WorldWideScience

Sample records for sustain dryland soil

  1. Optimizing soil and water management in dryland farming systems in Cabo Verde

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santos Baptista Costa, Dos I.

    2016-01-01

     “Optimizing Soil and Water Management in Dryland Farming Systems in Cabo Verde” Isaurinda Baptista Summary Soil and land degradation poses a great challenge for sustainable development worldwide and, in Cabo Verde, has strongly affected both

  2. Sustainable semiarid dryland production in relation to tillage effects on Hydrology: 1983-2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid dryland crop yields with no-till, NT, residue management are often greater than stubble-mulch tillage, SM, as a result of improved soil conditions or water conservation, but knowledge of long-term tillage effects on the comprehensive field hydrology and sustained crop production is needed. ...

  3. Linking Carbon Flux Dynamics and Soil Structure in Dryland Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCarlo, K. F.; Caylor, K. K.

    2016-12-01

    Biological sources in the form of microbes and plants play a fundamental role in determining the magnitude of carbon flux. However, the geophysical structure of the soil (which the carbon must pass through before entering the atmosphere) often serves as a constraining entity, which has the potential to serve as instigators or mitigators of those carbon and hydrologic flux processes. We characterized soil carbon dynamics in three dryland soil systems: bioturbated soils, biocompacted soils, and undisturbed soils. Carbon fluxes were characterized using a closed-system respiration chamber, with CO2 concentration differences measured using an infrared gas analyzer (IRGA). Structure of the soil systems, with a focus on the macro-crack structure, were characterized using a combined resin-casting/X-ray imaging technique. Results show fundamental differences in carbon dynamics between the different soil systems/structures: control soils have gaussian distributions of carbon flux that decrease with progressive drying of the soil, while biocompacted soils exhibit exponentially distributed fluxes that do not regularly decrease with increased drying of the soil. Bioturbated soils also exhibit an exponential distribution of carbon flux, though at a much higher magnitude. These differences are evaluated in the context of the underlying soil structure: while the control soils exhibit a shallow and narrow crack structure, the biocompacted soils exhibit a "systematic" crack network with moderate cracking intensity and large depth. The deep crack networks of the biocompacted soils may serve to physically enhance an otherwise weak source of carbon via advection and/or convection, inducing fluxes that are equal or greater than an otherwise carbon-rich soil. The bioturbated soils exhibit a "surficial" crack network that is shallow but extensive, but additionally have deep holes known to convectively vent carbon, which may explain their periodically large carbon fluxes. Our results

  4. Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Practices in Drylands: How Do They Address Desertification Threats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwilch, G.; Liniger, H. P.; Hurni, H.

    2014-11-01

    Managing land sustainably is a huge challenge, especially under harsh climatic conditions such as those found in drylands. The socio-economic situation can also pose challenges, as dryland regions are often characterized by remoteness, marginality, low-productive farming, weak institutions, and even conflict. With threats from climate change, disputes over water, competing claims on land, and migration increasing worldwide, the demands for sustainable land management (SLM) measures will only increase in the future. Within the EU-funded DESIRE project, researchers and stakeholders jointly identified existing SLM technologies and approaches in 17 dryland study sites located in the Mediterranean and around the world. In order to evaluate and share this valuable SLM experience, local researchers documented the SLM technologies and approaches in collaboration with land users, utilizing the internationally recognized WOCAT questionnaires. This article provides an analysis of 30 technologies and 8 approaches, enabling an initial evaluation of how SLM addresses prevalent dryland threats, such as water scarcity, soil degradation, vegetation degradation and low production, climate change, resource use conflicts, and migration. Among the impacts attributed to the documented technologies, those mentioned most were diversified and enhanced production and better management of water and soil degradation, whether through water harvesting, improving soil moisture, or reducing runoff. Favorable local-scale cost-benefit relationships were mainly found when considered over the long term. Nevertheless, SLM was found to improve people's livelihoods and prevent further outmigration. More field research is needed to reinforce expert assessments of SLM impacts and provide the necessary evidence-based rationale for investing in SLM.

  5. Sustainable land management (SLM) practices in drylands: how do they address desertification threats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwilch, G; Liniger, H P; Hurni, H

    2014-11-01

    Managing land sustainably is a huge challenge, especially under harsh climatic conditions such as those found in drylands. The socio-economic situation can also pose challenges, as dryland regions are often characterized by remoteness, marginality, low-productive farming, weak institutions, and even conflict. With threats from climate change, disputes over water, competing claims on land, and migration increasing worldwide, the demands for sustainable land management (SLM) measures will only increase in the future. Within the EU-funded DESIRE project, researchers and stakeholders jointly identified existing SLM technologies and approaches in 17 dryland study sites located in the Mediterranean and around the world. In order to evaluate and share this valuable SLM experience, local researchers documented the SLM technologies and approaches in collaboration with land users, utilizing the internationally recognized WOCAT questionnaires. This article provides an analysis of 30 technologies and 8 approaches, enabling an initial evaluation of how SLM addresses prevalent dryland threats, such as water scarcity, soil degradation, vegetation degradation and low production, climate change, resource use conflicts, and migration. Among the impacts attributed to the documented technologies, those mentioned most were diversified and enhanced production and better management of water and soil degradation, whether through water harvesting, improving soil moisture, or reducing runoff. Favorable local-scale cost-benefit relationships were mainly found when considered over the long term. Nevertheless, SLM was found to improve people's livelihoods and prevent further outmigration. More field research is needed to reinforce expert assessments of SLM impacts and provide the necessary evidence-based rationale for investing in SLM.

  6. Climate change reduces extent of temperate drylands and intensifies drought in deep soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.; Munson, Seth M.; Tietjen, Britta; Hall, Sonia A.; Wilson, Scott D.; Duniway, Michael C.; Jia, Gensuo; Pyke, David A.; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Jamiyansharav, Khishigbayar

    2017-01-01

    Drylands cover 40% of the global terrestrial surface and provide important ecosystem services. While drylands as a whole are expected to increase in extent and aridity in coming decades, temperature and precipitation forecasts vary by latitude and geographic region suggesting different trajectories for tropical, subtropical, and temperate drylands. Uncertainty in the future of tropical and subtropical drylands is well constrained, whereas soil moisture and ecological droughts, which drive vegetation productivity and composition, remain poorly understood in temperate drylands. Here we show that, over the twenty first century, temperate drylands may contract by a third, primarily converting to subtropical drylands, and that deep soil layers could be increasingly dry during the growing season. These changes imply major shifts in vegetation and ecosystem service delivery. Our results illustrate the importance of appropriate drought measures and, as a global study that focuses on temperate drylands, highlight a distinct fate for these highly populated areas.

  7. Dryland soil microbial communities display spatial biogeographic patterns associated with soil depth and soil parent material

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are common to drylands worldwide. We employed replicated, spatially nested sampling and 16S rRNA gene sequencing to describe the soil microbial communities in three soils derived from different parent material (sandstone, shale, and gypsum). For each soil type, two depths (biocrusts, 0–1 cm; below-crust soils, 2–5 cm) and two horizontal spatial scales (15 cm and 5 m) were sampled. In all three soils, Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria demonstrated significantly higher relative abundance in the biocrusts, while Chloroflexi and Archaea were significantly enriched in the below-crust soils. Biomass and diversity of the communities in biocrusts or below-crust soils did not differ with soil type. However, biocrusts on gypsum soil harbored significantly larger populations of Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria and lower populations of Cyanobacteria. Numerically dominant operational taxonomic units (OTU; 97% sequence identity) in the biocrusts were conserved across the soil types, whereas two dominant OTUs in the below-crust sand and shale soils were not identified in the gypsum soil. The uniformity with which small-scale vertical community differences are maintained across larger horizontal spatial scales and soil types is a feature of dryland ecosystems that should be considered when designing management plans and determining the response of biocrusts to environmental disturbances.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Zhang, Y.

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Future soil moisture and temperature extremes imply expanding suitability for rainfed agriculture in temperate drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, John B; Schlaepfer, Daniel R; Lauenroth, William K; Yackulic, Charles B; Duniway, Michael; Hall, Sonia; Jia, Gensuo; Jamiyansharav, Khishigbayar; Munson, Seth M; Wilson, Scott D; Tietjen, Britta

    2017-10-10

    The distribution of rainfed agriculture, which accounts for approximately ¾ of global croplands, is expected to respond to climate change and human population growth and these responses may be especially pronounced in water limited areas. Because the environmental conditions that support rainfed agriculture are determined by climate, weather, and soil conditions that affect overall and transient water availability, predicting this response has proven difficult, especially in temperate regions that support much of the world's agriculture. Here, we show that suitability to support rainfed agriculture in temperate dryland climates can be effectively represented by just two daily environmental variables: moist soils with warm conditions increase suitability while extreme high temperatures decrease suitability. 21 st century projections based on daily ecohydrological modeling of downscaled climate forecasts indicate overall increases in the area suitable for rainfed agriculture in temperate dryland regions, especially at high latitudes. The regional exception to this trend was Europe, where suitability in temperate dryland portions will decline substantially. These results clarify how rising temperatures interact with other key drivers of moisture availability to determine the sustainability of rainfed agriculture and help policymakers, resource managers, and the agriculture industry anticipate shifts in areas suitable for rainfed cultivation.

  10. Biological Dimensions of Crack Morphology in Dryland Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Are the drylands in northern China sustainable? A perspective from ecological footprint dynamics from 1990 to 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jingwei; Liu, Zhifeng; He, Chunyang; Tu, Wei; Sun, Zexiang

    2016-05-15

    The drylands in northern China (DNC), characterized by water scarcity, high climatic variability, and infertile soil, are crucial for China's sustainable development in the context of rapid urbanization. However, few studies have systematically investigated its sustainability. Our objective was to assess the sustainability of the DNC according to their ecological footprint (EF) dynamics from 1990 to 2010. We analyzed EF in the DNC at multiple scales ranging from the whole, to four dryland subtypes, to the drylands in each province. We found that the total EF in the DNC increased from 3.48 × 10(8) global hectares (gha) in 1990 to 1.26 × 10(9) gha in 2010, with a growth of 2.63 times, resulting in a more than 14 times increase of ecological deficit from 6.26 × 10(7) gha to 9.63 × 10(8)gha. In addition, the water withdrawal increased from 133.29 km(3) to 153.23 km(3) with a growth rate of 14.96%, while the Human Development Index grew from 0.62 to 0.79. We concluded that the DNC has already become unsustainable after the rapid increases of EF and water withdrawal from 1990 to 2010. We argue that effective management is needed to maintain and improve the environmental sustainability of the DNC. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of crop residue on soil and plant water evaporation in a dryland cotton system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lascano, R. J.; Baumhardt, R. L.

    1996-03-01

    Dryland agricultural cropping systems emphasize sustaining crop yields with limited use of fertilizer while conserving both rain water and the soil. Conservation of these resources may be achieved with management systems that retain residues at the soil surface simultaneously modifying both its energy and water balance. A conservation practice used with cotton grown on erodible soils of the Texas High Plains is to plant cotton into chemically terminated wheat residues. In this study, the partitioning of daily and seasonal evapotranspiration ( E t) into soil and plant water evaporation was compared for a conventional and a terminated-wheat cotton crop using the numerical model ENWATBAL. The model was configured to account for the effects of residue on the radiative fluxes and by introducing an additional resistance to latent and sensible heat fluxes derived from measurements of wind speed and vapor conductance from a soil covered with wheat-stubble. Our results showed that seasonal E t was similar in both systems and that cumulative soil water evaporation was 50% of E t in conventional cotton and 31% of E t in the wheat-stubble cotton. Calculated values of E t were in agreement with measured values. The main benefit of the wheat residues was to suppress soil water evaporation by intercepting irradiance early in the growing season when the crop leaf area index (LAI) was low. In semiarid regions LAI of dryland cotton seldom exceeds 2 and residues can improve water conservation. Measured soil temperatures showed that early in the season residues reduced temperature at 0.1 m depth by as much as 5°C and that differences between systems diminished with depth and over time. Residues increased lint yield per unit of E t while not modifying seasonal E t and reducing cumulative soil water evaporation.

  13. Increasing aridity reduces soil microbial diversity and abundance in global drylands

    OpenAIRE

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Thomas C Jeffries; Eldridge, David J.; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Quero, José Luis; García-Gómez, Miguel; Gallardo, Antonio; Ulrich, Werner; Bowker, Matthew A.; Arredondo, Tulio; Barraza-Zepeda, Claudia; Bran, Donaldo; Florentino, Adriana

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is increasing the degree of aridity in drylands, which occupy 41% of Earth’s surface and support 38% of its population. Soil bacteria and fungi are largely responsible for key ecosystem services, including soil fertility and climate regulation, yet their responses to changes in aridity are poorly understood. Using a field survey conducted in drylands worldwide and DNA-sequencing approaches, we found that increases in aridity reduce the diversity and abundance of soil bacteria a...

  14. Dryland systems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available the aggregated percentages for broad biomes by dryland subtypes. soil formation and organic matter decomposition (Puigdefabregas et al. 1999). These crusts are therefore instrumental in soil devel- opment in and around the clumps and in soil conservation... the breakdown of dead plant parts (thus en- riching the soil with organic matter) and the regeneration of mineral plant nutrients. Unlike non-drylands, where soil micro- organisms are major players in nutrient cycling, invertebrate macro...

  15. Climate and soil factors influencing seedling recruitment of plant species used for dryland restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    Land degradation affects 10-20 % of drylands globally. Intensive land use and management, large-scale disturbances such as extractive operations, and global climate change, have contributed to degradation of these systems worldwide. Restoring these damaged environments is critical to improving ecosystem services and functions, conserve biodiversity, and contribute to climate resilience, food security, and landscape sustainability. Here, we present a case study on plant species of the mining intensive semi-arid Pilbara region in Western Australia that examines the effects of climate and soil factors on the restoration of drylands. We analysed the effects of a range of rainfall and temperature scenarios and the use of alternative soil materials on seedling recruitment of key native plant species from this area. Experimental studies were conducted in controlled environment facilities where conditions simulated those found in the Pilbara. Soil from topsoil (T) stockpiles and waste materials (W) from an active mine site were mixed at different proportions (100 % T, 100 % W, and two mixes of topsoil and waste at 50 : 50 and 25 : 75 ratios) and used as growth media. Our results showed that seedling recruitment was highly dependent on soil moisture and emergence was generally higher in the topsoil, which had the highest available water content. In general, responses to the climate scenarios differed significantly among the native species which suggest that future climate scenarios of increasing drought might affect not only seedling recruitment but also diversity and structure of native plant communities. The use of waste materials from mining operations as growth media could be an alternative to the limited topsoil. However, in the early stages of plant establishment successful seedling recruitment can be challenging in the absence of water. These limitations could be overcome by using soil amendments but the cost associated to these solutions at large landscape scales

  16. Multifaceted Impacts of Sustainable Land Management in Drylands: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jose Marques

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Biophysical restoration or rehabilitation measures of land have demonstrated to be effective in many scientific projects and small-scale environmental experiments. However circumstances such as poverty, weak policies, or inefficient scientific knowledge transmission can hinder the effective upscaling of land restoration and the long term maintenance of proven sustainable use of soil and water. This may be especially worrisome in lands with harsh environmental conditions. This review covers recent efforts in landscape restoration and rehabilitation with a functional perspective aiming to simultaneously achieve ecosystem sustainability, economic efficiency, and social wellbeing. Water management and rehabilitation of ecosystem services in croplands, rangelands, forests, and coastlands are reviewed. The joint analysis of such diverse ecosystems provides a wide perspective to determine: (i multifaceted impacts on biophysical and socio-economic factors; and (ii elements influencing effective upscaling of sustainable land management practices. One conclusion can be highlighted: voluntary adoption is based on different pillars, i.e. external material and economic support, and spread of success information at the local scale to demonstrate the multidimensional benefits of sustainable land management. For the successful upscaling of land management, more attention must be paid to the social system from the first involvement stage, up to the long term maintenance.

  17. Nested archetypes of vulnerability in African drylands: where lies potential for sustainable agricultural intensification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sietz, D.; Ordoñez, J. C.; Kok, M. T. J.; Janssen, P.; Hilderink, H. B. M.; Tittonell, P.; Van Dijk, H.

    2017-09-01

    Food production is key to achieving food security in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. Since agricultural productivity is limited, however, due to inherent agro-ecological constraints and land degradation, sustainable agricultural intensification has been widely discussed as an opportunity for improving food security and reducing vulnerability. Yet vulnerability determinants are distributed heterogeneously in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa and sustainable intensification cannot be achieved everywhere in cost-effective and efficient ways. To better understand the heterogeneity of farming systems’ vulnerability in order to support decision making at regional scales, we present archetypes, i.e. socio-ecological patterns, of farming systems’ vulnerability in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa and reveal their nestedness. We quantitatively indicated the most relevant farming systems’ properties at a sub-national resolution. These factors included water availability, agro-ecological potential, erosion sensitivity, population pressure, urbanisation, remoteness, governance, income and undernourishment. Cluster analysis revealed eight broad archetypes of vulnerability across all drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. The broad archetype representing better governance and highest remoteness in extremely dry and resource-constrained regions encompassed the largest area share (19%), mainly indicated in western Africa. Moreover, six nested archetypes were identified within those regions with better agropotential and prevalent agricultural livelihoods. Among these patterns, the nested archetype depicting regions with highest erosion sensitivity, severe undernourishment and lower agropotential represented the largest population (30%) and area (28%) share, mainly found in the Sahel region. The nested archetype indicating medium undernourishment, better governance and lowest erosion sensitivity showed particular potential for sustainable agricultural intensification, mainly in

  18. Challenges and Alternatives to Sustainable Management of Agriculture and Pastoral Ecosystems in Asian Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, J.

    2015-12-01

    There is no question that human must produce additional 70% food to feed the new 2.2 billion of people on the planet by 2050, but the question is where to grow the additional food. The demand for the additional food lies not only in producing the basic resources needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but also from a changing diet, especially in rapidly developing countries in the dryland regions around the world. It is forecast that this demand for meat will require an additional 0.2 billion tons per year by 2050, which is almost a doubling of present meat consumption. These new demands create mounting pressures on agriculture and pastoral ecosystems and the reported trajectory of warmer and drier climate in the future increases uncertainties in food security, adding further stresses to the already stressed nations in the Asian dryland belt. Different approaches are being either proposed or practiced in the region but the question is whether or not the current practices are sustainable or optimal in addressing the emerging issues. Given the complexity and interplay among the food, water and energy, what are alternatives to ensure a sustainable trajectory of regional development to meet the new food demand? This presentation reviews existing practices and proposes alternative solutions, by specifically examining the trade-offs between different ecosystem services that drylands in Asian may provide. Preliminary analysis suggested that the current trajectory of meat and milk production is likely not on a sustainable pathway.

  19. Climate change impacts on yields and soil carbon in dryland agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dryland agroecosystems could be a sizable sink for atmospheric carbon (C) due to their spatial extent and level of degradation, providing climate change mitigation. We examined productivity and soil C dynamics under two IPCC climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5; RCP 8.5), utilizing long-term experiment...

  20. Climate and soil attributes determine plant species turnover in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Quero, José L.; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Eldridge, David J.; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Valencia, Enrique; Berdugo, Miguel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Gómez, Miguel; Escudero, Adrián; Prina, Aníbal; Alfonso, Graciela; Arredondo, Tulio; Bran, Donaldo; Cabrera, Omar; Cea, Alex; Chaieb, Mohamed; Contreras, Jorge; Derak, Mchich; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Muro, Victoria García; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Hernández, Rosa M.; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Mau, Rebecca L.; Hughes, Frederic Mendes; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Muchane, Muchai; Naseri, Kamal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez-Collantes, David A.; Raveh, Eran; Romão, Roberto L.; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José Pablo; Wang, Deli; Yuan, Xia; Zaady, Eli

    2015-01-01

    Aim Geographic, climatic, and soil factors are major drivers of plant beta diversity, but their importance for dryland plant communities is poorly known. This study aims to: i) characterize patterns of beta diversity in global drylands, ii) detect common environmental drivers of beta diversity, and iii) test for thresholds in environmental conditions driving potential shifts in plant species composition. Location 224 sites in diverse dryland plant communities from 22 geographical regions in six continents. Methods Beta diversity was quantified with four complementary measures: the percentage of singletons (species occurring at only one site), Whittake’s beta diversity (β(W)), a directional beta diversity metric based on the correlation in species occurrences among spatially contiguous sites (β(R2)), and a multivariate abundance-based metric (β(MV)). We used linear modelling to quantify the relationships between these metrics of beta diversity and geographic, climatic, and soil variables. Results Soil fertility and variability in temperature and rainfall, and to a lesser extent latitude, were the most important environmental predictors of beta diversity. Metrics related to species identity (percentage of singletons and β(W)) were most sensitive to soil fertility, whereas those metrics related to environmental gradients and abundance ((β(R2)) and β(MV)) were more associated with climate variability. Interactions among soil variables, climatic factors, and plant cover were not important determinants of beta diversity. Sites receiving less than 178 mm of annual rainfall differed sharply in species composition from more mesic sites (> 200 mm). Main conclusions Soil fertility and variability in temperature and rainfall are the most important environmental predictors of variation in plant beta diversity in global drylands. Our results suggest that those sites annually receiving ~ 178 mm of rainfall will be especially sensitive to future climate changes. These

  1. Effects of rainfall intensity and intermittency on woody vegetation cover and deep soil moisture in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ding-Hai; Li, Xin-Rong; Zhang, Feng; Zhang, Zhi-Shan; Chen, Yong-Le

    2016-12-01

    Identifying the relationship between the stochastic daily rainfall regime and the dynamics of plants and soil moisture is fundamental for the sustainable management of dryland ecosystems in a context of global climate change. An eco-hydrological model that couples the dynamics of woody vegetation cover and deep soil moisture (typically with a depth interval of 30-150 cm) was used to investigate the effect of stochastic intensity and the intermittency of precipitation on soil moisture in this deep interval, which affects woody vegetation cover. Our results suggest that the precipitation intensity and intermittency play an important role in the dynamics of wood vegetation cover and deep soil moisture. In arid and semiarid regions, as the annual precipitation increased, the rate of woody vegetation cover increased as a power-law function, and the deep soil moisture increased exponentially. For a given annual rainfall, there were positive correlations between the rainfall intensity (or rainfall intermittency) and both the woody vegetation cover and deep soil moisture. The positive correlations between wood vegetation cover and both rainfall intensity and intermittency may decrease with increases in the precipitation intensity or precipitation intermittency. The positive correlations between deep soil moisture and both rainfall intensity and rainfall intermittency increase as the precipitation intensity or precipitation intermittency increases. Moreover, these positive correlations may increase with increases in the mean annual rainfall. Our results emphasize the importance of daily precipitation variations in controlling the responses of woody vegetation cover and deep soil moisture to climate variations in arid and semiarid regions. Our model can aid the understanding of rainfall processes and indicates that increases in rainfall intensity or rainfall intermittency may lead to an increase in woody vegetation cover and deep soil moisture given an invariable annual

  2. The Soil Program of the Restoration Seedbank Initiative: addressing knowledge gaps in degraded soils for use in dryland restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Bateman, Amber; Erickson, Todd E.; Turner, Shane; Merritt, David J.

    2017-04-01

    Global environmental changes and other anthropogenic impacts are rapidly transforming the structure and functioning of ecosystems worldwide. These changes are leading to land degradation with an estimated 25 % of the global land surface being affected. Landscape-scale restoration of these degraded ecosystems has therefore been recognised globally as an international priority. In the resource-rich biodiverse semi-arid Pilbara region of north-west Western Australia hundreds of thousands of hectares are disturbed due to established and emerging iron-ore mine operations. At this scale, the need to develop cost-effective large-scale solutions to restore these landscapes becomes imperative to preserve biodiversity and achieve functionality and sustainability of these ecosystems. The Restoration Seedbank Initiative (RSB) (http://www.plants.uwa.edu.au/ research/restoration-seedbank-initiative) is a five-year multidisciplinary research project that aims to build knowledge and design strategies to restore mine-impacted landscapes in the Pilbara and other arid and semi-arid landscapes worldwide (Kildiseheva et al., 2016). The RSB comprises four research programs that focus on seedbank management and curation, seed storage, seed enhancement, and the use of alternative soil substrates (soil or growing medium program) respectively. These multi-disciplinary programs address the significant challenges of landscape scale restoration in arid systems. In the soil program we follow an integrated approach that includes the characterization of undisturbed ecosystems, assessment of restored soils with the use of soil quality indicators, and design of alternative soil substrates to support the establishment of native plant communities. A series of glasshouse studies and field trials have been conducted in the last three years to advance our knowledge on soil limitations and to provide solutions to effectively overcome these challenges in arid ecosystem restoration. These studies include

  3. The potential roles of biological soil crusts in dryland hydrologic cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are the dominant living cover in many drylands of the world. They possess many features that can influence different aspects of local hydrologic cycles, including soil porosity, absorptivity, roughness, aggregate stability, texture, pore formation, and water retention. The influence of biological soil crusts on these factors depends on their internal and external structure, which varies with climate, soil, and disturbance history. This paper presents the different types of biological soil crusts, discusses how crust type likely influences various aspects of the hydrologic cycle, and reviews what is known and not known about the influence of biological crusts on sediment production and water infiltration versus runoff in various drylands around the world. Most studies examining the effect of biological soil crusts on local hydrology are done by comparing undisturbed sites with those recently disturbed by the researchers. Unfortunately, this greatly complicates interpretation of the results. Applied disturbances alter many soil features such as soil texture, roughness, aggregate stability, physical crusting, porosity, and bulk density in ways that would not necessarily be the same if crusts were not naturally present. Combined, these studies show little agreement on how biological crusts affect water infiltration or runoff. However, when studies are separated by biological crust type and utilize naturally occurring differences among these types, results indicate that biological crusts in hyperarid regions reduce infiltration and increase runoff, have mixed effects in and regions, and increase infiltration and reduce runoff in semiarid cool and cold drylands. However, more studies are needed before broad generalizations can be made on how biological crusts affect infiltration and runoff. We especially need studies that control for sub-surface soil features such as bulk density, micro- and macropores, and biological crust structure. Unlike

  4. Effects of crop residue on soil and plant water evaporation in a dryland cotton system

    OpenAIRE

    Lascano, R.J.; R. L. Baumhardt

    1996-01-01

    Metadata only record This study is the context of dryland agriculture, which encompasses rainfed systems that require emphases on minimal fertilizer use and conservation of water and soil. Field trials compare cotton planted in terminated wheat stubble with conventional cotton (stubble incorporated with moldboard and disk). The objective is to differentiate between the contributions of soil and plant evaporation to total evapotranspiration on a daily and seasonal basis, using the numerical...

  5. INFLUENCE OF CONSERVATION TILLAGE AND SOIL WATER CONTENT ON CROP YIELD IN DRYLAND COMPACTED ALFISOL OF CENTRAL CHILE

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ingrid G Martínez; Carlos Ovalle; Alejandro Del Pozo; Hamil Uribe; Natalia V Valderrama; Christian Prat; Marco Sandoval; Fernando Fernández; Erick Zagal

    2011-01-01

      Chilean dryland areas of the Mediterranean climate region are characterized by highly degraded and compacted soils, which require the use of conservation tillage systems to mitigate water erosion...

  6. Using Remote Sensing, Geomorphology, and Soils to Map Episodic Streams in Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibodeaux-Yost, S. N. S.

    2016-12-01

    Millions of acres of public land in the California deserts are currently being evaluated and permitted for the construction of large-scale renewable energy projects. The absence of a standard method for identifying episodic streams in arid and semi-arid (dryland) regions is a source of conflict between project developers and the government agencies responsible for conserving natural resources and permitting renewable energy projects. There is a need for a consistent, efficient, and cost-effective dryland stream delineation protocol that accurately reflects the extent and distribution of active watercourses. This thesis evaluates the stream delineation method and results used by the developer for the proposed Ridgecrest Solar Power Project on the El Paso Fan, Ridgecrest, Kern County, California. This evaluation is then compared and contrasted with results achieved using remote sensing, geomorphology, soils, and GIS analysis to identify stream presence on the site. This study's results identified 105 acres of watercourse, a value 10 times greater than that originally identified by the project developer. In addition, the applied methods provide an ecohydrologic base map to better inform project siting and potential project impact mitigation opportunities. This study concludes that remote sensing, geomorphology, and dryland soils can be used to accurately and efficiently identify episodic stream activity and the extent of watercourses in dryland environments.

  7. Modeling Soil Sodicity Problems under Dryland and Irrigated Conditions: Case Studies in Argentina and Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-Sentís, Ildefonso

    2014-05-01

    Salt-affected soils, both saline and sodic, my develop both under dryland and irrigated conditions, affecting negatively the physical and chemical soil properties, the crop production and the animal and human health.Among the development processes of salt-affected soils, the processes of sodification have been generally received less attention and is less understood than the development of saline soils. Although in both of them, hydrological processes are involved in their development, in the case of sodic soils we have to consider some additional chemical and physicochemical reactions, making more difficult their modeling and prediction. In this contribution we present two case studies: one related to the development of sodic soils in the lowlands of the Argentina Pampas, under dryland conditions and sub-humid temperate climate, with pastures for cattle production; the other deals with the development of sodic soils in the Colombia Cauca Valley, under irrigated conditions and tropical sub-humid climate, in lands used for sugarcane cropping dedicated to sugar and ethanol production. In both cases the development of sodicity in the surface soil is mainly related to the effects of the composition and level of groundwater, affected in the case of Argentina Pampas by the off-site changes in dryland use and management in the upper zones and by the drainage conditions in the lowlands, and in the case of the Cauca Valley, by the on-site irrigation and drainage management in lands with sugarcane. There is shown how the model SALSODIMAR, developed by the main author, based on the balance of water and soluble componentes of both the irrigation water and groundwater under different water and land management conditions, may be adapted for the diagnosis and prediction of both problems, and for the selection of alternatives for their management and amelioration.

  8. Increasing aridity reduces soil microbial diversity and abundance in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Jeffries, Thomas C.; Eldridge, David J.; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Quero, José Luis; García-Gómez, Miguel; Gallardo, Antonio; Ulrich, Werner; Bowker, Matthew A.; Arredondo, Tulio; Barraza-Zepeda, Claudia; Bran, Donaldo; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Mau, Rebecca L.; Miriti, Maria; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Stavi, Ilan; Wang, Deli; Woods, Natasha N.; Yuan, Xia; Zaady, Eli; Singh, Brajesh K.

    2015-01-01

    Soil bacteria and fungi play key roles in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, yet our understanding of their responses to climate change lags significantly behind that of other organisms. This gap in our understanding is particularly true for drylands, which occupy ∼41% of Earth´s surface, because no global, systematic assessments of the joint diversity of soil bacteria and fungi have been conducted in these environments to date. Here we present results from a study conducted across 80 dryland sites from all continents, except Antarctica, to assess how changes in aridity affect the composition, abundance, and diversity of soil bacteria and fungi. The diversity and abundance of soil bacteria and fungi was reduced as aridity increased. These results were largely driven by the negative impacts of aridity on soil organic carbon content, which positively affected the abundance and diversity of both bacteria and fungi. Aridity promoted shifts in the composition of soil bacteria, with increases in the relative abundance of Chloroflexi and α-Proteobacteria and decreases in Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Contrary to what has been reported by previous continental and global-scale studies, soil pH was not a major driver of bacterial diversity, and fungal communities were dominated by Ascomycota. Our results fill a critical gap in our understanding of soil microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems. They suggest that changes in aridity, such as those predicted by climate-change models, may reduce microbial abundance and diversity, a response that will likely impact the provision of key ecosystem services by global drylands. PMID:26647180

  9. Legacy effects in linked ecological-soil-geomorphic systems of drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monger, Curtis; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Duniway, Michael C.; Goldfus, Haim; Meir, Isaac A.; Poch, Rosa M.; Throop, Heather L.; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2015-01-01

    A legacy effect refers to the impacts that previous conditions have on current processes or properties. Legacies have been recognized by many disciplines, from physiology and ecology to anthropology and geology. Within the context of climatic change, ecological legacies in drylands (eg vegetative patterns) result from feedbacks between biotic, soil, and geomorphic processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Legacy effects depend on (1) the magnitude of the original phenomenon, (2) the time since the occurrence of the phenomenon, and (3) the sensitivity of the ecological–soil–geomorphic system to change. Here we present a conceptual framework for legacy effects at short-term (days to months), medium-term (years to decades), and long-term (centuries to millennia) timescales, which reveals the ubiquity of such effects in drylands across research disciplines.

  10. Climate change predicted to negatively influence surface soil health of dryland cropping systems in the Inland Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is a key indicator of agricultural productivity and overall soil health. Currently, dryland cropping systems of the inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW) span a large gradient in mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP). These climatic drivers are major determinants ...

  11. Climate change predicted to negatively influence surface soil organic matter of dryland cropping systems in the Inland Pacific Northwest, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is a key indicator of agricultural productivity and overall soil health. Currently, dryland cropping systems of the inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW) span a large gradient in mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP).These climatic drivers are major determinants o...

  12. Interacting Effects of Heat Stress and Soil Moisture Stress on Crop Yield Losses in Dryland Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debats, S. R.; Caylor, K. K.; Estes, L. D.; Chaney, N.; Sheffield, J.

    2012-12-01

    Increased interannual variability and greater frequency of extreme events place new pressures on subsistence farmers as a direct result of climate change. Of particular concern are farmers practicing rainfed agriculture in dryland ecosytems, where food security is closely linked to climate. In these areas, an improved understanding of the occurrence of extreme events as well as their effects on crop yields is essential. The main goals of this research are to identify the relative importance and possible coupling of heat stress and soil moisture stress in determining dryland crop yield losses. In particular, we are interested in determining the extent to which irrigation is an effective buffer against drought and heat stress in dryland regions. While irrigation can protect against soil moisture stress, its ability to mitigate heat stress, or the combined effects of the two stresses, is uncertain. Our study focuses on the Eastern and Southern provinces of Zambia as characteristic regions of dryland agriculture. Sites in the study area are identified based on farming type (irrigated versus rainfed). As irrigation is assumed to negate soil moisture stress, this approach enables separate analysis of heat stress and soil moisture stress, as well as their combined effects. To quantify the effects of heat stress, distributions of daily minimum and maximum temperatures are used to identify the frequency and severity of anomalously warm periods and their correlation with resulting crop yield losses. We also utilize Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) data and soil moisture data derived from the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrologic model to examine the effects of meteorological drought and hydrological drought, respectively, on crop yields. To quantify crop yield losses, we employ yield estimates derived from the integration of time series of 250 meter resolution Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images collected by the Moderate Resolution

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Soil Fertility Evaluation and Land Management of Dryland Farming at Tegallalang Sub-District, Gianyar Regency, Bali, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardiana, I. K.; Susila, D.; Supadma, A. A.; Saifulloh, M.

    2017-12-01

    The landuse of Tegallalang Subdistrict is dominated by dryland farming. The practice of cultivation on agricultural dryland that ignores the carrying capacity of the environment can lead to land degradation that makes the land vulnerable to the deterioration of soil fertility. Soil fertility evaluation and land management of dryland farming in Tegallalang Sub-district, Gianyar Regency were aimed at (1) identifying the soil fertility and it’s respective limiting factors, (2) mapping the soil fertility using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and (3) developing land management for dryland farming in Tegallalang Sub-district. This research implementing explora-tory method which followed by laboratory analysis. Soil samples were taken on each homogene-ous land units which developed by overlay of slope, soil type, and land use maps. The following soil fertility were measured, such as CEC, base saturation, P2O5, K- Total and C-Organic. The values of soil fertility were mapping using QGIS 2.18.7 and refer to land management evaluation. The results showed that the soil fertility in the research area considered high, and low level. The High soil fertility presents on land units at the flat to undulating slope with different land management systems (fertilizer, without fertilizer, soil tillage and without soil tillage). The low soil fertility includes land units that present on steep slope, and without land managements. The limiting factors of soil fertility were texture, C-Organic, CEC, P2O5, and K- total. It was recommended to applying organic fertilizer, Phonska, and dolomite on the farming area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Adoptability of sustainable intensification technologies in dryland smallholder farming systems of West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woittiez, L.S.; Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Giller, K.E.

    2015-01-01

    Within the framework of CGIAR Research Program (CRP) 1.1: Dryland Systems, the compilation of a review of options, constraints and potential for agricultural intensification at a number of specific sites in West African dryland areas has been requested, using an integrated systems approach. CRP 1.1

  17. Advances in the prognosis of soil sodicity under dryland irrigated conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ildefonso Pla Sentís

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Salt-affected soils, both saline and sodic, may develop under both dryland and irrigated conditions, affecting the physical and chemical soil properties, with negative consequences in the environment, in crop production and in animal and human health. Among the development processes of salt-affected soils, the processes of sodification have generally received less attention and are less understood than the development of saline soils. Although in both, hydrological processes are involved in their development, in the case of sodic soils we have to consider some additional chemical and physicochemical reactions, making more difficult their modeling and prediction. This is especially true where we have to consider the effects of the groundwater level and composition. In this contribution there are presented three case studies: one related to the development of sodic soils in the lowlands of the Argentina Pampas, under dry-land conditions with sub-humid temperate climate and pastures for cattle production; the second deals with the development of sodic soils in the Colombia Cauca Valley, under irrigated conditions and tropical sub-humid climate, in lands used for sugarcane cropping dedicated to sugar and ethanol production; and the last one related to the sodification of soils in the Western Plains of Venezuela, under irrigated conditions, sub-humid tropical climate and continuous cropping of rice under flooding. The development of sodicity in the surface soil is partially related to the composition and level of the ground-water, mainly affected in the Argentina case by drainage conditions, in the case of Colombia to the inefficient irrigation and inadequate drainage, and in the case of Venezuela to the soil management and irrigation system. There is shown how the model SALSODIMAR, developed by the author, based on the balance of water and soluble components of both irrigation water and ground-water, under different water and land management

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-15

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

  19. Mycorrhizal population on various cropping systems on sandy soil in dryland area of North Lombok, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WAHYU ASTIKO

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Astiko W, Fauzi MT, Sukartono. 2016. Mycorrhizal population on various cropping systems on sandy soil in dryland area of North Lombok, Indonesia. Nusantara Bioscience 8: 66-70. Inoculation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF on maize in sandy soil is expected to have positive implications for the improvement of AMF population and nutrient uptake. However, how many increases in the AMF population and nutrient uptake in the second cycle of a certain cropping system commonly cultivated by the farmers after growing their corn crop have not been examined. Since different cropping systems would indicate different increases in the populations of AMF and nutrient uptake. This study aimed to determine the population AMF and nutrient uptake on the second cropping cycle of corn-based cropping systems which utilized indigenous mycorrhizal fungi on sandy soil in dryland area of North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. For that purpose, an experiment was conducted at the Akar-Akar Village in Bayan Sub-district of North Lombok, designed according to the Randomized Complete Block Design, with four replications and six treatments of cropping cycles (P0 = corn-soybean as a control, in which the corn plants were not inoculated with AMF; P1 = corn-soybean, P2 = corn-peanut, P3 = corn-upland rice, P4 = corn-sorghum, and P5 = corn-corn, in which the first cycle corn plants were inoculated with AMF. The results indicated that the mycorrhizal populations (spore number and infection percentage were highest in the second cycle sorghum, achieving 335% and 226% respectively, which were significantly higher than those in the control. Increased uptake of N, P, K and Ca the sorghum plants at 60 DAS of the second cropping cycle reached 200%; 550%; 120% and 490% higher than in the control. The soil used in this experiment is rough-textured (sandy loam, so it is relatively low in water holding capacity and high porosity.

  20. Measuring soil sustainability via soil resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, Marie; Wilmes, Paul; Schrader, Stefan

    2017-10-17

    Soils are the nexus of water, energy and food, which illustrates the need for a holistic approach in sustainable soil management. The present study therefore aimed at identifying a bioindicator for the evaluation of soil management sustainability in a cross-disciplinary approach between soil science and multi-omics research. For this purpose we first discuss the remaining problems and challenges of evaluating sustainability and consequently suggest one measurable bioindicator for soil management sustainability. In this concept, we define soil sustainability as the maintenance of soil functional integrity. The potential to recover functional and structural integrity after a disturbance is generally defined as resilience. This potential is a product of the past and the present soil management, and at the same time prospect of possible soil responses to future disturbances. Additionally, it is correlated with the multiple soil functions and hence reflecting the multifunctionality of the soil system. Consequently, resilience can serve as a bioindicator for soil sustainability. The measurable part of soil resilience is the response diversity, calculated from the systematic contrasting of multi-omic markers for genetic potential and functional activity, and referred to as potential Maximum Ecological Performance (MEPpot) in this study. Calculating MEPpot will allow to determine the thresholds of resistance and resilience and potential tipping points for a regime shift towards irreversible or permanent unfavorable soil states for each individual soil considered. The calculation of such ecosystem thresholds is to our opinion the current global cross-disciplinary challenge. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Increased temperature and altered summer precipitation have differential effects on biological soil crusts in a dryland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Carney, Travis D.; Housman, David C.; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are common and ecologically important members of dryland ecosystems worldwide, where they stabilize soil surfaces and contribute newly fixed C and N to soils. To test the impacts of predicted climate change scenarios on biocrusts in a dryland ecosystem, the effects of a 2–3 °C increase in soil temperature and an increased frequency of smaller summer precipitation events were examined in a large, replicated field study conducted in the cold desert of the Colorado Plateau, USA. Surface soil biomass (DNA concentration), photosynthetically active cyanobacterial biomass (chlorophyll a concentration), cyanobacterial abundance (quantitative PCR assay), and bacterial community composition (16S rRNA gene sequencing) were monitored seasonally over 2 years. Soil microbial biomass and bacterial community composition were highly stratified between the 0–2 cm depth biocrusts and 5–10 cm depth soil beneath the biocrusts. The increase in temperature did not have a detectable effect on any of the measured parameters over 2 years. However, after the second summer of altered summer precipitation pattern, significant declines occurred in the surface soil biomass (avg. DNA concentration declined 38%), photosynthetic cyanobacterial biomass (avg. chlorophyll a concentration declined 78%), cyanobacterial abundance (avg. gene copies g−1 soil declined 95%), and proportion of Cyanobacteria in the biocrust bacterial community (avg. representation in sequence libraries declined 85%). Biocrusts are important contributors to soil stability, soil C and N stores, and plant performance, and the loss or reduction of biocrusts under an altered precipitation pattern associated with climate change could contribute significantly to lower soil fertility and increased erosion and dust production in dryland ecosystems at a regional scale.

  3. Future soil moisture and temperature extremes imply expanding suitability for rainfed agriculture in temperate drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, John B.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Lauenroth, William K.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Duniway, Michael C.; Hall, Sonia A.; Jia, Gensuo; Jamiyansharav, Khishigbayar; Munson, Seth M.; Wilson, Scott D.; Tietjen, Britta

    2017-01-01

    The distribution of rainfed agriculture is expected to respond to climate change and human population growth. However, conditions that support rainfed agriculture are driven by interactions among climate, including climate extremes, and soil moisture availability that have not been well defined. In the temperate regions that support much of the world’s agriculture, these interactions are complicated by seasonal temperature fluctuations that can decouple climate and soil moisture. Here, we show that suitability to support rainfed agriculture can be effectively represented by the interactive effects of just two variables: suitability increases where warm conditions occur with wet soil, and suitability decreases with extreme high temperatures. 21st century projections based on ecohydrological modeling of downscaled climate forecasts imply geographic shifts and overall increases in the area suitable for rainfed agriculture in temperate regions, especially at high latitudes, and pronounced, albeit less widespread, declines in suitable areas in low latitude drylands, especially in Europe. These results quantify the integrative direct and indirect impact of rising temperatures on rainfed agriculture.

  4. Soil microbial communities drive the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to global change in drylands across the globe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Eldridge, David J; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Singh, Brajesh K; Maestre, Fernando T

    2017-10-01

    The relationship between soil microbial communities and the resistance of multiple ecosystem functions linked to C, N and P cycling (multifunctionality resistance) to global change has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We collected soils from 59 dryland ecosystems worldwide to investigate the importance of microbial communities as predictor of multifunctionality resistance to climate change and nitrogen fertilisation. Multifunctionality had a lower resistance to wetting-drying cycles than to warming or N deposition. Multifunctionality resistance was regulated by changes in microbial composition (relative abundance of phylotypes) but not by richness, total abundance of fungi and bacteria or the fungal: bacterial ratio. Our results suggest that positive effects of particular microbial taxa on multifunctionality resistance could potentially be controlled by altering soil pH. Together, our work demonstrates strong links between microbial community composition and multifunctionality resistance in dryland soils from six continents, and provides insights into the importance of microbial community composition for buffering effects of global change in drylands worldwide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  5. [Effects of straw mulching on the soil aggregates in dryland wheat field under no-tillage].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hai-Xia; Sun, Hong-Xia; Han, Qing-Fang; Wang, Min; Zhang, Rui; Jia, Zhi-Kuan; Nie, Jun-Feng; Liu, Ting

    2012-04-01

    A field experiment was conducted to study the effects of full period and growth period straw mulching with an amount of 3000, 6000, and 9000 kg x hm(-2) on the soil aggregates in a no-tillage dryland wheat field in Weibei Loess Pleateau of Shaanxi Province, taking no full period straw mulching as the control. In the 0-40 cm soil layer, the content of > 5 mm aggregates increased with depth, while that of aggregates was in adverse. Under straw mulching, the total contents of > 0.25 mm mechanical stable aggregates (DR0.25) and of > 0.25 mm water stable aggregates (WR0.25) were significantly higher than the control, with an increase of 13.0%-26.4% and 18.6%-45.6%, respectively and the largest increment in the treatment 6000 kg x hm(-2) of straw mulching. Straw mulching increased the soil organic matter content, and the latter had a significant positive correlation with the WR0.25 content. All the straw mulching treatments decreased the soil unstable aggregate index (E(LT)) which was the lowest in treatment 6000 kg x hm(-2) of straw mulching. This study showed that straw mulching could increase the >0.25 mm aggregates and organic matter contents in 0-40 cm soil layer and improve the soil structural stability, and mulching with an amount of 6000 kg x hm(-2) had the best effect, being a reasonable straw mulching mode to be applied in the agricultural production in Weibei Loess Plateau.

  6. Dryland soil chemical properties and crop yields affected by long-term tillage and cropping sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sainju, Upendra M; Allen, Brett L; Caesar-TonThat, Thecan; Lenssen, Andrew W

    2015-01-01

    Information on the effect of long-term management on soil nutrients and chemical properties is scanty. We examined the 30-year effect of tillage frequency and cropping sequence combination on dryland soil Olsen-P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, SO4-S, and Zn concentrations, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and cation exchange capacity (CEC) at the 0-120 cm depth and annualized crop yield in the northern Great Plains, USA. Treatments were no-till continuous spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) (NTCW), spring till continuous spring wheat (STCW), fall and spring till continuous spring wheat (FSTCW), fall and spring till spring wheat-barley (Hordeum vulgare L., 1984-1999) followed by spring wheat-pea (Pisum sativum L., 2000-2013) (FSTW-B/P), and spring till spring wheat-fallow (STW-F, traditional system). At 0-7.5 cm, P, K, Zn, Na, and CEC were 23-60% were greater, but pH, buffer pH, and Ca were 6-31% lower in NTCW, STCW, and FSTW-B/P than STW-F. At 7.5-15 cm, K was 23-52% greater, but pH, buffer pH, and Mg were 3-21% lower in NTCW, STCW, FSTCW, FSTW-B/P than STW-F. At 60-120 cm, soil chemical properties varied with treatments. Annualized crop yield was 23-30% lower in STW-F than the other treatments. Continuous N fertilization probably reduced soil pH, Ca, and Mg, but greater crop residue returned to the soil increased P, K, Na, Zn, and CEC in NTCW and STCW compared to STW-F. Reduced tillage with continuous cropping may be adopted for maintaining long-term soil fertility and crop yields compared with the traditional system.

  7. Soil sustainability and indigenous soil management practices ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It has been said that the greatest threat to sustaining agricultural productivity in Nigerian farming communities is the decline in soil productivity. As a result of this a number of programmes and policies aimed at increasing the interest of Nigerian farmers in long term soil conservation practices have been mounted in the past ...

  8. Soil physical properties response to tillage practices during summer fallow of dryland winter wheat field on the Loess Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Jian-Fu; Ren, Ai-Xia; Li, Hui; Gao, Zhi-Qiang; Du, Tian-Qing

    2018-01-01

    Soil physical properties are a greatly important part of the soil and indicator of soil quality, which can directly affect soil nutrient turnover and crop yields in dryland. This study was carried out with three tillage practices during the summer fallow season since 2011, including no tillage (NT), plow tillage (PT), and subsoiling (ST) in dryland winter wheat fields of the Loess Plateau. Results showed that soil tillage during the summer fallow had a small effect on soil bulk density (ρ b) in the 0-50-cm soil profile before sowing and after harvesting of winter wheat. Soil ρ b under NT at a depth of 20-30 cm was significantly greater than those under PT in both seasons. Both soil gravimetric water content (θ g) and volumetric moisture content (θ v) after harvesting increased by 28.8-78.6% and 37.5-87.3%, respectively, compared with those before sowing. Adoption of PT significantly increased soil θ g and θ v in the entire 0-50-cm profile before sowing compared with NT and ST (P < 0.05). In addition, there was a small effect on soil porosity (e.g., total porosity, air-filled porosity, and capillary porosity) in the profile of 0-50 cm both before sowing and after harvesting. Overall, short-term tillage during summer fallow mainly affected soil water content in the 0-50-cm soil profile, and it had a slight effect on other physical soil properties.

  9. Soil biodiversity for agricultural sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Brown, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    We critically highlight some evidence for the importance of soil biodiversity to sustaining (agro-)ecosystem functioning and explore directions for future research. We first deal with resistance and resilience against abiotic disturbance and stress. There is evidence that soil biodiversity does

  10. Navigating challenges and opportunities of land degradation and sustainable livelihood development in dryland social–ecological systems: a case study from Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Ribeiro Palacios, Mónica; Arredondo Moreno, José Tulio; Braasch, Marco; Martínez Peña, Ruth Magnolia; de Alba Verduzco, Javier García; Monzalvo Santos, Karina

    2012-01-01

    Drylands are one of the most diverse yet highly vulnerable social–ecological systems on Earth. Water scarcity has contributed to high levels of heterogeneity, variability and unpredictability, which together have shaped the long coadaptative process of coupling humans and nature. Land degradation and desertification in drylands are some of the largest and most far-reaching global environmental and social change problems, and thus are a daunting challenge for science and society. In this study, we merged the Drylands Development Paradigm, Holling's adaptive cycle metaphor and resilience theory to assess the challenges and opportunities for livelihood development in the Amapola dryland social–ecological system (DSES), a small isolated village in the semi-arid region of Mexico. After 450 years of local social–ecological evolution, external drivers (neoliberal policies, change in land reform legislation) have become the most dominant force in livelihood development, at the cost of loss of natural and cultural capital and an increasingly dysfunctional landscape. Local DSESs have become increasingly coupled to dynamic larger-scale drivers. Hence, cross-scale connectedness feeds back on and transforms local self-sustaining subsistence farming conditions, causing loss of livelihood resilience and diversification in a globally changing world. Effective efforts to combat desertification and improve livelihood security in DSESs need to consider their cyclical rhythms. Hence, we advocate novel dryland stewardship strategies, which foster adaptive capacity, and continuous evaluation and social learning at all levels. Finally, we call for an effective, flexible and viable policy framework that enhances local biotic and cultural diversity of drylands to transform global drylands into a resilient biome in the context of global environmental and social change. PMID:23045713

  11. Navigating challenges and opportunities of land degradation and sustainable livelihood development in dryland social-ecological systems: a case study from Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Palacios, Mónica Ribeiro; Moreno, José Tulio Arredondo; Braasch, Marco; Peña, Ruth Magnolia Martínez; Verduzco, Javier García de Alba; Santos, Karina Monzalvo

    2012-11-19

    Drylands are one of the most diverse yet highly vulnerable social-ecological systems on Earth. Water scarcity has contributed to high levels of heterogeneity, variability and unpredictability, which together have shaped the long coadaptative process of coupling humans and nature. Land degradation and desertification in drylands are some of the largest and most far-reaching global environmental and social change problems, and thus are a daunting challenge for science and society. In this study, we merged the Drylands Development Paradigm, Holling's adaptive cycle metaphor and resilience theory to assess the challenges and opportunities for livelihood development in the Amapola dryland social-ecological system (DSES), a small isolated village in the semi-arid region of Mexico. After 450 years of local social-ecological evolution, external drivers (neoliberal policies, change in land reform legislation) have become the most dominant force in livelihood development, at the cost of loss of natural and cultural capital and an increasingly dysfunctional landscape. Local DSESs have become increasingly coupled to dynamic larger-scale drivers. Hence, cross-scale connectedness feeds back on and transforms local self-sustaining subsistence farming conditions, causing loss of livelihood resilience and diversification in a globally changing world. Effective efforts to combat desertification and improve livelihood security in DSESs need to consider their cyclical rhythms. Hence, we advocate novel dryland stewardship strategies, which foster adaptive capacity, and continuous evaluation and social learning at all levels. Finally, we call for an effective, flexible and viable policy framework that enhances local biotic and cultural diversity of drylands to transform global drylands into a resilient biome in the context of global environmental and social change.

  12. Experimental warming in a dryland community reduced plant photosynthesis and soil CO2 efflux although the relationship between the fluxes remained unchanged

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertin, Timothy M.; Belnap, Jayne; Reed, Sasha C.

    2016-01-01

    1. Drylands represent our planet's largest terrestrial biome and, due to their extensive area, maintain large stocks of carbon (C). Accordingly, understanding how dryland C cycling will respond to climate change is imperative for accurately forecasting global C cycling and future climate. However, it remains difficult to predict how increased temperature will affect dryland C cycling, as substantial uncertainties surround the potential responses of the two main C fluxes: plant photosynthesis and soil CO2 efflux. In addition to a need for an improved understanding of climate effects on individual dryland C fluxes, there is also notable uncertainty regarding how climate change may influence the relationship between these fluxes.2. To address this important knowledge gap, we measured a growing season's in situphotosynthesis, plant biomass accumulation, and soil CO2 efflux of mature Achnatherum hymenoides (a common and ecologically important C3 bunchgrass growing throughout western North America) exposed to ambient or elevated temperature (+2°C above ambient, warmed via infrared lamps) for three years.3. The 2°C increase in temperature caused a significant reduction in photosynthesis, plant growth, and soil CO2 efflux. Of important note, photosynthesis and soil respiration appeared tightly coupled and the relationship between these fluxes was not altered by the elevated temperature treatment, suggesting C fixation's strong control of both above-ground and below-ground dryland C cycling. Leaf water use efficiency was substantially increased in the elevated temperature treatment compared to the control treatment.4. Taken together, our results suggest notable declines in photosynthesis with relatively subtle warming, reveal strong coupling between above- and below-ground C fluxes in this dryland, and highlight temperature's strong effect on fundamental components of dryland C and water cycles.

  13. 10th anniversary review: addressing land degradation and climate change in dryland agroecosystems through sustainable land management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Richard James

    2008-05-01

    Sustainable land management (SLM) is proposed as a unifying theme for current global efforts on combating desertification, climate change and loss of biodiversity in drylands. A focus on SLM will achieve the multiple goals of the three UN Conventions (UNCCD, UNFCCC and UNCBD) and in particular will address the roots causes of poverty and vulnerability to climate change rather than a current focus on adapting to climate change. The interlinkages between land degradation, climate change and loss of biodiversity are outlined together with a proposed set of interventions to achieve multiple goals. It is argued that improved land productivity is a viable goal to reduce poverty in drylands provided it is linked to payments for environmental services and better crop and weather insurances and coupled with alternative livelihoods that are not primarily dependent on land productivity. Obstacles to the achievement of SLM are discussed and the steps necessary to overcome them are presented. It is suggested that promoting SLM would be a better focus for the UNCCD than combating desertification.

  14. Impact of land-use on carbon storage as dependent on soil texture: Evidence from a desertified dryland using repeated paired sampling design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ye, Xuehua; Tang, Shuangli; Cornwell, W.K.; Gao, Shuqin; Huan, Zhenying; Dong, Ming; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2015-01-01

    Desertification resulting from land-use affects large dryland areas around the world, accompanied by carbon loss. However it has been difficult to interpret different land-use contributions to carbon pools owing to confounding factors related to climate, topography, soil texture and other original

  15. [Effects of deep plowing and mulch in fallow period on soil water and yield of wheat in dryland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Yan; Gao, Zhi-Qiang; Sun, Min; Zhao, Wei-Feng; Zhao, Hong-Mei; Li, Qing

    2014-01-01

    A field test was carried out in Qiujialing Village, Wenxi, Shanxi from 2009 to 2011 to study the soil water movement of 0-300 cm layer, yield formation and water use efficiency (WUE) of wheat with deep plowing and mulching the whole ground immediately (no mulch as control) 15 days and 45 days after harvest. The results indicated that deep plowing and mulch in fallow period could improve soil water storage of the 100-180 cm layer before sowing, the soil water storage efficiency in fallow period, and soil water storage from pre-wintering stage to booting stage. Compared with deep plowing 15 days after wheat harvest, deep plowing 45 days after wheat harvest did better in improving soil water storage and water use efficiency, as well as ear number and yield, which was more conducive in the year with more precipitation. Generally, deep plowing and mulching after raining during fallow period could benefit the soil water storage and conservation, thus would be helpful to improve wheat yield in dryland.

  16. Changes to dryland rainfall result in rapid moss mortality and altered soil fertility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Sasha C.; Coe, Kirsten K.; Sparks, Jed P.; Housman, David C.; Zelikova, Tamara J.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Arid and semi-arid ecosystems cover ~40% of Earth’s terrestrial surface, but we know little about how climate change will affect these widespread landscapes. Like many drylands, the Colorado Plateau in southwestern United States is predicted to experience elevated temperatures and alterations to the timing and amount of annual precipitation. We used a factorial warming and supplemental rainfall experiment on the Colorado Plateau to show that altered precipitation resulted in pronounced mortality of the widespread moss Syntrichia caninervis. Increased frequency of 1.2 mm summer rainfall events reduced moss cover from ~25% of total surface cover to fertility. Mosses are important members in many dryland ecosystems and the community changes observed here reveal how subtle modifications to climate can affect ecosystem structure and function on unexpectedly short timescales. Moreover, mortality resulted from increased precipitation through smaller, more frequent events, underscoring the importance of precipitation event size and timing, and highlighting our inadequate understanding of relationships between climate and ecosystem function in drylands.

