremer, Robert J.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.; Tom F. Ducey; Jin, Virginia L.; Douglas L. Karlen

    2015-01-01

    Our objective is to provide an optimistic strategy for reversing soil degradation by increasing public and private research efforts to understand the role of soil biology, particularly microbiology, on the health of our world’s soils. We begin by defining soil quality/soil health (which we consider to be interchangeable terms), characterizing healthy soil resources, and relating the significance of soil health to agroecosystems and their functions. We examine how soil biology influences soi...

  11. 藻类结皮对黄土高原地区土壤蒸发过程的影响%Effects of Soil Algae Crust on Soil Evaporation in the Loess Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王翠萍; 周欢水; 廖超英; 孙长忠; 韩小红

    2011-01-01

    利用自制的微型蒸发器观测了山西偏关县藻类结皮覆盖土壤和无结皮土壤的蒸发过程,对土壤的蒸发强度、累积蒸发量等进行了对比分析.结果表明:藻类结皮对土壤蒸发过程有一定影响,但其影响机理不是简单的“促进”或“抑制”,而是当土壤含水量较高时,藻类结皮覆盖土壤的蒸发能力明显高于无结皮土壤,当土壤逐渐变干时,结皮封闭了土壤表面,并将水分束缚在土壤中,有效降低了土壤蒸发能力.藻类结皮对雨后土壤蒸发的影响在不同阶段有所不同,降雨发生后的前期阶段,结皮覆盖土壤的蒸发量明显高于无结皮土壤,而后期阶段,结皮覆盖土壤的蒸发量低于无结皮土壤.%Taking the Loess Plateau in Pianguan County, Shanxi Province as the research region, the soil water evaporation process was comparatively studied in the soils with and without algae crust by micro-ly-simeter from the view of evaporation intensity and cumulative evaporation. The results showed that soil algae crust significantly changed evaporation process of the soil. The influence mechanism of algae crust on soil evaporation was not simple promotion or inhibition. When soil water content was higher, soil water e-vaporation on soil with algae crust was higher compared to that without crust. However, when soil was gradually drying, soil algae sealed the soil surface, restrained water in the soil and reduced soil evaporation. Soil algae crust in different stages after rainfall had significantly different effect on soil water evaporation. The earlier stage after rainfall, soil evaporation on soil with algae crust was significantly greater than that on soil without crust, and then lower later phase after rainfall.

  12. On the biology and evolution of fungi from soda soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grum-Grzhimaylo, A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary to the thesis “On the biology and evolution of fungi from soda soils” Alexey Grum-Grzhimaylo The presented thesis addresses aspects of biology and evolution of fungi that were recovered from saline soda soils. The work highlights the fact that saline soda soils are populated by a

  13. Understanding and Enhancing Soil Biological Health: The Solution for Reversing Soil Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Michael Lehman

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Our objective is to provide an optimistic strategy for reversing soil degradation by increasing public and private research efforts to understand the role of soil biology, particularly microbiology, on the health of our world’s soils. We begin by defining soil quality/soil health (which we consider to be interchangeable terms, characterizing healthy soil resources, and relating the significance of soil health to agroecosystems and their functions. We examine how soil biology influences soil health and how biological properties and processes contribute to sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services. We continue by examining what can be done to manipulate soil biology to: (i increase nutrient availability for production of high yielding, high quality crops; (ii protect crops from pests, pathogens, weeds; and (iii manage other factors limiting production, provision of ecosystem services, and resilience to stresses like droughts. Next we look to the future by asking what needs to be known about soil biology that is not currently recognized or fully understood and how these needs could be addressed using emerging research tools. We conclude, based on our perceptions of how new knowledge regarding soil biology will help make agriculture more sustainable and productive, by recommending research emphases that should receive first priority through enhanced public and private research in order to reverse the trajectory toward global soil degradation.

  14. Biological and biochemical properties in evaluation of forest soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Błońska Ewa; Lasota Jarosław

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the possibility of using biological and biochemical parameters in the evaluation of forest soil quality and changes caused by land use. The study attempted to determine a relationship between the enzymatic activity of soil, the number of earthworms and soil physico-chemical properties. The study was carried out in central Poland in adjoining Forest Districts (Przedbórz and Smardzewice). In soil samples taken from 12 research plots, basic physico-chem...

  15. Chemical and biological rhizosphere interactions in low zinc soils

    OpenAIRE

    Duffner, A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract of the PhD thesis entitled “Chemical and biological rhizosphere interactions in low zinc soils” by Andreas Duffner Soil provides ecosystem services critical for life. The availability of micronutrients, such as zinc (Zn), in soils is an essential factor for normal healthy growth and reproduction of plants. Zinc deficiency is, however, a global problem in crop production due to low Zn bioavailability in soils to plants. The bioavailable Zn fraction in soils is controlled ...

  16. Influence of humic acid applications on modulus of rupture, aggregate stability, electrical conductivity, carbon and nitrogen content of a crusting problem soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gümüş, İ.; Şeker, C.

    2015-11-01

    Soil structure is often said to be the key to soil productivity since a fertile soil, with desirable soil structure and adequate moisture supply, constitutes a productive soil. Soil structure influences soil water movement and retention, erosion, crusting, nutrient recycling, root penetration and crop yield. The objective of this work is to study humic acid (HA) application on some physical and chemical properties in weakly structured soils. The approach involved establishing a plot experiment in laboratory conditions. Different rates of HA (control, 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 %) were applied to soil during three incubation periods (21, 42 and 62 days). At the end of the each incubation period, the changes in physicochemical properties were measured. Generally, HA addition increased electrical conductivity values during all incubation periods. HA applications decreased soil modulus of rupture. Application of HA at the rate of 4 % significantly increased soil organic carbon contents. HA applications at the rate of 4 % significantly increased both mean soil total nitrogen content and aggregate stability after three incubation periods (p < 0.05). Therefore, HA has the potential to improve the structure of soil in the short term.

  17. Hydrodynamic characteristics of overland flow under soil crusts condition%土壤结皮坡面流水动力学特征

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴秋菊; 吴发启; 王林华

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the effects of soil crusts on soil erosion mechanism and their relationship, and series of the runoff scouring experiments were conducted in the Soil and Water Conservation Engineering Laboratory in Northwest A&F University. Two soil surface conditions-the crusts surface and the no crusts surface (control) were explored in our studies. The slope of the scouring trough was set up at 10°(17.6%), five flow rates (1.0, 1.4, 2.0, 2.4 and 2.8 L/min) were used to scour the soil. The flow velocity was measured by the staining method. The flow width was measured by a ruler on the top, central and bottom of slope. The water temperature was measured by a thermometer. The sediment discharge rate was collected at the end of the scouring trough. Then the hydrodynamic characteristics of overland flow (the average flow velocity, the average flow depth, the Reynolds number, the shear stress, the stream power and the resistance coefficient) and the relation between hydrodynamic characteristics of overland flow and soil erosion were analyzed. There was a significant effect of soil crusts on hydrodynamic characteristics. The Reynolds number under soil crusts surface was less than 500, which meant the overland flow was laminar flow. The flow velocity was greater on soil crusts surface than that without soil crusts surface, while the flow depth, the shear stress, the stream power and the soil erosion was much lower on soil crusts surface than that without soil crusts surface. The correlation between soil erosion and hydrodynamic characteristics of overland flow was significant (Regression coefficient R>0.90). Soil erosion had a positive linear correlation with Reynolds number and the logarithm of shear stress and stream power, while had a negative liner correlation with resistance coefficient. Therefore, the existence of soil crusts is helpful to reduce soil erosion from the runoff perspective. Due to the importance of the rainfall factor, it is better to study the

  18. Biological framework for soil aggregation: Implications for ecological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghezzehei, Teamrat; Or, Dani

    2016-04-01

    Soil aggregation is heuristically understood as agglomeration of primary particles bound together by biotic and abiotic cementing agents. The organization of aggregates is believed to be hierarchical in nature; whereby primary particles bond together to form secondary particles and subsequently merge to form larger aggregates. Soil aggregates are not permanent structures, they continuously change in response to internal and external forces and other drivers, including moisture, capillary pressure, temperature, biological activity, and human disturbances. Soil aggregation processes and the resulting functionality span multiple spatial and temporal scales. The intertwined biological and physical nature of soil aggregation, and the time scales involved precluded a universally applicable and quantifiable framework for characterizing the nature and function of soil aggregation. We introduce a biophysical framework of soil aggregation that considers the various modes and factors of the genesis, maturation and degradation of soil aggregates including wetting/drying cycles, soil mechanical processes, biological activity and the nature of primary soil particles. The framework attempts to disentangle mechanical (compaction and soil fragmentation) from in-situ biophysical aggregation and provides a consistent description of aggregate size, hierarchical organization, and life time. It also enables quantitative description of biotic and abiotic functions of soil aggregates including diffusion and storage of mass and energy as well as role of aggregates as hot spots of nutrient accumulation, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles.

  19. Book review: Soil biology guide, Daniel L. Dindal, ed.

    OpenAIRE

    Arnett, Ross H.

    2010-01-01

    Under the skillful direction of Professor Dindal of Syracuse University, the work of 54 authors, 11 years in the making, is blended into one large, useful volume treating the systematics and biology of all organisms involved in the soil ecology of North America, north of Mexico. The separate authors treat their special groups following a similar format throughout, covering the biology, taxonomy, and ecology of each soil biotic group. The amount of data presented varies with the extent of know...

  20. Chemical and biological rhizosphere interactions in low zinc soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duffner, A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract of the PhD thesis entitled “Chemical and biological rhizosphere interactions in low zinc soils” by Andreas Duffner Soil provides ecosystem services critical for life. The availability of micronutrients, such as zinc (Zn), in soils is an essenti

  1. Biological Dimensions of Crack Morphology in Dryland Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCarlo, K. F.; Spiegel, M.; Caylor, K. K.

    2014-12-01

    Macropores and cracks have an integral role in soil hydrology, and the physicochemical factors that induce them have been the subject of much laboratory research. How these processes translate to field soils, however, is often obfuscated by the biological elements present that complicate its formation and dynamics. In this study, we investigated the biological influence of herbivores and vegetation on 3D crack morphology in a dryland swelling soil (black cotton/vertisol). Fieldwork was conducted at and near the Kenya Long-Term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE) plots in Mpala, central Kenya, where three different soil regions were identified: highly vegetated areas, animal trails, and termite mounds. Crack networks were physically characterized by pouring liquid resin into the soil and excavating them when dry, after which they were imaged and quantified using medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Cracking intensity of each cast was corrected via soil moisture and bulk density measurements at 5 cm intervals over 30 cm. 3D characterization of the soil system shows that mechanical compaction is a major influence in the formation of extensive and deep cracks in animal trails, with megaherbivores (e.g. elephants) inducing the most extreme cracks. Bioturbation is seen as a major influence in the formation of shallower cracks in termite mounds, as termites loosen and aerate the soil and reduce the soil's cohesive properties. Highly vegetated soils show a large degree of variability: small, disconnected soil patches induced by vegetative cover and a larger root network results in smaller and shallower cracks, but full vegetative cover induces deep and irregular cracks, possibly due to diverted rainfall. Our results highlight the intricate connections between the biology and physics that dictate soil processes in a complex soil system at the field scale.

  2. Light-induced changes within photosystem II protects Microcoleus sp. in biological desert sand crusts against excess light.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itzhak Ohad

    Full Text Available The filamentous cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatus, a major primary producer in desert biological sand crusts, is exposed to frequent hydration (by early morning dew followed by desiccation during potentially damaging excess light conditions. Nevertheless, its photosynthetic machinery is hardly affected by high light, unlike "model" organisms whereby light-induced oxidative stress leads to photoinactivation of the oxygen-evolving photosystem II (PSII. Field experiments showed a dramatic decline in the fluorescence yield with rising light intensity in both drying and artificially maintained wet plots. Laboratory experiments showed that, contrary to "model" organisms, photosynthesis persists in Microcoleus sp. even at light intensities 2-3 times higher than required to saturate oxygen evolution. This is despite an extensive loss (85-90% of variable fluorescence and thermoluminescence, representing radiative PSII charge recombination that promotes the generation of damaging singlet oxygen. Light induced loss of variable fluorescence is not inhibited by the electron transfer inhibitors 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU, 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropylbenzoquinone (DBMIB, nor the uncoupler carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP, thus indicating that reduction of plastoquinone or O(2, or lumen acidification essential for non-photochemical quenching (NPQ are not involved. The rate of Q(A (- re-oxidation in the presence of DCMU is enhanced with time and intensity of illumination. The difference in temperatures required for maximal thermoluminescence emissions from S(2/Q(A (- (Q band, 22 degrees C and S(2,3/Q(B (- (B band, 25 degrees C charge recombinations is considerably smaller in Microcoleus as compared to "model" photosynthetic organisms, thus indicating a significant alteration of the S(2/Q(A (- redox potential. We propose that enhancement of non-radiative charge recombination with rising light intensity may reduce

  3. INFLUENCE OF XENOBIOTICS ON THE BIOLOGICAL SOIL ACTIVITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S JAVOREKOVÁ

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available The both basic and potential biological soil activity along with a biological degradation capacity of soil microorganisms through their respiratory activity were investigated after the application of polymers with the different degree of degradation in the soil. The CO2 production was measured by the absorption method at standard moisture and temperature under laboratory conditions. Numerous representing changes of major soil microbial groups were determined after the application of the polyethylene. Polyethylene (PE, polyvinylalcohol (PVA, polyvinylalcohol modified by hydrolysed collagen (PVAHC were applied as synthetic polymers into luvisol. The addition of all tested polymers significantly influenced the CO2 production. During 43 days of incubation period, the total amount of produced CO2 was 1271.6 mg.kg-1. The total amount of mineralised carbon in the soil reached 4.55 %. When compared with the soil, the respiratory activity of soil microorganisms increased 3-times, 1.2-times and 1.3-times after addition of starch, PVA and PVAHC, respectively. The addition of granular PE reduced the soil pores size, which resulted in a significant decrease of CO2 production and non-significant rearrangement of the major microbial groups in the soil after three month of incubation.

  4. Impact of temperature on the biological properties of soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowik, Agata; Wyszkowska, Jadwiga

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the response of soil microorganisms and enzymes to the temperature of soil. The effect of the temperatures: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25°C on the biological properties of soil was investigated under laboratory conditions. The study was performed using four different soils differing in their granulometric composition. It was found that 15°C was the optimal temperature for the development of microorganisms in soil. Typically, in the soil, the highest activity of dehydrogenases was observed at 10-15°C, catalase and acid phosphatase - at 15°C, alkaline phosphatase at 20°C, urease and β-glucosidase at 25°C. The highest colony development index for heterotrophic bacteria was recorded in soils incubated at 25°C, while for actinomycetes and fungi at 15°C. The incubation temperature of soil only slightly changed the ecophysiological variety of the investigated groups of microorganisms. Therefore, the observed climate changes might have a limited impact on the soil microbiological activity, because of the high ability of microorganisms to adopt. The response of soil microorganisms and enzymes was more dependent on the soil granulometric composition, organic carbon, and total nitrogen than on its temperature.

  5. Soil biological activity at European scale - two calculation concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Janine; Rühlmann, Jörg

    2014-05-01

    The CATCH-C project aims to identify and improve the farm-compatibility of Soil Management Practices including to promote productivity, climate change mitigation and soil quality. The focus of this work concentrates on turnover conditions for soil organic matter (SOM). SOM is fundamental for the maintenance of quality and functions of soils while SOM storage is attributed a great importance in terms of climate change mitigation. The turnover conditions depend on soil biological activity characterized by climate and soil properties. To assess the turnover conditions two model concepts are applied: (I) Biological active time (BAT) regression approach derived from CANDY model (Franko & Oelschlägel 1995) expresses the variation of air temperature, precipitation and soil texture as a timescale and an indicator of biological activity for soil organic matter (SOM) turnover. (II) Re_clim parameter within the Introductory Carbon Balance Model (Andrén & Kätterer 1997) states the soil temperature and soil water to estimate soil biological activity. The modelling includes two strategies to cover the European scale and conditions. BAT was calculated on a 20x20 km grid basis. The European data sets of precipitation and air temperature (time period 1901-2000, monthly resolution), (Mitchell et al. 2004) were used to derive long-term averages. As we focus on agricultural areas we included CORINE data (2006) to extract arable land. The resulting BATs under co-consideration of the main soil textures (clay, silt, sand and loam) were investigated per environmental zone (ENZs, Metzger et al. 2005) that represents similar conditions for precipitation, temperature and relief to identify BAT ranges and hence turnover conditions for each ENZ. Re_clim was quantified by climatic time series of more than 250 weather stations across Europe presented by Klein Tank et al. (2002). Daily temperature, precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (maximal thermal extent) were used to calculate

  6. Behavior of oxyfluorfen in soils amended with different sources of organic matter. Effects on soil biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Isidoro; Rodríguez-Morgado, Bruno; Parrado, Juan; García, Carlos; Hernández, Teresa; Tejada, Manuel

    2014-05-30

    We performed a laboratory study on the effect of oxyfluorfen at a rate of 4lha(-1) on biological properties of a soil amended with four organic wastes (two biostimulants/biofertilizers, obtained from rice bran, RB1 and RB2; municipal solid waste, MSW; and sheep manure, SM). Soil was mixed with SM at a rate of 1%, MSW at a rate of 0.52%, RB1 at a rate of 0.39% and RB2 at a rate of 0.30%, in order to apply the same amount of organic matter to the soil. The enzymatic activities and microbial community in the soil were determined during the incubation times. The application of RB1 and RB2 to soil without oxyfluorfen increased the enzymatic activities and biodiversity, peaking at day 10 of the incubation period. This stimulation was higher in the soil amended with RB2 than in that amended with RB1. In SM and CF-amended soils, the stimulation of enzymatic activities and soil biodiversity increased during the experiment. The application of herbicide in organic-amended soils decreased the inhibition of soil enzymatic activities and soil biodiversity. Possibly the low molecular weight protein content easily assimilated by soil microorganisms and the higher fat content in the biostimulants/biofertilizers are responsible for the lower inhibition of these soil biological properties. PMID:24742665

  7. Evaluation of Pigeon Pea Lines for Biological Soil Decompaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo Godoy

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil decompaction is generally achieved through mechanical cultivation practices; however biological processes can significantly add to this process through root growth, development, and later senescence. This study was carried out in Piracicaba, SP, Brazil and had the purpose of selecting, among forty one pure pigeon pea lines, the most efficient genotypes that promote soil decompaction by roots penetrating compacted soil layers. Utilizing artificially compacted 30 mm high soil blocks, in a series of experiments, these lines were compared to the cultivar Fava Larga taken as a standard. Three lines were preliminarily selected out of the initial group, and afterwards, in more detailed screenings by monitoring soil resistance to penetration and also evaluating the behavior of Tanzania grass plants seeded after pigeon pea, two of them, g5-94 and g8-95, were selected as possessing the most fit root system to penetrate compacted soil layers.

  8. Modelagem da infiltração em solos com encrostamento superficial. Parte I: modelo GAML para solos estratificados Modelling of the soil water infiltration in crusting soil. Part I: GAML model for layered soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João H. Zonta

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available RESUMO Neste trabalho a meta foi avaliar o modelo de Green-Ampt-Mein-Larson (GAML e GAML modificado por Moore (1981 na simulação da infiltração de água em solos com encrostamento superficial. Os ensaios de infiltração foram realizados em Cambissolo sem cobertura, com quatro perfis de precipitação aos quais foram aplicadas três precipitações sucessivas para cada perfil, espaçadas 24 h. Para a inclusão da camada de encrostamento superficial no modelo de GAML, o valor da condutividade hidráulica na zona de transmissão (Kt foi igual à taxa de infiltração estável (Tie obtida em solo nu; no modelo de GAML modificado por Moore (1981, foram propostas uma camada de crosta com espessura de 5 mm e condutividade hidráulica da crosta saturada (Kc determinada a partir dos dados experimentais e igual a 10 e 25% da condutividade hidráulica do solo saturado (K0. Nas segunda e terceira precipitações as combinações que não consideraram o encrostamento superficial não apresentaram bons resultados, superestimando a taxa de infiltração ao longo do tempo. Para o modelo de GAML os melhores resultados foram obtidos com uso de Kt = Tie determinada em solo nu, enquanto no modelo GAML se obtive, para solos estratificados,valor de Kc = 10 e 25% de K0.ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate the Green-Ampt-Mein-Larson (GAML model and GAML model modified by Moore (1981 for layered soils, in the simulation of water infiltration process in crusting soil. The infiltration tests were performed on a Cambisol without coverage and three successive precipitations were applied at intervals of 24 h. For the inclusion of the soil crust layer in the input parameters of the GAML model, the value of hydraulic conductivity in the transmission zone (Kt was equal to stable infiltration rate (Tie obtained in bare soil, and in the GAML model for layered soils, a surface layer (crust were proposed with a thickness of 5 mm and soil crust saturated hydraulic

  9. Actual laser removal of black soiling crust from siliceous sandstone by high pulse repetition rate equipment: effects on surface morphology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iglesias-Campos, M. A.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This research project studies the role of pulse repetition rate in laser removal of black soiling crust from siliceous sandstone, and specifically, how laser fluence correlates with high pulse repetition rates in cleaning practice. The aim is to define practical cleaning processes and determine simple techniques for evaluation based on end-users’ perspective (restorers. Spot and surface tests were made using a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser system with a wide range of pulse repetition rates (5–200 Hz, systematically analysed and compared by macrophotography, portable microscope, stereomicroscope with 3D visualizing and area roughness measurements, SEM imaging and spectrophotometry. The results allow the conclusion that for operation under high pulse repetition rates the average of total energy applied per spot on a treated surface should be attendant upon fluence values in order to provide a systematic and accurate description of an actual laser cleaning intervention.En este trabajo se estudia el papel de la frecuencia de repetición en la limpieza láser de costras de contaminación sobre una arenisca silícea, y concretamente, como se relaciona fluencia y frecuencias elevadas en una limpieza real. Se pretende definir un procedimiento práctico de limpieza y determinar técnicas sencillas de evaluación desde el punto de vista de los usuarios finales (restauradores. Para el estudio se realizaron diferentes ensayos en spot y en superficie mediante un equipo Q-switched Nd:YAG con un amplio rango de frecuencias (5–200 Hz, que se analizaron y compararon sistemáticamente mediante macrofotografía, microscopio portátil, estereomicroscopio con visualización 3D y mediciones de rugosidad en área, imágenes SEM y espectrofotometría. Los resultados permiten proponer que, al trabajar con altas frecuencias, la media de la energía total depositada por spot en la superficie debería acompañar los valores de fluencia para describir y comprender mejor una

  10. Aerobic and anaerobic incubation: Biological indexes of soil nitrogen availability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kresović Mirjana M.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Our researches have been made on brown forest soil that had been used in long-term experiments set up according to specified fertilization system for over 30 years. We have chosen those experiment variants in which quantities of nitrogen fertilizers were gradually increased. The soil samples taken from 0 cm to 30 cm depth were used to determine biological indexes of nitrogen availability (aerobic and anaerobic incubation. The same samples were also used for pot experiments with oat. Plant and soil parameters obtained in controlled conditions were used for determination of biological indexes reliability in measuring the soil nitrogen availability. On the grounds of correlation analysis, it can be concluded that biological index of nitrogen availability achieved by the anaerobic incubation (without substraction of the initial content of available nitrogen of the investigated brown forest soil is the reliable indicator of soil nitrogen availability. That is not the case with the aerobic incubation in which reliability has not been established.

  11. The biological factors influence on the conversion of mineral components of Extremely Arid Desert Soils (Kazakhstan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutovaya, Olga; Vasilenko, Elena; Lebedeva, Marina; Tkhakakhova, Azida

    2013-04-01

    Extremely arid soils of stony deserts (hamadas) along the southern periphery of the Ili Depression are considered to be analogous to extremely arid soils of Mongolia, also named as "ultra-arid primitive gray-brown soils." In general, the morphology of extremely arid soils of hamadas in the Ili Depression is similar to that of the soils of stony deserts in other parts of the world, including the Gobi, Atacama, and Tarim deserts. The diagnostics of the active communities of microorganisms were performed according to the method of Rybalkina-Kononenko. The exact identification of the living forms of microorganisms to the species level is not always possible with the use of this method. However, it allows us to study the physiological role of the microorganisms and their ecological functions, including the relationships with the soil matrix and other organisms. In particular, it is possible to estimate the contribution of the microorganisms to the transformation of mineral soil components. The obtained materials allow us to conclude that the extremely arid desert soils are characterized by the very high biological activity during short periods of the increased soil moistening after rare and strong rains. The diversity of living forms is very considerable; both prokaryotes (cyanobacteria, actinomycetes, and iron bacteria) and protists (green algae, diatoms, and dinoflagellates) are developed in the soil. Thus, during a short period after the rains, these microorganisms pass from the stage of anabiosis to the stage of active growth and reproduction. Then, upon drying of the soil, the biotic activity of the soil slows down and, finally, terminates. The organisms remain in the state of anabiosis until the next rain. During the period of active growth, the microorganisms compose a specific consortium of different species and exert a profound impact on the soil properties. They participate in the transformation of the soil minerals with the formation of amorphous substances

  12. Effects of Soil and Water Conservation of Algae Crust in Hilly and Gully Regions on Loess Plateau%黄土高原沟壑区藻类结皮的水土保持效应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    康磊; 孙长忠; 殷丽; 汤志敏; 贺淑霞

    2012-01-01

    The effect of soil and water conservation of algae crust widespread in hilly and gully regions on Loess Plateau had been researched from two aspects which were rainfall infiltration-runoff and evaporation of soil water.The results were as follows: ①Algae crust could increase the 0-10 cm depth soil porosity.The maximum increase of total porosity was 7.4%,and the capillary was 14.2%.Algae crust had no significant effect on the soil porosity of the deeper layer.②In wasterland,mongolian scotch pine and Chinese pine forest,the runoff between the algae crust and non-crust had a significant difference.Compared with the runoff of non-crust,the runoff of algae crust in the three types of vegetation reduced by 28.1%~32.5%,34.4%~43.1% and 30.8%~31.6%.③In the three types vegetation,the amount of soil erosion between algae crust and non-crust had a significant difference.Compared with the amount of soil erosion of non-crust,the amount of soil erosion of algae crust in the three types of vegetation reduced by 58.8%~70.6%,48.9%~62.6% and 38.3%~57.1%.④By stepwise regression analysis,the different regression equations between runoff,soil erosion of algae crust and rainfall factor in different vegetation types could be obtained.⑤The soil moisture of 20-60 cm depth could be affect by algae crust.In this depth the soil moisture of algae crust was significantly higher than non-crust zone.%从降雨径流、水分蒸发两方面探讨黄土高原沟壑区藻类结皮的水土保持效应。结果表明:①藻类结皮可显著增加0-10cm土层内土壤孔隙度,最大增加幅度总孔隙度为7.4%,毛管孔隙度为14.2%;对更深土层的土壤孔隙度无显著影响。②荒草坡、樟子松林和油松林3种植被类型下,有藻类结皮试验区径流量与无结皮对照区有显著差异,径流量分别减少了28.1%~32.5%、34.4%~43.1%和30.8%~31.6%。③3种植被类型下,藻类结皮的土壤侵蚀量与无结皮对照土壤侵蚀量有

  13. Some Limitations of BIOLOG System for Determining Soil Microbial Community

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    A laboratory experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC)on soil microorganisms and the availability of pH characterization medium in BIOLOG plates. Applicationof TTC decreased the color development sharply and resulted in a great biocidal effect on the growth andreproduction of soil microorganisms, indicating that TTC can affect the discrimination on soil microbialcommunity. The microtitration plates with 21 carbon sources and two different pH levels (4.7 and 7.0) wereused to determine microbial community structure of eight red soils. The average utilization (average wellcolour development) of the carbon sources in the plates with different pH levels generally followed the samesigmoidal pattern as that in the traditional BIOLOG plates, but the pH 4.7 plates increased the discrimination of this technique, compared with the pH 7.0 plates. Since most tested soils are acid, it seemed that it's better to use a suitable pH characterization medium for a specific soil in the sole carbon source test.

  14. Application of the biological forced air soil treatment (BIOFAST trademark) technology to diesel contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A subsurface Biological Forced Air Soil Treatment (BIOFAST trademark) system was constructed at the Yellow Freight System, Inc. (Yellow Freight) New Haven facility in Connecticut as a means of expediting the remediation of soils impacted by a diesel fuel release. Prior to beginning construction activities the soils were evaluated for the feasibility of bioremediation based on soil characteristics including contaminant degrading bacteria, moisture content, and pH. Based on results of stimulant tests with oxygen and nutrients, the addition of fertilizer during the construction of the cell was recommended. Following the removal of underground storage tanks, the bioremediation cell was constructed by lining the enlarged excavation with high density polyethylene (HDPE) and backfilling alternating layers of nutrient-laden soil and pea gravel. Passive and active soil vapor extraction (SVE) piping was included in the gravel layers and connected to a blower and vapor treatment unit, operated intermittently to supply oxygen to the subsurface cell. Operating data have indicated that the bacteria are generating elevated levels of CO2, and the SVE unit is evacuating the accumulated CO2 from the soils and replacing it with fresh air. These data suggest that the bioremediation process is active in the soils. Soil samples collected from within the soil pit subsequent to installation and again after 10 months of operation indicate that TPH concentrations have decreased by as much as 50%

  15. Biological activity of soil contaminated with cobalt, tin, and molybdenum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaborowska, Magdalena; Kucharski, Jan; Wyszkowska, Jadwiga

    2016-07-01

    In this age of intensive industrialization and urbanization, mankind's highest concern should be to analyze the effect of all metals accumulating in the environment, both those considered toxic and trace elements. With this aim in mind, a unique study was conducted to determine the potentially negative impact of Sn(2+), Co(2+), and Mo(5+) in optimal and increased doses on soil biological properties. These metals were applied in the form of aqueous solutions of Sn(2+) (SnCl2 (.)2H2O), Co(2+) (CoCl2 · 6H2O), and Mo(5+) (MoCl5), each in the doses of 0, 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, and 800 mg kg(-1) soil DM. The activity of dehydrogenases, urease, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, arylsulfatase, and catalase and the counts of twelve microorganism groups were determined on the 25th and 50th day of experiment duration. Moreover, to present the studied problem comprehensively, changes in the biochemical activity and yield of spring barley were shown using soil and plant resistance indices-RS. The study shows that Sn(2+), Co(2+), and Mo(5+) disturb the state of soil homeostasis. Co(2+) and Mo(5+) proved the greatest soil biological activity inhibitors. The residence of these metals in soil, particularly Co(2+), also generated a drastic decrease in the value of spring barley resistance. Only Sn(2+) did not disrupt its yielding. The studied enzymes can be arranged as follows for their sensitivity to Sn(2+), Co(2+), Mo(5+): Deh > Ure > Aryl > Pal > Pac > Cat. Dehydrogenases and urease may be reliable soil health indicators. PMID:27277093

  16. CONSIDERATIONS ON URBAN SOILS

    OpenAIRE

    Radu Lacatusu

    2005-01-01

    Urban soil is an material that has been manipulated, disturbed or transported by man’s activities in the urban environment and is used as a medium for plant growth and for constructions. The physical, chemical, and biological properties are generally less favorable as a rooting medium than soil found on the natural landscape. The main characteristics of urban soils are: great vertical and spatial variability; modified soil structure leading to compaction; presence of a surface crust; modified...

  17. Biological soil disinfestation : a safe and effective approach for controlling soilborne pests and diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, J.G.; Wanten, P.J.; Blok, W.J.

    2004-01-01

    Biological soil disinfestation (bsd) is an environmentally friendly method to disinfest the soil from soilborne fungi and nematodes. With biological soil disinfestation a green manure crop (40 tonnes per ha) or other green biomass is homogeneously incorporated into the soil layer that has to be disi

  18. Biological residues define the ice nucleation properties of soil dust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Conen

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Soil dust is a major driver of ice nucleation in clouds leading to precipitation. It consists largely of mineral particles with a small fraction of organic matter constituted mainly of remains of micro-organisms that participated in degrading plant debris before their own decay. Some micro-organisms have been shown to be much better ice nuclei than the most efficient soil mineral. Yet, current aerosol schemes in global climate models do not consider a difference between soil dust and mineral dust in terms of ice nucleation activity. Here, we show that particles from the clay and silt size fraction of four different soils naturally associated with 0.7 to 11.8 % organic carbon (w/w can have up to four orders of magnitude more ice nucleation sites per unit mass active in the immersion freezing mode at −12 °C than montmorillonite, the nucleation properties of which are often used to represent those of mineral dusts in modelling studies. Most of this activity was lost after heat treatment. Removal of biological residues reduced ice nucleation activity to, or below that of montmorillonite. Desert soils, inherently low in organic content, are a large natural source of dust in the atmosphere. In contrast, agricultural land use is concentrated on fertile soils with much larger organic matter contents than found in deserts. It is currently estimated that the contribution of agricultural soils to the global dust burden is less than 20 %. Yet, these disturbed soils can contribute ice nuclei to the atmosphere of a very different and much more potent kind than mineral dusts.

  19. Biological residues define the ice nucleation properties of soil dust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Conen

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil dust is a major driver of ice nucleation in clouds leading to precipitation. It consists largely of mineral particles with a small fraction of organic matter constituted mainly of remains of micro-organisms that participated in degrading plant debris before their own decay. Some micro-organisms have been shown to be much better ice nuclei than the most efficient soil mineral. Yet, current aerosol schemes in global climate models do not consider a difference between soil dust and mineral dust in terms of ice nucleation activity. Here, we show that particles from the clay and silt size fraction of four different soils naturally associated with 0.7 to 11.8 % organic carbon (w/w can have up to four orders of magnitude more ice nuclei per unit mass active in the immersion freezing mode at −12 °C than montmorillonite, the most efficient pure clay mineral. Most of this activity was lost after heat treatment. Removal of biological residues reduced ice nucleation activity to, or below that of montmorillonite. Desert soils, inherently low in organic content, are a large natural source of dust in the atmosphere. In contrast, agricultural land use is concentrated on fertile soils with much larger organic matter contents than found in deserts. It is currently estimated that the contribution of agricultural soils to the global dust burden is less than 20 %. Yet, these disturbed soils can contribute ice nuclei to the atmosphere of a very different and much more potent kind than mineral dusts.

  20. Crusting cause changes in soil erodibility: assessment and consequences for erosion modeling. An example from the Loess Plateau (China)

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Bin; Darboux, Frédéric; Zheng, Fenli; Li, Guifang; Duval, Odile

    2010-01-01

    Water erosion is a major threat to soil sustainability. In the context of global change, erosion intensity could be dramatically increased, hence decreasing the capability of soils to sustain agriculture. We evaluated soil sustainability to water erosion in two watersheds (about 100 km2 each) located in Southern France and Northern Tunisia. Erosion both at present time and in the future (about 100 years) was assessed using the STREAM model. The ARPEGE model was used to simulate climate change...

  1. Soil organic components distribution in a podzol and the possible relations with the biological soil activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Romero, Marta; Papa, Stefania; Verstraeten, Arne; Curcio, Elena; Cools, Nathalie; Lozano-Garcia, Beatriz; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Coppola, Elio

    2016-04-01

    the different fractions of the SOC. It can form the base study for evaluation of changes in some biological activity along soil profile.

  2. Biological attributes of rehabilitated soils contaminated with heavy metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentim Dos Santos, Jessé; Varón-López, Maryeimy; Fonsêca Sousa Soares, Cláudio Roberto; Lopes Leal, Patrícia; Siqueira, José Oswaldo; de Souza Moreira, Fatima Maria

    2016-04-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of two rehabilitation systems in sites contaminated by Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd on biological soil attributes [microbial biomass carbon (Cmic), basal and induced respiration, enzymatic activities, microorganism plate count, and bacterial and fungal community diversity and structure by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)]. These systems (S1 and S2) consisted of excavation (trenching) and replacement of contaminated soil by uncontaminated soil in rows with Eucalyptus camaldulensis planting (S1-R and S2-R), free of understory vegetation (S1-BR), or completely covered by Brachiaria decumbens (S2-BR) in between rows. A contaminated, non-rehabilitated (NR) site and two contamination-free sites [Cerrado (C) and pasture (P)] were used as controls. Cmic, densities of bacteria and actinobacteria, and enzymatic activities (β-glucosidase, acid phosphatase, and urease) were significantly higher in the rehabilitated sites of system 2 (S2-R and S2-BR). However, even under high heavy metal contents (S1-R), the rehabilitation with eucalyptus was also effective. DGGE analysis revealed similarity in the diversity and structure of bacteria and fungi communities between rehabilitated sites and C site (uncontaminated). Principal component analysis showed clustering of rehabilitated sites (S2-R and S2-BR) with contamination-free sites, and S1-R was intermediate between the most and least contaminated sites, demonstrating that the soil replacement and revegetation improved the biological condition of the soil. The attributes that most explained these clustering were bacterial density, acid phosphatase, β-glucosidase, fungal and actinobacterial densities, Cmic, and induced respiration. PMID:26662102

  3. The long-term fertilization effect on biological activity of different genesis soils

    OpenAIRE

    Grigaliūnienė, Kristina

    2006-01-01

    The effect of organic and mineral fertilizers on biological activity of different genesis soils in long-term crop rotation trials was determined. Biological activity was diverse in the soils of different genesis and it activity correlated with some soil chemical properties. Organic and mineral fertilizers and their combinations more increased biological activity in the soil than only mineral fertilizers. Mineral fertilizers suppressed dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase activity (180 kg ha...

