WorldWideScience

Sample records for define soil quality

  1. Cross-cutting activities: Soil quality and soil metagenomics

    OpenAIRE

    Peter P. Motavalli; Garrett, Karen A.

    2008-01-01

    This presentation reports on the work of the SANREM CRSP cross-cutting activities "Assessing and Managing Soil Quality for Sustainable Agricultural Systems" and "Soil Metagenomics to Construct Indicators of Soil Degradation." The introduction gives an overview of the extensiveness of soil degradation globally and defines soil quality. The objectives of the soil quality cross cutting activity are: CCRA-4 (Soil Metagenomics)

  2. Assessing soil quality and potential productivity - a basic approach to define and assess the marginality of land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repmann, Frank; Gerwin, Werner; Freese, Dirk

    2017-04-01

    An ever growing demand for energy and the widely proposed switch from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy sources puts the cultivation and use of bioenergy plants into focus. However, bioenergy production on regular and fertile agricultural soils might conflict with the worldwide growing demand for food. To mitigate or omit this potential conflict, the use of low quality or marginal land for cultivation of bioenergy plants becomes favorable. Against this background the definition and assessment of land marginality and, respectively, the evaluation whether and to which extent specific areas are marginal and thus convenient for sustainable bioenergy production, becomes highly relevant. Within the framework of the EU funded Horizon 2020 project SEEMLA, we attempted to asses land marginality of designated test sites in the Ukraine, Greece and Germany by direct field survey. For that purpose, soil and site properties were investigated and evaluated by applying the Muencheberg Soil Quality Rating (SQR) method, developed at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF). The method deploys a comprehensive set of biogeophysical and chemical indicators to describe and finally evaluate the quality of the soil and site by a score ranging from 1 to 100 points. Field survey data were supported by additional laboratory tests on a representative set of soil samples. Practical field work and analysis of field and lab data from the investigated sites proved the applicability of the SQR method within the SEEMLA context. The SQR indices calculated from the field and lab data ranged from 2 to plants such as willow (Salix sp.), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and poplar (Populus sp.) cultivated at the respective test sites, revealed that SQR might additionally reflect the potential yield of the investigated sites.

  3. More Value to Defining Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Kemenade, Everard; Pupius, Mike; Hardjono, Teun W.

    2008-01-01

    There are lots of definitions of quality, and also of quality in education. Garvin (1984) discerns five approaches: the transcendental approach, the product-oriented approach, the customer-oriented approach, the manufacturing-oriented approach and the value-for-money approach. Harvey and Green (1993) give five interrelated concepts of quality as:…

  4. ON SOIL QUALITY AND ITS ASSESSING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Florea

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The term of “soil quality” is utilized until present with different connotations; its meaning became nowadays more comprehensive. The most adequate definition of the “soil quality” is: “the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality and support human health and habitation” (Karlen et al, 1998 One distinguishes a native soil quality, in natural conditions, and a meta-native soil quality, in managed conditions. Also, one can distinguish a stable side and a variable side of the soil quality. It is useful to consider also the term of “soilscape quality”, defined as weighted average of soil qualities of all the soils entering soil cover and their arrangement (expressed by the pedogeographical assemblage. The assessing soil quality can be made indirectly by a set of indicators. The kind and number of the quality indicators depend on the evaluation scale and the objective of the assessment. New researches are necessary to define more accurately the soil quality and to develop its evaluation. Assessing and monitoring soil quality have global implication in environment and society.

  5. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING QUALITY AND ITS DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andra M. ACHIM

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The importance ofhigh-quality financial statements is highlighted by the main standard-setting institutions activating in the field of accounting and reporting. These have issued Conceptual Frameworks which state and describe the qualitative characteristics of accounting information. In this qualitative study, the research methodology consists of reviewing the literature related to the definition of accounting quality and striving for understanding how it can be explained. The main objective of the study is to identify the characteristics information should possess in order to be of high quality. These characteristics also contribute to the way of defining financial accounting quality. The main conclusions that arise from this research are represented by the facts that indeed financial accounting quality cannot be uniquely defined and that financial information is of good quality when it enhances the characteristics incorporated in the conceptual frameworks issued by both International Accounting Standards Board and Financial Accounting Standards Board.

  6. Soil structural quality assessment for soil protection regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannes, Alice; Boivin, Pascal

    2017-04-01

    Soil quality assessment is rapidly developing worldwide, though mostly focused on the monitoring of arable land and soil fertility. Soil protection regulations assess soil quality differently, focusing on priority pollutants and threshold values. The soil physical properties are weakly considered, due to lack of consensus and experimental difficulties faced with characterization. Non-disputable, easy to perform and inexpensive methods should be available for environmental regulation to be applied, which is unfortunately not the case. As a consequence, quantitative soil physical protection regulation is not applied, and inexpensive soil physical quality indicators for arable soil management are not available. Overcoming these limitations was the objective of a research project funded by the Swiss federal office for environment (FOEN). The main results and the perspectives of application are given in this presentation. A first step of the research was to characterize soils in a good structural state (reference soils) under different land use. The structural quality was assessed with field expertise and Visual Evaluation of the Soil Structure (VESS), and the physical properties were assessed with Shrinkage analysis. The relationships between the physical properties and the soil constituents were linear and highly determined. They represent the reference properties of the corresponding soils. In a second step, the properties of physically degraded soils were analysed and compared to the reference properties. This allowed defining the most discriminant parameters departing the different structure qualities and their threshold limits. Equivalent properties corresponding to these parameters but inexpensive and easy to determine were defined and tested. More than 90% of the samples were correctly classed with this method, which meets, therefore, the requirements for practical application in regulation. Moreover, result-oriented agri-environmental schemes for soil quality

  7. Arbuscular mycorrhiza in soil quality assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kling, M.; Jakobsen, I.

    1998-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi constitute a living bridge for the transport of nutrients from soil to plant roots, and are considered as the group of soil microorganisms that is of most direct importance to nutrient uptake by herbaceous plants. AM fungi also contribute to the formation of soil...... aggregates and to the protection of plants against drought and root pathogens. Assessment of soil quality, defined as the capacity of a soil to function within ecosystem boundaries to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant health, should therefore include both...

  8. Soil quality: key for sustainable production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Mocali

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In the last few years several definitions of “soil quality” have been advanced, but among them the most appreciated is “the ability of soils to interact with the ecosystem in order to maintain the biological productivity, the environmental quality and to promote animal and vegetal health” as defined by Doran and Parkin in 1994. Many researchers place more emphasis on its conceptual meaning for land planning and farm management, while others consider that definition to be worth nothing in order to understand soil properties and the concept of soil quality looks like the concept of “to be suitable for”. For this reason a definition of “soil use” is needed. The food quality is characterized by several properties: the healthiness and the nutritional value, the amount of the production, the typicalness and organoleptic properties, etc.. A lot of these properties depend on environmental quality and, in particular, on soil quality. In fact soil represents the natural substrate for growth and productivity of most of the plants that live on the Hearth because they get all the essential nutritional elements from it for their own development; consequently each nutritional element present into the soil as bioavailable form for the plants is potentially destined to entry in the animal (and human food chain. In the quality process of food productive process it will be important to assure the best soil quality as possible, without any unwanted element (which will not be discussed in this note and with the right amount of fertility elements in order to guarantee the best production. In this paper the relationships between soil quality, soil biodiversity and crop sustainability will be discussed. Finally the concept of soil “biota” as nodal point for the environment regulation and the application of the indicators for soil quality will be discussed.

  9. Restoring Soil Quality to Mitigate Soil Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rattan Lal

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Feeding the world population, 7.3 billion in 2015 and projected to increase to 9.5 billion by 2050, necessitates an increase in agricultural production of ~70% between 2005 and 2050. Soil degradation, characterized by decline in quality and decrease in ecosystem goods and services, is a major constraint to achieving the required increase in agricultural production. Soil is a non-renewable resource on human time scales with its vulnerability to degradation depending on complex interactions between processes, factors and causes occurring at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Among the major soil degradation processes are accelerated erosion, depletion of the soil organic carbon (SOC pool and loss in biodiversity, loss of soil fertility and elemental imbalance, acidification and salinization. Soil degradation trends can be reversed by conversion to a restorative land use and adoption of recommended management practices. The strategy is to minimize soil erosion, create positive SOC and N budgets, enhance activity and species diversity of soil biota (micro, meso, and macro, and improve structural stability and pore geometry. Improving soil quality (i.e., increasing SOC pool, improving soil structure, enhancing soil fertility can reduce risks of soil degradation (physical, chemical, biological and ecological while improving the environment. Increasing the SOC pool to above the critical level (10 to 15 g/kg is essential to set-in-motion the restorative trends. Site-specific techniques of restoring soil quality include conservation agriculture, integrated nutrient management, continuous vegetative cover such as residue mulch and cover cropping, and controlled grazing at appropriate stocking rates. The strategy is to produce “more from less” by reducing losses and increasing soil, water, and nutrient use efficiency.

  10. Methodologies for defining quality of life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glicken, J. [Ecological Planning and Toxicology, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Engi, D. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-10-10

    Quality of life as a concept has been used in many ways in the public policy arena. It can be used in summative evaluations to assess the impacts of policies or programs. Alternatively, it can be applied to formative evaluations to provide input to the formation of new policies. In short, it provides the context for the understanding needed to evaluate the results of choices that have been made in the public policy arena, or the potential of choices yet to be made. In either case, the public policy question revolves around the positive or negative impact the choice will have on quality of life, and the magnitude of that impact. This discussion will develop a conceptual framework that proposes that an assessment of quality of life is based on a comparison of expectations with experience. The framework defines four basic components from which these expectations arise: natural conditions, social conditions, the body, and the mind. Each one of these components is generally described, and associated with a general policy or rhetorical category which gives it its policy vocabulary--environmental quality, economic well-being, human health, and self-fulfillment.

  11. Multiband Software Defined Radar for Soil Discontinuities Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Costanzo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A multiband Software Defined Radar based on orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing technique is proposed in this work for an accurate soil discontinuities detection, taking into account also the dispersive behavior of media. A multilayer soil structure is assumed as a validation test to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, by accurately retrieving the unknown thicknesses and permittivities of the soil layers.

  12. Monitoring and evaluating soil quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bloem, J.; Schouten, A.J.; Sørensen, S.J.; Rutgers, M.; Werf, van der A.K.; Breure, A.M.

    2006-01-01

    This book provides a selection of microbiological methods that are already applied in regional or national soil quality monitoring programs. It is split into two parts: part one gives an overview of approaches to monitoring, evaluating and managing soil quality. Part two provides a selection of meth

  13. Measuring soil physical properties to assess soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Raczkowski, C.W.

    2007-01-01

    Soil quality is the capacity of a soil to function within ecosystem boundaries to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant, animal and human health. A quantitative assessment of soil quality is invaluable in determining the sustainability of land management systems. Criteria for soil quality assessment are: 1) Choose indicators of soil quality based on the multiple functions of soil that maintain productivity and environmental health, 2)must include s...

  14. Arbuscular mycorrhiza in soil quality assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kling, M.; Jakobsen, I.

    1998-01-01

    aggregates and to the protection of plants against drought and root pathogens. Assessment of soil quality, defined as the capacity of a soil to function within ecosystem boundaries to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant health, should therefore include both...... quantitative and qualitative measurements of this important biological resource. Various methods for the assessment of the potential for mycorrhiza formation and function are presented. Examples are given of the application of these methods to assess the impact of pesticides on the mycorrhiza....

  15. Development of soil quality metrics using mycorrhizal fungi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baar, J.

    2010-07-01

    Based on the Treaty on Biological Diversity of Rio de Janeiro in 1992 for maintaining and increasing biodiversity, several countries have started programmes monitoring soil quality and the above- and below ground biodiversity. Within the European Union, policy makers are working on legislation for soil protection and management. Therefore, indicators are needed to monitor the status of the soils and these indicators reflecting the soil quality, can be integrated in working standards or soil quality metrics. Soil micro-organisms, particularly arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), are indicative of soil changes. These soil fungi live in symbiosis with the great majority of plants and are sensitive to changes in the physico-chemical conditions of the soil. The aim of this study was to investigate whether AMF are reliable and sensitive indicators for disturbances in the soils and can be used for the development of soil quality metrics. Also, it was studied whether soil quality metrics based on AMF meet requirements to applicability by users and policy makers. Ecological criterions were set for the development of soil quality metrics for different soils. Multiple root samples containing AMF from various locations in The Netherlands were analyzed. The results of the analyses were related to the defined criterions. This resulted in two soil quality metrics, one for sandy soils and a second one for clay soils, with six different categories ranging from very bad to very good. These soil quality metrics meet the majority of requirements for applicability and are potentially useful for the development of legislations for the protection of soil quality. (Author) 23 refs.

  16. Soil Degradation and Soil Quality in Western Europe: Current Situation and Future Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iñigo Virto

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The extent and causes of chemical, physical and biological degradation of soil, and of soil loss, vary greatly in different countries in Western Europe. The objective of this review paper is to examine these issues and also strategies for soil protection and future perspectives for soil quality evaluation, in light of present legislation aimed at soil protection. Agriculture and forestry are the main causes of many of the above problems, especially physical degradation, erosion and organic matter loss. Land take and soil sealing have increased in recent decades, further enhancing the problems. In agricultural land, conservation farming, organic farming and other soil-friendly practices have been seen to have site-specific effects, depending on the soil characteristics and the particular types of land use and land users. No single soil management strategy is suitable for all regions, soil types and soil uses. Except for soil contamination, specific legislation for soil protection is lacking in Western Europe. The Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection in the European Union has produced valuable information and has encouraged the development of networks and databases. However, soil degradation is addressed only indirectly in environmental policies and through the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, which promotes farming practices that support soil conservation. Despite these efforts, there remains a need for soil monitoring networks and decision-support systems aimed at optimization of soil quality in the region. The pressure on European soils will continue in the future, and a clearly defined regulatory framework is needed.

  17. DEFINING MANAGEMENT ZONES BASED ON SOIL ATTRIBUTES AND SOYBEAN PRODUCTIVITY

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    FABRICIO TOMAZ RAMOS

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Demarcating soil management zones can be useful, for instance, delimiting homogeneous areas and selecting attributes that are generally correlated with plant productivity, but doing so involves several different steps. The objective of this study was to identify the chemical and physical attributes of soil and soybean plants that explain crop productivity, in addition to suggesting and testing a methodological procedure for defining soil management zones. The procedure consisted of six steps: sample collection, data filtering, variable selection, interpolation, grouping, and evaluation of management zones. The samples were collected in an experimental area of 12.5 ha cultivated with soybean during the 2013/14 crop in Dystrophic Red Latosol, in Mato Grosso, Brazil. A total of 117 pairs of plant and soil samples were collected. Student’s t - test was used ( α = 0.02 to verify that the number of samples was adequate for correlation analysis. Results showed that only the P and Mn content in the grains explained (based on R 2 values the variation in soybean grain productivity the area. Based on the interpolation of these contents by ordinary kriging, the fuzzy C - means algorithm was used to separate them into groups by similarity. Division into two groups was the best option, which could be differentiated by Mann – Whitney test (P < 0.05, resulting in a map with 10 management zones.

  18. Soil invertebrates as bioindicators of urban soil quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santorufo, Lucia; Van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Rocco, Annamaria; Maisto, Giulia

    2012-02-01

    This study aimed at relating the abundance and diversity of invertebrate communities of urban soils to chemical and physical soil characteristics and to identify the taxa most sensitive or tolerant to soil stressors. The invertebrate community of five urban soils in Naples, Italy, was sampled. To assess soil quality invertebrate community indices (Shannon, Simpson, Menhinick and Pielou indices), Acarina/Collembola ratios, and the soil biological quality index (QBS) were calculated. The chemical and physical characteristics of the soils strongly differed. Abundance rather than taxa richness of invertebrates were more affected by soil characteristics. The community was more abundant and diverse in the soils with high organic matter and water content and low metal (Cu, Pb, Zn) concentrations. The taxa more resistant to the urban environment included Acarina, Enchytraeids, Collembola and Nematoda. Collembolans appeared particularly sensitive to changing soil properties. Among the investigated indices, QBS seems most appropriate for soil quality assessment. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. MICROWAVE REMOTE SENSING IN SOIL QUALITY ASSESSMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Saha

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Information of spatial and temporal variations of soil quality (soil properties is required for various purposes of sustainable agriculture development and management. Traditionally, soil quality characterization is done by in situ point soil sampling and subsequent laboratory analysis. Such methodology has limitation for assessing the spatial variability of soil quality. Various researchers in recent past showed the potential utility of hyperspectral remote sensing technique for spatial estimation of soil properties. However, limited research studies have been carried out showing the potential of microwave remote sensing data for spatial estimation of various soil properties except soil moisture. This paper reviews the status of microwave remote sensing techniques (active and passive for spatial assessment of soil quality parameters such as soil salinity, soil erosion, soil physical properties (soil texture & hydraulic properties; drainage condition; and soil surface roughness. Past and recent research studies showed that both active and passive microwave remote sensing techniques have great potentials for assessment of these soil qualities (soil properties. However, more research studies on use of multi-frequency and full polarimetric microwave remote sensing data and modelling of interaction of multi-frequency and full polarimetric microwave remote sensing data with soil are very much needed for operational use of satellite microwave remote sensing data in soil quality assessment.

  20. Soil quality indicators in Urban watersheds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damame, D. B.; Longo, R. M.; Nardi, L. A. A.; Fengler, F. H.

    2015-12-01

    Soil quality can be defined as the ability of this function within the boundaries of an ecosystem can be assessed three different aspects: physical, biological and chemical. As no indicator alone able to quantify the quality of the soil and should relate various attributes. In this context, this study aimed to characterize soil quality in urban sub basins to the northwest of the city of Campinas / SP-Brazil. These are characterized by strong urbanization, with the presence of rural areas and fragmented native vegetation. Disturbed soil samples were collected along the area in which the parameters were analyzed: potential acidity, pH, organic matter, potassium (K) and calcium (Ca) base saturation (SB) and cation exchange capacity (CTC). Data were discussed by cluster analysis using Ward clustering strategy and using as the similarity coefficient between pairs Euclidean distance. Thus, one can divide the points collected from three different groups: Group 1 consists of 91% of the points belonging to the urban and rural use; group 2 showed about 73% of the points belonging to vegetated areas; Group 3 had 82% of points distributed between rural and vegetated areas. In terms of soil quality, it follows that on average the group 1 had the worst scores. Group 2 presented the best characteristics, except for K, higher in group 3, which can be attributed to chemical fertilizer used in agricultural areas. Knowing also that the acceptable limits for pH, in tropical soils vary between 5.5 and 6.8 is observed that the groups 2 and 3 were within this range, only the group 1 presented below this standard. In terms of soil quality indicators, group 2 stood out positively, with good quality, group 3 was between the two groups, with median values of quality, while the group 1 showed the most deterioration of the research group, It can be attributed to the fact that 54.5% of the points in this group have urban wear, indicating the need for recovery.

  1. Soil and soil environmental quality monitoring in China: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Yanguo; Wu, Jin; Lu, Sijin; Wang, Yeyao; Jiao, Xudong; Song, Liuting

    2014-08-01

    Over the past few decades, numerous concerns have been raised in China over the issue of environmental sustainability. Various soil survey and monitoring programs have been carried out in China to study soil quality, and to provide a scientific basis for environment policy making. This paper provides an overview of past and current soil quality surveys and monitoring activities in China. This paper includes a summary of concerns over background concentrations of elements in soil, and soil environmental standards and guidelines in China. Levels of pollution in urban soil, agricultural soil, and soil in mining and smelting areas were compared using the concentrations and pollution indexes. In addition to soil surveys, soil monitoring is essential to study the data and to examine the effects of contaminants in soils. However, the current soil quality monitoring system was insufficient to accurately determine the soil quality status of soils across China. For accurate soil monitoring in China, it will be necessary to set up routine monitoring systems at various scales (national, provincial, and local scales), taking into consideration monitoring indicators and quality assurance. This is currently an important priority for the environmental protection administration of China.

  2. Soil Quality Indicator: a new concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barão, Lúcia; Basch, Gottlieb

    2017-04-01

    During the last century, cultivated soils have been intensively exploited for food and feed production. This exploitation has compromised the soils' natural functions and many of the soil-mediated ecosystems services, including its production potential for agriculture. Also, soils became increasingly vulnerable and less resilient to a wide range of threats. To overcome this situation, new and better management practices are needed to prevent soil from degradation. However, to adopt the best management practices in a specific location, it is necessary to evaluate the soil quality status first. Different soil quality indicators have been suggested over the last decades in order to evaluate the soil status, and those are often based on the performance of soil chemical, physical and biological properties. However, the direct link between these properties and the associated soil functions or soil vulnerability to threats appears more difficult to be established. This present work is part of the iSQAPER project- Interactive Soil Quality Assessment in Europe and China for Agricultural Productivity and Environmental Resilience, where new soil quality concepts are explored to provide better information regarding the effects of the most promising agricultural management practices on soil quality. We have developed a new conceptual soil quality indicator which determines the soil quality status, regarding its vulnerability towards different threats. First, different indicators were specifically developed for each of the eight threats considered - Erosion, SOM decline, Poor Structure, Poor water holding capacity, Compaction, N-Leaching, Soil-borne pests and diseases and Salinization. As an example for the case of Erosion, the RUSLE equation for the estimate of the soil annual loss was used. Secondly, a reference classification was established for each indicator to integrate all possible results into a Good, Intermediate or Bad classification. Finally, all indicators were

  3. SOIL QUALITY ASSESSMENT USING FUZZY MODELING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maintaining soil productivity is essential if agriculture production systems are to be sustainable, thus soil quality is an essential issue. However, there is a paucity of tools for measurement for the purpose of understanding changes in soil quality. Here the possibility of using fuzzy modeling t...

  4. Soil management: The key to soil quality and sustainable agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basch, Gottlieb; Barão, Lúcia; Soares, Miguel

    2017-04-01

    Today, after the International Year of Soils in 2015 and the proclamation by the International Union of Soil Sciences of the International Decade of Soils 2015-2020, much attention is paid to soil quality. Often used interchangeably, both terms, soil quality and soil health, refer to dynamic soil properties such as soil organic matter or pH, while soil quality also includes inherent soil properties such as texture or mineral composition. However, it is the dynamic or manageable properties that adequate soil management can influence and thus contribute to a well-functioning soil environment capable to deliver the soil-mediated provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services and soil functions. This contribution intends to highlight the key principles of sustainable soil management and provide evidence that they are compliant with a productive, resource efficient and ecologically friendly agriculture. Paradoxically, and despite benefitting from good soil quality, agriculture itself when based on conventional, especially intensive tillage-based soil management practices contributes decisively to soil degradation and to several of the soil threats as identified by the Soil Thematic Strategy, being soil erosion and soil organic matter decline the most notorious ones. To mitigate soil degradation, the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy has introduced conservation measures, mainly through cross-compliance measures supposed to guarantee minimum soil cover, to limit soil erosion and to maintain the levels of soil organic matter. However, it remains unclear to what extent EU member states apply these 'Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition' (GAEC) measures to their utilized agricultural areas. Effective and cost-efficient soil management systems able to conserve or to restore favourable soil conditions, to minimize soil erosion and to invert soil organic matter and soil biodiversity decline and improve soil structure are those capable to mimic as

  5. Enzyme activities by indicator of quality in organic soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raigon Jiménez, Mo; Fita, Ana Delores; Rodriguez Burruezo, Adrián

    2016-04-01

    The analytical determination of biochemical parameters, as soil enzyme activities and those related to the microbial biomass is growing importance by biological indicator in soil science studies. The metabolic activity in soil is responsible of important processes such as mineralization and humification of organic matter. These biological reactions will affect other key processes involved with elements like carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus , and all transformations related in soil microbial biomass. The determination of biochemical parameters is useful in studies carried out on organic soil where microbial processes that are key to their conservation can be analyzed through parameters of the metabolic activity of these soils. The main objective of this work is to apply analytical methodologies of enzyme activities in soil collections of different physicochemical characteristics. There have been selective sampling of natural soils, organic farming soils, conventional farming soils and urban soils. The soils have been properly identified conserved at 4 ° C until analysis. The enzyme activities determinations have been: catalase, urease, cellulase, dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase, which bring together a representative group of biological transformations that occur in the soil environment. The results indicate that for natural and agronomic soil collections, the values of the enzymatic activities are within the ranges established for forestry and agricultural soils. Organic soils are generally higher level of enzymatic, regardless activity of the enzyme involved. Soil near an urban area, levels of activities have been significantly reduced. The vegetation cover applied to organic soils, results in greater enzymatic activity. So the quality of these soils, defined as the ability to maintain their biological productivity is increased with the use of cover crops, whether or spontaneous species. The practice of cover based on legumes could be used as an ideal choice

  6. Soil quality assessment under emerging regulatory requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bone, James; Head, Martin; Barraclough, Declan; Archer, Michael; Scheib, Catherine; Flight, Dee; Voulvoulis, Nikolaos

    2010-08-01

    New and emerging policies that aim to set standards for protection and sustainable use of soil are likely to require identification of geographical risk/priority areas. Soil degradation can be seen as the change or disturbance in soil quality and it is therefore crucial that soil and soil quality are well understood to protect soils and to meet legislative requirements. To increase this understanding a review of the soil quality definition evaluated its development, with a formal scientific approach to assessment beginning in the 1970s, followed by a period of discussion and refinement. A number of reservations about soil quality assessment expressed in the literature are summarised. Taking concerns into account, a definition of soil quality incorporating soil's ability to meet multifunctional requirements, to provide ecosystem services, and the potential for soils to affect other environmental media is described. Assessment using this definition requires a large number of soil function dependent indicators that can be expensive, laborious, prone to error, and problematic in comparison. Findings demonstrate the need for a method that is not function dependent, but uses a number of cross-functional indicators instead. This method to systematically prioritise areas where detailed investigation is required, using a ranking based against a desired level of action, could be relatively quick, easy and cost effective. As such this has potential to fill in gaps and compliment existing monitoring programs and assist in development and implementation of current and future soil protection legislation.

  7. Soil organic matter stratification as an indicator of soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Franzluebbers, A.J.

    2002-01-01

    Metadata only record This paper explores the potential for using a ration of the stratification of soil organic C and N pools by depth as an indicator of soil quality. Stratification ratios offer a more universal indicator of soil quality, allowing comparison of soils across different soil types and climates. The ratios calculated for Georgia, Texas, and Alberta/British Colombia were, respectively, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.9 under conventional tillage, and 3.0, 2.0, and 2.1 under no tillage. High s...

  8. Biological and biochemical soil quality indicators for agricultural management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongiorno, Giulia

    2017-04-01

    Soil quality is defined as the capacity of a soil to perform multiple functions. Agricultural soils can, in principle, sustain a wide range of functions. However, negative pressure exerted by natural and anthropogenic soil threats such as soil erosion, soil organic matter losses and soil compaction have the potential to permanently damage soil quality. Soil chemical, physical and biological parameters can be used as indicators of soil quality. The specific objective of this study is to assess the suitability of novel soil parameters as soil quality indicators. We focus on biological/biochemical parameters, due to the unique role of soil biota in soil functions and to their high sensitivity to disturbances. The novel indicators are assessed in ten European long-term field experiments (LTEs) with different agricultural land use (arable and permanent crops), management regimes and pedo-climatic characteristics. The contrasts in agricultural management are represented by conventional/reduced tillage, organic/mineral fertilization and organic matter addition/no organic matter addition. We measured two different pools of labile organic carbon (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC)), and determined DOC quality through its fractionation in hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds. In addition, total nematode abundance has been assessed with qPCR. These parameters will be related to soil functions which have been measured with a minimum data set of indicators for soil quality (including TOC, macronutrients, and soil respiration). As a preliminary analysis, the Sensitivity Index (SI) for a given LTE was calculated for DOC and POXC according to Bolinder et al., 1999 as the ratio of the soil attribute under modified practices (e.g. reduced tillage) compared to the conventional practices (e.g. conventional tillage). The overall effect of the sustainable management on the indicators has been derived by calculating an average SI for those LTEs

  9. Impact of conservationpractices on soil quality indicators: case study in the Fort Cobb Reservoir watershed, Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    While there has been controversy amongst researchers about the concepts and terminology of soil quality, there is agreement that management has critical effects on soils and that soils can either move toward or away from a condition that is favorable for the defined use of that soil. Within watershe...

  10. Field scale studies on the spatial variability of soil quality indicators in Washington State, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arable lands are needed for sustainable agricultural systems to support an ever growing human population. Soil quality needs to be defined to assure the new arable land is sustainable. To evaluate soil quality a number of soil attributes will need to be measured, evaluated and integrated into a soi...

  11. Soil quality of organically managed citrus orchards in the Mediterranean area.

    OpenAIRE

    2003-01-01

    Soil quality can be defined as the capacity of a soil to function, whilst maintaining the environmental quality and promoting plant and animal health. It also refers to the capability of soil to function at present and in the future for an indefinite period of time. Soil quality is a basic concept in the sustainable management of any agricultural system aimed at producing, avoiding or reducing negative effects on the environment, preserving resources and saving energy on a medium- or long-ter...

  12. Microbiological methods for assessing soil quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bloem, J.; Hopkins, D.W.; Benedetti, A.

    2006-01-01

    This book provides a selection of microbiological methods that are already applied in regional or national soil quality monitoring programs. It is split into two parts: part one gives an overview of approaches to monitoring, evaluating and managing soil quality. Part two provides a selection of meth

  13. Metal mobilization in soil by two structurally defined polyphenols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyphenols including tannins comprise a large percentage of plant detritus such as leaf litter, and affect soil processes including metal dynamics. We tested the effect of tannins on soil metal mobilization by determining the binding stoichiometries of two model polyphenols to Al(III) and Fe(III) ...

  14. 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.

  15. Importance of Soil Quality in Environment Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márta Birkás

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil quality can be characterised by the harmony between it’s physical and biological state and the fertility. From the practical crop production viewpoint, some important contrasting factors of soil quality are: (1 soil looseness – compaction; (2 aggregation – clod and dust formation; friable structure – smeared or cracked structure; (3 organic material: conservation – decrease; (4 soil moisture: conservation – loss; water transmission – water-logging; (5 at least soil condition as a result of the long term effect of land use moderates or strengthens climatic harm. In our long-term research project practical soil quality factors were examined in arable field and experimental conditions. We state that prevention of the soil quality deterioration can be done by the developing and maintaining harmony between land use and environment. Elements of the soil quality conditions such as looseness, aggregation, workability, organic matter, water transport are examined and the improving methods are suggested. Tillage and production factors which can be adopted to alleviate the harmful climatic impacts are also summarised.

  16. The effect of soil on cork quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pestana, Miguel N; Gomes, Alberto A

    2014-01-01

    The present work aimed to contribute for a better knowledge regarding soil features as cork quality indicators for stoppers. Cork sampling was made in eight Cork oak stands (montados de sobreiro) located in the Plio-Plistocene sedimentary formations of Península de Setúbal in southern Tagus River region. The samples used to classify the cork as stopper for wine bottles were obtained in eight cork oak stands, covering soils of different types of sandstones of the Plio-plistocene. In each stand, we randomly chose five circular plots with 30 m radius and five trees per plot with same stripping conditions determined by: dendrometric features (HD- height stipping, PBH- perimeter at breaster height), trees vegetative condition (defoliation degree); stand features (density, percentage canopy cover); site conditions (soil type and orientation). In the center of each plot a pit was open to characterize the soil profile and to classify the soil. Cork quality for stoppers was evaluated according to porosity, pores/per cm(2) and cork boards thickness. The soil was characterized according to morphological soil profile features (lithology, soil profound, and soil horizons) and chemical soil surface horizon features (organic matter, pH, macro, and micronutrients availability). Based on the variables studied and using the numerical taxonomy, we settled relationships between the cork quality and some soil features. The results indicate: (1) high correlation between the cork caliber and boron, cation exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchange acidity, and exchangeable magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium in soils of theirs cork oaks; (2) the cork porosity is correlated with the number of pores/cm(2) and magnesium soil content; (3) the other soil features have a lower correlation with the caliber, porosity, and the number of pores per cm(2).

  17. The effect of intrinsic soil properties on soil quality assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Samuel-Rosa

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of soil quality is based on indicators and indices derived from soil properties. However, intrinsic soil properties may interfere with other soil properties that vary under different land uses and are used to calculate the indices. The aim of this study was to assess the extent to which intrinsic soil properties (clay and iron oxide contents explain variable soil properties (sum of bases, potential acidity, organic carbon, total porosity, and bulk density under different land uses (native forest, no-tillage and conventional agriculture on small family farms in Southern Brazil. The results showed that the five properties evaluated can be included in soil quality assessments and are not influenced by the clay and iron oxide contents. It was concluded that for little weathered 1:1 and 2:1 phyllosilicate rich-soils, if the difference between the maximum and the minimum clay content under the different land uses is less than about 200 g kg-1 and the iron oxide content less than about 15 g kg-1, the physico-chemical soil properties in the surface layer are determined mostly by the land use.

  18. The effect of soil on cork quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Nugent Pestana

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The present work aimed to contribute for a better knowledge regarding soil features as cork quality indicators for stoppers.Cork sampling was made in eight Cork oak stands (montados de sobreiro located in different Plio-Plistocene sedimentary formations of Península de Setúbal and Carbonic shistes from paleozoic periods in Saw Grândola, both in southern Tagus River regionThe samples used to classify the cork as stopper for wine bottles were obtained in eight cork oak stands located in Península de Setúbal, south of the River Tagus, covering soils of different types of sandstones of the Plio-plistoceneIn each stand, we randomly chose five circular plots with 30 m radius. Five trees with same stripping conditions determined by the dendrometric features: HD (height stipping, PBH (perimeter at breaster height, and percentage canopy cover, trees vegetative condition (defoliation degree stand features (density, and site conditions (soil type and orientation. In the center of each plot a pit was open to characterize the soil profile and to classify the soil of each plot sampling.Cork quality for stoppers was evaluated according to porosity, pores/per cm 2 and thickness. The soil was characterized according to morphological soil profile features (lithology, soil profound and soil horizons and chemical soil surface horizon features (organic matter, pH, macro and micronutrients availability.Based on the variables studied and using the numerical taxonomy, we settled relationships between the cork quality and some soil features. The results indicate: (1 high correlation between the cork caliber and boron, caption exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchange acidity and exchangeable magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium in soils of theirs cork oaks; (2 the cork porosity is correlated with the number of pores/cm2 and magnesium; (3 the other soil features have a lower correlation with the caliber, porosity and the number of pores per cm2.

  19. The effect of soil on cork quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pestana, Miguel; Gomes, Alberto

    2014-10-01

    The present work aimed to contribute for a better knowledge regarding soil features as cork quality indicators for stoppers. Cork sampling was made in eight Cork oak stands (montados de sobreiro) located in different Plio-Plistocene sedimentary formations of Península de Setúbal and Carbonic shistes from paleozoic periods in Saw Grândola, both in southern Tagus River region The samples used to classify the cork as stopper for wine bottles were obtained in eight cork oak stands located in “Península de Setúbal”, south of the River Tagus, covering soils of different types of sandstones of the Plio-plistocene In each stand, we randomly chose five circular plots with 30 m radius. Five trees with same stripping conditions determined by the dendrometric features: HD (height stipping, PBH (perimeter at breaster height), and percentage canopy cover, trees vegetative condition (defoliation degree) stand features (density), and site conditions (soil type and orientation). In the center of each plot a pit was open to characterize the soil profile and to classify the soil of each plot sampling. Cork quality for stoppers was evaluated according to porosity, pores/per cm 2 and thickness. The soil was characterized according to morphological soil profile features (lithology, soil profound and soil horizons) and chemical soil surface horizon features (organic matter, pH, macro and micronutrients availability). Based on the variables studied and using the numerical taxonomy, we settled relationships between the cork quality and some soil features. The results indicate: (1) high correlation between the cork caliber and boron, caption exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchange acidity and exchangeable magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium in soils of theirs cork oaks; (2) the cork porosity is correlated with the number of pores/cm2 and magnesium; (3) the other soil features have a lower correlation with the caliber, porosity and the number of pores per cm2.

  20. Effects of pumice mining on soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Ruíz, A.; Cruz-Ruíz, E.; Vaca, R.; Del Aguila, P.; Lugo, J.

    2016-01-01

    Mexico is the world's fourth most important maize producer; hence, there is a need to maintain soil quality for sustainable production in the upcoming years. Pumice mining is a superficial operation that modifies large areas in central Mexico. The main aim was to assess the present state of agricultural soils differing in elapsed time since pumice mining (0-15 years) in a representative area of the Calimaya region in the State of Mexico. The study sites in 0, 1, 4, 10, and 15 year old reclaimed soils were compared with an adjacent undisturbed site. Our results indicate that gravimetric moisture content, water hold capacity, bulk density, available phosphorus, total nitrogen, soil organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon and phosphatase and urease activity were greatly impacted by disturbance. A general trend of recovery towards the undisturbed condition with reclamation age was found after disturbance, the recovery of soil total N being faster than soil organic C. The soil quality indicators were selected using principal component analysis (PCA), correlations and multiple linear regressions. The first three components gathered explain 76.4 % of the total variability. The obtained results revealed that the most appropriate indicators to diagnose the quality of the soils were urease, available phosphorus and bulk density and minor total nitrogen. According to linear score analysis and the additive index, the soils showed a recuperation starting from 4 years of pumice extraction.

  1. VNIR Spectroscopy Estimation of Soil Quality Indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowledge of within-field spatial variability in soil quality indicators is important to assess the impact of site-specific management on the soil. Standard methods for measuring these properties require considerable time and expense, so sensor-based approaches would be useful. The purposes of this ...

  2. Compost improves urban soil and water quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Construction in urban zones compacts the soil, which hinders root growth and infiltration and may increase erosion, which may degrade water quality. The purpose of our study was to determine the whether planting prairie grasses and adding compost to urban soils can mitigate these concerns. We simula...

  3. A trait based approach to defining valued mentoring qualities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendall, E.

    2012-12-01

    Graduate training in the sciences requires strong personal interactions among faculty, senior lab members and more junior members. Within the lab-group setting we learn to frame problems, to conduct research and to communicate findings. The result is that individual scientists are partly shaped by a few influential mentors. We have all been influenced by special relationships with mentors, and on reflection we may find that certain qualities have been especially influential in our career choices. In this presentation I will discuss favorable mentoring traits as determined from an informal survey of scientists in varying stages of careers and from diverse backgrounds. Respondents addressed questions about traits they value in their mentors in several categories: 1) personal qualities such as approachability, humor and encouragement; background including gender, ethnicity, and family status; 2) scientific qualities including discipline or specialization, perceived stature in discipline, seniority, breadth of perspective, and level of expectations; and 3) community-oriented qualities promoted by mentors, such as encouraging service contributions and peer-mentoring within the lab group. The results will be compared among respondents by gender, ethnicity, stage of career, type of work, and subdiscipline within the broadly defined Biogeoscience community. We hope to contribute to the growing discussion on building a diverse and balanced scientific workforce.

  4. Urban and industrial land uses have a higher soil biological quality than expected from physicochemical quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joimel, Sophie; Schwartz, Christophe; Hedde, Mickaël; Kiyota, Sayuri; Krogh, Paul Henning; Nahmani, Johanne; Pérès, Guénola; Vergnes, Alan; Cortet, Jérôme

    2017-04-15

    Despite their importance both in soil functioning and as soil indicators, the response of microarthropods to various land uses is still unclear. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of land use on microarthropod diversity and determine whether a soil's biological quality follows the same physicochemical quality-based gradient from forest, agriculture-grassland, agriculture-arable land, vineyards, urban vegetable gardens to urban, industrial, traffic, mining and military areas. A database compiling the characteristics of 758 communities has been established. We calculated Collembola community indices including: species richness, Pielou's evenness index, collembolan life forms, the abundance of Collembola and of Acari, the Acari/Collembola abundance ratio, and the Collembolan ecomorphological index. Results show that agricultural land use was the most harmful for soil microarthropod biodiversity, whilst urban and industrial land uses give the same level of soil biological quality as forests do. Furthermore, differences between the proportions of Acari and ecomorphological groups were observed between land uses. This study, defining soil microarthropod diversity baselines for current land uses, should therefore help in managing and preserving soil microarthropod biodiversity, especially by supporting the preservation of soil quality.

  5. Evaluation of soil structure in the framework of an overall soil quality rating

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller, L; Shepherd, T G; Schindler, U;

    2013-01-01

    Soil structure is an important aspect of agricultural soil quality, and its preservation and improvement are key to sustaining soil functions. Methods of overall soil quality assessment which include visual soil structure information can be useful tools for monitoring and managing the global soil...... resource. The aim of the paper is: (i) to demonstrate the role of visual quantification of soil structure within the procedure of the overall soil quality assessment by the Muencheberg Soil Quality Rating (M-SQR), (ii) to quantify the magnitude and variability of soil structure and overall M......-SQR on a number of agricultural research sites and (iii) to analyse the correlations of soil quality rating results with crop yields. We analysed visual soil structure and overall soil quality on a range of 20 experimental sites in seven countries. To assess visual soil structure we utilised the Visual Soil...

  6. Adopting soil organic carbon management practices in soils of varying quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Merante, Paolo; Dibari, Camilla; Ferrise, Roberto; Sánchez, Berta; Iglesias, Ana; Lesschen, Jan Peter; Kuikman, Peter; Yeluripati, Jagadeesh; Smith, Pete; Bindi, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) content can greatly affect soil quality by determining and maintaining important soil physical conditions, properties and soil functions. Management practices that maintain or enhance SOC affect soil quality and may favour the capacity of soils to sequester further organ

  7. Effects of pumice mining on soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Ruíz, A.; Cruz-Ruíz, E.; Vaca, R.; Del Aguila, P.; Lugo, J.

    2015-04-01

    México is the worl's fourth most important maize producer; hence, there is a need to maintain soil quality for a sustainable production in the upcoming years. Pumice mining, a superficial operation, modifies large areas in Central Mexico. The main aim was to assess the present state of agricultural soils differing in elapsed-time since pumice mining (0-15 years), in a representative area of the Calimaya region in the State of Mexico. The study sites in 0, 1, 4, 10 and 15 year-old reclaimed soils were compared with adjacent undisturbed site. Our results indicate that soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon and microbial quotients were greatly impacted by disturbance. A general trend of recovery towards the undisturbed condition with reclamation age was found after disturbance. Recovery of soil total nitrogen was faster than soil organic carbon. Principal components analysis was applied. The first three components together explain 71.72 % of the total variability. First factor reveals strong associations between total nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon and pH. The second factor reveals high loading of urease and catalase. The obtained results revealed that the most appropriate indicators to diagnose the quality of the soils were: total nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon and soil organic carbon.

  8. Effects of pumice mining on soil quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Cruz-Ruíz

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available México is the worl's fourth most important maize producer; hence, there is a need to maintain soil quality for a sustainable production in the upcoming years. Pumice mining, a superficial operation, modifies large areas in Central Mexico. The main aim was to assess the present state of agricultural soils differing in elapsed-time since pumice mining (0–15 years, in a representative area of the Calimaya region in the State of Mexico. The study sites in 0, 1, 4, 10 and 15 year-old reclaimed soils were compared with adjacent undisturbed site. Our results indicate that soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon and microbial quotients were greatly impacted by disturbance. A general trend of recovery towards the undisturbed condition with reclamation age was found after disturbance. Recovery of soil total nitrogen was faster than soil organic carbon. Principal components analysis was applied. The first three components together explain 71.72 % of the total variability. First factor reveals strong associations between total nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon and pH. The second factor reveals high loading of urease and catalase. The obtained results revealed that the most appropriate indicators to diagnose the quality of the soils were: total nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon and soil organic carbon.

  9. Defining Quality of Life: A Wild-Goose Chase?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Barcaccia

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In the last decades there has been a growing interest towards the concept of “Quality of Life” (QoL, not only in the bio-medical field, but also in other areas, such as sociology, psychology, economics, philosophy, architecture, journalism, politics, environment, sports, recreation, advertisements. Nevertheless QoL does turn out to be an ambiguous and elusive concept – a precise, clear and shared definition appears to be a long way off. In this article an analysis of how QoL is interpreted and defined in various scientific articles published in the last two decades, is offered. In addition, an illustration of how widespread the use of this concept is in different fields of knowledge, the difficulties in reaching a shared understanding of QoL, the problems involved in stating clearly the construct, and a presentation of some of its conceptualizations, are provided. The importance of subjectivity in the definition of what QoL is, emerges as a key aspect. This personal and subjective dimension could be the starting point for a more thorough and holistic understanding of this concept, in which standardized sets of valid, reliable and evidence-based measures of, e.g., psychological and spiritual dimensions, are encompassed in the person’s quality of life evaluation.

  10. Two-Dimensional Porosity of Crusted Silty Soils: Indicators of Soil Quality in Semiarid Rangelands?

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Little is known about the morphological characteristics of pores in soil crusts. The objective was to characterize the 2D-porosity (amount, shape, size and area of pores) of soil crusts to ascertain their potential as indicators of soil quality for natural crusted soils. 2D-porosity was described in thin sections and measured by image analysis of polished resin-impregnated soil blocks. Physical soil crust and incipient biological soil crusts appear to be the lowest-quality soil...

  11. Three Soil Quality Demonstrations for Educating Extension Clientele

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoorman, James J.

    2014-01-01

    There is a renewed interest in educating youth, Master Gardeners, and agricultural producers about soil quality. Three soil demonstrations show how soil organic matter increases water holding capacity, improves soil structure, and increases nutrient retention. Exercise one uses clay bricks and sponges to represent mineral soils and soil organic…

  12. Three Soil Quality Demonstrations for Educating Extension Clientele

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoorman, James J.

    2014-01-01

    There is a renewed interest in educating youth, Master Gardeners, and agricultural producers about soil quality. Three soil demonstrations show how soil organic matter increases water holding capacity, improves soil structure, and increases nutrient retention. Exercise one uses clay bricks and sponges to represent mineral soils and soil organic…

  13. Soil quality assessment for peat-mineral mix cover soil used in oil sands reclamation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojekanmi, A A; Chang, S X

    2014-09-01

    A soil quality (SQ) assessment and rating framework that is quantitative, iterative, and adaptable, with justifiable weighting for quality scores, is required for evaluating site-specific SQ at land reclamation sites. Such a framework needs to identify the minimum dataset that reflects the current knowledge regarding relationships between SQ indicators and relevant measures of ecosystem performance. Our objective was to develop nonlinear scoring functions for assessing the impact on SQ of peat-mineral mix (PMM) used as a cover soil at land reclamation sites. Soil functional indicators affected by PMM were extracted from existing databases and correlated with soil organic carbon (SOC). Based on defined objectives for SQ assessment, indicators with significant correlation ( soil nitrogen, and cation exchange capacity of PMM using SOC as input parameter. Application of the SQFs to an independent dataset produced ratings with mean differences similar to the treatment effects of mixing three levels of peat and mineral soil. These results show that derived ratings and weighing factors using SOC reflect the relationship between PMM treatment and other SQ indicators. Applying the developed SQFs to a long-term soil monitoring dataset shows that an increase or decrease in SOC from 10 to 20 g kg causes a significant change in SQ. This identifies the need for further nutrient and moisture management of PMM to support long-term SQ development in land reclamation.

  14. Evaluation-of soil enzyme activities as soil quality indicators in sludge-amended soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dindar, Efsun; Şağban, Fatma Olcay Topaç; Başkaya, Hüseyin Savaş

    2015-07-01

    Soil enzymatic activities are commonly used as biomarkers of soil quality. Several organic and inorganic compounds found in municipal wastewater sludges can possibly be used as fertilizers. Monitoring and evaluating the quality of sludge amended soils with enzyme activities accepted as a beneficial practice with respect to sustainable soil management. In the present study, variation of some enzyme activities (Alkaline phosphatase, dehydrogenase, urease and beta-glucosidase activities) in soils amended with municipal wastewater sludge at different application rates (50, 100 and 200 t ha(-1) dry sludge) was evaluated. Air dried sludge samples were applied to soil pots and sludge-soil mixtures were incubated during a period of three months at 28 degrees C. The results of the study showed that municipal wastewater sludge amendment apparently increased urease, dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase and P-glucosidase activities in soil by 48-70%, 14-47%, 33-66% and 9-14%, respectively. The maximum activity was generally observed in sludge amended soil with dose of 200 t ha(-1). Urease activity appeared to be a better indicator of soil enhancement with wastewater sludge, as its activity was more strongly increased by sludge amendment. Accordingly, urease activity is suggested to be soil quality indicator best suited for measuring existing conditions and potential changes in sludge-amended soil.

  15. Air quality information system (AQIS) for Gauteng: defining best practice

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Kganyago, P

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No 39 of 2004), need for national framework. The national framework will include the norms and standards for air quality information management. NAQIS (National Air Quality...

  16. Aggregate Indices Method in Soil Quality Evaluation Using the Relative Soil Quality Index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Ngoc Pham

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new approach to assess the soil quality by aggregate indices using the Relative Soil Quality Index (RSQI proposed by Ho Ngoc Pham. RSQI is integrated from the individual indices into a simple formula for overall assessment of the soil quality. RSQI is different from other approaches. Particularly, the individual indices and the weighting factors of Pham are calculated from the analytical laboratory data and the environmental standards, respectively, and not self-regulated as in methods of some other authors. In this paper, the authors applied the RSQI to assess the Soil Environmental Quality of rice intensive cultivation areas through a case study in Haiduong province in 2013. The RSQI is calculated for sampling points in 12 districts and simulated the Soil Environmental Quality on GIS map. The results show that the Soil Environmental Quality of rice intensive cultivation areas in Haiduong is predominantly divided into three levels: good, moderate, and poor. According to the report of General Statistics Office for Haiduong province, rice intensive cultivation areas in 2013 achieved a relatively high average rice yield of 5.90 tonnes per hectare; it means actual soil properties are in line with results of the research.

  17. Soil quality assessment in rice production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues de Lima, A.C.

    2007-01-01

    In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, rice production is one of the most important regional activities. Farmers are concerned that the land use practices for rice production in the Camaquã region may not be sustainable because of detrimental effects on soil quality. The study presented in this

  18. Soil quality assessment in rice production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues de Lima, A.C.

    2007-01-01

    In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, rice production is one of the most important regional activities. Farmers are concerned that the land use practices for rice production in the Camaquã region may not be sustainable because of detrimental effects on soil quality. The study presented in this

  19. Conservation Tillage Impacts on Soil Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hake, K.

    2012-04-01

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

  20. Zero Tillage cotton systems and soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landers, J. N.; de Freitas, P. L.

    2012-04-01

    Monocropping in cotton production systems negates the benefits of zero tillage. With cotton in a 3-year rotation including other summer and cover crops, such as soybeans and intensive-rooting Brachiaria spp., research on sandy soils in Bahia improved soil fertility, structure and biological activity. Cotton is a deep tap-rooted crop, sensitive to physical and chemical impediments to root development; this has engendered a paradigm of heavy soil preparation operations to remove these. But, ZT can overcome such obstacles, allowing the cotton crop to benefit from cost reductions and a number of other benefits, especially erosion control.. Soil quality has three principal dimensions. Maximum yields only occur when soil fertility, structure and biological activity are in balance. Under Zero Tillage management of Brazilian soils, the processes of nutrient availability, nutrient cycling and efficiency result from increasing SOM and higher CEC. ZT system fertility is also strongly influenced by total annual aerial and root biomass generation; C:N ratios of the biomass, changes in aeration in residue breakdown processes (for roots, dependent on internal drainage), reduced fixation of Phosphorus fertilizers, the possibility of surface application of P and K, use of deep-rooted cover crops to re-cycle nutrients and deleterious effects of over-liming. Soil physical parameters undergo a transformation : greater water holding capacity, a small increase in bulk density (ameliorated by a reversal of soil aggregate breakdown inherent to conventional tillage by the binding action of root exudates and fungal hyphae), enhanced particle aggregate size protects SOM from oxidation; old root holes create semi-permanent macro-pores which facilitate rooting, aeration and rainfall infiltration.. Soil life of all types benefits from ZT management and contributes to soil fertility and structural improvements, plus enhancing certain biological controls of pathogenic organisms and allelopathic

  1. Soil quality of a degraded urban area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panico, Speranza; Memoli, Valeria; Maisto, Giulia; De Marco, Anna

    2017-04-01

    Human activities cause modifications of the soil characteristics, leading to a significant reduction of the soil fertility and quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between microbial activity or biomass and chemical characteristics (i.e. heavy metal and organic matter contents) of a degraded urban soil. The study area is located in an urban park (about 10 ha, called Quarantena) near to the Fusaro Lake of Campi Flegrei (Southern Italy); the Park was established in 1953 to shelter animals coming from any place of the Planet and execute veterinary checks before their delivery to different European zoos. In 1997, the park was abandoned and nowadays in it a large amount of urban wastes accumulates. Surface soils (0-10 cm) were sampled at three points: two of them covered by Holm Oak specimens (P1 and P2) and one covered by herbaceous species, particularly legumes (P3). P1 was localized at the border of the park and next to a busy road; P2 at the centre of the Quarantena Park; P3 at a gap area near the Fusaro Lake. The results showed that the soil sampled at P1 showed the highest Cr and Ni concentrations; the soil sampled at P3 had high levels of Cu and Pb, exceeding the threshold values of 100 µg g-1 d.w. fixed by the Italian law for urban soils, probably due to boat traffic, fishing practice and agricultural activities; the soil sampled at P2 had intermediate values of metal concentrations but the highest amount of organic matter (more than 20% d.w.). Despite of metal contamination, P1 and P3 showed higher soil microbial biomass and activity as compared to P2. Therefore, at this site, the organic matter accumulation could be due to the scarce litter degradation. In conclusion, although the studied area was not too large, a wide heterogeneity of soil quality (in terms of the investigated chemical and biological characteristics) was detected, depending on the local human impact.

  2. Defining Quality and Sustainability – Looking for Synergies

    OpenAIRE

    Isaksson, Raine

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Both quality and sustainability are frequently used and positively loaded words. On the overall level most people agree that we should both have quality and sustainability in the processes we are working with. Logically there should be synergies in improving quality and sustainability but there could also be conflicts. When assessing how well our processes are performing, it becomes more complicated to find a consensus since there are many and partly conflicting views and definit...

  3. Evaluation of Soil Quality: Application of Fuzzy Indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    The problem of assessing soil quality is considered as the fuzzy modeling task. Fuzzy indicator concept (FIC) is used as a general platform for the assessment of soil quality as a "degree or grade of perfection”. The FIC can be realized through the utilization of fuzzy soil quality indicators (FSQI)...

  4. Enzymatic activities in a semiarid soil amended with different soil treatment: Soil quality improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hueso González, Paloma; Elbl, Jakub; Dvořáčková, Helena; Francisco Martinez Murillo, Juan; Damian Ruiz Sinoga, Jose

    2017-04-01

    The use of soil quality indicators may be an effective approach to assess the positive effect of the organic amendment as good restoration methods. Relying on the natural fertility of the soil, the most commonly chemical and physical parameters used to evaluate soil quality are depend to the soil biological parameters. The measurement of soil basal respiration and the mineralization of organic matter are commonly accepted as a key indicator for measuring changes to soil quality. Thus, the simultaneous measurement of various enzymes seems to be useful to evaluate soil biochemical activity and related processes. In this line, Dehydrogenase activity is widely used in evaluating the metabolic activity of soil microorganisms and to evaluate the effects caused by the addition of organic amendments. Variations in phosphatase activity, apart from indicating changes in the quantity and quality of soil phosphorated substrates, are also good indicators of soil biological status. This study assesses the effect of five soil amendments as restoration techniques for semiarid Mediterrenean ecosystems. The goal is to interpret the status of biological and chemical parameters in each treatment as soil quality indicators in degraded forests. The main objectives were to: i) analyze the effect of various organic amendments on the enzimatic activity of soil; ii) analyze the effect of the amendments on soil respiration; iii) assess the effect of these parameters on the soil chemical properties which are indicative of soil healthy; and iv) evaluated form the land management point of view which amendment could result a effective method to restore Mediterranean degraded areas. An experimental paired-plot layout was established in southern of Spain (homogeneous slope gradient: 7.5%; aspect: N170). Five amendments were applied in an experimental set of plots: straw mulching; mulch with chipped branches of Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.); TerraCotten hydroabsobent polymers; sewage

  5. Defining and Leveraging Game Qualities for Serious Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Michael W.; Shen, Yuzhong

    2011-01-01

    Serious games can and should leverage the unique qualities of video games to effectively deliver educational experiences for the learners. However, leveraging these qualities is incumbent upon understanding what these unique 'game' qualities are , and how they can facilitate the learning process. This paper presents an examination of the meaning of the term 'game' . as it applies to both serious games and digital entertainment games. Through the examination of counter examples, we derive three game characteristics; games are self contained, provide a variety of meaningful choices, and are intrinsically compelling. We also discuss the theoretical educational foundations which support the application of these 'game qualities' to educational endeavors. This paper concludes with a presentation of results achieved through the application of these qualities and the applicable educational theories to teach learners about the periodic table of elements via a serious game developed by the authors.

  6. Advances in Application of Models in Soil Quality Evaluation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SI Zhi-guo; WANG Ji-jie; YU Yuan-chun; LIANG Guan-feng; CHEN Chang-ren; SHU Hong-lan

    2012-01-01

    Soil quality is a comprehensive reflection of soil properties.Since the soil quality concept was put forward in the 1970s,the quality of different type soils in different regions have been evaluated through a variety of evaluation methods,but it still lacks universal soil quantity evaluation models and methods.In this paper,the applications and prospects of grey relevancy comprehensive evaluation model,attribute hierarchical model,fuzzy comprehensive evaluation model,matter-element model,RAGA-based PPC /PPE model and GIS model in soil quality evaluation are reviewed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. Ecological soil quality affected by land use and management on semi-arid Crete

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leeuwen, J. P.; Moraetis, D.; Lair, G. J.; Bloem, J.; Nikolaidis, N. P.; Hemerik, L.; de Ruiter, P. C.

    2015-03-01

    Land use and soil management practice can have strong effects on soil quality, defined in terms of soil fertility, carbon sequestration and conservation of biodiversity. In this study, we investigate whether ecological soil quality parameters are adequate to assess soil quality under harsh conditions, and are able to reflect different land uses and intensities of soil management practices. We selected three sites as main representatives for the dominant types of land use in the region: an intensively cultivated olive orchard (annually tilled), an extensively used olive orchard (not tilled) and a heavily grazed pasture site in the Koiliaris catchment (Crete/Greece). Soil quality was analysed using an ecosystem approach, studying soil biological properties such as soil organism biomass and activity, and taxonomic diversity of soil microarthropods, in connection to abiotic soil parameters, including soil organic matter contents, and soil aggregate stability. The intensively cultivated olive orchard had a much lower aggregate water stability than the extensive olive orchard and the pasture. Contents of soil organic C and N were higher in the extensively used olive orchard than in the intensively cultivated orchard, with intermediate concentrations in the pasture. This was mainly caused by the highest input of organic matter, combined with the lowest organic matter decomposition rate. Soil organism biomasses in all sites were relatively low compared to values reported from less harsh systems, while microarthropod richness was highest in the pasture compared to both the intensive and extensive olive orchards. From the present results we conclude that microarthropod taxonomic richness is a very useful indicator for ecological soil quality, because it is not only able to separate harsh sites from other systems, but it is also sensitive enough to show differences between land management practices under harsh conditions. Microbial biomass and especially microarthropod

  9. Main Parameters of Soil Quality and it's Management Under Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    László Phd, M., ,, Dr.