  17. Mobility and uptake of zinc, cadmium, nickel, and lead in sludge-amended soils planted to dryland maize and irrigated maize-oat rotation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogbazghi, Zekarias M; Tesfamariam, Eyob H; Annandale, John G; De Jager, Petrus C

    2015-03-01

    Sludge application to agricultural lands is often limited mainly because of concerns about metal accumulation in soils and uptake by crops. The objective of the study was to test the following hypotheses: (i) in the short to medium term (5-10 yr), the application of good-quality sludge according to crop N requirements will not lead to significant accumulation of water-soluble metal fractions in soil, (ii) mobility and uptake of metals is higher under irrigated than dryland systems, and (iii) metal concentrations in plant tissue could reach phytotoxic levels before the soil reaches environmental threshold levels. Field plots were arranged in a randomized complete block design comprising four replications of three treatments (0, 8, and 16 Mg ha yr anaerobically digested municipal sludge) planted to dryland maize and irrigated maize-oat rotation. Soil and plant samples were collected after 7 yr of treatment application for selected metal analyses. A large fraction of the Zn, Ni, and Pb in the soil profile was ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid extractable (46-79%). Saturated paste-extractable fractions of Cd and Pb were <1 mg kg. Plant uptake of Cd, Pb, and Ni under irrigation was double that for dryland systems. Concentrations of the metals considered in plant tissue of both cropping systems remained well below phytotoxic levels, except for Zn under dryland maize, which received 16 Mg sludge ha yr. Metal concentrations in the soil remained far below total maximum threshold levels. Therefore, hypotheses 1 and 3 were accepted for the metals considered, and hypothesis 2 was rejected for Zn. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  18. Global desertification: building a science for dryland development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reynolds, J.F.; Smith, D.M.S.; Lambin, E.F.; Turner, B.L.; Mortimore, M.; Batterbury, S.P.J.; Downing, T.E.; Dowlatabadi, H.; Fernandez, R.J.; Herrick, J.E.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Jiang, H.; Leemans, R.; Lynam, T.; Maestre, T.; Ayarza, M.; Walker, B.

    2007-01-01

    In this millennium, global drylands face a myriad of problems that present tough research, management, and policy challenges. Recent advances in dryland development, however, together with the integrative approaches of global change and sustainability science, suggest that concerns about land

  19. Application of rye green manure in wheat rotation system alters soil water content and chemical characteristics under dryland condition in Maragheh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosavi, S B; Jafarzadeh, A A; Nishabouri, M R; Ostan, Sh; Feiziasl, V

    2009-01-15

    This study was carried out with or without rye green manure along with 4 nitrogen fertilization treatments (0, 26, 103 and 337 (kg N ha(-1)) in 3 rotation system (green manure-wheat). Results showed that, although treatment effects on dryland wheat grain yield was not significant, but maximum grain yield (2484 kg ha(-1)) was obtained from application of rye green manure along with 26 kg N ha(-1); which is 22% more than check (without rye green manure) treatment. Green manure application with or without nitrogen increased EC (dS m(-1)), but decreased OC, P (av.), Cu (av.), Mn (av.), Zn (av.) and sand in the soil. In contrast to green manure, application of nitrogen along with green manure increased saturation and clay. In the stage of stem appearance, soil moisture content decreased 8% in green-manure application but with nitrogen application the moisture increased 6% compared with check in 0-20 cm depth. It can be concluded that, green manure application is useful along with nitrogen fertilizer application in long term. This treatment could increase soil moisture content, which leads to higher wheat grain yield in dryland areas. In addition, green manure application could change some soil characteristics such as soil TNV%, which decreases availability of some essential nutrients for dryland wheat.

  20. [Effects of scale-like pit and mulching measures on soil moisture of dryland jujube orchard in North Shaanxi Province, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hong-Chen; Zhao, Xi-Ning; Gao, Xiao-Ding; Wang, Jia-Wen; Shi, Yin-Guang

    2014-08-01

    Soil moisture is a key factor affecting jujube growth in the semiarid Northern Shaanxi Province. The impacts of different engineering and mulching measures on soil moisture were investigated via in situ measurements in a typical dryland jujube orchard. The results showed that the mean soil moistures (0-180 cm) of scale-like pit + branch mulching, scale-like scale + straw mulching, and soil moisture of scale-like pit with no mulching were increased by 14.2%, 9.4%, and 4.8% than control, respectively. Different measures, especially for the scale-like pit + branch mulching, significantly increased the soil moisture in the soil surface (0-20 cm) and the main root zone layer (20-100 cm) during the jujube growth stage. Individual precipitation events had great impacts on soil moisture in the 0-100 cm, while its effect on soil moisture in deep layers was not apparent. There was no significant difference among the soil moistures in different soil depths of scale-like pit with no mulching when compared with the control under high, medium, and low soil humidity conditions. This study indicated that using the clipped jujube branches as mulching could both save materials cost and achieve the goal of reserving more water in dryland jujube orchard in north Shaanxi Province.

  1. Dryland soil hydrological processes and their impacts on the nitrogen balance in a soil-maize system of a freeze-thawing agricultural area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Ouyang

    Full Text Available Understanding the fates of soil hydrological processes and nitrogen (N is essential for optimizing the water and N in a dryland crop system with the goal of obtaining a maximum yield. Few investigations have addressed the dynamics of dryland N and its association with the soil hydrological process in a freeze-thawing agricultural area. With the daily monitoring of soil water content and acquisition rates at 15, 30, 60 and 90 cm depths, the soil hydrological process with the influence of rainfall was identified. The temporal-vertical soil water storage analysis indicated the local albic soil texture provided a stable soil water condition for maize growth with the rainfall as the only water source. Soil storage water averages at 0-20, 20-40 and 40-60 cm were observed to be 490.2, 593.8, and 358 m3 ha-1, respectively, during the growing season. The evapo-transpiration (ET, rainfall, and water loss analysis demonstrated that these factors increased in same temporal pattern and provided necessary water conditions for maize growth in a short period. The dry weight and N concentration of maize organs (root, leaf, stem, tassel, and grain demonstrated the N accumulation increased to a peak in the maturity period and that grain had the most N. The maximum N accumulative rate reached about 500 mg m-2d-1 in leaves and grain. Over the entire growing season, the soil nitrate N decreased by amounts ranging from 48.9 kg N ha-1 to 65.3 kg N ha-1 over the 90 cm profile and the loss of ammonia-N ranged from 9.79 to 12.69 kg N ha-1. With soil water loss and N balance calculation, the N usage efficiency (NUE over the 0-90 cm soil profile was 43%. The soil hydrological process due to special soil texture and the temporal features of rainfall determined the maize growth in the freeze-thawing agricultural area.

  2. Impact of land-use on carbon storage as dependent on soil texture: evidence from a desertified dryland using repeated paired sampling design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Xuehua; Tang, Shuangli; Cornwell, William K; Gao, Shuqin; Huang, Zhenying; Dong, Ming; Cornelissen, Johannes H C

    2015-03-01

    Desertification resulting from land-use affects large dryland areas around the world, accompanied by carbon loss. However it has been difficult to interpret different land-use contributions to carbon pools owing to confounding factors related to climate, topography, soil texture and other original soil properties. To avoid such confounding effects, a unique systematic and extensive repeated design of paired sampling plots of different land-use types was adopted on Ordos Plateau, N China. The sampling enabled to quantify the effects of the predominant land-use types on carbon storage as dependent on soil texture, and to define the most promising land-use choices for carbon storage, both in grassland on sandy soil and in desert grassland on brown calcareous soil. The results showed that (1) desertification control should be an effective measure to improve the carbon sequestration in sandy grassland, and shrub planting should be better than grass planting; (2) development of man-made grassland should be a good choice to solve the contradictions of ecology and economy in desert grassland; (3) grassland on sandy soil is more vulnerable to soil degradation than desert grassland on brown calcareous soil. The results may be useful for the selection of land-use types, aiming at desertification prevention in drylands. Follow-up studies should directly investigate the role of soil texture on the carbon storage dynamic caused by land-use change. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Dryland forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bose, Purabi; Dijk, van Han

    2016-01-01

    This volume provides new insights and conceptual understandings of the human and gender dimension of vulnerability in relation to the dynamics of tenure reforms in the dryland forests of Asia and Africa. The book analyzes the interaction between biophysical factors such as climate variability

  5. How is overland flow produced under intermittent rain? An analysis using plot-scale rainfall simulation on dryland soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunkerley, David

    2018-01-01

    The characteristic intermittency of rainfall includes temporary cessations (hiatuses), as well as periods of very low intensity within more intense events. To understand how these characteristics of rainfall affect overland flow production, rainfall simulations involving repeated cycles of on-off intermittency were carried out on dryland soils in arid western New South Wales, Australia. Periods of rain (10 mm/h) and no-rain were applied in alternation with cycle times from 3 min to 25 min, in experiments lasting 1-1.5 h. Results showed that intermittency could delay the onset of runoff by more than 30 min, reduce the runoff ratio, reduce the peak runoff rate, and reduce the apparent event infiltration rate by 30-45%. When hiatuses in rainfall were longer than 15-20 min, runoff that had resulted from prior rain ceased completely before the recommencement of rain. Results demonstrate that if rainfall intermittency is not accounted for, estimates of infiltrability based on runoff plot data can be systematically in error. Despite the use of intermittent rain, the episodic occurrence of runoff could be predicted successfully by fitting multiple affine Horton infiltration equations, whose changing f0 and Kf coefficients, but uniform values of fc, reflected the redistribution of soil moisture and the change in the infiltrability f during hiatuses in rainfall. The value of fc varied little among the fitted equations, so constituting an affine set of relationships. This new approach provides an alternative to the use of steady-state methods that are common in rainfall simulation experiments and which typically yield only an estimate of fc. The new field results confirm that intermittency affects infiltration and runoff depths and timing at plot scale and on intra-event timescales. Additional work on other soil types, and at other spatial and temporal scales, is needed to test the generality of these findings.

  6. 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

  7. [Effects of mulching on soil moisture in a dryland winter wheat field, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Ying-Dan; Chai, Shou-Xi; Cheng, Hong-Bo; Chen, Yu-Zhang; Yang, Chang-Gang; Huang, Cai-Xia; Chang, Lei; Pang, Lei

    2013-11-01

    This paper studied the effects of different mulching modes on the soil moisture in a semi-arid rainfed area of Loess Plateau, Northwest China. Seven treatments were installed, i. e., mulching plastic film in summer (T1), mulching plastic film in autumn (T2), mulching 5 cm long wheat straw in summer (T3), mulching whole wheat straw in summer (T4), mulching plastic film in summer plus wheat straw (T5), mulching used plastic film after harvest (T6), and un-mulching (CK). In T6, the soil moisture in different layers at different crop growth stages was all higher than that in CK. In the other five mulching treatments, the soil moisture in 0-90 cm layer before flowering stage was obviously higher, but that in 0-90 cm layer after flowering stage and in 90-200 cm layer during the whole growth season was lower than that of CK. The soil moisture in 0-200 cm layer in T6 during the whole growth period was significantly higher than that in CK, with a difference of 0.9%, but the soil moisture in 0-200 cm layer in other mulching treatments was lower. As compared with plastic film mulching, straw mulching increased the soil moisture in 0-200 cm layer. The soil moisture under mulching with used plastic film after harvest was higher than that under mulching with new plastic film. As compared to CK, the grain yield of winter wheat with plastic film mulching was increased by 20.3%-29.0%, and that With straw mulching was increased by 5.0%-16.7%. There was a significant positive correlation between the crop productivity and the soil water consumption during the growth period (r = 0.77*).

  8. Soil Erosion and Agricultural Sustainability

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    David R. Montgomery

    2007-01-01

    .... The general equivalence of the latter indicates that, considered globally, hillslope soil production and erosion evolve to balance geologic and climate forcing, whereas conventional plow-based...

  9. Biocrusts role on nitrogen cycle and microbial communities from underlying soils in drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Biocrusts are distributed in arid areas widely covering most of the soil surface and playing an essential role in the functioning of nitrogen cycle. The absence of biocrust coverage might affect the soil nitrogen content and the quantity and diversity of microbial communities in underlying biocrust soils. To analyse this mater, we have collected three underlying soils biocrusts samples dominated by the lichen Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera from Tabernas desert (southeast of Spain) at two extremes of its spatial distribution range: one with a high percentage of biocrust coverage and other with a huge degradation and low percentage of biocrust coverage in order to determine differences on the total nitrogen content and microbial communities from these underlying soils. DNA from these samples was isolated though a commercial kit and it was used as template for metagenomic analysis. We accomplished a sequencing of the amplicons V4-V5 of the 16S rRNA gene with Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Illumina MiSeq platform and a relative quantity of bacteria (rRNA 16S) and fungi (ITS1-5.8S) were conducted by quantitative qPCR. Total nitrogen was measured by the Kjeldahl method. Statistical analyses were based on ANOVAs, heatmap and Generalized Linear Models (GLM). The results showed 1.89E+09 bacteria per gram of soil in the high biocrust coverage position while 6.98E+08 microorganisms per gram of soil were found in the less favourable position according to the lower percentage of biocrust coverage. Similarly, 1.19E+12 was the amount of fungi per gram of soil located in the favourable position with higher biocrust coverage and 7.62E+11 was found in the unfavourable position. Furthermore, the soil under high percentage of biocrust coverage showed the greatest total nitrogen content (1.1 g kg-1) whereas the soil sampled under depressed percentage of biocrust coverage displayed the fewest quantity of total nitrogen content (0.9 g kg-1). Metagenomic and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Long-term conventional and no-tillage effects on field hydrology and yields of a dryland crop rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid dryland crop yields with no-till, NT, residue management are often greater than stubble-mulch, SM, tillage as a result of improved soil conditions and water conservation, but information on long-term tillage effects on field hydrology and sustained crop production are needed. Our objective ...

  12. [Effects of mulching patterns on soil water, broomcorn millet growth, photosynthetic charac- teristics and yield in the dryland of Loess Plateau in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Wang; Zhang, Yan-Ping; Qu, Yang; Li, Cui; Miao, Jia-Yuan; Gao, Xiao-Li; Liu, Jian-Hua; Feng, Bai-Li

    2014-11-01

    The objective of this study was to explore the effects of mulching patterns on soil water, growth, photosynthetic characteristics, grain yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of broomcorn millet in the dryland of Loess Plateau in China. In a three-year field experiment from 2011 to 2013, we compared four different mulching patterns with traditional plat planting (no mulching) as the control (CK). The mulching patterns included W ridge covered with common plastic film + intredune covered with straw (SG), common ridge covered with common plastic film + intredune covered with straw (LM), double ridges covered with common plastic film + intredune covered with straw (QM), and the traditional plat planting covered with straw (JG). The results showed that the soil water storage in 0-100 cm layer was significantly higher in all mulching patterns than in CK, particularly in SG then followed by LM, QM and JG, and the differences among the mulching patterns reached a significant level at the different growth stages of broomcorn millet. Among all mulching patterns, SG had the greatest effect on the growth and photosynthesis of broomcorn millet, respectively increasing the yield and WUE by 55.9% and 64.9% over CK, and the differences among the mulching patterns also reached a significant level. Therefore, SG was recommended as an efficient planting pattern for broomcorn millet production in the dryland of Loess Plateau in China.

  13. Effects of soil temperature and depth to ground water on first-year growth of a dryland riparian phreatophyte, Glycyrrhiza lepidota (American licorice)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Douglas C.; Nelson, S. Mark

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the effects of soil temperature and depth to ground water on first-year growth of a facultative floodplain phreatophyte, Glycyrrhiza lepidota, in a 2-×-2 factorial greenhouse experiment. We grew plants in mesocosms subirrigated with water low in dissolved oxygen, mimicking natural systems, and set depth of ground water at 63 or 100 cm and soil temperature at cold (ambient) or warm (≤2.7°C above ambient). We hypothesized the moister (63 cm) and warmer soil would be most favorable and predicted faster growth of shoots and roots and greater nitrogen-fixation (thus, less uptake of mineral nitrogen) under those conditions. Growth in height was significantly faster in the moister treatment but was not affected by soil temperature. Final biomass of shoots and of roots, total biomass of plants, and root:shoot ratio indicated a significant effect only from depth of ground water. Final levels of soil mineral-nitrogen were as predicted, with level of nitrate in the moister treatment more than twice that in the drier treatment. No effect from soil temperature on level of soil-mineral nitrogen was detected. Our results suggest that establishment of G. lepidotarequires strict conditions of soil moisture, which may explain the patchy distribution of the species along southwestern dryland rivers.

  14. Total evaporation estimates from a Renosterveld and dryland wheat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was carried out in the mid-reaches of the Berg River catchment (South Africa), characterised by dryland salinity. ... A change in land use from Renosterveld to dryland annual crops could therefore affect the soil water balance, cause shallow saline groundwater tables and degradation of soil and water resources.

  15. 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.

  16. Varied effects of untreated textile wastewater onto soil carbon mineralization and associated biochemical properties of a dryland agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roohi, Mahnaz; Riaz, Muhammad; Arif, Muhammad Saleem; Shahzad, Sher Muhammad; Yasmeen, Tahira; Riaz, Muhammad Atif; Tahir, Shermeen; Mahmood, Khalid

    2016-12-01

    Wastewater is an alternative, valuable and cost effective resource for irrigation in water-scarce arid and sami-arid regions of the world including Pakistan. Soils near urban centers are cultivated for vegetable and cash crops using untreated wastewater. Current study was performed with objectives of assessing impacts of untreated textile wastewater on some soil chemical, biological and enzymatic activities. The microcosm incubation study used a clay loam soil that received 0 (distilled-water), 25, 50 and 100% wastewater concentrations and incubated for 30 and 60 days under optimum temperature and moisture conditions. Soil respiration was measured periodically throughout the experiment over 60 days. After the incubation periods of 30- and 60-d, soils were destructively analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), water extractable organic matter (WEOM), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2) and dehydrogenase enzymatic activity. Results revealed that wastewater and incubation time significantly altered chemical, biological and enzymatic properties of soils. The observed large surge in soil respiration, at initial stage, was stimulated by dissolved organic matter in wastewater. Dehydrogenase activity increased significantly with increasing wastewater concentrations. Increase in qCO2 with wastewater concentration and incubation time suggested more stress to microorganisms but also enhanced microbial activity under stress to synthesize biomass. We found significant positive (R2 = 0.64, p Wastewater concentration and incubation time interaction had significant (p wastewater on soil physico-chemical and biological health should be assessed before its use for crop production. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Elevated CO2 as a driver of global dryland greening

    KAUST Repository

    Lu, Xuefei

    2016-02-12

    While recent findings based on satellite records indicate a positive trend in vegetation greenness over global drylands, the reasons remain elusive. We hypothesize that enhanced levels of atmospheric CO2 play an important role in the observed greening through the CO2 effect on plant water savings and consequent available soil water increases. Meta-analytic techniques were used to compare soil water content under ambient and elevated CO2 treatments across a range of climate regimes, vegetation types, soil textures and land management practices. Based on 1705 field measurements from 21 distinct sites, a consistent and statistically significant increase in the availability of soil water (11%) was observed under elevated CO2 treatments in both drylands and non-drylands, with a statistically stronger response over drylands (17% vs. 9%). Given the inherent water limitation in drylands, it is suggested that the additional soil water availability is a likely driver of observed increases in vegetation greenness.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Yu, Yun; Chen, Liding

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Ecohydrologic Modeling of Hillslope Scale Processes in Dryland Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, T. E.; King, E. G.; Lester, A.; Caylor, K. K.; Nordbotten, J.; Celia, M. A.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    2008-12-01

    Dryland ecosystem processes are governed by complex interactions between the atmosphere, soil, and vegetation that are tightly coupled through the mass balance of water. At the scale of individual hillslopes, mass balance of water is dominated by mechanisms of water redistribution which require spatially explicit representation. Fully-resolved physical models of surface and subsurface processes require numerical routines that are not trivial to solve for the spatial (hillslope) and temporal (many plant generations) scales of ecohydrologic interest. In order to reduce model complexity, we have used small-scale field data to derive empirical surface flux terms for representative patches (bare soil, grass, and tree) in a dryland ecosystem of central Kenya. The model is coupled spatially in the subsurface by an analytical solution to the Boussinesq equation for a sloping slab. The semi-analytical model is spatially explicit driven by pulses of precipitation over a simulation period that represents many plant generations. By examining long-term model dynamics, we are able to investigate the principles of self-organization and optimization (maximization of plant water use and minimization of water lost to the system) of dryland ecosystems for various initial conditions and climatic variability. Precipitation records in central Kenya reveal a shift to more intense infrequent rain events with a constant annual total. The range of stable solutions of initial conditions and climatic variability are important to land management agencies for addressing current grazing practices and future policies. The model is a quantitative tool for addressing perturbations to the system and the overall sustainability of pastoralist activities in dryland ecosystems.

  20. Soil Water Balance and Water Use Efficiency of Dryland Wheat in Different Precipitation Years in Response to Green Manure Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dabin; Yao, Pengwei; Na, Zhao; Cao, Weidong; Zhang, Suiqi; Li, Yangyang; Gao, Yajun

    2016-05-01

    Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) monoculture is conventionally cultivated followed by two to three months of summer fallow in the Loess Plateau. To develop a sustainable cropping system, we conducted a six-year field experiment to investigate the effect of leguminous green manure (LGM) instead of bare fallow on the yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of winter wheat and the soil water balance (SWB) in different precipitation years in a semi-arid region of northwest China. Results confirmed that planting LGM crop consumes soil water in the fallow season can bring varied effects to the subsequent wheat. The effect is positive or neutral when the annual precipitation is adequate, so that there is no significant reduction in the soil water supplied to wheat. If this is not the case, the effect is negative. On average, the LGM crop increased wheat yield and WUE by 13% and 28%, respectively, and had considerable potential for maintaining the SWB (0-200 cm) compared with fallow management. In conclusion, cultivation of the LGM crop is a better option than fallow to improve the productivity and WUE of the next crop and maintain the soil water balance in the normal and wet years in the Loess Plateau.

  1. Volcanic Ash Soils: Sustainable Soil Management Practices, With Examples of Harvest Effects and Root Disease Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mike Curran; Pat Green; Doug Maynard

    2007-01-01

    Sustainability protocols recognize forest soil disturbance as an important issue at national and international levels. At regional levels continual monitoring and testing of standards, practices, and effects are necessary for successful implementation of sustainable soil management. Volcanic ash-cap soils are affected by soil disturbance and changes to soil properties...

  2. Microbial fixation of CO2 in water bodies and in drylands to combat climate change, soil loss and desertification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Federico; Olguín, Eugenia J; Diels, Ludo; De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-01-25

    The growing concern for the increase of the global warming effects due to anthropogenic activities raises the challenge of finding novel technological approaches to stabilize CO2 emissions in the atmosphere and counteract impinging interconnected issues such as desertification and loss of biodiversity. Biological-CO2 mitigation, triggered through biological fixation, is considered a promising and eco-sustainable method, mostly owing to its downstream benefits that can be exploited. Microorganisms such as cyanobacteria, green algae and some autotrophic bacteria could potentially fix CO2 more efficiently than higher plants, due to their faster growth. Some examples of the potential of biological-CO2 mitigation are reported and discussed in this paper. In arid and semiarid environments, soil carbon sequestration (CO2 fixation) by cyanobacteria and biological soil crusts is considered an eco-friendly and natural process to increase soil C content and a viable pathway to soil restoration after one disturbance event. Another way for biological-CO2 mitigation intensively studied in the last few years is related to the possibility to perform carbon dioxide sequestration using microalgae, obtaining at the same time bioproducts of industrial interest. Another possibility under study is the exploitation of specific chemotrophic bacteria, such as Ralstonia eutropha (or picketii) and related organisms, for CO2 fixation coupled with the production chemicals such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). In spite of the potential of these processes, multiple factors still have to be optimized for maximum rate of CO2 fixation by these microorganisms. The optimization of culture conditions, including the optimal concentration of CO2 in the provided gas, the use of metabolic engineering and of dual purpose systems for the treatment of wastewater and production of biofuels and high value products within a biorefinery concept, the design of photobioreactors in the case of phototrophs are some

  3. Dryland Degradation by wind erosion and its control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterk, G.; Riksen, M.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

    Global population growth, is expected to impose an increasing pressure on agricultural production in the world's drylands, which cover approximately 41␘f the continental area. The land resources in drylands are severely threatened by soil degradation, with wind erosion being, one of the major

  4. Effect of Integrated Water-Nutrient Management Strategies on Soil Erosion Mediated Nutrient Loss and Crop Productivity in Cabo Verde Drylands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaurinda Baptista

    Full Text Available Soil erosion, runoff and related nutrient losses are a big risk for soil fertility in Cabo Verde drylands. In 2012, field trials were conducted in two agro-ecological zones to evaluate the effects of selected techniques of soil-water management combined with organic amendments (T1: compost/manure + soil surfactant; T2: compost/animal or green manure + pigeon-pea hedges + soil surfactant; T3: compost/animal or green manure + mulch + pigeon-pea hedges on nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P losses in eroded soil and runoff and on crop yields. Three treatments and one control (traditional practice were tested in field plots at three sites with a local maize variety and two types of beans. Runoff and eroded soil were collected after each erosive rain, quantified, and analysed for NO3-N and PO4-P concentrations. In all treatments runoff had higher concentrations of NO3-N (2.20-4.83 mg L-1 than of PO4-P (0.02-0.07 mg L-1, and the eroded soil had higher content of PO4-P (5.27-18.8 mg g-1 than of NO3-N (1.30-8.51 mg g-1. The control had significantly higher losses of both NO3-N (5.4, 4.4 and 19 kg ha-1 and PO4-P (0.2, 0.1 and 0.4 kg ha-1 than the other treatments. T3 reduced soil loss, runoff and nutrient losses to nearly a 100% while T1 and T2 reduced those losses from 43 to 88%. The losses of NO3-N and PO4-P were highly correlated with the amounts of runoff and eroded soil. Nutrient losses from the applied amendments were low (5.7% maximum, but the losses in the control could indicate long-term nutrient depletion in the soil (19 and 0.4 kg ha-1 of NO3-N and PO4-P, respectively. T1-T3 did not consistently increase crop yield or biomass in all three sites, but T1 increased both crop yield and biomass. We conclude that T3 (combining crop-residue mulch with organic amendment and runoff hedges is the best treatment for steep slope areas but, the pigeon-pea hedges need to be managed for higher maize yield. T1 (combining organic amendment with soil surfactant could

  5. Effect of Integrated Water-Nutrient Management Strategies on Soil Erosion Mediated Nutrient Loss and Crop Productivity in Cabo Verde Drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, Isaurinda; Ritsema, Coen; Geissen, Violette

    2015-01-01

    Soil erosion, runoff and related nutrient losses are a big risk for soil fertility in Cabo Verde drylands. In 2012, field trials were conducted in two agro-ecological zones to evaluate the effects of selected techniques of soil-water management combined with organic amendments (T1: compost/manure + soil surfactant; T2: compost/animal or green manure + pigeon-pea hedges + soil surfactant; T3: compost/animal or green manure + mulch + pigeon-pea hedges) on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses in eroded soil and runoff and on crop yields. Three treatments and one control (traditional practice) were tested in field plots at three sites with a local maize variety and two types of beans. Runoff and eroded soil were collected after each erosive rain, quantified, and analysed for NO3-N and PO4-P concentrations. In all treatments runoff had higher concentrations of NO3-N (2.20-4.83 mg L-1) than of PO4-P (0.02-0.07 mg L-1), and the eroded soil had higher content of PO4-P (5.27-18.8 mg g-1) than of NO3-N (1.30-8.51 mg g-1). The control had significantly higher losses of both NO3-N (5.4, 4.4 and 19 kg ha-1) and PO4-P (0.2, 0.1 and 0.4 kg ha-1) than the other treatments. T3 reduced soil loss, runoff and nutrient losses to nearly a 100% while T1 and T2 reduced those losses from 43 to 88%. The losses of NO3-N and PO4-P were highly correlated with the amounts of runoff and eroded soil. Nutrient losses from the applied amendments were low (5.7% maximum), but the losses in the control could indicate long-term nutrient depletion in the soil (19 and 0.4 kg ha-1 of NO3-N and PO4-P, respectively). T1-T3 did not consistently increase crop yield or biomass in all three sites, but T1 increased both crop yield and biomass. We conclude that T3 (combining crop-residue mulch with organic amendment and runoff hedges) is the best treatment for steep slope areas but, the pigeon-pea hedges need to be managed for higher maize yield. T1 (combining organic amendment with soil surfactant) could be a

  6. Effect of Integrated Water-Nutrient Management Strategies on Soil Erosion Mediated Nutrient Loss and Crop Productivity in Cabo Verde Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, Isaurinda; Ritsema, Coen; Geissen, Violette

    2015-01-01

    Soil erosion, runoff and related nutrient losses are a big risk for soil fertility in Cabo Verde drylands. In 2012, field trials were conducted in two agro-ecological zones to evaluate the effects of selected techniques of soil-water management combined with organic amendments (T1: compost/manure + soil surfactant; T2: compost/animal or green manure + pigeon-pea hedges + soil surfactant; T3: compost/animal or green manure + mulch + pigeon-pea hedges) on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses in eroded soil and runoff and on crop yields. Three treatments and one control (traditional practice) were tested in field plots at three sites with a local maize variety and two types of beans. Runoff and eroded soil were collected after each erosive rain, quantified, and analysed for NO3-N and PO4-P concentrations. In all treatments runoff had higher concentrations of NO3-N (2.20-4.83 mg L-1) than of PO4-P (0.02-0.07 mg L-1), and the eroded soil had higher content of PO4-P (5.27-18.8 mg g-1) than of NO3-N (1.30-8.51 mg g-1). The control had significantly higher losses of both NO3-N (5.4, 4.4 and 19 kg ha-1) and PO4-P (0.2, 0.1 and 0.4 kg ha-1) than the other treatments. T3 reduced soil loss, runoff and nutrient losses to nearly a 100% while T1 and T2 reduced those losses from 43 to 88%. The losses of NO3-N and PO4-P were highly correlated with the amounts of runoff and eroded soil. Nutrient losses from the applied amendments were low (5.7% maximum), but the losses in the control could indicate long-term nutrient depletion in the soil (19 and 0.4 kg ha-1 of NO3-N and PO4-P, respectively). T1-T3 did not consistently increase crop yield or biomass in all three sites, but T1 increased both crop yield and biomass. We conclude that T3 (combining crop-residue mulch with organic amendment and runoff hedges) is the best treatment for steep slope areas but, the pigeon-pea hedges need to be managed for higher maize yield. T1 (combining organic amendment with soil surfactant) could be a

  7. Effect of subsoiling in fallow period on soil water storage and grain protein accumulation of dryland wheat and its regulatory effect by nitrogen application.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Sun

    Full Text Available To provide a new way to increase water storage and retention of dryland wheat, a field study was conducted at Wenxi experimental site of Shanxi Agricultural University. The effect of subsoiling in fallow period on soil water storage, accumulation of proline, and formation of grain protein after anthesis were determined. Our results showed that subsoiling in fallow period could increase water storage in the 0-300 cm soil at pre-sowing stage and at anthesis stage with low or medium N application, especially for the 60-160 cm soil. However, the proline content, glutamine synthetase (GS activity, glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH activity in flag leaves and grains were all decreased by subsoiling in fallow period. In addition, the content of albumin, gliadin, and total protein in grains were also decreased while globulin content, Glu/Gli, protein yield, and glutelin content were increased. With N application increasing, water storage of soil layers from 20 to 200 cm was decreased at anthesis stage. High N application resulted in the increment of proline content and GS activity in grains. Besides, correlation analysis showed that soil storage in 40-160 cm soil was negatively correlated with proline content in grains; proline content in grains was positively correlated with GS and GDH activity in flag leaves. Contents of albumin, globulin and total protein in grains were positively correlated with proline content in grains and GDH activity in flag leaves. In conclusion, subsoiling in fallow period, together with N application at 150 kg·hm(-2, was beneficial to increase the protein yield and Glu/Gli in grains which improve the quality of wheat.

  8. Sustainable management of coastal saline soils in the Saloum river ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sustainable management of coastal saline soils in the Saloum river Basin, Senegal. ... Salinization of soils is one of the major environmental problems facing the world. Frequent tidal intrusions and continuous ... The vertical pattern occurs within soil profiles and is closely linked to soil texture and groundwater dynamic.

  9. How does the context and design of participatory decision making processes affect their outcomes? Evidence from sustainable land management in global drylands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joris de Vente

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Although the design of participatory processes to manage social-ecological systems needs to be adapted to local contexts, it is unclear which elements of process design might be universal. We use empirical evidence to analyze the extent to which context and process design can enable or impede stakeholder participation and facilitate beneficial environmental and social outcomes. To explore the role of design and minor variations in local context on the outcomes of participatory processes, we interviewed participants and facilitators from 11 case studies in which different process designs were used to select sustainable land management options in Spain and Portugal. We analyzed interview data using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Results showed that although some aspects of local context affected process outcomes, factors associated with process design were more significant. Processes leading to more beneficial environmental and social outcomes included the following: the legitimate representation of stakeholders; professional facilitation including structured methods for aggregating information and balancing power dynamics among participants; and provision of information and decision-making power to all participants. Although processes initiated or facilitated by government bodies led to significantly less trust, information gain, and learning, decisions in these processes were more likely to be accepted and implemented. To further test the role of context in determining the outcomes of participation, we interviewed facilitators from a process that was replicated across 13 dryland study sites around the world, reflecting much greater national variations in context. The similarity of outcomes across these sites suggested that the socio-cultural context in which the process was replicated had little impact on its outcomes, as long as certain design principles were fulfilled. Overall, our findings provide a solid empirical basis for good

  10. The impact of long-term nitrogen fertilizer applications on soil organic carbon in a dryland cereal cropping system of the Loess Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, S.

    2011-12-01

    Concerns over food security and global climate change require an improved understanding of how to achieve optimal crop yields whilst minimizing net greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. In the semi-arid Loess Plateau region of China, as elsewhere, fertilizer nitrogen (N) inputs are necessary to increase yields and improve local food security. In a dryland annual cropping system, we evaluated the effects of N fertilizers on crop yield, its long term impact on soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations and stock sizes, and the distribution of carbon (C) within various aggregate-size fractions. A current version (RothC) of the Rothamsted model for the turnover of organic C in soil was used to simulate SOC measurements. Five N application rates [0 (N0), 45 (N45), 90 (N90), 135 (N135), and 180 (N180) kg N ha-1] were applied to plots for 25 years (1984-2009) on a loam soil (Cumulic Haplustoll) at the Changwu State Key Agro-Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, China. Crop yield varied with year, but increased over time in the fertilized plots. Average annual grain yields were 1.15, 2.46, 3.11, 3.49, and 3.55 Mg ha-1 with the increasing N application rates, respectively. Long-term N fertilizer application significantly (Porganic C) in the continuous wheat cropping system was 26 years. The SOC accumulation rate was estimated to be 40.0, 48.0, 68.0, and 100.0 kg C ha-1 year-1 for the N45, N90, N135 and N180 treatments over 25 years, respectively. As aboveground biomass was removed, the increases in SOC stocks with higher N application are attributed to increased inputs of root biomass and root exudates. Increasing N application rates significantly improved C concentrations in the macroaggregate fractions (>1 mm). The increase in SOC with N fertilizer applications contributed to improved soil quality as well as crop productivity.

  11. Modelling the biophysical and socio-economic potential of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in the Cabo Verde drylands: The PESERA-DESMICE approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, Isaurinda; Irvine, Brian; Fleskens, Luuk; Geissen, Violette; Ritsema, Coen

    2015-04-01

    Rainfall variability, the occurrence of extreme drought and historic land management practice have been recognised as contributing to serious environmental impact in Cabo Verde. Investment in conservation measures has become visible throughout the landscape. Despite this the biophysical and socioeconomic impacts of the conservation measures have been poorly assessed and documented. As such a concerted approach based on the DESIRE project continues to consult stackholders and carry out field trials for selected conservation technologies. Recent field trials have demonstrated the potential of conservation technologies but have also demonstrated that yield variability between sites and between years is significant. This variability appears to be driven by soil and rainfall characteristics However, where detailed field studies have only run for a limited period they have not as yet encountered the full range of climatic variability; thus a modelling approach is considered to capture a greater range of climatic conditions. The PESERA-DESMICE model is adopted which considers the biophysical and social economic benefits of the conservation technologies against a local baseline condition. PESERA is adopted as climate is implicitly considered in the model and, where appropriate, in-situ conservation measures are considered as an annual input to the soil. The DESMICE component of the model considers the suitability of the conservation measures and their costs and benefits in terms of environmental conditions and market access. Historic rainfall statistics are calculated from field measurements in the Ribeira Seca catchment. These statistics are used to generate a series of 50 year rainfall realisations to capture a fuller range of the climatic conditions. Each realisation provides a unique time-series of rainfall and through modelling can provide a simulated time-series of crop yield. Additional realisations and model simulations add to an envelope of the potential crop

  12. Global desertification: building a science for dryland development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, James F; Smith, D Mark Stafford; Lambin, Eric F; Turner, B L; Mortimore, Michael; Batterbury, Simon P J; Downing, Thomas E; Dowlatabadi, Hadi; Fernández, Roberto J; Herrick, Jeffrey E; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jiang, Hong; Leemans, Rik; Lynam, Tim; Maestre, Fernando T; Ayarza, Miguel; Walker, Brian

    2007-05-11

    In this millennium, global drylands face a myriad of problems that present tough research, management, and policy challenges. Recent advances in dryland development, however, together with the integrative approaches of global change and sustainability science, suggest that concerns about land degradation, poverty, safeguarding biodiversity, and protecting the culture of 2.5 billion people can be confronted with renewed optimism. We review recent lessons about the functioning of dryland ecosystems and the livelihood systems of their human residents and introduce a new synthetic framework, the Drylands Development Paradigm (DDP). The DDP, supported by a growing and well-documented set of tools for policy and management action, helps navigate the inherent complexity of desertification and dryland development, identifying and synthesizing those factors important to research, management, and policy communities.

  13. Relating soil biochemistry to sustainable crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amino acids, amino sugars, carbohydrates, phenols, and fatty acids together comprise appreciable proportions of soil organic matter (SOM). Their cycling contribute to soil processes, including nitrogen availability, carbon sequestration and aggregation. For example, soil accumulation of phenols has ...

  14. How does the context and design of participatory decision-making processes affect their outcomes? Evidence from sustainable land management in global drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vente, Joris; Reed, Mark; Stringer, Lindsay; Valente, Sandra; Newig, Jens

    2014-05-01

    It is widely accepted that the design of participatory processes in environmental management needs to be adapted to local contexts. Yet, it is not clear which elements of process design are universal, making it difficult to design processes that deliver beneficial outcomes across different contexts. We used empirical evidence to analyse the extent to which context and process design can enable or impede stakeholder participation and facilitate beneficial environmental and social outcomes in a range of decision-making contexts where stakeholders are engaged in environmental management. To explore the role of national-scale context on the outcomes of participatory processes, we interviewed facilitators from a process that was replicated across 13 dryland study sites around the world, which focussed on selecting Sustainable Land Management (SLM) options in close collaboration with stakeholders. To explore the role of process design and local context, we interviewed participants and facilitators in 11 case studies in Spain and Portugal in which different process designs were used. Interview data were analysed using a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches to characterise relationships between process design, context and process outcomes. The similarity of outcomes across the 13 international study sites suggested that the national socio-cultural context in which a participatory process is conducted has little impact on its outcomes. However, analysis of cases from Spain and Portugal showed that some aspects of local context may affect outcomes. Having said this, factors associated with process design and participant selection played a more significant role in influencing outcomes in both countries. Processes that led to more beneficial outcomes for the environment and/or participants were likely to include: the legitimate representation of stakeholders; professional facilitation including structured methods for eliciting and aggregating information and

  15. Visualizing and quantifying microtopographic change of dryland landscapes from an unmanned aircraft system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods: Soil and site stability are key attributes of assessing the health of dryland landscapes because these lands are susceptible to high rates of wind- and water-caused erosion. Field techniques for measuring and monitoring soil erosion in drylands are often labor intensive...

  16. Do plant-based amendments improve soil physiochemical and microbiological properties and plant growth in dryland ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneller, Tayla; Harris, Richard; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

    2017-04-01

    Background Land intensive practices including mining have contributed to the degradation of landscapes globally. Current challenges in post-mine restoration revolve around the use of substrates poor in organic materials (e.g. overburden and waste rock) and lack of original topsoil which may result in poor seedling recruitment and in later stages in soil nutrient deficiency, metal toxicity, decreased microbial activity and high salinity (Bateman et al., 2016; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016). Despite continuous efforts and advances we have not proportionally advanced our capability to successfully restore these landscapes following mining. Recent attempts to improve plant establishment in arid zone restoration programs have included the application of plant based amendments to soil profiles. This approach usually aims to accelerate soil reconstruction via improvement of soil aggregate stability and increase of soil organic carbon, and water holding capacity. Whilst a significant amount of recent research has focused on the application of such amendments, studies on the potential application of plant based materials to recover soil functionality and re-establish plant communities in post-mined landscapes in arid regions are limited. Here we will discuss our work investigating the application of a plant based amendment on soil substrates commonly used in post mining restoration in the Pilbara region, Western Australia. Methodology The study was conducted in a glasshouse facility where environmental conditions were continuously monitored. Using two growth materials (topsoil and waste rock) and a plant based amendment (dry biomass of the most common grass in the Pilbara, Triodia wiseana) five different treatments were tested. Treatments consisted of control soil treatments (topsoil, waste and a mixture of the former soil types (mixture)) and two amended soil treatments (waste amended and mixture amended). Additionally, three different vegetation communities were studies

  17. Quantifying soil surface change in degraded drylands: shrub encroachment and effects of fire and vegetation removal in a desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, Joel B.; Ravi, Sujith; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Webb, Robert H.; Huxman, Travis E.

    2012-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment, a worldwide phenomenon, is a major driver of land degradation in desert grasslands. Woody plant encroachment by shrub functional types ultimately leads to the formation of a patchy landscape with fertile shrub patches interspaced with nutrient-depleted bare soil patches. This is considered to be an irreversible process of land and soil degradation. Recent studies have indicated that in the early stages of shrub encroachment, when there is sufficient herbaceous connectivity, fires (prescribed or natural) might provide some reversibility to the shrub encroachment process by negatively affecting shrub demography and homogenizing soil resources across patches within weeks to months after burning. A comprehensive understanding of longer term changes in microtopography and spatial patterning of soil properties following fire in shrub-encroached grasslands is desirable. Here, we investigate the changes in microtopography with LiDAR (light detection and ranging), vegetation recovery, and spatial pattering of soil properties in replicated burned, clipped, and control areas in a shrub-grass transition zone in the northern Chihuahuan Desert four years after prescribed fire or clipping. Results indicate a greater homogeneity in soil, microtopography, and vegetation patterning on burned relative to clipped and control treatments. Findings provide further evidence that disturbance by prescribed fire may allow for reversal of the shrub encroachment process, if the event occurs in the early stages of the vegetation shift. Improved understanding of longer-term effects of fire and associated changes in soil patterning can inform the use and role of fire in the context of changing disturbance regimes and climate.

  18. Saving Soil for Sustainable Land Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmelo M. Torre

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper experiments with some costs-benefit analyses, seeking a balance between soil-take and buildability due to land policy and management. The activities have been carried out inside the MITO lab (Lab for Multimedia Information for Territorial Objects of the Polytechnic University of Bari. Reports have been produced about the Southern Italian Apulia Region, which is rich in farmland and coastline, often invaded by construction, with a severe loss of nature, a degradation of the soil, landscape, and ecosystem services. A methodological approach to the assessment of sustainability of urban expansion related, on one hand, to “plus values” deriving from the transformation of urban fringes and, on the other hand to the analysis of the transition of land-use, with the aim of “saving soil” against urban sprawl. The loss of natural and agricultural surfaces due to the expanding artificial lands is an unsustainable character of urban development, especially in the manner in which it was carried out in past decades. We try to assess how plus value can be considered “unearned”, and to understand if the “land value recapture” can compensate for the negative environmental effects of urban expansion. We measured the transition from farmlands and natural habitat to urbanization with the support of the use of some Geographic Information Systems (GIS tools, in favor of a new artificial land cover in the region of Apulia, Southern Italy. Data have been collected at the regional scale and at the local level, producing information about land use change and increases of property values due to improvements, referring to the 258 municipalities of the region. Looking at the results of our measurements, we started an interpretation of the driving forces that favor the plus values due to the transition of land-use. Compensation, easements, recapture of plus value, and improvement are, nowadays in Italy, discussed as major land-policy tools for

  19. Soil degradation, land use and sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil degradation is a complex process and directly affects the physical, chemical and biological processes within the soil profile. Degradation processes can be linked to changes in the physical structure of the soil directly affecting the infiltration of water and movement of gases, while the chemi...

  20. Soil and water conservation strategies and impact on sustainable livelihood in Cape Verde - Case study of Ribeira Seca watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, I.; Ferreira, A. D.; Tavares, J.; Querido, A. L. E.; Reis, A. E. A.; Geissen, V.; Ritsema, C.; Varela, A.

    2012-04-01

    Cape Verde, located off the coast of Senegal in western Africa, is a volcanic archipelago where a combination of human, climatic, geomorphologic and pedologic factors has led to extensive degradation of the soils. Like other Sahelian countries, Cape Verde has suffered the effects of desertification through the years, threatening the livelihood of the islands population and its fragile environment. In fact, the steep slopes in the ore agricultural islands, together with semi-arid and arid environments, characterized by an irregular and poorly distributed rainy season, with high intensity rainfall events, make dryland production a challenge. To survive in these fragile conditions, the stabilization of the farming systems and the maintenance of sustainable yields have become absolute priorities, making the islands an erosion control laboratory. Soil and water conservation strategies have been a centerpiece of the government's agricultural policies for the last half century. Aiming to maintain the soil in place and the water inside the soil, the successive governments of Cape Verde have implemented a number of soil and water conservation techniques, the most common ones being terraces, half moons, live barriers, contour rock walls, contour furrows and microcatchments, check dams and reforestation with drought resistant species. The soil and water conservation techniques implemented have contributed to the improvement of the economical and environmental conditions of the treated landscape, making crop production possible, consequently, improving the livelihood of the people living on the islands. In this paper, we survey the existing soil and water conservation techniques, analyze their impact on the livelihood condition of the population through a thorough literature review and field monitoring using a semi-quantitative methodology and evaluate their effectiveness and impact on crop yield in the Ribeira Seca watershed. A brief discussion is given on the cost and

  1. Soil Degradation, Policy Intervention and Sustainable Agricultural Growth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sasmal, J.; Weikard, H.P.

    2013-01-01

    Sustainable agricultural growth in developing countries is jeopardized by soil degradation consequent upon intensive cultivation and use of increasing doses of chemical inputs. To pave the way to sustainable agricultural growth we develop a model that incorporates organic fertilizer into the

  2. Long-Term Effect of Manure and Fertilizer on Soil Organic Carbon Pools in Dryland Farming in Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Enke; Yan, Changrong; Mei, Xurong; Zhang, Yanqing; Fan, Tinglu

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) as affected by farming practices is imperative for maintaining soil productivity and mitigating global warming. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of long-term fertilization on SOC and SOC fractions for the whole soil profile (0–100 cm) in northwest China. The study was initiated in 1979 in Gansu, China and included six treatments: unfertilized control (CK), nitrogen fertilizer (N), nitrogen and phosphorus (P) fertilizers (NP), straw plus N and P fertilizers (NP+S), farmyard manure (FYM), and farmyard manure plus N and P fertilizers (NP+FYM). Results showed that SOC concentration in the 0–20 cm soil layer increased with time except in the CK and N treatments. Long-term fertilization significantly influenced SOC concentrations and storage to 60 cm depth. Below 60 cm, SOC concentrations and storages were statistically not significant between all treatments. The concentration of SOC at different depths in 0–60 cm soil profile was higher under NP+FYM follow by under NP+S, compared to under CK. The SOC storage in 0–60 cm in NP+FYM, NP+S, FYM and NP treatments were increased by 41.3%, 32.9%, 28.1% and 17.9%, respectively, as compared to the CK treatment. Organic manure plus inorganic fertilizer application also increased labile soil organic carbon pools in 0–60 cm depth. The average concentration of particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) in organic manure plus inorganic fertilizer treatments (NP+S and NP+FYM) in 0–60 cm depth were increased by 64.9–91.9%, 42.5–56.9%, and 74.7–99.4%, respectively, over the CK treatment. The POC, MBC and DOC concentrations increased linearly with increasing SOC content. These results indicate that long-term additions of organic manure have the most beneficial effects in building carbon pools among the investigated types of fertilization. PMID:23437161

  3. Long-term effect of manure and fertilizer on soil organic carbon pools in dryland farming in northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Enke; Yan, Changrong; Mei, Xurong; Zhang, Yanqing; Fan, Tinglu

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) as affected by farming practices is imperative for maintaining soil productivity and mitigating global warming. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of long-term fertilization on SOC and SOC fractions for the whole soil profile (0-100 cm) in northwest China. The study was initiated in 1979 in Gansu, China and included six treatments: unfertilized control (CK), nitrogen fertilizer (N), nitrogen and phosphorus (P) fertilizers (NP), straw plus N and P fertilizers (NP+S), farmyard manure (FYM), and farmyard manure plus N and P fertilizers (NP+FYM). Results showed that SOC concentration in the 0-20 cm soil layer increased with time except in the CK and N treatments. Long-term fertilization significantly influenced SOC concentrations and storage to 60 cm depth. Below 60 cm, SOC concentrations and storages were statistically not significant between all treatments. The concentration of SOC at different depths in 0-60 cm soil profile was higher under NP+FYM follow by under NP+S, compared to under CK. The SOC storage in 0-60 cm in NP+FYM, NP+S, FYM and NP treatments were increased by 41.3%, 32.9%, 28.1% and 17.9%, respectively, as compared to the CK treatment. Organic manure plus inorganic fertilizer application also increased labile soil organic carbon pools in 0-60 cm depth. The average concentration of particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) in organic manure plus inorganic fertilizer treatments (NP+S and NP+FYM) in 0-60 cm depth were increased by 64.9-91.9%, 42.5-56.9%, and 74.7-99.4%, respectively, over the CK treatment. The POC, MBC and DOC concentrations increased linearly with increasing SOC content. These results indicate that long-term additions of organic manure have the most beneficial effects in building carbon pools among the investigated types of fertilization.

  4. Long-term effect of manure and fertilizer on soil organic carbon pools in dryland farming in northwest China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enke Liu

    Full Text Available An understanding of the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC as affected by farming practices is imperative for maintaining soil productivity and mitigating global warming. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of long-term fertilization on SOC and SOC fractions for the whole soil profile (0-100 cm in northwest China. The study was initiated in 1979 in Gansu, China and included six treatments: unfertilized control (CK, nitrogen fertilizer (N, nitrogen and phosphorus (P fertilizers (NP, straw plus N and P fertilizers (NP+S, farmyard manure (FYM, and farmyard manure plus N and P fertilizers (NP+FYM. Results showed that SOC concentration in the 0-20 cm soil layer increased with time except in the CK and N treatments. Long-term fertilization significantly influenced SOC concentrations and storage to 60 cm depth. Below 60 cm, SOC concentrations and storages were statistically not significant between all treatments. The concentration of SOC at different depths in 0-60 cm soil profile was higher under NP+FYM follow by under NP+S, compared to under CK. The SOC storage in 0-60 cm in NP+FYM, NP+S, FYM and NP treatments were increased by 41.3%, 32.9%, 28.1% and 17.9%, respectively, as compared to the CK treatment. Organic manure plus inorganic fertilizer application also increased labile soil organic carbon pools in 0-60 cm depth. The average concentration of particulate organic carbon (POC, dissolved organic carbon (DOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC in organic manure plus inorganic fertilizer treatments (NP+S and NP+FYM in 0-60 cm depth were increased by 64.9-91.9%, 42.5-56.9%, and 74.7-99.4%, respectively, over the CK treatment. The POC, MBC and DOC concentrations increased linearly with increasing SOC content. These results indicate that long-term additions of organic manure have the most beneficial effects in building carbon pools among the investigated types of fertilization.

  5. The Living Soil: Exploring Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture with Your Guide, The Earthworm. Unit I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Eldon C.; And Others

    This instructional packet introduces students to soil biology, ecology, and specific farming practices that promote sustainable agriculture. It helps students to discover the role of earthworms in improving the environment of all other soil-inhabiting organisms and in making the soil more fertile. The activities (classroom as well as outdoor)…

  6. Microbial colonization and controls in dryland systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pointing, Stephen B.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Drylands constitute the most extensive terrestrial biome, covering more than one-third of the Earth's continental surface. In these environments, stress limits animal and plant life, so life forms that can survive desiccation and then resume growth following subsequent wetting assume the foremost role in ecosystem processes. In this Review, we describe how these organisms assemble in unique soil- and rock-surface communities to form a thin veneer of mostly microbial biomass across hot and cold deserts. These communities mediate inputs and outputs of gases, nutrients and water from desert surfaces, as well as regulating weathering, soil stability, and hydrological and nutrient cycles. The magnitude of regional and global desert-related environmental impacts is affected by these surface communities; here, we also discuss the challenges for incorporating the consideration of these communities and their effects into the management of dryland resources.

  7. Ecosystem Services and Community-Based Approaches to Wastewater and Saline Soils Reclamation in the Drylands of Uzbekistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toderich, Kristina; Khujanazarov, Timur; Aralova, Dildora; Shuyskaya, Elena; Gismatulina, Liliya; Boboev, Hasan

    2017-04-01

    The working hypothesis of this article support an indication of declining water quality, increasing soils salinity and higher production costs in the Bukhara oasis- a borderline lands between the sandy Kyzylkum Desert and irrigated zone in the lower stream of Zarafshan River Basin. The pollution of waters and soils with toxic metals is the major environmental problem in these agro-ecological zones. Conventional remediation approaches usually do not ensure adequate results. The mobility of toxic pollutants can be highly facilitated by the chemical properties of soils and the aridity of the climate. The impact of these factors of land degradation induces reduction in biodiversity and yields losses of agricultural crops and wild desert plant communities. A recent survey showed that the chemical composition of the drainage effluents is sulfate-chloride-hydrocarbonate - magnesium-sodium-calcium with high level of mineralization 4200 - 18800 ppm. Concentration of chloride and sulfate, detected both in drainage effluents and ground water, is 10 times higher than maximum allowable concentration (MAC); and traces of heavy metals, such as strontium, selenium, arsenic, lead, zinc, uranium are 2 times higher than MAC. Distribution of boron showed a strong correlation with those of arsenic and antimony. Aluminum has a significant correlation with arsenic and lead distribution. Antimony correlates significantly with zinc and arsenic, while copper and iron (Fe57) also well correlate with each other. Because these metals rarely exist in natural environment, it is presumed that they are caused both by the usage of some chemicals at the agricultural field in harvest season and by the discharge of some technogenic chemicals from industry. The desalinated/treated wastewater were used to irrigate high value crops and the waste brine is transformed into a resource that was used to grow aquatic species (fish, algae) and irrigate halophytic species with benefits for livestock, farmers and

  8. Soil Productive Lifespans: Rethinking Soil Sustainability for the 21st Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    The ability for humans to sustainably manage the natural resources on which they depend has been one of the existential challenges facing mankind since the dawn of civilisation. Given the demands from this century's unprecedented global population and the unremitting course of climatic change, that challenge has soared in intensity. Sustainability, in this context, refers to agricultural practices which meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Ensuring sustainability is arguably of greatest importance when resources, such as soil, are non-renewable. However, there is as yet no tool to evaluate how sustainable conservation strategies are in the long-term. Up to now, many pedologists have assessed sustainability in binary terms, questioning whether management is sustainable or not. In truth, one can never determine whether a practice is ultimately sustainable because of the indefinite nature implied by "future generations". We suggest that a more useful assessment of sustainability for the 21st century should avoid binary questions and instead ask: how sustainable are soils? Indeed, how many future generations can soils provide for? Although the use of modelling is by no means a novelty for the discipline, there are very few holistic models that encompass the fluxes and dynamic relationships between both mass and quality concomitantly. We therefore propose a new conceptual framework - the Soil Productive Lifespan (SPL) - that employs empirically derived residence times of both soil mass and quality, together with pathways of environmental change, to forecast the length of time a soil profile can provide the critical functions. Although mass and quality are considered synergistically, the SPL model allows one to assess whether mass or quality alone presents the greatest limiting factor in the productive lifespans of soils. As a result, more targeted conservation strategies can be designed. Ultimately

  9. Water Resources Assessment and Management in Drylands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magaly Koch

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Drylands regions of the world face difficult issues in maintaining water resources to meet current demands which will intensify in the future with population increases, infrastructure development, increased agricultural water demands, and climate change impacts on the hydrologic system. New water resources evaluation and management methods will be needed to assure that water resources in drylands are optimally managed in a sustainable manner. Development of water management and conservation methods is a multi-disciplinary endeavor. Scientists and engineers must collaborate and cooperate with water managers, planners, and politicians to successfully adopt new strategies to manage water not only for humans, but to maintain all aspects of the environment. This particularly applies to drylands regions where resources are already limited and conflicts over water are occurring. Every aspect of the hydrologic cycle needs to be assessed to be able to quantify the available water resources, to monitor natural and anthropogenic changes, and to develop flexible policies and management strategies that can change as conditions dictate. Optimal, sustainable water management is achieved by cooperation and not conflict, thereby necessitating the need for high quality scientific research and input into the process.

  10. Dryland ecohydrology and climate change: critical issues and technical advances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Wang

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Drylands cover about 40% of the terrestrial land surface and account for approximately 40% of global net primary productivity. Water is fundamental to the biophysical processes that sustain ecosystem function and food production, particularly in drylands where a tight coupling exists between ecosystem productivity, surface energy balance, biogeochemical cycles, and water resource availability. Currently, drylands support at least 2 billion people and comprise both natural and managed ecosystems. In this synthesis, we identify some current critical issues in the understanding of dryland systems and discuss how arid and semiarid environments are responding to the changes in climate and land use. The issues range from societal aspects such as rapid population growth, the resulting food and water security, and development issues, to natural aspects such as ecohydrological consequences of bush encroachment and the causes of desertification. To improve current understanding and inform upon the needed research efforts to address these critical issues, we identify some recent technical advances in terms of monitoring dryland water dynamics, water budget and vegetation water use, with a focus on the use of stable isotopes and remote sensing. These technological advances provide new tools that assist in addressing critical issues in dryland ecohydrology under climate change.

  11. Ecology, equity and economics: reframing dryland policy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hesse, Ced

    2011-11-15

    Drylands are among the world's most variable and unpredictable environments. But people here have long learnt how to live with and harness this variability to support sustainable and productive economies, societies and ecosystems. Policymakers have for too long ignored this wealth of experience and expertise with dire consequences. Attempts to replace traditional land use practices with modern techniques have simply exacerbated poverty, degradation and conflict. In the face of climate change and increasing uncertainty in the drylands, the need to reframe policy and practice has never been greater. The future must be built on sound scientific information, local knowledge, informed participation and the wisdom of customary institutions that emphasise social equity, ecological integrity and economic development.

  12. Sustainable Soil Management in Ski Areas: Threats and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuele Pintaldi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The skiing industry often represent the main contribution to mountain regions’ economy, by providing several economic benefits and the improvement of services and infrastructure. Ski resorts also play a crucial role as an impacting factor, causing severe changes on Alpine landscape and ecosystems. In particular ski runs construction and operation have considerable impacts on alpine soils, influencing their chemical and physical properties which affecting the establishment and development of plant communities. The work provides a description of the changes in soil properties and the related effects on vegetation. It aims furthermore to investigate the recent best practices applied for a successful soil restoration after ski runs construction, which may contribute to a sustainable use of mountain soils and ecosystems. Based on the current regulatory framework, this review gives a global overview on how, in Europe and specifically in Italy, the sustainable use of soils is considered during the construction and management of ski runs. As the framework is still lacking of specific rules regarding soil protection and management on ski runs, the present work wishes to provide recommendations in order to fill this gap, favoring the effective application of best practices for soil protection during ski run construction and maintenance.