  4. Impact of Fungicide Mancozeb at Different Application Rates on Soil Microbial Populations, Soil Biological Processes, and Enzyme Activities in Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhishek Walia

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of fungicides is the continuous exercise particularly in orchard crops where fungal diseases, such as white root rot, have the potential to destroy horticultural crops rendering them unsaleable. In view of above problem, the present study examines the effect of different concentrations of mancozeb (0–2000 ppm at different incubation periods for their harmful side effects on various microbiological processes, soil microflora, and soil enzymes in alluvial soil (pH 6.8 collected from apple orchards of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh (India. Low concentrations of mancozeb were found to be deleterious towards fungal and actinomycetes population while higher concentrations (1000 and 2000 ppm were found to be detrimental to soil bacteria. Mancozeb impaired the process of ammonification and nitrification. Similar results were observed for nitrifying and ammonifying bacteria. Phosphorus solubilization was increased by higher concentration of mancozeb, that is, 250 ppm and above. In unamended soil, microbial biomass carbon and carbon mineralization were adversely affected by mancozeb. Soil enzymes, that is, amylase, invertase, and phosphatase showed adverse and disruptive effect when mancozeb used was above 10 ppm in unamended soil. These results conclude that, to lessen the harmful effects in soil biological processes caused by this fungicide, addition of higher amount of nitrogen based fertilizers is required.

  5. Estimation of the Biological Methods of Assessing Soil N-Supplying Capacity in Calcareous Soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIN Fa-hui; LI Shi-qing; LU Hong-ling; LI Sheng-xiu

    2007-01-01

    Although many biological methods are used to determine soil nitrogen supplying capacity, there are certain differences in the results for different types of soils and various ways of measurement due to the complexity of soil N conformation, the high variance of soil and microorganism, and the difference of environment. Therefore, it is not clear about which biologic incubation method is better for calcareous soil. In this study, pot experiments were performed by using 25 different calcareous surface soil samples on the Loess Plateau and taking the N uptake of wheat and corn with leaching soil initial nitrate and without leaching in pot experiments as the control to investigate the difference of eight biological incubation methods for reflecting soil nitrogen supply capacity. The eight biological methods are waterlogged incubation, aerobic incubation for 2 weeks and for 4 weeks, dry-wet alternation aerobic incubation for 2 weeks, long-term alternate leaching aerobic incubation (and N mineralization potential, N0), short-term leaching aerobic incubation, microbial biomass carbon (BC), and microbial biomass nitrogen (BN) method, respectively. Among these methods, the dry-wet alternation aerobic incubation and aerobic incubation for 4 weeks were the modification of the method of aerobic incubation for 2 weeks according to the actual farmland moisture. The results showed that the correlation coefficients between these methods and crop uptake N with leaching soil initial nitrate were 0.530, 0.700, 0.777, 0.768, 0.764 (and 0.790, N0), 0.650, 0.555, and 0.465, respectively (r0.05 = 0.369, r0.01 = 0.505). While without leaching soil initial nitrate, their coefficients were 0.351, 0.963, 0.962, 0.959, 0.825 (and 0.812, N0), 0.963, 0.289, and 0.095, respectively (r0.05=0.369, r0.01 =0.505). In conclusion,excluding the soil initial nitrate, the correlation coefficients between the eight methods and crop uptake N were, from high to low, N0, aerobic incubation for 4 weeks, dry

  6. Soil Physical Characteristics and Biological Indicators of Soil Quality Under Different Biodegradable Mulches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, S. M.; Flury, M.; Sintim, H.; Bandopadhyay, S.; Ghimire, S.; Bary, A.; DeBruyn, J.

    2015-12-01

    Application of conventional polyethylene (PE) mulch in crop production offers benefits of increased water use efficiency, weed control, management of certain plant diseases, and maintenance of a micro-climate conducive for plant growth. These factors improve crop yield and quality, but PE must be retrieved and safely disposed of after usage. Substituting PE with biodegradable plastic mulches (BDM) would alleviate disposal needs, and is potentially a more sustainable practice. However, knowledge of potential impacts of BDMs on agricultural soil ecosystems is needed to evaluate sustainability. We (a) monitored soil moisture and temperature dynamics, and (b) assessed soil quality upon usage of different mulches, with pie pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) as the test crop. Experimental field trials are ongoing at two sites, one at Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center, Mount Vernon, WA, and the other at East Tennessee Research and Education Center, Knoxville, TN. The treatments constitute four different commercial BDM products, one experimental BDM; no mulch and PE served as the controls. Soil quality parameters being examined include: organic matter content, aggregate stability, water infiltration rate, CO2 flux, pH, and extracellular enzyme activity. In addition, lysimeters were installed to examine the soil water and heat flow dynamics. We present baseline and the first field season results from this study. Mulch cover appeared to moderate soil temperatures, but biodegradable mulches also appeared to lose water more quickly than PE. All mulch types, with the exception of cellulose, reduced the diurnal fluctuations in soil temperature at 10cm depth from 1 to 4ºC. However, volumetric water content ranged from 0.10 to 0.22 m3 m-3 under the five biodegradable mulches compared to 0.22 to 0.28 m3 m-3 under conventional PE. Results from the study will be useful for management practices by providing knowledge on how different mulches impact soil physical and

  7. Wildfire effects on biological properties of soils in forest-steppe ecosystems of Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Maksimova, E.; Abakumov, E.

    2014-01-01

    Soils affected by forest wildfires in 2010 in Russia were studied on postfire and mature plots near the Togljatty city, Samara region. Soil biological properties and ash composition dynamics were investigated under the forest fire affect: a place of local forest fire, riding forest fire and unaffected site by fire-control (mature) during 3 yr of restoration. Soil samples were collected at 0–15 cm. Soil biological properties was measured by the fumigation me...

  8. Deep ancient fluids in the continental crust and their impact on near-surface economic, environmental and biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballentine, Christopher; Warr, Oliver; Sutcliffe, Chelsea; McDermott, Jill; Fellowes, Jonathan; Holland, Greg; Mabry, Jennifer; Sherwood Lollar, Barbara

    2016-04-01

    With a few exceptions the mobility of water, oil and gas, provides for an ephemeral view of subsurface fluids relative to geological or planetary timescales. Aquifers supplying water for drinking and irrigation have mean residence ages from hundreds to tens of thousands of years; Hydrothermal systems can be active for hundreds of thousands to millions of years forming key mineral reserves; Sedimentary basin formation expels fluids during compaction and generates oil and gas on times scales of millions to hundreds of millions of years. Within these exemplar systems biological activity can play a crucial role by mediating system oxidation state: releasing arsenic into shallow groundwaters; precipitating ore bodies; generating methane; and biodegrading oil. It is becoming increasingly apparent that fluids resident in fractures and porespace in the crystalline basement underlying many of these systems can have a mean residence time that ranges from tens to hundreds of millions of years [1,2] to billions of years [3,4]. These fluids are highly saline and trace element rich; they are abundant in nitrogen, hydrogen, methane and helium and can contain microbes that have uniquely adapted to these isolated environments [5]. We are actively expanding discovery of sites with fluids exhibiting extreme age and have recently shown that these systems contribute to half of the terrestrial hydrogen production; a key component in biosphere energy and carbon cycles [6]. Tectonic or thermal release of these fluids can result in helium deposits; possible ore body generation and the inoculation of near-surface systems with microbial biota protected in the deep surface; the controls and rate of fluid release to shallow systems can fundamentally change the nature of some shallow systems. These deep ancient fluids represent a little tapped scientific resource for understanding how life survives and evolves in such isolation, how life is transported and communicates in extremis together and

  9. Modelagem da infiltração em solos com encrostamento superficial. Parte II: condutividade hidráulica variando no tempo Modelling of the soil water infiltration in crusting soil. Part II: variable hydraulic conductivity over time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João H. Zonta

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available RESUMO Este trabalho objetivou avaliar o desempenho do modelo de Green-Ampt-Mein-Larson (GAML na simulação do processo de infiltração em solos com encrostamento superficial. Os ensaios de infiltração foram realizados num Cambissolo com a utilização de simulador de chuvas, em solo nu. O valor da condutividade hidráulica na zona de transmissão (Kt foi considerado igual a Kt* que, por sua vez, é igual à taxa de infiltração estável (Tie multiplicada pelo fator f, que representa o decaimento da Tie em função da energia cinética acumulada da chuva (Ec, ou seja, o valor de Kt variando ao longo do tempo. O modelo GAML com o valor de Kt constante ao longo do tempo não obteve bom desempenho superestimando, na maioria dos casos, os valores da taxa de infiltração (Ti enquanto com o uso de Kt* o modelo apresentou bom desempenho, em que os melhores resultados foram obtidos com a combinação de Kt* com o potencial matricial (jf calculado com uso da equação de Cecílio et al. (2007. O modelo de GAML com valor da condutividade hidráulica na zona de transmissão (Kt variando no tempo apresentou bons resultados na simulação do processo de infiltração em solos sujeitos ao encrostamento superficial.ABSTRACT The soil crust affects significantly the soil water infiltration rate. Thus, the infiltration simulation models must somehow consider the effect of crust layer to obtain good results.The objective of this work was to evaluate the performance of the Green-Ampt-Mein-Larson (GAML model to simulate the soil water infiltration for crusting soils. The trials were carried out in a Podzol Tb distrophic Haplic Cambisol, using a rain simulator, on a bare soil. The GAML model parameters were determined , being proposed for the hydraulic conductivity of transmission zone (Kt value the use of Kt*, which is equal to Tie x f, where Tie is stable infiltration rate and f is a decrease factor of the Tie as a function of cumulative kinetic energy of

  10. Soil texture and climatc conditions for biocrust growth limitation: a meta analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Thomas; Subbotina, Mariia

    2015-04-01

    Along with afforestation, attempts have been made to combat desertification by managing soil crusts, and is has been reported that recovery rates of biocrusts are dependent on many factors, including the type, severity, and extent of disturbance; structure of the vascular plant community; conditions of adjoining substrates; availability of inoculation material; and climate during and after disturbance (Belnap & Eldridge 2001). Because biological soil crusts are known to be more stable on and to prefer fine substrates (Belnap 2001), the question arises as to how successful crust management practices can be applied to coarser soil. In previous studies we observed similar crust biomasses on finer soils under arid and on coarser soils under temperate conditions. We hypothesized that the higher water holding capacity of finer substrates would favor crust development, and that the amount of silt and clay in the substrate that is required for enhanced crust development would vary with changes in climatic conditions. In a global meta study, climatic and soil texture threshold values promoting BSC growth were derived. While examining literature sources, it became evident that the amount of studies to be incorporated into this meta analysis was reversely related to the amount of common environmental parameters they share. We selected annual mean precipitaion, mean temperature and the amount of silt and clay as driving variables for crust growth. Response variable was the "relative crust biomass", which was computed per literature source as the ratio between each individual crust biomass value of the given study to the study maximum value reported. We distinguished lichen, green algal, cyanobacterial and moss crusts. To quantify threshold conditions at which crust biomass responded to differences in texture and climate, we (I) determined correlations between bioclimatic variables, (II) calculated linear models to determine the effect of typical climatic variables with soil

  11. Effects of organic amendment on soil quality as assessed by biological indicators

    OpenAIRE

    Sultana, Salma

    2011-01-01

    Soil quality decline is one of the most predominant effect deriving from human activities. In particular, intensive agricultural management can affect negatively soils, principally due to rapid depletion of soil organic matter, that affects, in turn, soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The declining trend of soil quality coupled with mismanagement of agricultural production is pose a serious threat to sustainability of intensive agriculture. Sustainable intensive agriculture is...

  12. DYNAMICS OF RESTORATION OF BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF BLACK SOILS POLLUTED WITH OIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kutuzova I. V.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Negative impact of oil on biological properties of soils right after pollution is shown in the article. Eventually, there is their restoration. However, even in some years after pollution, the biological properties of soils aren't restored completely

  13. Changes and recovery of soil bacterial communities influenced by biological soil disinfestation as compared with chloropicrin-treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Mowlick, Subrata; Inoue, Takashi; Takehara, Toshiaki; Kaku, Nobuo; Ueki, Katsuji; Ueki, Atsuko

    2013-01-01

    Soil bacterial composition, as influenced by biological soil disinfestation (BSD) associated with biomass incorporation was investigated to observe the effects of the treatment on the changes and recovery of the microbial community in a commercial greenhouse setting. Chloropicrin (CP) was also used for soil disinfestation to compare with the effects of BSD. The fusarium wilt disease incidence of spinach cultivated in the BSD- and CP-treated plots was reduced as compared with that in the untre...

  14. Biological removal of arsenic pollution by soil fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Pankaj Kumar; Vaish, Aradhana; Dwivedi, Sanjay; Chakrabarty, Debasis; Singh, Nandita; Tripathi, Rudra Deo

    2011-05-15

    Fifteen fungal strains were isolated from arsenic contaminated (range 9.45-15.63 mg kg(-1)) agricultural soils from the state of West Bengal, India. Five fungal strains were belonged to the Aspergillus and Trichoderma group each, however, remaining five were identified as the Neocosmospora, Sordaria, Rhizopus, Penicillium and sterile mycelial strain. All these fungal strains were cultivated on medium supplemented with 100, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 mg l(-1) of sodium arsenate. After 30-day cultivation under laboratory conditions, radial growth of these strains was determined and compared with control. Toxicity and tolerance of these strains to arsenate were evaluated on the basis of tolerance index. Out of fifteen, only five fungal strains were found resistant and survived with tolerance index pattern as 0.956 (sterile mycelial strain)>0.311 (Rhizopus sp.)>0.306 (Neocosmospora sp.)>0.212 (Penicillium sp.)>0.189 (Aspergillus sp.) at 10,000 mg l(-1) of arsenate. The arsenic removal efficacy of ten fungal strains, tolerant to 5000 mg l(-1) arsenate, was also assayed under laboratory conditions for 21 days. All these strains were cultivated individually on mycological broth enriched with 10 mg l(-1) of arsenic. The initial and final pH of cultivating medium, fungal biomass and removal of arsenic by each fungal strain were evaluated. Fungal biomass of ten strains removed arsenic biologically from the medium which were ranged from 10.92 to 65.81% depending on fungal species. The flux of biovolatilized arsenic was determined indirectly by estimating the sum of arsenic content in fungal biomass and medium. The mean percent removal as flux of biovolatilized arsenic ranged from 3.71 to 29.86%. The most effective removal of arsenic was observed in the Trichoderma sp., sterile mycelial strain, Neocosmospora sp. and Rhizopus sp. fungal strains. These fungal strains can be effectively used for the bioremediation of arsenic-contaminated agricultural soils.

  15. Physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shekhovtseva, O. G.; Mal'tseva, I. A.

    2015-12-01

    Physicochemical and biological properties of urbanized soils in the city of Mariupol have been considered in comparison with the background soils. The parametrical characteristics (abundance and biomass) of soil algal groups, the content of humus, the reaction of soil solution, the content of heavy metals, and the particle size distributions of soils under different anthropogenic impacts have been assessed. The physicochemical properties of soils developing under urboecosystem conditions affect the number of structure-forming species, biomass, and proportions of soil algae. According to the particle size distribution, urban soils are classified among the medium and heavy loamy soils with the predominance of the clay and coarse silt fractions. The fractions of physical clay and clay are of highest importance for the existence of algae. The accumulation of heavy metals in the surface horizons of soils can stimulate or inhibit the development of algae depending on the metal concentration.

  16. 人工生物质结皮在黄土山区公路边坡应用的初探%The Application of Artificial Biological Crust in the Highway Slope of Loess Mountainous Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    舒鑫; 王百田; 曹远博; 魏婷婷; 王鲜鲜

    2014-01-01

    Objective]The aim of the study was to evaluate the application of artificial crust in the highway slope of loess mountainous area. [Method ] In the highway slope of the Lvliang mountains,5 experimental groups (natural slope (T1 ),crust (T2 ),crust and fertilizer (T3 ), crust and seeds (T4),curst,fertilizer and seeds (T5))were set.Temperature and humidity of soil,rill erosion of soil and plant growth condition (plant emergence,coverage,Shannon weaver diversity index,Shannon wiener diversity index and the Pielou evenness index)were investigated.[Results]Compared with the natural slope,artificial crust increased soil temperature and humidi-ty in Spring and maintained soil temperature in the rainy season.The temperature of crust was significantly lower than that of the natural slope at noon.Soil moistures of crust groups were sig-nificantly higher than that of natural slope throughout the day and T5 was the highest.The order of erosion degree was T5crust reduced the formation of erosion gully.Artificial crust improved soil seed germination rate and utilization efficiency of soil seed banks.The species diversity,evenness and fresh weight biomass of crust groups were higher compared to the natural slope.The aboveground fresh biomass of T5,T4,T3 and T2 was 2.44, 1.99,1.95 and 1.68 times larger than T1.[Conclusion]Therefore,artificial biomass skin in-creased soil seed banks,biodiversity and coverage by improving soil temperature,humidity and stability.Thus,it could enhance the steady and greening of road slope in the loess mountainous area.%【目的】探讨人工结皮在黄土山区公路边坡的应用效果。【方法】选用吕梁山区人为破坏过的公路边坡进行治理,设置5个试验组(T1自然边坡、T2结皮、T3结皮+肥料、T4结皮+种子、T5结皮+肥料+种子)。对每个试验组的土壤温湿度、土壤细沟侵蚀、植物生长状况(植物出苗株数、覆盖度、Shannon-weaver

  17. Temporal and spatial variability of soil biological activity at European scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallast, Janine; Rühlmann, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    The CATCH-C project aims to identify and improve the farm-compatibility of Soil Management Practices including to promote productivity, climate change mitigation and soil quality. The focus of this work concentrates on turnover conditions for soil organic matter (SOM). SOM is fundamental for the maintenance of quality and functions of soils while SOM storage is attributed a great importance in terms of climate change mitigation. The turnover conditions depend on soil biological activity characterized by climate and soil properties. Soil biological activity was investigated using two model concepts: a) Re_clim parameter within the ICBM (Introductory Carbon Balance Model) (Andrén & Kätterer 1997) states a climatic factor summarizing soil water storage and soil temperature and its influence on soil biological activity. b) BAT (biological active time) approach derived from model CANDY (CArbon and Nitrogen Dynamic) (Franko & Oelschlägel 1995) expresses the variation of soil moisture, soil temperature and soil aeration as a time scale and an indicator of biological activity for soil organic matter (SOM) turnover. During an earlier stage both model concepts, Re_clim and BAT, were applied based on a monthly data to assess spatial variability of turnover conditions across Europe. This hampers the investigation of temporal variability (e.g. intra-annual). The improved stage integrates daily data of more than 350 weather stations across Europe presented by Klein Tank et al. (2002). All time series data (temperature, precipitation and potential evapotranspiration and soil texture derived from the European Soil Database (JRC 2006)), are used to calculate soil biological activity in the arable layer. The resulting BAT and Re_clim values were spatio-temporal investigated. While "temporal" refers to a long-term trend analysis, "spatial" includes the investigation of soil biological activity variability per environmental zone (ENZ, Metzger et al. 2005 representing similar

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  19. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  20. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Kashif Javaid

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation.

  1. CHANGE OF BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF SOILS OF NORTH CAUCASUS IN RELATION TO CLIMATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kozun Y. S.

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Climatic conditions have considerable impact on biological properties of soils of the South of Russia. From all studied indicators the most dependent on climate there was maintenance of a humus and activity of polyphenoloxidases and peroxidases. Values of the integrated indicator of a biological condition (IIBC on a profile of soils decrease in process of increase in an amount of precipitation, decrease in temperature, and increase in height of the district in next order: meadow subalpine → brown forest → gray forest → black leached soil → black typical soil → black ordinary soi

  2. Effect of soil type and soil management on soil physical, chemical and biological properties in commercial organic olive orchards in Southern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Jose Alfonso; Auxiliadora Soriano, Maria; Montes-Borrego, Miguel; Navas, Juan Antonio; Landa, Blanca B.

    2014-05-01

    One of the objectives of organic agriculture is to maintain and improve soil quality, while simultaneously producing an adequate yield. A key element in organic olive production is soil management, which properly implemented can optimize the use of rainfall water enhancing infiltration rates and controlling competition for soil water by weeds. There are different soil management strategies: eg. weed mowing (M), green manure with surface tillage in spring (T), or combination with animal grazing among the trees (G). That variability in soil management combined with the large variability in soil types on which organic olive trees are grown in Southern Spain, difficult the evaluation of the impact of different soil management on soil properties, and yield as well as its interpretation in terms of improvement of soil quality. This communications presents the results and analysis of soil physical, chemical and biological properties on 58 soils in Southern Spain during 2005 and 2006, and analyzed and evaluated in different studies since them. Those 58 soils were sampled in 46 certified commercial organic olive orchards with four soil types as well as 12 undisturbed areas with natural vegetation near the olive orchards. The four soil types considered were Eutric Regosol (RGeu, n= 16), Eutric Cambisol (CMeu, n=16), Calcaric Regosol (RGca, n=13 soils sampled) and Calcic Cambisol (CMcc), and the soil management systems (SMS) include were 10 light tillage (LT), 16 sheep grazing (G), 10 tillage (T), 10 mechanical mowing (M), and 12 undisturbed areas covered by natural vegetation (NV-C and NV-S). Our results indicate that soil management had a significant effect on olive yield as well as on key soil properties. Among these soil properties are physical ones, such as infiltration rate or bulk density, chemical ones, especially organic carbon concentration, and biological ones such as soil microbial respiration and bacterial community composition. Superimpose to that soil

  3. Biochar and biological carbon cycling in temperate soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, S. A.; Vanbergen, A. J.; Bardgett, R. D.; Hopkins, D. W.; Ostle, N.

    2012-04-01

    Production of biochar, the recalcitrant residue formed by pyrolysis of plant matter, is suggested as a means of increasing storage of stable carbon (C) in the soil (1). Biochar has also been shown to act as a soil conditioner, increasing the productivity of certain crops by reducing nutrient leaching and improving soil water-holding capacity. However, the response of soil carbon pools to biochar addition is not yet well understood. Studies have shown that biochar has highly variable effects on microbial C cycling and thus on soil C storage (2,3,4). This discrepancy may be partially explained by the response of soil invertebrates, which occupy higher trophic levels and regulate microbial activity. This research aims to understand the role of soil invertebrates (i.e. Collembola and nematode worms) in biochar-mediated changes to soil C dynamics across a range of plant-soil communities. An open-air, pot-based mesocosm experiment was established in May, 2011 at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh. Three treatments were included in a fully-factorial design: biochar (presence [2 % w/w] or absence), soil type (arable sandy, arable sandy loam, grassland sandy loam), and vegetation type (Hordeum vulgare, Lolium perenne, unvegetated). Monitored parameters include: invertebrate and microbial species composition, soil C fluxes (CO2 and trace gas evolution, leachate C content, primary productivity and soil C content), and soil conditions (pH, moisture content and water-holding capacity). Preliminary results indicate that biochar-induced changes to soil invertebrate communities and processes are affected by pre-existing soil characteristics, and that soil texture in particular may be an important determinant of soil response to biochar addition. 1. Lehmann, 2007. A handful of carbon. Nature 447, 143-144. 2. Liang et al., 2010. Black carbon affects the cycling of non-black carbon in soil. Organic Geochemistry 41, 206-213. 3. Van Zwieten et al., 2010. Influence of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  5. Wildfire effects on biological properties of soils in forest-steppe ecosystems of Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Maksimova

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Soils affected by forest wildfires in 2010 in Russia were studied on postfire and mature plots near the Togljatty city, Samara region. Soil biological properties and ash composition dynamics were investigated under the forest fire affect: a place of local forest fire, riding forest fire and unaffected site by fire-control (mature during 3 yr of restoration. Soil samples were collected at 0–15 cm. Soil biological properties was measured by the fumigation method. The analytical data obtained shows that wildfires lead to serious changes in a soil profile and soil chemistry of upper horizons. Wildfires change a chemical composition of soil horizons and increase their ash-content. Fires lead to accumulation of biogenic elements' content (P and K in the solum fine earth. Calcium content is increased as a result of fires that leads to an alkaline pH of the solum. The values of nutrients decreased as a result of leaching out with an atmospheric precipitation during the second year of restoration. Thus, when the upper horizons are burning the ash arriving on a soil surface enrich it with nutrients. The mature (unaffected by fire soils is characterized by the greatest values of soil microbial biomass in the top horizon and, respectively, the bigger values of basal respiration whereas declining of the both parameters was revealed on postfire soils. Nevertheless this influence does not extend on depth more than 10 cm. Thus, fire affect on the soil were recognized in decreasing of microbiological activity.

  6. 苔藓结皮影响干旱半干旱植被指数的稳定性%Impact of Moss Soil Crust on Vegetation Indexes Interpretation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    房世波; 张新时

    2011-01-01

    Vegetation indexes were the most common and the most important parameters to characterizing large-scale terrestrial ecosystems. It is vital to get precise vegetation indexes for running land surface process models and computation of NPP change, moisture and heat fluxes over surface Biological soil crusts (BSC) are widely distributed in arid and semi-arid, polar and sub-polar regions. The spectral characteristics of dry and wet BSCs were quite different, which could produce much higher vegetation indexes value for the wet BSC than for the dry BSC as reported. But no research was reported about whether the BSC would impact on regional vegetation indexes and how much dry and wet BSC had impact on regional vegetation indexes. In the present paper, the most common vegetation index NDVI were used to analyze how the moss soil crusts (MSC) dry and wet changes affect regional NDVI values. It was showed that 100% coverage of the wet MSC have a much higher NDVI value (0. 657) than the dry MSC NDVI value (0. 320), with increased 0. 337. Dry and wet MSC NDVI value reached significant difference between the levels of 0. 000. In the study area, MSC, which had the average coverage of 12.25%, would have a great contribution to the composition of vegetation index. Linear mixed model was employed to analyze how the NDVI would change in regional scale as wet MSC become dry MSC inversion. The impact of wet moss crust than the dry moss crust in the study area can make the regional NDVI increasing by 0. 04 (14. 3%). Due to the MSC existence and rainfall variation in arid and semi-arid zones, it was bound to result in NDVI change instability in a short time in the region. For the wet MSC's spectral reflectance curve is similar to those of the higher plants, misinterpretation of the vegetation dynamics could be more severe due to the “maximum value composite” (MVC) technique used to compose the global vegetation maps in the study of vegetation dynamics. The researches would be

  7. Effects of gentle remediation technologies on soil biological and biochemical activities - a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marschner, B.; Haag, R.; Renella, G.

    2009-04-01

    Remediation technologies for contaminated sites are generally designed to reduce risks for human health, groundwater or plant quality. While some drastic remediation measures such as soil excavation, thermal treatment or soil washing eliminate or strongly reduce soil life, in-situ treatments involving plants or immobilizing additives may also restore soil functionality by establishing or promoting a well structured and active community of soil organisms. Biological parameters that are sensitive to contaminants and other pedo-environmental conditions and which contribute to biogeochemical nutrient cycles, can be used as synthetic indicators of the progress and also the efficiency of given remediation approaches. Data from long-term studies on re-vegetated mine spoils show that biological and biochemical activity is enhanced with increasing plant density and diversity. Among the soil amendments, most measures that introduce organic matter or alkalinity to the contaminated soils also improve microbial or faunal parameters. Only few amendments, such as phosphates and chelators have deleterious effects on soil biota. In this review, soil microbial biomass and the activity of the enzymes phosphatase and arylsulphatase are identified as suitable and sensitive biological indicators for soil health. The results and future research needs are are summarized.

  8. Physicochemical and biological quality of soil in hexavalent chromium-contaminated soils as affected by chemical and microbial remediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Yingping; Min, Xiaobo; Yang, Zhihui; Chai, Liyuan; Zhang, Shujuan; Wang, Yangyang

    2014-01-01

    Chemical and microbial methods are the main remediation technologies for chromium-contaminated soil. These technologies have progressed rapidly in recent years; however, there is still a lack of methods for evaluating the chemical and biological quality of soil after different remediation technologies have been applied. In this paper, microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria and chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate were used for the remediation of soils contaminated with Cr(VI) at two levels (80 and 1,276 mg kg(-1)) through a column leaching experiment. After microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria, the average concentration of water-soluble Cr(VI) in the soils was reduced to less than 5.0 mg kg(-1). Soil quality was evaluated based on 11 soil properties and the fuzzy comprehensive assessment method, including fuzzy mathematics and correlative analysis. The chemical fertility quality index was improved by one grade using microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria, and the biological fertility quality index increased by at least a factor of 6. Chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate, however, resulted in lower levels of available phosphorus, dehydrogenase, catalase and polyphenol oxidase. The result showed that microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria was more effective for remedying Cr(VI)-contaminated soils with high pH value than chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate. In addition, the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method was proven to be a useful tool for monitoring the quality change in chromium-contaminated soils. PMID:23784058

  9. The Impact of Olive Mill Wastewater on the Physicochemical and Biological Properties of Soils in Northwest Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammad Wahsha; Claudio Bini; Mandana Nadimi-Goki

    2014-01-01

    Soil contamination may influence negatively soil health, which often limits and sometimes disqualifies soil biodiversity and decreases plant growth. Soil health is the continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital living system, providing essential ecosystem services. Within soils, all bio-geo-chemical processes of the different ecosystem components are combined. These processes are able to sustain biological productivity of soil, to maintain the quality of surrounding air and water e...

  10. [Biological activity of soils in the settlements of southern (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis) and bank (Clethrionomys glareolus) voles].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manaeva, E S; Kostina, N V; Gorlenko, M V; Lomovtseva, N O; Umarov, M M

    2013-01-01

    The effect of southern (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis) and bank (Clethrionomys glareolus) voles on the biological activity of soddy-podzolic soil and culturozem has been studied. To estimate this effect, the activity of nitrogen and carbon transformation in the soil taken from the paths and different chambers of the holes of these rodents, as well as from the control plots where there were no voles, has been determined. The contents of organic carbon and nitrogen in the soil have been found. The parameters of functional diversity of the microbial community of soil have been studied. It has been noted that the effect of voles on the biological activity of the above soils manifested itself in increased intensity of aerobic and anaerobic destruction of organic matter and changes in the parameters of functional diversity of the microbial community of soils. PMID:24459855

  11. Characterization of PAH-contaminated soils focusing on availability, chemical composition and biological effects

    OpenAIRE

    Bergknut, Magnus

    2006-01-01

    The risks associated with a soil contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are generally assessed by measuring individual PAHs in the soil and correlating the obtained amounts to known adverse biological effects of the PAHs. The validity of such a risk estimation is dependent on the presence of additional compounds, the availability of the compounds (including the PAHs), and the methods used to correlate the measured chemical data and biological effects. In the work underlying t...

  12. In search of biological indicators for soil health and disease suppression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruggen, van A.H.C.; Semenov, A.M.

    2000-01-01

    While soil quality encompasses physical and chemical besides biological characteristics, soil health is primarily an ecological characteristic. Ecosystem health has been defined in terms of ecosystem stability and resilience in response to a disturbance or stress. We therefore, suggest that indicato

  13. Proliferation of diversified clostridial species during biological soil disinfestation incorporated with plant biomass under various conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Mowlick, Subrata; Takehara, Toshiaki; Kaku, Nobuo; Ueki, Katsuji; Ueki, Atsuko

    2012-01-01

    【Abstract】 Biological soil disinfestation (BSD) involves the anaerobic decomposition of plant biomass by microbial communities leads to control of plant pathogens. We analyzed bacterial communities in soil of a model experiment of BSD, as affected by biomass incorporation under various conditions, to find out the major anaerobic bacterial groups emerged after BSD treatments. The soil was treated with Brassica juncea plants, wheat bran or Avena strigosa plants, irrigated at 20% or 30% moisture...

  14. Remediation of Pb contaminated soils by phytoextraction and amendment induced immobilization : biological aspects

    OpenAIRE

    GEEBELEN, Wouter

    2002-01-01

    This study examines the biological aspects related to alternative remediation strategies for Pb contaminated soils: EDTA induced Pb phytoextraction and amendment induced immobilization of soil Pb by means of inorganic soil amendments. The physiological effects of Pb-EDTA and EDTA were studied on bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris L. Limburgse vroege), grown under strictly controlled conditions on a Hoagland nutrient solution. Addition of Pb-EDTA to the growth medium increased the capacity of enz...

  15. Geochemistry of U and Th and its Influence on the Origin and Evolution of the Crust of Earth and the Biological Evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Bao, Xuezhao

    1998-01-01

    We have investigated the migration behaviors of uranium (U) and thorium (Th) in the Earth and other terrestrial planets. Theoretical models of U and Th migration have been proposed. These models suggest that the unique features of the Earth are closely connected with its unique U and Th migration models and distribution patterns. In the Earth, U and Th can combine with oxidative volatile components and water, migrate up to the asthenosphere position to form an enrichment zone (EZ) of U and Th first, and then migrate up further to the crusts through magmatism and metamorphism. We emphasize that the formation of an EZ of U, Th and other heat-producing elements is a prerequisite for the formation of a plate tectonic system. The heat-producing elements, currently mainly U and Th, in the EZ are also the energy sources that drive the formation and evolution of the crust of Earth and create special granitic continental crusts. In other terrestrial planets, including Mercury, Venus, and Mars, an EZ can not be formed ...

  16. Soil Biological Engineering to Enhance your Bottom Line

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite the importance of soil to all life on Earth, soil is the not-well-understood ‘big black box’. Therefore, the next revolution in agriculture needs not to be a green revolution or an iron (i.e. equipment) revolution; it needs to be a brown revolution. In this brown revolution, the root of th...