    2009-04-01

    are intended to protect the ability of ecosystems to function properly (Kádár, 1992; Várallyay, 1992, 1994, 2005; Cook and Hendershot, 1996; Németh, 1996; Malcolm, 2000; Márton, 2005; Márton et al. 2007). The Hungarian Ministry of Environment and Water (HMEW, 2004) suggests that the Hungarian Regions should adopt a national policy "...that seeks to conserve and enhance soil quality...". Useful evaluation of soil quality requires agreement about why soil quality is important, how it is defined, how it should be measured, and how to respond to measurements with management, restoration, or conservation practices. Because determining soil quality requires one or more value judgments and because we have much to learn about soil, these issues are not easily addressed (Várallyay, 1992, 1994, 2005; Cook and Hendershot, 1996; Németh, 1996; Malcolm, 2000). Definitions of soil quality have been based both on human uses of soil and on the functions of soil within natural and agricultural ecosystems. For purposes of this work, we are showing soil quality within the context of managed agricultural ecosystems. To many in agriculture and agricultural research, productivity is analogous to soil quality. Maintaining soil quality is also a human health concern because air, groundwater and surface water consumed by humans can be adversely affected by mismanaged and contaminated soils, and because humans may be exposed to contaminated soils in residential areas (Kádár, 1992; Várallyay, 2005; Cook and Hendershot, 1996; Németh, 1996; Malcolm, 2000; Márton et al. 2007). Contamination may include heavy metals, toxic elements, excess nutrients, volatile and nonvolatile organics, explosives, radioactive isotopes and inhalable fibers (Sheppard et al., 1992; Cook and Hendershot, 1996). Soil quality is not determined by any single conserving or degrading process or property, and soil has both dynamic and relatively static properties that also vary spatially (Carter et al., 1997

  10. Farmers’ assessment of soil quality in rice production systems

    OpenAIRE

    LIMA, A. C. R. de; Hoogmoed, W.B.; BRUSSAARD, L; Sacco dos Anjos, F.

    2011-01-01

    In the recent past there has been increasing recognition that local knowledge of farmers can yield insight into soil quality. With regard to constraints and possibilities for the production of irrigated rice in the south of Brazil there is no documentation on local soil knowledge. The goals of this study were to answer the following questions: (1) Which soil quality perceptions do rice farmers have? (2) Which soil quality indicators are most important to them? (3) Do rice farmers use their kn...

  11. A Pilot Study To Define Quality in Residency Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klessig, Jill M.; Wolfsthal, Susan D.; Levine, Mark A.; Stickley, William; Bing-You, Robert G.; Lansdale, Thomas F.; Battinelli, David L.

    2000-01-01

    A modified Delphi process was used to survey program directors and medical residents to identify indicators of quality in internal medicine residency training. Items rated important by both groups included faculty characteristics such as stability, supervision, clinical skills, and teaching commitment; institutional support; and amount of resident…

  12. A Modified Soil Quality Index to Assess the Influence of Soil Degradation Processes on Desertification Risk: The Apulia Case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Ancona

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Apulia is one of the most prone Italian regions to soil alteration phenomena, due to geographical and climatic conditions and also to human activities’ impact. In this study, in order to investigate regional soil degradation processes, following the “European Directive for Soil Protection”, the ESA’s method has been adopted. It is based on the use of an indicator’s set to assess the desertification risk. This approach simplifies the diagnosis and monitoring of soil degradation processes, defining their status and trend. Special attention has been given to Soil Quality Index (SQI determined by six predisposing indicators (parent material, soil texture, rock fragment, soil depth, drainage and slope grade. The integration in the SQI calculation of two additional soil parameters (organic matter content and soil salinity has been considered particularly significant. In fact, through the evaluation of a so “modified SQI” and the Apulia land use too, it could be possible to assess the role of agriculture management on soil degradation processes, which predisposing regional area to desertification threat. Moreover this approach provides short, but accurate, information thanks to GIS integration, which defines phenomena in detail, offering helpful planning tools.

  13. Effects of Prairie Restoration on Soil Quality Indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Characterization of soil ecosystem functioning based on soil quality assessments of native prairie may provide a reference for evaluating improvement in soil quality of cultivated agroecosystems converted to perennial vegetation during prairie restoration. Our objective was to determine the effect o...

  14. Using operational and defined fractions to assess soil organic matter stabilization and structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwath, W. R.

    2015-12-01

    Studies on soil organic matter (SOM) began with alkaline solvents revealing a dark colored substance that could be isolated under low pH. Further studies revealed fulvic and humic acids and humin fractions leading to theories on functional groups and metal-clay bridging mechanisms. The fate of isotopes in these fractions revealed soil carbon pools with varying turnover rates with half the soil carbon (C) in humin and acid hydrolyzed fractions over 1000 years old. These results are the basis of the three pool conceptual framework used in many biogeochemical models. Theories on the role of functional groups and compound classes further elaborated concepts on physical (aggregates) and chemical mechanisms of C stabilization. With the advance of analytical instrumentation, the operational fractions were further defined to the compound and molecular levels. These studies confirmed the majority of soil C is microbially derived. Our observation that all microbial groups contributed nonselectively to soil C maintenance independent of mineralogy suggests that compound characteristics within integrated structures are more important than the source of individual compounds for stabilizing soil C. In dissolved organic C floccing studies using Near Edge X-ray Fine Structure analysis, we found that aromatic compounds interacted first with Fe, however, the majority of direct bonds to Fe were polysaccharides, reinforcing that an integrative chemical structure rather than direct bonds imparted stability in organo-metal interactions. Using a novel differential scanning calorimeter coupled to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer setup, we confirmed that the presence of clays (independent of clay type) increased the microbial utilization of calcium stabilized high versus low temperature compounds, asserting that higher temperature compounds (i.e., phenolics) are likely less tightly bound by clay minerals. The integration of operational and defined fractions of SOM remains a legitimate

  15. factors affecting soil quality maintenance in northern katsina state ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    positive and negative changes in soil quality (Andrews, et. al. 2004). Many researchers ... ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productiv- ity, maintain or ... of a soil body, within land use, landscape and climate boundaries, to ...

  16. Morphological adaptations for digging and climate-impacted soil properties define pocket gopher (Thomomys spp. distributions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel E Marcy

    Full Text Available Species ranges are mediated by physiology, environmental factors, and competition with other organisms. The allopatric distribution of five species of northern Californian pocket gophers (Thomomys spp. is hypothesized to result from competitive exclusion. The five species in this environmentally heterogeneous region separate into two subgenera, Thomomys or Megascapheus, which have divergent digging styles. While all pocket gophers dig with their claws, the tooth-digging adaptations of subgenus Megascapheus allow access to harder soils and climate-protected depths. In a Northern Californian locality, replacement of subgenus Thomomys with subgenus Megascapheus occurred gradually during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Concurrent climate change over this transition suggests that environmental factors--in addition to soil--define pocket gopher distributional limits. Here we show 1 that all pocket gophers occupy the subset of less energetically costly soils and 2 that subgenera sort by percent soil clay, bulk density, and shrink-swell capacity (a mineralogical attribute. While clay and bulk density (without major perturbations stay constant over decades to millennia, low precipitation and high temperatures can cause shrink-swell clays to crack and harden within days. The strong yet underappreciated interaction between soil and moisture on the distribution of vertebrates is rarely considered when projecting species responses to climatic change. Furthermore, increased precipitation alters the weathering processes that create shrink-swell minerals. Two projected outcomes of ongoing climate change--higher temperatures and precipitation--will dramatically impact hardness of soil with shrink-swell minerals. Current climate models do not include factors controlling soil hardness, despite its impact on all organisms that depend on a stable soil structure.

  17. The Effect of Gasification Biochar on Soil Carbon Sequestration, Soil Quality and Crop Growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

    have been raised about the potential negative impacts of incorporating bioenergy residuals (biochar) in soil and increasing the removal of crop residues such as straw, possibly reducing important soil functions and services for maintaining soil quality. Therefore, a combination of incubation studies...... and pot and field experiments was used to study the effect of straw and wood biochar on carbon sequestration, soil quality and crop growth. Overall, the biochar amendment improved soil chemical and physical properties and plant growth and showed a potential for soil carbon sequestration without having any...... negative impact on soil biota. However, the effects of biochar on soil quality and plant growth differed according to the biochar properties and the soil type used. Furthermore, the positive impact on some soil structural properties observed after straw incorporation was not achieved with biochar amendment...

  18. The Effect of Gasification Biochar on Soil Carbon Sequestration, Soil Quality and Crop Growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

    have been raised about the potential negative impacts of incorporating bioenergy residuals (biochar) in soil and increasing the removal of crop residues such as straw, possibly reducing important soil functions and services for maintaining soil quality. Therefore, a combination of incubation studies...... negative impact on soil biota. However, the effects of biochar on soil quality and plant growth differed according to the biochar properties and the soil type used. Furthermore, the positive impact on some soil structural properties observed after straw incorporation was not achieved with biochar amendment...... and pot and field experiments was used to study the effect of straw and wood biochar on carbon sequestration, soil quality and crop growth. Overall, the biochar amendment improved soil chemical and physical properties and plant growth and showed a potential for soil carbon sequestration without having any...

  19. Stratification of soil organic matter and its importance on soil and water quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil organic matter is a key component of soil quality that sustains many important soil functions by providing the energy, substrates, and biological diversity to support biological activity, which affects aggregation (important for habitat space, oxygen supply, and preventing soil erosion), infilt...

  20. Assessment of Soil Quality of Tidal Marshes in Shanghai City

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Qing; TAN, JUAN; SHA, Chenyan; RUAN, Junjie; Min WANG; HUANG, Shenfa; Wu, Jianqiang

    2013-01-01

    We take three types of tidal marshes in Shanghai City as the study object: tidal marshes in mainland, tidal marshes in the rim of islands, and shoal in Yangtze estuary. On the basis of assessing nutrient quality and environmental quality, respectively, we use soil quality index (SQI) to assess the soil quality of tidal flats, meanwhile formulate the quality grading standards, and analyze the current situation and characteristics of it. The results show that except the north of Hangzhou Bay, N...

  1. Enhancing Soil Quality and Plant Health Through Suppressive Organic Amendments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco M. Cazorla

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The practice of adding organic amendments to crop soils is undergoing resurgence as an efficient way to restore soil organic matter content and to improve soil quality. The quantity and quality of the organic matter inputs affect soil physicochemical properties and soil microbiota, influencing different parameters such as microbial biomass and diversity, community structure and microbial activities or functions. The influence of organic amendments on soil quality has also effects on crop production and plant health. The enhancement of soil suppressiveness using organic amendments has been widely described, especially for soil-borne diseases. However, there is great variability in the effectiveness of suppression depending on the nature of the amendment, the crop, the pathogen, and the environmental conditions. Although the effects of organic amendments on soil properties have been widely studied, relationships between these properties and soil suppressiveness are not still well understood. Changes in soil physicochemical parameters may modulate the efficacy of suppression. However, the parameters more frequently associated to disease suppression appear to be related to soil microbiota, such as microbial biomass and activity, the abundance of specific microbial groups and some hydrolytic activities. This review focuses on the effect of organic amendments on soil microbial populations, diversity and activities; their ability to enhance plant health through disease suppression; and which of the parameters affected by the organic amendments are potentially involved in soil suppressiveness.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Morugán-Coronado

    2013-03-01

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

  3. Estimating soil quality indicators with diffuse reflectance spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapid estimation of soil quality is needed for determining and mapping soil variability in site-specific management. One technology that can fulfill this need is diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, which measures light reflected from the soil in the visible and near infrared wavelength bands. Reflecta...

  4. Assessing soil quality indicator under different land use and soil erosion using multivariate statistical techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosrati, Kazem

    2013-04-01

    Soil degradation associated with soil erosion and land use is a critical problem in Iran and there is little or insufficient scientific information in assessing soil quality indicator. In this study, factor analysis (FA) and discriminant analysis (DA) were used to identify the most sensitive indicators of soil quality for evaluating land use and soil erosion within the Hiv catchment in Iran and subsequently compare soil quality assessment using expert opinion based on soil surface factors (SSF) form of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) method. Therefore, 19 soil physical, chemical, and biochemical properties were measured from 56 different sampling sites covering three land use/soil erosion categories (rangeland/surface erosion, orchard/surface erosion, and rangeland/stream bank erosion). FA identified four factors that explained for 82 % of the variation in soil properties. Three factors showed significant differences among the three land use/soil erosion categories. The results indicated that based upon backward-mode DA, dehydrogenase, silt, and manganese allowed more than 80 % of the samples to be correctly assigned to their land use and erosional status. Canonical scores of discriminant functions were significantly correlated to the six soil surface indices derived of BLM method. Stepwise linear regression revealed that soil surface indices: soil movement, surface litter, pedestalling, and sum of SSF were also positively related to the dehydrogenase and silt. This suggests that dehydrogenase and silt are most sensitive to land use and soil erosion.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Morugán-Coronado

    2012-12-01

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

  6. Oxidation state, bioavailability & biochemical pathway define the fate of carbon in soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzyakov, Yakov; Apostel, Carolin; Gunina, Anna; Herrmann, Anke M.; Dippold, Michaela

    2015-04-01

    Numerous experiments under laboratory and field conditions analyzed microbial utilization and mean residence time (MRT) of carbon (C) from plant and microbial residues as well as root exudates in soil. Most of these studies tested the effects of various environmental factors, such as temperature, soil moisture, texture etc. on these parameters. However, only a few studies compared the properties of the substances themselves and there is no conceptual framework based on biochemical pathways. We hypothesize that the fate of C from organic substances in soil strongly depends on the first step of their microbial utilization, specifically, on biochemical pathway and initial C oxidation state, as well as its bioavailability in soils, defined by its hydrophobicity and molecular weight. Here we introduce and evaluate a new conceptual framework based on the following parameters: 1) C oxidation state, 2) molecular weight and hydrophobicity, 3) initial biochemical pathway of a substance class in microbial cells. To assess these parameters, two databases were prepared based on the literature and own studies. The first database included only the studies with 14C or 13C position specific labeled sugars, amino acids, carboxylic acids, phenols and lipids in soil. This database allowed us to analyze microbial utilization and mineralization of organics to CO2 depending on their C oxidation state (OS) and on functional groups. Additionally, we calculated data on the bond electronegativity of all compounds investigated in these studies. The second data base included the results of 14C and 13C studies with uniformly labeled substances of various classes. This database considered the free enthalpie (Delta H) per C unit from a variety of substrates differing in their aromaticity, hydrophobicity/electronegativity and location of the substance on the van Krevelen diagram. In addition, we calculated the hydrophobicity from the electronegativity of the individual bonds and recorded their

  7. Linkages between forest soils and water quality and quantity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel G. Neary; George G. Ice; C. Rhett Jackson

    2009-01-01

    The most sustainable and best quality fresh water sources in the world originate in forest ecosystems. The biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of forest soils are particularly well suited to delivering high quality water to streams, moderating stream hydrology, and providing diverse aquatic habitat. Forest soils feature litter layers and...

  8. 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-chemical pr...

  9. 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...

  10. Agricultural management practices and soil quality : measuring, assessing, and comparing laboratory and field test kit indicators of soil quality atributes

    OpenAIRE

    Evanylo, Gregory K.; McGuinn, Robert

    2000-01-01

    Describes some indicators of soil that can be measured with a simple test kit developed by the United States Department of Agriculture - Natural Resource Conservation Service, directions for interpreting these measurements, the effects of soil amendments on soil quality attributes, and comparisons of field kit and laboratory results.

  11. Field Scale Studies on the Spatial Variability of Soil Quality Indicators in Washington State, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey L. Smith

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Arable lands are needed for sustainable agricultural systems to support an ever-growing human population. Soil quality needs to be defined to assure that new land brought into crop production is sustainable. To evaluate soil quality, a number of soil attributes will need to be measured, evaluated, and integrated into a soil-quality index using the multivariable indicator kriging (MVIK procedure. This study was conducted to determine the spatial variability and correlation of indicator parameters on a field scale with respect to soil quality and suitability for use with MVIK. The variability of the biological parameters decreased in the order of respiration > enzyme assays and qCO2 > microbial biomass C. The distribution frequency of all parameters except respiration were normal although the spatial distribution across the landscape was highly variable. The biological parameters showed little correlation with each other when all data points were considered; however, when grouped in smaller sections, the correlations were more consistent with observed patterns across the field. To accurately assess soil quality, and arable land use, consideration of spatial and temporal variability, soil conditions, and other controlling factors must be taken into account.

  12. Importance and utility of microbial elements in evaluating soil quality: case studies in silvopastoral systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria Eugenia Vallejo Quintero

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Environmental sustainability is achieved by main-taining and improving soil quality. This quality is defined as “the ability of soil to function” and is evaluated through measuring a minimum set of data corresponding to different soil properties (physical, chemical and biological. However, assessment of these properties does not meet all the conditions necessary to be ideal indicators such as: clearly discriminating between the systems use and / or management evaluation, sensitivity to stress conditions associated with anthropogenic actions, easy measurement, accessibility to many users and short response time. Because loss in quality is associated with the alteration of many processes performed by soil microorganisms they meet the above conditions and have been proposed as valid indicators for diagnosing the impact of changes in land-use and ecosystem restoration. Thus, through the evaluation of the density, activity and /or structure-composition of microorganisms we can determine whether current management systems maintain, improve or degrade the soil. In this article we review the main concepts related to soil quality and its indicators. We discuss the effect of the implementation of silvopastoral systems on soil quality, with an emphasis on the use of microbial indicators.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhe Zhang

    2016-03-01

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

  14. A functional evaluation of three indicator sets for assessing soil quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lima, A.C.R.; Brussaard, L.; Totola, M.R.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Goede, de R.G.M.

    2013-01-01

    Efforts to define and quantify soil quality are not new, but establishing consensus about a set of standardized indicators remains difficult. Also, the view of land managers is usually not taken into account when evaluating various sets of indicators. Our objective was to compare, in functional term

  15. A functional evaluation of three indicator sets for assessing soil quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lima, A.C.R.; Brussaard, L.; Totola, M.R.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Goede, de R.G.M.

    2013-01-01

    Efforts to define and quantify soil quality are not new, but establishing consensus about a set of standardized indicators remains difficult. Also, the view of land managers is usually not taken into account when evaluating various sets of indicators. Our objective was to compare, in functional term

  16. Visual assessment of soil structure quality in an agroextractivist system in Southeastern Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernanda Simões da Silva, Laura; Stuchi Boschi, Raquel; Ortega Gomes, Matheus; Cooper, Miguel

    2016-04-01

    Soil structure is considered a key factor in the functioning of soil, affecting its ability to support plant and animal life, and moderate environmental quality. Numerous methods are available to evaluate soil structure based on physical, chemical and biological indicators. Among the physical indicators, the attributes most commonly used are soil bulk density, porosity, soil resistance to penetration, tensile strength of aggregates, soil water infiltration, and available water. However, these methods are expensive and generally time costly for sampling and laboratorial procedures. Recently, evaluations using qualitative and semi-quantitative indicators of soil structure quality have gained importance. Among these methods, the method known as Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) (Ball et al., 2007; Guimarães et al., 2011) can supply this necessity in temperate and tropical regions. The study area is located in the Piranheira Praialta Agroextrativist Settlement Project in the county of Nova Ipixuna, Pará, Brazil. Two toposequences were chosen, one under native forest and the other under pasture. Pits were opened in different landscape positions (upslope, midslope and downslope) for soil morphological, micromorphological and physical characterization. The use of the soil visual evaluation method (SVE) consisted in collecting an undisturbed soil sample of approximately 25 cm in length, 20 cm in width and 10 cm in depth. 12 soil samples were taken for each land use. The samples were manually fragmented, respecting the fracture planes between the aggregates. The SVE was done comparing the fragmented sample with a visual chart and scores were given to the soil structure. The categories that define the soil structure quality (Qe) vary from 1 to 5. Lower scores mean better soil structure. The final score calculation was done using the classification key of Ball et al. (2007) adapted by Guimarães (2011). A change in soil structure was observed between forest and

  17. [Assessment indicators of soil quality in hilly Loess plateau].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Mingxiang; Liu, Guobin; Zhao, Yunge

    2005-10-01

    By the methods of sensitivity analysis, main component analsis and discriminant analysis, this paper screened the sensitive indicators from 32 soil attributes to assess the productivity and erosion-resistance ability of the soils in hilly Loess Plateau. The results showed that soil available phosphorus content, anti-scouring ability, infiltration coefficient, labile organic carbon content, organic matter content and urease activity were the most sensitive indicators for soil quality assessment and the main targets for soil quality management and improvement, while soil biological indicators were with high and medium sensitivity. Five soil quality factors were summed up from 29 soil chemical, physical and biological attributes, i. e., organic matter, texture, phosphorus, porosity and microstructure. Except the factor porosity, the other four factors were significantly different between different land use types. Eight indicators including soil organic matter content, infiltration coefficient, anti-scouring ability, CEC, invertase activity, mean weight diameter (MWD) of aggregates, available phosphorus, and MWD of microaggregate were identified as the assessment indicators of the soil quality in hilly Loess Plateau, with the organic matter content, infiltration coefficient and anti-scouring ability as the key indicators.

  18. Assessing the soil quality of alpine grasslands in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau using a modified soil quality index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuanyuan; Dong, Shikui; Wen, Lu; Wang, Xuexia; Wu, Yu

    2013-10-01

    Soil degradation has caused various problems on the planet. Human disturbance and land use changes always negatively affect soil quality. In this study, we used a modified soil quality index (SQI) to assess soil quality under differing degrees of human disturbance and land use. The alpine grasslands were studied at different levels of degradation [i.e., severely degraded grassland, heavily degraded grassland, moderately degraded grassland, and non-degraded grassland (NDG)] in a case study conducted in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) to test the feasibility of using the SQI. Fifteen chemical, physical, and biological soil parameters were measured in each type of grassland. Significant variations in SQI were found across the different types of grasslands according to severity of human disturbance and changes in land use. Urease, the ratio of microbial biomass nitrogen to total nitrogen, proteinase, and soil organic carbon were found to be the most important indicators for assessing soil quality. NDG had a higher SQI than the other three types of grasslands. It was concluded that SQI is effective for assessing the soil quality of alpine grasslands in the QTP. The intensity of human disturbance had a negative effect on soil quality in the QTP.

  19. Effect of Irrigation Water Quality on Soil Hydraulic Conductivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIAOZHEN-HUA; B.PRENDERGAST; 等

    1992-01-01

    The effect of irrigation water quality on unsaturated hydraulic conductivity (HC) of undisturbed soil in field was studied.Results show that within the operating soil suction range (0-1.6 KPa) of disc permeameters,the higher the electric conductivity (EC) of irrigation water,the higher the soil HC became.The soil HC doubled when EC increased from 0.1 to 6.0ds m-1.High sodium-adsorption ratio(SAR) of irrigation water would have an unfavorable effect on soil HC.Soil HC decreased with the increasing of SAR,especially in the case of higher soil suction.An interaction existed between the effects of EC and SAR of irrigation water on soil HC.The HC of unsaturated soil dependent upon the macropores in surface soil decreased by one order of magnitude with 1 KPa increase of soil suction.In the study on the effect of very low soluble salt concentration (EC=0.1 ds m-1 of irrigation water on soil HC,soil HC was found to be lowered by 30% as a consequence of blocking up of some continuous pores by the dispersed and migrated clay particles.Nonlinear successive regression analysis and significance test show that the effects of EC and SAR of irrigation water on soil HC reached the extremely significant level.

  20. A simple evaluation of soil quality of waterlogged purple paddy soils with different productivities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhanjun; Zhou, Wei; Lv, Jialong; He, Ping; Liang, Guoqing; Jin, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Evaluation of soil quality can be crucial for designing efficient farming systems and ensuring sustainable agriculture. The present study aimed at evaluating the quality of waterlogged purple paddy soils with different productivities in Sichuan Basin. The approach involved comprehensive analyses of soil physical and chemical properties, as well as enzyme activities and microbial community structure measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). A total of 36 soil samples were collected from four typical locations, with 12 samples representing high productivity purple paddy soil (HPPS), medium productivity purple paddy soil (MPPS) and low productivity purple paddy soil (LPPS), respectively. Most measured soil properties showed significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) among HPPS, MPPS and LPPS. Pearson correlation analysis and principal component analysis were used to identify appropriate soil quality indicators. A minimum data set (MDS) including total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (AP), acid phosphatase (ACP), total bacteria (TB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi was established and accounted for 82.1% of the quality variation among soils. A soil quality index (SQI) was developed based on the MDS method, whilst HPPS, MPPS and LPPS received mean SQI scores of 0.725, 0.536 and 0.425, respectively, with a ranking of HPPS > MPPS > LPPS. HPPS showed relatively good soil quality characterized by optimal nutrient availability, enzymatic and microbial activities, but the opposite was true of LPPS. Low levels of TN, AP and soil microbial activities were considered to be the major constraints limiting the productivity in LPPS. All soil samples collected were rich in available N, K, Si and Zn, but deficient in available P, which may be the major constraint for the studied regions. Managers in our study area should employ more appropriate management in the LPPS to improve its rice productivity, and particularly to any potential limiting factor.

  1. Gasification biochar as soil amendment for carbon sequestration and soil quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika

    2014-01-01

    Thermal gasification of biomass is an efficient and flexible way to generate energy. Besides the energy, avaluable by-product, biochar, is produced. Biochar contains a considerable amount of recalcitrant carbon thathas potential for soil carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement if recycled...... back to agriculture soils. To determine the effect of gasification biochar on soil processes and crop yield, a short-term incubation study was conducted and a field trial has been established....

  2. Defining and using quality of life: a survey of health care professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKevitt, C; Redfern, J; La-Placa, V; Wolfe, C D A

    2003-12-01

    'Quality of life' is an important but poorly defined outcome in health and health care research. We sought to identify stroke professionals' definitions of quality of life and views of the purpose of its assessment. Using issues identified during in-depth interviews with stroke care professionals, we designed a postal survey questionnaire. Participants were asked to define quality of life, identify the purposes of assessing it and report experiences of measuring patient quality of life. Comparisons between professional groups were analysed using chi-squared tests of significance. Care of the elderly physicians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists in the UK. Of 2793 questionnaires distributed, 1572 were returned (56% response rate). Quality of life was defined in terms of 'happiness' by 72%; 25% included social well-being; 25% included physical abilities. Most (91%) identified 'asking patients' as an effective way to assess quality of life; 40% using standardized measures. Half those who reported using quality of life measures experienced difficulties, including being unsure about which measure to use and concerns about validity. The idea of quality of life as happiness dominated responders' definitions. We argue that the term may be used in both a technical sense (an outcome) and in a broad colloquial sense, without necessarily distinguishing between the two. Clarification of the concept and its uses is required if recent calls to introduce quality of life assessment in clinical care are to be feasible.

  3. Modeling Soil Quality Thresholds to Ecosystem Recovery at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garten Jr., C.T.

    2004-03-08

    The objective of this research was to use a simple model of soil C and N dynamics to predict nutrient thresholds to ecosystem recovery on degraded soils at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the southeastern USA. The model calculates aboveground and belowground biomass, soil C inputs and dynamics, soil N stocks and availability, and plant N requirements. A threshold is crossed when predicted soil N supplies fall short of predicted N required to sustain biomass accrual at a specified recovery rate. Four factors were important to development of thresholds to recovery: (1) initial amounts of aboveground biomass, (2) initial soil C stocks (i.e., soil quality), (3) relative recovery rates of biomass, and (4) soil sand content. Thresholds to ecosystem recovery predicted by the model should not be interpreted independent of a specified recovery rate. Initial soil C stocks influenced the predicted patterns of recovery by both old field and forest ecosystems. Forests and old fields on soils with varying sand content had different predicted thresholds to recovery. Soil C stocks at barren sites on Fort Benning generally lie below predicted thresholds to 100% recovery of desired future ecosystem conditions defined on the basis of aboveground biomass (18000 versus 360 g m{sup -2} for forests and old fields, respectively). Calculations with the model indicated that reestablishment of vegetation on barren sites to a level below the desired future condition is possible at recovery rates used in the model, but the time to 100% recovery of desired future conditions, without crossing a nutrient threshold, is prolonged by a reduced rate of forest growth. Predicted thresholds to ecosystem recovery were less on soils with more than 70% sand content. The lower thresholds for old field and forest recovery on more sandy soils are apparently due to higher relative rates of net soil N mineralization in more sandy soils. Calculations with the model indicate that a combination of desired future

  4. Affects of different tillage managements on soil physical quality in a clayey soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sağlam, Mustafa; Selvi, Kemal Çağatay; Dengiz, Orhan; Gürsoy, Fatma Esra

    2015-01-01

    This study, conducted in 2011, researches the effects of different tillage practices on the physical soil quality of clayey soil. This soil quality index (SQI) assessment was made by studying the changes in physical soil functions such as suitability for root development, facilitation for water entry, movement and storage, and resistance against surface degradation based on tillage management. When compared with the control parcel, statistically significant decreases were seen in the SQI with different tillage practices (p tillage practices, the highest SQI was seen with the plow + rotary tiller + direct seeding machine, while the lowest SQI was seen with the direct drilling practice. On the other hand, the statistically insignificant effects of tillage practices on the soil quality of the study area were considered to be a result of either the study period or the joint effect of soil texture and climatic features. Thus, long-term tillage practices were recommended in order to get healthier information about soil quality by considering soil and climatic conditions. In addition, for heavy clayey soils, reduced tillage practices, which included plowing, were thought to develop physical soil qualities of root development and water movement.

  5. Soil Quality Assessment of Acid Sulfate Paddy Soils with Different Productivities in Guangdong Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Zhan-jun; ZHOU Wei; SHEN Jian-bo; LI Shu-tian; LIANG Guo-qing; WANG Xiu-bin; SUN Jing-wen; AI Chao

    2014-01-01

    Land conversion is considered an effective measure to ensure national food security in China, but little information is available on the quality of low productivity soils, in particular those in acid sulfate soil regions. In our study, acid sulfate paddy soils were divided into soils with high, medium and low levels based on local rice productivity, and 60 soil samples were collected for analysis. Twenty soil variables including physical, chemical and biochemical properties were determined. Those variables that were signiifcantly different between the high, medium and low productivity soils were selected for principal component analysis, and microbial biomass carbon (MBC), total nitrogen (TN), available silicon (ASi), pH and available zinc (AZn) were retained in the minimum data set (MDS). After scoring the MDS variables, they were integrated to calculate a soil quality index (SQI), and the high, medium and low productivity paddy soils received mean SQI scores of 0.95, 0.83 and 0.60, respectively. Low productivity paddy soils showed worse soil quality, and a large discrepancy was observed between the low and high productivity paddy soils. Lower MBC, TN, ASi, pH and available K (AK) were considered as the primary limiting factors. Additionally, all the soil samples collected were rich in available P and AZn, but deifcient in AK and ASi. The results suggest that soil AK and ASi deifciencies were the main limiting factors for all the studied acid sulfate paddy soil regions. The application of K and Si on a national basis and other sustainable management approaches are suggested to improve rice productivity, especially for low productivity paddy soils. Our results indicated that there is a large potential for increasing productivity and producing more cereals in acid sulfate paddy soil regions.

  6. Organic Fertilisation, Soil Quality and Human Health

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Chapters: 1) Convergence or divide in the movement for sustainable and just agriculture. 2) No-till agriculture in the USA. 3) Organic fertilizers in sub-Saharan farming systems. 4) Biofuel Production Byproducts as Soil Amendments. 5) Pseudomonas and microbes for disease-suppressive soils. 6) Conservation Tillage Impact on Soil Aggregation, Organic Matter Turnover and Biodiversity. 7) Sustainable agricultural NP turnover in the 27 European countries. 8) Tomato production for human health, not...

  7. Comparison of soil quality index using three methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atanu Mukherjee

    Full Text Available Assessment of management-induced changes in soil quality is important to sustaining high crop yield. A large diversity of cultivated soils necessitate identification development of an appropriate soil quality index (SQI based on relative soil properties and crop yield. Whereas numerous attempts have been made to estimate SQI for major soils across the World, there is no standard method established and thus, a strong need exists for developing a user-friendly and credible SQI through comparison of various available methods. Therefore, the objective of this article is to compare three widely used methods to estimate SQI using the data collected from 72 soil samples from three on-farm study sites in Ohio. Additionally, challenge lies in establishing a correlation between crop yield versus SQI calculated either depth wise or in combination of soil layers as standard methodology is not yet available and was not given much attention to date. Predominant soils of the study included one organic (Mc, and two mineral (CrB, Ko soils. Three methods used to estimate SQI were: (i simple additive SQI (SQI-1, (ii weighted additive SQI (SQI-2, and (iii statistically modeled SQI (SQI-3 based on principal component analysis (PCA. The SQI varied between treatments and soil types and ranged between 0-0.9 (1 being the maximum SQI. In general, SQIs did not significantly differ at depths under any method suggesting that soil quality did not significantly differ for different depths at the studied sites. Additionally, data indicate that SQI-3 was most strongly correlated with crop yield, the correlation coefficient ranged between 0.74-0.78. All three SQIs were significantly correlated (r = 0.92-0.97 to each other and with crop yield (r = 0.65-0.79. Separate analyses by crop variety revealed that correlation was low indicating that some key aspects of soil quality related to crop response are important requirements for estimating SQI.

  8. Impacts of iron and steelmaking facilities on soil quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strezov, Vladimir; Chaudhary, Chandrakant

    2017-02-22

    Iron and steel are highly important materials used in a wide range of products with important contribution to the economic development. The processes for making iron and steel are energy intensive and known to contribute to local pollution. Deposition of the metals may also have adverse impacts on soil quality, which requires detailed assessment. The aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of iron and steelmaking facilities on the local soil quality. Soil samples were collected in the vicinity of two steelmaking sites in Australia, one based on blast furnace steelmaking operation, while the second site was based on electric arc furnace steel recycling. The soil samples were compared to a background site where no industrial impact is expected. The soil collected near industrial facilities contained larger toxic metal contents, however this concentration for all priority metals was within the Australian National Environmental Protection Measure guidelines for the acceptable recreational soil quality. When compared to the international soil quality guidelines, some of the soils collected near the industrial sites, particularly near the blast furnace operated steelmaking, exceeded the arsenic, iron and manganese (according to United States Environmental Protection Agency guidelines) and chromium, copper and nickel concentrations (according to the Canadian guidelines). The work further provided a novel environmental assessment model taking into consideration the environmental and health impacts of each element. The environmental assessment revealed most significant contribution of manganese, followed by titanium, zinc, chromium and lead. Titanium was the second most important contributor to the soil quality, however this metal is currently not included in any of the international soil quality guidelines.

  9. Farmers’ assessment of soil quality in rice production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lima, A.C.R.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Brussaard, L.; Sacco dos Anjos, F.

    2011-01-01

    In the recent past there has been increasing recognition that local knowledge of farmers can yield insight into soil quality. With regard to constraints and possibilities for the production of irrigated rice in the south of Brazil there is no documentation on local soil knowledge. The goals of this

  10. Farmers’ assessment of soil quality in rice production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lima, A.C.R.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Brussaard, L.; Sacco dos Anjos, F.

    2011-01-01

    In the recent past there has been increasing recognition that local knowledge of farmers can yield insight into soil quality. With regard to constraints and possibilities for the production of irrigated rice in the south of Brazil there is no documentation on local soil knowledge. The goals of this

  11. Soil quality is fundamental to ensuring healthy forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah Page-Dumroese; Martin Jurgensen; Dan Neary; Mike Curran; Carl. Trettin

    2010-01-01

    Government agencies, industrial landowners, and private landowners often strive to maintain soil quality after site management activities in order to maintain site productivity, hydrologic function, and ecosystem health. Soil disturbance resulting from timber harvesting, prescribed fire, or site preparation activities can cause declines, improvements, or have no effect...

  12. Soil quality indicators response to application of hydrophilic polymers to a soil from a sulfide mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Varennes, A; Qu, G; Cordovil, C; Gonçalves, P

    2011-09-15

    In soils impacted by mining activities a vegetal cover is required to protect the site from the erosive forces of water and wind. The success of this objective depends on plant establishment and canopy closure. Polyacryalate polymers aid the growth of crops and indigenous plants in soils from sulfide mines. Soil characteristics change as a consequence of polymer application, but indicators that pinpoint these changes have not been identified yet. Our objectives were to (1) identify the sensitive indicators of changes in soil quality following polymer application, (2) relate these with assessment based on plant growth and soil cover. A mine soil was left unamended or received a characterized polyacrylate, a polyacrylate removed from diapers, or shredded diapers. Biomass of Spergularia purpurea was measured and proportion of soil cover evaluated. Soil enzymes, microbial activity, and respiration were analyzed. Availability of potentially toxic trace elements was estimated by their concentration in shoots. Factor analysis identified three factors that accounted for 94% of the variation in parameters, and the scores separated the four treatments. The indicators with greatest communality were correlated with plant growth and soil cover. The best soil quality indicators were As and Zn in shoots, protease, β-glucosidase, and fructose-induced respiration. It seems that the most important indicators to be used to assess the restoration of sulfide mine soils are those related with bioavailability of trace elements and soil enzymatic activities.

  13. Application of Immune Algorithm to Evaluation of Soil Resource Quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Hai-Dong; HU Yue-Ming; DENG Fei-Qi; CHEN Fei-Xiang; WANG Fei

    2005-01-01

    Based on the geographic information system (GIS) technology, ArcInfo software was adopted to collect, process and analyze spatial data of Guangdong Province for an evaluation of soil resource quality. The overlay analysis method was used in combining evaluation factors of Guangdong soil resource quality to determine the evaluation units. Because of its favorable convergent speed and its ability to search solutions, the immune algorithm was applied to the soil resource quality evaluation model. At the same time, the evaluation results of this newly proposed method were compared to two other methods: sum of index and fuzzy synthetic. The results indicated that the immune algorithm reflected the actual condition of soil resource quality more exactly.

  14. Editorial: On the Quality of Quality Metrics: Rethinking What Defines a Good Colonoscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominitz, Jason A; Spiegel, Brennan

    2016-05-01

    The colonoscopy quality assurance movement has focused on a variety of process metrics, including the adenoma detection rate (ADR). However, the ADR only ascertains whether or not at least one adenoma is identified. Supplemental measures that quantify all neoplasia have been proposed. In this issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Aniwan and colleagues performed tandem screening colonoscopies to determine the adenoma miss rate among high-ADR endoscopists. This permitted validation of supplemental colonoscopy quality metrics. This study highlights potential limitations of ADR and the need for further refinement of colonoscopy quality metrics, although logistic challenges abound.

  15. Study of microarthropod communities to assess soil quality in different managed vineyards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagnarli, Elena; Vignozzi, Nadia; Valboa, Giuseppe; Bouneb, Mabrouk; Corino, Lorenzo; Goggioli, Donatella; Guidi, Silvia; Lottero, Mariarosa; Tarchi, Franca; Simoni, Sauro

    2014-05-01

    Land use type influences the abundance and diversity of soil arthropods. The evaluation of the effects of different crop managements on soil quality is commonly requested; it can be pursued by means of the determination of communities' structure of edaphic fauna. The development and application of biological indices may represent an efficient mean to assess soil quality. We evaluated the effect of crop managements (organic and Integrated Pest Management-IPM) in some vineyards in Piedmont (Italy) on soil biota in relation to some physical and chemical characteristics of the soil. The study was performed in eleven sites, including seven organic and four IPM managed vineyards located in the Costigliole d'Asti area. Samplings were carried out during the winter 2011 and the spring 2012. Soil samples were collected using a cylindrical soil core sampler (3cm diameter x 30cm height): each sample was a cylindrical soil core which was equally subdivided to study arthropod communities at different depth ranges. Additional samples were collected and analyzed for the following soil physical and chemical properties: texture (sedigraph method), pH (1:2.5 soil/water), total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (NT) and calcium carbonate (dry combustion by CN analyzer). The extraction of microarthropods was performed using the selector Berlese-Tullgren. All specimens were counted and determined up to the order level. The influence of soil properties and of agronomic practices on the abundance of mesofauna was evaluated by multivariate analysis (MANOVA). The biological soil quality was also defined through the determination of biotic indices such as the qualitative and quantitative QBSar (Quality Biological Soil - arthropods), and biodiversity indices such as species richness and indices of Shannon-Wiener (H') and Simpson (D). Overall, more than four thousands arthropods were collected and the highest abundance was in biological management with about 2:1 ratio (biological vs

  16. Influence of grazing exclosure on vegetation biomass and soil quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shagufta Qasim

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the influence of sixteen years exclosure from unmanaged grazing on aboveground vegetation biomass, soil organic matter (SOM, soil aggregation and nitrogen (N mineralization in arid shrubland of Baluchistan, Pakistan. Sampling was carried out from three sites along the chronosequence of secondary succession. One site was located at open-for-grazing area (grazed site and the other two sites were located in the area that is protected since 1998. One of the protected site is more remote from grazing (protected site 1 where the land is less disturbed and has thick vegetation than the other protected site (protected site 2. Results showed a significant difference for aboveground vegetation biomass across sites and was in the order of protected site 1> protected site 2> grazed site. Soil organic matter was 53% and 46% higher in protected sites than grazed site. Aggregates larger than 2 mm size were not detected in soil from grazed site but represented 4.5% and 3% of the sample soil profile at the protected site 1 and protected site 2, respectively. Rate of N mineralization was lower in soils at the grazed site as compared to soils at the protected sites. Soil moisture contents were significantly lower at grazed site and showed a strong positive correlation with aboveground vegetation biomass. This study demonstrates that unmanaged grazing severely affected aboveground vegetation biomass, soil organic matter, large-sized soil aggregates, nitrogen mineralization and soil moisture contents. Short term exclosure from grazing (~16 years can enhance aboveground vegetation biomass and soil quality in terms of soil organic matter accumulation, soil aggregation, retention of soil moisture and nitrogen mineralization in this arid rangeland.

  17. Soil Quality Degradation in a Magnesite Mining Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FU Sha-Sha; LI Pei-Jun; FENG Qian; LI Xiao-Jun; LI Peng; SUN Yue-Bing; CHEN Yang

    2011-01-01

    Fourteen soil properties in 17 sampling sites were analyzed to study the soil degradation in a magnesite mining area in Haicheng City, Northeast China. Such areas have hitherto received little attention. The current practices of magnesite mining in this area resulted in degradation of soil quality and specifically led to an increase in soil pH, the ratio of magnesium to calcium, bulk density,clay dispersibility, total magncsium and equivalent calcium carbonate and a decrease in surface soil porosity and available phosphorous.The soil quality in the areas affected by intensive nining activity was obviously worse than that of areas far away from the mine.Four factors were identified and “magnesium factor”, “pH factor” and “fertility factor”, involving 13 soil properties, explained 82% of the total variance in the entire data set. Discriminant analysis showed that the total magnesium, water-soluble calcium and available phosphorous were the most sensitive indicators for soil quality.

  18. Effect of land use types in Miesa Watershed on soil quality and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... on soil productivity, the study also involved growing maize crop in plastic pot filled with ... Other soil quality parameters such as CEC, microbial population and ... land use types aggravated soil degradation, thereby resulting in soil fertility and ...

  19. [Numerical evaluation of soil quality under different conservation tillage patterns].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yu-Hong; Tian, Xiao-Hong; Chi, Wen-Bo; Nan, Xiong-Xiong; Yan, Xiao-Li; Zhu, Rui-Xiang; Tong, Yan-An

    2010-06-01

    A 9-year field experiment was conducted on the Guanzhong Plain of Shaanxi Province to study the effects of subsoiling, rotary tillage, straw return, no-till seeding, and traditional tillage on the soil physical and chemical properties and the grain yield in a winter wheat-summer maize rotation system, and a comprehensive evaluation was made on the soil quality under these tillage patterns by the method of principal components analysis (PCA). Comparing with traditional tillage, all the conservation tillage patterns improved soil fertility quality and soil physical properties. Under conservative tillage, the activities of soil urease and alkaline phosphatase increased significantly, soil quality index increased by 19.8%-44.0%, and the grain yield of winter wheat and summer maize (expect that under no till seeding with straw covering) increased by 13%-28% and 3%-12%, respectively. Subsoiling every other year, straw-chopping combined with rotary tillage, and straw-mulching combined with subsoiling not only increased crop yield, but also improved soil quality. Based on the economic and ecological benefits, the practices of subsoiling and straw return should be promoted.

  20. Access, Participation, and Supports: The Defining Features of High-Quality Inclusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buysse, Virginia

    2011-01-01

    This article describes current knowledge about early childhood inclusion, summarizing research and the DEC/NAEYC joint position statement on inclusion. The article also describes effective or promising educational practices that promote access, participation, and supports--the defining features of high-quality inclusion. Future efforts to improve…

  1. Access, Participation, and Supports: The Defining Features of High-Quality Inclusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buysse, Virginia

    2011-01-01

    This article describes current knowledge about early childhood inclusion, summarizing research and the DEC/NAEYC joint position statement on inclusion. The article also describes effective or promising educational practices that promote access, participation, and supports--the defining features of high-quality inclusion. Future efforts to improve…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. Tillage System and Cover Crop Effects on Soil Quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abdollahi, Lotfollah; Munkholm, Lars Juhl

    2014-01-01

    Optimal use of management systems including tillage and winter cover crops is recommended to improve soil quality and sustain agricultural production. The effects on soil properties of three tillage systems (as main plot) including direct drilling (D), harrowing to a depth of 8 to 10 cm (H......), and moldboard plowing (MP) with and without a cover crop were evaluated in a long-term experiment on a sandy loam soil in Denmark. Chemical, physical, and biological soil properties were measured in the spring of 2012. The field measurements included mean weight diameter (MWD) after the drop-shatter test......, penetration resistance, and visual evaluation of soil structure (VESS). In the laboratory, aggregate strength, water-stable aggregates (WSA), and clay dispersibility were measured. The analyzed chemical and biological properties included soil organic C (SOC), total N, microbial biomass C, labile P and K...

  4. Microbiological parameters as indicators of soil quality under various soil management and crop rotation systems in southern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    FRANCHINI, J. C.; Crispino, C.C.; de Souza, R. A.; Torres, E; HUNGRIA, M.

    2007-01-01

    Metadata only record This article attempts to recognize soil parameters that can be used to monitor soil quality under different crop and soil management systems. The rates of CO2 emissions (soil respiration) were affected by variations in the sampling period, as well as in soil management and crop rotation. Considering all samples, CO2 emissions were 21% greater in conventional tillage. Soil microbial biomass was also influenced by sampling period and soil management, but not by crop rota...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teuber, Sandra; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Towards an ecological index for tropical soil quality based on soil macrofauna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huerta, E.; Kampichler, C.; Geissen, V.; Ochoa-Gaona, S.; Jong, de B.; Hernández-Daumás, S.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this work was to construct a simple index based on the presence/absence of different groups of soil macrofauna to determine the ecological quality of soils. The index was tested with data from 20 sites in South and Central Tabasco, Mexico, and a positive relation between the model a

  7. Assessment of Soil Quality of Tidal Marshes in Shanghai City

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qing; WANG; Juan; TAN; Jianqiang; WU; Chenyan; SHA; Junjie; RUAN; Min; WANG; Shenfa; HUANG

    2013-01-01

    We take three types of tidal marshes in Shanghai City as the study object:tidal marshes in mainland,tidal marshes in the rim of islands,and shoal in Yangtze estuary.On the basis of assessing nutrient quality and environmental quality,respectively,we use soil quality index(SQI)to assess the soil quality of tidal flats,meanwhile formulate the quality grading standards,and analyze the current situation and characteristics of it.The results show that except the north of Hangzhou Bay,Nanhui and Jiuduansha with low soil nutrient quality,there are not obvious differences in soil nutrient quality between other regions;the heavy metal pollution of tidal marshes in mainland is more serious than that of tidal marshes in the rim of islands;in terms of the comprehensive soil quality index,the regions are sequenced as follows:Jiuduansha wetland>Chongming Dongtan wetland>Nanhui tidal flat>tidal flat on the periphery of Chongming Island>tidal flat on the periphery of Hengsha Island>Pudong tidal flat>Baoshan tidal flat>tidal flat on the periphery of Changxing Island>tidal flat in the north of Hangzhou Bay.Among them,Jiuduansha wetland and Chongming Dongtan wetland have the best soil quality,belonging to class III,followed by Nanhui tidal flat,tidal flat on the periphery of Chongming Island and tidal flat on the periphery of Hengsha Island,belonging to class IV;tidal flat on the periphery of Changxing Island,Pudong tidal flat,Baoshan tidal flat and tidal flat in the north of Hangzhou Bay belong to class V.

  8. Enhancement of the Automated Quality Control Procedures for the International Soil Moisture Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heer, Elsa; Xaver, Angelika; Dorigo, Wouter; Messner, Romina

    2017-04-01

    In-situ soil moisture observations are still trusted to be the most reliable data to validate remotely sensed soil moisture products. Thus, the quality of in-situ soil moisture observations is of high importance. The International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN; http://ismn.geo.tuwien.ac.at/) provides in-situ soil moisture data from all around the world. The data is collected from individual networks and data providers, measured by different sensors in various depths. The data sets which are delivered in different units, time zones and data formats are then transformed into homogeneous data sets. An erroneous behavior of soil moisture data is very difficult to detect, due to annual and daily changes and most significantly the high influence of precipitation and snow melting processes. Only few of the network providers have a quality assessment for their data sets. Therefore, advanced quality control procedures have been developed for the ISMN (Dorigo et al. 2013). Three categories of quality checks were introduced: exceeding boundary values, geophysical consistency checks and a spectrum based approach. The spectrum based quality control algorithms aim to detect erroneous measurements which occur within plausible geophysical ranges, e.g. a sudden drop in soil moisture caused by a sensor malfunction. By defining several conditions which have to be met by the original soil moisture time series and their first and second derivative, such error types can be detected. Since the development of these sophisticated methods many more data providers shared their data with the ISMN and new types of erroneous measurements were identified. Thus, an enhancement of the automated quality control procedures became necessary. In the present work, we introduce enhancements of the existing quality control algorithms. Additionally, six completely new quality checks have been developed, e.g. detection of suspicious values before or after NAN-values, constant values and values that lie in a

  9. Soil management of copper mine tailing soils--sludge amendment and tree vegetation could improve biological soil quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asensio, Verónica; Covelo, Emma F; Kandeler, Ellen

    2013-07-01

    Mine soils at the depleted copper mine in Touro (Northwest Spain) are physico-chemically degraded and polluted by chromium and copper. To increase the quality of these soils, some areas at this mine have been vegetated with eucalyptus or pines, amended with sludges, or received both treatments. Four sites were selected at the Touro mine tailing in order to evaluate the effect of these different reclamation treatments on the biological soil quality: (1) Control (untreated), (2) Forest (vegetated), (3) Sludge (amended with sludges) and (4) Forest+Sludge (vegetated and amended). The new approach of the present work is that we evaluated the effect of planting trees or/and amending with sludges on the biological soil quality of mine sites polluted by metals under field conditions. The addition of sludges to mine sites recovered the biological quality of the soil, while vegetating with trees did not increase microbial biomass and function to the level of unpolluted sites. Moreover, amending with sludges increased the efficiency of the soil's microbial community to metabolize C and N, which was indicated by the decrease of the specific enzyme activities and the increase in the ratio Cmic:Nmic (shift towards predominance of fungi instead of bacteria). However, the high Cu and Cr concentrations still have negative influence on the microorganisms in all the treated soils. For the future remediation of mine soils, we recommend periodically adding sludge and planting native legume species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Fruit and soil quality of organic and conventional strawberry agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reganold, John P; Andrews, Preston K; Reeve, Jennifer R; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne; Schadt, Christopher W; Alldredge, J Richard; Ross, Carolyn F; Davies, Neal M; Zhou, Jizhong

    2010-09-01

    Sale of organic foods is one of the fastest growing market segments within the global food industry. People often buy organic food because they believe organic farms produce more nutritious and better tasting food from healthier soils. Here we tested if there are significant differences in fruit and soil quality from 13 pairs of commercial organic and conventional strawberry agroecosystems in California. At multiple sampling times for two years, we evaluated three varieties of strawberries for mineral elements, shelf life, phytochemical composition, and organoleptic properties. We also analyzed traditional soil properties and soil DNA using microarray technology. We found that the organic farms had strawberries with longer shelf life, greater dry matter, and higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds, but lower concentrations of phosphorus and potassium. In one variety, sensory panels judged organic strawberries to be sweeter and have better flavor, overall acceptance, and appearance than their conventional counterparts. We also found the organically farmed soils to have more total carbon and nitrogen, greater microbial biomass and activity, and higher concentrations of micronutrients. Organically farmed soils also exhibited greater numbers of endemic genes and greater functional gene abundance and diversity for several biogeochemical processes, such as nitrogen fixation and pesticide degradation. Our findings show that the organic strawberry farms produced higher quality fruit and that their higher quality soils may have greater microbial functional capability and resilience to stress. These findings justify additional investigations aimed at detecting and quantifying such effects and their interactions.

  11. Impact of Urbanization on Shanghai's Soil Environmental Quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Xue-Feng; WU He-Xin; HU Xing; FANG Sheng-Qiong; WU Chen-Juan

    2004-01-01

    Heavy metal contents in the soils in the Baoshan District of Shanghai were monitored to evaluate the risk of soil environmental quality degradation due to rapid urbanization and to reveal the ways of heavy metal accumulation in soil during rapid urban sprawl. It was found that the soils in this district were commonly contaminated by Pb, Zn and Cd. Evaluated with a geo-accumulation index (Igeo), the rate of Pb contamination in soils was 100% with 59% of these graded as moderate-severe or severe; Zn contamination reached 59% with 6% graded as moderate-severe or severe; and Cd contamination was over 50%, with one site graded as moderate-severe and another severe-extremely severe. Metal contamination of soils around the Shanghai metropolis was mainly attributed to traffic, industrial production, wastewater irrigation and improper disposal of solid wastes. Because of continuing urbanization, the cultivated land around the metropolis should be comprehensively planned and carefully managed. Also the soil environmental quality of vegetable production bases in this area should be monitored regularly, with vegetables to be grown selected according to the degrees and types of soil contamination.

  12. Concentrated biogas slurry enhanced soil fertility and tomato quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang-Bo Yu; Xi-Ping Luo; Fang-Bo Yu; Xi-Ping Luo; Cheng-Fang Song; Miao-Xian Zhang; Sheng-Dao Shan (Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Inst. of Environmental Technology, Zhejiang Forestry University, Linan (China))

    2010-05-15

    Biogas slurry is a cheap source of plant nutrients and can offer extra benefits to soil fertility and fruit quality. However, its current utilization mode and low content of active ingredients limit its further development. In this paper, a one-growing-season field study was conducted to assess the effects of concentrated biogas slurry on soil property, tomato fruit quality, and composition of microflora in both nonrhizosphere and rhizosphere soils. The results showed that application of concentrated slurry could bring significant changes to tomato cultivation, including increases in organic matter, available N, P, and K, total N and P, electrical conductivity, and fruit contents of amino acids, protein, soluble sugar, beta-carotene, tannins, and vitamin C, together with the R/S ratios and the culturable counts of bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi in soils. It was concluded that the application is a practicable means in tomato production and will better service the area of sustainable agriculture

  13. SU-E-T-222: How to Define and Manage Quality Metrics in Radiation Oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, A; Cooper, K; DeGregorio, N; Doyle, L; Yu, Y

    2012-06-01

    Since the 2001 IOM Report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, the need to provide quality metrics in health care has increased. Quality metrics have yet to be defined for the field of radiation oncology. This study represents one institutes initial efforts defining and measuring quality metrics using our electronic medical record and verify system(EMR) as a primary data collection tool. This effort began by selecting meaningful quality metrics rooted in the IOM definition of quality (safe, timely, efficient, effective, equitable and patient-centered care) that were also measurable targets based on current data input and workflow. Elekta MOSAIQ 2.30.04D1 was used to generate reports on the number of Special Physics Consults(SPC) charged as a surrogate for treatment complexity, daily patient time in department(DTP) as a measure of efficiency and timeliness, and time from CT-simulation to first LINAC appointment(STL). The number of IMRT QAs delivered in the department was also analyzed to assess complexity. Although initial MOSAIQ reports were easily generated, the data needed to be assessed and adjusted for outliers. Patients with delays outside of radiation oncology such as chemotherapy or surgery were excluded from STL data. We found an average STL of six days for all CT-simulated patients and an average DTP of 52 minutes total time, with 23 minutes in the LINAC vault. Annually, 7.3% of all patient require additional physics support indicated by SPC. Utilizing our EMR, an entire year's worth of useful data characterizing our clinical experience was analyzed in less than one day. Having baseline quality metrics is necessary to improve patient care. Future plans include dissecting this data into more specific categories such as IMRT DTP, workflow timing following CT-simulation, beam-on hours, chart review outcomes, and dosimetric quality indicators. © 2012 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  14. Soil Mineralogy and Substrate Quality Effects on Microbial Priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, B. K.; Rasmussen, C.; Dijkstra, P.; Schwartz, E.; Mau, R. L.; Liu, X. J. A.; Hungate, B. A.

    2014-12-01

    Soil carbon (C) cycling can slow or accelerate in response to new C inputs from fresh organic matter. This change in native C mineralization, known as the "microbial priming effect," is difficult to predict because the underlying mechanisms of priming are still poorly understood. We hypothesized that soil mineral assemblage, specifically short-range-order (SRO) minerals, influences microbial responses to different quality C substrate inputs. To test this, we added 350 μg C g-1soil weekly of an artificial root exudates mixture primarily comprised of glucose, sucrose, lactate and fructose (a simple C source) or ground ponderosa pine litter (a complex C source) for six weeks to three soil types from similar ecosystems derived from different parent material. The soils, from andesite, basalt, and granite parent materials, had decreasing abundance in SRO minerals, respectively. We found that the simple C substrate induced 63 ±16.3% greater positive priming than the complex C across all soil types. The quantity of soil SRO materials was negatively correlated with soil respiration, but positively correlated with priming. The lowest SRO soil amended with litter primed the least (14 ± 11 μgCO2-C g-1), while the largest priming effect occurring in the highest SRO soil amended with simple substrate (246 ± 18 μgCO2-C g-1). Our results indicate that higher SRO mineral content could accelerate microorganisms' capacity to mineralize native soil organic carbon and respond more strongly to labile C inputs. However, while all treatments exhibited positive priming, the amount of C added over the six-week incubation was greater than total CO2 respired. This suggests that despite a relative stimulation of native C mineralization, these soils act as C sinks rather than sources in response to fresh organic matter inputs.