  13. The significance of soils and soil science towards realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keesstra, S.D.; Bouma, J.; Wallinga, J.; Tittonell, P.; Smith, P.; Cerdà, A.; Montanarella, L; Quinton, J.N.; Pachepsky, Y.; van der Putten, W.H.; Bardgett, R.D.; Moolenaar, S.; Mol, G.; Jansen, B.; Fresco, L.O.

    2016-01-01

    In this forum paper we discuss how soil scientists can help to reach the recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the most effective manner. Soil science, as a land-related discipline, has important links to several of the SDGs, which are demonstrated through the functions of

  14. [Effects of different tillage and fertilization modes on the soil physical and chemical properties and crop yield under winter wheat/spring corn rotation on dryland of east Gansu, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jian-jun; Wang, Yong; Fan, Ting-lu; Guo, Tian-wen; Zhao, Gang; Dang, Yi; Wang, Lei; Li, Shang-zhong

    2013-04-01

    Based on the 7-year field experiment on the dryland of east Gansu of Northwest China in 2005-2011, this paper analyzed the variations of soil moisture content, bulk density, and nutrients content at harvest time of winter wheat and of the grain yield under no-tillage and conventional tillage and five fertilization modes, and approached the effects of different tillage and fertilization modes on the soil water storage and conservation, soil fertility, and grain yield under winter wheat/ spring corn rotation. In 2011, the soil moisture content in 0-200 cm layer and the soil bulk density and soil organic matter and available nitrogen and phosphorus contents in 0-20 cm and 20-40 cm layers under different fertilization modes were higher under no-tillage than under conventional tillage. Under the same tillage modes, the contents of soil organic matter and available nitrogen and available phosphorus were higher under the combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizers, as compared with other fertilization modes. The soil available potassium content under different tillage and fertilization modes decreased with years. The grain yield under conventional tillage was higher than that under no-tillage. Under the same tillage modes, the grain yield was the highest under the combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizers, and the lowest under no fertilization. In sum, no-tillage had the superiority than conventional tillage in improving the soil water storage and conservation and soil fertility, and the combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizers under conventional tillage could obtain the best grain yield.

  15. Using soil quality indicators for monitoring sustainable forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    James A. Burger; Garland Gray; D. Andrew Scott

    2010-01-01

    Most private and public forest land owners and managers are compelled to manage their forests sustainably, which means management that is economically viable,environmentally sound, and socially acceptable. To meet this mandate, the USDA Forest Service protects the productivity of our nation’s forest soils by monitoring and evaluating management activities to ensure...

  16. Sustainable soil management practices of crop farmers in Mkpat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sustainability which is the successful management of resources for agriculture to satisfy the changing human needs and the capacity to remain productive and at the same time conserving the resource base, is the focus of this study. Therefore, the various conventional methods of managing soil, which are commonly being ...

  17. Sustainable soil fertility management in Benin: learning from farmers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saïdou, A.; Kuyper, T.W.; Kossou, D.K.; Tossou, R.; Richards, P.

    2004-01-01

    The perception of farmers from the Atacora and Savè regions of Benin was studied about the causes and consequences of land degradation and corrective actions for sustaining soil fertility. Research methods in this diagnostic study included group discussions, using non-standardized unstructured

  18. Drylands and desertification

    OpenAIRE

    Escadafal, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Regions with dry climates cover a large part of the world’s landmass (more than 40%). Collectively known by the English term "drylands", they encompass a wide range of ecosystems, including the American "deserts" of California, Nevada and Mexico ; the vast steppes of Central Asia and North Africa ; the Sahelian savannah and real deserts such as the Sahara in Africa or the Gobi in China.

  19. SOIL ECOLOGY AS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE CROP PRODUCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Deyn, G B

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable production of food, feed and fiberwarrants sustainable soil management and crop protection. The tools available to achieve this are both in the realm of the plants and of the soil, with a key role for plant-soil interactions. At the plant level we have vast knowledge of variation within plant species with respect to pests and diseases, based on which we can breed for resistance. However, given that systems evolve this resistance is bound to be temporarily, hence also other strategies are needed. Here I plea for an integrative approach for sustainable production using ecological principles. Ecology, the study of how organisms interact with their environment, teaches us that diversity promotes productivity and yield stability. These effects are thought to be governed through resource use complementarity and reduced build-up of pests and diseases both above- and belowground. In recent years especially the role of soil biotic interactions has revealed new insights in how plant diversity and productivity are related to soil biodiversity and the functions soil biota govern. In our grassland biodiversity studies we found that root feeders can promote plant diversity and succession without reducing plant community productivity, this illustrates the role of diversity to maintain productivity. Also diversity within species offers scope for sustainable production, for example through awareness of differences between plant genotypes in chemical defense compounds that can attract natural enemies of pests aboveground- and belowground thereby providing plant protection. Plant breeding can also benefit from using complementarity between plant species in the selection for new varieties, as our work demonstrated that when growing in species mixtures plant species adapt to each other over time such that their resource acquisition traits become more complementing. Finally, in a recent meta-analysis we show that earthworms can stimulate crop yield with on average 25%, but

  20. Is current biochar soil study addressing global soil constraints for sustainable agriculture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Genxing; Zhang, Dengxiao; Yan, Ming; Niu, Yaru; Liu, Xiaoyu; van Zwieten, Lukas; Chen, De; Bian, Rongjun; Cheng, Kun; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Zheng, Jinwei; Zhang, Xuhui; Zheng, Jufeng; Crowley, David; Filley, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    Global soil degradation has been increasingly threatened sustainability of world agriculture. Use of biochar from bio-wastes has been proposed as a global option for its great potential in tackling soil degradation and mitigating climate change in agriculture. For last 10 years, there have been greatly increasing interests in application of charred biomass, more recently termed biochar, as a soil amendment for addressing soil constraints for sustainable agriculture. Biochar soil studies could deliver reliable information for appropriate application of biochar to soils where for sustainable agriculture has been challenged. Here we review the literature of 798 publications reporting biochar soil studies by August, 2015 to address potential gaps in understanding of biochar's role in agriculture. We have found some substantial biases and gaps inherent in the current biochar studies. 1) The majority of published studies were from developed regions where the soils are less constrained and were much more frequent in laboratory and glasshouse pot experiments than field studies under realistic agriculture. 2) The published biochar soil studies have used more often small kiln or lab prepared biochar than commercial scale biochars, more often wood and municipal waste derived biochars than crop straw biochars. Overall, the lack of long-term well designed field studies using biochar produced in commercial processes may have limited our current understanding of biochar's potential to enhance global crop production and climate change mitigation. We have also recommended a global alliance between longer-term research experiments and biochar production facilities to foster the uptake of this important technology at a global scale. Keywords: biochar, soil study, literature review, research gap, global perspective, quantitative assessment, sustainable agriculture

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Adamo

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Adamo

    2011-02-01

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

  3. Modification of soils by plants: sustainability by design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallett, Paul; White, Philip; Garcia Moreno, Rosario; Vetterlein, Doris

    2014-05-01

    In recent years, food and environmental security threats have increased the prominence and funding of soil science. A growing area is the study of root-soil interactions in soil, driven by the need to increase crop productivity, whilst also decreasing inputs. The untapped potential in manipulating soil properties with plants to increase food security is increasingly recognised. We argue that this area of soil science has been successful for a number of reasons: (1) it offers something positive, in terms of more food for a growing population; (2) the research is collaborative, with plant and soil scientists working together and bringing the research from the lab to the field by working across a broad range of disciplines; (3) there have been technical advances in both plant genetics and soil science that allow for very novel and exciting research questions to be answered; and (4) there are commercial demands from both plant breeding companies and farmers for more sustainable crop varieties, which provides lobbying power to funders. However, soil science is still viewed by many as 'bucket science' where the answers are known but just poorly applied in farming practice. We know this is nonsense, but how do we convince others? Using examples from our EGU 2014 session, we will demonstrate how recent scientific advances in soil science have greatly increased the understanding of the root-soil interface. The research includes new technologies such as high resolution non-invasive imaging of roots in soil, the use of model plants that have controlled traits that modify soils, molecular biology approaches to investigate nutrient cycling and other microbial functions affected by plants, and the development of new models of root growth, nutrient capture and plant-soil water relations. Despite a surge of soil researchers studying roots, the research still fails to attract the attention or funding of other disciplines, including our collaborators in plant science. This is

  4. Soil Tillage Conservation and its Effect on Soil Properties Bioremediation and Sustained Production of Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusu, Teodor; Ioana Moraru, Paula; Muresan, Liliana; Andriuca, Valentina; Cojocaru, Olesea

    2017-04-01

    Soil Tillage Conservation (STC) is considered major components of agricultural technology for soil conservation strategies and part of Sustainable Agriculture (SA). Human action upon soil by tillage determines important morphological, physical-chemical and biological changes, with different intensities and evaluative directions. Nowadays, internationally is unanimous accepted the fact that global climatic changes are the results of human intervention in the bio-geo-chemical water and material cycle, and the sequestration of carbon in soil is considered an important intervention to limit these changes. STC involves reducing the number of tillage's (minimum tillage) to direct sowing (no-tillage) and plant debris remains at the soil surface in the ratio of at least 30%. Plant debris left on the soil surface or superficial incorporated contributes to increased biological activity and is an important source of carbon sequestration. STC restore soil structure and improve overall soil drainage, allowing more rapid infiltration of water into soil. The result is a soil bioremediation, more productive, better protected against wind and water erosion and requires less fuel for preparing the germinative bed. Carbon sequestration in soil is net advantageous, improving the productivity and sustainability. We present the influence of conventional plough tillage system on soil, water and organic matter conservation in comparison with an alternative minimum tillage (paraplow, chisel plow and rotary harrow) and no-tillage system. The application of STC increased the organic matter content 0.8 to 22.1% and water stabile aggregate content from 1.3 to 13.6%, in the 0-30 cm depth, as compared to the conventional system. For the organic matter content and the wet aggregate stability, the statistical analysis of the data showed, increasing positive significance of STC. While the soil fertility and the wet aggregate stability were initially low, the effect of conservation practices on the

  5. Sustaining effect of soil warming on organic matter decomposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Ruixing; Ouyang, Zhu; Dorodnikov, Maxim; Wilson, Glenn; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2015-04-01

    Global warming affects various parts of carbon (C) cycle including acceleration of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition with strong feedback to atmospheric CO2 concentration. Despite many soil warming studies showed changes of microbial community structure, only very few were focused on sustainability of soil warming on microbial activity associated with SOM decomposition. Two alternative hypotheses: 1) acclimation because of substrate exhaustion and 2) sustaining increase of microbial activity with accelerated decomposition of recalcitrant SOM pools were never proven under long term field conditions. This is especially important in the nowadays introduced no-till crop systems leading to redistribution of organic C at the soil surface, which is much susceptible to warming effects than the rest of the profile. We incubated soil samples from a four-year warming experiment with tillage (T) and no-tillage (NT) practices under three temperatures: 15, 21, and 27 °C, and related the evolved total CO2 efflux to changes of organic C pools. Warmed soils released significantly more CO2 than the control treatment (no warming) at each incubation temperature, and the largest differences were observed under 15 °C (26% increase). The difference in CO2 efflux from NT to T increase with temperature showing high vulnerability of C stored in NT to soil warming. The Q10 value reflecting the sensitivity of SOM decomposition to warming was lower for warmed than non-warmed soil indicating better acclimation of microbes or lower C availability during long term warming. The activity of three extracellular enzymes: β-glucosidase, chitinase, sulphatase, reflecting the response of C, N and S cycles to warming, were significantly higher under warming and especially under NT compared to two other respective treatments. The CO2 released during 2 months of incubation consisted of 85% from recalcitrant SOM and the remaining 15% from microbial biomass and extractable organic C based on the

  6. Education on sustainable soil management for the masses? The Soil4Life MOOC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroulis, Jerry; Demie, Moore; Riksen, Michel; Ritsema, Coen

    2017-04-01

    Although soil is one of our most important natural resources and the foundation for all life on Earth it remains one of the most neglected of our resources. We, in soil science know this, but what do we do to reach more people more quickly? MOOCs, 'Massive Open Online Courses', are a vehicle for offering learning to virtually unlimited audiences at little cost to the student. Could MOOCs be the format for introducing more people worldwide to the importance of soil and sustainable soil management? MOOCs have their limitations and critics. However, depending on your goals, expectations and resources, they are a means for getting information to a much broader population than is possible through conventional educational formats. Wageningen University (WU) agreed and approved the development of a MOOC on sustainable soil management entitled Soil4Life. This presentation reviews the format and results of Soil4Life, concluding with some observations and reflections about this approach to soil science education. The Soil4Life MOOC introduces the role of soil in life on earth, soil degradation, and socio-economic issues related to generating action for long-term sustainability of the many soil-related ecosystem services. The objectives of Soil4Life are to raise awareness about the many important aspects of soil and sustainable soil management, and to allow the educational materials we produced to be available for use by others. The process of creating the Soil4Life MOOC involved 18 academic staff across all WU soil-related groups plus a vital team of education and technical staff. This number of people posed various challenges. However, with clear guidelines, lots of encouragement and technical support, Soil4Life was started in late 2015 and launched on the edx platform in May 2016. Just over 5000 students from 161 countries enrolled in the first offer of the Soil4Life MOOC - a modest number for MOOCs, but not bad for soil science. The targeted audience was initially high

  7. The significance of soils and soil science towards realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keesstra, Saskia; Bouma, Johan; Wallinga, Jakob; Tittonell, Pablo; SMith, Pete; Cerda, Artermi; Montanarella, Luca; Quinton, John; Pachepsky, Yakov; van der Putten, Wim; BArdgett, Richard; Moolenaar, Simon; Mol, Gerben; Janssen, Boris; Fresco, Louise

    2017-04-01

    In this research we discuss how soil scientists can help to reach the recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals in the most effective manner. Soil science, as a land-related discipline has important links to several of the SDGs which are demonstrated through the functions of soils and the ecosystem services that are linked to those functions. We explore and discuss how soil scientists can rise to the challenge both internally, in terms of our procedures and practices, and externally in terms of our relations with colleague scientists in other disciplines, diverse groups of stakeholders and the policy arena. To meet these goals we recommend the following steps to be taken by the soil science community as a whole: (i) Embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as they provide a platform that allows soil science to demonstrate its relevance for realizing a sustainable society by 2030; (ii) Show the specific value of soil science: Research should explicitly show how using modern soil information can improve the results of inter- and trans-disciplinary studies on SDGs related to food security, water scarcity, climate change, biodiversity loss and health threats; (iii) Given the integrative nature of soils, soil scientists are in a unique position to take leadership in overarching systems-analyses of ecosystems; (iii) Raise awareness of soil organic matter as a key attribute of soils to illustrate its importance for soil functions and ecosystem services; (iv) Improve the transfer of knowledge through knowledge brokers with a soil background; (v) Start at the basis: educational programs are needed at all levels, starting in primary schools, and emphasizing practical, down-to-earth examples; (vi) Facilitate communication with the policy arena by framing research in terms that resonate with politicians in terms of the policy cycle or by considering drivers, pressures and responses affecting impacts of land use change; and finally (vii) All this is only possible

  8. Priority regions for research on dryland cereals and legumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyman, Glenn; Barona, Elizabeth; Biradar, Chandrashekhar; Guevara, Edward; Dixon, John; Beebe, Steve; Castano, Silvia Elena; Alabi, Tunrayo; Gumma, Murali Krishna; Sivasankar, Shoba; Rivera, Ovidio; Espinosa, Herlin; Cardona, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Dryland cereals and legumes  are important crops in farming systems across the world.  Yet they are frequently neglected among the priorities for international agricultural research and development, often due to lack of information on their magnitude and extent. Given what we know about the global distribution of dryland cereals and legumes, what regions should be high priority for research and development to improve livelihoods and food security? This research evaluated the geographic dimensions of these crops and the farming systems where they are found worldwide. The study employed geographic information science and data to assess the key farming systems and regions for these crops. Dryland cereal and legume crops should be given high priority in 18 farming systems worldwide, where their cultivated area comprises more than 160 million ha. These regions include the dryer areas of South Asia, West and East Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Central America and other parts of Asia. These regions are prone to drought and heat stress, have limiting soil constraints, make up half of the global population and account for 60 percent of the global poor and malnourished. The dryland cereal and legume crops and farming systems merit more research and development attention to improve productivity and address development problems. This project developed an open access dataset and information resource that provides the basis for future analysis of the geographic dimensions of dryland cereals and legumes. PMID:27303632

  9. SOIL CONSERVATION TECHNIQUES IN OIL PALM CULTIVATION FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halus Satriawan

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Currently, many have been concerned with the oil palm cultivation since it may also put land resources in danger and bring about environmental damage. Poor practices in managing agricultural land very often occur due to the inadequate knowledge of soil conservation. Application of soil and water conservation is to maintain the productivity of the land and to prevent further damage by considering land capability classes. This research was aimed at obtaining soil and water conservation techniques which are the most appropriate and optimal for oil palm cultivation areas based on land capability classes which can support sustainable oil palm cultivation. Several soil conservation techniques had been treated to each different class III, IV, and VI of the studied area. These treatment had been performed by a standard plot erosion. The results showed for the land capability class III, Cover plants + Manure was able to control runoff, erosion and reduce leaching of N (LSD P≤0,05, in which soil conservation produced the lowest erosion (3,73t/ha, and N leaching (0,25%. On land capability class IV, Sediment Trap + cover plants+ manure was able to control runoff, erosion and reduce organic C and P leaching (LSD P≤0,05, in which soil conservation produced the lowest runoff (127,77 m3/ha, erosion (12,38t/ha, organic C leaching (1,14 %, and P leaching (1,28 ppm. On land capability class VI, there isn’t significant effect of soil conservation, but Bench Terrace + cover plants +manure has the lowest runoff, erosion and soil nutrient leaching.

  10. Vegetation and erosion: comments on the linking mechanisms from the perspective of the Australian drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunkerley, D.

    2009-04-01

    of overland flow behaviour. In such analyses, the role of vascular plants has to be seen as one component of the system that also includes organic litter and non-vascular plants. A gap in understanding here relates to splash dislodgement of soil materials. This is known to depend on the depth of water lying above the mineral soil, being reduced for both shallow and deep water layers, and maximised at depths of a few incident drop diameters. Resolving how vegetation modifies surface water depths, and how splash dislodgement responds, across the spectrum of event sizes, remains a significant research challenge. Australian dryland streams exhibit abundant channel-associated vegetation. This exhibits diverse roles, again depending on context. Trees growing in the channel, together with associated barriers formed from floating woody debris, reduce flow speeds. On the other hand, deflector jams can result in locally intensified erosion of the banks. But the mechanisms linking vegetation and erosion are again complex. For instance, by reducing flow speeds and creating backwater effects, debris barriers promote mud deposition over channel margin sediments. This in turn reduces transmission losses, and sustains peak flow and associated sediment transport capacity further downstream than would otherwise be the case. As for hillslope processes, much remains to be learned about how these various processes play out across the spectrum of event magnitudes. Clearly, therefore, in a time of ongoing environmental change, the informed management of the global drylands requires continued research effort of the kind so well championed by John Thornes.

  11. Modelling sediment export, retention and reservoir sedimentation in drylands with the WASA-SED model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. N. Mueller

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Current soil erosion and reservoir sedimentation modelling at the meso-scale is still faced with intrinsic problems with regard to open scaling questions, data demand, computational efficiency and deficient implementations of retention and re-mobilisation processes for the river and reservoir networks. To overcome some limitations of current modelling approaches, the semi-process-based, spatially semi-distributed modelling framework WASA-SED (Vers. 1 was developed for water and sediment transport in large dryland catchments. The WASA-SED model simulates the runoff and erosion processes at the hillslope scale, the transport and retention processes of suspended and bedload fluxes in the river reaches and the retention and remobilisation processes of sediments in reservoirs. The modelling tool enables the evaluation of management options both for sustainable land-use change scenarios to reduce erosion in the headwater catchments as well as adequate reservoir management options to lessen sedimentation in large reservoirs and reservoir networks. The model concept, its spatial discretisation scheme and the numerical components of the hillslope, river and reservoir processes are described and a model application for the meso-scale dryland catchment Isábena in the Spanish Pre-Pyrenees (445 km2 is presented to demonstrate the capabilities, strengths and limits of the model framework. The example application showed that the model was able to reproduce runoff and sediment transport dynamics of highly erodible headwater badlands, the transient storage of sediments in the dryland river system, the bed elevation changes of the 93 hm3 Barasona reservoir due to sedimentation as well as the life expectancy of the reservoir under different management options.

  12. Global temperate drylands climate change vulnerability

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Drylands cover 40% of the global terrestrial surface and provide important ecosystem services. While drylands as a whole are expected to increase in distribution and...

  13. The impact of the quality of coal mine stockpile soils on sustainable vegetation growth and productivity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mushia, NM

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available , chemical, and biological properties, limiting their capability for sustainable vegetation growth. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of stockpile soils of differing depth and quality on vegetation growth and productivity. Soils were collected...

  14. Conservation tillage for dryland farming in China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cai, D.X.; Ke, J.; Wang, X.B.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Oenema, O.; Perdok, U.D.

    2006-01-01

    Dryland regions account for above 70% of total nation's farmland in China. These dryland are vital contributors to the total national production of grains, cash crops and animal products. However, the development of dryland farming is constrained by harsh climate, bad economic situation and poor

  15. Soils are sensitive reactors - do we need a paradigm change towards a more sustainable soil use?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Rainer; Holthusen, Dörthe

    2015-04-01

    of the spatial distribution of redox potential values. In recent studies under "normal" wheeling conditions in arable fields and also in harvested forest sites it was proofed that Eh values close to 0 mV or even a methane emission have to be expected (with consequences for the global warming). Finally anoxic conditions also affect the redox induced mobilization of Fe and Mn which even results in a more rapid soil development with consequences also for yield and further soil functions. Consequently a shift to a more sustainable landuse or soil management strategy is urgently requested in order to prevent a further soil degradation. The scenario of peak soil must and can be prevented by a more site specific soil management. In the lecture, these effects will be discussed as well as a soil protection guide line (based on the German soil protection law) will be presented in order to prevent further irreversible soil degradation phenomena. Keywords: mechanical strength, mechanical stress and strain effects soil degradation, pore functions, ad-/desorption processes, redox potential, anoxia;, global change

  16. Feedbacks between vegetation pattern and resource loss dramatically decrease ecosystem resilience and restoration potential in a simple dryland model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayor, A.G.; Kefi, S.; Bautista, S.; Rodriguez, F.; Carteni, F.; Rietkerk, M.

    2013-01-01

    Conceptual frameworks of dryland degradation commonly include ecohydrological feedbacks between landscape spatial organization and resource loss, so that decreasing cover and size of vegetation patches result in higher water and soil losses, which lead to further vegetation loss. However, the

  17. Soil as a Sustainable Resource for the Bioeconomy - BonaRes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollschläger, Ute; Amelung, Wulf; Brüggemann, Nicolas; Brunotte, Joachim; Gebbers, Robin; Grosch, Rita; Heinrich, Uwe; Helming, Katharina; Kiese, Ralf; Leinweber, Peter; Reinhold-Hurek, Barbara; Veldkamp, Edzo; Vogel, Hans-Jörg; Winkelmann, Traud

    2017-04-01

    Fertile soils are a fundamental resource for the production of biomass and provision of food and energy. A growing world population and latest climate targets lead to an increasing demand for bio-based products which require preserving and - ideally - improving the long-term productivity of soils as a bio-economic resource. At the same time, other soil functions and ecosystem services need to be maintained: filter for clean water, carbon sequestration, provision and recycling of nutrients, and habitat for biological activity. All these soil functions result from the interaction of a multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes which are insufficiently understood. In addition, we lack understanding about the interplay between the socio-economic system and the soil system and how soil functions benefit human wellbeing, including SDGs. However, a solid and integrated assessment of soil quality requires the consideration of the ensemble of soil functions and its relation to soil management. To make soil management sustainable, we need to establish a scientific knowledge base of complex soil system processes that allows for developing models and tools to quantitatively predict the impact of a multitude of management measures on soil functions. This will finally allow for the provision of options for a site-specific, sustainable soil management. To face this challenge, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) recently launched the funding program "Soil as a Sustainable Resource for the Bioeconomy - BonaRes". In a joint effort, ten collaborative projects and the coordinating BonaRes Centre are engaged to close existing knowledge gaps for a profound and systemic assessment and understanding of soil functions and their sensitivity to soil management. In BonaRes, the complete process chain of sustainable soil use in the context of a sustainable bio-economy is being addressed: from understanding of soil processes using state-of the art and

  18. Using internet technology to inform researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders about sustainable land management in drylands: experience from a large interdisciplinary and international project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geeson, N.; van den Elsen, E.; Brandt, J.; Quaranta, G.; Salvia, R.

    2012-04-01

    In the last twenty years the advent of the internet has made it much easier to share the results of scientific research with a wider range of audiences. Where once there were only scientific journals and books, it is now possible to deliver messages and dissemination products instantly, by email or other media, to huge circulation lists; thereby also addressing non-scientific audiences. Most scientific projects now host a website, but until recently few have exploited the communication possibilities to maximum advantage. DESIRE has been a large interdisciplinary and international project working to mitigate desertification by selecting and trialling sustainable land management practices with stakeholders. Therefore it has been very important to use a general project website, and a separate Harmonised Information System, to ensure that partners and stakeholders are able to understand the sustainable options and learn from one another. The project website has included many useful features, such as general project and partner information, a schedule of future meetings, and repositories of publicly (and project only) downloadable documents. Lessons have been learned about communication preferences between groups with different interests. For example, an on-line forum seemed a good way of allowing project partners to have their say on various topics. However it was not well-used and it was concluded that partners preferred to communicate just by email, a medium that they access most days for many uses. Whereas the project website focuses on the latest news, the Harmonised Information System has been used to document the history of the project, stage by stage, filling in each section as results became available. Information can be accessed from the perspective of both the research aims and each study site. Interactive tools and drop-down menus are among the features that are used to make the information as attractive and as accessible as possible. Although English is the

  19. Effect of sustainable land management practices on soil aggregation and stabilization of organic carbon in semiarid mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Franco, Noelia; Albaladejo, Juan; Almagro, María; Wiesmeier, Martin; Martínez-Mena, María

    2016-04-01

    Arid and semiarid regions represent about 47% of the total land area of the world (UNEP, 1992). At present, there is a priority interest for carbon (C) sequestration in drylands. These areas are considered as very fragile ecosystems with low organic carbon (OC) saturation, and potentially, high capacity for soil OC sequestration. In addition, the restoration of these areas is one of the major challenges for scientists, who will be able to identify and recommended the best land uses and sustainable land management (SLM) practices for soil conservation and mitigation of climate change in these environments. In this regard, in semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems there is an urgent need for the implementation of SLM practices regardless of land-use type (forest, agricultural and shrubland) to maintain acceptable levels of soil organic matter (SOM) and the physico-chemical protection of the OC. Long- and short-term effects of SLM practices on soil aggregation and SOC stabilization were studied in two land uses. The long-term experiment was conducted in a reforestation area with Pinus halepensis Mill., where two afforestation techniques were implemented 20 years ago: a) mechanical terracing with a single application of organic waste of urban soil refuse, and b) mechanical terracing without organic amendment. An adjacent shrubland was considered as the reference plot. The short-term experiment was conducted in a rain-fed almond (Prunus dulcis Mill., var. Ferragnes) orchard where two SLM practices were introduced 4 years ago: a) reduced tillage plus green manure, and b) no tillage. Reduced tillage was considered as the reference plot given that it is the habitual management practice. Four aggregate size classes were differentiated by sieving (large and small macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the silt plus clay fraction), and the microaggregates occluded within small macroaggregates (SMm) were isolated. In addition, different organic C fractions corresponding with active

  20. Albedo feedbacks to future climate via climate change impacts on dryland biocrusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, William A.; Painter, Thomas H.; Ferrenberg, Scott; Belnap, Jayne; Okin, Gregory S.; Flagg, Cody; Reed, Sasha C.

    2017-03-01

    Drylands represent the planet’s largest terrestrial biome and evidence suggests these landscapes have large potential for creating feedbacks to future climate. Recent studies also indicate that dryland ecosystems are responding markedly to climate change. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) ‒ soil surface communities of lichens, mosses, and/or cyanobacteria ‒ comprise up to 70% of dryland cover and help govern fundamental ecosystem functions, including soil stabilization and carbon uptake. Drylands are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation regimes, and such alterations may impact biocrust communities by promoting rapid mortality of foundational species. In turn, biocrust community shifts affect land surface cover and roughness—changes that can dramatically alter albedo. We tested this hypothesis in a full-factorial warming (+4 °C above ambient) and altered precipitation (increased frequency of 1.2 mm monsoon-type watering events) experiment on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We quantified changes in shortwave albedo via multi-angle, solar-reflectance measurements. Warming and watering treatments each led to large increases in albedo (>30%). This increase was driven by biophysical factors related to treatment effects on cyanobacteria cover and soil surface roughness following treatment-induced moss and lichen mortality. A rise in dryland surface albedo may represent a previously unidentified feedback to future climate.

  1. Albedo feedbacks to future climate via climate change impacts on dryland biocrusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, William A; Painter, Thomas H; Ferrenberg, Scott; Belnap, Jayne; Okin, Gregory S; Flagg, Cody; Reed, Sasha C

    2017-03-10

    Drylands represent the planet's largest terrestrial biome and evidence suggests these landscapes have large potential for creating feedbacks to future climate. Recent studies also indicate that dryland ecosystems are responding markedly to climate change. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) ‒ soil surface communities of lichens, mosses, and/or cyanobacteria ‒ comprise up to 70% of dryland cover and help govern fundamental ecosystem functions, including soil stabilization and carbon uptake. Drylands are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation regimes, and such alterations may impact biocrust communities by promoting rapid mortality of foundational species. In turn, biocrust community shifts affect land surface cover and roughness-changes that can dramatically alter albedo. We tested this hypothesis in a full-factorial warming (+4 °C above ambient) and altered precipitation (increased frequency of 1.2 mm monsoon-type watering events) experiment on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We quantified changes in shortwave albedo via multi-angle, solar-reflectance measurements. Warming and watering treatments each led to large increases in albedo (>30%). This increase was driven by biophysical factors related to treatment effects on cyanobacteria cover and soil surface roughness following treatment-induced moss and lichen mortality. A rise in dryland surface albedo may represent a previously unidentified feedback to future climate.

  2. Albedo feedbacks to future climate via climate change impacts on dryland biocrusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, William A.; Painter, Thomas H.; Ferrenberg, Scott; Belnap, Jayne; Okin, Gregory S.; Flagg, Cody B.; Reed, Sasha C.

    2017-01-01

    Drylands represent the planet’s largest terrestrial biome and evidence suggests these landscapes have large potential for creating feedbacks to future climate. Recent studies also indicate that dryland ecosystems are responding markedly to climate change. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) ‒ soil surface communities of lichens, mosses, and/or cyanobacteria ‒ comprise up to 70% of dryland cover and help govern fundamental ecosystem functions, including soil stabilization and carbon uptake. Drylands are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation regimes, and such alterations may impact biocrust communities by promoting rapid mortality of foundational species. In turn, biocrust community shifts affect land surface cover and roughness—changes that can dramatically alter albedo. We tested this hypothesis in a full-factorial warming (+4 °C above ambient) and altered precipitation (increased frequency of 1.2 mm monsoon-type watering events) experiment on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We quantified changes in shortwave albedo via multi-angle, solar-reflectance measurements. Warming and watering treatments each led to large increases in albedo (>30%). This increase was driven by biophysical factors related to treatment effects on cyanobacteria cover and soil surface roughness following treatment-induced moss and lichen mortality. A rise in dryland surface albedo may represent a previously unidentified feedback to future climate.

  3. Changes in soil properties and humic substances after long-term amendments with manure and crop residues in dryland farming systems.

    OpenAIRE

    Dorado, José.; Zancada Fernández, M. Cristina; Almendros Martín, Gonzalo; López-Fando, Cristina

    2003-01-01

    After 16 years of periodical applications of either farmyard manure or crop wastes at two levels of mineral N fertilization to a Calcic Haploxeralf in the semiarid central Spain, we found significant changes in chemical fertility levels and in the concentration, chemical composition, and carbon mineralization rates of soil organic matter (SOM). The changes in SOM quality were related to significant improvements of soil physical properties, mainly aggregate stability and water retention. Such ...

  4. Coupled Human-Ecological Dynamics and Land Degradation in Global Drylands-A modelling approach (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helldén, U.

    2009-12-01

    Drylands comprise one-third of the Earth’s land area. They pose research, management, and policy challenges impacting the livelihoods of 2.5 billion people. Desertification is said to affect some 10-20% of the drylands and is assumed to expand with climate change and population growth. Recent paradigms stress the importance of understanding linkages between human-ecological (H-E) systems in order to achieve sustainable management policies. Understanding coupled H-E systems is difficult at local levels. It represents an even greater challenge at regional scales to guide priorities and policy decisions at national and international levels. System dynamic modelling may help facilitating the probblem. Desertification and land degradation are often modelled and mathematically defined in terms of soil erosion. The soil erosion process is usually described as a function of vegetation ground cover, rainfall characteristics, topography, soil characteristics and land management. On-going research based on system dynamic modelling, focussing on elucidating the inherent complexity of H-E systems across multiple scales, enables an assessment of the relative roles that climate, policy, management, land condition, vulnerability and human adaptation may play in desertification and dryland development. An early approach (1995) to study desertification through an H-E coupled model considered desertification to be stress beyond resilience, i.e. irreversible, using a predator-prey system approach. As most predator-prey models, it was based on two linked differential equations describing the evolution of both a human population (predator) and natural resources (prey) in terms of gains, losses and interaction. A recent effort used a model approach to assess desertification risk through system stability condition analysis. It is based on the assumption that soil erosion and the soil sub-system play an overriding final role in the desertification processes. It is stressing the role and

  5. The land productivity dynamics trend as a tool for land degradation assessment in a dryland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskan, Oguz; Dengiz, Orhan; Demirag, İnci Turan

    2017-05-01

    The aim of this study was to produce a land productivity dynamic map of a degraded catchment located in dryland ecosystem via a land degradation assessment using three indicators, namely land use, land productivity, and soil organic carbon density. The study was conducted in the Mogan Catchment, Turkey, between 2000 and 2010. The study embraced the current trend for assessing ecosystem services over wide areas. For this purpose, satellite images were used to determine changes in land use and vegetation density. In addition, a total of 834 soil samples were collected from the surface soil in 2000 and 2010 to assess the soil organic carbon density. In more than 37% of the catchment area of approx. 37,100 ha, land productivity had declined, while about 43% of the catchment showed early signs of decline. Analysis of long-term changes and the conversion of levels of vegetative or standing biomass into land productivity dynamics (LPD) is only the first step. Current land management practices are contributing to serious, widespread land degradation, with only a very small area of the catchment showing a stable or increasing LPD for the period from 2000 to 2010. The implementation of land management policies and practices in order to achieve sustainable land management are urgently required.

  6. [Effects of plastic mulch on soil moisture and temperature and limiting factors to yield increase for dryland spring maize in the North China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Sheng-Yao; Zhang, Li-Feng; Li, Zhi-Hong; Jia, Jian-Ming; Fan, Feng-Cui; Shi, Yu-Fang

    2014-11-01

    Four treatments, including ridge tillage with plastic mulch (RP), ridge tillage without mulch (RB), flat tillage with plastic mulch (FP) and flat tillage without mulch (FB), were carried out to examine the tillage type and mulch on the effects of soil moisture and temperature, yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of dry land spring maize in the North China. Results showed that the average soil temperature was increased by 1-3 °C and the accumulated soil temperature was increased by 155.2-280.9 °C from sowing to tasseling by plastic mulch, and the growing duration was extended by 5.9-10.7 d. The water conservation effect of plastic mulch was significant from sowing to the seedling establishment, with WUE being increased by 81.6%-136.4% under mulch as compared with that without mulch. From the seedling to jointing stage, which coincided with the dry period in the region, soil water utilization by the maize under mulch could reach the depth of 80-100 cm, and its WUE was about 17.0%-21.6% lower than the maize without mulch, since the latter was affected by dry stress. With the coming of rainy season around the trumpeting stage, soil water in each treatment was replenished and maintained at relative high level up to harvest. Yield of maize was increased by 9.5% under RP as compared with RB. However, yield was reduced by 5.0% under FP, due to the plastic film under flat tillage prevented the infiltration of rainfall and waterlogging occurred. No significant difference in yield was found between RB and FB. Higher yield of spring maize was limited because of the mismatching in water supply and demand characterized by soil water shortage before the rainy season and abundant soil water storage after the rainy season.

  7. Soil mapping and processes modelling for sustainable land management: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Brevik, Eric; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Miller, Bradley; Smetanova, Anna; Depellegrin, Daniel; Misiune, Ieva; Novara, Agata; Cerda, Artemi

    2017-04-01

    Soil maps and models are fundamental for a correct and sustainable land management (Pereira et al., 2017). They are an important in the assessment of the territory and implementation of sustainable measures in urban areas, agriculture, forests, ecosystem services, among others. Soil maps represent an important basis for the evaluation and restoration of degraded areas, an important issue for our society, as consequence of climate change and the increasing pressure of humans on the ecosystems (Brevik et al. 2016; Depellegrin et al., 2016). The understanding of soil spatial variability and the phenomena that influence this dynamic is crucial to the implementation of sustainable practices that prevent degradation, and decrease the economic costs of soil restoration. In this context, soil maps and models are important to identify areas affected by degradation and optimize the resources available to restore them. Overall, soil data alone or integrated with data from other sciences, is an important part of sustainable land management. This information is extremely important land managers and decision maker's implements sustainable land management policies. The objective of this work is to present a review about the advantages of soil mapping and process modeling for sustainable land management. References Brevik, E., Calzolari, C., Miller, B., Pereira, P., Kabala, C., Baumgarten, A., Jordán, A. (2016) Historical perspectives and future needs in soil mapping, classification and pedological modelling, Geoderma, 264, Part B, 256-274. Depellegrin, D.A., Pereira, P., Misiune, I., Egarter-Vigl, L. (2016) Mapping Ecosystem Services in Lithuania. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 23, 441-455. Pereira, P., Brevik, E., Munoz-Rojas, M., Miller, B., Smetanova, A., Depellegrin, D., Misiune, I., Novara, A., Cerda, A. (2017) Soil mapping and process modelling for sustainable land management. In: Pereira, P., Brevik, E., Munoz-Rojas, M., Miller, B

  8. FORUM paper: The significance of soils and soil science towards realization of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    This FORUM paper discusses how the soil science profession can address the challenges of the recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals in the most effective manner. The broad Sustainable Development Goals are intended to be a guideline for all governments. Some Goals are mainly socio-economi...

  9. Desertification, land use, and the transformation of global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.; Okin, Gregory S.; Duniway, Michael C.; Archer, Steven R.; Sayre, Nathan F.; Williamson, Jebediah C.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.

    2015-01-01

    Desertification is an escalating concern in global drylands, yet assessments to guide management and policy responses are limited by ambiguity concerning the definition of “desertification” and what processes are involved. To improve clarity, we propose that assessments of desertification and land transformation be placed within a state change–land-use change (SC–LUC) framework. This framework considers desertification as state changes occurring within the context of particular land uses (eg rangeland, cropland) that interact with land-use change. State changes that can be readily reversed are distinguished from regime shifts, which are state changes involving persistent alterations to vegetation or soil properties. Pressures driving the transformation of rangelands to other types of land uses may be low, fluctuating, or high, and may influence and be influenced by state change. We discuss how the SC–LUC perspective can guide more effective assessment of desertification and management of drylands.

  10. Arid waste? Reassessing the value of dryland pastoralism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hesse, Ced; MacGregor, James

    2009-06-15

    East Africa has a huge hidden asset – but risks throwing it away in the quest for economic development. This is its millions-strong herds of dryland livestock managed by pastoralists. New findings show that pastoralism has immense potential value for reducing poverty, managing the environment, promoting sustainable development and building climate resilience. In Kenya alone, the sector is worth an estimated three-quarters of a billion dollars a year. Yet pastoralism is seen by many as archaic, economically inefficient, chaotic and environmentally destructive – perceptions that are not evidence-based, yet drive much regional policy. Inadequate, inaccurate national statistics on pastoralism do little to alter this view. Persistent undervaluation has effectively trapped up to 20 million dryland pastoralists in a cycle of poverty, conflict and environmental degradation. Now, with climate change biting, the time is ripe for a conceptual framework that captures the total economic benefits of this livelihood.

  11. Re-spacing African drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korf, Benedikt; Hagmann, Tobias; Emmenegger, Rony

    2015-01-01

    This paper traces the re-spacing of pastoral drylands in Africa. We argue that rendering pastoral resources legible and profitable occurs both within and beyond the state. Through a multi-sited case study from Ethiopia's Somali region, we excavate different mechanisms of sedentarization, whereby ...... has failed to consolidate sedentarization through planned interventions. Instead, capital investment by local and transnational Somali merchants has opened up a neoliberal frontier that re-spaces drylands towards increasing sedentarization....... claims to territory, capital investment and new technopolitics through which indigenous (pastoral, Somali) merchants and politicians become complicit with the state's project of territorialization and sedentarization in a self-governing fashion. The irony of this situation is that the (Ethiopian) state...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    László, Márton, ,, Dr.

    2010-05-01

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

  13. Rehabilitation of Degraded Rangeland in Drylands by Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L. Plantations: Effect on Soil and Spontaneous Vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Souad Neffar

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In arid and semi-arid lands, the spiny prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica is an outstanding plant for soil conservation and restoration. To determine the role of Opuntia ficus-indica on vegetation recovery process in desertified areas of Southern Tebessa (Northeast Algeria, we investigated the effect of prickly pear plantation age and some soil properties (grain size, pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, and CaCO3 equivalents on native plant community. Vegetation cover and plant diversity were assessed by calculating the number of individual plants (N, species richness (S, their ratio (N/S, Shannon index, and Evenness in prickly pear plantation plots of different ages (control, 5 and 20 years. Even if surveyed soil parameters did not differ significantly among O. ficus-indica plantations, results of ANOVA testing the effect of Opuntia plantations on native vegetation traits revealed significant variation for plant abundance (P < 0.0001, N/S ratio (P = 0.003 and vegetation cover (P < 0.0001. Vegetation cover differed significantly with both prickly-pear plantation age (P = 0.031 and seasons (P = 0.019. Tukey's tests revealed that all vegetation traits were significantly higher on prickly pear plantations than in control plots. Multiple comparisons also showed that plant abundance, N/S ratio and vegetation cover were significantly different between both young and old plantations and the controls. Prickly pear cultures facilitated the colonization and development of herbaceous species by ameliorating the severe environmental conditions. In conclusion, the facilitative effect of O. ficus-indica has been clearly demonstrated for both abundance and cover of native vegetation.

  14. Phytostabilisation-A Sustainable Remediation Technique for Zinc in Soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Padmavathiamma, Prabha [University of British Columbia, Faculty of Land and Food Systems (Canada); Li, Loretta, E-mail: lli@civil.ubc.c [University of British Columbia, Department of Civil Engineering (Canada)

    2009-08-15

    Two studies were conducted to determine a feasible and practical phytoremediation strategy for Zn-contaminated soils. The aim of the first study was to identify promising plant species capable of Zn remediation for the soils and climatic conditions of British Columbia. The purpose of the second study was to assess the effects of soil amendments in modifying the soil properties and providing the right conditions for the plants to immobilise Zn. Promising plants for phytostabilisation in the first study (Lolium perenne, Festuca rubra and Poa pratensis) were tested in the presence of soil amendments (lime, phosphate and compost, both individually and in combination) in the second study. The efficiency of treatments to stabilise Zn was based on Zn fractionation in the soil and on absorption and partitioning of Zn in plants. Maximum Zn immobilisation was achieved in the soil by a combination of lime, phosphate and compost, in conjunction with growth of P. pratensis.

  15. Connecting Soil Water to Groundwater to Streams: Understanding Controls of Nitrate Losses from a Dryland Agricultural Landscape in the Upper Missouri River Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigler, W. A.; Ewing, S. A.; Payn, R. A.; Jones, C. A.; Brookshire, J.; Klassen, J. K.; Jackson-Smith, D.; Weissmann, G. S.

    2016-12-01

    Shallow aquifers impaired by nitrate from agriculture are widespread and remediation or prevention of this problem requires understanding of N leaching rates at a variety of spatial scales. Characterization of the drivers of nitrate leaching at an intermediate scale (103 to 105 ha) is needed to bridge from field scale observations to the landscape-scale context, allowing informed water resource management decisions. Here we explore patterns in nitrate leaching rates across a depositional landform with a predominant land use of non-irrigated small grain production in the Northern Great Plains within the Upper Missouri Basin. The shallow Moccasin terrace (260,000 ha) aquifer is bounded in vertical extent by underlying shale and is isolated from mountain front stream recharge, such that aquifer recharge is dominated by infiltration of precipitation through agricultural soils. We leverage this simplified landform scale water balance to estimate leaching rates using groundwater nitrate concentrations and surface water discharge, and quantify uncertainty using a Monte Carlo approach based on spatial variation in groundwater nitrate concentrations. Landform-scale nitrate-N leaching rates ranged between 10 and 24 kg ha-1 yr-1 during 2012-2014 across two terrace catchments. These rates represent 11 to 27% of fertilizer application rates but are likely derived from a combination of soil organic N mineralization and direct fertilizer loss. While groundwater apparent age is relatively young (0-5 y) based on tritium-helium analysis, whole-aquifer turnover time calculations are an order of magnitude longer (20-23 y), suggesting aquifer heterogeneity and thus a longer potential response time to management changes than suggested by tracer-based aging. We collaborated with local producers to undertake this work, and discussed our results with community members throughout the study. Based on a follow-up survey, producers are now more likely to consider nitrate leaching when making

  16. Fertilidade e carbono total e oxidável de Latossolo de Cerrado sob pastagem irrigada e de sequeiro Soil fertility and oxidizable and total carbon in Oxisol of the Cerrado under pasture irrigated and dryland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arcângelo Loss

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A irrigação por aspersão em pastagem pode aumentar a produção de forragem e melhorar as condições químicas do solo. O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar a fertilidade e os teores de carbono total e oxidável de Latossolo Vermelho Distrófico de Cerrado em área de pastagem Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp, irrigada e sequeiro. O delineamento experimental foi inteiramente casualizado. Amostras de solo nas camadas de 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 e 20-40cm foram coletadas para avaliação dos teores de Ca, Mg, Al, P, K, Na, H+Al, carbono orgânico total (COT e determinação de pH. As amostras foram fracionadas quimicamente com dicromato de potássio para a obtenção de frações com diferentes graus de labilidade: F1>F2>F3>F4. A área irrigada apresentou maiores teores de Ca e Mg em relação à área de sequeiro, exceto para o Mg, na profundidade 10-20cm. Foi observada diferença para os teores de COT, sendo os maiores valores verificados na área irrigada, decorrente do maior aporte de biomassa aérea e radicular. Esse padrão também foi constatado para as frações F1 e F2. A irrigação aumenta a concentração de COT, sendo esse aumento mais perceptível nas frações mais lábeis (F1 e F2, e também proporciona a melhoria da fertilidade do solo, aumentando os teores de Ca e Mg.The sprinkler irrigation on pasture can increase the forage production and improve soil chemical conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate soil fertility and oxidizable and total carbon contents in Oxisol of the Cerrado under pasture area Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp, irrigated and dryland. The experimental design was completely randomized. Soil samples were collected in the 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40cm depth, to evalueted the tenors of Ca, Mg, Al, P, K, Na, H + Al, total organic carbon (TOC and determined the pH values. The samples were chemically fractionated with potassium dichromate to obtain fractions with different degrees of lability: F1>F2>F3>F4. The irrigated area had

  17. A framework of connections between soil and people can help improve sustainability of the food system and soil functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Bruce C; Hargreaves, Paul R; Watson, Christine A

    2017-11-24

    Globally soil quality and food security continue to decrease indicating that agriculture and the food system need to adapt. Improving connection to the soil by knowledge exchange can help achieve this. We propose a framework of three types of connections that allow the targeting of appropriate messages to different groups of people. Direct connection by, for example, handling soil develops soil awareness for management that can be fostered by farmers joining groups on soil-focused farming such as organic farming or no-till. Indirect connections between soil, food and ecosystem services can inform food choices and environmental awareness in the public and can be promoted by, for example, gardening, education and art. Temporal connection revealed from past usage of soil helps to bring awareness to policy workers of the need for the long-term preservation of soil quality for environmental conservation. The understanding of indirect and temporal connections can be helped by comparing them with the operations of the networks of soil organisms and porosity that sustain soil fertility and soil functions.

  18. Drought preparedness and drought mitigation in the developing world׳s drylands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahmoud Solh

    2014-06-01

    Drought is a climatic event that cannot be prevented, but interventions and preparedness to drought can help to: (i be better prepared to cope with drought; (ii develop more resilient ecosystems (iii improve resilience to recover from drought; and (iv mitigate the impacts of droughts. Preparedness strategies to drought include: (a geographical shifts of agricultural systems; (b climate-proofing rainfall-based systems; (c making irrigated systems more efficient; (d expanding the intermediate rainfed–irrigated systems. The paper presents successful research results and case studies applying some innovative techniques where clear impact is demonstrated to cope with drought and contribute to food security in dry areas. The CGIAR Consortium Research Program (CRP on “Integrated and Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems for Improved Food Security and Livelihoods in Dry Areas” (in short, “Dryland Systems”, led by ICARDA, was launched in May 2013 with many partners and stakeholders from 40 countries. It addresses farming systems in dry areas, at a global level, involving 80 partner institutions. The Dryland Systems Program aims at coping with drought and water scarcity to enhance food security and reduce poverty in dry areas through an integrated agro-ecosystem approach. It will also deliver science-based solutions that can be adopted in regions that are not yet experiencing extreme shocks, but will be affected in the medium to long-term. The approach entails shifting the thinking away from the traditional focus on a small number of research components to take an integrated approach aiming to address agro-ecosystems challenges. Such an approach involves crops, livestock, rangeland, trees, soils, water and policies. It is one of the first global research for development efforts that brings “systems thinking” to farming innovations leading to improved livelihoods in the developing world. The new technique uses modern innovation platforms to involve all

  19. Threats to Sustainability of Soil Functions in Central and Southeast Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hikmet Günal

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available A diverse topography along with deforestation, changing climatic conditions, long-term human settlement, overuse of agricultural lands without sustainable planning, cultural difficulties in accepting conservative land management practices, and wrong political decisions have increased the vulnerability of many soils to degradation and resulted in a serious decline in their functional capacity. A progressive reduction in the capacity of soils to support plant productivity is not only a threat in the African continent and its large desert zone, but also in several parts of Central and Southeastern Europe (CASEE. The loss of soil functions throughout CASEE is mainly related to the human activities that have profound influence on soil dynamic characteristics. Improper management of soils has made them more vulnerable to degradation through water and wind erosion, organic matter depletion, salinity, acidification, crusting and sealing, and compaction. Unmitigated degradation has substantial implications for long term sustainability of the soils’ capability to support human communities and resist desertification. If sustainable agricultural and land management practices are not identified, well understood and implemented, the decline in soil quality will continue and probably accelerate. The lack of uniform criteria for the assessment and evaluation of soil quality in CASEE countries prevents scientific assessments to determine if existing management practices are leading to soil quality improvement, or if not, what management practices should be recommended to mitigate and reverse the loss of soil health.

  20. The impact of marketing systems on soil sustainability of agriculture in developing countries : a method and an application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castaño, J.; Meulenberg, M.T.G.; Tilburg, van A.

    2005-01-01

    This article is concerned with soil-sustainability problems of agriculture in developing countries, in particular with soil erosion. The aim of our study is to develop a comprehensive model that explains the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices with respect to soil conservation. Our

  1. Sustainable Soil Management: Its perception and the need for policy intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basch, Gottlieb; Kassam, Amir; González-Sánchez, Emilio

    2017-04-01

    As stated in the strategic objectives of the Global Soil Partnership "healthy soils and sustainable soil management are the precondition for human well-being and economic welfare and therefore play the key role for sustainable development". Although the functional properties of a healthy soil are well understood, in practice it is easily overlooked what is necessary to achieve and sustain healthy agricultural soils. This contribution intends: to discuss the concept of sustainable soil management in agricultural production with regard to soil health, and to highlight its importance in the achievement of both Sustainable Development Goals and the 4 per mille objectives, as well as for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In Europe, soil and the need for its conservation and stewardship gained visibility at the beginning of this century during the discussions related to the Soil Thematic Strategy. This higher level of awareness concerning the status of Europe's soils led to the introduction of soil conservation standards into the cross-compliance mechanism within the 1st Pillar of CAP. These standards were applied through the definition of Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs) which are compulsory for all farmers receiving direct payments, and in the last CAP reform in 2014, through the introduction of additional Greening Measures in Pilar 1. Despite these measures and the claim of some writers that they already contributed to significantly reducing soil erosion, the EC Joint Research Centre still reports water erosion in Europe amounting to almost one billion tonnes annually. Regarding soil conservation, soil carbon stocks or the provision of additional ecosystem services, measures called for in GAEC 4 (Minimum soil cover), in GAEC 5 (Minimum land management reflecting site specific conditions to limit soil erosion), and in GAEC 6 (Maintenance of soil organic matter level through appropriate practices, …), give the impression that a lot is being

  2. Thermal Treatment of Hydrocarbon-Impacted Soils: A Review of Technology Innovation for Sustainable Remediation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia E. Vidonish

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Thermal treatment technologies hold an important niche in the remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and sediments due to their ability to quickly and reliably meet cleanup standards. However, sustained high temperature can be energy intensive and can damage soil properties. Despite the broad applicability and prevalence of thermal remediation, little work has been done to improve the environmental compatibility and sustainability of these technologies. We review several common thermal treatment technologies for hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, assess their potential environmental impacts, and propose frameworks for sustainable and low-impact deployment based on a holistic consideration of energy and water requirements, ecosystem ecology, and soil science. There is no universally appropriate thermal treatment technology. Rather, the appropriate choice depends on the contamination scenario (including the type of hydrocarbons present and on site-specific considerations such as soil properties, water availability, and the heat sensitivity of contaminated soils. Overall, the convergence of treatment process engineering with soil science, ecosystem ecology, and plant biology research is essential to fill critical knowledge gaps and improve both the removal efficiency and sustainability of thermal technologies.

  3. Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Compost from Food Waste: Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

    Science.gov (United States)

    This page contains information about the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar Series titled Compost from Food Waste:Understanding Soil Chemistry and Soil Biology on a College/University Campus

  4. Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes: A Spatially Explicit Approach to Support Sustainable Soil Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohsen Forouzangohar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation. We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes.

  5. Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes: A Spatially Explicit Approach to Support Sustainable Soil Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossman, Neville D.; MacEwan, Richard J.; Wallace, D. Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T.

    2014-01-01

    Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage) were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation). We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes. PMID:24616632

  6. Soil mapping and process modeling for sustainable land use management: a brief historical review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brevik, Eric C.; Pereira, Paulo; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Miller, Bradley A.; Cerdà, Artemi; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Lozano-García, Beatriz

    2017-04-01

    Basic soil management goes back to the earliest days of agricultural practices, approximately 9,000 BCE. Through time humans developed soil management techniques of ever increasing complexity, including plows, contour tillage, terracing, and irrigation. Spatial soil patterns were being recognized as early as 3,000 BCE, but the first soil maps didn't appear until the 1700s and the first soil models finally arrived in the 1880s (Brevik et al., in press). The beginning of the 20th century saw an increase in standardization in many soil science methods and wide-spread soil mapping in many parts of the world, particularly in developed countries. However, the classification systems used, mapping scale, and national coverage varied considerably from country to country. Major advances were made in pedologic modeling starting in the 1940s, and in erosion modeling starting in the 1950s. In the 1970s and 1980s advances in computing power, remote and proximal sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and statistics and spatial statistics among other numerical techniques significantly enhanced our ability to map and model soils (Brevik et al., 2016). These types of advances positioned soil science to make meaningful contributions to sustainable land use management as we moved into the 21st century. References Brevik, E., Pereira, P., Muñoz-Rojas, M., Miller, B., Cerda, A., Parras-Alcantara, L., Lozano-Garcia, B. Historical perspectives on soil mapping and process modelling for sustainable land use management. In: Pereira, P., Brevik, E., Muñoz-Rojas, M., Miller, B. (eds) Soil mapping and process modelling for sustainable land use management (In press). Brevik, E., Calzolari, C., Miller, B., Pereira, P., Kabala, C., Baumgarten, A., Jordán, A. 2016. Historical perspectives and future needs in soil mapping, classification and pedological modelling, Geoderma, 264, Part B, 256-274.

  7. Sustainability versus yield in agricultural soils under various crop production practices - a microbial perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereg, Lily; Aldorri, Sind; McMillan, Mary

    2017-04-01

    Wheat and cotton are important food and cash crops often grown in rotation on black, grey and red clay soil, in Australia. The common practice of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers have been solely in the form of agrochemicals, however, a few growers have incorporated manure or composted plant material into the soil before planting. While the cotton yield in studied farms was comparable, we found that the use of such organic amendments significantly enhanced the pool of nitrogen cycling genes, suggesting increased potential of soil microbial function as well as increased microbial metabolic diversity and abundance. Therefore, the regular use of organic amendments contributed to improved soil sustainability.

  8. Priority regions for research on dryland cereals and legumes [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn Hyman

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Dryland cereals and legumes  are important crops in farming systems across the world.  Yet they are frequently neglected among the priorities for international agricultural research and development, often due to lack of information on their magnitude and extent. Given what we know about the global distribution of dryland cereals and legumes, what regions should be high priority for research and development to improve livelihoods and food security? This research evaluated the geographic dimensions of these crops and the farming systems where they are found worldwide. The study employed geographic information science and data to assess the key farming systems and regions for these crops. Dryland cereal and legume crops should be given high priority in 18 farming systems worldwide, where their cultivated area comprises more than 160 million ha. These regions include the dryer areas of South Asia, West and East Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Central America and other parts of Asia. These regions are prone to drought and heat stress, have limiting soil constraints, make up half of the global population and account for 60 percent of the global poor and malnourished. The dryland cereal and legume crops and farming systems merit more research and development attention to improve productivity and address development problems. This project developed an open access dataset and information resource that provides the basis for future analysis of the geographic dimensions of dryland cereals and legumes.

  9. Priority regions for research on dryland cereals and legumes [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn Hyman

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Dryland cereals and legumes  are important crops in farming systems across the world.  Yet they are frequently neglected among the priorities for international agricultural research and development, often due to lack of information on their magnitude and extent. Given what we know about the global distribution of dryland cereals and legumes, what regions should be high priority for research and development to improve livelihoods and food security? This research evaluated the geographic dimensions of these crops and the farming systems where they are found worldwide. The study employed geographic information science and data to assess the key farming systems and regions for these crops. Dryland cereal and legume crops should be given high priority in 18 farming systems worldwide, where their cultivated area comprises more than 160 million ha. These regions include the dryer areas of South Asia, West and East Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Central America and other parts of Asia. These regions are prone to drought and heat stress, have limiting soil constraints, make up half of the global population and account for 60 percent of the global poor and malnourished. The dryland cereal and legume crops and farming systems merit more research and development attention to improve productivity and address development problems. This project developed an open access dataset and information resource that provides the basis for future analysis of the geographic dimensions of dryland cereals and legumes.