  17. Application of radiochemical methods for development of new biological preparation designed for soil bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: Internationally the bioremediation of agricultural lands contaminated by persistent chloroorganic compounds by means of the microbial methods are used as the most low-cost and the most effective. One of the factors reducing efficacy of microbial degradation, is often the low quantity of microorganisms - destructors in the soil. Therefore, we have designed bioremediation technology of soils, contaminated by organochlorine compounds, with use of the alive microorganisms as active agent. We developed the biological preparation containing 5 aboriginal active strains of bacteria - destructors of persistent chloroorganic compounds and investigated the ability of biological preparation to increase the bioremediation potential of contaminated soils. To carry out the investigation we developed the complex of radiochemical methods with use of tritium labeled PCBs, including the following methods: 1.The method to define the accumulation and degradation of PCBs in soil bacteria in culture allows determination of quantitative characteristics of bacterial strains. 2. The method to define the PCBs degradation by soil bacteria strains in model conditions in the soil allows to estimate the PCB-destructive activity of strains after introducing in soil. 3. A method to define the PCB-destructive activity of own microbiota of contaminated soil. 4. A method to define the effect of stimulation of the PCB-destructive activity of biological preparation and own microbiota of soil with the help of biofertilizers. By using the developed radiochemical methods we have carried out investigation on creation of new biological preparation on the basis of strains of soil bacteria - destructors of PCBs. We also determined the quality and quantity characteristics of HCCH and PCBs-destructive activity of new biological preparation. It is shown that the new biological preparation is capable of accumulation and destruction of the PCBs in culture and in soil at model conditions. Thus, the

  18. The accumulation of 137Cs in the biological compartment of forest soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soil samples were collected in various forest stands, located about 40 km north-west from Uppsala. The various stands were: (1) Clear cut area made in 1987, (2) Normal forest with 50-100 old Norway spruce and Scots pine and with a thick humic layer of about 10 cm; (3) Raised bog with 50-year-old Scots pine and Sphagnum moss layer over peat soil. (4) Rocky area with old Scots pine, growing on a shallow soil, mainly of organic origin. (5) Normal forest with nearly 100-year-old spruce and pine, growing a shallow humic layer over sandy soil. Soil blocks of about 20x20 cm and down to a depth of 10-15 cm were collected on each site. The soil samples were mechanically separated into various fractions: bulk, rhizosphere and soil-root interface. The results showed that 137Cs was unevenly distributed between the three soil fractions. The highest activity concentrations -- 3-4 times higher than in the other two fractions -- as well as the highest organic content -- usually more than 95% -- were found in the soil-root interface fraction. Of the total 137Cs activity in the soil, 18% as a mean value was found in the soil-root interface fraction. The results thus show that a substantial fraction of the 137Cs in the soils in some way associated with the biological part of the soil, probably with the fungal component

  19. Biological Treatment of Petroleum in Radiologically Contaminated Soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BERRY, CHRISTOPHER

    2005-11-14

    This chapter describes ex situ bioremediation of the petroleum portion of radiologically co-contaminated soils using microorganisms isolated from a waste site and innovative bioreactor technology. Microorganisms first isolated and screened in the laboratory for bioremediation of petroleum were eventually used to treat soils in a bioreactor. The bioreactor treated soils contaminated with over 20,000 mg/kg total petroleum hydrocarbon and reduced the levels to less than 100 mg/kg in 22 months. After treatment, the soils were permanently disposed as low-level radiological waste. The petroleum and radiologically contaminated soil (PRCS) bioreactor operated using bioventing to control the supply of oxygen (air) to the soil being treated. The system treated 3.67 tons of PCRS amended with weathered compost, ammonium nitrate, fertilizer, and water. In addition, a consortium of microbes (patent pending) isolated at the Savannah River National Laboratory from a petroleum-contaminated site was added to the PRCS system. During operation, degradation of petroleum waste was accounted for through monitoring of carbon dioxide levels in the system effluent. The project demonstrated that co-contaminated soils could be successfully treated through bioventing and bioaugmentation to remove petroleum contamination to levels below 100 mg/kg while protecting workers and the environment from radiological contamination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The volume of solid waste produced in the world is increasing annually, and disposing of such wastes is a growing problem. Fly ash (FA) is a form of solid waste that is derived from the combustion of coal. Research has shown that fly ash may be disposed of by using it to amend agricultural soils. This review addresses the feasibility of amending agricultural field soils with fly ash for the purpose of improvings oil health and enhancing the production of agricultural crops. The current annual production of major coal combustion residues (CCRs) is estimated to be -600 million worldwide, of which about 500 million t (70-80%) is FA (Ahmaruzzaman 2010). More than 112 million t of FA is generated annually in India alone, and projections show that the production (including both FA and bottom ash) may exceed 170 million t per annum by 2015 (Pandey et al. 2009; Pandey and Singh 20 I 0). Managing this industrial by-product is a big challenge, because more is produced each year, and disposal poses a growing environmental problem.Studies on FA clearly shows that its application as an amendment to agricultural soils can significantly improve soil quality, and produce higher soil fertility. What FA application method is best and what level of application is appropriate for any one soil depends on the following factors: type of soil treated, crop grown, the prevailing agro climatic condition and the character of the FA used. Although utilizing FA in agricultural soils may help address solid waste disposal problems and may enhance agricultural production, its use has potential adverse effects also. In particular, using it in agriculture may enhance amounts of radionuclides and heavy metals that reach soils, and may therefore increase organism exposures in some instances. PMID:24984834

  1. Soil physicochemical and biological properties of paddy-upland rotation: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Wei; Lv, Teng-Fei; Chen, Yong; Westby, Anthony P; Ren, Wan-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Paddy-upland rotation is an unavoidable cropping system for Asia to meet the increasing demand for food. The reduction in grain yields has increased the research interest on the soil properties of rice-based cropping systems. Paddy-upland rotation fields are unique from other wetland or upland soils, because they are associated with frequent cycling between wetting and drying under anaerobic and aerobic conditions; such rotations affect the soil C and N cycles, make the chemical speciation and biological effectiveness of soil nutrient elements varied with seasons, increase the diversity of soil organisms, and make the soil physical properties more difficult to analyze. Consequently, maintaining or improving soil quality at a desirable level has become a complicated issue. Therefore, fully understanding the soil characteristics of paddy-upland rotation is necessary for the sustainable development of the system. In this paper, we offer helpful insight into the effect of rice-upland combinations on the soil chemical, physical, and biological properties, which could provide guidance for reasonable cultivation management measures and contribute to the improvement of soil quality and crop yield. PMID:24995366

  2. Soil Physicochemical and Biological Properties of Paddy-Upland Rotation: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Paddy-upland rotation is an unavoidable cropping system for Asia to meet the increasing demand for food. The reduction in grain yields has increased the research interest on the soil properties of rice-based cropping systems. Paddy-upland rotation fields are unique from other wetland or upland soils, because they are associated with frequent cycling between wetting and drying under anaerobic and aerobic conditions; such rotations affect the soil C and N cycles, make the chemical speciation and biological effectiveness of soil nutrient elements varied with seasons, increase the diversity of soil organisms, and make the soil physical properties more difficult to analyze. Consequently, maintaining or improving soil quality at a desirable level has become a complicated issue. Therefore, fully understanding the soil characteristics of paddy-upland rotation is necessary for the sustainable development of the system. In this paper, we offer helpful insight into the effect of rice-upland combinations on the soil chemical, physical, and biological properties, which could provide guidance for reasonable cultivation management measures and contribute to the improvement of soil quality and crop yield.

  3. Effect of leaf litter quantity and type on forest soil fauna and biological quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhizhong Yuan

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available It is important to assess forest litter management. Here we examined the effects of leaf litter addition on the soil faunal community in Huitong subtropical forest region in Hunan Province, China. The microcosm experiment involving leaf-litter manipulation using a block and nested experimental design, respectively, was established in May, 2011. In the block design, the effects of litter quantity and its control were examined, while in the nested design a comparison was made of litter quality by adding broad-leaved litter or needle litter to soils. In July, 2012, we measured the abundance, diversity, and community composition of soil fauna across these treatments. Significant differences in abundance of springtails were found due to litter addition and of Diptera larvae due to litter type treatment. However, the diversity, community composition and abundance of other taxa did not vary significantly across treatments. We also calculated soil biological quality based on soil fauna data. Its value increased significantly by 32.45% due to litter addition, but was unaffected by litter type based on nested ANOVA. The results indicate that litter quantity plays an more important role than litter type in determining soil quality in the earlier stages of soil evolution in the study region. Because soil biological quality based on soil fauna was more sensitive than abundance and diversity of soil fauna, we suggest it is used as an indicator for evaluating the effectiveness of forest litter management.

  4. Biological Activity of Autochthonic Bacterial Community in Oil-Contaminated Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Wolińska, Agnieszka; Kuźniar, Agnieszka; Szafranek-Nakonieczna, Anna; Jastrzębska, Natalia; Roguska, Eliza; Stępniewska, Zofia

    2016-01-01

    Soil microbial communities play an important role in the biodegradation of different petroleum derivates, including hydrocarbons. Also other biological factors such as enzyme and respiration activities and microbial abundance are sensitive to contamination with petroleum derivates. The aim of this study was to evaluate the response of autochthonic microbial community and biological parameters (respiration, dehydrogenase and catalase activities, total microorganisms count) on contamination wit...

  5. CONSIDERATIONS ON URBAN SOILS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radu Lacatusu

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Urban soil is an material that has been manipulated, disturbed or transported by man’s activities in the urban environment and is used as a medium for plant growth and for constructions. The physical, chemical, and biological properties are generally less favorable as a rooting medium than soil found on the natural landscape. The main characteristics of urban soils are: great vertical and spatial variability; modified soil structure leading to compaction; presence of a surface crust; modified soil reaction, usually elevated; restricted aeration and water drainage; modified abundance of chemical elements, interrupted nutrient cycling and soil organism activity; presence of anthropic materials contaminants and pollutants; modified soil temperature regime. The urbic horizon is designated as U (always capital letter and for indication of processes are used different small letters. It is necessary elaboration a new classification of urban soils for our country.

  6. CHANGES IN BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF BROWN FOREST SOILS UNDER AGRICULTURAL USE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kozun Y. S.

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural use leads to a significant transformation of soils. The first to use the soil for cultivation react most sensitive biological indicators. The purpose of the study - to establish the effect of using the brown forest soils for planting apple orchards for their biological activity, in particular on the humus content, enzyme activity (catalase and dehydrogenase. For the control, we have selected forest area adjacent to arable land. Because of violations of the natural vegetation, there are changes in hydrothermal conditions of the soil. Humidity soil plowed off under forest, while temperatures gets considerably higher. Plowing, compared with the control, revealed significant loss of humus (50% in the upper most disturbed horizons. In the lower horizons of the values of this index were quite low (1.5% on all sections of the test. The decline in humus content, as well as overheating and draining soil tillage results in a change of enzymatic activity not only in the surface layers, but also in the whole profile. Due to the movement of the most favorable hydrothermal conditions in the underlying horizons, an increase of enzyme activity over control values in the deeper layers of the soil. The article shows a possibility of the use of biological indicators as indicators of changes in the brown forest soils as a result of agricultural use

  7. Natural physical and biological processes compromise the long-term performance of compacted soil caps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Compacted soil barriers are components of essentially all caps placed on closed waste disposal sites. The intended functions of soil barriers in waste facility caps include restricting infiltration of water and release of gases and vapors, either independently or in combination with synthetic membrane barriers, and protecting other manmade or natural barrier components. Review of the performance of installed soil barriers and of natural processes affecting their performance indicates that compacted soil caps may function effectively for relatively short periods (years to decades), but natural physical and biological processes can be expected to cause them to fail in the long term (decades to centuries). This paper addresses natural physical and biological processes that compromise the performance of compacted soil caps and suggests measures that may reduce the adverse consequences of these natural failure mechanisms

  8. Rich in life but poor in data: the known knowns and known unknowns of modelling how soil biology drives soil structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallett, Paul; Ogden, Mike

    2015-04-01

    Soil biology has a fascinating capacity to manipulate pore structure by altering or overcoming hydrological and mechanical properties of soil. Many have postulated, quite rightly, that this capacity of soil biology to 'engineer' its habitat drives its diversity, improves competitiveness and increases resilience to external stresses. A large body of observational research has quantified pore structure evolution accompanied by the growth of organisms in soil. Specific compounds that are exuded by organisms or the biological structures they create have been isolated and found to correlate well with observed changes to pore structure or soil stability. This presentation will provide an overview of basic mechanical and hydrological properties of soil that are affected by biology, and consider missing data that are essential to model how they impact soil structure evolution. Major knowledge gaps that prevent progress will be identified and suggestions will be made of how research in this area should progress. We call for more research to gain a process based understanding of structure formation by biology, to complement observational studies of soil structure before and after imposed biological activity. Significant advancement has already been made in modelling soil stabilisation by plant roots, by combining data on root biomechanics, root-soil interactions and soil mechanical properties. Approaches for this work were developed from earlier materials science and geotechnical engineering research, and the same ethos should be adopted to model the impacts of other biological compounds. Fungal hyphae likely reinforce soils in a similar way to plant roots, with successful biomechanical measurements of these micron diameter structures achieved with micromechanical test frames. Extending root reinforcement models to fungi would not be a straightforward exercise, however, as interparticle bonding and changes to pore water caused by fungal exudates could have a major impact on

  9. Dynamic Relationship Between Biologically Active Soil Organic Carbon and Aggregate Stability in Long-Term Organically Fertilized Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Cheng-Liang; XU Jiang-Bing; HE Yuan-Qiu; LIU Yan-Li; FAN Jian-Bo

    2012-01-01

    Biologically active soil organic carbon (BASOC) is an important fraction of soil organic carbon (SOC),but our understanding of the correlation between BASOC and soil aggregate stability is limited.At an ecological experimental station (28° 04′-28° 37′ N,116°41′-117° 09′ E) in Yujiang County,Jiangxi Province,China,we analyzed the dynamic relationship between soil aggregate stability and BASOC content over time in the red soil (Udic Ferrosols) fertilized with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium chemical fertilizer (NPK)without manure or with NPK plus livestock manure or green manure.The dynamics of BASOC was evaluated using CO2 efflux,and soil aggregates were separated according to size using a wet-sieving technique.The soils fertilized with NPK plus livestock manure had a significantly higher content of BASOC and an improved aggregate stability compared to the soils fertilized with NPK plus green manure or NPK alone The BASOC contents in all fertilized soils decreased over time The contents of large aggregates (800-2000μm) dramatically decreased over the first 7 d of incubation,but the contents of small aggregates (< 800.μm) either remained the same or increased,depending on the incubation time and specific aggregate sizes.The aggregate stability did not differ significantly at the beginning and end of incubation,but the lowest stability inall fertilized soils occurred in the middle of the incubation,which implied that the soils had a strong resilience for aggregate stability.The change in BASOC content was only correlated with aggregate stability during the first 27 d of incubation.

  10. Biological and chemical assessments of zinc ageing in field soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As zinc (Zn) is both an essential trace element and potential toxicant, the effects of Zn fixation in soil are of practical significance. Soil samples from four field sites amended with ZnSO4 were used to investigate ageing of soluble Zn under field conditions over a 2-year period. Lability of Zn measured using 65Zn radioisotope dilution showed a significant decrease over time and hence evidence of Zn fixation in three of the four soils. However, 0.01 M CaCl2 extractions and toxicity measurements using a genetically modified lux-marked bacterial biosensor did not indicate a decrease in soluble/bioavailable Zn over time. This was attributed to the strong regulatory effect of abiotic properties such as pH on these latter measurements. These results also showed that Zn ageing occurred immediately after Zn spiking, emphasising the need to incubate freshly spiked soils before ecotoxicity assessments. - Ageing effects were detected in Zn-amended field soils using 65Zn isotopic dilution as a measure of lability, but not with either CaCl2 extractions or a lux-marked bacterial biosensor.

  11. [Effects and Biological Response on Bioremediation of Petroleum Contaminated Soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qian; Wu, Man-li; Nie, Mai-qian; Wang, Ting-ting; Zhang, Ming-hui

    2015-05-01

    Bioaugmentation and biostimulation were used to remediate petroleum-contaminated soil which were collected from Zichang city in North of Shaanxi. The optimal bioremediation method was obtained by determining the total petroleum hydrocarbon(TPH) using the infrared spectroscopy. During the bioremediation, number of degrading strains, TPH catabolic genes, and soil microbial community diversity were determined by Most Probable Number (MPN), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) combined agarose electrophoresis, and PCR-denaturing gradient electrophoresis (DGGE). The results in different treatments showed different biodegradation effects towards total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH). Biostimulation by adding N and P to soils achieved the best degradation effects towards TPH, and the bioaugmentation was achieved by inoculating strain SZ-1 to soils. Further analysis indicated the positive correlation between catabolic genes and TPH removal efficiency. During the bioremediation, the number of TPH and alkanes degrading strains was higher than the number of aromatic degrading strains. The results of PCR-DGGE showed microbial inoculums could enhance microbial community functional diversity. These results contribute to understand the ecologically microbial effects during the bioremediation of petroleum-polluted soil.

  12. Deforestation effects on biological and other important soil properties in an upland watershed of Bangladesh

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    S.M. Sirajul Haque; Sanatan Das Gupta; Sohag Miah

    2014-01-01

    Deforestation occurs at an alarming rate in upland watersheds of Bangladesh and has many detrimental effects on the environment. This study reports the effects of deforestation on soil biological proper-ties along with some important physicochemical parameters of a southern upland watershed in Bangladesh. Soils were sampled at 4 paired sites, each pair representing a deforested site and a forested site, and having similar topographical characteristics. Significantly fewer (p≤0.001) fungi and bacteria, and lower microbial respiration, active microbial biomass, metabolic and microbial quotients were found in soils of the deforested sites. Soil physical properties such as moisture content, water holding capacity, and chemical properties such as organic matter, total N, avail-able P and EC were also lower in deforested soils. Bulk density and pH were significantly higher in deforested soils. Available Ca and Mg were inconsistent between the two land uses at all the paired sites. Re-duced abundance and biomass of soil mesofauna were recorded in defor-ested soils. However, soil anecic species were more abundant in defor-ested soils than epigeic and endogeic species, which were more abundant in forested soils than on deforested sites.

  13. Assessment of the ecological security of immobilized enzyme remediation process with biological indicators of soil health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ying; Dong, Xiaonan; Jiang, Zhao; Cao, Bo; Ge, Shijie; Hu, Miao

    2013-08-01

    This study used the enzymes extracted from an atrazine-degrading strain, Arthrobacter sp. DNS10, which had been immobilized by sodium alginate to rehabilitate atrazine-polluted soil. Meanwhile, a range of biological indices were selected to assess the ecological health of contaminated soils and the ecological security of this bioremediation method. The results showed that there was no atrazine detected in soil samples after 28 days in EN+AT (the soil containing atrazine and immobilized enzyme) treatment. However, the residual atrazine concentration of the sample in AT (the soil containing atrazine only) treatment was about 5.02 ± 0.93 mg kg(-1). These results suggest that the immobilized enzyme exhibits an excellent ability in atrazine degradation. Furthermore, the immobilized enzyme could relieve soil microbial biomass carbon and soil microbial respiration intensity to 772.33 ± 34.93 mg C kg(-1) and 5.01 ± 0.17 mg CO(2) g(-1) soil h(-1), respectively. The results of the polymerase chain reaction-degeneration gradient gel electrophoresis experiment indicated that the immobilized enzyme also could make the Shannon-Wiener index and evenness index of the soil sample increase from 1.02 and 0.74 to 1.51 and 0.84, respectively. These results indicated that the immobilized enzymes not only could relieve the impact from atrazine on the soil, but also revealed that the immobilized enzymes did no significant harm on the soil ecological health.

  14. Changes and recovery of soil bacterial communities influenced by biological soil disinfestation as compared with chloropicrin-treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowlick, Subrata; Inoue, Takashi; Takehara, Toshiaki; Kaku, Nobuo; Ueki, Katsuji; Ueki, Atsuko

    2013-01-01

    Soil bacterial composition, as influenced by biological soil disinfestation (BSD) associated with biomass incorporation was investigated to observe the effects of the treatment on the changes and recovery of the microbial community in a commercial greenhouse setting. Chloropicrin (CP) was also used for soil disinfestation to compare with the effects of BSD. The fusarium wilt disease incidence of spinach cultivated in the BSD- and CP-treated plots was reduced as compared with that in the untreated control plots, showing effectiveness of both methods to suppress the disease. The clone library analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that members of the Firmicutes became dominant in the soil bacterial community after the BSD-treatment. Clone groups related to the species in the class Clostridia, such as Clostridium saccharobutylicum, Clostridium tetanomorphum, Clostridium cylindrosporum, Oxobacter pfennigii, etc., as well as Bacillus niacini in the class Bacilli were recognized as the most dominant members in the community. For the CP-treated soil, clones affiliated with the Bacilli related to acid-tolerant or thermophilic bacteria such as Tuberibacillus calidus, Sporolactobacillus laevolacticus, Pullulanibacillus naganoensis, Alicyclobacillus pomorum, etc. were detected as the major groups. The clone library analysis for the soil samples collected after spinach cultivation revealed that most of bacterial groups present in the original soil belonging to the phyla Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Planctomycetes, TM7, etc. were recovered in the BSD-treated soil. For the CP-treated soil, the recovery of the bacterial groups belonging to the above phyla was also noted, but some major clone groups recognized in the original soil did not recover fully. PMID:23958081

  15. Short-term effects of different organic amendments on soil chemical, biochemical and biological indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondelli, Donato; Aly, Adel; Yirga Dagnachew, Ababu; Piscitelli, Lea; Dumontet, Stefano; Miano, Teodoro

    2014-05-01

    The limited availability of animal manure and the high cost of good quality compost lead to difficult soil quality management under organic agriculture. Therefore, it is important to find out alternative organic soil amendments and more flexible strategies that are able to sustain crop productivity and maintain and enhance soil quality. A three years study was carried out in the experimental fields of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari located in Valenzano, Italy. The main objective of this research is to investigate the effects of different fertility management strategies on soil quality in order to estimate the role of innovative matrices for their use in organic farming. The experiment consists of seven treatments applied to a common crop rotation. The treatments include alternative organic amendments (1- olive mill wastewater OMW, 2- residues of mushroom cultivation MUS, 3- coffee chaff COF), common soil amendments (4- compost COM, 5- faba bean intercropping LEG, 6- cow manure - MAN) and as a reference treatment (7- mineral fertilizer COV). The soil quality was assessed before and after the application of the treatments, through biological (microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, soil respiration and metabolic quotient), biochemical (soil enzymatic activities: β-glucosidase, alkaline phospatase, urease, fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis), and chemical (pH, soil organic carbon, soil organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorous, exchangeable potassium, dissolved organic carbon and total dissolved nitrogen) indicators. Based on the results obtained after the second year, all treatments were able to improve various soil chemical parameters as compared to mineral fertilizer. The incorporation of COF and OMW seemed to be more effective in improving soil total N and exchangeable K, while MAN significantly increased available P. All the amendments enhance dissolved organic C, soil respiration, microbial biomass and metabolic quotient as

  16. Key Factors Influencing Rapid Development of Potentially Dune-Stabilizing Moss-Dominated Crusts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chongfeng Bu

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (BSCs are a widespread photosynthetic ground cover in arid and semiarid areas. They have many positive ecological functions, such as increasing soil stability, and reducing water and wind erosion. Using artificial technology to achieve the rapid development of BSCs is expected to become a low-cost and highly beneficial ecological restoration measure. In the present study, typical moss-dominated crusts in a region characterized by mobile dunes (Mu Us Sandland, China were collected, and a 40-day cultivation experiment was performed to investigate key factors, including watering frequency, light intensity and a nutrient addition, which affect the rapid development of moss crusts and their optimal combination. The results demonstrated that watering frequency and illumination had a significant positive effect (P=0.049, three-factor ANOVA and a highly significant, complicated effect (P=0.000, three-factor ANOVA, respectively, on the plant density of bryophytes, and a highly significant positive effect on the chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharide contents (P=0.000, P=0.000; P=0.000, P=0.000; one-way ANOVA. Knop nutrient solution did not have a significant positive but rather negative effect on the promotion of moss-dominated crust development (P=0.270, three-factor ANOVA. Moss-dominated crusts treated with the combination of moderate-intensity light (6,000 lx + high watering frequency (1 watering/2 days - Knop had the highest moss plant densities, while the treatment with high-intensity light (12,000 lx + high watering frequency (1 watering/2 days + Knop nutrient solution had higher chlorophyll a contents than that under other treatments. It is entirely feasible to achieve the rapid development of moss crusts under laboratory conditions by regulating key factors and creating the right environment. Future applications may seek to use cultured bryophytes to control erosion in vulnerable areas with urgent needs.

  17. Selecting cost effective and policy-relevant biological indicators for European monitoring of soil biodiversity and ecosystem function

    OpenAIRE

    Griffiths, Bryan; Römbke, J.; Schmelz, R. M.; Scheffczyk, A.; Faber, J.H.; Bloem, J.; Peres, G.; Cluzeau, D.; Chabbi, A.; Suhadolc, M.; Sousa, J. P.; Martins da Silva, P.; F. Carvalho; Mendes, S; MORAIS, P.

    2016-01-01

    International audience; Soils provide many ecosystem services that are ultimately dependent on the local diversity and belowground abundance of organisms. Soil biodiversity is affected negatively by many threats and there is a perceived policy requirement for the effective biological monitoring of soils at the European level. The aim of this study was to evaluate and recommend policy relevant, cost-effective soil biological indicators for biodiversity and ecosystem function across Europe. A t...

  18. Chemical and biological attributes of a lowland soil affected by land leveling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Maria Barbat Parfitt

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to evaluate the relationship between soil chemical and biological attributes and the magnitude of cuts and fills after the land leveling process of a lowland soil. Soil samples were collected from the 0 - 0.20 m layer, before and after leveling, on a 100 point grid established in the experimental area, to evaluate chemical attributes and soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC. Leveling operations altered the magnitude of soil chemical and biological attributes. Values of Ca, Mg, S, cation exchange capacity, Mn, P, Zn, and soil organic matter (SOM decreased in the soil profile, whereas Al, K, and MBC increased after leveling. Land leveling decreased in 20% SOM average content in the 0 - 0.20 m layer. The great majority of the chemical attributes did not show relations between their values and the magnitude of cuts and fills. The relation was quadratic for SOM, P, and total N, and was linear for K, showing a positive slope and indicating increase in the magnitude of these attributes in cut areas and stability in fill areas. The relationships between these chemical attributes and the magnitude of cuts and fills indicate that the land leveling map may be a useful tool for degraded soil recuperation through amendments and organic fertilizers.

  19. EFFECT OF STRAW AND GREEN MANURE ON BIOLOGICAL CONDITION SODDY-PODZOLIC SOILS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina RUSAKOVA

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Estimation of changes of a biological condition (status soddy-podzolic sandy soil under the influence of use of mineral fertilizers and biological resources (straw of a winter wheat and stubble green manure, separately and in a combination was an objective of this research. Among the investigated kinds of fertilizers the strongest influence on the mortmass and mortmass carbon, number, activity of soil microflora and the content of soil microbial biomass have rendered straw in a combination with , postharverst green manure (intermediate culture, at the expense of increase in an input of the easily accessible for soil microflora organic matter. In this research mineral fertilizers without additives of organic materials essentially have not affected microbiаl activity

  20. Phytoecological indicators for biological recultivation of soils polluted with oil in the Absheron peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    E. M. Gurbanov; A. A. Akhundova

    2009-01-01

    Phytoecological indicators of polluted soils of Amirov Oil-and-Gas Production Department (Garadag district, Baku) were studied. Phytocenological and biomorphological analysis of flora was done with the aim of further biological rehabilitation of Absheron peninsula. Oil products (black oil, boring waters, etc.) pollution turns the plant cover into a dead mass. Decontamination of soil and rehabilitation of microbial community improve the soil’s fertility. Wild and cultured plant indicators may ...

  1. Biological nitrogen fixation by lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) in acid soils.

    OpenAIRE

    Pijnenborg, J.W.M.

    1990-01-01

    Growth of lucerne( Medicago sativa L.) is poor in soils with values of pH-H2O below 6. This is often due to nitrogen deficiency, resulting from a hampered performance of the symbiosis withRhizobium meliloti. This thesis deals with the factors affecting biological nitrogen fixation by lucerne in acid soils.In a field experiment, lucerne seeds were either inoculated withR.meliloti only,or inoculated and pelleted with lime, before sowing in a sandy soil of pH 5.2. Lime-pelleting significantly im...

  2. Phytoecological indicators for biological recultivation of soils polluted with oil in the Absheron peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Gurbanov

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Phytoecological indicators of polluted soils of Amirov Oil-and-Gas Production Department (Garadag district,Baku were studied. Phytocenological and biomorphological analysis of flora was done with the aim of further biological rehabilitation of Absheron peninsula. Oil products (black oil, boring waters, etc. pollution turns the plant cover into a dead mass. Decontamination of soil and rehabilitation of microbial community improve the soil’s fertility. Wild and cultured plant indicators may be used in biopurification of the soils polluted with oil products. Sowing of the fodder crops followed by the technical remediation forms the clean areas of higher productivity.

  3. The effect of biological activity on soil water retention and diffusivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Burhan U.; Ferraris, Stefano; Ashton, Rhys W.; Powlson, David S.; Whalley, William R.

    2016-04-01

    soil microbial activity, with the addition of mercuric chloride, soil water diffusivity increased in comparison with biologically active soils.

  4. Behaviour of oxyfluorfen in soils amended with edaphic biostimulants/biofertilizers obtained from sewage sludge and chicken feathers. Effects on soil biological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Morgado, Bruno; Gómez, Isidoro; Parrado, Juan; Tejada, Manuel

    2014-09-01

    We studied the behaviour of oxyfluorfen herbicide at a rate of 4 l ha(-1) on biological properties of a Calcaric Regosol amended with two edaphic biostimulants/biofertilizers (SS, derived from sewage sludge; and CF, derived from chicken feathers). Oxyfluorfen was surface broadcast on 11 March 2013. Two days after application of oxyfluorfen to soil, both biostimulants/biofertilizers (BS) were also applied to the soil. An unamended soil without oxyfluorfen was used as control. For 2, 4, 7, 9, 20, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days of the application of herbicide to the soil and for each treatment, the soil dehydrogenase, urease, β-glucosidase and phosphatase activities were measured. For 2, 7, 30 and 120 days of the application of herbicide to the soil and for each treatment, soil microbial community was determined. The application of both BS to soil without the herbicide increased the enzymatic activities and soil biodiversity, mainly at 7 days of beginning the experiment. However, this stimulation was higher in the soil amended with SS than for CF. The application of herbicide in organic-amended soils decreased the inhibition of soil enzymatic activities and soil biodiversity. Possibly, the low-molecular-weight protein content easily assimilated by soil microorganisms is responsible for less inhibition of these soil biological properties. PMID:24859703

  5. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontaminatio...

  6. Cementing mechanism of algal crusts from desert area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    34-, 17-, 4-, 1.5-year old natural algal crusts were collected from Shapotou Scientific Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 40-day old field and greenhouse artificial algal crusts were in situ developed in the same sandy soil and the same place (37°27′N, 104°57′E). Their different cohesions both against wind force and pressure were measured respectively by a sandy wind-tunnel experiment and a penetrometer. On the basis of these algal crusts, the cementing mechanism was revealed from many subjects and different levels. The results showed that in the indoor artificial crusts with the weakest cohesion bunchy algal filaments were distributed in the surface of the crusts, produced few extracellular polymers (EPS), the binding capacity of the crusts just accomplished by mechanical bundle of algal filaments. For field crusts, most filaments grew toward the deeper layers of algal crusts, secreted much more EPS, and when organic matter content was more than 2.4 times of chlorophyll a, overmuch organic matter (primarily is EPS) began to gather onto the surface of the crusts and formed an organic layer in the relatively lower micro-area, and this made the crust cohesion increase 2.5 times. When the organic layer adsorbed and intercepted amounts of dusts, soil particles and sand grains scattered down from wind, it changed gradually into an inorganic layer in which inorganic matter dominated, and this made the crusts cohesion further enhanced 2-6 times. For crust-building species Microcoleus vaginatus, 88.5% of EPS were the acidic components, 78% were the acidic proteglycan of 380 kD. The uronic acid content accounted for 8% of proteglycan, and their free carboxyls were important sites of binding with metal cations from surrounding matrix.

  7. Afforestation using micro-catchment water harvesting system with microphytic crust treatment on semi-arid Loess Plateau: A preliminary result

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Xiao-hui; WANG Ke-qin; WANG Bin-rui; YU Chun-tang

    2005-01-01

    Water harvesting is one of main measures to solve water shortage resulting from less precipitation and erratically seasonal distribution in arid and semi-arid areas. Different types of anti-infiltration treatments including mechanical and chemical to micro-catchment and their runoff efficiencies had been reported. This paper, through 5 years experiment from 1992 to 1996, is aimed at studying the impacts of microcatchment water-harvesting system (MCWHS) with microphytic crust treatment on afforestation on semi-arid Loess Plateau. The results showed that after 3 years of crust inoculation, crust had covered majority of MCWHS and the function of water harvesting had also been demonstrated partially, there were significant difference in soil moisture of shallow soil layer in three typical spring stages between crust cover and control treatments (0.05 level), and about 0.9%-6.04% increase of monthly mean soil moisture within 1m soil layer in spring of late 3 years. The impact of severe spring drought can be alleviated effectively. In the meanwhile, as crust developed on the treated surface, there are significant differences (0.05 level) for tree height (H), diameter at breast height (DBH) and diameter at ground level (DGL) at the end of the study period (1996) with the increases by 22.38%, 17.34%, and 20.49% respectively compared with the control treatment. Microphytic crust, as one of biological infiltration-proof materials, may become the optimized option for revegetation in Chinese Great West Development Strategy due to its self-propagation, non-pollution to water qualities, long use duration and relatively cost effective. Further work should be focused on the selection of endemic crust species and their batch-culture in arid environment.

  8. Flush of CO2 as a biologically based tool to predict nitrogen mineralization from soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    A biologically based tool to improve nitrogen (N) management in cereal crops is currently lacking from soil testing programs, but very much needed to optimize N fertilizer inputs to be able apply enough N fertilizer to achieve high production and avoid excess application that is damaging to the envi...

  9. Biological nitrogen fixation by lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) in acid soils.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pijnenborg, J.W.M.

    1990-01-01

    Growth of lucerne( Medicago sativa L.) is poor in soils with values of pH-H2O below 6. This is often due to nitrogen deficiency, resulting from a hampered performance of the symbiosis withRhizobium meliloti. This thesis deals with the factors affecting biological nitrogen fixat

  10. INFLUENCE OF BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE AGENTS ON A STRUCTURAL STATE AND THE ENZYMATIC ACTIVITY OF BLACK ORDINARY CARBONATED SOIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lychman V. A.

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The results of a long-term research of the influence of various biologically active agents (a humic preparation Lignogumat and microbiological Baikal EM fertilizer on a structural state and the enzymatic activity of ordinary carbonated black soil are presented. It has been established that biologically active substances contribute to increased enzymatic activity, humus and improve the soil structure

  11. Evaluating the biological activity of oil-polluted soils using a complex index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabirov, R. R.; Kireeva, N. A.; Kabirov, T. R.; Dubovik, I. Ye.; Yakupova, A. B.; Safiullina, L. M.

    2012-02-01

    A complex index characterizing the biological activity of soils (BAS) is suggested. It is based on an estimate of the level of activity of catalase; the number of heterotrophic and hydrocarbon oxidizing microorganisms, microscopic fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria; and the degree of development of higher plants and insects in the studied soil. The data on using the BAS coefficient for evaluating the efficiency of rehabilitation measures for oil-polluted soils are given. Such measures included introducing the following biological preparations: Lenoil based on a natural consortium of microorganisms Bacillus brevis and Arthrobacter sp.; the Azolen biofertilizer with complex action based on Azotobacter vinelandii; the Belvitamil biopreparation, which is the active silt of pulp and paper production; and a ready-mixed industrial association of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms that contains hydrocarbon oxidizing microorganisms of the Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Candida, Desulfovibrio, and Pseudomonas genera.

  12. Tree species traits influence soil physical, chemical, and biological properties in high elevation forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Ayres

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that plants often have species-specific effects on soil properties. In high elevation forests in the Southern Rocky Mountains, North America, areas that are dominated by a single tree species are often adjacent to areas dominated by another tree species. Here, we assessed soil properties beneath adjacent stands of trembling aspen, lodgepole pine, and Engelmann spruce, which are dominant tree species in this region and are distributed widely in North America. We hypothesized that soil properties would differ among stands dominated by different tree species and expected that aspen stands would have higher soil temperatures due to their open structure, which, combined with higher quality litter, would result in increased soil respiration rates, nitrogen availability, and microbial biomass, and differences in soil faunal community composition. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed soil physical, chemical, and biological properties at four sites where stands of aspen, pine, and spruce occurred in close proximity to one-another in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Leaf litter quality differed among the tree species, with the highest nitrogen (N concentration and lowest lignin:N in aspen litter. Nitrogen concentration was similar in pine and spruce litter, but lignin:N was highest in pine litter. Soil temperature and moisture were highest in aspen stands, which, in combination with higher litter quality, probably contributed to faster soil respiration rates from stands of aspen. Soil carbon and N content, ammonium concentration, and microbial biomass did not differ among tree species, but nitrate concentration was highest in aspen soil and lowest in spruce soil. In addition, soil fungal, bacterial, and nematode community composition and rotifer, collembolan, and mesostigmatid mite abundance differed among the tree species, while the total abundance of nematodes, tardigrades, oribatid mites, and prostigmatid

  13. Does the different mowing regime affect soil biological activity and floristic composition of thermophilous Pieniny meadow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Józefowska, Agnieszka; Zaleski, Tomasz; Zarzycki, Jan

    2016-04-01

    The study area was located in the Pieniny National Park in the Carpathian Mountain (Southern Poland). About 30% of Park's area is covered by meadows. The climax stage of this area is forest. Therefore extensive use is indispensable action to keep semi-natural grassland such as termophilous Pieniny meadows, which are characterized by a very high biodiversity. The purpose of this research was to answer the question, how the different way of mowing: traditional scything (H), and mechanical mowing (M) or abandonment of mowing (N) effect on the biological activity of soil. Soil biological activity has been expressed by microbial and soil fauna activity. Microbial activity was described directly by count of microorganisms and indirectly by enzymatic activity (dehydrogenase - DHA) and the microbial biomass carbon content (MBC). Enchytraeidae and Lumbricidae were chosen as representatives of soil fauna. Density and species diversity of this Oligochaeta was determined. Samples were collected twice in June (before mowing) and in September (after mowing). Basic soil properties, such as pH value, organic carbon and nitrogen content, moisture and temperature, were determined. Mean count of vegetative bacteria forms, fungi and Actinobacteria was higher in H than M and N. Amount of bacteria connected with nitrification and denitrification process and Clostridium pasteurianum was the highest in soil where mowing was discontinued 11 years ago. The microbial activity measured indirectly by MBC and DHA indicated that the M had the highest activity. The soil biological activity in second term of sampling had generally higher activity than soil collected in June. That was probably connected with highest organic carbon content in soil resulting from mowing and the end of growing season. Higher earthworm density was in mowing soil (220 and 208 individuals m‑2 in H and M respectively) compare to non-mowing one (77 ind. m‑2). The density of Enchytraeidae was inversely, the higher

  14. Assessing the Soil Physiological Potential Using Pedo-Biological Diagnosis Under Minimum-Tillage System and Mineral Fertilization

    OpenAIRE

    Lazar Bireescu; Geanina Bireescu; Michele Vincenzo Sellitto

    2014-01-01

    The main objective of sustainable agriculture is the protection of environment and natural vegetal and soil resources. Accordingly, the objective of this research was to assess the impact of technological systems by minimum tillage on soil biological activity, using the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis of Soil Resources. Our research was conducted on haplic chernozem from Experimental Station of UASVM of Iasi, Romania, during the seasonal dynamic, to the soybean crop, on unfertilized and fertilized ...

