WorldWideScience

Sample records for sustain soil function

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Soil properties, soil functions and soil security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poggio, Laura; Gimona, Alessandro

    2017-04-01

    Soil plays a crucial role in the ecosystem functioning such as food production, capture and storage of water, carbon and nutrients and in the realisation of a number of UN Sustainable Developments Goals. In this work we present an approach to spatially and jointly assess the multiple contributions of soil to the delivery of ecosystem services within multiple land-use system. We focussed on the modelling of the impact of soil on sediment retention, carbon storage, storing and filtering of nutrients, habitat for soil organisms and water regulation, taking into account examples of land use and climate scenarios. Simplified models were used for the single components. Spatialised Bayesian Belief networks were used for the jointly assessment and mapping of soil contribution to multiple land use and ecosystem services. We integrated continuous 3D soil information derived from digital soil mapping approaches covering the whole of mainland Scotland, excluding the Northern Islands. Uncertainty was accounted for and propagated across the whole process. The Scottish test case highlights the differences in roles between mineral and organic soils and provides an example of integrated study assessing the contributions of soil. The results show the importance of the multi-functional analysis of the contribution of soils to the ecosystem service delivery and UN SDGs.

  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 function and "malfunction"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elio Coppola

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Most of the scientists define soil from an “agronomic” point of view as the natural system delegated to sustain plantgrowth and agricultural productions on the whole. In this paper soil importance, even in “environmental and social”terms, is pointed out, considering soil as a natural body with its own functional characteristics, regardless ofits agronomic role and productive ability. Some studies show that soil acts as a thermal buffer and detoxifies thecirculating liquid phase. Actually soil is also the depository of the cultural heritage of the society who used it, bothas keeper of relics and manufactured products and as an expression of transformation processes and evolution trendcaused by man’s action itself.The need to protect and preserve soil has to be emphasized by stating its main importance not only as a maintenancesource for all the living beings but also as a factor of environmental control.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Soil function and "malfunction"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elio Coppola

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Most of the scientists define soil from an “agronomic” point of view as the natural system delegated to sustain plant
    growth and agricultural productions on the whole. In this paper soil importance, even in “environmental and social”
    terms, is pointed out, considering soil as a natural body with its own functional characteristics, regardless of
    its agronomic role and productive ability. Some studies show that soil acts as a thermal buffer and detoxifies the
    circulating liquid phase. Actually soil is also the depository of the cultural heritage of the society who used it, both
    as keeper of relics and manufactured products and as an expression of transformation processes and evolution trend
    caused by man’s action itself.
    The need to protect and preserve soil has to be emphasized by stating its main importance not only as a maintenance
    source for all the living beings but also as a factor of environmental control.

  16. Plant Functional Traits: Soil and Ecosystem Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faucon, Michel-Pierre; Houben, David; Lambers, Hans

    2017-05-01

    Decline of ecosystem services has triggered numerous studies aiming at developing more sustainable agricultural management practices. Some agricultural practices may improve soil properties by expanding plant biodiversity. However, sustainable management of agroecosystems should be performed from a functional plant trait perspective. Advances in functional ecology, especially plant functional trait effects on ecosystem processes and services, provide pivotal knowledge for ecological intensification of agriculture; this approach acknowledges that a crop field is an agroecosystem whose ecological processes influence soil properties. We highlight the links between plant functional traits and soil properties in relation to four major ecosystem processes involved in vital ecosystem services: food production, crop protection, climate change mitigation, and soil and water conservation, aiming towards ecological intensification of sustainable agricultural and soil management. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Gap assessment in current soil monitoring networks across Europe for measuring soil functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leeuwen, J. P.; Saby, N. P. A.; Jones, A.; Louwagie, G.; Micheli, E.; Rutgers, M.; Schulte, R. P. O.; Spiegel, H.; Toth, G.; Creamer, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Soil is the most important natural resource for life on Earth after water. Given its fundamental role in sustaining the human population, both the availability and quality of soil must be managed sustainably and protected. To ensure sustainable management we need to understand the intrinsic functional capacity of different soils across Europe and how it changes over time. Soil monitoring is needed to support evidence-based policies to incentivise sustainable soil management. To this aim, we assessed which soil attributes can be used as potential indicators of five soil functions; (1) primary production, (2) water purification and regulation, (3) carbon sequestration and climate regulation, (4) soil biodiversity and habitat provisioning and (5) recycling of nutrients. We compared this list of attributes to existing national (regional) and EU-wide soil monitoring networks. The overall picture highlighted a clearly unbalanced dataset, in which predominantly chemical soil parameters were included, and soil biological and physical attributes were severely under represented. Methods applied across countries for indicators also varied. At a European scale, the LUCAS-soil survey was evaluated and again confirmed a lack of important soil biological parameters, such as C mineralisation rate, microbial biomass and earthworm community, and soil physical measures such as bulk density. In summary, no current national or European monitoring system exists which has the capacity to quantify the five soil functions and therefore evaluate multi-functional capacity of a soil and in many countries no data exists at all. This paper calls for the addition of soil biological and some physical parameters within the LUCAS-soil survey at European scale and for further development of national soil monitoring schemes.

  10. Functional digital soil mapping for the prediction of available water capacity in Nigeria using legacy data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ugbaje, S.U.; Reuter, H.I.

    2013-01-01

    Soil information, particularly water storage capacity, is of utmost importance for assessing and managing land resources for sustainable land management. We investigated using digital soil mapping (DSM) and digital soil functional mapping (DSFM) procedures to predict available water capacity (AWC)

  11. Effects of nature management on soil functions : development of a method to characterize soil functions and assess the effect of nature management measures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geissen, V.; Smit, A.; Zwart, K.B.

    2010-01-01

    Assessments on the sustainability of soil use and management are based on the conservation and improvement of soil functions. A major problem in the use of soil functions in those assessments is the fact that no or few quantitative methods exist to characterize soil functions in the field. It is

  12. On the role of soil fauna in providing soil functions - a meta study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Birgit; Russell, David J.; Vogel, Hans-Jörg; Wollschläger, Ute

    2017-04-01

    Fertile soils are fundamental for the production of biomass and therefore for the provision of goods such as food or fuel. However, soils are threatened by e.g. land degradation, but once lost their functionality cannot simply be replaced as soils are complex systems developed over long time periods. Thus, to develop strategies for sustainable soil use and management, we need a comprehensive functional understanding of soil systems. To this end, the interdisciplinary research program "Soil as a Natural Resource for the Bio-Economy - BonaRes" was launched by the German Federal Government in 2015. One part of this program is the development of a Knowledge Centre for soil functions and services. As part of the Knowledge Centre, we focus on the identification and quantification of biological drivers of soil functions. Based on a systematic review of existing literature, we assess the importance of different soil faunal groups for the soil functions and processes most relevant to agricultural production (i.e. decomposition, mineralization, soil structuring. Additionally, we investigate direct impacts of soil fauna on soil properties (e.g. aggregation, pore volume). As site specific conditions such as climate, soil type or management practices affect soil fauna and their performance, these responses must also be taken into account. In the end, our findings will be used in the development of modeling tools aiming to predict the impacts of different management measures on soil ecosystem services and functions.

  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. Soil Architecture and physicochemical functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Jonge, Lis Wollesen; Møldrup, Per; Vendelboe, Anders Lindblad

    2012-01-01

    , and modeling of soil structure (architecture) and physical, chemical, and biological processes in different porous media systems and at different scales. Several studies in this special section also outline and discuss emerging and exciting interdisciplinary challenges for the rapidly growing vadose zone...... generation of environmentalists, soil scientists, and environmental engineers with the best education possible. The 16 papers in this special section on soil architecture and physicochemical functions in the Vadose Zone Journal contribute to these goals by improving and linking measurement, visualization...

  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. The impact of soil degradation on soil functioning in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montanarella, Luca

    2010-05-01

    The European Commission has presented in September 2006 its Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection.The Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection consists of a Communication from the Commission to the other European Institutions, a proposal for a framework Directive (a European law), and an Impact Assessment. The Communication (COM(2006) 231) sets the frame. It defines the relevant soil functions for Europe and identifies the major threats. It explains why further action is needed to ensure a high level of soil protection, sets the overall objective of the Strategy and explains what kind of measures must be taken. It establishes a ten-year work program for the European Commission. The proposal for a framework Directive (COM(2006) 232) sets out common principles for protecting soils across the EU. Within this common framework, the EU Member States will be in a position to decide how best to protect soil and how use it in a sustainable way on their own territory. The Impact Assessment (SEC (2006) 1165 and SEC(2006) 620) contains an analysis of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the different options that were considered in the preparatory phase of the strategy and of the measures finally retained by the Commission. Since 2006 a large amount of new evidence has allowed to further document the extensive negative impacts of soil degradation on soil functioning in Europe. Extensive soil erosion, combined with a constant loss of soil organic carbon, have raised attention to the important role soils are playing within the climate change related processes. Other important processes are related to the loss of soil biodiversity, extensive soil sealing by housing and infrastructure, local and diffuse contamination by agricultural and industrial sources, compaction due to unsustainable agricultural practices and salinization by unsustainable irrigation practices. The extended impact assessment by the European Commission has attempted to quantify in monetary terms the

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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)…

  1. 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.

  2. Soil microbial ecology: ecosystemic functions and services

    OpenAIRE

    Philippot, Laurent

    2010-01-01

    Soil carries out functions that are crucial for the environment and life on earth and is therefore an essential non renewable resource for mankind. Recently, the European Soil Framework Directive proposal indicated that soil is under increasing environmental pressure mostly due to the intensification of human activities, which are damaging the capacity of soil to continue to perform in full its broad variety of crucial functions. Most of these soil functions are depending on...

  3. Habitat and Biodiversity: One out of five essential soil functions for agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinsoutrot Gattin, Isabelle; Creamer, Rachel; van Leeuwen, Jeroen; Vrebos, Dirk; Gatti, Fabio; Bampa, Francesca; Schulte, Rogier; Rutgers, Michiel

    2017-04-01

    Current agricultural challenges require developing new agricultural systems that can optimize the ecological functioning of soils in order to limit the use of chemical inputs (i.e. disease suppression) and maintain a high organic matter content. This implies our ability to evaluate the effects of management practices on immediate performance objectives (i.e. fertility linked to nutrient cycling) but also in longer-term objective (i.e. C cycling and storage) in a variety of agro-climatic conditions. These issues demand the development of systemic approaches for understanding the determinants of soil functioning. In ecology, it is generally accepted that there are many positive relationships between soil biodiversity indicators and the functioning of ecosystems. Indeed, soil organisms and their interactions are essential drivers of ecosystem processes and impact the response, resilience and adaptability of ecosystems to environmental pressures. Thus, maintaining soil biodiversity is a condition for the sustainability of cropping systems. In this new context, the European project Landmark considers soil functions as a key to the improvement of agricultural land management towards sustainable development goals, amongst the five functions is soil biodiversity and habitat provisioning. We propose to present how we manage within this project to deal with this challenging objective at three spatial scales : field, landscape (regional) and European (policy). We aim to define a link between the physical, chemical and biological soil properties and "habitat & biodiversity" soil function in order to identify key indicators which modulate biodiversity. This will allow us to quantify and assess this soil function, in order to provide insight in win wins and tradeoffs in soil functions to enhance management practices which optimise the biodiversity in European agricultural systems.

  4. 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

  5. Effect of land use change on soil properties and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonutare, Tonu; Kõlli, Raimo; Köster, Tiina; Rannik, Kaire; Szajdak, Lech; Shanskiy, Merrit

    2014-05-01

    For good base of sustainable land management and ecologically sound protection of soils are researches on soil properties and functioning. Ecosystem approach to soil properties and functioning is equally important in both natural and cultivated land use conditions. Comparative analysis of natural and agro-ecosystems formed on similar soil types enables to elucidate principal changes caused by land use change (LUC) and to elaborate the best land use practices for local pedo-ecological conditions. Taken for actual analysis mineral soils' catena - rendzina → brown soils → pseudopodzolic soils → gley-podzols - represent ca 1/3 of total area of Estonian normal mineral soils. All soils of this catena differ substantially each from other by calcareousness, acidity, nutrition conditions, fabric and humus cover type. This catena (representative to Estonian pedo-ecological conditions) starts with drought-prone calcareous soils. Brown (distributed in northern and central Estonia) and pseudopodzolic soils (in southern Estonia) are the most broadly acknowledged for agricultural use medium-textured high-quality automorphic soils. Dispersedly distributed gley-podzols are permanently wet and strongly acid, low-productivity sandy soils. In presentation four complex functions of soils are treated: (1) being a suitable soil environment for plant cover productivity (expressed by annual increment, Mg ha-1 yr-1); (2) forming adequate conditions for decomposition, transformation and conversion of fresh falling litter (characterized by humus cover type); (3) deposition of humus, individual organic compounds, plant nutrition elements, air and water, and (4) forming (bio)chemically variegated active space for soil type specific edaphon. Capacity of soil cover as depositor (3) depends on it thickness, texture, calcareousness and moisture conditions. Biological activity of soil (4) is determined by fresh organic matter influx, quality and quantity of biochemical substances and humus

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. 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

    Air-Soil-Water Interfaces and Environmental Protection) in 2015 and Cluj-Napoca, Romania (Soil: Our Common Future) in 2016. Since its inception, the Society has made significant advances, including developing a strong and growing global network of soil scholars. The ESSC honours major individual contributions to soil conservation through two awards made every four years at its Congresses, namely: • The 'Gerold Richter Award,' awarded to a person who has, over their career, made significant and internationally recognized contributions to the investigation and/or promotion of soil conservation in Europe. • The 'Young Person's Award' is presented to a member of the Society, aged 40 years or less, who over the previous four years has made important contributions to soil conservation in Europe through research, practise, policy-making or another relevant activity. The ESSC provides grants to young members to attend its conferences and promotes the organization of scientific meetings, soil conservation research, and co-operation between numerous institutions and individuals on soil conservation initiatives. The societal challenges that can be addressed through better soil protection, as well as developing new knowledge and scientific approaches to soil protection and sustainable management, mean the ESSC embraces the on-going development, application, review and criticism of highly innovative scientific methods for soil conservation. It is in this context that the ESSC analyses and publicizes the roles and functions of soil in natural and human-modified systems and the functional optimization of soils to ensure sustainable environmental protection.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Which functional unit to identify sustainable foods?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masset, Gabriel; Vieux, Florent; Darmon, Nicole

    2015-09-01

    In life-cycle assessment, the functional unit defines the unit for calculation of environmental indicators. The objective of the present study was to assess the influence of two functional units, 100 g and 100 kcal (420 kJ), on the associations between three dimensions for identifying sustainable foods, namely environmental impact (via greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE)), nutritional quality (using two distinct nutrient profiling systems) and price. GHGE and price data were collected for individual foods, and were each expressed per 100 g and per 100 kcal. Two nutrient profiling models, SAIN,LIM and UK Ofcom, were used to assess foods' nutritional quality. Spearman correlations were used to assess associations between variables. Sustainable foods were identified as those having more favourable values for all three dimensions. The French Individual and National Dietary Survey (INCA2), 2006-2007. Three hundred and seventy-three foods highly consumed in INCA2, covering 65 % of total energy intake of adult participants. When GHGE and price were expressed per 100 g, low-GHGE foods had a lower price and higher SAIN,LIM and Ofcom scores (r=0·59, -0·34 and -0·43, respectively), suggesting a compatibility between the three dimensions; 101 and 100 sustainable foods were identified with SAIN,LIM and Ofcom, respectively. When GHGE and price were expressed per 100 kcal, low-GHGE foods had a lower price but also lower SAIN,LIM and Ofcom scores (r=0·67, 0·51 and 0·47, respectively), suggesting that more environment-friendly foods were less expensive but also less healthy; thirty-four sustainable foods were identified with both SAIN,LIM and Ofcom. The choice of functional unit strongly influenced the compatibility between the sustainability dimensions and the identification of sustainable foods.

  19. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Critical Zone Experimental Design to Assess Soil Processes and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banwart, Steve

    2010-05-01

    Through unsustainable land use practices, mining, deforestation, urbanisation and degradation by industrial pollution, soil losses are now hypothesized to be much faster (100 times or more) than soil formation - with the consequence that soil has become a finite resource. The crucial challenge for the international research community is to understand the rates of processes that dictate soil mass stocks and their function within Earth's Critical Zone (CZ). The CZ is the environment where soils are formed, degrade and provide their essential ecosystem services. Key among these ecosystem services are food and fibre production, filtering, buffering and transformation of water, nutrients and contaminants, storage of carbon and maintaining biological habitat and genetic diversity. We have initiated a new research project to address the priority research areas identified in the European Union Soil Thematic Strategy and to contribute to the development of a global network of Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) committed to soil research. Our hypothesis is that the combined physical-chemical-biological structure of soil can be assessed from first-principles and the resulting soil functions can be quantified in process models that couple the formation and loss of soil stocks with descriptions of biodiversity and nutrient dynamics. The objectives of this research are to 1. Describe from 1st principles how soil structure influences processes and functions of soils, 2. Establish 4 European Critical Zone Observatories to link with established CZOs, 3. Develop a CZ Integrated Model of soil processes and function, 4. Create a GIS-based modelling framework to assess soil threats and mitigation at EU scale, 5. Quantify impacts of changing land use, climate and biodiversity on soil function and its value and 6. Form with international partners a global network of CZOs for soil research and deliver a programme of public outreach and research transfer on soil sustainability. The

  5. Ecological functions of earthworms in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andriuzzi, W.S.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological functions of earthworms in soil Walter S. Andriuzzi Abstract Earthworms are known to play an important role in soil structure and fertility, but there are still big knowledge gaps on the functional ecology of distinct earthworm species, on their own and in interaction

  6. Pedotransfer functions estimating soil hydraulic properties using different soil parameters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Børgesen, Christen Duus; Iversen, Bo Vangsø; Jacobsen, Ole Hørbye

    2008-01-01

    Estimates of soil hydraulic properties using pedotransfer functions (PTF) are useful in many studies such as hydrochemical modelling and soil mapping. The objective of this study was to calibrate and test parametric PTFs that predict soil water retention and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity...... conductivity parameters. A larger data set (1618 horizons) with a broader textural range was used in the development of PTFs to predict the van Genuchten parameters. The PTFs using either three or seven textural classes combined with soil organic mater and bulk density gave the most reliable predictions...... of the hydraulic properties of the studied soils. We found that introducing measured water content as a predictor generally gave lower errors for water retention predictions and higher errors for conductivity predictions. The best of the developed PTFs for predicting hydraulic conductivity was tested against PTFs...

  7. 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...

  8. Soil Functional Zone Management: A Vehicle for Enhancing Production and Soil Ecosystem Services in Row-Crop Agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Alwyn; Kane, Daniel A.; Ewing, Patrick M.; Atwood, Lesley W.; Jilling, Andrea; Li, Meng; Lou, Yi; Davis, Adam S.; Grandy, A. Stuart; Huerd, Sheri C.; Hunter, Mitchell C.; Koide, Roger T.; Mortensen, David A.; Smith, Richard G.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Spokas, Kurt A.; Yannarell, Anthony C.; Jordan, Nicholas R.