  10. Using soil function evaluation in multi-criteria decision analysis for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volchko, Yevheniya; Norrman, Jenny; Rosén, Lars; Bergknut, Magnus; Josefsson, Sarah; Söderqvist, Tore; Norberg, Tommy; Wiberg, Karin; Tysklind, Mats

    2014-07-01

    Soil contamination is one of the major threats constraining proper functioning of the soil and thus provision of ecosystem services. Remedial actions typically only address the chemical soil quality by reducing total contaminant concentrations to acceptable levels guided by land use. However, emerging regulatory requirements on soil protection demand a holistic view on soil assessment in remediation projects thus accounting for a variety of soil functions. Such a view would require not only that the contamination concentrations are assessed and attended to, but also that other aspects are taking into account, thus addressing also physical and biological as well as other chemical soil quality indicators (SQIs). This study outlines how soil function assessment can be a part of a holistic sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). The paper presents a method for practitioners for evaluating the effects of remediation alternatives on selected ecological soil functions using a suggested minimum data set (MDS) containing physical, biological and chemical SQIs. The measured SQIs are transformed into sub-scores by the use of scoring curves, which allows interpretation and the integration of soil quality data into the MCDA framework. The method is demonstrated at a study site (Marieberg, Sweden) and the results give an example of how soil analyses using the suggested MDS can be used for soil function assessment and subsequent input to the MCDA framework. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The contribution of the European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC) to scientific knowledge, education and sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dazzi, Carmelo; Fullen, Michael A.; Costantini, Edoardo A. C.; Theocharopoulos, Sid; Rickson, Jane; Kasparinskis, Raimonds; Lo Papa, Giuseppe; Peres, Guenola; Sholten, Thomas; Kertész, Adam; Vasenev, Ivan; Dumitru, Mihail; Cornelis, Wim; Rubio, José L.

    2017-04-01

    Soil is an integral component of the global environmental system that supports the quality and diversity of terrestrial life on Earth. Therefore, it is vital to consider the processes and impacts of soil degradation on society, especially on the provision of environmental goods and services, including food security and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Scientific societies devoted to Soil Science play significant roles in promoting soil security by advancing scientific knowledge, education and environmental sustainability. The European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC) was founded in Ghent (Belgium) on 4 November 1988 by a group of 23 researchers from several European countries. It is an interdisciplinary, non-political association with over 500 members in 56 countries. The ESSC produces and distributes a hardcopy Newsletter twice a year and maintains both a website and Facebook page: http://www.soilconservation.eu/ https://www.facebook.com/European-Society-for-Soil-Conservation-ESSC-100528363448094/ The ESSC aims to: • Support research on soil degradation, soil protection and soil and water conservation. • Provide a network for the exchange of knowledge about soil degradation processes and soil conservation research and practises. • Produce publications on major issues relating to soil degradation and soil and water conservation. • Advise regulators and policy-makers on soil issues, especially soil degradation, protection and conservation. The ESSC held its First International Congress in Silsoe (UK) in 1992. Further International Congresses were held in Munich (1996), Valencia (2000), Budapest (2004), Palermo (2007), Thessaloniki (2011) and Moscow (2015). The Eighth International Congress will be held in Lleida (Spain) in June 2017: http://www.consowalleida2017.com/ Interspersed between these international congresses, the ESSC organizes annual international conferences on specific topics. These include Imola, Italy (Biogeochemical Processes at

  12. Sustainable agriculture

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lichtfouse, Eric

    2009-01-01

    ... : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 9 Part I CLIMATE CHANGE Soils and Sustainable Agriculture: A Review : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Rattan Lal 15 Soils and Food Sufficiency...

  13. Developing an Agro-Ecological Zoning Model for Tumbleweed (Salsola kali), as Energy Crop in Drylands of Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falasca, Silvia; Pitta-Alvarez, Sandra; Ulberich, Ana

    2016-12-01

    Salsola kali is considered extremely valuable as an energy crop worldwide because it adapts easily to environments with strong abiotic stresses (hydric, saline and alkaline) and produces large amounts of biomass in drylands. This species is categorized as an important weed in Argentina. The aim of this work was to design an agro-ecological zoning model for tumbleweed in Argentina, employing a Geography Information System. Based on the bioclimatic requirements for the species and the climatic data for Argentina (1981-2010 period), an agro-climatic suitability map was drawn. This map was superimposed on the saline and alkaline soil maps delineated by the Food and Agriculture Organization for dry climates, generating the agro-ecological zoning on a scale of 1 : 500 000. This zoning revealed very suitable and suitable cultivation areas on halomorphic soils. The potential growing areas extend from N of the Salta province (approximately 22° S) to the Santa Cruz province (50° S). The use of tumbleweed on halomorphic soils under semi-arid to arid conditions, for the dual purpose of forage use and source of lignocellulosic material for bioenergy, could improve agricultural productivity in these lands. Furthermore, it could also contribute to their environmental sustainability, since the species can be used to reclaim saline soils over the years. Based on international bibliography, the authors outlined an agro-ecological zoning model. This model may be applied to any part of the world, using the agro-ecological limits presented here.

  14. Assessment of soil sealing management responses, strategies, and targets toward ecologically sustainable urban land use management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artmann, Martina

    2014-05-01

    Soil sealing has negative impacts on ecosystem services since urban green and soil get lost. Although there is political commitment to stop further sealing, no reversal of this trend can be observed in Europe. This paper raises the questions (1) which strategies can be regarded as being efficient toward ecologically sustainable management of urban soil sealing and (2) who has competences and should take responsibility to steer soil sealing? The analyses are conducted in Germany. The assessment of strategies is carried out using indicators as part of a content analysis. Legal-planning, informal-planning, economic-fiscal, co-operative, and informational strategies are analyzed. Results show that there is a sufficient basis of strategies to secure urban ecosystem services by protecting urban green and reducing urban gray where microclimate regulation is a main target. However, soil sealing management lacks a spatial strategically overview as well as the consideration of services provided by fertile soils.

  15. Dryland feedbacks to climatic change: Results from a climate manipulation experiment on the Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, S.; Belnap, J.; Ferrenberg, S.; Wertin, T. M.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Tucker, C.; Rutherford, W. A.

    2015-12-01

    Arid and semiarid ecosystems cover ~40% of Earth's terrestrial surface and make up ~35% of the U.S., yet we know surprisingly little about how climate change will affect these widespread landscapes. Like many dryland regions, the Colorado Plateau in the southwestern U.S. is predicted to experience climate change as elevated temperature and altered timing and amount of annual precipitation. We are using a long-term (>10 yr) factorial warming and supplemental rainfall experiment on the Colorado Plateau to explore how predicted changes in climate will affect vascular plant and biological soil crust community composition, biogeochemical cycling, and energy balance (biocrusts are a surface soil community of moss, lichen, and cyanobacteria that can make up as much as 70% of the living cover in drylands). While some of the responses we have observed were expected, many of the results are surprising. For example, we documented biocrust community composition shifts in response to altered climate that were significantly faster and more dramatic than considered likely for these soil communities that typically change over decadal and centennial timescales. Further, while we continue to observe important climate change effects on carbon cycling - including reduced net photosynthesis in vascular plants, increased CO2 losses from biocrust soils during some seasons, and changes to the interactions between water and carbon cycles - we have also found marked treatment effects on the albedo and spectral signatures of dryland soils. In addition to demonstrating the effects of these treatments, the strong relationships we observed in our experiments between biota and climate provide a quantitative framework for improving our representation of dryland responses to climate change. In this talk we will cover a range of datasets that, taken together, show: (1) large climate-driven changes to dryland biogeochemical cycling may be the result of both effects on existing communities, as well

  16. Soil use in gardens as chance to socially promote the Sustainable Development Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teuber, Sandra; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Gardening is a form for citizens to use the ecosystem functions of soils, while simultaneously contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 11, 12 and 15 of the UN. In 2016, 8.4 million people in Germany gardened several times a week and 14.2 million people worked in their garden several times a month*. Furthermore, the "Bundesverband Deutscher Gartenfreunde e.V.", an allotment gardening association, has 947.137 members that use an area of 460 km2 for gardening**. This shows that gardening is a frequent pastime for many people and thus can help achieve the SDG's. Interdisciplinary research in six gardening associations was conducted to investigate soil knowledge and soil use in Southern Germany. Questionnaires and interviews with people that chose gardening as a pastime took place in 2015 and 2016. The respondents were interviewed in the respective garden plot to also observe on-site garden management practices. The combination of sociological and ethnological approaches for investigating the soil scientific research question of soil management practices in leisure gardens is useful to start a public discourse on the importance of soil for society. The evaluation showed that soil use in gardens could contribute to the SDG's 11, 12 and 15. Goal 11 is to make cities resilient and sustainable. Soil use in form of gardening is a bottom-up approach that conserves knowledge on small-scale food production. This is important for the resilience of cities in times of crises, as has been the case during the Great Depression or the World Wars. It is closely connected to Goal 12, the sustainable consumption and production patterns. If gardening activities are sustainable in the use of fertilizers, small-scale sustainability and a resilient soil use that also protects the soil and ground water can be achieved. However, this necessitates cooperation between scientists, gardening societies and the individual gardeners on equal terms. Gardening also affects the

  17. The Impact of the Quality of Coal Mine Stockpile Soils on Sustainable Vegetation Growth and Productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicky M Mushia

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Stockpiled soils are excavated from the ground during mining activities, and piled on the surface of the soil for rehabilitation purposes. These soils are often characterized by low organic matter (SOM content, low fertility, and poor physical, chemical, and biological properties, limiting their capability for sustainable vegetation growth. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of stockpile soils of differing depth and quality on vegetation growth and productivity. Soils were collected at three different depths (surface, mid, and deep as well as mixed (equal proportion of surface, mid and deep from two stockpiles (named Stockpile 1: aged 10 and Stockpile 2: 20 years at the coal mine near Witbank in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. Soils were amended with different organic and inorganic fertilizer. A 2 × 4 × 5 factorial experiment in a completely randomized blocked design with four replications was established under greenhouse conditions. A grass species (Digiteria eriantha was planted in the pots with unamended and amended soils under greenhouse conditions at 26–28 °C during the day and 16.5–18.5 °C at night. Mean values of plant height, plant cover, total fresh biomass (roots, stems and leaves, and total dry biomass were found to be higher in Stockpile 1 than in Stockpile 2 soils. Plants grown on soils with no amendments had lower mean values for major plant parameters studied. Soil amended with poultry manure and lime was found to have higher growth rate compared with soils with other soil amendments. Mixed soils had better vegetation growth than soil from other depths. Stockpiled soils in the study area cannot support vegetation growth without being amended, as evidenced by low grass growth and productivity in this study.

  18. Beyond desertification: New paradigms for dryland landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    The dryland desertification paradigm focuses on losses of ecosystem services accompanying transitions from grasslands to systems dominated by bare ground or woody plants unpalatable for domestic livestock. However, recent studies reveal complex transitions across a range of environmental conditions ...

  19. Sustainable management of coastal saline soils in the Saloum river ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    between landscape position and soil salinity illustrated by a two-dimensional salt distribution pattern: ... 2011). Salt accumulation in shallow groundwater systems has been observed in a range of wetland environments, including the swamps of the. Okavango Delta, Botswana ...... mulching benefits the conservation of water,.

  20. Dryland Agriculture: Dynamics, Challenges and Priorities

    OpenAIRE

    Bantilan, MCS; Anand Babu, P; Anupama, GV; Deepthi, H; Padmaja, R

    2006-01-01

    The developments in the dryland region reflect the pervasiveness of poverty, which is demonstrated by the growing constraints of water, land degradation, continuing concerns about malnutrition, migration due to frequent droughts, lack of infrastructure, poor dissemination of improved technologies, and effects of government policies and further economic liberalization on the competitiveness of dryland crops. This research bulletin reviews past trends, summarizes the major constraints to income...

  1. The extent of forest in dryland biomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean-Francois Bastin; Nora Berrahmouni; Alan Grainger; Danae Maniatis; Danilo Mollicone; Rebecca Moore; Chiara Patriarca; Nicolas Picard; Ben Sparrow; Elena Maria Abraham; Kamel Aloui; Ayhan Atesoglu; Fabio Attore; Caglar Bassullu; Adia Bey; Monica Garzuglia; Luis G. GarcÌa-Montero; Nikee Groot; Greg Guerin; Lars Laestadius; Andrew J. Lowe; Bako Mamane; Giulio Marchi; Paul Patterson; Marcelo Rezende; Stefano Ricci; Ignacio Salcedo; Alfonso Sanchez-Paus Diaz; Fred Stolle; Venera Surappaeva; Rene Castro

    2017-01-01

    Dryland biomes cover two-fifths of Earth’s land surface, but their forest area is poorly known. Here, we report an estimate of global forest extent in dryland biomes, based on analyzing more than 210,000 0.5-hectare sample plots through a photo-interpretation approach using large databases of satellite imagery at (i) very high spatial resolution and (ii) very high...

  2. Dryland climate change: Recent progress and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, J.; Li, Y.; Fu, C.; Chen, F.; Fu, Q.; Dai, A.; Shinoda, M.; Ma, Z.; Guo, W.; Li, Z.; Zhang, L.; Liu, Y.; Yu, H.; He, Y.; Xie, Y.; Guan, X.; Ji, M.; Lin, L.; Wang, S.; Yan, H.; Wang, G.

    2017-09-01

    Drylands are home to more than 38% of the world's population and are one of the most sensitive areas to climate change and human activities. This review describes recent progress in dryland climate change research. Recent findings indicate that the long-term trend of the aridity index (AI) is mainly attributable to increased greenhouse gas emissions, while anthropogenic aerosols exert small effects but alter its attributions. Atmosphere-land interactions determine the intensity of regional response. The largest warming during the last 100 years was observed over drylands and accounted for more than half of the continental warming. The global pattern and interdecadal variability of aridity changes are modulated by oceanic oscillations. The different phases of those oceanic oscillations induce significant changes in land-sea and north-south thermal contrasts, which affect the intensity of the westerlies and planetary waves and the blocking frequency, thereby altering global changes in temperature and precipitation. During 1948-2008, the drylands in the Americas became wetter due to enhanced westerlies, whereas the drylands in the Eastern Hemisphere became drier because of the weakened East Asian summer monsoon. Drylands as defined by the AI have expanded over the last 60 years and are projected to expand in the 21st century. The largest expansion of drylands has occurred in semiarid regions since the early 1960s. Dryland expansion will lead to reduced carbon sequestration and enhanced regional warming. The increasing aridity, enhanced warming, and rapidly growing population will exacerbate the risk of land degradation and desertification in the near future in developing countries.

  3. Physiology-based prognostic modeling of the influence of changes in precipitation on a keystone dryland plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coe, Kirsten K; Sparks, Jed P

    2014-12-01

    Fluctuations in mean annual precipitation (MAP) will strongly influence the ecology of dryland ecosystems in the future, yet, because individual precipitation events drive growth and resource availability for many dryland organisms, changes in intra-annual precipitation may disproportionately influence future dryland processes. This work examines the hypothesis that intra-annual precipitation changes will drive dryland productivity to a greater extent than changes to MAP. To test this hypothesis, we created a physiology-based model to predict the effects of precipitation change on a widespread biocrust moss that regulates soil structure, water retention, and nutrient cycling in drylands. First, we used the model to examine moss productivity over the next 100 years driven by alterations in MAP by ± 10, 20 and 30%, and changes in intra-annual precipitation (event size and frequency). Productivity increased as a function of MAP, but differed among simulations where intra-annual precipitation was manipulated under constant MAP. Supporting our hypothesis, this demonstrates that, even if MAP does not change, changes in the features of individual precipitation events can strongly influence long-term performance. Second, we used the model to examine 100-year productivity based on projected dryland precipitation from published global and regional models. These simulations predicted 25-63% reductions in productivity and increased moss mortality rates, declines that will likely alter water and nutrient cycling in dryland ecosystems. Intra-annual precipitation in model-based simulations was a stronger predictor of productivity compared to MAP, further supporting our hypothesis, and illustrating that intra-annual precipitation patterns may dominate dryland responses to altered precipitation in a future climate.

  4. Soil ecology and agricultural technology; An integrated approach towards improved soil management for sustainable farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulleman, Mirjam; Pérès, Guénola; Crittenden, Stephen; Heddadj, Djilali; Sukkel, Wijnand

    2014-05-01

    Intensive arable food production systems are in need of smart solutions that combine ecological knowledge and farm technology to maximize yields while protecting natural resources. The huge diversity of soil organisms and their interactions is of crucial importance for soil functions and ecosystem services, such as organic matter incorporation and break down, nutrient mineralization, soil structure formation, water regulation and disease and pest control. Soil management decisions that take into account the soil biodiversity and associated functions are thus essential to (i) maintain soil productivity in the long term, (ii) reduce the dependency on external inputs and non-renewables such as fossil fuels, and (iii) make agroecosystems more resilient against biotic and abiotic stresses. Organic farming systems and reduced tillage systems are two approaches that aim to increase soil biodiversity and general soil quality, through improved management of organic matter but differ in their emphasis on the use of chemical inputs for crop protection or soil disturbance, respectively. In North-western Europe experience with and knowledge of reduced tillage systems is still scarce, both in conventional and organic farming. Our study targeted both conventional and organic farming and aimed at 1) documenting reduced tillage practices within different agroecological contexts in NW Europe; 2) evaluating the effects of reduced tillage systems on soil biodiversity and soil ecosystem services; 3) increase understanding of agroecological factors that determine trade-offs between different ecosystem services. Earthworm species and nematode taxa were selected as indicator organisms to be studied for their known response to soil management and effects on soil functions. Additionally, soil organic matter, physical soil parameters and processes, and crop yields have been measured across multiple sites. Data have been collected over several cropping seasons in long term field experiments

  5. A New Dryland Development Paradigm Grounded in Empirical Analysis of Dryland Systems Science

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stringer, Lindsay C.; Reed, Mark S.; Fleskens, Luuk; Thomas, Richard J.; Le, Quang Bao; Lala-Pritchard, Tana

    2017-01-01

    Global drylands face a host of urgent human and environmental challenges with far-reaching impacts. Improving smallholder agriculture remains a key development pathway to tackle these challenges. The dryland development paradigm (DDP), introduced in 2007, presented a highly influential framework

  6. Multi-element accumulation near Rumex crispus roots under wetland and dryland conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kissoon, La Toya T., E-mail: latoya.kissoon@ndsu.ed [Wet Ecosystem Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, NDSU Department 2715, P.O. Box 6050 Fargo, ND 58108-6050 (United States); Jacob, Donna L.; Otte, Marinus L. [Wet Ecosystem Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, NDSU Department 2715, P.O. Box 6050 Fargo, ND 58108-6050 (United States)

    2010-05-15

    Rumex crispus was grown under wet and dry conditions in two-chamber columns such that the roots were confined to one chamber by a 21 mum nylon mesh, thus creating a soil-root interface ('rhizoplane'). Element concentrations at 3 mm intervals below the 'rhizoplane' were measured. The hypothesis was that metals accumulate near plant roots more under wetland than dryland conditions. Patterns in element distribution were different between the treatments. Under dryland conditions Al, Ba, Cu, Cr, Fe, K, La, Mg, Na, Sr, V, Y and Zn accumulated in soil closest to the roots, above the 'rhizoplane' only. Under wetland conditions Al, Fe, Cr, K, V and Zn accumulated above as well as 3 mm below the 'rhizoplane' whereas La, Sr and Y accumulated 3 mm below the 'rhizoplane' only. Plants on average produced 1.5 times more biomass and element uptake was 2.5 times greater under wetland compared to dryland conditions. - Patterns of element accumulation near the roots of plants differ between dryland and wetland conditions.

  7. Local soil fertility management on small-scale farming systems for sustainable agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namriah, Kilowasid, Laode Muhammad Harjoni

    2015-09-01

    The sustainability of small-scale farming systems on marginal lands is still being a topic of debate in scientific and institutional communities. To address this, a study was conducted to find a method of sustaining the productivity of marginal lands for food crop production. Agricultural practices (fallow and traditional cultivation) used by the local small-scale farmers in managing soil fertility to meet the natural biological processes above and below the ground were studied in Muna Island Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Participatory approach was used to gather data and information on soil and land as well as to collect soil macrofauna. The results showed that the practices of local small-scale farmers are based on local soil and land suitability. Organic materials are the source of nutrient inputs to sustain the productivity of their lands by fallowing, burning natural vegetation, putting back the crop residues, doing minimum tillage and mix- and inter-crops. In conclusion, the sustainability of local small-scale farming systems will be established by knowing and understanding local soil and land classification systems and preferred crops being planted. Following the nature of fallow and monitoring soil macrofauna diversity and abundance, all preferred crops should be planted during rainy season with different time of harvest until the next rainy season. Therefore, soils are still covered with crops during dry season. It was suggested that planting time should be done in the rainy season. Doing more researches in other locations with different socio-cultural, economical, and ecological conditions is suggested to validate and refine the method.

  8. A new approach of mapping soils in the Alps - Challenges of deriving soil information and creating soil maps for sustainable land use. An example from South Tyrol (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baruck, Jasmin; Gruber, Fabian E.; Geitner, Clemens

    2015-04-01

    Nowadays sustainable land use management is gaining importance because intensive land use leads to increasing soil degradation. Especially in mountainous regions like the Alps sustainable land use management is important, as topography limits land use. Therefore, a database containing detailed information of soil characteristics is required. However, information of soil properties is far from being comprehensive. The project "ReBo - Terrain classification based on airborne laser scanning data to support soil mapping in the Alps", founded by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, aims at developing a methodical framework of how to obtain soil data. The approach combines geomorphometric analysis and soil mapping to generate modern soil maps at medium-scale in a time and cost efficient way. In this study the open source GRASS GIS extension module r.geomorphon (Jasciewicz and Stepinski, 2013) is used to derive topographically homogeneous landform units out of high resolution DTMs on scale 1:5.000. Furthermore, for terrain segmentation and classification we additionally use medium-scale data sets (geology, parent material, land use etc.). As the Alps are characterized by a great variety of topography, parent material, wide range of moisture regimes etc. getting reliable soil data is difficult. Additionally, geomorphic activity (debris flow, landslide etc.) leads to natural disturbances. Thus, soil properties are highly diverse and largely scale dependent. Furthermore, getting soil information of anthropogenically influenced soils is an added challenge. Due to intensive cultivation techniques the natural link between the soil forming factors is often repealed. In South Tyrol we find the largest pome producing area in Europe. Normally, the annual precipitation is not enough for intensive orcharding. Thus, irrigation strategies are in use. However, as knowledge about the small scaled heterogeneous soil properties is mostly lacking, overwatering and modifications of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Expansion of World Drylands Under Global Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, S.; Fu, Q.; Hu, Q. S.

    2012-12-01

    The world drylands including both semi-arid and arid regions comprise of one-third of the global land surfaces, which support 14% of the world's inhabitants and a significant share of the world agriculture. Because of meager annual precipitation and large potential evaporative water loss, the ecosystems over drylands are fragile and sensitive to the global change. By analyzing the observations during 1948-2008 and 20 fully coupled climate model simulations from CMIP5 for the period 1900-2100, this study evaluated the changes of the world drylands that are defined with a modified form of the Thornthwaite's moisture index. The results based on observational data showed that the world drylands are steadily expanding during the past 60 years. The areas occupied by drylands in 1994-2008 is about 2.0×10^6km^2 (or 4%) larger than the average during the 1950s. Such an expansion is also a robust feature in the simulations of the 20 global climate models, though the rate is much smaller in the models. A stronger expanding rate is projected during the first half of this century than the simulations in the last century, followed by accelerating expansion after 2050s under the high greenhouse gas emission scenario (RCP8.5). By the end of this century, the world drylands are projected to be over 58×10^6km^2 (or 11% increase compared to the 1961-1990 climatology). The projected expansion of drylands, however, is not homogeneous over the world drylands, with major expansion of arid regions over the southwest North America, the northern fringe of Africa, southern Africa and Australia. Major expansions of semi-arid regions are projected over the north side of the Mediterranean, southern Africa, North and South America. The global warming is the main factor causing the increase of potential evapotranspiration estimated by Penman-Monteith algorithm, which in turn dominants the expansion of drylands. The widening of Hadley cell, which has impact on both temperature and precipitation

  11. 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

    correspond with low soil organic carbon and cation exchange capacity and high content of sand. These areas are considered as management zones to improve crop productivity and soil properties responsible for soil quality and functions. We conclude that soil organic carbon, cation exchange capacity and pH should be included as indicators of soil quality in sandy soils. The study was funded by HORIZON 2020, European Commission, Programme H2020-SFS-2015-2: Soil Care for profitable and sustainable crop production in Europe, project No. 677407 (SoilCare, 2016-2021).

  12. A soil-specific agro-ecological strategy for sustainable production in Argentina farm fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Martin; Barbera, Agustin; Castro-Franco, Mauricio; Hansson, Alejandro; Domenech, Marisa

    2017-04-01

    The continuous increment of frequencies and doses of pesticides, glyphosate and fertilizers, the deterioration of the structure, biotic balance and fertility of soils and the ground water pollution are characteristics of the current Argentinian agricultural model. In this context, agro-ecological innovations are needed to develop a real sustainable agriculture, enhancing the food supply. Precision agriculture technologies can strengthen the expansion of agro-ecological farming in experimental farm fields. The aim of this study was to propose a soil-specific agro-ecological strategy for sustainable production at field scale focused on the use of soil sensors and digital soil mapping techniques. This strategy has been developed in 15 hectares transition agro-ecological farm field, located at Barrow Experimental Station (Lat:-38.322844, Lon:-60.25572) Argentina. The strategy included five steps: (i) to measure apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) and elevation within agro-ecological farm field; (ii) to apply a clustering method using MULTISPATI-PCA algorithm to delimitate three soil-specific zones (Z1, Z2 and Z3); (iii) to determine three soil sampling points by zone, using conditioned Latin hypercube method, in addition to elevation and ECa as auxiliary information; (iv) to collect soil samples at 2-10 cm depth in each point and to determine in laboratory: total organic carbon content (TOC), cation-exchange capacity (CEC), pH and phosphorus availability (P-Bray). In addition, soil bulk density (SBD) was measured at 0-20 cm depth. Finally, (v) according to each soil-specific zone, a management strategy was recommended. Important differences in soil properties among zones could suggest that the strategy developed was able to apply an agro ecological soil-specific practice management. pH and P-Bray were significantly (pinvolves a continuous nutrient cycling. During the first two years, P-Bray levels will be adjusted among zones, by using different external phosphorous

  13. A multiple soil ecosystem services approach to evaluate the sustainability of reduced tillage systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérès, Guénola; Menasseri, Safya; Hallaire, Vincent; Cluzeau, Daniel; Heddadj, Djilali; Cotinet, Patrice; Manceau, Olivier; Pulleman, Mirjam

    2017-04-01

    In the current context of soil degradation, reduced tillage systems (including reduced soil disturbance, use of cover crops and crop rotation, and improved organic matter management) are expected to be good alternatives to conventional system which have led to a decrease of soil multi-functionality. Many studies worldwide have analysed the impact of tillage systems on different soil functions, but overran integrated view of the impact of these systems is still lacking. The SUSTAIN project (European SNOWMAN programme), performed in France and the Netherlands, proposes an interdisciplinary collaboration. The goals of SUSTAIN are to assess the multi-functionality of soil and to study how reduced-tillage systems impact on multiple ecosystem services such as soil biodiversity regulation (earthworms, nematodes, microorganisms), soil structure maintenance (aggregate stability, compaction, soil erosion), water regulation (run-off, transfer of pesticides) and food production. Moreover, a socio-economic study on farmer networks has been carried out to identify the drivers of adoption of reduced-tillage systems. Data have been collected in long-term experimental fields (5 - 13 years), representing conventional and organic farming strategies, and were complemented with data from farmer networks. The impact of different reduced tillage systems (direct seeding, minimum tillage, non-inverse tillage, superficial ploughing) were analysed and compared to conventional ploughing. Measurements (biological, chemical, physical, agronomical, water and element transfer) have been done at several dates which allow an overview of the evolution of the soil properties according to climate variation and crop rotation. A sociological approach was performed on several farms covering different production types, different courses (engagement in reduced tillage systems) and different geographical locations. Focusing on French trials, this multiple ecosystem services approach clearly showed that

  14. Soil biota enhance agricultural sustainability by improving crop yield, nutrient uptake and reducing nitrogen leaching losses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bender, S.F.; van der Heijden, M.G.A.

    2015-01-01

    Efficient resource use is a key factor for sustainable production and a necessity for meeting future global food demands. However, the factors that control resource use efficiency in agro-ecosystems are only partly understood. We investigated the influence of soil biota on nutrient leaching,

  15. Sustainability likelihood of remediation options for metal-contaminated soil/sediment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Season S; Taylor, Jessica S; Baek, Kitae; Khan, Eakalak; Tsang, Daniel C W; Ok, Yong Sik

    2017-05-01

    Multi-criteria analysis and detailed impact analysis were carried out to assess the sustainability of four remedial alternatives for metal-contaminated soil/sediment at former timber treatment sites and harbour sediment with different scales. The sustainability was evaluated in the aspects of human health and safety, environment, stakeholder concern, and land use, under four different scenarios with varying weighting factors. The Monte Carlo simulation was performed to reveal the likelihood of accomplishing sustainable remediation with different treatment options at different sites. The results showed that in-situ remedial technologies were more sustainable than ex-situ ones, where in-situ containment demonstrated both the most sustainable result and the highest probability to achieve sustainability amongst the four remedial alternatives in this study, reflecting the lesser extent of off-site and on-site impacts. Concerns associated with ex-situ options were adverse impacts tied to all four aspects and caused by excavation, extraction, and off-site disposal. The results of this study suggested the importance of considering the uncertainties resulting from the remedial options (i.e., stochastic analysis) in addition to the overall sustainability scores (i.e., deterministic analysis). The developed framework and model simulation could serve as an assessment for the sustainability likelihood of remedial options to ensure sustainable remediation of contaminated sites. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program Advanced Seismic Soil Structure Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolisetti, Chandrakanth [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Coleman, Justin Leigh [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2015-06-01

    Risk calculations should focus on providing best estimate results, and associated insights, for evaluation and decision-making. Specifically, seismic probabilistic risk assessments (SPRAs) are intended to provide best estimates of the various combinations of structural and equipment failures that can lead to a seismic induced core damage event. However, in some instances the current SPRA approach has large uncertainties, and potentially masks other important events (for instance, it was not the seismic motions that caused the Fukushima core melt events, but the tsunami ingress into the facility). SPRA’s are performed by convolving the seismic hazard (this is the estimate of all likely damaging earthquakes at the site of interest) with the seismic fragility (the conditional probability of failure of a structure, system, or component given the occurrence of earthquake ground motion). In this calculation, there are three main pieces to seismic risk quantification, 1) seismic hazard and nuclear power plants (NPPs) response to the hazard, 2) fragility or capacity of structures, systems and components (SSC), and 3) systems analysis. Two areas where NLSSI effects may be important in SPRA calculations are, 1) when calculating in-structure response at the area of interest, and 2) calculation of seismic fragilities (current fragility calculations assume a lognormal distribution for probability of failure of components). Some important effects when using NLSSI in the SPRA calculation process include, 1) gapping and sliding, 2) inclined seismic waves coupled with gapping and sliding of foundations atop soil, 3) inclined seismic waves coupled with gapping and sliding of deeply embedded structures, 4) soil dilatancy, 5) soil liquefaction, 6) surface waves, 7) buoyancy, 8) concrete cracking and 9) seismic isolation The focus of the research task presented here-in is on implementation of NLSSI into the SPRA calculation process when calculating in-structure response at the area

  17. Plastic Fibre Reinforced Soil Blocks as a Sustainable Building Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, C. K. Subramania; Nambiar, E. K. Kunhanandan; Abraham, Benny Mathews

    2012-10-01

    Solid waste management, especially the huge quantity of waste plastics, is one of the major environmental concerns nowadays. Their employability in block making in the form of fibres, as one of the methods of waste management, can be investigated through a fundamental research. This paper highlights the salient observations from a systematic investigation on the effect of embedded fibre from plastic waste on the performance of stabilised mud blocks. Stabilisation of the soil was done by adding cement, lime and their combination. Plastic fibre in chopped form from carry bags and mineral water bottles were added (0.1% & 0.2% by weight of soil) as reinforcement. The blocks were tested for density, and compressive strength, and observed failure patterns were analysed. Blocks with 0.1% of plastic fibres showed an increase in strength of about 3 to 10%. From the observations of failure pattern it can be concluded that benefits of fibre reinforcement includes both improved ductility in comparison with raw blocks and inhibition of crack propogation after its initial formation.

  18. Dynamic Hydrological Modeling in Drylands with TRMM Based Rainfall

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Tarnavsky

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces and evaluates DryMOD, a dynamic water balance model of the key hydrological process in drylands that is based on free, public-domain datasets. The rainfall model of DryMOD makes optimal use of spatially disaggregated Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM datasets to simulate hourly rainfall intensities at a spatial resolution of 1-km. Regional-scale applications of the model in seasonal catchments in Tunisia and Senegal characterize runoff and soil moisture distribution and dynamics in response to varying rainfall data inputs and soil properties. The results highlight the need for hourly-based rainfall simulation and for correcting TRMM 3B42 rainfall intensities for the fractional cover of rainfall (FCR. Without FCR correction and disaggregation to 1 km, TRMM 3B42 based rainfall intensities are too low to generate surface runoff and to induce substantial changes to soil moisture storage. The outcomes from the sensitivity analysis show that topsoil porosity is the most important soil property for simulation of runoff and soil moisture. Thus, we demonstrate the benefit of hydrological investigations at a scale, for which reliable information on soil profile characteristics exists and which is sufficiently fine to account for the heterogeneities of these. Where such information is available, application of DryMOD can assist in the spatial and temporal planning of water harvesting according to runoff-generating areas and the runoff ratio, as well as in the optimization of agricultural activities based on realistic representation of soil moisture conditions.

  19. Farmers' Perception of Integrated Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of Rural Areas in Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farouque, Md. Golam; Takeya, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to determine farmers' perception of integrated soil fertility and nutrient management for sustainable crop production. Integrated soil fertility (ISF) and nutrient management (NM) is an advanced approach to maintain soil fertility and to enhance crop productivity. A total number of 120 farmers from eight villages in four districts…

  20. NUTRIENT BALANCE IN WATER HARVESTING SOILS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Díaz, F

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Dryland farming on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote (Canary Islands, Spain, which has an annual rainfall of less than 150 mm/year, has been based traditionally on water harvesting techniques (known locally as “gavias”. Periods of high productivity alternate with those of very low yield. The systems are sustainable in that they reduce erosive processes, contribute to soil and soil-water conservation and are largely responsible for maintaining the soil’s farming potential. In this paper we present the chemical fertility status and nutrient balance of soils in five “gavia” systems. The results are compared with those obtained in adjacent soils where this water harvesting technique is not used. The main crops are wheat, barley, maize, lentils and chick-peas. Since neither organic nor inorganic fertilisers are used, nutrients are derived mainly from sediments carried by runoff water. Nutrients are lost mainly through crop harvesting and harvest residues. The soils where water harvesting is used have lower salt and sodium in the exchange complex, are higher in carbon, nitrogen, copper and zinc and have similar phosphorous and potassium content. It is concluded that the systems improve the soil’s natural fertility and also that natural renovation of nutrients occurs thanks to the surface deposits of sediments, which mix with the arable layer. The system helps ensure adequate fertility levels, habitual in arid regions, thus allowing dryland farming to be carried out.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K. Z.; Musimba, N. K. R.; Nyariki, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80 % of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  3. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K Z; Musimba, N K R; Nyariki, D M

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80% of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  4. Can nitrogen fertilization aid restoration of mature tree productivity in degraded dryland riverine ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Douglas C.; Adair, Elizabeth Carol; Nelson, Sigfrid Mark; Binkley, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Restoration of riparian forest productivity lost as a consequence of flow regulation is a common management goal in dryland riverine ecosystems. In the northern hemisphere, dryland river floodplain trees often include one or another species of Populus, which are fast-growing, nutrient-demanding trees. Because the trees are phreatophytic in drylands, and have water needs met in whole or in part by a shallow water table, their productivity may be limited by nitrogen (N) availability, which commonly limits primary productivity in mesic environments. We added 20 g N m−2 in a 2-m radius around the base of mature Populus fremontii along each of a regulated and free-flowing river in semiarid northwest Colorado, USA (total n = 42) in order to test whether growth is constrained by low soil N. Twelve years after fertilization, we collected increment cores from these and matched unfertilized trees and compared radial growth ratios (growth in the 3-year post-fertilization period/growth in the 3-year pre-fertilization period) in paired t tests. We expected a higher mean ratio in the fertilized trees. No effect from fertilization was detected, nor was a trend evident on either river. An alternative test using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) produced a similar result. Our results underscore the need for additional assessment of which and to what extent factors other than water control dryland riverine productivity. Positive confirmation of adequate soil nutrients at these and other dryland riparian sites would bolster the argument that flow management is necessary and sufficient to maximize productivity and enhance resilience in affected desert riverine forests.

  5. Facing policy challenges with inter- and transdisciplinary soil research focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouma, Johan; Montanarella, Luca

    2016-04-01

    Our current information society, populated by increasingly well-informed and critical stakeholders, presents a challenge to both the policy and science arenas. The introduction of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offers a unique and welcome opportunity to direct joint activities towards these goals. Soil science, even though it is not mentioned as such, plays an important role in realizing a number of SDGs focusing on food, water, climate, health, biodiversity, and sustainable land use. A plea is made for a systems approach to land use studies, to be initiated by soil scientists, in which these land-related SDGs are considered in an integrated manner. To connect with policy makers and stakeholders, two approaches are functional. The first of these is the policy cycle when planning and executing research, which includes signaling, design, decision making, implementation, and evaluation. Many current research projects spend little time on signaling, which may lead to disengagement of stakeholders. Also, implementation is often seen as the responsibility of others, while it is crucial to demonstrate - if successful - the relevance of soil science. The second approach is the DPSIR approach when following the policy cycle in land-related research, distinguishing external drivers, pressures, impact, and responses to land use change that affect the state of the land in the past, present, and future. Soil science cannot by itself realize SDGs, and interdisciplinary studies on ecosystem services (ESs) provide an appropriate channel to define contributions of soil science in terms of the seven soil functions. ESs, in turn, can contribute to addressing the six SDGs (2, 3, 6, 12, 13, and 15) with an environmental, land-related character. SDGs have a societal focus and future soil science research can only be successful if stakeholders are part of the research effort in transdisciplinary projects, based on the principle of time-consuming "joint learning". The

  6. Sustainable stabilization of sulfate-bearing soils with expansive soil-rubber technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-01

    The beneficial use of scrap tire rubber mixed with expansive soils is of interest to civil engineering : applications since the swell percent and the swell pressure can be potentially reduced with no deleterious : effect to the shear strength of the ...

  7. LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SUPPLIES OF BIOENERGY FEEDSTOCK AND ENHANCED SOIL QUALITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Douglas L. Karlen; David J. Muth, Jr.

    2012-09-01

    Agriculture can simultaneously address global food, feed, fiber, and energy challenges provided our soil, water, and air resources are not compromised in doing so. As we embark on the 19th Triennial Conference of the International Soil and Tillage Research Organization (ISTRO), I am pleased to proclaim that our members are well poised to lead these endeavors because of our comprehensive understanding of soil, water, agricultural and bio-systems engineering processes. The concept of landscape management, as an approach for integrating multiple bioenergy feedstock sources, including biomass residuals, into current crop production systems, is used as the focal point to show how these ever-increasing global challenges can be met in a sustainable manner. Starting with the 2005 Billion Ton Study (BTS) goals, research and technology transfer activities leading to the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Revised Billion Ton Study (BT2) and development of a residue management tool to guide sustainable crop residue harvest will be reviewed. Multi-location USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP) team research and on-going partnerships between public and private sector groups will be shared to show the development of landscape management strategies that can simultaneously address the multiple factors that must be balanced to meet the global challenges. Effective landscape management strategies recognize the importance of nature’s diversity and strive to emulate those conditions to sustain multiple critical ecosystem services. To illustrate those services, the soil quality impact of harvesting crop residues are presented to show how careful, comprehensive monitoring of soil, water and air resources must be an integral part of sustainable bioenergy feedstock production systems. Preliminary analyses suggest that to sustain soil resources within the U.S. Corn Belt, corn (Zea mays L.) stover should not be harvested if average grain

  8. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, Jennifer PC; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N

    2010-01-01

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration. PMID:21173868

  9. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, Jennifer Pc; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N; Elich, Tedd

    2010-09-08

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration.

  10. Dryland degradation: Measurement and effects on ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noojipady, P.; Prince, S. D.; Rishmawi, K.

    2012-12-01

    Production (NPP) which, in turn, is used as a surrogate for land condition. The land surface is classified into homogeneous land capability units based on the physical environment and the maximum NPP found in the unit is used as the best estimator of the potential NPP. Other parts of the unit are scaled relative to the maximum. This technique, known as Local NPP Scaling (LNS), has been applied in southern Africa, the Sahel , and in various stages of completion in SW USA, Negev and Queensland. The effects of the degradation on surface fluxes of water, energy and carbon dioxide have been assessed in the Sahel. The provisional conclusions are that there are, indeed areas of drylands that are performing below expectation from their physical environment and that limited parts of these areas have entered into a long-term, maybe permanent degraded state. Furthermore, a key factor is the loss of soil moisture.

  11. Realities, Perceptions, Challenges and Aspirations of Rural Youth in Dryland Agriculture in the Midelt Province, Morocco

    OpenAIRE

    Alessandra Giuliani; Sebastian Mengel; Courtney Paisley; Nicole Perkins; Ingrid Flink; Oliver Oliveros; Mariana Wongtschowski

    2017-01-01

    Active involvement of youth in agriculture is necessary for sustainable agricultural systems but is currently a challenge in many areas. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative participatory research methods, this study analyses rural youth’s realities, perspectives and aspirations in dryland Agricultural Livelihood Systems (ALSs) in the Midelt Province, Morocco, with a particular focus on gender. The data collected are an important first step in understanding the target group and...

  12. Climate Change and Dryland Wheat Systems in the US Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockle, C.; Karimi, T.; Huggins, D. R.; Nelson, R.

    2015-12-01

    A regional assessment of historical and future yields, and components of the water, nitrogen, and carbon soil balance of dryland wheat-based cropping systems in the US Pacific Northwest is being conducted (Regional Approaches to Climate Change project funded by USDA-NIFA). All these elements intertwines and are important to understand the future of these systems in the region. A computer simulation methodology was used based on the CropSyst model and historic and projected daily weather data downscaled to a 4x4 km grid including 14 general circulation models (GCMs) and two representative concentration pathways of future atmospheric CO2 (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). The study region was divided in 3 agro-ecological zones (AEZ) based on precipitation amount: low (460 mm/year), with a change from crop-fallow, to transition fallow (crop-crop-fallow) to annual cropping, respectively. Typical wheat-based rotations included winter wheat (WW)-Summer fallow (SF) for the low AEZ, WW-spring wheat (SW)-SF for the intermediate AEZ, and WW-SW-spring peas for the high AEZ, all under conventional and no tillage management. Alternative systems incorporating canola were also evaluated. Results suggest that, in most cases, these dryland systems may fare well in the future (31-year periods centered around 2030, 2050, and 2070), with potential gains in productivity. Also, a trend towards increased fallow in the intermediate AEZ appears possible for higher productivity, and the inclusion of less water demanding crops may help sustain cropping intensity. Uncertainties in these projections arise from large discrepancies among climate models regarding the warming rate, compounded by different possible future CO2 emission scenarios, the degree of change in frequency and severity of extreme events and associated potential damages to crop canopies due to cold weather and grain set reduction due to extreme heat events. Furthermore, there is little understanding of the impact of climate change on

  13. Introduction of Microbial Biopolymers in Soil Treatment for Future Environmentally-Friendly and Sustainable Geotechnical Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilhan Chang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil treatment and improvement is commonly performed in the field of geotechnical engineering. Methods and materials to achieve this such as soil stabilization and mixing with cementitious binders have been utilized in engineered soil applications since the beginning of human civilization. Demand for environment-friendly and sustainable alternatives is currently rising. Since cement, the most commonly applied and effective soil treatment material, is responsible for heavy greenhouse gas emissions, alternatives such as geosynthetics, chemical polymers, geopolymers, microbial induction, and biopolymers are being actively studied. This study provides an overall review of the recent applications of biopolymers in geotechnical engineering. Biopolymers are microbially induced polymers that are high-tensile, innocuous, and eco-friendly. Soil–biopolymer interactions and related soil strengthening mechanisms are discussed in the context of recent experimental and microscopic studies. In addition, the economic feasibility of biopolymer implementation in the field is analyzed in comparison to ordinary cement, from environmental perspectives. Findings from this study demonstrate that biopolymers have strong potential to replace cement as a soil treatment material within the context of environment-friendly construction and development. Moreover, continuing research is suggested to ensure performance in terms of practical implementation, reliability, and durability of in situ biopolymer applications for geotechnical engineering purposes.

  14. Soil memory as a potential mechanism for encouraging sustainable plant health and productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapsansky, Erin R; Milroy, Arwen M; Andales, Marie J; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2016-04-01

    The unspecified components of plant-microbe and plant-microbiome associations in the rhizosphere are complex, but recent research is simplifying our understanding of these relationships. We propose that the strong association between hosts, symbionts, and pathogens could be simplified by the concept of soil memory, which explains how a plant could promote their fecundity and protect their offspring through tightly associated relationships with the soil. Although there are many questions surrounding the mechanisms of this phenomenon, recent research has exposed evidence of its existence. Along with evidence from observations and mechanisms related to soil memory, we report means to utilize our understanding as sustainable protection for agricultural crops and propose future research questions. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Consequences of More Intensive Forestry for the Sustainable Management of Forest Soils and Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Ring

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Additions of nutrients, faster growing tree varieties, more intense harvest practices, and a changing climate all have the potential to increase forest production in Sweden, thereby mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration and fossil fuel substitution. However, the effects of management strategies for increased biomass production on soil resources and water quality at landscape scales are inadequately understood. Key knowledge gaps also remain regarding the sustainability of shorter rotation periods and more intensive biomass harvests. This includes effects of fertilization on the long-term weathering and supply of base cations and the consequences of changing mineral availability for future forest production. Furthermore, because soils and surface waters are closely connected, management efforts in the terrestrial landscape will potentially have consequences for water quality and the ecology of streams, rivers, and lakes. Here, we review and discuss some of the most pertinent questions related to how increased forest biomass production in Sweden could affect soils and surface waters, and how contemporary forestry goals can be met while minimizing the loss of other ecosystem services. We suggest that the development of management plans to promote the sustainable use of soil resources and water quality, while maximizing biomass production, will require a holistic ecosystem approach that is placed within a broader landscape perspective.

  16. Evaluation of soil resources for sustained vegetative cover of cut-slopes along I-70 near Straight Creek.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Revegetation of high elevation decomposed granite cut-slopes often requires repeated applications of soil : amendments to attain sustained vegetative cover. Plant transects from slopes west of the Eisenhower Tunnel from : 2007 to 2012 showed that cov...

  17. Improving water use efficiency in drylands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stroosnijder, L.; Moore, D.; Alharbi, A.; Argaman, E.; Elsen, van den H.G.M.

    2012-01-01

    Drylands cover 41% of the global terrestrial area and 2 billion people use it for grazing and cropping. Food security is low owing to institutional and technical constraints. Absolute water scarcity and also the inability of crops to use available water are major technical issues. Significant

  18. Improving evapotranspiration estimates in Mediterranean drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morillas, Laura; Leuning, Ray; Villagarcia, Luis

    2013-01-01

    measurements from eddy covariance systems located in two functionally different sparsely vegetated drylands sites: a littoral Mediterranean semiarid steppe and a dry-subhumid Mediterranean montane site. The method providing the best results in both areas was fdrying (mean absolute error of 0.17 mm day−1) which...

  19. Sustainable soil and water resources: modelling soil erosion and its impact on the environment

    OpenAIRE

    Sander, Graham C.; T. Zheng; Heng, P.; Zhong, Y.; Barry, David Andrew

    2011-01-01

    With the projected increase in world population to 9 billion by 2050, along with per capita income growth, the demand for land and water resources is going to increase significantly. Conversion of land to intensive agriculture has led to dramatic decreases in plant, animal and insect biodiversity, with approximately 40% of the world’s land surface now covered by croplands and pastures. Intensive agricultural practices cause erosion and lead to transport of soil particles and associated sorbed...

  20. Soil nutrient content, soil moisture and yield of Katumani maize in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated soil parameters and their influence on yield. It was carried out at the University of Nairobi's Dryland, Research and Utilisation Station located at Kibwezi. Soil parameters measured included soil organic carbon, total soil nitrogen, available phosphorus, soil moisture and soil texture and nitrogen ...

  1. The BonaRes Centre - A virtual institute for soil research in the context of a sustainable bio-economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollschläger, Ute; Helming, Katharina; Heinrich, Uwe; Bartke, Stephan; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Russell, David; Eberhardt, Einar; Vogel, Hans-Jörg

    2016-04-01

    Fertile soils are central resources for the production of biomass and provision of food and energy. A growing world population and latest climate targets lead to an increasing demand for both, food and bio-energy, which require preserving and improving the long-term productivity of soils as a bio-economic resource. At the same time, other soil functions and ecosystem services need to be maintained. To render soil management sustainable, we need to establish a scientific knowledge base about complex soil system processes that allows for the development of model tools to quantitatively predict the impact of a multitude of management measures on soil functions. This, finally, will allow for the provision of site-specific options for sustainable soil management. To face this challenge, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research recently launched the funding program "Soil as a Natural Resource for the Bio-Economy - BonaRes". In a joint effort, ten collaborative projects and the coordinating BonaRes Centre are engaged to close existing knowledge gaps for a profound and systemic understanding of soil functions and their sensitivity to soil management. This presentation provides an overview of the concept of the BonaRes Centre which is responsible for i) setting up a comprehensive data base for soil-related information, ii) the development of model tools aiming to estimate the impact of different management measures on soil functions, and iii) establishing a web-based portal providing decision support tools for a sustainable soil management. A specific focus of the presentation will be laid on the so-called "knowledge-portal" providing the infrastructure for a community effort towards a comprehensive meta-analysis on soil functions as a basis for future model developments.

  2. Precipitation pulse size and frequency controls on dryland litter decomposition rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurupas, K. L.; Throop, H.

    2014-12-01

    Drylands are an important component of the global carbon (C) cycle, accounting for 40% of the land area and 20% of the soil organic C globally. Litter decomposition is a key biogeochemical process, controlling C and nutrient cycling. While simple decomposition models successfully predict decomposition rates in many systems based on climate variables, there is a disconnect between the modeled and measured rates decomposition in drylands. This disconnect may stem from abiotic factors of importance in drylands, such as photodegradation and soil-litter mixing, not being taken into account. Soil-litter mixing can accelerate decomposition, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Potential mechanisms include microclimate buffering, physical abrasion, and enhanced microbial colonization. Recent work suggests that litter decomposition is remarkably insensitive to climate variables, at least when variables are presented as long temporal-scale values (e.g., annual precipitation). We hypothesized that decomposition would be more strongly affected by litter moisture content than total precipitation (PPT) alone. Thus, frequent, small PPT pulses would accelerate decomposition more than larger, but infrequent pulses. Furthermore, soil-litter mixing would enhance decomposition by buffering litter moisture content. To test the combined influence of soil-litter mixing and PPT pulses on decomposition, we incubated litter and soil in a semi-controlled greenhouse which simulated dryland summer temperatures. Two litter types (grass and shrub) were incubated under two levels of soil-litter mixing (no mixing and complete soil-litter mixing) and with 16 different PPT treatments (a factorial combination of four PPT pulses sizes and four PPT frequencies). We measured instantaneous CO2 flux throughout the 30 day incubation and mass loss at the end of the incubation. Shrub litter decomposed faster than grass litter. Flux rates generally peaked at day 8 and declined thereafter. CO2

  3. Assessing the influence of sustainable trail design and maintenance on soil loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marion, Jeff; Wimpey, Jeremy

    2017-01-01

    Natural-surfaced trail systems are an important infrastructure component providing a means for accessing remote protected natural area destinations. The condition and usability of trails is a critical concern of land managers charged with providing recreational access while preserving natural conditions, and to visitors seeking high quality recreational opportunities and experiences. While an adequate number of trail management publications provide prescriptive guidance for designing, constructing, and maintaining natural-surfaced trails, surprisingly little research has been directed at providing a scientific basis for this guidance. Results from a review of the literature and three scientific studies are presented to model and clarify the influence of factors that substantially influence trail soil loss and that can be manipulated by trail professionals to sustain high traffic while minimizing soil loss over time. Key factors include trail grade, slope alignment angle, tread drainage features, and the amount of rock in tread substrates. A new Trail Sustainability Rating is developed and offered as a tool for evaluating or improving the sustainability of existing or new trails.

  4. Assessing the influence of sustainable trail design and maintenance on soil loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marion, Jeffrey L; Wimpey, Jeremy

    2017-03-15

    Natural-surfaced trail systems are an important infrastructure component providing a means for accessing remote protected natural area destinations. The condition and usability of trails is a critical concern of land managers charged with providing recreational access while preserving natural conditions, and to visitors seeking high quality recreational opportunities and experiences. While an adequate number of trail management publications provide prescriptive guidance for designing, constructing, and maintaining natural-surfaced trails, surprisingly little research has been directed at providing a scientific basis for this guidance. Results from a review of the literature and three scientific studies are presented to model and clarify the influence of factors that substantially influence trail soil loss and that can be manipulated by trail professionals to sustain high traffic while minimizing soil loss over time. Key factors include trail grade, slope alignment angle, tread drainage features, and the amount of rock in tread substrates. A new Trail Sustainability Rating is developed and offered as a tool for evaluating or improving the sustainability of existing or new trails. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Multi-element accumulation near Rumex crispus roots under wetland and dryland conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kissoon, La Toya T; Jacob, Donna L; Otte, Marinus L

    2010-05-01

    Rumex crispus was grown under wet and dry conditions in two-chamber columns such that the roots were confined to one chamber by a 21 mum nylon mesh, thus creating a soil-root interface ('rhizoplane'). Element concentrations at 3 mm intervals below the 'rhizoplane' were measured. The hypothesis was that metals accumulate near plant roots more under wetland than dryland conditions. Patterns in element distribution were different between the treatments. Under dryland conditions Al, Ba, Cu, Cr, Fe, K, La, Mg, Na, Sr, V, Y and Zn accumulated in soil closest to the roots, above the 'rhizoplane' only. Under wetland conditions Al, Fe, Cr, K, V and Zn accumulated above as well as 3 mm below the 'rhizoplane' whereas La, Sr and Y accumulated 3 mm below the 'rhizoplane' only. Plants on average produced 1.5 times more biomass and element uptake was 2.5 times greater under wetland compared to dryland conditions. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Ecological Factors Preventing Restoration of Degraded Short Tussock Landscapes in New Zealand’s Dryland Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigues Anna P.

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Biotic factors such as the presence of invasive animal and/or plant species are well known as major causes of ecological degradation and as limiting either natural or assisted (human-induced ecological restoration. However, abiotic aspects of the landscape, such as water availability and soil physical/chemical conditions can also potentially limit restoration and should be considered. Dryland ecosystems are amongst the world’s most threatened and least protected. New Zealand’s drylands have been drastically changed, initially through burning, agricultural and grazing practices and the impacts of introduced herbivores and plants. This research aimed at identifying some of the key environmental factors preventing the reestablishment of native woody species in a New Zealand dryland ecosystem. The experiments involved a combination of shading, irrigation and grazing exclusion. The results showed that supplemental water was not beneficial for the survival and growth of the native seedlings, unless combined with shade. Fencing proved important for establishment, even though the species used are regarded in the literature as unpalatable to herbivores. The results indicated that the presence of shade was fundamental for the establishment and growth of the native seedlings likely due to improvements in the microclimate, soil aeration, and water availability to seedlings.

  7. Quantification of Plasmodiophora brassicae Using a DNA-Based Soil Test Facilitates Sustainable Oilseed Rape Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann-Charlotte Wallenhammar

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Outbreaks of clubroot disease caused by the soil-borne obligate parasite Plasmodiophora brassicae are common in oilseed rape (OSR in Sweden. A DNA-based soil testing service that identifies fields where P. brassicae poses a significant risk of clubroot infection is now commercially available. It was applied here in field surveys to monitor the prevalence of P. brassicae DNA in field soils intended for winter OSR production and winter OSR field experiments. In 2013 in Scania, prior to planting, P. brassicae DNA was detected in 60% of 45 fields on 10 of 18 farms. In 2014, P. brassicae DNA was detected in 44% of 59 fields in 14 of 36 farms, in the main winter OSR producing region in southern Sweden. P. brassicae was present indicative of a risk for >10% yield loss with susceptible cultivars (>1300 DNA copies g soil−1 in 47% and 44% of fields in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Furthermore, P. brassicae DNA was indicative of sites at risk of complete crop failure if susceptible cultivars were grown (>50 000 copies g−1 soil in 14% and 8% of fields in 2013 and 2014, respectively. A survey of all fields at Lanna research station in western Sweden showed that P. brassicae was spread throughout the farm, as only three of the fields (20% showed infection levels below the detection limit for P.brassicae DNA, while the level was >50,000 DNA copies g−1 soil in 20% of the fields. Soil-borne spread is of critical importance and soil scraped off footwear showed levels of up to 682 million spores g−1 soil. Soil testing is an important tool for determining the presence of P. brassicae and providing an indication of potential yield loss, e.g., in advisory work on planning for a sustainable OSR crop rotation. This soil test is gaining acceptance as a tool that increases the likelihood of success in precision agriculture and in applied research conducted in commercial oilseed fields and at research stations. The present application highlights the importance of

  8. Application of municipal biosolids to dry-land wheat fields - A monitoring program near Deer Trail, Colorado (USA). A presentation for an international conference: "The Future of Agriculture: Science, Stewardship, and Sustainability", August 7-9, 2006, Sacramento, CA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crock, James G.; Smith, David B.; Yager, Tracy J.B.