  15. Defining the biosecurity risk posed by transported soil: Effects of storage time and environmental exposure on survival of soil biota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark R. McNeill

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil frequently occurs as a contaminant on numerous sea, land and air transport pathways. It can carry unwanted invasive species, is widely recognized as a biosecurity risk, and is usually strictly regulated by biosecurity authorities. However, little is known about relative risk levels between pathways, thus authorities have limited capability to identify and target the riskiest soil pathways for management. We conducted a an experiment to test the hypotheses that biosecurity risks from soil organisms will increase both with declining transport duration and with increasing protection from environmental extremes. Soil was collected from two sites, a native forest remnant and an orchard, and stored on, in and under sea containers, or in cupboards, and assayed after 0, 3, 6 and 12 months for bacteria, fungi, nematodes and seeds. Results showed that viability of Pseudomonas spp., bacteria, nematodes and plants declined over 12 months, irrespective of soil source. Also, mortality of most biota was higher when exposed to sunlight, moisture and desiccation than when protected. However, bacterial and fungal numbers were higher in exposed environments, possibly due to ongoing colonization of exposed soil by airborne propagules. The results were consistent with our observations of organisms in soil intercepted from airports and sea ports, and indicated there is potential to rank risks from transported soils based partly on transport duration and environmental exposure. This would help authorities to optimally allocate management resources according to pathway-specific risks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  17. Soil Quality and Colloid Transport under Biodegradable Mulches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sintim, Henry; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Ghimire, Shuresh; Flury, Markus; Bary, Andy; Schaeffer, Sean; DeBruyn, Jennifer; Miles, Carol; Inglis, Debra

    2016-04-01

    Polyethylene (PE) mulch is commonly used in agriculture to increase water use efficiency, to control weeds, manage plant diseases, and maintain a favorable micro-climate for plant growth. However, producers need to retrieve and safely dispose PE mulch after usage, which creates enormous amounts of plastic waste. Substituting PE mulch with biodegradable plastic mulches could alleviate disposal needs. However, repeated applications of biodegradable mulches, which are incorporated into the soil after the growing season, may cause deterioration of soil quality through breakdown of mulches into colloidal fragments, which can be transported through soil. Findings from year 1 of a 5-year field experiment will be presented.

  18. Artificial neural networks for defining the water quality determinants of groundwater abstraction in coastal aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallahem, S.; Hani, A.

    2017-02-01

    Water sustainability in the lower Seybouse River basin, eastern Algeria, must take into account the importance of water quantity and quality integration. So, there is a need for a better knowledge and understanding of the water quality determinants of groundwater abstraction to meet the municipal and agricultural uses. In this paper, the artificial neural network (ANN) models were used to model and predict the relationship between groundwater abstraction and water quality determinants in the lower Seybouse River basin. The study area chosen is the lower Seybouse River basin and real data were collected from forty five wells for reference year 2006. Results indicate that the feed-forward multilayer perceptron models with back-propagation are useful tools to define and prioritize the important water quality parameters of groundwater abstraction and use. The model evaluation shows that the correlation coefficients are more than 95% for training, verification and testing data. The model aims to link the water quantity and quality with the objective to strengthen the Integrated Water Resources Management approach. It assists water planners and managers to better assess the water quality parameters and progress towards the provision of appropriate quantities of water of suitable quality.

  19. Soil phosphorus forms as quality indicators of soils under different vegetation covers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrión, María-Belén; López, Olga; Lafuente, Francisco; Mulas, Rafael; Ruipérez, César; Puyo, Alberto

    2007-05-25

    The type of vegetation cover determines the physicochemical and biological properties of the soil over which they are developing. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of different vegetation covers on the forms of soil phosphorus, in order to know which of these forms can be used as a soil quality indicator. The experimental area was located on the acidic plateau at the North of Palencia (North Spain), where an area was selected vegetation covers very close to each other: pine (Pinus sylvestris), oak (Quercus pyrenaica), and three different shrub species (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Erica australis and Halimium alyssoides). The Ah horizon was sampled and pH, total organic C (C(org)), total N (N), cationic exchange capacity (CEC), sum of bases (S) and P forms by a sequential fractionation were analysed. Results showed that oak and A. uva-ursi improve the considered soil parameters (pH, C(org)/N ratio, CEC, and S) and provide soils of better quality. Inorganic soil P forms were influenced in greater extent by the vegetation cover than were P organic forms. Labile inorganic P forms could be used as indicators of soil quality. The organic P forms were less sensitive than inorganic ones to the indicated improvements.

  20. Kinetics of soil enzyme activities under different ecosystems: An index of soil quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monty Kujur

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil microbial activity plays an important role in regulating biotransformation, nutrient cycling and hence the microbiological processes are at the center of many ecological functions. The kinetic parameters (Vmax and KmMichaelis constant of different enzymes (amylase, invertase, protease, urease, and dehydrogenase were determined in order to assess the metabolic response of soil. The maximum reaction velocity (Vmax represents a maximum rate of activity when all enzymes are saturated, which markedly increased in forest soil as compared to fresh mine spoil due to the gradual accumulation of soil organic matter. Smaller Km value was estimated in forest soil (FS as compared to fresh mine spoil (FMS, suggesting the greater affinity of soil enzymes for substrate in FS. The catalytic efficiency (Vmax /Km reflects an impression on microbial community composition with a change in soil enzymes. These enzyme characters (activities and kinetic parameters have greater significance as early and sensitive indicators of the changes in soil properties induced by different management systems. These parameters (Vmax and Km can be useful markers to assess changes in microbial activity of soil, since they represent quantity and affinity of enzymes respectively. The metabolic index (dehydrogenase activity/organic carbon (OC was found to be correlated with Vmax of dehydrogenase (r = 0.953; p < 0.01 and OC (r = 0.880; p < 0.01. Principal component analysis was able to discriminate seven different soil samples into seven independent clusters based on their enzyme activities and kinetic parameters. Indeed, the study revealed the importance of kinetics study of soil enzymes, which can be considered valid parameters to monitor the evolution of microbiological activity in soil, and hence an index of soil quality.

  1. Soil organic carbon fractionation for improving agricultural soil quality diagnosis in Southern Belgium (Wallonia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chartin, Caroline; Trigalet, Sylvain; Castaldi, Fabio; Krüger, Inken; Carnol, Monique; van Wesemael, Bas

    2017-04-01

    We propose a simple method for separating bulk Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) into meaningful fractions to better diagnose soil quality, related to soil ecosystem functions and C sequestration potential. Soils under croplands and grasslands, and under both conventional and conservation management practices, have been analyzed all over the Southern part of Belgium (Wallonia). By separating carbon associated with clay and fine silt particles (stable carbon with slow turnover rate, 20 µm), effects of long-term and medium/short-term managements can be detected more efficiently at different scales. Values of stable carbon fraction for soil under grasslands are analyzed and used to create a theoretical stable carbon saturation curve for assessing carbon sequestration potential of Walloon soils. This theoretical curve is compared to Hassink's (1997) equation. Thus a saturation deficit of cropland soils can be determined and the effect of management practices can be assessed. Besides, spectroscopic analyses are performed on the bulk soil samples to test the potential for accurately estimating total SOC and stable SOC fraction in soil routine analysis performed by Walloon Public Services for local farmers.

  2. The role of soil chemistry in wine grape quality and sustainable soil management in vineyards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackenzie, D E; Christy, A G

    2005-01-01

    Abstract This study aimed to establish if there is any evidence that soil mineralogical and/or chemical composition influence the composition and quality of wine grapes. In the initial phase of the study, soils and grapes were sampled in two riesling vineyards in South Australia. Soils were analysed for a wide range of total major and trace elements; soil cation extracts and grape juices were analysed for 27 trace elements by ICP-MS and ICP-AES. The results show that grape juice properties such as Baumé and titratable acidity (TA) are clearly correlated with several plant-available trace elements in the soil. Most notable of these are Ca, Sr, Ba, Pb and Si. Soil clay content also plays a (lesser) role. The cations Ca, Sr, Ba and Pb are closely similar to one another in their relationships to Baumé and TA, strongly indicating that the correlations are real. It is evident from our results that soil cation chemistry does indeed have an influence on wine grape composition. Such knowledge has the potential to be used in better tailoring grape varieties to soils, and in managing--or modifying--soils for optimum viticultural results and better wines in a more sustainable way.

  3. Development and application of a soil organic matter-based soil quality index in mineralized terrane of the Western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. W. Blecker; L. L. Stillings; M. C. Amacher; J. A. Ippolito; N. M. DeCrappeo

    2012-01-01

    Soil quality indices provide a means of distilling large amounts of data into a single metric that evaluates the soil's ability to carry out key ecosystem functions. Primarily developed in agroecosytems, then forested ecosystems, an index using the relation between soil organic matter and other key soil properties in more semi-arid systems of the Western US...

  4. BIOCHAR TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY OF SOILS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariola Ścisłowska

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of research focused on the investigations of the possibilities to use biochar to improve the quality and productivity of soils. Biochar is a material similar to the commonly known charcoal obtained from the thermolysis process (a process similar to dry distillation of wood. The structure and technical properties of biochar depend on the type of biomass which is produced and the thermal decomposition process conditions: process time, temperature and atmosphere. It was found that a positive effect of biochar on the soil properties is manifested through the improvement of soil fertility, better water retention, improvement of the cation exchange, and the regulation of the pH. The biochar used in the present study was obtained by autothermal thermolysis of biomass at 300 °C. Three types of biochars of different origin were used. The biochar samples were subjected to ultimate and proximate analysis, as well as structural and porosimetric investigations. The experimental research were also conducted on the experimental test field and gave a positive effect of the presence of biochar on soil quality and plant yield. Biochar introduced into soil allows for long-term storage of carbon. The introduction of biochar to soil has a positive effect on plant growth, higher dose resulted in an increase in biochar and plant mass.

  5. Determination of Minimum Data Set for Assessment of Soil Quality:A Case Study in Choghakhur Lake Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    parvane mohaghegh

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The mismanagement of natural resources has led to low soil quality and high vulnerability to soil erosion in most parts of Iran. To have a sustainable soil quality, the assessment of effective soil quality indicators are required. The soil quality is defined as the capacity of a soil to function within natural and/or managed ecosystem boundaries. Among approaches which are suggested for soil quality assessment like soil card design, test kits, geostatistical methods and soil quality indices (SQIs, SQIs are formed by combination of soil indicators which resulted from integration evaluation of soil physical, chemical and/or biological properties and processes complement by existing/measureable data, sensitive to land use changes, management practices and human activities and could be applied in different ecosystems. As the measurement and monitoring of all soil quality indicators is laborious and costly, many researchers focused on limited soil quality indicators. There are many methods for identification and determination of minimum data set that influence on soil quality such as linear and multiple regression analysis, pedotransfer functions, scoring functions, principle component analysis and discriminant analysis. Among these methods, principle component analysis is commonly used because it is able to group related soil properties into small set of independent factors and to reduce redundant information in original data set. The objective of this research was to investigate the effects of land use change on soil quality indicators and also the determination of minimum effective soil quality indicators for assessment of soil quality in Choghakhor Lake basin, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, Iran. Materials and Methods: To meet the goal, Latin hypercube sampling method was applied by using slope, land use and geological maps and 125 composite soil samples were collected from soil surface (0-20 cm. After pretreatments, 27

  6. Evaluation of ß-Glucosidase Activity as a Soil Quality Indicator for the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil quality cannot be measured directly because it is a broad, integrative concept. Instead, a variety of proxy measurements are analyzed, which together provide clues about how the soil is functioning. These measurements are called soil quality indicators. Currently, as part of the Conservation...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Succession of Soil Acidity Quality and its Influence on Soil Phosphorus Types

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DUANWenbiao; CHENLixin

    2004-01-01

    Succession rules of soil acidity quality of larch plantations in first rotation at different development stages, succession rules of soil acidity quality of young stand of larch plantations in second rotation and the relationship between soil acidity and various forms of organic phosphorus and inorganic phosphorus were studied in mountainous area of eastern part of Northeastern China. The results showed that active acidity (pH value) inrhizosphere soil decreased continually with stand age increasing from young stand, half-mature stand, near mature stand to mature stand, but active acidity (pH value) in non-rhizosphere soil, exchange acidity, exchangeable aluminium, total hydrolytic acidity, and the ratio of exchange acidity and total hydrolytic acidity in rhizosphere soil and in non-rhizosphere soil increased apparently; total organic P, moderately resistant organic P, and highly resistant organic P in soil decreased at all age stages in larch plantations when soil acidity added. For rhizosphere soil of all stands of larch plantations at different development stages,there was positive correlation between Ca-P (except in young stand), Al-P(except in half-mature stand), Fe-P (except in near mature stand and mature stand), O-P (except in young stand), and soil active acidity,respectively; For rhizosphere soil, there was negative correlation between Ca-P (except in half-mature stand), Al-P(except in young stand), O-P, and exchange acidity, exchangeable aluminium, there was also negative correlation between Ca-P, Al-P(except in young stand and half-mature stand), Fe-P, O-P, and total hydrolytic acidity respectively. For rhizosphere soil, the correlation coefficient between Ca-P, O-P and total hydrolytic aciditydecreased, respectively, as stand ages up and that between Fe-P and exchange acidity,exchangeable aluminium increased, respectively, as stand ages grew. For non-rhizosphere soil, there was not significant correlation between soil acidity and various forms of

  9. Fruit and soil quality of organic and conventional strawberry agroecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P Reganold

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sale of organic foods is one of the fastest growing market segments within the global food industry. People often buy organic food because they believe organic farms produce more nutritious and better tasting food from healthier soils. Here we tested if there are significant differences in fruit and soil quality from 13 pairs of commercial organic and conventional strawberry agroecosystems in California. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: At multiple sampling times for two years, we evaluated three varieties of strawberries for mineral elements, shelf life, phytochemical composition, and organoleptic properties. We also analyzed traditional soil properties and soil DNA using microarray technology. We found that the organic farms had strawberries with longer shelf life, greater dry matter, and higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds, but lower concentrations of phosphorus and potassium. In one variety, sensory panels judged organic strawberries to be sweeter and have better flavor, overall acceptance, and appearance than their conventional counterparts. We also found the organically farmed soils to have more total carbon and nitrogen, greater microbial biomass and activity, and higher concentrations of micronutrients. Organically farmed soils also exhibited greater numbers of endemic genes and greater functional gene abundance and diversity for several biogeochemical processes, such as nitrogen fixation and pesticide degradation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings show that the organic strawberry farms produced higher quality fruit and that their higher quality soils may have greater microbial functional capability and resilience to stress. These findings justify additional investigations aimed at detecting and quantifying such effects and their interactions.

  10. Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reganold, John P. [Washington State University; Andrews, Preston K. [Washington State University; Reeve, Jennifer [Washington State University; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne [Washington State University; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL; Alldredge, J. Richard [Washington State University; Ross, Carolyn [Washington State University; Davies, Neil [Washington State University; Zhou, Jizhong [University of Oklahoma, Norman

    2010-01-01

    Background: Sale of organic foods is one of the fastest growing market segments within the global food industry. People often buy organic food because they believe organic farms produce more nutritious and better tasting food from healthier soils. Here we tested if there are significant differences in fruit and soil quality from 13 pairs of commercial organic and conventional strawberry agroecosystems in California. Methodology/Principal Findings: At multiple sampling times for two years, we evaluated three varieties of strawberries for mineral elements, shelf life, phytochemical composition, and organoleptic properties. We also analyzed traditional soil properties and soil DNA using microarray technology. We found that the organic farms had strawberries with longer shelf life, greater dry matter, and higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds, but lower concentrations of phosphorus and potassium. In one variety, sensory panels judged organic strawberries to be sweeter and have better flavor, overall acceptance, and appearance than their conventional counterparts. We also found the organically farmed soils to have more total carbon and nitrogen, greater microbial biomass and activity, and higher concentrations of micronutrients. Organically farmed soils also exhibited greater numbers of endemic genes and greater functional gene abundance and diversity for several biogeochemical processes, such as nitrogen fixation and pesticide degradation. Conclusions/Significance: Our findings show that the organic strawberry farms produced higher quality fruit and that their higher quality soils may have greater microbial functional capability and resilience to stress. These findings justify additional investigations aimed at detecting and quantifying such effects and their interactions.

  11. Soil quality assessment in rice production systems: establishing a minimum data set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues de Lima, Ana Cláudia; Hoogmoed, Willem; Brussaard, Lijbert

    2008-01-01

    Soil quality, as a measure of the soil's capacity to function, can be assessed by indicators based on physical, chemical, and biological properties. Here we report on the assessment of soil quality in 21 rice (Oryza sativa) fields under three rice production systems (semi-direct, pre-germinated, and conventional) on four soil textural classes in the Camaquã region of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The objectives of our study were: (i) to identify soil quality indicators that discriminate both management systems and soil textural classes, (ii) to establish a minimum data set of soil quality indicators and (iii) to test whether this minimum data set is correlated with yield. Twenty-nine soil biological, chemical, and physical properties were evaluated to characterize regional soil quality. Soil quality assessment was based on factor and discriminant analysis. Bulk density, available water, and micronutrients (Cu, Zn, and Mn) were the most powerful soil properties in distinguishing among different soil textural classes. Organic matter, earthworms, micronutrients (Cu and Mn), and mean weight diameter were the most powerful soil properties in assessing differences in soil quality among the rice management systems. Manganese was the property most strongly correlated with yield (adjusted r2 = 0.365, P = 0.001). The merits of sub-dividing samples according to texture and the linkage between soil quality indicators, soil functioning, plant performance, and soil management options are discussed in particular.

  12. Assessing soil quality for sustainable agricultural systems in tropical countries using spectroscopic methods

    OpenAIRE

    Jintaridth, B.; Motavalli, Peter P.; Goyne, K.W.; Kremer, R. J.

    2008-01-01

    Soil quality assessment is a process by which soil resources are evaluated on the basis of soil function. The need for an effective, low-cost method to evaluate soil quality is important in developing countries because soil degradation is a major impediment to sustainable crop growth. Soil organic matter (SOM) or soil organic C (SOC) is an important indicator of soil quality (Gregorich et al., 1994) because it affects many plant growth factors, including water-holding capacity and long-term n...

  13. Stability of heparin blood samples during transport based on defined pre-analytical quality goals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Esther A; Stahl, Marta; Brandslund, Ivan

    2008-01-01

    impact on the quality of results, we wanted to study which combination of transport conditions could fulfil our pre-defined goals for maximum allowable error. METHODS: Samples from 406 patients from nine general practitioners (GPs) in two Danish counties were sent to two hospitals for analyses, during......, centrifuged and separated at the doctor's office within 45-60 min. This sample was considered as the best estimate of a comparison value. RESULTS: The pre-set quality goals were fulfilled for all the investigated components for samples transported to hospital by courier either as whole blood or as "on gel......" after centrifugation, as long as the samples were stored at 20-25 degrees C and centrifuged/analysed within 5-6 h. A total of 4% of the samples sent by mail had mismatched identity, probably due to plasma being transferred to a new tube. CONCLUSIONS: Samples can be sent as unprocessed anticoagulated...

  14. Soil organic matter quality: Definition, quantification and implications for modeling (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plante, A. F.

    2010-12-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is an important component of the global C cycle. It contains more C than plant biomass and the atmosphere combined, and contributes to a C flux to and from the atmosphere ten times larger than the C flux due to fossil fuel combustion. Increasing interest in SOM is driven by questions about the permanence of soil C during sequestration, the vulnerability of soil C stocks in response to disturbance or climate change, and its role as an energy and nutrient source/sink for soil biota. Recent research has suggested that the quality of SOM may be as important as its quantity in influencing ecosystem function. Soil organic matter quality is frequently defined as a set of properties meant to characterize how easily SOM can be mineralized. This definition is much too vague to be useful. Part of our conceptualization of SOM quality has been inherited from that of substrate quality when considering above-ground litter decomposition. However, the concept must go beyond biochemical composition and encompasses all of the mechanisms that act to stabilize organic matter in soil. The ambiguity of what comprises SOM quality is reflected in the wide range of approaches used to measure or quantify it. Various physical, chemical and biological fractionation techniques as well as analytical and instrumental chemical techniques have been used to characterize SOM quality to varying degrees, though correlations between various methods are not frequently reported or apparent. While SOM quality may not be a singular property, its implications in the dynamics of SOM make it important to express in a quantitative manner, likely through the use of indices. While this may seem unsatisfying, the goal, ultimately, is to model and predict how SOM will respond to climate change and changes in land use and management. SOM quality is essentially embedded in current models through the use of multiple compartments. Multiple compartments reflect the composite nature of SOM with

  15. Soil quality and sustainable land use in urban rural marginal area: a case study of Kaifeng

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    By using the basic theories of physical geography, land resourcesand ecology, this article analyzes the soil quality of the rural-urban marginal area in Kaifeng. Computer techniques, based on soil samples analysis, are used to study soil quality changes in the Kaifeng's rural-urban marginal area. While focusing on nutrient circle key links of input and output in soil, relying on numerous practical survey data, this article reveals clearly the impact of land use change on soil quality.

  16. Regression study of environmental quality objectives for soil, fresh water, and marine water, derived independently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, M M; Urzelai, A; Angulo, E

    1997-12-01

    A regression study among environmental quality objectives on soil, marine and fresh water is studied, considering toxicity data on ecological representative species of invertebrates. The study was carried out by comparing VIE-C values, as defined by E. Angulo and A. Urzelai (1994, in Plan Director para la Protección del Suelo. Calidad del Suelo. Valores Indicativos de Evaluacion, pp. 121-184. IHOBE, Bilbao). To derive these VIE-C values, no-observed-effect concentrations from chronic single-species assays that consider relevant parameters in population dynamics are used. The calculations follow the method of N. M. van Straalen and C.A.J. Denneman (1989, Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf. 18, 241-251). Equations relating long-term toxicity data of fresh/marine waters, soil/marine water, and soil/fresh water for five metals (Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn) are calculated, indicating good correlation between environments: 0.85, 0.78, and 0.89, respectively. On the basis of these results this approach may be useful to obtain soil quality criteria values from other environmental compartments, when soil data are not available.

  17. Soil quality parameters for row-crop and grazed pasture systems with agroforestry buffers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incorporation of trees and establishment of buffers are practices that can improve soil quality. Soil enzyme activities and water stable aggregates are sensitive indices for assessing soil quality by detecting early changes in soil management. However, studies comparing grazed pasture and row crop...

  18. Assessment of Soil Quality for Grazed Pastures with Agroforestry Buffers and Row Crop Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incorporation of trees and establishment of buffers are believed to enhance soil quality. Soil enzyme activities and water stable aggregates have been identified as good indices for assessing soil quality to evaluate early responses to changes in soil management. However, studies comparing these p...

  19. Soil quality indicator responses to row crop, grazed pasture, and agroforestry buffer management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incorporation of trees and establishment of grass buffers within agroecosystems are management practices shown to enhance soil quality. Soil enzyme activities and water stable aggregates (WSA) have been identified as sensitive soil quality indicators to evaluate early responses to soil management. ...

  20. Enchytraeids as indicator of soil quality in temporary organic grass-clover leys under contrasting management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maraldo, Kristine; Schmelz, Rüdiger; Larsen, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    One objective in organic farming is to sustain the quality of the soil resource. Because enchytraeids are an important soil faunal component, they stand as bioindicators of soil quality. We tested this candidature in a field experiment on loamy sand soil with 1- and 4-year old grass-clover leys...

  1. Improvements of soil quality for increased food production in Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Øygarden, Lillian; Klakegg, Ove; Børresen, Trond; Krogstad, Tore; Kjersti Uhlen, Anne

    2016-04-01

    Since the 1990ties, agricultural land in use in Norway has diminished and yields per hectare for cereals and forages have stagnated. An expert panel appointed to advice on how to increase Norwegian grain production emphasizes low profitability and poor soil quality as limiting factors. A White Paper from the Norwegian Government, Report No.9 (2011-2012), stated that the main goal for the agricultural sector is to increase food production proportional to the expected increase in population (20 % by 2030) in order to maintain self-sufficiency at the present level. This is the background for the interdisciplinary project AGROPRO "Agronomy for increased food production - Challenges and solutions" (2013 - 2017)" financed by the Norwegian research council. A mail goal is seeking possibilities for improvements in agronomic practices for increased and sustainable food production and to identify drivers and challenges for their implementation. Are the key to higher yields hidden in the soil? The paper present an overview of the research activities in the project and some results of the improvements of soil quality to minimize yield gap in cereal and forage production. Detailed new soil maps provide soil information on field scale of soil quality and the suitability for growing different crops like cereal production or vegetables. The detailed soil information is also beeing used for development and adaptation of the planning tool «Terranimo» to reduce risk of soil compaction.The farmer get available soil information for each field, provide information about the maschinery in use- tractors and equipment, tyres, pressure. The decision tool evaluate when the soil is suitable for tillage, calculate the risk of compaction for dry, moist and wet soil. New research data for compaction on Norwegian clay and silt soil are included. Climate change with wetter conditions gives challenges for growing cereals. The project is testing genetic variation in cereals for tolerance to water

  2. Effects of mushroom waste on improvement of reclaimed soil quality in coal mining areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shu-Li GUO; Qian LI; Xin-Ju LI; Yao-Lun ZHAO; Xin-Gang WANG

    2013-01-01

    Restoring soil quality is the main evaluation norm of the reclamation.In order to reveal the effects of mushroom waste on the quality improvement of reclaimed soil in coal mining areas,the physical,chemical and microbial characteristics of soil are studied.The results show clear improvement in the soil after using mushroom waste.Because of human cultivation and fertilization,cultivated soil after reclamation exhibits high comprehensive quality and the index of quality of surface soil reaches 0.64 and 0.73.The average index of surface soil quality is as high as 0.52 and 0.54.In comparison,the quality of reclaimed soil of forest land is low,with average index of 0.40.The effects of mushroom waste are mainly on the surface soil in the first 2 years after the application.After that period,with the decomposition of mushroom waste,soil quality index tends to be the same as the original soil.The quality of surface soil is higher than that of subsoil,especially after the application of mushroom waste,at which point the soil quality reaches a peak at about 15 cm.Cultivated soil after reclamation has great variance in quality,after the coefficient of 24.74%.Mushroom waste can reduce such variation,particularly with long-term use.The variance efficient falls to 3.59% after 3-year application.

  3. Soil physical quality in contrasting tillage systems in organic and conventional farming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crittenden, S.; Poot, N.; Heinen, M.; Balen, van D.J.M.; Pulleman, M.M.

    2015-01-01

    Reduced tillage can improve soil physical quality relative to mouldboard ploughing by lessening soil disturbance, leaving organic matter at the soil surface, and stimulating soil biological activity. In organic farming, continuous ploughing may negate benefits to soil structure and function from inc

  4. Soil physical quality in contrasting tillage systems in organic and conventional farming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crittenden, S.; Poot, N.; Heinen, M.; Balen, van D.J.M.; Pulleman, M.M.

    2015-01-01

    Reduced tillage can improve soil physical quality relative to mouldboard ploughing by lessening soil disturbance, leaving organic matter at the soil surface, and stimulating soil biological activity. In organic farming, continuous ploughing may negate benefits to soil structure and function from

  5. Microbiological indicators for assessing ecosystem soil quality and changes in it at degraded sites treated with compost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ancona, Valeria; Barra Caracciolo, Anna; Grenni, Paola; Di Lenola, Martina; Calabrese, Angelantonio; Campanale, Claudia; Felice Uricchio, Vito

    2014-05-01

    Soil quality is defined as the capacity of a soil to function as a vital system, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, sustain plant and animal health and productivity, maintain or enhance air and water environment quality and support human health and habitation. Soil organisms are extremely diverse and contribute to a wide range of ecosystem services that are essential to the sustainable functioning of natural and managed ecosystems. In particular, microbial communities provide several ecosystem services, which ensure soil quality and fertility. In fact, they adapt promptly to environmental changes by varying their activity and by increasing the reproduction of populations that have favourable skills. The structure (e.g. cell abundance) and functioning (e.g. viability and activity) of natural microbial communities and changes in them under different environmental conditions can be considered useful indicators of soil quality state. In this work we studied the quality state of three different soils, located in Taranto Province (Southern Italy), affected by land degradation processes, such as organic matter depletion, desertification and contamination (PCB and metals). Moreover, compost, produced from selected organic waste, was added to the soils studied in order to improve their quality state. Soil samples were collected before and after compost addition and both microbial and chemical analyses were performed in order to evaluate the soil quality state at each site at different times. For this purpose, the microbiological indicators evaluated were bacterial abundance (DAPI counts), cell viability (Live/Dead method), dehydrogenase activity (DHA) and soil respiration. At the same time, the main physico-chemical soil characteristics (organic carbon, available phosphorous, total nitrogen, carbonate and water content, texture and pH) were also measured. Moreover, in the contaminated soil samples PCB and inorganic (e.g. Pb, Se, Sn, Zn) contaminants were

  6. Estimating the pollution risk of cadmium in soil using a composite soil environmental quality standard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Mingkai; Li, Weidong; Zhang, Chuanrong; Huang, Biao; Zhao, Yongcun

    2014-01-01

    Estimating standard-exceeding probabilities of toxic metals in soil is crucial for environmental evaluation. Because soil pH and land use types have strong effects on the bioavailability of trace metals in soil, they were taken into account by some environmental protection agencies in making composite soil environmental quality standards (SEQSs) that contain multiple metal thresholds under different pH and land use conditions. This study proposed a method for estimating the standard-exceeding probability map of soil cadmium using a composite SEQS. The spatial variability and uncertainty of soil pH and site-specific land use type were incorporated through simulated realizations by sequential Gaussian simulation. A case study was conducted using a sample data set from a 150 km(2) area in Wuhan City and the composite SEQS for cadmium, recently set by the State Environmental Protection Administration of China. The method may be useful for evaluating the pollution risks of trace metals in soil with composite SEQSs.

  7. Estimating the Pollution Risk of Cadmium in Soil Using a Composite Soil Environmental Quality Standard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Biao; Zhao, Yongcun

    2014-01-01

    Estimating standard-exceeding probabilities of toxic metals in soil is crucial for environmental evaluation. Because soil pH and land use types have strong effects on the bioavailability of trace metals in soil, they were taken into account by some environmental protection agencies in making composite soil environmental quality standards (SEQSs) that contain multiple metal thresholds under different pH and land use conditions. This study proposed a method for estimating the standard-exceeding probability map of soil cadmium using a composite SEQS. The spatial variability and uncertainty of soil pH and site-specific land use type were incorporated through simulated realizations by sequential Gaussian simulation. A case study was conducted using a sample data set from a 150 km2 area in Wuhan City and the composite SEQS for cadmium, recently set by the State Environmental Protection Administration of China. The method may be useful for evaluating the pollution risks of trace metals in soil with composite SEQSs. PMID:24672364

  8. Soil quality, crop productivity and soil organic matter (SOM) priming in biochar and wood ash amended soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Eleanor Swain; Chadwick, David; Hill, Paul; Jones, Davey

    2016-04-01

    The application of energy production by-products as soil amendments to agricultural land is rapidly growing in popularity, however the increasing body of literature on primarily biochar but also wood ash have yielded contrary evidence of the range of these soil amendments function sensitivity in soil. This study aims to assess the efficacy of two by-products; biochar and wood ash to provide nutrients to grassland as well as the potential to improve overall soil quality. The study of soil amendments at field scale are scarce, and the agronomic benefits of biochar and wood ash in temperate soils remain unclear. We used replicated field plots with three soil treatments (biochar, wood ash and control) to measure the soil and crop properties over twelve months, including PLFA analysis to quantify the total soil microbial biomass and community structure. After a soil residency of one year, there were no significant differences in soil EC, total N, dissolved organic N (DON), dissolved organic C (DOC), NO3-N and NH4-N concentrations, between biochar amended, wood ash amended and un-amended soil. In contrast, the application of biochar had a significant effect on soil moisture, pH, PO4-P concentrations, soil organic carbon (SOC) and total organic carbon (TOC), whilst the wood ash amendment resulted in an increase in soil pH only. There were no significant treatment effects on the growth performance or nutrient uptake of the grass. In a parallel laboratory incubation study, the effects of biochar and wood ash on soil C priming was explored, in which soil with 14C-labelled native SOC was amended with either biochar or wood ash at the same rate as the field trial. The rates of 14CO2 (primed C) production was measured with a liquid scintillation counter over a 50 day period. The 14CO2 that evolved during decomposition likely originated from conversions in the (microbial) biomass. The results indicated that biochar application did not prime for the loss of native SOC (i.e. there

  9. Soil physical quality of Mollisols quantified by a global index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Javier Ghiberto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Indicators synthesizing the state of the structural quality and the function of the porous system are useful for assessing soil production capacity as well as the way it may serve natural ecosystems. This research aimed (i to determine indicators of the state and function of the porous system, (ii to use them to derive a global index to characterize the soil physical quality, and iii to establish a reference pore-size distribution curve for Mollisols from the province of Santa Fe (Argentina. Sixty water retention curves (WRC of A and B horizons of Mollisols, with clay varying between 119 and 538 g kg−1, organic matter between 5 and 40 g kg−1, and soil bulk density between 1.09 and 1.49 Mg m−3, were used. The indicators measured were: pore size distribution, macroporosity (PORp, air capacity (ACt and plant-available water capacity (PAWC among others. Soils were classified into four groups according to their physical properties and a reference WRC was determined. From this WRC and considering a total porosity of 0.514 m3 m−3, PORp was 0.035 m3 m−3, ACt 0.153 m3 m−3, field capacity 0.361 m3 m−3, permanent wilting point 0.136 m3 m−3 and PAWC 0.225 m3 m−3. Both the high silt content and low organic matter content confer on the soil characteristics with low stability, excess of small pores and low porosity of the macropore domain. Consequently, the capacity to quickly drain the water excess and allow root proliferation was not optimal, possibly due to the high silt or clay content and the low sand content, characteristic of the soil matrix of these Mollisols.

  10. Viewpoints on impacts of climate change on soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilly, Oliver; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria; Trasar-Cepeda, Carmen; Nannipieri, Paolo

    2010-05-01

    soil quality in ecosystems based on modern respiratory approaches. In: Cenci R., Sena F. (eds.) Biodiversity-bioindication to evaluate soil health. European Commission EUR 22245EN, p. 59-64 Dilly O., Blume H.-P., Munch J.C., 2003. Soil microbial activities in Luvisols and Anthrosols during 9 years of region-typical tillage and fertilisation practices in northern Germany. Biogeochemistry 65, 319-339 IPPC 2007. The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (eds Solomon, S. et al.) (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Kirschbaum, M.U.F., 1995. The temperature dependence of soil organic matter decomposition, and the effect of global warming on soil organic C storage. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 27, 753-760 Knorr W., Prentice I.C., House J.I., Holland E.A. 2005. Long-term sensitivity of soil carbon to warming. Nature 433, 298-301 Mamilov, A. Sh., Dilly, O., 2002. Soil microbial eco-physiology as affected by short-term variations in environmental conditions. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 34, 1283-1290

  11. Rapid determination of soil quality and earthworm impacts on soil microbial communities using fluorescence-based respirometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prendergast-Miller, Miranda T.; Thurston, Josh; Taylor, Joe; Helgason, Thorunn; Ashauer, Roman; Hodson, Mark E.

    2017-04-01

    We applied a fluorescence-based respirometry method currently devised for aquatic ecotoxicology studies to rapidly measure soil microbial oxygen consumption as a function of soil quality. In this study, soil was collected from an arable wheat field and the field margin. These two soil habitats are known to differ in their soil quality due to differences in their use and management as well as plant, microbial and earthworm community. The earthworm Lumbricus terrestris was incubated in arable or margin soil for three weeks. After this initial phase, a transfer experiment was then conducted to test the hypothesis that earthworm 'migration' alters soil microbial community function and diversity. In this transfer experiment, earthworms incubated in margin soil were transferred to arable soil. The converse transfer (i.e. earthworms incubated in arable soil) was also conducted. Soils of each type with no earthworms were also incubated as controls. After a further four week incubation, the impact of earthworm migration on the soil microbial community was tested by measuring oxygen consumption. Replicated soil slurry subsamples were aliquoted into individual respirometer wells (600 μl volume) on a glass 24-well microplate (Loligo Systems, Denmark) fitted with non-invasive, reusable oxygen sensor spots. The sealed microplate was then attached to an oxygen fluorescence sensor (SDR SensorDish Reader, PreSens, Germany). Oxygen consumption was measured in real-time over a 2 hr period following standard operating procedures. Soil microbial activity was measured with and without an added carbon source (glucose or cellulose, 50 mg C L-1). Using this system, we were able to differentiate between soil type, earthworm treatment and C source. Earthworm-driven impacts on soil microbial oxygen consumption were also supported by changes in soil microbial community structure and diversity revealed using DNA-based sequencing techniques. This method provides a simple and rapid system for

  12. Defining Soil Materials for 3-D Models of the Near Surface: Preliminary Findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-01

    geologic models that were consistent with geologic architecture. A transi- tion-probability geostatistics package – TPROGS for GMS – was used to...with transition probability geostatistics . University of California at Davis. Ann Arbor: UMI Dissertation Services. ERDC/GSL TR-12-9 44 Appendix...modeling geologic features in three dimensions for sensor simulation. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Geostatistics GEOTACS GMS Shallow subsurface Soil

  13. The quantitative soil quality assessment tobacco plant in Sindoro mountainous zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Supriyadi

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The long-term cultivation of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum plant in the Sindoro mountainous zone of Central Java has resulted in soil quality degradation that could affect economic development in the region if sustainable production practices are not identified. The objective of the study was to identify appropriate indicators for assessing soil quality on tobacco plant. The quantitative soil quality indicators were total organic-C, pH, available P and available K (chemical, soil depth, bulk density, AWC (available water capacity and soil aggregate stability (physical, and qCO2 (soil respiration, MBC (microbial biomass carbon (biological. The decreases in the soil aggregate stability, available water capacity, cation exchange capacity, soil respiration, microbial biomass carbon and total organic-C; or increases in bulk density (compaction, available P, available K and total nitrogen indicated the decrease in soil quality due to long-term tobacco production. The result of this research showed that the change of soil quality had occurred in Sindoro Mountain. The Soil Quality Index (SQI for three land use systems in Sindoro mountain (forest, mixed farm, and tobacco were 0.60, 0.47, and 0.57, respectively. The comparison of these rates with soil quality classes showed that the soil quality presented moderate to good level of quality; class SQI.

  14. Soil compost amendment enhances tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldantoni, Daniela; Bellino, Alessandro; Alfani, Anna

    2016-09-01

    Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is one of the most important crops in the world and represents a key crop in southern Italy. With the aim to evaluate the nutritional characteristics of tomato fruits in relation to NPK and compost fertilisation, the concentrations of the main nutrients, toxic elements, primary metabolites and total phenols were determined in two varieties (Lido and San Marzano). Each variety was cultivated in a different experimental field, subjected to different agronomic techniques. Concentrations of toxic elements (Cd and Pb) were below the limits indicated by the EU Regulation (2011) in all the fruits analysed. Moreover, fruits obtained from San Marzano plants grown on organic amended soils showed a better overall quality than those obtained on mineral fertilised soil, being characterised by lower N (attributed to lower nitrate and nitrite concentrations), lower Cd, and higher soluble sugar concentrations. Higher concentrations of soluble sugars in fruits from organic amended soils were also observed in the Lido variety. The agricultural use of quality compost represents an effective strategy to obtain high quality products in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  15. Tillage effects on topsoil structural quality assessed using X-ray CT, soil cores and visual soil evaluation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garbout, Amin; Munkholm, Lars Juhl; Hansen, Søren Baarsgaard

    2013-01-01

    Soil structure plays a key role in the ability of soil to fulfil essential functions and services in relation to, e.g., root growth, gas and water transport and organic matter turnover. The objective of this paper was: (1) To quantify tillage effects on soil structural quality in the entire topsoil...

  16. 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...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Comparing farmer and measured assessments of soil quality in Tanzania: Do they align?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison C. Kelly

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: There is a wide gap between actual and potential yields for many crops in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA. Experts identify poor soil quality as a primary constraint to increased agricultural productivity. Therefore, increasing agricultural productivity by improving soil quality is seen as a viable strategy to enhance food security. Yet adoption rates of programs focused on improving soil quality have generally been lower than expected [1], [2]. Results: We explore a seldom considered factor that may limit farmers’ demand for improved soil quality, namely, whether the farmers’ self-assessment of their soil quality match the assessments of soil scientists. In this paper, using data from the Tanzania National Panel Survey (TZNPS, part of the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA, we compare farmers’ own assessments of soil quality with scientific measurements of soil quality from the Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD. The study found a considerable “mismatch” and most notably, that 11.5 percent of survey households that reported having “good” soil quality are measured by scientific standards to have severely limited nutrient availability. Conclusion: Mismatches between scientific measurements and farmer assessments of soil quality may highlight a potential barrier for programs seeking to encourage farmers to adopt soil quality improvement activities.

  19. Do agricultural terraces and forest fires recurrence in Mediterranean afforested micro-catchments alter soil quality and soil nutrient content?

    Science.gov (United States)

    E Lucas-Borja, Manuel; Calsamiglia, Aleix; Fortesa, Josep; García-Comendador, Julián; Gago, Jorge; Estrany, Joan

    2017-04-01

    Bioclimatic characteristics and intense human pressure promote Mediterranean ecosystems to be fire-prone. Afforestation processes resulting from the progressive land abandonment during the last decades led to greater biomass availability increasing the risk of large forest fires. Likewise, the abandonment and lack of maintenance in the terraced lands constitute a risk of land degradation in terms of soil quantity and quality. Despite the effects of fire and the abandonment of terraced lands on soil loss and physico-chemical properties are identified, it is not clearly understood how wildfires and abandonment of terraces affect soil quality and nutrients content. Microbiological soil parameters and soil enzymes activities are biomarkers of the soil microbial communitýs functional ability, which potentially enables them as indicators of change, disturbance or stress within the soil community. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of terracing (abandoned and non-abandoned) on the soil enzyme activities, microbiological soil parameters and soil nutrients dynamics in three Mediterranean afforested micro-catchments (i.e., trend with higher values in terraced plots, although differences were weaker. We conclude that terraced landscapes present poorer soil quality parameters due to land abandonment and the lack of terraced management. In addition, forest fire recurrence exacerbates soil degradation processes due to the direct effects on vegetation and soil properties.

  20. Impact of Land Institutional Factors on Farm Management and Soil Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Shuhao, Tan

    2009-01-01

    Soil quality has important implications for sustainable agricultural development and food self-sufficiency in many developing countries. A decrease in soil nutrient stocks, one of the components of soil quality, necessitates more inputs and greater management skills in order to compensate for the reduction in nutrients availability. This is why the interaction of agricultural development and soil quality management attracts widespread attention from researchers. Applying plot level data on in...

  1. Soil quality in a cropland soil treated with wood ash containing charcoal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omil, Beatriz; Balboa, Miguel A.; Fonturbel, M. Teresa; Gartzia-Bengoetxea, Nahia; Arias-González, Ander; Vega, Jose A.; Merino, Agustin

    2014-05-01

    The strategy of the European Union "Europe 2020" states that by 2020, 20% of final energy consumption must come from renewables. In this scenario, there is an increasing use of biomass utilization for energy production. Indeed, it is expected that the production of wood-ash will increase in coming years. Wood ash, a mixture of ash and charcoal, generated as a by-product of biomass combustion in power plants, can be applied to soil to improve the soil quality and crop production. Since the residue contains significant content of charcoal, the application of mixed wood ash may also improve the SOM content and soil quality in the long term, in soils degraded as a consequence of intensive management. The objective of this study was asses the changes in SOM quality and soil properties in a degraded soils treated with wood ash containing charcoal. The study was carried out in a field devoted to cereal crops during the last decades. The soil was acidic (pH 4.5) with a low SOC content (3 %) and fine texture. The experiment was based on a randomised block design with four replicates. Each block included the following four treatments: Control, 16 Mg fly wood ash ha-1, 16 Mg mixed wood ash ha-1 (16 Mg) and 32 Mg mixed wood ash ha-1 (32 Mg). The application was carried out once. The ash used in the study was obtained from a thermal power plant and was mainly derived from the combustion of Pinus radiata bark and branches. The wood ash is highly alkaline (pH= 10), contains 10 % of highly condensed black carbon (atomic H/C ratio solid state 13C CPMAS NMR and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). These techniques were applied in bulk samples and aggregates of different sizes. The changes in microbial activity were studied by analysis of microbial biomass C and basal respiration. The soil bacterial community was studied by the Biolog method. Several physical properties, such soil aggregate distribution, hydraulic conductivity and available water contente were also determined

  2. Soil quality assessment of urban green space under long-term reclaimed water irrigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Sidan; Chen, Weiping

    2016-03-01

    Reclaimed water is widely used for landscape irrigation with the benefits of saving fresh water and ameliorating soil quality. Field samples were collected from seven parks in Beijing irrigated reclaimed water with different irrigation history in 2011 and 2014 to evaluate the long-term impacts of reclaimed water irrigation on soil quality. Soil quality index method was used to assess the comprehensive effects of reclaimed water irrigation on soil. Results showed that the effects of reclaimed water irrigation on the soil nutrient conditions were limited. Compared with tap water irrigation, soil salinity was significantly higher in 2011, while the difference was insignificant in 2014; soil heavy metals were slightly higher by 0.5-10.6 % in 2011 and 2014, while the differences were insignificant. Under reclaimed water irrigation, soil biological activities were significantly improved in both years. Total nitrogen in reclaimed water had a largest effect on soil quality irrigated reclaimed water. Soil quality irrigated with reclaimed water increased by 2.6 and 6.8 % respectively in 2011 and 2014, while the increases were insignificant. Soil quality of almost half samples was more than or closed to soil quality of natural forest in Beijing. Soil quality was ameliorated at some extent with long-term reclaimed water irrigation.

  3. Soil-plant water status and wine quality: the case study of Aglianico wine (the ZOViSA project)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonfante, Antonello; Manna, Piero; Albrizio, Rossella; Basile, Angelo; Agrillo, Antonietta; De Mascellis, Roberto; Caputo, Pellegrina; Delle Cave, Aniello; Gambuti, Angelita; Giorio, Pasquale; Guida, Gianpiero; Minieri, Luciana; Moio, Luigi; Orefice, Nadia; Terribile, Fabio

    2014-05-01

    The terroir analysis, aiming to achieve a better use of environmental features with respect to plant requirement and wine production, needs to be strongly rooted on hydropedology. In fact, the relations between wine quality and soil moisture regime during the cropping season is well established. The ZOViSA Project (Viticultural zoning at farm scale) tests a new physically oriented approach to terroir analysis based on the relations between the soil-plant water status and wine quality. The project is conducted in southern Italy in the farm Quintodecimo of Mirabella Eclano (AV) located in the Campania region, devoted to quality Aglianico red wine production (DOC). The soil spatial distribution of study area (about 3 ha) was recognized by classical soil survey and geophysics scan by EM38DD; then the soil-plant water status was monitored for three years in two experimental plots from two different soils (Cambisol and Calcisol). Daily climate variables (temperature, solar radiation, rainfall, wind), daily soil water variables (through TDR probes and tensiometers), crop development (biometric and physiological parameters), and grape must and wine quality were monitored. The agro-hydrological model SWAP was calibrated and applied in the two experimental plots to estimate soil-plant water status in different crop phenological stages. The effects of crop water status on crop response and wine quality was evaluated in two different pedo-systems, comparing the crop water stress index with both: crop physiological measurements (leaf gas exchange, leaf water potential, chlorophyll content, LAI measurement), grape bunches measurements (berry weight, sugar content, titratable acidity, etc.) and wine quality (aromatic response). Finally a "spatial application" of the model was carried out and different terroirs defined.

  4. Land Use Effects on Soil Quality Indicators: A Case Study of Abo-Wonsho Southern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Awdenegest Moges

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil quality assessment is valuable for evaluating agroecosystem sustainability, soil degradation, and identifying sustainable land management practices. This study compared soil quality within culturally protected forest areas and adjacent grassland, grazing land, and farmland in Abo-Wonsho, Southern Ethiopia. A total of 40 soil samples (4 land uses × 5 replications × 2 soil depth layers: 0 to 10 cm and 10 to 20 cm were collected for analysis. Soil textural fractions (i.e., sand, silt, and clay percentage varied with land use and soil depths even though the textural class across all land use types was sandy loam. Bulk density, soil organic carbon (SOC, and available potassium (K varied significantly: , , and , respectively, with land use and soil depth, but other indicators showed no significant difference. We conclude soil quality can be protected and maintained by improving existing land use practices within both agricultural and modern forest management areas.

  5. Soil Quality Assessment Strategies for Evaluating Soil Degradation in Northern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gebreyesus Brhane Tesfahunegn

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil quality (SQ degradation continues to challenge sustainable development throughout the world. One reason is that degradation indicators such as soil quality index (SQI are neither well documented nor used to evaluate current land use and soil management systems (LUSMS. The objective was to assess and identify an effective SQ indicator dataset from among 25 soil measurements, appropriate scoring functions for each indicator and an efficient SQ indexing method to evaluate soil degradation across the LUSMS in the Mai-Negus catchment of northern Ethiopia. Eight LUSMS selected for soil sampling and analysis included (i natural forest (LS1, (ii plantation of protected area, (iii grazed land, (iv teff (Eragrostis tef-faba bean (Vicia faba rotation, (v teff-wheat (Triticum vulgare/barley (Hordeum vulgare rotation, (vi teff monocropping, (vii maize (Zea mays monocropping, and (viii uncultivated marginal land (LS8. Four principal components explained almost 88% of the variability among the LUSMS. LS1 had the highest mean SQI (0.931 using the scoring functions and principal component analysis (PCA dataset selection, while the lowest SQI (0.458 was measured for LS8. Mean SQI values for LS1 and LS8 using expert opinion dataset selection method were 0.874 and 0.406, respectively. Finally, a sensitivity analysis (S used to compare PCA and expert opinion dataset selection procedures for various scoring functions ranged from 1.70 for unscreened-SQI to 2.63 for PCA-SQI. Therefore, this study concludes that a PCA-based SQI would be the best way to distinguish among LUSMS since it appears more sensitive to disturbances and management practices and could thus help prevent further SQ degradation.

  6. Collembase: a repository for springtail genomics and soil quality assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klein-Lankhorst Rene M

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Environmental quality assessment is traditionally based on responses of reproduction and survival of indicator organisms. For soil assessment the springtail Folsomia candida (Collembola is an accepted standard test organism. We argue that environmental quality assessment using gene expression profiles of indicator organisms exposed to test substrates is more sensitive, more toxicant specific and significantly faster than current risk assessment methods. To apply this species as a genomic model for soil quality testing we conducted an EST sequencing project and developed an online database. Description Collembase is a web-accessible database comprising springtail (F. candida genomic data. Presently, the database contains information on 8686 ESTs that are assembled into 5952 unique gene objects. Of those gene objects ~40% showed homology to other protein sequences available in GenBank (blastx analysis; non-redundant (nr database; expect-value -5. Software was applied to infer protein sequences. The putative peptides, which had an average length of 115 amino-acids (ranging between 23 and 440 were annotated with Gene Ontology (GO terms. In total 1025 peptides (~17% of the gene objects were assigned at least one GO term (expect-value -25. Within Collembase searches can be conducted based on BLAST and GO annotation, cluster name or using a BLAST server. The system furthermore enables easy sequence retrieval for functional genomic and Quantitative-PCR experiments. Sequences are submitted to GenBank (Accession numbers: EV473060 – EV481745. Conclusion Collembase http://www.collembase.org is a resource of sequence data on the springtail F. candida. The information within the database will be linked to a custom made microarray, based on the Agilent platform, which can be applied for soil quality testing. In addition, Collembase supplies information that is valuable for related scientific disciplines such as molecular ecology

  7. Soil quality index comparisons using Fort Cobb Oklahoma watershed-scale land management data

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Soil Conditioning Index (SCI) and Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) are two different but complementary methods for evaluating soil management effects on soil quality. Although both tools have been widely used, little is known regarding how they compare to one another and if they produ...

  8. Farm-scale variation of soil quality indices and association with edaphic properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil organisms are indicators of dynamic soil quality because their community structure and population density are sensitive to management changes. However, edaphic properties can also affect soil organisms and high spatial variability can confound their utility for soil evaluation. In the present...

  9. Soil Quality Indexing Strategies for Evaluating Sugarcane Expansion in Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurício R Cherubin

    Full Text Available Increasing demand for biofuel has intensified land-use change (LUC for sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum expansion in Brazil. Assessments of soil quality (SQ response to this LUC are essential for quantifying and monitoring sustainability of sugarcane production over time. Since there is not a universal methodology for assessing SQ, we conducted a field-study at three sites within the largest sugarcane-producing region of Brazil to develop a SQ index (SQI. The most common LUC scenario (i.e., native vegetation to pasture to sugarcane was evaluated using six SQI strategies with varying complexities. Thirty eight soil indicators were included in the total dataset. Two minimum datasets were selected: one using principal component analysis (7 indicators and the other based on expert opinion (5 indicators. Non-linear scoring curves were used to interpret the indicator values. Weighted and non-weighted additive methods were used to combine individual indicator scores into an overall SQI. Long-term conversion from native vegetation to extensive pasture significantly decreased overall SQ. In contrast, conversion from pasture to sugarcane had no significant impact on overall SQ at the regional scale, but site-specific responses were found. In general, sugarcane production improved chemical attributes (i.e., higher macronutrient levels and lower soil acidity; however it has negative effects on physical and biological attributes (i.e., higher soil compaction and structural degradation as well as lower soil organic carbon (SOC, abundance and diversity of macrofauna and microbial activity. Overall, we found that simple, user-friendly strategies were as effective as more complex ones for identifying SQ changes. Therefore, as a protocol for SQ assessments in Brazilian sugarcane areas, we recommend using a small number of indicators (e.g., pH, P, K, Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure -VESS scores and SOC concentration and proportional weighting to reflect

  10. Soil Quality Indexing Strategies for Evaluating Sugarcane Expansion in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherubin, Maurício R; Karlen, Douglas L; Cerri, Carlos E P; Franco, André L C; Tormena, Cássio A; Davies, Christian A; Cerri, Carlos C

    2016-01-01

    Increasing demand for biofuel has intensified land-use change (LUC) for sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) expansion in Brazil. Assessments of soil quality (SQ) response to this LUC are essential for quantifying and monitoring sustainability of sugarcane production over time. Since there is not a universal methodology for assessing SQ, we conducted a field-study at three sites within the largest sugarcane-producing region of Brazil to develop a SQ index (SQI). The most common LUC scenario (i.e., native vegetation to pasture to sugarcane) was evaluated using six SQI strategies with varying complexities. Thirty eight soil indicators were included in the total dataset. Two minimum datasets were selected: one using principal component analysis (7 indicators) and the other based on expert opinion (5 indicators). Non-linear scoring curves were used to interpret the indicator values. Weighted and non-weighted additive methods were used to combine individual indicator scores into an overall SQI. Long-term conversion from native vegetation to extensive pasture significantly decreased overall SQ. In contrast, conversion from pasture to sugarcane had no significant impact on overall SQ at the regional scale, but site-specific responses were found. In general, sugarcane production improved chemical attributes (i.e., higher macronutrient levels and lower soil acidity); however it has negative effects on physical and biological attributes (i.e., higher soil compaction and structural degradation as well as lower soil organic carbon (SOC), abundance and diversity of macrofauna and microbial activity). Overall, we found that simple, user-friendly strategies were as effective as more complex ones for identifying SQ changes. Therefore, as a protocol for SQ assessments in Brazilian sugarcane areas, we recommend using a small number of indicators (e.g., pH, P, K, Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure -VESS scores and SOC concentration) and proportional weighting to reflect chemical

  11. Field soil aggregate stability kit for soil quality and rangeland health evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrick, J.E.; Whitford, W.G.; de Soyza, A. G.; Van Zee, J. W.; Havstad, K.M.; Seybold, C.A.; Walton, M.

    2001-01-01

    Soil aggregate stability is widely recognized as a key indicator of soil quality and rangeland health. However, few standard methods exist for quantifying soil stability in the field. A stability kit is described which can be inexpensively and easily assembled with minimal tools. It permits up to 18 samples to be evaluated in less than 10 min and eliminates the need for transportation, minimizing damage to soil structure. The kit consists of two 21??10.5??3.5 cm plastic boxes divided into eighteen 3.5??3.5 cm sections, eighteen 2.5-cm diameter sieves with 1.5-mm distance openings and a small spatula used for soil sampling. Soil samples are rated on a scale from one to six based on a combination of ocular observations of slaking during the first 5 min following immersion in distilled water, and the percent remaining on a 1.5-mm sieve after five dipping cycles at the end of the 5-min period. A laboratory comparison yielded a correlation between the stability class and percent aggregate stability based on oven dry weight remaining after treatment using a mechanical sieve. We have applied the method in a wide variety of agricultural and natural ecosystems throughout western North America, including northern Mexico, and have found that it is highly sensitive to differences in management and plant community composition. Although the field kit cannot replace the careful laboratory-based measurements of soil aggregate stability, it can clearly provide valuable information when these more intensive procedures are not possible.

  12. Soil quality assessment of rice production systems in South of Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues de Lima, A.C.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Brussaard, L.

    2007-01-01

    Soil quality, as a measure of the soil capacity to function, can be quantified by indicators based on physical, chemical and biological properties. Maintaining soil quality at a desirable level in the rice cropping system is a very complex issue due to the nature of the production systems used. In t

  13. Soil quality assessment in rice production systems: establishing a minimum data set.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues de Lima, A.C.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Brussaard, L.

    2008-01-01

    Soil quality, as a measure of the soil's capacity to function, can be assessed by indicators based on physical, chemical, and biological properties. Here we report on the assessment of soil quality in 21 rice (Oryza sativa) fields under three rice production systems (semi-direct, pre-germinated, and

  14. Overall assessment of soil quality on humid sandy loams: Effects of location, rotation and tillage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abdollahi, Lotfollah; Hansen, Elly Møller; Rickson, J.M.

    2015-01-01

    for each rotation: mouldboard ploughing to a depth of 20 cm (MP); harrowing to a depth of 8–10 cm (H); and direct drilling (D) at two experimental sites with a sandy loam soil and different water budgets in Denmark. The Muencheberg soil quality rating (M-SQR) method and simpler soil quality indices (i...

  15. Soil quality assessment of rice production systems in South of Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues de Lima, A.C.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Brussaard, L.

    2007-01-01

    Soil quality, as a measure of the soil capacity to function, can be quantified by indicators based on physical, chemical and biological properties. Maintaining soil quality at a desirable level in the rice cropping system is a very complex issue due to the nature of the production systems used. In t

  16. Soil quality assessment in rice production systems: establishing a minimum data set.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues de Lima, A.C.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Brussaard, L.

    2008-01-01

    Soil quality, as a measure of the soil's capacity to function, can be assessed by indicators based on physical, chemical, and biological properties. Here we report on the assessment of soil quality in 21 rice (Oryza sativa) fields under three rice production systems (semi-direct, pre-germinated, and

  17. Biodiversity and soil quality in agroecosystems: the use of a qualitative multi-attribute model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cortet, J.; Bohanec, M.; Griffiths, B.

    2009-01-01

    In ecological impact assessment, special emphasis is put on soil biology and estimating soil quality from the observed biological parameters. The aim of this study is to propose a tool easy to use for scientists and decision makers for agroecosystems soil quality assessment using these biological...

  18. Assessing the quality of soil carbon using mid-infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    With an increasing focus on carbon sequestration in soils to help offset anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, there is a growing need for standardized methods of assessing the quality (i.e., residence time) of soil organic carbon. Information on soil carbon quality is critica...