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM) is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture, and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimeter-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of ‘active turnover’, optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services); and adjacent zones of ‘soil building’, that promote soil structure development, carbon storage, and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services). These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown). We present a conceptual model of ‘virtuous cycles’, illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple goods and services

  9. Soil Functional Zone Management: A Vehicle for Enhancing Production and Soil Ecosystem Services in Row-Crop Agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Alwyn; Kane, Daniel A; Ewing, Patrick M; Atwood, Lesley W; Jilling, Andrea; Li, Meng; Lou, Yi; Davis, Adam S; Grandy, A Stuart; Huerd, Sheri C; Hunter, Mitchell C; Koide, Roger T; Mortensen, David A; Smith, Richard G; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Spokas, Kurt A; Yannarell, Anthony C; Jordan, Nicholas R

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM) is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture, and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimeter-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of 'active turnover', optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services); and adjacent zones of 'soil building', that promote soil structure development, carbon storage, and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services). These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown). We present a conceptual model of 'virtuous cycles', illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple goods and services in

  10. Mapping specific soil functions based on digital soil property maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pásztor, László; Fodor, Nándor; Farkas-Iványi, Kinga; Szabó, József; Bakacsi, Zsófia; Koós, Sándor

    2016-04-01

    Quantification of soil functions and services is a great challenge in itself even if the spatial relevance is supposed to be identified and regionalized. Proxies and indicators are widely used in ecosystem service mapping. Soil services could also be approximated by elementary soil features. One solution is the association of soil types with services as basic principle. Soil property maps however provide quantified spatial information, which could be utilized more versatilely for the spatial inference of soil functions and services. In the frame of the activities referred as "Digital, Optimized, Soil Related Maps and Information in Hungary" (DOSoReMI.hu) numerous soil property maps have been compiled so far with proper DSM techniques partly according to GSM.net specifications, partly by slightly or more strictly changing some of its predefined parameters (depth intervals, pixel size, property etc.). The elaborated maps have been further utilized, since even DOSoReMI.hu was intended to take steps toward the regionalization of higher level soil information (secondary properties, functions, services). In the meantime the recently started AGRAGIS project requested spatial soil related information in order to estimate agri-environmental related impacts of climate change and support the associated vulnerability assessment. One of the most vulnerable services of soils in the context of climate change is their provisioning service. In our work it was approximated by productivity, which was estimated by a sequential scenario based crop modelling. It took into consideration long term (50 years) time series of both measured and predicted climatic parameters as well as accounted for the potential differences in agricultural practice and crop production. The flexible parametrization and multiple results of modelling was then applied for the spatial assessment of sensitivity, vulnerability, exposure and adaptive capacity of soils in the context of the forecasted changes in

  11. 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.

  12. Life's Impact on the Soil Production Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Emma; Willenbring, Jane; Brocard, Gilles

    2016-04-01

    Soil melds life and lithology, but the top-down production of soil by the incorporation of organic matter has typically been viewed through a lens of soil biogeochemistry and the bottom-up weathering of bedrock viewed from a geomorphologic perspective. We merge these perspectives by developing a variation on the classic geomorphological soil production function [1] that accounts for the influence of top-down soil production by additions of organic material. In the classic view [1], production rate of soil from bedrock weathering is a function of the thickness of the soil horizon. Under steady state conditions, this thickness is controlled by a constant coefficient of diffusion and by the hillslope curvature. Across the globe, equilibrium landscapes can be hard to find. We explore the many ways that biota influence the upper soil horizons and move the soil-hillslope system out of steady state using measurements of in situ 10Be at depth in soil profiles. Our empirical case study is in the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory of northeastern Puerto Rico, where long term ecological monitoring suggests an average of 375 m My-1 of litter fall [2] and as much as 17.5 m My-1 of dust [3] is contributed to the forest floor. This substantial volume of material forms an active surficial layer, functionally increasing the residence time of grains deeper in the soil profile. Litter recycling influences the cosmogenic dose rate to be higher by increasing the residence time of grains and to be lower by increasing environmental shielding. In unconstrained systems, probabilistic modeling can determine a range of solutions for the ages of grains determined with 10Be depth profiles[4]. We compare the probabilistic outcomes to actual measurements of the in situ 10Be at depth in soil profiles from the Luquillo Mountains. Life living in the soil, rather than on it, is of equal importance in the Luquillo Mountains. On average, the soil is occupied by 200 individual earthworms per m2 [5

  13. Effects of climate-change induced vegetation die-off on soil biodiversity and functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curiel Yuste, Jorge; Garcia Angulo, Daniel; Barba, Josep; Poyatos, Rafael

    2017-04-01

    Climate change-induced vegetation die-off is nowadays a widespread phenomenon responsible for limiting the capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to provide essential services worldwide. Less is known, however, about how vegetation die-off relates with changes in the biodiversity and ecology of the soil compartment, which accounts for many of the vital ecosystem functions such as providing essential nutrients for plant growth (nitrogen, N; or phosphorous, P), or long-term carbon (C) sequestration. The death of the vegetation alters soil abiotic (microclimate) conditions and limits the supply of the energy (carbohydrates specially) demanded by the soil biological communities. These abiotic and biotic changes triggers a cascade of causal-effect processes that may result in irreversible losses in soil biodiversity and in the stability of the trophic webs that sustain soil functions such as N fixation, mineralization of essential nutrients or C stabilization. However, to date, information on the potential impacts of climate-change induced vegetation die-off over soil biodiversity and functioning is fragmented (e.g. case-studies) and not very conclusive. We here want to summarize the state of the knowledge on all potential effects of climate-change induced vegetation die-off over soil biodiversity and soil functioning. Additionally, we also discuss the functional resilience of soils to climate-change vegetation die-off and how management practices could improve the resilience and the sustainability of the soil functioning.

  14. Reductions in soil surface albedo as a function of biochar application rate: implications for global radiative forcing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verheijen, F.G.A.; Jeffery, S.L.; Velde, te M.; Penizek, V.; Beland, M.; Bastos, A.C.; Keizer, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Biochar can be defined as pyrolysed (charred) biomass produced for application to soils with the aim of mitigating global climate change while improving soil functions. Sustainable biochar application to soils has been estimated to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 71-130 Pg CO2-C-e over 100

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. ORGANIC VS CONVENTIONAL: SOIL NEMATODE COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapp, C; Storey, S G; Malan, A P

    2014-01-01

    Global increases in human population are creating an ever-greater need for food production. Poor soil management practices have degraded soil to such an extent that rapidly improved management practices is the only way to ensure future food demands. In South Africa, deciduous fruit producers are realising the need for soil health, and for an increased understanding of the benefits of soil ecology, to ensure sustainable fruit production. This depends heavily on improved orchard management. Conventional farming relies on the addition of artificial fertilizers, and the application of chemicals, to prevent or minimise, the effects of the soil stages of pest insects, and of plant-parasitic nematodes. Currently, there is resistance toward conventional farming practices, which, it is believed, diminishes biodiversity within the soil. The study aimed to establish the soil nematode community structure and function in organically, and conventionally, managed deciduous fruit orchards. This was done by determining the abundance, the diversity, and the functionality of the naturally occurring free-living, and plant-parasitic, nematodes in deciduous fruit orchards in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The objective of the study was to form the basis for the use of nematodes as future indicators of soil health in deciduous fruit orchards. Orchards from neighbouring organic, and conventional, apricot farms, and from an organic apple orchard, were studied. All the nematodes were quantified, and identified, to family level. The five nematode-classified trophic groups were found at each site, while 14 families were identified in each orchard, respectively. Herbivores were dominant in all the orchards surveyed. Organic apples had the fewest herbivores and fungivores, with the highest number of carnivores. When comparing organic with conventional apricot orchards, higher numbers of plant-parasitic nematodes were found in the organic apricot orchards. The Maturity Index (MI

  18. Diverse gene functions in a soil mobilome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Wenting; Xu, Zhuofei; Riber, Leise

    2016-01-01

    sequenced. The soil mobilome represented a wide range of known bacterial gene functions and highlighted the enrichment of plasmids, transposable elements and phages when compared to a well-characterized soil metagenome that, on the other hand, was dominated by basic biosynthesis and metabolism functions...... fraction of the soil resistome is plasmid-encoded and potentially mobilizable. Additionally, we recovered more than half of all Pfam-listed plasmid replication protein families, of which the composition of both common and rare replication families was significantly different from a previously reported......Accessing bacterial mobilomes of any given environment enables the investigation of genetic traits encoded by circular genetic elements, and how their transfer drives the adaptation of microbial communities. Here we take advantage of Illumina HiSeq sequencing and report, for the first time...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Involving Corporate Functions: Who Contributes to Sustainable Development?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Schaltegger

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available A large body of literature claims that corporate sustainable development is a cross-functional challenge, which requires all functional units to be involved. However, it remains uncertain to what extent and in which way different corporate functions are actually involved in corporate sustainability management. To bridge this research gap, our paper draws on a concept of involvement introduced in the field of consumer behavior. Based on this previous research, our paper distinguishes two components of involvement: first, a cognitive-affective component, incorporating being affected by sustainability issues and being supportive of corporate sustainability; and second, a behavioral component, represented by the application of sustainability management tools. We use this concept to empirically analyze the involvement of corporate functions in sustainability management and find considerable differences in large German companies. Whereas public relations and strategic management are heavily involved, finance, accounting and management control appear not to be involved. A multinomial logistic regression shows that the cognitive-affective component significantly influences the behavioral component, with a functional unit being affected influencing the application of tools the most. Building on the model proposed, the paper provides implications on how to increase a functional unit’s involvement in sustainability management.

  5. Role of soil biology and soil functions in relation to land use intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondi, Giulia; Wall, David; Bacher, Matthias; Emmet-Booth, Jeremy; Graça, Jessica; Marongiu, Irene; Creamer, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    The delivery of the ecosystem's functions is predominantly controlled by soil biology. The biology found in a gram of soil contains more than ten thousand individual species of bacteria and fungi (Torsvik et al., 1990). Understanding the role and the requirements of these organisms is essential for the protection and the sustainable use of soils. Soil biology represents the engine of all the processes occurring in the soil and it supports the ecosystem services such as: 1) nutrient mineralisation 2) plant production 3) water purification and regulation and 4) carbon cycling and storage. During the last years land management type and intensity have been identified as major drivers for microbial performance in soil. For this reason land management needs to be appropriately studied to understand the role of soil biology within this complex interplay of functions. We aimed to study whether and how land management drives soil biological processes and related functions. To reach this objective we built a land use intensity index (LUI) able to quantify the impact of the common farming practices carried out in Irish grassland soils. The LUI is derived from a detailed farmer questionnaire on grassland management practices at 38 farms distributed in the five major agro-climatic regions of Ireland defined by Holden and Brereton (2004). Soils were classified based on their drainage status according to the Irish Soil Information System by Creamer et al. (2014). This detailed questionnaire is then summarised into 3 management intensity components: (i) intensity of Fertilisation (Fi), (ii) frequency of Mowing (Mi) and (iii) intensity of Livestock Grazing (Gi). Sites were sampled to assess the impact of land management intensity on microbial community structure and enzyme behaviour in relation to nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon cycling. Preliminary results for enzymes linked to C and N cycles showed higher activity in relation to low grazing pressure (low Gi). Enzymes linked to P

  6. Making the most of our land: managing soil functions from local to continental scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier Patrick Olaf Schulte

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The challenges of achieving both food security and environmental sustainability have resulted in a confluence of demands on land within the European Union (EU: we expect our land to provide food, fibre and fuel, to purify water, to sequester carbon, and provide a home to biodiversity as well as external nutrients in the form of waste from humans and intensive livestock enterprises. All soils can perform all of these five functions, but some soils are better at supplying selective functions. Functional Land Management is a framework for policy-making aimed at meeting these demands by incentivising land use and soil management practices that selectively augment specific soil functions, where required. Here, we explore how the demands for contrasting soil functions, as framed by EU policies, may apply to very different spatial scales, from local to continental scales. At the same time, using Ireland as a national case study, we show that the supply of each soil function is largely determined by local soil and land use conditions, with large variations at both local and regional scales. These discrepancies between the scales at which the demands and supply of soil functions are manifested, have implications for soil and land management: while some soil functions must be managed at local (e.g. farm or field scale, others may be offset between regions with a view to solely meeting national or continental demands. In order to facilitate the optimisation of the delivery of soil functions at national level, to meet the demands that are framed at continental scale, we identify and categorise 14 policy and market instruments that are available in the EU. The results from this inventory imply that there may be no need for the introduction of new specific instruments to aid the governance of Functional Land Management. We conclude that there may be more merit in adapting existing governance instruments by facilitating differentiation between soils and

  7. Soil-borne microbiome: linking diversity to function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mendes, L.M.; Tsai, S.M.; Navarrete, Acácio A.; De Hollander, Mattias; Van Veen, J.A.; Kuramae, Eiko E.

    2015-01-01

    Soil microorganisms are sensitive to environment disturbances, and such alterations have consequences on microbial diversity and functions. Our hypothesis is that alpha diversity of microbial communities and functional diversity decrease from undisturbed to disturbed soils, with consequences for

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of soil type and farm management on soil ecological functional genes and microbial activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reeve, Jennifer [Washington State University; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne [Washington State University; Kang, S. [University of Oklahoma; Zhou, Jizhong [University of Oklahoma, Norman; Reganold, John P. [Washington State University

    2010-01-01

    Relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil function are the subject of much debate. Process-level analyses have shown that microbial function varies with soil type and responds to soil management. However, such measurements cannot determine the role of community structure and diversity in soil function. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of gene frequency and diversity, measured by microarray analysis, on soil processes. The study was conducted in an agro-ecosystem characterized by contrasting management practices and soil types. Eight pairs of adjacent commercial organic and conventional strawberry fields were matched for soil type, strawberry variety, and all other environmental conditions. Soil physical, chemical and biological analyses were conducted including functional gene microarrays (FGA). Soil physical and chemical characteristics were primarily determined by soil textural type (coarse vs fine-textured), but biological and FGA measures were more influenced by management (organic vs conventional). Organically managed soils consistently showed greater functional activity as well as FGA signal intensity (SI) and diversity. Overall FGA SI and diversity were correlated to total soil microbial biomass. Functional gene group SI and/or diversity were correlated to related soil chemical and biological measures such as microbial biomass, cellulose, dehydrogenase, ammonium and sulfur. Management was the dominant determinant of soil biology as measured by microbial gene frequency and diversity, which paralleled measured microbial processes.

  15. Effects of soil type and farm management on soil ecological functional genes and microbial activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeve, Jennifer R; Schadt, Christopher W; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne; Kang, Sanghoon; Zhou, Jizhong; Reganold, John P

    2010-09-01

    Relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil function are the subject of much debate. Process-level analyses have shown that microbial function varies with soil type and responds to soil management. However, such measurements cannot determine the role of community structure and diversity in soil function. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of gene frequency and diversity, measured by microarray analysis, on soil processes. The study was conducted in an agro-ecosystem characterized by contrasting management practices and soil types. Eight pairs of adjacent commercial organic and conventional strawberry fields were matched for soil type, strawberry variety, and all other environmental conditions. Soil physical, chemical and biological analyses were conducted including functional gene microarrays (FGA). Soil physical and chemical characteristics were primarily determined by soil textural type (coarse vs fine-textured), but biological and FGA measures were more influenced by management (organic vs conventional). Organically managed soils consistently showed greater functional activity as well as FGA signal intensity (SI) and diversity. Overall FGA SI and diversity were correlated to total soil microbial biomass. Functional gene group SI and/or diversity were correlated to related soil chemical and biological measures such as microbial biomass, cellulose, dehydrogenase, ammonium and sulfur. Management was the dominant determinant of soil biology as measured by microbial gene frequency and diversity, which paralleled measured microbial processes.

  16. 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

  17. Multi-scale hydraulic pedotransfer functions for Hungarian soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nemes, A.

    2003-01-01

    Water and nutrient balance are among the main concerns about the sustainability of our soils. Numerous computer models have been developed to simulate soil water and solute transport and plant growth. However, use of these models has often been limited by lack of accurate input parameters. Often,

  18. Impact of bioenergy production on carbon storage and soil functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prays, Nadia; Franko, Uwe

    2016-04-01

    An important renewable energy source is methane produced in biogas plants (BGPs) that convert plant material and animal excrements to biogas and a residue (BGR). If the plant material stems from crops produced specifically for that purpose, a BGP have a 'footprint' that is defined by the area of arable land needed for the production of these energy crops and the area for distributing the BGRs. The BGR can be used to fertilize these lands (reducing the need for carbon and nitrogen fertilizers), and the crop land can be managed to serve as a carbon sink, capturing atmospheric CO2. We focus on the ecological impact of different BGPs in Central Germany, with a specific interest in the long-term effect of BGR-fertilization on carbon storage within the footprint of a BGP. We therefore studied nutrient fluxes using the CANDY (CArbon and Nitrogen Dynamics) model, which processes site-specific information on soils, crops, weather, and land management to compute stocks and fluxes of carbon and nitrogen for agricultural fields. We used CANDY to calculated matter fluxes within the footprints of BGPs of different sizes, and studied the effect of the substrate mix for the BGP on the carbon dynamics of the soil. This included the land requirement of the BGR recycling when used as a fertilizer: the footprint of a BGP required for the production of the energy crop generally differs from its footprint required to take up its BGR. We demonstrate how these findings can be used to find optimal cropping choices and land management for sustainable soil use, maintaining soil fertility and other soil functions. Furthermore, site specific potentials and limitations for agricultural biogas production can be identified and applied in land-use planning.

  19. Soil eukaryotic functional diversity, a metatranscriptomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailly, Julie; Fraissinet-Tachet, Laurence; Verner, Marie-Christine; Debaud, Jean-Claude; Lemaire, Marc; Wésolowski-Louvel, Micheline; Marmeisse, Roland

    2007-11-01

    To appreciate the functional diversity of communities of soil eukaryotic micro-organisms we evaluated an experimental approach based on the construction and screening of a cDNA library using polyadenylated mRNA extracted from a forest soil. Such a library contains genes that are expressed by each of the different organisms forming the community and represents its metatranscriptome. The diversity of the organisms that contributed to this library was evaluated by sequencing a portion of the 18S rDNA gene amplified from either soil DNA or reverse-transcribed RNA. More than 70% of the sequences were from fungi and unicellular eukaryotes (protists) while the other most represented group was the metazoa. Calculation of richness estimators suggested that more than 180 species could be present in the soil samples studied. Sequencing of 119 cDNA identified genes with no homologues in databases (32%) and genes coding proteins involved in different biochemical and cellular processes. Surprisingly, the taxonomic distribution of the cDNA and of the 18S rDNA genes did not coincide, with a marked under-representation of the protists among the cDNA. Specific genes from such an environmental cDNA library could be isolated by expression in a heterologous microbial host, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is illustrated by the functional complementation of a histidine auxotrophic yeast mutant by two cDNA originating possibly from an ascomycete and a basidiomycete fungal species. Study of the metatranscriptome has the potential to uncover adaptations of whole microbial communities to local environmental conditions. It also gives access to an abundant source of genes of biotechnological interest.

  20. 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

    Urbanization coincides with remarkable expansion of turf grasses and their increasing role in environmental processes and functions, including carbon (C) sequestration. Artificial ecosystems turf grasses are very vulnerable to anthropogenic and environmental factors and their C stocks and fluxes are not stable. Soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in turf grass soils are substantial, however, an intensive soil respiration is also likely. Therefore C sequestration in turf grasses remains uncertain, especially at the early stages after development, when C uptake and CO2 emissions are unbalanced. We analyzed changes in SOC stocks and CO2 emissions at the experimental turf grasses in Moscow megapolis during the three years period after establishment. An influence of the three contrast depths of organic layers (5, 10 and 20 cm) on soil and biomass C and on the ornamental functions of turf grasses was studied. Total CO2 emission from the turf grasses during the observation period exceeded C uptake in grass and root biomass by two to three times. We clearly demonstrated a substantial CO2 emission from the turf grasses in Moscow city during the three years after establishment with the largest amount of C lost in the first year. This finding confirms that turf grasses are important sources of biogenic C emissions . Although, the total estimated emissions were substantial, gradual changes towards the equilibrium in C balance were found by the end of the observation period. The substantial increase in total biomass and the belowground component, together with the decrease in CO2 emission, were observed for the third year after turf grass' establishment. This outcome evidences the possibility for balancing the C uptake and emissions over longer perspective. Positive dynamics in C balance was more evident for the turf constructions with thicker organic layers. The performance of the ornamental function was also positively correlated with the depth of the organic layer. These

  1. Vital soil; function, value and properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doelman, P.; Eijsackers, H.J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Healthy soil, with active soil life, deters long-term soil degradation and ensures that geo-physical processes are undisturbed. Is the vitality of soil under threat due to human civilization? Or is it due to contamination, intensification, and deforestation? Vital Soil aims to look at the effects

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Do Current European Policies Prevent Soil Threats and Support Soil Functions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia Glæsner

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available There is currently no legislation at the European level that focuses exclusively on soil conservation. A cross-policy analysis was carried out to identify gaps and overlaps in existing EU legislation that is related to soil threats and functions. We found that three soil threats, namely compaction, salinization and soil sealing, were not addressed in any of the 19 legislative policies that were analyzed. Other soil threats, such as erosion, decline in organic matter, loss of biodiversity and contamination, were covered in existing legislation, but only a few directives provided targets for reducing the soil threats. Existing legislation addresses the reduction of the seven soil functions that were analyzed, but there are very few directives for improving soil functions. Because soil degradation is ongoing in Europe, it raises the question whether existing legislation is sufficient for maintaining soil resources. Addressing soil functions individually in various directives fails to account for the multifunctionality of soil. This paper suggests that a European Soil Framework Directive would increase the effectiveness of conserving soil functions in the EU.