  15. CHANGES IN BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ORDINARY BLACK SOILS AT GLEYISATION (MODEL EXPERIMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kandashova K. A.

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The article presents the results of laboratory modeling of gleyisation and its effect on the biological properties of soils with stagnant regime in ordinary black soils. Gleyisation is a complex biochemical process that occurs under oxygen reduction conditions. Anaerobic microorganisms, the presence of organic substances, and the constant or prolonged waterlogging of individual horizons or the entire soil profile promote gleyisation. Model experiments revealed that gleyisation increase the total number of bacteria and suppresses number of actinomycetes, micromycetes and growth of fungal mycelium. Gleyisation decreases the activity of oxidoreductases and increases the hydrolases activity. In addition, the second content of humus slightly increases and active acidity (pH changes to neutral. Accumulation of large amounts of iron oxide (II in soil is revealed

  16. Stabilization of labile organic C along a chronosequence of soil development: mineralogical vs. biological controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, J. W.; Waldrop, M. P.; Strawn, D.; Harden, J. W.

    2010-12-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) represents an important reservoir for carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and other essential nutrients. Consequently, variation in SOM turnover rates regulates resource availability for soil microbial activity and plant growth. Long-term SOM stabilization generally involves restricted microbial access to SOM through a variety of processes including complexation with soil minerals. These organo-mineral interactions are influenced by mineral composition and texture, often related to soil age. Soil microorganisms also influence the stabilization of C inputs to the pedosphere through the production of refractory residues controlled in part by C allocation patterns during metabolism. In this study we examined, simultaneously, the contribution of these two C stabilizing mechanisms by ‘tracing’ the fate of two 13C-labeled substrates (glucose and p-hydroxybenzoic acid) along a 1600Kya chronosequence of soil development along the Cowlitz River in southwest Washington. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between mineralogical and biological controls over C sequestration in soils. Mineralogical analyses were done using the selective dissolutions ammonium oxalate (AOD), and dithionite-citrate extraction (CBD). In this cool, humid environment, intermediate aged soils derived from the late Wisconsin Evans Creek drift (24ka) had the highest AOD extractable Al, Fe, and Si, indicating a higher concentration of poorly crystalline minerals relative to other terraces. Correspondingly, CBD extractable Fe increases with soil age, further supporting the idea that crystalline iron oxides are also more prevalent with weathering. Turnover of both 13C-labeled substrates was rapid (< 12.5 hrs) However, the proportion of substrate mineralized to CO2 varied among terraces. Mineralization to CO2 was significantly lower at 24ka than that for the other three age classes (0.25k, 220k, and 1,600k years bp), corresponding to higher recovery of 13C in bulk soil for this

  17. Proliferation of diversified clostridial species during biological soil disinfestation incorporated with plant biomass under various conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowlick, Subrata; Takehara, Toshiaki; Kaku, Nobuo; Ueki, Katsuji; Ueki, Atsuko

    2013-09-01

    Biological soil disinfestation (BSD) involves the anaerobic decomposition of plant biomass by microbial communities leading to control of plant pathogens. We analyzed bacterial communities in soil of a model experiment of BSD, as affected by biomass incorporation under various conditions, to find out the major anaerobic bacterial groups which emerged after BSD treatments. The soil was treated with Brassica juncea plants, wheat bran, or Avena strigosa plants, irrigated at 20 or 30 % moisture content and incubated at 25-30 °C for 17 days. The population of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. spinaciae incorporated at the start of the experiment declined markedly for some BSD conditions and rather high concentrations of acetate and butyrate were detected from these BSD-treated soils. The polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis based on the V3 region of 16S rRNA gene sequences from the soil DNA revealed that bacterial profiles greatly changed according to the treatment conditions. Based on the clone library analysis, phylogenetically diverse clostridial species appeared exceedingly dominant in the bacterial community of BSD soil incorporated with Brassica plants or wheat bran, in which the pathogen was suppressed completely. Species in the class Clostridia such as Clostridium saccharobutylicum, Clostridium acetobutylicum, Clostridium xylanovorans, Oxobacter pfennigii, Clostridium pasteurianum, Clostridium sufflavum, Clostridium cylindrosporum, etc. were commonly recognized as closely related species of the dominant clone groups from these soil samples. PMID:23132344

  18. The Effect of Peat and Vermicompost Cavitation Products on the Soil Biological Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steinberga Vilhelmine

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Commercial products with humic substances have often been recommended for plant growth stimulation and yield improvement. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of two products, containing cavited peat and vermicompost respectively on the soil biological activity. Vegetation experiments with garden cress and cucumbers were arranged in pots with a peat substratum in the greenhouses of the Latvia University of Agriculture. The plants were treated with the preparations once a month. The first treatment was done at sowing. Dose of 20, 2, 0.2 mL per m2 during each treatment time were used. A control variant was without peat or vermicompost preparation. Field experiments with onions were carried out in the organic farming experimental field of the Latvia State Institute of Cereal Breeding. Plant growth and soil (substratum biological activity (respiration and enzymatic activity were tested. Plant growth and response to the different preparations depended on the plant species and its development stage. The effect of preparations decreases during plant development. The impact of peat or vermicompost preparation on soil biological activity depended not only on the concentration of preparation, but was influenced by the soil or growth media type. The decrease of onion yield in field conditions as a result of preparations was observed.

  19. Effect of Pesticides On Certain Soil Biological and Biochemical Indices of a Paddy Soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIAO; Min; XIE; Xiao-mei; HUANG; Chang-yong

    2003-01-01

    A 21-day laboratory incubation experiment was conducted to investigate the impact of pesticides (Triazophos, Butaehlor and Jinggangmycin) on a paddy field soil health under controlled moisture (flooded soil) and temperature (25℃ ) conditions. The electron transport system (ETS)/dehydrogenase activity displayed a negative correlation with pesticides concentrations, and the activity was affected adversely as the concentration of the pesticides increased. The higher doses of pesticides,5 and 10 folds field rates, significantly inhibited ETS activity, while lower rates failed to produce any significant reducing effect against the control. The relative toxicity level of pesticides in decreasing the ETS activity was in the following order:Triazophos>Jinggangmycin>Butachlor, irrespective of their rates of application. The pesticides caused an improvement in the soil phenol content and it increased with increasing the concentration of agrochemicals. The pesticide incorporation did not produce any significant change in soil protein content. The response of biomass phospholipid content was nearly similar to ETS activity. The phospholipid content was decreased with the addition of pesticides in the given order of Triazophos>Jinggangmycin>Butachlor; and the toxicity was in the order: 10 FR (times of field rate)>5 FR>1.0 FR>0.5 FR>control.

  20. 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.

  1. The influence of carbonates in parent rocks on the biological properties of mountain soils of the Northwest Caucasus region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazeev, K. Sh.; Kutrovskii, M. A.; Dadenko, E. V.; Vezdeneeva, L. S.; Kolesnikov, S. I.; Val'kov, V. F.

    2012-03-01

    The biological activity of different subtypes of soddy-calcareous soils (rendzinas) of the Northwest Caucasus region was studied. In the Novorossiisk-Abrau-Dyurso region (dry subtropics), typical soddy-calcareous soils with the high content of carbonates predominate; in the more humid conditions of the Lagonaki Plateau (Republic of Adygeya), leached soddy-calcareous soils carbonate-free down to the parent rock are spread. The number of microarthropods, the populations of fungi and bacteria, and the enzyme activity (catalase, dehydrogenase, and invertase) testify that the biological activity of these soils significantly differs. In the typical soddy-calcareous soils of the dry subtropics, the content of carbonates does not affect the characteristics mentioned; in the more humid conditions of the West Caucasus region, the presence of carbonates in the parent rocks intensifies the biological activity of the soddy-calcareous soils.

  2. The influence of competition between lichen colonization and erosion on the evolution of soil surfaces in the Tabernas badlands (SE Spain) and its landscape effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lázaro, R.; Cantón, Y.; Solé-Benet, A.; Bevan, J.; Alexander, R.; Sancho, L. G.; Puigdefábregas, J.

    2008-12-01

    Badlands often contain a mosaic of soil surface types with contrasting hydrological behaviour which drives their short term geomorphic evolution. The Tabernas badlands, in semiarid SE Spain, show a complex mosaic of bare ground, biological soil crusts and plant covered patches, and high variability of covers and morphologies. Previous work has identified the surfaces that act as sources of runoff and sediments and those that act as sinks; the pathways of runoff between surfaces, and the runoff and erosion at catchment scale. However, surfaces without vascular plants, can be quite dynamic, with important effects on geomorphic processes. This work aims to generate hypotheses about the dynamics of both bare soil (34% of the area) and biological soil crusts (33%), and to provide a first estimation of the growth rate of terricolous lichens (as increase of coverage) and their geomorphological implications. The dynamics of ten representative soil surfaces were photographically monitored over 13 years, recording the cover and pattern of bare soil and of the two main kinds of biological soil crust: 'brown crust' and 'white crust'. Erosion/deposition were measured by erosion pins in unbounded plots, and the hydrological and erosional behaviour monitored in bounded plots under natural and simulated rainfall. Biological colonization and crust growth were studied from 2004 within cleared plots in four crust communities. Microclimate was continuously monitored in each community. After 13 years, net erosion was recorded only in previously eroded slopes and divides. Vegetated sites and those covered by biological soil crust remained more or less invariant or recorded sedimentation. In all white crust surfaces, whole crust cover increased by 3% on average, while macrolichen cover increased by nearly 30%. Within the driest brown crust, macrolichen cover increased by 7%, while the whole crust decreased by 3%. According to previous work, lichen cover, particularly of white crust, is

  3. Impact of HydroPolymers on the soil biological components in mediterranean drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvořáčková, Helena; Hueso González, Paloma; Záhora, Jaroslav; Mikajlo, Irina; Damián Ruiz Sinoga, Jose

    2016-04-01

    Soil degradation affects more than 52 million ha of land in counties of the European Union. This problem is particularly serious in Mediterranean areas, where the effects of anthropogenic activities (tillage on slopes, deforestation, and pasture production) add to problems caused by prolonged periods of drought and intense and irregular rainfall. Soil microbiota can be used as an indicator of the soil healthy in degraded areas. This is because soil microbiota participates in the cycle elements and in the organic matter decomposition. All this helps to the young plants establishment and in long term protect the soils against the erosion. During dry periods in the Mediterranean areas, the lack of water entering the soil matrix leads to a loss of soil microbiological activity and it turns into a lower soil production capabilities. Under these conditions, the aim of this study was to evaluate the positive effect on soil biological components produced by an hydro absorbent polymer (Terracottem). The aim of the experiment was to evaluate the impact assessment of an hydropolymer (Terracottem) on the soil biological components. An experimental flowerpot layout was established in June 2015 and 12 variants with different amount of Terracottem were applied as follow: i) 3.0 kg.m3 ; ii) 1.5 kg.m3 and; iii) 0 kg.m3. In all the variants were tested the further additives: a) 1% of glucose, b) 50 kg N.ha-1 of Mineral nitrogen, c) 1% of Glucose + 50 kg N.ha-1 of Mineral nitrogen d) control (no additive). According to natural conditions, humidity have been kept at 15% in all the variants. During four weeks, mineral nitrogen leaching and soil respiration have been measured in each flowerplot. Respiration has been quantified four times every time while moistening containers and alkaline soda lime has been used as a sorbent. The amount of CO2 increase has been measured with the sorbent. Leaching of mineral nitrogen has been quantified by ion exchange resins (IER). IER pouches have been

  4. Effect of leguminous cover crops on soil biological activity in pots of Citrus unshiu Marcovitch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Abbate

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the effects of cover crops on soil properties in citrus orchards. To fill this gap, this work was aimed to determine the effects of leguminous cover crops on the chemical and biological properties of the soil and on the structure of the microbial community in pots of Citrus unshiu (Marcovitch. After amendment with cover crops, an increase in total organic C (TOC, total extractable C (TEC, and total N (TN contents were observed irrespective of the type of soil. Substrate induced respiration (SIR, and potentially mineralisable nitrogen (PMN, tested three times in one year, were higher in soils with leguminous cover crops while no significant differences were observed in protease and deaminase activity. The effect on the chemical and biochemical properties of the soil was more evident in plots containing Trifolium subterraneum. No changes were observed in the microbial communities studied (_-proteobacteria, _-proteobacteria, nitrogen-fixing, and ammonia oxidizers irrespective of the kind of cover crop or type of soil, neither were variations noted during the trial.

  5. Assessing Soil Biological Properties of Natural and Planted Forests in the Malaysian Tropical Lowland Dipterocarp Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daljit S. Karam

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: A study was conducted to evaluate and compare the soil biological properties of a natural forest and an 18-year-old stand of Shorea leprosula in Chikus Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia. Approach: Soils were sampled at depths of 0-15 cm (topsoil and 15-30 cm (subsoil in six subplots (20×20 m of natural forest (C1 and of a planted S. leprosula (C2 plot. Fresh composite soil samples were kept in UV-sterilized polyethylene bags prior to analysis in the laboratory. The microbial population count was determined using a spread-plate count technique. The microbial enzymatic activity was elucidated using a Fluorescein Diacetate (FDA hydrolysis assay; microbial biomass was extracted using a rapid chloroform fumigation extraction method. The Microbial Biomass C (MBC was determined by wet dichromate oxidation; Kjeldahl digestion and a distillation method were used for evaluation of Microbial Biomass N (MBN. Results: Results indicate that only the microbial biomass N and the population count in the soil at the 0-15 cm depth were found to be higher in C1 compared to C2. The higher microbial population count in the soil at the 0-15 cm depth of C1 compared to C2 was enhanced by the large amount of organic matter that serves as a suitable medium for soil microbial growth. The higher MBN in the C1 soil was also influenced by the high content of organic material available that encourages activities of decomposing bacteria to take place. Similarities in the soil biological properties of the plots with regard to enzymatic activity and microbial biomass Care believed to be influenced by the same topographic gradient. The higher MBC/MBN ratios found in soils of C2 compared to C1 were due to the low availability of N compared to C, might result from N utilization by soil microbes for organic material decomposition. Conclusion: There are similarities in microbial enzymatic activity and biomass C, but not in microbial population counts and biomass N

  6. Microbial diversity and structure are drivers of the biological barrier effect against Listeria monocytogenes in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Laure Vivant

    Full Text Available Understanding the ecology of pathogenic organisms is important in order to monitor their transmission in the environment and the related health hazards. We investigated the relationship between soil microbial diversity and the barrier effect against Listeria monocytogenes invasion. By using a dilution-to-extinction approach, we analysed the consequence of eroding microbial diversity on L. monocytogenes population dynamics under standardised conditions of abiotic parameters and microbial abundance in soil microcosms. We demonstrated that highly diverse soil microbial communities act as a biological barrier against L. monocytogenes invasion and that phylogenetic composition of the community also has to be considered. This suggests that erosion of diversity may have damaging effects regarding circulation of pathogenic microorganisms in the environment.

  7. Biological soil loosening by grasses from genus Brachiaria in crop-livestock integration

    OpenAIRE

    José Flávio Neto; Eduardo da Costa Severiano; Kátia Aparecida de Pinho Costa; Wellingthon Silva Guimarães Junnyor; Wainer Gomes Gonçalves; Renata Andrade

    2015-01-01

    Soil compaction associated with pastures degradation can decrease animal productivity, forage longevity and compromise environmental sustainability. To confront this serious issue, the loosening potential of forages should be recognized. We evaluated the least limiting water range as indicator of biological loosening potential in relation to cultivation of grasses the genus Brachiaria in crop-livestock integration. We also evaluated the water availability to soybean crop that succeeded these ...

  8. Bioremediation of oil contaminated soil from service stations. Evaluation of biological treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biological treatment of contaminated soil has received much attention during the last decade. Microbes are known to be able to degrade many oil hydrocarbons. However, research is needed to ensure that new technologies are implemented in a safe and reliable way under Finnish climatic conditions. The main points of interest are the rate of the degradation as well as the survival and efficiency of microbial inoculants possibly introduced during the treatment. During 1993 the biotreatability of oil-contaminated soil from service stations was investigated in cooperation with the Finnish Petroleum Federation. The goal of this field-scale study was to test how fast lubrication oil can be composted during one Finnish summer season and to find out whether microbial inoculants would enhance the degradation rate. The soil was excavated from three different service stations in the Helsinki metropolitan area and was transported to a controlled composting area. The soil was sieved and compost piles, also called biopiles, were constructed on the site. Bark chips were used as the bulking agent and nutrients and lime were added to enhance the biological activity. Two different commercial bacterial inoculants were added to two of the piles. The piles were turned by a tractor-drawn screw-type mixer at two to four weeks interval. Between the mixings, the piles were covered with tarpaulins to prevent evaporation and potential excessive wetting. Several microbiological parameters were determined during the test period as well as the temperature and mineral oil content

  9. The validation of forensic DNA extraction systems to utilize soil contaminated biological evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasu, Mohaimin; Shires, Karen

    2015-07-01

    The production of full DNA profiles from biological evidence found in soil has a high failure rate due largely to the inhibitory substance humic acid (HA). Abundant in various natural soils, HA co-extracts with DNA during extraction and inhibits DNA profiling by binding to the molecular components of the genotyping assay. To successfully utilize traces of soil contaminated evidence, such as that found at many murder and rape crime scenes in South Africa, a reliable HA removal extraction system would often be selected based on previous validation studies. However, for many standard forensic DNA extraction systems, peer-reviewed publications detailing the efficacy on soil evidence is either lacking or is incomplete. Consequently, these sample types are often not collected or fail to yield suitable DNA material due to the use of unsuitable methodology. The aim of this study was to validate the common forensic DNA collection and extraction systems used in South Africa, namely DNA IQ, FTA elute and Nucleosave for processing blood and saliva contaminated with HA. A forensic appropriate volume of biological evidence was spiked with HA (0, 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 mg/ml) and processed through each extraction protocol for the evaluation of HA removal using QPCR and STR-genotyping. The DNA IQ magnetic bead system effectively removed HA from highly contaminated blood and saliva, and generated consistently acceptable STR profiles from both artificially spiked samples and crude soil samples. This system is highly recommended for use on soil-contaminated evidence over the cellulose card-based systems currently being preferentially used for DNA sample collection. PMID:25690910

  10. The validation of forensic DNA extraction systems to utilize soil contaminated biological evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasu, Mohaimin; Shires, Karen

    2015-07-01

    The production of full DNA profiles from biological evidence found in soil has a high failure rate due largely to the inhibitory substance humic acid (HA). Abundant in various natural soils, HA co-extracts with DNA during extraction and inhibits DNA profiling by binding to the molecular components of the genotyping assay. To successfully utilize traces of soil contaminated evidence, such as that found at many murder and rape crime scenes in South Africa, a reliable HA removal extraction system would often be selected based on previous validation studies. However, for many standard forensic DNA extraction systems, peer-reviewed publications detailing the efficacy on soil evidence is either lacking or is incomplete. Consequently, these sample types are often not collected or fail to yield suitable DNA material due to the use of unsuitable methodology. The aim of this study was to validate the common forensic DNA collection and extraction systems used in South Africa, namely DNA IQ, FTA elute and Nucleosave for processing blood and saliva contaminated with HA. A forensic appropriate volume of biological evidence was spiked with HA (0, 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 mg/ml) and processed through each extraction protocol for the evaluation of HA removal using QPCR and STR-genotyping. The DNA IQ magnetic bead system effectively removed HA from highly contaminated blood and saliva, and generated consistently acceptable STR profiles from both artificially spiked samples and crude soil samples. This system is highly recommended for use on soil-contaminated evidence over the cellulose card-based systems currently being preferentially used for DNA sample collection.

  11. Biological quality of soils containing hydrocarbons and efficacy of ecological risk reduction by bioremediation alternatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stewart, A.J.; Napolitano, G.E.; Sample, B.E.

    1996-06-01

    This project provides technical support to the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum (PERF; a consortium of petroleum companies) on environmentally acceptable endpoints that may be used to help assess the ecological risk of petroleum hydrocarbon residuals in soils. The project, was designed in consultation with PERF representatives and focuses on the relationship between {open_quotes}chemically available{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}biologically available{close_quotes} measurements of petroleum hydrocarbon compounds in soils, a discrepancy of considerable interest to the petroleum industry. Presently, clean-up standards for soils contaminated with total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) constituents are based on concentrations of TPH, as measured in solvent extracts of soil samples. Interestingly, TPH includes a complex mixture of compounds which differ from one another in molecular weight and toxicity. Based on various studies with insecticides, herbicides and metals, some compounds apparently can slowly permeate into soil particles. If this situation occurs, the particle-embedded compounds may be extractable by use of organic solvents, and yet be unavailable biologically. This hypothesis serves as the central focus for our study. If this hypothesis is correct, then soil clean-up standards based on solvent-extractable TPH data may be more stringent than necessary to achieve a desired level of environmental risk. The economic significance of this possibility is considerable, because clean-up costs to achieve a low-risk status would, in most cases, be lower than those needed to achieve a standard based on present limits, which are based on measurements of {open_quotes}extractable{close_quotes} TPH.

  12. Chemical properties of soils treated with biological sludge from gelatin industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita de Cássia Melo Guimarães

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The impact of agro-industrial organic wastes in the environment can be reduced when used in agriculture. From the standpoint of soil fertility, residue applications can increase the organic matter content and provide nutrients for plants. This study evaluated the effect of biological sludge from gelatin industry on the chemical properties of two Ultisols (loamy sand and sandy clay and an Oxisol (clay. The experiment lasted 120 days and was carried out in laboratory in a completely randomized design with factorial arrangement, combining the three soils and six biological sludge rates (0, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 m³ ha-1, with three replications. Biological sludge rates of up to 500 m³ ha-1 decreased soil acidity and increased the effective cation exchange capacity (CEC and N, Ca, Mg, and P availability, without exceeding the tolerance limit for Na. The increase in exchangeable base content, greater than the effective CEC, indicates that the major part of cations added by the sludge remains in solution and can be lost by leaching.

  13. Recovery of soil base saturation following termination of N deposition: Increased biological weathering?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, R. W.; Högberg, P.

    2012-12-01

    have been an increase in the weathering rate of base cations following the termination of N addition. Such an increase may be biologically mediated by the soil microbial community receiving increased allocation of recent photosynthate below ground following the termination of N addition and is not accounted for in current biogeochemical models.

  14. The Impact of Olive Mill Wastewater on the Physicochemical and Biological Properties of Soils in Northwest Jordan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Wahsha

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Soil contamination may influence negatively soil health, which often limits and sometimes disqualifies soil biodiversity and decreases plant growth. Soil health is the continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital living system, providing essential ecosystem services. Within soils, all bio-geo-chemical processes of the different ecosystem components are combined. These processes are able to sustain biological productivity of soil, to maintain the quality of surrounding air and water environments, as well as to promote plant, animal, and human health. A common criterion to evaluate long term sustainability of ecosystems is to assess the quality of soil. However, the increased concentration and distribution of toxic substances in soils by mismanagement of industrial activities, overuse of agrochemicals and waste disposal are causing worldwide concern. A major environmental concern in the Mediterranean countries is the production of the large quantities of olive oil mill wastewater (OMW produced during olive oil extraction process. OMW inhibits several groups of bacteria and fungal species, thus affecting soil stability. In the present study, we investigated the effect of OMW on the soil physical, chemical characteristics and the microarthropods structure. All soil samples were collected from an olive mill garden in Northwest Jordan. Biological soil quality index (QBS-ar values appeared to decrease with respect to soil pollution by OMW. All investigated parameters were significantly different depending on the levels of OMW contamination in soil. Anthropogenic activities influenced the microarthropod community, altering both quantity and quality of soil chemical and physical structure of the microhabitats. Preliminary data obtained in this study suggest that the application of QBS-ar index could be a useful tool for evaluating surface soils health status.

  15. The Role of Soil Biological Function in Regulating Agroecosystem Services and Sustainability in the Quesungual Agroforestry System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonte, S.; Pauli, N.; Rousseau, L.; SIX, J. W. U. A.; Barrios, E.

    2014-12-01

    The Quesungual agroforestry system from western Honduras has been increasingly promoted as a promising alternative to traditional slash-and-burn agriculture in tropical dry forest regions of the Americas. Improved residue management and the lack of burning in this system can greatly impact soil biological functioning and a number of key soil-based ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes has not been thoroughly integrated to understand system functionality as a whole that can guide improved management. To address this gap, we present a synthesis of various field studies conducted in Central America aimed at: 1) quantifying the influence of the Quesungual agroforestry practices on soil macrofauna abundance and diversity, and 2) understanding how these organisms influence key soil-based ecosystem services that ultimately drive the success of this system. A first set of studies examined the impact of agroecosystem management on soil macrofauna populations, soil fertility and key soil processes. Results suggest that residue inputs (derived from tree biomass pruning), a lack of burning, and high tree densities, lead to conditions that support abundant, diverse soil macrofauna communities under agroforestry, with soil organic carbon content comparable to adjacent forest. Additionally, there is great potential in working with farmers to develop refined soil quality indicators for improved land management. A second line of research explored interactions between residue management and earthworms in the regulation of soil-based ecosystem services. Earthworms are the most prominent ecosystem engineers in these soils. We found that earthworms are key drivers of soil structure maintenance and the stabilization of soil organic matter within soil aggregates, and also had notable impacts on soil nutrient dynamics. However, the impact of earthworms appears to depend on residue management practices, thus indicating the need for an integrated approach for

  16. Exposure to natural radiation from the earth's crust, atmosphere and outer space - the natural radioactivity of the earth's crust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Any conclusions to be drawn from the geochemical distribution pattern of radioactive elements for one's own conduct require to study their distribution in soil, earth crust, magmatic differentiation, rock disintegration zone and biosphere. The author notes that high activities in soils and rocks are contrasted by relatively low radiation dose levels absorbed by the human body. This is different for incorporated radiation. (DG)

  17. Assessing the Soil Physiological Potential Using Pedo-Biological Diagnosis Under Minimum-Tillage System and Mineral Fertilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lazar Bireescu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of sustainable agriculture is the protection of environment and natural vegetal and soil resources. Accordingly, the objective of this research was to assess the impact of technological systems by minimum tillage on soil biological activity, using the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis of Soil Resources. Our research was conducted on haplic chernozem from Experimental Station of UASVM of Iasi, Romania, during the seasonal dynamic, to the soybean crop, on unfertilized and fertilized agrofond, using moderate mineral doses (N80P80 as average of 2009–2010 period, under minimum tillage (2x disk, paraplow, chisel compared to conventional (plugging at 20 cm and 30 cm. In the case of soil works with chisel and paraplow without return of furrow, the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis highlights an increase of soil physiological potential, in the both variants (unfertilized and fertilized, unlike the method of alternating the depth of plugging that proved to be ineffective.

  18. Chelating impact assessment of biological ad chemical chelates on metal extraction from contaminated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soil contamination is the result of uncontrolled waste dumping and poor practices by humans. Of all the pollutants heavy metals are of particular concern due to their atmospheric deposition, leaching capacity and non-biodegradability. Heavy metal containing effluent is discharged into the agricultural fields and water bodies. This results in the accumulation of heavy metals in soil and the crops grown on that soil. Studies have revealed detrimental impacts on soil fertility and the poor health of animals and humans. Phytoextraction is widely researched for remediation of heavy metal contaminated soil. To enhance the effect of phytoextraction heavy metals have to be available to the plants in soluble form. In this study the potential of different chelating agents was assessed in solubilizing the heavy metals making easy for plants to uptake them. For this purpose efficient chemical and biological chelating agent had to be identified. Along with that an optimum dose and application time for chemical chelating agent was determined. Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), Diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA), Nitriloacetic acid (NTA) were applied to the soil, containing Pb, Cr, Cu and Cd, at different concentrations and application time. Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus were incubated in soil for different time periods. In correspondence with findings of the study, Pb and Cr were best solubilized by 5mM EDTA. For Cd and Cu 5mM DTPA carried out efficient chelation. NTA showed relatively inadequate solubilisation, although for Cr it performed equal to EDTA. A. niger and A. flavus instead of solubilizing adsorbed the metals in their biomass. Adsorption was mainly carried out by A. niger. (author)

  19. The influence comparing of activated biochar and conventional biochar on the soil biological properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvořáčková, Helena; Mykajlo, Irina; Záhora, Jaroslav

    2016-04-01

    In our experiment we have used biochar. This material is the product of the pyrolysis that has shown a positive effect on numerous physical and chemical soil properties. However, its influence on the biological component of the soil is very variable. A number of toxic substances that inhibit the soil productivity may be produced during pyrolysis process. The experiment dealt with the hypothesis concerning biochar toxicity reduction by simulating natural processes in the soil. Biochar has been exposed to aeration in the aquatic environment, enriched with nutrients and a source of native soil microflora. It has been created 6 variants in total, each with four replications. The soils samples have been placed in a phytotron for 90 days. Variants consisted of the soil with fertilizers adding (compost, biochar, activated biochar) and have been prepared as well as variants containing compost and biochar and activated biochar optionally. The highest aboveground biomass production has been estimated in variants containing compost, while the lowest production - in the variants containing conventional biochar. During production comparing of the variants with the conventional biochar, activated biochar and control samples it has been evident that activated biochar promotes plant growth, and in contradiction conventional biochar inhibits it. We will approach to the same conclusions when comparing variants with a combination of conventional biochar + compost and activated biochar + compost. Mineral nitrogen leaching has been another investigated parameter. The highest leaching has occurred in the control variant, while the lowest - in the variant with activated biochar (the leaching of nitrate nitrogen has been negligeable). Our results suggest that activated biochar has the potential; however, it is necessary to carry out similar experiments in the field conditions.

  20. Biological properties of soils of former forest fires in Samosir Regency of North Sumatera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Elfiati

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A study that was aimed to identify the impact of forest fires on the biological properties of soils was carried out at former forest fire areas in Samosir Regency of North Sumatera. Soil samples were collected from former forest fire areas of 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010. The composite soil samples were collected systematically using diagonal method as much as 5 points in each period of fire. The soil samples were taken at three plots measuring 20 x 20 m 0-20 cm depth. Soil biological properties observed were soil organic C content, total number of microbes, abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, phosphate solubilizing microbes, and soil microbial activity. The results showed that organic C content ranged from 0.75 to 2.47% which included criteria for very low to moderate. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores were found belonging to the genus of Glomus and Acaulospora. Spore number increased with the fire period ranging from 45 spores (forest fire in 2014 to 152 spores (forest fire in 2010. The total number of microbes obtained ranged from 53.78 x 107 cfu/mL (forest fire in 2010 to 89.70 x107 cfu/mL (forest fire in 2013. It was found 29 isolates of phosphate solubilizing microbes that consisted of 14 bacterial isolates and 15 fungi isolates with densities ranging from 27.642 x105 cfu/mL (forest fires in 2014 to 97.776 x 105 cfu/ mL (forest fires in 2011. The isolates of phosphate solubilizing bacteria identified consisted of Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium, Staphylococcus, and Mycobacterium genus, whereas the isolates of phosphate solubilizing fungi obtained consisted of Aspergillus and Penicillium genus. Soil respiration ranged from 2.14 kg / day (forest fire in 2010 up to 3.71 kg / day (forest fire in 2013. The varied results were greatly influenced by the type or form of the fires and intensity of fires. In the study area the type or form of the fires were canopy fires with low intensity.

  1. Soil surface sealing reverse or promote desertification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assouline, Shmuel; Thompson, Sally; Chen, Li; Svoray, Tal; Sela, Shai; Katul, Gabriel

    2016-04-01

    Vegetation cover in dry regions is a key variable determining desertification. Bare soils exposed to rainfall by desertification can form physical crusts that reduce infiltration, exacerbating water stress on the remaining vegetation. Paradoxically, field studies show that crust removal is associated with plant mortality in desert systems, while artificial biological crusts can improve plant regeneration. Here, it is shown how physical crusts can act as either drivers of, or buffers against desertification depending on their environmental context. The behavior of crusts is first explored using a simplified theory for water movement on a uniform, partly vegetated slope subject to stationary hydrologic conditions. Numerical model runs supplemented with field data from a semiarid Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site are then applied to represent more realistic environmental conditions. When vegetation cover is significant, crusts can drive desertification, but this process is potentially self-limiting. For low vegetation cover, crusts mitigate against desertification by providing water subsidy to plant communities through a runoff-runon mechanism.

  2. Short term recovery of soil biological functions in a new vineyard cultivated in organic farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Edoardo; Agnelli, Alessandro; Fabiani, Arturo; Gagnarli, Elena; Mocali, Stefano; Priori, Simone; Simoni, Sauro; Valboa, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    soil biological classes). Physical soil characteristics remained unchanged after the first year from the earthworks and did not change under grass cover. Chemical analysis only indicated a significant effect of earthworks. Over the 2010-2013 period, the new vineyard showed a slight increase of TOC and total N contents; as compared to the old vineyard, it averaged lower TOC and total N, and higher CaCO3 contents, suggesting still evolving equilibrium conditions. Microarthropod analysis showed significant different abundances and communities' structures both by management system and by year, increasing where the land use pressure was reduced by permanent grass cover and along with the aging of vineyard. Though the euedaphic forms, well adapted to soil life, were always rare. Microbiological analysis showed a different structure of eubacterial communities and a lower microbial activity in the new vineyard, especially during 2010-2012. In contrast, significant differences were not observed between the two vineyards in 2013, and grass cover effect was controversial. To sum up, the consequence of deep earthworks on chemical and biological properties were still evident after four years from planting and more time was needed to recover soil functions. Permanent grass cover did not always show a consistent positive effect.

  3. Long-term organic farming fosters below and aboveground biota: Implications for soil quality, biological control and productivity

    OpenAIRE

    Birkhofer, Klaus; Bezemer, TM; . Bloem, J.; Bonkowski, M.; Christensen, S; Dubois, David; Ekelund , F; Fließbach, Andreas; Gunst, Lucie; K. Hedlund; Mäder, Paul; Mikola, J.; Robin, C.; Setälä, Heikki; Tatin-Froux , F

    2008-01-01

    Organic farming may contribute substantially to future agricultural production worldwide by improving soil quality and pest control, thereby reducing environmental impacts of conventional farming. We investigated in a comprehensive way soil chemical, as well as below and aboveground biological parameters of two organic and two conventional wheat farming systems that primarily differed in fertilization and weed management strategies. Contrast analyses identified management related differences ...

  4. Long-term organic farming fosters below- and aboveground biota: Implications for soil quality, biological control and productivity

    OpenAIRE

    Birkhofer, K.; Bezemer, TM; . Bloem, J.; Bonkowski, M.; Christensen, S; Dubois, D; Ekelund , F; Fließbach, A.; Gunst , L; K. Hedlund; Mäder, P.; Mikola, J.; Robin, C.; Setälä , H; Tatin-Froux , F

    2008-01-01

    Organic farming may contribute substantially to future agricultural production worldwide by improving soil quality and pest control, thereby reducing environmental impacts of conventional farming. We investigated in a comprehensive way soil chemical, as well as below and aboveground biological parameters of two organic and two conventional wheat farming systems that primarily differed in fertilization and weed management strategies. Contrast analyses identified management related differenc...

  5. Long-term organic farming fosters below- and aboveground biota: Implications for soil quality, biological control, and productivity

    OpenAIRE

    Birkhofer, Klaus; Bezemer, T. Martijn; Bloem, Jaap; Bonkowski, Michael; Christensen, Søren; Dubois, David; Ekelund, Fleming; Fließbach, Andreas; Gunst, Lucie; Hedlund, Katarina; Mäder, Paul; Mikola, Juha; Robin, Christophe; Setälä, Heikki; Tatin-Froux, Fabienne

    2008-01-01

    Organic farming may contribute substantially to future agricultural production worldwide by improving soil quality and pest control, thereby reducing environmental impacts of conventional farming. We investigated in a comprehensive way soil chemical, as well as below and aboveground biological parameters of two organic and two conventional wheat farming systems that primarily differed in fertilization and weed management strategies. Contrast analyses identified management related differences ...

  6. Soil biological quality after 36 years of ley-arable cropping, permanent grassland and permanent arable cropping

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eekeren, van N.J.M.; Bommele, L.; Bloem, J.; Schouten, T.; Rutgers, M.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Brussaard, L.; Reheul, D.