  19. Assessing the quality of soil carbon using mid-infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    With an increasing focus on carbon sequestration in soils to help offset anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, there is a growing need for standardized methods of assessing the quality (i.e., residence time) of soil organic carbon. Information on soil carbon quality is critica...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Influence of Soil Fertility on Angelica Quality and Yield

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    RAO Bi-yu; WU Zhan-jing; LUO Shao-qin; LI Xiao-bo

    2012-01-01

    We studied the relationship between soil fertility indicator and angelica yield and quality by the methods of correlation analysis and path analysis. The results showed that, in Yunnan Province, the content of ferulic acid (major indicator of angelica quality) is 1.5-2.5 mg/g and single plant fresh weight (major indicator of yield) is 60-250 g. The content of angelica ferulic acid and angelica single plant fresh weight are positively correlated with the content of total N, quick-acting K, organic matter, whereas negatively correlated with the content of quick-acting P. It is shown that the most direct factor that influence the content of the angelica ferulic acid is the quick-acting K, and the least direct factor is organic matter; the most direct factor that influences the single plant fresh weight of angelica is the total N, while the least direct factor is the quick-acting P. In conclusion, the soil fertility indicators that have great influence on quality and yield of angelica are the quick-acting K, total N, quick-acting P and organic matter.

  2. Soil quality index as affected by different cropping systems in northwestern Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofi, J A; Bhat, A G; Kirmai, N A; Wani, J A; Lone, Aabid H; Ganie, Mumtaz A; Dar, G I H

    2016-03-01

    Soil quality assessment provides a tool for evaluating the sustainability of soils under different crop cafeterias. Our objective was to develop the soil quality index for evaluating the soil quality indicators under different cropping systems in northwest Himalaya-India. Composite soil samples were taken from the study area from different cropping systems which include T1 (forest soil control), T2 (rice-oilseed, lower belts), T3 (rice-oilseed, higher belts), T4 (rice-oats), T5 (rice-fallow), T6 (maize-oats), T7 (maize-peas), T8 (apple), T9 (apple-beans), and T10 (apple-maize). Physical, chemical, and biological soil indicators were determined, and it was found that soil enzyme activities involved in nutrient cycling were significantly higher in forest soils, which were reflected in higher levels of available pool of nutrients. Carbon stocks were found significantly higher in forest soil which was translated in improved soil physical condition. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to reduce multidimensionality of data followed by scoring by homothetic transformation of the selected indicators. Pearson's interclass correlation was performed to avoid redundancy, and highly correlated variables were not retained. Inclusion of legumes in the apple orchard floor recorded highest soil quality rating across the treatments. Cereal-based cropping systems were found in lower soil quality rating; however, the incorporation of peas in the system improved soil health.

  3. Biodegradation of a Biocide (Cu-N-Cyclohexyldiazenium Dioxide) Component of a Wood Preservative by a Defined Soil Bacterial Community▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobs-Schönwandt, Désirée; Mathies, Helena; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Pritzkow, Wolfgang; Stephan, Ina; Noll, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    The wood protection industry has refined their products from chrome-, copper-, and arsenate-based wood preservatives toward solely copper-based preservatives in combination with organic biocides. One of these is Cu-HDO, containing the chelation product of copper and N-cyclohexyldiazenium dioxide (HDO). In this study, the fate of isotope-labeled (13C) and nonlabeled (12C) Cu-HDO incorporated in wood sawdust mixed with soil was investigated. HDO concentration was monitored by high-pressure liquid chromatography. The total carbon and the δ13C content of respired CO2, as well as of the soil-wood-sawdust mixture, were determined with an elemental analyzer-isotopic ratio mass spectrometer. The concentration of HDO decreased significantly after 105 days of incubation, and after 24 days the 13CO2 concentration respired from soil increased steadily to a maximum after 64 days of incubation. Phospholipid fatty acid-stable isotope probing (PFA-SIP) analysis revealed that the dominant PFAs C19:0d8,9, C18:0, C18:1ω7, C18:2ω6,9, C17:1d7,8, C16:0, and C16:1ω7 were highly enriched in their δ13C content. Moreover, RNA-SIP identified members of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genera Phenylobacterium and Comamonas that were assimilating carbon from HDO exclusively. Cu-HDO as part of a wood preservative effectively decreased fungal wood decay and overall microbial respiration from soil. In turn, a defined bacterial community was stimulated that was able to metabolize HDO completely. PMID:20952650

  4. Biodegradation of a biocide (Cu-N-cyclohexyldiazenium dioxide) component of a wood preservative by a defined soil bacterial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobs-Schönwandt, Désirée; Mathies, Helena; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Pritzkow, Wolfgang; Stephan, Ina; Noll, Matthias

    2010-12-01

    The wood protection industry has refined their products from chrome-, copper-, and arsenate-based wood preservatives toward solely copper-based preservatives in combination with organic biocides. One of these is Cu-HDO, containing the chelation product of copper and N-cyclohexyldiazenium dioxide (HDO). In this study, the fate of isotope-labeled ((13)C) and nonlabeled ((12)C) Cu-HDO incorporated in wood sawdust mixed with soil was investigated. HDO concentration was monitored by high-pressure liquid chromatography. The total carbon and the δ(13)C content of respired CO(2), as well as of the soil-wood-sawdust mixture, were determined with an elemental analyzer-isotopic ratio mass spectrometer. The concentration of HDO decreased significantly after 105 days of incubation, and after 24 days the (13)CO(2) concentration respired from soil increased steadily to a maximum after 64 days of incubation. Phospholipid fatty acid-stable isotope probing (PFA-SIP) analysis revealed that the dominant PFAs C(19:0)d8,9, C(18:0), C(18:1)ω7, C(18:2)ω6,9, C(17:1)d7,8, C(16:0), and C(16:1)ω7 were highly enriched in their δ(13)C content. Moreover, RNA-SIP identified members of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genera Phenylobacterium and Comamonas that were assimilating carbon from HDO exclusively. Cu-HDO as part of a wood preservative effectively decreased fungal wood decay and overall microbial respiration from soil. In turn, a defined bacterial community was stimulated that was able to metabolize HDO completely.

  5. Evaluation of hydrocarbons and organochlorine pesticides and their tolerant microorganisms from an agricultural soil to define its bioremediation feasibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islas-García, Alejandro; Vega-Loyo, Libia; Aguilar-López, Ricardo; Xoconostle-Cázares, Beatriz; Rodríguez-Vázquez, Refugio

    2015-01-01

    The concentrations of hydrocarbons and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), nutrients and tolerant microorganisms in an agricultural soil from a locality in Tepeaca, Puebla, Mexico, were determined to define its feasibility for bioremediation. The OCPs detected were heptachlor, aldrin, trans-chlordane, endosulfán I, endosulfán II, 1,1,1-bis-(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2-trichloroethane (4,4'-DDT), 1,1-bis-(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2-dichloroethene (4,4'-DDE) and endrin aldehyde, with values of 0.69-30.81 ng g(-1). The concentration of hydrocarbons in the soil of Middle Hydrocarbons Fraction (MHF), C10 to C28, was 4608-27,748 mg kg(-1) and 1117-19,610 mg kg(-1) for Heavy Hydrocarbons Fraction (HHF), C28 to C35, due to an oil spill from the rupture of a pipeline. The soil was deficient in nitrogen (0.03-0.07%) and phosphorus (0 ppm), and therefore it was advisable to fertilize to bio-stimulate the native microorganisms of soil. In the soil samples, hydrocarbonoclast fungi 3.72 × 10(2) to 44.6 × 10(2) CFU g(-1) d.s. and hydrocarbonoclast bacteria (0.17 × 10(5) to 8.60 × 10(5) CFU g(-1) d.s.) were detected, with a tolerance of 30,000 mg kg(-1) of diesel. Moreover, pesticideclast fungi (5.13 × 10(2) to 42.2 × 10(2) CFU g(-1) d.s.) and pesticideclast bacteria (0.15 × 10(5) to 9.68 × 10(5) CFU g(-1) d.s.) were determined with tolerance to 20 mg kg(-1) of OCPs. Fungi and bacteria tolerant to both pollutants were also quantified. Therefore, native microorganisms had potential to be stimulated to degrade hydrocarbons and pesticides or both pollutants. The concentration of pollutants and the microbial activity analyzed indicated that bioremediation of the soil contaminated with hydrocarbons and pesticides using bio-stimulation of native microorganisms was feasible.

  6. Evaluation of Soil Quality Indicators in Sugarcane Management in Sandy Loam Soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    S.A.C.SANT'ANNA; M.F.FERNANDES; W.M.P.M.IVO; J.L.S.COSTA

    2009-01-01

    An important factor for the sustainability of soils highly susceptible to degradation is the use of monitoring tools that promptly and realistically reflect changes imposed on soil by different cropping systems.To select soil quality indicator variables in sugarcane (Saccharum offcinarum L.) production areas that fulfill the criteria of sensitivity to management practices and between-season consistency in the management discrimination,ten composite soil samples (0-10 cm) were collected in July 2005 (rainy season) and again in March 2006 (dry season) from areas under cultivation of organic sugarcane (OS),green sugarcane (GS),burned sugarcane (BS) and from an adjacent native forest (NF) area at Usina Triunfo,Boca da Mata,Alagoas,Brazil.Microbial biomass-C (MBC),total organic C (TOC),soil enzyme activity expressed as the rate of fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis,mean weight diameter of water-stable soil aggregates (MWD),and percentage of water-stable macroaggregates (PWSA) were analyzed.Although MBC and TOC were higher in NF than in the cultivated areas,no differences were observed in these C pools between the three sugarcane systems.The response of FDA to the site management was dependent on the sampling time.In the rainy period,the activity followed the order:NF > OS > GS > BS,whereas in the dry season,only NF differed from the other treatments.Irrespective of the sampling time,MWD and PWSA decreased in the order NF > OS = GS > BS.The variables MWD and PWSA are quite sensitive for discriminating between site management histories regardless the sampling season.

  7. Effects of mining-associated lead and zinc soil contamination on native floristic quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Struckhoff, Matthew A.; Stroh, Esther D.; Grabner, Keith W.

    2013-01-01

    We assessed the quality of plant communities across a range of lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) soil concentrations at a variety of sites associated with Pb mining in southeast Missouri, USA. In a novel application, two standard floristic quality measures, Mean Coefficient of Conservatism (Mean C) and Floristic Quality Index (FQI), were examined in relation to concentrations of Pb and Zn, soil nutrients, and other soil characteristics. Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling and Regression Tree Analyses identified soil Pb and Zn concentrations as primary explanatory variables for plant community composition and indicated negative relationships between soil metals concentrations and both Mean C and FQI. Univariate regression also demonstrated significant negative relationships between metals concentrations and floristic quality. The negative effects of metals in native soils with otherwise relatively undisturbed conditions indicate that elevated soil metals concentrations adversely affect native floristic quality where no other human disturbance is evident.

  8. Hydrogeology and chemical quality of water and soil at Carroll Island, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenbus, F.J.; Phillips, S.W.

    1996-01-01

    Carroll Island was used for open-air testing of chemical warfare agents from the late 1940's until 1971. Testing and disposal activities weresuspected of causing environmental contamination at 16 sites on the island. The hydrogeology and chemical quality of ground water, surface water, and soil at these sites were investigated with borehole logs, environmental samples, water-level measurements, and hydrologic tests. A surficial aquifer, upper confining unit, and upper confined aquifer were defined. Ground water in the surficial aquifer generally flows from the east-central part of the island toward the surface-water bodies, butgradient reversals caused by evapotranspiration can occur during dry seasons. In the confined aquifer, hydraulic gradients are low, and hydraulic head is affected by tidal loading and by seasonal pumpage from the west. Inorganic chemistry in the aquifers is affected by brackish-water intrusion from gradient reversals and by dissolution ofcarboniferous shell material in the confining unit.The concentrations of most inorganic constituents probably resulted from natural processes, but some concentrations exceeded Federal water-quality regulations and criteria. Organic compounds were detected in water and soil samples at maximum concentrations of 138 micrograms per liter (thiodiglycol in surface water) and 12 micrograms per gram (octadecanoic acid in soil).Concentrations of organic compounds in ground water exceeded Federal drinking-water regulations at two sites. The organic compounds that weredetected in environmental samples were variously attributed to natural processes, laboratory or field- sampling contamination, fallout from industrial air pollution, and historical military activities.

  9. Standard Protocol and Quality Assessment of Soil Phosphorus Speciation by P K-Edge XANES Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Florian; Prietzel, Jörg

    2015-09-01

    Phosphorus (P) in soils is most often bound as phosphate to one or more of the following four elements or compounds: calcium, aluminum, iron, and soil organic matter. A promising method for direct P speciation in soils is synchrotron-based X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy at the K-edge of P. However, the quality of this method is debated controversially, partly because a standard protocol for reproducible spectrum deconvolution is lacking and minor modifications of the applied deconvolution procedure can lead to considerable changes in the P speciation results. On the basis of the observation that appropriate baseline correction and edge-step normalization are crucial for correct linear combination (LC) fitting results, we established a standard protocol for the deconvolution and LC fitting of P K-edge XANES spectra. We evaluated the quality of LC fits obtained according to this standard protocol with 16 defined dilute (2 mg P g(-1)) ternary mixtures of aluminum phosphate, iron phosphate, hydroxyapatite, and phytic acid in a quartz matrix. The LC fitting results were compared with the contribution of the different P compounds to total P in the various mixtures. Compared to using a traditional LC fitting procedure, our standard protocol reduced the fitting error by 6% (absolute). However, P portions smaller than 5% should be confirmed with other methods or excluded from the P speciation results. A publicly available database of P K-edge XANES reference spectra was initiated.

  10. 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.

  11. Comparative Assessment of Soil Quality at the Defence Establishments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satinder K. Brar

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out to adjudge the soil quality of two sites at the defence establishments in India. Various soil samples were collected from the surface and up to 20 cm depth (subsurface as per apportioned gridding method. These samples were subjected to air drying for 15 days and were characterised for various parameters. The soil is clayey and loamy with granular blocky structure on both the sites.  The pH ranged from 7.1 to 7.72 0.1 for site I and from 5.5 to 8.0 f 0.1 for site 11; salinity and bulk density ranged from 0.1 per cent to 8 per cent and from 1.2 glcm3 to 1.5 g/cm3, respectively and soil moisture was about 0.4 f 1 per cent for both the sites. Similarly, total Kjeldahl nitrogen ranged from 1100 mg kg-' to 1900 mg kg-' for site I and 1700 mg kg-' to 9000 mg kg ' for site I1 and total organic carbon ranged from 18 mg g-' to 75 mg g ' for both the sites. A good correlation between nitrate concentration and various explosive process activities has been observed which gives substantial evidence in terms of contamination of the soil. High performance liquid chromatography analysis, which shows varied concentrations of RDX-HMX, NB, DNB, DNT, and TNT in the respective ranges 0.003-2.300 rng g-1, 0.002-0.350 mg g~1, 0.002-0.550 mg g-1, 0.004-0.041 mg g-1 and 0.010- 0.050 mg g-1 for site 1 and 0.002 - 0.013 mg g-1, 0.005 - 0.350 mg g-1, 0.003 - 0.080 mg g-1, 0.001- 0.100 mg g-1, 0.0001- 0.044 mg g ~a1n d 6*10-6- 0.080 mg g-1 for sites I1 has also indicated the contamination of soil by nitro-organics. These results serve as a valuable database for an ongoing project on the development of phytoremediation technology to detoxify such sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-10

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

  13. 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.; Jeffrey S. Buyer; Jude E. Maul; Smith, Jeffrey L.; Harold P. Collins; Jonathan J. Halvorson; Kremer, Robert J.; Jonathan G. Lundgren; 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 soil ...

  14. Defining Quality Indicators for Best-Practice Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey C Nguyen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of published data regarding the quality of care of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD in Canada. Clinical quality indicators are quantitative end points used to guide, monitor and improve the quality of patient care. In Canada, where universal health care can vary significantly among provinces, quality indicators can be used to identify potential gaps in the delivery of IBD care and standardize the approach to interprovincial management.

  15. Testing the validity of a Cd soil quality standard in representative Mediterranean agricultural soils under an accumulator crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Recatala, L., E-mail: luis.recatala@uv.es [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain); Sanchez, J. [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain); Arbelo, C. [Departamento de Edafologia y Geologia, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna (Tenerife), Islas Canarias (Spain); Sacristan, D. [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain)

    2010-12-01

    The validity of a quality standard for cadmium (Cd) in representative agricultural Mediterranean soils under an accumulator crop (Lactuca sativa L.) is evaluated in this work considering both its effect on the crop growth (biomass production) and the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. Four soils with different properties relevant to regulate the behaviour of heavy metals were selected from the Valencian Region, a representative area of the European Mediterranean Region. For all soils, the effective concentration of added Cd causing 50% inhibition (EC{sub 50}) on the biomass production was much higher than the minimum legal concentration used to declare soils as contaminated by cadmium, i.e. 100 times the baseline value for Cd, in Spain (Spanish Royal Decree 9/2005). As expected, Cd toxicity in the crop was higher in the soils having less carbonate content. On the other hand, for all soils, from the second dose on, which represents 10-times the baseline value for Cd, the metal content in crops exceeded the maximum level established for leaf crops by the European legislation (Regulation EC no. 466/2001). Soil salinity and coarse textures make the accumulation of Cd in the edible part of the plant easier. Therefore, the legal baseline soil cadmium content established by the Spanish legislation seems not valid neither from the point of view of the effect on the crop growth nor from the point of view of the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. In order to realistically declare contaminated soils by heavy metals, soil quality standards should be proposed taking into account the soil properties. Further research in other agricultural areas of the region would improve the basis for proposing adequate soil quality standards for heavy metals as highlighted by the European Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection.

  16. Relationship of soil qualities to maize growth under increasing phosphorus supply in acid soils of southern Cameroon

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TCHIENKOUA; M.JEMO; R.NJOMGANG; C.NOLTE; N.SANGINGA; J.TAKOW

    2008-01-01

    A large array of soil properties influences plant growth response to phosphorus (P) fertilizer input in acid soils.We carried out a pot experiment using three contrasted acid soils from southern Cameroon with the following main objectives:i) to assess the main soil causal factors of different maize (Zea mays L.) growth response to applied P and ii) to statistically model soil quality variation across soil types as well as their relationships to dry matter production.The soils used are classified as Typic Kandiudox (TKO),Rhodic Kandiudult (RKU),and Typic Kandiudult (TKU).Analysis of variance,regression,and principal component analyses were used for data analysis and interpretation.Shoot dry matter yield (DMY) was significantly affected by soil type and P rate with no significant interaction.Predicted maximum attainable DMY was lowest in the TKO (26.2 g pot-1) as compared to 35.6 and 36.7 g pot-1 for the RKU and TKU,respectively.Properties that positively influenced DMY were the levels of inorganic NaHCO3-extractable P,individual basic cations (Ca,Mg,and K),and pH.Their effects contrasted with those of exchangeable A1 and C/N ratio,which significantly depressed DMY.Principal component analysis yielded similar results,identifying 4 orthogonal components,which accounted for 84.7% of the total system variance (TSV).Principal component 1 was identified as soil nutrient deficiency explaining 35.9% of TSV.This soil quality varied significantly among the studied soils,emerging as the only soil quality which significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with maize growth.The 2nd,3rd,and 4th components were identified as soil organic matter contents,texture,and HCl-extractable P,respectively.

  17. Assessment and mapping of environmental quality in agricultural soils of Zhejiang Province,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENG Jie-liang; SHI Zhou; ZHU You-wei

    2007-01-01

    Heavy metal concentrations in agricultural soils of Zhejiang Province were monitored to indicate the status of heavy metal contamination and assess environmental quality of agricultural soils. A total of 908 soil samples were collected from 38 counties in Zhejiang Province and eight heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg, Cu, Zn, Ni and As) concentrations had been evaluated in agricultural soil. It was found 775 samples were unpolluted and 133 samples were slightly polluted and more respectively, that is about 14.65% agricultural soil samples had the heavy metal concentration above the threshold level in this province by means of Nemerow's synthetical pollution index method according to the second grade of Standards for Soil Environmental Quality of China (GB15618-1995). Contamination of Cd was the highest, followed by Pb, As and Hg were lower correspondingly. Moreover, Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation method was used to make an assessment map of soil environmental quality based on the Nemerow's pollution index and the soil environmental quality was categorized into five grades. Moreover, ten indices were calculated as input parameters for Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the principal components (PCs) were created to compare environmental quality of different soils and regions. The results revealed that environmental quality of tea soils was better than that of paddy soils, vegetable soils and fruit soils. This study indicated that GIS combined with multivariate statistical approaches proved to be effective and powerful tool in the mapping of soil contaminations distribution and the assessment of soil environmental quality on provincial scale, which is benefited to environmental protection and management decision-making by local government.

  18. The Main Subsystems Involved in Defining the Quality Management System in a Hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dobrea Valentina Alina

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The hospital is the most important organization in health field, so they have to improve the quality in all the activities deployed. A very suitable way to show the hospital’s preoccupation for quality of health services is the quality management system certificate according ISO 9001/2000. In understanding the architecture of the hospital quality management system is necessary to decompose this system in subsystems and analyze each separately: the managerial subsystem, the human subsystem, the social subsystem, thetechnical subsystem, the informative subsystem. The relationship between those subsystems leads to the continuous improvement of quality in health services.

  19. Defining and quantifying the resilience of responses to disturbance: a conceptual and modelling approach from soil science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todman, L. C.; Fraser, F. C.; Corstanje, R.; Deeks, L. K.; Harris, J. A.; Pawlett, M.; Ritz, K.; Whitmore, A. P.

    2016-06-01

    There are several conceptual definitions of resilience pertaining to environmental systems and, even if resilience is clearly defined in a particular context, it is challenging to quantify. We identify four characteristics of the response of a system function to disturbance that relate to “resilience”: (1) degree of return of the function to a reference level; (2) time taken to reach a new quasi-stable state; (3) rate (i.e. gradient) at which the function reaches the new state; (4) cumulative magnitude of the function (i.e. area under the curve) before a new state is reached. We develop metrics to quantify these characteristics based on an analogy with a mechanical spring and damper system. Using the example of the response of a soil function (respiration) to disturbance, we demonstrate that these metrics effectively discriminate key features of the dynamic response. Although any one of these characteristics could define resilience, each may lead to different insights and conclusions. The salient properties of a resilient response must thus be identified for different contexts. Because the temporal resolution of data affects the accurate determination of these metrics, we recommend that at least twelve measurements are made over the temporal range for which the response is expected.

  20. Quality of trace element contaminated soils amended with compost under fast growing tree Paulownia fortunei plantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madejón, P; Xiong, J; Cabrera, F; Madejón, E

    2014-11-01

    The use of fast growing trees could be an alternative in trace element contaminated soils to stabilize these elements and improve soil quality. In this study we investigate the effect of Paulownia fortunei growth on trace element contaminated soils amended with two organic composts under semi-field conditions for a period of 18 months. The experiment was carried out in containers filled with tree different soils, two contaminated soils (neutral AZ and acid V) and a non contaminated soil, NC. Three treatments per soil were established: two organic amendments (alperujo compost, AC, and biosolid compost, BC) and a control without amendment addition. We study parameters related with fertility and contamination in soils and plants. Paulownia growth and amendments increased pH in acid soils whereas no effect of these factors was observed in neutral soils. The plant and the amendments also increased organic matter and consequently, soil fertility. Positive results were also found in soils that were only affected by plant growth (without amendment). A general improvement of "soil biochemical quality" was detected over time and treatments, confirming the positive effect of amendments plus paulownia. Even in contaminated soils, except for Cu and Zn, trace element concentrations in leaves were in the normal range for plants. Results of this mid-term study showed that Paulownia fortunei is a promising species for phytoremediation of trace element polluted soils.

  1. Priming and substrate quality interactions in soil organic matter models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Wutzler

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between different qualities of soil organic matter (SOM affecting their turnover are rarely represented in models. In this study we propose three mathematical strategies at different levels of abstraction for representing those interactions. Implementing these strategies into the Introductory Carbon Balance Model (ICBM and applying them to several scenarios of litter input show that the different levels of abstraction are applicable on different time scales. We present a simple one-parameter equation of substrate limitation applicable at decadal time scale that is straightforward to implement into other models of SOM dynamics. We show how substrate quality interactions can explain priming effects, acceleration of turnover times in FACE experiments, and the slowdown of decomposition in long-term bare fallow experiments as an effect of energy limitation of microbial biomass. The mechanisms of those interactions need to be further scrutinized empirically for a more complete understanding. Overall, substrate quality interactions offer a valuable way of understanding and quantitatively modelling SOM dynamics.

  2. The effect of soil biodiversity on soil quality after agricultural reclamation at the eastern coast of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohan; Yang, Jianghua; Pu, Lijie; Chen, Xinjian

    2017-04-01

    Large area of tidal flats in Chinese coast has been reclaimed to support agriculture and urban development because of rapid population and economic growth. Knowledge of soil development mechanisms is essential for efficient management of land resources in coastal zone. So far, most studies have focused on consequences of soil physico-chemical properties on soil quality evolution after tideland reclamation for cultivation; yet a large part of soil bioprocess drives many soil processes. The effect of organism composition on the performance of soil development remains unclear. The purpose of our work was to reveal the organism composition change and its influence on soil quality impotent. In this study, we choose seven reclamation districts along a chronosequence in eastern coast of China, which were respectively reclaimed in 1956, 1971, 1980, 1997, 2009, 2013 and unenclosed tidal flat. The latest districts reclaimed in 2013 were left to succession fallow which were covered with halophytic vegetation and the rest districts were agriculturally managed. Soil samples at 0-20 cm were collected in each district. Soil physical, chemical and biological properties and wheat yields were measured. The result showed after the transformation from tidal flat to cropland, longer tillage time (>5 year) lead to higher soil clay and silt, SOC contents and lower bulk density, while soil clay and C contents declined within the first 5 years after reclamation. Agricultural reclamation significantly improved SOC contents of 0-20 cm depth form 0.11±0.05% to 0.77±0.10%. It needs about 35 years to achieve stable yield level after reclamation. Meanwhile, the soil community composition changed strongly over time. More significant relationships were found among soil physicochemical properties and bacteria community. And the variation trend of soil community richness (chao1) is similar to soil C contents, dropped at first 5 years and then significantly increased. Our results indicate that the

  3. Water quality transformations during soil aquifer treatment at the Mesa Northwest Water Reclamation Plant, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, P; Narayanaswamy, K; Genz, A; Drewes, J E

    2001-01-01

    Water quality transformations during soil aquifer treatment at the Mesa Northwest Water Reclamation Plant (NWWRP) were evaluated by sampling a network of groundwater monitoring wells located within the reclaimed water plume. The Mesa Northwest Water Reclamation Plant has used soil aquifer treatment (SAT) since it began operation in 1990 and the recovery of reclaimed water from the impacted groundwater has been minimal. Groundwater samples obtained represent travel times from several days to greater than five years. Samples were analyzed for a wide range of organic and inorganic constituents. Sulfate was used as a tracer to estimate travel times and define reclaimed water plume movement. Dissolved organic carbon concentrations were reduced to approximately 1 mg/L after 12 to 24 months of soil aquifer treatment with an applied DOC concentration from the NWWRP of 5 to 7 mg/L. The specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA) increased during initial soil aquifer treatment on a time-scale of days and then decreased as longer term soil aquifer treatment removed UV absorbing compounds. The trihalomethane formation potential (THMFP) was a function of the dissolved organic carbon concentration and ranged from 50 to 65 micrograms THMFP/mg DOC. Analysis of trace organics revealed that the majority of trace organics were removed as DOC was removed with the exception of organic iodine. The majority of nitrogen was applied as nitrate-nitrogen and the reclaimed water plume had lower nitrate-nitrogen concentrations as compared to the background groundwater. The average dissolved organic carbon concentrations in the reclaimed water plume were less than 50% of the drinking water dissolved organic concentrations from which the reclaimed water originated.

  4. Improvement of soil quality after "alperujo" compost application to two contaminated soils characterised by differing heavy metal solubility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alburquerque, J A; de la Fuente, C; Bernal, M P

    2011-03-01

    Reclamation of trace element polluted soils often requires the improvement of the soil quality by using appropriate organic amendments. Low quality compost from municipal solid waste has been tested for reclamation of soils, but these materials can provide high amounts of heavy metals. Therefore, a high-quality compost, with low levels of heavy metals, produced from the main by-product of the Spanish olive oil extraction industry ("alperujo") was evaluated for remediation of soils affected by a pyritic mine sludge. Two contaminated soils were selected from the same area: they were characterised by differing pH values (4.6 and 7.3) and total metal concentrations, which greatly affected the fractionation of the metals. Compost was applied to soil at two rates (equivalent to 48 and 72 Tm ha(-1)) and compared with an inorganic fertiliser treatment. Compost acted as an available nutrient source (C, N and P) and showed a low mineralisation rate, suggesting a slow release of nutrients and thus favouring long term soil fertility. In addition, the liming effect of the compost led to a significant reduction of toxicity for soil microorganisms in the acidic soil and immobilisation of soil heavy metals (especially Mn and Zn), resulting in a clear increase in both soil microbial biomass and nitrification. Such positive effects were clearly greater than those provoked by the mineral fertiliser even at the lowest compost application rate, which indicates that this type of compost can be very useful for bioremediation programmes (reclamation and revegetation of polluted soils) based on phytostabilisation strategies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Cmr1/WDR76 defines a nuclear genotoxic stress body linking genome integrity and protein quality control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gallina, Irene; Colding, Camilla Skettrup; Henriksen, Peter

    2015-01-01

    other proteins-define a novel intranuclear quality control compartment (INQ) that sequesters misfolded, ubiquitylated and sumoylated proteins in response to genotoxic stress. The diversity of proteins that localize to INQ indicates that other biological processes such as cell cycle progression...

  6. Soil quality indicators of a mature alley-cropping agroforestry system in temperate North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although agroforestry practices are believed to improve soil quality, reports on long-term effects of alley cropping on soils within agroforestry in the temperate zone are limited. The objective of this study was to examine effects of management, landscape, and soil depth of an established agrofores...

  7. A comparison of indexing methods to evaluate quality of soils subjected to different erosion: the role of soil microbiological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romaniuk, Romina; Lidia, Giuffre; Alejandro, Costantini; Norberto, Bartoloni; Paolo, Nannipieri

    2010-05-01

    Soil quality assessment is needed to evaluate the soil conditions and sustainability of soil and crop management properties, and thus requires a systematic approach to select and interpret soil properties to be used as indicators. The aim of this work was to evaluate and compare different indexing methods to assess quality of an undisturbed grassland soil (UN), a degraded pasture soil (GL) and a no tilled soil (NT) with four different A horizon depths (25, 23, 19 and 14 cm) reflecting a diverse erosion. Twenty four soil properties were measured from 0 to10 (1) and 10 to 20 cm. (2) and a minimum data set was chosen by multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) considering all measured soil properties together (A), or according to their classification in physical, chemical or microbiological (B) properties. The measured soil properties involved either inexpensive or not laborious standard protocols, to be used in routine laboratory analysis (simple soil quality index - SSQI), or a more laborious, time consuming and expensive protocols to determine microbial diversity and microbial functionality by methyl ester fatty acids (PLFA) and catabolic response profiles (CRP), respectively (complex soil quality index - CSQI). The selected properties were linearly normalized and integrated by the weight additive method to calculate SSQI A, SSQI B, CSQI A and CSQI B indices. Two microbiological soil quality indices (MSQI) were also calculated: the MSQI 1 only considered microbiological properties according to the procedure used for calculating SQI; the MSQI 2 was calculated by considering microbial carbon biomass (MCB), microbial activity (Resp) and functional diversity determined by CPR (E). The soil quality indices were SSQI A = MCB 1 + Particulate Organic Carbon (POC)1 + Mean Weight Diameter (MWD)1; SSQI B = Saturated hydraulic conductivity (K) 1 + Total Organic Carbon (TOC) 1 + MCB 1; CSQI A = MCB 1 + POC 1 + MWD 1; CSQI B = K 1+ TOC 1+ 0.3 * (MCB 1+ i/a +POC 1) + 0

  8. The effect of straw or straw-derived gasification biochar on soil quality and crop production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Veronika; Müller-Stöver, Dorette Sophie; Imparato, Valentina;

    2016-01-01

    Thermal gasification of straw is a highly efficient technology that produces bioenergy and gasification biochar that can be used as a soil amendment, thereby returning non-renewable nutrients and stable carbon, and securing soil quality and crop productivity. A Danish on-farm field study investig......Thermal gasification of straw is a highly efficient technology that produces bioenergy and gasification biochar that can be used as a soil amendment, thereby returning non-renewable nutrients and stable carbon, and securing soil quality and crop productivity. A Danish on-farm field study...... with winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) and winter wheat, respectively, to assess the potential effects on the soil carbon pool, soil microorganisms, earthworms, soil chemical properties and crop yields. The application of GB did not increase the soil organic carbon...

  9. Climate and litter quality differently modulate the effects of soil fauna on litter decomposition across biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Maestre, Fernando T; Kattge, Jens; Wall, Diana H

    2013-08-01

    Climate and litter quality have been identified as major drivers of litter decomposition at large spatial scales. However, the role played by soil fauna remains largely unknown, despite its importance for litter fragmentation and microbial activity. We synthesised litterbag studies to quantify the effect sizes of soil fauna on litter decomposition rates at the global and biome scales, and to assess how climate, litter quality and soil fauna interact to determine such rates. Soil fauna consistently enhanced litter decomposition at both global and biome scales (average increment ~ 37%). [corrected]. However, climate and litter quality differently modulated the effects of soil fauna on decomposition rates between biomes, from climate-driven biomes to those where climate effects were mediated by changes in litter quality. Our results advocate for the inclusion of biome-specific soil fauna effects on litter decomposition as a mean to reduce the unexplained variation in large-scale decomposition models. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Effects of inorganic and organic amendment on soil chemical properties, enzyme activities, microbial community and soil quality in yellow clayey soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhanjun; Rong, Qinlei; Zhou, Wei; Liang, Guoqing

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the effects of external organic and inorganic components on soil fertility and quality is essential for improving low-yielding soils. We conducted a field study over two consecutive rice growing seasons to investigate the effect of applying chemical fertilizer (NPK), NPK plus green manure (NPKG), NPK plus pig manure (NPKM), and NPK plus straw (NPKS) on the soil nutrient status, enzyme activities involved in C, N, P, and S cycling, microbial community and rice yields of yellow clayey soil. Results showed that the fertilized treatments significantly improved rice yields over the first three experimental seasons. Compared with the NPK treatment, organic amendments produced more favorable effects on soil productivity. Notably, the NPKM treatment exhibited the highest levels of nutrient availability, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), activities of most enzymes and the microbial community. This resulted in the highest soil quality index (SQI) and rice yield, indicating better soil fertility and quality. Significant differences in enzyme activities and the microbial community were observed among the treatments, and redundancy analysis showed that MBC and available N were the key determinants affecting the soil enzyme activities and microbial community. The SQI score of the non-fertilized control (0.72) was comparable to that of the NPK (0.77), NPKG (0.81) and NPKS (0.79) treatments but significantly lower compared with NPKM (0.85). The significant correlation between rice yield and SQI suggests that SQI can be a useful to quantify soil quality changes caused by different agricultural management practices. The results indicate that application of NPK plus pig manure is the preferred option to enhance SOC accumulation, improve soil fertility and quality, and increase rice yield in yellow clayey soil. PMID:28263999

  11. A Preliminary Watershed Scale Soil Quality Assessment in North Central Iowa USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil quality assessment has been recognized as an important step toward understanding the long-term effects of tillage, cropping system, landscape position, and conservation practices within agricultural watersheds. Our objective is to provide an initial assessment of various soil quality indicators...

  12. Tillage and crop rotation effects on soil quality in two Iowa fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil quality is affected by inherent (parent material, climate, and topography) and anthropogenic (tillage and crop rotation) factors. We evaluated effects of five tillage treatments on 23 potential soil quality indicators after 31 years in a corn (Zea mays L.)/soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotat...

  13. Impacts of organic conservation tillage systems on crops, weeds, and soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organic farming has been identified as promoting soil quality even though tillage is used for weed suppression. Adopting conservation tillage practices can enhance soil quality in cropping systems where synthetic agrichemicals are used for crop nutrition and weed control. Attempts have been made t...

  14. Provincial soil-quality monitoring networks in the Netherlands as an instrument for environmental protection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Busink, E.R.V.; Postma, S.

    2000-01-01

    Since 1991, several provinces in the Netherlands have put much effort in establishing soil-quality monitoring networks. The purpose of these networks is to provide insight in the trends in (geochemical) soil quality, on which new policies for environmental protection can be based, such as restrictio

  15. Soil carbon quality and nitrogen fertilization structure bacterial communities with predictable responses of major bacterial phyla

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural practices affect the soil ecosystem in multiple ways and the soil microbial communities represent an integrated and dynamic measure of soil status. Our aim was to test whether the soil bacterial community and the relative abundance of major bacterial phyla responded predictably to long-term organic amendments representing different carbon qualities (peat and straw) in combination with nitrogen fertilization levels and if certain bacterial groups were indicative of specific treatm...

  16. A historical review of the methods of determination of soil properties for soil quality and land degradation assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulido, Manuel; Schnabel, Susanne; Francisco Lavado Contador, Joaquín; Gómez-Gutiérrez, Álvaro; Miralles, Isabel; Lozano-Parra, Javier; Antoneli, Valdemir; Brevik, Eric C.; Cerdà, Artemi

    2017-04-01

    Properly assessing soil quality and land degradation is one of the main concerns of soil scientists in recent decades. Nowadays there are several available assessment systems based mainly on indicators, i.e. on soil-related parameters, that allow one to determine the current state of natural soils at different scales. These systems vary depending on ecosystem type and soil function studied as well as the accuracy of the methods (techniques and tools) historically used in the determination of several soil parameters. In this study, we show a historical review of many methods of determining soil properties used regularly as soil quality and land degradation indicators. We have considered 5 worldwide historical periods: [1] The pioneers: before 1889, [2] USDA impulse: 1889 - 1945, [3] Productivity paradigm: 1946 - 1972, [4] Conservationist paradigm: 1973 - 2001, and [5] Current methodologies: 2002 - present. The limits of each period have been determined according to some key milestones, for humanity in general and soil science in particular, such as the creation of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1889, the end of World War II in 1945 or the publication of relevant works such as The limits to growth in 1972. The development of the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) indexing tool by American soil scientists in 2001 marks a turning point from which new methodologies and paradigms began to be dominant among methods of determination. Finally, the methods historically used to determine more than 100 soil properties have been reviewed by consulting around 1,500 references published between 1305 and 2017. Approximately 10% of the references were key works to contextualize the first two historical periods, i.e. before 1945, and almost half of all references were published in the second half of the twentieth century (1946 - 2001). A logical tendency in gaining progressively accuracy in methods has been observed as well as a major boom in the

  17. Effects of Different Regulatory Methods on Improvement of Greenhouse Saline Soils, Tomato Quality, and Yield

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hou Maomao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To identify effective regulatory methods scheduling with the compromise between the soil desalination and the improvement of tomato quality and yield, a 3-year field experiment was conducted to evaluate and compare the effect of straw mulching and soil structure conditioner and water-retaining agent on greenhouse saline soils, tomato quality, and yield. A higher salt removing rate of 80.72% in plough layer with straw mulching was obtained based on the observation of salt mass fraction in 0~20 cm soil layer before and after the experiment. Salts were also found to move gradually to the deeper soil layer with time. Straw mulching enhanced the content of soil organic matter significantly and was conductive to reserve soil available N, P, and K, while available P and K in soils of plough layer with soil structure conditioner decreased obviously; thus a greater usage of P fertilizer and K fertilizer was needed when applying soil structure conditioner. Considering the evaluation indexes including tomato quality, yield, and desalination effects of different regulatory methods, straw mulching was recommended as the main regulatory method to improve greenhouse saline soils in south China. Soil structure conditioner was the suboptimal method, which could be applied in concert with straw mulching.

  18. [Effects of land use and management on soil quality of Heerqin sandy land].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yongzhong; Zhao, Halin

    2003-10-01

    The changes of soil physical, chemical and biological properties under different land use and management lasted for 14 years were investigated on the Heerqin sandy land. The results showed that among various land use systems marked differences exhibited in soil quality indicators, including soil particle composition, porosity distribution, bulk density, water-holding capacity, organic matter and nutrient contents, pH, and enzyme activities. Most of these soil quality indicators were the highest in the orchard intercropped with crops and perennial grass (agroforestry systems), intermediate in the well-management irrigated farmland, and the lowest in the less-management dry farmland. Compared to the primary grassland soil, although some soil properties, including porosity distribution, water-holding capacity, phosphorus content, and enzyme activities, were improved in the well-management systems, soil organic matter and nitrogen contents were significantly lower. It suggested that a long-term input of organic matter was needed for the restoration and reestablishment of soil carbon and nitrogen pools in the seriously degraded ecosystem. Inappropriate land use and management could rapidly worsen soil quality, and hence, from a perspective of soil resource conservation, a preferable way for preventing soil degradation and achieving sustainable land use should be to give up the cultivation of degraded dry farmlands, and to adopt more effective and appropriate soil management and cultivation practices.

  19. Assessment of soil quality parameters using multivariate analysis in the Rawal Lake watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firdous, Shahana; Begum, Shaheen; Yasmin, Azra

    2016-09-01

    Soil providing a wide array of ecosystem services is subjected to quality deterioration due to natural and anthropogenic factors. Most of the soils in Pakistan have poor status of available plant nutrients and cannot support optimum levels of crop productivity. The present study statistically analyzed ten soil quality parameters in five subwatersheds (Bari Imam, Chattar, Rumli, Shahdra, and Shahpur) of the Rawal Lake. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), cluster analysis (CA), and principal component analysis (PCA) were performed to evaluate correlation in soil quality parameters on spatiotemporal and vertical scales. Soil organic matter, electrical conductivity, nitrates, and sulfates were found to be lower than that required for good quality soil. Soil pH showed significant difference (p 0.75) and indicated that these were the most influential parameters of first factor or component. Cluster analysis separated five sampling sites into three statistically significant clusters: I (Shahdra-Bari Imam), II (Chattar), and III (Shahpur-Rumli). Among the five sites, Shahdra was found to have good quality soil followed by Bari Imam. The present study illustrated the usefulness of multivariate statistical approaches for the analysis and interpretation of complex datasets to understand variations in soil quality for effective watershed management.

  20. Software for identification of Ill-defined systems: a water quality example

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keesman, K

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes an information system (STEPS) designed to support the identification of ill-defined systems, and subsequent use for prediction of their behaviour. Ill-definedness is brought about by unavoidable inadequacies in model structure, usually in conjuction with sparse and unreliable em

  1. Evaluation of physical quality indices of a soil under a seasonal semideciduous forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thalita Campos Oliveira

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The concept of soil quality is currently the subject of great discussion due to the interaction of soil with the environment (soil-plant-atmosphere and practices of human intervention. However, concepts of soil quality relate quality to agricultural productivity, but assessment of soil quality in an agronomic context may be different from its assessment in natural areas. The aim of this study was to assess physical quality indices, the S index, soil aeration capacity (ACt/Pt, and water storage capacity (FC/Pt of the soil from a permanent plot in the Caetetus Ecological Reserve (Galia, São Paulo, Brazil under a seasonal semideciduous forest and compare them with the reference values for soil physical quality found in the literature. Water retention curves were used for that purpose. The S values found were higher than the proposed limit for soil physical quality (0.035. The A and E horizons showed the highest values because their sandy texture leads to a high slope of the water retention curve. The B horizons showed the lowest S values because their natural density leads to a lower slope of the water retention curve. The values found for ACt/Pt and FC/Pt were higher and lower than the idealized limits. The values obtained from these indices under natural vegetation can provide reference values for soils with similar properties that undergo changes due to anthropic activities. All the indices evaluated were effective in differentiating the effects of soil horizons in the natural hydro-physical functioning of the soils under study.

  2. Beyond Accreditation: What Defines a Quality Funeral Service Education Program? An Investigation of the Relationship between Educational Correlates and Program Quality in Funeral Service Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritch, John Bradley

    2011-01-01

    This study sought to determine what defines a quality funeral service education program beyond accreditation. The study examined the opinions of funeral service education chairs (N = 45, representing 80% of the population) who are leaders of funeral service education programs accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.…

  3. Impacts of crop growth dynamics on soil quality at the regional scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobin, Anne

    2014-05-01

    Agricultural land use and in particular crop growth dynamics can greatly affect soil quality. Both the amount of soil lost from erosion by water and soil organic matter are key indicators for soil quality. The aim was to develop a modelling framework for quantifying the impacts of crop growth dynamics on soil quality at the regional scale with test case Flanders. A framework for modelling the impacts of crop growth on soil erosion and soil organic matter was developed by coupling the dynamic crop cover model REGCROP (Gobin, 2010) to the PESERA soil erosion model (Kirkby et al., 2009) and to the RothC carbon model (Coleman and Jenkinson, 1999). All three models are process-based, spatially distributed and intended as a regional diagnostic tool. A geo-database was constructed covering 10 years of crop rotation in Flanders using the IACS parcel registration (Integrated Administration and Control System). Crop allometric models were developed from variety trials to calculate crop residues for common crops in Flanders and subsequently derive stable organic matter fluxes to the soil. Results indicate that crop growth dynamics and crop rotations influence soil quality for a very large percentage. soil erosion mainly occurs in the southern part of Flanders, where silty to loamy soils and a hilly topography are responsible for soil loss rates of up to 40 t/ha. Parcels under maize, sugar beet and potatoes are most vulnerable to soil erosion. Crop residues of grain maize and winter wheat followed by catch crops contribute most to the total carbon sequestered in agricultural soils. For the same rotations carbon sequestration is highest on clay soils and lowest on sandy soils. This implies that agricultural policies that impact on agricultural land management influence soil quality for a large percentage. The coupled REGCROP-PESERA-ROTHC model allows for quantifying the impact of seasonal and year-to-year crop growth dynamics on soil quality. When coupled to a multi-annual crop

  4. Preliminary Study on Relationship Between Soil Parent Materials and tea Quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANGXIAOJU; HUXUEFENG; 等

    1997-01-01

    Six tea plantations with different soil-forming parent naterials,the same tea variety and tea age and similar landforms and management were selected to conduct a systematic study on the realtionship between soil properties and tea quality.The results showed that the quality of tea grown on the soil derived from dolomites,Quaternary red clays,were inferior.Further study showed that sandy soils were beneficial to improving amino acid content of tea ,and clayey soils made it decrease;high content of bases might decrease the contents of tea polypenols,caffeine,water extracts,but promote the content of amino acds;available phosphorous was significantly positively correlated with water extracts ,but significantly negatively correlated with caffeine;slowly avaiable potassium was positively correlated with amino acid content .Soil parent materials should be regarded as an important factor in eveluating the adatability of tea to soils.

  5. Tensions in Defining Quality Pre-School Education: The Singapore Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim-Ratnam, Christina

    2013-01-01

    Over the past decade, the government in Singapore has been introducing many initiatives in the early childhood sector to raise the quality of pre-school education. Educational reforms made without consideration of the perspectives and concerns of the participants in the socio-cultural milieu would only lead to superficial implementation. This…

  6. Defining the Quality of Higher Education around Ethics and Moral Values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prisacariu, Anca; Shah, Mahsood

    2016-01-01

    The context of higher education across the world currently presents evidence of university failures. These failures are evident in areas such as governance, financial and risk management, conduct of senior leaders and quality assurance issues surrounding international education. Having this in mind, the present paper argues the need to add a new…

  7. Setting a New Course: Defining Quality Lifestyles for Students with Dual Sensory Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohesky-Darby, Julie; And Others

    This guide was developed to assist families and professionals working with people having severe disabilities to improve the overall quality of life these individuals experience. An introduction contrasts new attitudes (such as emphasizing individual strengths and personal control and autonomy) with existing practices which often focus on students'…

  8. Defining Service Quality in Tramp Shipping: Conceptual Model and Empirical Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinh V. Thai

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Tramp shipping constitutes a prominent segment of the shipping market. As customers increasingly seek value from service providers for low price but yet high quality services, there is a pressing need to understand critically what construe the service quality for the tramp sector. In this respect, however, no prior research has been conducted for this market segment. This study recognises the gap in the existing maritime literature and aimed to propose and validate a service quality (SQ model to address such a gap. The study employs a triangulation approach, utilising literature review, interviews and surveys to develop, refine and verify the SQ model proposed. Interviews were conducted with various parties in the tramp sector while a survey using a sample size of 343 tramp shippers and 254 tramp service providers was also conducted with tramp shippers and tramp service providers. It was revealed that the SQ model of six dimensions of Corporate Image, Customer Focus, Management, Outcomes, Personnel and Technical, and their 18 associated attributes could be used as a reliable tool to measure service quality in tramp shipping. This research contributes to fill the gap in the existing literature by introducing and validating a new SQ model specifically for tramp shipping. Meanwhile, the model can also be used by practitioners to receive their customers’ evaluation of their service quality as well as a benchmarking tool for continuous improvement. This study is, however, confined to a small-sized data collected in Singapore and to the bulk commodity context. Further studies on the practicality of the SQ model involving larger sample size and in other regions and for the general and specialized cargoes would be required to enhance its reliability.

  9. Tillage System and Cover Crop Effects on Soil Quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abdollahi, Lotfollah; Munkholm, Lars Juhl

    2014-01-01

    Information about the quantitative effect of conservation tillage combined with a cover crop on soil structure is still limited. This study examined the effect of these management practices on soil pore characteristics of a sandy loam soil in a long-term field trial. The tillage treatments (main...

  10. Soil Quality Impacts of Current South American Agricultural Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B. Wingeyer

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Increasing global demand for oil seeds and cereals during the past 50 years has caused an expansion in the cultivated areas and resulted in major soil management and crop production changes throughout Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil. Unprecedented adoption of no-tillage as well as improved soil fertility and plant genetics have increased yields, but the use of purchased inputs, monocropping i.e., continuous soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr., and marginal land cultivation have also increased. These changes have significantly altered the global food and feed supply role of these countries, but they have also resulted in various levels of soil degradation through wind and water erosion, soil compaction, soil organic matter (SOM depletion, and nutrient losses. Sustainability is dependent upon local interactions between soil, climate, landscape characteristics, and production systems. This review examines the region’s current soil and crop conditions and summarizes several research studies designed to reduce or prevent soil degradation. Although the region has both environmental and soil resources that can sustain current agricultural production levels, increasing population, greater urbanization, and more available income will continue to increase the pressure on South American croplands. A better understanding of regional soil differences and quantifying potential consequences of current production practices on various soil resources is needed to ensure that scientific, educational, and regulatory programs result in land management recommendations that support intensification of agriculture without additional soil degradation or other unintended environmental consequences.

  11. Ethnopedology and soil quality of bamboo (Bambusa sp.) based agroforestry system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arun Jyoti, Nath; Lal, Rattan; Das, Ashesh Kumar

    2015-07-15

    It is widely recognized that farmers' hold important knowledge of folk soil classification for agricultural land for its uses, yet little has been studied for traditional agroforestry systems. This article explores the ethnopedology of bamboo (Bambusa sp.) based agroforestry system in North East India, and establishes the relationship of soil quality index (SQI) with bamboo productivity. The study revealed four basic folk soil (mati) types: kalo (black soil), lal (red soil), pathal (stony soil) and balu (sandy soil). Of these, lal mati soil was the most predominant soil type (~ 40%) in bamboo-based agroforestry system. Soil physio-chemical parameters were studied to validate the farmers' soil hierarchal classification and also to correlate with productivity of the bamboo stand. Farmers' hierarchal folk soil classification was consistent with the laboratory scientific analysis. Culm production (i.e. measure of productivity of bamboo) was the highest (27culmsclump(-1)) in kalo mati (black soil) and the lowest (19culmsclump(-1)) in balu mati (sandy soil). Linear correlation of individual soil quality parameter with bamboo productivity explained 16 to 49% of the variability. A multiple correlation of the best fitted linear soil quality parameter (soil organic carbon or SOC, water holding capacity or WHC, total nitrogen) with productivity improved explanatory power to 53%. Development of SQI from ten relevant soil quality parameters and its correlation with bamboo productivity explained the 64% of the variation and therefore, suggest SQI as the best determinant of bamboo yield. Data presented indicate that the kalo mati (black soil) is sustainable or sustainable with high input. However, the other three folk soil types (red, stony and sandy soil) are also sustainable but for other land uses. Therefore, ethnopedological studies may move beyond routine laboratory analysis and incorporate SQI for assessing the sustainability of land uses managed by the farmers'. Additional

  12. [Effect of Basic Soil Nutrients and Inorganic Elements on Quality of Pseudostellaria heterophylla Root].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Chuan-zhi; Zhou, Tao; Jiang, Wei-ke; Guo, Lan-ping; Xiao, Cheng-hong

    2015-04-01

    To study the effect of basic soil nutrients and inorganic elements on the quality of Pseudostellaria heterophylla root, in order to reveal the inner link and to provide the scientific basis for rational cultivation of Pseudostellaria heterophylla. The medicinal materials of Pseudostellariae Radix and soil samples from 15 habitats were collected, and three essential nutrients, five inorganic elements in the soil and the medicinal contents of polysaccharides and pseudostellarin B were determined. Then using SPSS software to analyze its relevance. Significant difference of pseudostellarin B content was found in samples from different provinces, which was not detected in the sample of Fujian Province, but the difference of polysaccharides content was small, at around 30%. Basic nutrients and inorganic elements from the soil for comparison, Pseudostellaria heterophylla from different habitats and cultivation of soil nutrients and inorganic elements contents were very uneven. The contents of Pb, Cu and B in the soil sample of Guizhou Province were the highest, and Cr and available phosphorus content in the soil sample of Shandong Province, Zn and effective potassium in the soil sample of Fujian Province all were the highest. With reference to the Soil Environment Quality Standard (GB15618-1995), most of Pseudostellaria heterophylla soil reached the national standard. From the point of soil elements and medicinal materials quality correlation, pseudostellarin B content and polysaccharide content had no significant correlation between each element in the soil. The ammonium nitrogen, effective potassium, available phosphorus and elements of Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn and B in the soil have no direct effect on effective component content of medicinal materials. 60% of Pseudostellaria heterophylla origin is generally lack of B in soil. It should be appropriate to increase the percentage of boron in the fertilizer management to ensure the quality of Pseudostellaria heterophylla root.

  13. Rice production in relation to soil quality under different rice-based cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran Ba, Linh; Sleutel, Steven; Nguyen Van, Qui; Thi, Guong Vo; Le Van, Khoa; Cornelis, Wim

    2016-04-01

    Soil quality of shallow paddy soils may be improved by introducing upland crops and thus a more diverse crop cultivation pattern. Yet, the causal relationship between crop performance and enhanced soil traits in rice-upland crop rotations remains elusive. The objectives of this study were to (i) find correlations among soil properties under different rice-upland crop systems and link selected soil properties to rice growth and yield, (ii) present appropriate values of soil parameters for sustainable rice productivity in heavy clay soil, (iii) evaluate the effect of rotating rice with upland crops on rice yield and economic benefit in a long-term experiment. A rice-upland crop rotational field experiment in the Vietnamese Mekong delta was conducted for 10 years using a randomized complete block design with four treatments and four replications. Treatments were: (i) rice-rice-rice (control - conventional system as farmers' practice), (ii) rice-maize-rice, (iii) rice-mung bean-rice, and (iv) rice-mung bean-maize. Soil and plant sampling were performed after harvest of the rice crop at the end of the final winter-spring cropping season (i.e. year 10). Results show differences in rice growth and yield, and economic benefit as an effect of the crop rotation system. These differences were linked with changes in bulk density, soil porosity, soil aggregate stability index, soil penetration resistance, soil macro-porosity, soil organic carbon, acid hydrolysable soil C and soil nutrient elements, especially at soil depth of 20-30 cm. This is evidenced by the strong correlation (P soil properties such as bulk density, porosity, penetration resistance, soil organic carbon and Chydrolysable. It turned out that good rice root growth and rice yield corresponded to bulk density values lower than 1.3 Mg m-3, soil porosity higher than 50%, penetration resistance below 1.0 MPa, and soil organic carbon above 25 g kg-1. The optimal soil depth without restriction for rice root elongation

  14. Analysis of early accountable care organizations defines patient, structural, cost, and quality-of-care characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Arnold M; Jha, Ashish K; Orav, E John; Liebman, Daniel L; Audet, Anne-Marie J; Zezza, Mark A; Guterman, Stuart

    2014-01-01

    Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have attracted interest from many policy makers and clinical leaders because of their potential to improve the quality of care and reduce costs. Federal ACO programs for Medicare beneficiaries are now up and running, but little information is available about the baseline characteristics of early entrants. In this descriptive study we present data on the structural and market characteristics of these early ACOs and compare ACOs' patient populations, costs, and quality with those of their non-ACO counterparts at baseline. We found that ACO patients were more likely than non-ACO patients to be older than age eighty and had higher incomes. ACO patients were less likely than non-ACO patients to be black, covered by Medicaid, or disabled. The cost of care for ACO patients was slightly lower than that for non-ACO patients. Slightly fewer than half of the ACOs had a participating hospital. Hospitals that were in ACOs were more likely than non-ACO hospitals to be large, teaching, and not-for-profit, although there was little difference in their performance on quality metrics. Our findings can be useful in interpreting the early results from the federal ACO programs and in establishing a baseline to assess the programs' development.

  15. Soil management effect on soil quality indicators in vineyards of the Appellation of Origin "Montilla-Moriles" in southern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán, Gema; Cabezas, José Manuel; Bauer, Thomas; Strauss, Peter; Winter, Silvia; Zaller, Johann; Gómez, José Alfonso

    2017-04-01

    The effect soil management on several indicators frequently used in the assessment of soil quality it is not always reflected unambiguously when measured at the field although it is normally assumed that this relation is straightforward. Within the European project VineDivers (www.vinedivers.eu), sixteen commercial vineyards belonging to the Appellation of Origin "Montilla-Moriles" (Córdoba) and covering a wide range of textural classes were selected. These farms were classified 'a priori' under two soil management categories: temporal cover crop and bare soil during the whole year. In each of the vineyards one representative inter-row was selected in order to characterise different physical, chemical and biological parameters to evaluate some aspects related to soil quality. Results indicate that the studied indicators respond clearly to soil textural class and vegetation cover biomass. However, there was no clear difference in above-ground biomass of the two management categories (Guzmán et al., 2016). These results suggest that the interpretation and extrapolation of the indicators evaluated should incorporate complementary information to characterise small variations of soil management intensity among vineyards that are apparently managed under the same management category. The communication presents this analysis based on the number and type of soil disturbance events of all vineyards. The high variability found among vineyards under the same management highlights the relevance of measuring these soil parameters used as quality indicators, instead of extrapolating from other vineyards or agricultural systems, and interpreting them according to baseline levels. References: Guzmán G., Cabezas J.M., Gómez J.A. 2016. Evaluación preliminar del efecto del manejo del suelo en indicadores que determinan su calidad en viñedos de la Denominación de Origen Montilla Moriles. II Jornadas de Viticultura SECH. Madrid.