  5. Unifying the functional diversity in natural and cultivated soils using the overall body-mass distribution of nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulder, Christian; Maas, Rob

    2017-11-28

    Sustainable use of our soils is a key goal for environmental protection. As many ecosystem services are supported belowground at different trophic levels by nematodes, soil nematodes are expected to provide objective metrics for biological quality to integrate physical and chemical soil variables. Trait measurements of body mass carried out at the individual level can in this way be correlated with environmental properties that influence the performance of soil biota. Soil samples were collected across 200 sites (4 soil types and 5 land-use types resulting in 9 combinations) during a long-term monitoring programme in the Netherlands and the functional diversity of nematode communities was investigated. Using three commonly used functional diversity indices applicable to single traits (Divergence, Evenness and Richness), a unified index of overall body-mass distribution is proposed to better illustrate the application of functional metrics as a descriptor of land use. Effects of land use and soil chemistry on the functional diversity of nematodes were demonstrated and a combination of environmental factors accounts for the low functional value of Scots Pine forest soils in comparison to the high functional value of heathland soils, whereas human factors account for the low functional and chemical values of arable fields. These findings show an unexpected high functional vulnerability of nematodes inhabiting clay-rich soils in comparison to sandy soils and support the notion that soil C:N ratio is a major driver of biodiversity. The higher the C:N ratio, the higher the overall diversity, as soil nematodes cope better with nutrient-poor agroecosystems under less intense fertilization. A trait-based way focusing on size distribution of nematodes is proposed to maintain environmental health by monitoring the overall diversity in soil biota, keeping agriculture and forestry sustainable.

  6. 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.

  7. Addition of Rubber to soil damages the functional diversity of soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Tribedi, Prosun

    2017-07-01

    Rubber is a polymer of isoprene, consisting mainly of cis-1,4-polyisoprene units. The unmanageable production and its irresponsible disposal pose severe threats to environmental ecology. Therefore, the current study focuses extensively on the ill-effects of Rubber disposal on soil microbial functional diversity as it reflects the health of ecosystem by acting as a key component in ecosystem productivity. To investigate the effect of Rubber on soil microbial functional diversity, soil samples were collected from landfill sites and three different soil microcosms (Rubber treated, untreated, and sterile soil) were prepared. The soil enzymatic activity was determined by fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis followed by the determination of the microbial metabolic potential and functional diversity by average well color development and Shannon-Weaver index (H), respectively. BiOLOG ECO plates were used for determining the microbial functional diversity of the soil microcosms. Higher heterotrophic microbial count as well as higher soil microbial activity was observed in Rubber untreated soil than Rubber treated soil microcosm. The result indicated that the addition of Rubber to soil reduced soil heterotrophic microbial count and soil microbial activity considerably. Similarly, soil microbial metabolic potential as well as microbial functional diversity of soil had been decreased by the addition of Rubber gloves in it. Variation in soil microbial metabolic spectrum between Rubber treated and untreated microcosm was confirmed by multivariate analysis. Collectively, all the results demonstrated that the addition of Rubber to soil reduced the soil microbial functional diversity considerably. Therefore, it is necessary for the commission of serious steps regarding Rubber disposal and protection of the environment from serious environmental issues.

  8. 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,.

  9. Universal spatial correlation functions for describing and reconstructing soil microstructure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina V Karsanina

    Full Text Available Structural features of porous materials such as soil define the majority of its physical properties, including water infiltration and redistribution, multi-phase flow (e.g. simultaneous water/air flow, or gas exchange between biologically active soil root zone and atmosphere and solute transport. To characterize soil microstructure, conventional soil science uses such metrics as pore size and pore-size distributions and thin section-derived morphological indicators. However, these descriptors provide only limited amount of information about the complex arrangement of soil structure and have limited capability to reconstruct structural features or predict physical properties. We introduce three different spatial correlation functions as a comprehensive tool to characterize soil microstructure: 1 two-point probability functions, 2 linear functions, and 3 two-point cluster functions. This novel approach was tested on thin-sections (2.21×2.21 cm2 representing eight soils with different pore space configurations. The two-point probability and linear correlation functions were subsequently used as a part of simulated annealing optimization procedures to reconstruct soil structure. Comparison of original and reconstructed images was based on morphological characteristics, cluster correlation functions, total number of pores and pore-size distribution. Results showed excellent agreement for soils with isolated pores, but relatively poor correspondence for soils exhibiting dual-porosity features (i.e. superposition of pores and micro-cracks. Insufficient information content in the correlation function sets used for reconstruction may have contributed to the observed discrepancies. Improved reconstructions may be obtained by adding cluster and other correlation functions into reconstruction sets. Correlation functions and the associated stochastic reconstruction algorithms introduced here are universally applicable in soil science, such as for soil

  10. Key soil functional properties affected by soil organic matter - evidence from published literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Brian

    2015-07-01

    The effect of varying the amount of soil organic matter on a range of individual soil properties was investigated using a literature search of published information largely from Australia, but also included relevant information from overseas. Based on published pedotransfer functions, soil organic matter was shown to increase plant available water by 2 to 3 mm per 10 cm for each 1% increase in soil organic carbon, with the largest increases being associated with sandy soils. Aggregate stability increased with increasing soil organic carbon, with aggregate stability decreasing rapidly when soil organic carbon fell below 1.2 to 1.5 5%. Soil compactibility, friability and soil erodibility were favourably improved by increasing the levels of soil organic carbon. Nutrient cycling was a major function of soil organic matter. Substantial amounts of N, P and S become available to plants when the soil organic matter is mineralised. Soil organic matter also provides a food source for the microorganisms involved in the nutrient cycling of N, P, S and K. In soils with lower clay contents, and less active clays such as kaolinites, soil organic matter can supply a significant amount of the cation exchange capacity and buffering capacity against acidification. Soil organic matter can have a cation exchange capacity of 172 to 297 cmol(+)/kg. As the cation exchange capacity of soil organic matter varies with pH, the effectiveness of soil organic matter to contribute to cation exchange capacity below pH 5.5 is often minimal. Overall soil organic matter has the potential to affect a range of functional soil properties.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Monetization of forests' service functions for sustainable forest ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper examined the concept of monetization and its importance in valuation of the forest's social and environmental service functions, vis--vis its sustainable management. Various monetization techniques are highlighted and discussed. Some of these include surrogate price and replacement costs or costs avoided, ...

  16. 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

  17. 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,

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Do Current European Policies Prevent Soil Threats and Support Soil Functions?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glaesner, N.; Helming, K.; Vries, de W.

    2014-01-01

    There is currently no legislation at the European level that focuses exclusively on soil conservation. A cross-policy analysis was carried out to identify gaps and overlaps in existing EU legislation that is related to soil threats and functions. We found that three soil threats, namely compaction,

  2. Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chavarría, D.N.; Verdenelli, R.A.; Muñoz, M.J.; Conforto, C.; Restovich, S.B.; Andriulo, A.E.; Meriles, J.M.; Vargas-Gil, S.

    2016-11-01

    Agricultural systems where monoculture prevails are characterized by fertility losses and reduced contribution to ecosystem services. Including cover crops (CC) as part of an agricultural system is a promising choice in sustainable intensification of those demanding systems. We evaluated soil microbial functionality in cash crops in response to the inclusion of CC by analyzing soil microbial functions at two different periods of the agricultural year (cash crop harvest and CC desiccation) during 2013 and 2014. Three plant species were used as CC: oat (Avena sativa L.), vetch (Vicia sativa L.) and radish (Raphanus sativus L.) which weresown in two different mixtures of species: oat and radish mix (CC1) and oat, radish and vetch mix (CC2), with soybean monoculture and soybean/corn being the cash crops. The study of community level physiological profiles showed statistical differences in respiration of specific C sources indicating an improvement of catabolic diversity in CC treatments. Soil enzyme activities were also increased with the inclusion of CC mixtures, with values of dehydrogenase activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis up to 38.1% and 35.3% higher than those of the control treatment, respectively. This research evidenced that CC inclusion promotes soil biological quality through a contribution of soil organic carbon, improving the sustainability of agrosystems. The use of a CC mixture of three plant species including the legume vetch increased soil biological processes and catabolic diversity, with no adverse effects on cash crop grain yield. (Author)

  3. Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego N. Chavarría

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural systems where monoculture prevails are characterized by fertility losses and reduced contribution to ecosystem services. Including cover crops (CC as part of an agricultural system is a promising choice in sustainable intensification of those demanding systems. We evaluated soil microbial functionality in cash crops in response to the inclusion of CC by analyzing soil microbial functions at two different periods of the agricultural year (cash crop harvest and CC desiccation during 2013 and 2014. Three plant species were used as CC: oat (Avena sativa L., vetch (Vicia sativa L. and radish (Raphanus sativus L. which were sown in two different mixtures of species: oat and radish mix (CC1 and oat, radish and vetch mix (CC2, with soybean monoculture and soybean/corn being the cash crops. The study of community level physiological profiles showed statistical differences in respiration of specific C sources indicating an improvement of catabolic diversity in CC treatments. Soil enzyme activities were also increased with the inclusion of CC mixtures, with values of dehydrogenase activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis up to 38.1% and 35.3% higher than those of the control treatment, respectively. This research evidenced that CC inclusion promotes soil biological quality through a contribution of soil organic carbon, improving the sustainability of agrosystems. The use of a CC mixture of three plant species including the legume vetch increased soil biological processes and catabolic diversity, with no adverse effects on cash crop grain yield.

  4. FUNCTIONING OF SUSTAINABLE EDUCATIONAL ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT IN THE ENTERPRISE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ileana (BADULESCU ANASTASE

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper addresses issues related to education management operation that determines the principles and requires an interdisciplinary approach, studying events that occur in the decision to organize a determined pedagogical activity and the management of educational programs. Managerial leadership involves emphasis on ideas, on a systematic approach, on change, innovation strategy, proposing a method of analyzing the functioning of sustainable educational management and positive effects. In this context, the article provides the principles, functions, methods and rules that a school must comply in order to ensure a sustainable future.The teaching staff represents an inexhaustible managerial resource valued at its social ladder of the system and education program.In the content of the paper are highlighted prominent school organization management functions as steps preceding decision making of their training where are presented applied studies on financial issues facing directors of schools who seek solutions to them.

  5. 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…

  6. Concepts of soil mapping as a basis for the assessment of soil functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgarten, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Soil mapping systems in Europe have been designed mainly as a tool for the description of soil characteristics from a morphogenetic viewpoint. Contrasting to the American or FAO system, the soil development has been in the main focus of European systems. Nevertheless , recent developments in soil science stress the importance of the functions of soils with respect to the ecosystems. As soil mapping systems usually offer a sound and extensive database, the deduction of soil functions from "classic" mapping parameters can be used for local and regional assessments. According to the used pedo-transfer functions and mapping systems, tailored approaches can be chosen for different applications. In Austria, a system mainly for spatial planning purposes has been developed that will be presented and illustrated by means of best practice examples.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghezzehei, Teamrat; Or, Dani

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Deriving soil function maps to assess related ecosystem services using imaging spectroscopy in the Lyss agricultural area, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diek, Sanne; de Jong, Rogier; Braun, Daniela; Böhler, Jonas; Schaepman, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Soils play an important role in the benefits offered by ecosystems services. In densely populated Switzerland soils are a scarce resource, with high pressure on services ranging from urban expansion to over-utilization. Key change drivers include erosion, soil degradation, land management change and (chemical) pollution, which should be taken into consideration. Therefore there is an emerging need for an integrated, sustainable and efficient system assessing the management of soil and land as a resource. The use of remote sensing can offer spatio-temporal and quantitative information of extended areas. In particular imaging spectroscopy has shown to perfectly complement existing sampling schemes as secondary information for digital soil mapping. Although only the upper-most layer of soil interacts with light when using reflectance spectroscopy, it still can offer valuable information that can be utilized by farmers and decision makers. Fully processed airborne imaging spectrometer data from APEX as well as land cover classification for the agricultural area in Lyss were available. Based on several spectral analysis methods we derived multiple soil properties, including soil organic matter, soil texture, and mineralogy; complemented by vegetation parameters, including leaf area index, chlorophyll content, pigment distribution, and water content. The surface variables were retrieved using a combination of index-based and physically-based retrievals. Soil properties in partly to fully vegetated areas were interpolated using regression kriging based methods. This allowed the continuous assessment of potential soil functions as well as non-contiguous maps of abundances of combined soil and vegetation parameters. Based on a simple regression model we could make a rough estimate of ecosystem services. This provided the opportunity to look at the differences between the interpolated soil function maps and the non-contiguous (but combined) vegetation and soil function maps

  10. Linking geophysics and soil function modelling - biomass production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, J.; Franko, U.; Werban, U.; Fank, J.

    2012-04-01

    The iSOIL project aims at reliable mapping of soil properties and soil functions with various methods including geophysical, spectroscopic and monitoring techniques. The general procedure contains three steps (i) geophysical monitoring, (ii) generation of soil property maps and (iii) process modelling. The objective of this work is to demonstrate the mentioned procedure with a focus on process modelling. It deals with the dynamics of soil water and the direct influence on crop biomass production. The new module PLUS extends CANDY to simulate crop biomass production based on environmental influences. A soil function modelling with an adapted model parameterisation based on data of ground penetration radar (GPR) and conductivity (EM38) was realized. This study shows an approach to handle heterogeneity of soil properties with geophysical data used for biomass production modelling. The Austrian field site Wagna is characterised by highly heterogenic soil with fluvioglacial gravel sediments. The variation of thickness of topsoil above a sandy subsoil with gravels strongly influences the soil water balance. EM38, mounted on a mobile platform, enables to rapidly scan large areas whereas GPR requires a greater logistical effort. However, GPR can detect exact soil horizon depth between topsoil and subsoil, the combination of both results in a detailed large scale soil map. The combined plot-specific GPR and field site EM38 measurements extends the soil input data and improves the model performance of CANDY PLUS for plant biomass production (Krüger et al. 2011). The example demonstrates how geophysics provides a surplus of data for agroecosystem modelling which identifies and contributes alternative options for agricultural management decisions. iSOIL - "Interactions between soil related sciences - Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping" is a Collaborative Project (Grant Agreement number 211386) co-funded by the Research DG of the European Commission

  11. Functional soil organic carbon pools for major soil units and land uses in southern Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Wiesmeier, Martin

    2015-04-01

    potential of agricultural soils for C sequestration warrants to optimize SOM management of cultivated soils. One has to bear in mind that besides the stable C sequestration in the fine fraction, a significant additional amount of labile SOC will also be sequestered as a result of improved agricultural management. At the same time there are benefits associated with C sequestration beyond CO2 mitigation because increased SOM is associated with improved soil fertility, soil structure, water holding capacity and thus a sustained productivity.

  12. A Value Function for Assessing Sustainability: Application to Industrial Buildings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Josa

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Decision support tools based on multi-attribute analysis involve the use of different types of variables. These variables are aimed at providing a framework that allows preferences to be quantified. This is particularly useful in the field of sustainability, where variables with different units are involved. One widely accepted framework for standardizing different units is the value function. Studies of value function are complex and frequently have limited physical meaning. In this context, this paper emphasizes the need to define a general equation that reflects the preferences of the decision maker in a clear and easily applied way. The paper proposes a new general equation that fulfils these requirements. By modifying certain parameters, this general equation represents the most commonly used relationships (linear, convex, concave and S-shaped. The proposed equation is finally applied to four variables used in the field of industrial buildings and sustainability.

  13. Biodiversity effects on soil processes explained by interspecific functional dissimilarity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemsbergen, D.A.; Berg, M.P.; Loreau, M.; Hal, van J.R.; Faber, J.H.; Verhoef, H.A.

    2004-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity can have significant impacts on ecosystem functioning, but the mechanisms involved lack empirical confirmation. Using soil microcosms, we show experimentally that functional dissimilarity among detritivorous species, not species number, drives community compositional effects

  14. Biodiversity effects on soil processes explained by interspecific functional dissimilarity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemsbergen, D.A.; Berg, M.P.; Loreau, M.; van Hal, J.R.; Faber, J.H.; Verhoef, H.A.

    2004-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity can have significant impacts on ecosystem functioning, but the mechanisms involved lack empirical confirmation. Using soil microcosms, we show experimentally that functional dissimilarity among detritivorous species, not species number, drives community compositional effects

  15. 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 ...

  16. Metals affect soil bacterial and fungal functional diversity differently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanowicz, Anna M; Niklińska, Maria; Laskowski, Ryszard

    2008-03-01

    Heavy metals can cause a decrease in the taxonomic diversity of soil communities. Because of functional redundancy, it remains unclear to what extent different functions performed by the soil microbial communities may be affected by pollution. We studied the impact of metal contamination on soil bacterial and fungal functional diversity, active microbial biomass, and soil respiration rate. Soil samples were collected from 39 sites along three forest and five meadow pollution transects near an abandoned Pb/Zn smelter in Avonmouth (UK) and Ni smelter in Clydach (UK), in a Cu mining and smelting region near Glogów (Poland), and in a Zn/Pb mining and smelting region near Olkusz (Poland). Biolog GN2 and SFN2 plates were used to study the bacterial and fungal functional diversity, which subsequently was expressed as Shannon's diversity index (H'). The active microbial biomass was measured as substrate-induced respiration. We found that the bacterial functional diversity significantly decreased, whereas the fungal functional diversity slightly increased, with increasing metal concentration. We also observed a slight negative effect of metal pollution on the active microbial biomass. No relationship was found between metal contamination and total soil respiration rate. This suggests a higher sensitivity of bacterial functional diversity as an indicator for the effects of metal pollution compared with overall soil respiration. All microbial parameters were affected by nutrient concentrations and/or soil pH.

  17. 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

  18. Ecological and functional adaptations to water management in a semiarid agroecosystem: a soil metaproteomics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starke, Robert; Bastida, Felipe; Abadía, Joaquín; García, Carlos; Nicolás, Emilio; Jehmlich, Nico

    2017-08-31

    Climate change models point to a decrease in water availability in semiarid areas that would compromise the maintenance of sustainable agriculture. Here, we used a grapefruit agroecosystem model to evaluate the responses of the active soil microbial community - as a microbial subset directly involved in soil functionality- undergoing strategies to cope with the low water availability in south-east Spain. For this purpose, we tested the impacts of: (i) water quality: transfer-water from a river (TW) or reclaimed-water from a wastewater-treatment plant (RW); and (ii) water quantity: continuous optimal amount of water or reduced irrigation (RDI) in the temporal frame when the crop is less sensitive; and their interactions. Metaproteomics revealed that the phylogenetic diversity of the active community and its functional diversity were lowered in soils with RW. RDI lowered soil respiration and functional diversity while the phylogenetic diversity remained constant. The reestablishment of full irrigation after RDI led to a recovery of soil respiration that was accompanied by an enhanced abundance of resilient bacterial populations. Bacterial populations displayed molecular mechanisms against water stress that have been conserved evolutionarily in plants. Protein-based studies shed light on ecological and functional mechanisms that govern the adaptive responses of soil microbial communities to climate-change friendly water management.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Desertification, Land Degradation and the restoration of soil functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imeson, A.