    2008-01-01

    Insight is needed into how management influences soil biota when sustainable grassland systems are developed. A crop rotation of grass and maize can be sustainable in terms of efficient nutrient use. However, there is lack of information on the effect of such a crop rotation on soil biological quali

  7. Biological soil disinfestation (BSD), a new control method for potato brown rot, caused by Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Messiha, N.A.S.; Diepeningen, van A.D.; Wenneker, M.; Beuningen, van A.R.; Janse, J.D.; Coenen, G.C.M.; Termorshuizen, A.J.; Bruggen, van A.H.C.; Blok, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    The potential of Biological Soil Disinfestation (BSD) to control potato brown rot, caused by Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2, was investigated. BSD involves the induction of anaerobic soil conditions by increasing microbial respiration through incorporation of fresh organic amendments (here:

  8. Effects of shifting cultivation on biological and biochemical characteris-tics of soil microorganisms in Khagrachari hill district, Bangladesh

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sohag Miah; S.M. Sirajul Haque; Wahida Sumi; Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain

    2014-01-01

    We collected soil samples from two representative sites at Aatmile of Khagarachari hill district in Chittagong Hill Tracts. One of the sites was under shifting cultivation and the other an adjacent 13-year old teak plantation. Both sites were in the same physiographic condition and same aspect with parable soil type, which enabled us to measure the effects of shifting cultivation on soil micro-flora. We studied soil phys-ico-chemical properties and the biochemical and biological properties of soil microbes. Moisture and organic matter content as well as fungi and bacterial populations, both in surface and subsurface soils, were signifi-cantly (p≤0.001) lower in shifting cultivated soils compared to soils not under shifting cultivation, i.e. the teak plantation site. The most abundant bacteria in surface (0-10 cm) and sub-surface (10-20 cm) soils under shifting cultivation were Pseudomonas diminuta and Shigella, respec-tively, while in corresponding soil layers of teak plantation, predominant microbes were Bacillus firmus (0-10 cm) and Xanthomonas (10-20 cm). The microbial population differences cannot be explained by soil texture differences because of the textural similarity in soils from the two sites but could be related to the significantly lower moisture and organic mat-ter contents in soils under shifting cultivation.

  9. Complex monitoring system for analytical detection and biological evaluation of soil micropollutants for a sustainable environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Complete text of publication follows. In the development of a complex soil contamination monitoring system including the detection of agriculture-related micropollutants, heavy metal contamination and ecotoxicity, a survey has been carried out in Bekes county (Hungary) using different techniques for the characterisation of soil and surface water status. Besides the representativity-optimisation of the sampling technique, in situ sensoric methods, instrumental analysis, biological tests (soil biology, ecotoxicity and mutagenicity) were also applied, and results obtained were presented in a spatial informatics system. The target group, indicators and methodology is in compliance with recommendations of the EEA monitoring working group. Contamination in arable lands and industrial areas has been investigated in 13 plots with 5 replications. Sampling has been carried out by using drilling machine and contaminant concentrations of soil profiles have been characterised down to ground water table. Pesticide residues were monitored by using GC-MS. Target analytes included triazine, phenoxyacetic acid, acetanilide and dinitroaniline herbicides, chlorinated hydrocarbon (CHC), organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, an insect hormonal agonist and a triazole fungicide. Besides banned persistent CHC insecticides (DDT, HCH, etc.), atrazine and acetochlor herbicides are common contaminants in Hungary, reaching 200 ng/g and 300 ng/ml concentration in the soil and surface water samples studied, and trifluralin and metolachlor were also detected in some cases. Heavy metal contamination was detected by ICP AES, and within-plot heterogeneities were studied throughout soil profiles. Nickel has been fund as a relatively common contaminant in arable lands in the area; however relation to fertilisers could not be confirmed. Even in small spatial scale (50x50 meters) a very high variability has been demonstrated in half of the experimental plots. The effects of pesticide residues in

  10. Modelling chemical and biological reactions during unsaturated flow in silty arable soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Kerstin; Herrmann, Sandra; Ludwig, Bernard

    2010-05-01

    Ion dynamics in arable soils are strongly affected by the chemical and biological transformations triggered by fertilizer input. Hydrogeochemical models may improve our understanding of underlying processes. Our objective was to test the ability of the hydrogeochemical model PHREEQC2 in combination with the parameter optimization programme PEST to describe and predict chemical and biological processes in silty soils triggered by fertilizer application or acidification and to investigate the usefulness of different parameterization approaches. Three different experiments were carried out using undisturbed columns of two topsoils (0-25 cm) from Germany (Göttingen, GO) and from the Oman (Qasha', QA). The columns were irrigated at 10 oC with 3 mm day-1 for one year using 1 mM HCl (HCl experiment) and two fertilizer solutions with low (0.1 to 0.9 mmol L-1) and high concentrations (1.3 to 14.7 mmol L-1) of N (as NH4NO3), K, Ca and Mg. In the fertilization experiments (Fert1, Fert2), the columns were alternately irrigated with the two different solutions for variable time periods. One-dimensional transport and homogenous and heterogenous reactions were calculated using PHREEQC2. The Fert1 experiment was used for calibration. The models were validated using the Fert2 and HCl experiments. The models tested were model variant m1 with no adjustable parameters, model variant m2 in which nitrate concentrations in input solutions and cation exchange capacity were optimized for Fert1, and m3 in which additionally all cation exchange coefficients and ion concentrations in the initial solution were optimized. Model variant m1 failed to predict the concentrations of several cations for both soils (modelling efficiencies (EF) ≤ 0), since N dynamics were not considered adequately. Model variants m2 and m3 described (Fert1 treatment) and predicted (Fert2 and HCl treatment) pH, cation and NO3- concentrations generally more accurately for both soils. For nutrient cations, EF values

  11. Impact of river overflowing on trace element contamination of volcanic soils in south Italy: Part II. Soil biological and biochemical properties in relation to trace element speciation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D' Ascoli, R. [Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli, via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta (Italy)]. E-mail: rosaria.dascoli@unina2.it; Rao, M.A. [Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, della Pianta e dell' Ambiente, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Universita 100, 80055 Portici (Italy)]. E-mail: maria.rao@unina.it; Adamo, P. [Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, della Pianta e dell' Ambiente, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Universita 100, 80055 Portici (Italy)]. E-mail: adamo@unina.it; Renella, G. [Dipartimento di Scienza del Suolo e Nutrizione della Pianta, Universita degli Studi di Firenze, P.le delle Cascine 28, 50144 Firenze (Italy)]. E-mail: giancarlo.renella@unifi.it; Landi, L. [Dipartimento di Scienza del Suolo e Nutrizione della Pianta, Universita degli Studi di Firenze, P.le delle Cascine 28, 50144 Firenze (Italy)]. E-mail: loretta.landi@unifi.it; Rutigliano, F.A. [Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli, via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta (Italy)]. E-mail: floraa.rutigliano@unina2.it; Terribile, F. [Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, della Pianta e dell' Ambiente, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Universita 100, 80055 Portici (Italy)]. E-mail: terribil@unina.it; Gianfreda, L. [Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, della Pianta e dell' Ambiente, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Universita 100, 80055 Portici (Italy)]. E-mail: liliana.gianfreda@unina.it

    2006-11-15

    The effect of heavy metal contamination on biological and biochemical properties of Italian volcanic soils was evaluated in a multidisciplinary study, involving pedoenvironmental, micromorphological, physical, chemical, biological and biochemical analyses. Soils affected by recurring river overflowing, with Cr(III)-contaminated water and sediments, and a non-flooded control soil were analysed for microbial biomass, total and active fungal mycelium, enzyme activities (i.e., FDA hydrolase, dehydrogenase, {beta}-glucosidase, urease, arylsulphatase, acid phosphatase) and bacterial diversity (DGGE characterisation). Biological and biochemical data were related with both total and selected fractions of Cr and Cu (the latter deriving from agricultural chemical products) as well as with total and extractable organic C. The growth and activity of soil microbial community were influenced by soil organic C content rather than Cu or Cr contents. In fact, positive correlations between all studied parameters and organic C content were found. On the contrary, negative correlations were observed only between total fungal mycelium, dehydrogenase, arylsulphatase and acid phosphatase activities and only one Cr fraction (the soluble, exchangeable and carbonate bound). However, total Cr content negatively affected the eubacterial diversity but it did not determine changes in soil activity, probably because of the redundancy of functions within species of soil microbial community. On the other hand, expressing biological and biochemical parameters per unit of total organic C, Cu pollution negatively influenced microbial biomass, fungal mycelium and several enzyme activities, confirming soil organic matter is able to mask the negative effects of Cu on microbial community. - In studied soils organic C content resulted the principal factor influencing growth and activity of microbial community, with Cu and Cr contents having a lower relevance.

  12. Impact of reclamation treatment on the biological activity of soils of the solonetz complex in Western Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berezin, L. V.; Khamova, O. F.; Paderina, E. V.; Gindemit, A. M.

    2014-11-01

    The abundance and activity of the soil microflora were studied in a field experiment with the use of green manure crops to assess the impact of reclamation measures on the biological activity of soils of the solonetz complex. The number of microorganisms in the plow soil horizon increased in the background of the green fallows as compared to the black ones. Coefficients of mineralization, immobilization, and transformation of organic compounds were calculated for different variants of the soil treatment. The value of the mineralization coefficient indicates the intense decomposition of the green manure that entered the soil. In the first year, peas were actively decomposed, while oats, in the second year (aftereffect). The activity of the soil enzymes (invertase, urease, and catalase) was determined. A close relationship between the catalase activity and the intensity of the microbiological processes in the soils was revealed.

  13. Description of chemical and biological soil characteristics of two fields subjected to different agricultural management under mediterranean conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Gennari

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Several factors such as soil pollution and intensive agricultural management continuously damage the sustainability of agricultural production, with potentially adverse effects on soil quality. It is important to create applicable and valid soil quality indicators in order to both identify areas with potential productivity problems and monitor soil quality changes due to a range of perturbations. In this work we compared several chemical and biological variables between a Mediterranean soil characterized by intensive horticulture that has been irrigated for 20 years with moderately saline waters (IM and an adjacent soil, subjected to a sustainable agricultural production management and irrigated with plain water (SM. Soil sampling was repeated three times during a year in both sites. IM soil had lower pH, organic carbon and total nitrogen compared to SM soil at all sampling times, while its electrical conductivity was significantly higher at two sampling times only. Potentially mineralizable nitrogen pointed out significant differences only at the first sampling time, with lower levels in the SM soil. β-sitosterol, cholesterol and ergosterol varied significantly with sampling time and were influenced also by management. Statistical approach by Principal Component Analysis highlighted a contrast between two groups of soil variables: potentially mineralizable nitrogen and sterols mainly weighted on the first axis, while chemical properties, weighted on the second one. Moreover, the second axis separated the soil subjected to a sustainable agricultural production system from that subjected to intensive practice management, while the first axis separated the third sampling data from the first two.

  14. Dynamics of the biological properties of soil and the nutrient release of Amorpha fruticosa L. litter in soil polluted by crude oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaoxi; Liu, Zengwen; Luc, Nhu Trung; Liang, Xiao; Liu, Xiaobo

    2015-11-01

    Litter from Amorpha fruticosa, a potential phytoremediating plant, was collected and used in a decomposition experiment that involved the litterbag in soil polluted by crude oil. The dynamics of the biological properties of soil and the nutrient release of the litter were detected. The results indicated that (1) in lightly polluted soil (LP, petroleum concentration was 15 g kg(-1)), the bacteria (including actinomycetes), and fungi populations were significant higher than those in unpolluted soil (CK) at the 1st month after pollution, and the bacteria (including actinomycetes) populations were higher than those in the CK at the 6th and 12th months. In moderately polluted soil (MP, 30 g kg(-1)), the bacteria (including actinomycetes) populations were higher than those in the CK at the 1st and 6th months, whereas only the actinomycetes population was greater than that in the CK at the 12th month. In seriously polluted soil (SP, 45 g kg(-1)), only the fungi population was higher than that in the CK at the 6th month. (2) The activities of soil protease, carboxymethyl cellulase, and sucrase were generally inhibited in polluted soil. Peroxidase activity was generally inhibited in the LP and MP soil, and polyphenol oxidase activity was inhibited in the SP soil at 6-12 months. (3) At the end of litter decomposition, the LP soil significantly increased the release rate of all nutrients, except for K. The MP soil reduced the release rate of Fe and Mn, whereas it increased that of C and Cu. The SP soil decreased the release rate of all nutrients except for Cu and Zn. In conclusion, SP by crude oil would lead to limitations in the release of nutrients from the litter and to decreases in the community stability of a phytoremediating plant. A. fruticosa could only be used in phytoremediation of polluted soil at concentrations below 45 g kg(-1) (crude). PMID:26087933

  15. Biological and physical influences on soil 14CO2 seasonal dynamics in a temperate hardwood forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. L. Phillips

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available While radiocarbon (14C abundance in standing stocks of soil carbon has been used to evaluate rates of soil carbon turnover on timescales of several years to centuries, soil-respired 14CO2 measurements are an important tool for identifying more immediate responses to disturbance and climate change. Soil 14CO2 data are often temporally sparse, however, and could be interpreted better with more context for typical seasonal ranges and trends. We report on a semi-high-frequency sampling campaign to distinguish physical and biological drivers of soil 14CO2 at a temperate forest site in Northern Wisconsin, USA. We sampled 14CO2 profiles every three weeks during snow-free months through 2012, in three intact plots and one trenched plot that excluded roots. Respired 14CO2 declined through the summer in intact plots, shifting from an older C composition that contained more bomb 14C, to a younger composition more closely resembling present 14C levels in the atmosphere. In the trenched plot respired 14C was variable but remained comparatively higher than in intact plots, reflecting older bomb-enriched 14C sources. Although respired 14CO2 from intact plots correlated with soil moisture, related analyses did not support a clear cause-and-effect relationship with moisture. The initial decrease in 14CO2 from spring to midsummer could be explained by increases in 14C-deplete root respiration; however, 14CO2 continued to decline in late summer after root activity decreased. We also investigated whether soil moisture impacted vertical partitioning of CO2 production, but found this had little effect on respired 14CO2 because CO2 contained modern bomb-C at depth, even in the trenched plot. This surprising result contrasted with decades to centuries-old pre-bomb CO2 produced in lab incubations of the same soils. Our results suggest that root-derived C and other recent C sources had dominant impacts on 14CO2 in situ, even at depth. We propose that 14CO2 may have

  16. Humic substances biological activity at the plant-soil interface: from environmental aspects to molecular factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevisan, Sara; Francioso, Ornella; Quaggiotti, Silvia; Nardi, Serenella

    2010-06-01

    Humic substances (HS) represent the organic material mainly widespread in nature. HS have positive effects on plant physiology by improving soil structure and fertility and by influencing nutrient uptake and root architecture. The biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying these events are only partially known. HS have been shown to contain auxin and an "auxin-like" activity of humic substances has been proposed, but support to this hypothesis is fragmentary. In this review article, we are giving an overview of available data concerning molecular structures and biological activities of humic substances, with special emphasis on their hormone-like activities. PMID:20495384

  17. Non-rainfall water sources in the topsoil and their changes during formation of man-made algal crusts at the eastern edge of Qubqi Desert,Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    In arid and semiarid areas,water uptake (non-rainfall water) serves as an important water source for plants,biological soil crusts,insects and small animals.In this study,a measurement program was undertaken to investigate water uptake and its changes during formation of man-made algal crusts in the Qubqi Desert.In the study region,water uptake from the atmosphere accounted for 25.07%-39.83% of the total water uptake,and was mainly taken up by a water vapor adsorption mechanism;the proportion of water uptake from the soil substrate was much higher (60.17%-74.93%).The formation of crusts promoted water uptake,but the increased uptake did not occur immediately after inoculation or crusts formation.The water taken up from the atmosphere increased significantly from day 15 after inoculation,and the soil water content was markedly enhanced from day 20 after inoculation.It is considered that the growth of algal filaments and their secretions were the main factors increasing the amount of water uptake and water content in the crusts,and these variables increased even during dry periods when some algae are likely to have died.

  18. Remediation of PCB-contaminated soils. Risk analysis of biological in situ processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rein, Arno

    2006-12-08

    Biological in situ measures can be efficient and cost effective options for the remediation of contaminated sites. However, the accepted application requires a detailed and reliable analysis of potential impacts. An important objective is to quantify the potential of contaminant degradation and metabolite formation. This thesis addresses a quantitative multimedia risk assessment. Methodologies and tools were developed for this objective and applied to evaluate in situ bioremediation of soils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Soil bacteria in conjunction with plant roots were addressed (rhizoremediation) with a focus on the use of genetically modified microorganisms (GMOs). PCBs are known to be harmful compounds that are ubiquitously distributed in the environment. PCB contaminations in soil and groundwater were identified as important problems. 209 different congeners are sterically possible, but not all are of environmental significance. PCB congeners of concern were evaluated with respect to their potential toxicity, environmental occurrence and mobility. For this objective, congener specific data on the toxicity potential and the frequency in environmental matrices were collected. To quantify the mobility potential, multimedia modelling was performed applying deterministic and probabilistic procedures. 56 PCB congeners of concern were evaluated, and multimedia risk assessments of PCB-contaminated soils should concentrate on this group. Kinetics parameters were specified for degradation experiments with individual PCB congeners in solution and different bacterial strains. These laboratory assays were performed with wild-type Burkholderia sp. strain LB400 and the genetically modified Pseudomonas fluorescens strains F113pcb and F113L::1180. The F113 derivatives demonstrated a good survival ability in willow (Salix sp.) rhizosphere (mesocosm experiments). Therefore, and due to high depletion rates, rhizoremediation with F113L::1180 and willow

  19. Remediation of PCB-contaminated soils. Risk analysis of biological in situ processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rein, Arno

    2006-12-08

    Biological in situ measures can be efficient and cost effective options for the remediation of contaminated sites. However, the accepted application requires a detailed and reliable analysis of potential impacts. An important objective is to quantify the potential of contaminant degradation and metabolite formation. This thesis addresses a quantitative multimedia risk assessment. Methodologies and tools were developed for this objective and applied to evaluate in situ bioremediation of soils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Soil bacteria in conjunction with plant roots were addressed (rhizoremediation) with a focus on the use of genetically modified microorganisms (GMOs). PCBs are known to be harmful compounds that are ubiquitously distributed in the environment. PCB contaminations in soil and groundwater were identified as important problems. 209 different congeners are sterically possible, but not all are of environmental significance. PCB congeners of concern were evaluated with respect to their potential toxicity, environmental occurrence and mobility. For this objective, congener specific data on the toxicity potential and the frequency in environmental matrices were collected. To quantify the mobility potential, multimedia modelling was performed applying deterministic and probabilistic procedures. 56 PCB congeners of concern were evaluated, and multimedia risk assessments of PCB-contaminated soils should concentrate on this group. Kinetics parameters were specified for degradation experiments with individual PCB congeners in solution and different bacterial strains. These laboratory assays were performed with wild-type Burkholderia sp. strain LB400 and the genetically modified Pseudomonas fluorescens strains F113pcb and F113L::1180. The F113 derivatives demonstrated a good survival ability in willow (Salix sp.) rhizosphere (mesocosm experiments). Therefore, and due to high depletion rates, rhizoremediation with F113L::1180 and willow

  20. Changes in the biological diversity and concentration of total DNA under the influence of mineral fertilizers in agrochernozemic soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkhakakhova, Azida; Kutovaya, Olga; Ivanova, Ekaterina; Pavlyuchenko, Anatoly

    2014-05-01

    Chernozems represent the most valuable soil resource for Russian agriculture. Their sustainable use in intensive farming systems with preservation of the biological diversity and biological activity of these soils is of crucial importance for the agri-environmental security of Russia. We studied the influence of different rates of mineral fertilizers on the biological activity of chernozems on experimental fields of the Dokuchaev Research Institute of Agriculture in Kamennaya Steppe (Voronezh oblast). Soil samples were taken at the end of April 2013 from the plow horizon on trials with different rates of fertilization: NPK-0, NPK-60, and NPK-120 (kg/ha); a long-term fallow plot was used as an absolute control. The biological activity was analyzed by routine inoculation methods and by the molecular biology techniques based on DNA isolation from the soil samples. Quantitative parameters of the isolated and purified DNA were determined by measuring the fluorescence of the DNA preparations with added intercalating dyes; GelDoc XR system and Image Lab and TotalLab Quant. software were used. Microbiological studies showed the high biological activity of the chernozems soil in all the trials. No significant differences were found between the trials for the microbiological processes of the carbon cycle. There was a weakly expressed tendency for an increase in the activity of actinomycetes from the soil with zero fertilization (5.11 log10CFU/g) to the soil with maximum (NPK-120) fertilization (5.69 log10CFU/g) and the fallow soil (5.73 log10CFU/g); the number of cultivated micromycetes decreased from the soil with zero fertilization (4.76 log10CFU/g) to the soil with maximum fertilization (4.14 log10CFU/g) and to the fallow soil (4.1 log10CFU/g). A less equilibrium state is typical of the microorganisms participating in the nitrogen cycle. The number of cultivated aerobic and anaerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria somewhat increased in the fertilized trials (NPK-60, NPK-120

  1. Soil properties and biological activity as influenced by nutrient management in rice- fallow sorghum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Goutami

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A field experiment was conducted to observe the effect of inorganics, bio-fertilizers and FYM applied to rice-fallow sorghum on soil properties and biological activity at Agricultural College Farm, Bapatla during 2012. Soil samples were collected at flowering and harvest of the crop and were analysed for bulk density (BD, porosity, pH, electrical conductivity (EC, organic carbon, N, P, K and micronutrients by standard methods. Results indicated that the soil properties viz., bulk density, porosity, pH and EC were not markedly influenced by the imposed treatments, while significantly high organic carbon was recorded in FYM treated plots. There was a significant influence of the treatments on available nitrogen and phosphorus, but not on potassium. Among micronutrients (Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe, the treatmental influence was significantly related to Fe only. Addition of inorganics in combination with organics and bio-fertilizers proved to be more efficient in improving the microbial population and enzyme activities (urease and dehydrogenase significantly.

  2. Temperature and biological soil effects on the survival of selected foodborne pathogens on a mortar surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, J T; Yan, Z; Genzlinger, L L; Kornacki, J L

    2004-12-01

    The survival of three foodborne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Salmonella) attached to mortar surfaces, with or without biological soil (porcine serum) and incubated at either 4 or 10 degrees C in the presence of condensate, was evaluated. Soiled and unsoiled coupons were inoculated by immersion into a five-strain cocktail (approximately 10(7) CFU/ml) of each organism type and evaluated. Coupons were incubated at 25 degrees C for 2 h to allow attachment of cells, rinsed to remove unattached cells, and incubated at either 4 or 10 degrees C at high humidity to create condensate on the surface. Sonication was used to remove the attached cells, and bacteria (CFU per coupon) was determined at 9 to 10 sampling periods over 120 h. Yersinia populations decreased more than 5 log units in the presence of serum in a 24-h period. Listeria and Salmonella had better survival on mortar in the presence of serum than Yersinia throughout the 120-h incubation period. Populations of L. monocytogenes declined more rapidly at 10 than at 4 degree C after 24 h. In general, differences in temperature did not affect the survival of Salmonella or Yersinia. Serum had a protective effect on the survival of all three organisms, sustaining populations at significantly (P 0.05) among the mean number (CFU per coupon) of L. monocytogenes, Y. enterocolitica, or Salmonella on initial attachment onto the mortar surfaces (unsoiled). The results indicate relatively rapid destruction of selected pathogenic bacteria on unsoiled mortar surfaces compared with those that contained biological soil, thus highlighting the need for effective cleaning to reduce harborage of these microbes in the food factory environment.

  3. Physics of Neutron Star Crusts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chamel Nicolas

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The physics of neutron star crusts is vast, involving many different research fields, from nuclear and condensed matter physics to general relativity. This review summarizes the progress, which has been achieved over the last few years, in modeling neutron star crusts, both at the microscopic and macroscopic levels. The confrontation of these theoretical models with observations is also briefly discussed.

  4. Physics of Neutron Star Crusts

    OpenAIRE

    Chamel Nicolas; Haensel Pawel

    2008-01-01

    The physics of neutron star crusts is vast, involving many different research fields, from nuclear and condensed matter physics to general relativity. This review summarizes the progress, which has been achieved over the last few years, in modeling neutron star crusts, both at the microscopic and macroscopic levels. The confrontation of these theoretical models with observations is also briefly discussed.

  5. CHANGE OF BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF RENDZINA SOILS OF WESTERN CAUCASUS AT POLLUTION BY ZINC, CADMIUM, MOLYBDENUM AND SELENIUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatlok D. R.

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Rendzina soils are very widespread in the Caucasus. Because of their ecological and genetic characteristics Rendzina has significant buffering capacity to chemical pollution. The object of investigation was calcareous leached soil. Location selection - Azishskaya ridge on the border of the Republic of Adygea and the Krasnodar region. As pollutants, we have selected Zn, Cd, Mo, Se, since soil contamination with these elements in the south of Russia is not uncommon. Contamination of zinc, cadmium, molybdenum and selenium causes deterioration in the biological properties of calcareous soils of the Western Caucasus. We have investigated the toxicity of the elements formed following series due to their influence on Rendzina soils: Zn> Se> Cd> = Mo. The study attempted to analyze the entire range of concentrations of the examined elements in the soil, currently occurring in nature. In most cases, all the investigated substances registered direct correlation between the concentration of the pollutant in the soil and the degree of reduction of biological indicators. The activity of catalase and dehydrogenase cellulolytic ability, plenty of bacteria of the genus Azotobacter, length of roots of radish can be used to monitor, diagnose and regulation of chemical pollution of soil Zn, Cd, Mo, Se

  6. [Biological treatments for contaminated soils: hydrocarbon contamination. Fungal applications in bioremediation treatment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín Moreno, Carmen; González Becerra, Aldo; Blanco Santos, María José

    2004-09-01

    Bioremediation is a spontaneous or controlled process in which biological, mainly microbiological, methods are used to degrade or transform contaminants to non or less toxic products, reducing the environmental pollution. The most important parameters to define a contaminated site are: biodegradability, contaminant distribution, lixiviation grade, chemical reactivity of the contaminants, soil type and properties, oxygen availability and occurrence of inhibitory substances. Biological treatments of organic contaminations are based on the degradative abilities of the microorganisms. Therefore the knowledge on the physiology and ecology of the biological species or consortia involved as well as the characteristics of the polluted sites are decisive factors to select an adequate biorremediation protocol. Basidiomycetes which cause white rot decay of wood are able to degrade lignin and a variety of environmentally persistent pollutants. Thus, white rot fungi and their enzymes are thought to be useful not only in some industrial process like biopulping and biobleaching but also in bioremediation. This paper provides a review of different aspects of bioremediation technologies and recent advances on ligninolytic metabolism research.

  7. Long-term organic farming fosters below and aboveground biota: Implications for soil quality, biological control and productivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Birkhofer, K.; Bezemer, TM; Bloem, J;

    2008-01-01

     Organic farming may contribute substantially to future agricultural production worldwide by improving soil quality and pest control, thereby reducing environmental impacts of conventional farming. We investigated in a comprehensive way soil chemical, as well as below and aboveground biological...... promoting negative environmental impacts of agriculture by reducing internal biological cycles and pest control. On the contrary, organic farming fosters microbial and faunal decomposers and this propagates into the aboveground system via generalist predators thereby increasing conservation biological...... of aboveground herbivore pests (aphids) in these systems. Long-term organic farming and the application of farmyard manure promoted soil quality, microbial biomass and fostered natural enemies and ecosystem engineers, suggesting enhanced nutrient cycling and pest control. Mineral fertilizers and herbicide...

  8. Soil microbial community structure in diverse land use systems:A comparative study using Biolog,DGGE,and PLFA analyses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XUE Dong; YAO Huai-Ying; GE De-Yong; HUANG Chang-Yong

    2008-01-01

    Biolog,16S rRNA gene denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE),and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses were used to assess soil microbial community characteristics in a chronosequence of tea garden systems (8-,50-,and 90year-old tea gardens),an adjacent wasteland,and a 90-year-old forest.Biolog analysis showed that the average well color development (AWCD) of all carbon sources and the functional diversity based on the Shannon index decreased (P<0.05)in the following order:wasteland>forest>tea garden.For the DGGE analysis,the genetic diversity based on the Shannon index was significantly lower in the tea garden soils than in the wasteland.However,compared to the 90-year-old forest,the tea garden soils showed significantly higher genetic diversity.PLFA analysis showed that the ratio of Gram positive bacteria to Gram negative bacteria was significantly higher in the tea garden soils than in the wasteland,and the highest value was found in the 90-year-old forest.Both the fungal PLFA and the ratio of fungi to bacteria were significantly higher in the three tea garden soils than in the wasteland and forest,indicating that fungal PLFA was significantly affected by land-use change.Based on cluster analysis of the soil microbial community structure,all three analytical methods showed that land-use change had a greater effect on soil microbial community structure than tea garden age.

  9. Creep behavior of microbiotic crust

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    The creep behavior of microbiotic crust at room temperature was revealed by the creep bending tests of cantilever beam under constant-load conditions.The variation in the deflection with time can be depicted well by a standard creep curve.Creep rupture is a fundamental failure mechanism of microbiotic crust due to creep.A simple theory was then applied to describe this new me-chanical behavior.The existence of creep phenomenon brings into question the validity of widely used methods for measuring the strength of microbiotic crust.

  10. Mass Transport within Soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKone, Thomas E.

    2009-03-01

    Contaminants in soil can impact human health and the environment through a complex web of interactions. Soils exist where the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere converge. Soil is the thin outer zone of the earth's crust that supports rooted plants and is the product of climate and living organisms acting on rock. A true soil is a mixture of air, water, mineral, and organic components. The relative proportions of these components determine the value of the soil for agricultural and for other human uses. These proportions also determine, to a large extent, how a substance added to soil is transported and/or transformed within the soil (Spositio, 2004). In mass-balance models, soil compartments play a major role, functioning both as reservoirs and as the principal media for transport among air, vegetation, surface water, deeper soil, and ground water (Mackay, 2001). Quantifying the mass transport of chemicals within soil and between soil and atmosphere is important for understanding the role soil plays in controlling fate, transport, and exposure to multimedia pollutants. Soils are characteristically heterogeneous. A trench dug into soil typically reveals several horizontal layers having different colors and textures. As illustrated in Figure 1, these multiple layers are often divided into three major horizons: (1) the A horizon, which encompasses the root zone and contains a high concentration of organic matter; (2) the B horizon, which is unsaturated, lies below the roots of most plants, and contains a much lower organic carbon content; and (3) the C horizon, which is the unsaturated zone of weathered parent rock consisting of bedrock, alluvial material, glacial material, and/or soil of an earlier geological period. Below these three horizons lies the saturated zone - a zone that encompasses the area below ground surface in which all interconnected openings within the geologic media are completely filled with water. Similarly to the unsaturated

  11. Efficiency of soil organic and inorganic amendments on the remediation of a contaminated mine soil: II. Biological and ecotoxicological evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo, T; Clemente, R; Alvarenga, P; Bernal, M P

    2014-07-01

    The feasibility of two organic materials (pig slurry and compost) in combination with hydrated lime for the remediation of a highly acidic trace elements (TEs) contaminated mine soil was assessed in a mesocosm experiment. The effects of the amendments on soil biochemical and ecotoxicological properties were evaluated and related with the main physicochemical characteristics of soil and soil solution. The original soil showed impaired basic ecological functions due to the high availability of TEs, its acidic pH and high salinity. The three amendments slightly reduced the direct and indirect soil toxicity to plants, invertebrates and microorganisms as a consequence of the TEs' mobility decrease in topsoil, reducing therefore the soil associated risks. The organic amendments, especially compost, thanks to the supply of essential nutrients, were able to improve soil health, as they stimulated plant growth and significantly increased enzyme activities related with the key nutrients in soil. Therefore, the use of compost or pig slurry, in combination with hydrated lime, decreased soil ecotoxicity and seems to be a suitable management strategy for the remediation of highly acidic TEs contaminated soils.

  12. Efficiency of soil organic and inorganic amendments on the remediation of a contaminated mine soil: II. Biological and ecotoxicological evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo, T; Clemente, R; Alvarenga, P; Bernal, M P

    2014-07-01

    The feasibility of two organic materials (pig slurry and compost) in combination with hydrated lime for the remediation of a highly acidic trace elements (TEs) contaminated mine soil was assessed in a mesocosm experiment. The effects of the amendments on soil biochemical and ecotoxicological properties were evaluated and related with the main physicochemical characteristics of soil and soil solution. The original soil showed impaired basic ecological functions due to the high availability of TEs, its acidic pH and high salinity. The three amendments slightly reduced the direct and indirect soil toxicity to plants, invertebrates and microorganisms as a consequence of the TEs' mobility decrease in topsoil, reducing therefore the soil associated risks. The organic amendments, especially compost, thanks to the supply of essential nutrients, were able to improve soil health, as they stimulated plant growth and significantly increased enzyme activities related with the key nutrients in soil. Therefore, the use of compost or pig slurry, in combination with hydrated lime, decreased soil ecotoxicity and seems to be a suitable management strategy for the remediation of highly acidic TEs contaminated soils. PMID:24875876

  13. Crop residue management and fertilization effects on soil organic matter and associated biological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Bingzi; Zhang, Jiabao; Yu, Yueyue; Karlen, Douglas L; Hao, Xiying

    2016-09-01

    Returning crop residue may result in nutrient reduction in soil in the first few years. A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess whether this negative effect is alleviated by improved crop residue management (CRM). Nine treatments (3 CRM and 3 N fertilizer rates) were used. The CRM treatments were (1) R0: 100 % of the N using mineral fertilizer with no crop residues return; (2) R: crop residue plus mineral fertilizer as for the R0; and (3) Rc: crop residue plus 83 % of the N using mineral and 17 % manure fertilizer. Each CRM received N fertilizer rates at 270, 360, and 450 kg N ha(-1) year(-1). At the end of the experiment, soil NO3-N was reduced by 33 % from the R relative to the R0 treatment, while the Rc treatment resulted in a 21 to 44 % increase in occluded particulate organic C and N, and 80 °C extracted dissolved organic N, 19 to 32 % increase in microbial biomass C and protease activity, and higher monounsaturated phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA):saturated PLFA ratio from stimulating growth of indigenous bacteria when compared with the R treatment. Principal component analysis showed that the Biolog and PLFA profiles in the three CRM treatments were different from each other. Overall, these properties were not influenced by the used N fertilizer rates. Our results indicated that application of 17 % of the total N using manure in a field with crop residues return was effective for improving potential plant N availability and labile soil organic matter, primarily due to a shift in the dominant microorganisms. PMID:27234834

  14. Crop residue management and fertilization effects on soil organic matter and associated biological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Bingzi; Zhang, Jiabao; Yu, Yueyue; Karlen, Douglas L; Hao, Xiying

    2016-09-01

    Returning crop residue may result in nutrient reduction in soil in the first few years. A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess whether this negative effect is alleviated by improved crop residue management (CRM). Nine treatments (3 CRM and 3 N fertilizer rates) were used. The CRM treatments were (1) R0: 100 % of the N using mineral fertilizer with no crop residues return; (2) R: crop residue plus mineral fertilizer as for the R0; and (3) Rc: crop residue plus 83 % of the N using mineral and 17 % manure fertilizer. Each CRM received N fertilizer rates at 270, 360, and 450 kg N ha(-1) year(-1). At the end of the experiment, soil NO3-N was reduced by 33 % from the R relative to the R0 treatment, while the Rc treatment resulted in a 21 to 44 % increase in occluded particulate organic C and N, and 80 °C extracted dissolved organic N, 19 to 32 % increase in microbial biomass C and protease activity, and higher monounsaturated phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA):saturated PLFA ratio from stimulating growth of indigenous bacteria when compared with the R treatment. Principal component analysis showed that the Biolog and PLFA profiles in the three CRM treatments were different from each other. Overall, these properties were not influenced by the used N fertilizer rates. Our results indicated that application of 17 % of the total N using manure in a field with crop residues return was effective for improving potential plant N availability and labile soil organic matter, primarily due to a shift in the dominant microorganisms.