  16. Soil quality, theory and applications. a critical analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Buondonno

    Full Text Available In its common meaning, the concept of “soil quality” is based on evaluating criteria that are subjective and “anthropocentric” rather than objective and “pedocentric”. Several “desirable” or “undesirable” soil conditions and characteristics are considered from the human point of view, disregarding the pedogenetic features. Such an approach perilously leads to support the idea of a “pedogenetic discrimination”, which a priori privileges “superior” vs. “inferior” soils, thus discrediting a large part of soil Subgroups, Great Groups, Suborders, and even whole taxonomic Orders. So, a number of soil functions, such as genic reserve guarantee of space-temporal bio-diversity, environmental good cradle of civilization, foundation of the landscape, as well as upholder of man heritage, are neglected at all. If “quality” only concerned rich and fertile soils, there would be the great and looming risk to definitively take “poor” soils away from agriculture, landscape and global pedological reserve. It is necessary to reconsider the concept of “soil quality” as “soil functionality”, that is to say “aptitude of soil to express its own potential”, bringing out the essential environmental, socio-economic and cultural soil roles on the basis of the inherent conditions and characteristics arising from its peculiar pedogenetic history.

  17. Development and application of a soil organic matter-based soil quality index in mineralized terrane of the Western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blecker, S.W.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Amacher, M.C.; Ippolito, J.A.; DeCrappeo, N.M.

    2013-01-01

    Soil quality indices provide a means of distilling large amounts of data into a single metric that evaluates the soil’s ability to carry out key ecosystem functions. Primarily developed in agroecosytems, then forested ecosystems, an index using the relation between soil organic matter and other key soil properties in more semi-arid systems of the Western US impacted by different geologic mineralization was developed. Three different sites in two different mineralization types, acid sulfate and Cu/Mo porphyry in California and Nevada, were studied. Soil samples were collected from undisturbed soils in both mineralized and nearby unmineralized terrane as well as waste rock and tailings. Eight different microbial parameters (carbon substrate utilization, microbial biomass-C, mineralized-C, mineralized-N and enzyme activities of acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, arylsulfatase, and fluorescein diacetate) along with a number of physicochemical parameters were measured. Multiple linear regression models between these parameters and both total organic carbon and total nitrogen were developed, using the ratio of predicted to measured values as the soil quality index. In most instances, pooling unmineralized and mineralized soil data within a given study site resulted in lower model correlations. Enzyme activity was a consistent explanatory variable in the models across the study sites. Though similar indicators were significant in models across different mineralization types, pooling data across sites inhibited model differentiation of undisturbed and disturbed sites. This procedure could be used to monitor recovery of disturbed systems in mineralized terrane and help link scientific and management disciplines.

  18. Effects of hazelnut husk compost application on soil quality parameters in hazelnut orchards in Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kizilkaya, Ridvan

    2016-04-01

    The long-term application of excessive chemical fertilizers has resulted in the degeneration of soil quality parameters such as soil microbial biomass, respiration, and nutrient content, which in turn affects crop health, productivity, and soil sustainable productivity. The objective of this study was to develop a rapid and efficient solution for rehabilitating degraded two hazelnut orchards having different textures by precisely quantifying soil quality parameters through the application of different doses (0, 1.25, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 ton da-1) of hazelnut husk compost (HH) during hazelnut growth. After nine months of HHC application, soil quality parameters such as microbial biomass carbon (Cmic), basal respiration (BSR), total organic carbon (Corg), total N, C/N ratio, aggregate stability and some soil chemical properties (pH, EC and NO3-N content) were carried out on collected soil samples. The results showed that soil quality parameters were significantly affected by soil texture and HHC application doses. In general, Cmic, BSR, C/N ratio and the contents of Corg and N increased (P<0,001) and Cmic/Corg values decreased (P<0,001) with increasing HHC application in comparison with the control. In addition, HHC markedly increased the contents of NO3-N, the aggregate stability of soil, and the hydrolic conductivity in the soil were notably heightened. According to the results of field experiments conducted different location and condition, when the focusing on the organic substance management and sustainability of the quality parameters in soil, it was clear from the evidence obtained the research that the ideal HHC application was 5 ton per decare to increase the organic matter content by 2%. (This research was supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Project number: 111O698).

  19. Facilitating the openEHR approach - organizational structures for defining high-quality archetypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Christian Dominik; Garde, Sebastian; Knaup, Petra

    2008-01-01

    Using openEHR archetypes to establish an electronic patient record promises rapid development and system interoperability by using or adopting existing archetypes. However, internationally accepted, high quality archetypes which enable a comprehensive semantic interoperability require adequate development and maintenance processes. Therefore, structures have to be created involving different health professions. In the following we present a model which facilitates and governs distributed but cooperative development and adoption of archetypes by different professionals including peer reviews. Our model consists of a hierarchical structure of professional committees and descriptions of the archetype development process considering these different committees.

  20. Impact of repeated single-metal and multi-metal pollution events on soil quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burges, Aritz; Epelde, Lur; Garbisu, Carlos

    2015-02-01

    Most frequently, soil metal pollution results from the occurrence of repeated single-metal and, above all, multi-metal pollution events, with concomitant adverse consequences for soil quality. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the impact of repeated single-metal and multi-metal (Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn) pollution events on soil quality, as reflected by the values of a variety of soil microbial parameters with potential as bioindicators of soil functioning. Specifically, parameters of microbial activity (potentially mineralizable nitrogen, β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase activity) and biomass (fungal and bacterial gene abundance by RT-qPCR) were determined, in the artificially metal-polluted soil samples, at regular intervals over a period of 26 weeks. Similarly, we studied the evolution over time of CaCl2-extractable metal fractions, in order to estimate metal bioavailability in soil. Different metals showed different values of bioavailability and relative bioavailability ([metal]bio/[metal]tot) in soil throughout the experiment, under both repeated single-metal and multi-metal pollution events. Both repeated Zn-pollution and multi-metal pollution events led to a significant reduction in the values of acid phosphatase activity, and bacterial and fungal gene abundance, reflecting the negative impact of these repeated events on soil microbial activity and biomass, and, hence, soil quality. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Assessment of physical and chemical indicators of sandy soil quality for sustainable crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipiec, Jerzy; Usowicz, Boguslaw

    2017-04-01

    Sandy soils are used in agriculture in many regions of the world. The share of sandy soils in Poland is about 55%. The aim of this study was to assess spatial variability of soil physical and chemical properties affecting soil quality and crop yields in the scale of field (40 x 600 m) during three years of different weather conditions. The experimental field was located on the post glacial and acidified sandy deposits of low productivity (Szaniawy, Podlasie Region, Poland). Physical soil quality indicators included: content of sand, silt, clay and water, bulk density and those chemical: organic carbon, cation exchange capacity, acidity (pH). Measurements of the most soil properties were done at spring and summer each year in topsoil and subsoil layer in 150 points. Crop yields were evaluated in places close to measuring points of the soil properties. Basic statistics including mean, standard deviation, skewness, kurtosis minimal, maximal and correlations between the soil properties and crop yields were calculated. Analysis of spatial dependence and distribution for each property was performed using geostatistical methods. Mathematical functions were fitted to the experimentally derived semivariograms that were used for mapping the soil properties and crop yield by kriging. The results showed that the largest variations had clay content (CV 67%) and the lowest: sand content (5%). The crop yield was most negatively correlated with sand content and most positively with soil water content and cation exchange capacity. In general the exponential semivariogram models fairly good matched to empirical data. The range of semivariogram models of the measured indicators varied from 14 m to 250 m indicate high and moderate spatial variability. The values of the nugget-to-sill+nugget ratios showed that most of the soil properties and crop yields exhibited strong and moderate spatial dependency. The kriging maps allowed identification of low yielding sub-field areas that

  2. Soil environmental quality in greenhouse vegetable production systems in eastern China: Current status and management strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wenyou; Zhang, Yanxia; Huang, Biao; Teng, Ying

    2017-03-01

    Greenhouse vegetable production (GVP) has become an important source of public vegetable consumption and farmers' income in China. However, various pollutants can be accumulated in GVP soils due to the high cropping index, large agricultural input, and closed environment. Ecological toxicity caused by excessive pollutants' accumulation can then lead to serious health risks. This paper was aimed to systematically review the current status of soil environmental quality, analyze their impact factors, and consequently to propose integrated management strategies for GVP systems. Results indicated a decrease in soil pH, soil salinization, and nutrients imbalance in GVP soils. Fungicides, remaining nutrients, antibiotics, heavy metals, and phthalate esters were main pollutants accumulating in GVP soils comparing to surrounding open field soils. Degradation of soil ecological function, accumulation of major pollutants in vegetables, deterioration of neighboring water bodies, and potential human health risks has occurred due to the changes of soil properties and accumulation of pollutants such as heavy metals and fungicides in soils. Four dominant factors were identified leading to the above-mentioned issues including heavy application of agricultural inputs, outmoded planting styles with poor environmental protection awareness, old-fashion regulations, unreasonable standards, and ineffective supervisory management. To guarantee a sustainable GVP development, several strategies were suggested to protect and improve soil environmental quality. Implementation of various strategies not only requires the concerted efforts among different stakeholders, but also the whole lifecycle assessment throughout the GVP processes as well as effective enforcement of policies, laws, and regulations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. STUDENT-DEFINED QUALITY BY KANO MODEL: A CASE STUDY OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismail Wilson Taifa

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Engineering Students in India like elsewhere worldwide need well designed classrooms furniture which can enable them to attend lectures without negative impact in the long run. Engineering students from India have not yet been involved in suggesting their requirements for improving the mostly out-dated furniture at their colleges. Among the available improvement techniques, Kano Model is one of the most effective improvement approaches. The main objective of the study was to identify and categorise all the main attributes regarding the classrooms furniture for the purpose of increasing student satisfaction in the long run. Kano Model has been well applied to make an exhaustive list of requirements for redesigning classroom furniture. Cronbach Alpha was computed with the help of SPSS 16.0 for validation purpose and it ranged between 0.8 and 0.9 which is a good internal consistency. Further research can be done by integrating Kano Model with Quality Function Deployment.

  4. Defining Earth Smarts: A Construct Analysis for Socioecological Literacy Based on Justly Maintaining Quality of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Bryan H.

    This paper describes the creation and validation of a new educational construct. Socioecological literacy, or earth smarts, describes the qualities we need to justly maintain or improve our quality of life in a changing world. It was created using construct analysis techniques and systems tools, drawing on an extensive, transdisciplinary body of literature. Concepts related to environmental, ecological and scientific literacy, sustainability and citizenship were combined with educational frameworks, new research in science education, and modern cognitive psychology. After the initial formulation, the results were considered by a variety of experts and professionals from the fields of ecology, environmental science and education, using surveys, conference presentations and interviews. The resulting qualitative and quantitative feedback was used to refine and validate the framework. Four domains emerged from the analysis: concepts, competencies, sense of place, and values. The first two are common in formal education, although many of the more specific components that emerged are not adequately addressed. The second two domains are unlikely to be achieved solely in traditional educational settings, although they emerged as equally important. Sense of place includes affective components such as self-efficacy, while values includes moral development, respect, and justice as fairness. To make culturally and ecologically appropriate localization as accessible as possible, the earth smarts framework (www.earthsmarts.info ) is deliberately nonpartisan and was designed using free and open-source software. It can help educators, policy makers, and researchers interested in more resilient, just and adaptable communities to coordinate their efforts, particularly in the nexus between formal and informal education, which have different strengths and weaknesses.

  5. Application of phytotoxicity data to a new Australian soil quality guideline framework for biosolids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heemsbergen, Diane A. [Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, South Australia 5064 (Australia)], E-mail: diane.heemsbergen@csiro.au; Warne, Michael St.J. [Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, South Australia 5064 (Australia)], E-mail: michael.warne@csiro.au; Broos, Kris [Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, South Australia 5064 (Australia)], E-mail: kris.broos@vito.be; Bell, Mike [Department of Primary Industries, Kingaroy, Queensland 4610 (Australia)], E-mail: Mike.Bell@dpi.qld.gov.au; Nash, David [Department of Primary Industries, Ellinbank, Victoria 3821 (Australia)], E-mail: David.Nash@dpi.vic.gov.au; McLaughlin, Mike [Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, South Australia 5064 (Australia); School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5064 (Australia)], E-mail: mike.mclaughlin@csiro.au; Whatmuff, Mark [Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, South Australia 5064 (Australia); NSW Department of Primary Industries, Locked Bag 4 Richmond NSW 2753 (Australia)], E-mail: mark.whatmuff@csiro.au; Barry, Glenn [Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Indooroopilly, Queensland 4068 (Australia)], E-mail: Glenn.Barry@nrw.qld.gov.au; Pritchard, Deb [Curtin University of Technology, Muresk Institute, Northam, Western Australia 6401 (Australia)], E-mail: D.Pritchard@curtin.edu.au; Penney, Nancy [Water Corporation of Western Australia, Leederville, Western Australia 6001 (Australia)], E-mail: Nancy.Penney@WaterCorporation.com.au

    2009-04-01

    To protect terrestrial ecosystems and humans from contaminants many countries and jurisdictions have developed soil quality guidelines (SQGs). This study proposes a new framework to derive SQGs and guidelines for amended soils and uses a case study based on phytotoxicity data of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) from field studies to illustrate how the framework could be applied. The proposed framework uses normalisation relationships to account for the effects of soil properties on toxicity data followed by a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) method to calculate a soil added contaminant limit (soil ACL) for a standard soil. The normalisation equations are then used to calculate soil ACLs for other soils. A soil amendment availability factor (SAAF) is then calculated as the toxicity and bioavailability of pure contaminants and contaminants in amendments can be different. The SAAF is used to modify soil ACLs to ACLs for amended soils. The framework was then used to calculate soil ACLs for copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). For soils with pH of 4-8 and OC content of 1-6%, the ACLs range from 8 mg/kg to 970 mg/kg added Cu. The SAAF for Cu was pH dependant and varied from 1.44 at pH 4 to 2.15 at pH 8. For soils with pH of 4-8 and OC content of 1-6%, the ACLs for amended soils range from 11 mg/kg to 2080 mg/kg added Cu. For soils with pH of 4-8 and a CEC from 5-60, the ACLs for Zn ranged from 21 to 1470 mg/kg added Zn. A SAAF of one was used for Zn as it concentrations in plant tissue and soil to water partitioning showed no difference between biosolids and soluble Zn salt treatments, indicating that Zn from biosolids and Zn salts are equally bioavailable to plants.

  6. Land use change and management effects on soil organic carbon stock and soil quality in Mediterranean areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-García, Beatriz; Parras-Alcántara, Luis

    2016-04-01

    INTRODUCTION Both land use and management affects to soil properties and soil quality. On the one hand, land use change from natural vegetation to agricultural land often is a key factor that influences to soil. On the other hand, under semiarid climatic conditions, intensive tillage increases soil organic matter losses, reduces soil quality, and contributes to climate change due to increased CO2 emissions. MATERIAL AND METHODS A field study was conducted to determine the land use change [Mediterranean evergreen oak woodland (MEOW-dehesa) to olive grove (OG) and cereal (C), all of them managed under conventional tillage and under conservationist practices] effects on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and the soil quality [through Stratification Ratios (SR)] in Los Pedroches valley, southern Spain. RESULTS Results for the present study indicate that in MEOW-dehesa management practices had little effect on SOC storage. The stratification ratio was >2 in both management systems, so, soils under MEOW-dehesa had high quality. Nevertheless, in OG and C conservationist practices increased SOC stocks. Therefore, conservationist practices contributed to a better soil quality and to increased carbon sequestration and, consequently, this management is an excellent alternative to conventional tillage. A change in land use from MEOW-dehesa to OG or C under conservationist practices appeared to increase the SOC. When calculated for the total soil profile these differences were equivalent to 20-25 Mg ha-1 of SOC. This is potentially very important for many agricultural soils in the Mediterranean area which are typically very poor in organic matter. These differences in the SOC stock were not apparent when the change in land use occurred under conventional tillage; even in the land use change from MEOW-dehesa to C the SOC stock was reduced. This suggests that management in addition to change in land use is an important consideration and particularly the degree of soil disturbance

  7. Relationship of soil physical quality parameters and maize yield in a Brazilian Oxisol

    OpenAIRE

    Anderson C Bergamin; Antonio C. T. Vitorino; SOUZA, FABIO R. de; Luciano R Venturoso; Luara P.P Bergamin; Campos, Milton C. C.

    2015-01-01

    In Brazilian agriculture, maize (Tea mays L.) is prominent because of its magnitude of grain production. However, soil compaction changes negatively the soil physical attributes, limiting the crop growth. This study aimed to evaluate physical attributes of a clayey Oxisol (Rhodic Hapludox) under no-tillage, and the relationships between these attributes with maize yield in the Midwest region of Brazil. Besides this, indicators of soil physical quality when subjected to levels of compaction we...

  8. Atrazine incorporation and soil erosion—balancing competing water quality concerns for claypan soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the U.S. Corn Belt, claypan soils are vulnerable to both erosion and transport of unincorporated herbicides. Thus, there is a need to identify tillage practices that can achieve a balance between herbicide transport and soil erosion for these soils. The objectives of this research were to compare...

  9. Atrazine incorporation and soil erosion: balancing competing water quality concerns for claypan soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the U.S. Corn Belt, claypan soils are vulnerable to both erosion and transport of unincorporated herbicides. Thus, there is a need to identify tillage practices that can achieve a balance between herbicide transport and soil erosion for these soils. The objectives of this research were to compare...

  10. Defining Robust Recovery Solutions for Preserving Service Quality during Rail/Metro Systems Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca D'Acierno

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose a sensitivity analysis for evaluating the effectiveness of recovery solutions in the case of disturbed rail operations. Indeed, when failures or breakdowns occur during daily service, new strategies have to be implemented so as to react appropriately and re-establish ordinary conditions as rapidly as possible. In this context, the use of rail simulation is vital: for each intervention strategy it provides the evaluation of interactions and performance analysis prior to actually implementing the corrective action. However, in most cases, simulation tasks are deterministic and fail to allow for the stochastic distribution of train performance and delays. Hence, the strategies adopted might not be robust enough to ensure effectiveness of the intervention. We therefore propose an off-line procedure for disruption management based on a microscopic and stochastic rail simulation which considers both service operation and travel demand. An application in the case of a real metro line in Naples (Italy shows the benefits of the proposed approach in terms of service quality.

  11. Possibilities of implementation of bioavailability methods for organic contaminants in the Dutch Soil Quality Assessment Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Ellen; Lijzen, Johannes; Peijnenburg, Willie; Swartjes, Frank

    2013-10-15

    In the Netherlands, risk assessment of contaminated soils is based on determining the total contaminant concentration. If this measured soil concentration exceeds the Soil Quality Standards (SQS) a higher tier risk evaluation must be performed. Experiences from the field have given rise to the perception that performing risk evaluations based on (measured) total concentrations may lead to an inaccurate assessment of the actual risks. Assuming that only the bioavailable fraction is capable of exerting adverse effects in the soil ecosystem, it is suggested, that by taking bioavailability into account in a (higher tier) risk evaluation, a more effect-based risk assessment can be performed. Bioavailability has been a subject of research for several decades. However up to now bioavailability has not been implemented in the Dutch Soil Quality Assessment Framework. First actions were taken in the Netherlands to determine whether the concept of bioavailability could be implemented in the risk assessment of contaminated soils and to find out how bioavailability can become part of the Dutch Soil Quality Assessment Framework. These actions have led to a concrete proposal for implementation of bioavailability methods in the risk assessment of organic contaminants in soils. This paper focuses on the chemical prediction of bioavailability for ecological risk assessment of contaminated soils.

  12. Soil Quality Indices for Evaluating Smallholder Agricultural Land Uses in Northern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aweke M. Gelaw

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Population growth and increasing resource demands in Ethiopia are stressing and degrading agricultural landscapes. Most Ethiopian soils are already exhausted by several decades of over exploitation and mismanagement. Since many agricultural sustainability issues are related to soil quality, its assessment is very important. We determined integrated soil quality indices (SQI within the surface 0–15 cm depth increment for three agricultural land uses: rain fed cultivation (RF; agroforestry (AF and irrigated crop production (IR. Each land use was replicated five times within a semi-arid watershed in eastern Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Using the framework suggested by Karlen and Stott (1994; four soil functions regarding soil’s ability to: (1 accommodate water entry (WE; (2 facilitate water movement and availability (WMA; (3 resist degradation (RD; and (4 supply nutrients for plant growth (PNS were estimated for each land use. The result revealed that AF affected all soil quality functions positively more than the other land uses. Furthermore, the four soil quality functions were integrated into an overall SQI; and the values for the three land uses were in the order: 0.58 (AF > 0.51 (IR > 0.47 (RF. The dominant soil properties influencing the integrated SQI values were soil organic carbon (26.4%; water stable aggregation (20.0%; total porosity (16.0%; total nitrogen (11.2%; microbial biomass carbon (6.4%; and cation exchange capacity (6.4%. Collectively, those six indicators accounted for more than 80% of the overall SQI values.

  13. Phosphate Treatment of Lead-Contaminated Soil: Effects on Water Quality, Plant Uptake, and Lead Speciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water quality threats associated with using phosphate-based amendments to remediate Pb-contaminated soils are a concern, particularly in riparian areas. This study investigated the effects of P application rates to a Pb-contaminated alluvial soil on Pb and P loss via surface wat...

  14. Organic fertilisers of the mac trial and their impact on soil quality, environment and climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, C.J.; Zanen, M.; Bokhorst, G.J.

    2010-01-01

    After 8 years, the MAC field trial in Lelystad, the Netherlands, shows the effects of different fertiliser strategies, ranging from animal manure to plant compost to mineral fertiliser. The impact on yield, soil quality, soil health, environment and climate change is discussed. The trial is unique i

  15. Effect of soil use on their quality, in areas of the farm “Baños de Marrero”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith Aguila Alcantara

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Two areas (a natural and an agricultural ecosystem, located on brown calcareous soil (correlated to Order Inceptisol, Subgroup Mollic Eutrudept in the Soil Taxonomy system, were chosen with the aim of assessing the effect of agricultural land use on soil quality using the compared scenarios perspective. The physical indicators analyzed were aggregate stabled, permeability coefficient, the factor of structure, lower and upper limits of plasticity, as well as, the index of plasticity. The chemical indicators measured were pH (H2O, pH (KCl, organic matter content, and levels of P2O5 and K2O. Soil microbiology was analyzed by plate counting. For mesofauna extraction was used the funnel methodology of Berlese-Tullgren. Data processing was done using STATGRAPHICS vs 5.0 on Windows 7. The results demonstrated that the physical status of the soil was good in both ecosystems. Significant differences were found for pH, organic matter content, levels of P2O5 and K2O, and in the microbial population. However, no differences were found in mesofauna components; but, the principal components analyses showed that the differentiation between both ecosystems is more defined by the mesofauna and microbiological indicators.

  16. Organic farming, soil health, and food quality: considering possible links

    Science.gov (United States)

    That the health of soils, plants, animals and people are linked is an ancient idea that still resonates. It is well known that soil nutrient deficiencies and toxicities can adversely impact plant and animal health. Growing evidence also supports the idea of positive links between farm management, so...

  17. Dose the reporting quality of diagnostic test accuracy studies, as defined by STARD 2015, affect citation?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choi, Young Jun; Chung, Mi Sun; Koo, Hyun Jung; Park, Ji Eun; Yoon, Hee Mang; Park, Seong Ho [Dept. of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-09-15

    To determine the rate with which diagnostic test accuracy studies that are published in a general radiology journal adhere to the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (STARD) 2015, and to explore the relationship between adherence rate and citation rate while avoiding confounding by journal factors. All eligible diagnostic test accuracy studies that were published in the Korean Journal of Radiology in 2011–2015 were identified. Five reviewers assessed each article for yes/no compliance with 27 of the 30 STARD 2015 checklist items (items 28, 29, and 30 were excluded). The total STARD score (number of fulfilled STARD items) was calculated. The score of the 15 STARD items that related directly to the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS)-2 was also calculated. The number of times each article was cited (as indicated by the Web of Science) after publication until March 2016 and the article exposure time (time in months between publication and March 2016) were extracted. Sixty-three articles were analyzed. The mean (range) total and QUADAS-2-related STARD scores were 20.0 (14.5–25) and 11.4 (7–15), respectively. The mean citation number was 4 (0–21). Citation number did not associate significantly with either STARD score after accounting for exposure time (total score: correlation coefficient = 0.154, p = 0.232; QUADAS-2-related score: correlation coefficient = 0.143, p = 0.266). The degree of adherence to STARD 2015 was moderate for this journal, indicating that there is room for improvement. When adjusted for exposure time, the degree of adherence did not affect the citation rate.

  18. SOIL QUALITY ASSESSMENT BASED ON CHEMICAL, ENZYMATIC AND BACTERIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia-Paulina BALAURE

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study highlights the problem of soil pollution as the result of human activities. Soil pollutans may be either chemicals or biological in nature. microbial enzymatic activities are often proposed as indicators of environmental stress. The soil samples were submitted by chemical, microbiological and enzymatic analyses. Chemical analyses were been made for determinating the heavy metals. Heavy metals from the forest soil were represented by Cu, Zn, Mn, Ni, Pb, Cd and Cr. To evaluate the concentration in heavy metals from the filtrate, we used a acetylene-nitrous oxide flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Potential dehydrogenase activity, the only indicator of the possible sources of pollution, excluded the presence of either chemical or biological pollution. The number of bacteria involved in the biogeochemical cycle of nitrogen in the analyzed soil indicated a high efficiency regarding the mineralization of the organic residues of plant and animal origin.

  19. [Prediction of regional soil quality based on mutual information theory integrated with decision tree algorithm].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Fen-Fang; Wang, Ke; Yang, Ning; Yan, Shi-Guang; Zheng, Xin-Yu

    2012-02-01

    In this paper, some main factors such as soil type, land use pattern, lithology type, topography, road, and industry type that affect soil quality were used to precisely obtain the spatial distribution characteristics of regional soil quality, mutual information theory was adopted to select the main environmental factors, and decision tree algorithm See 5.0 was applied to predict the grade of regional soil quality. The main factors affecting regional soil quality were soil type, land use, lithology type, distance to town, distance to water area, altitude, distance to road, and distance to industrial land. The prediction accuracy of the decision tree model with the variables selected by mutual information was obviously higher than that of the model with all variables, and, for the former model, whether of decision tree or of decision rule, its prediction accuracy was all higher than 80%. Based on the continuous and categorical data, the method of mutual information theory integrated with decision tree could not only reduce the number of input parameters for decision tree algorithm, but also predict and assess regional soil quality effectively.

  20. An improved effective microorganism (EM) soil ball-making method for water quality restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Gun-Seok; Khan, Abdur Rahim; Kwak, Yunyoung; Hong, Sung-Jun; Jung, ByungKwon; Ullah, Ihsan; Kim, Jong-Guk; Shin, Jae-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Soil balls containing the so-called effective microorganisms (EM) have been applied to improve water quality of small ponds, lakes, and streams worldwide. However, neither the physical conditions facilitating their proper application nor the diversity of microbial community in such soil balls have been investigated. In this study, the application of 0.75% of hardener to the soil balls exerted almost neutral pH (pH 7.3) which caused up to a fourfold increased hardness of the soil ball. Moreover, the 0.75% of hardener in the soil ball also improved the water quality due to a significant reduction in dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, and total nitrogen contents. Metagenomic analysis of the microbial community in the soil ball with 0.75% hardener was compared with control (traditional soil ball) through next-generation sequencing. The traditional soil ball microbial community comprised 96.1% bacteria, 2.7% eukaryota, and 1% archaea, whereas the soil ball with 0.75% hardener comprised 71.4% bacteria, 27.9% eukaryota, and 0.2% viruses. Additionally, metagenomic profiles for both traditional and improved soil balls revealed that the various xenobiotic biodegradation, such as those for caprolactam, atrazine, xylene, toluene, styrene, bisphenol, and chlorocyclohexane might be responsible for organic waste cleanup.

  1. Characterization of Soil Quality Under Vegetable Production Along an Urban-Rural Gradient

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG MINGKUI; WANG MEIQING; LIU XINGMEI; JIANG HONG; XU JIANMING

    2003-01-01

    Human activity and urbanization result in urban-rural environmental gradients. Understanding effect of the gradients on soil properties is necessary for management of the soils around urban areas. In this study, soil quality of some vegetable fields was characterized along an urban-rural gradient in Shaoxing County, Zhejiang Province. Fifteen soil physical and chemical properties were evaluated by using principal component analysis.Results showed that there was a great variation in the soil quality along the gradient. From rural to urban zones, soil organic matter, water-stable aggregates, cation exchangeable capacity (CEC), total N and P, and available K increased, whereas soil pH value decreased. In addition, Pb, Cu, Ni, Co, Zn and Cr in the soils tended to be accumulated toward the urban zone. Sequential chemical extraction showed that mobility of all the heavy metals in the soils tended to increase from the rural to the urban zones. The variation of soil properties accounted for by the first principal component was significantly explained by the difference in application rates of municipal wastes.

  2. The Soils and Groundwater – EM-20 S&T Roadmap Quality Assurance Project Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fix, N. J.

    2008-02-11

    The Soils and Groundwater – EM-20 Science and Technology Roadmap Project is a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management-funded initiative designed to develop new methods, strategies and technology for characterizing, modeling, remediating, and monitoring soils and groundwater contaminated with metals, radionuclides, and chlorinated organics. This Quality Assurance Project Plan provides the quality assurance requirements and processes that will be followed by EM-20 Roadmap Project staff.

  3. Quality control methods in accelerometer data processing: defining minimum wear time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly Rich

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: When using accelerometers to measure physical activity, researchers need to determine whether subjects have worn their device for a sufficient period to be included in analyses. We propose a minimum wear criterion using population-based accelerometer data, and explore the influence of gender and the purposeful inclusion of children with weekend data on reliability. METHODS: Accelerometer data obtained during the age seven sweep of the UK Millennium Cohort Study were analysed. Children were asked to wear an ActiGraph GT1M accelerometer for seven days. Reliability coefficients(r of mean daily counts/minute were calculated using the Spearman-Brown formula based on the intraclass correlation coefficient. An r of 1.0 indicates that all the variation is between- rather than within-children and that measurement is 100% reliable. An r of 0.8 is often regarded as acceptable reliability. Analyses were repeated on data from children who met different minimum daily wear times (one to 10 hours and wear days (one to seven days. Analyses were conducted for all children, separately for boys and girls, and separately for children with and without weekend data. RESULTS: At least one hour of wear time data was obtained from 7,704 singletons. Reliability increased as the minimum number of days and the daily wear time increased. A high reliability (r = 0.86 and sample size (n = 6,528 was achieved when children with ≥ two days lasting ≥10 hours/day were included in analyses. Reliability coefficients were similar for both genders. Purposeful sampling of children with weekend data resulted in comparable reliabilities to those calculated independent of weekend wear. CONCLUSION: Quality control procedures should be undertaken before analysing accelerometer data in large-scale studies. Using data from children with ≥ two days lasting ≥10 hours/day should provide reliable estimates of physical activity. It's unnecessary to include only children

  4. Comparing the soil quality changes of different land uses determined by two quantitative methods

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    Soil quality is one of the most important environmental factors in sustaining the global biosphere and developing sustainableagricultural practices.A study was initiated in Wolong Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China to elucidate the soil quality changes of naturalsecondary succession, forest planting and agricultural practices after deforestation in the humid mountainous region.The soil qualities of six landuse types (natural forestland, grassland, shrub land, secondary forestland, cultivated land and reforested land) were compared using twoquantitative methods: the integrated soil quality index(QI) and soil deterioration index( DI).The QI values of natural forestland, grassland,shrub land, secondary forestland, cultivated land, reforested land were 0.8039, 0.3277, 0.9127, 0.6881, 0.0285 and 0.3183, respectively.The DI values were 0%, - 14%, 12%, 1%, - 26% and - 18% respectively.Both indexes suggested that shrub land can restore soilproperties.To compare the two methods more directly, a deduced index QI' based on QI value was developed.The results showed that DI andQI' had a very high linear correlation coefficient (r = 0.9775) despite the values were different.Both methods were efficient in evaluating thesoil quality levels and DI was a more simple way in soil quality assessment, while QI could show more ecological meanings.

  5. Soil quality and soil degradation in agricultural loess soils in Central Europe - impacts of traditional small-scale and modernized large-scale agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Christian

    2017-04-01

    The study analyzes the impact of different farming systems on soil quality and soil degradation in European loess landscapes. The analyses are based on geo-chemical soil properties, landscape metrics and geomorphological indicators. The German Middle Saxonian Loess Region represents loess landscapes whose ecological functions were shaped by land consolidation measures resulting in large-scale high-input farming systems. The Polish Proszowice Plateau is still characterized by a traditional small-scale peasant agriculture. The research areas were analyzed on different scale levels combining GIS, field, and laboratory methods. A digital terrain classification was used to identify representative catchment basins for detailed pedological studies which were focused on soil properties that responded to soil management within several years, like pH-value, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), inorganic carbon (IC), soil organic carbon (TOC=TC-IC), hot-water extractable carbon (HWC), hot-water extractable nitrogen (HWN), total phosphorus, plant-available phosphorus (P), plant-available potassium (K) and the potential cation exchange capacity (CEC). The study has shown that significant differences in major soil properties can be observed because of different fertilizer inputs and partly because of different cultivation techniques. Also the traditional system increases soil heterogeneity. Contrary to expectations the study has shown that the small-scale peasant farming system resulted in similar mean soil organic carbon and phosphorus contents like the industrialized high-input farming system. A further study could include investigations of the effects of soil amendments like herbicides and pesticide on soil degradation.

  6. Integrated evaluation of soil quality after the incorporation of organic matter and microorganisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valarini Pedro J.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The soil quality was evaluated following the addition of organic matter and microorganisms to a clay loam soil collected in Aranjuez (Madrid under controlled conditions of temperature and moisture, and over a period of three months. The following treatments were carried out: soil (control; soil + 50 t/ha of animal manure (E50; soil + 50 t/ha of animal manure + 30l/ha of effective microorganisms (E50EM; soil + 30 t/ha of combination of various green crop residues and weeds (RC30 and soil + 30 t/ha of combination of various green crop residues and weeds + 30l/ha of effective microorganisms (RC30EM. The soil samples were taken before and after the incubation and analysed using physical, chemical and microbiological parameters. A significant increase in the production of polysaccharides and alkaline phosphatase and esterase enzymes in the treatments E50EM and RC30EM was observed, being in direct correlation with the humification of the organic matter, with the water retention at field capacity, and with the cationic exchange capacity (CEC. It can be concluded that the incorporation of microorganisms EM potentialized the soil biological activity and improved physico-chemical soil properties, contributing to a quick humification of fresh organic matter. Those findings were proved by microbiological activities of exopolysaccharides by alcaline phosphatase and esterase enzymes, which can be used as earlier and integral soil health indicators.

  7. [Effects of hydroxyapatite on growth and quality of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) in Cd polluted soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yong; He, Tan; Liu, Ming-Yue; Zeng, Min; Liao, Bo-Han

    2010-09-01

    A pot experiment was conducted in a glasshouse to study effects of hydroxyapatite amending Cd polluted soil on growth and quality of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). In the experiment, 3 levels of Cd pollution (0, 5, and 10 mg x kg(-1)) and 6 levels of hydroxyapatite application (0, 4, 8, 10, 16, and 30 g x kg(-1)) in soil were prepared to plant 2 potato varieties (Zhongshusanhao and Daxiyang in Chinese system). The results showed that Cd pollution in soil resulted in decrease in yield per plant of potato; for example, in the soils with 5 and 10 mg x kg(-1) of Cd, the yield per plant decreased 24%-31% and 41%-45%, respectively. Applying hydroxyapatite to Cd pollution could greatly increase yield per plant of potato. Compared to the soil without hydroxyapatite, 10 or 30 g x kg(-1) hydroxyapatite added to the soil with 5 or 10 mg x kg(-1) of Cd increased 17%-9% or 45%-58% in yield per plant. Due to hydroxyapatite amending Cd polluted soil, chlorophyll contents in leaves and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities in tubers enhanced and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in tubers declined apparently. Meanwhile, quality of potato tubers was obviously improved, such as increase in vitamin C contents, starch contents, and protein contents in potato tubers. With hydroxyapatite applying from 0 to 30 g x kg(-1), Cd contents in potato tubers deceased from 0.87-0.95 mg x kg(-1) to 0.13-0.21 mg x kg(-1) by 78%-85% in the soils with 5 mg x kg(-1) of Cd, and from 1.86-1.93 mg x kg(-1) to 0.52-0.65 mg x kg(-1) by 66%-72% in the soils with 10 mg x kg(-1) of Cd. The experiment indicated that the mechanism of hydroxyapatite alleviating soil Cd toxicity main included rising soil pH values, reducing effective Cd contents in soil, and Ca from hydroxyapatite blocking soil Cd moving to potato. However, ability of hydroxyapatite alleviating soil Cd toxicity was limited, and excessive hydroxyapatite to soil exhibited stress effects on growth and quality of potato. In the Cd polluted soils with

  8. Land use impact on soil quality in eastern Himalayan region of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, A K; Bordoloi, L J; Kumar, Manoj; Hazarika, S; Parmar, Brajendra

    2014-04-01

    Quantitative assessment of soil quality is required to determine the sustainability of land uses in terms of environmental quality and plant productivity. Our objective was to identify the most appropriate soil quality indicators and to evaluate the impact of six most prevalent land use types (natural forestland, cultivated lowland, cultivated upland terrace, shifting cultivation, plantation land, and grassland) on soil quality in eastern Himalayan region of India. We collected 120 soil samples (20 cm depth) and analyzed them for 29 physical, chemical, and biological soil attributes. For selection of soil quality indicators, principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on the measured attributes, which provided four principal components (PC) with eigenvalues >1 and explaining at least 5% of the variance in dataset. The four PCs together explained 92.6% of the total variance. Based on rotated factor loadings of soil attributes, selected indicators were: soil organic carbon (SOC) from PC-1, exchangeable Al from PC-2, silt content from PC-3, and available P and Mn from PC-4. Indicators were transformed into scores (linear scoring method) and soil quality index (SQI) was determined, on a scale of 0-1, using the weighting factors obtained from PCA. SQI rating was the highest for the least-disturbed sites, i.e., natural forestland (0.93) and grassland (0.87), and the lowest for the most intensively cultivated site, i.e., cultivated upland terrace (0.44). Ratings for the other land uses were shifting cultivation (0.60) > cultivated low land (0.57) > plantation land (0.54). Overall contribution (in percent) of the indicators in determination of SQI was in the order: SOC (58%) > exch. Al (17.1%) > available P (8.9%) > available Mn (8.2%) > silt content (7.8%). Results of this study suggest SOC and exch. Al as the two most powerful indicators of soil quality in study area. Thus, organic C and soil acidity management holds the key to improve soil

  9. Evaluation on environmental quality for heavy metal elements of Xihe soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Aijun WU

    2008-01-01

    According to "Environmental quality standard for soil" and using As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn elements as evaluation index, the author evaluated soil environmental quality in Xihe area of Shenyang. The results show that the soil in Xihe area is polluted rifely by heavy metal elements. The polluted areas are mainly distributed near the upstreams of Xihe River, Shenxin River and Shenliao irrigation canal. There exist large distinctions among the heavy metal elements to the pollution degree. Cd pollution area is the biggest and the most serious in pollution degree.

  10. Influence of soil properties on yield and quality of tobacco plant in Akhisar region of Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sezai Delibacak

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The research was carried out in Akhisar environs where tobacco was very popular in the period of 2004-2005. In this study, 9 fields were selected which are known to show differences in terms of the quality and efficiency in the villages called Hacıosmanlar Arabacıbozköy, Dereköy, Mecidiye and Süleymanlı. In order to find out the differences caused by the efficiency, the some properties of soils were examined. The relationships between yield and quality of tobacco and some soil properties were determined by correlation tests. After two years of the study, total alkoloid (nicotine, total reducing sugar, total nitrogen, and raw ash were measured as 0.126-1.410%, 7.81-33.71%, 0.45-3.24 %, 8.49-30.01%, respectively. The yield and total reducing sugar were decreased by increasing bulk density as an important soil property. On the other side raw ash content of tobacco increased. It is recommended that low raw ash and high sugar content are required for tobacco quality. With this content, The yield and quality of tobacco can increase with taken some necessary measurement for decreasing bulk density. The nicotin content of tobacco increased with increasing available Mg, Na and Cu content in soil. On the other side, the raw ash content in tobacco decreased with increasing total salt and available Fe, Zn and Mn in soil. It was determined that there was a positif relationship between salt in soil and reducing sugar in soil which is another quality factor for tobacco. In the research, some results were reached as mentioned above. However, further studies must be carried out in the next years to determine relationships between soil properties and yield and quality of tobacco. It can be possible to improve yield and quality of tobacco with using these relations for producers.

  11. Soil Quality after Six Years of Paper Mill Industrial Wastewater Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Carlos Carreiro Almeida

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The application of wastewater to irrigate soils may be an attractive option for paper mills, especially when the effluents can also provide nutrients to plants. Since there could be negative environmental effects, such activity must be preceded by a thorough evaluation of the consequences. The changes in soil quality of a Neossolo Flúvico Distrófico (Typic Udifluvent were evaluated over a period of six years of irrigation with treated effluent from a wood pulp company. Although effluent application for six years did not affect soil resistance to penetration and soil hydraulic conductivity, it promoted a decrease in the mean size of aggregates and an increase in clay dispersion. Effluent application increased soil pH but did not change exchangeable Ca and Mg contents and organic carbon. After a full rotation of eucalyptus cultivation common in Brazil (six years, no negative effects in tree growth were found due to effluent irrigation. However, effluent addition caused higher values of Na adsorption ratio and intermediate electrical conductivity in the soil, which indicates a possible negative effect on soil quality if the application continues over a longer period. Therefore, a monitoring program should be carried out during subsequent crop rotations, and alternatives must be studied to obtain better effluent quality, such as adding Ca and Mg to the wastewater and using gypsum in the soil.

  12. Identification of regional soil quality factors and indicators: a case study on an alluvial plain (central Turkey)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Şeker, Cevdet; Hüseyin Özaytekin, Hasan; Negiş, Hamza; Gümüş, İlknur; Dedeoğlu, Mert; Atmaca, Emel; Karaca, Ümmühan

    2017-05-01

    Sustainable agriculture largely depends on soil quality. The evaluation of agricultural soil quality is essential for economic success and environmental stability in rapidly developing regions. In this context, a wide variety of methods using vastly different indicators are currently used to evaluate soil quality. This study was conducted in one of the most important irrigated agriculture areas of Konya in central Anatolia, Turkey, to analyze the soil quality indicators of Çumra County in combination with an indicator selection method, with the minimum data set using a total of 38 soil parameters. We therefore determined a minimum data set with principle component analysis to assess soil quality in the study area and soil quality was evaluated on the basis of a scoring function. From the broad range of soil properties analyzed, the following parameters were chosen: field capacity, bulk density, aggregate stability, and permanent wilting point (from physical soil properties); electrical conductivity, Mn, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, pH, and NO3-N (from chemical soil properties); and urease enzyme activity, root health value, organic carbon, respiration, and potentially mineralized nitrogen (from biological properties). According to the results, the chosen properties were found as the most sensitive indicators of soil quality and they can be used as indicators for evaluating and monitoring soil quality at a regional scale.

  13. Local cartography of persistent organic pollutants (PCDD/F, PCB) concentrations in soils of three French departments. How to define background concentrations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clozel, Blandine

    2017-04-01

    As part of the Regional Health Plan for the Rhône-Alpes area (France), a cartography of soil contamination by persistent organic pollutants (dioxins/furans (PCDD/PCDF) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)) was undertaken in order to define the background concentrations of soils located away from point source pollution. In the natural environment, PCDD/PCDF and PCB comes from air pollution and accumulate in the upper part of the soils. To define the background concentration of persistent organic pollutants from diffuse atmospheric origin in soils, sampling was carried out within the first 5 centimeters of soils that have been very little anthropized and untilled for more than 15 years. In such soils mixing and dilution of the pollutants is very limited. 170 samples were collected following a systematic plan of grid type (mesh of 8 x 8 km) in an area of 14 000km2, avoiding soil of high altitude and from urban area. Beyond their total concentration, the ratio of the congeners of PCBs (7 indicators and 12 dioxin-like) and of the 17 dioxins/furans was also used for interpretation. As expected, the concentrations in pollutants are globally lower in the rural zones than in the more industrialized ones. However, the pollutants are relatively enriched in valleys, confirming that the meteorological conditions and the local topography play a significant role in the repartition of the diffuse atmospheric pollution. For the vast majority of samples, even some of those presenting the highest total concentration, the ratio of the various congeners argues for an ancient origin of the contamination. All studies at the French or European level of the atmospheric concentration of organic pollutants indicate a progressive decrease in emissions of these contaminants for about 20 years. However, the soils have been receptors since a long time and such pollutants have accumulated. The congeners ratio give evolved signature of pollution indicating, on one hand, it is mainly due to past

  14. Influence of grazing exclosure on vegetation biomass and soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Shagufta Qasim; Shamim Gul; Maria Hussain Shah; Fayyaz Hussain; Sarfraz Ahmad; Muhammad Islam; Gulbano Rehman; Muhammad Yaqoob; Syed Qasim Shah

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the influence of sixteen years exclosure from unmanaged grazing on aboveground vegetation biomass, soil organic matter (SOM), soil aggregation and nitrogen (N) mineralization in arid shrubland of Baluchistan, Pakistan. Sampling was carried out from three sites along the chronosequence of secondary succession. One site was located at open-for-grazing area (grazed site) and the other two sites were located in the area that is protected since 1998. One of the protected si...

  15. Review on the Response of Soil Fauna to Soil Quality Change%土壤动物对土壤质量变化的响应述评

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱新玉; 胡云川

    2011-01-01

    The biological indication of soil fauna to the change of soil quality has been a hot issue of general interest in soil ecology around the world. The paper reviewed the indices of soil quality, the indication of the soil fauna and the relationships between the indication of soil fauna and the soil quality. It pointed out that soil fauna had a sound foundation and application prospect to indicate the soil quality. Moreover, the future researches in the field of the bio-indication of soil fauna to the soil quality changes were also prospected. Therefore, expecting and desiring these review can provide theories and practice to soil conservation, soil health maintain, concentrated fertilization and bring the soil fauna to the system of soil quality evaluation.%土壤动物对土壤质量变化的指示作用研究已成为国际土壤生态学领域的热点和前沿课题.文章述评了土壤质量表征指标、土壤动物指示作用及土壤动物指示作用与土壤质量的联系现状,指出了土壤动物作为土壤质量变化的指示者潜力巨大,具有坚实的基础和良好的应用前景;并对未来在土壤动物及土壤动物指示作用领域的研究进行了展望.为从土壤动物学角度开展土壤质量健康维持研究,以及将土壤动物指标纳入土壤质量评价体系,完善评价体系提供基础依据.

  16. The Application of Fourier Transform Infrared Photoacoustics Spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS for Rapid Soil Quality Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ichwana Ichwana

    2017-04-01

    The Application of Fourier Transform Infrared Photoacoustics Spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS for Rapid Soil Quality Evaluation Abstract. The major function of soil is to provide fundamental natural resources for survival of plants, animals, and the human race. Soil functions depend on the balances of its structure and composition, well as the chemical, biological, and physical properties. It is become one important key aspect and routine activity in crop management system. To monitor and determine soil quality properties, several methods were already widely used in which most of them are based on solvent extraction followed by other laboratory procedures. However, these methods often require laborious and complicated processing for samples. They are time consuming and destructive. In last few decades, the application of infrared spectroscopy as non-destructive technique in determining soil quality properties (C, N, P and K rapidly and simultaneously. Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FTIR were acquired in wavelength range from 1000 to 2500 nm with applying photo-acoustic spectroscopy (PAS. Least square-support vector machine regression (LS-SVM approach was then applied to predict soil quality properties. The results showed that C and N can be predicted accurately using FTIR-PAS whilst other parameters (P, K, Mg, Ca, S can be predicted with maximum RPD index is 1.9. Moreover, soil clay, moisture and soil microbes were feasible to be detected by using FTIR-PAS combining with discriminant analysis (LS-DA or cluster analysis (CA. It may conclude that FTIR-PAS technology can be used as a real time method  in monitoring soil quality and fertility properties.

  17. Soil quality indicators in a rhodic kandiudult under different uses in northern Parana, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biana Harumi Kuwano

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable use of soil, maintaining or improving its quality, is one of the goals of diversification in farmlands. From this point of view, bioindicators associated with C, N and P cycling can be used in assessments of land-use effects on soil quality. The aim of this study was to investigate chemical, microbiological and biochemical properties of soil associated with C, N and P under different land uses in a farm property with diversified activity in northern Parana, Brazil. Seven areas under different land uses were assessed: fragment of native Atlantic Forest; growing of peach-palm (Bactrys gasipaes; sugarcane ratoon (Saccharum officinarum recently harvested, under renewal; growing of coffee (Coffea arabica intercropped with tree species; recent reforestation (1 year with native tree species, previously under annual crops; annual crops under no-tillage, rye (Cecale cereale; secondary forest, regenerated after abandonment (for 20 years of an avocado (Persea americana orchard. The soil under coffee, recent reforestation and secondary forest showed higher concentrations of organic carbon, but microbial biomass and enzyme activities were higher in soils under native forest and secondary forest, which also showed the lowest metabolic coefficient, followed by the peach-palm area. The lowest content of water-dispersible clay was found in the soil under native forest, differing from soils under sugarcane and secondary forest. Soil cover and soil use affected total organic C contents and soil enzyme and microbial activities, such that more intensive agricultural uses had deeper impacts on the indicators assessed. Calculation of the mean soil quality index showed that the secondary forest was closest to the fragment of native forest, followed by the peach-palm area, coffee-growing area, annual crop area, the area of recent reforestation and the sugarcane ratoon area.

  18. Application of Dexter’s soil physical quality index: an Irish case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fenton O.

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Historically, due to a lack of measured soil physical data, the quality of Irish soils was relatively unknown. Herein, we investigate the physical quality of the national representative profiles of Co. Waterford. To do this, the soil physical quality (SPQ S-Index, as described by Dexter (2004a,b,c using the S-theory (which seeks the inflection point of a soil water retention curve [SWRC], is used. This can be determined using simple (S-Indirect or complex (S-Direct soil physical data streams. Both are achievable using existing data for the County Waterford profiles, but until now, the suitability of this S-Index for Irish soils has never been tested. Indirect-S provides a generic characterisation of SPQ for a particular soil horizon, using simplified and modelled information (e.g. texture and SWRC derived from pedo-transfer functions, whereas Direct-S provides more complex site-specific information (e.g. texture and SWRC measured in the laboratory, which relates to properties measured for that exact soil horizon. Results showed a significant correlation between S-Indirect (Si and S-Direct (Sd. Therefore, the S-Index can be used in Irish soils and presents opportunities for the use of Si at the national scale. Outlier horizons contained >6% organic carbon (OC and bulk density (Bd values <1 g/cm3 and were not suitable for Si estimation. In addition, the S-Index did not perform well on excessively drained soils. Overall correlations of Si. with Bd and of Si. with OC% for the dataset were detected. Future work should extend this approach to the national scale dataset in the Irish Soil Information System.

  19. [Evaluation on environmental quality of heavy metals in soils and vegetables based on geostatistics and GIS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zheng-miao; Li, Jing; Wang, Bi-ling; Chen, Jian-jun

    2006-10-01

    Contents of heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu) in soils and vegetables from Dongguan town in Shangyu city, China were studied using geostatistical analysis and GIS technique to evaluate environmental quality. Based on the evaluation criteria, the distribution of the spatial variability of heavy metals in soil-vegetable system was mapped and analyzed. The results showed that the distribution of soil heavy metals in a large number of soil samples in Dongguan town was asymmetric. The contents of Zn and Cu were lower than those of Cd and Pb. The concentrations distribution of Pb, Zn, Cd and Cu in soils and vegetables were different in spatial variability. There was a close relationship between total and available contents of heavy metals in soil. The contents of Pb and Cd in green vegetables were higher than those of Zn and Cu and exceeded the national sanitation standards for vegetables.

  20. Enzimas del suelo: indicadores de salud y calidad Soil enzymes: health and quality indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melgarejo Muñoz Luz Marina

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Ante la creciente demanda de alimentos, fibras y protección ambiental de una sociedad urbanizada en constante expansión, el empobrecimiento de los recursos naturales no renovables y las alteraciones que ha sufrido la calidad ambiental global, se plantean los conceptos de salud y calidad del suelo como parte del conjunto de herramientas para definir y asignar sostenibilidad, es decir, el mantenimiento de sus funciones dentro de los límites de un ecosistema. Los indicadores de salud  y calidad son un conjunto de parámetros (propiedades físicas, químicas y biológicas que buscan establecer estándares de calidad para el recurso suelo; dentro de este conjunto se consideran las actividades enzimáticas por estar muy relacionadas con las demás propiedades y por ser sensibles a los cambios generados por el uso del suelo. La presente revisión pretende ilustrar que el seguimiento de la catálisis biológica del suelo a través de los usos o las alteraciones que pueda experimentar un ecosistema, puede proveer información para el entendimiento de por qué los procesos responsables de mantener funciones como la producción de biomasa, la remediación de contaminantes y el ciclaje de nutrientes, sufren cambios, y si estos son positivos, negativos o iterativos.In the presence of a crescent demand of food, fibres, environmental protection for an urban society in constant expansion, impoverishment of the natural non renewable resources and the serious alterations that the environmental global quality has suffered, concepts of health and quality of soils are exposed as part of the whole of tools used to
    define sustainability, in other words, the maintenance of their functions inside the limits of an ecosystem. The health and quality indicators are a set of measurements (physical, chemical and biological properties that pretend to establish quality standards for this resource; the enzymatic activity is placed inside this set because of its close

  1. Assessment of soil quality index for wheat and sugar beet cropping systems on an entisol in Central Anatolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Şeker, Cevdet; Özaytekin, Hasan Hüseyin; Negiş, Hamza; Gümüş, İlknur; Dedeoğlu, Mert; Atmaca, Emel; Karaca, Ümmühan

    2017-04-01

    The sustainable use of agricultural lands is significantly affected by the implemented management and land processing methods. In sugar beet and wheat cropping, because the agronomic characteristics of plants are different, the tillage methods applied also exhibit significant variability. Soil quality concept is used, as a holistic approach to determining the effects of these applications on the sustainable use of soil. Agricultural soil quality evaluation is essential for economic success and environmental stability in rapidly developing regions. At present, a variety of methods are used to evaluate soil quality using different indicators. This study was conducted in one of the most important irrigated agriculture areas of Çumra plain in Central Anatolia, Turkey. In the soil under sugar beet and wheat cultivation, 12 soil quality indicators (aggregate stability (AS), available water capacity (AWC), surface penetration resistance (PR0-20), subsurface penetration resistance (PR20-40), organic matter (OM), active carbon (AC), potentially mineralizable nitrogen (PMN), root health value (RHV), pH, available phosphorus (AP), potassium (K), and macro-micro elements (ME) (Mg, Fe, Mn, and Zn)) were measured and scored according to the Cornell Soil Health Assessment (CSHA) and the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF). The differences among 8 (AS, AWC, PR0-20, PR20-40, AC, PMN, AP, and ME) of these 12 soil quality characteristics measured in two different plant cultivation were found statistically significant. The result of the soil quality evaluation with scoring function in the examined area revealed a soil quality score of 61.46 in the wheat area and of 51.20 in the sugar beet area, which can be classified as medium and low, respectively. Low soil quality scores especially depend on physical and biological soil properties. Therefore, improvement of soil physical and biological properties with sustainable management is necessary to enhance the soil quality in the

  2. SOIL QUALITY IN RELATION TO FOREST CONVERSION TO PERENNIAL OR ANNUAL CROPPING IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elcio Liborio Balota

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Many forested areas have been converted to intensive agricultural use to satisfy food, fiber, and forage production for a growing world population. There is great interest in evaluating forest conversion to cultivated land because this conversion adversely affects several soil properties. We examined soil microbial, physical, and chemical properties in an Oxisol (Latossolo Vermelho distrófico of southern Brazil 24 years after forest conversion to a perennial crop with coffee or annual grain crops (maize and soybeans in conventional tillage or no-tillage. One goal was to determine which soil quality parameters seemed most sensitive to change. A second goal was to test the hypothesis that no-tillage optimized preservation of soil quality indicators in annual cropping systems on converted land. Land use significantly affected microbial biomass and its activity, C and N mineralization, and aggregate stability by depth. Cultivated sites had lower microbial biomass and mineralizable C and N than a forest used as control. The forest and no-tillage sites had higher microbial biomass and mineralizable C and N than the conventional tillage site, and the metabolic quotient was 65 and 43 % lower, respectively. Multivariate analysis of soil microbial properties showed a clear separation among treatments, displaying a gradient from conventional tillage to forest. Although the soil at the coffee site was less disturbed and had a high organic C content, the microbial activity was low, probably due to greater soil acidity and Al toxicity. Under annual cropping, microbial activity in no-tillage was double that of the conventional tillage management. The greater microbial activity in forest and no-tillage sites may be attributed, at least partially, to lower soil disturbance. Reducing soil disturbance is important for soil C sequestration and microbial activity, although control of soil pH and Al toxicity are also essential to maintain the soil microbial activity

  3. Chemical and Microbiological Parameters of Paddy Soil Quality as Affected by Different Nutrient and Water Regimes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Chang-Ming; YANG Lin-Zhang; YAN Ting-Mei

    2005-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted from 1999 to 2002 to compare and evaluate the effects of nutrient and water regimes on paddy soil quality by investigating soil chemical and microbiological parameters. Four nutrient regimes, a control, chemical fertilizers only (CF), chemical fertilizers with swine manure (SM), and chemical fertilizers with wheat straw (WS), and two soil moisture regimes, continuous waterlogging (CWL) and alternate wetting and drying (AWD),were investigated. With SM and WS total organic carbon and total nitrogen in the paddy soil were significantly higher (P <0.05) than those with CF. A similar effect for organic amendments was observed in the soil light fraction organic C (LFOC), water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), and water-soluble organic C (WSOC). CWL, in particular when swine manure was incorporated into the paddy soil, markedly decreased soil redox potential (Eh) and increased total active reducing substances (ARS). Meanwhile, as compared to CF, SM and WS significantly (P < 0.05) increased soil microbial biomass C (MBC) and mineralizable carbon, with differences in AWD being higher than CWL. In addition, SM and WS treatments significantly (P < 0.05) improved rice above-ground biomass and grain yield, with AWD being greater than CWL. Thus, for ecologically sustainable agricultural management of paddy soils, long-term waterlogging should be avoided when organic manure was incorporated into paddy soil.

  4. Soil erosion in humid regions: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel J. Holz; Karl W.J. Williard; Pamela J. Edwards; Jon E. Schoonover

    2015-01-01

    Soil erosion has significant implications for land productivity and surface water quality, as sediment is the leading water pollutant worldwide. Here, erosion processes are defined. The dominant factors influencing soil erosion in humid areas are reviewed, with an emphasis on the roles of precipitation, soil moisture, soil porosity, slope steepness and length,...

  5. Water quality and surfactant effects on the water repellency of a sandy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Differences in irrigation water quality may affect the water repellency of soils treated or untreated with surfactants. Using simulated irrigations, we evaluated water quality and surfactant application rate effects upon the water repellency of a Quincy sand (Xeric Torripsamment). We used a split ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Birkhofer, K.; Bezemer, T.M.; Bloem, J.; Bonkowski, M.; Christensen, S.; Dubois, D.; Ekelund, F.; Fliessbach, A.; Gunst, L.; Hedlund, K.; Mäder, P.; Mikola, J.; Robin, C.; Setälä, H.; Tatin-Froux, F.; Putten, van der W.H.; Scheu, S.