    2012-04-01

    Soil science and soil scientists have and are playing different roles in desertification. Research has shown that the main drivers of land degradation are unsustainable preactices of agricultre and indusrty or of forest clearanc. If we look at soil conservation and soil protection, this is mainly in the service of agriculture and development. The LEDDRA project is looking at different paradigms of land degradation that could be used to identify emergent benefits and constraints that could lead to people adopting and favouring activitis that lead to the restoration of land and soil functions. The second part of the paper will discuss how soil process knowledge can be applied to restore the hydrological function of soils and produce economic benefits by reduced flooding and soil loss. The third part of the paper will introduce the Agriscape strategy which aims to improve the productivity of soils in differeent environments and setting by improving their moisture and temperature conditions. Finally, the opportunities for large scale geoengineering approaches will be proposed that include things such as altering the evaporative losses and restoring groundwater levels in arid areas. A global programme of soil and forest restoration could be undertaken restoring and creating terraces creating agricultural land and water, which has additional benefits too crops. The loss of the supporting functions of the earth could be impaired if there is no global governance of the land and water.

  2. Impact of Acidification on Pollutants Fate and Soil Filtration Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarmila Makovniková

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper was to investigate the effects of simulated acid load on the fate of inorganic pollutants (Cd, Pb, soil sorption potential, soil filtration func-tion. We made use of a short-term acidification pot experiment with grown plant of spring barley cultivated at 4 different soil types (Fluvisol, Cambisol, Stagnosol, Podzol. The potential of soil filtration was evaluated according to the Eq.: [Soil filtration function]=[Potential of soil sorbents]+[Potential of total content of inor-ganic pollutants]. Potential of soil sorbents (PSS is defined by qualitative (pH, or-ganic matter quality - A400/600 and quantitative factors (carbon content-Cox, humus layer thickness-H according to the Eq.:[PSS]=F(pH+F(A465/665+F(Cox*F(H. Acid load significantly influenced soil sorption potential and thus affected increase in Cd and Pb mobility what was reflected in their transfer into the plants. Results of soil filtration function showed significant change of filtration function in Cambisol.

  3. Food security as a function of Sustainable Intensification of Crop Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodor Friedrich

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The challenge to eradicate hunger and establish food security across all its four pillars (availability, accessibility, health and safety, and continuity is ongoing. The actual situation in global food production leads most of the attention to improving accessibility and safety of food, particularly to vulnerable populations. However, in view of the growth in demand, which includes changes in preferences for example towards food of animal origin, availability and continuity will play larger roles in future. Food production needs to increase over the coming decades at challenging rates, while facing problems of degradation and reduced availability of natural resources for production such as soil and water, and facing increasing challenges from climate change. The actual trends in yield development suggest that a simple gradual improvement of production within the existing concepts will not provide a sustainable or feasible solution, and that more fundamental changes in the agricultural production paradigm are required to face these future challenges. The Sustainable Intensification represents such a change in paradigm in which high production levels are combined with sustainability. The concept of sustainable intensification, the rationale for it and its functional elements, represented by Conservation Agriculture, are presented in this paper.

  4. 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.

  5. Functional materials for sustainable energy technologies: four case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsov, V L; Edwards, P P

    2010-01-01

    The critical topic of energy and the environment has rarely had such a high profile, nor have the associated materials challenges been more exciting. The subject of functional materials for sustainable energy technologies is demanding and recognized as a top priority in providing many of the key underpinning technological solutions for a sustainable energy future. Energy generation, consumption, storage, and supply security will continue to be major drivers for this subject. There exists, in particular, an urgent need for new functional materials for next-generation energy conversion and storage systems. Many limitations on the performances and costs of these systems are mainly due to the materials' intrinsic performance. We highlight four areas of activity where functional materials are already a significant element of world-wide research efforts. These four areas are transparent conducting oxides, solar energy materials for converting solar radiation into electricity and chemical fuels, materials for thermoelectric energy conversion, and hydrogen storage materials. We outline recent advances in the development of these classes of energy materials, major factors limiting their intrinsic functional performance, and potential ways to overcome these limitations.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Taxonomical and functional microbial responses to agriculture management of Amazon forest soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuramae, Eiko; Navarrete, Acácio; Mendes, Lucas; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes; Tsai, Siu

    2013-04-01

    functional cores related to metabolism of nitrogen, iron, phosphorus and potassium, with bacterial groups linked to these cores found only in rhizosphere samples. Still, the network involving bacterial groups and metabolisms was less complex in rhizosphere, suggesting the specialization of some specific metabolic pathways. Taken together, these results indicate a rhizosphere effect over the soil functional community with a selection of some metabolic pathways, which could be related to plant benefits as nutrition and development. A better understanding of the functional role of the rhizosphere microbial communities is important to the development of a sustainable agriculture.

  10. 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...

  11. Soil phosphorus - new insights into a critical cycle across many soil functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leinweber, Peter; Zimmer, Dana

    2017-04-01

    The fate of phosphorus (P-) compounds in the soil - plant - water - system is linked with most soil functions such as productivity for agricultural crops, reactor for nutrient cycling, filter and buffer for water, and biodiversity. The P-compounds, mostly phosphates in a multitude of chemical bonds, may have contradicting influences on soil functions. For instance, P-concentrations may be suboptimal for crop yields but at the same time exceeding the soil filter/buffer capacity for water resources. Modern agriculture has increased this misbalance. Therefore, a better soil P management that balances all soil functions requires a deeper understanding of the P-cycling in the environment. The collaborative project "InnoSoilPhos" in the frame of the BonaRes-program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aims at disclosing the chemical composition, biogeochemical transformations and microbiological fundamentals of P-cycling and P-transport processes across all relevant scales from atomic to catchment and landscapes. The contribution will give an overview on the project and some examples for the latest findings on P-reactions at mineral surfaces (experimental and theoretical), microorganism diversity involved in soil P-transformations, crop yield responses to P-fertilizer regimes (including new P-recycling products) and, finally, hot spots and hot moments of P-release from soils into adjoining freshwater systems. These findings allow some preliminary demands and frame conditions for an improved soil P management to better balance the soil functions and safe the global mineable P resources.

  12. Warm and Fertile Sub-Humid Conditions Enhance Litterfall to Sustain High Soil Respiration Fluxes in a Mediterranean Cork Oak Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Ecological functioning of bacterial chitinases in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bai, Yani

    2015-01-01

    Chitin is the second most abundant polymer in nature. In aquatic ecosystems, chitin is mainly present as part of the exoskeleton of arthropods; in soil, chitin is mainly present as component of fungal cell walls. The main enzymes involved in the breakdown of chitin are chitinases. Chitinases are

  15. Soil-borne microbiome: linking diversity to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Lucas W; Tsai, Siu M; Navarrete, Acácio A; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes A; Kuramae, Eiko E

    2015-07-01

    Soil microorganisms are sensitive to environment disturbances, and such alterations have consequences on microbial diversity and functions. Our hypothesis is that alpha diversity of microbial communities and functional diversity decrease from undisturbed to disturbed soils, with consequences for functional redundancy in the soil ecosystem. To test this hypothesis, we used soil DNA shotgun metagenomics approach to assess the soil microbiome in a chronosequence of land-use from a native tropical forest, followed by deforestation and cultivation of soybean croplands and pasture in different seasons. Agriculture and pasture soils were among the most diverse and presented higher functional redundancy, which is important to maintain the ecosystem functioning after the forest conversion. On the other hand, the ecosystem equilibrium in forest is maintained based on a lower alpha diversity but higher abundance of microorganisms. Our results indicate that land-use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities; however, ecosystem functionality is overcome by different strategies based on the abundance and diversity of the communities.

  16. 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

    The exploitation of the association between plants and microorganisms is a promising approach able to boost natural attenuation processes for soil clean-up in vast polluted areas characterized by mixed chemical contamination. We aimed to explore the selection of root-associated bacterial communities driven by different plant species spontaneously established in abandoned agricultural soils within a historical polluted site in north Italy. The site is highly contaminated by chlorinated persistent organic pollutants, mainly constituted by polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), together with heavy metals and metalloids, in variable concentrations and uneven distribution. The overall structure of the non-vegetated and root-associated soil fractions bacterial communities was described by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and a collection of 165 rhizobacterial isolates able to use biphenyl as unique carbon source was assayed for plant growth promotion (PGP) traits and bioremediation potential. The results showed that the recruitment of specific bacterial communities in the root-associated soil fractions was driven by both soil fractions and plant species, explaining 21 and 18% of the total bacterial microbiome variation, respectively. PCR-based detection in the soil metagenome of bacterial bphA gene, encoding for the biphenyl dioxygenase α subunit, indicated that the soil in the site possesses metabolic traits linked to PCB degradation. Biphenyl-utilizing bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of the three different plant species showed low phylogenetic diversity and well represented functional traits, in terms of PGP and bioremediation potential. On average, 72% of the strains harbored the bphA gene and/or displayed catechol 2,3-dioxygenase activity, involved in aromatic ring cleavage. PGP traits, including 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase activity potentially associated to plant stress tolerance induction, were widely distributed among the isolates

  17. 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

    The exploitation of the association between plants and microorganisms is a promising approach able to boost natural attenuation processes for soil clean-up in vast polluted areas characterized by mixed chemical contamination. We aimed to explore the selection of root-associated bacterial communities driven by different plant species spontaneously established in abandoned agricultural soils within a historical polluted site in north Italy. The site is highly contaminated by chlorinated persistent organic pollutants, mainly constituted by polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), together with heavy metals and metalloids, in variable concentrations and uneven distribution. The overall structure of the non-vegetated and root-associated soil fractions bacterial communities was described by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and a collection of 165 rhizobacterial isolates able to use biphenyl as unique carbon source was assayed for plant growth promotion (PGP) traits and bioremediation potential. The results showed that the recruitment of specific bacterial communities in the root-associated soil fractions was driven by both soil fractions and plant species, explaining 21 and 18% of the total bacterial microbiome variation, respectively. PCR-based detection in the soil metagenome of bacterial bphA gene, encoding for the biphenyl dioxygenase α subunit, indicated that the soil in the site possesses metabolic traits linked to PCB degradation. Biphenyl-utilizing bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of the three different plant species showed low phylogenetic diversity and well represented functional traits, in terms of PGP and bioremediation potential. On average, 72% of the strains harbored the bphA gene and/or displayed catechol 2,3-dioxygenase activity, involved in aromatic ring cleavage. PGP traits, including 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase activity potentially associated to plant stress tolerance induction, were widely distributed among the isolates

  18. 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

    Full Text Available The exploitation of the association between plants and microorganisms is a promising approach able to boost natural attenuation processes for soil clean-up in vast polluted areas characterized by mixed chemical contamination. We aimed to explore the selection of root-associated bacterial communities driven by different plant species spontaneously established in abandoned agricultural soils within a historical polluted site in north Italy. The site is highly contaminated by chlorinated persistent organic pollutants, mainly constituted by polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs, together with heavy metals and metalloids, in variable concentrations and uneven distribution. The overall structure of the non-vegetated and root-associated soil fractions bacterial communities was described by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and a collection of 165 rhizobacterial isolates able to use biphenyl as unique carbon source was assayed for plant growth promotion (PGP traits and bioremediation potential. The results showed that the recruitment of specific bacterial communities in the root-associated soil fractions was driven by both soil fractions and plant species, explaining 21 and 18% of the total bacterial microbiome variation, respectively. PCR-based detection in the soil metagenome of bacterial bphA gene, encoding for the biphenyl dioxygenase α subunit, indicated that the soil in the site possesses metabolic traits linked to PCB degradation. Biphenyl-utilizing bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of the three different plant species showed low phylogenetic diversity and well represented functional traits, in terms of PGP and bioremediation potential. On average, 72% of the strains harbored the bphA gene and/or displayed catechol 2,3-dioxygenase activity, involved in aromatic ring cleavage. PGP traits, including 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase activity potentially associated to plant stress tolerance induction, were widely distributed

  19. Driving forces from soil invertebrates to ecosystem functioning: the allometric perspective.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, Christian

    2006-01-01

    The European soil policy is being focussed towards a more conscious and sustainable use of the soil, taking into account ecological, economical and societal dimensions. Living soil organisms are reliable bioindicators, as they provide the best reflection of the soil system, ecological services and

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of reduced soil functionality in European vineyards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Edoardo; Priori, Simone; Akca, Ehran; Castaldini, Maurizio; D'Avino, Lorenzo; Fulchin, Emma; Gagnarli, Elena; Giffard, Brice; Erdem Kiraz, Mehmet; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Landi, Silvia; Pellegrini, Sergio; Perria, Rita; Puccioni, Sergio; Schroers, Hans-Josef; Tardaguila, Javier; Pelengić, Radojko; Simoni, Sauro; Storchi, Paolo; Tangolar, Semih

    2017-04-01

    Improper or excessive land preparation methods in vineyards before planting can have a considerable impact on soil functionality. They include excessive levelling and deep ploughing leading to disturbances of the natural contour of slopes and destruction, truncation and burial of soil horizons. Manipulations may significantly modify chemical, physical, biological and hydrological balance of soils. Problems that may arise from these interventions relate to the reduction of organic substances, enrichment of calcium carbonate and soluble salts, impacting development and health of grapevines. Reduced water retention capacity can lead to increased water stress during dry season, decreased water permeability and circulation of oxygen in the soil, increased runoff volume, surface erosion and landslide risk, reduced biodiversity and limitation of biochemical processes (organic matter mineralization, bioavailability of nutrients, etc.). Soil degradations can lead to the loss of soil functionality even after the planting as a result of accelerated erosion, compaction by agricultural vehicles, excessive loss of organic matter and nutrients, and the accumulation of heavy metals such as copper. In both conventional and organic vineyards, it is quite common to have areas with reduced soil functionality that have negative impact on vine health and grape production and quality. In the framework of the Core organic RESOLVE project, a study was conducted in organic vineyards showing areas with reduced and good soil functionality. Degraded soils resulted in significantly lower amounts of grapes. The chlorophyll index (SPAD) of the grapevine during veraison was significantly lower in areas of degraded soils compared with the situation in areas of the same vineyard with non-degraded soils. In general, causes of soil malfunctioning were related to a lower fertility, including reduced organic carbon, total nitrogen and cation exchange capacity, higher concentrations of carbonates, and

  3. 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

  4. Toward a Resilient, Functional Microbiome: Drought Tolerance-Alleviating Microbes for Sustainable Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakshmanan, Venkatachalam; Ray, Prasun; Craven, Kelly D

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, the utilization of novel sequencing techniques opened a new field of research into plant microbiota and was used to explore a wide diversity of microorganisms both inside and outside of plant host tissues, i.e., the endosphere and rhizosphere, respectively. An early realization from such research was that species richness and diversity of the plant microbiome are both greater than believed even a few years ago, and soil is likely home to the most abundant and diverse microbial habitats known. In most ecosystems sampled thus far, overall microbial complexity is determined by the combined influences of plant genotype, soil structure and chemistry, and prevailing environmental conditions, as well as the native "bulk soil" microbial populations from which membership is drawn. Beneficial microorganisms, traditionally referring primarily to nitrogen-fixing bacteria, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, and mycorrhizal fungi, play a key role in major functions such as plant nutrition acquisition and plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses . Utilization of plant-associated microbes in food production is likely to be critical for twenty-first century agriculture, where arable cropland is limited and food, fiber, and feed productivity must be sustained or even improved with fewer chemical inputs and less irrigation.

  5. Study Of Functioning of Bacterial Complexes in East Antarctic Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakushev, A. V.; Churilin, N. A.

    2014-11-01

    Studies of bacterial communities in the samples of Antarctic soils by different methods showed that, both in liquid soil suspensions and in situ, microbial complexes are functioning presumably by forming biofilms - the phenomenon that is more expressed in such habitat than in soils of temperate zones. Functional (trophic) diversity and physiological state of hydrolytic bacteria was studied in the samples at the upper layer (0-2 cm) of gravel pavement with algae, in the underlying peat horizon (2-4 cm) with inclusions of dead biomass and its underlying mineral horizon (4-10 cm) with signs of fungal mycelium. The investigated samples of Antarctic soils revealed different trophic diversity and the maximum specific growth rate on mineral medium with different biopolymers as the sole carbon source (starch, chitin, pectin, xylan, dextran-500, tween-20, casein); this can testify to differences in the physiological state of hydrolytic bacteria in various soil horizons and their readiness for growth. The most remarkable characteristics of the studied Antarctic soil as compared to the soils of temperate zone, was the unusual ability of hydrolytic community to consume chitin in the mineral horizon; this can be explained by the presence of fungal mycelium. Also, an almost complete lack in consumption of tween-20 (a water-soluble analogue of fat) by bacterial community of Arctic soil horizons are not explained and needs further verification. The higher functional diversity was detected in the upper horizon of the gravel pavement, which "protects" microorganisms from exposure to extreme temperatures, UV radiation, and desiccation, but the maximum specific growth rate was higher in the lower mineral horizon; this can be explained by the specificity of bacterial colonizing processes and unique formation of Antarctic soil microprofiles in the Larsemann oasis. The obtained data indicate a specific environmental strategy in the samples of Antarctic soils: development in lower mineral

  6. 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

  7. Bruno Braunerde und die Bodentypen - Learning about soil diversity and soil functions with cartoon characters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Anett

    2015-04-01

    "Bruno Braunerde und die Bodentypen" is a German-language learning material that fosters discovery of soil diversity and soil functions in kids, teens and adults who enjoy interactive learning activities. The learning material consists of (i) a large poster (dimensions 200 x 120 cm) showing an imaginative illustrated landscape that could be situated in Austria, Switzerland or southern Germany and (ii) a set of 15 magnetic cards that show different soil cartoon characters, e.g. Bruno Braunerde (Cambisol), Stauni Pseudogley (Stagnic Luvisol) or Heidi Podsol (Podzol) on the front and a fun profession and address (linked to the respective soil functions) on the back side. The task is to place the soil cartoon characters to their 'home' in the landscape. This learning material was developed as a contribution to the International Year of Soils 2015 and is supported by the German, Austrian and Swiss Soil Sciences Societies and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. The soil cartoon characters are an adaptation of the original concept by the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland (www.hutton.ac.uk/learning/dirt-doctor).

  8. 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.

  9. Driving forces from soil invertebrates to ecosystem functioning: the allometric perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulder, Christian

    2006-10-01

    The European soil policy is being focussed towards a more conscious and sustainable use of the soil, taking into account ecological, economical and societal dimensions. Living soil organisms are reliable bioindicators, as they provide the best reflection of the soil system, ecological services and ecosystem functioning therein. These most complex (bio)physical systems indicate, among others, the energy flow. Such processes can be described by rather simple power law relationships. In fact, the average body mass (dry weight) can be seen as an inherent species property, while population density is a much more flexible parameter reflecting ecosystem state. In this study, I review the interactions between these items in relation to feedbacks and conjectured relationships which can be seen as ecological networks. From this novel perspective, allometry can be used as an integrated measure for the anthropogenic influence on landscapes and related food webs. Allometry is, therefore, a perfect surrogate for land use intensity in modelling of field effects for restoration ecology and conservation biology. Robust correlations will be addressed between the density dependence of invertebrates and the ability of soil systems themselves to recover after disturbance. Quantitative indicators of soil community composition and related ecological services are proposed and their application for ecological risk assessment is illustrated.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Soil-Borne Microbial Functional Structure across Different Land Uses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiko E. Kuramae

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Land use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities. However, the links between environmental factors and microbial functions are not well understood. Here we interrogated the functional structure of soil microbial communities across different land uses. In a multivariate regression tree analysis of soil physicochemical properties and genes detected by functional microarrays, the main factor that explained the different microbial community functional structures was C : N ratio. C : N ratio showed a significant positive correlation with clay and soil pH. Fields with low C : N ratio had an overrepresentation of genes for carbon degradation, carbon fixation, metal reductase, and organic remediation categories, while fields with high C : N ratio had an overrepresentation of genes encoding dissimilatory sulfate reductase, methane oxidation, nitrification, and nitrogen fixation. The most abundant genes related to carbon degradation comprised bacterial and fungal cellulases; bacterial and fungal chitinases; fungal laccases; and bacterial, fungal, and oomycete polygalacturonases. The high number of genes related to organic remediation was probably driven by high phosphate content, while the high number of genes for nitrification was probably explained by high total nitrogen content. The functional gene diversity found in different soils did not group the sites accordingly to land management. Rather, the soil factors, C : N ratio, phosphate, and total N, were the main factors driving the differences in functional genes across the fields examined.