    2006-01-01

    Since late 1993, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District of Denver (Metro District), a large wastewater treatment plant in Denver, Colorado, has applied Grade I, Class B biosolids to about 52,000 acres of non-irrigated farmland and rangeland near Deer Trail, Colorado. In cooperation with the Metro District in 1993, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began monitoring ground water at part of this site. In 1999, the USGS began a more comprehensive study of the entire site to address stakeholder concerns about the chemical effects of biosolids applications. This more comprehensive monitoring program has recently been extended through 2010. Monitoring components of the more comprehensive study included biosolids collected at the wastewater treatment plant, soil, crops, dust, alluvial and bedrock ground water, and stream bed sediment. Streams at the site are dry most of the year, so samples of stream bed sediment deposited after rain were used to indicate surface-water effects. This presentation will only address biosolids, soil, and crops. More information about these and the other monitoring components are presented in the literature (e.g., Yager and others, 2004a, b, c, d) and at the USGS Web site for the Deer Trail area studies at http://co.water.usgs.gov/projects/CO406/CO406.html. Priority parameters identified by the stakeholders for all monitoring components, included the total concentrations of nine trace elements (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, and zinc), plutonium isotopes, and gross alpha and beta activity, regulated by Colorado for biosolids to be used as an agricultural soil amendment. Nitrogen and chromium also were priority parameters for ground water and sediment components. In general, the objective of each component of the study was to determine whether concentrations of priority parameters (1) were higher than regulatory limits, (2) were increasing with time, or (3) were significantly higher in biosolids

  9. Phosphate solubilizing microbes: sustainable approach for managing phosphorus deficiency in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Seema B; Sayyed, Riyaz Z; Trivedi, Mrugesh H; Gobi, Thivakaran A

    2013-01-01

    Phosphorus is the second important key element after nitrogen as a mineral nutrient in terms of quantitative plant requirement. Although abundant in soils, in both organic and inorganic forms, its availability is restricted as it occurs mostly in insoluble forms. The P content in average soil is about 0.05% (w/w) but only 0.1% of the total P is available to plant because of poor solubility and its fixation in soil (Illmer and Schinner, Soil Biol Biochem 27:257-263, 1995). An adequate supply of phosphorus during early phases of plant development is important for laying down the primordia of plant reproductive parts. It plays significant role in increasing root ramification and strength thereby imparting vitality and disease resistance capacity to plant. It also helps in seed formation and in early maturation of crops like cereals and legumes. Poor availability or deficiency of phosphorus (P) markedly reduces plant size and growth. Phosphorus accounts about 0.2 - 0.8% of the plant dry weight. To satisfy crop nutritional requirements, P is usually added to soil as chemical P fertilizer, however synthesis of chemical P fertilizer is highly energy intensive processes, and has long term impacts on the environment in terms of eutrophication, soil fertilility depletion, carbon footprint. Moreover, plants can use only a small amount of this P since 75-90% of added P is precipitated by metal-cation complexes, and rapidly becomes fixed in soils. Such environmental concerns have led to the search for sustainable way of P nutrition of crops. In this regards phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms (PSM) have been seen as best eco-friendly means for P nutrition of crop. Although, several bacterial (pseudomonads and bacilli) and fungal strains (Aspergilli and Penicillium) have been identified as PSM their performance under in situ conditions is not reliable and therefore needs to be improved by using either genetically modified strains or co-inoculation techniques. This review

  10. The relationship between soil management and the Sustainable Development Goals: the case of global banana production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoorvogel, Jetse; Segura, Rafael; Erima, Rockefeller

    2017-04-01

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a good example of the increasing demand on our soil resources. Our soil resources play a central role in multiple SDGs while talking about poverty (SDG 1), food security (SDG 2), clean energy through biofuels (SDG 7), climate mitigation (SDG 13), and land degradation (SDG 15). This means that basic decisions on soil management are now placed in the context of multiple soil functions. A good example is the global production of bananas and plantains with a total harvested area of almost 10 million ha. While the export bananas played a central role in economic development, an even larger share of the production plays a role in food security. Nevertheless, the production is also criticized due the intensive use of agricultural chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) and the risk of soil degradation in the monoculture plantations. Decisions on soil management are context specific and depending on the environment. In this study we will analyse and discuss three production environments from the Philippines, Uganda, and Costa Rica. The role of the SDGs in the regions is very different. Where SDG 1 and SDG15 play an important role in the Costa Rican situation, SDG 2 is more important in Uganda and the Philippines. Decisions on soil management strongly depend on the agro-ecology with the available technological packages. The technological packages include low external input farming, organic farming, precision agriculture, and so-called best management practices. While producers take decisions at the field and farm level, we are now increasingly forced for joined action at the regional level with the rapid spread of highly virulent crop diseases. The SDGs have major consequences for soil management but this study shows that, at the same time, they cannot be translated one-to-one to the farm level at which the management decisions are taken. Therefore, off-farm effects and externalities are often not considered in farm management

  11. Towards sustainability: artificial intelligent based approach for soil stabilization using various pozzolans

    KAUST Repository

    Ouf, M. S.

    2012-07-03

    Due to the gradual depletion in the conventional resources, searching for a more rational road construction approach aimed at reducing the dependence on imported materials while improving the quality and durability of the roads is necessary. A previous study carried out on a sample of Egyptian soil aimed at reducing the road construction cost, protect the environment and achieving sustainability. RoadCem, ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS), lime and ordinary Portland cement (OPC) were employed to stabilise the Egyptian clayey soil. The results revealed that the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of the test soil increased while the free swelling percent (FSP) decreased with an increase in the total stabiliser and the curing period. This paper discusses attempts to reach optimum stabilization through: (1) Recognizing the relationship between the UCS/FSP of stabilized soil and the stabilization parameters using artificial neural network (ANN); and (2) Performing a backward optimization on the developed (ANN) model using general algorithm (GA) to meet practical design preferences. © 2012 WIT Press.

  12. Sustainable long-term intensive application of manure to sandy soils without phosphorus leaching

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Asomaning, Samuel K.; Abekoe, Mark K.; Dowuona, G.N.N.

    2015-01-01

    manure over 70 years and on uncultivated plots (controls). The samples were analyzed for texture, pH, total C and P and poorly ordered Al and Fe oxides as well as different P forms as assessed by the Hedley fractionation method. The results showed a fourfold P increase in the top 40 cm of the cultivated...... and uncultivated sites. P fractionation showed that the cultivated top soils were dominated by sparingly soluble Ca–P compounds that accounted for about 70% of the P gain. Thus, the results suggest that intensive crop production under tropical semi-arid conditions may be environmentally sustainable when based...

  13. Multifunctional Dryland Forestry: Accumulating Experience From the East-Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osem, Y.; Shachack, M.; Moshe, I.

    2014-12-01

    Although small in size the landscapes of East Mediterranean Israel extend over a wide geo-climatic gradient ranging from dry sub-humid to hyper-arid lands. Thousands of years under intense human exploitation in this region, involving cutting, livestock grazing, agricultural practice and fire have resulted in severe degradation of these water limited ecosystems. The highly degraded state of the native vegetation as found by the new settlers coming to Israel in the beginning of the previous century, has provided the basic motivation for an extensive afforestation enterprise carried out during the last 100 years. This talk will present an overview on the accumulating experience in establishing and managing multifunctional forests in this dryland region. Given their very limited timber value, dryland forests are designed and managed under various goals the important of which are landscape aesthetics, recreation opportunities, grazing land, ecosystem restoration and soil conservation. Being subjected to water scarcity of high temporal and spatial variation, these manmade systems are managed to withstand water deficiency of unpredictable magnitude through the manipulation of both water input and water consumption. In the dry subhumid regions, forest management focuses mainly on controlling water consumption through the manipulation of vegetation structure using thinning and livestock grazing as primary silvicultural tools. Going into the semiarid zone, practices of rainfall redistribution and runoff harvesting become crucial for tree establishment and growth. The implementation of these practices varies depending on topography, rainfall amount and forest goals. The talk will provide a brief description of these unique silvicultural systems, review some of the recent scientific work in them and refer to critical gaps in knowledge. The relevancy to intercrop agroforestry in rainfed ecosystems will be discussed.

  14. Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate (SUSALPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Beck, Robert; Brandhuber, Robert; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Garcia Franco, Noelia; von Gillhaußen, Phillip; Jentsch, Anke; Kiese, Ralf; Krämer, Alexander; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Köllner, Thomas; Poppenborg, Patrick; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Wiesmeier, Martin; Wolf, Benjamin; Dannenmann, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The development of ecologically as well as economically sustainable management options for the carbon- and nitrogen rich alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate poses a grand scientific and socio- economical challenge. The transdisciplinary SUSALPS project starting in 2016 aims to essentially improve the knowledge on the functionality of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils using both natural-scientific/ technical and socio economical approaches. The project is building on existing infrastructure of German grassland-ecosystem-research like the pre-alpine TERENO (Terrestrial ecosystem observation network observatory) observatory sites, the EVENT and SIGNAL sites as well as long term LfL (Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft) sites, plus a new additional high elevation (1400m a.s.l) site in the Bavarian Alps. The site setup along the elevational gradient on the edge of the Alps (1400 m to 300 m) is used for space-for-time climate change experiments which are combined with extensive and intensive management treatments. A key focus of SUSALPS will be the characterization of combined climate change/management effects on carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry. Hence, we will evaluate the influence of different management options and current and future climate changes on the soil microbiome and associated biogeochemical processes in the plant-soil-system, on nitrogen use efficiency, on biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases as well as on leaching of environmentally relevant compounds. For this purpose, we simulate the predicted climate change in the region by translocation of large lysimeters (1m2, 1.4m depth; TERENO lysimeters, translocated in 2011) for measurements of biosphere-atmosphere hydrosphere exchange of environmentally relevant C and N compounds as well as by newly transferred smaller plant-soil-mesocosms used for destructive biogeochemical process studies. By closely linking this experimental work with biogeochemical and

  15. Sustainable Management of Calcareous Saline-Sodic Soil in Arid Environments: The Leaching Process in the Jordan Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mufeed Batarseh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A leaching experiment of calcareous saline-sodic soil was conducted in Jordan Valley and aimed to reduce the soil salinity ≤ 4.0 dS m−1. The quantification of salt removal from the effective root zone was done using three treatment scenarios. Treatment A contained soil amended with gypsum leaching with fresh water (EC = 1.1 dS m−1. Treatments B and C contained nonamended soil, but B was leached with fresh water only while treatment C’s soil was washed with saline agricultural drainage water (EC = 8 dS m−1 at the start of the experiment and continued with fresh water to reach the desired soil salinity. All treatments were able to reduce the soil salinity to the desired level at the end of the experiment; however, there were clear differences in the salt removal efficiencies among the treatments which were attributed to the presence of direct source of calcium ion. The soil amended with gypsum caused a substantial decline in soil salinity and drainage water’s electrical conductivity and drained the water twice as fast as the nonamended soil. It was found that utilizing agricultural drainage water and gypsum as a soil amendment for calcareous saline-sodic soil reclamation can beneficially contribute to sustainable agricultural management in the Jordan Valley.

  16. Effects of land preparation and plantings of vegetation on soil moisture in a hilly loess catchment in China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tianjiao, Feng; Wei, Wei; Liding, Chen; Keesstra, Saskia D.; Yang, Yu

    2018-01-01

    In the dryland and degraded regions, soil moisture is the primary factor determining ecological restoration. Proper land preparations and vegetation restoration can improve soil moisture and benefit land restoration. Identifying their effects on soil moisture is thus essential for developing

  17. GeoSurf - geoelectric soil modelling for a sustainable land use and efficient planning of shallow geothermal systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertermann, David; Walker-Hertkorn, Simone; Kübert, Markus; Schmidt, David; Di Sipio, Eloisa; Müller, Johannes; Schwarz, Hans

    2016-04-01

    Due to the increased demand of biomaterials and renewable primary products the world's soil is intensively effected. Land usage needs to be efficient, space-saving and sustainable. To fulfil these needs soil properties have to be analysed and mapped. Furthermore the shortage of resources will boost the role of renewable energy sources within all energy supplying systems. Also for very shallow geothermal systems (e.g. collectors or heat baskets) detailed information of soil properties are necessary. The most important parameters for characterisation of the soil body are grain size distribution, bulk density and moisture content. Within this project geoelectric measurements more than 50 m wide and 20 m deep cross-sections were made. The above-named soil properties and the thermal conductivity were determined as well. The soil parameters were analysed regarding their effects on thermal- and electric conductivity. With the results of these geoelectric cross-sections in comparison with the measured soil texture, reliable statements about the existing soil properties and a deduction of its thermal conductivity can be made. Within the uppermost meters of the ground, thermal conductivity is mainly driven by soil type. So reasonable recommendations of soil properties and its thermal conductivity are possible only by measuring the electrical conductivity. With these measurements also clear and demonstrative soil models can be illustrated. The electrical conductivity provides expedient information about the soil that opens up the opportunity for clear recommendations about sustainable land use and for site-specific installation of very shallow geothermal system. Also predictions for other soil controlled investigations are possible.

  18. Corn Belt soil carbon and macronutrient budgets with projected sustainable stover harvest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zhengxi; Liu, Shu-Guang

    2015-01-01

    Corn (Zea mays L.) stover has been identified as a prime feedstock for biofuel production in the U.S. Corn Belt because of its perceived abundance and availability, but long-term stover harvest effects on regional nutrient budgets have not been evaluated. We defined the minimum stover requirement (MSR) to maintain current soil organic carbon levels and then estimated current and future soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) budgets for various stover harvest scenarios. Analyses for 2006 through 2010 across the entire Corn Belt indicated that currently, 28 Tg or 1.6 Mg ha−1 of stover could be sustainably harvested from 17.95 million hectares (Mha) with N, P, and K removal of 113, 26, and 47 kg ha−1, respectively, and C removal for that period was estimated to be 4.55 Mg C ha−1. Assuming continued yield increases and a planted area of 26.74 Mha in 2050, 77.4 Tg stover (or 2.4 Mg ha−1) could be sustainably harvested with N, P, and K removal of 177, 37, and 72 kg ha−1, respectively, along with C removal of ∼6.57 Mg C ha−1. Although there would be significant variation across the region, harvesting only the excess over the MSR under current fertilization rates would result in a small depletion of soil N (−5 ± 27 kg ha−1) and K (−20 ± 31 kg ha−1) and a moderate surplus of P (36 ± 18 kg ha−1). Our 2050 projections based on continuing to keep the MSR, but having higher yields indicate that soil N and K deficits would become larger, thus emphasize the importance of balancing soil nutrient supply with crop residue removal.

  19. Sustainability of US Organic Beef and Dairy Production Systems: Soil, Plant and Cattle Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathy J. Soder

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In 2010, the National Organic Program implemented a rule for the US stating that pasture must be a significant source of feed in organic ruminant systems. This article will focus on how the pasture rule has impacted the management, economics and nutritional value of products derived from organic ruminant systems and the interactions of grazing cattle with pasture forages and soils. The use of synthetic fertilizers is prohibited in organic systems; therefore, producers must rely on animal manures, compost and cover crops to increase and maintain soil nitrogen content. Rotational and strip grazing are two of the most common grazing management practices utilized in grazing ruminant production systems; however, these practices are not exclusive to organic livestock producers. For dairy cattle, grazing reduces foot and leg problems common in confinement systems, but lowers milk production and exposes cows to parasites that can be difficult to treat without pharmaceuticals. Organic beef cattle may still be finished in feedlots for no more than 120 days in the US, but without growth hormones and antibiotics, gains may be reduced and illnesses increased. Grazing reduces the use of environmentally and economically costly concentrate feeds and recycles nutrients back to the soil efficiently, but lowers the rate of beef liveweight gain. Increased use of pasture can be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable if forage use efficiency is high and US consumers continue to pay a premium for organic beef and dairy products.

  20. Woody plants in drylands: plastic responses to environmental stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, L.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/345500822

    2012-01-01

    Plants in drylands are exposed to a suite of stress factors. The most obvious stress factor is drought stress induced by a strongly negative balance between precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. Drylands are increasingly being used for grazing livestock and with increasing human

  1. Development of sorghum varieties and hybrids for dryland areas of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mo

    A study was conducted to scrutinize the development of sorghum (Sorghum bicolar) varieties and hybrids that have been carried out for the dryland areas of Ethiopia in the past 35 years (1969-2003). The experiments were conducted at the three major research centers and sub-centers representing the dryland areas of the ...

  2. Fertility Island Formation and Evolution in Dryland Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Ridolfi

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Vast dryland regions around the world are affected by the encroachment of woody vegetation, with important environmental and economical implications. Grassland-to-shrubland conversions are often triggered by disturbance of grassland vegetation, and the consequent formation of barren areas prone to erosion-induced nutrient losses. Inhibition of encroachment by erosion-induced depletion of soil nutrients contributes to the emergence of highly heterogeneous landscapes with shrub-dominated fertility islands surrounded by nutrient-poor bare soil. Here, we develop a process-based simplistic model thataccounts for the two competing processes of resource depletion and shrub encroachment by a non-linear diffusion mechanism. The proposed model is able to generate stable vegetation patterns with the same statistical properties as those observed in areas with well-developed fertility islands. We also show how a subsequent disturbance of shrubland vegetation can shift the dynamics toward states with smaller vegetation biomass. The process of land degradation may then occur through a number of irreversible intermediate transitions associated with losses in ecosystem function.

  3. Effects of different agricultural management on a stagnic Luvisol in Lower Saxony, Germany - Factors for sustainable soil protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Marco; Brunotte, Joachim; Ortmeier, Berthold

    2017-04-01

    Regarding increasing pressures by global societal and climate change, for example, the assessment of the impact of land use and land management practices on land productivity, land degradation and the related decrease in sustainable food production and the provision of ecosystem services gains increasing interest. Regarding international research on land use and soil threats, main problems in agricultural land use on global scale are erosion by water and wind, soil organic matter loss, salinization, depletion of nutrients, chemical and physical deterioration, including e.g. soil compaction. When coming to soil sciences, basically soil functions are affected negatively by intensive food production and field traffic. Management based negative changes in soil functions and a suboptimal soil structure have multiple negative effects on physical, biological and chemical soil functions, like a poor water balance, air and water permeability, disturbed soil fauna, impeded root penetration etc. and in consequence on the achievable yields. The presentation deals with the multiple effects of different agricultural machinery and technologies and different agricultural soil tillage (e.g. no-till, conservation tillage, ploughing), on various soil properties of a stagnic Luvisol in Lower Saxony, Germany. These are e.g. bulk density, air capacity, saturated water permeability, changes in pore size distribution and water retention curve as well as crop yields. Furthermore results of a long term study of bulk density and total pore size on more then 20 farms in Lower Saxony since the year 1952 will be presented. Finally, key factors and first recommendations for sustainable agricultural soil protection will be derived from the results.

  4. Biocrust-forming mosses mitigate the negative impacts of increasing aridity on ecosystem multifunctionality in drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T; Eldridge, David J; Bowker, Matthew A; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Berdugo, Miguel; Val, James; Singh, Brajesh K

    2016-03-01

    The increase in aridity predicted with climate change will have a negative impact on the multiple functions and services (multifunctionality) provided by dryland ecosystems worldwide. In these ecosystems, soil communities dominated by mosses, lichens and cyanobacteria (biocrusts) play a key role in supporting multifunctionality. However, whether biocrusts can buffer the negative impacts of aridity on important biogeochemical processes controlling carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) pools and fluxes remains largely unknown. Here, we conducted an empirical study, using samples from three continents (North America, Europe and Australia), to evaluate how the increase in aridity predicted by climate change will alter the capacity of biocrust-forming mosses to modulate multiple ecosystem processes related to C, N and P cycles. Compared with soil surfaces lacking biocrusts, biocrust-forming mosses enhanced multiple functions related to C, N and P cycling and storage in semiarid and arid, but not in humid and dry-subhumid, environments. Most importantly, we found that the relative positive effects of biocrust-forming mosses on multifunctionality compared with bare soil increased with increasing aridity. These results were mediated by plant cover and the positive effects exerted by biocrust-forming mosses on the abundance of soil bacteria and fungi. Our findings provide strong evidence that the maintenance of biocrusts is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change on multifunctionality in global drylands. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Biomass, Bioenergy and the Sustainability of Soils and Climate: What Role for Biochar?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohi, Saran

    2013-04-01

    Biochar is the solid, carbon rich product of heating biomass with the exclusion of air (pyrolysis). Whereas charcoal is derived from wood, biochar is a co-product of energy capture and can derive from waste or non-waste, virgin or non-virgin biomass resources. But also, biochar is not a fuel - rather it is intended for the beneficial amendment of soil in agriculture, forestry and horticulture. This results in long-term storage of plant-derived carbon that could improve yield or efficiency of crop production, and/or mitigate trace gas emissions from the land. Life cycle analysis (LCA) shows that pyrolysis bioenergy with biochar production should offer considerably more carbon abatement than combustion, or gasification of the same feedstock. This has potential to link climate change mitigation to bioenergy and sustainable use of soil. But, in economic terms, the opportunity cost of producing biochar (reflecting the calorific value of its stored carbon) is inflated by bioenergy subsidies. This, combined with a lack of clear regulatory position and no mature pyrolysis technologies at large scale, means that pyrolysis-biochar systems (PBS) remain largely conceptual at the current time. Precise understanding of its function and an ability to predict its impact on different soils and crops with certainty, biochar should acquire a monetary value. Combining such knowledge with a system that monetizes climate change mitigation potential (such as carbon markets), could see schemes for producing and using biochar escalate - including a context for its deployment in biomass crops, or through pyrolysis of residues from other bioenergy processes. This talk explores the opportunity, challenges and risks in pursuing biochar production in various bioenergy contexts including enhanced sustainability of soil use in biomass crop production, improving the carbon balance and value chain in biofuel production, and using organic waste streams more effectively (including the processing of

  6. 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

  7. Soil and water conservation for sustainable land management: where do we stand ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govers, Gerard

    2014-05-01

    Although soil and water conservation efforts date back to the 1930's in the USA, the implementation of appropriate conservation measures and land management strategies is still lagging in many areas in the world. The reasons for this are, without any doubt, manifold and range from an inadequate understanding of the problem, over the insufficient understanding of the effectiveness of measures and a lack of insight into the benefits of sustainable strategies, to an lack of sensitivity for the impact of certain strategies on local social and economic systems. In this paper we will not attempt to present a general overview of the state of knowledge in this wide domain, but rather focus on the identification of major bottlenecks that impede or slow down the application of sustainable conservation technology, whereby we will focus on soil degradation as a main problem. Moving towards more sustainable soil conservation and land management strategies requires progress on the following issues: - We need accurate data on the extent of problems of land degradation It may sound surprising that several decades of research have not delivered those data, but recent research conclusively shows that, for many areas, our estimates of erosion rates are far off and sometimes our perception is plain wrong. This has detrimental consequences as funds are inefficiently used and, on the long term, stakeholders will invariably lose interest. Various strategies may be used to improve the quality of the data that we used. - We need good insight in the effectiveness of different measures. A major issue here is the scale of assessment: the classical tools used to assess the effectiveness of measures are sometimes not suitable and may lead to both underestimation and overestimation of effectiveness. Furthermore, perceptions of effectiveness may have been shaped by experiences that are decades old, while agricultural technology has moved on. - We need a correct assessments of the co-benefits we

  8. A method for modeling the effects of climate and land use changes on erosion and sustainability of soil in a Mediterranean watershed (Languedoc, France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paroissien, Jean-Baptiste; Darboux, Frédéric; Couturier, Alain; Devillers, Benoît; Mouillot, Florent; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2015-03-01

    Global climate and land use changes could strongly affect soil erosion and the capability of soils to sustain agriculture and in turn impact regional or global food security. The objective of our study was to develop a method to assess soil sustainability to erosion under changes in land use and climate. The method was applied in a typical mixed Mediterranean landscape in a wine-growing watershed (75 km(2)) within the Languedoc region (La Peyne, France) for two periods: a first period with the current climate and land use and a second period with the climate and land use scenarios at the end of the twenty-first century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change A1B future rainfall scenarios from the Météo France General circulation model was coupled with four contrasting land use change scenarios that were designed using a spatially-explicit land use change model. Mean annual erosion rate was estimated with an expert-based soil erosion model. Soil life expectancy was assessed using soil depth. Soil erosion rate and soil life expectancy were combined into a sustainability index. The median simulated soil erosion rate for the current period was 3.5 t/ha/year and the soil life expectancy was 273 years, showing a low sustainability of soils. For the future period with the same land use distribution, the median simulated soil erosion rate was 4.2 t/ha/year and the soil life expectancy was 249 years. The results show that soil erosion rate and soil life expectancy are more sensitive to changes in land use than to changes in precipitation. Among the scenarios tested, institution of a mandatory grass cover in vineyards seems to be an efficient means of significantly improving soil sustainability, both in terms of decreased soil erosion rates and increased soil life expectancies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Tropospheric vertical column densities of NO2 over managed dryland ecosystems (Xinjiang, China): MAX-DOAS measurements vs. 3-D dispersion model simulations based on laboratory-derived NO emission from soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamtimin, B.; Behrendt, T.; Badawy, M. M.; Wagner, T.; Qi, Y.; Wu, Z.; Meixner, F. X.

    2015-01-01

    We report on MAX-DOAS observations of NO2 over an oasis-ecotone-desert ecosystem in NW China. There, local ambient NO2 concentrations originate from enhanced biogenic NO emission of intensively managed soils. Our target oasis "Milan" is located at the southern edge of the Taklimakan desert, very remote and well isolated from other potential anthropogenic and biogenic NOx sources. Four observation sites for MAX-DOAS measurements were selected, at the oasis centre, downwind and upwind of the oasis, and in the desert. Biogenic NO emissions in terms of (i) soil moisture and (ii) soil temperature of Milan oasis (iii) different land-cover type sub-units (cotton, Jujube trees, cotton/Jujube mixture, desert) were quantified by laboratory incubation of corresponding soil samples. Net potential NO fluxes were up-scaled to oasis scale by areal distribution and classification of land-cover types derived from satellite images using GIS techniques. A Lagrangian dispersion model (LASAT, Lagrangian Simulation of Aerosol Transport) was used to calculate the dispersion of soil emitted NO into the atmospheric boundary layer over Milan oasis. Three-dimensional (3-D) NO concentrations (30 m horizontal resolution) have been converted to 3-D NO2 concentrations, assuming photostationary state conditions. NO2 column densities were simulated by suitable vertical integration of modelled 3-D NO2 concentrations at those downwind and upwind locations, where the MAX-DOAS measurements were performed. Downwind-upwind differences (a direct measure of Milan oasis' contribution to the areal increase of ambient NO2 concentration) of measured and simulated slant (as well as vertical) NO2 column densities show excellent agreement. This agreement is considered as the first successful attempt to prove the validity of the chosen approach to up-scale laboratory-derived biogenic NO fluxes to ecosystem field conditions, i.e. from the spatial scale of a soil sample (cm2) to the size of an entire agricultural

  10. Tropospheric vertical column densities of NO2 over managed dryland ecosystems (Xinjiang, China): MAX-DOAS measurements vs. 3-D dispersion model simulations based on laboratory derived NO emission from soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamtimin, B.; Behrendt, T.; Badawy, M. M.; Wagner, T.; Qi, Y.; Wu, Z.; Meixner, F. X.

    2014-07-01

    We report on MAX-DOAS observations of NO2 over an oasis-ecotone-desert ecosystem in NW-China. There, local ambient NO2 concentrations originate from enhanced biogenic NO emission of intensively managed soils. Our target oasis "Milan" is located at the southern edge of the Taklimakan desert, very remote and well isolated from other potential anthropogenic and biogenic NOx sources. Four observation sites for MAX-DOAS measurements were selected, at the oasis center, downwind and upwind of the oasis, and in the desert. Biogenic NO emissions in terms of (i) soil moisture and (ii) soil temperature of Milan oasis' (iii) different land-cover type sub-units (cotton, Jujube trees, cotton/Jujube mixture, desert) were quantified by laboratory incubation of corresponding soil samples. Net potential NO fluxes were up-scaled to oasis scale by areal distribution and classification of land-cover types derived from satellite images using GIS techniques. A Lagrangian dispersion model (LASAT, Lagrangian Simulation of Aerosol-Transport) was used to calculate the dispersion of soil emitted NO into the atmospheric boundary layer over Milan oasis. Three dimensional NO concentrations (30 m horizontal resolution) have been converted to 3-D NO2 concentrations, assuming photostationary state conditions. NO2 column densities were simulated by suitable vertical integration of modeled 3-D NO2 concentrations at those downwind and upwind locations, where the MAX-DOAS measurements were performed. Downwind-upwind differences (a direct measure of Milan oasis' contribution to the areal increase of ambient NO2 concentration) of measured and simulated slant (as well as vertical) NO2 column densities show excellent agreement. This agreement is considered as the first successful attempt to prove the validity of the chosen approach to up-scale laboratory derived biogenic NO fluxes to ecosystem field conditions, i.e. from the spatial scale of a soil sample (cm2) to the size of an entire agricultural

  11. In situ olive mill residual co-composting for soil organic fertility restoration and by-product sustainable reuse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Casacchia

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The addition of organic matter in the form of compost improves overall physical, chemical and biological properties of soils but, to be really sustainable, the composting process should be carried out using the by-products available in situ. Two different soils of a Mediterranean olive orchard, one managed traditionally (NAS and the other amended with compost (AS, were investigated in a two-year experiment. Increases in total organic matter, total nitrogen and pH, were detected in AS if compared to NAS. Significant increases in total and specific microbial counts were observed in AS, with a clear amelioration of microbiological soil quality. The results demonstrated that soil amendment using compost deriving from olive mill by-products can be an important agricultural practice for supporting and stimulating soil microorganisms and, at the same time, for re-using these byproducts, so avoiding their negative environmental impact.

  12. Sustainability of C stocks in urban soil constructions at the early stages of development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasenev, Viacheslav; Shchepeleva, Anna; Dmitrii, Gosse; Vasenev, Ivan; Hajiaghayeva, Ramilla

    2017-04-01

    findings question the existing greenery practice driven by affordability, thus preferencing turf grasses with shallow organic layers. Our study demonstrates high vulnerability of these shallow turf grasses, causing substantial C depletion during the first years after establishment. These findings shall be used to develop guidelines for sustainable turf grass soil construction, which will get essential with increasing urbanization.

  13. Managing Soil Biota-Mediated Decomposition and Nutrient Mineralization in Sustainable Agroecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joann K. Whalen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Transformation of organic residues into plant-available nutrients occurs through decomposition and mineralization and is mediated by saprophytic microorganisms and fauna. Of particular interest is the recycling of the essential plant elements—N, P, and S—contained in organic residues. If organic residues can supply sufficient nutrients during crop growth, a reduction in fertilizer use is possible. The challenge is synchronizing nutrient release from organic residues with crop nutrient demands throughout the growing season. This paper presents a conceptual model describing the pattern of nutrient release from organic residues in relation to crop nutrient uptake. Next, it explores experimental approaches to measure the physical, chemical, and biological barriers to decomposition and nutrient mineralization. Methods are proposed to determine the rates of decomposition and nutrient release from organic residues. Practically, this information can be used by agricultural producers to determine if plant-available nutrient supply is sufficient to meet crop demands at key growth stages or whether additional fertilizer is needed. Finally, agronomic practices that control the rate of soil biota-mediated decomposition and mineralization, as well as those that facilitate uptake of plant-available nutrients, are identified. Increasing reliance on soil biological activity could benefit crop nutrition and health in sustainable agroecosystems.

  14. Innovative biocatalytic production of soil substrate from green waste compost as a sustainable peat substitute.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazamias, Georgios; Roulia, Maria; Kapsimali, Ioanna; Chassapis, Konstantinos

    2017-12-01

    In the present work, a new simple and quick eco-friendly method is discussed to handle effectively the green wastes and produce a sustainable peat substitute of high quality on the large scale. Principal physicochemical parameters, i.e., temperature, moisture, specific weight, pH, electrical conductivity and, also, microorganisms, organic matter, humic substances, total Kjeldahl nitrogen and total organic carbon, C/N ratio, ash, metal content and phytotoxicity, were monitored systematically. Humic substances content values were interrelated to both C/N ratio and pH values and, similarly, bulk density, TOC, TKN, C/N, GI, ash and organic matter were found interconnected to each other. A novel biocatalyst, extremely rich in soil microorganisms, prepared from compost extracts and peaty lignite, accelerated the biotransformation. Zeolite was also employed. The compost does not demonstrate any phytotoxicity throughout the entire biotransformation process and has increased humic substances content. Both humic substances content and germination index can be employed as maturation indices of the compost. Addition of compost, processed for 60 days only, in cultivations of grass plants led to a significant increase in the stem mass and root size, annotating the significant contribution of the compost to both growth and germination. The product obtained is comparable to peat humus, useful as peat substitute and can be classified as a first class soil conditioner suitable for organic farming. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Development of web-based GIS services for sustainable soil resource management at farm level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadopoulos, Antonis; Kolovos, Chronis; Troyanos, Yerasimos; Doula, Maria

    2017-09-01

    Modern farms situated in urban or suburban areas, include various and in most cases diverse land covers. Land uses in such farms may serve residential, structured, aesthetic and agricultural purposes, usually delimited inside the boundaries of a single property. The environmental conditions across a farm, especially if it is situated on an irregular terrain, can be highly differentiated. Managing soil resources in a small scale diverse farm environment in a holistic and sustainable way should have spatial and temporal reference and take advantage of cut-edge geospatial technologies. In present study, an 8 hectare farm with various land uses in the southern suburbs of Attica Prefecture, Greece was systematically monitored regarding its soil, water and plant resources. Almost 80% of the farm's area is covered with trees, shrubs and low vegetation planted in a mosaic of parterres. Farm data collected concerned soil and water physicochemical characteristics, plant species, topographical features, irrigation network, valves and infrastructure. All data were imported and developed in a GIS geodatabase. Furthermore, web GIS services and a mobile GIS app were developed in order to monitor, update and synchronize present status and future changes performed in the farm. Through the web services and using the mobile GIS app, the user has access to all data stored in the geodatabase and according to access rights he can view or edit the spatial entities. The user can easily make query to specific features, combine their properties with other overlaying spatial data and reach accurate decisions. The app can be downloaded and implemented in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets for extending its functionality. As proven in this study, web GIS services and mobile GIS apps constitute an attractive suite of methodologies for effective and user friendly management of natural resources at farm level.

  16. Impacts of long-term no-tillage and conventional tillage management of spring wheat-lentil cropping systems in dryland Eastern Montana, USA, on fungi associated to soil aggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus CV. Indianhead) used to replace fallow in spring-wheat (Triticum aestivum) rotation in the semi-arid Eastern Montana USA, may improve soil quality. We evaluate the 14 years influence of continuous wheat under no-tillage (WNT), fallow-wheat under conventional tillage (F...

  17. Source of sustained voltage difference between the xylem of a potted Ficus benjamina tree and its soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Christopher J; Zhang, Shuguang; Mershin, Andreas

    2008-08-13

    It has long been known that there is a sustained electrical potential (voltage) difference between the xylem of many plants and their surrounding soil, but the mechanism behind this voltage has remained controversial. After eliminating any extraneous capacitive or inductive couplings and ground-mediated electric current flows, we have measured sustained differences of 50-200 mV between the xylem region of a Faraday-caged, intact, potted Ficus benjamina tree and its soil, as well as between its cut branches and soils and ionic solutions standardized to various pH values. Using identical platinum electrodes, no correlation between the voltage and time of day, illumination, sap flow, electrode elevation, or ionic composition of soil was found, suggesting no direct connection to simple dissimilar-metal redox reactions or transpirational activity. Instead, a clear relationship between the voltage polarity and magnitude and the pH difference between xylem and soil was observed. We attribute these sustained voltages to a biological concentration cell likely set up by the homeostatic mechanisms of the tree. Potential applications of this finding are briefly explored.

  18. Source of sustained voltage difference between the xylem of a potted Ficus benjamina tree and its soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Love

    Full Text Available It has long been known that there is a sustained electrical potential (voltage difference between the xylem of many plants and their surrounding soil, but the mechanism behind this voltage has remained controversial. After eliminating any extraneous capacitive or inductive couplings and ground-mediated electric current flows, we have measured sustained differences of 50-200 mV between the xylem region of a Faraday-caged, intact, potted Ficus benjamina tree and its soil, as well as between its cut branches and soils and ionic solutions standardized to various pH values. Using identical platinum electrodes, no correlation between the voltage and time of day, illumination, sap flow, electrode elevation, or ionic composition of soil was found, suggesting no direct connection to simple dissimilar-metal redox reactions or transpirational activity. Instead, a clear relationship between the voltage polarity and magnitude and the pH difference between xylem and soil was observed. We attribute these sustained voltages to a biological concentration cell likely set up by the homeostatic mechanisms of the tree. Potential applications of this finding are briefly explored.

  19. The Impacts of Agricultural Land Use on Dissolved Organic Matter in a Dryland River System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, J. L.; Bergamaschi, B. A.; Van Horn, D. J.; Diefendorf, A. F.

    2015-12-01

    Globally, expanding agriculture is significantly impacting aquatic nutrient cycles. In mesic systems, agriculture is a source of nitrogen and phosphorus and increases concentrations of structurally simple dissolved organic carbon (DOC). In contrast, recent studies suggest in dryland systems, where wastewater effluent is a primary nutrient source, agriculture is a nutrient sink—retaining nitrogen and phosphorous. Importantly, very little, is known about the influence of agriculture on DOC dynamics in dryland systems. To address this gap we used synoptic sampling, UV-absorbance, and fluorescence spectroscopy to elucidate source, character, and concentration of riverine and runoff DOC in a dryland agricultural system. Samples were collected along a 25 km stretch of the Rio Grande River in New Mexico (USA). The Rio Grande is an impoundment/irrigation-withdrawal controlled river that receives water from snowmelt, monsoonal storms, and wastewater effluent. During irrigation approximately 80% of the river's water is diverted into a manmade network where it waters crops and percolates through the soil before it enters a series of drains that return water to the river. Our preliminary characterization of the DOC reentering the river (DOCmean=3.23 mg/L, sd=0.81; SUVAmean=4.05, sd=1.37) indicates the agricultural pool is similar in concentration and aromaticity to riverine DOC (DOCmean= 3.10 mg/L, sd=1.17; SUVAmean= 4.64, sd=1.12). However, riverine organic matter is more terrestrially derived (FImean=1.68, sd=0.17) than organic matter in the drains (FImean=1.9, sd=0.24). Additionally, drains directly adjacent to actively irrigated fields show high concentrations (DOCmean=58.35; sd=0.91) of low aromaticity organic matter (SUVAmean=0.33; sd=0.11). We are continuing analysis throughout the irrigation season to further explore organic matter quality (traits such as bioavailability and freshness) and identify locations and processes of DOC transformation within the system

  20. Future Rangeland Ecosystems in the Dryland Belt of Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Jiaguo

    2015-04-01

    One of the greatest challenges humans are facing is sustainably managing water and land resources under changing global environment. This issue is especially pertinent in dryland belt in Asia where freshwater is scarce and shared among many nations. The region is heavily dependent on the diminishing Himalayan glaciers and limited and changing precipitation patterns. With increasing climate variability and a regional warming trend water security issues are acute and if not properly addressed could affect regional stability and lead to international conflicts. Solutions to these urgent regional issues are lacking and further research efforts are needed. Adaptive strategies addressing the complex and multifaceted water resource issues in the region will require a co-design and co-delivery of knowledge specific to the region and must consider exogenous factors such as policies of neighbouring countries and changing precipitation patterns due to climate change. There is a need to determine and fund scientific research priorities and practical approaches co-developed by local stakeholders and scientists to change the region's paradigm to "science for society". This presentation will summarize the collective outcome from a focused group discussion at the international workshop on "Future Earth and Science for Society" to be held from February 25-27, 2015 at Michigan State University, including knowledge gaps, research priorities, a general framework and international collaborations to move forward to addressing the future of the dyrland belt of Asia.

  1. Climate change-induced vegetation shifts lead to more ecological droughts despite projected rainfall increases in many global temperate drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietjen, Britta; Schlaepfer, Daniel R; Bradford, John B; Lauenroth, William K; Hall, Sonia A; Duniway, Michael C; Hochstrasser, Tamara; Jia, Gensuo; Munson, Seth M; Pyke, David A; Wilson, Scott D

    2017-07-01

    Drylands occur worldwide and are particularly vulnerable to climate change because dryland ecosystems depend directly on soil water availability that may become increasingly limited as temperatures rise. Climate change will both directly impact soil water availability and change plant biomass, with resulting indirect feedbacks on soil moisture. Thus, the net impact of direct and indirect climate change effects on soil moisture requires better understanding. We used the ecohydrological simulation model SOILWAT at sites from temperate dryland ecosystems around the globe to disentangle the contributions of direct climate change effects and of additional indirect, climate change-induced changes in vegetation on soil water availability. We simulated current and future climate conditions projected by 16 GCMs under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 for the end of the century. We determined shifts in water availability due to climate change alone and due to combined changes of climate and the growth form and biomass of vegetation. Vegetation change will mostly exacerbate low soil water availability in regions already expected to suffer from negative direct impacts of climate change (with the two RCP scenarios giving us qualitatively similar effects). By contrast, in regions that will likely experience increased water availability due to climate change alone, vegetation changes will counteract these increases due to increased water losses by interception. In only a small minority of locations, climate change-induced vegetation changes may lead to a net increase in water availability. These results suggest that changes in vegetation in response to climate change may exacerbate drought conditions and may dampen the effects of increased precipitation, that is, leading to more ecological droughts despite higher precipitation in some regions. Our results underscore the value of considering indirect effects of climate change on vegetation when assessing future soil moisture conditions in water

  2. Climate change-induced vegetation shifts lead to more ecological droughts despite projected rainfall increases in many global temperate drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietjen, Britta; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Bradford, John B.; Laurenroth, William K.; Hall, Sonia A.; Duniway, Michael C.; Hochstrasser, Tamara; Jia, Gensuo; Munson, Seth M.; Pyke, David A.; Wilson, Scott D.

    2017-01-01

    Drylands occur world-wide and are particularly vulnerable to climate change since dryland ecosystems depend directly on soil water availability that may become increasingly limited as temperatures rise. Climate change will both directly impact soil water availability, and also change plant biomass, with resulting indirect feedbacks on soil moisture. Thus, the net impact of direct and indirect climate change effects on soil moisture requires better understanding.We used the ecohydrological simulation model SOILWAT at sites from temperate dryland ecosystems around the globe to disentangle the contributions of direct climate change effects and of additional indirect, climate change-induced changes in vegetation on soil water availability. We simulated current and future climate conditions projected by 16 GCMs under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 for the end of the century. We determined shifts in water availability due to climate change alone and due to combined changes of climate and the growth form and biomass of vegetation.Vegetation change will mostly exacerbate low soil water availability in regions already expected to suffer from negative direct impacts of climate change (with the two RCP scenarios giving us qualitatively similar effects). By contrast, in regions that will likely experience increased water availability due to climate change alone, vegetation changes will counteract these increases due to increased water losses by interception. In only a small minority of locations, climate change induced vegetation changes may lead to a net increase in water availability. These results suggest that changes in vegetation in response to climate change may exacerbate drought conditions and may dampen the effects of increased precipitation, i.e. leading to more ecological droughts despite higher precipitation in some regions. Our results underscore the value of considering indirect effects of climate change on vegetation when assessing future soil moisture conditions in water

  3. Agro-Forestry system in West Africa: integrating a green solution to cope with soil depletion towards agricultural sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Filipa; Vidigal, Patricia; Romeiras, Maria Manuel; Ribeiro, Ana; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Viegas, Wanda; Catarino, Luís

    2017-04-01

    During the last decades, agriculture in West Africa has been marked by dramatic shifts with the coverage of single crops, increasing pressure over the available arable land. Yet, West African countries are still striving to achieve sustainable production at an increased scale for global market needs. Market-driven rapid intensification is often a major cause for cropland area expansion at the expense of deforestation and soil degradation, especially to export commodities in times of high prices. Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) is nowadays an important export-oriented crop, being produced under intensive cultivation regimes in several tropical regions. Particularly, among the main cashew production areas, West Africa is the most recent and dynamic in the world, accounting for 45% of the world cashew nuts production in 2015. Considering its global market values, several developing countries rely on cashew nuts as national economy revenues, namely in Guinea-Bissau. Considering the intensive regime of cashew production in Guinea-Bissau, and as widely recognized, intensive agriculture linked with extensification can negatively impact ecosystems, affecting natural resources availability, soil erosion and arability compromised by excessive salinity. Ultimately this will result in the disruption of carbon - nitrogen cycle, important to the agricultural ecosystem sustainability. As such, tree intercropped with legumes as cover crops, offers a sustainable management of the land area, thus creating substantial benefits both economically and environmentally, as it enhances diversification of products outputs and proving to be more sustainable than forestry and/or agricultural monocultures. Soil fertility improvement is a key entry point for achieving food security, and also increment agriculture commodities of the agro-system. Without using inorganic fertilizers, the green solution for improving soil management is to incorporate adapted multi-purpose legumes as cover crops

  4. Earth Observation of Vegetation Dynamics in Global Drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tian, Feng

    and exploring the widely used long-term datasets and 2) mapping trends in woody vegetation. A highlight of the thesis is the mapping of trends in the non-green woody vegetation component in global tropical drylands, which is obtained for the first time from combing satellite optical and passive microwave......Land degradation in global drylands has been a concern related to both the local livelihoods and the changes in terrestrial biosphere, especially in the context of substantial global environmental changes. Earth Observation (EO) provides a unique way to assess the vegetation dynamics over the past...... decades, which are keys to understanding the changes in global drylands. However, there are still large uncertainties and unknowns in the quality and capabilities of remote sensing data. This thesis contributes to an improved EO based assessment of dryland vegetation dynamics by 1) evaluating...

  5. Expansion of global drylands under a warming climate

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Feng, S; Fu, Q

    2013-01-01

    Global drylands encompassing hyper-arid, arid, semiarid, and dry subhumid areas cover about 41 percent of the earth's terrestrial surface and are home to more than a third of the world's population...

  6. Influence of Conservation Tillage and Soil Water Content on Crop Yield in Dryland Compacted Alfisol of Central Chile Influencia de la Labranza de Conservación y el Contenido de Agua sobre el Rendimiento del Cultivo en un Alfisol compactado del Secano Central de Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Martinez G

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Chilean dryland areas of the Mediterranean climate region are characterized by highly degraded and compacted soils, which require the use of conservation tillage systems to mitigate water erosion as well as to improve soil water storage. An oat (Avena sativa L. cv. Supernova-INIA - wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Pandora-INIA crop rotation was established under the following conservation systems: no tillage (Nt, Nt + contour plowing (Nt+Cp, Nt + barrier hedge (Nt+Bh, and Nt + subsoiling (Nt+Sb, compared to conventional tillage (Ct to evaluate their influence on soil water content (SWC in the profile (10 to 110 cm depth, the soil compaction and their interaction with the crop yield. Experimental plots were established in 2007 and lasted 3 yr till 2009 in a compacted Alfisol. At the end of the growing seasons, SWC was reduced by 44 to 51% in conservation tillage systems and 60% in Ct. Soil water content had a significant (p En Chile, las zonas de clima mediterráneo se caracterizan por suelos altamente degradados y compactados por erosión, lo que requiere el uso de sistemas de labranza conservacionista para mitigar la erosión hídrica, así como incrementar el contenido de agua en el suelo. Se evaluó una rotación avena (Avena sativa L. cv. Supernova-INIA - trigo (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Pandora-INIA establecida bajo los siguientes sistemas conservacionistas: cero labranza (Nt, Nt + curvas de nivel (Nt+Cp, Nt + franjas vivas (Nt+Bh y Nt + subsolado (Nt+Sb, las que fueron comparadas al sistema de labranza convencional (Ct, para evaluar su influencia en el contenido de agua en el suelo (SWC en el perfil (10 a 110 cm profundidad, la compactación del suelo y su interacción con el rendimiento del cultivo. Las parcelas experimentales fueron establecidas 3 años seguidos (2007 al 2009 en un Alfisol compactado. Al final de la temporada, el SWC disminuyó 44 a 51% en los sistemas conservacionistas y 60% en el sistema convencional. El sistema de

  7. Strengthening dryland women's land rights: local contexts, global change

    OpenAIRE

    Forsythe, Lora; Morton, John; Nelson, Valerie; Quan, Julian; Martin, Adrienne; Hartog, Maaike

    2015-01-01

    Thematic study 1: Strengthening dryland women's land rights: local contexts, global change found that significant opportunities exist for facilitating dryland women's empowerment with respect to land, in international research, policy, dialogue and practical action. There is increased international attention on women’s land rights amongst global institutions and in international development debates. There is growing pressure for progressive legislation on women’s land rights, with increasing ...

  8. Remote sensing of vegetation dynamics in drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tian, Feng; Brandt, Martin Stefan; Liu, Yi Y.

    2016-01-01

    greenness. The vegetation optical depth (VOD) derived from satellite passive microwave observations is mainly sensitive to the water content in total aboveground vegetation layer. VOD therefore provides a complementary data source to NDVI for monitoring biomass dynamics in drylands, yet further evaluations...... mass) in the semi-arid Senegalese Sahel. Results show that the magnitude and peak time of VOD are sensitive to the woody plant foliage whereas NDVI seasonality is primarily governed by the green herbaceous vegetation stratum in the study area. Moreover, VOD is found to be more robust against typical...... NDVI drawbacks of saturation effect and dependence on plant structure (herbaceous and woody compositions) across the study area when used as a proxy for vegetation productivity. Finally, both VOD and NDVI well reflect the spatial and inter-annual dynamics of the in situ green biomass data; however...

  9. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-05

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  10. Sustainable Stover Harvest, or I'm the Lorax - I Speak for the Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soils are an important natural resource allowing the production of food, feed, fiber and fuel. The growing demand for these services or products requires that we protect the soil resource. Many characteristics of high quality soils can be related to the quantity and quality of soil organic matter (o...

  11. Rethinking the critical zone in drylands: It's the small things that count

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    2016-04-01

    In most ecosystems, ecologists define the "critical zone" as the soil region where the majority of plant roots are concentrated. Thus, for instance, the critical zone in forested ecosystems is considered as the top several meters of soil. I propose a new way of thinking for deserts: that the critical zone is not where plant roots are found but is instead where the surface poikilohydric organisms are found: that is, just above, on, or within the top few centimeters of rock or soil surfaces. This extremely thin veneer of life is critical in almost every ecosystem process in deserts, including weathering, C and N cycles, dust capture, bio-availability of P and metals, decomposition, and soil stability. In addition, as these communities cover most soil and rock surfaces, they mediate almost all inputs (water, gases, and nutrients) and outputs (gases) to underlying strata. They also facilitate delivery of C and nutrients from the soil interspace to plants. The direct connection between lithic communities and soil surface BSC communities and the connection between BSCs living in the nutrient-rich soil surface zone and nearby vascular plants may be a critical process unique to dryland ecosystems.

  12. Dataset of the use of tannin of néré (parkia-biglobosa as a solution for the sustainability of the soil constructions in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sinko Banakinao

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Soil is the main material of construction in African rural areas. Sustainability of construction with soil is a thorny problem to any builder. Finding ways to improve the durability of soil is not only essential but also salutary for the African rural community that mostly lives in soil-built houses that are very often short-lived. The present data assessed the resistance to simple compression and the resistance to bad weather by simulating rainfall alternations through a test of cycles of alternate watering and drying of blocks built from four types of different soils without binder, along with blocks built from the same soils.

  13. Long-term manure applications improve soil productivity and sustain high crop yield for acidic red soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Intensive use of chemical nitrogen (N) fertilizers has resulted in severely reduced productivity of red soils (Ferralic Cambisol) due to accelerated acidification. Manure has been shown to be effective in improving soil productivity by preventing or reversing the acidification process, but little in...

  14. Assessment of soil fertility change and sustainability of agroecological management in different land use systems of the southern Ecuadorian Andes

    OpenAIRE

    Bahr, Etienne

    2015-01-01

    The thesis was conducted to investigate soil fertility changes and assess the sustainability of agroecological management in different land-use systems of the southern Ecuadorian Andes using quantitative and qualitative methods. Ecuador still holds the highest deforestation rate of all Latin American countries which also has a large impact in the research area by forest conversion into agricultural land. Agricultural land-use systems in the research area are multifaceted due to heterogeneous ...

  15. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    OpenAIRE

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyano...

  16. USE OF ORGANIC RESIDUES FOR THE RECOVERY OF SOIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia Galvez

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of different organic residues on soil fertility and climate change, through the evaluation of soil organic matter mineralisation, greenhouse gas emission, nutrient availability and soil microbial biomass content and activity. A degraded agricultural soil was amended with three different organic residues (pig slurry digestate, rapeseed meal, and compost at three different doses (0.1, 0.25 and 0.5% w/w and incubated for 30 days at 20 ºC. During incubation, soil CO2 and N2O emissions, K2SO4 extractable organic C, N, NH4+, NO3- and P, soil microbial biomass and some enzymatic activities were determined. Results obtained showed that rapeseed meal and pig slurry are best suited to improve soil chemical and biological fertility, while compost is more appropriate for the enhancement of soil organic matter content and to promote soil C sequestration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    using farm ponds and percolation tanks. This methodology can be adopted for estimating the soil loss from similar ungauged watersheds with deficient data and for planning suitable soil and water conservation interventions for the sustainable management of the watersheds.

  18. Assessment of Relationships between Earthworms and Soil Abiotic and Biotic Factors as a Tool in Sustainable Agricultural

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radoslava Kanianska

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Earthworms are a major component of soil fauna communities. They influence soil chemical, biological, and physical processes and vice versa, their abundance and diversity are influenced by natural characteristics or land management practices. There is need to establish their characteristics and relations. In this study earthworm density (ED, body biomass (EB, and diversity in relation to land use (arable land—AL, permanent grasslands—PG, management, and selected abiotic (soil chemical, physical, climate related and biotic (arthropod density and biomass, ground beetle density, carabid density indicators were analysed at seven different study sites in Slovakia. On average, the density of earthworms was nearly twice as high in PG compared to AL. Among five soil types used as arable land, Fluvisols created the most suitable conditions for earthworm abundance and biomass. We recorded a significant correlation between ED, EB and soil moisture in arable land. In permanent grasslands, the main climate related factor was soil temperature. Relationships between earthworms and some chemical properties (pH, available nutrients were observed only in arable land. Our findings indicate trophic interaction between earthworms and carabids in organically managed arable land. Comprehensive assessment of observed relationships can help in earthworm management to achieve sustainable agricultural systems.

  19. Climate Science, Development Practice, and Policy Interactions in Dryland Agroecological Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Twyman, C.; Fraser, E.D.G.; Stringer, L.C.; Quinn, C.; Dougill, A.J.; Crane, T.A.; Sallu, S.M.

    2011-01-01

    The literature on drought, livelihoods, and poverty suggests that dryland residents are especially vulnerable to climate change. However, assessing this vulnerability and sharing lessons between dryland communities on how to reduce vulnerability has proven difficult because of multiple definitions

  20. Plant diversity and ecosystem multifunctionality peak at intermediate levels of woody cover in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David J.; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Quero, José Luis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Gallardo, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Aim The global spread of woody plants into grasslands is predicted to increase over the coming century. While there is general agreement regarding the anthropogenic causes of this phenomenon, its ecological consequences are less certain. We analyzed how woody vegetation of differing cover affects plant diversity (richness and evenness) and multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality) in global drylands, and how this changes with aridity. Location 224 dryland sites from all continents except Antarctica widely differing in their environmental conditions (from arid to dry-subhumid sites) and woody covers (from 0 to 100%). Methods Using a standardized field survey, we measured the cover, richness and evenness of perennial vegetation. At each site, we measured 14 ecosystem functions related to soil fertility and the build-up of nutrient pools. These functions are critical for maintaining ecosystem function in drylands. Results Species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality were strongly influenced by woody vegetation, with both variables peaking at relative woody covers (RWC) of 41-60%. This relationship shifted with aridity. We observed linear positive effects of RWC in dry-subhumid sites. These positive trends shifted to hump-shaped RWC-diversity and multifunctionality relationships under semiarid environments. Finally, hump-shaped (richness, evenness) or linear negative (multifunctionality) effects of RWC were found under the most arid conditions. Main conclusions Plant diversity and multifunctionality peaked at intermediate levels of woody cover, although this relationship became increasingly positive under wetter environments. This comprehensive study accounts for multiple ecosystem attributes across a range of woody covers and environmental conditions. Our results help us to reconcile contrasting views of woody encroachment found in current literature and can be used to improve predictions of the likely effects of encroachment on biodiversity and ecosystem

  1. An ecohydrological approach to predicting hillslope-scale vegetation patterns and dynamics in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, Trenton; King, Elizabeth

    2015-04-01

    Drylands are an important ecosystem, as they cover over 40% of the Earth's land surface and are know to exhibit threshold behavior in response to climatic change and anthropogenic disturbance. Where dryland vegetation supports pastoralist livestock production, catastrophic ecological shifts present a grave concern because of the direct coupling between the livestock forage available and human livelihoods. In this research we investigate the spatiotemporal organization of grazing resources on hillslopes by developing a relatively simple spatially explicit daily stochastic ecohydrological 1-layer bucket model with dynamic vegetation and grazing components. The model, MVUA MINGI (Mosaic Vegetation Using Agent-based Modeling Incorporating Non-linear Grazing Impacts), was constructed using a 2-year observational study in central Kenya combining in-situ sensors with near surface hydrogeophysical surveys. The data were used to derive an empirical patch water balance of three representative patch types, bare soil, grass, and tree. Visual and hydrogeophysical observations indicated the system is dominated by Hortonian runoff, overland flow, and vertical infiltration of water into vegetation patches. The patch-based water balances were next incorporated into a Cellular Automata model allowing us to simulate a range of surface flowpath convergence states across the hillslope during a rain event. The model also allows the root to canopy radius of the tree patches to vary affecting the length scale of water competition. By changing the length scales of facilitation and competition, we find the model demonstrates a range of most efficient static vegetation patterns from random to highly organized. In order simulate the vegetation dynamics we incorporated continuous transition probabilities for each patch type based on the frequency and duration of drought and grazing intensity. The modeled vegetation dynamics indicate various stable states and the timescales between the state

  2. Adapting a regularized canopy reflectance model (REGFLEC) for the retrieval challenges of dryland agricultural systems

    KAUST Repository

    Houborg, Rasmus

    2016-08-20

    A regularized canopy reflectance model (REGFLEC) is applied over a dryland irrigated agricultural system in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of retrieving leaf area index (LAI) and leaf chlorophyll content (Chll). To improve the robustness of the retrieved properties, REGFLEC was modified to 1) correct for aerosol and adjacency effects, 2) consider foliar dust effects on modeled canopy reflectances, 3) include spectral information in the red-edge wavelength region, and 4) exploit empirical LAI estimates in the model inversion. Using multi-spectral RapidEye imagery allowed Chll to be retrieved with a Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD) of 7.9 μg cm− 2 (16%), based upon in-situ measurements conducted in fields of alfalfa, Rhodes grass and maize over the course of a growing season. LAI and Chll compensation effects on canopy reflectance were largely avoided by informing the inversion process with ancillary LAI inputs established empirically on the basis of a statistical machine learning technique. As a result, LAI was reproduced with good accuracy, with an overall MAD of 0.42 m2 m− 2 (12.5%). Results highlighted the considerable challenges associated with the translation of at-sensor radiance observations to surface bidirectional reflectances in dryland environments, where issues such as high aerosol loadings and large spatial gradients in surface reflectance from bright desert soils to dark vegetated fields are often present. Indeed, surface reflectances in the visible bands were reduced by up to 60% after correction for such adjacency effects. In addition, dust deposition on leaves required explicit modification of the reflectance sub-model to account for its influence. By implementing these model refinements, REGFLEC demonstrated its utility for within-field characterization of vegetation conditions over the challenging landscapes typical of dryland agricultural regions, offering a means through which improvements can be made in the management of these globally

  3. Prunus persica crop management as step toward AMF diversity conservation for the sustainable soil management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Lozano, Z.; Garcia-Orenes, F.; Roldan, A.