    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 param

  7. Genetic and functional diversity of soil microbial communities associated to grapevine plants and wine quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocali, Stefano; Fabiano, Arturo; Kuramae, Eiko; de Hollander, Matias; Kowalchuck, George; Vignozzi, Nadia; Valboa, Giuseppe; Pastorelli, Roberta; Fornasier, Flavio; Priori, Simone; Costantini, Edoardo

    2014-05-01

    Introduction Despite the economic importance of vineyards in Italy, the wine sector is facing severe challenges from increased global competition and climate changes. The quality of the grape at harvest has a strong direct impact on final wine quality and the strong relationship between wine composition, aroma, taste and soil properties has been outlined in the "Terroir concept". However, information on the impact of soil microbial communities on soil functions, grapevine plants and wine quality is still lacking. Objectives The aim of this study was to explore the composition and the potential functions of soil microbial communities associated to grapevine plants grown in two soils which showed similar physical, chemical and hydrological properties but which provided a different wine quality. Materials and Methods Soils from two sites of the Chianti region in Tuscany (BRO11 and BRO12) cultivated with the grapevine cultivar Sangiovese with contrasting wine quality were examined by means of a structural and functional approach: specifically, GeoChip microarrays, pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA genes, enzyme assays and measurements of some soil biological properties, such as microbial biomass C and soil respiration, were carried out. Results Enzyme assays and soil biological analyses revealed a higher biological activity in BRO11 as compared to BRO12. The structure of soil microbial communities, assessed using 16S and 18S rRNA gene-targeted pyrosequencing, revealed a higher presence of Actinobacteria in the BRO12 than in the BRO11 soil where, in contrast, the alfa-Proteobacteria are more abundant. GeoChip microarray analyses revealed a consistent difference in genes involved in S cycling, with a significant overrepresentation of sulfur-oxidation genes in BRO11 and increased levels of sulfate reduction genes BRO12. These results are consistent with the high content of sulfates and the abundance of Firmicutes such as Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans in the BRO

  8. Assessing Impacts of 20 yr Old Miscanthus on Soil Organic Carbon Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yaxian; Schäfer, Gerhard; Kuhn, Nikolaus

    2015-04-01

    The use of biomass as a renewable energy source has become increasingly popular in Upper Rhine Region to meet the demand for renewable energy. Miscanthus is one of the most favorite biofuel crops, due to its long life and large yields, as well as low energy and fertilizer inputs. However, current research on Miscanthus is mostly focused on the techniques and economics to produce biofuel or the impacts of side products such as ash and sulfur emissions to human health. Research on the potential impacts of Miscanthus onto soil quality, especially carbon quality after long-term adoption, is very limited. Some positive benefits, such as sequestrating organic carbon, have been repeatedly reported in previous research. Yet the quality of newly sequestrated organic carbon and its potential impacts onto global carbon cycling remain unclear. To fully account for the risks and benefits of Miscanthus, it is required to investigate the quality as well as the potential CO2 emissions of soil organic carbon on Miscanthus fields. As a part of the Interreg Project to assess the environmental impacts of biomass production in the Upper Rhine Region, this study aims to evaluate the carbon quality and the potential CO2 emissions after long-term Miscanthus adoption. Soils were sampled at 0-10, 10-40, 40-70, and 70-100 cm depths on three Miscanthus fields with up to 20 years of cultivation in Ammerzwiller France, Münchenstein Switzerland, and Farnsburg Switzerland. Soil texture, pH, organic carbon and nitrogen content were measured for each sampled layer. Topsoils of 0-10 cm and subsoils of 10-40 cm were also incubated for 40 days to determine the mineralization potential of the soil organic matter. Our results show that: 1) only in top soils of 0-10 cm, the 20 year old Miscanthus field has significantly higher soil organic carbon concentrations, than the control site. No significant differences were observed in deeper soil layers. Similar tendencies were also observed for organic

  9. 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.

  10. Soil quality and carbon sequestration in a reclaimed coal mine spoil of Jharia coalfield, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sangeeta; Masto, Reginald; Ram, Lal

    2016-04-01

    Revegetation of coal mine spoil helps in carbon storage and the success of remediation depend on the selection of appropriate tree species. A study was conducted at the coalmine overburden dumps of Jharia Coalfield, Dhanbad, India to evaluate the impact of revegetation on the overall soil quality and carbon sequestration. Morphological parameters (tree height, diameter at breast height, tree biomass, wood specific gravity) of the dominant tree species (Acacia auriculiformis, Cassia siamea, Dalbergia sissoo and Leucaena leucocephala) growing on the mine spoil was recorded. Mine spoil samples were collected under the canopy cover of different tree species and analyzed for soil physical, chemical, and biological parameters. In general reclaimed sites had better soil quality than the reference site. For instance, D. sissoo and C. siamea improved soil pH (+28.5%, +27.9%), EC (+15.65%, +19%), cation exchange capacity (+58.7%, +52.3%), organic carbon (+67.5%, +79.5%), N (+97.2%, +75.7%), P (+98.2%, +76.9%), K (+31.8%, +37.4%), microbial biomass carbon (+143%, +164%) and dehydrogenase activity (+228%, +262%) as compared to the unreclaimed reference coal mine site. The concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) decreased significantly in the reclaimed site than the reference spoil, C. siamea was found to be more promising for PAH degradation. The overall impact of tree species on the quality of reclaimed mine spoil cannot be assessed by individual soil parameters, as most of the parameters are interlinked and difficult to interpret. However, combination of soil properties into an integrated soil quality index provides a more meaningful assessment of reclamation potential of tree species. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify key mine soil quality indicators to develop a soil quality index (SQI). Coarse fraction, pH, EC, soil organic carbon, P, Ca, S, and dehydrogenase activity were the most critical properties controlling growth of tree

  11. Enhanced yields and soil quality in a wheat-maize rotation using buried straw mulch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Zhibin; Liu, Hui; Wan, Shuixia; Hua, Keke; Jiang, Chaoqiang; Wang, Daozhong; He, Chuanlong; Guo, Xisheng

    2017-08-01

    Straw return may improve soil quality and crop yields. In a 2-year field study, a straw return method (ditch-buried straw return, DB-SR) was used to investigate the soil quality and crop productivity effects on a wheat-corn rotation system. This study consisted of three treatments, each with three replicates: (1) mineral fertilisation alone (CK0); (2) mineral fertilisation + 7500 kg ha(-1) wheat straw incorporated at depth of 0-15 cm (NPKWS); and (3) mineral fertilisation + 7500 kg ha(-1) wheat straw ditch buried at 15-30 cm (NPKDW). NPKWS and NPKDW enhanced crop yield and improved soil biotical properties compared to mineral fertilisation alone. NPKDW contributed to greater crop yields and soil nutrient availability at 15-30 cm depths, compared to NPKWS treatment. NPKDW enhanced soil microbial activity and bacteria species richness and diversity in the 0-15 cm layer. NPKWS increased soil microbial biomass, bacteria species richness and diversity at 15-30 cm. The comparison of the CK0 and NPKWS treatments indicates that a straw ditch buried by digging to the depth of 15-30 cm can improve crop yields and soil quality in a wheat-maize rotation system. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Quality assurance and quality control data validation procedures used for the Love Canal and Dallas lead soil monitoring programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, K W; Black, S C

    1983-06-01

    Public awareness of soils contamination has increased in recent years due in part to the notoriety associated with the indiscriminate release, packaging, transporting and disposal of hazardous materials. In 1980, and again in 1982, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was responsible for designing, implementing and conducting environmental monitoring programs at Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York, and in Dallas, Texas, that dealt with suspected contaminated soils. Both of these monitoring programs were conducted over a relatively short time with the collection and analysis of over 4000 soil samples. The methods employed by the Environmental Protection Agency for providing soil data that was scientifically valid and of defensible quality for each of these monitoring programs are presented. Also, methods for identifying data bias, its precision and its uncertainty are identified.

  13. Capability and quality assessment of rice growing hydric soils in majuli river island, assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhaskara Phaneendra Bhaskar

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The  wetland soils in  majuli island is a unique in maintaining rice ecology and geoenvironment in Brahmaputra valley of Assam  due to increasing  rate of  bankline erosion in southern bank  and expansion of channel bars on northern banks. These hydric soils in the subgroups of aquents and aquepts are  saturated throughout year as assessed from depleted matrix with hue 10YR, 2.5Y and 5Y, chroma less than 2, stratified textures, neutral to slightly alkaline reaction, low cation exchange capacity  and poor exchangeable base status. The  assessment of land capability and soil quality  for rice production in   hydric soils  was conducted on twenty four soil mapping units derived from reconnaissance soil survey done on 1:50000 scale.  As per  land capability  assessment, these soils are  good(classII to fairly good(IV for arable use with limitations of low fertility status, moderate to severe wetness and moderate to rapid permeability. The soil quality rating with  multiple variable indicator transform(MVIT technique  of  twenty hydric soil units in active and old floodplains was  medium (35 to 65per cent with six indicators(pH, organic carbon, base saturation, effective rooting depth , structure and texture meeting the thresh hold value  above 65 per cent.  Thirty five  per cent of total area is suitable for rice cultivation as against the current cropped area of 7.2 per cent with potassium and zinc deficiency. The determination of soil quality in relation to land capability was found useful to design best management practices for wetlands in the region that ensure sustainable land use.

  14. Digital soil mapping for the support of delineation of Areas Facing Natural Constraints defined by common European biophysical criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pásztor, László; Bakacsi, Zsófia; Laborczi, Annamária; Takács, Katalin; Szatmári, Gábor; Tóth, Tibor; Szabó, József

    2016-04-01

    One of the main objectives of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy is to encourage maintaining agricultural production in Areas Facing Natural Constraints (ANC) in order to sustain agricultural production and use natural resources, in such a way to secure both stable production and income to farmers and to protect the environment. ANC assignment has both ecological and severe economical aspects. Recently the delimitation of ANCs is suggested to be carried out by using common biophysical diagnostic criteria on low soil productivity and poor climate conditions all over Europe. The criterion system was elaborated and has been repeatedly upgraded by JRC. The operational implementation is under member state competence. This process requires application of available soil databases and proper thematic and spatial inference methods. In our paper we present the inferences applied for the latest identification and delineation of areas with low soil productivity in Hungary according to JRC biophysical criteria related to soil: limited soil drainage, texture and stoniness (coarse texture, heavy clay, vertic properties), shallow rooting depth, chemical properties (salinity, sodicity, low pH). The compilation of target specific maps were based on the available legacy and recently collected data. In the present work three different data sources were used. The most relevant available data were queried from the datasets for each mapped criterion for either direct application or for the compilation a suitable, synthetic (non-measured) parameter. In some cases the values of the target variable originated from only one, in other cases from more databases. The reference dataset used in the mapping process was set up after substantial statistical analysis and filtering. It consisted of the values of the target variable attributed to the finally selected georeferenced locations. For spatial inference regression kriging was applied. Accuracy assessment was carried out by Leave One Out

  15. Modeled Impacts of Cover Crops and Vegetative Barriers on Corn Stover Availability and Soil Quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ian J. Bonner; David J. Muth Jr.; Joshua B. Koch; Douglas L. Karlen

    2014-06-01

    Environmentally benign, economically viable, and socially acceptable agronomic strategies are needed to launch a sustainable lignocellulosic biofuel industry. Our objective was to demonstrate a landscape planning process that can ensure adequate supplies of corn (Zea mays L.) stover feedstock while protecting and improving soil quality. The Landscape Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) was used to develop land use strategies that were then scaled up for five U.S. Corn Belt states (Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota) to illustrate the impact that could be achieved. Our results show an annual sustainable stover supply of 194 million Mg without exceeding soil erosion T values or depleting soil organic carbon [i.e., soil conditioning index (SCI)?>?0] when no-till, winter cover crop, and vegetative barriers were incorporated into the landscape. A second, more rigorous conservation target was set to enhance soil quality while sustainably harvesting stover. By requiring erosion to be <1/2 T and the SCI-organic matter (OM) subfactor to be >?0, the annual sustainable quantity of harvestable stover dropped to148 million Mg. Examining removal rates by state and soil resource showed that soil capability class and slope generally determined the effectiveness of the three conservation practices and the resulting sustainable harvest rate. This emphasizes that sustainable biomass harvest must be based on subfield management decisions to ensure soil resources are conserved or enhanced, while providing sufficient biomass feedstock to support the economic growth of bioenergy enterprises.

  16. Assessment of groundwater and soil quality for agricultural purposes in Kopruoren basin, Kutahya, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arslan, Sebnem

    2017-07-01

    This research evaluated the irrigation water and agricultural soil quality in the Kopruoren Basin by using hierarchical cluster analysis. Physico-chemical properties and major ion chemistry of 19 groundwater samples were used to determine the irrigation water quality indices. The results revealed out that the groundwaters are in general suitable for irrigation and have low sodium hazard, although they are very hard in nature due to the dominant presence of Ca+2, Mg+2 and HCO3- ions. Water samples contain arsenic in concentrations below the recommended guidelines for irrigation (59.7 ± 14.7 μg/l), however, arsenic concentrations in 89% of the 9 soil samples exceed the maximum allowable concentrations set for agricultural soils (81 ± 24.3 mg/kg). Nickel element, albeit not present in high concentrations in water samples, is enriched in all of the agricultural soil samples (390 ± 118.2 mg/kg). Hierarchical cluster analysis studies conducted to identify the sources of chemical constituents in water and soil samples elicited that the chemistry of the soils in the study area are highly impacted by the soil parent material and both geogenic and anthropogenic pollution sources are responsible for the metal contents of the soil samples. On the other hand, water chemistry in the area is affected by water-rock interactions, anthropogenic and agricultural pollution.

  17. Relationship of soil physical quality parameters and maize yield in a Brazilian Oxisol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anderson C Bergamin

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In Brazilian agriculture, maize (Tea mays L. is prominent because of its magnitude of grain production. However, soil compaction changes negatively the soil physical attributes, limiting the crop growth. This study aimed to evaluate physical attributes of a clayey Oxisol (Rhodic Hapludox under no-tillage, and the relationships between these attributes with maize yield in the Midwest region of Brazil. Besides this, indicators of soil physical quality when subjected to levels of compaction were determined. A randomized complete block design was applied with five replicates. Treatments were induced levels of compaction: a reference condition that reflects 8 yr of no-tillage (NT; no-tillage with additional compaction by tractor traffic in one (NT-1, two (NT-2, four (NT-4, and six passes (NT-6. There was significant correlation (P < 0.01 between all physical attributes of the studied soil. Maize yield was positively correlated to macroporosity (r = 0.41*, and negatively to penetration resistance (r = -0.42*, geometric mean diameter (r = -0.51*, and mean weighted diameter (r = -0.53*. The index of emergence speed, stem diameter, plant height, grain mass, and grain yield decreased as soil compaction increased. The physical attributes evaluated, especially the resistance to penetration and soil macroporosity, reveal the level of soil compaction and can be used as soil physical quality indicators.

  18. Alternative soil quality indices for evaluating the effect of intensive cropping, fertilisation and manuring for 31 years in the semi-arid soils of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masto, Reginald Ebhin; Chhonkar, Pramod K; Singh, Dhyan; Patra, Ashok K

    2008-01-01

    Soil quality assessment provides a tool for evaluating the sustainability of alternative soil management practices. Our objective was to develop the most sensitive soil quality index for evaluating fertilizer, farm yard manure (FYM), and crop management practices on a semiarid Inceptisol in India. Soil indicators and crop yield data from a long-term (31 years) fertilizer, manure, and crop rotation (maize, wheat, cowpea, pearl millet) study at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) near New Delhi were used. Plots receiving optimum NPK, super optimum NPK and optimum NPK + FYM had better values for all the parameters analyzed. Biological, chemical, and physical soil quality indicator data were transformed into scores (0 to 1) using both linear and non-linear scoring functions, and combined into soil quality indices using unscreened transformations, regression equation, or principal component analysis (PCA). Long-term application of optimum inorganic fertilizers (NPK) resulted in higher soil quality ratings for all methods, although the highest values were obtained for treatment, which included FYM. Correlations between wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield and the various soil quality indices showed the best relationship (highest r) between yield and a PCA-derived SQI. Differences in SQI values suggest that the control (no NPK, no manure) and N only treatments were degrading, while soils receiving animal manure (FYM) or super optimum NPK fertilizer had the best soil quality, respectively. Lower ratings associated with the N only and NP treatments suggest that one of the most common soil management practices in India may not be sustainable. A framework for soil quality assessment is proposed.

  19. Crafting biochars to reduce N2O and CO2 emissions while also improving soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Jeff; Ippolito, Jim; Spokas, Kurt; Sigua, Gilbert; Kammann, Claudia; Wrage-Monnig, Nicole; Borchard, Nils; Schirrmann, Michael; Estavillo, Jose Maria; Fuertes-Mendizabal, Teresa; Menendez, Sergio; Cayuela, Maria Luz

    2017-04-01

    Biochar used as an amendment has been linked to nitrous oxide (N2O) emission reductions, a decrease in nitrogen (N) leaching, and soil quality improvements (e.g., soil carbon sequestration, pH, etc.). While numerous articles will support these three facts, conversely, there are reports of no to marginal influences. One reason for the mixed biochar performance could be related to applying biochar with incorrect chemical and physical characteristics. As a means to increase biochar efficiency, we introduced the concept of crafting biochars with properties attuned to specific soil deficiencies. Implementing this concept requires a literature review to identify salient biochar characteristics that reduces N2O emissions, impacts N availability, while also improving soil quality. Thus, scientists from the USDA-ARS and through a coalition of European scientists under the FACCE-JPI umbrella have conceived the DesignChar4food (d4f) project. In this project, scientists are working collaboratively to further this concept to match the appropriate biochar for selective soil quality improvement, retain N for crops, and promote greenhouse gas reductions. This presentation will highlight results from the d4f team compromising a meta-analysis of articles on biochar:N2O dynamics, N availability, and how designer biochars can target specific soil quality improvements.

  20. Effects of traffic control on the soil physical quality and the cultivation of sugarcane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Soares de Souza

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The cultivation of sugarcane with intensive use of machinery, especially for harvest, induces soil compaction, affecting the crop development. The control of agricultural traffic is an alternative of management in the sector, with a view to preserve the soil physical quality, resulting in increased sugarcane root growth, productivity and technological quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate the physical quality of an Oxisol with and without control traffic and the resulting effects on sugarcane root development, productivity and technological quality. The following managements were tested: no traffic control (NTC, traffic control consisting of an adjustment of the track width of the tractor and sugarcane trailer (TC1 and traffic control consisting of an adjustment of the track width of the tractor and trailer and use of an autopilot (TC2. Soil samples were collected (layers 0.00-0.10; 0.10-0.20 and 0.20-0.30 m in the plant rows, inter-row center and seedbed region, 0.30 m away from the plant row. The productivity was measured with a specific weighing scale. The technological variables of sugarcane were measured in each plot. Soil cores were collected to analyze the root system. In TC2, the soil bulk density and compaction degree were lowest and total porosity and macroporosity highest in the plant row. Soil penetration resistance in the plant row, was less than 2 MPa in TC1 and TC2. Soil aggregation and total organic carbon did not differ between the management systems. The root surface and volume were increased in TC1 and TC2, with higher productivity and sugar yield than under NTC. The sugarcane variables did not differ between the managements. The soil physical quality in the plant row was preserved under management TC1 and TC2, with an improved root development and increases of 18.72 and 20.29 % in productivity and sugar yield, respectively.

  1. Defining Quality of Life Levels to Enhance Clinical Interpretation in Multiple Sclerosis: Application of a Novel Clustering Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Pierre; Baumstarck, Karine; Boyer, Laurent; Fernandez, Oscar; Flachenecker, Peter; Pelletier, Jean; Loundou, Anderson; Ghattas, Badih; Auquier, Pascal

    2017-01-01

    To enhance the use of quality of life (QoL) measures in clinical practice, it is pertinent to help clinicians interpret QoL scores. The aim of this study was to define clusters of QoL levels from a specific questionnaire (MusiQoL) for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients using a new method of interpretable clustering based on unsupervised binary trees and to test the validity regarding clinical and functional outcomes. In this international, multicenter, cross-sectional study, patients with MS were classified using a hierarchical top-down method of Clustering using Unsupervised Binary Trees. The clustering tree was built using the 9 dimension scores of the MusiQoL in 2 stages, growing and tree reduction (pruning and joining). A 3-group structure was considered, as follows: "high," "moderate," and "low" QoL levels. Clinical and QoL data were compared between the 3 clusters. A total of 1361 patients were analyzed: 87 were classified with "low," 1173 with "moderate," and 101 with "high" QoL levels. The clustering showed satisfactory properties, including repeatability (using bootstrap) and discriminancy (using factor analysis). The 3 clusters consistently differentiated patients based on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, and the QoL scores were assessed using a generic questionnaire, ensuring the clinical validity of the clustering. The study suggests that Clustering using Unsupervised Binary Trees is an original, innovative, and relevant classification method to define clusters of QoL levels in MS patients.

  2. Using Gypsum to Affect Soil Erosion Processes and Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    A driving force in soil erosion is the low electrolyte content of rain water. Various electrolyte sources have proven useful in serving as electrolyte sources such as phosphogypsum, lime and various salts, however, each has other potential problems. We performed a number of studies on low cost gypsu...

  3. Tools used to estimate soil quality in coal combustion waste areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FLAVIO M.R. DA SILVA JÚNIOR

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil is a highly complex environmental compartment that has suffered with the contamination of substances of various origins. Among the main activities that affect soil quality are power generation activities that use fossil fuels, such as mineral coal. Environmental protection agencies encourage scientific investigations using tools described in legal devices or standard protocols to evaluate the potential of coal as a pollutant, especially in places that have large reserves of this mineral like the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The aim of this study was to characterize the leached extracts of different soils from an area influenced by coal waste, to classify them according to the guideline values for groundwater described in CONAMA's n. 420/2009, and to estimate the effects of the leachates ingestion in DNA mutation rates. The volume of soil needed to induce a 100% increase in the spontaneous mutation rate varied between 129.3 and 1544.1 mg of soil among the soils studied. Metals such as Mn, Pb, Cd and Ni surpassed the investigation limits for groundwater at least in one soil sample. The results showed that there can be transfer of soil contaminants to groundwater and soil intake in the area could contribute to the increased mutagenic risk.

  4. Soil quality in the Lomellina area using in vitro models and ecotoxicological assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baderna, Diego, E-mail: diego.baderna@marionegri.it [Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, IRCCS—Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, 20156 Milan (Italy); Colombo, Andrea [Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, IRCCS—Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, 20156 Milan (Italy); Romeo, Margherita [Department of Molecular Biochemistry and Pharmacology, IRCCS—Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, 20156 Milan (Italy); Cambria, Felice; Teoldi, Federico; Lodi, Marco [Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, IRCCS—Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, 20156 Milan (Italy); Diomede, Luisa [Department of Molecular Biochemistry and Pharmacology, IRCCS—Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, 20156 Milan (Italy); Benfenati, Emilio [Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, IRCCS—Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, 20156 Milan (Italy)

    2014-08-15

    Soil quality is traditionally evaluated by chemical characterization to determine levels of pollutants. Biological tools are now employed for soil monitoring since they can take account of the global biological effects induced by all xenobiotics. A combined monitoring of soils based on chemical analyses, human-related in vitro models and ecotoxicological assay was applied in the Lomellina, a semirural area of northern Italy. Chemical characterization indicated overall good quality of the soils, with low levels of toxic and carcinogenic pollutants such as heavy metals, PAHs, PCDD/Fs and PCBs. HepG2 cells were used as a model for the human liver and BALB/c 3T3 cells to evaluate carcinogenic potential. Cells were treated with soil extractable organic matter (EOM) and the MTS assay, DNA release and morphological transformation were selected as endpoints for toxicity and carcinogenicity. Soil EOMs induced dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth at low doses and cytotoxicity only at doses of 500 and 1000 mg soil equivalents/ml. Potential issues for human health can be hypothesized after ingestion of soil samples from some sites. No statistically significant inductions of foci were recorded after exposure to EOMs, indicating that the levels of the soil-extracted organic pollutants were too low to induce carcinogenesis in our experimental conditions. An acute phytotoxicity test and studies on Caenorhabditis elegans were used as ecotoxicological assays for plants and small invertebrates. No significant alerts for ecotoxicity were found. In this proposed case study, HepG2 cells detected differences in the toxicity of soil EOMs, indicating that this cell line could be appropriate to assess the potential harm caused by the ingestion of contaminated soil. Additional information on the carcinogenic potential of mixtures was provided by the cell transformation assay, strengthening the combined approach. - Highlights: • A combined approach for evaluation of soil quality is

  5. Improving soil enzyme activities and related quality properties of reclaimed soil by applying weathered coal in opencast-mining areas of the Chinese loess plateau

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Hua [College of Environment and Resources, Shanxi University, Taiyuan (China); CAS/Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Coastal Environmental Process, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Yantai (China); Shao, Hongbo [CAS/Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Coastal Environmental Process, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Yantai (China); Institute for Life Sciences, Qingdao University of Science and Technology (QUST), Qingdao (China); Li, Weixiang; Bi, Rutian [Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu (China); Bai, Zhongke [Department of Land Science Technology, University of Geosciences, Beijing (China)

    2012-03-15

    There are many problems for the reclaimed soil in opencast-mining areas of the Loess Plateau of China such as poor soil structure and extreme poverty in soil nutrients and so on. For the sake of finding a better way to improve soil quality, the current study was to apply the weathered coal for repairing soil media and investigate the physicochemical properties of the reclaimed soil and the changes in enzyme activities after planting Robinia pseucdoacacia. The results showed that the application of the weathered coal significantly improved the quality of soil aggregates, increased the content of water stable aggregates, and the organic matter, humus, and the cation exchange capacity of topsoil were significantly improved, but it did not have a significant effect on soil pH. Planting R. pseucdoacacia significantly enhanced the activities of soil catalase, urease, and invertase, but the application of the weathered coal inhibited the activity of catalase. Although the application of appropriate weathered coal was able to significantly increase urease activity, the activities of catalase, urease, or invertase had a close link with the soil profile levels and time. This study suggests that applying weathered coals could improve the physicochemical properties and soil enzyme activities of the reclaimed soil in opencast-mining areas of the Loess Plateau of China and the optimum applied amount of the weathered coal for reclaimed soil remediation is about 27 000 kg hm{sup -2}. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  6. Pinhole test for identifying susceptibility of soils to piping erosion: effect water quality and hydraulic head

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nadal Romero, E.; Verachtert, E.; Poesen, J.

    2009-07-01

    Piping has been observed in both natural and soils, as well as under different types of land uses and vegetation covers. Despite its importance, no standard widely-applied methodology exists to assess susceptibility of soils to piping. This study aims at evaluating the pinhole test for assessing the susceptibility of soils to piping under different conditions. More precisely, the effects of hydraulic head and water quality are being assessed. Topsoil samples (remoulded specimens) with a small range of water contents were taken in Central Belgium (Heverlee) and the susceptibility of these soil samples are investigated under standardized laboratory conditions with a pinhole test device. Three hydraulic heads (50,180 and 380 mm) and two water qualities (tap and distilled water) were used, reflecting dominant field conditions. (Author) 6 refs.

  7. Litter quality mediated nitrogen effect on plant litter decomposition regardless of soil fauna presence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weidong; Chao, Lin; Yang, Qingpeng; Wang, Qingkui; Fang, Yunting; Wang, Silong

    2016-10-01

    Nitrogen addition has been shown to affect plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems. The way that nitrogen deposition impacts the relationship between plant litter decomposition and altered soil nitrogen availability is unclear, however. This study examined 18 co-occurring litter types in a subtropical forest in China in terms of their decomposition (1 yr of exposure in the field) with nitrogen addition treatment (0, 0.4, 1.6, and 4.0 mol·N·m(-2) ·yr(-1) ) and soil fauna exclusion (litter bags with 0.1 and 2 cm mesh size). Results showed that the plant litter decomposition rate is significantly reduced because of nitrogen addition; the strength of the nitrogen addition effect is closely related to the nitrogen addition levels. Plant litters with diverse quality responded to nitrogen addition differently. When soil fauna was present, the nitrogen addition effect on medium-quality or high-quality plant litter decomposition rate was -26% ± 5% and -29% ± 4%, respectively; these values are significantly higher than that of low-quality plant litter decomposition. The pattern is similar when soil fauna is absent. In general, the plant litter decomposition rate is decreased by soil fauna exclusion; an average inhibition of -17% ± 1.5% was exhibited across nitrogen addition treatment and litter quality groups. However, this effect is weakly related to nitrogen addition treatment and plant litter quality. We conclude that the variations in plant litter quality, nitrogen deposition, and soil fauna are important factors of decomposition and nutrient cycling in a subtropical forest ecosystem.

  8. Physician attitudes, self-estimated performance and actual compliance with locally peer-defined quality evaluation criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saturno, P J; Palmer, R H; Gascón, J J

    1999-12-01

    Physicians' agreement with quality evaluation criteria, and estimates of their own and their colleagues' compliance with these criteria were compared with actual compliance. Physicians practicing in 10 health centers in Spain defined 13 quality evaluation criteria for two patient conditions (upper respiratory infections and high serum cholesterol). Compliance with criteria was measured by an external team, using random samples of medical records stratified by condition in each health center (n= 1,000). Concurrently, physicians were surveyed regarding agreement with the criteria, and were asked to estimate their own and their health center's rate of compliance with these criteria. Agreement ratings varied from 5.9 to 9.1 on a 10-point scale. Actual compliance rates ranged from 1.8 to 91.7% of records. Agreement correlated significantly with self-reported compliance but not with actual compliance. Estimates of one's own and one's health center compliance were positive and significantly correlated for all criteria, but were significantly higher for oneself than for one's health center for six of 13 criteria. Wide variation in physicians' agreement on quality criteria and in actual performance reveal a lack of clear guidelines. Agreement on criteria did not always translate into compliance with criteria. Physicians tended to rate their own performance as better than the average of their peers, suggesting that aggregate data may not influence physicians to change. Self-estimate of one's own or one's colleagues performance is not a good proxy for actual performance so that peer ratings are of dubious value for performance appraisal.

  9. Physical Quality Indicators and Mechanical Behavior of Agricultural Soils of Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imhoff, Silvia; da Silva, Alvaro Pires; Ghiberto, Pablo J; Tormena, Cássio A; Pilatti, Miguel A; Libardi, Paulo L

    2016-01-01

    Mollisols of Santa Fe have different tilth and load support capacity. Despite the importance of these attributes to achieve a sustainable crop production, few information is available. The objectives of this study are i) to assess soil physical indicators related to plant growth and to soil mechanical behavior; and ii) to establish relationships to estimate the impact of soil loading on the soil quality to plant growth. The study was carried out on Argiudolls and Hapludolls of Santa Fe. Soil samples were collected to determine texture, organic matter content, bulk density, water retention curve, soil resistance to penetration, least limiting water range, critical bulk density for plant growth, compression index, pre-consolidation pressure and soil compressibility. Water retention curve and soil resistance to penetration were linearly and significantly related to clay and organic matter (R2 = 0.91 and R2 = 0.84). The pedotransfer functions of water retention curve and soil resistance to penetration allowed the estimation of the least limiting water range and critical bulk density for plant growth. A significant nonlinear relationship was found between critical bulk density for plant growth and clay content (R2 = 0.98). Compression index was significantly related to bulk density, water content, organic matter and clay plus silt content (R2 = 0.77). Pre-consolidation pressure was significantly related to organic matter, clay and water content (R2 = 0.77). Soil compressibility was significantly related to initial soil bulk density, clay and water content. A nonlinear and significantly pedotransfer function (R2 = 0.88) was developed to predict the maximum acceptable pressure to be applied during tillage operations by introducing critical bulk density for plant growth in the compression model. The developed pedotransfer function provides a useful tool to link the mechanical behavior and tilth of the soils studied.

  10. Physical Quality Indicators and Mechanical Behavior of Agricultural Soils of Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires da Silva, Alvaro; Ghiberto, Pablo J.; Tormena, Cássio A.; Pilatti, Miguel A.; Libardi, Paulo L.

    2016-01-01

    Mollisols of Santa Fe have different tilth and load support capacity. Despite the importance of these attributes to achieve a sustainable crop production, few information is available. The objectives of this study are i) to assess soil physical indicators related to plant growth and to soil mechanical behavior; and ii) to establish relationships to estimate the impact of soil loading on the soil quality to plant growth. The study was carried out on Argiudolls and Hapludolls of Santa Fe. Soil samples were collected to determine texture, organic matter content, bulk density, water retention curve, soil resistance to penetration, least limiting water range, critical bulk density for plant growth, compression index, pre-consolidation pressure and soil compressibility. Water retention curve and soil resistance to penetration were linearly and significantly related to clay and organic matter (R2 = 0.91 and R2 = 0.84). The pedotransfer functions of water retention curve and soil resistance to penetration allowed the estimation of the least limiting water range and critical bulk density for plant growth. A significant nonlinear relationship was found between critical bulk density for plant growth and clay content (R2 = 0.98). Compression index was significantly related to bulk density, water content, organic matter and clay plus silt content (R2 = 0.77). Pre-consolidation pressure was significantly related to organic matter, clay and water content (R2 = 0.77). Soil compressibility was significantly related to initial soil bulk density, clay and water content. A nonlinear and significantly pedotransfer function (R2 = 0.88) was developed to predict the maximum acceptable pressure to be applied during tillage operations by introducing critical bulk density for plant growth in the compression model. The developed pedotransfer function provides a useful tool to link the mechanical behavior and tilth of the soils studied. PMID:27099925

  11. Pig slurry and mineral fertilization strategies' effects on soil quality: macroaggregate stability and organic matter fractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yagüe, María R; Bosch-Serra, Àngela D; Antúnez, Montserrat; Boixadera, Jaume

    2012-11-01

    Applying pig slurry to the land as fertilizer at appropriate agronomic rates is important to close nutrient cycles and optimize the value of organic matter. However a long-term discussion has taken place about its effects on soil quality. In the north-east of Spain, eight fertilization strategies were evaluated on the soil quality parameters' aggregate stability, soil organic matter (SOM) physical fractions and soil microbial biomass (SMB). Six strategies used different pig slurries (PS) which provided organic matter from 1.7 to 2.6 t ha(-1)yr(-1), the rest (mineral N fertilization and a control) did not. Pig slurries were applied at sowing and/or at cereal tillering, as sidedressing. Field experiments were maintained for an 8-year period, in a silty loam soil devoted to a rainfed winter cereal. Soil samples were taken once, before the last sidedressing in 2011. Aggregate stability was quantified using the standard water-stable aggregate method but including a modification which meant that pre-wetting was avoided (WSA(MOD)). When using the WSA(MOD) method, we found a tendency for the percentage of water-stable aggregates to increase due to PS application (differences of up to 74% in the increment) and it was more marked the nearer they were measured to the application time (3 months vs. 12 months). The strategies which include PS show a positive effect on the SOM amount, mainly in the 0.05-0.2 mm light fraction, which increased by up to 34% with every 10 t ha(-1) organic C applied, and on SMB (up to 53% increment). There is a positive and significant linear relationship (p fertilization strategies improves soil quality parameters. However, the soil quality benefits need to be balanced with any other potential environmental impact.

  12. Cover crops and crop residue management under no-till systems improve soils and environmental quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Wegner, Brianna; Vahyala, Ibrahim; Osborne, Shannon; Schumacher, Thomas; Lehman, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Crop residue harvest is a common practice in the Midwestern USA for the ethanol production. However, excessive removal of crop residues from the soil surface contributes to the degradation of important soil quality indicators such as soil organic carbon (SOC). Addition of a cover crop may help to mitigate these negative effects. The present study was set up to assess the impacts of corn (Zea mays L.) residue removal and cover crops on various soil quality indicators and surface greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. The study was being conducted on plots located at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (NCARL) in Brookings, South Dakota, USA. Three plots of a corn and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation under a no-till (NT) system are being monitored for soils and surface gas fluxes. Each plot has three residue removal (high residue removal, HRR; medium residue removal, MRR; and low residue removal, LRR) treatments and two cover crops (cover crops and no cover crops) treatments. Both corn and soybean are represented every year. Gas flux measurements were taken weekly using a closed static chamber method. Data show that residue removal significantly impacted soil quality indicators while more time was needed for an affect from cover crop treatments to be noticed. The LRR treatment resulted in higher SOC concentrations, increased aggregate stability, and increased microbial activity. The LRR treatment also increased soil organic matter (SOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) concentrations. Cover crops used in HRR (high corn residue removal) improved SOC (27 g kg-1) by 6% compared to that without cover crops (25.4 g kg-1). Cover crops significantly impacted POM concentration directly after the residue removal treatments were applied in 2012. CO2 fluxes were observed to increase as temperature increased, while N2O fluxes increased as soil moisture increased. CH4 fluxes were responsive to both increases in temperature and moisture. On average, soils under

  13. Image Analysis of Soil Micromorphology: Feature Extraction, Segmentation, and Quality Inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petros Maragos

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available We present an automated system that we have developed for estimation of the bioecological quality of soils using various image analysis methodologies. Its goal is to analyze soilsection images, extract features related to their micromorphology, and relate the visual features to various degrees of soil fertility inferred from biochemical characteristics of the soil. The image methodologies used range from low-level image processing tasks, such as nonlinear enhancement, multiscale analysis, geometric feature detection, and size distributions, to object-oriented analysis, such as segmentation, region texture, and shape analysis.

  14. [Effects of interaction between vermicompost and probiotics on soil nronerty, yield and quality of tomato].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Fei; Zhu, Tong-bin; Teng, Ming-jiao; Chen, Yue; Liu, Man-qiang; Hu, Feng; Li, Hui-xin

    2016-02-01

    In this study, we investigated the effects of two strains of probiotic bacteria (Bacillus megaterium BM and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens BA) combined with chemical fertilizers and vermicompost on the soil property, the yield and quality of tomato. The results showed that under the same nutrient level, vermicompost significantly increased the yield, soluble sugar and protein contents of fruit, the soil pH and available phosphorus when compared with chemical fertilizers. Vermicompost combined with probiotics not only increased the tomato yield, soluble sugar, protein and vitamin C contents, sugar/acid ratio of fruit, and reduced the organic acid and nitrate nitrogen contents of fruit, also increased the soil pH and nitrate nitrogen content, and reduced soil electric conductivity when compared with vermicompost treatment. This improved efficiency was better than that by chemical fertilizers combined with probiotics. For BA and BM applied with chemical fertilizers or vermicompost, both stains had no significant effect on tomato quality. When co-applied with vermicompost, BA and BM showed significant difference in tomato yield. High soil available phosphorus content was determined when BM was combined with chemical fertilizers, while high soil available potassium content was obtained when BA was combined with vermicompost. Our results suggested that probiotics and vermicompost could be used as alternatives of chemical fertilizers in tomato production and soil fertility improvement.

  15. Strategies for soil quality assessment using VNIR gyperspectral spectroscopy in a western Kenya Chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinoshita, Rintaro; Moebius-Clune, Bianca N.; van Es, Harold M.; Hively, W. Dean; Bilgilis, A. Volkan

    2012-01-01

    Visible and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (VNIRS) is a rapid and nondestructive method that can predict multiple soil properties simultaneously, but its application in multidimensional soil quality (SQ) assessment in the tropics still needs to be further assessed. In this study, VNIRS (350–2500 nm) was employed to analyze 227 air-dried soil samples of Ultisols from a soil chronosequence in western Kenya and assess 16 SQ indicators. Partial least squares regression (PLSR) was validated using the full-site cross-validation method by grouping samples from each farm or forest site. Most suitable models successfully predicted SQ indicators (R2 ≥ 0.80; ratio of performance to deviation [RPD] ≥ 2.00) including soil organic matter (OMLOI), active C, Ca, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and clay. Moderately-well predicted indicators (0.50 ≤ R2 pwp), and field capacity (Θfc). Poorly predicted indicators (R2 soil quality index (CSQI) especially when combined with directly measured SQ indicator values. In conclusion, VNIRS has good potential for low cost, rapid assessment of physical and biological SQ indicators but conventional soil chemical tests may need to be retained to provide comprehensive SQ assessments.

  16. Resilience of soil bacterial community to irrigation with water of different qualities under Mediterranean climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenk, Sammy; Hadar, Yitzhak; Minz, Dror

    2014-02-01

    Limited freshwater (FW) availability due to climate change and increasing global populations is driving agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions to recycle vast quantities of water for irrigation. However, irrigation with treated wastewater (TWW), which contains dissolved organic matter, salts and microorganisms might alter soil microbial populations, and thus affect soil fertility. We characterized the effects of irrigation with TWW and FW on soil bacterial community composition for three consecutive years. Orchard samples were collected at the end of each of the rainy (winter) and irrigation (summer) season. Community composition, determined by 16S ribosomal DNA amplicon pyrosequencing, was highly similar in soil samples obtained at the end of three consecutive rainy seasons, regardless of irrigation season water quality. However, whereas composition in soil shifted slightly during irrigation seasons by FW irrigation, it was greatly influenced by TWW irrigation. During the irrigation season, a decrease in the relative abundance of Actinobacteria was observed; along with an increase in the relative abundance Gammaproteobacteria within TWW-irrigated soils. The return to the 'baseline state' during the rainy season demonstrates that the soil community is not resistant to anthropogenic impact imposed by irrigation water quality, yet is resilient in long term.

  17. Soil organic matter quality in intensive maize-based forage systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavattaro, L.; Sacco, D.; Bertora, C.; Monaco, S.; Grignani, C.

    2009-04-01

    An experiment designed and managed as a long-term platform and aimed at studying the dynamics of soil organic matter (SOM) in 38 forage systems based on maize was started in 1992 on a deep calcareous loam soil. The treatments are typical of intensive livestock farms in the Po plain, NW Italy. The experimental design is a plot-scale, set up in 3 randomized blocks. Various techniques were combined to evaluate the N use efficiency and mineralization rates of different fresh organic material added to the soil: cattle slurry, farmyard manure (c. 230 and 350 kg ha-1 of N), maize stalks, roots or grass ley residues. The techniques concerning soil organic matter turnover included C and N annual budgets based on SOM content, in-situ incubations (net mineralization in buried bags), lab incubations (soil respiration, potentially mineralizable N PMN, soil microbial biomass SMB). The environmental impact of C and N cycle on groundwater and air quality was assessed through monitoring the soil and soil solution mineral N content, and the CO2, N2O and CH4 in-situ emissions using the closed chamber technique. While the crop yield and N uptake did not respond to types and levels of manures, the SOM amount and quality were modified by fertilization: treatments which received repeated applications of the different fresh organic materials increased SOM content and soil total N, but also the N supplying capacity, soil respiration and SMB when compared with soil that received no N fertilizer or urea. More in detail, farmyard manure additions in combination with the incorporation of maize stalks was the practice that mostly increased the total SOM content (C and N) and showed the maximum C sequestration potential (46% of C added as manure was retained in the soil), but fertilization with liquid slurry also exerted a potential in augmenting the soil C and N (26% of added C was retained), and the fraction of easily-mineralizable organic N. The residual effect of manures applied repeatedly

  18. The soil life cycle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, van J.P.

    2016-01-01

    Soil is one of the most important natural resource for life on Earth and provides important ecosystem services, such as food production, carbon sequestration, water regulation and contaminant attenuation. Soil quality, defined as the soil’s ability to provide these services, is drastically red

  19. Methods to ensure the quality of excavated soil material from geogenically metalliferous sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebhard, Peter; Sager, Manfred

    2017-04-01

    Soils at geogenically metalliferous sites might exceed heavy metal threshold levels with respect to agricultural use, apart from anthropogenic contamination sources. As a fundamental substrate for green plants and green plant production, soil is not easily renewable, its formation needs long time (e.g. 500 years for 20 mm). In Austria, about 10ha of soil get sealed every day, resulting in complete loss of its biological functions. Excavated soil material has been classified as waste from a legal point of view, which made 33 mill. tons resp. 48% of total waste in Austria in 2010. Recycling of excavated soil material for agricultural use will be an important task to reduce future waste and to enlarge agricultural substrate volumes, but methods to ensure proper qualities are needed to improve regulations. Within this investigation, the transfer of various metals from geogenically metalliferous soils to various crop plants will be investigated, and correlated with various simple soil test methods. Four excavated soil materials from the metalliferous schist zone within the Austrian province of Styria (Kraubath/Mur, Übelbach) and a low-metal reference sample have been taken as substrates to grow raygrass (lolium multiflorum) as a green cover, salad (Lactuca sativa) as a vegetable food item, oats (Avena sativa), maize (Zea mais) and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) as a hyperaccumulating species. Results and recommendations will be presented.

  20. Effects of increased temperature and CO{sub 2} on soil quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ogner, G.

    1996-03-01

    This paper was read at the workshop ``The Norwegian Climate and Ozone Research Programme`` held on 11-12 March 1996. The Norwegian Forest Research Institute has studied the effects of increased CO{sub 2} and temperature on forest soil, soil leachate and plants in an open top chamber experiment. The purpose was to analyze the changes in soil parameters and the leaching of elements. Nitrate and aluminium received special attention. The growth of Norway spruce and birch was followed, and its impact on the soil parameters. Preliminary results indicate that the temperature increase of the soil and consequently an increased turnover of soil organic matter had the major effect on the quality of soil leachates. CO{sub 2} was less important. Leaching of NO{sub 3}{sup -} was high from control lysimeters with moss cover. Lysimeters with birch hardly leached NO{sub 3}{sup -} at all. Spruce is in an intermediate position. Increased leaching of Al{sup n+} is found for moss lysimeters. Leachates from birch lysimeters have high concentrations of Al{sup n+} only at the end of the growth seasons. Plant growth is to some extent increased by the CO{sub 2} treatment. Birch grew well in all lysimeters and all treatments, spruce developed clear symptoms of stress. This result does not fit with the increased availability of nutrients in soil solution

  1. Determination of soil conservation effects on shadow price of soil quality in dry-farmed wheat in Iran (a case study).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseini, S S; Ghorbani, M; Ghahremanzadeh, M

    2008-02-01

    This study attempts to measure the effects of soil conservation practices on soil quality in dry-farmed wheat in Iran (Zanjan province) using a bio-economic production function. Because of the nature of data (panel data) and information used in this study, error components approach (REM method) was used for estimating the production functions. The results indicate that the shadow price increases with soil depth and its magnitude is greater 72% in average--in conserved soils compared to non-conserved ones. In fact the results support the effectiveness of soil conservation in improving physical, chemical and biochemical properties of soil which contributes to sustainable agriculture. Finally, soil conservation benefits were estimated to be about 29.98 dollar pre hectare. That may be use for extension, payment of green subsidy, investment and adoption of new technologies for soil conservation. In this way, it will increase the real value of farm and farmer's welfare.

  2. Defining an exposure-response relationship for suspended kaolin clay particulates and aquatic organisms: work toward defining a water quality guideline for suspended solids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Andrew K; Palmer, Carolyn G

    2015-04-01

    Water quality guidelines for suspended solids generally rely on the percentage departure from reference condition, an approach that has been criticized. Attempts to develop a biological effects-base guideline have, however, been confounded by low data availability. Furthermore, the high biological response variability to suspended solids exposure suggests that organisms are responding not only to exposure concentration and duration but also to other mechanisms of effect associated with suspended particles (e.g., size, shape, and geochemical composition). An alternative option is to develop more situation and site specific guidelines by generating biological effects data to suspended particles of a particular geochemistry and restricted size range. With this in mind, aquatic organism responses to kaolin clay particle exposure were collated from the literature and incorporated into 2 exposure-response relationship approaches. The species sensitivity distribution approach produced a hazardous concentration affecting 5% of species estimate of 58 mg/L for mortality responses, and 36 mg/L for sublethal data. The severity-of-ill-effect approach produced similar estimates for lethal and sublethal data. These results suggest that aquatic organisms are slightly more tolerant of kaolin clay particles than particles from barite or bentonite clays, based on results from previous studies on these clay types. This type of information can enable better estimates of the risk faced by aquatic organisms exposed to suspended solids. For example, when the sediments of a particular water body are dominated by a particular type of clay particle, then the most appropriate exposure-response relationship can be applied. © 2015 SETAC.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ian Bonner; David Muth

    2013-09-01

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

  4. Modelling sensorial and nutritional changes to better define quality and shelf life of fresh-cut melons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luisa Amodio

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The shelf life of fresh-cut produce is mostly determined by evaluating the external appearance since this is the major factor affecting consumer choice at the moment of purchase. The aim of this study was to investigate the degradation kinetics of the major quality attributes in order to better define the shelf life of fresh-cut melons. Melon pieces were stored for eight days in air at 5°C. Sensorial and physical attributes including colour, external appearance, aroma, translucency, firmness, and chemical constituents, such as soluble solids, fructose, vitamin C, and phenolic content, along with antioxidant activity were monitored. Attributes showing significant changes over time were used to test conventional kinetic models of zero and first order, and Weibullian models. The Weibullian model was the most accurate to describe changes in appearance score, translucency, aroma, firmness and vitamin C (with a regression coefficient always higher than 0.956, while the other parameters could not be predicted with such accuracy by any of the tested models. Vitamin C showed the lowest kinetic rate among the model parameters, even though at the limit of marketability (appearance score 3, estimated at five days, a loss of 37% of its initial content was observed compared to the fresh-cut product, indicating a much lower nutritional value. After five days, the aroma score was already 2.2, suggesting that this quality attribute, together with the vitamin C content, should be taken into account when assessing shelf life of fresh-cut melons. In addition, logistical models were used to fit the percentage of rejected samples on the basis of non-marketability and non-edibility (appearance score <3 and <2, respectively. For both parameters, correlations higher than 0.999 were found at P<0.0001; for each mean score this model helps to understand the distribution of the samples among marketable, nonmarketable, and non-edible products.

  5. The influence of rice husk and tobacco waste biochars on soil quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir Hamzah

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Heavy metal pollution in agricultural land threatens soil and food quality. Soil pollution could be remediate using biochar, but the effectiveness of biochar on soil quality improvement is determined by types of feedstock and pyrolysis temperature. This study was aimed to explore the effect of different types of biochar on soil properties.  Biochar from rice husk and tobacco waste was applied to soil contaminated with lead and mercury. This study was conducted at Sumber Brantas, Malang East Java, and used a completely randomized design with three replicates. Heavy metals content was measured using AAS. The results of measurements were analyzed using analysis of variance at 5% and 1% significance levels. The initial analysis of the soil properties at the research site showed that the soil nutrient status was low, i.e. N (0.2 %, K (0.50 cmol+/kg, and CEC (5.9 me/100g respectively, but soil pH was neutral (6.8. The research site also has crossed the threshold of heavy metal content for Hg (0.5 ppm, Pb (25.22 ppm, Cd (1.96 ppm, and As (0.78 ppm. Biochar added had a positive influence on soil characteristics improvement. It could increase the content of organic C, i.e. 35.12% and 31.81% and CEC (cation exchange capacity, i.e.30.56 me/100g and 28.13 me/100 g for rice husk biochar and tobacco waste biochar, respectively.  However, N, P, and K contents were low i.e. N ( 0.33 and 0.30 %; P2O5 (148.79 and 152 ppm; K (1.58 and 2.11 mg/100g for rice husk biochar and tobacco waste biochar, respectively.

  6. Karst bare slope soil erosion and soil quality: a simulation case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Dai

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The influence on soil erosion by different bedrock bareness ratios, different rainfall intensities, different underground pore fissure degrees and rainfall duration are researched through manual simulation of microrelief characteristics of karst bare slopes and underground karst crack construction in combination with artificial simulation of rainfall experiment. The results show that firstly, when the rainfall intensity is small (30 and 50 mm h−1, no bottom load loss is produced on the surface, and surface and underground runoff and sediment production is increased with the increasing of rainfall intensity; secondly, surface runoff and sediment production reduced with increased underground pore fissure degree, while underground runoff and sediment production increased; thirdly, raindrops hit the surface, forming a crust with rainfall duration. The formation of crusts increases surface runoff erosion and reduces soil infiltration rate. Increasing of surface runoff erosion damaged crust and increased soil seepage rate. Raindrops continued to hit the surface, leading the formation of crust. Soil permeability showed volatility which were from reduction to increases and reduction, and so on. Surface and subsurface runoff were volatility with rainfall duration; fourthly, when rock bareness ratio is 50% and rainfall intensities are 30 and 50 mm h−1, runoff is not produced on the surface, and the slope runoff and sediment production presents a fluctuating change with increased rock bareness ratio; fifthly, the correlation degree between the slope runoff and sediment production and all factors are as follows: rainfall intensity > rainfall duration > underground pore fissure degree > bed rock bareness ratio.

  7. INFILTRATION THROUGH DISTURBED URBAN SOILS AND COMPOST-AMENDED SOIL EFFECTS OF RUNOFF QUALITY AND QUANTITY

    Science.gov (United States)

    This project examined a common, but poorly understood, problem associated with land development, namely the modifications made to soil structure and the associated reduced rainfall infiltration and increased runoff. The project was divided into two separate major tasks: 1) to tes...

  8. INFILTRATION THROUGH DISTURBED URBAN SOILS AND COMPOST-AMENDED SOIL EFFECTS OF RUNOFF QUALITY AND QUANTITY

    Science.gov (United States)

    This project examined a common, but poorly understood, problem associated with land development, namely the modifications made to soil structure and the associated reduced rainfall infiltration and increased runoff. The project was divided into two separate major tasks: 1) to tes...

  9. Biochar as soil amendment to improve soil quality, crop yield, and carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar, a by-product of a thermochemical process called pyrolysis, which involves burning of any agricultural and animal waste (biomass) under high temperature and absence of oxygen. It is assumed that since biochar is very high in aromatic carbon, which persists in soil environment for very long ...

  10. From soil to soil-less in horticulture: quality and typicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosario Di Lorenzo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In this review, the technique of soil-less cultivation of horticultural crops is analysed, the main differences between this and traditional cultivation techniques are described, and the advantages and disadvantages of each method in relation to the others are identified. Soilless cultivation has revolutionised various sectors of vegetable and floriculture production, and recent years have also seen interest being shown by Italian fruit crop producers, particularly those involved in table grape viticulture. The various issues related to the use of this technique are described in relation to the needs of the substrate, water management, and mineral nutrition of the different species, and to the fact that not all species are suitable for the application of soil-less cultivation. Finally, since the soil-less system is strongly influenced by Man and is increasingly conditioned by this, the links between the final product and the territory where it is grown appear to be very limited. This is particularly true in Italy where, for certain protected geographical indication food products, soil-less cultivation is prohibited.

  11. Improved or Unimproved Urban Areas Effect on Soil and Water Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally D. Logsdon

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Construction in urban areas usually results in compacted soil, which restricts plant growth and infiltration. Nutrients may be lost in storm runoff water and sediment. The purpose of this study was to determine if existing lawns benefit from aeration and surface compost additions without the negative impact of nutrient loss in runoff. Four sets of lawns were compared, with or without compost plus aeration, as a paired comparison. Surface bulk density was significantly reduced in the treated lawns (1.32 versus 1.42 Mg·m−3. Visual evaluation of soil structure showed improvement in the treated lawns. Of fifteen measurement dates over four years, four dates showed significantly higher surface soil water contents in the treated lawns compared with the untreated lawns. When compared over time, three of the four treated lawns had significantly higher soil water content than the untreated lawns. Nutrient concentrations in rainfall simulator runoff were not significantly different between treated and control lawns, which showed that compost did not negatively impact water quality. Compost and aeration helped restore soil quality for urban soils of recent construction.

  12. Effects of Organic Fertilizer on Fruit Quality and Acidified Soil Chemical Properties in Yantai Orchard

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yao SUN; Yiming WANG; Peiping ZHANG

    2016-01-01

    Objective] This study aimed to investigate the improving effect of organic fertilizer on acidified soil as wel as their ef-fects on fruit quality and quantity in Yantai orchard. [Method] Plot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of organic fertilizer on fruit yield and quality of Red Fuji and chemical properties of acidified soil. [Result] The apple yield in acidified soil applied with organic fertilizer al increased. Under the application of biological organic fertilizer, the apple yield was higher, and it was 8.92% higher than that in the control group. Under the mixed application of chemical fertilizer and biological organic fertiliz-er, the growth and development of apple trees were improved, and the total soluble solid (TSS) content, vitamin C (Vc) content and TSS-acid ratio in mature apples al increased. The application of organic fertilizer significantly reduced soil acidity. Compared with those in the control group, the soil pH value, organic matter content and alkali-hydrolyzable nitrogen content under the ap-plication of biological organic fertilizer were increased by 8.33%, 15.10% and 30.80%, respectively. [Conclusion] The application of biological organic fertilizer could improve the yield of apple in acidified soil.

  13. IT-based soil quality evaluation for agroecologically smart land-use planning in RF conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasenev, Ivan

    2016-04-01

    Activated in the first decades of XXI century global climate, economy and farming changes sharply actualized novel IT-based approaches in soil quality evaluation to address modern agricultural issues with agroecologically smart land-use planning. Despite global projected climate changes will affect a general decline of crop yields (IPCC 2014), RF boreal and subboreal regions will benefit from predicted and already particularly verified temperature warming and increased precipitation (Valentini, Vasenev, 2015) due to essential increasing of growing season length and mild climate conditions favorable for most prospective crops and best available agrotechnologies. However, the essential spatial heterogeneity is mutual feature for most natural and man-changed soils at the Central European region of Russia which is one of the biggest «food baskets» in RF. In these conditions potentially favorable climate circumstances will increase not only soil fertility and workability features but also their dynamics and spatial variability that determine crucial issues of IT-based soil quality evaluation systems development and agroecologically smart farming planning. Developed and verified within the LAMP project (RF Governmental projects #11.G34.31.0079 and #14.120.14.4266) regionally adapted DSS (ACORD-R - RF #2012612944) gives effective informational and methodological support for smart farming agroecological optimization in global climate and farming changes challenges. Information basis for agroecologically smart land-use planning consists of crops and agrotechnologies requirements, regional and local systems of agroecological zoning, local landscape and soil cover patterns, land quality and degradation risk assessments, current and previous farming practices results, agroclimatic predictions and production agroecological models, environmental limitations and planned profitability, fertilizing efficiency DSS ACORD-R. Smart land-use practice refers to sustainable balance

  14. 土壤质量评价研究进展%Research Progress of Soil Quality Evaluation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汪媛媛; 杨忠芳; 余涛

    2011-01-01

    阐述了土地质量及土壤质量评价的内涵,综述了国内外土壤质量评价指标体系和土壤质量评价方法,以反映土壤质量评价的发展过程.系统总结了土壤质量评价最新研究进展,指出土壤生物学指标的研究是我国土壤质量评价研究未来发展的方向,提出土壤质量评价指标除采用物理、化学和生物指标外,将土壤质量与社会经济指标相结合能更有效地预警和监测土壤变化的趋势.%On the basis of elucidating the connotation of soil quality assessment, soil quality indicators and evaluation methods were reviewed in order to reflect the development of soil quality assessment. The latest progress on soil quality assessment was summarized, and it was pointed out that soil biological indicators would be the orientation of soil quality research. All those soil quality indicators used to be divided into physical , chemical and biological indicators, but combining the soil quality with social economic indicators could early warn and monitor the changes of soil more efficiently.