  13. Quality function deployment for buildable and sustainable construction

    CERN Document Server

    Natee, Singhaputtangkul; Teo, Evelyn A L

    2016-01-01

    This book focuses on the implementation of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in the construction industry as a tool to help building designers arrive at optimal decisions for external envelope systems with sustainable and buildable design goals. In particular, the book integrates special features into the conventional QFD tool to enhance its performance. These features include a fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making method, fuzzy consensus scheme, and Knowledge Management System (KMS). This integration results in a more robust decision support tool, known as the Knowledge-based Decision Support System QFD (KBDSS-QFD) tool. As an example, the KBDSS-QFD tool is used for the assessment of building envelope materials and designs for high-rise residential buildings in Singapore in the early design stage. The book provides the reader with a conceptual framework for understanding the development of the KBDSS-QFD tool. The framework is presented in a generalized form in order to benefit building professionals, decisio...

  14. Multi-scale evaluation of soil functional indicators for the assessment of water and soil retention in Mediterranean semiarid landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayor, A.G.; Bautista, S.

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem monitoring and assessment are often based on functional indicators, which provide integrated and yet simple and affordable measures of key ecosystem functions. The landscape function analysis (LFA) assesses ecosystem functioning through three indices that represent basic soil functions:

  15. Sustainability in CALL Learning Environments: A Systemic Functional Grammar Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Peter

    2014-01-01

    This research aims to define a sustainable resource in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). In order for a CALL resource to be sustainable it must work within existing educational curricula. This feature is a necessary prerequisite of sustainability because, despite the potential for educational change that digitalization has offered since…

  16. Soil biodiversity, biological indicators and soil ecosystem services-an overview of European approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pulleman, M.M.; Creamer, R.; Hamer, U.; Helder, J.; Pelosi, C.; Pérès, G.; Rutgers, M.

    2012-01-01

    Soil biota are essential for many soil processes and functions, yet there are increasing pressures on soil biodiversity and soil degradation remains a pertinent issue. The sustainable management of soils requires soil monitoring, including biological indicators, to be able to relate land use and

  17. Soil-borne microbial functional structure across different land uses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuramae, Eiko E; Zhou, Jizhong Z; Kowalchuk, George A|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/23956006X; van Veen, Johannes A

    2014-01-01

    Land use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities. However, the links between environmental factors and microbial functions are not well understood. Here we interrogated the functional structure of soil microbial communities across different land uses. In a multivariate

  18. Soil-Borne Microbial Functional Structure across Different Land Uses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuramae, E.E.; Zhou, J.Z.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Veen, J.A..

    2014-01-01

    Land use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities. However, the links between environmental factors and microbial functions are not well understood. Here we interrogated the functional structure of soil microbial communities across different land uses. In a multivariate

  19. Soil Respiration and Bacterial Structure and Function after 17 Years of a Reciprocal Soil Transplant Experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Bolton, Harvey; Fansler, Sarah; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Liu, Chongxuan; McCue, Lee Ann; Smith, Jeffrey; Bailey, Vanessa

    2016-01-01

    The effects of climate change on soil organic matter-its structure, microbial community, carbon storage, and respiration response-remain uncertain and widely debated. In addition, the effects of climate changes on ecosystem structure and function are often modulated or delayed, meaning that short-term experiments are not sufficient to characterize ecosystem responses. This study capitalized on a long-term reciprocal soil transplant experiment to examine the response of dryland soils to climate change. The two transplant sites were separated by 500 m of elevation on the same mountain slope in eastern Washington state, USA, and had similar plant species and soil types. We resampled the original 1994 soil transplants and controls, measuring CO2 production, temperature response, enzyme activity, and bacterial community structure after 17 years. Over a laboratory incubation of 100 days, reciprocally transplanted soils respired roughly equal cumulative amounts of carbon as non-transplanted controls from the same site. Soils transplanted from the hot, dry, lower site to the cooler and wetter (difference of -5°C monthly maximum air temperature, +50 mm yr-1 precipitation) upper site exhibited almost no respiratory response to temperature (Q10 of 1.1), but soils originally from the upper, cooler site had generally higher respiration rates. The bacterial community structure of transplants did not differ significantly from that of untransplanted controls, however. Slight differences in local climate between the upper and lower Rattlesnake locations, simulated with environmental control chambers during the incubation, thus prompted significant differences in microbial activity, with no observed change to bacterial structure. These results support the idea that environmental shifts can influence soil C through metabolic changes, and suggest that microbial populations responsible for soil heterotrophic respiration may be constrained in surprising ways, even as shorter- and

  20. 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.

  1. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastida, F.; Selevsek, N.; Torres, I. F.; Hernández, T.; García, C.

    2015-10-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures.

  2. 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.

  3. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yufang Shen

    Full Text Available Mulching is widely used to increase crop yield in semiarid regions in northwestern China, but little is known about the effect of different mulching systems on the microbial properties of the soil, which play an important role in agroecosystemic functioning and nutrient cycling. Based on a 4-year spring maize (Zea mays L. field experiment at Changwu Agricultural and Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, we evaluated the responses of soil microbial activity and crop to various management systems. The treatments were NMC (no mulching with inorganic N fertilizer, GMC (gravel mulching with inorganic N fertilizer, FMC (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and FMO (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and organic manure addition. The results showed that the FMO soil had the highest contents of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, microbial activity and Shannon diversity index. The relative use of carbohydrates and amino acids by microbes was highest in the FMO soil, whereas the relative use of polymers, phenolic compounds and amines was highest in the soil in the NMC soil. Compared with the NMC, an increased but no significant trend of biomass production and nitrogen accumulation was observed under the GMC treatment. The FMC and FMO led a greater increase in biomass production than GMC and NMC. Compare with the NMC treatment, FMC increased grain yield, maize biomass and nitrogen accumulation by 62.2, 62.9 and 86.2%, but no significant difference was found between the FMO and FMC treatments. Some soil biological properties, i.e. microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, being sensitive to the mulching and organic fertilizer, were significant correlated with yield and nitrogen availability. Film mulching over gravel mulching can serve as an effective measure for crop production and nutrient cycling, and plus organic fertilization additions may thus have improvements in the biological

  4. Ecological network analysis reveals the inter-connection between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function as affected by land use across Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creamer, R.C.; Hannula, S.E.; Leeuwen, van J.P.; Stone, D.; Rutgers, M.; Schmelz, R.M.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Bohse Hendriksen, N.; Bolger, T.; Bouffaud, M.L.; Buee, M.; Calvalho, F.; Costa, D.; Dirilgen, T.; Francisco, R.; Griffiths, B.S.; Griffiths, R.; Martin, F.; Martins da Silva, P.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.V.; Pereira, C.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Redecker, D.; Römbke, J.; Sousa, J.P.; Wouterse, M.; Lemanceau, P.

    2016-01-01

    Soil organisms are considered drivers of soil ecosystem services (primary productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, water regulation) associated with sustainable agricultural production. Soil biodiversity was highlighted in the soil thematic strategy as a key component of soil quality. The

  5. Ecological network analysis reveals the inter-connection between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function as affected by land use across Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creamer, R.E.; Hannula, S.E.; Leeuwen, J.P.Van; Stone, D.; Rutgers, M.; Schmelz, R.M.; Ruiter, P.C.de; Hendriksen, N.Bohse; Bolger, T.; Bouffaud, M.L.; Buee, M.; Carvalho, F.; Costa, D.; Dirilgen, T.; Francisco, R.; Griffiths, B.S.; Griffiths, R.; Martin, F.; Silva, P.Martins da; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.V.; Pereira, C.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Redecker, D.; Römbke, J.; Sousa, J.P.; Wouterse, M.; Lemanceau, P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Soil organisms are considered drivers of soil ecosystem services (primary productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, water regulation) associated with sustainable agricultural production. Soil biodiversity was highlighted in the soil thematic strategy as a key component of soil

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Taxonomic and functional diversity of Streptomyces in a forest soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bontemps, Cyril; Toussaint, Maxime; Revol, Pierre-Vincent; Hotel, Laurence; Jeanbille, Mathilde; Uroz, Stéphane; Turpault, Marie-Pierre; Blaudez, Damien; Leblond, Pierre

    2013-05-01

    In this work we report the isolation and the characterization of 79 Streptomyces isolates from a French forest soil. The 16S rRNA gene phylogeny indicated that a great diversity of Streptomyces was present in this soil, with at least nine different and potentially new species. Growth plate assays showed that most Streptomyces lineages exhibit cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic capacities and potentially participate in wood decomposition. Molecular screening for a specific hydrogenase also indicated a widespread potential for atmospheric H2 uptake. Co-culture experiments with representative strains showed antagonistic effects between Streptomyces of the same population and between Streptomyces and various fungi. Interestingly, in certain conditions, growth promotion of some fungi also occurred. We conclude that in forest soil, Streptomyces populations exhibit many important functions involved in different biogeochemical cycles and also influence the structure of soil microbial communities. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Microbial Community Structure and Function in Peat Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luka Ausec

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Many peatlands in Europe have been subjected to land reclamation and systematic drainage, which have substantially affected nutrient cycles in the soil. This work reviews published studies on microbial processes linked to carbon and nitrogen transformations in the soils of the Ljubljana marsh, a drained peatland positioned close to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. This region is known for its dramatic diversity of animal and plant life, but below ground it hides diverse bacterial and archaeal communities that are highly responsive to environmental changes and make the Ljubljana marsh soils a good source of N2O and CO2, and a sink for CH4. Methanogenesis is highly restricted in these soils due to competition for electron donors with iron reducers. In addition, methane is efficiently removed by methanotrophs, which are highly active, especially in the soil layers exposed to the changing water table. Denitrification is limited by electron acceptors and in deeper soil layers also by carbon, which becomes more recalcitrant with depth. Nitrification involves bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidisers with ammonia oxidation rates being among the highest in the world. Interestingly, ammonia-oxidising Thaumarchaeota in acidic bog soils thrive only on ammonia released through mineralisation of organic matter and are incapable of oxidising added mineral ammonia. The soils of the Ljubljana marsh are rich in bacterial laccase-like genes, which may encode enzymes involved in lignin degradation and are therefore interesting for bioexploitations. Future challenges involve designing studies that will reveal specific physiological functions of phenol oxidases and other enzymes involved in peat transformations and address relations between microbial diversity, function and ecosystem responses to anthropogenic disturbances.

  10. Linking N Cycling to Microbial Function Within Soil Microenvironments in Cover Crop Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, A. Y.; Scow, K. M.; Hristova, K.; Six, J.

    2007-12-01

    Cover crops have emerged as a crop management strategy to achieve agricultural sustainability and maintain environmental quality. Thus, fundamental knowledge of microbial-mediated C and N cycling is vital to understanding soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics in cover cropped agroecosystems. We investigated the effects of short-term cover crop-C input on N processing by microbial communities within SOM microenvironments and in bulk soil, across a gradient of organic to conventional crop management. We hypothesized that cover crop C and N inputs promote soil aggregation, which increases the abundance of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and stimulates greater microbial cycling of N within soil microenvironments, thereby leading to potential increases in N stabilization coupled with decreases in N loss. Our hypothesis was tested on the long-term organic, low-input, and conventional maize-tomato rotations at the Center for Integrated Farming Systems experiment (Davis, CA). We collected soil samples (0-15cm) across the cover crop and subsequent maize growing seasons and then isolated three SOM fractions soil: coarse particulate organic matter (cPOM; >250um), microaggregates (53-250um), and silt-and-clay (<53um). Total C and N were measured on both bulk soil and SOM fractions. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers for the functional genes, amoA and nosZ, were employed to quantify AOB and denitrifier population sizes, respectively. We also measured gross ammonification and nitrification rates in short-term 15N-incubations of the bulk soil to link cover crop induced N cycling to N-transforming bacteria. Total soil C and N concentrations and soil aggregation were higher in the organic than conventional and low-input systems. The amoA and no Z copy numbers g-1 dry soil were highest in the microaggregate fraction and similar between the cPOM and silt-and-clay fractions, among all cropping treatments. Abundances of AOB and denitrifiers were lower in bulk soil

  11. Influence of green waste compost on azimsulfuron dissipation and soil functions under oxic and anoxic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Jaramillo, M; Cox, L; Hermosín, M C; Cerli, C; Kalbitz, K

    2016-04-15

    Concerns have been raised over the sustainability of intensive rice cultivation, where the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has been associated with numerous environmental problems. The objective of this study was to test the effect of the herbicide azimsulfuron on important soil functions as affected by amendment with a byproduct of the olive oil industry. Soil was collected from a Mediterranean rice field. Part of it was amended with alperujo compost (AC). Amended and unamended soils were incubated for 43days in presence or not of azimsulfuron, under anoxic-flooded (AF) and oxic-unflooded (OU) conditions. We monitored the dissipation of the herbicide azimsulfuron, C mineralization, soil microbial biomass (SMB) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content and its nature. Under AF conditions, the application of compost produced an increase in the dissipation of the herbicide (up to 12.4%). It was related with the higher DOC content, 4 times higher than under OU conditions. Though increases in carbon turnover (under AF and OU conditions) and reduction of SMBC after herbicide application (only under AF conditions) were observed, the differences were not statistically significant. The application of this organic amendment is presented as an efficient management strategy to increase C turnover in agricultural soils and reduce some of the negative effects derived from the application of azimsulfuron under flooded conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Sandy Soil Microaggregates: Rethinking Our Understanding of Hydraulic Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paradiś, Ashley; Brueck, Christopher; Meisenheimer, Douglas; Wanzek, Thomas; Dragila, Maria Ines

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the peculiar structure of microaggregates in coarse sandy soils that exhibit only external porosity and investigated their control on soil hydrology. The microstructure underpins a hydrologic existence that differs from finer textured soils where aggregates have internal porosity. Understanding the impact of these microaggregates on soil hydrology will permit improved agricultural irrigation management and estimates associated with ecosystem capacity and resiliency. Microstructure was investigated using a digital microscope, and aspects of the structure were quantified by sedimentation and computed microtomography. Sandy soil microaggregates were observed to be comprised of a solid sand-grain core that is coated with fines, presumably cemented by organic media. This microstructure leads to three distinct water pools during drainage: capillary water, followed by thick films (1–20 μm) enveloping the outer surfaces of the crusted microaggregates, followed by adsorbed thin films (<1 μm). The characteristics of the thick films were investigated using an analytical model. These films may provide as much as 10 to 40% saturation in the range of plant-available water. Using lubrication theory, it was predicted that thick film drainage follows a power law function with an exponent of 2. Thick films may also have a role in the geochemical evolution of soils and in ecosystem function because they provide contiguous water and gas phases at relatively high moisture contents. And, because the rough outer crust of these microaggregates can provide good niches for microbial activity, biofilm physics will dominate thick film processes, and consequently hydrologic, biologic, and geochemical functions for coarse sandy soils.

  13. Informing soil models using pedotransfer functions: challenges and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachepsky, Yakov; Romano, Nunzio

    2015-04-01

    Pedotransfer functions (PTFs) are empirical relationships between parameters of soil models and more easily obtainable data on soil properties. PTFs have become an indispensable tool in modeling soil processes. As alternative methods to direct measurements, they bridge the data we have and data we need by using soil survey and monitoring data to enable modeling for real-world applications. Pedotransfer is extensively used in soil models addressing the most pressing environmental issues. The following is an attempt to provoke a discussion by listing current issues that are faced by PTF development. 1. As more intricate biogeochemical processes are being modeled, development of PTFs for parameters of those processes becomes essential. 2. Since the equations to express PTF relationships are essentially unknown, there has been a trend to employ highly nonlinear equations, e.g. neural networks, which in theory are flexible enough to simulate any dependence. This, however, comes with the penalty of large number of coefficients that are difficult to estimate reliably. A preliminary classification applied to PTF inputs and PTF development for each of the resulting groups may provide simple, transparent, and more reliable pedotransfer equations. 3. The multiplicity of models, i.e. presence of several models producing the same output variables, is commonly found in soil modeling, and is a typical feature in the PTF research field. However, PTF intercomparisons are lagging behind PTF development. This is aggravated by the fact that coefficients of PTF based on machine-learning methods are usually not reported. 4. The existence of PTFs is the result of some soil processes. Using models of those processes to generate PTFs, and more general, developing physics-based PTFs remains to be explored. 5. Estimating the variability of soil model parameters becomes increasingly important, as the newer modeling technologies such as data assimilation, ensemble modeling, and model

  14. Incorporating soil health management practices into viable potato cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil health is critical to agricultural sustainability, environmental quality, and ecosystem function, but is generally degraded through intensive potato production. Soil and crop management practices beneficial to soil health, such as crop rotations, cover crops and green manures, organic amendment...

  15. Functional traits of soil invertebrates as indicators for exposure to soil disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedde, Mickaël; van Oort, Folkert; Lamy, Isabelle

    2012-05-01

    We tested a trait-based approach to link a soil disturbance to changes in invertebrate communities. Soils and macro-invertebrates were sampled in sandy soils contaminated by long-term wastewater irrigation, adding notably organic matter and trace metals (TM). We hypothesized that functional traits of invertebrates depict ways of exposure and that exposure routes relate to specific TM pools. Geophages and soft-body invertebrates were chosen to inform on exposure by ingestion or contact, respectively. Trait-based indices depicted more accurately effects of pollution than community density and diversity did. Exposure by ingestion had more deleterious effects than by contact. Both types of exposed invertebrates were influenced by TM, but geophages mainly responded to changes in soil organic matter contents. The trait-based approach requires to be applied in various conditions to uncorrelate specific TM impacts from those of other environmental factors. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Dry fractionation for sustainable production of functional legume protein concentrates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schutyser, M.A.I.; Pelgrom, P.J.M.; Goot, van der A.J.; Boom, R.M.

    2015-01-01

    Plant proteins gain increasing interest as part of a sustainable diet. Because plant materials not only contain protein, they are generally isolated via an energy intensive wet fractionation. This review discusses dry fractionation as an alternative and more sustainable route for producing

  17. Functional profiling and distribution of the forest soil bacterial communities along the soil mycorrhizosphere continuum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uroz, S; Courty, P E; Pierrat, J C; Peter, M; Buée, M; Turpault, M P; Garbaye, J; Frey-Klett, P

    2013-08-01

    An ectomycorrhiza is a multitrophic association between a tree root, an ectomycorrhizal fungus, free-living fungi and the associated bacterial communities. Enzymatic activities of ectomycorrhizal root tips are therefore result of the contribution from different partners of the symbiotic organ. However, the functional potential of the fungus-associated bacterial communities remains unknown. In this study, a collection of 80 bacterial strains randomly selected and isolated from a soil-ectomycorrhiza continuum (oak-Scleroderma citrinum ectomycorrhizas, the ectomycorrhizosphere and the surrounding bulk soil) were characterized. All the bacterial isolates were identified by partial 16S rRNA gene sequences as members of the genera Burkholderia, Collimonas, Dyella, Mesorhizobium, Pseudomonas, Rhizobium and Sphingomonas. The bacterial strains were then assayed for β-xylosidase, β-glucosidase, N-acetyl-hexosaminidase, β-glucuronidase, cellobiohydrolase, phosphomonoesterase, leucine-aminopeptidase and laccase activities, chitin solubilization and auxin production. Using these bioassays, we demonstrated significant differences in the functional distribution of the bacterial communities living in the different compartments of the soil-ectomycorrhiza continuum. The surrounding bulk soil was significantly enriched in bacterial isolates capable of hydrolysing cellobiose and N-acetylglucosamine. In contrast, the ectomycorrhizosphere appeared significantly enriched in bacterial isolates capable of hydrolysing glucopyranoside and chitin. Notably, chitinase and laccase activities were found only in bacterial isolates belonging to the Collimonas and Pseudomonas genera. Overall, the results suggest that the ectomycorrhizal fungi favour specific bacterial communities with contrasting functional characteristics from the surrounding soil.