    2012-04-01

    We investigated the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in roots of Prunus persica under two fertilization treatments (CF: consisted of application of chicken manure (1400 kg.ha-1), urea (140 kg.ha-1), complex fertilizer 12-12-17/2 (280 kg.ha-1), and potassium sulfate (40 kg.ha-1) and IF: consisted of application of urea (140 kg.ha-1), complex fertilizer 12-12-17/2 (400 kg.ha-1) and potassium sulfate (70 kg.ha-1)) combined with integrated pest management (IM) or chemical pest management (CM), in a tropical agroecosystem in the north of Venezuela. Our goal was to ascertain how different fertilizers/pest management can modify the AMF diversity colonizing P. persica roots as an important step towards sustainable soil use and therefore protection of biodiversity. The AM fungal small-subunit (SSU) rRNA genes were subjected to PCR, cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Twenty-one different phylotypes were identified, which were grouped in five families: Glomeraceae, Paraglomeraceae, Acaulosporaceae, Gigasporaceae and Archaeosporaceae. Sixteen of these sequence groups belonged to the genus Glomus, two to Paraglomus, one to Acaulospora, one to Scutellospora and one to Archaeospora. A different distribution of the AMF phylotypes as consequence of the difference between treatments was observed. Thus, the AMF communities of tree roots in the (IF+CM) treatment had the lowest diversity (H'=1.78) with the lowest total number of AMF sequence types (9). The trees from both (CF+IM) and (IF+IM) treatments had similar AMF diversity (H'?2.00); while the treatment (CF+CM) yielded the highest number of different AMF sequence types (17) and showed the highest diversity index (H'=2.69). In conclusion, the crop management including combination of organic and inorganic fertilization and chemical pest control appears to be the most suitable strategy with respect to reactivate the AMF diversity in the roots of this crop and thus, the agricultural and environmental

  4. Net mineralization of N at deeper soil depths as a potential mechanism for sustained forest production under elevated [CO2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iversen, Colleen M [ORNL; Hooker, Toby [Utah State University (USU); Classen, Aimee T [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Norby, Richard J [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    Elevated atmospheric [CO2] is projected to increase forest production, which could increase ecosystem carbon (C) storage. However, sustained forest production will depend on the nutrient balance of the forested ecosystem. Our aim was to examine the causes and consequences of increased fine-root production and mortality throughout the soil profile under elevated CO2 with respect to potential gross nitrogen (N) cycling rates. Our study was conducted in a CO2-enriched sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) plantation in Oak Ridge, TN, USA. We used isotope pool dilution methodology to measure potential gross N cycling rates in laboratory incubations of soil from four depth increments to 60 cm. Our objectives were two-fold: (1) determine whether N is available for root acquisition in deeper soil, and (2) determine whether increased inputs of labile C from greater fine-root mortality at depth under elevated [CO2] had altered N cycling rates. While gross N fluxes declined with soil depth, we found that N is potentially available for roots to access, especially below 15 cm depth where microbial consumption of mineral N was reduced. Overall, up to 60% of potential gross N mineralization, and 100% of potential net N mineralization, occurred below 15-cm depth at this site. This finding was supported by in situ measurements from ion-exchange resins, where total inorganic N availability at 55 cm depth was equal to or greater than N availability at 15 cm depth. While it is likely that trees grown under elevated [CO2] are accessing a larger pool of inorganic N by mining deeper soil, we found no effect of elevated [CO2] on potential gross or net N cycling rates. Thus, increased root exploration of the soil volume under elevated [CO2] may be more important than changes in potential gross N cycling rates in sustaining forest responses to rising atmospheric CO2.

  5. Sustaining soil productivity in response to global climate change: science, policy, and ethics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Norman, John M; Sauer, Thomas J; Siva Kumar, M. V. K

    2011-01-01

    "Sustaning Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change is a two-part text bringing together the latest research in soil science and climatology and the ethical, political and social issues...

  6. Dynamics of soil dissolved organic carbon pools reveal both hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds sustain microbial respiration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Straathof, A.L.; Chincarini, R.; Comans, R.N.J.; Hoffland, E.

    2014-01-01

    The quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) released from soil organic amendments may influence soil microbial activity and the quality of the soil's DOC pools. Measurements of total DOC are often considered in relation to microbial activity levels but here we propose that quantification of DOC

  7. Salvadora persica agro-ecological suitability for oil production in Argentine dryland salinity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falasca, Silvia; Pitta-Alvarez, Sandra; del Fresno, Carolina Miranda

    2015-12-15

    One of the major causes of crop stress is soil or water salinity. Thus, selection of the best species for cultivation in semiarid and arid climates is fundamental. Salvadora persica is an evergreen perennial halophyte that can grow under extreme conditions, from very dry environments to highly saline soils. Based on international bibliography, the authors outlined an agro-ecological zoning model to determine the potential cultivation zones for S. persica in Argentina. This model may be applied to any part of the world, using the agro-ecological limits presented in this work. All the maps were developed by the implementation of a geographic information system (GIS) that can be updated by the further incorporation of complementary information, with the consequent improvement of the original database. The overlap of the agroclimatic suitability map on the drylands' saline soils and the drylands' alkaline soils maps, determined the agro-ecological zoning. Since some areas in the agro-ecological zoning can overlap with land that is already assigned for other uses, protected areas, current land use/cover of the different zones, and urban areas maps were incorporated into the GIS and subtracted by a mask. This resulted in the delimitation of "potential cultivation zoning", thus avoiding possible conflicts surrounding the use of land and making the agro-ecological zonation more efficient. There is a broad agro-ecological zone for cultivation of S. persica that extends from Northern Argentina to approximately 41° South latitude, under dry-subhumid to semiarid climates. Lands classified with different degrees of suitability in the potential cultivation zoning could be used for production of this species for energy purposes on lands that are either unsuitable for food production or currently assigned for other purposes. This paper represents pioneering work since there are no previous studies concerning the introduction of S. persica in Argentina. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier

  8. Dryland Landscapes: Forest Management, Gender and Social Diversity in Asia and Africa’

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bose, P.; Dijk, van J.W.M.

    2016-01-01

    Drylands cover 40 % of the earth’s surface and provide the basis for the livelihoods of 2 billion people, many of whom belong to the poorest of the world. Dryland forests provide these people with woods, fruits, fibre and pasture. Drylands are among the poorest and most problem-ridden areas of the

  9. Dryland Flood-Irrigation and its Impact on CO2 Production and the Accumulation of Pedogenic Carbonate in West Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, A. C.; Jin, L.

    2016-12-01

    Agricultural fields in drylands are intensively irrigated. Indeed, pecan orchards at the El Paso, TX region are flooded with over one meter of water per growing season. The waters are usually oversaturated in calcite (CaCO3) and continuous evapotranspiration drives CaCO3 precipitation, releasing CO2. As such, the loading of CaCO3 through flood irrigation in drylands impacts Ca and C cycles greatly. We characterized soil, soil gas and soil water samples to quantify rates of pedogenic carbonate accumulation and CO2 release, identify the sources of C and Ca in pedogenic carbonates, and investigate kinetic and environmental controls of CaCO3 formation. Simple calculations show that up to 112000kg/km2/yr of Ca is loaded onto the fields by irrigation, evidenced by high water-soluble and acid-leachable Ca in soils, especially in clayey soils. We used 87Sr/86Sr ratios to quantify the relative importance of different Ca end-members including flood irrigation. Data show that water-soluble soil leachates have similar 87Sr/86Sr ratios as irrigation waters at depth, but lighter signatures at surface, probably due dust and fertilizer inputs. We measured daily soil-atmosphere CO2 efflux, δ13CCO2 and concentrations of CO2 gas samples at different soil depths between two irrigation events and at two sites with sandy versus clayey soils. These data help determine if sources of soil CO2 change with depth, irrigation event and if CO2 transport is controlled by texture. Correlations of δ13CCO2 and soil CO2 concentrations indicate mixing of organically respired, atmospheric and CaCO3-derived CO2. We found co-variation of δ13CCO2 and soil CO2 with time, where soil CO2 became heavier in carbon isotopes and more abundant in concentrations, illustrating shifts from soil respired CO2, characterized by lighter C, to increased proportions of CaCO3-derived CO2 with heavier C. Efflux data show peak values as soils dried, indicating supersaturation of soil waters and precipitation of pedogenic

  10. A Spanner in the Works: Human–Elephant Conflict Complicates the Food–Water–Energy Nexus in Drylands of Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mwangi Githiru

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The two major conservation issues for drylands of Africa are habitat loss or degradation and habitat fragmentation, largely from agriculture, charcoal production, and infrastructural development. A key question for management is how these landscapes can retain their critical ecological functions and services, while simultaneously supporting resilient livelihoods. It is a clear nexus question involving food (agriculture, water, and energy (fuelwood, which is complicated by human–wildlife conflicts. While these could appear disparate issues, they are closely connected in dryland forest landscapes of Africa where elephants occur close to areas of human habitation. For instance, crop failure, whether due to weather or wildlife damage, is a key driver for rural farmers seeking alternative livelihoods and incomes, one of the commonest being charcoal production. Similarly, heavy reliance on wood-based energy often leads to degradation of wildlife habitat, which heightens competition with wildlife for food and water, increasing the possibility of crop-raiding. So, for multifunctional landscapes where elephants occur in close proximity with humans, any food–water–energy nexus activities toward achieving sustainability and resilience should consider human–elephant conflicts (HECs. Here, we broach these food–water–energy nexus issues with a focus on dryland areas of Africa and HECs. We highlight an ongoing study attempting to address this nexus holistically by employing a climate-smart agriculture (CSA and agro-forestry based design, augmented by an elephant deterrent study and an eco-charcoal production venture.

  11. Soil and Land Resources Information System (SLISYS-Tarim) for Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Othmanli, Hussein; Zhao, Chengyi; Stahr, Karl

    2017-04-01

    according to field management, soil type and salinity level, where soil salinity was the main limiting factor. Furthermore, the calibrated and validated EPIC model was run under several scenarios of climate conditions and land management practices to estimate the effect of climate change on cotton production and sustainability of agriculture systems in the basin. The application of SLISYS-Tarim showed that this database can be a suitable framework for storage and retrieval of soil and terrain data at various scales. The simulation with the EPIC model can assess the impact of climate change and management strategies. Therefore, SLISYS-Tarim can be a good tool for regional planning and serve the decision support system on regional and national scale.

  12. Sustained large stimulation of soil heterotrophic respiration rate and its temperature sensitivity by soil warming in a cool-temperate forested peatland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maricar Aguilos

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a soil warming experiment in a cool-temperate forested peatland in northern Japan during the snow-free seasons of 2007–2011, to determine whether the soil warming would change the heterotrophic respiration rate and its temperature sensitivity. We elevated the soil temperature by 3°C at 5-cm depth by using overhead infrared heaters and continuously measured hourly soil CO2 fluxes with a 15-channel automated chamber system. The 15 chambers were divided into three groups each with five replications for the control, unwarmed-trenched and warmed-trenched treatments. Soil warming enhanced heterotrophic respiration by 82% (mean of four seasons (2008–2011 observation±SD, 6.84±2.22 µmol C m−2 s−1 as compared to the unwarmed-trenched treatment (3.76±0.98 µmol C m−2 s−1. The sustained enhancement of heterotrophic respiration with soil warming suggests that global warming will accelerate the loss of carbon substantially more from forested peatlands than from other upland forest soils. Soil warming likewise enhanced temperature sensitivity slightly (Q 10, 3.1±0.08 and 3.3±0.06 in the four-season average in unwarmed- and warmed-trenched treatments, respectively, and significant effect was observed in 2009 (p<0.001 and 2010 (p<0.01. However, there was no significant difference in the basal respiration rate at 10°C (R 10, 2.2±0.52 and 2.8±1.2 µmol C m−2 s−1 between treatments, although the values tended to be high by warming throughout the study period. These results suggest that global warming will enhance not only the heterotrophic respiration rate itself but also its Q 10 in forests with high substrate availability and without severe water stress, and predictions for such ecosystems obtained by using models assuming no change in Q 10 are likely to underestimate the carbon release from the soil to the atmosphere in a future warmer environment.

  13. Integrating knowledge exchange and the assessment of dryland management alternatives - A learning-centered participatory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bautista, Susana; Llovet, Joan; Ocampo-Melgar, Anahí; Vilagrosa, Alberto; Mayor, Ángeles G; Murias, Cristina; Vallejo, V Ramón; Orr, Barron J

    2017-06-15

    The adoption of sustainable land management strategies and practices that respond to current climate and human pressures requires both assessment tools that can lead to better informed decision-making and effective knowledge-exchange mechanisms that facilitate new learning and behavior change. We propose a learning-centered participatory approach that links land management assessment and knowledge exchange and integrates science-based data and stakeholder perspectives on both biophysical and socio-economic attributes. We outline a structured procedure for a transparent assessment of land management alternatives, tailored to dryland management, that is based on (1) principles of constructivism and social learning, (2) the participation of stakeholders throughout the whole assessment process, from design to implementation, and (3) the combination of site-specific indicators, identified by local stakeholders as relevant to their particular objectives and context conditions, and science-based indicators that represent ecosystem services of drylands worldwide. The proposed procedure follows a pattern of eliciting, challenging, and self-reviewing stakeholder perspectives that aims to facilitate learning. The difference between the initial baseline perspectives and the final self-reviewed stakeholder perspectives is used as a proxy of learning. We illustrate the potential of this methodology by its application to the assessment of land uses in a Mediterranean fire-prone area in East Spain. The approach may be applied to a variety of socio-ecological systems and decision-making and governance scales. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The charcoal-degradation nexus: contested 'fuelscapes' in the sub-Saharan drylands of northern Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergmann, Christoph; Petersen, Maike; Roden, Paul; Nüsser, Marcus

    2017-04-01

    Charcoal ranks amongst the most commercialized but least regulated commodities in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite its prevalence as an energy source for cooking and heating, localized environmental and livelihood impacts of charcoal production are poorly understood so far. The identified research deficit is amplified by widespread negative views of this activity as a poverty-driven cause of deforestation and land degradation. However, the charcoal-degradation nexus is apparently more complicated, not least because the extraction of biomass from already degraded woodlands can also be interpreted as an appropriate option under given management regimes. In order to better calibrate existing research agendas to site-specific geographies of charcoal production, we propose a re-conceptualization of such energy landscapes as 'fuelscapes' with complex material and social dimensions. The concept is tested with reference to a case study in Central Pokot, northern Kenya, where charcoal production only began in the early 1990's. Based on the assumption that the fine line between sustainable land management and degradation in dryland energy landscapes is not only highly variable but also increasingly contested, our study combines the knowledge input of different stakeholders with longitudinal time series of remote sensing data. Based on the results of our interdisciplinary analyses, we outline an integrated tool for the co-operative monitoring and management of prevailing degradation processes against the background of diversified livelihood activities in sub-Saharan drylands.

  15. Predicting soil properties for sustainable agriculture using vis-NIR spectroscopy: a case study in northern Greece

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsakiridis, Nikolaos L.; Tziolas, Nikolaos; Dimitrakos, Agathoklis; Galanis, Georgios; Ntonou, Eleftheria; Tsirika, Anastasia; Terzopoulou, Evangelia; Kalopesa, Eleni; Zalidis, George C.

    2017-09-01

    Soil Spectral Libraries facilitate agricultural production taking into account the principles of a low-input sustainable agriculture and provide more valuable knowledge to environmental policy makers, enabling improved decision making and effective management of natural resources in the region. In this paper, a comparison in the predictive performance of two state of the art algorithms, one linear (Partial Least Squares Regression) and one non-linear (Cubist), employed in soil spectroscopy is conducted. The comparison was carried out in a regional Soil Spectral Library developed in the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region of Northern Greece, comprised of roughly 450 Entisol soil samples from soil horizons A (0-30 cm) and B (30-60 cm). The soil spectra were acquired in the visible - Near Infrared Red region (vis- NIR, 350nm-2500nm) using a standard protocol in the laboratory. Three soil properties, which are essential for agriculture, were analyzed and taken into account for the comparison. These were the Organic Matter, the Clay content and the concentration of nitrate-N. Additionally, three different spectral pre-processing techniques were utilized, namely the continuum removal, the absorbance transformation, and the first derivative. Following the removal of outliers using the Mahalanobis distance in the first 5 principal components of the spectra (accounting for 99.8% of the variance), a five-fold cross-validation experiment was considered for all 12 datasets. Statistical comparisons were conducted on the results, which indicate that the Cubist algorithm outperforms PLSR, while the most informative transformation is the first derivative.

  16. Organic vs. organic - soil arthropods as bioindicators of ecological sustainability in greenhouse system experiment under Mediterranean conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madzaric, Suzana; Ceglie, F G; Depalo, L; Al Bitar, L; Mimiola, G; Tittarelli, F; Burgio, G

    2017-11-23

    Organic greenhouse (OGH) production is characterized by different systems and agricultural practices with diverse environmental impact. Soil arthropods are widely used as bioindicators of ecological sustainability in open field studies, while there is a lack of research on organic production for protected systems. This study assessed the soil arthropod abundance and diversity over a 2-year crop rotation in three systems of OGH production in the Mediterranean. The systems under assessment differed in soil fertility management: SUBST - a simplified system of organic production, based on an input substitution approach (use of guano and organic liquid fertilizers), AGROCOM - soil fertility mainly based on compost application and agroecological services crops (ASC) cultivation (tailored use of cover crops) as part of crop rotation, and AGROMAN - animal manure and ASC cultivation as part of crop rotation. Monitoring of soil fauna was performed by using pitfall traps and seven taxa were considered: Carabidae, Staphylinidae, Araneae, Opiliones, Isopoda, Myriapoda, and Collembola. Results demonstrated high potential of ASC cultivation as a technique for beneficial soil arthropod conservation in OGH conditions. SUBST system was dominated by Collembola in all crops, while AGROMAN and AGROCOM had more balanced relative abundance of Isopoda, Staphylinidae, and Aranea. Opiliones and Myriapoda were more affected by season, while Carabidae were poorly represented in the whole monitoring period. Despite the fact that all three production systems are in accordance with the European Union regulation on organic farming, findings of this study displayed significant differences among them and confirmed the suitability of soil arthropods as bioindicators in protected systems of organic farming.

  17. Sustainable Soil Washing: Shredded Card Filtration of Potentially Toxic Elements after Leaching from Soil Using Organic Acid Solutions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Ash

    Full Text Available Shredded card (SC was assessed for use as a sorbent of potentially toxic elements (PTE carried from contaminated soil in various leachates (oxalic acid, formic acid, CaCl2, water. We further assessed SC for retention of PTE, using acidified water (pH 3.4. Vertical columns and a peristaltic pump were used to leach PTE from soils (O and A/B horizons before passing through SC. Sorption onto SC was studied by comparing leachates, and by monitoring total PTE contents on SC before and after leaching. SC buffers against acidic soil conditions that promote metals solubility; considerable increases in solution pH (+4.49 were observed. Greatest differences in solution PTE content after leaching with/without SC occurred for Pb. In oxalic acid, As, Cd, Pb showed a high level of sorption (25, 15, and 58x more of the respective PTE in leachates without SC. In formic acid, Pb sorption was highly efficient (219x more Pb in leachate without SC. In water, only Pb showed high sorption (191x more Pb in leachate without SC. In desorption experiments, release of PTE from SC varied according to the source of PTE (organic/mineral soil, and type of solvent used. Arsenic was the PTE most readily leached in desorption experiments. Low As sorption from water was followed by fast release (70% As released from SC. A high rate of Cd sorption from organic acid solutions was followed by strong retention (~12% Cd desorption. SC also retained Pb after sorption from water, with subsequent losses of ≤8.5% of total bound Pb. The proposed use of this material is for the filtration of PTE from extract solution following soil washing. Low-molecular-mass organic acids offer a less destructive, biodegradable alternative to strong inorganic acids for soil washing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  19. Modeling analysis of the benefits of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) for sustainable agriculture in arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, M. S.; Vico, G.; Porporato, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    In view of the pressing needs to sustainably manage water and soil resources, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, here we propose a new carbon assimilation model that couples a simple yet mechanistic description of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis to the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. The model captures the full coupling of the CAM photosynthetic pathway with fluctuations in environmental conditions (cycles of light availability and air humidity, changes in soil moisture as driven by plant transpiration and rainfall occurrence). As such, the model is capable of reproducing the different phases of CAM, including daytime stomatal closure and photosynthesis from malic acid, afternoon stomatal opening for direct carbon assimilation, and nighttime stomatal opening for CO2 uptake and malic acid synthesis. Thanks to its versatility, our model allows us to relate CAM productivity, for both obligate and facultative CAM plants, to various soil moisture conditions including hydroclimatic scenarios of rainfall frequency and intensity as well as different night-time conditions of temperature, wind speed, and humidity. Our analyses show the potential productive benefits of CAM cultivation in dryland environments as feedstock and possible biofuel source, in terms of sustainable water use and economic benefits. In particular, the model is used to explore conditions where CAM plant resiliency to water stress makes these plants a more sustainable alternative to C3 and C4 species for potential deficit irrigation.

  20. Geospatial Assessment of Long-Term Sustainability of Biomass Feedstock Supplies: Erosion, Soil Biomass Accumulation, Greenhouse Gasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosentrater, K. A.; Kaleita, A. L.

    2013-12-01

    In the past decade, the corn grain-based fuel ethanol industry has grown exponentially. Now, stakeholders within the corn grain producing regions of the midwestern United States are seeking to develop advanced biofuels from abundant post-harvest lignocellulosic corn stover resides. How sustainable are these biofuels? Scientific guidelines regarding the sustainable use of corn grain and stover to maintain soil quality have not been clearly defined, due in part to the complexity of agricultural soil systems and the dearth of robust and consistent data. The objective of this study was to examine the long-term sustainability of corn stover harvest for economically relevant agricultural production scenarios focused on the state of Iowa. We used the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model to simulate soil erosion and biomass returned to the soil under two crop rotation scenarios (continuous corn vs. corn-soybean rotation), three corn stover removal rates (0, 50, 100% removed), and three tillage intensities (no till (NT), intermediate till (IT), conventional till (CT)). Calculations were aggregated to the township-scale using multiple sampling points from the USDA Natural Resources Inventory per township within each county, for a total of 17,848 sampling points throughout the state. This accounted for the topographical and soils variation within the state; use of county weather stations incorporated climate variations. Statistical characterization and GIS visualization were used to illustrate and interpret the results. Wide variations in biomass accumulation/erosion/GHG impacts were observed across agronomic scenarios and landform regions throughout Iowa, and biomass management and tillage intensity impacted on-site soil quality and the off-site environment. Soil biomass was primarily affected by stover removal rate, with soybean rotation also reducing soil biomass. Soil erosion was primarily affected by slope and tillage, with stover removal rate playing a lesser

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Pagliai

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

  2. From Theory to Rural Farms: Testing the Efficacy of the Dryland Development Paradigm of Desertification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, J. F.; Herrick, J.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Ayarza, M.

    2011-12-01

    The social and economic systems of humans (H) are inextricably linked with environmental (E) systems. This tight coupling is especially relevant in drylands, where ecosystem goods and services vital to sustaining the livelihoods of human populations are constantly changing over time. The Dryland Development Paradigm (DDP; Reynolds et al. 2007, Science 316, 847-851) was proposed as an integrated framework for dealing with the enormous complexity associated with coupled H-E systems. The DDP consists of five principles: (1) the structure, function and interrelationships that characterize H-E systems are always changing so both H and E factors must always be considered simultaneously; (2) a limited suite of "slow" variables are critical determinants of H-E dynamics; (3) thresholds in both H and E systems are vital: if a key slow variable crosses a threshold this can lead to a different state or condition (a switch in culture resistance to the introduction of new technology such as tractors to plow fields); (4) H-E systems are hierarchical in nature and because of the many cross-scale linkages and feedbacks, adaptation, surprises and self-organization are the norm; and (5) lastly, "solving" land degradation problems cannot be accomplished without drawing upon the firsthand experience and insights (local knowledge) of local stakeholders. For the past 7 years, ARIDnet-AMERICAS, an NSF-supported coordination research network, has applied these five principles via 11 case studies at diverse locations in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Honduras, Mexico and the United States with the goal to compare and contrast the causes and processes of land degradation and their effects on the balance between the demand for, and supply of, ecosystem services. We present a summary of our initial synthesis. The causal human-environmental processes driving land degradation (e.g., overgrazing, government policies, international markets) are often similar but with differing levels of

  3. The contribution of Japanese Soil Science Societies to scientific knowledge, education and sustainability: Good practices in the International Year of Soils 2015 towards the International Decade of Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosaki, Takashi; Matoh, Toru; Inubushi, Kazuyuki; Sakurai, Katsutoshi

    2017-04-01

    The soil science community in Japan includes ca. 15,000 individuals from a variety of sectors, i.e. research, education, extension, business, national and local government, practitioners, non-governmental or non-profit organizations, etc., who have mostly (multi-)membership(s) in some of the academic societies. Among those societies, the Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, the Japanese Society of Soil Microbiology and the Japanese Society of Pedology played a leading role in the promotion of the International Year of Soils 2015. The activities, many of which were jointly organized and executed by the above three, can be summarized as follows; Scientific symposiums/workshops not only within the societies but together with other disciplines such as geosciences, quaternary research, biogeochemistry, ecology, biosciences, geotechnology, etc. in national as well as international gatherings, Symposiums, (mobile) exhibitions, photo contests, science cafes, talk shows, field days, agricultural fairs, edutainment programs for school children, etc. for promoting the public awareness of soil and soil science, Publication of the books and booklets on the topics of soils, soil science, soil and environment (and/or food, life, human security, etc.), targeting the moderately educated public, Articles in selected newspapers, Distribution or sale of the novelty/memorial goods and items, e.g. soil globe, logo stickers, specially brewed Sake wines, etc. Translation of "Vienna Soil Declaration" of the IUSS into Japanese language and its distribution to the public, and Scientific and action proposal and its international dispatch of "The need to reinforce soil science research and the information basis to respond to both gradual and sudden changes in our environment" together with the Science Council of Japan. Scientific forums and gatherings as symposiums and workshops with other disciplines were successful and satisfied by most of the participants. Those for the

  4. Lignin decomposition is sustained under fluctuating redox conditions in humid tropical forest soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven J. Hall; Whendee L. Silver; Vitaliy I. Timokhin; Kenneth E. Hammel

    2015-01-01

    Lignin mineralization represents a critical flux in the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle, yet little is known about mechanisms and environmental factors controlling lignin breakdown in mineral soils. Hypoxia is thought to suppress lignin decomposition, yet potential effects of oxygen (O2) variability in surface soils have not been explored. Here, we...

  5. Sustained effects of atmospheric [CO2] and nitrogen availability on forest soil CO2 efflux

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Christopher Oishi; Sari Palmroth; Kurt H. Johnsen; Heather R. McCarthy; Ram. Oren

    2014-01-01

    Soil CO2 efflux (Fsoil) is the largest source of carbon from forests and reflects primary productivity as well as how carbon is allocated within forest ecosystems. Through early stages of stand development, both elevated [CO2] and availability of soil nitrogen (N; sum of mineralization, deposition, and fixation) have been shown to increase gross primary productivity,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

    : Europés ZT/CA area is 1.35 million hectares, while the world area is now some 125 million and growing at a rate of 7 million hectares per year. More scientific measurements of the benefits of this system are required, both to assist adoption and to trigger policy measures. In the EEC, CAP reform (greening) needs to consider making environmental services payments for these social benefits since a reduction in single farm payments is ineluctable and carbon footprint reduction is of the essence, in the face of constantly-rising fuel prices and the need to cut GHG emissions. Therefore, as the principal farm tool which offers an effective and immediate solution towards positive changes in soil quality, productivity and sustainability, ZT/CA adoption needs financial incentives, which have high economic and environmental returns to society.

  7. Is phytoremediation a sustainable and reliable approach to clean-up contaminated water and soil in Alpine areas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwitzguébel, Jean-Paul; Comino, Elena; Plata, Nadia; Khalvati, Mohammadali

    2011-07-01

    Phytoremediation does exploit natural plant physiological processes and can be used to decontaminate agricultural soils, industrial sites, brownfields, sediments and water containing inorganic and organic pollutants or to improve food chain safety by phytostabilisation of toxic elements. It is a low-cost and environment friendly technology targetting removal, degradation or immobilisation of contaminants. The aim of the present review is to highlight some recent advances in phytoremediation in the Alpine context. Case studies are presented where phytoremediation has been or can be successfully applied in Alpine areas to: (1) clean-up industrial wastewater containing sulphonated aromatic xenobiotics released by dye and textile industries; (2) remediate agricultural soils polluted by petroleum hydrocarbons; (3) improve food chain safety in soils contaminated with toxic trace elements (As, Co, Cr and Pb); and (4) treat soils impacted by modern agricultural activities with a special emphasis on phosphate fertilisation. Worlwide, including in Alpine areas, the controlled use of appropriate plants is destined to play a major role for remediation and restoration of polluted and degraded ecosystems, monitoring and assessment of environmental quality, prevention of landscape degradation and immobilisation of trace elements. Phytotechnologies do already offer promising approaches towards environmental remediation, human health, food safety and sustainable development for the 21st century in Alpine areas and elsewhere all over the world.

  8. MY SIRR: Minimalist agro-hYdrological model for Sustainable IRRigation management-Soil moisture and crop dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albano, Raffaele; Manfreda, Salvatore; Celano, Giuseppe

    The paper introduces a minimalist water-driven crop model for sustainable irrigation management using an eco-hydrological approach. Such model, called MY SIRR, uses a relatively small number of parameters and attempts to balance simplicity, accuracy, and robustness. MY SIRR is a quantitative tool to assess water requirements and agricultural production across different climates, soil types, crops, and irrigation strategies. The MY SIRR source code is published under copyleft license. The FOSS approach could lower the financial barriers of smallholders, especially in developing countries, in the utilization of tools for better decision-making on the strategies for short- and long-term water resource management.

  9. Soil influence on the performance of 26 native herbaceous plants suitable for sustainable Mediterranean landscaping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretzel, Francesca; Pezzarossa, Beatrice; Benvenuti, Stefano; Bravi, Alessio; Malorgio, Fernando

    2009-09-01

    Native herbaceous plants have the potential for renaturalizing and recovering derelict soils, such as urban or anthropized soils. Ecological restoration following the establishment of a native wildflower meadow should lead to a reduction in management costs and to the preservation of native plant populations. This study was aimed at determining the ecological characteristics and the cultivation needs of 26 herbaceous species native to Italy and southern Europe in order to identify their landscape potential in low-maintenance conditions. The species were selected on the basis of their adaptation to unproductive soils in semi-natural and rural areas, and on their ornamental value, including their ability to attract insects. Mono-specific plots were set up in three different soils. Seed germination, seedling emergence, flowering dynamics, and plant growth were determined. Dormancy-breaking treatments were effective in improving the germination of most species. The percentage of field establishment and biomass appeared to be affected by the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil. Soil texture slightly affected seedling emergence, whereas soil texture and the C and N levels affected plant growth, the number of flowers and the duration of flowering. Dianthus carthusianorum, Verbascum blattaria, Matricaria chamomilla and Hypochoeris radicata developed a higher biomass per plant in the soils with a low nutrient content, indicating their adaptability to infertile soils. Daucus carota, Papaver rhoeas, Verbascum sinuatum, Coleostephus myconis produced a higher biomass per plant in the most fertile soil, where they appeared to show a higher potential when competing with other species. The ecological characteristics shown by the native plants are extremely important in terms of combining seeds of different species to create and to maintain semi-natural herbaceous communities in low-maintenance landscapes.

  10. Forest soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. (Hobie) Perry; Michael C. Amacher

    2009-01-01

    Productive soils are the foundation of sustainable forests throughout the United States. Forest soils are generally subjected to fewer disturbances than agricultural soils, particularly those that are tilled, so forest soils tend to have better preserved A-horizons than agricultural soils. Another major contrast between forest and agricultural soils is the addition of...

  11. Bacteria Associated to Plants Naturally Selected in a Historical PCB Polluted Soil Show Potential to Sustain Natural Attenuation

    KAUST Repository

    Vergani, Lorenzo

    2017-07-25

    according to in vitro assays. PGP tested in vivo on tomato plants using eleven selected bacterial isolates, confirmed the promotion and protection potential of the rhizosphere bacteria. Different spontaneous plant species naturally selected in a historical chronically polluted site showed to determine the enrichment of peculiar bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated to the roots. All the rhizosphere communities, nevertheless, hosted bacteria with degradation/detoxification and PGP potential, putatively sustaining the natural attenuation process.

  12. Bacteria Associated to Plants Naturally Selected in a Historical PCB Polluted Soil Show Potential to Sustain Natural Attenuation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergani, Lorenzo; Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Crotti, Elena; Fusi, Marco; Di Guardo, Antonio; Armiraglio, Stefano; Daffonchio, Daniele; Borin, Sara

    2017-01-01

    according to in vitro assays. PGP tested in vivo on tomato plants using eleven selected bacterial isolates, confirmed the promotion and protection potential of the rhizosphere bacteria. Different spontaneous plant species naturally selected in a historical chronically polluted site showed to determine the enrichment of peculiar bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated to the roots. All the rhizosphere communities, nevertheless, hosted bacteria with degradation/detoxification and PGP potential, putatively sustaining the natural attenuation process.

  13. Bacteria Associated to Plants Naturally Selected in a Historical PCB Polluted Soil Show Potential to Sustain Natural Attenuation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Vergani

    2017-07-01

    among the isolates according to in vitro assays. PGP tested in vivo on tomato plants using eleven selected bacterial isolates, confirmed the promotion and protection potential of the rhizosphere bacteria. Different spontaneous plant species naturally selected in a historical chronically polluted site showed to determine the enrichment of peculiar bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated to the roots. All the rhizosphere communities, nevertheless, hosted bacteria with degradation/detoxification and PGP potential, putatively sustaining the natural attenuation process.

  14. Linking Regional Satellite Observations with Coupled Human-Ecological Systems in Global Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, C.; Reynolds, J. F.

    2009-12-01

    The African Sahel has attracted consistent attention since a series of droughts in the 1970s and 1980s caused widespread famine and land degradation (desertification). These events spawned international conventions and sustained development efforts to increase food security and reverse poverty for the local populations, and to arrest environmental degradation. Since 1985, several studies using satellite data have described a general “greening” in response to increased rainfall trends. However, some areas show more greening while others less greening than can be explained by precipitation alone (Glob. Env. Change 15- 2005). The debated question is how to explain the residual changes: management, policy, human adaptation, or something else? Placing results in an human-ecological framework could help answer this question. Providing a meaningful assessment will allow national and international agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative approaches to poverty alleviation and environmental restoration in drylands at regional and global scales.

  15. Specific leaf area predicts dryland litter decomposition via two mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Guofang; Wang, Lei; Jiang, Li; Pan, Xu; Huang, Zhenying; Dong, Ming; Cornelissen, Johannes H.C.

    2018-01-01

    Litter decomposition plays important roles in carbon and nutrient cycling. In dryland, both microbial decomposition and abiotic degradation (by UV light or other forces) drive variation in decomposition rates, but whether and how litter traits and position determine the balance between these

  16. Syndromes of dryland degradation in southern Africa | Scholes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dryland degradation (in other words, desertification) is defined for the purposes of this paper as a persistent decrease in the capacity of an arid or semiarid ecosystem to supply a range of services, including (but not restricted to) forage, fuel, timber, crops, fresh water, wild-harvested foods, biodiversity habitat and tourism ...

  17. Expansion of global drylands under a warming climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Feng

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Global drylands encompassing hyper-arid, arid, semiarid, and dry subhumid areas cover about 41 percent of the earth's terrestrial surface and are home to more than a third of the world's population. By analyzing observations for 1948–2008 and climate model simulations for 1948–2100, we show that global drylands have expanded in the last sixty years and will continue to expand in the 21st~century. By the end of this century, the world's drylands (under a high greenhouse gas emission scenario are projected to be 5.8 × 106 km2 (or 10% larger than in the 1961–1990 climatology. The major expansion of arid regions will occur over southwest North America, the northern fringe of Africa, southern Africa, and Australia, while major expansions of semiarid regions will occur over the north side of the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and North and South America. The global dryland expansions will increase the population affected by water scarcity and land degradations.

  18. Response of a dryland fluvial system to climate–tectonic ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2Department of Earth and Environmental Science, K.S.K.V. Kachchh University, Bhuj, Kachchh 370 001, India. ∗. Corresponding ... Temporal changes in the hydrological condition are manifested in the ... Response of a dryland fluvial system to climate–tectonic perturbations during Late Quaternary 1121 during the Late ...

  19. The development of reforestation options for dryland farmland in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Current forest industries in south-western Australia are based on regrowth natural eucalypt forests and Pinus and Eucalyptus spp. plantations, and restricted to areas with >600 mm y−1 annual rainfall. Dryland farming systems have been developed across 20 million ha in a zone with 300–600 mm y−1 annual rainfall and a ...

  20. Total evaporation estimates from a Renosterveld and dryland wheat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Accurate quantification of the water balance, in particular evapotranspiration, is fundamental in managing water resources, especially in semi-arid areas. The objective of this study was to compare evaporation from endemic vegetation – Renosterveld – and a dryland wheat/fallow cropping system. The study was carried out ...

  1. Rainfall probability and EONR for dryland corn in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen fertilizer costs have increased 70% in the last 6 yrs in the Central Great Plains Region (CGPR). This cost increase coincides with a decrease in dryland grain yields due to drought. How does the economic optimum N rate (EONR) change with grain price and fertilizer cost? Here we evaluated 11...

  2. Insistent Dryland Narratives: Portraits of Knowledge about Human ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The drylands in the West African Sahel region have, since the catastrophic drought event in the 1970s, been a focal point of interest in the cross field between environmental research, knowledge systems and policy intervention strategies. Major international institutions, agencies and conventions have played an important ...

  3. Organic Waste Nitrogen and Phosphorus Dynamics Under Dryland Agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organic waste beneficial-use programs effectively recycle plant nutrients when applied at agronomic rates. Plant-nutrient availability, transport, and fate questions have arisen when organic wastes such as biosolids have been applied to dryland agroecosystems. What is the N-fertilizer equivalency ...

  4. Desertification, land use, and the transformation of global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desertification is an escalating concern in global drylands, yet assessments to guide management and policy responses are limited by ambiguity concerning what this term means and what processes are involved. In order to provide greater clarity, we propose that desertification assessments be placed w...

  5. Restoration of Native Hawaiian Dryland Forest at Auwahi, Maui

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medieros, Arthur C.; vonAllmen, Erica

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND The powerful volcanoes that formed the high islands of the Hawaiian archipelago block northeasterly tradewinds, creating wet, windward rain forests and much drier, leeward forests. Dryland forests in Hawai'i receive only about 20 inches of rain a year. However, the trees in these forests intercept fog and increase ground moisture levels, thereby enabling these seemingly inhospitable habitats to support a diverse assemblage of plants and animals. Dryland forests of the Hawaiian Islands, like those worldwide, have been heavily impacted by humans both directly and indirectly. Less than 10% of Hawai'i's original dryland forest habitat remains. These forests have been severely impacted by urban development, ranching and agriculture, and invasive species. In particular, browsing animals and alien grasses have caused significant damage. Feral ungulates, including goats, sheep, cattle, and pigs, consume sensitive plants. Alien grasses have become dominant in the understory in many dryland habitats. In addition, these introduced grasses are fire-adapted and have increased the incidence of wildfire in these ecosystems. Native Hawaiian plants did not evolve with frequent fires or mammalian herbivores and typically do not survive well under these pressures.

  6. Response of a dryland fluvial system to climate–tectonic ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Earth System Science; Volume 125; Issue 6. Response of a dryland fluvial system to climate–tectonic perturbations during the Late Quaternary: Evidence from Rukmawati River basin, Kachchh, western India. Archana Das Falguni Bhattacharya B K Rastogi Gaurav Chauhan Mamata Ngangom ...

  7. Performance of Medicago sativa under dryland conditions on the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Reports the results of research conducted into pasture establishment using legumes. Examines possible strategies for integrating dryland lucerne into livestock production systems on the eastern Highveld. Focuses on livestock production from pure and mixed lucerne pastures; Increased livestock numbers and improved ...

  8. Soil-, water-, and energy-conserving tillage - Southern Plains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allen, R.R.; Musick, J.T.; Unger, P.W.; Wiese, A.F.

    1981-01-01

    This paper summarizes some conservation cropping systems that have been developed through research. The cropping systems were: dryland wheat-fallow with stubble mulch, dryland wheat-chemical fallow-sorghum, irrigated wheat-chemical fallow-sorghum, irrigated sorghum double-cropped after winter wheat, and irrigated annual sorghum. For these cropping systems, the affect of tillage method upon soil water storage, crop yield, and energy use is discussed. 15 refs.

  9. Global questions, local answers: soil management and sustainable intensification in diverse socioeconomic contexts of Cuba

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McCune, N.; Ruiz Gonzalez, Y.; Alcantara, E.A.; Fernandez Martinez, O.; Onelio Fundaro, C.; Castillo Arzola, N.; Cairo Cairo, P.; Haese, D' M.; Neve, De S.; Guevara Hernandez, F.

    2011-01-01

    In the complex context of global food and agricultural systems, research in agriculture must respond to multidisciplinary questions of economic development, ecological sustainability and food justice. With the objective of responding to several of the most important questions facing agriculture

  10. Phytostabilization of semiarid soils residually contaminated with trace elements using by-products: Sustainability and risks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-de-Mora, Alfredo, E-mail: perezdemora@gmail.com [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia de Sevilla (IRNAS), CSIC, PO Box 1052, 41080 Sevilla (Spain); Madejon, Paula; Burgos, Pilar; Cabrera, Francisco [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia de Sevilla (IRNAS), CSIC, PO Box 1052, 41080 Sevilla (Spain); Lepp, Nicholas W. [35, Victoria Road, Formby, Liverpool L37 7DH (United Kingdom); Madejon, Engracia [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia de Sevilla (IRNAS), CSIC, PO Box 1052, 41080 Sevilla (Spain)

    2011-10-15

    We investigated the efficiency of various by-products (sugarbeet lime, biosolid compost and leonardite), based on single or repeated applications to field plots, on the establishment of a vegetation cover compatible with a stabilization strategy on a multi-element (As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) contaminated soil 4-6 years after initial amendment applications. Results indicate that the need for re-treatment is amendment- and element-dependent; in some cases, a single application may reduce trace element concentrations in above-ground biomass and enhance the establishment of a healthy vegetation cover. Amendment performance as evaluated by % cover, biomass and number of colonizing taxa differs; however, changes in plant community composition are not necessarily amendment-specific. Although the translocation of trace elements to the plant biotic compartment is greater in re-vegetated areas, overall loss of trace elements due to soil erosion and plant uptake is usually smaller compared to that in bare soil. - Highlights: > By-products enhance vegetation dynamics in contaminated semiarid soils. > Depending on the situation single or repeated incorporations may be required. > The structure of the plant community established is not amendment-dependent. > Phytostabilization reduces overall loss of trace elements in semiarid soils. - Phytostabilization using by-products as amendments is a suitable approach for long-term immobilization of various trace elements in semiarid contaminated soils.

  11. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, David L.; Duniway, Michael C.; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In drylands, climate change is predicted to cause chronic reductions in water availability (press-droughts) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures as well as increase the frequency and intensity of short-term extreme droughts (pulse-droughts). These changes in precipitation patterns may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plant functional types (PFTs). Here we present the responses of four Colorado Plateau PFTs to an experimentally imposed, 4-year, press-drought during which a natural pulse-drought occurred. Our objectives were to (1) identify the drought sensitivities of the PFTs, (2) assess the additive effects of the press- and pulse-drought, and (3) examine the interactive effects of soils and drought. Our results revealed that the C3 grasses were the most sensitive PFT to drought, the C3shrubs were the most resistant, and the C4 grasses and shrubs had intermediate drought sensitivities. Although we expected the C3 grasses would have the greatest response to drought, the higher resistance of C3 shrubs relative to the C4 shrubs was contrary to our predictions based on the higher water use efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Also, the additive effects of press- and pulse-droughts caused high morality in C3 grasses, which has large ecological and economic ramifications for this region. Furthermore, despite predictions based on the inverse texture hypothesis, we observed no interactive effects of soils with the drought treatment on cover or mortality. These results suggest that plant responses to droughts in drylands may differ from expectations and have large ecological effects if press- and pulse-droughts push species beyond physiological and mortality thresholds.

  12. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, David L; Duniway, Michael C; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-12-01

    In drylands, climate change is predicted to cause chronic reductions in water availability (press-droughts) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures as well as increase the frequency and intensity of short-term extreme droughts (pulse-droughts). These changes in precipitation patterns may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plant functional types (PFTs). Here we present the responses of four Colorado Plateau PFTs to an experimentally imposed, 4-year, press-drought during which a natural pulse-drought occurred. Our objectives were to (1) identify the drought sensitivities of the PFTs, (2) assess the additive effects of the press- and pulse-drought, and (3) examine the interactive effects of soils and drought. Our results revealed that the C3 grasses were the most sensitive PFT to drought, the C3 shrubs were the most resistant, and the C4 grasses and shrubs had intermediate drought sensitivities. Although we expected the C3 grasses would have the greatest response to drought, the higher resistance of C3 shrubs relative to the C4 shrubs was contrary to our predictions based on the higher water use efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Also, the additive effects of press- and pulse-droughts caused high morality in C3 grasses, which has large ecological and economic ramifications for this region. Furthermore, despite predictions based on the inverse texture hypothesis, we observed no interactive effects of soils with the drought treatment on cover or mortality. These results suggest that plant responses to droughts in drylands may differ from expectations and have large ecological effects if press- and pulse-droughts push species beyond physiological and mortality thresholds.

  13. Adaptive livelihood strategies for coping with water scarcity in the drylands of central Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liwenga, Emma T.

    In this paper, it is argued that local knowledge for adapting to water scarcity is important for integrated resource management by taking into consideration both the natural and social constraints in a particular setting based on accumulated experience. The paper examines the relevance of local knowledge in sustaining agricultural production in the semiarid areas of central Tanzania. The paper specifically focuses on how water scarcity, as the major limiting factor, is addressed in the study area using local knowledge to sustain livelihoods of its people. The study was conducted in four villages; Mzula, Ilolo, Chanhumba and Ngahelezi, situation in Mvumi Division in Dodoma Region. The study mainly employed qualitative data collection techniques. Participatory methods provided a means of exploring perceptions and gaining deeper insights regarding natural resource utilization in terms of problems and opportunities. The main data sources drawn upon in this study were documentation, group interviews and field observations. Group interviews involved discussions with a group of 6-12 people selected on the basis of gender, age and socio-economic groups. Data analysis entailed structural and content analysis within the adaptive livelihood framework in relation to management of water scarcity using local knowledge. The findings confirm that rainfall is the main limiting factor for agricultural activities in the drylands of Central Tanzania. As such, local communities have developed, through time, indigenous knowledge to cope with such environments utilizing seasonality and diversity of landscapes. Use of this local knowledge is therefore effective in managing water scarcity by ensuring a continuous production of crops throughout the year. This practice implies increased food availability and accessibility through sales of such agricultural products. Local innovations for water management, such as cultivation in sandy rivers, appear to be very important means of accessing

  14. Natural ecosystem mimicry in traditional dryland agroecosystems: Insights from an empirical and holistic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Julien; Michon, Geneviève; Carrière, Stéphanie M

    2017-12-15

    While the aim of Ecological Intensification is to enable the design of more sustainable and productive agricultural systems, it is not suited to dryland agroecosystems that are driven by non-equilibrium dynamics and intrinsic variability. Instead, a model based on mobility and variability management has been proposed for these agroecosystems. However, this model remains under-applied in southern Morocco where there have been few studies on the functioning of traditional agroecosystems. This paper focuses on an agroecosystem in the Moroccan Saharan fringe zone that combines agriculture and pastoralism in an acacia parkland. A grounded theory approach was used over a three-year investigation period (i) to highlight how agro-pastoral activities interface with environmental variability, and (ii) to analyze the formal and informal institutions that support these activities. Results show that farmers interface with rainfall variability through (i) an opportunistic agricultural calendar, (ii) a variation of cultivated areas, and (iii) crop diversification. Herders combine macro-mobility (nomads move over long distances to track rainfall) and micro-mobility (nomadic and sedentary herds are driven on a daily basis around settlements) to optimize the exploitation of ecological heterogeneity. During droughts, they also resort to State-subsidized forage supplies. Both cultivation and pastoral activities tend to interface with ecological dynamics and to mimic nature, resulting in a human-modified parkland that could be considered as a 'green agroecosystem'. The sustainability of natural resource use relies on flexible property rights, backed up by a social and cultural norm-based regulation system, that allow crop-livestock integration and landscape collective management. Despite encouraging results, the agroecosystem appears to be threatened by current agricultural policies, rural exodus and the lack of social recognition of nomadism. Nevertheless, because ecosystem mimicry of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  16. Dryland Precipitation Variability and Desertification Processes: An Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Rain Variability within the Grand Canyon, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caster, J.; Sankey, J. B.; Draut, A.; Fairley, H.; Collins, B. D.; Bedford, D.

    2014-12-01

    In drylands, spatial and temporal rain variability can result from natural climatic cycles, weather patterns, and physiographic factors. In these environments, minor differences in rainfall distribution can invoke significant ecosystem response. The Grand Canyon, Arizona is an iconic dryland environment that receives less than 430 mm of annual rainfall. Recent monitoring of desertification processes at culturally sensitive landscapes in Grand Canyon has examined variability in vegetation, soil crusts, and runoff induced erosion, and identified a lack of knowledge about the nature, drivers and effects of local rainfall variability. We examine rainfall variability using five years of high resolution data collected from 11 weather stations distributed along the Colorado River within Grand Canyon, coupled with 60 years of lower resolution data from National Weather Service Cooperative Observer (NOAA COOP) stations. We characterize spatial and temporal variability in 10-minute rainfall intensity, an important predictor of soil erosion, and daily rainfall depth, an important predictor of biotic cover. We quantify the intensity-daily depth relationship to infer long-term variability in rainfall intensity from the NOAA COOP data that only record rainfall depth. Results confirm findings from previous studies showing a bi-seasonally rainfall pattern with longer duration-lower intensity storms in the cool season and shorter duration-higher intensity storms during the North American Monsoon (NAM).Seasonal differences in rainfall intensity-depth relationships are significant, and suggest NAM storms have greater potential to produce erosion-generating intensities. As NAM rainfall is spatially and inter-annually more variable than cool season rain, yearly rain depths are strongly influenced by NAM fluctuations. These findings will be useful in future efforts to track desertification processes in this and other drylands characterized by complex topography and extreme rainfall

  17. 3D Visualization Tools to Support Soil Management In Relation to Sustainable Agriculture and Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chen

    2017-04-01

    Visualization tools [1][2][6] have been used increasingly as part of information, consultation, and collaboration in relation to issues of global significance. Visualization techniques can be used in a variety of different settings, depending on their association with specific types of decision. Initially, they can be used to improve awareness of the local community and landscape, either individually or in groups [5]. They can also be used to communicate different aspects of change, such as digital soil mapping, ecosystem services and climate change [7][8]. A prototype 3D model was developed to present Tarland Catchment on the North East Scotland which includes 1:25000 soil map data and 1:50000 land capability for agriculture (LCA) data [4]. The model was used to identify issues arising between the growing interest soil monitoring and management, and the potential effects on existing soil characteristics. The online model was also created which can capture user/stakeholder comments they associate with soil features. In addition, people are located physically within the real-world bounds of the current soil management scenario, they can use Augmented Reality to see the scenario overlaid on their immediate surroundings. Models representing alternative soil use and management were used in the virtual landscape theatre (VLT) [3]with electronic voting designed to elicit public aspirations and concerns regarding future soil uses, and to develop scenarios driven by local input. Preliminary findings suggest positive audience responses to the relevance of the inclusion of soil data within a scene when considering questions regarding the impact of land-use change, such as woodland, agricultural land and open spaces. A future development is the use of the prototype virtual environment in a preference survey of scenarios of changes in land use, and in stakeholder consultations on such changes.END Rua, H. and Alvito, P. (2011) Living the past: 3D models, virtual reality and

  18. Understanding Land System Change Through Scenario-Based Simulations: A Case Study from the Drylands in Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhifeng; Verburg, Peter H; Wu, Jianguo; He, Chunyang

    2017-03-01

    The drylands in northern China are expected to face dramatic land system change in the context of socioeconomic development and environmental conservation. Recent studies have addressed changes of land cover with socioeconomic development in the drylands in northern China. However, the changes in land use intensity and the potential role of environmental conservation measures have yet to be adequately examined. Given the importance of land management intensity to the ecological conditions and regional sustainability, our study projected land system change in Hohhot city in the drylands in northern China from 2013 to 2030. Here, land systems are defined as combinations of land cover and land use intensity. Using the CLUMondo model, we simulated land system change in Hohhot under three scenarios: a scenario following historical trends, a scenario with strong socioeconomic and land use planning, and a scenario focused on achieving environmental conservation targets. Our results showed that Hohhot is likely to experience agricultural intensification and urban growth under all three scenarios. The agricultural intensity and the urban growth rate were much higher under the historical trend scenario compared to those with more planning interventions. The dynamics of grasslands depend strongly on projections of livestock and other claims on land resources. In the historical trend scenario, intensively grazed grasslands increase whereas a large amount of the current area of grasslands with livestock converts to forest under the scenario with strong planning. Strong conversion from grasslands with livestock and extensive cropland to semi-natural grasslands was estimated under the conservation scenario. The findings provide an input into discussions about environmental management, planning and sustainable land system design for Hohhot.

  19. Understanding Land System Change Through Scenario-Based Simulations: A Case Study from the Drylands in Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhifeng; Verburg, Peter H.; Wu, Jianguo; He, Chunyang

    2017-03-01

    The drylands in northern China are expected to face dramatic land system change in the context of socioeconomic development and environmental conservation. Recent studies have addressed changes of land cover with socioeconomic development in the drylands in northern China. However, the changes in land use intensity and the potential role of environmental conservation measures have yet to be adequately examined. Given the importance of land management intensity to the ecological conditions and regional sustainability, our study projected land system change in Hohhot city in the drylands in northern China from 2013 to 2030. Here, land systems are defined as combinations of land cover and land use intensity. Using the CLUMondo model, we simulated land system change in Hohhot under three scenarios: a scenario following historical trends, a scenario with strong socioeconomic and land use planning, and a scenario focused on achieving environmental conservation targets. Our results showed that Hohhot is likely to experience agricultural intensification and urban growth under all three scenarios. The agricultural intensity and the urban growth rate were much higher under the historical trend scenario compared to those with more planning interventions. The dynamics of grasslands depend strongly on projections of livestock and other claims on land resources. In the historical trend scenario, intensively grazed grasslands increase whereas a large amount of the current area of grasslands with livestock converts to forest under the scenario with strong planning. Strong conversion from grasslands with livestock and extensive cropland to semi-natural grasslands was estimated under the conservation scenario. The findings provide an input into discussions about environmental management, planning and sustainable land system design for Hohhot.

  20. Methods for Improvement of the Ecosystem Services of Soil by Sustainable Land Management in the Myjava River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korbeľová, Lenka; Kohnová, Silvia

    2017-03-01

    The main aim of this study is the development of methods for the assessment of the ecosystem services (ESS) of soils within the RECARE project and the participatory identification of measures to combat soil threats caused by floods in the Myjava River basin. The Myjava Hills highlands are known for their rapid runoff response and related muddy floods, which are determined by both the natural and socio-economic conditions. Within the frame of the mentioned project, the ESS framework with detailed relationships between the ecology, societal response, driving forces and also human well-being was identified. Next, to assess the SLM practices in the pilot basin, the stakeholders, who showed an interest in solving the flood protection problems in their areas, took an active part in the process of evaluating, scoring and selecting the best sustainable land management practices (SLM) for the flood protection of soil. From the results which were proposed, the technology of vegetative strips was top rated within the total results among all the SLM measures in all the categories, followed by water-retaining ditches and small wooden dams. Building a polder least meets the proposed SLM criteria.

  1. Plant species richness sustains higher trophic levels of soil nematode communities after consecutive environmental perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesarz, Simone; Ciobanu, Marcel; Wright, Alexandra J; Ebeling, Anne; Vogel, Anja; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-07-01

    The magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events are predicted to increase in the future due to ongoing climate change. In particular, floods and droughts resulting from climate change are thought to alter the ecosystem functions and stability. However, knowledge of the effects of these weather events on soil fauna is scarce, although they are key towards functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Plant species richness has been shown to affect the stability of ecosystem functions and food webs. Here, we used the occurrence of a natural flood in a biodiversity grassland experiment that was followed by a simulated summer drought experiment, to investigate the interactive effects of plant species richness, a natural flood, and a subsequent summer drought on nematode communities. Three and five months after the natural flooding, effects of flooding severity were still detectable in the belowground system. We found that flooding severity decreased soil nematode food-web structure (loss of K-strategists) and the abundance of plant feeding nematodes. However, high plant species richness maintained higher diversity and abundance of higher trophic levels compared to monocultures throughout the flood. The subsequent summer drought seemed to be of lower importance but reversed negative flooding effects in some cases. This probably occurred because the studied grassland system is well adapted to drought, or because drought conditions alleviated the negative impact of long-term soil waterlogging. Using soil nematodes as indicator taxa, this study suggests that high plant species richness can maintain soil food web complexity after consecutive environmental perturbations.

  2. A Review on Recycling of Sunflower Residue for Sustaining Soil Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subhash Babu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Modern agriculture is now at the crossroads ecologically, economically, technologically, and socially due to soil degradation. Critical analysis of available information shows that problems of degradation of soil health are caused due to imbalanced, inadequate and promacronutrient fertilizer use, inadequate use or no use of organic manures and crop residues, and less use of good quality biofertilizers. Although sizeable amount of crop residues and manure is produced in farms, it is becoming increasingly complex to recycle nutrients, even within agricultural systems. Therefore, there is a need to use all available sources of nutrients to maintain the productivity and fertility at a required level. Among the available organic sources of plant nutrients, crop residue is one of the most important sources for supplying nutrients to the crop and for improving soil health. Sunflower is a nontraditional oil seed crop produced in huge amount of crop residue. This much amount of crop residues is neither used as feed for livestock nor suitable for fuel due to low energy value per unit mass. However, its residue contains major plant nutrients in the range from 0.45 to 0.60% N, 0.15 to 0.22% P, and 1.80 to 1.94% K along with secondary and micronutrients, so recycling of its residue in the soil may be one of the best alternative practices for replenishing the depleted soil fertility and improving the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil in the present era of production. However, some researchers have reported allelopathic effects of sunflower residue on different crops. So, selection of suitable crops and management practices may play an important role to manage the sunflower residue at field level.

  3. 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...