  15. Soil organic matter quantity and quality of land transformed from arable to forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora Polláková

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Comparative studies on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of soil organic matter were studied in arable and afforested in 1964 Stagni-Haplic Luvisol in Arboretum Mlyňany (Slovakia. The studies were conducted at three stands – arable soil located next to Arboretum (control, under thuja trees (Thuja orientalis L. and under junipers (Juniperus Chinensis L.. Results of the studies showed, that in A horizons, 50 years of thuja and juniper trees growing on formerly arable land, had resulted to the significant (by 69% under thuja and by 126% under juniper increase of total organic carbon (Cox compared to control arable land. KMnO4 oxidisable carbon (CL and mainly hot water-soluble carbon (Chwd had higher contents in soil under studied trees than on arable land. The conversion of cropland to forest led to lowering of soil organic matter quality, assessed as the ratio of total carbon and nitrogen (Cox/NT, which was in arable soil 10.2, under thuja trees 13.9 and under junipers 12.0. Surprisingly, the quality of humus between examined sites differed only minimally, since the change of humus quality is a long term process.

  16. Controlled traffic and soil physical quality of an Oxisol under sugarcane cultivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Soares de Souza

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Machinery traffic in sugarcane (Saccharumsp. plantations reduces soil physical quality, and hinders both root development and crop yield. We evaluated the physical quality of an Oxisol and the development of sugarcane roots under controlled traffic. The treatments assessed were: without controlled machinery traffic (WCT, controlled traffic by adjusting the tractor and infield wagons to a 3.0 m track width with the operator guiding the machinery (CT1 and the previous treatment using real time kinematic / global positioning system (RTK / GPS precision auto steer (CT2. Soil samples were collected from the planting rows, seedbed and inter-row center to determine the least limiting water range (LLWR and soil porosity from scanned 2-D images. The root dry mass was sampled from monoliths, separated from the soil by washing through a 2-mm sieve and dried in an oven. A higher LLWR was observed in the planting row under CT1 and CT2 than under WCT. The planting row had a predominance of complex pores with a diameter > 500 µm in the 0.15-0.27 m depth layer under CT1 and CT2. In the planting rows under WCT, the root dry mass was only 44 % of that measured under CT2. Benefits regarding soil physical quality and growth roots were observed when the tractor-wagon track width was adjusted based on the sugarcane spacing using either precision auto steering or manual operation of the machinery.

  17. Land agroecological quality assessment in conditions of high spatial soil cover variability at the Pereslavskoye Opolye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morev, Dmitriy; Vasenev, Ivan

    2015-04-01

    The essential spatial variability is mutual feature for most natural and man-changed soils at the Central region of European territory of Russia. The original spatial heterogeneity of forest soils has been further complicated by a specific land-use history and human impacts. For demand-driven land-use planning and decision making the quantitative analysis and agroecological interpretation of representative soil cover spatial variability is an important and challenging task that receives increasing attention from private companies, governmental and environmental bodies. Pereslavskoye Opolye is traditionally actively used in agriculture due to dominated high-quality cultivated soddy-podzoluvisols which are relatively reached in organic matter (especially for conditions of the North part at the European territory of Russia). However, the soil cover patterns are often very complicated even within the field that significantly influences on crop yield variability and have to be considered in farming system development and land agroecological quality evaluation. The detailed investigations of soil regimes and mapping of the winter rye yield have been carried in conditions of two representative fields with slopes sharply contrasted both in aspects and degrees. Rye biological productivity and weed infestation have been measured in elementary plots of 0.25 m2 with the following analysis the quality of the yield. In the same plot soil temperature and moisture have been measured by portable devices. Soil sampling was provided from three upper layers by drilling. The results of ray yield detailed mapping shown high differences both in average values and within-field variability on different slopes. In case of low-gradient slope (field 1) there is variability of ray yield from 39.4 to 44.8 dt/ha. In case of expressed slope (field 2) the same species of winter rye grown with the same technology has essentially lower yield and within-field variability from 20 to 29.6 dt/ha. The

  18. Litter quality versus soil microbial community controls over decomposition: a quantitative analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Cory C.; Reed, Sasha C.; Keller, Adrienne B.; Nemergut, Diana R.; O'Neill, Sean P.; Ostertag, Rebecca; Vitousek, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

    The possible effects of soil microbial community structure on organic matter decomposition rates have been widely acknowledged, but are poorly understood. Understanding these relationships is complicated by the fact that microbial community structure and function are likely to both affect and be affected by organic matter quality and chemistry, thus it is difficult to draw mechanistic conclusions from field studies. We conducted a reciprocal soil inoculum × litter transplant laboratory incubation experiment using samples collected from a set of sites that have similar climate and plant species composition but vary significantly in bacterial community structure and litter quality. The results showed that litter quality explained the majority of variation in decomposition rates under controlled laboratory conditions: over the course of the 162-day incubation, litter quality explained nearly two-thirds (64 %) of variation in decomposition rates, and a smaller proportion (25 %) was explained by variation in the inoculum type. In addition, the relative importance of inoculum type on soil respiration increased over the course of the experiment, and was significantly higher in microcosms with lower litter quality relative to those with higher quality litter. We also used molecular phylogenetics to examine the relationships between bacterial community composition and soil respiration in samples through time. Pyrosequencing revealed that bacterial community composition explained 32 % of the variation in respiration rates. However, equal portions (i.e., 16 %) of the variation in bacterial community composition were explained by inoculum type and litter quality, reflecting the importance of both the meta-community and the environment in bacterial assembly. Taken together, these results indicate that the effects of changing microbial community composition on decomposition are likely to be smaller than the potential effects of climate change and/or litter quality changes in

  19. Defining and modeling the soil geochemical background of heavy metals from the Hengshi River watershed (southern China): integrating EDA, stochastic simulation and magnetic parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xu; Xia, Beicheng

    2010-08-15

    It is crucial to separate the soil geochemical background concentrations from anthropogenic anomalies and to provide a realistic environmental geochemical map honoring the fluctuations in original data. This study was carried out in the Hengshi River watershed, north of Guangdong, China and the method proposed combined exploratory data analysis (EDA), sequential indicator co-simulation (SIcS) and the ratio of isothermal remnant magnetization (S(100)=-IRM(-100 mT)/SIRM). The results showed that this is robust procedure for defining and mapping soil geochemical background concentrations in mineralized regions. The rock magnetic parameter helps to improve the mapping process by distinguishing anthropogenic influences. In this study, the geochemical backgrounds for four potentially toxic heavy metals (copper 200mg/kg; zinc 23 0mg/kg; lead 190 mg/kg and cadmium 1.85 mg/kg) Cu, Zn and Cd exceeded the soil Grade II limits (for pHgeochemical background level for Cd exceeds standard six times. Results suggest that local public health is at high-risk along the riparian region of the Hengshi River, although the watershed ecosystem has not been severely disturbed.

  20. Hydrochemical Analysis and Evaluation of Groundwater Quality and Agriculture Soil of Khairpur Taluka, Sindh, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tajnees Pirzada

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The inhabitants of Khairpur Taluka mostly consume groundwater for drinking and agriculture purposes. The present study was conducted to monitor the essential quality parameters of groundwater and soil. Both groundwater and soil samples of the area were classified as alkaline. All the major ions except Na and SO4 were found within the permissible limits, while the concentrations of Zn, Fe, Co, Pb, Ni and Mn in studied groundwater samples were found above the specified limit of WHO. However, soil samples were found rich in major and trace elements except Cd, which was low in comparison to world average of agriculture soil. Irrigation character of water samples on SAR vs. Na% plot display fair type with few exceptions. The piper diagram implied mixed water composition with Na-Ca-Mg and HCO3-SO4+Cl as dominate ions. Diverse shapes of Stiff polygons also support the mixed nature of groundwater in the study area.

  1. In Field Monitoring of Potential Detrimental Effects of Biofuels Production on Soil Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wielopolski, L.; Torbert, A.

    2008-12-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) content is recognized as a soil quality indicator that is susceptible to degradation with tillage and with biomass removal from the soil surface. In addition to the reported benefits of leaving crop residue on the soil surface of reducing soil erosion, providing plant nutrients and reducing water losses in runoff events, biomass harvesting for energy production can negatively impact SOC. Reported values of SOC accumulation under conservation tillage systems varied widely from below zero to upwards of 1300 kg/ha/yr depending on the crop type and mean annual temperature. However, very few studies have been conducted with of no-tillage practices with concurrent management of crop residue removal. A negative impact on SOC balance has been reported with extensive biomass removal from cropping systems, but this also is dependent on mean temperature and rainfall amounts. Perennial grasses are strong candidates as a source for biofuel production. These, in turn, will entail very large monoculture fields' with no soil disturbance and extensive harvesting of residues. These conditions may degrade the soil condition by depleting soil's nutrients beyond the point of standard fertilization and reduce the SOC. Thus raising the question of sustainability and, more importantly, challenging the fundamental assertion that the entire cycle of energy production from biofuels, on balance, will reduce the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. To monitor soil conditions over vast areas with variable landscapes using current state-of-the-art procedures for soil sampling and analysis by dry combustion presents a formidable task that is labor intensive and time consuming. We propose to implement a new instrument for soil carbon, nitrogen and potassium monitoring in soil that is non-destructive and can be used in either stationary or continuous scanning modes of operation. The instrument senses the elements to an approximate depth of 30 cm and provides true mean

  2. Spatial variability of soil structure and its impact on transport processes and some associated land qualities.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Finke, P.A.

    1992-01-01

    This thesis treats the impact of soil spatial variability on spatial variability of simulated land qualities. A sequence of procedures that were done to determine this impact is described in chapters 2 and 3. The subchapters correspond to seven manuscripts that either have appeared in or have been s

  3. Soil quality under two different management schemes in coffee plantations of southern Colombia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Eduardo Valbuena-Calderón

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to develop an additive soil quality index (ASQI in agrofostery managements of coffee (Coffea arabica L.. The study took place under two intense and traditional management schemes, in nine farms (32 lots in the south of Colombia, during 2013. A separation of means analysis was held through the LSD Fisher test (P<0,05 to each of the physical and chemical variables of the soil. The variables that showed differences between the schemes were submitted to a main components analysis to select the minimum data set (MDS of the components that explained the most variability and the redundancy was veri ed within the indicators, based on the correlation. The ASQI was obtained from the total sum of soil quality index (SQI of all the indicators, taking into account that the higher the score of the ASQI, the higher the quality of the soil within the study system. The selected physical variables were the content of sand and clay; while the chemical variables were: organic carbon (OC, P, CA, Mg, total bases (TB and Ca/Mg. The best ASQI was obtained from traditional management, because the value of the selected variables matched in a bigger proportion with the quality objective identi ed for the ASQI quanti cation; in this case the crop yield, based on limit values for coffee plantations.

  4. Contaminated soil remediation and quality assurance; Pilaantuneen maan kunnostaminen ja laadunvarmistus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarkkila, J.; Mroueh, U.M.; Leino-Forsman, H.

    2004-07-01

    The aim of contaminated soil remediation quality assurance is to carry out remediation activities according to plans. Besides the design work the appropriate implementation of the quality assurance covers source data and investigation methods as well as the requirements for documentation. Contaminated soil characterization and the selection of the most suitable remediation method is made with the help of various sampling and analysis methods. There are different kinds of requirements to the sampling plan depending on the type of remediation project. Quality assurance is taken into account in sampling, in sample handling and analysis as well as in the reporting of results. The most common unsaturated zone remediation methods used in Finland are introduced in this guide. These methods include excavation (as part of remediation), encapsulating, stabilization, thermal desorption, soil washing, composting, soil vapor extraction and bioventing. The methods are introduced on a general level with emphasis on their technical implementation and feasibility as well as on the eventual material requirements. Harmful environmental impacts of the methods must be identified and prevented. In order to monitor the remediation process, various chemical and physical quality assurance measurements are performed. Additionally the work safety issues related to remediation methods must be taken into account and proper documentation must be prepared. (orig.)

  5. Impact of secondary vegetation succession on soil quality in a humid Mediterranean landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hall, van R.L.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Keesstra, S.D.; Zorn, M.

    2017-01-01

    Former agricultural fields are increasingly abandoned in several regions in Southern Europe. In many cases this leads to vegetation succession which may have a direct impact on soil quality, biodiversity and hydrological connectivity. The aim of this study is to provide insights on the role of ve

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Elevation, rootstock, and soil depth affect the nutritional quality of mandarin oranges

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of elevation, rootstock, and soil depth on the nutritional quality of mandarin oranges from 11 groves in California were investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy by quantifying 29 compounds and applying multivariate statistical data analysis. A comparison of the juic...

  8. Impacts of Organic Zero Tillage Systems on Crops, Weeds, and Soil Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M. Carr

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Organic farming has been identified as promoting soil quality even though tillage is used for weed suppression. Adopting zero tillage and other conservation tillage practices can enhance soil quality in cropping systems where synthetic agri-chemicals are relied on for crop nutrition and weed control. Attempts have been made to eliminate tillage completely when growing several field crops organically. Vegetative mulch produced by killed cover crops in organic zero tillage systems can suppress annual weeds, but large amounts are needed for adequate early season weed control. Established perennial weeds are not controlled by cover crop mulch. Integrated weed management strategies that include other cultural as well as biological and mechanical controls have potential and need to be incorporated into organic zero tillage research efforts. Market crop performance in organic zero tillage systems has been mixed because of weed, nutrient cycling, and other problems that still must be solved. Soil quality benefits have been demonstrated in comparisons between organic conservation tillage and inversion tillage systems, but studies that include zero tillage treatments are lacking. Research is needed which identifies agronomic strategies for optimum market crop performance, acceptable levels of weed suppression, and soil quality benefits following adoption of organic zero tillage.

  9. Field assessment of soil structural quality - a development of the Peerlkamp test

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ball, B C; Batey, T; Munkholm, Lars Juhl

    2007-01-01

    alike. Here an assessment of soil structure quality (Sq) is described which is based on a visual key linked to criteria chosen to be as objective as possible. The influences of operator, tillage and crop type on Sq value were tested. The test takes 5-15 min per location and enough replicates were...

  10. Investigation of the impacts of ethyl lactate based Fenton treatment on soil quality for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)-contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Suyin; Yap, Chiew Lin; Ng, Hoon Kiat; Venny

    2013-11-15

    This study aims to investigate the impacts of ethyl lactate (EL) based Fenton treatment on soil quality for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)-contaminated soils. Accumulation of oxygenated-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (oxy-PAHs) was observed, but quantitative measurement on the most abundant compound 9,10-anthraquinone (ATQ) showed lower accumulation of the compound than that reported for ethanol (ET) based Fenton treatment. In general, as compared to conventional water (CW) based Fenton treatment, the EL based Fenton treatment exerted either a lower or higher negative impact on soil physicochemical properties depending on the property type and shared the main disadvantage of reduced soil pH. For revegetation, EL based Fenton treatment was most appropriately adopted for soil with native pH >/~ 6.2 in order to obtain a final soil pH >/~ 4.9 subject to the soil buffering capacity.

  11. Multi-criteria indexes to evaluate the effects of repeated organic amendment applications on soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obriot, Fiona; Stauffer, Marie; Goubard, Yolaine; Vieuble-Gonod, Laure; Revallier, Agathe; Houot, Sabine

    2015-04-01

    Objectives The soil application of organic waste products (OWP) favours the recycling of nutrients, the crop production, the increase of soil biological activity and biodiversity. It may also lead to soil contamination. All these effects occurred simultaneously and must be considered in the evaluation of the practice. This study aims at deciphering the long-term impact of repeated applications and the short-term effect of an additional application on soil quality using 5 different Soil Quality Indices (SQI)[a]: fertility, microbial activity, biodiversity, physical properties and productivity and one pollution index by heavy metals. Methodology A long term field experiment was used (QualiAgro, Ile de France) where repeated applications of 4 amendments (a municipal solid waste compost, MSW; a biowaste compost, BIO; a co-compost of sewage sludge and green waste, GWS and a farmyard manure, FYM) have differentiated soil characteristics and crop production compared to a control treatments without organic residue and receiving mineral fertilizer or not (CONT+N and CONT). The OWP are applied every 2 years, in September, at doses equivalent to 4 t C/ha (4 replicates) on a maize-wheat succession. We used 2 sampling dates: 3 weeks before application (cumulative residual effect of 7 applications) and 3 weeks just after the 8th application (short-term additional effect of a recent application), in 2011. More than 30 different variables were used: chemical (pH, Polsen…), physical (bulk density, plasticity…) and biological (microbial biomass, enzymatic activity…) soil indicators. All of these were classified in 6 classes: fertility, microbial activity, biodiversity, physical properties, productivity and pollution. Five SQI and one pollution index by heavy metals were estimated using a weighted additive index calculation method described by Velasquez et al. (2007)[a]. Only parameters with statistically significant differences (pamendments increased soil fertility and

  12. SoilBioHedge, harnessing hedgerow soil biodiversity for restoration of arable soil quality and resilience to climatic extremes and land use changes: The impacts of arable to ley conversion on soil hydrological properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, Richard; Holden, Joseph; Chapman, Pippa; Hunt, Sarah; Leake, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Modern agricultural practices pose a significant threat to soil security. Continuous conventional cultivation has been observed to deplete soil organic matter, degrade soil structure, reduce water drainage and water holding capacity, increase nitrate leaching, damage the ecosystem engineer earthworm and mycorrhiza populations and increase the susceptibility of soil and crops to the impacts of climatic stress through decreased resilience to flood and drought conditions. The SoilBioHedge project aims to determine the effectiveness of using grass-clover leys linking hedgerows to arable fields in restoring functional biodiversity, soil quality and resilience to drought and excess rainfall in arable farming. Paired 70m long ley strips have been inserted in to 4 fields. Within each field one ley is connected to the margin while in the other a small 1m fallow area and a steel mesh barrier inserted to bedrock is being used to disconnect the ley and margin and prevent macrofaunal movement from the margin to the ley. As part of the SoilBioHedge project we are undertaking a range of analyses to establish the impacts of arable to ley conversion on key hydrological properties of agricultural soils. Soil moisture is being continuously monitored at three depths at 48 separate locations, in addition monthly manual measurements are being taken at 1158 locations. Arable-to-ley conversion is expected to increase soil macrofaunal activity especially in locations closer to hedgerows, enhancing macropore development. Therefore the proportion of water percolating into macropores, mesopores and micropores is being measured using tension infiltrometers which also allow the calculation of saturated hydraulic conductivity. Soil cores have been extracted to examine impacts on bulk and particle density and subsequently porosity, with hydraulic conductivity being measured using a lab permeameter. Here we present the results of these analyses over the first 24 months of the project. This

  13. Data-driven analysis of soil quality indicators using limited data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulido Moncada, Mansonia; Gabriels, Donald; Cornelis, Wim

    2016-04-01

    The difficult question of which variables to include as a minimum data set of soil quality (SQ) indicators may be simplified by statistical methods, which allow working with databases including categorical and numerical variables commonly used for assessing SQ. The aims of this study were: i) to identify soil structural related parameters that may associate to SQ at different geographic areas and ii) to test the potential power of using decision trees in setting up a framework for SQ assessment, and in determining structural soil properties, visually evaluated, that could be included in the estimation of soil physical properties such as saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks). SQ was evaluated by visual soil assessment (VSA) in the field and a limited number of physical and chemical soil properties (bulk density (BD), air capacity, plant available water capacity (PAWC), saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks), water stable aggregates (WSA), particle size distribution, soil organic carbon (SOC) and cation exchange capacity (CEC)) determined in the laboratory. Using categorical and numerical data of those physical, chemical and morphological properties of soils in both tropical and temperate areas, classification trees and model trees were grown. Parameters related to SQ differed between geographic areas. Ks was the strongest variable determining the SQ in 'tropical' soils, but WSA, SOC and PAWC were also key variables in determining differences in SQ. For 'temperate' soils PAWC was the only variable selected by the tree building algorithm. SOC, clay, and CEC were the discriminating variables of the model constructed from the combined data set. Statistically significant relationships between measured and visual parameters are promising in demonstrating the SQ description required for merging morphological, physical and chemical properties for minimum data set of SQ indicators. Thresholds of different predicting variables could be better established when SQ frameworks

  14. Almond tree and organic fertilization for soil quality improvement in southern Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macci, Cristina; Doni, Serena; Peruzzi, Eleonora; Masciandaro, Grazia; Mennone, Carmelo; Ceccanti, Brunello

    2012-03-01

    The semi-arid Mediterranean region, characterized by long dry periods followed by heavy bursts of rainfall, is particularly prone to soil erosion. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the soil quality under different practices of bio-physical amelioration which involve the soil-plant system (almond trees) and microorganism-manure. This study, carried out in the South of Italy (Basilicata Region- Pantanello farm), considered two types of fertilization (mineral and organic) and three slope gradients (0, 2 and 6%), in order to evaluate the effects of management practices in resisting soil erosion. Chemical (organic carbon and nitrogen), physical (soil shrinkage and bulk density) and biochemical (dehydrogenase activity and hydrolytic enzyme activities) parameters were selected as markers to follow agro-ecological changes with time. The organic treatment affected soil microbiological and physico-chemical properties by increasing soil nutrient availability, microbial activity, and improving soil structure. The consistently higher values of the hydrolytic enzyme activities (β-glucosidase, phosphatase, urease and protease) often observed in the presence of plants and on the 0 and 2% slopes, suggested the stimulation of nutrient cycles by tree roots, which improve the conditions for soil microorganisms in carrying out their metabolic activity. In the 6% slope and, in particular, in the mineral fertilizer treatment, soil metabolism was lower as suggested by the dehydrogenase activity which was 50% lower than that found in the 0 and 2% slopes, this seemed to be related to a slowdown in the nutrient cycling and organic carbon metabolism. However, on this slope, in both mineral and organic treatments, a significant stimulation of hydrolytic enzyme activities and an improvement of soil structure (reduction of bulk density of about 10% and increase in total shrinkage from 20 to 60%) were observed with plants compared to the control soil. The combination of organic

  15. Long term impact of PAH contamination in soils on the water quality in rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gateuille, David; Evrard, Olivier; Moreau-Guigon, Elodie; Chevreuil, Marc; Mouchel, Jean-Marie

    2014-05-01

    the contamination of water bodies, the influence of soil erosion and particle transfer on their physico-chemical properties was investigated. Indeed, a sharp increase of PAH concentration in particles was observed between soils and suspended sediment in the investigated subcatchments. A rise in organic carbon content and a decrease in the mean size of particles were observed between soils and suspended sediment. Those results show that particle sorting occurs during erosion and transportation processes and these changes explain the strong impact of soil contamination on water quality in rivers.

  16. Effects of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Communities on Soil Quality and the Growth of Cucumber Seedlings in a Greenhouse Soil of Continuously Planting Cucumber

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yan; CHEN Ying-Long; LI Min; LIN Xian-Gui; LIU Run-Jin

    2012-01-01

    A pot experiment was performed to determine the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities on soil properties and the growth of cucumber seedlings in a degraded soil that had been used for continuous cucumber monoculture in a greenhouse for 15 years.In the experiment,AMF communities (created by combining various AMF species that were found to be dominant in natural farm soil) were inoculated into the degraded soil,and then the soil was planted with cucumber.Inoculation with AMF communities did not affect soil pH but increased soil aggregate stability and decreased the concentrations of salt ions and electrical conductivity (EC) in the soil.Inoculation with AMF communities increased the numbers of culturable bacteria and actinomycetes but reduced the number of fungi. AMF communities increased plant growth,soluble sugar content,chlorophyll content,and root activity compared to non-mycorrhizal or a single AMF species treatments. Improvements of soil quality and plant growth were greatest with the following two communities:Glomus etunicatum + G.mosseae + Gigaspora margarita + Acaulospora lacunosa and G.aggregatum + G.etunicatum +G.mosseae + G.versiforme + G.margarita + A.lacunosa.The results suggested that certain AMF communities could substantially improve the quality of degraded soil.

  17. Multivariate analysis and visualization of soil quality data for no-till systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villamil, M B; Miguez, F E; Bollero, G A

    2008-01-01

    To evidence the multidimensionality of the soil quality concept, we propose the use of data visualization as a tool for exploratory data analyses, model building, and diagnostics. Our objective was to establish the best edaphic indicators for assessing soil quality in four no-till systems with regard to functioning as a medium for crop production and nutrient cycling across two Illinois locations. The compared situations were no-till corn-soybean rotations including either winter fallowing (C/S) or cover crops of rye (Secale cereale; C-R/S-R), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa; C-R/S-V), or their mixture (C-R/S-VR). The dataset included the variables bulk density (BD), penetration resistance (PR), water aggregate stability (WAS), soil reaction (pH), and the contents of soil organic matter (SOM), total nitrogen (TN), soil nitrates (NO(3)-N), and available phosphorus (P). Interactive data visualization along with canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) allowed us to show that WAS, BD, and the contents of P, TN, and SOM have the greatest potential as soil quality indicators in no-till systems in Illinois. It was more difficult to discriminate among WCC rotations than to separate these from C/S, considerably inflating the error rate associated with CDA. We predict that observations of no-till C/S will be classified correctly 51% of the time, while observations of no-till WCC rotations will be classified correctly 74% of the time. High error rates in CDA underscore the complexity of no-till systems and the need in this area for more long-term studies with larger datasets to increase accuracy to acceptable levels.

  18. Effects of habitat fragmentation and soil quality on reproduction in two heathland Genista species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsaliki, M; Diekmann, M

    2010-07-01

    Habitat fragmentation decreases plant population size and increases population isolation, as well as altering patterns of plant-animal interactions, all of which may reduce plant fitness. Here, we studied effects of habitat fragmentation (in terms of population size and isolation) and soil quality on the reproduction of two rare legume species, Genista anglica (13 populations) and Genista pilosa (14 populations), confined to remnants of acidic and nutrient-poor Calluna heathlands. Single individuals of the Genista plants are impossible to distinguish; population size was therefore estimated according to the area occupied (referred to as population size hereafter). We collected soil samples in all heathland sites to determine content of soil water, C, N, P, Ca, K and Mg. In both species values of soil pH and C/N ratio, as well as content of soil P and base cations, reflected the highly acidic and nutrient-poor environment of the heathlands. Population sizes were unrelated to soil quality. Although the two Genista species are similar in morphology and ecology, effects of explanatory variables on reproduction were largely inconsistent across species. In G. anglica, population size had a positive impact on all reproductive variables except germination rate, which, in contrast, was the only variable affected positively by population size in G. pilosa. In both species, mean total reproductive output, calculated as the product of total seed mass per shoot and total germination, increased with increasing water content and decreased with increasing P. In G. anglica, we found positive effects of the C/N ratio on all reproductive variables except mean single and total seed mass per shoot. In summary, in both species reproductive success per shoot decreased with increasing soil nutrient availability in the heathland sites. The infestation of two large populations of G. pilosa with the pre-dispersal, seed-predating weevil Apion compactum had no significant effect on

  19. Analytical performance, reference values and decision limits. A need to differentiate between reference intervals and decision limits and to define analytical quality specifications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Per Hyltoft; Jensen, Esther A; Brandslund, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    With the increasing use of decision limits (action limits, cut-off points) specified for a number of analytical components in diagnosis and for action in critical situations, formulated in national or international recommendations, the traditional interpretation of reference intervals has been....... Analytical quality specifications for reference intervals have been defined for bias since the 1990s, but in the recommendations specified in the clinical guidelines analytical quality specifications are only scarcely defined. The demands for negligible biases are, however, even more essential for decision...

  20. A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Quality Assessment Methods for Heavy Metal-Contaminated Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Wei-Xin; ZHANG Xu-Xiang; WU Bing; SUN Shi-Lei; CHEN Yan-Song; PAN Wen-Yang; ZHAO Da-Yong; CHENG Shu-Pei

    2008-01-01

    Four assessment methods (two pollution indexes and two fuzzy mathematical models) were employed to investigate the environmental quality of four soils around a ferroalloy plant in Nanjing City.Environmental quality was assessed as class Ⅳ (moderately polluted) for each soil with single-factor index method,and was identified to be classes Ⅳ,Ⅲ(slightly polluted),Ⅲ,and Ⅲ for soils A,B,C,and D,respectively,with the comprehensive index model.In comparison with the single-factor index method,the comprehensive index model concerned both dominant parameter and average contribution of all factors to the integrated environmental quality.Using the two fuzzy mathematical methods (single-factor deciding and weighted average models),the environmental risks were determined to be classes Ⅳ,Ⅲ,Ⅱ(clean),and Ⅱ for soils A,B,C,and D,respectively.However,divergence of the membership degree to each pollution class still occurred between the two methods.In fuzzy mathematical methods,membership functions were used to describe the limits between different pollution degrees,and different weights were allocated for the factors according to pollution contribution.Introduction of membership degree and weight of each factor to fuzzy mathematical models made the methods more reasonable in the field of environmental risk assessment.

  1. Soil Organic Matter Quality of an Oxisol Affected by Plant Residues and Crop Sequence under No-Tillage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cora, Jose; Marcelo, Adolfo

    2013-04-01

    Plant residues are considered the primarily resource for soil organic matter (SOM) formation and the amounts and properties of plant litter are important controlling factors for the SOM quality. We determined the amounts, quality and decomposition rate of plant residues and the effects of summer and winter crop sequences on soil organic C (TOC) content, both particulate organic C (POC) and mineral-associated organic C (MOC) pools and humic substances in a Brazilian Rhodic Eutrudox soil under a no-tillage system. The organic C analysis in specifics pools used in this study was effective and should be adopted in tropical climates to evaluate the soil quality and the sustainability of various cropping systems. Continuous growth of soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) on summer provided higher contents of soil POC and continuous growth of maize (Zea mays L.) provided higher soil humic acid and MOC contents. Summer soybean-maize rotation provided the higher plant diversity, which likely improved the soil microbial activity and the soil organic C consumption. The winter sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp), oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) enhanced the soil MOC, a finding that is attributable to the higher N content of the crop residue. Sunn hemp and pigeon pea provided the higher soil POC content. Sunn hemp showed better performance and positive effects on the SOM quality, making it a suitable winter crop choice for tropical conditions with a warm and dry winter.

  2. Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emily Moghaddas; Ken Hubbert

    2014-01-01

    When managing for resilient forests, each soil’s inherent capacity to resist and recover from changes in soil function should be evaluated relative to the anticipated extent and duration of soil disturbance. Application of several key principles will help ensure healthy, resilient soils: (1) minimize physical disturbance using guidelines tailored to specific soil types...

  3. Transgenic potatoes for potato cyst nematode control can replace pesticide use without impact on soil quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayne Green

    Full Text Available Current and future global crop yields depend upon soil quality to which soil organisms make an important contribution. The European Union seeks to protect European soils and their biodiversity for instance by amending its Directive on pesticide usage. This poses a challenge for control of Globodera pallida (a potato cyst nematode for which both natural resistance and rotational control are inadequate. One approach of high potential is transgenically based resistance. This work demonstrates the potential in the field of a new transgenic trait for control of G. pallida that suppresses root invasion. It also investigates its impact and that of a second transgenic trait on the non-target soil nematode community. We establish that a peptide that disrupts chemoreception of nematodes without a lethal effect provides resistance to G. pallida in both a containment and a field trial when precisely targeted under control of a root tip-specific promoter. In addition we combine DNA barcoding and quantitative PCR to recognise nematode genera from soil samples without microscope-based observation and use the method for nematode faunal analysis. This approach establishes that the peptide and a cysteine proteinase inhibitor that offer distinct bases for transgenic plant resistance to G. pallida do so without impact on the non-target nematode soil community.

  4. Impact of Brick Kilns’ Emission on Soil Quality of Agriculture Fields in the Vicinity of Selected Bhaktapur Area of Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunjan Bisht

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to evaluate soil quality and impact of brick kiln on different physicochemical parameters of soils of agricultural field, located in the vicinity of Bhaktapur, Nepal. The study was carried out by determining the physicochemical characteristics of soil, soil fertility, and heavy metal contamination of soil. During the entire study period, water absorptivity of soil ranged from 2.4 to 3.3 mg/L, pH varies from 5.885 to 7.64, and organic carbon content and organic matter varied from 0.277 to 0.93%, from 0.477% to 1.603%, respectively. Nutrient content, that is, sulfate and nitrate concentration, in the soil ranged from 0.829 to 3.764 mol/L and from 0.984 to 29.99 mol/L, respectively. The findings revealed that concentrations of heavy metals (chromium and lead were within permissible limit, although the levels were higher in soil at 50 m and decrease farther from brick kiln. However, the physical parameters and nutrient content were deficient in soil at 50 m while increasing gradually at distances of 100 m and 150 m. The variation of result obtained for physical parameters supports the fact that quality of soil in terms of heavy metal content and nutrient content was directly proportional to the distance from the kiln; that is, the quality of soil increased with increasing distance.

  5. County-Scale Spatial Distribution of Soil Enzyme Activities and Enzyme Activity Indices in Agricultural Land: Implications for Soil Quality Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangping Tan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Here the spatial distribution of soil enzymatic properties in agricultural land was evaluated on a county-wide (567 km2 scale in Changwu, Shaanxi Province, China. The spatial variations in activities of five hydrolytic enzymes were examined using geostatistical methods. The relationships between soil enzyme activities and other soil properties were evaluated using both an integrated total enzyme activity index (TEI and the geometric mean of enzyme activities (GME. At the county scale, soil invertase, phosphatase, and catalase activities were moderately spatially correlated, whereas urease and dehydrogenase activities were weakly spatially correlated. Correlation analysis showed that both TEI and GME were better correlated with selected soil physicochemical properties than single enzyme activities. Multivariate regression analysis showed that soil OM content had the strongest positive effect while soil pH had a negative effect on the two enzyme activity indices. In addition, total phosphorous content had a positive effect on TEI and GME in orchard soils, whereas alkali-hydrolyzable nitrogen and available potassium contents, respectively, had negative and positive effects on these two enzyme indices in cropland soils. The results indicate that land use changes strongly affect soil enzyme activities in agricultural land, where TEI provides a sensitive biological indicator for soil quality.

  6. Soil quality and bacterial community structure: a case study from the mediterranean region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anguita-Maeso, Manuel; Miralles*, Isabel; Soriano**, Miguel; Ortega, Raúl; García-Salcedo, José Antonio; Sánchez-Marañon, Manuel

    2017-04-01

    Bacterial communities play a central role in innumerable processes and functions of soils such as decomposition of organic residues, nutrient cycling, aggregation, and formation of humic substances. We investigated the relationships between bacterial communities, soil profiles, and quality parameters in eight benchmark soils of the Mediterranean calcareous mountain sampled on a local scale. The diversity and composition of prokaryotic community was assessed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing of DNA from samples of topsoil (10 x 10 x 0.2 m). The bacterial profile content resulted in the identification of groups belonging to 16 phyla and 75 genera. Two-dimensional models using multidimensional scaling (Stress 71%), and principal component analysis (Variance > 60%) showed a decrease in the abundance of acidobacteria Gp4 and Gp3 while actinobacteria flourished with increasing soil profile development (from Leptosol to Luvisol). This can be attributed to inherent changes in soil quality along pedogenesis such as pH (8.3 to 7.8), organic C (20.0 to 45.2 Mg ha-1), macropososity (0.11 to 0.32 cm3 cm-3), and water stable aggregates (365.8 to 963.4 Mg ha-1). Actinobacteria genera like Aciditerrimonas, Nocardioides, and Solirubrobacter also displayed positive correlations (r > 0.90) with the content of clay and free Ferric forms. Other factors like Re-carbonation, loss of organic matter, and soil compaction probably caused by land use and management, led to a decline in the Chao1 richness and Shannon diversity indices (3625 and 6.3) with respect to native soils (7852 and 7.4). Likewise, Firmicutes and Gemmatimonadetes were tripled and the genera of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes decreased. Our data indicate that bacterial community structure depends largely on the soil quality status, both inherent and managed and suggest the bacterial group composition also follows the course of soil genesis. (*) Financial support by Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (FP7

  7. The need for attuned soil quality risk assessment for non-Western humans and ecosystems, exemplified by mining areas in South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eijsackers, H.J.P.; Swartjes, F.A.; Rensburg, van L.; Maboeta, M.S.

    2014-01-01

    Worldwide, soils are under threat of deterioration and contamination due to anthropogenic activities. Whilst risk assessment of soils in Europe has been well studied, the same cannot be said of soils in Southern Africa. Soil screening values exist in SA, which enables soil quality assessment, but

  8. The need for attuned soil quality risk assessment for non-Western humans and ecosystems, exemplified by mining areas in South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eijsackers, H.J.P.; Swartjes, F.A.; Rensburg, van L.; Maboeta, M.S.

    2014-01-01

    Worldwide, soils are under threat of deterioration and contamination due to anthropogenic activities. Whilst risk assessment of soils in Europe has been well studied, the same cannot be said of soils in Southern Africa. Soil screening values exist in SA, which enables soil quality assessment, but la

  9. Data Quality Objectives Supporting the Environmental Soil Monitoring Program for the Idaho National Laboratory Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haney, Thomas Jay [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2016-02-01

    This document describes the process used to develop data quality objectives for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Environmental Soil Monitoring Program in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidance. This document also develops and presents the logic that was used to determine the specific number of soil monitoring locations at the INL Site, at locations bordering the INL Site, and at locations in the surrounding regional area. The monitoring location logic follows the guidance from the U.S. Department of Energy for environmental surveillance of its facilities.

  10. Fast Monitoring Soil Environmental Qualities of Heavy Metal by Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bao; Yu, Jian-xin; Huang, Biao; Hu, Wen-you; Chang, Qing

    2015-06-01

    Portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometer as a new type of equipment for quick test has a prominent prospect, but there are also shortcomings of detection range and limition, therefore this paper studied the suitability of PXRF spectrometer in monitoring soil environmental qualities of heavy metals included Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, As and Hg, the aim of this paper is to screen elements which can be detected by this kind of instrument and evaluate the accuracy of test results. The research method is to test heavy metals contaminated soil samples by PXRF spectrometer, evaluate the accuracy of test results of PXRF compared with inductively coupled plasma mass(ICP-MS), then establish linear regression relationship between analysis results of PXRF and ICP-MS method. The results show that, (1) When measuring the soil environmental quality, PXRF spectrometer is appropriate to measure the content of Pb, Zn, Cr and Cu, except Ni, Cd, As and Hg. (2) Compared with the test value of ICP-MS, the test value of Pb and Zn is lower, the test value of Cu is higher, the test value of Cr is too high, all the results of PXRF spectrometer should be linear corrected according to standard analysis method. In conclusion, PXRF spectrometer is suitable for monitoring environmental quality of soil which is polluted by heavy metal such as Pb, Zn, Cr and Cu, it is an analysis means with characteristics of simple and rapid, accurate and reliable. The innovation of this article is that reasonable avoiding the shortcomings of PXRF spectrometer as using the instrument to monitor soil environmental quality, at last improved the application value of test results.

  11. Tolerable soil erosion in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verheijen, Frank; Jones, Bob; Rickson, Jane; Smith, Celina

    2010-05-01

    Soil loss by erosion has been identified as an important threat to soils in Europe* and is recognised as a contributing process to soil degradation and associated deterioration, or loss, of soil functioning. From a policy perspective, it is imperative to establish well-defined baseline values to evaluate soil erosion monitoring data against. For this purpose, accurate baseline values - i.e. tolerable soil loss - need to be differentiated at appropriate scales for monitoring and, ideally, should take soil functions and even changing environmental conditions into account. The concept of tolerable soil erosion has been interpreted in the scientific literature in two ways: i) maintaining the dynamic equilibrium of soil quantity, and ii) maintaining biomass production, at a location. The first interpretation ignores soil quality by focusing only on soil quantity. The second approach ignores many soil functions by focusing only on the biomass (particularly crop) production function of soil. Considering recognised soil functions, tolerable soil erosion may be defined as 'any mean annual cumulative (all erosion types combined) soil erosion rate at which a deterioration or loss of one or more soil functions does not occur'. Assumptions and problems of this definition will be discussed. Soil functions can generally be judged not to deteriorate as long as soil erosion does not exceed soil formation. At present, this assumption remains largely untested, but applying the precautionary principle appears to be a reasonable starting point. Considering soil formation rates by both weathering and dust deposition, it is estimated that for the majority of soil forming factors in most European situations, soil formation rates probably range from ca. 0.3 - 1.4 t ha-1 yr-1. Although the current agreement on these values seems relatively strong, how the variation within the range is spatially distributed across Europe and how this may be affected by climate, land use and land management

  12. Assessing the effects of soil liming with dolomitic limestone and sugar foam on soil acidity, leaf nutrient contents, grape yield and must quality in a Mediterranean vineyard

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olego, M.A.; Visconti, F.; Quiroga, M.J.; Paz, J.M. De; Garzón-Jimeno, E.

    2016-11-01

    Aluminium toxicity has been recognized as one of the most common causes of reduced grape yields in vineyard acid soils. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two liming materials, i.e. dolomitic lime and sugar foam, on a vineyard cultivated in an acid soil. The effects were studied in two soil layers (0-30 and 30-60 cm), as well as on leaf nutrient contents, must quality properties and grape yield, in an agricultural soil dedicated to Vitis vinifera L. cv. ‘Mencía’ cultivation. Data management and analysis were performed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). As liming material, sugar foam was more efficient than dolomitic limestone because sugar foam promoted the highest decrease in soil acidity properties at the same calcium carbonate equivalent dose. However, potassium contents in vines organs, including leaves and berries, seemed to decrease as a consequence of liming, with a concomitant increase in must total acidity. Soil available phosphorus also decreased as a consequence of liming, especially with sugar foam, though no effects were observed in plants. For these reasons fertilization of this soil with K and P is recommended along with liming. Grape yields in limed soils increased, although non-significantly, by 30%. This research has therefore provided an important opportunity to advance in our understanding of the effects of liming on grape quality and production in acid soils. (Author)

  13. Can Novel Management Practice Improve Soil and Environmental Quality and Sustain Crop Yield Simultaneously?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sainju, Upendra M

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about management practices that can simultaneously improve soil and environmental quality and sustain crop yields. The effects of novel and traditional management practices that included a combination of tillage, crop rotation, and N fertilization on soil C and N, global warming potential (GWP), greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI), and malt barley (Hordeum vulgarie L.) yield and quality were examined under non-irrigated and irrigated cropping systems from 2008 to 2011 in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, USA. In loamy soil under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana, novel and traditional management practices were no-till malt barley-pea (Pisum sativum L.) with 80 kg N ha(-1) and conventional till malt barley-fallow with 80 kg N ha(-1), respectively. In sandy loam soil under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in western North Dakota, novel and traditional management practices included no-till malt barley-pea with 67 (non-irrigated) to 134 kg N ha(-1) (irrigated) and conventional till malt barley with 67 (non-irrigated) to 134 kg N ha(-1) (irrigated), respectively. Compared with the traditional management practice, soil organic C (SOC) and total N (STN) at 0-120 cm were 5% greater with the novel management practice under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana and under irrigated condition in western North Dakota, but were not different under non-irrigated condition in western North Dakota. In both places under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions, total applied N rate, residual soil NO3-N content at 0-120 cm, global warming potential (GWP), and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) were 15 to 70% lower with the novel than the traditional management practice. Malt barley yield and quality were not different between the two practices in both places. Novel management practices, such as no-till malt barley-pea with reduced N rate, can simultaneously enhance soil and environmental quality, reduce N input, and sustain crop yield compared with

  14. Can Novel Management Practice Improve Soil and Environmental Quality and Sustain Crop Yield Simultaneously?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Upendra M Sainju

    Full Text Available Little is known about management practices that can simultaneously improve soil and environmental quality and sustain crop yields. The effects of novel and traditional management practices that included a combination of tillage, crop rotation, and N fertilization on soil C and N, global warming potential (GWP, greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI, and malt barley (Hordeum vulgarie L. yield and quality were examined under non-irrigated and irrigated cropping systems from 2008 to 2011 in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, USA. In loamy soil under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana, novel and traditional management practices were no-till malt barley-pea (Pisum sativum L. with 80 kg N ha(-1 and conventional till malt barley-fallow with 80 kg N ha(-1, respectively. In sandy loam soil under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in western North Dakota, novel and traditional management practices included no-till malt barley-pea with 67 (non-irrigated to 134 kg N ha(-1 (irrigated and conventional till malt barley with 67 (non-irrigated to 134 kg N ha(-1 (irrigated, respectively. Compared with the traditional management practice, soil organic C (SOC and total N (STN at 0-120 cm were 5% greater with the novel management practice under non-irrigated condition in eastern Montana and under irrigated condition in western North Dakota, but were not different under non-irrigated condition in western North Dakota. In both places under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions, total applied N rate, residual soil NO3-N content at 0-120 cm, global warming potential (GWP, and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI were 15 to 70% lower with the novel than the traditional management practice. Malt barley yield and quality were not different between the two practices in both places. Novel management practices, such as no-till malt barley-pea with reduced N rate, can simultaneously enhance soil and environmental quality, reduce N input, and sustain crop yield compared

  15. How the type of pyrogenic organic matter determines the SOM quality in amended soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Agustin; Gartzia-Bengoetxea, Nahia; Morangues, Lur; Arias-Gonzalez, Ander

    2016-04-01

    Charred biomass can be used as an organic amendment and to enhance the C sink capacity of soils. There are two types of by-products containing pyrogenic OM that could be used to improve in agricultural or forestry, biochar and wood ash. Due to their different heating conditions under which it is produced (pyrolysis, combustion and different temperatures, feedstocks,..), the properties of this pyrogenic OM might be highly variable, which could affect the SOM quality and the C sink capacity of the amended soil. The purpose of this study was to assess how SOM quality is influenced by pyrogenic organic matter with different degree of carbonization. Biochar and bottom wood ash were added to two Atlantic forest soils (Pinus radiata, 12 °C, 1200 mm) with different texture, clayey loam and sandy loam. The experiment consisted in a randomized block trials, in which different doses of biochar (0, 3, 9, 18 Mh ha-1) and wood ash (0, 1.5, 4.5, and 9 Mg ha-1) were added. The Biochar applied (pH: 9.8; C: 87 %) was produced by the pyrolysis of Myscanthus sp. at 450°C in a Pyreg® pyrolysis unit. The bottom wood ash (pH: 10.6; C: 30 %) was produced by combustion in a biomass power plant. The aromatization/carbonization was lightly higher in biochar than in wood ash. This latter by-product, in addition to the black carbon, it also contained mineral ash, as well as unburnt or lightly charred plant biomass. The evolution of soil chemical and SOM properties were monitored over three years by solid state Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and 13C CPMAS NMR. These techniques were applied in bulk samples and also in fractions of different densityes. The changes in microbial activity were studied by analysis of microbial biomass C and basal respiration and soil microbial community. Three years after applications the SOM content increased lightly in the treatment receiving the highest doses of biochar and wood ash, specially in the clay loam soil. SOM in the treated soils displayed a

  16. Negative effects of excessive soil phosphorus on floristic quality in Ohio wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapanian, Martin A.; Schumacher, William; Gara, Brian; Monteith, Steve

    2016-01-01

    Excessive soil nutrients, often from agricultural runoff, have been shown to negatively impact some aspects of wetland plant communities. We measured plant-available phosphorus (Mehlich-3: MeP) in soil samples, and assessed the vascular plant community and habitat degradation at 27 emergent and 13 forested wetlands in Ohio, USA. We tested two hypotheses: (1) that an index of vegetation biological integrity based on floristic quality was lower in wetlands with higher concentrations of MeP in the soil, and (2) that higher concentrations of MeP occurred in wetlands with more habitat degradation (i.e., lower quality), as estimated by a rapid assessment method. Hypothesis (1) was supported for emergent, but not for forested wetlands. Hypothesis (2) was marginally supported (P = 0.09) for emergent, but not supported for forested wetlands. The results indicate that the effect of concentration of phosphorus in wetland soils and the quality of plant species assemblages in wetlands is more complex than shown in site-specific studies and may depend in part on degree of disturbance in the surrounding watershed and dominant wetland vegetation type. Woody plants in forested wetlands are typically longer lived than herbaceous species in the understory and emergent wetlands, and may persist despite high inputs of phosphorus. Further, the forested wetlands were typically surrounded by a wide band of forest vegetation, which may provide a barrier against sedimentation and the associated phosphorus inputs to the wetland interior. Our results indicate that inferences about soil nutrient conditions made from rapid assessment methods for assessing wetland habitat condition may not be reliable.

  17. Structural quality of polyacrylamide-treated cohesive soils in the coastal tablelands of Pernambuco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Vandeval Maranhão de Melo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Water-soluble polymers are characterized as effective flocculating agents due to their molecular features. Their application to soils with horizons with structural problems, e.g, a cohesive character, contributes to improvements in the physical quality and thus to the agricultural suitability of such soils. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the structural quality of soils with cohesive horizons of coastal tablelands in the State of Pernambuco treated with polyacrylamide (PAM as chemical soil conditioner. To this end, three horizons (one cohesive and two non-cohesive of a Yellow Argisol (Ultisol were evaluated and to compare cohesive horizons, the horizon of a Yellow Latosol (Oxisol was selected. The treatments consisted of aqueous PAM solutions (12.5; 50.0; 100.0 mg kg-1 and distilled water (control. The structural aspects of the horizons were evaluated by the stability (soil mass retained in five diameter classes, aggregate distribution per size class (mean weight diameter- MWD, geometric mean diameter - GMD and the magnitude of the changes introduced by PAM by measuring the sensitivity index (Si. Aqueous PAM solutions increased aggregate stability in the largest evaluated diameter class of the cohesive and non-cohesive horizons, resulting in higher MWD and GMD, with highest efficiency of the 100 mg kg-1 solution. The cohesive horizon Bt1 in the Ultisol was most sensitive to the action of PAM, where highest Si values were found, but the structural quality of the BA horizon of the Oxisol was better in terms of stability and aggregate size distribution.

  18. Negative effects of excessive soil phosphorus on floristic quality in Ohio wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapanian, Martin A; Schumacher, William; Gara, Brian; Monteith, Steven E

    2016-05-01

    Excessive soil nutrients, often from agricultural runoff, have been shown to negatively impact some aspects of wetland plant communities. We measured plant-available phosphorus (Mehlich-3: MeP) in soil samples, and assessed the vascular plant community and habitat degradation at 27 emergent and 13 forested wetlands in Ohio, USA. We tested two hypotheses: (1) that an index of vegetation biological integrity based on floristic quality was lower in wetlands with higher concentrations of MeP in the soil, and (2) that higher concentrations of MeP occurred in wetlands with more habitat degradation (i.e., lower quality), as estimated by a rapid assessment method. Hypothesis (1) was supported for emergent, but not for forested wetlands. Hypothesis (2) was marginally supported (P=0.09) for emergent, but not supported for forested wetlands. The results indicate that the effect of concentration of phosphorus in wetland soils and the quality of plant species assemblages in wetlands is more complex than shown in site-specific studies and may depend in part on degree of disturbance in the surrounding watershed and dominant wetland vegetation type. Woody plants in forested wetlands are typically longer lived than herbaceous species in the understory and emergent wetlands, and may persist despite high inputs of phosphorus. Further, the forested wetlands were typically surrounded by a wide band of forest vegetation, which may provide a barrier against sedimentation and the associated phosphorus inputs to the wetland interior. Our results indicate that inferences about soil nutrient conditions made from rapid assessment methods for assessing wetland habitat condition may not be reliable.

  19. Zeolite and Hucalcia as Coating Material for Improving Quality of NPK Fertilizer in Costal Sandy Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulakhudin

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available he growth and yield of plants are mainly a function of the quantity of fertilizer and water. In coastal sandy soil, nutrient losses and dry soils are seriously problems. The objective of the research was to study effect of zeolite and hucalci concentrations as NPK coating materials on NPK qualities i.e. water adsorption and release of N, P and K. The research used a coastal sandy soil as media. It was conducted in a laboratory of Soil Science Department, Gadjah Mada University from July to August 2009. Experimental design used was a factorial in a completely randomized design. The first factor was hucalci concentration, consisted of 10% (H1, 20% (H2, and 30% (H3. The second factor was zeolite concentration, consisted of 25% (Z1, 50% (Z2, 75% (Z3, and 100% (Z4. NPK fertilizer (without coating used as a control. The results showed that hucalci and zeolite had a capability to increase water adsorption and to retard the release of N, P, K. The coated NPK with hucalci 30% and zeolite 100% had the highest quality in water absorption, water retention and release of nutrients.

  20. A Culture Framework for Education: Defining Quality Values and Their Impact in U.S. High Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detert, James R.; Louis, Karen Seashore; Schroeder, Roger G.

    2001-01-01

    Addresses relatively unsubstantiated claims of an important relationship between organizational culture and the ability to implement total quality management in schools. Results of this literature review suggest that some of the nine quality-management culture dimensions are highly consistent with school improvement research; others are more…

  1. Effects of various agro-industrial residues on soil fertility and yield and quality of potatoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmaci, O L; Seçer, M; Ceylan, S

    2012-07-01

    Nine combinations of production residues of agro-industries, urban wastes and mineral fertilizers were applied to potatoes (Solanum tuberosum var. Marabel) in a field experiment, and the effect of these combinations on soil characteristics, on yield and on various quality parameters of tubers were determined. The applications significantly affected soil pH, CaCO3 and organic matter content. Total N and available P and K levels of soils showed significant differences between the applications. The content of available Zn and Mn in the soil differed significantly between the applications. Sufficient levels of N, P and K were not attained in leaves in any application. Significant differences were observed between the P content of the leaves of the control and of the other applications. Potassium and Na content of the leaves showed significant variations between the applications. Manganese was at a statistically higher level in the leaves of some combinations. The nitrogen, P and Mn contents of tubers differed significantly between the applications. Phosphorus, K, Mg and Cu levels were found to be sufficient, but Fe, Zn and Mn were low in tubers. Tuber yield was statistically highest in the Wastes P + Mineral NK combination. Reduced sugar and protein content of the tubers was affected significantly by the applications. Significant correlations were found between soil, leaf and tubers.

  2. Definition, willingness-to-pay, and ranking of quality attributes of U.S. pork as defined by importers in Asia and Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, R G L; Howard, S T; Woerner, D R; Pendell, D L; Dixon, C L; Desimone, T L; Green, M D; Igo, J L; Tatum, J D; Belk, K E

    2015-01-01

    A survey was conducted from November 2009 to April 2010 to determine how importers of pork define 7 predetermined quality categories (food safety, customer service, eating quality, product specification, packaging, visual characteristics, and production history) and to estimate willingness-to-pay (WTP) and establish best-worst (B/W) scaling (rank) for the 7 quality categories. Interviews were conducted in Hong Kong/China (n = 83), Japan (n = 48), Mexico (n = 70) and Russia (n = 54) with importers of U.S. pork or those who had purchased U.S. pork from distributors in the last 3 yr. Interviews used dynamic routing software and were structured such that economic factors for purchase were addressed first, allowing all responses to focus on quality. Questions about WTP and B/W were asked and then each respondent was asked to define what each quality category meant to them. Generalized linear mixed models were used to analyze frequency data. Over 70% of interviewees in Hong Kong/China, Japan, and Mexico responded that purchase price was influential in deciding whether or not to purchase imported pork. This number was lower in Russia, where respondents stated tariff rates were also important, indicating market access was a larger issue in Russia. Food safety was the most important quality category (price was not included as a part of quality) for imported pork followed by specifications. Respondents indicated some form of government inspection was how they defined food safety, whereas product size, weight, and subcutaneous fat were all included in the definition of specifications. Interviewees were more likely to pay premiums for customer service and less likely to pay premiums for packaging (P profitability if a guarantee of customer service was made. Price, tariffs, and exchange rates are important to pork importers; these results indicated that if certain quality attributes could be guaranteed, exporters could increase profitability.

  3. Two factors defining humus as a key structural component of soil organic matter and as a physicochemical speciation of carbon in its turnover wending its way through the micro environment of soil, sediments and natural waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleksandrova, Olga

    2016-04-01

    Over the last 40-50 years, the scientific community started to question the model of soil organic matter. Close consideration has been given to the following models: the classic model that regards a significant part of soil organic matter as large, covalently bonded 'humus polymers', which are formed via "humification", and the continuum model that considers soil organic matter as 'supra molecular aggregates of degradation fragments'[1]. The underlying cause of a contradiction between 'humus polymers' model and continuum model of SOM implies that 'the vast majority of operationally defined humic material in soils is a very complex mixture of microbial and plant biopolymers and their degradation products but not a distinct chemical category'. Furthermore, authors [1] of the continuum model suggested 'to turn to modern, evidence based concept, and to abandon the operational proxies of the past' that means to consider term 'humus' as an out-of-date model. However, micro cosmos of organic matter in soil implies not only an assemblage of molecular units but also a system of interactions of different types [2]. Peculiar interactions in SOM allow us to understand a lot of physicochemical phenomena observed in soil samples, for example by EPR and SL EPR examinations [3, 4, 5]. Among specific interactions in soil, mention should be made of hydrogen (H) bonds and hydrophobic interaction. Spin Labeling EPR examination of natural and labeled soil samples showed that in SOM, there are stable and roaming H-bonds. Stable H-bonds are typical of a part of SOM, which can be isolated as humus, whereas a non-humified part of SOM is rich in roaming hydrogen bonds. Addition of some water (more than maximal moisture) to soil leads to disintegration of some weak H-bond. Other solvents influence SOM the same way but they disintegrate stronger or weaker H-bonds in dependence on used solvent. Thus in soil, different environmental conditions (like moisture, temperature or pollution) influence

  4. 土壤质量评价国内外研究进展%Research Progress of Soil Quality Evaluation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴玉红; 李云; 郝兴顺; 王艳龙; 张宏民(编、校)

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, soil quality and soil quality assessment were studied.The soil quality indicators, the weight value for soil quality evaluation and the method of soil quality assessment were summarized.The minimum data set ( MDS ) for soil assessment, mathematical modeling in order to change the soil quality indicators and the method of quantitative evaluation were studied.%阐述了土壤质量及土壤质量评价的内涵,并从土壤质量评价的3个过程,即评价指标的筛选、评价指标权重的确定、评价方法的选择分别进行了分析。目前土壤质量评价工作中指标体系最小数据集筛选方法、评价指标转化的数学模型、定量化评价方法是当前土壤质量评价研究的热点。

  5. Land Quality Assessment and Monitoring: The Next Challenge for Soil Science

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    Sustainable land management (SLM) is the key to harmonizing environmental and ecological concernsof society with the economic realities of producing adequate food and fiber of high quality and ensuring abasic minimal quality of life. The aim of SLM is to maintain the integrity of the biophysical land resourcebase, but it can only be realized if land users understand the impacts of land management options on theirlands but also on other off-site areas and can optimize the socioeconomic and environmental benefits of theirchoice. To facilitate this, the contribution of soil survey organizations would be through the assessment andmonitoring of land quality. Land quality is a measure of the ability of land to perform specific functions and isderived by an integration of soil survey information with other environmental, and if necessary, socioeconomicinformation. The desired reliability influences the operational scale of the assessment. Such an assessmentwould assist in: 1) locating homologous areas for research sites or for transferring technologies; 2) providingthe geographic basis for systems analysis (e.g. by modeling); 3) serving as a basis for local, national andglobal resource assessment and monitoring; 4) providing an ecosystem context for land use, assessments oftemporal and spatial variability, and impact of human interventions; 5) serving as a framework for moredetailed assessment for all levels of interest; and 6) evaluating global issues such as food security, impacts ofclimate change, biodiversity monitoring, and addressing desertification.Based on an evaluation of the progress made in soil resource inventories and considering the demandsof the environment focused world, the paper considers the need for countries to mount such a program. Theauthors believe that this is the next demand of soil science and that we can fulfill our social contract byperiodically providing such information on the state of a nation's land resource.