  18. [Soil microbial functional diversity of different altitude Pinus koraiensis forests].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dong-xue; Wang, Ning; Wang, Nan-nan; Sun, Xue; Feng, Fu-juan

    2015-12-01

    In order to comprehensively understand the soil microbial carbon utilization characteristics of Pinus koraiensis forests, we took the topsoil (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm) along the 700-1100 m altitude in Changbai Mountains and analyzed the vertical distributed characteristics and variation of microbial functional diversity along the elevation gradient by Biolog microplate method. The results showed that there were significant differences in functional diversity of microbial communities at different elevations. AWCD increased with the extension of incubation time and AWCD at the same soil depth gradually decreased along with increasing altitude; Shannon, Simpson and McIntosh diversity index also showed the same trend with AWCD and three different diversity indices were significantly different along the elevation gradient; Species diversity and functional diversity showed the same variation. The utilization intensities of six categories carbon sources had differences while amino acids were constantly the most dominant carbon source. Principal component analysis (PCA) identified that soil microbial carbon utilization at different altitudes had obvious spatial differentiation, as reflected in the use of carbohydrates, amino acids and carboxylic acids. In addition, the cluster of the microbial diversity indexes and AWCD values of different altitudes showed that the composition of vegetation had a significant impact on soil microbial composition and functional activity.

  19. Maintaining ecological soil functions - techniques in organic farming systems

    OpenAIRE

    Beste, Andrea

    2000-01-01

    The ecological soil functions (e.g. habitat and living space, production and utilization, ecological regulation) have to be taken into account and maintained by farming systems. Organic farming systems can provide for this by using suitable crop rotations, manure management methods and tillage techniques.

  20. Assemblage and functioning of bacterial communities in soil and rhizosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yan, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Soil biodiversity is huge and determines largely the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems both at the ‘macro’ and the ‘micro’ level. Despite the general acceptance of the large impact of land use and other human activities on species loss in terrestrial ecosystems, their effects on microbial

  1. Pedotransfer functions to estimate soil water content at field capacity ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    20

    Pedotransfer functions to estimate soil water content at field capacity and permanent wilting point in hot Arid Western India. 1*Priyabrata Santra, 1Mahesh Kumar, 1R N Kumawat, 1D K Painuli, 2K M Hati,. 3G B M Heuvelink and 3N H Batjes. 1ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Jopdhpur, Rajasthan, India ...

  2. 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.

  3. Improved appreciation of the functioning and importance of biological soil crusts in Europe: the Soil Crust International Project (SCIN).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büdel, Burkhard; Colesie, Claudia; Green, T G Allan; Grube, Martin; Lázaro Suau, Roberto; Loewen-Schneider, Katharina; Maier, Stefanie; Peer, Thomas; Pintado, Ana; Raggio, José; Ruprecht, Ulrike; Sancho, Leopoldo G; Schroeter, Burkhard; Türk, Roman; Weber, Bettina; Wedin, Mats; Westberg, Martin; Williams, Laura; Zheng, Lingjuan

    2014-01-01

    Here we report details of the European research initiative "Soil Crust International" (SCIN) focusing on the biodiversity of biological soil crusts (BSC, composed of bacteria, algae, lichens, and bryophytes) and on functional aspects in their specific environment. Known as the so-called "colored soil lichen community" (Bunte Erdflechtengesellschaft), these BSCs occur all over Europe, extending into subtropical and arid regions. Our goal is to study the uniqueness of these BSCs on the regional scale and investigate how this community can cope with large macroclimatic differences. One of the major aims of this project is to develop biodiversity conservation and sustainable management strategies for European BSCs. To achieve this, we established a latitudinal transect from the Great Alvar of Öland, Sweden in the north over Gössenheim, Central Germany and Hochtor in the Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria down to the badlands of Tabernas, Spain in the south. The transect stretches over 20° latitude and 2,300 m in altitude, including natural (Hochtor, Tabernas) and semi-natural sites that require maintenance such as by grazing activities (Öland, Gössenheim). At all four sites BSC coverage exceeded 30 % of the referring landscape, with the alpine site (Hochtor) reaching the highest cyanobacterial cover and the two semi-natural sites (Öland, Gössenheim) the highest bryophyte cover. Although BSCs of the four European sites share a common set of bacteria, algae (including cyanobacteria) lichens and bryophytes, first results indicate not only climate specific additions of species, but also genetic/phenotypic uniqueness of species between the four sites. While macroclimatic conditions are rather different, microclimatic conditions and partly soil properties seem fairly homogeneous between the four sites, with the exception of water availability. Continuous activity monitoring of photosystem II revealed the BSCs of the Spanish site as the least active in terms of

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Recovery of neurocognitive functions following sustained abstinence after substance dependence and implications for treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, M.H.J.; Cousijn, J.; den Uyl, T.E.; Goudriaan, A.E.; van den Brink, W.; Veltman, D.J.; Schilt, T.; Wiers, R.W.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) have been associated with impaired neurocognitive functioning, which may (partly) improve with sustained abstinence. New treatments are emerging, aimed at improving cognitive functions, and being tested. However, no integrated review is available regarding

  10. Recovery of neurocognitive functions following sustained abstinence after substance dependence and implications for treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, Mieke H. J.; Cousijn, Janna; den Uyl, Tess E.; Goudriaan, Anna E.; van den Brink, Wim; Veltman, Dick J.; Schilt, Thelma; Wiers, Reinout W.

    2014-01-01

    Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) have been associated with impaired neurocognitive functioning, which may (partly) improve with sustained abstinence. New treatments are emerging, aimed at improving cognitive functions, and being tested. However, no integrated review is available regarding

  11. Recovery of neurocognitive functions following sustained abstinence after substance dependence and implications for treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, Mieke H J; Cousijn, Janna; den Uyl, Tess E; Goudriaan, Anna E; van den Brink, Wim; Veltman, Dick J; Schilt, Thelma; Wiers, Reinout W

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) have been associated with impaired neurocognitive functioning, which may (partly) improve with sustained abstinence. New treatments are emerging, aimed at improving cognitive functions, and being tested. However, no integrated review is available regarding

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Plant functional diversity enhances associations of soil fungal diversity with vegetation and soil in the restoration of semiarid sandy grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Xiaoan; Wang, Shaokun; Lv, Peng; Zhou, Xin; Zhao, Xueyong; Zhang, Tonghui; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The trait-based approach shows that plant functional diversity strongly affects ecosystem properties. However, few empirical studies show the relationship between soil fungal diversity and plant functional diversity in natural ecosystems. We investigated soil fungal diversity along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semifixed dune, fixed dune, and grassland) in Horqin Sand Land, northern China, using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 18S rRNA and gene sequencing. We also examined associations of soil fungal diversity with plant functional diversity reflected by the dominant species' traits in community (community-weighted mean, CWM) and the dispersion of functional trait values (FD is). We further used the structure equation model (SEM) to evaluate how plant richness, biomass, functional diversity, and soil properties affect soil fungal diversity in sandy grassland restoration. Soil fungal richness in mobile dune and semifixed dune was markedly lower than those of fixed dune and grassland (P functional diversity explained nearly 70% variances of soil fungal richness. Strong association of soil fungal richness with the dominant species in the community supported the mass ratio hypothesis. Our results clearly highlight the role of plant functional diversity in enhancing associations of soil fungal diversity with community structure and soil properties in sandy grassland ecosystems.

  15. Modelling soil functions and the impact of land use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, Ulrich; Lang, Birgit; Rabot, Eva; Stößel, Bastian; Vogel, Hans-Jörg; Wiesmeier, Martin; Wollschläger, Ute

    2017-04-01

    One of the main tasks of the BonaRes working group is the evaluation of the impact of different management options on soil functions. These are defined as the production of biomass, storage of carbon and water, filtering of water and habitat for biological activity. In order to predict the impact of management decisions on these functions a comprehensive understanding of soil processes is inevitable. Therefore the modelling crew tries to identify the dominant properties in soil and their interactions. Focus is posed on components that have a meso scaled time horizon rather than short term state variables. Long term properties are considered as moderators for the interactions. The identification of the main interactions is based on a literature research where we try to evaluate the significant interactions and collect our knowledge base in a literature retrieval base. This can serve as a search tool for the whole scientific community to identify papers that have studied certain interactions on soil properties. Also, existing models, which typically act at a shorter time scale, serve as an analysis tool to quantify these interactions.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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).

  19. Microbial functional diversity in a mediterranean forest soil: impact of soil nitrogen availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalmonech, D.; Lagomarsino, A.; Moscatelli, M. C.

    2009-04-01

    Beneficial or negative effects of N deposition on forest soil are strongly linked to the activity of microbial biomass and enzyme activities because they regulate soil quality and functioning due to their involvement in organic matter dynamics, nutrient cycling and decomposition processes. Moreover, because the ability of an ecosystem to withstand serious disturbances may depend in part on the microbial component of the system, by characterizing microbial functional diversity we may be able to better understand and manipulate ecosystem processes. Changes in the biodiversity of the soil microbial community are likely to be important in relation to maintenance of soil ecosystem function because the microbial communities influence the potential of soils for enzyme-mediated substrate catalysis. Objective of this study was to evaluate how soil N availability affected microbial functional diversity in a 4 months laboratory experiment. The incubation experiment was carried out with an organo-mineral soil collected in a Quercus cerris forest at the Roccarespampani site (Central Italy, Viterbo). All samples were incubated at 28°C and were kept to a water content between 55 and 65% of the water holding capacity. Different amount of N (NH4NO3) were added as solution once a week in order to mimic the N wet deposition and to let microbial community deal with a slow increase in time of inorganic N content. The amount of nutrient solutions was chosen depending on the average soil-water loss due to evaporation in one week. The total amount of N-NH4NO3 was chosen to be comparable with the range of N depositions currently reported in European forests, i.e. between 1 and 75 kg N ha-1 y-1. The total amount added at the end of incubation varied from 0, 10, 25, 50 and 75 kg N ha-1. Distilled water was added in the control soil in order to provide the same amount of solution as the treated soils. In order to discriminate the effect of N, the NH4NO3 solutions were adjusted to soil pH and

  20. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...... of MicroResp and Community Level Physiological Profile (CLPP), while soil enzymatic activity are being assayed by Extracellular Enzyme Activity (EEA) based on MUF-substrates. Here we compared and contrasted the three techniques of assessing soil microbial functional diversity in a European transect...

  1. Simultaneous loss of soil biodiversity and functions along a copper contamination gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Moldrup, Per; Arthur, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    The impact of biodiversity loss on soil functions is well established via laboratory experiments that generally consider soil biota groups in isolation from each other, a condition rarely present in field soils. As a result, our knowledge about anthropogenic induced changes in biodiversity...... that different soil biodiversity and functional indicators started to decline (10% loss) within a copper concentration range of 110-800 mg total Cu kg-1....... in the following order: earthworms > bacteria > nematodes > fungi. The observed loss of soil biota adversely affected natural soil bioturbation, aggregate formation/stabilization, decomposition and mineralization processes, and therefore resulted in compacted soil with narrow pore size distributions and overall...

  2. Functionality and sustainability of peat fiber-based textile

    OpenAIRE

    Čepukonė, Lina; Daiva MIKUČIONIENĖ

    2017-01-01

    Textiles from natural fibres have exclusive properties as no release substances harmful for health, do not cause allergy effect, have got high heat absorption, high air permeability, high hygroscopicity. Thus, importance and impact of fibres of natural origin grows and stimulates demand for them by promoting their efficiency and sustainability. Majority of mechanical and physical properties of knitted fabrics depend on technical characteristics of knitting machine, on properties of yarns, as ...

  3. 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

  4. Microbial taxa and functional genes shift in degraded soil with bacterial wilt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hongchun; Wang, Rui; Chen, Shu; Qi, Gaofu; He, Zhili; Zhao, Xiuyun

    2017-01-01

    Soil degradation is a serious global problem, but little is known about how soil microbial communities respond to soil degradation as well as their feedback to ecosystem functioning. In this study, we found the microbial community composition, structure and functional potential significantly altered in the degraded soils with bacterial wilt (termed as degraded soils). Compared with healthy soils, OTU richness of beneficial microorganisms were significantly decreased, but OTU richness of pathogenic microorganisms were significantly increased in the degraded soils. Functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) analysis showed the functional metabolic potential of genes involved in stress, virulence, sulfur cycle, metal resistance, degradation of plant cell wall was significantly increased in the degraded soils. Increased functional metabolic potential of these genes may be related to the acidification and severe plant disease of degraded soils. Biological activity of degraded soils was obviously decreased with weakened soil enzyme activities when compared to the healthy soils. Soil pH and enzyme activities were negatively correlated with the abundance of genes involved in sulfur cycle, virulence, and stress responses. This study provides new insights into our understanding of soil microbial community responses to soil degradation. PMID:28051173

  5. 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...

  6. Crop residue harvest for bioenergy production and its implications on soil functioning and plant growth: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurício Roberto Cherubin

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The use of crop residues as a bioenergy feedstock is considered a potential strategy to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG emissions. However, indiscriminate harvesting of crop residues can induce deleterious effects on soil functioning, plant growth and other ecosystem services. Here, we have summarized the information available in the literature to identify and discuss the main trade-offs and synergisms involved in crop residue management for bioenergy production. The data consistently showed that crop residue harvest and the consequent lower input of organic matter into the soil led to C storage depletions over time, reducing cycling, supply and availability of soil nutrients, directly affecting the soil biota. Although the biota regulates key functions in the soil, crop residue can also cause proliferation of some important agricultural pests. In addition, crop residues act as physical barriers that protect the soil against raindrop impact and temperature variations. Therefore, intensive crop residue harvest can cause soil structure degradation, leading to soil compaction and increased risks of erosion. With regard to GHG emissions, there is no consensus about the potential impact of management of crop residue harvest. In general, residue harvest decreases CO2 and N2O emissions from the decomposition process, but it has no significant effect on CH4 emissions. Plant growth responses to soil and microclimate changes due to crop residue harvest are site and crop specific. Adoption of the best management practices can mitigate the adverse impacts of crop residue harvest. Longterm experiments within strategic production regions are essential to understand and monitor the impact of integrated agricultural systems and propose customized solutions for sustainable crop residue management in each region or landscape. Furthermore, private and public investments/cooperations are necessary for a better understanding of the potential environmental

  7. 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.

  8. Differential assemblage of functional units in paddy soil microbiomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongkyu Kim

    Full Text Available Flooded rice fields are not only a global food source but also a major biogenic source of atmospheric methane. Using metatranscriptomics, we comparatively explored structural and functional succession of paddy soil microbiomes in the oxic surface layer and anoxic bulk soil. Cyanobacteria, Fungi, Xanthomonadales, Myxococcales, and Methylococcales were the most abundant and metabolically active groups in the oxic zone, while Clostridia, Actinobacteria, Geobacter, Anaeromyxobacter, Anaerolineae, and methanogenic archaea dominated the anoxic zone. The protein synthesis potential of these groups was about 75% and 50% of the entire community capacity, respectively. Their structure-function relationships in microbiome succession were revealed by classifying the protein-coding transcripts into core, non-core, and taxon-specific transcripts based on homologous gene distribution. The differential expression of core transcripts between the two microbiomes indicated that structural succession is primarily governed by the cellular ability to adapt to the given oxygen condition, involving oxidative stress, nitrogen/phosphorus metabolism, and fermentation. By contrast, the non-core transcripts were expressed from genes involved in the metabolism of various carbon sources. Among those, taxon-specific transcripts revealed highly specialized roles of the dominant groups in community-wide functioning. For instance, taxon-specific transcripts involved in photosynthesis and methane oxidation were a characteristic of the oxic zone, while those related to methane production and aromatic compound degradation were specific to the anoxic zone. Degradation of organic matters, antibiotics resistance, and secondary metabolite production were detected to be expressed in both the oxic and anoxic zones, but by different taxonomic groups. Cross-feeding of methanol between members of the Methylococcales and Xanthomonadales was suggested by the observation that in the oxic zone

  9. 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...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Advancing Functional Metagenomics using Synthetic Biology from Soil to Sequence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Helm, Eric

    as ‘functional metagenomics’, the DNA of these bacteria can be recovered from the environment and used by host-bacteria which can be grown in a lab. This allows us to make use of the capabilities of the billions of bacteria that a represent in the environment without actually growing them but by making use......-viral molecules by making use of DNA from microorganisms found in soil. In this thesis I describe the application of the relatively new nanopore sequencing technology to read the DNA, which was obtained using theprevious mentioned methods. Our deFUME webserver makes it easier for researchers to investigate...

  15. Functional significance of brain glycogen in sustaining glutamatergic neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sickmann, Helle M; Walls, Anne B; Schousboe, Arne

    2009-01-01

    unclear. The significance of glycogen in fueling glutamate uptake into astrocytes was specifically addressed in cultured astrocytes. Moreover, the objective was to elucidate whether glycogen derived energy is important for maintaining glutamatergic neurotransmission, induced by repetitive exposure to NMDA...... in co-cultures of cerebellar neurons and astrocytes. In the astrocytes it was shown that uptake of the glutamate analogue D-[3H]aspartate was impaired when glycogen degradation was inhibited irrespective of the presence of glucose, signifying that energy derived from glycogen degradation is important...... for the astrocytic compartment. By inhibiting glycogen degradation in co-cultures it was evident that glycogen provides energy to sustain glutamatergic neurotransmission, i.e. release and uptake of glutamate. The relocation of glycogen derived lactate to the neuronal compartment was investigated by employing d...

  16. 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

  17. Additive and interactive effects of functionally dissimilar soil organisms on a grassland plant community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ladygina, N.; Henry, F.; Kant, M.R.; Koller, R.; Reidinger, S.; Rodriguez, A.; Saj, S.; Sonnemann, I.; Witt, C.; Wurst, S.

    2010-01-01

    The productivity and diversity of plant communities are affected by soil organisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), root herbivores and decomposers. However, it is unknown how interactions between such functionally dissimilar soil organisms affect plant communities and whether the

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  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. 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

  2. Soil biological indicators of soil health for a national soil health assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil is one of our nation's most valuable resources that provides life-sustaining functions. Billions of organisms live belowground and perform critical soil processes to support plant, animal, and human health aboveground. By shifting our view of soils from an inert growing material to a biological...