  4. Soil quality is key for planning and managing urban allotments intended for the sustainable production of home-consumption vegetables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretzel, F; Calderisi, M; Scatena, M; Pini, R

    2016-09-01

    The growing importance of urban allotments in planning and managing urban areas is due to the combined positive effects on ecosystem services, the economy and human well-being, especially of groups of the urban population that can be vulnerable (e.g. the elderly, immigrants, low-income families). Some studies have highlighted the potential risk of contamination by metals of vegetables grown in urban areas and the lack of appropriate site-specific risk assessments. However, surveys are still lacking on the possibilities of using urban soil as a good substrate to produce vegetables for home consumption. We assessed the soil quality in two areas in Pisa (Italy), one intended for urban horticulture and the other already cultivated for that purpose. We analysed the soils for the main chemical and physical characteristics (texture, bulk density, water stability index, pH, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon, total nitrogen, phosphorous) and elements (Pb, Cu, Ni, Cr, Zn, Cd, As, K, Al and Mn). Our results showed that both areas had physical and chemical heterogeneity due to the effects of urbanization and to the different cultivation techniques employed. The metal content was lower than the guidelines limits, and the soil conditions (pH = 8) greatly reduced the metal mobility. Copper concentration in some of the cultivated area samples was higher than the limits, representing a possible stress factor for the microbial biodiversity and fauna. Our findings demonstrate that site-specific surveys are necessary before planning urban cultivation areas, and educating urban gardeners regarding sustainable cultivation techniques is a priority for a safe environment.

  5. The implications of copper fungicide usage in vineyards for earthworm activity and resulting sustainable soil quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eijsackers, H.J.P.; Beneke, P.; Maboeta, M.; Louw, J.P.E.; Reinecke, A.J.

    2005-01-01

    To investigate the impact of copper-containing fungicides (copper oxychloride) on earthworms in South African vineyards, field inventories of earthworms in and between vine rows were carried out and compared to directly adjacent grassland. Also copper content, pH, organic matter content, and soil

  6. Phytoextraction with Brassica napus L.: A tool for sustainable management of heavy metal contaminated soils.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grispen, V.M.J.; Nelissen, H.J.M.; Verkleij, J.A.C.

    2006-01-01

    Phytoextraction is a promising tool to extract metals from contaminated soils and Brassica napus L. seems to be a possible candidate species for this purpose. To select accessions with the ability to accumulate cadmium, hydroponically grown 21 day old seedlings of 77 B. napus L. accessions were

  7. Challenges and opportunities in harnessing soil disease suppressiveness for sustainable pasture production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dignam, B.E.A.; O'Callaghan, Maureen; Condron, L.M.; Raaijmakers, J.M.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; Wakelin, S.A.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are an important source of biodiversity, providing a range of essential ecosystem services such as ensuring water quality and soil carbon storage. An increasing proportion of grasslands are used for pastoral agriculture, supporting production of domestic livestock. Pasture productivity is

  8. New Tools to Estimate Runoff, Soil Erosion, and Sustainability of Rangeland Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands are the largest land cover type in the world. Degradation from mismanagement, desertification, and drought impact more than 50% of rangelands across the globe. The USDA Agricultural Research Service has been evaluating sustainability of rangeland for over 40-years by conducted rangeland r...

  9. Metarhizium brunneum (Ascomycota; Hypocreales Treatments Targeting Olive Fly in the Soil for Sustainable Crop Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meelad Yousef

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil treatments with Metarhizium brunneum EAMa 01/58-Su strain conducted in both Northern and Southern Spain reduced the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae population density emerging from the soil during spring up to 70% in treated plots compared with controls. A model to determine the influence of rainfall on the conidial wash into different soil types was developed, with most of the conidia retained at the first 5 cm, regardless of soil type, with relative percentages of conidia recovered ranging between 56 and 95%. Furthermore, the possible effect of UV-B exposure time on the pathogenicity of this strain against B. oleae adults coming from surviving preimaginals and carrying conidia from the soil at adult emergence was also evaluated. The UV-B irradiance has no significant effect on M. brunneum EAMa 01/58-Su pathogenicity with B. oleae adult mortalities of 93, 90, 79, and 77% after 0, 2, 4, and 6 of UV-B irradiance exposure, respectively. In a next step for the use of these M. brunneum EAMa 01/58-Sun soil treatments within a B. oleae IPM strategy, its possible effect of on the B. oleae cosmopolitan parasitoid Psyttalia concolor, its compatibility with the herbicide oxyfluorfen 24% commonly used in olive orchards and the possible presence of the fungus in the olive oil resulting from olives previously placed in contact with the fungus were investigated. Only the highest conidial concentration (1 × 108 conidia ml− caused significant P. concolor adult mortality (22% with enduing mycosis in 13% of the cadavers. There were no fungal propagules in olive oil samples resulting from olives previously contaminated by EAMa 01/58-Su conidia. Finally, the strain was demonstrated to be compatible with herbicide since the soil application of the fungus reduced the B. oleae population density up to 50% even when it was mixed with the herbicide in the same tank. The fungal inoculum reached basal levels 4 months after treatments (1.6 × 103 conidia g soil−1

  10. Sustainable measures for sewage sludge treatment - evaluating the effects on P reaction in soils and plant P uptake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenker, Moshe; Einhoren, Hana

    2016-04-01

    Wastewater treatment, whether for water reusing or for releasing into the environment, results in sewage sludge rich in organic matter and nutrients. If free of pathogens and pollutants, this waste material is a widely used as soil amendment and source of valuable nutrients for agronomic use. Nevertheless, its P/N ratio largely exceeds plant P/N demand. Limiting its application rates according to the P demand of crops will largely limit its application rates and its beneficial effect as a soil amendment and as a source for other nutrients. An alternative approach, in which P is stabilized before application, was evaluated in this study. Anaerobically digested fresh sewage sludge (FSS) was stabilized by aluminum sulfate, ferrous sulfate, and calcium oxide (CaO), as well as by composting with shredded woody yard-waste to produce Al-FSS, Fe-FSS, CaO-FSS, and FSS-compost, respectively. Defined organic-P sources (glucose-1-phosphate and inositol-hexa-phosphate) and a P fertilizer (KH2PO4) were included as well and a control with no P amendments was included as a reference. Each material was applied at a fixed P load of 50 mg kg-1 to each of three soils and P speciation and plants P uptake were tested along 112 days of incubation at moderate (near field capacity) water content. Tomato seedlings were used for the P uptake test. The large set of data was used to evaluate the effect of each treatment on P reactions and mechanisms of retention in the tested soils and to correlate various P indices to P availability for plants. Plant P uptake was highly correlated to Olsen-P as well as to water-soluble inorganic-P, but not to water-soluble organic-P and not to total P or other experimentally-defined stable P fractions. We conclude that the P stabilization in the sludge will allow beneficial and sustainable use of sewage sludge as a soil amendment and source of nutrients, but the stabilization method should be selected in accordance with the target soil properties.

  11. Sustainable management of agriculture activity on areas with soil vulnerability to compaction trough a developed decision support system (DSS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moretto, Johnny; Fantinato, Luciano; Rasera, Roberto

    2017-04-01

    One of the main environmental effects of agriculture is the negative impacts on areas with soil vulnerability to compaction and undersurface water derived from inputs and treatment distributions. A solution may represented from the "Precision Farming". Precision Farming refers to a management concept focusing on (near-real time) observation, measurement and responses to inter- and intra-variability in crops, fields and animals. Potential benefits may include increasing crop yields and animal performance, cost and labour reduction and optimisation of process inputs, all of which would increase profitability. At the same time, Precision Farming should increase work safety and reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture and farming practices, thus contributing to the sustainability of agricultural production. The concept has been made possible by the rapid development of ICT-based sensor technologies and procedures along with dedicated software that, in the case of arable farming, provides the link between spatially-distributed variables and appropriate farming practices such as tillage, seeding, fertilisation, herbicide and pesticide application, and harvesting. Much progress has been made in terms of technical solutions, but major steps are still required for the introduction of this approach over the common agricultural practices. There are currently a large number of sensors capable of collecting data for various applications (e.g. Index of vegetation vigor, soil moisture, Digital Elevation Models, meteorology, etc.). The resulting large volumes of data need to be standardised, processed and integrated using metadata analysis of spatial information, to generate useful input for decision-support systems. In this context, a user-friendly IT applications has been developed, for organizing and processing large volumes of data from different types of remote sensing and meteorological sensors, and for integrating these data into user-friendly farm management support

  12. Sustainable food production in marginal lands—Case of GDLA member countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shabbir A. Shahid

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable food production in the changing climate and dwindling water resources in the Global Dry Land Alliance (GDLA member countries is a real challenge, especially when considering marginal lands in dryland systems. The definition of marginal land is very vague and defined from different perspectives (pragmatism about marginal lands. Dryland itself indicates "marginality" due to water stress. In general, the abandoned agriculture land where food production is not economical, and has low inherent productivity potential is considered marginal; however, a land may be marginal for agriculture but vital for grazing. In this paper attempts have been made to give review of literature (water stress, extent of marginal saline lands, marginality. Policy matters (development of soil, water and agriculture strategies that GDLA and member countries should consider for future sustainable food production in their countries, including but not limited to, assessment of land resources for agriculture potential, defining, mapping and characterizing marginal lands, and use of innovative technologies (conservation agriculture, climate smart agriculture, integrated soil reclamation program and capacity building for food production, are discussed. The international perception (FAO, UNEP, CGIAR on marginal lands is also described. An innovative approach of using national biocapacity and ecological footprint is used to assess marginality of GDLA member countries. Ecological overshoot (using 1.5 earth planets and biocapacity debtor and creditor countries are highlighted. Challenges and best management practices for food production in marginal lands are included. Other important issues, like leasing land abroad, GDLA strategic food reserves and best management practices, innovative ideas for food production are shared. Finally recommendations are drafted for actions by GDLA, its member countries and the partners.

  13. Degradation of sustainable mulch materials in two types of soil under laboratory conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villena, Jaime; González, Sara; Moreno, Carmen; Aceituno, Patricia; Campos, Juan; Meco, Ramón; María Moreno, Marta

    2017-04-01

    Mulching is a technique used in cultivation worldwide, especially for vegetable crops, for reducing weed growth, minimising or eliminating soil erosion, and often for enhancing total yields. Manufactured plastic films, mainly polyethylene (PE), have been widely used for this purpose due to their excellent mechanical properties, light weight and relatively low prices in recent years. However, the use of PE is associated with serious environmental problems related to its petrochemical origin and its long shelf-life, which causes a waste problem in our crop fields. For this reason, the use of biodegradable mulch materials (biopolymers and papers) as alternative to PE is increasing nowadays, especially in organic farming. However, these materials can suffer an undesirable early degradation (and therefore not fulfilling their function successfully), greatly resulting from the type of soil. For this reason, this study aimed to analyse the degradation pattern of different mulch materials buried in two types of soils, clay and sand, under laboratory conditions (25°C, dark surroundings, constant humidity). The mulch materials used were: 1) black polyethylene (15 µm); black biopolymers (15 µm): 2) maize starch-based, 3) potato starch-based, 4) polylactic acid-based, 5) black paper, 85 g/m2. Periodically (every 15-20 days), the weight and surface loss of the different materials were recorded. The results indicate that mulch degradation was earlier and higher in the clay soil, especially in the paper and in the potato starch-based materials, followed by the maize starch-based mulch, while polylactic acid-based suffered the least and the latest degradation. Keywords: mulch, biodegradable, biopolymer, paper, degradation. Acknowledgements: the research was funded by Project RTA2011-00104-C04-03 from the INIA (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).

  14. Sustainability of US Organic Beef and Dairy Production Systems: Soil, Plant and Cattle Interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Kathy J. Soder; Jennifer W. MacAdam; Aimee N. Hafla

    2013-01-01

    In 2010, the National Organic Program implemented a rule for the US stating that pasture must be a significant source of feed in organic ruminant systems. This article will focus on how the pasture rule has impacted the management, economics and nutritional value of products derived from organic ruminant systems and the interactions of grazing cattle with pasture forages and soils. The use of synthetic fertilizers is prohibited in organic systems; therefore, producers must rely on animal manu...

  15. Cumulative drought and land-use impacts on perennial vegetation across a North American dryland region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Long, A. Lexine; Wallace, Cynthia; Webb, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    Question The decline and loss of perennial vegetation in dryland ecosystems due to global change pressures can alter ecosystem properties and initiate land degradation processes. We tracked changes of perennial vegetation using remote sensing to address the question of how prolonged drought and land-use intensification have affected perennial vegetation cover across a desert region in the early 21st century? Location Mojave Desert, southeastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona, USA. Methods We coupled the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Enhanced Vegetation Index (MODIS-EVI) with ground-based measurements of perennial vegetation cover taken in about 2000 and about 2010. Using the difference between these years, we determined perennial vegetation changes in the early 21st century and related these shifts to climate, soil and landscape properties, and patterns of land use. Results We found a good fit between MODIS-EVI and perennial vegetation cover (2000: R2 = 0.83 and 2010: R2 = 0.74). The southwestern, far southeastern and central Mojave Desert had large declines in perennial vegetation cover in the early 21st century, while the northeastern and southeastern portions of the desert had increases. These changes were explained by 10-yr precipitation anomalies, particularly in the cool season and during extreme dry or wet years. Areas heavily impacted by visitor use or wildfire lost perennial vegetation cover, and vegetation in protected areas increased to a greater degree than in unprotected areas. Conclusions We find that we can extrapolate previously documented declines of perennial plant cover to an entire desert, and demonstrate that prolonged water shortages coupled with land-use intensification create identifiable patterns of vegetation change in dryland regions.

  16. Evaporative isotope enrichment as a constraint on reach water balance along a dryland river.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, John J; Sadek, Mostafa A; Stone, D J M; Hughes, Catherine E; Hankin, S; Cendon, Dioni I; Hollins, Suzanne E

    2008-03-01

    Deuterium and oxygen-18 enrichment in river water during its transit across dryland region is found to occur systematically along evaporation lines with slopes of close to 4 in (2)H-(18)O space, largely consistent with trends predicted by the Craig-Gordon model for an open-water dominated evaporating system. This, in combination with reach balance assessments and derived runoff ratios, strongly suggests that the enrichment signal and its variability in the Barwon-Darling river, Southeastern Australia is acquired during the process of evaporation from the river channel itself, as enhanced by the presence of abundant weirs, dams and other storages, rather than reflecting inherited enrichment signals from soil water evaporation in the watershed. Using a steady-state isotope mass balance analysis based on monthly (18)O and (2)H, we use the isotopic evolution of river water to re-construct a perspective of net exchange between the river and its contributing area along eight reaches of the river during a drought period from July 2002 to December 2003, including the duration of a minor flow event. The resulting scenario, which uses a combination of climatological averages and available real-time meteorological data, should be viewed as a preliminary test of the application rather than as a definitive inventory of reach water balance. As expected for a flood-driven dryland system, considerable temporal variability in exchange is predicted. While requiring additional real-time isotopic data for operational use, the method demonstrates potential as a non-invasive tool for detecting and quantifying water diversions, one that can be easily incorporated within existing water quality monitoring activities.

  17. Resilience of small-scale societies: a view from drylands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea L. Balbo

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To gain insights on long-term social-ecological resilience, we examined adaptive responses of small-scale societies to dryland-related hazards in different regions and chronological periods, spanning from the mid-Holocene to the present. Based on evidence from Africa (Sahara and Sahel, Asia (south margin of the Thar desert, and Europe (South Spain, we discuss key traits and coping practices of small-scale societies that are potentially relevant for building resilience. The selected case studies illustrate four main coping mechanisms: mobility and migration, storage, commoning, and collective action driven by religious beliefs. Ultimately, the study of resilience in the context of drylands emphasizes the importance of adaptive traits and practices that are distinctive of small-scale societies: a strong social-ecological coupling, a solid body of traditional ecological knowledge, and a high degree of internal cohesion and self-organization.

  18. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, José L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adriá; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; García-Gómez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceição, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Hernández, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Aníbal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez-Collantes, David A.; Romão, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2013-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report on the first global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth’s land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality, and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands. PMID:22246775

  19. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, Jose L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adrian; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Garcia-Gomez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceicao, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitan, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gomez-Gonzalez, Susana; Gutie, Julio R.; Hernandez, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Anibal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramirez-Collantes, David A.; Romao, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Diaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, Jose P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that the preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

  20. Establishment of a constructed wetland in extreme dryland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tencer, Yoram; Idan, Gil; Strom, Marjorie; Nusinow, Uri; Banet, Dorit; Cohen, Eli; Schröder, Peter; Shelef, Oren; Rachmilevitch, Shimon; Soares, Ines; Gross, Amit; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi

    2009-11-01

    The project was set to construct an extensive wetland in the southernmost region of Israel at Kibbutz Neot Smadar (30 degree 02'45" N and 35 degree 01'19" E). The results of the first period of monitoring, summary, and perspectives are presented. The constructed wetland (CW) was built and the subsequent monitoring performed in the framework of the Southern Arava Sustainable Waste Management Plan, funded by the EU LIFE Fund. The specific aims were: (1) To end current sewage disposal and pollution of the ground, the aquifer, and the dry river bed (wadi) paths by biologically treating the sewage as part of the creation of a sustainable wetland ecosystem. (2) Serve as an example of CW in the Negev highlands and the Arava Valley climates for neighboring communities and as a test ground for plants and building methods appropriate to hyper arid climate. (3) Serve as an educational resource and tourist attraction for groups to learn about water reuse, recycling, local wildlife and migrating birds, including serving the heart of a planned Ecological-Educational Bird Park. This report is intended to allow others who are planning similar systems in hyper arid climates to learn from our experience. The project is located in an extreme arid desert with less than 40 mm of rain annually and temperature ranges of -5 degree C to +42 degree C. The site receives 165-185 m3 of municipal and agricultural wastes daily, including cowshed and goat wastes and winery outflow. The CW establishment at Neot Smadar was completed in October 2006. For 8 months, clean water flowed through the system while the plants were taking root. In June 2007, the wetland was connected to the oxidation pond and full operation began. Because of seepage and evaporation, during the first several months, the water level was not high enough to allow free flow from one bed to the next. To bed A, the water was pumped periodically from the oxidation pond (Fig. 1) and from there flowed by gravitation through the rest

  1. Surface soil factors and soil characteristics in geo-physical milieu of Kebbi State Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suleiman Usman

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil erodibility (K factor is the most important tool for estimation the erosion. The aim of this study Soil factors and surface soil characteristics are important components of agricultural environment. They support surface and subsurface soils to perform many functions to agriculture and economic human developments. Understanding these factors would aid to the recognition of the values that our soil and land offered to humanity. It is therefore, aim of this study to visualise and examine the soil factors and surface soil characteristics in Kebbi State Nigeria. An Integrated Surface Soil Approach (ISSA was used in the classification and description of soil environment in the study region. The factors constituted in the ISSA are important components of soil science that theories and practice(s noted to provide ideas on how soil environment functioned. The results indicate that the surface soil environments around Arewa, Argungu, Augie, Birnin Kebbi and Dandi are physically familiar with the following surface soil characteristics: bad-lands, blown-out-lands, cirque-lands, fertile-lands, gullied-lands, miscellaneous and rock-outcrops.The major soil factors observed hat played an important role in surface soil manipulations and soil formation are alluvial, colluvial, fluvial and lacustrine; ant, earthworms and termite; and various forms of surface relief supported by temperature, rainfall, relative humidity and wind. Overall, the surface soil environment of the region was describe according to their physical appearance into fadama clay soils, fadama clay-loam soils, dryland sandy soils, dryland sandy-loam soils, dryland stony soils and organic-mineral soils.

  2. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  3. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-05-08

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

  4. A coupled vegetation/sediment transport model for dryland environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayaud, Jerome R.; Bailey, Richard M.; Wiggs, Giles F. S.

    2017-04-01

    Dryland regions are characterized by patchy vegetation, erodible surfaces, and erosive aeolian processes. Understanding how these constituent factors interact and shape landscape evolution is critical for managing potential environmental and anthropogenic impacts in drylands. However, modeling wind erosion on partially vegetated surfaces is a complex problem that has remained challenging for researchers. We present the new, coupled cellular automaton Vegetation and Sediment TrAnsport (ViSTA) model, which is designed to address fundamental questions about the development of arid and semiarid landscapes in a spatially explicit way. The technical aspects of the ViSTA model are described, including a new method for directly imposing oblique wind and transport directions onto a cell-based domain. Verification tests for the model are reported, including stable state solutions, the impact of drought and fire stress, wake flow dynamics, temporal scaling issues, and the impact of feedbacks between sediment movement and vegetation growth on landscape morphology. The model is then used to simulate an equilibrium nebkha dune field, and the resultant bed forms are shown to have very similar size and spacing characteristics to nebkhas observed in the Skeleton Coast, Namibia. The ViSTA model is a versatile geomorphological tool that could be used to predict threshold-related transitions in a range of dryland ecogeomorphic systems.

  5. The Problem of Soil Erosion in Developing Countries--Direct and Indirect Causes and Recommendations for Reducing It to a Sustainable Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middlebrook, Cathy H.; Goode, Pamela M.

    1992-01-01

    Presents direct and indirect causes of erosion in developing countries. Identifies soil conservation developments ranging from major international policy reforms to small-scale, local farming programs. Suggests that strategies at all levels, and the political will to implement them, are needed if erosion is to be reduced to a sustainable rate. (23…

  6. Theory and Practice in Determining the Long-Term Spatial Productivity of Drylands: A California Blue Oak Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington-Allen, R. A.; Therrell, M. D.; Emanuel, R. E.

    2007-12-01

    Herbivory, fire, and climatic events such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and La Niña have been shown to have proximal and evolutionary effects on the dynamics of Dryland fauna, flora, and soils. However, spatially-explicit historical impacts of these climatic events on Dryland ecosystems is not known. Consequently, this paper has the purpose of presenting the theory and practical application for estimating the historical spatial impacts of these climatic events. We hypothesize that if remotely-sensed vegetation indices (VI) are correlated to historical tree ring data and also to functional ecosystem processes, specifically gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP) as measured by eddy covariance flux towers, then VIs can be used to spatially and temporally distribute GPP and NEP within the species- or community-specific land cover extent over the length of the tree ring record of selected Dryland ecosystems. Secondly, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital terrain model (DTM) data has been used to estimate tree height and in conjuction with plant allometric equations: biomass and standing carbon in various forest ecosystems. Tree height data in relation to tree ring age data and fire history can be used to reconstruct the spatial distribution of savanna demographic age structure, predict standing carbon and thus provide a complementary and independent dataset for comparison to DTMs from Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR), Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR), and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived GPP spatial maps. We developed a database consisting of a dendrochronology record, SRTM data, globa fre history data, Long term Data Record Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (LTDR AVHRR NDVI, 1981 - 2003), contemporary gridded climate data, National Land Cover Data (NLCD), and short term eddy covariance flux tower data for the

  7. Soil resources management – the fundamental basis for sustainable development in the Republic of Moldova

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana TOFAN

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Integrated management of soil resources and local community infrastructure of the Republic of Moldova can be resolved at the state level with strengthen the efforts of all participants from administrative, scientific and industrial sectors. The benefits of this action can be obtained by aggregation of factors and consequences that have or may be held as a result of regulatory decisions in order to create a favorable climate for management in the structure of local government, with optimal results for the development of national economy.

  8. Promoting Cassava as an Industrial Crop in Ghana: Effects on Soil Fertility and Farming System Sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Adjei-Nsiah, S.; Owuraku Sakyi-Dawson

    2012-01-01

    Cassava is an important starchy staple crop in Ghana with per capita consumption of 152.9 kg/year. Besides being a staple food crop, cassava can be used as raw material for the production of industrial starch and ethanol. The potential of cassava as an industrial commercial crop has not been exploited to a large extent because of perceptions that cassava depletes soils. Recent finding from field studies in the forest/savannah transitional agroecological zone of Ghana indicates that when integ...

  9. Territorial Systems, Regional Disparities and Sustainability: Economic Structure and Soil Degradation in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Salvati

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The present study was devoted to identify the evolutionary path of a number of local systems in a Mediterranean country vulnerable to soil degradation (SD in the last decades. A multivariate analysis was used to evaluate the socio-ecological conditions and to estimate rapidity-of-change of local systems by considering 6 bio-physical factors predisposing soil to degradation and 23 socioeconomic indicators over fifty years (1960–2010. Results indicate that systems’ development paths diverged during the investigated time period reflecting changes in the spatial organization and in the economic base of entire regions. Interestingly, economic performance and environmental quality do not seem to follow opposite trajectories. Local systems characterized by low per-capita income, agricultural specialization and population ageing, seem not to be associated with better and more stable ecological conditions. Local systems in affluent areas, featuring a mix of socioeconomic conditions with the prevalence of services in the economy and tourism specialization, showed relatively good ecological conditions and moderate-to-low SD vulnerability. Thus, affluent local systems do not necessarily reflect a higher pressure on the environment. These findings suggest that areas with a changing socio-demographic profile and a dynamic economic structure are compatible with low and stable levels of SD vulnerability.

  10. Quality and land use for a sustainable development: bio markers for the soil microbial activity; Calidad y uso del suelo para un desarrollo sostenible: importancia de biomarcadores de la actividad microbiana del suelo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia Izquierdo, C.

    1996-12-01

    Nowadays, to define and assess criteria of soil quality is acquiring an increasingly interest since it will allow to know th influence of different land uses on soil quality. It is so necessary to establish a minimum set of parameters, related with physical, chemical, biological and biochemical properties of soils, which measurement allows us to know the level of quality of a soil. Among the different soil parameters liable to be measured, those which are bio markers of soil microbial activity are, due to their sensitivity, the most useful to know in a quick and effective way the changes brought about in soil quality by soil management. This will help to take decisions on the most sustainable land uses in order to maintain a soil sustainable productivity. (Author) 11 refs.

  11. Warm and Fertile Sub-Humid Conditions Enhance Litterfall to Sustain High Soil Respiration Fluxes in a Mediterranean Cork Oak Forest

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    Lobna Zribi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Soil respiration is a major component of the global carbon budget and Mediterranean ecosystems have usually been studied in locations with shallow soils, mild temperatures, and a prolonged dry season. This study investigates seasonal soil respiration rates and underlying mechanisms under wetter, warmer, and more fertile conditions in a Mediterranean cork oak forest of Northern Tunisia (Africa, acknowledged as one of the most productive forests in the Mediterranean basin. We applied a soil respiration model based on soil temperature and relative water content and investigated how ecosystem functioning under these favorable conditions affected soil carbon storage through carbon inputs to the soil litter. Annual soil respiration rates varied between 1774 gC m−2 year−1 and 2227 gC m−2 year−1, which is on the highest range of observations under Mediterranean climate conditions. We attributed this high soil carbon flux as a response to favorable temperatures and soil water content, but this could be sustained only by a small carbon allocation to roots (root/shoot ratio = 0.31–0.41 leading to a large allocation to leaves with a multiannual leaf production, enhanced annual twig elongation (11.5–28.5 cm with a reduced leaf life span (<1 year maintaining a low LAI (1.68–1.88 and generating a high litterfall (386–636 gC m−2 year−1. Thus, the favorable climatic and edaphic conditions experienced by these Mediterranean cork oak forests drove high soil respiration fluxes which balanced the high carbon assimilation leading to a relatively small overall contribution (10.96–14.79 kgC m−2 to soil carbon storage.

  12. Analyzing the Effect of Variations in Soil and Management Practices on the Sustainability of Corn Stover-Based Bioethanol Production in Mississippi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woli, Prem [Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS (United States); Paz, Joel [Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS (United States)

    2011-08-07

    The inherent variability in corn stover productivity due to variations in soils and crop management practices might contribute to a variation in corn stover-based bioethanol sustainability. This study was carried out to examine how changes in soil types and crop management options would affect corn stover yield (CSY) and the sustainability of the stover-based ethanol production in the Delta region of Mississippi. Based on potential acreage and geographical representation, three locations were selected. Using CERES-Maize model, stover yields were simulated for several scenarios of soils and crop management options. Based on 'net energy value (NEV)' computed from CSYs, a sustainability indicator for stover-based bioethanol production was established. The effects of soils and crop management options on CSY and NEV were determined using ANOVA tests and regression analyses. Both CSY and NEV were significantly different across sandy loam, silt loam, and silty clay loam soils and also across high-, mid-, and low-yielding cultivars. With an increase in irrigation level, both CSY and NEV increased initially and decreased after reaching a peak. A third-degree polynomial relationship was found between planting date and CSY and NEV each. By moving from the lowest to the highest production scenario, values of CSY and NEV could be increased by 86 to 553%, depending on location and weather condition. The effects of variations in soils and crop management options on NEV were the same as on CSY. The NEV was positive for all scenarios, indicating that corn stover-based ethanol production system in the Delta region is sustainable.

  13. Applying Limestone or Basalt in Combination with Bio-Fertilizer to Sustain Rice Production on an Acid Sulfate Soil in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qurban Ali Panhwar

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available A study was conducted to determine the efficacy of applying ground magnesium limestone (GML or ground basalt in combination with bio-fertilizer to sustain rice production on an acid sulfate soil in Malaysia. Soils from Kelantan Plains, Malaysia, were treated with GML, ground basalt, bio-fertilizer, GML + bio-fertilizer, and ground basalt + bio-fertilizer (4 t·ha−1 each. Results showed that soil fertility was improved by applying the soil amendments. GML and basalt contain some Zn and Cu; thus, application of these amendments would increase their contents in the soil needed for the healthy growth of rice. Basalt applied in combination with bio-fertilizer appeared to be the best agronomic option to improve the fertility of acid sulfate soils for sustainable rice production in the long run. In addition to increasing Ca, Mg, Zn, and Cu reserves in the soil, water pH increased and precipitated Al3+ and/or Fe2+. Ground basalt is cheaper than GML, but basalt dissolution in the acidic soil was slow. As such, its ameliorative effects could only be seen significantly from the second season onwards. The specially-formulated bio-fertilizer for alleviating the infertility of acid sulfate soil could also enhance rice growth. The use of the bio-fertilizer fortified with N2-fixing bacteria is a green technology that would help reduce NO3− and/or NO2− pollution and reduce the cost of rice production. The phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB present in the bio-fertilizer not only increased the available P, but also helped release organic acids that would inactivate Al3+ and/or Fe2+ via the process of chelation.

  14. Ecological thresholds as a basis for defining management triggers for National Park Service vital signs: case studies for dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A.; Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Garman, Steven L.

    2013-01-01

    Threshold concepts are used in research and management of ecological systems to describe and interpret abrupt and persistent reorganization of ecosystem properties (Walker and Meyers, 2004; Groffman and others, 2006). Abrupt change, referred to as a threshold crossing, and the progression of reorganization can be triggered by one or more interactive disturbances such as land-use activities and climatic events (Paine and others, 1998). Threshold crossings occur when feedback mechanisms that typically absorb forces of change are replaced with those that promote development of alternative equilibria or states (Suding and others, 2004; Walker and Meyers, 2004; Briske and others, 2008). The alternative states that emerge from a threshold crossing vary and often exhibit reduced ecological integrity and value in terms of management goals relative to the original or reference system. Alternative stable states with some limited residual properties of the original system may develop along the progression after a crossing; an eventual outcome may be the complete loss of pre-threshold properties of the original ecosystem. Reverting to the more desirable reference state through ecological restoration becomes increasingly difficult and expensive along the progression gradient and may eventually become impossible. Ecological threshold concepts have been applied as a heuristic framework and to aid in the management of rangelands (Bestelmeyer, 2006; Briske and others, 2006, 2008), aquatic (Scheffer and others, 1993; Rapport and Whitford 1999), riparian (Stringham and others, 2001; Scott and others, 2005), and forested ecosystems (Allen and others, 2002; Digiovinazzo and others, 2010). These concepts are also topical in ecological restoration (Hobbs and Norton 1996; Whisenant 1999; Suding and others, 2004; King and Hobbs, 2006) and ecosystem sustainability (Herrick, 2000; Chapin and others, 1996; Davenport and others, 1998). Achieving conservation management goals requires the

  15. REMEDIATION OF THE SERBIAN SOILS CONTAMINATED BY RADIONUCLIDES IN THE FUNCTION OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Stojanović

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Phosphate-induced metal stabilization (PIMS using apatite stabilizes uranium in situ, by chemically binding it into the new low-solubility (Ksp=10-49 phase. Uranium-phosphate-autunite is stable across a wide range of geological conditions for millions of years. A large area of contaminated soil is suitable for insitu remediation that involves minimizing the mobility of the uranium. Laboratory study was conducted to quantify different forms of apatite sequestration of uranium contaminant. The experiment was done with natural phosphate from Lisina deposit (14.43 % P2O5, with non-treated samples, phosphate concentrate samples with 34.95 % P2O5 and mechanochemically activated of natural apatite. Different concentration of P2O5 in apatite, pH, reaction time, solid/liquid ratio was investigated. The concentrate at pH 5.5 for 7 days sorbed around 93,64 % and nature apatite, with 14,43 % P2O5, for 30 days sorbed 94.54 % of the uranium from the water solution, concentration 100 μg U/ml. The results show that mineral apatite “Lisina” is very effective for the treatment of contaminated soils - in situ immobilization of U. Mechanochemical activation of natural apatite in vibration mill immobilized 85.37 % of uranium in the 7-day period of acting. This research on natural apatite from the deposit “Lisina” for immobilization of uranium was the first one of this type in our country.

  16. Rainwater harvesting for dryland agriculture in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temesgen, B.B.

    2012-01-01

    The Ethiopian drylands occupy about 65% of the total land mass (close to 700,000km2) of the country. The predominantly rainfed agriculture in these drylands is highly constrained due to erratic rainfall, long dry-spells and excessive loss of rainwater through non-productive pathways

  17. Estimation of livestock appropriation of net primary productivity in Texas Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Washington-Allen; Jody Fitzgerald; Stephanie Grounds; Faisar Jihadi; John Kretzschmar; Kathryn Ramirez; John Mitchell

    2009-01-01

    The ecological state of US Drylands is unknown. This research is developing procedures to determine the impact of the ecological footprint of grazing livestock on the productive capacity of US Drylands. A pilot geodatabase was developed for the state of Texas that includes 2002 data for county boundaries, net primary productivity (NPP) derived from the Moderate...

  18. Planting geometry and plant population affect dryland maize grain yield and harvest index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water for dryland grain production in the Texas panhandle is limited. Agronomic practices such as reduction in plant population or change in sowing time may help increase maize (Zea mays L.) yield potential. Tiller formation under dryland conditions leads to more vegetative growth and reduced yield....

  19. Genomic footprints of dryland stress adaptation in Egyptian fat-tail sheep and their divergence from East African and western Asia cohorts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mwacharo, Joram M; Kim, Eui-Soo; Elbeltagy, Ahmed R; Aboul-Naga, Adel M; Rischkowsky, Barbara A; Rothschild, Max F

    2017-12-15

    African indigenous sheep are classified as fat-tail, thin-tail and fat-rump hair sheep. The fat-tail are well adapted to dryland environments, but little is known on their genome profiles. We analyzed patterns of genomic variation by genotyping, with the Ovine SNP50K microarray, 394 individuals from five populations of fat-tail sheep from a desert environment in Egypt. Comparative inferences with other East African and western Asia fat-tail and European sheep, reveal at least two phylogeographically distinct genepools of fat-tail sheep in Africa that differ from the European genepool, suggesting separate evolutionary and breeding history. We identified 24 candidate selection sweep regions, spanning 172 potentially novel and known genes, which are enriched with genes underpinning dryland adaptation physiology. In particular, we found selection sweeps spanning genes and/or pathways associated with metabolism; response to stress, ultraviolet radiation, oxidative stress and DNA damage repair; activation of immune response; regulation of reproduction, organ function and development, body size and morphology, skin and hair pigmentation, and keratinization. Our findings provide insights on the complexity of genome architecture regarding dryland stress adaptation in the fat-tail sheep and showcase the indigenous stocks as appropriate genotypes for adaptation planning to sustain livestock production and human livelihoods, under future climates.

  20. Biological soil crusts: Diminutive communities of potential global importance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrenberg, Scott; Tucker, Colin; Reed, Sasha C.

    2017-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are widespread, diverse communities of cyanobacteria, fungi, lichens, and mosses living on soil surfaces, primarily in drylands. Biocrusts can locally govern primary production, soil fertility, hydrology, and surface energy balance, with considerable variation in these functions across alternate community states. Further, these communities have been implicated in Earth system functioning via potential influences on global biogeochemistry and climate. Biocrusts are easily destroyed by disturbances and appear to be exceptionally vulnerable to warming temperatures and altered precipitation inputs, signaling possible losses of dryland functions with global change. Despite these concerns, we lack sufficient spatiotemporal data on biocrust function, cover, and community structure to confidently assess their ecological roles across the extensive dryland biome. Here, we present the case for cross-scale research and restoration efforts coupled with remote-sensing and modeling approaches that improve our collective understanding of biocrust responses to global change and the ecological roles of these diminutive communities at global scales.

  1. Effects of biochar addition on evaporation in the five typical Loess Plateau soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil evaporation is the main route of soil moisture loss and often exceeds precipitation in the arid and semi-arid regions of the Loess Plateau. This study was conducted to determine whether biochar addition could reduce soil evaporation in drylands. We measured the evaporative loss in five typical ...

  2. Realities, Perceptions, Challenges and Aspirations of Rural Youth in Dryland Agriculture in the Midelt Province, Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Giuliani

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Active involvement of youth in agriculture is necessary for sustainable agricultural systems but is currently a challenge in many areas. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative participatory research methods, this study analyses rural youth’s realities, perspectives and aspirations in dryland Agricultural Livelihood Systems (ALSs in the Midelt Province, Morocco, with a particular focus on gender. The data collected are an important first step in understanding the target group and working with youth to identify and develop appropriate programmatic interventions to improve their livelihoods and rural futures. Prior to expressing their aspirations for their rural life and career, the youth first raised the issue of unfulfilled primary needs: access to education, potable water, heath care, and lack of infrastructure in their villages. The issue of outmigration from rural areas is controversial and not so widespread. The youth’s dream village is envisioned as a rural place where people have a more comfortable life with their own families, farming better and more sustainably rather than seeking a job in urban areas. To support the youth’s aspirations and their willingness to stay in agriculture, there is a need for infrastructural and regulatory interventions and specific training in agricultural practices targeting and engaging youth.

  3. Effects of trampling on morphological and mechanical traits of dryland shrub species do not depend on water availability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Xu

    Full Text Available In semiarid drylands water shortage and trampling by large herbivores are two factors limiting plant growth and distribution. Trampling can strongly affect plant performance, but little is known about responses of morphological and mechanical traits of woody plants to trampling and their possible interaction with water availability. Seedlings of four shrubs (Caragana intermedia, Cynanchum komarovi, Hedysarum laeve and Hippophae rhamnoides common in the semiarid Mu Us Sandland were grown at 4% and 10% soil water content and exposed to either simulated trampling or not. Growth, morphological and mechanical traits were measured. Trampling decreased vertical height and increased basal diameter and stem resistance to bending and rupture (as indicated by the increased minimum bend and break force in all species. Increasing water availability increased biomass, stem length, basal diameter, leaf thickness and rigidity of stems in all species except C. komarovii. However, there were no interactive effects of trampling and water content on any of these traits among species except for minimum bend force and the ratio between stem resistance to rupture and bending. Overall shrub species have a high degree of trampling resistance by morphological and mechanical modifications, and the effects of trampling do not depend on water availability. However, the increasing water availability can also affect trade-off between stem strength and flexibility caused by trampling, which differs among species. Water plays an important role not only in growth but also in trampling adaptation in drylands.

  4. Urban Land-Cover Change and Its Impact on the Ecosystem Carbon Storage in a Dryland City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Yan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Lack of research into the complexity in urban land conversion, and paucity of observational data of soil organic carbon (SOC beneath impervious surface area (ISA limit our understanding of the urbanization effects on carbon (C pools in dryland cities. Employing Landsat TM images acquired in 1990 and 2010, a hybrid classification method consisting of Linear Spectral Mixture Analysis and decision tree classification was applied to retrieve the land cover (water, ISA, greenspace, cropland, and remnant desert of the largest dryland city in China—Urumqi. Based on vegetation carbon (VEGC and SOC density data determined through field observations and literature reviews, we developed Urumqi’s C pool maps in 1990 and 2010, and assessed the urbanization impacts on ecosystem C. Our results showed that ISA tripled from 1990 to 2010 displacing remnant desert and cropland. The urban landscape, especially the greenspaces, became obviously fragmented. In 2010, more than 95% of the urban ecosystem C was SOC, 48% of which under the ISA. The city lost 19% of C stock from 1990 to 2010. About 82% of the ecosystem C loss was caused by the conversion of remnant desert and cropland into ISA, mainly in the northern city.

  5. Using stable water isotopes in a two-layer soil moisture conceptual framework to understand transpiration dynamics in a semiarid shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szutu, D. J.; Papuga, S. A.; Wehr, R.

    2014-12-01

    Semiarid shrublands and other dryland ecosystems are highly sensitive to precipitation pulses. Because the frequency and magnitude of precipitation events have been projected to change for these ecosystems, the nature of these pulses and how they are distributed as moisture in the soil profile are also expected to change. Previous research has suggested that transpiration dynamics in drylands are associated with deep soil moisture, which accumulates after large rainfall events. Because transpiration is the productive component of evapotranspiration in that it is water used toward biomass accumulation, a hypothetical decrease in large rainfall events would have major consequences for the health and functioning of dryland ecosystems. Furthermore, as drylands account for nearly 40% of terrestrial biomes, these cascading changes have the potential to impact global water and carbon budgets. Still, in pulse-dependent dryland ecosystems, the relative contribution of transpiration to evapotranspiration and the temporal dynamics of this contribution are not well understood. The objective of this research is to better characterize the temporal dynamics of transpiration in dryland ecosystems. We present the relative contribution of transpiration to evapotranspiration over the course of a year from eddy covariance and sap flow measurements taken at a creosotebush-dominated shrubland ecosystem in southern Arizona. We analyze soil moisture and stable water isotopes within the context of a two-layer soil moisture conceptual framework in an attempt to identify the source water for transpiration. We use these results to explain the temporal dynamics of transpiration in this semiarid shrubland. Finally, we put our results in the context of regional climate projections to suggest how this dryland ecosystem might be impacted in the future. We expect our study will contribute to understanding where precipitation pulses are distributed in the soil moisture profile and when these pulses

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Habig

    2015-07-01

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

  7. The potential role of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in the bioprotection of plants against soil-borne pathogens in organic and/or other sustainable farming systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrier, Lucy A; Watson, Christine A

    2004-02-01

    Sustainable farming systems strive to minimise the use of synthetic pesticides and to optimise the use of alternative management strategies to control soil-borne pathogens. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are ubiquitous in nature and constitute an integral component of terrestrial ecosystems, forming symbiotic associations with plant root systems of over 80% of all terrestrial plant species, including many agronomically important species. AM fungi are particularly important in organic and/or sustainable farming systems that rely on biological processes rather than agrochemicals to control plant diseases. Of particular importance is the bioprotection conferred to plants against many soil-borne pathogens such as species of Aphanomyces, Cylindrocladium, Fusarium, Macrophomina, Phytophthora, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotinium, Verticillium and Thielaviopsis and various nematodes by AM fungal colonisation of the plant root. However, the exact mechanisms by which AM fungal colonisation confers the protective effect are not completely understood, but a greater understanding of these beneficial interactions is necessary for the exploitation of AM fungi within organic and/or sustainable farming systems. In this review, we aim to discuss the potential mechanisms by which AM fungi may contribute to bioprotection against plant soil-borne pathogens. Bioprotection within AM fungal-colonised plants is the outcome of complex interactions between plants, pathogens and AM fungi. The use of molecular tools in the study of these multifaceted interactions may aid the optimisation of the bioprotective responses and their utility within sustainable farming systems.

  8. Enhancing the Sustainability of Quinoa Production and Soil Resilience by Using Bioproducts Made with Native Microorganisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Gutiérrez

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms are involved in a network of interactions with plants, promoting growth and acting as biocontrol agents against diseases. In this work, we studied native microorganisms associated with quinoa plants (Chenopodium quinoa and the application of these organisms to the organic production of quinoa in the Andean Altiplano. Quinoa is a non-cereal grain native to the Andean highlands and is highly nutritious and gluten-free. As such, the international demand for quinoa has increased substantially in recent years. We isolated native endophytic bacteria that are able to fix nitrogen, solubilize phosphate and synthesize a phytohormone and native strains of Trichoderma, a fungus typically used for increasing plant growth and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Greenhouse assays and field trials allowed for selecting promissory bacterial isolates, mostly belonging to Bacillus and Paenibacillus genera, that increased plant length, panicle weight and grain yield. Selected microbial isolates were large-scale multiplied in simple and inexpensive culture media and then formulated to obtain bioproducts that were distributed among local farmers. Thus, we developed a technology for the exploitation of beneficial microbes, offering promising and environmentally friendly strategies for the organic production of quinoa without perturbing the native microbial diversity of Andean soils and making them more resilient to the adverse effects of climatic change and the over-production of quinoa.

  9. Significant Impacts of Increasing Aridity on the Arid Soil Microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Julia W; Califf, Katy; Cardona, Cesar; Copeland, Audrey; van Treuren, Will; Josephson, Karen L; Knight, Rob; Gilbert, Jack A; Quade, Jay; Caporaso, J Gregory; Maier, Raina M

    2017-01-01

    Global deserts occupy one-third of the Earth's surface and contribute significantly to organic carbon storage, a process at risk in dryland ecosystems that are highly vulnerable to climate-driven ecosystem degradation. The forces controlling desert ecosystem degradation rates are poorly understood, particularly with respect to the relevance of the arid-soil microbiome. Here we document correlations between increasing aridity and soil bacterial and archaeal microbiome composition along arid to hyperarid transects traversing the Atacama Desert, Chile. A meta-analysis reveals that Atacama soil microbiomes exhibit a gradient in composition, are distinct from a broad cross-section of nondesert soils, and yet are similar to three deserts from different continents. Community richness and diversity were significantly positively correlated with soil relative humidity (SoilRH). Phylogenetic composition was strongly correlated with SoilRH, temperature, and electrical conductivity. The strongest and most significant correlations between SoilRH and phylum relative abundance were observed for Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Euryarchaeota (Spearman's rank correlation [rs] = >0.81; false-discovery rate [q] = ≤0.005), characterized by 10- to 300-fold decreases in the relative abundance of each taxon. In addition, network analysis revealed a deterioration in the density of significant associations between taxa along the arid to hyperarid gradient, a pattern that may compromise the resilience of hyperarid communities because they lack properties associated with communities that are more integrated. In summary, results suggest that arid-soil microbiome stability is sensitive to aridity as demonstrated by decreased community connectivity associated with the transition from the arid class to the hyperarid class and the significant correlations observed between soilRH and both diversity and the relative abundances of key microbial phyla typically

  10. The impact of dry-land sprint start training on the short track speed skating start.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haug, William B; Drinkwater, Eric J; Cicero, Nicholas J; Barthell, J Anthony; Chapman, Dale W

    2017-05-05

    This investigation sought to determine the effects of dry-land sprint start training on short track speed skating (STSS) start performance. Nine highly trained short track athletes completed a control period of normal STSS training followed by a four-week training intervention. Before and after the control and intervention periods, athletes performed three electronically timed dry-land and on-ice 14.43 m maximal sprint start efforts. The intervention consisted of two sprint sessions per week consisting of nine electronically timed 14.43 m dry-land sprint starts in addition to normal STSS training. The control period resulted in no substantial change in on-ice start performance (Mean Δ: -0.01 s, 95% Confidence Limits (CL): -0.08 to 0.05 s; Effect Size (ES): -0.05; Trivial) however, a small change was observed in dry-land start performance (Mean Δ: -0.07 s, 95% CL: -0.13 to -0.02 s; ES: -0.49). Following brief specific dry-land sprint start training a small improvement was observed in both on-ice (Mean Δ: -0.07 s, 95% CL: -0.13 to -0.01 s; ES: -0.33) and dry-land (Mean Δ: -0.04 s, 95% CL: -0.09 to 0.00 s; ES: -0.29) start performance. This investigation suggests STSS start performance can be improved through a brief dry-land sprint start training program.

  11. Drylands face potential threat under 2 °C global warming target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jianping; Yu, Haipeng; Dai, Aiguo; Wei, Yun; Kang, Litai

    2017-06-01

    The Paris Agreement aims to limit global mean surface warming to less than 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels. However, we show this target is acceptable only for humid lands, whereas drylands will bear greater warming risks. Over the past century, surface warming over global drylands (1.2-1.3 °C) has been 20-40% higher than that over humid lands (0.8-1.0 °C), while anthropogenic CO2 emissions generated from drylands (~230 Gt) have been only ~30% of those generated from humid lands (~750 Gt). For the twenty-first century, warming of 3.2-4.0 °C (2.4-2.6 °C) over drylands (humid lands) could occur when global warming reaches 2.0 °C, indicating ~44% more warming over drylands than humid lands. Decreased maize yields and runoff, increased long-lasting drought and more favourable conditions for malaria transmission are greatest over drylands if global warming were to rise from 1.5 °C to 2.0 °C. Our analyses indicate that ~38% of the world's population living in drylands would suffer the effects of climate change due to emissions primarily from humid lands. If the 1.5 °C warming limit were attained, the mean warming over drylands could be within 3.0 °C therefore it is necessary to keep global warming within 1.5 °C to prevent disastrous effects over drylands.

  12. Soil and Terrain Database for Argentina, primary data (version 1.0) - scale 1:1 million (SOTER_Argentina)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkshoorn, J.A.; Huting, J.R.M.

    2014-01-01

    The Soil and Terrain database for Argentina primary data (version 1.0), at scale 1:1 million (SOTER_Argentina), was compiled of enhanced soil information within the framework of the FAO's program Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA). Primary soil and terrain data for Argentina were

  13. Soil and Terrain Database for Tunisia primary data (version 1.0) - scale 1:1 million (SOTER_Tunisia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkshoorn, J.A.; Nachtergaele, F.O.; Huting, J.R.M.

    2013-01-01

    The Soil and Terrain database for Tunisia primary data (version 1.0), at scale 1:1 million (SOTER_Tunisia), was compiled of enhanced soil information within the framework of the FAO's program of Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA). A SOTER database was compiled based on the digital soil

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Making rainfed agriculture sustainable through environmental friendly technologies in Pakistan: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirza B. Baig

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pakistan is an agricultural country spreading over an area of about 79. 6 million hectares (Mha with an arid and semi arid climate. Of 79. 6 Mha, about 23 Mha is suitable for crop production and nearly 25 percent of the total cultivated area is designated for rainfed agriculture. Unfortunately, rain-fed agriculture is constrained with multifarious problems such as moisture stress, soil erosion and crusting, nutrient deficiency, depletion and poor nutrient use efficiency, and weed infestation limiting the yield potential of these lands. In addition, deforestation and poor crop husbandry techniques are commonly noticed features. To meet the food requirements, farmers bring all the available pieces of lands under plough including steep slopes. Farming on steep slopes if not managed on scientific lines, results in severe erosion. The problems faced by the farmers are due to the unsustainable practices they adopt to practice dryland agriculture, limiting the productive potential of these important ecosystems. However, their potential can be improved by adopting suitable rainwater harvesting techniques; employing scientific soil and water conservation methods and using sustainable agricultural practices. This paper highlights some important issues associated with the rainfed agriculture of Pakistan. Working strategies for realizing optimum and sustainable yields have been outlined while conserving both land and water resources.

  16. The role of abiotic factors modulating the plant-microbe-soil interactions: toward sustainable agriculture. A review

    OpenAIRE

    Gustavo Santoyo; Claudia Hernández-Pacheco; Julie Hernández-Salmerón; Rocio Hernández-León

    2017-01-01

    Microbial soil communities are active players in the biogeochemical cycles, impacting soil fertility and interacting with aboveground organisms. Although soil microbial diversity has been studied in good detail, the factors that modulate its structure are still relatively unclear, especially the environmental factors. Several abiotic elements may play a key role in modulating the diversity of soil microbes, including those inhabiting the rhizosphere (known as the rhizosphere microbiome). This...

  17. Modeling ecohydrological dynamics of smallholder strategies for food production in dryland agricultural systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gower, Drew B.; Dell'Angelo, Jampel; McCord, Paul F.; Caylor, Kelly K.; Evans, Tom P.

    2016-11-01

    In dryland environments, characterized by low and frequently variable rainfall, smallholder farmers must take crop water sensitivity into account along with other characteristics like seed availability and market price when deciding what to plant. In this paper we use the results of surveys conducted among smallholders located near Mount Kenya to identify clusters of farmers devoting different fractions of their land to subsistence and market crops. Additionally, we explore the tradeoffs between water-insensitive but low-value subsistence crops and a water-sensitive but high-value market crop using a numerical model that simulates soil moisture dynamics and crop production over multiple growing seasons. The cluster analysis shows that most farmers prefer to plant either only subsistence crops or only market crops, with a minority choosing to plant substantial fractions of both. The model output suggests that the value a farmer places on a successful growing season, a measure of risk aversion, plays a large role in whether the farmer chooses a subsistence or market crop strategy. Furthermore, access to irrigation, makes market crops more appealing, even to very risk-averse farmers. We then conclude that the observed clustering may result from different levels of risk aversion and access to irrigation.

  18. 75 years of dryland science: Trends and gaps in arid ecology literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenville, Aaron C; Dickman, Chris R; Wardle, Glenda M

    2017-01-01

    Growth in the publication of scientific articles is occurring at an exponential rate, prompting a growing need to synthesise information in a timely manner to combat urgent environmental problems and guide future research. Here, we undertake a topic analysis of dryland literature over the last 75 years (8218 articles) to identify areas in arid ecology that are well studied and topics that are emerging. Four topics-wetlands, mammal ecology, litter decomposition and spatial modelling, were identified as 'hot topics' that showed higher than average growth in publications from 1940 to 2015. Five topics-remote sensing, climate, habitat and spatial, agriculture and soils-microbes, were identified as 'cold topics', with lower than average growth over the survey period, but higher than average numbers of publications. Topics in arid ecology clustered into seven broad groups on word-based similarity. These groups ranged from mammal ecology and population genetics, broad-scale management and ecosystem modelling, plant ecology, agriculture and ecophysiology, to populations and paleoclimate. These patterns may reflect trends in the field of ecology more broadly. We also identified two broad research gaps in arid ecology: population genetics, and habitat and spatial research. Collaborations between population genetics and ecologists and investigations of ecological processes across spatial scales would contribute profitably to the advancement of arid ecology and to ecology more broadly.

  19. Soil and Terrain Database Soil for China primary data (version 1.0) - scale 1:1 million (SOTER_China)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkshoorn, J.A.; Huting, J.R.M.; Batjes, N.H.

    2013-01-01

    The Soil and Terrain database for China primary data (version 1.0), at scale 1:1 million (SOTER_China), was compiled of enhanced soil information within the framework of the FAO's program of Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA). The primary database was compiled using the SOTER

  20. Developing ecological fingerprints for ecoclimatic zones in Australian drylands to inform land restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Escribano Velasco, Paula; Garcia, Monica

    2017-04-01

    With more than 25% of the global surface affected by land degradation processes, there is an urgent need to restore disturbed ecosystems worldwide. Increased arid conditions in projected scenarios of climate change need to be acknowledged in restoration programs; this is particularly critical in dryland ecosystems where significant changes are expected in their structure and functioning worldwide. Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world with 70% of the country classified as arid or semi-arid (average annual rainfall of 250 mm or less). Moreover, Australia has undergone massive land-use changes in the last decades and the landscape is highly degraded and fragmented. These conditions position the country as one of the climate change vulnerable "hot spots" globally. In this research, we aim to evaluate a broad range of ecological indicators in natural Australian dryland ecosystems (both disturbed and undisturbed) that allow us to i) identify those areas most vulnerable to potential and environmental changes and ii) tracking the effectiveness of restoration practices. The most relevant indicators will be selected to inform decision-making in the design of management strategies to address the potential negative effects of climate change and further land degradation. These ecological indicators will be measured in 10 Australian ecoclimatic units that combine the main vegetation functional types and climate zones based on the aridity index as follows: hum¬mock grasslands in the hyper-arid zone; acacia shrublands, hummock grasslands and tussock grasslands in the arid zone; chenopod shrubs, hummock grasslands, mallee woodlands and tussock grasslands in the semi-arid zone and eucalyptus and acacia forest in the dry sub-humid zone. A set of fingerprints will be created to diagnose each ecoclimatic unit using a wide range of ecological indicators related with the ecosystem's composition, structure and function. We will combine novel technologies and

  1. The Role of Soil Amendment on Tropical Post Tin Mining Area in Bangka Island Indonesia for Dignified and Sustainable Environment and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agus, C.; Wulandari, D.; Primananda, E.; Hendryan, A.; Harianja, V.

    2017-08-01

    Openly tropical tin mining in Bangka Island Indonesia expose heavy metal that had been buried became a part of our environment and life. This has become a major cause of land degradation and severe local-global environmental damages. This study aims to accelerate reconsolidation of degraded ecosystems on the former tin mine land, to increase land productivity and dignified environment through appropriate rehabilitation technology on marginal land that is inexpensive, environmentally friendly and sustainable. This study is a part of a roadmap research activities on the rehabilitation of degraded land in tropical ecosystem, that consist of (a) characterization of degraded tin mining lands through the determination of chemistry, physics, biology and mineral soil properties, (b) introducing multi-function pioneers plant for acceleration of peak pioneer plant in the reestablishment of degraded tin mining ecosystem (c) management of natural soil amendment (volcanic ash, organic waste materials and legume cover crop as a material for soil amelioration to increase land productivity, (d) role of biotechnology through the application of local bio-fertilizer (mycorrhizae, phosphate soluble bacteria, rhizobium). Soil from post tropical tin mining acid soil (pH 4.97) that dominated by sand particles (88%) with very low cation exchange capacity, very low nutrient contents (available and total-N, P, K, Ca, Mg) and high toxicity of Zn, Cu, B, Cd and Ti, but still have low toxicity of Al, Fe, Mn, Mo, Pb, As. Soil amendment of biogas and volcanic ash could improve soil quality by increasing of better pH, high available-P and cation exchange capacity and maintained their low toxicity. The growth (high, diameter, biomass, top-root ratio) of exotic pioneer plant of Kemiri sunan (Reutealis trisperma) increased in the better soil quality that caused by application of proper soil amendment. The grand concept and appropriate technology for rehabilitation of degraded tin-mining land

  2. Vegetation in drylands: Effects on wind flow and aeolian sediment transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drylands are characterised by patchy vegetation, erodible surfaces and erosive aeolian processes. Empirical and modelling studies have shown that vegetation elements provide drag on the overlying airflow, thus affecting wind velocity profiles and altering erosive dynamics on desert surfaces. However...