  15. The impact of land use on biological activity of agriculture soils. An State-of-the-Art

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    Biological activity is a crucial soil property affecting soil sustainability and crop production. The unsuitable land management can lead to a loss in soil fertility and a reduction in the abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms. This can be as a consequence of high erosion rates due to the mismanagement of farmers (Cerdà et al., 2009a). However ecological practices and some organic amendments can promote the activities of soil microbial communities, and increase its biodiversity (García-Orenes et al., 2010; 2013). The impact of land use in microbiological properties of agriculture soil are presented and discussed in this review. Biological activity is quantified by microbial soil communities and soil enzyme activities to interpret the effects of soil management practices (Morugán-Coronado et al., 2013). The aim of biological activity tests is to give a reliable description of the state of agricultural soils under the effect of different land uses. Numerous methods have been used to determine the impact of land uses on microbiological properties. The current used methods for detecting microbial diversity are based on molecular techniques centered on the 16S and 18S rRNA encoding sequences such as CLPP: community-level physiological profiles; T-RFLP: terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism; DGGE: denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; OFRG: oligonucleotide fingerprinting of rRNA genes, ARISA: Automated Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, SSCP: single-strand conformation polymorphism. And techniques based on the cellular composition of the microbes such as PLFA: phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Other methods are based on the activity of microbes, for example, Cmic: microbial biomass carbon; SIR: substrate induced respiration; BSR: Basal soil respiration; qCO2 metabolic quotient; enzymatic activities (Urease, ß-glucosidase and phosphatase) (Deng, 2012). Agricultural land management can contribute to increased rates of erosion due to

  16. Microenvironments and microscale productivity of cyanobacterial desert crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Pichel, F.; Belnap, Jayne

    1996-01-01

    We used microsensors to characterize physicochemical microenvironments and photosynthesis occurring immediately after water saturation in two desert soil crusts from southeastern Utah, which were formed by the cyanobacteria Microcoleus vaginatus Gomont, Nostoc spp., and Scytonema sp. The light fields within the crusts presented steep vertical gradients in magnitude and spectral composition. Near-surface light-trapping zones were formed due to the scattering nature of the sand particles, but strong light attenuation resulted in euphotic zones only ca. 1 mm deep, which were progressively enriched in longer wavelengths with depth. Rates of gross photosynthesis (3.4a??9.4 mmol O2A?ma??2A?ha??1) and dark respiration (0.81a??3.1 mmol Oa??2A?ma??2A?ha??1) occurring within 1 to several mm from the surface were high enough to drive the formation of marked oxygen microenvironments that ranged from oxygen supersaturation to anoxia. The photosynthetic activity also resulted in localized pH values in excess of 10, 2a??3 units above the soil pH. Differences in metabolic parameters and community structure between two types of crusts were consistent with a successional pattern, which could be partially explained on the basis of the microenvironments. We discuss the significance of high metabolic rates and the formation of microenvironments for the ecology of desert crusts, as well as the advantages and limitations of microsensor-based methods for crust investigation.

  17. The Polar Crust Project- BSC Diversity and Variability in the Arctic and Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Laura; Borchhardt, Nadine; Komisc-Buchmann, Karin; Becker, Burkhard; Karsten, Ulf; Büdel, Burkhard

    2015-04-01

    The Polar Crust Project is a newly funded DFG initiative that aims to provide a precise evaluation of the biodiversity of eukaryotic green microalgae and cyanobacteria in Biological Soil Crusts (BSC) isolated from the Antarctic Peninsula and Arctic Svalbard. This project will include a thorough investigation into the composition of BSC in the Polar regions, this especially is important for Svalbard due to the severe lack of any previous research on such communities in this area. During our expedition to Spitsbergen, Svalbard in August 2014 we were particularly surprised to find that the coverage of BSC is extremely high and is certainly the dominant vegetation type around Ny Ålesund. Due to this discovery the project has now been extended to include long term measurements of CO2 gas exchange in order to gain exact seasonal carbon fixation rates and therefore discovering how the BSC contributes to the ecosystems carbon balance. The research areas of Spitsbergen were centred around 2 localities: Ny-Ålesund is a research town, home to the AWIPEV station, on the Brøgger peninsula. Longyearbyen, which is the largest settlement on the island, is found in the valley Longyeardalen on the shore of Adventfjorden. Areas where BSC is the prevalent vegetation type were identified, 6 around Ny-Ålesund and 4 for Longyearbyen, and vegetation surveys were conducted. This entailed 625 single point measurements at each site and identifying the crust/or other cover type. For example, green algal lichen, cyanobacterial crust, higher plant, open soil. Samples were also taken at every location in order to study the green algal and cyanobacterial diversity. The vegetation survey will allow us to get a good overview of the BSC composition at the different sites. In January 2015 an expedition to the Antarctic Peninsular took place, here the sampling method was repeated and therefore both Polar Regions BSC composition can be described and compared. Here, we wish to introduce the Polar

  18. Effects of Tabriz petrochemicals’ biological sludge on heavy metals concentration in soil and spring barley in greenhouse conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sh. Oustan

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Utilizing sewage sludge as a source of cheap fertilizer and rich in nutrients is common in some parts of Iran. But, too much application causes accumulation of heavy metals in soil, which results in soil pollution and transfer of this pollution to food chain and endangers human and animal health. The aim of this research was to investigate the effect of biological sludge of Tabriz petrochemicals complex on some heavy metals concentration in spring barley grown in a calcareous soil after 6 months of incubation. The experiment was conducted in greenhouse conditions with 5 levels of 0 (control, 25, 50, 75 and 100 ton/ha sewage sludge, in three replications, based on complete randomized blocks design. Soil analysis showed that application of biological sludge significantly increased DTPA extractable Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu and Cd (except 25 ton/ha treatment compared to the control. The results of plant analysis showed an increase of Fe, Zn and Mn in shoots and Zn and Mn in roots, compared to the control. But elevation of root Fe content was not significant. The amount of Cu and Cd in shoots and roots was below the detection limit of the instrument. Overall, it was concluded that although the application of biological sludge increased the content of heavy metals in soil, but its effect on concentration of toxic elements, such as Cd, in plants was not significant.

  19. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel;

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...

  20. Top layer enhances biological ontrol of thrips in ornamentals :"Predatory mites survive better on rich soil cover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogstraten, van K.; Grosman, A.H.

    2014-01-01

    An organic top layer over the soil or substrate can enhance the biological control of thrips in roses and alstroemerias. The top layer contains food for prey mites, which in turn serve as food for predatory mites. In this way the predators survive longer. Thus, as the thrips population increases, an

  1. The influence of bacterial-humus preparations on the biological activity of soils polluted with oil products and heavy metals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlova, E. N.; Stepanov, A. L.; Lysak, L. V.

    2015-04-01

    The influence of bacterial-humus preparations based on Gumigel ( Agrosintez Company) on the biological activity of soddy-podzolic soil polluted with Pb(CH3COO)2 and gasoline was studied in a model experiment. Some indicators of biological activity are shown to depend on soil pollution to different extents. The process of nitrogen fixation and the activity of dehydrogenase and phosphatase were mostly inhibited by Pb(CH3COO)2 and gasoline. Gasoline compared to Pb(CH3COO)2 inhibited the soil biological activity to a greater extent. The bacterial-humus preparations exerted a significant positive effect on the biological activity of the polluted soils manifested in the increase of the total number of bacteria and of the enzyme activity (1.5-5.0 times), in the intensification of nitrogen fixation and denitrification (3-8 times), as well as in the increase in the biomass of the plants grown (1.5-2.0 times). The application of bacterial suspensions of pure cultures or the microbial complex without the preparations of humic acids did not always give a positive effect.

  2. Crust Formation in Aluminum Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oedegard, R.; Roenning, S.; Rolseth, S.; Thonstad, J.

    1985-11-01

    This paper examines the catalytic effects offlourides on the ϒ→α-Al2O3 phase transformation by heat treating commercial alumina samples with 2wt% additions of different flouride compounds. The various additives were ranked according to their effect on transformation temperature. Experiments were conducted to explain the high temperature coherence of crusts. The findings indicate that an alumina network is formed during ϒ→α phase transformation, which reinforces the crust on top of the cryolite bath.

  3. Fluids in the continental crust

    OpenAIRE

    Yardley, BWD; Bodnar, RJ

    2014-01-01

    Fluids play a critical role in the geochemical and geodynamical evolution of the crust, and fluid flow is the dominant process associated with mass and energy transport in the crust. In this Perspectives, we summarise the occurrence, properties and role that fluids play in crustal processes, as well as how geoscientists’ understanding of these various aspects of fluids have evolved during the past century and how this evolution in thinking has influenced our own research careers. Despite the ...

  4. Biological Activity of Methyl tert-butyl Ether in Relation to Soil Microorganisms has a Negative Environmental Impact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gholam H.S. Bonjar

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Fuel oxygenates are added to gasoline to enhance combustion efficiency of automobiles and reduce air pollution. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE is the most commonly used oxygenate because of its low cost, high-octane level and ease of blending with gasoline. However, due to its water solubility, high mobility and low biodegradability it leaches in soil subsurface at the speed of groundwater. Amending gasoline with MTBE has made a widespread contamination of groundwater, surface waters in coastal environments and at low levels in well water. Although current public concern about MTBE contamination is widely discussed, but its adverse effects on soil micro flora is not yet understood. Soil Streptomycetes are beneficial to soil productivity and are of the major contributors to the biological buffering of soils having antagonistic activity against wide spectrum of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Streptomyceticidal activity of Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE is being reported here. Adverse effect of MTBE against four soil-inhabitant Streptomyces spp. isolates and two plant root-pathogens was investigated. To elucidate antimicrobial activity of MTBE, it was tested against four soil isolates of Streptomyces; a plant bacterial-pathogen, Erwinia carotovora and a plant root fungal-pathogen, Fusarium solani. MTBE did not reveal any growth inhibitory-activity against E. carotovora and F. solani but showed strong inhibitory effect against Streptomyces spp. isolates. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC was 1/800 of the original MTBE. Fuel leaks and spills can adversely suppress or eliminate the Streptomyces role in the soil causing alteration in the balance of soil micro flora. This change will lead to domination of microorganisms with adverse biological or ecological effects. Fortunately, major oil companies have decided to phase out MTBE from automobile fuels because of its adverse effect on environment and human health.

  5. Effect of different crops on soil organic matter and biological activity in Oxisols under three different crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo, Diana Marcela; Arzuaga, Silvia; Dalurzo, Humberto; Zornoza, Raúl; Vazquez, Sara

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this work was to evaluate changes in soil organic matter in Oxisols under different crops compared to native rainforest, and to assess if acid phosphatase activity (APA) could be a good indicator for SOC changes and soil quality. The experimental design consisted of four completely randomized blocks with four treatments: subtropical rainforest (F); yerba mate crop (I) (Ilex paraguariensis SH.); citrus crop (C) (Citrus unshiu Marc); and tobacco crop (T) (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Soil samples were taken at 0-10; 10-20 and 20-30 cm depths. The variables measured were soil organic carbon (SOC), APA, clay content, pH, total nitrogen (Nt), available phosphorus (P) and CO2 emissions. All data were analyzed by ANOVA to assess the effects of land-use changes. The treatment means were compared through Duncan's multiple range tests (psoils showed an acid reaction and their clay content was over 650 g kg-1 for the three depths. SOC and N contents were higher in native soils, intermediate for the citrus crop, and lower under both tobacco and yerba mate crops. CO2 emissions were higher in the rainforest (47.32 kg ha-1 of CO2) than in cultivated soils, which indicates that biological activity is enhanced in rainforest soils where substrates for soil biota and fauna are more readily available. The variability of 76% in APA was explained by total nitrogen, which is closely related to soil organic matter, and by available P. Conversion of subtropical rainforests into agricultural lands reduced SOC content and acid phosphatase activity, thereby lowering soil quality. In this study, acid phosphatase activity proved to be a sensitive indicator to detect changes from pristine to cropped soils, but it failed to distinguish differences among crop systems.

  6. 干旱半干旱地区土壤微生物结皮的 生态学意义及若干研究进展%Advances in Microbiotic Soil Crust Research and Its Ecological Significance in Arid and Semiarid Regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李新荣; 龙利群; 王新平; 张景光; 贾玉奎

    2001-01-01

    土壤微生物结皮广泛存在于干旱半干旱地区,且具有重要的生态学意义。文章对微生物结皮的形成、发育过程的特点,以及它对微生境的影响,包括对土壤理化性质、风蚀水蚀的抗性、土壤水分时空分布特点、养分及微量元素地球生物化学循环等土壤学过程和对植被的影响与作用等方面的国内外研究进展进行了综述,并对一些有争议研究结论进行了分析;探讨了土壤微生物结皮在中国干旱沙漠地区生态恢复中的地位及作用。%Soil microbiotic crust is developed broadly and has an ecological significance in arid and semiarid regions. This paper reviewed the advances of domestic and overseas studies, which on characteristics of the formation and development of microbiotic crust, its effects on microhabitat, including physical and chemical properties of soil, endurance to wind and water erosion, the distribution of precipitation in spatial and time, nutrient and chemical elements variance in soil process and geo-bio-chemical cycling process, and influence on vegetation dynamics. In addition, the several contradictory research conclusions were synthetical analyzed. The role and function of microbiotic crust in ecological restoration of arid and semiarid regions of China were discussed.

  7. Molecular, chemical and biological screening of soil actinomycete isolates in seeking bioactive peptide metabolites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javad Hamedi

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objective: Due to the evolution of multidrug-resistant strains, screening of natural resources, especially actinomycetes, for new therapeutic agents discovery has become the interests of researchers. In this study, molecular, chemical and biological screening of soil actinomycetes was carried out in order to search for peptide-producing actinomycetes.Materials and Methods: 60 actinomycetes were isolated from soils of Iran. The isolates were subjected to molecular screening for detection NRPS (non-ribosomal peptide synthetases gene. Phylogenic identification of NRPS containing isolates was performed. Chemical screening of the crude extracts was performed using chlorine o-dianisidine as peptide detector reagent and bioactivity of peptide producing strains was determined by antimicrobial bioassay. High pressure liquid chromatography- mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS with UV-visible spectroscopy was performed for detection of the metabolite diversity in selected strain.Results: Amplified NRPS adenylation gene (700 bp was detected among 30 strains. Phylogenic identification of these isolates showed presence of rare actinomycetes genera among the isolates and 10 out of 30 strains were subjected to chemical screening. Nocardia sp. UTMC 751 showed antimicrobial activity against bacterial and fungal test pathogens. HPLC-MSand UV-visible spectroscopy results from the crude extract showed that this strain has probably the ability to produce new metabolites.Conclusion: By application of a combined approach, including molecular, chemical and bioactivity analysis, a promising strain of Nocardia sp. UTMC 751 was obtained. This strain had significant activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Strain Nocardia sp. UTMC 751 produce five unknown and most probably new metabolites with molecular weights of 274.2, 390.3, 415.3, 598.4 and 772.5. This strain had showed 99% similarity to Nocardia ignorata DSM 44496 T.

  8. Physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil under soybean cultivation and at an adjacent rainforest in Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Patrick Beldini

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Land-use change in the Amazon basin has occurred at an accelerated pace during the last decade, and it is important that the effects induced by these changes on soil properties are better understood. This study investigated the chemical, physical, and biological properties of soil in a field under cultivation of soy and rice, and at an adjacent primary rain forest. Increases in soil bulk density, exchangeable cations and pH were observed in the soy field soil. In the primary forest, soil microbial biomass and basal respiration rates were higher, and the microbial community was metabolically more efficient. The sum of basal respiration across the A, AB and BA horizons on a mass per area basis ranged from 7.31 to 10.05 Mg CO2-C ha-1yr-1, thus yielding estimates for total soil respiration between 9.6 and 15.5 Mg CO2-C ha-1yr-1 across sites and seasons. These estimates are in good agreement with literature values for Amazonian ecosystems. The estimates of heterotrophic respiration made in this study help to further constrain the estimates of autotrophic soil respiration and will be useful for monitoring the effects of future land-use in Amazonian ecosystems.

  9. 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

  10. Elevated temperature altered photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizopshere soil under cadmium stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xia; Zhao, Yonghua; Wang, Wenke; He, Yunhua

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated temperature was associated with increased soluble sugars, reducing sugars, starch, and total sugars, and with decreased amino acids in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. Elevated temperature improved total soluble sugars, free amino acids, soluble phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress. The activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, invertase, β-glucosidase, and L-asparaginase in rhizosphere soil was significantly improved by elevated temperature under Cd stress; while cellulase, neutral phosphatase, and urease activity significantly decreased. Elevated temperature significantly improved bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and total microorganisms abundance and fluorescein diacetate activity under Cd stress. In conclusion, slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring improved the carbohydrate levels in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress in the short term. In addition, elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring stimulated available Cd by affecting pH, DOC, phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil, which resulted in the improvement of the Cd uptake by wheat seedlings.

  11. Chemical and biological properties of phosphorus-fertilized soil under legume and grass cover (Cerrado region, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Fernando Pereira Souza

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of cover crops has been suggested as an effective method to maintain and/or increase the organic matter content, while maintaining and/or enhancing the soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The fertility of Cerrado soils is low and, consequently, phosphorus levels as well. Phosphorus is required at every metabolic stage of the plant, as it plays a role in the processes of protein and energy synthesis and influences the photosynthetic process. This study evaluated the influence of cover crops and phosphorus rates on soil chemical and biological properties after two consecutive years of common bean. The study analyzed an Oxisol in Selvíria (Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, in a randomized block, split plot design, in a total of 24 treatments with three replications. The plot treatments consisted of cover crops (millet, pigeon pea, crotalaria, velvet bean, millet + pigeon pea, millet + crotalaria, and millet + velvet bean and one plot was left fallow. The subplots were represented by phosphorus rates applied as monoammonium phosphate (0, 60 and 90 kg ha-1 P2O5. In August 2011, the soil chemical properties were evaluated (pH, organic matter, phosphorus, potential acidity, cation exchange capacity, and base saturation as well as biological variables (carbon of released CO2, microbial carbon, metabolic quotient and microbial quotient. After two years of cover crops in rotation with common bean, the cover crop biomass had not altered the soil chemical properties and barely influenced the microbial activity. The biomass production of millet and crotalaria (monoculture or intercropped was highest. The biological variables were sensitive and responded to increasing phosphorus rates with increases in microbial carbon and reduction of the metabolic quotient.

  12. Impact of forest fire on physical, chemical and biological properties of soil: A review

    OpenAIRE

    Satyam Verma; Jayakumar, S.

    2012-01-01

    Forest fire is very common to all the ecosystems of the world. It affects both vegetation and soil. It is also helpful in maintaining diversity and stability of ecosystems. Effect of forest fire and prescribed fire on forest soil is very complex. It affects soil organic matter, macro and micro-nutrients, physical properties of soil like texture, colour, pH, Bulk Density as well as soil biota. The impact of fire on forest soil depends on various factors such as intensity of fire, fuel load and...

  13. Biological treatment of soils contaminated with hydrophobic organics using slurry and solid phase techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Both slurry-phase and solid-phase bioremediation are effective ex situ soil decontamination methods. Slurry is energy intensive relative to solid-phase treatment, but provides homogenization and uniform nutrient distribution. Limited contaminant bioavailability at concentrations above the required cleanup level reduces biodegradation rates and renders solid phase bioremediation more cost effective than complete treatment in a bioslurry reactor. Slurrying followed by solid-phase bioremediation combines the advantages and minimizes the weaknesses of each treatment method when used alone. A biological treatment system consisting of slurrying followed by aeration in solid phase bioreactors was developed and tested in the laboratory using a silty clay load contaminated with diesel fuel. The first set of experiments was designed to determine the impact of the water content and mixing time during slurrying on the ate and extent of contaminant removal in continuously aerated solid phase bioreactors. The second set of experiments compared the volatile and total diesel fuel removal in solid phase bioreactors using periodic and continuous aeration strategies

  14. Biological Cycles of Mineral Elements in a Young Mixed Stand in Abandoned Mining Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Da-Lun Tian; Wen-Hua Xiang; Wen-De Yan; Wen-Xing Kang; Xiang-Wen Deng; Zhu Fan

    2007-01-01

    Phytoremediation as a sustainable and inexpensive technology based on the removal of pollutants from the environment by plants is becoming an increasingly important objective in plant research. In this study, biological cycles of five nutrient elements (N, P, K, Ca, and Mg) and eight heavy metal elements (Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Cd, Ni, Pb and Co) were examined in young paniculed goldraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm) and common elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpus decipens) mixed stands in an abandoned mining area. We found that after vegetation restoration in abandoned mining areas, the organic matter and concentrations of nutrient elements were significantly increased and the heavy metal elements were significantly decreased, the annual retention, uptake and return were 75.0, 115.4, and 40.3 kg/hm2 for nutrient elements, and 1 878.0,3 231.0 and 1 353.0 g/hm2 for heavy metal elements, respectively, with the utilization coefficient, cycling coefficient and turnover rate of 0.92, 0.35 and 0.32 for nutrient elements, and 1.24, 0.42 and 1.92 for heavy metal elements, respectively.Our results suggested that the vegetation restoration in abandoned mining areas had significant effects in improving environmental conditions, enhancing soil available nutrients, and ensuring human health.

  15. Lava crusts and flow dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilburn, C. R. J.

    1993-01-01

    Lava flows can be considered as hot viscous cores within thinner, solidified crusts. Interaction between crust and core determines a flow's morphological and dynamical evolution. When the lava core dominates, flow advance approaches a steady state. When crusts are the limiting factor, advance is more irregular. These two conditions can be distinguished by a timescale ratio comparing rates of core deformation and crustal formation. Aa and budding pahoehoe lavas are used as examples of core- and crustal-dominated flows, respectively. A simple model describes the transition between pahoehoe and aa flow in terms of lava discharge rate, underlying slope, and either the thickness or velocity of the flow front. The model shows that aa morphologies are characterized by higher discharge rates and frontal velocities and yields good quantitative agreement with empirical relations distinguishing pahoehoe and aa emplacement on Hawaii.

  16. Impact of forest fire on physical, chemical and biological properties of soil: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satyam Verma

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Forest fire is very common to all the ecosystems of the world. It affects both vegetation and soil. It is also helpful in maintaining diversity and stability of ecosystems. Effect of forest fire and prescribed fire on forest soil is very complex. It affects soil organic matter, macro and micro-nutrients, physical properties of soil like texture, colour, pH, Bulk Density as well as soil biota. The impact of fire on forest soil depends on various factors such as intensity of fire, fuel load and soil moisture. Fire is beneficial as well as harmful for the forest soil depending on its severity and fire return interval. In low intensity fires, combustion of litter and soil organic matter increase plant available nutrients, which results in rapid growth of herbaceous plants and a significant increase in plant storage of nutrients. Whereas high intensity fires can result into complete loss of soil organic matter, volatilization of N, P, S, K, death of microbes, etc. Intense forest fire results into formation of some organic compounds with hydrophobic properties, which results into high water repellent soils. Forest fire also causes long term effect on forest soil. The purpose of this paper is to review the effect of forest fire on various properties of soil, which are important in maintaining healthy ecosystem.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  18. Assessing the biological activity of oil-contaminated soddy-podzolic soils with different textures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vershinin, A. A.; Petrov, A. M.; Akaikin, D. V.; Ignat'ev, Yu. A.

    2014-02-01

    The respiratory activity features in oil-contaminated soddy-podzolic soils of different textures have been studied. Unidirectional processes occur in contaminated loamy and loamy sandy soddy-podzolic soils; their intensities depend on the soil parameters. The mineralization rates of the oil products and the activity of the microflora in loamy soils exceed the corresponding parameters for loamy sandy soils. The long-term impact of oil and its transformation products results in more important disturbances of the microbial community in light soils. It has been shown that light soils containing 9% oil require longer time periods or more intensive remediation measures for the restoration of soil microbial cenoses disturbed by the pollutant.

  19. Palaeomagnetism and the continental crust

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piper, J.D.A.

    1987-01-01

    This book is an introduction to palaeomagnetism offering treatment of theory and practice. It analyzes the palaeomagnetic record over the whole of geological time, from the Archaean to the Cenozoic, and goes on to examine the impact of past geometries and movements of the continental crust at each geological stage. Topics covered include theory of rock and mineral magnetism, field and laboratory methods, growth and consolidation of the continental crust in Archaean and Proterozoic times, Palaeozoic palaeomagnetism and the formation of Pangaea, the geomagnetic fields, continental movements, configurations and mantle convection.

  20. Are soil biological properties and microbial community structure altered by organic farm management?

    OpenAIRE

    Stark, Dr C.H.

    2008-01-01

    Environmental conditions and farm management practices have a considerable impact on soil biota, affecting nutrient cycling processes and ecosystem functioning. Understanding how management practices influence soil fertility and agricultural productivity is essential to improve the sustainability of agroecosystems. The effect of farming history on microbial soil properties was assessed by analysing soil samples from two organic and conventionally managed sites. Cmic and Nmic, enzyme activitie...

  1. Influence of different biological factors on the character of biodegradation of oil pollution soils

    OpenAIRE

    Lifshits, S. H.; Chalaya, O. N.; Glaznetsova, Ju. S.; Zueva, I. N.; Лифшиц, С. Х.; Чалая, О. Н.; Глязнецова, Ю. С.; Зуева, И. Н.

    2012-01-01

    The results of laboratory and field experiments on remediation of oil pollution soils showed that for the effective restoration of soils it is possible to recommend performing works with the application of microorganism-plant complexes i.e. combining introduction into contaminated soil of hydrocarbon degradating bacteria with plant seeding.

  2. Elevated atmospheric CO2 affected photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xia; Liu, Tuo; Zhao, Yonghua; He, Yunhua; Yang, Mingyan

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of elevated CO2 (700 ± 23 μmol mol(-1)) on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated CO2 was associated with decreased quantities of reducing sugars, starch, and soluble amino acids, and with increased quantities of soluble sugars, total sugars, and soluble proteins in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. The contents of total soluble sugars, total free amino acids, total soluble phenolic acids, and total organic acids in the rhizosphere soil under Cd stress were improved by elevated CO2. Compared to Cd stress alone, the activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, urease, L-asparaginase, β-glucosidase, neutral phosphatase, and fluorescein diacetate increased under elevated CO2 in combination with Cd stress; only cellulase activity decreased. Bacterial abundance in rhizosphere soil was stimulated by elevated CO2 at low Cd concentrations (1.31-5.31 mg Cd kg(-1) dry soil). Actinomycetes, total microbial abundance, and fungi decreased under the combined conditions at 5.31-10.31 mg Cd kg(-1) dry soil. In conclusion, increased production of soluble sugars, total sugars, and proteins in wheat seedlings under elevated CO2 + Cd stress led to greater quantities of organic compounds in the rhizosphere soil relative to seedlings grown under Cd stress only. Elevated CO2 concentrations could moderate the effects of heavy metal pollution on enzyme activity and microorganism abundance in rhizosphere soils, thus improving soil fertility and the microecological rhizosphere environment of wheat under Cd stress.

  3. Damping zone in the biological reserve serra dos toledos (Itajubá-MG) and its effect on soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Olivia de Lima; Rogério Melloni; Eliane Guimarães Pereira Melloni

    2013-01-01

    Areas that comprise "damping zones" are important in minimizing the effects of impacts on the environment as they can affect the conservation unit, and in helping to maintain its natural resources. However, they are not protected and many are handled improperly, compromising the sustainability of the conservation units they should protect. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of human disturbance in the damping zone on the soil quality inside the Biological Reserve Serra dos Toled...

  4. Ecological and environmental explanation of microbiotic crusts on sand dune scales in the Gurbantonggut Desert, Xinjiang

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Yaning; LI Weihong; ZHOU Zhibing; LIU Jiazhen

    2005-01-01

    Results obtained from the field investigation and the analysis in laboratory show that many species of microbiotic crusts of lichens, mosses and algae develop extensively in the Gurbantonggut Desert, Xinjiang. The formation, species and distribution are closely related to the environmental conditions at the different positions of sand dunes. The animalcule crusts develop mainly on the mobile or semi-mobile sand surface of dune tops, the alga crusts develop mainly at the upper to middle parts of dune slopes, the lichen crusts develop at middle and lower parts of dune slopes, and the moss crusts are mainly distributed at the lower part of dune slopes and the interdune lowlands. The species, thickness and developing degree of microbiotic crusts increase from the upper part to the middle and lower parts of dune slopes and the interdune lowlands, and an obvious contrast between the microbiotic crusts and the different species of plant communities forms. The development and differentiation of microbiotic crusts at the different positions of dunes are the ecological appearance and the natural selection of synthetic adaptability of the different microbiotic crust species to the local environmental conditions, and are closely related to the ecological conditions, such as the physiochemical properties of soils and stability of topsoil texture.

  5. Effect of Organic Ligands on Biological Availability of Inorganic Phosphorus in Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FENG Ke; LU Hai-Ming; SHENG Hai-Jun; WANG Xiao-Li; MAO Jian

    2004-01-01

    Citrate, oxalate, tartrate and malate were added into soils during the growth period of ryegrass to study the effect of different organic ligands on the release various inorganic P (Pi) fractions in a yellow-brown soil and a paddy soil. The results showed that oxalate was most effective in promoting the release of total Pi in the yellow-brown soil and tartrate in the paddy soil. The dominant Pi fractions released from the yellow-brown soil were calcium phosphate (Ca-P) and aluminum phosphate (Al-P) and those from the paddy soil were iron phosphate (Fe-P) and reductant soluble phosphate (O-P) mobilized by tartrate. Phosphorous-mobilizing capability of organic acids in the yellow-brown soil revealed the following order: oxalate > citrate > malate > tartrate. In the paddy soil, the order was tartrate > citrate ≈ oxalate > malate. It was demonstrated that organic ligands were different in their capabilities of mobilizing Pi and the same organic ligand showed also a discrepancy in mobilizing P in different soils. Although the addition of organic ligands into soils could increase the amount of P taken up by ryegrass, the more uptake of P, however, was not only due to the more release of Pi, but also partly from organic P. In many cases, organic ligands promoted the release of the total of the total Pi, while different fractions showed different trends: some increased and others decreased.

  6. Profiling planktonic foraminiferal crust formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steinhardt, Juliane; de Nooijer, Lennart; Brummer, Geert Jan; Reichart, Gert Jan

    2015-01-01

    Planktonic foraminifera migrate vertically through the water column during their life, thereby growing and calcifying over a range of depth-associated conditions. Some species form a calcite veneer, crust, or cortex at the end of their lifecycle. This additional calcite layer may vary in structure,

  7. Profiling planktonic foraminiferal crust formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steinhardt, J.; de Nooijer, L.J.; Brummer, G.-J.A.; Reichart, G.J.

    2015-01-01

    Planktonic foraminifera migrate vertically through the water column during their life, therebygrowing and calcifying over a range of depth-associated conditions. Some species form a calcite veneer,crust, or cortex at the end of their lifecycle. This additional calcite layer may vary in structure, co

  8. Statistics of Magnetar Crusts Magnetoemission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondratyev, V. N.; Korovina, Yu. V.

    2016-05-01

    Soft repeating gamma-ray (SGR) bursts are considered as magnetoemission of crusts of magnetars (ultranamagnetized neutron stars). It is shown that all the SGR burst observations can be described and systematized within randomly jumping interacting moments model including quantum fluctuations and internuclear magnetic interaction in an inhomogeneous crusty nuclear matter.

  9. Statistics of Magnetar Crusts Magnetoemission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kondratyev V. N.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Soft repeating gamma-ray (SGR bursts are considered as magnetoemission of crusts of magnetars (ultranamagnetized neutron stars. It is shown that all the SGR burst observations can be described and systematized within randomly jumping interacting moments model including quantum fluctuations and internuclear magnetic interaction in an inhomogeneous crusty nuclear matter.

  10. HONO fluxes from soil surfaces: an overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Dianming; Sörgel, Matthias; Tamm, Alexandra; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodriguez-Caballero, Emilio; Cheng, Yafang; Pöschl, Ulrich; Weber, Bettina

    2016-04-01

    Gaseous nitrous acid (HONO) contributes up to 80% of atmospheric hydroxyl (OH) radicals and is also linked to health risks through reactions with tobacco smoke forming carcinogens. Field and modeling results suggested a large unknown HONO source in the troposphere during daytime. By measuring near ground HONO mixing ratio, up to 30% of HONO can be released from forest, rural and urban ground as well as snow surfaces. This source has been proposed to heterogeneous reactions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on humic acid surfaces or nitric acid photolysis. Laboratory studies showed that HONO emissions from bulk soil samples can reach 258 ng m‑2 s‑1 (in term of nitrogen), which corresponding to 1.1 × 1012 molecules cm‑2 s‑1and ˜ 100 times higher than most of the field studies, as measured by a dynamic chamber system. The potential mechanisms for soil HONO emissions include chemical equilibrium of acid-base reaction and gas-liquid partitioning between soil nitrite and HONO, but the positive correlation of HONO fluxes with pH (largest at neutral and slightly alkaline) points to the dominance of the formation process by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). In general soil surface acidity, nitrite concentration and abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria mainly regulate the HONO release from soil. A recent study showed that biological soil crusts in drylands can also emit large quantities of HONO and NO, corresponding to ˜20% of global nitrogen oxide emissions from soils under natural vegetation. Due to large concentrations of microorganisms in biological soil crusts, particularly high HONO and NO emissions were measured after wetting events. Considering large areas of arid and arable lands as well as peatlands, up to 70% of global soils are able to emitting HONO. However, the discrepancy between large soil HONO emissions measured in lab and low contributions of HONO flux from ground surfaces in field as well as the role of microorganisms should be further investigated.

  11. Biological Removal of Propylene Glycol from Wastewater and its Degradation in Soil by the Activated Sludge Consortia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.R Moussavi

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available "n "nBackground and Objectives : Propylene glycol is the main compound of anti-freezing chemicals. A significant amount of propylene glycol is released to the environment after application and contaminates the soil. The main objective of this study was to determine the biological removal of propylene glycol from wastewater and its degradation in soil by the isolated bacteria from activated sludge process."nMaterials and Methods: In the present study, the sludge taken from the return flow in a local activated sludge treatment system was used as the initial seed. The performance of the bioreactor in treating the wastewater was evaluated at four different retention times of 18, 12, 6 and 4 h all with the inlet COD concentration of 1000 mg/L. This phase lasted around 4 months. Then, a part of the adapted microorganisms were transported from the bioreactor to the soil which was synthetically contaminated to the propylene glycol."nResults: The average of propylene glycol removal efficiency from the wastewater in detention times of 18, 12, 8 and 4 h in steady state conditions was 98.6%, 97.1%, 86.4% and 62.2% respectively. Also, the maximum degradation in soil was found to be 97.8%."nConclusion: According to the results obtained from this study, it appears that propylene glycol is inherently well biodegradable and can be biodegraded in liquid phase and soil after a short period of adaptation.

  12. The use of principal component analysis in studying physical, chemical and biological soil properties in southern caspian forests (North of Iran).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooch, Yahya; Jalilvand, Hamid; Bahmanyar, Mohammad Ali; Pormajidian, Mohammad Reza

    2008-02-01

    This research was conducted in Khanikan forests located in lowland of Mazandaran province (North of Iran). Eighteen profiles were dug and several chemical, physical and biological soil properties were investigated. The soil properties evaluated were soil pH, bulk density, saturation moisture content, electrical conductivity, organic carbon, total nitrogen, cation exchangeable capacity, available phosphorous, soil texture, calcium carbonate content, number and biomass of earthworms, litter carbon and litter nitrogen. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to identify the variation of soil properties. PCA, a technique which reduces the dimensionality of multivariate data by removing Interco relations among variables, has a number of useful applications in forest researches. The results showed significant relationships between some soil factors with PC1 and PC2 axes, also, among different soil factors, the distribution of forest types was most strongly controlled with some soil characteristics such as acidity, bulk density, texture, phosphorous, organic carbon, total nitrogen and cation exchangeable capacity. PMID:18817157

  13. Influence of superabsorbent polymers on the chemical composition of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch. and biological activity in the soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikiciuk Grzegorz

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available By improving the air and water properties of soils, superabsorbent polymers can affect the increase and improvement of the quality of the yield of berry plants, including strawberries. Their presence in the soil has an influence on its biological activity as related to microorganisms. The aim of the research was to assess the influence of superabsorbent polymers added to the soil on the content of macroelements and sodium in the leaves and fruit of strawberry of the ‘Elsanta’ cultivar and changes in the number of soil bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi. The superabsorbent polymer (AgroHydroGel was used in two doses: 1.8 and 3.6 g dm-3 of soil. The content of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium was assessed using the ASA method, while the content of nitrogen and sulphur was assessed by the elemental analysis method (CHNS analyser. The number of microorganisms was assessed with a BacTrac analyser and the coefficient of microorganism development extent (SR was also determined. AgroHydroGel increased the content of nitrogen and potassium in leaves and fruit but did not affect the content of phosphorus, sulphur and sodium. The addition of the superabsorbent at a dose of 3.6 g dm-3 of soil reduced the magnesium content both in the leaves and fruit of the strawberry. AgroHydroGel decreased the content of calcium in the fruit. The use of AgroHydroGel contributed to the expansion of the K ion ratio to other ions, both in the leaves and fruits. We observed a significant increase in the amount of soil bacteria (1.8 g dm-3 dose and no significant influence on actinomycetes and fungi (irrespective of dose used.

  14. Biological Remediation of Soil: An Overview of Global Market and Available Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ajay; Kuhad, Ramesh C.; Ward, Owen P.

    Due to a wide range of industrial and agricultural activities, a high number of chemical contaminants is released into the environment, causing a significant concern regarding potential toxicity, carcinogenicity, and potential for bioaccumulation in living systems of various chemicals in soil. Although microbial activity in soil accounts for most of the degradation of organic contaminants, chemical and physical mechanisms can also provide significant transformation pathways for these compounds. The specific remediation processes that have been applied to clean up contaminated sites include natural attenuation, landfarming, biopiling or composting, contained slurry bioreactor, bioventing, soil vapor extraction, thermal desorption, incineration, soil washing and land filling (USEPA 2004).