  3. The role of partnership functioning and synergy in achieving sustainability of innovative programmes in community care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramm, Jane M; Phaff, Sanne; Nieboer, Anna P

    2013-03-01

    This cross-sectional study (conducted in April-May 2011) explored associations between partnership functioning synergy and sustainability of innovative programmes in community care. The study sample consisted of 106 professionals (of 244 individuals contacted) participating in 21 partnerships that implemented different innovative community care programmes in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Partnership functioning was evaluated by assessing leadership, resources administration and efficiency. Synergy was considered the proximal outcome of partnership functioning, which, in turn, influenced the achievement of programme sustainability. On a 5-point scale of increasing sustainability, mean sustainability scores ranged from 1.9 to 4.9. The results of the regression analysis demonstrated that sustainability was positively influenced by leadership (standardised regression coefficient β = 0.32; P Partnership synergy acted as a mediator for partnership functioning and significantly affected sustainability (β = 0.39; P community care is achieved more readily when synergy is created between partners. Synergy was more likely to emerge with boundary-spanning leaders, who understood and appreciated partners' different perspectives, and could bridge their diverse cultures and were comfortable sharing ideas, resources and power. In addition, the acknowledgement of and ability to use members' resources were found to be valuable in engaging partners' involvement and achieving synergy in community care partnerships. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Soil functional operating range linked to microbial biodiversity and community composition using denitrifiers as model guild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallin, Sara; Welsh, Allana; Stenström, John; Hallet, Stephanie; Enwall, Karin; Bru, David; Philippot, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Soil microorganisms are key players in biogeochemical cycles. Yet, there is no consistent view on the significance of microbial biodiversity for soil ecosystem functioning. According to the insurance hypothesis, declines in ecosystem functioning due to reduced biodiversity are more likely to occur under fluctuating, extreme or rapidly changing environmental conditions. Here, we compare the functional operating range, a new concept defined as the complete range of environmental conditions under which soil microbial communities are able to maintain their functions, between four naturally assembled soil communities from a long-term fertilization experiment. A functional trait approach was adopted with denitrifiers involved in nitrogen cycling as our model soil community. Using short-term temperature and salt gradients, we show that the functional operating range was broader and process rates were higher when the soil community was phylogenetically more diverse. However, key bacterial genotypes played an important role for maintaining denitrification as an ecosystem functioning under certain conditions.

  5. 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.

  6. Successive chlorothalonil applications inhibit soil nitrification and discrepantly affect abundances of functional genes in soil nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Ying; Zhang, Manyun; Yang, Guangmei; Wang, Jun; Christie, Peter; Luo, Yongming

    2017-02-01

    Broad-spectrum fungicide chlorothalonil (CTN) is successively applied into intensive agriculture soil. However, the impacts of successive CTN applications on soil nitrification and related microorganisms remain poorly understood. A microcosm study was conducted to reveal the effects of successive CTN applications on soil nitrification and functional genes involved in soil nitrogen (N) cycling. The CTN at the dosages of 5 mg kg-1 dry soil (RD) and 25 mg kg-1 dry soil (5RD) was successively applied into the test soil at 7-day intervals which resulted in the accumulations of CTN residues. After 28 days of incubation, CTN residues in the RD and 5RD treatments were 3.14 and 69.7 mg kg-1 dry soil respectively. Net nitrification rates in the RD and 5RD treatments were lower than that obtained from the blank control (CK). Real-time PCR analysis revealed that AOA and AOB amoA gene abundances were significantly decreased by CTN applications. Moreover, CTN applications also discrepantly decreased the abundances of functional genes involved in soil denitrification, with the exception of nosZ gene. Principal component analysis further supported the observation that successive CTN applications could result in enhanced ecological toxicity.

  7. 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.

  8. PUBLIC TRANSPORT INTERCHANGES FUNCTIONING FROM A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Naumov

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The transport interchange functioning has been presented as a gray box cybernetic model. The identified input data characterizes the transport interchange as an infrastructure object and influence the processes both for public transport and passengers. An integrated indicator has been chosen as the efficiency criterion, combining economic, environmental and social costs.

  9. [Dynamic changes in functional genes for nitrogen bioremediation of petroleum-contaminated soil cycle during].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bin-Bin; Lu, Dian-Nan; Liu, Zheng

    2012-06-01

    Microorganisms in nitrogen cycle serve as an important part of the ecological function of soil. The aim of this research was to monitor the abundance of nitrogen-fixing, denitrifying and nitrifying bacteria during bioaugmentation of petroleum-contaminated soil using real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) of nifH, narG and amoA genes which encode the key enzymes in nitrogen fixation, nitrification and ammoniation respectively. Three different kinds of soils, which are petroleum-contaminated soil, normal soil, and remediated soil, were monitored. It was shown that the amounts of functional microorganisms in petroleum-contaminated soil were far less than those in normal soil, while the amounts in remediated soil and normal soil were comparable. Results of this experiment demonstrate that nitrogen circular functional bacteria are inhibited in petroleum-contaminated soil and can be recovered through bioremediation. Furthermore, copies of the three functional genes as well as total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) for soils with six different treatments were monitored. Among all treatments, the one, into which both E. cloacae as an inoculant and wheat straw as an additive were added, obtained the maximum copies of 2.68 x 10(6), 1.71 x 10(6) and 8.54 x 10(4) per gram dry soil for nifH, narG and amoA genes respectively, companying with the highest degradation rate (48% in 40 days) of TPH. The recovery of functional genes and removal of TPH were better in soil inoculated with E cloacae and C echinulata collectively than soil inoculated with E cloacae only. All above results suggest that the nitrogen circular functional genes could be applied to monitor and assess the bioremediation of petroleum-contaminated soil.

  10. 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.

  11. Biochar application does not improve the soil hydrological function of a sandy soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jeffery, S.; Meinders, M.B.J.; Stoof, C.R.; Bezemer, T.M.; Voorde, van de T.F.J.; Mommer, L.; Groenigen, van J.W.

    2015-01-01

    Biochar application to soil is currently being widely posited as a means to improve soil quality and thereby increase crop yield. Next to beneficial effects on soil nutrient availability and retention, biochar is assumed to improve soil water retention. However, evidence for such an effect in the

  12. Methodological advances to study the diversity of soil protists and their functioning in soil food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Bonkowski, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Soils host the most complex communities of organisms, which are still largely considered as an unknown 'black box'. A key role in soil food webs is held by the highly abundant and diverse group of protists. Traditionally, soil protists are considered as the main consumers of bacteria in soils.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. SF Box--a tool for evaluating the effects on soil functions in remediation projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volchko, Yevheniya; Norrman, Jenny; Rosén, Lars; Norberg, Tommy

    2014-10-01

    Although remediation is usually aimed at reducing the risks posed by contaminants to human health and the environment, it is also desirable that the remediated soil within future green spaces is capable of providing relevant ecological functions, e.g., basis for primary production. Yet while addressing a contamination problem by reducing contaminant concentration and/or amounts in the soil, the remedial action itself can lead to soil structure disturbances, decline in organic matter and nutrient deficiencies, and in turn affect a soil's capacity to carry out its ecological soil functions. This article presents the Soil Function Box (SF Box) tool that is aimed to facilitate integration of information from suggested soil quality indicators (SQIs) into a management process in remediation using a scoring method. The scored SQIs are integrated into a soil quality index corresponding to 1 of 5 classes. SF Box is applied to 2 cases from Sweden (Kvillebäcken and Hexion), explicitly taking into consideration uncertainties in the results by means of Monte Carlo simulations. At both sites the generated soil quality indices corresponded to a medium soil performance (soil class 3) with a high certainty. The main soil constraints at both Kvillebäcken and Hexion were associated with biological activity in the soil, as soil organisms were unable to supply plant-available N. At the Kvillebäcken site the top layer had a content of coarse fragment (ø > 2 mm) higher than 35%, indicating plant rooting limitations. At the Hexion site, the soil had limited amount of organic matter, thus poor aggregate stability and nutrient cycling potential. In contrast, the soil at Kvillebäcken was rich in organic matter. The soils at both sites were capable of storing a sufficient amount of water for soil organisms between precipitation events. © 2014 SETAC.

  17. 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

  18. To sustainability in forestry: the Ukraine's case

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijnik, M.

    2002-01-01

    Keywords: forestry; sustainable development; economy-in-transition; the Ukraine; institutions; multi-functional forest use; timber rotation; afforestation programme; soil erosion; climate change; carbon sequestration; cost-benefit analysis;

  19. 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

  20. Exploring functional relationships between post-fire soil water repellency, soil structure and physico-chemical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quarfeld, Jamie; Brook, Anna; Keestra, Saskia; Wittenberg, Lea

    2016-04-01

    composition in determining wettability rather than quantity, as evidenced both by the high variation observed in the field and the strong presence of aliphatic functional groups in the absence of WR; and (ii) commonly proposed mechanisms affecting soil aggregate properties - albeit with differing temperature thresholds and longer exposure times employed in this study. Namely, these mechanisms tend to involve: (i) soil OM and WR reduction at low to moderate temperatures, and (ii) thermal fusion of particles within moderate to high temperatures. Overall, results suggest a positive influence of management on soil properties as well as high soil resilience to moderate severity fire disturbance in the studied areas. However, the specific changes in soil OM and mineral composition that are responsible for destruction of WR and subsequent changes in AS remain poorly understood. Based on these results, a key next step within this study will entail a closer examination of OC ratios and their potential links with certain mineral species known to influence soil aggregation and soil WR. Noting the importance of soil OM-mineralogical interactions on run-off and erosion processes, results may contribute to better prediction of post-fire responses in the future and improve the ability to fine-tune site specific management approaches accordingly.

  1. [Changes in soil organic carbon and soil microbial functional diversity of Carya cathayensis plantations under intensive managements].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jia-Sen; Qian, Jin-Fang; Tong, Zhi-Peng; Huang, Jian-Qin; Zhao, Ke-Li

    2014-09-01

    The change characteristics of soil organic carbon and microbial function diversity in Chinese hickory Carya cathayensis stands with different intensive-management durations (5, 10, 15 and 20 years) were studied. The results showed that soil total organic carbon (TOC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) decreased significantly, while the stability of soil C pool increased significantly after the conversion from evergreen and deciduous broadleaf forest to intensively-managed forest (IMF). TOC, MBC and WSOC in the hickory forest soil decreased by 28.4%, 34.1% and 53.3% with 5-year intensive management, and by 38.6%, 48.9% and 64.1% with 20-year intensive management, respectively. The proportions of carboxyl C, phenolic C and aromatic C in the hickory forest soil all increased significantly, and the aromaticity of soil organic C increased by 23.0%. Soil microbial functional diversity decreased greatly af- ter intensive management of Chinese hickory forest. Significant differences in average well color development (AWCD) were found between the 0- and 5-year treatments and the 10-, 15- and 20- year treatments. The microbial diversity indexes (H) and evenness indexes (E) in the 0- and 5-year treatments were much greater than in the 10- and 20-year treatments. Correlation analysis showed that there were significant correlations among soil TOC, WSOC, MBC, AWCD, H and E.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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,...

  5. Reaction time, processing speed and sustained attention in schizophrenia: impact on social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahera, Guillermo; Ruiz, Alicia; Brañas, Antía; Vicens, María; Orozco, Arantxa

    Previous studies have linked processing speed with social cognition and functioning of patients with schizophrenia. A discriminant analysis is needed to determine the different components of this neuropsychological construct. This paper analyzes the impact of processing speed, reaction time and sustained attention on social functioning. 98 outpatients between 18 and 65 with DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia, with a period of 3 months of clinical stability, were recruited. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected, and the following variables were measured: processing speed (Trail Making Test [TMT], symbol coding [BACS], verbal fluency), simple and elective reaction time, sustained attention, recognition of facial emotions and global functioning. Processing speed (measured only through the BACS), sustained attention (CPT) and elective reaction time (but not simple) were associated with functioning. Recognizing facial emotions (FEIT) correlated significantly with scores on measures of processing speed (BACS, Animals, TMT), sustained attention (CPT) and reaction time. The linear regression model showed a significant relationship between functioning, emotion recognition (P=.015) and processing speed (P=.029). A deficit in processing speed and facial emotion recognition are associated with worse global functioning in patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 SEP y SEPB. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  6. Functional consequences of sustained sleep deprivation in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everson, C A

    1995-01-01

    Sleep deprivation disrupts vital biological processes that are necessary for cognitive ability and physical health, but the physiological changes that underlie these outward effects are largely unknown. The purpose of the present studies in the laboratory rat is to prolong sleep deprivation to delineate the pathophysiology and to determine its mediation. In the rat, the course of prolonged sleep deprivation has a syndromic nature and eventuates in a life-threatening state. An early and central symptom of sleep deprivation is a progressive increase in peripheral energy expenditure to nearly double normal levels. An attempt to alleviate this negative energy balance by feeding rats a balanced diet that is high in its efficiency of utilization prolongs survival and attenuates or delays development of malnutrition-like symptoms, indicating that several symptoms can be manipulated to some extent by energy and nutrient consumption. Most changes in neuroendocrine parameters appear to be responses to metabolic demands, such as increased plasma catecholamines indicating sympathetic activation. Plasma total thyroid hormones, however, decline to severely low levels; a metabolic complication that is associated with other sleep deprivation-induced symptoms, such as a decline in body temperature to hypothermic levels despite increased energy expenditure. Metabolic mapping of the brain revealed a dissociation between the energy metabolism of the brain and that of the body. Sleep deprivation's effects on cerebral structures are heterogeneous and unidirectional toward decreased functional activity. The hypometabolic brain structures are concentrated in the hypothalamus, thalamus and limbic systems, whereas few regions in the rest of the brain and none in the medulla, are affected. Correspondence can be found between some of the affected cerebral structures and several of the peripheral symptoms, such as hyperphagia and possible heat retention problems. The factor predisposing to

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Soil functioning in a toposequence under rainforest in São Paulo, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Cooper

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Studies of soil-water dynamics using toposequences are essential to improve the understanding of soil-water-vegetation relationships. This study assessed the hydro-physical and morphological characteristics of soils of Atlantic Rainforest in the Parque Estadual de Carlos Botelho, state of São Paulo, Brazil. The study area of 10.24 ha (320 x 320 m was covered by dense tropical rainforest (Atlantic Rainforest. Based on soil maps and topographic maps of the area, a representative transect of the soil in this plot was chosen and five soil trenches were opened to determine morphological properties. To evaluate the soil hydro-physical functioning, soil particle size distribution, bulk density (r, particle density (r s, soil water retention curves (SWRC, field saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks, macroporosity (macro, and microporosity (micro and total porosity (TP were determined. Undisturbed samples were collected for micromorphometric image analysis, to determine pore size, shape, and connectivity. The soils in the study area were predominantly Inceptisols, and secondly Entisols and Epiaquic Haplustult. In the soil hydro-physical characterization of the selected transect, a change was observed in Ks between the surface and subsurface layers, from high/intermediate to intermediate/low permeability. This variation in soil-water dynamics was also observed in the SWRC, with higher water retention in the subsurface horizons. The soil hydro-physical behavior was influenced by the morphogenetic characteristics of the soils.

  12. A future for soil ecology? Connecting the system levels: moving from genomes to ecosystems; opening lecture to the XIII ICSZ "Biodiversity of soil organisms and ecosystem functioning"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eijsacker, H.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    As an introduction to the XIII ICSZ "Biodiversity of soil organisms and ecosystem functioning" the question is raised what contribution soil ecology has made to general ecology. Although the appearance of soil ecological papers in general ecological journals is limited, soil ecologists have had a

  13. 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...

  14. Methodological advances to study the diversity of soil protists and their functioning in soil food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Bonkowski, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Soils host the most complex communities of organisms, which are still largely considered as an unknown ‘black box’. A key role in soil food webs is held by the highly abundant and diverse group of protists. Traditionally, soil protists are considered as the main consumers of bacteria in

  15. Restoration using Azolla imbricata increases nitrogen functional bacterial groups and genes in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xiao-Ming; Lu, Peng-Zhen; Yang, Ke

    2017-05-01

    Microbial groups are major factors that influence soil function. Currently, there is a lack of studies on microbial functional groups. Although soil microorganisms play an important role in the nitrogen cycle, systematic studies of the effects of environmental factors on microbial populations in relation to key metabolic processes in the nitrogen cycle are seldom reported. In this study, we conducted a systematic analysis of the changes in nitrogen functional groups in mandarin orange garden soil treated with Azolla imbricata. The structures of the major functional bacterial groups and the functional gene abundances involved in key processes of the soil nitrogen cycle were analyzed using high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and quantitative real-time PCR, respectively. The results indicated that returning A. imbricata had an important influence on the composition of soil nitrogen functional bacterial communities. Treatment with A. imbricata increased the diversity of the nitrogen functional bacteria. The abundances of nitrogen functional genes were significantly higher in the treated soil compared with the control soil. Both the diversity of the major nitrogen functional bacteria (nifH bacteria, nirK bacteria, and narG bacteria) and the abundances of nitrogen functional genes in the soil showed significant positive correlations with the soil pH, the organic carbon content, available nitrogen, available phosphorus, and NH4+-N and NO3--N contents. Treatment with 12.5 kg fresh A. imbricata per mandarin orange tree was effective to improve the quality of the mandarin orange garden soil. This study analyzed the mechanism of the changes in functional bacterial groups and genes involved in key metabolic processes of the nitrogen cycle in soil treated by A. imbricata.

  16. Deep eutectic solvents: sustainable media for nanoscale and functional materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagle, Durgesh V; Zhao, Hua; Baker, Gary A

    2014-08-19

    genesis of nanostructure. Furthermore, DES components may modulate nucleation and growth mechanisms by charge neutralization, modification of reduction potentials (or chemical activities), and passivation of particular crystal faces, dictating growth along preferred crystallographic directions. Broad operational windows for electrochemical reactions coupled with their inherent ionic nature facilitate the electrodeposition of alloys and semiconductors inaccessible to classical means and the use of cosolvents or applied potential control provide under-explored strategies for mediating interfacial interactions leading to control over film characteristics. The biocompatibility of DESs suggests intriguing potential for the construction of biomolecular architectures in these novel media. It has been demonstrated that nucleic acid structures can be manipulated in the ionic, crowded, dehydrating (low water activity) DES environment-including the adoption of duplex helical structures divergent from the canonical B form and parallel G-quadruplex DNA persisting near water's boiling point-challenging the misconception that water is a necessity for maintenance of nucleic acid structure/functionality and suggesting an enticing trajectory toward DNA/RNA-based nanocatalysis within a strictly anhydrous medium. DESs offer tremendous opportunities and open intriguing perspectives for generating sophisticated nanostructures within an anhydrous or low-water medium. We conclude this Account by offering our thoughts on the evolution of the field, pointing to areas of clear and compelling utility which will surely see fruition in the coming years. Finally, we highlight a few hurdles (e.g., need for a universal nomenclature, absence of water-immiscible, oriented-phase, and low-viscosity DESs) which, once navigated, will hasten progress in this area.

  17. The impact of sustained engagement on cognitive function in older adults: the Synapse Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Denise C; Lodi-Smith, Jennifer; Drew, Linda; Haber, Sara; Hebrank, Andrew; Bischof, Gérard N; Aamodt, Whitley

    2014-01-01

    In the research reported here, we tested the hypothesis that sustained engagement in learning new skills that activated working memory, episodic memory, and reasoning over a period of 3 months would enhance cognitive function in older adults. In three conditions with high cognitive demands, participants learned to quilt, learned digital photography, or engaged in both activities for an average of 16.51 hr a week for 3 months. Results at posttest indicated that episodic memory was enhanced in these productive-engagement conditions relative to receptive-engagement conditions, in which participants either engaged in nonintellectual activities with a social group or performed low-demand cognitive tasks with no social contact. The findings suggest that sustained engagement in cognitively demanding, novel activities enhances memory function in older adulthood, but, somewhat surprisingly, we found limited cognitive benefits of sustained engagement in social activities.

  18. Functional environmental genomics of a municipal landfill soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelofs, Dick; de Boer, Muriel; Agamennone, Valeria; Bouchier, Pascal; Legler, Juliette; van Straalen, Nico

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the toxicity of soil samples derived from a former municipal landfill site in the South of the Netherlands, where a bioremediation project is running aiming at reusing the site for recreation. Both an organic soil extract and the original soil sample was investigated using the ISO standardized Folsomia soil ecotoxicological testing and gene expression analysis. The 28 day survival/reproduction test revealed that the ecologically more relevant original soil sample was more toxic than the organic soil extract. Microarray analysis showed that the more toxic soil samples induced gene regulatory changes in twice as less genes compared to the soil extract. Consequently gene regulatory changes were highly dependent on sample type, and were to a lesser extent caused by exposure level. An important biological process shared among the two sample types was the detoxification pathway for xenobiotics (biotransformation I, II, and III) suggesting a link between compound type and observed adverse effects. Finally, we were able to retrieve a selected group of genes that show highly significant dose-dependent gene expression and thus were tightly linked with adverse effects on reproduction. Expression of four cytochrome P450 genes showed highest correlation values with reproduction, and maybe promising genetic markers for soil quality. However, a more elaborate set of environmental soil samples is needed to validate the correlation between gene expression induction and adverse phenotypic effects.