  3. Lights and shadows of sustainable development and combat against desertification: economic rationalities in the eye of the storm. Case study involving goat producers in drylands (Mendoza, Argentina Claroscuros del desarrollo sustentable y la lucha contra la desertificación: las racionalidades económicas en el ojo de la tormenta: Estudio de caso con productores caprinos de tierras secas [Mendoza, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Torres

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This work analyses the conflict situation present in the province's drylands between goat producers and programmes to combat desertification regarding production practices and the use producers make of natural resources. The case study tackled comprises the north-eastern extreme of Mendoza province. The , which is the hyperarid spot of the region, severely affected by desertification processes, covering an extent of 10,007 km2, and with 3015 inhabitants, where small goat breeding farms predominate. Previous studies indicate that the major causes of desertification in the area are logging of the native woodland and overgrazing which have led to improper livestock production practices. In response to this, the actions to combat desertification commonly point out the need to "raise awareness" and "build capacities" of the producers by initiating processes of change in the production systems. The proposals insist that, if the current level of pressure on resources is maintained, the already serious poverty conditions will grow worse in the future. Nevertheless, despite the efforts and funds invested, the producers seem to stubbornly persist in their present production strategies and in the dynamics of natural resource use derived from them. How to explain their refusal to consider other production options likely to result in higher profit and better environmental balance? How to explain that they act, at least apparently, against their own benefits? Against the explanations that place the producers' "culture" is the most important problem, the present work seeks to cooperate in clarifying these questions through an analysis of the different rationalities that, held by different actors, converge in the area. By using a mixed methodology, the paper analyse three dimensions: 1- The environmental resource supply, which is the basis of production activities, 2- The income attained by goat production units, and 3- The expenditures they face in terms of

  4. Effects of Controlled Release Fertilizer on the Flag Leaves Senescence in Dry-land Wheat

    OpenAIRE

    Dandan Liu; Yan Shi

    2013-01-01

    In order to select a reasonable controlled release fertilizer application method to slow down the senescence of flag leaf in dry-land wheat. The effects of controlled release fertilizer on soluble protein content, MDA content, the Catalase (CAT) activity, the Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) activity on the flag leaves senescence in dry-land wheat had been studied in the open field with the variety wheat Jimai22. The results indicated that, the combination application of controlled release fertiliz...

  5. Adapting forest to climate change in drylands: the Portuguese case-study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branquinho, Cristina; Príncipe, Adriana; Nunes, Alice; Kobel, Melanie; Soares, Cristina; Vizinho, André; Serrano, Helena Cristina; Pinho, Pedro

    2017-04-01

    The recent expansion of the semiarid climate to all the region of the south of Portugal and the growing impact of climate change demands local adaptation. The growth of the native forest represents a strategy at the ecosystem level to adapt to climate change since it increases resilience and increases also de delivery of ecosystem services such as the increment of organic matter in the soil, carbon and nitrogen, biodiversity, water infiltration, etc. Moreover, decreases susceptibility to desertification. For that reason, large areas have been reforested in the south of Portugal with the native species holm oak and cork oak but with a low rate of effectiveness. Our goal in this work is to show how the cost-benefit relation of the actions intended to expand the forest of the Portuguese semiarid can be lowered by taking into account the microclimatic conditions and high spatial resolution management. The potential of forest regeneration was modelled at the local and regional level in the semiarid area using information concerning the Potential Solar Radiation. This model gives us the rate of native forest regeneration after a disturbance with high spatial resolution. Based on this model the territory was classified in: i) easy regeneration areas; ii) areas with the need of assisted reforestation, using methods that increase water and soil conservation; iii) areas of difficult reforestation because of the costs. Additionally, a summary of the success of reforestations was made in the historical semiarid since the 60s based on the evaluation of a series of case studies, where we quantified the ecosystem services currently delivered by the reforested ecosystems. We will discuss and propose a strategy for forests to adapt to climate change scenario in dryland Portugal. Acknowledgement: Programa Adapt: financed by EEA Grants and Fundo Português de Carbono and by FCT-MEC project PTDC/AAG-GLO/0045/2014.

  6. Evaluation of multiple satellite evaporation products in two dryland regions using GRACE

    KAUST Repository

    Lopez, Oliver

    2015-12-01

    Remote sensing has become a valuable tool for monitoring the water cycle variables in areas that lack the availability of ground-based measurements. Integrating multiple remote sensing-based estimates of evaporation, precipitation, and the terrestrial water storage changes with local measurements of streamflow into a consistent estimate of the regional water budget is a challenge, due to the scale mismatch among the retrieved variables. Evapotranspiration, including soil evaporation, interception losses and canopy transpiration, has received special focus in a number of recent studies that aim to provide global or regional estimates of evaporation at regular time intervals using a variety of remote sensing input. In arid and semi-arid regions, modeling of evaporation is particularly challenging due to the relatively high role of the soil evaporation component in these regions and the variable nature of rainfall events that drive the evaporation process. In this study, we explore the hydrological consistency of remote sensing products in terms of water budget closure and the correlation among spatial patterns of precipitation (P), evaporation (E) and terrestrial water storage, using P-E as a surrogate of water storage changes, with special attention to the evaporation component. The analysis is undertaken within two dryland regions that have presented recent significant changes in climatology (Murray-Darling Basin in Australia) and water storage (the Saq aquifer in northern Saudi Arabia). Water storage changes were derived from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) spherical harmonic (SH) coefficients. Six remote sensing-based evaporation estimates were subtracted from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP)-based precipitation estimates and were compared with GRACE-derived water storage changes. Our results suggest that it is not possible to close the water balance by using satellite data alone, even when adopting a spherical harmonic

  7. Climate contributions to vegetation variations in Central Asian drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, Yu; Zhang, Li; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2015-01-01

    Central Asia comprises a large fraction of the world's drylands, known to be vulnerable to climate change. We analyzed the inter-annual trends and the impact of climate variability in the vegetation greenness for Central Asia from 1982 to 2011 using GIMMS3g normalized difference vegetation index...... differed between these two periods. The warming trend in Central Asia initially enhanced the vegetation greenness before 1991, but the continued warming trend subsequently became a suppressant of further gains in greenness afterwards. Precipitation expanded its influence on larger vegetated areas in 1992...... on vegetation was significantly different for the different sub-regions before and after 1992, coinciding with the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It was suggested that these spatio-temporal patterns in greenness change and their relationship with climate change for some regions...

  8. Grazing and tillage effects on soil properties, rain infiltration and sediment transport during fallow

    Science.gov (United States)

    On the semiarid Southern Great Plains, precipitation and soil water stored during fallow determine dryland production of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] grown in the wheat-sorghum-fallow (WSF) rotation. In this three-year rotation, soil water storage is t...

  9. Long-term effects of conservation soil management in Saria, Burkina Faso, West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zacharie, Z.

    2011-01-01

    The negative degradation spiral that currently leads to deteriorating soil properties in African drylands is a serious problem that limits food production and threatensthe livelihoods of the people. Nutrient depletion and water and wind erosion are the main factors in soil degradation in Africa.

  10. Simulation of emergence of winter wheat in response to soil temperature, water potential and planting depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seedling emergence is a critical stage in the establishment of dryland wheat. Soil temperature, soil water potential and planting depth are important factors influencing emergence. These factors have considerable spatio-temporal variation making it difficult to predict the timing and percentage of w...

  11. Effect of 25 years of no till management on soil microbial community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archived soil samples from three Colorado dryland sites under wheat-corn-fallow rotations were analyzed by qPCR and pyrosequencing to analyze the effect of 25-years of no tillage management of soil microbial community structure and composition. No tillage significantly increased bacteria abundance...

  12. A case study of energy use and economical analysis of irrigated and dryland wheat production systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghorbani, Reza; Mondani, Farzad; Amirmoradi, Shahram; Feizi, Hassan; Khorramdel, Surror; Teimouri, Mozhgan; Sanjani, Sara; Anvarkhah, Sepideh; Aghel, Hassan [Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, P.O. Box 91775-1163, Mashhad (Iran)

    2011-01-15

    Current conventional agricultural systems using intensive energy has to be re-vitalized by new integrated approaches relying on renewable energy resources, which can allow farmers to stop depending on fossil resources. The aim of the present study was to compare wheat production in dryland (low input) and irrigated (high input) systems in terms of energy ratio, energy efficiency, benefit/cost ratio and amount of renewable energy use. Data were collected from 50 irrigated and 50 dryland wheat growers by using a face-to-face questionnaire in 2009. The results showed that the total energy requirement under low input was 9354.2 MJ ha{sup -1}, whereas under high input systems it was 45367.6 MJ ha{sup -1}. Total energy input consumed in both dryland and irrigated systems could be classified as direct, indirect, renewable and non-renewable energies which average in two wheat production systems were 47%, 53%, 24% and 76%, respectively. Energy ratios of 3.38 in dryland and 1.44 in irrigated systems were achieved. The benefit-cost ratios were 2.56 in dryland and 1.97 in irrigated wheat production systems. Based on the results of the present study, dry-land farming can have a significant positive effect on energy-related factors especially in dry and semi-dry climates such as Iran. (author)

  13. Vital soil as basis for sustainable soil management, a survey of soil problems in The Netherlands and the way to tackle it, with an assessment for the South African situation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Eijsackers

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available In the past decades, soils in South Africa as well as The Netherlands have become increasingly deteriorated as a result of chemical and physical factors. Soil contamination, acidification, desiccation and erosion have caused negative impacts on land surfaces which are still on the increase. Soil functions like primary plant production, natural soil water clean up, basis and substrate for the above ground biodiversity and food chains, have become completely or partially impaired. The awareness, that soil is a vital and living system has to become the basis of soil policy and soil management. This paper is a plea for such an approach. It describes the various threats, what a vital soil is and which factors play a key role in this vital system: soil structure, buffer capacity, organic matter content, and the variety of soil organisms. It also indicates how the vitality of the soil should be monitored.

  14. Influence of sustainable irrigation regimes and agricultural practices on the soil CO2 fluxes from olive groves in SE Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marañón-Jiménez, Sara; Serrano-Ortíz, Penelope; Vicente-Vicente, Jose Luis; Chamizo, Sonia; Kowalski, Andrew S.

    2017-04-01

    Olive (Olea europaea) is the dominant agriculture plantation in Spain and its main product, olive oil, is vital to the economy of Mediterranean countries. Given the extensive surface dedicated to olive plantations, olive groves can potentially sequester large amounts of carbon and contribute to mitigate climate change. Their potential for carbon sequestration will, however, largely depend on the management and irrigation practices in the olive grove. Although soil respiration is the main path of C release from the terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere and a suitable indicator of soil health and fertility, the interaction of agricultural management practices with irrigation regimes on soil CO2 fluxes have not been assessed yet. Here we investigate the influence of the presence of herbaceous cover, use of artificial fertilizers and their interaction with the irrigation regime on the CO2 emission from the soil to the atmosphere. For this, the three agricultural management treatments were established in replicated plots in an olive grove in the SE of Spain: presence of herbaceous cover ("H"), exclusion of herbaceous cover by using herbicides ("NH"), and exclusion of herbaceous cover along with addition of artificial fertilizers (0.55 kg m-2 year-1 of N, P, K solid fertilizer in the proportion 20:10:10, "NHF"). Within each management treatment, three irrigation regimes were also implemented in a randomized design: no-irrigation ("NO") or rain fed, full irrigation (224 l week-1 per olive tree, "MAX"), and a 50% restriction (112 l week-1 per olive tree, "MED"). Soil respiration was measured every 2-3 weeks at 1, 3, and 5 meters from each olive tree together with soil temperature and soil moisture in order to account for the spatial and seasonal variability over the year. Soil respiration was higher when herbaceous cover was present compared to the herbaceous exclusion, whereas the addition of fertilizer did not exert any significant effect. Although the different

  15. Potential of remotely-sensed data for mapping sediment connectivity pathways and their seasonal changes in dryland environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Saskia; Wilczok, Charlotte; Brosinsky, Arlena; Kroll, Anja; Segl, Karl; Francke, Till

    2014-05-01

    Many drylands are characterized by strong erosion in headwater catchments, where connectivity processes play an important role in the redistribution of water and sediments. Sediment connectivity relates to the physical transfer of sediment through a drainage basin (Bracken and Croke 2007). The identification of sediment source areas and the way they connect to the channel network are essential to environmental management (Reid et al. 2007), especially where high erosion and sediment delivery rates occur. Vegetation cover and its spatial and temporal pattern is one of the main factors affecting sediment connectivity. This is particularly true for patchy vegetation covers typical for dryland environments. While many connectivity studies are based on field-derived data, the potential of remotely-sensed data for sediment connectivity analyses has not yet been fully exploited. Recent advances in remote sensing allow for quantitative, spatially explicit, catchment-wide derivation of surface information to be used in connectivity analyses. These advances include a continuous increase in spatial image resolution to comprise processes at the plot to hillslope to catchment scale, an increase in the temporal resolution to cover seasonal and long-term changes and an increase in the spectral resolution enabling the discrimination of dry and green vegetation fractions from soil surfaces in heterogeneous dryland landscapes. The utilization of remotely-sensed data for connectivity studies raises questions on what type of information is required, how scale of sediment flux and image resolution match, how the connectivity information can be incorporated into water and sediment transport models and how this improves model predictions. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the potential of remotely-sensed data for mapping sediment connectivity pathways and their seasonal change at the example of a mesoscale dryland catchment in the Spanish Pyrenees. Here, sediment connectivity

  16. Sustainable Land Management for the Oxisols of the Latin American Savannas: Dynamics of Soil Organic Matter and Indicators of Soil Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas, R. (ed.); Ayarza, M. (ed.)

    1999-01-01

    Metadata only record This publication is a collection of state-of-the-art scientific findings on the dynamics of soil organic matter in the Oxisol savannahs (Cerrados) of central Brazil. These savannahs represent the second largest biome in South America and one of the most rapidly expanding agricultural frontiers. These projects have produced several potential indicators of soil health for the major Oxisol types in the Brazilian Cerrados.

  17. Integration of Information on Climate, Soil and Cultivar to Increase ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    its variety development-release chain, giving little or no room for climate risk management decisions that could provide better solution in improving rainwater productivity. In Ethiopian dryland farming, agronomic research on improved soil water management practices backdates to three decades (Reddy and Kidane, 1994).

  18. The role of abiotic factors modulating the plant-microbe-soil interactions: toward sustainable agriculture. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Santoyo

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Microbial soil communities are active players in the biogeochemical cycles, impacting soil fertility and interacting with aboveground organisms. Although soil microbial diversity has been studied in good detail, the factors that modulate its structure are still relatively unclear, especially the environmental factors. Several abiotic elements may play a key role in modulating the diversity of soil microbes, including those inhabiting the rhizosphere (known as the rhizosphere microbiome. This review summarizes relevant and recent studies that have investigated the abiotic factors at different scales, such as pH, temperature, soil type, and geographic and climatic conditions, that modulate the bulk soil and rhizosphere microbiome, as well as their indirect effects on plant health and development. The plant–microbiome interactions and potential benefits of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria are also discussed. In the last part of this review, we highlight the impact of climate change on soil microorganisms via global temperature changes and increases in ultraviolet radiation and CO2 production. Finally, we propose the need to understand the function of soil and rhizospheric ecosystems in greater detail, in order to effectively manipulate or engineer the rhizosphere microbiome to improve plant growth in agricultural production.

  19. Smallholders' soil fertility management in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia: implications for nutrient stocks, balances and sustainability of agroecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haileslassie, A.; Priess, J.A.; Veldkamp, E.; Lesschen, J.P.

    2006-01-01

    Low agricultural productivity caused by soil degradation is a serious problem in the Ethiopian Highlands. Here, we report how differences in soil fertility management between farming systems, based either on enset (Ensete ventricosum) or on teff (Eragrostis tef) as the major crops, affect the extent

  20. Soil friability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkholm, Lars Juhl

    2011-01-01

    for optimal friability. There is a strong need to get more detailed knowledge about effects of soil water content on soil friability and especially to be able to quantify the least limiting water range for soil friability and therefore soil tillage. A strong relationship between organic matter and friability...... has been found but it is not possible to identify a specific lower critical level of organic matter across soil types. Sustainable management of soil requires continuous and adequate inputs of organic matter to sustain or improve soil friability. Intensive tillage and traffic in unfavorable conditions...... threatens soil friability and may initiate a vicious cycle where increasingly higher intensity of tillage is needed to produce a proper seedbed....

  1. Sustentabilidad del riego complementario en suelos Udipsament Típico y Hapludol Entico de Argentina Complementary irrigation sustainability in Typic Udipsament and Entic Hapludol soils of Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mabel Vázquez

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available El riego complementario con aguas sódicas conduce a procesos dispersivos que deterioran el espacio poroso y con ello otras propiedades relacionadas. Esto podría producirse con bajos a medios niveles de RAS del agua, en suelos gruesos, cuando la illita domina la fracción arcilla. Se plantea la hipótesis de que el riego es capaz de provocar estados dispersivos en suelos de texturas medias a gruesas bajo estas condiciones, aun con aguas de baja a mediana sodicidad y períodos breves de la práctica, comprometiendo la sustentabilidad de sus sistemas productivos en el corto plazo. El objetivo de este trabajo es evaluar el grado de susceptibilidad a la dispersión y el efecto sobre la retención de agua y las propiedades hidráulicas de 2 suelos regados, Udipsament Típico y Hapludol Entico, en el Centro-E y NO, respectivamente, de la provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. La de agua en el suelo y los límites de Atterberg fueron superiores en las condiciones de riego en el suelo Udipsament Típico. La conductividad hidráulica disminuyó y el índice de dispersión fue superior para la situación de riego en ambos suelos. Estos resultados sugieren la no sustentabilidad del sistema de riego evaluado.The complementary irrigation with high level of sodium in water leads to dispersive processes that deteriorate the porous space and therefore, other related properties. This could take place with low to medium levels of SAR of water, in coarse soil in which the illite is predominant in the clay fraction. It is hypothesized that irrigation may cause dispersive states in soils of medium to coarse texture under these circumstances, even with water containing low to medium levels of sodium and during short periods of use, compromising the sustainability of land production systems in the short term. The aim of this study was to evaluate the degree of susceptibility to dispersion and the effect on the soil water retention and its hydraulic properties of two

  2. The role of abiotic factors modulating the plant-microbe-soil interactions: toward sustainable agriculture. A review

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Santoyo, Gustavo; Hernández-Pacheco, Claudia; Hernández-Salmerón, Julie; Hernández-León, Rocio

    2017-01-01

    ... (known as the rhizosphere microbiome). This review summarizes relevant and recent studies that have investigated the abiotic factors at different scales, such as pH, temperature, soil type, and geographic and climatic conditions...

  3. Soil organic matter: a sustainability indicator for wildfire control and bioenergy production in the urban/forest interface.

    OpenAIRE

    Blanco Vaca, Juan Antonio; Dubois, David; Littlejohn, Dale; Flanders, David N.; Robinson, Peter; Moshofsky, Molly; Welham, Clive

    2014-01-01

    This work was presented at the “North America Forest Soils Conference, Montana 2013”, in the “New Technologies in Soil Research” session. Incluye material complementario Many rural communities in British Columbia (western Canada) are increasingly at risk from wildfire as temperatures rise and droughts become more frequent. In addition, these communities are also faced with rising fuel costs, and a growing demand for heat as their populations increase. The fact these communities are s...

  4. Sustainable Carbon Dioxide Sequestration as Soil Carbon to Achieve Carbon Neutral Status for DoD Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    Journal of Arid Environments 74(10):1170–1176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2010.05.001. Anna, C. 2009. The forest and fungi: Studying the effects...annurev.arplant.57.032905.105159 Bockheim, J. 2007. Soil processes and development rates in the Quartermain Mountains , upper Taylor Glacier region, Antarctica... Journal of Environmental Quality 32: 278–286. Conen, F., M. Yakutin and A. Sambuu. 2003. Potential for detecting changes in soil organic carbon

  5. Sorghum production under future climate in the Southwestern USA: model projections of yield, greenhouse gas emissions and soil C fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duval, B.; Ghimire, R.; Hartman, M. D.; Marsalis, M.

    2016-12-01

    Large tracts of semi-arid land in the Southwestern USA are relatively less important for food production than the US Corn Belt, and represent a promising area for expansion of biofuel/bioproduct crops. However, high temperatures, low available water and high solar radiation in the SW represent a challenge to suitable feedstock development, and future climate change scenarios predict that portions of the SW will experience increased temperature and temporal shifts in precipitation distribution. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is a valuable forage crop with promise as a biofuel feedstock, given its high biomass under semi-arid conditions, relatively lower N fertilizer requirements compared to corn, and salinity tolerance. To evaluate the environmental impact of expanded sorghum cultivation under future climate in the SW USA, we used the DayCent model in concert with a suite of downscaled future weather projections to predict biogeochemical consequences (greenhouse gas flux and impacts on soil carbon) of sorghum cultivation in New Mexico. The model showed good correspondence with yield data from field trials including both dryland and irrigated sorghum (measured vs. modeled; r2 = 0.75). Simulation experiments tested the effect of dryland production versus irrigation, low N versus high N inputs and delayed fertilizer application. Nitrogen application timing and irrigation impacted yield and N2O emissions less than N rate and climate. Across N and irrigation treatments, future climate simulations resulted in 6% increased yield and 20% lower N2O emissions compared to current climate. Soil C pools declined under future climate. The greatest declines in soil C were from low N input sorghum simulations, regardless of irrigation (>20% declines in SOM in both cases), and requires further evaluation to determine if changing future climate is driving these declines, or if they are a function of prolonged sorghum-fallow rotations in the model. The relatively small gain in yield for

  6. Restoration of degraded drylands in northern Chile: The need of local stakeholders' participation to prevent and combat desertification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorquera-Jaramillo, Carmen; Yáñez-Acevedo, Marcia; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Cortés-Bugueño, José Luis; Pastén-Marambio, Víctor; Barraza-Cepeda, Claudia

    2015-04-01

    Desertification is one of the main factors determining poverty, long-term socio-economic problems, natural resources depletion and disturbances in rural communities living at the Coquimbo Region drylands (North-Central Chile). The Chilean State, along with private initiatives, have invested 473.6 Million dollars (1976 to 2008) to recover degraded areas through afforestation and soil management of 1,373,758 hectares. However, there is no information about the impact of the practices and changes experienced by the local stakeholders. Therefore, there is a need for a comprehensive evaluation considering both socioeconomic and biophysical aspects. To this end, a Protocol on Integrated Assessment (IAPro, PRACTICE project) was applied in two rural communities, involving communal afforested sites and their adjacent degraded drylands: El Sauce (ES, Limarí province) and Las Cañas (LC, Choapa province), Coquimbo Region. Participatory afforestation and soil conservation projects were implemented at both sites by the Chilean National Forestry Service (CONAF) in agreement with each local community (Jiménez y Tapia Agricultural Community at ES and Las Cañas de Choapa Peasant's Community at LC). The protocol involved 7 steps: (1) Stakeholder platform identification and engagement; (2) Baseline assessment and selection of site-specific indicators; (3) Integration and weighting of common and site-specific indicators; (4) Data collection; (5) Integrating and perspectives on a MCDA (Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis); (6) Collective Integrated assessment and knowledge sharing; (7) Dissemination. Interviews involved local and institutional stakeholders related to both sites' implementation, administration and/or local impacts. For the ES site, 5 actions were defined and assessed: No action (control); fences; mechanic and biological practices (soil stabilization, runoff control on slopes); runoff control in micro-basins, gullies and ravines; and footpath for educational and

  7. Plant-plant interactions in the restoration of Mediterranean drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdecantos, Alejandro; Fuentes, David; Smanis, Athanasios

    2014-05-01

    Plant-plant interactions are complex and dependent of both local abiotic features of the ecosystem and biotic relationships with other plants and animals. The net result of these interactions may be positive, negative or neutral resulting in facilitation, competition or neutralism, respectively (role of phylogeny). It has been proposed that competition is stronger between those individuals that share functional traits than between unrelated ones. The relative interaction effect of one plant on a neighbour may change in relation to resource availability - especially water in drylands. In addition, plants develop above and belowground biomass with time increasing the level and, eventually, changing the intensity and/or the direction of the interaction. In the framework of the restoration of degraded drylands, many studies have focused on the positive (nurse) effects of adult trees, shrubs and even grasses on artificially planted seedlings by improving the microclimate or providing protection against herbivores, but little is known about the interactions between seedlings of different life traits planted together under natural field conditions. In 2010 we established planting plots in two contrasted sites under semiarid Mediterranean climate and introduced one year old seedlings in different combinations of three species, two shrubs (Olea europaea and Pistacia lentiscus) and one grass (Stipa tenacissima). Half of the planting holes in each site were implemented with low-cost ecotechnological inputs to increase water availability by forcing runoff production and promoting deep infiltration (small plastic fabric + dry well). This resulted in four levels of abiotic stress. Biotic interactions were assessed by monitoring seedling survival and growth for three years after planting. The Relative Interaction Index (RII) of S. tenacissima on O. europaea was almost flat and close to 0 along the stress gradient since the beginning of the study suggesting limited interaction

  8. Mutually supportive use of stable isotope and gas chromatography techniques to understand ecohydrological interactions in dryland environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puttock, A.; Brazier, R. E.; Dungait, J. A. J.; Bol, R.; Dixon, E. R.; Macleod, C. J. A.

    2012-04-01

    Many drylands globally are experiencing extensive vegetation change. In the semi-arid Southwestern United States, this change is characterised by the encroachment of woody vegetation into environments previously dominated by grassland (Van Auken. 2009). The transition from grass to woody vegetation results in a change in ecosystem structure and function (Turnbull et al. 2008). Structural change is typically characterised by an increased heterogeneity of soil and vegetation resources, associated with reduced vegetation coverage and an increased vulnerability to soil erosion and the potential loss of key nutrients to adjacent fluvial systems. This project uses an ecohydrological approach, monitoring natural rainfall-runoff events and resulting water and sediment fluxes over six bounded plots with different vegetation coverage at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA. The experiment takes advantage of a shift in the photosynthetic pathway of dominant vegetation from C3 piñon-juniper (Pinus edulis-Juniperus monosperma) mixed stand through a C4 pure-grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) to C3 shrub (Larrea tridentate). This allows for the utilisation of natural abundance tracing techniques, specifically stable 13C isotope and gas chromatography lipid biomarker analyses. Results collected during the 2010 and 2011 monsoon seasons will be presented, using biogeochemical signatures, to trace and partition fluvial soil organic matter and carbon fluxes during runoff generating rainfall events. Results show that biogeochemical signatures specific to individual plant species can be used to define the provenance of carbon, quantifying whether more Pinus edulis-Juniperus monosperma derived carbon is mobilised from the upland plots, or whether more Larrea tridentata carbon is lost when compared to bouteloa eripoda losses in the lowlands. Results also show that biogeochemical signatures vary with event characteristics, raising the possibility of using these tracing

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

    OpenAIRE

    Motavalli, Peter P.; 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)

  10. Land Degradation States and Trends in the Northwestern Maghreb Drylands, 1998–2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel del Barrio

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available States of ecological maturity and temporal trends of drylands in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia north of 28°N are reported for 1998–2008. The input data were Normalized Difference Vegetation Index databases and corresponding climate fields, at a spatial resolution of 1 km and a temporal resolution of one month. States convey opposing dynamics of human exploitation and ecological succession. They were identified synchronically for the full period by comparing each location to all other locations in the study area under equivalent aridity. Rain Use Efficiency (RUE at two temporal scales was used to estimate proxies for biomass and turnover rate. Biomass trends were determined for every location by stepwise regression using time and aridity as predictors. This enabled human-induced degradation to be separated from simple responses to interannual climate variation. Some relevant findings include large areas of degraded land, albeit improving over time or fluctuating with climate, but rarely degrading further; smaller, but significant areas of mature and reference vegetation in most climate zones; very low overall active degradation rates throughout the area during the decade observed; biomass accumulation over time exceeding depletion in most zones; and negative feedback between land states and trends suggesting overall landscape persistence. Semiarid zones were found to be the most vulnerable. Those results can be disaggregated by country or province. The combination with existing land cover maps and national forest inventories leads to the information required by the two progress indicators associated with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification strategic objective to improve the conditions of ecosystems and with the Sustainable Development Goal Target 15.3 to achieve land degradation neutrality. Beyond that, the results are also useful as a basis for land management and restoration.

  11. Estimation of soil erosion for a sustainable land use planning: RUSLE model validation by remote sensing data utilization in the Kalikonto watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Andriyanto

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS and Remote Sensing (RS are increasingly used for planning and natural resources management. GIS and RS is based on pixels is used as a tool of spatial modeling for predicting the erosion. One of the methods developed for predicting the erosion is a Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE. RUSLE is the method used for predicting the erosion associated with runoff gained from five parameters, namely: rain erosivity (R, soil erodibility (K, length of slopes (L, slope (S, and land management (CP. The main constraint encountered in the process of operating the GIS is the calculation of the slope length factor (L.This study was designed to create a plan of sustainable land use and low erosion through the RULSE erosion modeling by utilizing the remote sensing data. With this approach, this study was divided into three activities, namely (1 the preparation and analysis of spatial data for the determination of the parameters and estimating the erosion by using RUSLE models, (2 the validation and calibration of the model of RUSLE by measuring soil erosion at the scale of plots on the field, and (3 Creating a plan of sustainable land use and low erosion with RUSLE. The validation erosion shows the value of R2 = 0.56 and r = 0.74. Results of this study showed that the RUSLE model could be used in the Kalikonto watershed. The erosions at the value of the actual estimation, spatial Plan (RTRW and land capability class in the Kalikonto watershed were 72t / ha / year, 62 t / ha / year and 58 t / ha / year, respectively.

  12. Long-term no-till: A major driver of fungal communities in dryland wheat cropping systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipak Sharma-Poudyal

    Full Text Available In the dryland Pacific Northwest wheat cropping systems, no-till is becoming more prevalent as a way to reduce soil erosion and fuel inputs. Tillage can have a profound effect on microbial communities and soilborne fungal pathogens, such as Rhizoctonia. We compared the fungal communities in long-term no-till (NT plots adjacent to conventionally tilled (CT plots, over three years at two locations in Washington state and one location in Idaho, US. We used pyrosequencing of the fungal ITS gene and identified 422 OTUs after rarefication. Fungal richness was higher in NT compared to CT, in two of the locations. Humicola nigrescens, Cryptococcus terreus, Cadophora spp. Hydnodontaceae spp., and Exophiala spp. were more abundant in NT, while species of Glarea, Coniochaetales, Mycosphaerella tassiana, Cryptococcus bhutanensis, Chaetomium perlucidum, and Ulocladium chartarum were more abundant in CT in most locations. Other abundant groups that did not show any trends were Fusarium, Mortierella, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Macroventuria. Plant pathogens such as Rhizoctonia (Ceratobasidiaceae were not abundant enough to see tillage differences, but Microdochium bolleyi, a weak root pathogen, was more abundant in NT. Our results suggest that NT fungi are better adapted at utilizing intact, decaying roots as a food source and may exist as root endophytes. CT fungi can utilize mature plant residues that are turned into the soil with tillage as pioneer colonizers, and then produce large numbers of conidia. But a larger proportion of the fungal community is not affected by tillage and may be niche generalists.

  13. Spring maize yield, soil water use and water use efficiency under plastic film and straw mulches in the Loess Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wen; Liu, Wenzhao; Xue, Qingwu

    2016-12-01

    To compare the soil water balance, yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of spring maize under different mulching types in the Loess Plateau, a 7-year field experiment was conducted in the Changwu region of the Loess Plateau. Three treatments were used in this experiment: straw mulch (SM), plastic film mulch (PM) and conventional covering without mulch (CK). Results show that the soil water change of dryland spring maize was as deep as 300 cm depth and hence 300 cm is recommended as the minimum depth when measure the soil water in this region. Water use (ET) did not differ significantly among the treatments. However, grain yield was significantly higher in PM compared with CK. WUE was significantly higher in PM than in CK for most years of the experiment. Although ET tended to be higher in PM than in the other treatments (without significance), the evaporation of water in the fallow period also decreased. Thus, PM is sustainable with respect to soil water balance. The 7-year experiment and the supplemental experiment thus confirmed that straw mulching at the seedling stage may lead to yield reduction and this effect can be mitigated by delaying the straw application to three-leaf stage.

  14. Back to Acid Soil Fields: The Citrate Transporter SbMATE Is a Major Asset for Sustainable Grain Yield for Sorghum Cultivated on Acid Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldo Carvalho Jr

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Aluminum (Al toxicity damages plant roots and limits crop production on acid soils, which comprise up to 50% of the world’s arable lands. A major Al tolerance locus on chromosome 3, AltSB, controls aluminum tolerance in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L. Moench] via SbMATE, an Al-activated plasma membrane transporter that mediates Al exclusion from sensitive regions in the root apex. As is the case with other known Al tolerance genes, SbMATE was cloned based on studies conducted under controlled environmental conditions, in nutrient solution. Therefore, its impact on grain yield on acid soils remains undetermined. To determine the real world impact of SbMATE, multi-trait quantitative trait loci (QTL mapping in hydroponics, and, in the field, revealed a large-effect QTL colocalized with the Al tolerance locus AltSB, where SbMATE lies, conferring a 0.6 ton ha–1 grain yield increase on acid soils. A second QTL for Al tolerance in hydroponics, where the positive allele was also donated by the Al tolerant parent, SC283, was found on chromosome 9, indicating the presence of distinct Al tolerance genes in the sorghum genome, or genes acting in the SbMATE pathway leading to Al-activated citrate release. There was no yield penalty for AltSB, consistent with the highly localized Al regulated SbMATE expression in the root tip, and Al-dependent transport activity. A female effect of 0.5 ton ha–1 independently demonstrated the effectiveness of AltSB in hybrids. Al tolerance conferred by AltSB is thus an indispensable asset for sorghum production and food security on acid soils, many of which are located in developing countries.

  15. Perceived profitability and well-being in Australian dryland farmers and irrigators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Dominic; Berry, Helen L; Schirmer, Jacki

    2015-08-01

    To describe the relationship between self-reported farm profitability and farmer well-being, and to explore potential implications for farmer assistance policy. Cross-sectional analysis of farmers from Regional Wellbeing Survey data (wave 1, 2013) and comparison between groups. Participants were 1172 dryland farmers (35% women) and 707 irrigators (24% women). The Personal Wellbeing Index and the Kessler 10-item measure of general psychological distress. There is a consistent and significant relationship between higher profitability, greater well-being and less distress among dryland farmers and irrigators. The relationship between farm profitability and the well-being of Australian dryland farmers and irrigators has the potential to inform farmer assistance policy. Assistance programs can be more effective if they explicitly incorporate a profitability assessment into their targeting and eligibility requirements and a well-being component into program design and delivery. Rural Australia. Not applicable. © 2015 National Rural Health Alliance Inc.

  16. Hydrologic variability in dryland regions: impacts on ecosystem dynamics and food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Bhattachan, Abinash

    2012-11-19

    Research on ecosystem and societal response to global environmental change typically considers the effects of shifts in mean climate conditions. There is, however, some evidence of ongoing changes also in the variance of hydrologic and climate fluctuations. A relatively high interannual variability is a distinctive feature of the hydrologic regime of dryland regions, particularly at the desert margins. Hydrologic variability has an important impact on ecosystem dynamics, food security and societal reliance on ecosystem services in water-limited environments. Here, we investigate some of the current patterns of hydrologic variability in drylands around the world and review the major effects of hydrologic fluctuations on ecosystem resilience, maintenance of biodiversity and food security. We show that random hydrologic fluctuations may enhance the resilience of dryland ecosystems by obliterating bistable deterministic behaviours and threshold-like responses to external drivers. Moreover, by increasing biodiversity and the associated ecosystem redundancy, hydrologic variability can indirectly enhance post-disturbance recovery, i.e. ecosystem resilience.

  17. Transforming Innovation for Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Leach

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The urgency of charting pathways to sustainability that keep human societies within a "safe operating space" has now been clarified. Crises in climate, food, biodiversity, and energy are already playing out across local and global scales and are set to increase as we approach critical thresholds. Drawing together recent work from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Tellus Institute, and the STEPS Centre, this commentary article argues that ambitious Sustainable Development Goals are now required along with major transformation, not only in policies and technologies, but in modes of innovation themselves, to meet them. As examples of dryland agriculture in East Africa and rural energy in Latin America illustrate, such "transformative innovation" needs to give far greater recognition and power to grassroots innovation actors and processes, involving them within an inclusive, multi-scale innovation politics. The three dimensions of direction, diversity, and distribution along with new forms of "sustainability brokering" can help guide the kinds of analysis and decision making now needed to safeguard our planet for current and future generations.

  18. Veni, Vidi, Vermi... I. On the contribution of Darwin’s ‘humble earthworm’ to soil health, pollution-free primary production, organic ‘waste’ management & atmospheric carbon capture for a safe and sustainable global climate.

    OpenAIRE

    Blakemore, R. J.

    2017-01-01

    Organic farming supplies more food with less ecological cost than chemical agriculture. Earthworm aspects of organic farming are twofold: ‘waste’ recycling through compost worms and soil enhancement from endemic field worms. Bio-physico-chemical benefits from sustained earthworm activity accrue for biodiversity, soil organic matter (SOM = worm-worked humus) derived from carbon sequestration of atmospheric CO2 via photosynthesis/humification and nitrogen N2 fixation from microbes rather than...

  19. Dryland salinity: threatening water resources in the semi-arid Western Cape

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Bugan, Richard DH

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available : THREATENING WATER RESOURCES IN THE SEMI-ARID WESTERN CAPE Increased dryland salinity in the Swartland and Overberg regions poses a threat to the bread basket of the Western Cape, water resources in an already water-stressed area, water supply... an increase in salt concentrations, particularly in the mid- to lower reaches of the river, thereby impacting on drinking water quality and agriculture. Dryland salinity poses a major threat to water quality, particularly in semi-arid areas. It is usually...

  20. Pastoral mobility as a response to climate variability in African drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    1999-01-01

    The article outlines aspects of ‘the new paradigm’ for dryland ecosystems and pastoral production systems. Rationality of pastoralism was claimed by parts of the research community for decades, but especially among policy and development planners pastoralism was perceived as an irrational and des...... in West Africa. In an example from Ferlo, Senegal, different types of pastoral mobility are discussed with special focus on the importance of scale. It is concluded that pastoral mobility is a rational response to climate variability and unpredictability in African drylands....

  1. Assessing commercial livestock appropriation of the productive capacity of US drylands: A remote sensing approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington-Allen, R. A.; Mitchell, J. E.; Oslen, H. E.

    2008-12-01

    The "State of Nation's Ecosystems" by the Heinz Institute and the recent "Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of Drylands" concluded that the amount of desertification and the extent to which human management actions contribute to this process is unknown at national to global spatial scales. This is primarily due to lack of studies at these large spatial scales and the temporal scales (> a 15-year time series of data) necessary to separate the effects of anthropogenic practices from climate change on Drylands. Consequently, this research seeks to develop procedures for determining 1) the area of Drylands within the United States where commercial grazing livestock occur or the livestock ecological footprint and 2) the impact of the footprint on the US's productive capacity. Our approach has been to develop a pilot geodatabase of year 2002 data that includes administrative boundaries, the Moderate Resolution Infrared Spectroradiometer's (MODIS) measures of gross and net primary productivity (GPP and NPP, respectively), US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service's (USDA-NASS) county-level data on cattle, sheep, and goat inventories, transportation and power consumption networks, dryland extent, and land cover/land use. Secondly, the ratio of 1-km2 gridded mean annual potential evapotranspiration (MAPET) to mean annual precipitation (MAP) data were used to define the 50-year mean dryland extent in accordance with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification's definition of Drylands, the aridity index (AI) ≤ 0.65. Urban features, including transportation, power consumption, and land use/land cover, were subtracted from this dryland map to further refine it. The NASS tabular data was then related to the counties boundary map thus producing a county-level livestock number map that was then intersected with the dryland extent map to yield the US livestock ecological footprint. Lastly, this footprint map was then converted to a

  2. Effect of crop residue harvest on long-term crop yield, soil erosion, and carbon balance: tradeoffs for a sustainable bioenergy feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gregg, Jay S.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.

    2010-08-26

    Agricultural residues are a potential feedstock for bioenergy production, if residue harvest can be done sustainably. The relationship between crop residue harvest, soil erosion, crop yield and carbon balance was modeled with the Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator/ Environment Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) using a factorial design. Four crop rotations (winter wheat [Triticum aestivum (L.)] – sunflower [Helianthus annuus]; spring wheat [Triticum aestivum (L.)] – canola [Brassica napus]; corn [Zea mays L.] – soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]; and cotton [Gossypium hirsutum] – peanut [Arachis hypogaea]) were simulated at four US locations each, under different topographies (0-10% slope), and management practices [crop residue removal rates (0-75%), conservation practices (no till, contour cropping, strip cropping, terracing)].

  3. Desertification, salinization, and biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazono, Seiji; Patiño, Reynaldo; Taylor, Christopher M

    2015-04-01

    This study determined long-term changes in fish assemblages, river discharge, salinity, and local precipitation, and examined hydrological drivers of biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem, the Trans-Pecos region of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte (USA/Mexico). Historical (1977-1989) and current (2010-2011) fish assemblages were analyzed by rarefaction analysis (species richness), nonmetric multidimensional scaling (composition/variability), multiresponse permutation procedures (composition), and paired t-test (variability). Trends in hydrological conditions (1970s-2010s) were examined by Kendall tau and quantile regression, and associations between streamflow and specific conductance (salinity) by generalized linear models. Since the 1970s, species richness and variability of fish assemblages decreased in the Rio Grande below the confluence with the Rio Conchos (Mexico), a major tributary, but not above it. There was increased representation of lower-flow/higher-salinity tolerant species, thus making fish communities below the confluence taxonomically and functionally more homogeneous to those above it. Unlike findings elsewhere, this biotic homogenization was due primarily to changes in the relative abundances of native species. While Rio Conchos discharge was>2-fold higher than Rio Grande discharge above their confluence, Rio Conchos discharge decreased during the study period causing Rio Grande discharge below the confluence to also decrease. Rio Conchos salinity is lower than Rio Grande salinity above their confluence and, as Rio Conchos discharge decreased, it caused Rio Grande salinity below the confluence to increase (reduced dilution). Trends in discharge did not correspond to trends in precipitation except at extreme-high (90th quantile) levels. In conclusion, decreasing discharge from the Rio Conchos has led to decreasing flow and increasing salinity in the Rio Grande below the confluence. This spatially uneven desertification and

  4. Long-term indigenous soil conservation technology in the Chencha area, southern Ethiopia: origin, characteristics, and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engdawork, Assefa; Bork, Hans-Rudolf

    2014-11-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the origin, development, and characteristics of terraces (kella), plus their potentials and determinants for sustainable use in the Chencha-Dorze Belle area of southern Ethiopia. Field surveys were conducted to determine the various parameters of the indigenous terraces and in order to collect samples for radiocarbon dating. To identify farmers' views of the terrace systems, semi-structured interviews and group discussions were also carried out. Terraces were built and used-as radiocarbon dating proves-at least over the last 800 years. The long-term continued usage of the indigenous terraces is the result of social commitments, the structural features of the terraces, and the farmers' responses to the dynamics of social and cultural circumstances. We dubbed that the terraces are a success story of fruitful environmental management over generations. Thus, a strong need is to preserve and develop this important cultural heritage and example of sustainable land use.

  5. Surplus, Scarcity and Soil Fertility in Pre-Industrial Austrian Agriculture—The Sustainability Costs of Inequality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Gizicki-Neundlinger

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper takes a Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER perspective to integrate important aspects of social inequality into Socio-Ecological Metabolism (SEM research. SEM has dealt with biophysical features of pre-industrial agricultural systems from a largely apolitical perspective, neglecting social relations and conditions of peasant production and reproduction. One of the politically and economically most important manorial systems in Early Modern Austria (Grundherrschaft Grafenegg serves as a case study to reconstruct the unequal distribution of central resources between ruling landlords and subjected peasants. We show that peasant land use systems generated small surpluses only, whereas landlords enjoyed significant economies of scale. Furthermore, we explore what these conditions of landlord surplus and peasant scarcity implied for their respective agro-ecological sustainability. Finally, we argue that within pre-industrial agrarian systems sustainability costs of inequality were severely limiting margins for agricultural intensification and growth of peasant economies.

  6. Tackling soil degradation and environmental changes in Lake Manyara Basin, Tanzania to support sustainable landscape/ecosystem management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munishi, Linus; Mtei, Kelvin; Bode, Samuel; Dume, Bayu; Navas, Ana; Nebiyu, Amsalu; Semmens, Brice; Smith, Hugh; Stock, Brian; Boeckx, Pascal; Blake, Will

    2017-04-01

    The Lake Manyara Basin (LMB), which encompasses Lake Manyara National Park a world ranking World Biosphere Reserve, is of great ecological and socio-economic value because it hosts a small-holder rain fed and extensive irrigation agriculture, grazing grounds for pastoralists, terrestrial and aquatic habitat for wildlife and tourism business contributing to poverty alleviation. Despite these multiple ecosystem services that support the local communities, the LMB is threatened by; (a) siltation from eroded soil fed from the wider catchment and rift escarpment of the basin and (b) declining water levels due to water capture by agriculture and possibly climate change. These threats to the ecosystem and its services are augmented by increasing human population, pollution by agricultural pesticides, poaching, human encroachment and infrastructure development, and illegal fisheries. Despite these challenges, here is a dearth of information on erosion hotspots and to date soil erosion and siltation problems in LMB have been interpreted largely in qualitative terms, and no coherent interpretative framework of these records exists. Despite concerns that modern sediment fluxes to the Lake may exceed long-term fluxes, little is known about erosion sources, how erosion rates and processes vary across the landscape and how erosion rates are influenced by the strong climate gradients in the basin. This contribution describes a soil erosion and sediment management project that aims to deliver a demonstration dataset generated from inter-disciplinary sediment-source tracing technologies and approaches to assess erosion hotspots, processes and spatial patterns of erosion in the area. The work focuses on a sub basin, the Monduli Sub catchment, located within the greater LMB. This is part of efforts to establish an understanding of soil erosion and landscape degradation in the basin as a pathway for generating and developing knowledge, building capacity to assist conservationists

  7. Steel-soil composite bridge:an alternative design solution for short-span bridges towards sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Du, Guangli; Pettersson, Lars; Karoumi, Raid

    2017-01-01

    The construction sector is a major source of greenhouse gases. Under the increasingconcern in climate change and growing construction activities, the whole sector is challengedto shift focus toward sustainable solutions. The traditional procurement oftenprioritizes the technical and economic viability, while their environmental performance is overlooked. Today’s designers are urged to seek new design options to reduce the environmental burdens. Sweden owns more than 24574 bridges and most of ...

  8. Visually assessing the level of development and soil surface stability of cyanobacterially dominated biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Witwicki, D.L.; Miller, M.E.

    2008-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an integral part of dryland ecosystems and often included in long-term ecological monitoring programs. Estimating moss and lichen cover is fairly easy and non-destructive, but documenting cyanobacterial level of development (LOD) is more difficult. It requires sample collection for laboratory analysis, which causes soil surface disturbance. Assessing soil surface stability also requires surface disturbance. Here we present a visual technique to assess cyanobacterial LOD and soil surface stability. We define six development levels of cyanobacterially dominated soils based on soil surface darkness. We sampled chlorophyll a concentrations (the most common way of assessing cyanobacterial biomass), exopolysaccharide concentrations, and soil surface aggregate stability from representative areas of each LOD class. We found that, in the laboratory and field, LOD classes were effective at predicting chlorophyll a soil concentrations (R2=68-81%), exopolysaccharide concentrations (R2=71%), and soil aggregate stability (R2=77%). We took representative photos of these classes to construct a field guide. We then tested the ability of field crews to distinguish these classes and found this technique was highly repeatable among observers. We also discuss how to adjust this index for the different types of BSCs found in various dryland regions.

  9. The role of non-rainfall water on physiological activation in desert biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jiaoli; Peng, Chengrong; Li, Hua; Li, Shuangshuang; Huang, Shun; Hu, Yao; Zhang, Jinli; Li, Dunhai

    2018-01-01

    Non-rainfall water (NRW, e.g. fog and dew), in addition to rainfall and snowfall, are considered important water inputs to drylands. At the same time, biological soil crusts (BSCs) are important components of drylands. However, little information is available regarding the effect of NRW inputs on BSC activation. In this study, the effects of NRW on physiological activation in three BSC successional stages, including the cyanobacteria crust stage (Crust-C), moss colonization stage (Crust-CM), and moss crust stage (Crust-M), were studied in situ. Results suggest NRW inputs hydrated and activated physiological activity (Fv/Fm, carbon exchange, and nitrogen fixation) in BSCs but led to a negative carbon balance and low rates of nitrogen fixation in BSCs. One effective NRW event could hydrate BSCs for 7 h. Following simulated rainfall, the physiological activities recovered within 3 h, and net carbon gain occurred until 3 h after hydration, whereas NRW-induced physiological recovery processes were slower and exhibited lower activities, leading to a negative carbon balance. There were significant positive correlations between NRW amounts and the recovered values of Fv/Fm in all the three BSC stages (p < .001). The thresholds for Fv/Fm activation decreased with BSC succession, and the annual effective NRW events increased with BSC succession, with values of 29.8, 89.2, and 110.7 in Crust-C, Crust-CM and Crust-M, respectively. The results suggest that moss crust and moss-cyanobacteria crust use NRW to prolong metabolic activity and reduce drought stress more efficiently than cyanobacteria crusts. Therefore, these results suggest that BSCs utilize NRW to sustain life while growth and biomass accumulation require precipitation (rainfall) events over a certain threshold.

  10. A study of the application of permeable pavements as a sustainable technique for the mitigation of soil sealing in cities: A case study in the south of Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Rojas, M I; Huertas-Fernández, F; Moreno, B; Martínez, G; Grindlay, A L

    2018-01-01

    The use of 'Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems' (SuDS) has become a more sustainable alternative for managing stormwater, greatly reducing the effects of soil sealing. However, the lack of monitored projects is a barrier to their implementation, as the companies which manage sewer systems cannot quantify the impact and cost-efficiency of SuDS. This paper presents a project developed in the south of Spain, in which the hydrological performance of 3 types of permeable pavements has been analyzed. The efficiencies obtained (over 70%), are higher than or similar to the efficiencies of vegetated SuDS, demonstrating the capacity of these pavements for delaying catchment area response and slow flow velocities, reducing the operating costs of sewer systems and the flood risk, while also ensuring service conditions for cities and safety for pedestrian and vehicular circulation. This pilot site has generated results which are sufficiently consistent so as to be representative, and serve as a reference for other cities with a similar climate. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Modelling impacts of atmospheric deposition, nutrient cycling and soil weathering on the sustainability of nine forest ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salm, C. van der; Vries, W.de; Olsson, M.

    1999-01-01

    to an enhanced release of base cations by silicate weathering. Despite the ongoing acidification: base saturation increases during the simulation period, due to both the increase in base cation weathering and an increased input from mineralization with the ageing of the tree stands. No change in Al concentration...... is predicted for northern Sweden as deposition levels are below critical loads. Soil chemistry at the recently replanted Swedish sites is dominated by changes in N cycling instead of by deposition. The CL scenario leads, especially after 2010, to a stronger decline in Al concentration compared with the BAU...... in weathering rate due to the decline in pH....

  12. The evaluation of dryland Cenchrus ciliaris l. cv Molopo for weaner ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Weaner calf production from a dryland C. ciliaris pasture was evaluated at three stocking rates under continuous grazing (1978 -1983). Differences in available above ground phytomass (AAP) weaning mass and economic returns were investigated. The AAP decreased with increased stocking rates. At the high and medium ...

  13. The Effect of Land use/cover change on Biomass Stock in Dryland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    section of both rural and urban folks. However in the face of population pressure, drylands are increasingly in the path of conversion and degradation. This study therefore, performed an assessment of the effect of land use/cover change on ...

  14. Contributions of radiative factors to enhanced dryland warming over East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanting; Guan, Xiaodan; Yu, Haipeng; Xie, Yongkun; Jin, Hongchun

    2017-08-01

    Enhanced near-surface atmospheric warming has occurred over East Asia in recent decades, especially in drylands. Although local factors have been confirmed to provide considerable contributions to this warming, such factors have not been sufficiently analyzed. In this study, we extracted the radiatively forced temperature (RFT) associated with the built-up greenhouse gases, aerosol emission, and various other radiative forcing over East Asia and found a close relationship between RFT and CO2. In addition, using climate model experiments, we explored the responses of temperature changes to black carbon (BC), CO2, and SO4 and found that the enhanced dryland warming induced by CO2 had the largest magnitude and was strengthened by the warming effect of BC. Moreover, the sensitivity of daily maximum and minimum temperature changes to BC, CO2, and SO4 was examined. It showed asymmetric responses of daily maximum and minimum temperature to radiative factors, which led to an obvious change of diurnal temperature range (DTR), especially in drylands. The DTR's response to CO2 is the most significant. Therefore, CO2 not only plays a dominant role in enhanced warming but also greatly affects the decrease of DTR in drylands. However, the mechanisms of these radiative factors' effects in the process of DTR change are not clear and require more investigation.

  15. Fisheries in the drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa “Fish come with the Rains”

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolding, Jeppe; Zwieten, van P.A.M.; Marttin, Felix; Poulain, Florence

    2016-01-01

    Dryland areas cover more than half of sub-Saharan Africa and are home to nearly 50 percent of
    its populations, who depend on agriculture (including livestock, crops and fisheries) as their main
    livelihood strategy. Sporadic and irregular rainfall patterns are the most important

  16. Replacing fallow with forage triticale in dryland crop rotations increases profitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    A common dryland rotational cropping system in the semi-arid central Great Plains of the U.S. is wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-corn (Zea mays L.)-fallow (WCF). However, the 12-month fallow period following corn production has been shown to be relatively inefficient in storing precipitation during the...

  17. Climate change may restrict dryland forest regeneration in the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. D. Petrie; J. B. Bradford; R. M. Hubbard; W. K. Lauenroth; C. M. Andrews; D. R. Schlaepfer

    2017-01-01

    The persistence and geographic expansion of dryland forests in the 21st century will be influenced by how climate change supports the demographic processes associated with tree regeneration. Yet, the way that climate change may alter regeneration is unclear. We developed a quantitative framework that estimates forest regeneration potential (RP) as a function of key...

  18. Life-cycle analysis of dryland greenhouse gases affected by cropping sequence and nitrogen fertilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little information is available about management practices effect on net global warming potential (GWP) and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) under dryland cropping systems. We evaluated the effects of cropping sequences (conventional till malt barley-fallow [CTB-F], no-till malt barley-pea [NTB-P], a...

  19. Revisiting the coupling between NDVI trends and cropland changes in the Sahel drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tong, Xiaoye; Brandt, Martin Stefan; Hiernaux, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    The impact of human activities via land use/cover changes on NDVI trends is critical for an improved understanding of satellite-observed changes in vegetation productivity in drylands. The dominance of positive NDVI trends in the Sahel, the so-called re-greening, is sometimes interpreted as a com...

  20. Impacts of Global Change on Water Resources in Dryland East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge Sun; Xiaoming Feng; Jingfeng Xiao; Alex Shiklomanov; Shengping Wang; Zhiqiang Zhang; Nan Lu; Shuai Wang; Liding Chen; Bojie Fu; Yaning Chen; Jiquan Chen

    2013-01-01

    The vast Dryland East Asia (DEA) area consists of several large geographic regions including the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Loess Plateau, and Mongolia Plateau. T he region is of great importance to the functioning of the earth system under a changing climate. In the past three decades, due to the unprecedented land use/land cover change, urbanization, industrialization...

  1. Milking drylands : gender networks, pastoral markets and food security in stateless Somalia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nori, M.

    2010-01-01

    The Milking Drylands research initiative addresses the critical issues of food security, market integration, gender roles and governance matters in a peculiar area of the world, the Somali ecosystem. The research aims at exploring interesting dynamics of ongoing social change, in order to stimulate

  2. Dryland salinity management in the semi-arid Western Cape (South Africa)

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Bugan, Richard DH

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Dryland salinity is a major factor affecting the water quality of the mid-to-lower-reaches of the Berg River, a pivotal source of water to Cape Town. The implementation of salinity management strategies is therefore essential. Distributed...

  3. Planting geometry and growing season effects on the growth and yield of dryland cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    The declining Ogallala Aquifer beneath the Southern High Plains may necessitate dryland crop production and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is a well-adapted and potentially profitable alternative crop. The limited growing season duration of the Texas Panhandle and southwestern Kansas, however, impos...

  4. Procedures for estimation of the livestock ecological footprint of US drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert A. Washington-Allen; John E. Mitchell

    2008-01-01

    The ecological condition and trend of the United States' 3,902,000 of Drylands and the extent to which human management actions contribute to degradation are unknown at the national spatial scale. (Washington-Allen et al. 2006). Our research seeks to develop procedures for determining the impact or ecological footprint of livestock grazing on the productive...

  5. Projected dryland cropping system shifts in the Pacific Northwest in response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agriculture in the dryland region of the Inland Pacific Northwest (IPNW, including northern Idaho, eastern Washington and northern Oregon) is typically characterized based on annual rainfall and associated distribution of cropping systems that have evolved in response to biophysical and socio-econom...

  6. Assessing woody vegetation trends in Sahelian drylands using MODIS based seasonal metrics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Martin Stefan; Hiernaux, Pierre; Rasmussen, Kjeld

    2016-01-01

    Woody plants play a major role for the resilience of drylands and in peoples' livelihoods. However, due to their scattered distribution, quantifying and monitoring woody cover over space and time is challenging. We develop a phenology driven model and train/validate MODIS (MCD43A4, 500 m) derived...

  7. New ecology education: Preparing students for the complex human-environmental problems of dryland East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Present-day environmental problems of Dryland East Asia are serious, and future prospects look especially disconcerting owing to current trends in population growth and economic development. Land degradation and desertification, invasive species, biodiversity losses, toxic waste and air pollution, a...

  8. Major faults and the development of dryland salinity in the western wheatbelt of Western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. J. Clarke

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Dryland salinity poses a major threat to agricultural production in the wheatbelt of Western Australia and much time and effort is expended on understanding the mechanisms which cause it and on developing techniques to halt or reverse its development. Whilst the location of much dryland salinity can be explained by its topographic position, a significant proportion of it cannot. This study investigated the hypothesis that major faults in the Yilgarn Craton represented in aeromagnetic data by intense curvilinear lows explained the location of areas of dryland salinity not explained by topography. Moreover, the causal mechanisms that might underpin a spatial relationship between major faults and dryland salinity were sought. In one fourth order catchment, nearly 85% of the salinity that was not explained topographically was within 2km of the centre line of a major fault, the remaining 15% being in the other 12km of the catchment. Three groups of similar third order catchments in the western wheatbelt of Western Australia were also investigated; in each case the catchment that was underlain by a major fault had dryland salinity an order of magnitude more than the unfaulted catchment(s. This evidence demonstrates a strong spatial association between major faults and the development of dryland salinity. Other evidence suggests that the underlying mechanism is hydraulic conductivity 5.2 to 2.9 times higher inside the fault zone compared to outside it and shows that geomorphology, salt store, regolith thickness, and degree of clearing are not the underlying mechanisms. In one of the groups of catchments, it has been calculated that an amount of recharge, significant in relation to recharge from rainfall, was entering from an adjacent catchment along a major fault. The paper concludes that geological features such as major faults affect the development of dryland salinity in the wheatbelt of Western Australia because of permeability differences in the

  9. Land-based adaptation to global change: what drives soil and water conservation in Western Africa?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sietz, D.; Dijk, van H.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation of land resources is a promising strategy for sustainable agricultural intensification in order to adapt dryland farming systems to climate, market and other stresses. At a local level, factors that drive the adoption of conservation measures operate and interact in specific ways.

  10. Tropical Soil Chemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borggaard, Ole K.

    and environmental protection. Tropical Soil Chemistry by Ole K. Borggaard provides an overview of the composition, occurrence, properties, processes, formation, and environmental vulnerability of various tropical soil types (using American Soil Taxonomy for classification). The processes and the external factors...... soil chemical issues are also presented to assess when, why, and how tropical soils differ from soils in other regions. This knowledge can help agricultural special