  15. Soil compaction: alterations in physical, chemical and biological attributes in a fluvic neosoil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The efficient management of soil proposes the correct utilization of agricultural practices to minimize the loss of structure, compaction, and nutrient losses in the soil, which are the main causes of its degradation. Such concerns reside in the fact that the impact from compaction can also be related to the soil capacity for losing carbon. This effect has strong influence on CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. On the other hand, induced mutation, a valuable tool for the development of genetic materials, that is tolerant to environmental adversities, can be helpful in the adaptation of crops in compacted soils. This study was conducted to evaluate isolated and combined effects of compaction, water content and organic amendments in soil respiration. Also it investigates the development of cowpea (V. unguiculata, L. Walp] var. IPA 206, in a Fluvic Neosoil, artificially compacted, with different fertilizer materials added (cowdung, NPK, organomineral I, and organomineral II). Also it evaluates the development of cowpea when the seeds were submitted to gamma irradiation (60Co) and cultivated in compacted and non compacted soil, under greenhouse conditions, for 60 days. The isolated addition of spent coffee powder and marine algae to the soil increased the CO2 evolution from soil, reflecting variations in dynamics of the heterotrophic soil microbiota. CO2 evolution decreased with the increase in soil density, showing reductions in aeration. The values presented were found to be low in the treatment without addition of these materials (control) and showed them to be significantly increased in the treatments that received such residues, all over the incubation period. Plant height, root length, shoot dry matter production and dry matter of nodules diminished with the increase in soil density. The incorporation of the organomineral mixtures I and II to the artificially compacted soil, showed an increase in plant height, and root length, suggesting the beneficial action of

  16. Effect of the physicochemical parameters of soils on the biological availability of natural and radioactive zinc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, V. S.; Kochetkov, I. V.; Dikarev, D. V.; Anisimova, L. N.; Korneev, Yu. N.; Frigidova, L. M.

    2016-08-01

    The relationship between the main physicochemical properties of soils and the accumulation of natural Zn and 65Zn radionuclide has been studied, and the capacity of soils to limit the mobility of the element in the soil-plant system has been assessed. The contribution of each of the selected soil state parameters to the accumulation of zinc by barley has been determined, and the soil state parameters have been ranked. It has been found that the largest contributions to the variation of the resulting parameter (65Zn accumulation coefficient, K a) are made by mobile Fe (25%), free carbonates (21%), and acid-soluble Zn (18%). The largest contributions to the Znac K a are made by free carbonates (13%) and mobile Fe (8%). The contributions of physical clay and organic carbon in soils and qualitative composition of humic substances are almost similar (4% for each). No differences in the inactivating capacity of different soils (soddy-podzolic soils, gray forest soils, and chernozems) for 65Zn are observed. This is related to the fact that the transfer of 65Zn to plants is statistically significantly controlled by the contents of free carbonates, mobile iron, and potentially plantavailable forms of stable natural Zn (carrier of 65Zn) rather than the quantitative and qualitative composition of organic matter and the degree of dispersion of mineral particles. The analysis of the Znac K a/65Zn K a ratios has shown that the share of plant-available Zn in the acid-soluble form of the metal (1 M HCl) is 0.61 on the average for the studied soils, and its share in the total Zn content in the soils is only 0.14.

  17. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we explore the boundary between biology and the study of formal systems (logic). In the end, we arrive at a summary formalism, a chapter in "boundary mathematics" where there are not only containers but also extainers ><, entities open to interaction and distinguishing the space that they are not. The boundary algebra of containers and extainers is to biologic what boolean algebra is to classical logic. We show how this formalism encompasses significant parts of the logic of DNA replication, the Dirac formalism for quantum mechanics, formalisms for protein folding and the basic structure of the Temperley Lieb algebra at the foundations of topological invariants of knots and links.

  18. THE INFLUENCE OF NICKEL OXIDE COMBINED WITH THE INFLUENCE OF ALTERNATING MAGNETIC FIELDS ON BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ALKALINITY BLACK SOILS OF THE CRIMEA (THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minnikova T. V.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In the article we have investigated the influence of nickel oxide in the amount of 100, 1000 mg/kg of the soil (1, 10 MPC, combined with the influence of an alternating magnetic field of induction of 50, 100 and 650 µT power frequency of 50 Hz on the biological properties of alkalinity black soil

  19. Biological soil quality from biomass to biodiversity - importance and resilience to management stress and disturbance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Kuyper, T.W.; Didden, W.A.M.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Bloem, J.

    2004-01-01

    Various aspects of the soil biota react sensitively to changes in the environment, including agricultural management. Changes in soil biodiversity cannot easily observed directly (measured in terms of community structure of microbes and nematodes, giving early warnings of long-term changes in organi

  20. Redistribution of crop residues during row cultivation creates a biologically enhanced environment for soil microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formation of ridges during row cultivation creates microsites that could enhance spatial heterogeneity of soil properties, such as organic C, and thereby influence soil microbial communities. A study was conducted during 2003 near Shelton, NE, on a corn (Zea mays L.) field mapped using apparent elec...

  1. Biopiles - demonstration of cost effective biological remediation of furnace oil contaminated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Approximately 900 tonnes of soil was contaminated at a rural manufacturing facility near Collingwood, Ontario, when a 9000 litre underground furnace oil storage tank sprang a leak. The contaminated soil was excavated and stockpiled at the site and the leak was repaired. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment ordered that the owner treat the soil to the proper criteria or have the soil removed from the site and properly disposed of at a licensed landfill facility. Barenco was hired to treat the soil. Bioremediation began in December 1994 with the creation of nine above-ground biopiles which were constructed through the addition of nutrients (manure from a local farmer). Piping for air injection and treatment were located throughout the biopiles. The biopiles were then covered with 6 mil black HDPE plastic. The progress of the bioremediation was monitored regularly through measurement of carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations in the biopiles. By October 1995, the soil was treated to within the appropriate criteria. In 10 months, the total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in the polluted soil were reduced from an average of 2690 ppm to 275 ppm. This simple and cost effective approach can also be used to remediate soils impacted with diesel fuels

  2. Roles of biology, chemistry, and physics in soil macroaggregate formation and stabilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil functions or ecosystem services depend on the distribution of macro- (= 0.25 mm) and micro- (< 0.25 mm) aggregates and open space between aggregates. It is the arrangement of the aggregates and pore space which allows air and water movement in and out of soil; reduces compaction; and stimulates...

  3. Soil amendment with Pseudomonas fluorescens CHA0: lasting effects on soil biological properties in soils low in microbial biomass and activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fliessbach, Andreas; Winkler, Manuel; Lutz, Matthias P; Oberholzer, Hans-Rudolf; Mäder, Paul

    2009-05-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens strains are used in agriculture as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Nontarget effects of released organisms should be analyzed prior to their large-scale use, and methods should be available to sensitively detect possible changes in the environments the organism is released to. According to ecological theory, microbial communities with a greater diversity should be less susceptible to disturbance by invading organisms. Based on this principle, we laid out a pot experiment with field-derived soils different in their microbial biomass and activity due to long-term management on similar parent geological material (loess). We investigated the survival of P. fluorescens CHA0 that carried a resistance toward rifampicin and the duration of potential changes of the soil microflora caused by the inoculation with the bacterium at the sowing date of spring wheat. Soil microbial biomass (C(mic), N(mic)) basal soil respiration (BR), qCO(2), dehydrogenase activity (DHA), bacterial plate counts, mycorrhiza root colonization, and community level substrate utilization were analyzed after 18 and 60 days. At the initial stage, soils were clearly different with respect to most of the parameters measured, and a time-dependent effect between the first and the second set point were attributable to wheat growth and the influence of roots. The effect of the inoculum was small and merely transient, though significant long-term changes were found in soils with a relatively low level of microbial biomass. Community level substrate utilization as an indicator of changes in microbial community structure was mainly changed by the growth of wheat, while other experimental factors were negligible. The sensitivity of the applied methods to distinguish the experimental soils was in decreasing order N(mic), DHA, C(mic), and qCO(2). Besides the selective enumeration of P. fluorescens CHA0 rif(+), which was only found in amended soils, methods to distinguish the

  4. Magnetisation of the lunar crust

    OpenAIRE

    Carley, Ruth Alexandra

    2011-01-01

    The Moon displays weak magnetic fields resulting from areas of the lunar crust that are remanently magnetised. The origins of the magnetic fields that produced this remanent magnetisation are still under discussion, and theories include among several, an ancient lunar dynamo, or processes occurring on the Moon as a result of impacts. Lunar crustal fields have been mapped globally by the Magnetometer (MAG) and Electron Reflectometer (ER) on the satellite Lunar Prospector, pro...

  5. Short-term effect of vermicompost application on biological properties of an alkaline soil with high lime content from Mediterranean region of Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uz, Ilker; Tavali, Ismail Emrah

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate direct short-term impact of vermicompost on some soil biological properties by monitoring changes after addition of vermicompost as compared to farmyard manure in an alkaline soil with high lime content from semiarid Mediterranean region of Turkey. For this purpose, mixtures of soil and organic fertilizers in different doses were incubated under greenhouse condition. Soil samples collected in regular intervals were analyzed for biological parameters including dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline phosphatase activities, and total number of aerobic mesophilic bacteria. Even though soil dehydrogenase activity appeared to be dose-independent based on overall evaluation, organic amendments were found to elevate dehydrogenase activity when sampling periods are evaluated individually. β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline phosphatase activity, and aerobic mesophilic bacterial numbers in vermicompost treatments fluctuated but remained significantly above the control. A slight but statistically significant difference was detected between organic amendments in terms of urease activity. Vermicompost appeared to more significantly increase bacterial number in soil. Clearly, vermicompost has a potential to be used as an alternative to farmyard manure to improve and maintain soil biological activity in alkaline calcareous soils from the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Further studies are needed to assess its full potential for these soils. PMID:25254238

  6. Soil nematode assemblages indicate the potential for biological regulation of pest species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steel, Hanne; Ferris, Howard

    2016-05-01

    In concept, regulation or suppression of target nematode pest species should be enhanced when an abundance of predator species is supported by ample availability of bacterial- fungal- and non-damaging plant-feeding prey species. We selected soils from natural and managed environments that represented different levels of resource availability and disturbance. In microcosm chambers of each soil, in its natural state or after heat defaunation, we introduced test prey species not already resident in the soils (Meloidogyne incognita and Steinernema feltiae). Survival of the test prey was determined after a 5-day bioassay exposure. Across the soils tested, predator abundance and biomass were greater in undisturbed soils with plentiful resources and lower in soils from agricultural sites. Suppressiveness to the two introduced species increased with both numerical abundance and metabolic footprint of the predator assemblages. The magnitude of the increase in suppressiveness was greater at low numbers of predators then dampened to an asymptotic level at greater predator abundance, possibly determined by temporal and spatial aspects of the bioassay system and/or satiation of the predators. The more resource-limited the predators were and the higher the metabolic predator footprint, the greater the suppressiveness. The applied implications of this study are that soil suppressiveness to pest species may be enhanced by increasing resources to predators, removing chemical and physical constraints to their survival and increase, and altering management practices so that predators and target prey are co-located in time and space.

  7. [Biological toxicity effect of petroleum contaminated soil before and after physicochemical remediation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lian, Jing-Yan; Ha, Ying; Huang, Lei; Ju, Yi; Shi, Shuo; Liu, Lei; Zhang, Rui-Ling; Sui, Hong; Li, Xin-Gang

    2011-03-01

    Toxicity analysis was studied from using seed germination as an ecological indicator, and the earthworm was considered as a suitable biomonitor animal to determine the ecological hazard of polluted soil. The main results are as follows: These crop seeds have significantly different responses to petroleum pollution. Compared with those plants in clean soil, the germination of most crop seeds planted in contaminated soils is obviously inhabited. Soybean, horse bean and maize are the crop affected most adversely. Fortunately, strong endurance is observed for green soybean under 4 different levels of petroleum pollution, and the seed germination rate are all above 90%. When exposed to pollutants, earthworms could be changed obviously on the level of physiology. That might affect the survival and growth capacity of earthworms, and changed population finally. In high petroleum contaminated soil (concentration of petroleum > 30 000 mg/kg) earthworms can only survive about 5 days. The results suggest that petroleum pollution has great poison to earthworms and can kill earthworms finally. Because pollutants make them dehydrate. Even on the low pollution level, the survival time of earthworm is still very short (3 d or so) in the treated petroleum-contaminated soil. Because after a petroleum ether-treated, the nutrients of soil are disposed with the oil, and the organic matter and other nutrients of the soil have a great impact on the survival of earthworms.

  8. About chemical and biological stimulation of bioleaching of 90Sr from different types of soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The results of investigation carried out in the frame of international cooperation between the NASU and KOSEF on the creation of effective methods of purification of radioactively polluted soil were performed. The influence of methanogenic, surface-reducing, nitrifying and thiobacilli and also their joint activity with different chemical ingredients on bioleaching of 90Sr from typical South Korea red soil,artificially radioactively polluted by 90Sr, and technogenically polluted by the radionuclides from influenced zone of ChNPP was studied, The presence of the largest effect of thiobacilli on soil was shown

  9. Hydrological behaviour of microbiotic crusts on sand dunes of NW China: Experimental evidences and numerical simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin Ping; Tedeschi, Anna; Orefice, Nadia; de Mascellis, Roberto; Menenti, Massimo

    2010-05-01

    Large ecological engineering projects were established to reduce and combat the hazards of sandstorms and desertification in northern China. An experiment to evaluate the effects of dunes stabilization by vegetation was carried out at Shapotou in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region at the southeast edge of the Tengger Desert using xerophyte shrubs (Caragana korshinskii, Hedysarum scoparium and Artemisia ordosica) planted in straw checkerboard plots in 1956, 1964, 1981, 1987, 1998, and 2002. The fixed sand surface led to the formation of biotic soil crusts. Biotic crusts formed at the soil surface in the interspaces between shrubs and contribute to stabilization of soil surfaces. Previous results on the area have showed that: i) straw checkerboards enhance the capacity of the dune system to trap dust, leading to the accumulation of soil organic matter and nutrients; ii) the longer the period of dune stabilization, the greater the soil clay content in the shallow soil profile (0-5 cm), and greater the fractal dimension of soil particle size distribution. Benefit apart, one should be aware that the formation of a crusted layer at the soil surface is generally characterized by an altered pore-size distribution, with a frequent decrease of hydraulic conductivity which can induce changes of the water regime of the whole soil profile. Accordingly, the main objective of the paper is to evaluate the equivalent (from a hydraulic point of view) geometry of the crusted layer and to verify if the specific characteristics of the crusted soil layer, although local by nature, affect the hydrological behaviour of the whole soil profile. In fact, it is expected that, due to the formation of an upper, impeding soil layer, the lower soil layers do not reach saturation. Such behaviour has important consequences on both water flow and storages in soils. The final aim will be to understand how the crust at the surface of the artificially stabilized sand dune affects the infiltration capacity

  10. Chemico-biological treatment of polluted soils by polychorinated biphenyls; Tratamiento integrado quimico-biologico de suelos contaminados por bifenilos policlorados

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manzano Quinones, M. A.

    2001-07-01

    In this work a study of biological and chemical treatment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soil has been done. The experiments have been carried out in pilot scale reactors and the results obtained showed 98% elimination and a high mineralization of PCBs employing a Integrated Chemical-Biological Treatment. (Author) 12 refs.

  11. The isolation, enumeration, and characterization of Rhizobium bacteria of the soil in Wamena Biological Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SRI PURWANINGSIH

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available The eleven soil samples have been isolated and characterized. The aims of the study were to get the pure culture and some data which described about enumeration and especially their characters in relation to the acids and bases reaction in their growth. The isolation of the bacteria use Yeast Extract Mannitol Agar medium (YEMA while the characterization by using YEMA medium mixed with Brom Thymol Blue and Congo Red indicators respectively. The results showed that eighteen isolates have been isolated which consisted of three low growing and fifteen fast growing bacteria. Two isolates were not indicated Rhizobium and sixteen were Rhizobium. Density of Rhizobium enumeration was varied which related to soil organic matter content. The enumeration bacteria in YEMA medium were in the range of 0.6 x 105 and 11.6 x 105 CFU /g soil. The highest population was found in soil sample of Wieb vegetation.

  12. Wildfire effects on biological properties of soils in forest-steppe ecosystems of Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maksimova, Ekaterina; Abakumov, Evgeny

    2013-04-01

    Forest fires are regularly repeating natural phenomenon that disturb natural balance between separate components of ecosystems and influence on the type of vegetation and dynamics of plant communities. The soil, as a basic component of forest ecosystems, is affected by different impacts of wildfires. Independently of a type and intensity of a fire the plant cover and a upper soil horizon always burn. There is also a transformation of the top organo-mineral and mineral horizons of soils when it's strong influence of fire and full combustion of a laying. Complicated fire conditions in summer of 2010 were caused by extreme climatic effects and low precipitations. The area of soils affected by wildfires assessed as more than 744 000 ha. Forest fires have occupied Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Kaluga, Pskov, Samara and many other regions. The critical situation in the Samarskaya region around Togliatti city results in huge soil dergradation in forest-steppe pine forests. The analytical data obtained shows that wildfires lead to serious changes in a soil profile. The most intensive were the processes of humus losses that result from burning of a forest floor and sod (humic) horizon. Wildfires change a chemical composition of laying and raise their ash-content. Fires lead to increase of biogenic elements' content in the upper horizon - P and K. The content of phosphorus and potassium in 2011 decreased as a result of carrying out with an atmospheric precipitation. Thus, when it is burning the top horizons the ashes arriving on a surface of the soil enrich it with nutrients. Moreover, there is an increase of the calcium content. Calcium provides alkaline reaction of the top horizons. But the next year the content of calcium in upper soil horizons decreased. The soil unaffected by fire is characterized by the greatest content of soil microbial biomass in the top horizon and, respectively, the bigger index of bazal respiration whereas a reduction of both parameters is noted on

  13. Biological and Chemical Renovation of Wastewater with a Soil Infiltrator Low-Pressure Distribution System

    OpenAIRE

    DiPaola, Tracey Stickley

    1998-01-01

    An alternative on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system (OSWTDS) consisting of a soil infiltrator with low pressure distribution was evaluated in a soil that was unsuitable for a conventional OSWTDS under current Commonwealth of Virginia Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations, due to a shallow seasonally perched water table and low hydraulic conductivity. The absorption field consisted of two subsystems numbered as 1 and 2 with effluent design loading rates of 5.1 and 10.2 Lpd/m2, ...

  14. Tree Species Traits Influence Soil Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties in High Elevation Forests

    OpenAIRE

    Ayres, Edward; Steltzer, Heidi; Berg, Sarah; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Simmons, Breana L.; Wall, Diana H

    2009-01-01

    Background Previous studies have shown that plants often have species-specific effects on soil properties. In high elevation forests in the Southern Rocky Mountains, North America, areas that are dominated by a single tree species are often adjacent to areas dominated by another tree species. Here, we assessed soil properties beneath adjacent stands of trembling aspen, lodgepole pine, and Engelmann spruce, which are dominant tree species in this region and are distributed widely in North Amer...

  15. The Development of Chemical and Biological Profiling for the Forensic Provenancing of Norfolk Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Bathgate, Hilary

    2014-01-01

    Soils are frequently analysed by forensic laboratories by comparing a suspect sample to an especially collected control sample. As yet, they cannot be compared to a central database, unless the area in question has already been identified; with the use databases being highly contested within the field of forensic geosciences. There is a need for a method of soil profiling that allows an unknown sample to be tested and assigned a quantitative likelihood that it originated from a given region. ...

  16. Soil Biological Changes for a Natural Forest and Two Plantations in Subtropical China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Guang-Shui; YANG Yu-Sheng; XIE Jin-Sheng; LI Ling; GAO Ren

    2004-01-01

    Conversion of natural forests into pure plantation forests is a common management practice in subtropical China.To evaluate the effects of forest conversion on soil fertility, microbe numbers and enzyme activities in topsoils (0-10 cm)were quantified in two 33-year-old monoculture plantations of Castanopsis kawakamii Hayata (CK) and Cunninghamia lanceolata Lamb. (Chinese fir) (CF), and compared to a neighboring relict natural C. kawakamii forest (NF), in Sanming,Fujian. Five soil samples were collected once each in January, April, July, September and November in 2000 in each forest for laboratory analysis. Over the sampling year, there were significant differences for bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes between forests and between seasons (P < 0.05). The largest bacteria and fungi populations were in NF, while CF contained the greatest number of actinomycetes. There were also significant differences (P < 0.05) with microbial respiration for forests and seasons. Additionally, compared with NF, urease and acid phosphatase were significantly lower (P < 0.05)in CK and CF. Also, the correlations of soil hydrolysable N and available P to soil microbial and enzymatic activities were highly significant (P < 0.01). Thus, to alter the traditional Chinese fir monoculture so as to mimic the natural forest conditions, managing mixed stands of Chinese fir and broadleaf trees or conducting crop rotation of conifers and broadleaf trees as well as minimizing forest disturbances like clear-cutting, slash burning and soil preparing, could be utilized.

  17. Hazard evaluation of soil contaminants from an abandoned oil refinery site with chemical and biological assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The phytotoxic characteristics of soil and leachates of soil from an abandoned oil refinery site were evaluated with rice (Oryza sativa L.) seed germinations and root elongation assays. Toxicity of soil leachates to aquatic animals was determined with acute and martial chronic toxicity tests with Ceriodaphnia dubia, fathead minnows, and Microtox reg-sign. Soil samples from uncontaminated (control) and selected contaminated areas within the old refinery were extracted with Toxic Characteristics Leachate Procedure (TCLP), an aqueous procedure and a supercritical carbon dioxide method. Aqueous extracts of soil from the oil leaded gasoline storage area exhibited greatest effects in all tests. Aqueous extracts from this site also caused a significant reduction in rice root development. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction proved to be a quick and non-toxic procedure for isolating non-polar organics for assay with aquatic toxicity tests. Subsequent supercritical extracts collected in solvent can help characterize the class of toxicants through HPLC and Gas Chromatography. The toxic constituents were characterized with a Toxicity Identification/Toxicity Reduction Evaluation protocol to fractionate the contaminants into conventional non-polar organics, weak acids, base-neutrals, or heavy metals for subsequent analysis

  18. Impact of mechanical mowing and chemical treatment on phytosociological, pedochemical and biological parameters in roadside soils and vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrini, Elisa; Falcone, Lino; Loppi, Stefano; Lorenzini, Giacomo; Nali, Cristina

    2016-03-01

    Many chemical and non-chemical strategies have been applied to control weeds in agricultural and industrial areas. Knowledge regarding the effects of these methods on roadside vegetation is still poor. A 2-year field experiment was performed along a road located near Livorno (Tuscany, central Italy). Eight plots/strips were identified, of which four were subjected to periodical mechanical mowing and the remaining four were treated with a chemical herbicide based on glyphosate (the producer's recommended rates were used for the selective control of broad-leaved weeds). Our results clearly showed that roadside soil and vegetation are a significant reservoir of anthropogenic activities which have a strong negative effect on several phytosociological, pedochemical and biological parameters. Compared with conventional mechanical mowing, chemical treatment induced (i) a significant increase in organic matter in the upper plot layers (+18%), and (ii) a marked reduction in weed height throughout the entire period of the experiment. Irrespectively of the kind of treatment, no significance differences were detected in terms of (i) biological quality of soil (the abundance and diversity of arthropod communities did not change), and (ii) plant elemental content (bulk concentrations of analysed trace elements had a good fit within ranges of occurrence in the "reference plant"). The glyphosate partially controlled broad-leaved weeds and this moderate efficacy is dependent upon the season/time of application. In conclusion, the rational and sustainable use of chemical herbicides may be a useful tool for the management of roadside vegetation. PMID:26573685

  19. INFLUENCE OF VERMICOMPOST ON THE PHYSICO-CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOIL ALONG WITH YIELD AND QUALITY OF THE PULSE CROP-BLACKGRAM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Parthasarathi, M. Balamurugan, L. S. Ranganathan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Field experiments were conducted during 2002-2003 on clay loam, sandy loam and red loam soil at Sivapuri, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, to evaluate the efficacy of vermicompost on the physico-chemical and biological characteristics of the soils and on the yield and nutrient content of blackgram - Vigna mungo, in comparison to inorganic fertilizers nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium. Vermicompost had increased the pore space, reduced particle and bulk density, increased water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, reduced pH and electrical conductivity, increased organic carbon content, available nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and microbial population and activity in all the soil types, particularly clay loam. The yield and quality (protein and sugar content in seed of blackgram was enhanced in soils, particularly clay loam soil. On the contrary, the application of inorganic fertilizers has resulted in reduced porosity, compaction of soil, reduced carbon and reduced microbial activity.

  20. Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) as a biological monitor of changes in soil metal loading related to past mining activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witte, K.M.; Wanty, R.B.; Ridley, W.I.

    2004-01-01

    Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) is the dominant tree species in many abandoned mine areas of the Rocky Mountains. It is long-lived, and therefore, may act as a long term biological monitor of changes in soil chemistry caused by past mining activity. In this study, laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) was used to analyze individual tree rings of Engelmann spruce for Fe, Zn, Cu, Cd, Mn, Pb and Sr concentrations. Cores were obtained from trees growing in tailings-impacted and control (non-tailings impacted) sites near the Waldorf mine (Waldorf, CO, USA). Zinc, Cu, Fe, Cd, Pb and Sr concentrations remained low and consistent over time in the control tree rings. However, in the tailings impacted cores, concentrations of Zn, Cu, Fe and Cd increase significantly in post-mining rings. In addition, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Cd concentrations in pre-mining rings of both the control and tailings impacted cores are similar, indicating that present day soil concentrations of these elements in the control area are a reasonable estimation of background for this area. Lead and Sr concentrations in control and tailings-impacted rings remained similar and relatively constant through time and are not useful in determining changes in soil chemistry due to past mining activity. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 干旱半干旱地区藓结皮人工培养研究进展%A Review on the Studies of Moss Crust Artificial Cultivation in Arid and Semi-arid Region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王显蓉; 赵允格; 王媛

    2014-01-01

    In arid and semi-arid areas,moss crust play important ecological roles,such as improving soil resistance to wind and water erosion and enhancing soil fertility.In recent years,many studies have focused on artificial culture of moss crusts and its application in desertification control.This paper reviewed the research status and achievements on artificial moss crust cultivation in recent decades from the the aspects of reproductive biology,characteristics of growth and development of mosses,factors that affect the formation of moss crust and maintenance ability.Researches demonstrated that moss crusts could be successfully constructed in indoor and outdoor environment.However,this kind of moss crust performs poorly in maintenance ability.The majority of research for factors that affect the formation of moss crust was conducted in indoor environment,the influence mechanism in outdoor was not entirely clear.The research should be focused on how to combine the indoor training methods with the field methods,and to cultivate the moss crusts successfully in a fast and effective way.%在干旱半干旱地区,以藓类植物为优势物种的生物结皮,在抗风蚀、水蚀及增强土壤肥力等方面发挥着重要的作用.近年来随着人们对干旱半干旱地区生态环境的重视,藓结皮人工培养及其在土壤沙漠化防控方面的应用备受关注.从藓类植物的繁殖生物学、生长发育特点、藓结皮形成的影响因素及后期维持能力等方面综述了藓结皮人工培养的研究现状及主要进展,研究表明在室内和野外环境可成功构建藓结皮,然而其后期维持能力较差;藓结皮形成影响因素的研究多于室内环境下完成,野外环境下影响因素研究少见.将室内和野外培养方法相互结合,快速有效的培养藓结皮,是未来研究的重点.

  2. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in water, sediment, soil, and biological samples from different industrial areas in Zhejiang, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Junxia; Lin, Zhenkun [Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab for Technology and Application of Model Organisms, Institute of Watershed Science and Environmental Ecology, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325035 (China); Lin, Kuangfei [School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology/State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Environmental Risk Assessment and Control on Chemical Process, Shanghai 200237 (China); Wang, Chunyan [Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab for Technology and Application of Model Organisms, Institute of Watershed Science and Environmental Ecology, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325035 (China); Zhang, Wei [School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology/State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Environmental Risk Assessment and Control on Chemical Process, Shanghai 200237 (China); Cui, Changyuan [Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab for Technology and Application of Model Organisms, Institute of Watershed Science and Environmental Ecology, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325035 (China); Lin, Junda [Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States); Dong, Qiaoxiang, E-mail: dqxdong@163.com [Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab for Technology and Application of Model Organisms, Institute of Watershed Science and Environmental Ecology, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325035 (China); Huang, Changjiang, E-mail: cjhuang5711@163.com [Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab for Technology and Application of Model Organisms, Institute of Watershed Science and Environmental Ecology, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325035 (China)

    2011-12-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We examined PBDE concentrations in various matrices from different industrial areas. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Elevated PBDE levels were found in areas with low-voltage electrical manufactures. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Areas with e-waste recycling activities also had higher PBDE concentrations. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer PBDE content and composition in water samples varied from one area to another. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer PBDE composition in sediment/soil and biological samples was predominated by BDE-209. - Abstract: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been used extensively in electrical and electronic products, but little is known about their distribution in the environment surrounding the manufacturing factories. This study reports PBDE contamination in various matrices from the location (Liushi, Zhejiang province) that produces more than 70% of the low-voltage electrical appliances in China. Additionally, PBDE contamination was compared with other industries such as the e-waste recycling business (Fengjiang) in the same region. Specifically, we measured seven PBDE congeners (BDEs - 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, 183, and 209) in water, sediment, soil, plant, and animal tissues from four different areas in this region. The present study revealed elevated PBDE concentrations in all matrices collected from Liushi and Fengjiang in comparison with highly industrialized areas without significant PBDE contamination sources. In water samples, there were large variations of PBDE content and composition across different areas. In sediment/soil and biological samples, BDE-209 was the predominant congener and this could be due to the abundant usage of deca-BDE mixtures in China. Our findings provide the very first data on PBDE contamination in the local environments surrounding the electronics industry, and also reveal widespread PBDE contamination in highly industrialized coastal regions of China.

  3. Earthworms enhance soil health and may also assist in improving biological insect pest suppression in pecans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior research indicated that earthworms may serve as phoretic hosts to entomopathogenic nematodes. Therefore, we hypothesized that biocontrol efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes could be enhanced in the presence of earthworms based on increased nematode dispersal through the soil. We also hypo...

  4. Insight into anaerobic soil disinfestation through the lense of molecular biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Previous research has shown that application of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) controls soilborne plant pathogens as effectively as methyl bromide (MeBr) fumigation. Vegetable yields from ASD-treated fields were comparable or exceeded those from fields treated with MeBr in two field trials. Th...

  5. Biological leaching of heavy metals from a contaminated soil by Aspergillus niger

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ren Wanxia, E-mail: ren_laura@163.com [Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua Road, Shenyang 110016 (China); Li Peijun, E-mail: lipeijun@iae.ac.cn [Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua Road, Shenyang 110016 (China); Geng Yong; Li Xiaojun [Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua Road, Shenyang 110016 (China)

    2009-08-15

    Bioleaching of heavy metals from a contaminated soil in an industrial area using metabolites, mainly weak organic acids, produced by a fungus Aspergillus niger was investigated. Batch experiments were performed to compare the leaching efficiencies of one-step and two-step processes and to determine the transformation of heavy metal chemical forms during the bioleaching process. After the one or two-step processes, the metal removals were compared using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and least-significance difference (LSD). A. niger exhibits a good potential in generating a variety of organic acids effective for metal solubilisation. Results showed that after the one-step process, maximum removals of 56%, 100%, 30% and 19% were achieved for copper, cadmium, lead and zinc, respectively. After the two-step process, highest removals of 97.5% Cu, 88.2% Cd, 26% Pb, and 14.5% Zn were obtained. Results of sequential extraction showed that organic acids produced by A. niger were effective in removing the exchangeable, carbonate, and Fe/Mn oxide fractions of Cu, Cd, Pb and Zn; and after both processes the metals remaining in the soil were mainly bound in stable fractions. Such a treatment procedure indicated that leaching of heavy metals from contaminated soil using A. niger has the potential for use in remediation of contaminated soils.

  6. Biological leaching of heavy metals from a contaminated soil by Aspergillus niger

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bioleaching of heavy metals from a contaminated soil in an industrial area using metabolites, mainly weak organic acids, produced by a fungus Aspergillus niger was investigated. Batch experiments were performed to compare the leaching efficiencies of one-step and two-step processes and to determine the transformation of heavy metal chemical forms during the bioleaching process. After the one or two-step processes, the metal removals were compared using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and least-significance difference (LSD). A. niger exhibits a good potential in generating a variety of organic acids effective for metal solubilisation. Results showed that after the one-step process, maximum removals of 56%, 100%, 30% and 19% were achieved for copper, cadmium, lead and zinc, respectively. After the two-step process, highest removals of 97.5% Cu, 88.2% Cd, 26% Pb, and 14.5% Zn were obtained. Results of sequential extraction showed that organic acids produced by A. niger were effective in removing the exchangeable, carbonate, and Fe/Mn oxide fractions of Cu, Cd, Pb and Zn; and after both processes the metals remaining in the soil were mainly bound in stable fractions. Such a treatment procedure indicated that leaching of heavy metals from contaminated soil using A. niger has the potential for use in remediation of contaminated soils.

  7. Ferromanganese crusts as archives of deep water Cd isotope compositions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horner, T. J.; SchöNbäChler, M.; RehkäMper, M.; Nielsen, S. G.; Williams, H.; Halliday, A. N.; Xue, Z.; Hein, J. R.

    2010-04-01

    The geochemistry of Cd in seawater has attracted significant attention owing to the nutrient-like properties of this element. Recent culturing studies have demonstrated that Cd is a biologically important trace metal that plays a role in the sequestration of inorganic carbon. This conclusion is supported by recent isotope data for Cd dissolved in seawater and incorporated in cultured phytoplankton. These results show that plankton features isotopically light Cd while Cd-depleted surface waters typically exhibit complimentary heavy Cd isotope compositions. Seawater samples from below 900 m depth display a uniform and intermediate isotope composition of ɛ114/110Cd = +3.3 ± 0.5. This study investigates whether ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts are robust archives of deep water Cd isotope compositions. To this end, Cd isotope data were obtained for the recent growth surfaces of 15 Fe-Mn crusts from the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Southern oceans and two USGS Fe-Mn reference nodules using double spike multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The Fe-Mn crusts yield a mean ɛ114/110Cd of +3.2 ± 0.4 (2 SE, n = 14). Data for all but one of the samples are identical, within the analytical uncertainty of ±1.1ɛ114/110Cd (2 SD), to the mean deep water Cd isotope value. This indicates that Fe-Mn crusts record seawater Cd isotope compositions without significant isotope fractionation. A single sample from the Southern Ocean exhibits a light Cd isotope composition of ɛ114/110Cd = 0.2 ± 1.1. The origin of this signature is unclear, but it may reflect variations in deep water Cd isotope compositions related to differences in surface water Cd utilization or long-term changes in seawater ɛ114/110Cd. The results suggest that time series analyses of Fe-Mn crusts may be utilized to study changes in marine Cd utilization.