  6. Evaluating the soil physical quality under long-term field experiments in Southern Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellini, Mirko; Stellacci, Anna Maria; Iovino, Massimo; Rinaldi, Michele; Ventrella, Domenico

    2017-04-01

    Long-term field experiments performed in experimental farms are important research tools to assess the soil physical quality (SPQ) given that relatively stable conditions can be expected in these soils. However, different SPQ indicators may sometimes provide redundant or conflicting results, making difficult an SPQ evaluation (Castellini et al., 2014). As a consequence, it is necessary to apply appropriate statistical procedures to obtain a minimum set of key indicators. The study was carried out at the Experimental Farm of CREA-SCA (Foggia) in two long-term field experiments performed on durum wheat. The first long-term experiment is aiming at evaluating the effects of two residue management systems (burning, B or soil incorporation of crop residues, I) while the second at comparing the effect of tillage (conventional tillage, CT) and sod-seeding (direct drilling, DD). In order to take into account both optimal and non-optimal soil conditions, five SPQ indicators were monitored at 5-6 sampling dates during the crop season (i.e., between November and June): soil bulk density (BD), macroporosity (PMAC), air capacity (AC), plant available water capacity (PAWC) and relative field capacity (RFC). Two additional data sets, collected on DD plot in different cropping seasons and in Sicilian soils differing for texture, depth and land use (N=140), were also used with the aim to check the correlation among indicators. Impact of soil management was assessed by comparing SPQ evaluated under different management systems with optimal reference values reported in literature. Two techniques of multivariate analysis (principal component analysis, PCA and stepwise discriminant analysis, SDA) were applied to select the most suitable indicator to facilitate the judgment on SPQ. Regardless of the considered management system, sampling date or auxiliary data set, correlation matrices always showed significant negative relationships between RFC and AC. Decreasing RFC at increasing AC is

  7. 基于稳健统计学确定高潜在污染土壤CU、Pb基线值%DEFINING Cu AND Pb GEOCHEMICAL BASELINES FOR SOILS HIGH IN POLLUTION RISK WITH ROBUST STATISTICS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王志刚; 赵永存; 孙维侠; 黄标; 邵学新; Jeremy L.Dariek

    2011-01-01

    It is of great practice significance to define baselines for soil heavy metals in the Yangtze River Delta Region to evaluation of status quo of the heavy metal accumulation in the soil. In the presence of anthropogenic heavy metal pollution, soil heavy metal data always significantly deviate from normal or lognormal distribution, which affects reliability of the results of classical statistics. In contrast, robust statistics is aimed at lowering the effect of outliers on statistical analysis. With the robust regression method regression relationships between Cu and Pb concentrations in topsoil and in subsoil were established for the study region of Zhangjiagang, which has thousands of years of agricultural history and has recently been developing rapidly in industry. Based on the topsoil Cu and Pb concentration baselines calculated through robust regression of their subsoil concentrations, the status of soil Cu and Pb accumulations were evaluated. Results show that the calculated geochemical baselines can reflect natural variation of soil Cu and Pb background values between different sampling sites. Compared with the robust statistical method, the evaluation of soil heavy metal accumulation in a region that has spatial variation of natural background values on the basis of the national standard for soil environmental quality or regional soil background values would generate bigger errors.%土壤重金属基线值的确定对于评价重金属积累现状具有重要意义.在存在人为污染的情况下,土壤重金属数据经常强烈地偏离正态分布和对数正态分布,影响统计分析结果的可信度,而稳健统计方法可以降低离群值对统计分析结果的影响.本研究以张家港为研究区域,采用稳健回归方法,建立表层和底层土壤Cu、Pb的回归关系,通过底层土壤Cu、Pb含量计算表层土壤Cu、Pb基线值,并对土壤Cu、Pb积累状况进行评价.结果表明,稳健回归方法确定的表层土壤Cu、Pb

  8. Soil Quality under Riparian Forest at Different Stages of Ecological Succession and Cultivated with Sugarcane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Luiz Gabriel; Casagrande, José Carlos; Colato, Alexandre; Soares, Marcio Roberto; Perissatto Meneghin, Silvana

    2014-05-01

    This work aimed at evaluating the quality of the soil through its chemical, physical and microbiological attributes, using additive pondered model, as well as studying the characteristics of the linear method of combination of data, figures of merit (FoMs), the process of assigning weights and standard score functions, using measurements collected in three areas (two riparian forests and a commercial crop of sugarcane) in two soil types (Oxisol and Podzol) located on the dam shores of Sugar Mill Saint Lucia-Araras/SP. The soil was sampled in the depths of 0-0.2 and 0.2-0.4m, and was determined some of its chemical attributes (nutrient content and organic matter, cationic exchange capacity - CEC, etc.), physical (particle size distribution, density and porosity) and microbiological (microbial biomass and basal respiration). Two models were built, one containing two hierarchical levels of FoMs (Mod1), and another containing three levels (Mod2), in order to try to isolate FoMs highly correlated from each other within a top-level FoM. At FoMs of Mod1 were assigned various combinations of weights, and those of Mod2 were assigned weights from three methods, distribution from fixed value, classification and pair-wise comparison. In the Mod1, in virtually all combinations of weights used, values of Soil Quality Index (SQI) were superior in older forests, while the most recent forest presented the lowest SQI, for both types of soil. The variation of SQI values obtained from the sets of weights used also differed between the combinations tested, with the set of values of the ancient forest showing smaller amplitude. It could also be observed that the sets of values of Oxisol showed higher SQI and lower amplitude in relation to that of Podzol. It was observed that these facts are due mainly to the soil organic matter content (MO), which differs between the vegetations and soil types, and influences many parameters used in the model. Thus, in the structures where MO had

  9. Visual versus chemical evaluation: Effects of pruning wood decomposition on soil quality in a cherry orchard (Northeast Germany).

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dongen, Renee; Germer, Sonja; Kern, Jürgen; Stoorvogel, Jetse

    2016-04-01

    Returning crop residues to the soil is a well-known practice to keep a sustainable soil quality in agriculture. In an orchard, pruning material could be returned for soil and water conservation or could be removed for energy production. Pruning wood decomposition rates and their impact on soil quality and greenhouse-gas emissions depend on climate, soil type, land management and water availability. Changing the soil management from leaving wood prunings on soil to removing them from the orchard is expected to result in a slow but lasting change of soil quality. Therefore a quick and cost-effective technique for soil quality evaluation is needed. This study aims to compare pruning wood decomposition effects on soil quality determined by soil chemistry (pH, C/N-ratio) or by Visual Soil Examination and Evaluation (VSEE). In addition, treatments effects on soil quality were compared for sampling positions in tree rows versus interrows. In a cherry orchard (Northeast Germany) six plots were established spreading over two planting rows. At each plot, three subplots with 1x (0.55 kg/m2), 2x (1.10 kg/m2) and 10x (5.50 kg/m2) the average pruning wood rates were installed in both tree and interrows. 5 months later the soils were sampled and a Visual Soil Evaluation and Examination (VSEE) was applied. To relate wood decomposition to impacts on soil quality, wood bags were placed in each plot and were sampled in time intervals of 5 weeks (till a maximum of 20 weeks). Wood decomposition was characterized by decomposition rates and changes in carbon and nitrogen contents. To assess environmental effects, CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions or uptake from soils with different pruning rates were determined with the closed chamber method. There were no significant differences in pH and C/N-ratio between the 3 pruning rates. However, pH was significant higher in the tree row compared to the interrow for the 10-fold pruning rate. The 10-fold pruning rate had significant higher VSEE

  10. Defining the real-world reproducibility of visual grading of left ventricular function and visual estimation of left ventricular ejection fraction: impact of image quality, experience and accreditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Graham D; Dhutia, Niti M; Shun-Shin, Matthew J; Willson, Keith; Harrison, James; Raphael, Claire E; Zolgharni, Massoud; Mayet, Jamil; Francis, Darrel P

    2015-10-01

    Left ventricular function can be evaluated by qualitative grading and by eyeball estimation of ejection fraction (EF). We sought to define the reproducibility of these techniques, and how they are affected by image quality, experience and accreditation. Twenty apical four-chamber echocardiographic cine loops (Online Resource 1-20) of varying image quality and left ventricular function were anonymized and presented to 35 operators. Operators were asked to provide (1) a one-phrase grading of global systolic function (2) an "eyeball" EF estimate and (3) an image quality rating on a 0-100 visual analogue scale. Each observer viewed every loop twice unknowingly, a total of 1400 viewings. When grading LV function into five categories, an operator's chance of agreement with another operator was 50% and with themself on blinded re-presentation was 68%. Blinded eyeball LVEF re-estimates by the same operator had standard deviation (SD) of difference of 7.6 EF units, with the SD across operators averaging 8.3 EF units. Image quality, defined as the average of all operators' assessments, correlated with EF estimate variability (r = -0.616, p visual grading agreement (r = 0.58, p visual grading of LV function and LVEF estimation is dependent on image quality, but individuals cannot themselves identify when poor image quality is disrupting their LV function estimate. Clinicians should not assume that patients changing in grade or in visually estimated EF have had a genuine clinical change.

  11. Analytical performance, reference values and decision limits. A need to differentiate between reference intervals and decision limits and to define analytical quality specifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Per Hyltoft; Jensen, Esther A; Brandslund, Ivan

    2011-12-23

    With the increasing use of decision limits (action limits, cut-off points) specified for a number of analytical components in diagnosis and for action in critical situations, formulated in national or international recommendations, the traditional interpretation of reference intervals has been uncertain, and sometimes the two concepts are being mixed up by incorporating risk calculations in the reference intervals. There is, therefore, a need to clarify the two concepts and to keep them definitely separated. Reference intervals are the 95% limits for the descriptions of the distributions of the values of analytical components measured on reference samples from reference individuals. Decision limits are based on guidelines from national and international expert groups defining specific concentrations of certain components as limits for decision about diagnosis or well-defined specific actions. Analytical quality specifications for reference intervals have been defined for bias since the 1990s, but in the recommendations specified in the clinical guidelines analytical quality specifications are only scarcely defined. The demands for negligible biases are, however, even more essential for decision limits, as the choice is no longer left to the clinician, but emerge directly from the concentration. Even a small bias will change the number of diseased individuals, so the demands for negligible biases are obvious. A view over the analytical quality as published gives a variable picture of bias for many components, but with many examples of considerable bias which must be critical--yet no specifications have been stipulated until now.

  12. Simulation of Soil Quality with Riparian Forests and Cultivated with Sugarcane

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Luiz Gabriel; Colato, Alexandre; Casagrande, José Carlos; Soares, Marcio Roberto; Perissatto Meneghin, Silvana

    2013-04-01

    Riparian forests are entrusted with important hydrological functions, such as riparian zone protection, filtering sediments and nutrients and mitigation of the amount of nutrients and xenobiotic molecules from the surrounding agro ecosystems. The soil was sampled in the depths of 0-0,2 and 0.2-0.4 m and its chemical (nutrient content and organic matter, cationic exchange capacity - CEC, sum of bases-SB, bases saturation, V%, and aluminum saturation, m%); physical (particle size distribution, density and porosity) and microbiological attributes (basal respiration and microbial biomass) were determined. This work aimed to study the liner method of combining data, figures of merit (FoM), weighing process and the scoring functions developed by Wymore and asses the quality of the soil (SQI) by means of chemical, physical and microbiological soil attributes, employing the additive pondered model for two areas of riparian forest at different stages of ecological succession and an adjacent area cultivated with sugar cane, located on the dam shores of Sugar Mill Saint Lucia-Araras/SP. Some hierarchical functions containing FoMs and their parameters were constructed, and from them weights were assigned to each FoM and parameter, in a way that cluster of structures with the same FoMs and parameters with different weights were formed. These clusters were used to calculate the SQI for all vegetal formations considering two types of soil (Oxisol and Podzol), in that way, the SQI was calculated for each combination of vegetation and soil. The SQIs values were usually higher in the oldest riparian forest, while the recent riparian forest showed the smallest SQI values, for both types of soil. The variation of values within a combination vegetation/soil was also different between all combinations, being that the set of values from the oldest riparian forest presented the lowest amplitude. It was also observed that the Oxisols, regardless of the vegetation, presented higher SQIs

  13. Long-term Effect of Pig Slurry Application on Soil Carbon Storage, Quality and Yield Sustainability in Murcia Region, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büyükkılıç Yanardaǧ, Asuman

    2013-04-01

    Sustainability of agriculture is now a major global concern, especially since the 1980s. Soil organic matter is very important in the proper functions of the soil, which is also a good indicator of soil quality. This is due to its influence on many of the chemical, physical, and biological processes that control the capacity of a soil to perform properly. Understanding of nutrient supply through organic matter mineralization in agricultural systems is essential for maintaining long-term quality and productivity. The composition of pig manure will have a profound impact on soil properties, quality and crop yield when used in agriculture. We studied the effects of pig slurry (PS) application as an organic fertilizer, trying to determine the optimum amount that can be added to the soil, and the effect on soil properties, quality, and productivity. We applied 3 different doses on silty loam soils: Single (D1), Double (D2), Triple (D3) and unfertilized plots (C) served as controls. Samples were collected at two different levels, surface (0-30 cm) and subsurface (30-60 cm). D1 application dose, which is the agronomic rate of N-requirement (170 kg N/ha/yr) (European Directive 91/676/CEE), is very appropriate in term of sustainable agriculture and also can improve physical, chemical and biological soil properties. Therefore that the long-term use of PS with low dose may necessarily enhance soil quality in the long term. There are many factors to be considered when attempting to assess the overall net impact of a management practice on productivity. Additions of pig manure to soils at agronomic rates (170 kg N ha-1 yr-1) to match crop nutrient requirements are expected to have a positive impact on soil productivity. Therefore, the benefits from the use of application depend on the management of PS, carbon and environmental quality. However, PS have high micronutrient contents, and for this reason the application of high doses can pollute soils and damage human, animal and

  14. Effects of long-term use of different farming systems on some physical, chemical and microbiological parameters of soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajda, Anna M.; Czyż, Ewa A.; Dexter, Anthony R.

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the effects of different farming systems (organic, integrated, conventional and monoculture) on some soil properties as: bulk density, contents of readily-dispersible clay, organic matter and particulate organic matter, and enzymatic activity measured in terms of the intensity of fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis. Soil under permanent grass was used as a control. The study was conducted on the 20 years lasting field experiment. Samples of Haplic Luvisol soil were collected twice a year on fields under winter wheat from the layers of 0-5, 5-10, 15-20, and 30-35 cm. Within arable soils the soil under organic farming contained the greatest amount of organic matter, which influenced strongly the readily-dispersible clay content, especially in the layer of 5-20 cm. The readily-dispersible clay content in soil under organic farming was 3 times lower, as compared to the conventional and monoculture farming. The highest contents of particulate organic matter 6.2 and 3.5 mg g-1 air dry soil, on average were measured in the 0-5 cm layer of control soil and soil under organic farming, respectively. Also, soil under organic farming and control soil from the depth of 0-5 cm showed 2-2.5 times greater activity of microorganisms in fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis than soil under conventional and monoculture farming. Increase of concentration of organic matter in soil under organic farming decreased soil bulk density. Statistical analysis showed significant correlations between studied parameters of soil quality and confirmed their effectiveness as indicators of disturbances in soil environment.

  15. Defining quality of life in the children of parents with severe mental illness: a preliminary stakeholder-led model.

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    Penny Bee

    Full Text Available Severe parental mental illness poses a challenge to quality of life (QoL in a substantial number of children and adolescents, and improving the lives of these children is of urgent political and public health concern. This study used a bottom-up qualitative approach to develop a new stakeholder-led model of quality of life relevant to this population. Qualitative data were collected from 19 individuals participating in focus groups or individual interviews. Participants comprised 8 clinical academics, health and social care professionals or voluntary agency representatives; 5 parents and 6 young people (aged 13-18 yrs with lived experience of severe parental mental illness. Data underwent inductive thematic analysis for the purposes of informing a population-specific quality of life model. Fifty nine individual themes were identified and grouped into 11 key 'meta-themes'. Mapping each meta-theme against existing child-centred quality of life concepts revealed a multi-dimensional model that endorsed, to a greater or lesser degree, the core domains of generic quality of life models. Three new population-specific priorities were also observed: i the alleviation of parental mental health symptoms, ii improved problem-based coping skills and iii increased mental health literacy. The identification of these priorities raises questions regarding the validity of generic quality of life measures to monitor the effectiveness of services for families and children affected by severe mental illness. New, age-appropriate instruments that better reflect the life priorities and unique challenges faced by the children of parents with severe mental illness may need to be developed. Challenges then remain in augmenting and adapting service design and delivery mechanisms better to meet these needs. Future child and adult mental health services need to work seamlessly alongside statutory education and social care services and a growing number of relevant third

  16. Defining quality of life in the children of parents with severe mental illness: a preliminary stakeholder-led model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bee, Penny; Berzins, Kathryn; Calam, Rachel; Pryjmachuk, Steven; Abel, Kathryn M

    2013-01-01

    Severe parental mental illness poses a challenge to quality of life (QoL) in a substantial number of children and adolescents, and improving the lives of these children is of urgent political and public health concern. This study used a bottom-up qualitative approach to develop a new stakeholder-led model of quality of life relevant to this population. Qualitative data were collected from 19 individuals participating in focus groups or individual interviews. Participants comprised 8 clinical academics, health and social care professionals or voluntary agency representatives; 5 parents and 6 young people (aged 13-18 yrs) with lived experience of severe parental mental illness. Data underwent inductive thematic analysis for the purposes of informing a population-specific quality of life model. Fifty nine individual themes were identified and grouped into 11 key 'meta-themes'. Mapping each meta-theme against existing child-centred quality of life concepts revealed a multi-dimensional model that endorsed, to a greater or lesser degree, the core domains of generic quality of life models. Three new population-specific priorities were also observed: i) the alleviation of parental mental health symptoms, ii) improved problem-based coping skills and iii) increased mental health literacy. The identification of these priorities raises questions regarding the validity of generic quality of life measures to monitor the effectiveness of services for families and children affected by severe mental illness. New, age-appropriate instruments that better reflect the life priorities and unique challenges faced by the children of parents with severe mental illness may need to be developed. Challenges then remain in augmenting and adapting service design and delivery mechanisms better to meet these needs. Future child and adult mental health services need to work seamlessly alongside statutory education and social care services and a growing number of relevant third sector providers to

  17. Effects of land use change and management on SOC and soil quality in Mediterranean rangelands areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Lozano-García, Beatriz; Requejo, Ana; Zornoza, Raúl

    2017-04-01

    INTRODUCTION Rangelands in the Iberian Peninsula occupy more than 90,000 km2. These rangelands were created from the former Mediterranean oak forests, mainly composed of holm oak and cork oak (Quercus ilex rotundifolia and Quercus suber), by clear-cutting shrubs, removing selected trees and cultivating. These man-made landscapes are called 'dehesas' in Spain and 'montados' in Portugal. Between 1955 and 1981, more than 5,000 km2 of dehesas was converted from pastureland to cultivated land. This process has been accelerated since 1986 owing to subsidies from the European Common Agricultural Policy (Parras-Alcántara et al., 2015a). The role that natural rangelands play in the global carbon cycle is extremely important, accounting for 10-30% of the world's total soil organic carbon (SOC), in addition, SOC concentration is closely related to soil quality and vegetation productivity (Brevik, 2012). Therefore, to study the land use and management changes is important, particularly in Mediterranean soils, as they are characterized by low organic carbon content, furthermore, the continuous use of ploughing for grain production is the principal cause of soil degradation. Therefore, land use decisions and management systems can increase or decrease SOC content and stock (Corral-Fernández et al., 2013; Parras-Alcántara et al., 2014, 2015a and 2015b; Parras-Alcántara and Lozano-García, 2014) MATERIAL AND METHODS A field study was conducted to determine the land use change (Mediterranean evergreen oak woodland to olive grove and cereal, all of them managed under conventional tillage and under conservationist practices) effects on SOC stocks and the soil quality (Stratification Ratio) in Los Pedroches valley, southern Spain. RESULTS Results for the present study indicate that management practices had little effect on SOC storage in dehesas. The stratification ratio was >2 both under conventional tillage and under organic farming, so, soils under dehesa had high quality

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Fetouani

    2013-11-01

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

  19. Amendments and mulches improve the biological quality of soils degraded by mining activities in SE Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna Ramos, Lourdes; Miralles Mellado, Isabel; Hernández Fernández, María Teresa; García Izquierdo, Carlos; Solé Benet, Albert

    2014-05-01

    Mining and quarrying activities generate negative visual impacts in the landscape and a loss of environmental quality. Substrate properties at the end of mining are in general not suitable for plant growth, even native ones. In an experimental soil restoration in limestone quarries from Sierra de Gádor (Almería), SE Spain, the effect of organic amendment (sewage sludge, compost from the organic fraction of domestic waste or non-amendment) combined or not with two different kind of mulches (fine gravel, chopped forest residue) was tested by triplicate in 5 x 5 m plots with the aim to improve soil/substrate properties and to reduce evaporation and erosion. In each experimental plot 75 native plants (Stipa tenacissima, Anthyllis terniflora and Anthyllis cytisoides) were planted. Effects of adding organic amendments and mulches on some soil microbiological and biochemical parameters (microbial biomass carbon, basal respiration and different enzymatic activities, such as dehydrogenase, phosphatase, β-glucosidase and urease) were analyzed 5 years after the start of the experiment. Vegetation growth was also monitored. The two-way ANOVA, using as factors amendment and mulch, showed a significant positive influence of organic amendments on microbial biomass (Cmic), basal respiration and some enzymatic activities related to the cycles of C and N. The highest values of these parameters were obtained with compost. The influence of the mulch factor and its interactions with the amendment factor on the measured variables did not follow a clear trend with respect the measured parameters. Mulching did not improved significantly (pcontrol, but it is remarkable that the mulch type "forest chopped residue" had a negative effect on vegetation growth. The addition of organic amendments, especially compost from the organic fraction of domestic wastes, is beneficial to restore degraded or man-made soils from quarrying areas because they stimulate microbial growth and activity

  20. Extreme anthropogenic erosion: Topsoil Selling in the Mekong Delta and consequences for soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigand, Susanne; Sebesvari, Zita; Vien, Duong Minh; Kruse, Jens; Guong, Vo Thi; Amelung, Wulf

    2017-04-01

    Increasing urbanization and industrialization leads to increasing demands for construction material, especially in low income countries. For this purpose topsoil is sometimes removed and used as construction material. Topsoil Selling is practiced around the world from America, Europe and Africa to Asia. In the Mekong Delta, Vietnam farmers physically remove the upper 10-40 cm of their paddy fields and sell it to contractors (= Topsoil Selling, TSS). The excavated material is used for road construction or brick production and therefore the most fertile part of the paddy soil is irrecoverably lost. The temporal effects of topsoil removal on soil quality are not yet fully understood. We hypothesized that after soil removal, soil quality and yield potential are significantly lower compared to the original topsoil. To test this hypothesis, we sampled two chronosequences in two different provinces of the Mekong Delta. The provinces are Sóc Trăng (Control, 1, 2, 3, 8 years after TSS) and Trà Vinh (Control, 3, 5, 8 years after TSS). The sampling areas differ in texture and cultivation practice: clayey-loamy vs. sandy-loamy and double vs. triple rice cropping. For each year of the chronosequence, 4 field sites were investigated. We sampled the Ap, Bg1, and Bg2 horizon up to 40 cm depth as composite samples from 6 to 8 cores per field. Soil organic carbon (Corg) stocks at TSS sites were up to 20 t/ha lower than at Control sites (Control: 50 t/ha) in Sóc Trăng and up to 15 t/ha lower in Tra Vinh (Control: 30 t/ha). Especially the Bg horizons revealed a continuous decline in Corg with time after soil removal. Analysis of available nutrients (Na, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Al, Mn, Zn, Cu) determined by the Mehlich3-Method are still ongoing. Preliminary results, however, suggest that there is not sustainable loss of these elements after selling, but that initial risk of losses are reverted under prolonged management. Phosphorus fractionation according to the Hedley method indicate

  1. Changes in soil quality following poplar short-rotation forestry under different cutting cycles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Di Bene

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In the last decade, the change of energy concept induced by global warming and fossil fuel depletion together with the advances in agriculture towards a multifunctional and a more sustainable use of rural areas promoted the development of biomass crops. In this regard, Populus is largely utilised in short-rotation forestry (SRF, as it is known to be a fast-growing tree, producing large yields and having a high energy potential. Most studies focused on economic-productive and energetic aspects of Populus plantations, whereas their impact on soil quality and health have been poorly investigated. In this study, the main soil chemical parameters, microbial biomass and activity were assessed aiming at evaluating the impact of Populus SRF under one, two and three-year cutting cycles (T1, T2 and T3 in comparison with an intensive food cropping system (wheat-soybean rotation, WS. In addition, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM fungal inoculum potential was measured using root colonisation (RC and number of entry points (EP. In the 0-10 cm soil depth, pH, phosphorus (P, total nitrogen (N and soil organic carbon (SOC were significantly affected by the management. In comparison with WS, Populus SRF treatments produced significant pH decreases together with N and SOC increases, these last ones ranging from 11 to 34% and from 21 to 57%, respectively. Under T3 soil pH decreased of 0.25 units, while P, N and SOC increased of 10, 34 and 57%, respectively, in comparison with WS. Microbial biomass and soil respiration under SRF showed also mean increases of 71 and 17%, respectively. Under SRF treatments, Lolium perenne, commonly observed in all field plots, was more than twofold colonised by AM fungi in comparison with WS, while the number of EP, observed on Lactuca sativa used as a test plant, showed values ranging from 8 to 21 times higher. The present study shows the potential of a Populus SRF to improve soil chemical, biochemical and biological quality parameters in

  2. Defining excellence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehl, B

    1993-05-01

    Excellence in the pharmacy profession, particularly pharmacy management, is defined. Several factors have a significant effect on the ability to reach a given level of excellence. The first is the economic and political climate in which pharmacists practice. Stricter controls, reduced resources, and the velocity of change all necessitate nurturing of values and a work ethic to maintain excellence. Excellence must be measured by the services provided with regard to the resources available; thus, the ability to achieve excellence is a true test of leadership and innovation. Excellence is also time dependent, and today's innovation becomes tomorrow's standard. Programs that raise the level of patient care, not those that aggrandize the profession, are the most important. In addition, basic services must be practiced at a level of excellence. Quality assessment is a way to improve care and bring medical treatment to a higher plane of excellence. For such assessment to be effective and not punitive, the philosophy of the program must be known, and the goal must be clear. Excellence in practice is dependent on factors such as political and social norms, standards of practice, available resources; perceptions, time, the motivation to progress to a higher level, and the continuous innovation required to reshape the profession to meet the needs of society.

  3. Monitoring of soil water content and quality inside and outside the water curtain cultivation facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, K.; Kim, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Water curtain cultivation system is an energy saving technique for winter season by splashing groundwater on the inner roof of green house. Artificial groundwater recharge application to the water curtain cultivation facilities was adopted and tested to use groundwater sustainably in a rural region of Korea. The groundwater level in the test site shows natural trend corresponding rainfall pattern except during mid-November to early April when groundwater levels decline sharply due to groundwater abstraction for water curtain cultivation. Groundwater levels are also affected by surface water such as stream, small dams in the stream and agricultural ditches. Infiltration data were collected from lysimeter installation and monitoring inside and outside water cultivation facility and compared with each other. The infiltration data were well correlated with rainfall outside the facility, but the data in the facility showed very different from the other. The missing infiltration data were attributed to groundwater level rise and level sensor location below water table. Soil water contents in the unsaturated zone indicated rainfall infiltration propagation at depth and with time outside the facility. According to rainfall amount and water condition at the initial stage of a rainfall event, the variation of soil water content was shown differently. Soil water contents and electrical conductivities were closely correlated with each other, and they reflected rainfall infiltration through the soil and water quality changes. The monitoring results are useful to reveal the hydrological processes from the infiltration to groundwater recharge, and water management planning in the water cultivation areas.

  4. Metal contaminated biochar and wood ash negatively affect plant growth and soil quality after land application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, D L; Quilliam, R S

    2014-07-15

    Pyrolysis or combustion of waste wood can provide a renewable source of energy and produce byproducts which can be recycled back to land. To be sustainable requires that these byproducts pose minimal threat to the environment or human health. Frequently, reclaimed waste wood is contaminated by preservative-treated timber containing high levels of heavy metals. We investigated the effect of feedstock contamination from copper-preservative treated wood on the behaviour of pyrolysis-derived biochar and combustion-derived ash in plant-soil systems. Biochar and wood ash were applied to soil at typical agronomic rates. The presence of preservative treated timber in the feedstock increased available soil Cu; however, critical Cu guidance limits were only exceeded at high rates of feedstock contamination. Negative effects on plant growth and soil quality were only seen at high levels of biochar contamination (>50% derived from preservative-treated wood). Negative effects of wood ash contamination were apparent at lower levels of contamination (>10% derived from preservative treated wood). Complete removal of preservative treated timber from wood recycling facilities is notoriously difficult and low levels of contamination are commonplace. We conclude that low levels of contamination from Cu-treated wood should pose minimal environmental risk to biochar and ash destined for land application.

  5. Indicators of soil quality in the implantation of no-till system with winter crops

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    Marco Antonio Nogueira

    Full Text Available We assessed the effect of different winter crops on indicators of soil quality related to C and N cycling and C fractions in a Rhodic Kandiudult under no-till system at implantation, during two growing seasons, in Londrina PR Brazil. The experimental design was randomized blocks with split-plot in time arrangement, with four replications. The parcels were the winter crops: multicropping of cover crops with black oat (Avena strigosa, hairy vetch (Vicia villosa and fodder radish (Raphanus sativus; sunflower (Heliantus annuus intercropped with Urochloa ruziziensis; corn (Zea mays intercropped with Urochloa; and corn; fodder radish; or wheat (Triticum aestivum as sole crops. The subplots were the years: 2008 and 2009. Determinations consisted of total organic C, labile and resistant C, total N, microbial biomass C and N, the C/N ratio of soil organic matter, and the microbial quotient (qMic, besides microbiological and biochemical attributes, assessed only in 2009. The attributes significantly changed with the winter crops, especially the multicropping of cover crops and fodder radish, as well as effect of years. Despite stimulating the microbiological/biochemical activity, fodder radish cropping decreased the soil C in the second year, likewise the wheat cropping. The multicropping of cover crops in winter is an option for management in the establishment of no-till system, which contributes to increase the concentrations of C and stimulate the soil microbiological/biochemical activity.

  6. Soil organic matter quantity and quality shape microbial community compositions of subtropical broadleaved forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang; Wang, Mengmeng; Sun, Xin; Cong, Jing; Deng, Ye; Lu, Hui; Yuan, Tong; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Li, Diqiang; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2015-10-01

    As two major forest types in the subtropics, broadleaved evergreen and broadleaved deciduous forests have long interested ecologists. However, little is known about their belowground ecosystems despite their ecological importance in driving biogeochemical cycling. Here, we used Illumina MiSeq sequencing targeting 16S rRNA gene and a microarray named GeoChip targeting functional genes to analyse microbial communities in broadleaved evergreen and deciduous forest soils of Shennongjia Mountain of Central China, a region known as 'The Oriental Botanic Garden' for its extraordinarily rich biodiversity. We observed higher plant diversity and relatively richer nutrients in the broadleaved evergreen forest than the deciduous forest. In odds to our expectation that plant communities shaped soil microbial communities, we found that soil organic matter quantity and quality, but not plant community parameters, were the best predictors of microbial communities. Actinobacteria, a copiotrophic phylum, was more abundant in the broadleaved evergreen forest, while Verrucomicrobia, an oligotrophic phylum, was more abundant in the broadleaved deciduous forest. The density of the correlation network of microbial OTUs was higher in the broadleaved deciduous forest but its modularity was smaller, reflecting lower resistance to environment changes. In addition, keystone OTUs of the broadleaved deciduous forest were mainly oligotrophic. Microbial functional genes associated with recalcitrant carbon degradation were also more abundant in the broadleaved deciduous forests, resulting in low accumulation of organic matters. Collectively, these findings revealed the important role of soil organic matter in shaping microbial taxonomic and functional traits.

  7. Soybean susceptibility to manufactured nanomaterials with evidence for food quality and soil fertility interruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priester, John H; Ge, Yuan; Mielke, Randall E; Horst, Allison M; Moritz, Shelly Cole; Espinosa, Katherine; Gelb, Jeff; Walker, Sharon L; Nisbet, Roger M; An, Youn-Joo; Schimel, Joshua P; Palmer, Reid G; Hernandez-Viezcas, Jose A; Zhao, Lijuan; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L; Holden, Patricia A

    2012-09-11

    Based on previously published hydroponic plant, planktonic bacterial, and soil microbial community research, manufactured nanomaterial (MNM) environmental buildup could profoundly alter soil-based food crop quality and yield. However, thus far, no single study has at once examined the full implications, as no studies have involved growing plants to full maturity in MNM-contaminated field soil. We have done so for soybean, a major global commodity crop, using farm soil amended with two high-production metal oxide MNMs (nano-CeO(2) and -ZnO). The results provide a clear, but unfortunate, view of what could arise over the long term: (i) for nano-ZnO, component metal was taken up and distributed throughout edible plant tissues; (ii) for nano-CeO(2), plant growth and yield diminished, but also (iii) nitrogen fixation--a major ecosystem service of leguminous crops--was shut down at high nano-CeO(2) concentration. Juxtaposed against widespread land application of wastewater treatment biosolids to food crops, these findings forewarn of agriculturally associated human and environmental risks from the accelerating use of MNMs.

  8. Elemental uptake and distribution of nutrients in avocado mesocarp and the impact of soil quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Mageshni; Moodley, Roshila; Jonnalagadda, Sreekanth B

    2014-07-01

    The distribution of 14 elements (both essential and non-essential) in the Hass and Fuerte cultivars of avocados grown at six different sites in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, was investigated. Soils from the different sites were concurrently analysed for elemental concentration (both total and exchangeable), pH, organic matter and cation exchange capacity. In both varieties of the fruit, concentrations of the elements Cd, Co, Cr, Pb and Se were extremely low with the other elements being in decreasing order of Mg > Ca > Fe > Al > Zn > Mn > Cu > Ni > As. Nutritionally, avocados were found to be a good dietary source of the micronutrients Cu and Mn. In soil, Pb concentrations indicated enrichment (positive geoaccumuluation indices) but this did not influence uptake of the metal by the plant. Statistical analysis was done to evaluate the impact of soil quality parameters on the nutrient composition of the fruits. This analysis indicated the prevalence of complex metal interactions at the soil-plant interface that influenced their uptake by the plant. However, the plant invariably controlled metal uptake according to metabolic needs as evidenced by their accumulation and exclusion.

  9. Differences in soil quality between organic and conventional farming over a maize crop season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Carla; Veiga, Adelcia; Puga, João; Kikuchi, Ryunosuke; Ferreira, António

    2017-04-01

    Land degradation in agricultural areas is a major concern. The large number of mechanical interventions and the amount of inputs used to assure high crop productivity, such as fertilizers and pesticides, have negative impacts on soil quality and threaten crop productivity and environmental sustainability. Organic farming is an alternative agriculture system, based on organic fertilizers, biological pest control and crop rotation, in order to mitigate soil degradation. Maize is the third most important cereal worldwide, with 2008 million tons produced in 2013 (IGN, 2016). In Portugal, 120000 ha of arable land is devoted to maize production, leading to annual yields of about 930000 ton (INE, 2015). This study investigates soil quality differences in maize farms under organic and conventional systems. The study was carried out in Coimbra Agrarian Technical School (ESAC), in central region of Portugal. ESAC campus comprises maize fields managed under conventional farming - Vagem Grande (32 ha), and organic fields - Caldeirão (12 ha), distancing 2.8 km. Vagem Grande has been intensively used for grain maize production for more than 20 years, whereas Caldeirão was converted to organic farming in 2008, and is being used to select regional maize varieties. The region has a Mediterranean climate. The maize fields have Eutric Fluvisols, with gentle slopes (crop season. Each plot comprises 5 plant lines (˜4 m width) with 20 m length. In order to assure the comparison between both farms, the same maize variety was used (Pigarro) in both fields, with the same compass. Soil samples were collected immediately after sowing. In Vagem Grande distinct soil samples were taken: (i) within plant lines, and (ii) between plant lines, since mineral fertilizers were spread over the field before sowing, and addition fertilizer was applied together with seeds, in plant lines. In Caldeirão, since fertilization was not performed due to weather constrains, soil samples were collected

  10. Use of quality compost on arboreus cultivation to improve soil fertility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro Antonio Buda

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, thank to remarkable technical-scientific progresses, agricultural production has reached very high values with regard to quantitative and qualitative aspects. To reach these objectives, the collectivity must pay high prices, as reduction of fertility soils, greater risk of erosive process in the hill areas, pollution of surface and deep water and of air, because the use of agrotechnical means (fertilizers, pesticides, mechanical means isn’t often appropriate. In two farms located in Scerni and Monteodorisio, we have carried out an experimental trial on a vineyard and on a olive grove, with the objective of using the quality compost obtained from the mixture of organic fraction of urban solid waste and the lignocellulosic residues, in order to recover organic refuses and to verify the possibility of improving the soil fertility. After two years of trials, we have found higher contents of organic matter and nutritive elements in the soil. The use of compost has not modified the quantity and the quality of products.

  11. Use of quality compost on arboreus cultivation to improve soil fertility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro Antonio Buda

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, thank to remarkable technical-scientific progresses, agricultural production has reached very high values with regard to quantitative and qualitative aspects. To reach these objectives, the collectivity must pay high prices, as reduction of fertility soils, greater risk of erosive process in the hill areas, pollution of surface and deep water and of air, because the use of agrotechnical means (fertilizers, pesticides, mechanical means isn’t often appropriate. In two farms located in Scerni and Monteodorisio, we have carried out an experimental trial on a vineyard and on a olive grove, with the objective of using the quality compost obtained from the mixture of organic fraction of urban solid waste and the lignocellulosic residues, in order to recover organic refuses and to verify the possibility of improving the soil fertility. After two years of trials, we have found higher contents of organic matter and nutritive elements in the soil. The use of compost has not modified the quantity and the quality of products.

  12. An ecosystem approach to assess soil quality in organically and conventionally managed farms in Iceland and Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leeuwen, J. P.; Lehtinen, T.; Lair, G. J.; Bloem, J.; Hemerik, L.; Ragnarsdóttir, K. V.; Gísladóttir, G.; Newton, J. S.; de Ruiter, P. C.

    2015-01-01

    Intensive agricultural production can be an important driver for the loss of long-term soil quality. For this reason, the European Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) network adopted four pairs of agricultural CZO sites that differ in their management: conventional or organic. The CZO sites include two pairs of grassland farms in Iceland and two pairs of arable farms in Austria. Conventional fields differed from the organic fields in the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides. Soils of these eight farms were analysed in terms of their physical, chemical, and biological properties, including soil aggregate size distribution, soil organic matter contents, abundance of soil microbes and soil fauna, and taxonomic diversity of soil microarthropods. In Icelandic grasslands, organically farmed soils had larger mean weight diameters of soil aggregates than the conventional farms, while there were no differences on the Austrian farms. Organic farming did not systematically influence organic matter contents or composition, nor soil carbon and nitrogen contents. Also, soil food web structures, in terms of presence of trophic groups of soil organisms, were highly similar among all farms, indicating a low sensitivity of trophic structure to land use or climate. However, soil organism biomass, especially of bacteria and nematodes, was consistently higher on organic farms than on conventional farms. Within the microarthropods, taxonomic diversity was systematically higher in the organic farms compared to the conventional farms. This difference was found across countries and farm, crop, and soil types. The results do not show systematic differences in physical and chemical properties between organic and conventional farms, but confirm that organic farming can enhance soil biomass and that microarthropod diversity is a sensitive and consistent indicator for land management.

  13. Effects of soil characteristics on grape juice nutrient concentrations and other grape quality parameters in Shiraz

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concepción Ramos, Maria; Romero, Maria Paz

    2017-04-01

    This study investigated the response of grapes to soil properties in the variety Shiraz (SH) cultivated in the Costers de Segre Designation of Origin (NE, Spain). The research was carried out in two areas with differences in vigor, which was examined using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Soil properties such as organic matter content, pH, electrical conductivity and nutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn and Mn) were analysed in the two areas. Soil analyses were limited to the upper 40 cm. Soil N-NO3 was measured in 2M KCl extracts. Assimilable phosphorus was analysed by extraction with 0.5 M NaHCO3 at pH 8.5 using the Olsen method. The available K, Ca and Mg were evaluated in hemaaxinecobalt trichloride extracts and the available fraction of Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe in DTPA- trietanolamine extracts, by spectroscopy atomic emission/absorption. Berry grapes were collected at maturity. Nutrients in grape juice (K, Ca, Mg Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe) were determined after a microwave hydrogen peroxide digestion in a closed vessel microwave digestion system and measured by spectroscopy. Other grape properties that determine grape quality such as pH, berry weight and sugar content were analysed using the methods proposed by the OIV. Differences in soil properties were observed between plots, which determined the differences in vigour. The vines with lower vigour were grown in the soils with higher pH, electrical conductivity and silt content, which had in addition higher Ca, Mg and K available levels as well as higher levels of Fe and Mn than the soil in which vines had higher vigour. However, the available fraction of Cu and Zn was smaller. Similar differences in nutrient concentration in the berry were observed for all nutrients except for Cu. Grape juice pH and total soluble solids (°Brix) were higher in the most vigorous vines. However, the differences in berry weight and total acidity at ripening were not significant. Keywords: acidity; berry weight; nutrients; p

  14. EVALUATION OF GEOCHEMICAL QUALITY CONTROL IN DETERMINATION OF Mn IN SOILS USING A SEQUENTIAL CHEMICAL EXTRACTION

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Sequential chemical extraction procedure has been widely used to partition particulate trace metals into various fractions and to describe the distribution and the statue of trace metals in geo-environment. One sequential chemical extraction procedure was employed here to partition various fractions of Mn in soils. The experiment was designed with quality controlling concept in order to show sampling and analytical error. Experimental results obtained on duplicate analysis of all soil samples demonstrated that the precision was less than 10% (at 95% confidence level). The accuracy was estimated by comparing the accepted total concentration of Mn in standard reference materials (SRMs) with the measured sum of the individual fractions. The recovery of Mn from SRM1 and SRM2 was 94.1% and 98.4% , respectively. The detection limit, accuracy and precision of the sequential chemical extraction procedure were discussed in detailed. All the results suggest that the trueness of the analytical method is satisfactory.

  15. From the study of fire effects on individual soil properties to the development of soil quality indices. 1. The pioneer research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Zornoza, Raúl

    2013-04-01

    Although forest fires must be considered as a natural factor in Mediterranean ecosystems, the modification of its natural regime during last five decades has thansformed them in an environmental problem. In the Valencia region (E Spain) 1994 was the worst year in the history affecting more than 120,000 hectares. I started my Ph.D that year by studying the effects of fires in soil properties. The availability to be able to analyse a great set of different types of soil properties in the laboratories of University of Alicante allowed me to explore how fires could affect physical, chemical and micobiological soil properties. After years studying different soil properties, finding that several factors are involved, including: fire intensity and severity, vegetation, soil type, climate conditions, etc. (Mataix-Solera and Doerr, 2004; Mataix-Solera et al., 2008, 2011) my research as Ph-D supervisor has been focussed to investigate more in depth some selected properties, such as aggregate stability and water repellency (Arcenegui et al., 2007, 2008). But one of the main problems in the studies conducted with samples affected by wildfires is that for the evaluation of the fire impact in the soil it is necessary to have control (unburned) soil samples from a similar non-affected near area. The existing spatial variability under field conditions does not allow having comparable samples in some acses to develop a correct assessment. With this idea in mind one of my Ph.D researcher (R. Zornoza) dedicated his thesis to develope soil quality indices capable to assess the impact of soil perturbations without comparing groups of samples, but evaluating the equilibrium among different soil properties within each soil sample (Zornoza et al., 2007, 2008). Key words: wildfire, Mediterranean soils, soil degradation, wàter repellency, aggregate stability References: Arcenegui, V., Mataix-Solera, J., Guerrero, C., Zornoza, R., Mayoral, A.M., Morales, J., 2007. Factors controlling the

  16. Litter quality as driving factor for plant nutrition via grazing of protozoa on soil microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koller, Robert; Robin, Christophe; Bonkowski, Michael; Ruess, Liliane; Scheu, Stefan

    2013-08-01

    Plant residues provide a major source of nitrogen (N) for plant growth. Litter N mineralization varies with litter carbon-to-nitrogen (C-to-N) ratio and presence of bacterial-feeding fauna. We assessed the effect of amoebae, major bacterial feeders in soil, on mineralization of litter of low (high quality) and high C-to-N ratio (low quality) and evaluated consequences for plant growth. We used stable isotopes to determine plant N uptake from litter and plant C partitioning. Stable isotope probing of phospholipid fatty acids was used to follow incorporation of plant C into microorganisms. Amoebae increased plant N uptake independent of litter quality and thereby the biomass of shoots and roots by 33% and 66%, respectively. Plant allocation of total (13)C to roots in low (42%) exceeded that of high-quality litter treatments (26%). Amoebae increased plant allocation of (13)C to roots by 37%. Microbial community structure and incorporation of (13)C into PLFAs varied significantly with litter quality and in the low-quality litter treatment also with the presence of amoebae. Overall, the results suggest that in particular at low nutrient conditions, root-derived C fosters the mobilization of bacterial N by protozoa, thereby increasing plant growth when microorganisms and plants compete for nutrients.

  17. Visible and infrared spectroscopy to evaluate soil quality in degraded sites: an applicative study in southern Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ancona, Valeria; Matarrese, Raffaella; Salvatori, Rosamaria; Salzano, Roberto; Regano, Simona; Calabrese, Angelantonio; Campanale, Claudia; Felice Uricchio, Vito

    2014-05-01

    Land degradation processes like organic matter impoverishment and contamination are growing increasingly all over the world due to a non-rational and often sustainable spread of human activities on the territory. Consequently the need to characterize and monitor degraded sites is becoming very important, with the aim to hinder such main threats, which could compromise drastically, soil quality. Visible and infrared spectroscopy is a well-known technique/tool to study soil properties. Vis-NIR spectral reflectance, in fact, can be used to characterize spatial and temporal variation in soil constituents (Brown et al., 2006; Viscarra Rossel et al., 2006), and potentially its surface structure (Chappell et al., 2006, 2007). It is a rapid, non-destructive, reproducible and cost-effective analytical method to analyse soil properties and therefore, it can be a useful method to study land degradation phenomena. In this work, we present the results of proximal sensing investigations of three degraded sites (one affected by organic and inorganic contamination and two affected by soil organic matter decline) situated southern Italy close to Taranto city (in Apulia Region). A portable spectroradiometer (ASD-FieldSpec) was used to measure the reflectance properties in the spectral range between 350-2500 nm of the soil, in the selected sites, before and after a recovery treatment by using compost (organic fertilizer). For each measurement point the soil was sampled in order to perform chemical analyses to evaluate soil quality status. Three in-situ campaigns have been carried out (September 2012, June 2013, and September 2013), collecting about 20 soil samples for each site and for each campaign. Chemical and spectral analyses have been focused on investigating soil organic carbon, carbonate content, texture and, in the case of polluted site, heavy metals and organic toxic compounds. Statistical analyses have been carried out to test a prediction model of different soil quality

  18. Soil Extracellular Enzymes from Brazilian Cerrado as Quality Bioindicators in Agricultural Areas in Goiás, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leciana de Menezes Sousa Zago

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The conversion of native Cerrado areas for the implementation of crops alters the physicochemical properties and biochemistry of soil. In this study we sought to understand the effect of seasonality and management used for planting sugarcane on the activity of hydrolases and oxidoreductases. Cerrado native soil samples and soil converted to sugarcane crops under different management underwent physical-chemical assessment, biological and biochemistry. The implementation of monocultures in Brazilian Cerrado caused reductions in the amount of organic matter and organic carbon in relation to the native vegetation, which in turn reflected in decreased biological activity in the soil. Thus, it was found that hydrolases and oxidoreductases are sensitive to the caused variations in drought and rain events, and in the vegetation cover and management used for the implementation of sugarcane. Therefore soil hydrolases and oxidoreductases can be used as quality bioindicators in the Cerrado soils of Goiás.

  19. Substrate quality alters the microbial mineralization of added substrate and soil organic carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagadamma, S.; Mayes, M. A.; Steinweg, J. M.; Schaeffer, S. M.

    2014-09-01

    The rate and extent of decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC) is dependent, among other factors, on substrate chemistry and microbial dynamics. Our objectives were to understand the influence of substrate chemistry on microbial decomposition of carbon (C), and to use model fitting to quantify differences in pool sizes and mineralization rates. We conducted an incubation experiment for 270 days using four uniformly labeled 14C substrates (glucose, starch, cinnamic acid and stearic acid) on four different soils (a temperate Mollisol, a tropical Ultisol, a sub-arctic Andisol, and an arctic Gelisol). The 14C labeling enabled us to separate CO2 respired from added substrates and from native SOC. Microbial gene copy numbers were quantified at days 4, 30 and 270 using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Substrate C respiration was always higher for glucose than other substrates. Soils with cinnamic and stearic acid lost more native SOC than glucose- and starch-amended soils. Cinnamic and stearic acid amendments also exhibited higher fungal gene copy numbers at the end of incubation compared to unamended soils. We found that 270 days were sufficient to model the decomposition of simple substrates (glucose and starch) with three pools, but were insufficient for more complex substrates (cinnamic and stearic acid) and native SOC. This study reveals that substrate quality exerts considerable control on the microbial decomposition of newly added and native SOC, and demonstrates the need for multi-year incubation experiments to constrain decomposition parameters for the most recalcitrant fractions of SOC and complex substrates.

  20. Comparative analysis of decision tree algorithms on quality of water contaminated with soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Andrea Dota

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture, roads, animal farms and other land uses may modify the water quality from rivers, dams and other surface freshwaters. In the control of the ecological process and for environmental management, it is necessary to quickly and accurately identify surface water contamination (in areas such as rivers and dams with contaminated runoff waters coming, for example, from cultivation and urban areas. This paper presents a comparative analysis of different classification algorithms applied to the data collected from a sample of soil-contaminated water aiming to identify if the water quality classification proposed in this research agrees with reality. The sample was part of a laboratory experiment, which began with a sample of treated water added with increasing fractions of soil. The results show that the proposed classification for water quality in this scenario is coherent, because different algorithms indicated a strong statistic relationship between the classes and their instances, that is, in the classes that qualify the water sample and the values which describe each class. The proposed water classification varies from excelling to very awful (12 classes

  1. Defining value through quantity and quality-Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) undervalue food quantities when items are broken.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrish, Audrey E; Evans, Theodore A; Beran, Michael J

    2015-02-01

    Decision-making largely is influenced by the relative value of choice options, and the value of such options can be determined by a combination of different factors (e.g., the quantity, size, or quality of a stimulus). In this study, we examined the competing influences of quantity (i.e., the number of food items in a set) and quality (i.e., the original state of a food item) of choice items on chimpanzees' food preferences in a two-option natural choice paradigm. In Experiment 1, chimpanzees chose between sets of food items that were either entirely whole or included items that were broken into pieces before being shown to the chimpanzees. Chimpanzees exhibited a bias for whole food items even when such choice options consisted of a smaller overall quantity of food than the sets containing broken items. In Experiment 2, chimpanzees chose between sets of entirely whole food items and sets of initially whole items that were subsequently broken in view of the chimpanzees just before choice time. Chimpanzees continued to exhibit a bias for sets of whole items. In Experiment 3, chimpanzees chose between sets of new food items that were initially discrete but were subsequently transformed into a larger cohesive unit. Here, chimpanzees were biased to choose the discrete sets that retained their original qualitative state rather than toward the cohesive or clumped sets. These results demonstrate that beyond a food set's quantity (i.e., the value dimension that accounts for maximization in terms of caloric intake), other seemingly non-relevant features (i.e., quality in terms of a set's original state) affect how chimpanzees assign value to their choice options.

  2. Conservation Agriculture Improves Soil Quality, Crop Yield, and Incomes of Smallholder Farmers in North Western Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naab, Jesse B; Mahama, George Y; Yahaya, Iddrisu; Prasad, P V V

    2017-01-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) practices are being widely promoted in many areas in sub-Saharan Africa to recuperate degraded soils and improve ecosystem services. This study examined the effects of three tillage practices [conventional moldboard plowing (CT), hand hoeing (MT) and no-tillage (NT)], and three cropping systems (continuous maize, soybean-maize annual rotation, and soybean/maize intercropping) on soil quality, crop productivity, and profitability in researcher and farmer managed on-farm trials from 2010 to 2013 in northwestern Ghana. In the researcher managed mother trial, the CA practices of NT, residue retention and crop rotation/intercropping maintained higher soil organic carbon, and total soil N compared to conventional tillage practices after 4 years. Soil bulk density was higher under NT than under CT soils in the researcher managed mother trails or farmers managed baby trials after 4 years. In the researcher managed mother trial, there was no significant difference between tillage systems or cropping systems in maize or soybean yields in the first three seasons. In the fourth season, crop rotation had the greatest impact on maize yields with CT maize following soybean increasing yields by 41 and 49% compared to MT and NT maize, respectively. In the farmers' managed trials, maize yield ranged from 520 to 2700 kg ha(-1) and 300 to 2000 kg ha(-1) for CT and NT, respectively, reflecting differences in experience of farmers with NT. Averaged across farmers, CT cropping systems increased maize and soybean yield ranging from 23 to 39% compared with NT cropping systems. Partial budget analysis showed that the cost of producing maize or soybean is 20-29% cheaper with NT systems and gives higher returns to labor compared to CT practice. Benefit-to-cost ratios also show that NT cropping systems are more profitable than CT systems. We conclude that with time, implementation of CA practices involving NT, crop rotation, intercropping of maize and soybean

  3. High-quality β-Ga2O3 single crystals grown by edge-defined film-fed growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuramata, Akito; Koshi, Kimiyoshi; Watanabe, Shinya; Yamaoka, Yu; Masui, Takekazu; Yamakoshi, Shigenobu

    2016-12-01

    β-Ga2O3 bulk crystals were grown by the edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) process and the floating zone process. Semiconductor substrates containing no twin boundaries with sizes up to 4 in. in diameter were fabricated. It was found that Si was the main residual impurity in the EFG-grown crystals and that the effective donor concentration (N d - N a) of unintentionally doped crystals was governed by the Si concentration. Intentional n-type doping was shown to be possible. An etch pit observation revealed that the dislocation density was on the order of 103 cm-3. N d - N a for the samples annealed in nitrogen ambient was almost the same as the Si concentration, while for the samples annealed in oxygen ambient, it was around 1 × 1017 cm-3 and independent of the Si concentration.

  4. DESIRE FOR LEVELS. Background study for the policy document "Setting Environmental Quality Standards for Water and Soil"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Meent D; Aldenberg T; Canton JH; van Gestel CAM; Slooff W

    1990-01-01

    The report provides scientific support for setting environmental quality objectives for water, sediment and soil. Quality criteria are not set in this report. Only options for decisions are given. The report is restricted to the derivation of the 'maximally acceptable risk' levels (MAR)

  5. Study of soil bacterial and crop quality irrigated with treated municipal wastewater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alinezhadian, A; Karim, A; Mohammadi, J

    2014-01-01

    bacterial and crops quality irrigated with treated wastewater. Material and Methods: This research was conducted on a maize field near the wastewater treatment plant in Shahr-e-kord in summer,2011. Plots were arranged in a randomized complete block design in 3 replications and 2 treatments, well water (W1......Background and Objectives: In arid and semi-arid regions, wastewater reuse has become an important element in agriculture. However, irrigation with this resource can be either beneficial or harmful, depending on the wastewater characteristics. The aim of this research was to investigate the soil...

  6. Fuelwood quality of promising tree species for alkaline soil sites in relation to tree age

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goel, V.L.; Behl, H.M. [National Botanical Research Inst., Lucknow (India). Biomass Research Center

    1996-06-01

    The fuelwood quality of five tree species suitable for afforestation of alkaline soil sites was investigated in relation to tree age for establishing harvest rotation cycles. Prosopis juliflora and Acacia nilotica were found to be the most suitable species for short rotation fuel wood forestry programmes because of their high wood density, biomass yield, low ash and moisture content, and good heat of combustion at the juvenile stage. The performance of other species like Acacia auriculiformis, Terminalia arjuna and Sesbania formosa is discussed. (author)

  7. [Soil quality assessment of Robinia psedudoacia plantations with various ages in the Grain-for-Green Program in hilly area of North China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Na; Meng, Ping; Zhang, Jin-Song; Lu, Sen; Cheng, Zhi-Qing

    2014-02-01

    Abstract: Four land use types of cropland, abandoned cropland, 10-year-old and 43-year-old Robinia psedudoacia plantations in the Grain-for-Green Program in hilly area of North China were studied to investigate the effects of returning cropland to forestland on soil quality by using integrated soil quality index. The results showed that the nutrients of topsoil increased significantly with increasing tree age, and soil properties in 0-5 cm soil layer improved. Compared with the cropland, soil physical and chemical properties of the two R. psedudoacia plantations improved, and the soil microbial biomass C and N increased significantly. The integrated soil quality index decreased in order of 43-year-old R. psedudoacia plantation (0.542) > 10-year-old R. psedudoacia plantation (0. 536)> the abandoned cropland (0.499) > the cropland (0.498), suggesting the soil quality was improved during the conversion from cropland to forestland.

  8. Cadmium phytoavailability to rice (Oryza sativa L.) grown in representative Chinese soils. A model to improve soil environmental quality guidelines for food safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafiq, Muhammad T; Aziz, Rukhsanda; Yang, Xiaoe; Xiao, Wendan; Rafiq, Muhammad K; Ali, Basharat; Li, Tingqiang

    2014-05-01

    Food chain contamination by cadmium (Cd) is globally a serious health concern resulting in chronic abnormalities. Rice is a major staple food of the majority world population, therefore, it is imperative to understand the relationship between the bioavailability of Cd in soils and its accumulation in rice grain. Objectives of this study were to establish environment quality standards for seven different textured soils based on human dietary toxicity, total Cd content in soils and bioavailable portion of Cd in soil. Cadmium concentrations in polished rice grain were best related to total Cd content in Mollisols and Udic Ferrisols with threshold levels of 0.77 and 0.32mgkg(-1), respectively. Contrastingly, Mehlich-3-extractable Cd thresholds were more suitable for Calcaric Regosols, Stagnic Anthrosols, Ustic Cambosols, Typic Haplustalfs and Periudic Argosols with thresholds values of 0.36, 0.22, 0.17, 0.08 and 0.03mgkg(-1), respectively. Stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that phytoavailability of Cd to rice grain was strongly correlated with Mehlich-3-extractable Cd and soil pH. The empirical model developed in this study explains the combined effects of