  8. Persistence and degradation of pesticide residues in different agricultural soils, related to biological activity. Part of a coordinated programme on isotopic-tracer-aided studies of agrochemical residue - soil biota interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laboratory studies and small-scale field experiments were conducted involving pesticides extensively used in agricultural practice in Brazil (the insecticides aldrin, carbaryl and parathion, and the fungicides carbendazim and metalaxyl) with emphasis on biological activity and soil organic matter content. The ability of fungi isolated from soils of southern, centre and northern regions of Brazil to degrade 14C-aldrin and its metabolites was assayed in culture growth medium. Results showed that the microorganism Penicilium sp. was able to metabolize the parent compound or one of its metabolites added to the medium. Field studies performed with soils packed into PVC tubes showed that added 14C-aldrin leached fastest in the soil poor in organic matter. 14C-carbaryl was used to evaluate the effects of addition of carbon sources on its persistence and degradation in soils rich and poor in organic matter. It was found that cellulose can influence the behaviour of carbaryl in soil low in organic matter by interfering with microorganismal population. Studies on the degradation of 14C-parathion by soil kept moist with and without repeated applications demonstrated that microbial population was modified by the repeated treatment. The adsorption, movement and persistence of the fungicide 14C-carbendazim was examined in Brazilian soils differing in organic matter content. Soils with highest levels of organic matter showed higher sorption coefficients and lower mobility. Carbendazim was very persistent in all soils. The metabolite 2-benzimidazolecarbamate was the main degradation product detected. Experiments with 14C-metalaxyl showed that sorption coefficients in the Humic Gley soil were 0.8 and in the Dark Red Latosol soil 0.3. Data are in agreement with the high mobility of 14C-metalaxyl in soil thin-layers. Also, a metabolite was detected in percentages varying from 3 to 10% specially in the Humic Gley soil samples

  9. Isolation and characterization of soil Streptomyces species as potential biological control agents against fungal plant pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelista-Martínez, Zahaed

    2014-05-01

    The use of antagonist microorganisms against fungal plant pathogens is an attractive and ecologically alternative to the use of chemical pesticides. Streptomyces are beneficial soil bacteria and potential candidates for biocontrol agents. This study reports the isolation, characterization and antagonist activity of soil streptomycetes from the Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve, a Natural protected area in Campeche, Mexico. The results showed morphological, physiological and biochemical characterization of six actinomycetes and their inhibitory activity against Curvularia sp., Aspergillus niger, Helminthosporium sp. and Fusarium sp. One isolate, identified as Streptomyces sp. CACIS-1.16CA showed the potential to inhibit additional pathogens as Alternaria sp., Phytophthora capsici, Colletotrichum sp. and Rhizoctonia sp. with percentages ranging from 47 to 90 %. This study identified a streptomycete strain with a broad antagonist activity that could be used for biocontrol of plant pathogenic fungi. PMID:24310522

  10. Biological Treatment of Textile Effluent Using Candida zeylanoides and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Isolated from Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. P. Abioye

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluates the efficacy of yeasts isolated from soil in the treatment of textile wastewater. Two yeast species were isolated from soil; they were identified as Candida zeylanoides and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The yeasts were inoculated into flask containing effluent and incubated for 15 days. Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed the most significant treatment capacity with a 66% reduction in BOD; this was followed closely by Candida zeylanoides with 57.3% reduction in BOD and a consortium of the two species showed the least remediation potential of 36.9%. The use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida zeylanoides in treatment of textile wastewater will help to limit the adverse environmental and health implications associated with disposal of untreated effluent into water bodies.

  11. Humic substances biological activity at the plant-soil interface: From environmental aspects to molecular factors

    OpenAIRE

    Trevisan, Sara; Francioso, Ornella; Quaggiotti, Silvia; Nardi, Serenella

    2010-01-01

    Humic substances (HS) represent the organic material mainly widespread in nature. HS have positive effects on plant physiology by improving soil structure and fertility and by influencing nutrient uptake and root architecture. The biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying these events are only partially known. HS have been shown to contain auxin and an “auxin-like” activity of humic substances has been proposed, but support to this hypothesis is fragmentary. In this review article, we a...

  12. Secondary successions of biota in oil-polluted peat soil upon different biological remediation methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melekhina, E. N.; Markarova, M. Yu.; Shchemelinina, T. N.; Anchugova, E. M.; Kanev, V. A.

    2015-06-01

    The effects of different bioremediation methods on restoration of the oil-polluted peat soil (Histosol) in the northernmost taiga subzone of European Russia was studied. The population dynamics of microorganisms belonging to different trophic groups (hydrocarbon-oxidizing, ammonifying, nitrifying, and oligonitrophilic) were analyzed together with data on the soil enzyme (catalase and dehydrogenase) activities, population densities of soil microfauna groups, their structures, and states of phytocenoses during a sevenyear-long succession. The remediation with biopreparations Roder composed of oil-oxidizing microorganisms-Roder with Rhodococcus rubber and R. erythropolis and Universal with Rhodotorula glutinis and Rhodococcus sp.-was more efficient than the agrochemical and technical remediation. It was concluded that the biopreparations activate microbiological oil destruction, thereby accelerating restoration succession of phytocenosis and zoocenosis. The succession of dominant microfauna groups was observed: the dipteran larvae and Mesostigmata mites predominant at the early stages were replaced by collembolans at later stages. The pioneer oribatid mite species were Tectocepheus velatus, Oppiella nova, Liochthonius sellnicki, Oribatula tibialis, and Eupelops sp.

  13. Metabolic behavior of bacterial biological control agents in soil and plant rhizospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological control provides an attractive alternative to chemical pesticides for the control of plant diseases. To date, however, few biocontrol products have been developed successfully at the commercial level. This stems largely from variability in disease control performance that is often obser...

  14. Molecular mobility in crispy bread crust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenhuijzen, van N.H.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the PhD study on molecular mobility was to analyse the molecular grounds for the deterioration of crispy/crunchy characteristics of cellular solid foods. A fresh baguette for example has a crispy crust and a moist and soft interior. Moisture migrates from crumb to crust. Already at a wate

  15. Biological soil quality as a factor of efficient resource utilization in organic farming systems

    OpenAIRE

    Fliessbach, A.; Mäder, P.

    2005-01-01

    In 1978 the DOK long-term field experiment was installed at Therwil close to Basel comparing the farming systems „bio-Dynamic“, „bio-Organic“ and „(K)conventional“. In the first years of the trial, crop yield and feasibility of organic farming were investigated. Soils were analysed with respect to long-term effects on fertility and were evaluated in the view of farming effects on the environment. Today the interrelation of diversity and efficiency and the quality of organic products is the re...

  16. Alpha spectroscopic determination of plutonium and uranium in food, biological materials, and soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An alpha-spectrometric method for the plutonium determination which was tested in different samples is described in detail. In particular, this method is capable of determining the very low plutonium levels found in food at present, and allow recoveries of 85-95% of the tracer added. Inorganic samples, such as soil samples for example, can be analyzed by using an abbreviated modification of the method. The measuring preparations show a high degree of spectral purity. Uranium can be separated during the analytical procedure and, after purification, can also be determined alpha-spectrometrically. 90-100% of the uranium are recovered. (orig.)

  17. Research progress on algae of the microbial crusts in arid and semiarid regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Chunxiang; ZHANG Delu; LIU Yongding

    2004-01-01

    Microbial crusts are attracting much interest in view of their possible uses in environmental conservation and ecological restoration of the arid and semiarid regions.Because algae play an irreplaceable important role in the early formation and the strengthening of microbial crusts,they are paid much more attention to than other cryptogams.In this paper,an overview of the current knowledge on the fine structure and development of microbial crust,focusing on the algal biomass,vertical distribution,succession,influential factors on algae,cohesion of soil stabilization,cementing mechanism for soil particles and the microalgal extracellular polymers is given,with particular emphasis on the authors' researches,and some prospects are put forward as well.

  18. Combined use of GIS and environmental indicators for assessment of chemical, physical and biological soil degradation in a Spanish Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Paz, José-Miguel; Sánchez, Juan; Visconti, Fernando

    2006-04-01

    Soil is one of the main non-renewable natural resources in the world. In the Valencian Community (Mediterranean coast of Spain), it is especially important because agriculture and forest biomass exploitation are two of the main economic activities in the region. More than 44% of the total area is under agriculture and 52% is forested. The frequently arid or semi-arid climate with rainfall concentrated in few events, usually in the autumn and spring, scarcity of vegetation cover, and eroded and shallow soils in several areas lead to soil degradation processes. These processes, mainly water erosion and salinization, can be intense in many locations within the Valencian Community. Evaluation of soil degradation on a regional scale is important because degradation is incompatible with sustainable development. Policy makers involved in land use planning require tools to evaluate soil degradation so they can go on to develop measures aimed at protecting and conserving soils. In this study, a methodology to evaluate physical, chemical and biological soil degradation in a GIS-based approach was developed for the Valencian Community on a 1/200,000 scale. The information used in this study was obtained from two different sources: (i) a soil survey with more than 850 soil profiles sampled within the Valencian Community, and (ii) the environmental information implemented in the Geo-scientific map of the Valencian Community digitised on an Arc/Info GIS. Maps of physical, chemical and biological soil degradation in the Valencian Community on a 1/200,000 scale were obtained using the methodology devised. These maps can be used to make a cost-effective evaluation of soil degradation on a regional scale. Around 29% of the area corresponding to the Valencian Community is affected by high to very high physical soil degradation, 36% by high to very high biological degradation, and 6% by high to very high chemical degradation. It is, therefore, necessary to draw up legislation and to

  19. Microbial community on oceanic ferro-manganese crusts from Takuyo-Daigo Seamount and Ryusei Seamount

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitahara, S.; Kato, S.; Yamagishi, A.

    2012-12-01

    Background and Purpose Iron and manganese oxide deposits are often found on deep seafloor. Rocks covered with these oxides are called ferro-manganese crusts (Mn crusts), and are ubiquitously distributed on deep seafloor (Rona 2003). Because Mn crusts contain rare metals such as Co, Pt and rare earth element, it can be resources in the future. Mn crusts and microbes on Mn crusts may contribute to material, especially carbon and nitrogen circulation between hydrosphere and lithosphere. Mechanism of Mn crust formation is not completely understood. Wang et al. propose a model that microorganisms associate with initial Mn mineral deposition (Wang et al., 2011). There is a possibility that microbes may contribute to formation of Mn crust relying on their ability to oxidize Fe and Mn. However, there is limited information about diversity, spatial distribution and abundance of microbes on Mn crust surface. Our purpose is to clarify microbial community composition, spatial distribution, diversity and abundance of microbes on Mn crusts collected from Takuyo-Daigo seamount and Ryusei seamount. Method We collected Mn crusts, sediments and ambient seawater from Takuyo-Daigo seamount at the depth of 1200 m, 1419 m, 2209 m and 2991 m during NT09-02 cruise in Feb 2009 and Ryusei seamount at the depth of 1194 m, 2079 m during KY11-02 in Feb 2011 with remotely operated vehicle Hyper-Dolphin (JAMSTEC). Genomic DNA was extracted from each sample using Fast DNA kit for soil (Qbiogene). Partial 16S rRNA gene and amoA gene were amplified by PCR with prokaryote-universal primer set (Uni516F-Uni1407R) and bacterial and archaeal amoA specific primer sets. PCR products were cloned. The nucleotide sequences of randomly selected clones were determined. We performed phylogenetic and statistical analysis to determine microbial community compositions, and estimated diversity indices. We also estimated the copy numbers of 16S rRNA and amoA genes of Bacteria and Archaea by quantitative PCR. Results

  20. Impact of organic and mineral inputs onto soil biological and metabolic activities under a long-term rice-wheat cropping system in sub-tropical Indian Inceptisols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basak, Nirmalendu; Datta, Ashim; Mitran, Tarik; Mandal, Biswapati; Mani, P K

    2016-01-01

    Long-term use of organic and mineral inputs has an overriding impact on soil biological and metabolic activities and crop management. Farm yard manure (FYM), paddy straw (PS) and green manure (GM, Sesbania sesban L.) were used for 24- years old rice (Oyza sativa L.) -wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cropping system in sub-tropical India to predict whether the screened soil biological and metabolic activities are correlated with system yield. The integrated approaches viz., NPK + FYM, NPK + PS and NPK + GM significantly increased both rice and wheat yield together by 67.5, 44.4 and 55.4%, respectively over control. However, for a few exceptions both soil microbial activity and metabolic activity were remarkably enhanced under integrated treatment NPK + FYM followed by NPK + PS, and NPK + GM, respectively. Among the studied attributes fluorescein diacetate hydrolyzing, dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase activity (β-glu) and microbial biomass C (C(mic)) were screened through principal component (PCA) and discriminate analysis (DA) that explained nearly 89% of total variations of the entire data set. Among the four identified attributes, only β-glu assay value could predict system yield (R2 = 0.65). Further, estimation of β-glu activity in soil can predict other soil biological properties (R2 = 0.96).

  1. Engineering assessment and feasibility study of Chattanooga Shale as a future source of uranium. [Preliminary mining; data on soils, meteorology, water resources, and biological resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-06-01

    This volume contains five appendixes: Chattanooga Shale preliminary mining study, soils data, meteorologic data, water resources data, and biological resource data. The area around DeKalb County in Tennessee is the most likely site for commercial development for recovery of uranium. (DLC)

  2. [Control of continuous potato monoculture barrier via biological soil disinfestation method in Yellow River irrigation areas of central Gansu Province, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shu-le; Liu, Guo-feng; Qiu, Hui-zhen; Wang, Di; Zhang, Jun-lian; Shen, Qi-rong

    2015-04-01

    The potential of biological soil disinfestation (BSD) in control of continuous potato monoculture barrier was investigated in present study. BSD involves the induction of soil reduction conditions through incorporation of easily decomposed organic materials into soil, flooding the soil by irrigation, and covering the soil surface with plastic film. Control (CK) was left without cover and organic amendment as well as flooding. Field experiment was conducted for testing the effect of BSD approach on the control of continuous potato monoculture barrier, especially on tube yield, plant growth and development, suppression of soil-borne pathogen, and soil microbial community and enzyme activities. Compared with CK, BSD treatment significantly increased tuber yield by 16.1% and plant biomass by 30.8%, respectively. Meanwhile, the incidence of diseased plant and the ratio of diseased tuber in BSD treatment also significantly decreased by 68.0% and 46.7% as compared to those in CK, respectively. BSD treatment significantly increased the content of chlorophyll and branch numbers per main stem of potato plants, improved the morphological characteristics of potato root system. In the course of BSD before potato sowing, soil pH value and bacteria/fungi significantly increased, but populations of fungi and Fusarium sp. significantly decreased compared with CK. There were no significant changes in populations of bacteria and actinomycetes between CK and BSD treatments. During potato growing stage, the populations of both soil fungi and Fusarium sp. were lower in BSD treatment than those of CK. With the advance of potato growth, the population of Fusarium sp. in BSD treatment gradually increased compared with CK. There were no significant changes in soil enzyme activities in the course of BSD before potato sowing and the whole of potato growing stage. It was concluded that BSD has the potential to control continuous potato monoculture barrier and may be an important element in a

  3. Biogenic crust dynamics on sand dunes

    CERN Document Server

    Kinast, Shai; Yizhaq, Hezi; Ashkenazy, Yosef

    2012-01-01

    Sand dunes are often covered by vegetation and biogenic crusts. Despite their significant role in dune stabilization, biogenic crusts have rarely been considered in studies of dune dynamics. Using a simple model, we study the existence and stability ranges of different dune-cover states along gradients of rainfall and wind power. Two ranges of alternative stable states are identified: fixed crusted dunes and fixed vegetated dunes at low wind power, and fixed vegetated dunes and active dunes at high wind power. These results suggest a cross-over between two different forms of desertification.

  4. Eocene deep crust at Ama Drime, Tibet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kellett, Dawn; Cottle, John; Smit, Matthijs Arjen

    2014-01-01

    for burial of the lower Indian crust beneath Tibet reported from the central-eastern Himalaya. Granulite-facies overprinting followed at ca. 15–13 Ma, as indicated by U-Pb zircon ages. Unlike ultrahigh-pressure eclogites of the northwest Himalaya, the Ama Drime eclogites are not characteristic of rapid...... burial and exhumation of a cold subducted slab. The rocks instead resulted from crustal thickening during the early stages of continental collision, and resided in the lower-middle crust for >20 m.y. before they were exhumed and reheated. These new data provide solid evidence for the Indian crust having...

  5. Microphytic crusts: 'topsoil' of the desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    1990-01-01

    Deserts throughout the world are the home of microphytic, or cryptogamic, crusts. These crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria, previously called blue-green algae, and also include lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria. They are critical components of desert ecosystems, significantly modifying the surfaces on which they occur. In the cold deserts of the Colorado Plateau (including parts of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico), these crusts are extraordinarily well-developed, and may represent 70-80% of the living ground cover.

  6. Crust rheology, slab detachment and topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duretz, T.; Gerya, T. V.

    2012-04-01

    The collision between continents following the closure of an ocean can lead to the subduction of continental crust. The introduction of buoyant crust within subduction zones triggers the development of extensional stresses in slabs which eventually result in their detachment. The dynamic consequences of slab detachment affects the development of topography, the exhumation of high-pressure rocks and the geodynamic evolution of collision zones. We employ two-dimensional thermo-mechanical modelling in order to study the importance of crustal rheology on the evolution of spontaneous subduction-collision systems and the occurrence of slab detachment. The modelling results indicate that varying the rheological structure of the crust can results in a broad range of collisional evolutions involving slab detachment, delamination (associated to slab rollback), or the combination of both mechanisms. By enhancing mechanical coupling at the Moho, a strong crust leads to the deep subduction of the crust (180 km). These collisions are subjected to slab detachment and subsequent coherent exhumation of the crust accommodated by eduction (inversion of subduction sense) and thrusting. In these conditions, slab detachment promotes the development of a high (> 4.5 km) and narrow (delamination of the lithosphere, preventing slab detachment to occur. Further shortening leads to buckling and thickening of the crust resulting in the development of topographic bulging on the lower plate. Collisions involving rheologically layered crust are characterised by a decoupling level at mid-crustal depths. These initial condition favours the delamination of the upper crust as well as the deep subduction of the lower crust. These collisions are thus successively affected by delamination and slab detachment and both processes contribute to the exhumation of the subducted crust. A wide (> 200 km) topographic plateau develops as the results of the buoyant extrusion of the upper crust onto the foreland

  7. Accumulation of heavy metals in oil-contaminated peat soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodyanitskii, Yu. N.; Savichev, A. T.; Trofimov, S. Ya.; Shishkonakova, E. A.

    2012-10-01

    X-ray fluorescence and X-ray radiometry represent easy and simple methods to determine concentrations of heavy metals in the ash of peat soils contaminated with oil and can be applied for soil monitoring purposes. Oil spills on peat bogs produce two contamination zones differing in the composition of heavy metals. In the zone of primary contamination, the peat surface is covered by a bitumen crust with V, Ni, Sr, Ba, Ce, and La accumulating there. This zone adjoins the zone of secondary peat contamination, where heavy alkaline-earth metals (Sr, Ba) and lanthanides (Ce and La) are accumulated to a lesser extent. Biological preparations recommended for remediation of oil-contaminated peat soils should be tolerant to high concentrations of heavy metals, particularly, V, Ni, and Ba that are present in the oil contaminated soils in relatively high amounts.

  8. A Study of Soil Line Simulation from Landsat Images in Mixed Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xulin Guo

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The mixed grassland in Canada is characterized by low to medium green vegetation cover, with a large amount of canopy background, such as non-photosynthetic vegetation residuals (litter, bare soil, and ground level biological crust. It is a challenge to extract the canopy information from satellite images because of the influence of canopy background. Therefore, this study aims to extract a soil line, a representation of bare soil with litter and soil crust in the surface, from Landsat images to reduce the background effect. Field work was conducted in the West Block of Grasslands National Park (GNP in Canada, which represents the northern mixed grassland from late June to early July 2005. Six TM images with either no or only a small amount of cloud content were collected in 2005. In this study, soil lines were extracted directly from images by quantile regression and the (R, NIRmin method. The results show that, (1 both cloud and cloud shadow have obvious influence on simulating soil line automatically from images; (2 green up and late senescence seasons are relatively better for soil line simulation; (3 the (R, NIRmin method is better for soil line simulation than quantile regression to extract green biomass or green cover information.

  9. Impact of Long-Term Forest Enrichment Planting on the Biological Status of Soil in a Deforested Dipterocarp Forest in Perak, Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. S. Karam

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Deforestation leads to the deterioration of soil fertility which occurs rapidly under tropical climates. Forest rehabilitation is one of the approaches to restore soil fertility and increase the productivity of degraded areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare soil biological properties under enrichment planting and secondary forests at Tapah Hill Forest Reserve, Perak after 42 years of planting. Both areas were excessively logged in the 1950s and left idle without any appropriate forest management until 1968 when rehabilitation program was initiated. Six subplots (20 m × 20 m were established within each enrichment planting (F1 and secondary forest (F2 plots, after which soil was sampled at depths of 0–15 cm (topsoil and 15–30 cm (subsoil. Results showed that total mean microbial enzymatic activity, as well as biomass C and N content, was significantly higher in F1 compared to F2. The results, despite sample variability, suggest that the rehabilitation program improves the soil biological activities where high rate of soil organic matter, organic C, N, suitable soil acidity range, and abundance of forest litter is believed to be the predisposing factor promoting higher population of microbial in F1 as compared to F2. In conclusion total microbial enzymatic activity, biomass C and biomass N evaluation were higher in enrichment planting plot compared to secondary forest. After 42 years of planting, rehabilitation or enrichment planting helps to restore the productivity of planted forest in terms of biological parameters.

  10. Ecosystems Biology Approaches To Determine Key Fitness Traits of Soil Microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, E.; Zhalnina, K.; Karaoz, U.; Cho, H.; Nuccio, E. E.; Shi, S.; Lipton, M. S.; Zhou, J.; Pett-Ridge, J.; Northen, T.; Firestone, M.

    2014-12-01

    The application of theoretical approaches such as trait-based modeling represent powerful tools to explain and perhaps predict complex patterns in microbial distribution and function across environmental gradients in space and time. These models are mostly deterministic and where available are built upon a detailed understanding of microbial physiology and response to environmental factors. However as most soil microorganisms have not been cultivated, for the majority our understanding is limited to insights from environmental 'omic information. Information gleaned from 'omic studies of complex systems should be regarded as providing hypotheses, and these hypotheses should be tested under controlled laboratory conditions if they are to be propagated into deterministic models. In a semi-arid Mediterranean grassland system we are attempting to dissect microbial communities into functional guilds with defined physiological traits and are using a range of 'omics approaches to characterize their metabolic potential and niche preference. Initially, two physiologically relevant time points (peak plant activity and prior to wet-up) were sampled and metagenomes sequenced deeply (600-900 Gbp). Following assembly, differential coverage and nucleotide frequency binning were carried out to yield draft genomes. In addition, using a range of cultivation media we have isolated a broad range of bacteria representing abundant bacterial genotypes and with genome sequences of almost 40 isolates are testing genomic predictions regarding growth rate, temperature and substrate utilization in vitro. This presentation will discuss the opportunities and challenges in parameterizing microbial functional guilds from environmental 'omic information for use in trait-based models.

  11. Biological responses of wheat (Triticum aestivum) plants to the herbicide simetryne in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Lei; Yang, Yi; Jia, Lin Xian; Lin, Jing Ling; Liu, Ying; Pan, Bo; Lin, Yong

    2016-05-01

    The rotation of rice and wheat is widely used and highly endorsed, and simetryne (s-triazine herbicide) is one of the principal herbicides widely used in this rotation for weed and grass control. However, little is known regarding the mechanism of the ecological and physiological effects of simetryne on wheat crops. In this study, we performed a comprehensive investigation of crop response to simetryne to elucidate the accumulation and phytotoxicity of the herbicide in wheat crops. Wheat plants exposed to 0.8 to 8.0mgkg(-1) simetryne for 7 d exhibited suppressed growth and decreased chlorophyll content. With simetryne concentration in the soil varied from 0.8mgkg(-1) to 8.0mgkg(-1), simetryne was progressively accumulated by the wheat plants. The accumulation of simetryne in the wheat plants not only induced the over production of ROS and injured the membrane lipids but also stimulated the production of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase (GR) and glutathione S-transferase (GST). A test of enzymatic activity and gene expression illustrated that the wheat plants were wise enough to motivate the antioxidant enzymes through both molecular and physiological mechanisms to alleviate the simetryne-induced stress. This study offers an illuminating insight into the effective adaptive response of the wheat plants to the simetryne stress. PMID:26803524

  12. Antibiotic pigment from desert soil actinomycetes; biological activity, purification and chemical screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selvameenal L

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available An actinomycete strain, Streptomyces hygroscopicus subsp. ossamyceticus (strain D10 was isolated from Thar Desert soil, Rajasthan during the year 2006 and found to produce a yellow color pigment with antibiotic activity. Crude pigment was produced from strain D10 by solid state fermentation using wheat bran medium followed by extraction with ethyl acetate. The antimicrobial activity of the crude pigment was evaluated against drug resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended spectrum b-lactamase producing cultures of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella sp. About 420 mg of crude pigment was produced per 10 g of wheat bran medium. In the disc diffusion method the crude ethyl acetate extract showed a minimum of 10 mm inhibition against Klebsiella sp. and maximum of 19 mm of inhibition against Escherichia coli. The crude pigment was partially purified using thin layer chromatography with the solvent system chloroform:methanol (30:70 and the Rf value was calculated as 0.768. Antimicrobial activity of the partially purified compound from thin layer chromatography was determined using the bioautography method. The purified pigment showed minimum of 15 mm inhibition against Klebsiella sp. and a maximum of 23 mm of inhibition against vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the disc diffusion method. Based on the results of chemical screening, the pigment was tentatively identified as group of sugar containing molecules.

  13. Neutron Star Crust and Molecular Dynamics Simulation

    CERN Document Server

    Horowitz, C J; Schneider, A; Berry, D K

    2011-01-01

    In this book chapter we review plasma crystals in the laboratory, in the interior of white dwarf stars, and in the crust of neutron stars. We describe a molecular dynamics formalism and show results for many neutron star crust properties including phase separation upon freezing, diffusion, breaking strain, shear viscosity and dynamics response of nuclear pasta. We end with a summary and discuss open questions and challenges for the future.

  14. Crust formation and its role during baking

    OpenAIRE

    Vanin, F.; Lucas, T.; Trystram, G.

    2009-01-01

    The final properties of the crumb and crust differ according to their heat-moisture dynamics. Compilations of heating and drying rates reported in the literature are discussed and will serve to validate future models of baking. Their impact on the structural elements in dough films and the porous network are discussed, highlighting the lack of data and the need to reproduce these dynamics inside the instrument of analysis. Some roles of the crust setting during the whole baking process are al...

  15. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System. PMID:19129845

  16. A numerical model (MISER) for the simulation of coupled physical, chemical and biological processes in soil vapor extraction and bioventing systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathfelder, Klaus M.; Lang, John R.; Abriola, Linda M.

    2000-05-01

    The efficiency and effectiveness of soil vapor extraction (SVE) and bioventing (BV) systems for remediation of unsaturated zone soils is controlled by a complex combination of physical, chemical and biological factors. The Michigan soil vapor extraction remediation (MISER) model, a two-dimensional numerical simulator, is developed to advance our ability to investigate the performance of field scale SVE and BV systems by integrating processes of multiphase flow, multicomponent compositional transport with nonequilibrium interphase mass transfer, and aerobic biodegradation. Subsequent to the model presentation, example simulations of single well SVE and BV systems are used to illustrate the interplay between physical, chemical and biological processes and their potential influence on remediation efficiency and the pathways of contaminant removal. Simulations of SVE reveal that removal efficiency is controlled primarily by the ability to engineer gas flow through regions of organic liquid contaminated soil and by interphase mass transfer limitations. Biodegradation is found to play a minor role in mass removal for the examined SVE scenarios. Simulations of BV systems suggest that the effective supply of oxygen may not be the sole criterion for efficient BV performance. The efficiency and contaminant removal pathways in these systems can be significantly influenced by interdependent dynamics involving biological growth factors, interphase mass transfer rates, and air injection rates. Simulation results emphasize the need for the continued refinement and validation of predictive interphase mass transfer models applicable under a variety of conditions and for the continued elucidation and quantification of microbial processes under unsaturated field conditions.

  17. Phenazines and biosurfactants interact in the biological control of soil-borne diseases caused by Pythium spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perneel, Maaike; D'hondt, Liesbet; De Maeyer, Katrien; Adiobo, Amayana; Rabaey, Korneel; Höfte, Monica

    2008-03-01

    In this study, the putative role of phenazines and rhamnolipid-biosurfactants, antagonistic metabolites produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa PNA1, was tested in the biological control of Pythium splendens on bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L) and Pythium myriotylum on cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium L Schott). A rhamnolipid-deficient and a phenazine-deficient mutant of PNA1 were used either separately or jointly in plant experiments. When the mutants were applied separately, no disease-suppressive effect was observed, although both mutants still produced one of the antagonistic compounds (phenazines or rhamnolipids). When the mutants were concurrently introduced in the soil, the biocontrol activity was restored to wild-type levels. Bean seeds developed significantly less pre-emergence damping-off caused by P. splendens when treated with a mixture of purified phenazine-1-carboxamide and rhamnolipids than with any of the chemicals alone. When phenazines and rhamnolipids were combined at concentrations that had no observable effects when the metabolites were applied separately, mycelial growth of P. myriotylum was significantly reduced. In addition, microscopic analysis revealed substantial vacuolization and disintegration of Pythium hyphae after incubation in liquid medium amended with both metabolites. Results of this study indicate that phenazines and biosurfactants are acting synergistically in the control of Pythium spp. PMID:18237310

  18. Preliminary Study on Biological Characteristics of Degraded Soil Ecosystems in Dry Hot Valley of the Jinsha River

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Distribution characteristics of soil animals, microorganisms and enzymatic activity were studied in thedry red soil and Vertisol ecosystems with different degradation degrees in the Yuanmou dry hot valley of theJinsha River, China. Results showed that Hymenoptera, Araneae and Collembola were the dominant groupsof soil animals in the plots studied. The numbers of groups and individuals and density of soil animals in thedry red soil series were higher than those in the Vertisol series, and the numbers of individuals and density ofsoil animals decreased with the degree of soil degradation. Bacteria dominated microbiocoenosis not only inthe dry red soils but also in the Vertisols. Microbial numbers of the dry red soil series were higher than thoseof Vertisol series, and decreased with the degree of soil degradation. The activities of catalase, invertase,urease and alkaline phosphatase declined with the degradation degree and showed a significant decline withdepth in the profiles of both the dry red soils and the Vertisols, but activities of polyphenol oxidase andacid and neutral phosphatase showed the same tendencies only in the Vertisols. It was concluded that thecharacteristics of soil animals, microorganisms and enzymatic activity could be used as the bio-indicators toshow the degradation degree of the dry red soils and Vertisols. Correlation among these soil bio-indicatorswas highly significant.

  19. Biological degradation of triclocarban and triclosan in a soil under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and comparison with environmental fate modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Triclocarban and triclosan are two antimicrobial agents widely used in many personal care products. Their biodegradation behaviour in soil was investigated by laboratory degradation experiments and environmental fate modelling. Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analyses showed that triclocarban and triclosan had a tendency to partition into soil or sediment in the environment. Fate modelling suggests that either triclocarban or triclosan 'does not degrade fast' with its primary biodegradation half-life of 'weeks' and ultimate biodegradation half-life of 'months'. Laboratory experiments showed that triclocarban and triclosan were degraded in the aerobic soil with half-life of 108 days and 18 days, respectively. No negative effect of these two antimicrobial agents on soil microbial activity was observed in the aerobic soil samples during the experiments. But these two compounds persisted in the anaerobic soil within 70 days of the experimental period. - Triclocarban and triclosan can be degraded by microbial processes in aerobic soil, but will persist in anaerobic soil

  20. Biological diversity and function in soils. By Richard D. Bardgett, Michael B. Usher and David W. Hopkins

    OpenAIRE

    François Ponge, Jean

    2006-01-01

    This book, based on a symposium held in 2003 at Lancaster University, under the auspices of the British Ecological Society, provokes questions. Why are there so many species living in the soil? Which important functions of the soil could be expected to be lost or gained from a decrease or increase in biodiversity? Are there functional links between below-ground activity and biodiversity in the soil? Is part or whole soil biodiversity important for the maintenance of terrestrial ecosystems? Wh...

  1. Variations in the fate and biological effects of sulfamethoxazole, norfloxacin and doxycycline in different vegetable-soil systems following manure application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianmei; Lin, Hui; Sun, Wanchun; Xia, Yun; Ma, Junwei; Fu, Jianrong; Zhang, Zulin; Wu, Huizhen; Qian, Mingrong

    2016-03-01

    The fate of sulfamethoxazole (SMZ), norfloxacin (NOR) and doxycycline (DOX) and their biological effects in radish and pakchoi culture systems were investigated. DOX dissipated more rapidly than SMZ and NOR, while radish and pakchoi cultivation increased the removal of residual DOX in soils. Dissipation of NOR was accelerated in radish soils but was slowed down slightly in pakchoi soils. Vegetable cultivation exerted an insignificant effect on SMZ removal. Investigation of antibiotic bioaccumulation showed that the uptake of DOX by radish and pakchoi was undetectable, but the radish accumulated more SMZ and NOR than pakchoi. Among the three antibiotics, only SMZ use exhibited an apparent suspension of plant seed germination, up-ground plant growth and soil microbial diversity. Pakchoi responded more sensitively to SMZ than did the radish. Principal component analysis (PCA) based on MicroRESP™ indicated that the sampling time and antibiotic treatments could influence the soil microbial community. Only in the pakchoi soils did antibiotic application exert a more robust effect on the microbial community than the sampling time; SMZ treatments and DOX treatments could be clearly discriminated from the control treatments. These results are crucial for an assessment of the potential risks of antibiotics to culture system practices and suggest that good agricultural practices help to limit or even reduce antibiotic pollution. PMID:26546703

  2. Basin Excavation, Lower Crust, Composition, and Bulk Moon Mass balance in Light of a Thin Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolliff, B. L.; Korotev, R. L.; Ziegler, R. A.

    2013-01-01

    New lunar gravity results from GRAIL have been interpreted to reflect an overall thin and low-density lunar crust. Accordingly, crustal thickness has been modeled as ranging from 0 to 60 km, with thinnest crust at the locations of Crisium and Moscoviense basins and thickest crust in the central farside highlands. The thin crust has cosmochemical significance, namely in terms of implications for the Moon s bulk composition, especially refractory lithophile elements that are strongly concentrated in the crust. Wieczorek et al. concluded that the bulk Moon need not be enriched compared to Earth in refractory lithophile elements such as Al. Less Al in the crust means less Al has been extracted from the mantle, permitting relatively low bulk lunar mantle Al contents and low pre- and post-crust-extraction values for the mantle (or the upper mantle if only the upper mantle underwent LMO melting). Simple mass-balance calculations using the method of [4] suggests that the same conclusion might hold for Th and the entire suite of refractory lithophile elements that are incompatible in olivine and pyroxene, including the KREEP elements, that are likewise concentrated in the crust.

  3. Soil formation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breemen, van N.; Buurman, P.

    1998-01-01

    Soil Formation deals with qualitative and quantitative aspects of soil formation (or pedogenesis) and the underlying chemical, biological, and physical processes. The starting point of the text is the process - and not soil classification. Effects of weathering and new formation of minerals, mobilis

  4. EFFECTS OF AFŞİN-ELBİSTAN POWER PLANT EMISSIONS ON THE PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF NEARBY SOILS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayten KARACA

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available In this research, the effect of emissions of Afşin - Elbistan Coal - Fired Power Plant on the physical, chemical and biological properties of nearby soils was investigated. For this aim, soil samples were taken from the villages near the central and 30 km away through central in the dominant wind direction during two years and four different periods. Besides the physical and chemical properties of the soil samples, total and available S, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Cd, Pb, Ni, F, urease, acid and alkali phosphatase and carbon diokside evaluation quantities were determined. It was found that, trace element and heavy metal contents of the soil samples taken from the dominant wind direction were higher than the soil samples taken from near central villages, especially concentration at sites closest to the power plant was much higher. On the other hand, urease, acid and alkali phosphatase enzyme activities of soils taken from the dominant wind direction of the central were decreased significantly (P < 0.05. Regreation analysis showed that negative correlation between the urease, acid and alkali phosphatase activities and all trace elements with the exception of iron, heavy metals, nitrate and CEC However, significant positive correlation were found between pH and organik matter of the soil samples taken from the dominant wind direction. There was no correlation between the CO2 evaluation and other elements in spite of negative correlation between CO2 and Mn, organic matter, clay content and CEC. There were negative correlation between the urease, acid and alkali phosphatase activities and CEC, N, correlation between the above-mentioned activities and pH and lime were positive of the soil samples taken from the near-central villages. However, it was obtained positive correlation between CO2 evaluation and pH, organic matter.

  5. Effects of silvicultural techniques on the diversity of microorganisms in forest soil and their possible participation in biological control of Armillaria and Heterobasidion

    OpenAIRE

    Kwaśna Hanna; Walkowiak Lucyna; Łakomy Piotr; Behnke-Borowczyk Jolanta; Gornowicz Roman; Mikiciński Artur; Gałązka Stanisław; Szewczyk Wojciech

    2015-01-01

    Effects of different pre-planting soil preparations and post-harvest wood debris applications in a clear-cut Scots pine plantation, on the abundance, diversity, and activity of culturable microorganisms were investigated. The investigation was done 9 years after the re-plantings had been done. This formed part of an investigation of silvicultural practices for conservation and the biological control of Armillaria and Heterobasidion in northern temperate forests (Poland). The treatments being ...

  6. Soil ecology and pedogenesis on ophiolitic materials in the western Alps (Mont Avic Natural Park, North-western Italy): soil properties and their relationships with substrate, vegetation and biological activity

    OpenAIRE

    D'Amico,

    2009-01-01

    Soils formed from ultramafic rocks are normally by pH values close to neutrality, a high base status and are usually rich in Mg, Fe and heavy metals. The low Ca/Mg ratio and the high heavy metal content could cause toxic effects in the biological communities. Plant communities, in particular, are usually different from nearby areas with different substrates and rich in endemisms and adapted species and subspecies. Despite their great environmental and ecological interest, pedological and e...