  19. Primer sets developed for fungal functional genes reveal shifts in functionality of fungal community in soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilia Silja Hannula

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic diversity of soil microbes is a hot topic at the moment. However, the molecular tools for the assessment of functional diversity in the fungal community are less developed than tools based on genes encoding the ribosomal operon. Here 20 sets of primers targeting genes involved mainly in carbon cycling were designed and/or validated and the functioning of soil fungal communities along a chronosequence of land abandonment from agriculture was evaluated using them. We hypothesized that changes in fungal community structure during secondary succession would lead to difference in the types of genes present in soils and that these changes would be directional. We expected an increase in genes involved in degradation of recalcitrant organic matter in time since agriculture. Out of the investigated genes, the richness of the genes related to carbon cycling was significantly higher in fields abandoned for longer time. The composition of six of the genes analyzed revealed significant differences between fields abandoned for shorter and longer time. However, all genes revealed significant variance over the fields studied, and this could be related to other parameters than the time since agriculture such as pH, organic matter and the amount of available nitrogen. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the genes significantly different between fields were not related to the decomposition of more recalcitrant matter but rather involved in degradation of cellulose and hemicellulose.

  20. Soil surface protection by Biocrusts: effects of functional groups on textural properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concostrina-Zubiri, Laura; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Martínez, Isabel; Flores Flores, José Luis; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-04-01

    In drylands, where vegetation cover is commonly scarce, soil surface is prone to wind and water soil erosion, with the subsequent loss of topsoil structure and chemical properties. These processes are even more pronounced in ecosystems subjected to extra erosive forces, such as grasslands and rangelands that support livestock production. However, some of the physiological and functional traits of biocrusts (i.e., complex association of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, fungi and soil particles) make them ideal to resist in disturbed environments and at the same time to protect soil surface from mechanical perturbations. In particular, the filaments and exudates of soil cyanobacteria and the rhizines of lichen can bind together soil particles, forming soil aggregates at the soil surface and thus enhancing soil stability. Also, they act as "biological covers" that preserve the most vulnerable soil layer from wind and runoff erosion and raindrop impact, maintaining soil structure and composition. In this work, we evaluated soil textural properties and organic matter content under different functional groups of biocrusts (i.e., cyanobacteria crust, 3 lichen species, 1 moss species) and in bare soil. In order to assess the impact of livestock trampling on soil properties and on Biocrust function, we sampled three sites conforming a disturbance gradient (low, medium and high impact sites) and a long-term livestock exclusion as control site. We found that the presence of biocrusts had little effects on soil textural properties and organic matter content in the control site, while noticeable differences were found between bare soil and soil under biocrusts (e.g., up to 16-37% higher clay content, compared to bare soil and up to 10% higher organic matter content). In addition, we found that depending on morphological traits and grazing regime, the effects of biocrusts changed along the gradient. For example, soil under the lichen Diploschistes diacapsis, with thick thallus

  1. Extracellular enzyme activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Winding, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular enzyme activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Anne Winding. Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark Soils provide numerous essential ecosystem services such as carbon cycling......, recycling of nutrients and waste, soil remediation, plant growth support and regulation of above ground biodiversity, resilience, and soil suppressiveness. As such, soil ecosystem services are beneficial and vital for human life and at the same time threatened by anthropogenic activities. Increasing...... of soil microbial functions is still needed. In soil, enzymes originate from a variety of organisms, notably fungi and bacteria and especially hydrolytic extracellular enzymes are of pivotal importance for decomposition of organic substrates and biogeochemical cycling. Their activity will reflect...

  2. [Effect of long-term fertilization on microbial community functional diversity in black soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing-xin; Chi, Feng-qin; Xu, Xiu-hong; Kuang, En-jun; Zhang, Jiu-ming; Su, Qing-rui; Zhou, Bao-ku

    2015-10-01

    In order to study the effects of long-term different fertilization on microbial community functional diversity in arable black. soil, we examined microbial metabolic activities in two soil la- yers (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm) under four treatments (CK, NPK, M, MNPK) from a 35-year continuous fertilization field at the Ministry of Agriculture Key Field Observation Station of Harbin Black Soil Ecology Environment using Biolog-ECO method. The results showed that: in the 0-20 cm soil layer, combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizer(MNPK) increased the rate of soil microbial carbon source utilization and community metabolism richness, diversity and dominance; In the 20-40 cm layer, these indices of the MNPK treatment was lower than that of the NPK treat- ment; while NPK treatment decreased soil microbial community metabolism evenness in both layers. Six groups of carbon sources used by soil microbes of all the treatments were different between the two soil layers, and the difference was significant among all treatments in each soil layer (P functional diversity in both tillage soil layer and down soil layers, and chemical fertilization alone had a larger influence on the microbial community functional diversity in the 20-40 cm layer.

  3. 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

  4. Networks of soil biota in a secondary succession gradient: Is it biodiversity or network structure that determines soil function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morriën, Elly; Hannula, Emilia; Snoek, Basten; Hol, Gera; van Veen, Hans; van der Putten, Wim

    2017-04-01

    Land abandonment is considered an effective tool for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem functions. However, thus far little attention is given to the role of soil biodiversity. Here, we present results of a soil biodiversity development and ecosystem functioning from a chonosequence of ex-arable fields in The Netherlands. These fields are typically managed by low-intensive grazing while undergoing a transition from an arable system into a species-rich grassland. We manipulated soil biodiversity to be able to couple biodiversity loss to loss of soil functions. We hypothesized that biodiversity loss would lead to less N uptake by plants and slower C transfer to microbes. A greenhouse mesocosm experiment was performed in which sterilized soils from the chronosequence were re-inoculated with a dilution series of soil suspensions (filtered to include only bacteria, fungi and protozoa) to manipulate soil diversity. These mesocosms were planted with a community of plants that naturally occur in all of the grasslands along the chronosequence. We measured microbial community development with TRFLP and sequencing, plant C, N and biomass and using dual labelled 15N ammonium nitrate (15NH415NO3) and 13C in the form of 13CO2 fed to the plants to assess the short term fate, turnover and retention of recent plant assimilated carbon and nitrogen in soil. The faith of the C and N were followed by sequential sampling of aboveground and belowground plant tissues and soil bacterial and fungal PLFA and NLFA biomarkers. With the first method the role of microbial diversity and soil on plant carbon assimilation and nitrogen uptake was evaluated. This was further related to the amount of recently photosynthesized carbon plants allocated to different microbial groups in soils. Microbial end-communities were pyrosequenced to evaluate the end diversity. In this study we showed the effects of the loss of soil biodiversity to C and N cycling in plants and microbes. Next to this manipulative

  5. 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.

  6. USING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES TO ASSESS THE EFFICIENCY OF TRANSPORT INTERCHANGES FUNCTIONING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Samchuk

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The expediency of using the sustainable development principles for assessing the efficiency of public transport interchange functioning is shown. The passenger waiting time, the probable number of accidents in the area of transport interchanges, the queuing delay, and the amount of total emissions as CO2 equivalent were chosen as indicators that the efficiency criterion includes.

  7. Development of probiotic mutandabota, a locally sustainable functional food incorporating Lactobacillus rhamnosus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mpofu, A.

    2015-01-01

    Development of probiotic mutandabota, a locally sustainable functional food incorporating Lactobacillus rhamnosus Mutandabota or umlondo is an indigenous food that is consumed in Southern Africa on a daily basis. The product is made by mixing raw cow’s or goat’s milk

  8. Ectomycorrhizal influence on particle size, surface structure, mineral crystallinity, functional groups, and elemental composition of soil colloids from different soil origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yanhong; Wang, Huimei; Wang, Wenjie; Yang, Lei; Zu, Yuangang

    2013-01-01

    Limited data are available on the ectomycorrhizae-induced changes in surface structure and composition of soil colloids, the most active portion in soil matrix, although such data may benefit the understanding of mycorrhizal-aided soil improvements. By using ectomycorrhizae (Gomphidius viscidus) and soil colloids from dark brown forest soil (a good loam) and saline-alkali soil (heavily degraded soil), we tried to approach the changes here. For the good loam either from the surface or deep soils, the fungus treatment induced physical absorption of covering materials on colloid surface with nonsignificant increases in soil particle size (P > 0.05). These increased the amount of variable functional groups (O-H stretching and bending, C-H stretching, C=O stretching, etc.) by 3-26% and the crystallinity of variable soil minerals (kaolinite, hydromica, and quartz) by 40-300%. However, the fungus treatment of saline-alkali soil obviously differed from the dark brown forest soil. There were 12-35% decreases in most functional groups, 15-55% decreases in crystallinity of most soil minerals but general increases in their grain size, and significant increases in soil particle size (P element ratios (C:O, C:N, and C:Si) in soil colloids from saline-alkali soil, moving them close to those of the good loam of dark brown forest soil.

  9. Ectomycorrhizal Influence on Particle Size, Surface Structure, Mineral Crystallinity, Functional Groups, and Elemental Composition of Soil Colloids from Different Soil Origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanhong Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Limited data are available on the ectomycorrhizae-induced changes in surface structure and composition of soil colloids, the most active portion in soil matrix, although such data may benefit the understanding of mycorrhizal-aided soil improvements. By using ectomycorrhizae (Gomphidius viscidus and soil colloids from dark brown forest soil (a good loam and saline-alkali soil (heavily degraded soil, we tried to approach the changes here. For the good loam either from the surface or deep soils, the fungus treatment induced physical absorption of covering materials on colloid surface with nonsignificant increases in soil particle size (P>0.05. These increased the amount of variable functional groups (O–H stretching and bending, C–H stretching, C=O stretching, etc. by 3–26% and the crystallinity of variable soil minerals (kaolinite, hydromica, and quartz by 40–300%. However, the fungus treatment of saline-alkali soil obviously differed from the dark brown forest soil. There were 12–35% decreases in most functional groups, 15–55% decreases in crystallinity of most soil minerals but general increases in their grain size, and significant increases in soil particle size (P<0.05. These different responses sharply decreased element ratios (C : O, C : N, and C : Si in soil colloids from saline-alkali soil, moving them close to those of the good loam of dark brown forest soil.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Reaction Times to Consecutive Automation Failures: A Function of Working Memory and Sustained Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jipp, Meike

    2016-12-01

    This study explored whether working memory and sustained attention influence cognitive lock-up, which is a delay in the response to consecutive automation failures. Previous research has demonstrated that the information that automation provides about failures and the time pressure that is associated with a task influence cognitive lock-up. Previous research has also demonstrated considerable variability in cognitive lock-up between participants. This is why individual differences might influence cognitive lock-up. The present study tested whether working memory-including flexibility in executive functioning-and sustained attention might be crucial in this regard. Eighty-five participants were asked to monitor automated aircraft functions. The experimental manipulation consisted of whether or not an initial automation failure was followed by a consecutive failure. Reaction times to the failures were recorded. Participants' working-memory and sustained-attention abilities were assessed with standardized tests. As expected, participants' reactions to consecutive failures were slower than their reactions to initial failures. In addition, working-memory and sustained-attention abilities enhanced the speed with which participants reacted to failures, more so with regard to consecutive than to initial failures. The findings highlight that operators with better working memory and sustained attention have small advantages when initial failures occur, but their advantages increase across consecutive failures. The results stress the need to consider personnel selection strategies to mitigate cognitive lock-up in general and training procedures to enhance the performance of low ability operators. © 2016, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  12. Microbial Community and Functional Structure Significantly Varied among Distinct Types of Paddy Soils But Responded Differently along Gradients of Soil Depth Layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Ren; Wang, Jun-Tao; Deng, Ye; He, Ji-Zheng; Feng, Kai; Zhang, Li-Mei

    2017-01-01

    Paddy rice fields occupy broad agricultural area in China and cover diverse soil types. Microbial community in paddy soils is of great interest since many microorganisms are involved in soil functional processes. In the present study, Illumina Mi-Seq sequencing and functional gene array (GeoChip 4.2) techniques were combined to investigate soil microbial communities and functional gene patterns across the three soil types including an Inceptisol (Binhai), an Oxisol (Leizhou), and an Ultisol (Taoyuan) along four profile depths (up to 70 cm in depth) in mesocosm incubation columns. Detrended correspondence analysis revealed that distinctly differentiation in microbial community existed among soil types and profile depths, while the manifest variance in functional structure was only observed among soil types and two rice growth stages, but not across profile depths. Along the profile depth within each soil type, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Firmicutes increased whereas Cyanobacteria, β-proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia declined, suggesting their specific ecophysiological properties. Compared to bacterial community, the archaeal community showed a more contrasting pattern with the predominant groups within phyla Euryarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Crenarchaeota largely varying among soil types and depths. Phylogenetic molecular ecological network (pMEN) analysis further indicated that the pattern of bacterial and archaeal communities interactions changed with soil depth and the highest modularity of microbial community occurred in top soils, implying a relatively higher system resistance to environmental change compared to communities in deeper soil layers. Meanwhile, microbial communities had higher connectivity in deeper soils in comparison with upper soils, suggesting less microbial interaction in surface soils. Structure equation models were developed and the models indicated that pH was the most representative characteristics of soil type and identified as

  13. Microbial Community and Functional Structure Significantly Varied among Distinct Types of Paddy Soils But Responded Differently along Gradients of Soil Depth Layers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ren Bai

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Paddy rice fields occupy broad agricultural area in China and cover diverse soil types. Microbial community in paddy soils is of great interest since many microorganisms are involved in soil functional processes. In the present study, Illumina Mi-Seq sequencing and functional gene array (GeoChip 4.2 techniques were combined to investigate soil microbial communities and functional gene patterns across the three soil types including an Inceptisol (Binhai, an Oxisol (Leizhou, and an Ultisol (Taoyuan along four profile depths (up to 70 cm in depth in mesocosm incubation columns. Detrended correspondence analysis revealed that distinctly differentiation in microbial community existed among soil types and profile depths, while the manifest variance in functional structure was only observed among soil types and two rice growth stages, but not across profile depths. Along the profile depth within each soil type, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Firmicutes increased whereas Cyanobacteria, β-proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia declined, suggesting their specific ecophysiological properties. Compared to bacterial community, the archaeal community showed a more contrasting pattern with the predominant groups within phyla Euryarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Crenarchaeota largely varying among soil types and depths. Phylogenetic molecular ecological network (pMEN analysis further indicated that the pattern of bacterial and archaeal communities interactions changed with soil depth and the highest modularity of microbial community occurred in top soils, implying a relatively higher system resistance to environmental change compared to communities in deeper soil layers. Meanwhile, microbial communities had higher connectivity in deeper soils in comparison with upper soils, suggesting less microbial interaction in surface soils. Structure equation models were developed and the models indicated that pH was the most representative characteristics of soil type and

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Hydrologic-Process-Based Soil Texture Classifications for Improved Visualization of Landscape Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek G Groenendyk

    Full Text Available Soils lie at the interface between the atmosphere and the subsurface and are a key component that control ecosystem services, food production, and many other processes at the Earth's surface. There is a long-established convention for identifying and mapping soils by texture. These readily available, georeferenced soil maps and databases are used widely in environmental sciences. Here, we show that these traditional soil classifications can be inappropriate, contributing to bias and uncertainty in applications from slope stability to water resource management. We suggest a new approach to soil classification, with a detailed example from the science of hydrology. Hydrologic simulations based on common meteorological conditions were performed using HYDRUS-1D, spanning textures identified by the United States Department of Agriculture soil texture triangle. We consider these common conditions to be: drainage from saturation, infiltration onto a drained soil, and combined infiltration and drainage events. Using a k-means clustering algorithm, we created soil classifications based on the modeled hydrologic responses of these soils. The hydrologic-process-based classifications were compared to those based on soil texture and a single hydraulic property, Ks. Differences in classifications based on hydrologic response versus soil texture demonstrate that traditional soil texture classification is a poor predictor of hydrologic response. We then developed a QGIS plugin to construct soil maps combining a classification with georeferenced soil data from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The spatial patterns of hydrologic response were more immediately informative, much simpler, and less ambiguous, for use in applications ranging from trafficability to irrigation management to flood control. The ease with which hydrologic-process-based classifications can be made, along with the improved quantitative predictions of soil responses and visualization

  18. Hydrologic-Process-Based Soil Texture Classifications for Improved Visualization of Landscape Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groenendyk, Derek G; Ferré, Ty P A; Thorp, Kelly R; Rice, Amy K

    2015-01-01

    Soils lie at the interface between the atmosphere and the subsurface and are a key component that control ecosystem services, food production, and many other processes at the Earth's surface. There is a long-established convention for identifying and mapping soils by texture. These readily available, georeferenced soil maps and databases are used widely in environmental sciences. Here, we show that these traditional soil classifications can be inappropriate, contributing to bias and uncertainty in applications from slope stability to water resource management. We suggest a new approach to soil classification, with a detailed example from the science of hydrology. Hydrologic simulations based on common meteorological conditions were performed using HYDRUS-1D, spanning textures identified by the United States Department of Agriculture soil texture triangle. We consider these common conditions to be: drainage from saturation, infiltration onto a drained soil, and combined infiltration and drainage events. Using a k-means clustering algorithm, we created soil classifications based on the modeled hydrologic responses of these soils. The hydrologic-process-based classifications were compared to those based on soil texture and a single hydraulic property, Ks. Differences in classifications based on hydrologic response versus soil texture demonstrate that traditional soil texture classification is a poor predictor of hydrologic response. We then developed a QGIS plugin to construct soil maps combining a classification with georeferenced soil data from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The spatial patterns of hydrologic response were more immediately informative, much simpler, and less ambiguous, for use in applications ranging from trafficability to irrigation management to flood control. The ease with which hydrologic-process-based classifications can be made, along with the improved quantitative predictions of soil responses and visualization of landscape

  19. Soil biodiversity: functions, threats and tools for policy makers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Putten, van der W.H.; Mudgal, S.; Turbé, A.; Toni, de A.; Lavelle, P.; Benito, P.; Ruiz, N.

    2010-01-01

    Human societies rely on the vast diversity of benefits provided by nature, such as food, fibres, construction materials, clean water, clean air and climate regulation. All the elements required for these ecosystem services depend on soil, and soil biodiversity is the driving force behind their

  20. Trends in Taxonomic and Functional Composition of Soil Microbiome Along a Precipitation Gradient in Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Binu M; Moroenyane, Itumeleng; Sherman, Chen; Lee, Yoo Kyung; Adams, Jonathan M; Steinberger, Yosef

    2017-07-01

    The soil microbiome is important for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. However, the impacts of climate on taxonomic and functional diversity of soil microbiome are not well understood. A precipitation gradient along regional scale transects may offer a model setting for understanding the effect of climate on the composition and function of the soil microbiome. Here, we compared taxonomic and functional attributes of soil microorganisms in arid, semiarid, Mediterranean, and humid Mediterranean climatic conditions of Israel using shotgun metagenomic sequencing. We hypothesized that there would be a distinct taxonomic and functional soil community for each precipitation zone, with arid environments having lower taxonomic and functional diversity, greater relative abundance of stress response and sporulation-related genes, and lower relative abundance of genes related to nutrient cycling and degradation of complex organic compounds. As hypothesized, our results showed a distinct taxonomic and functional community in each precipitation zone, revealing differences in soil taxonomic and functional selection in the different climates. Although the taxonomic diversity remained similar across all sites, the functional diversity was-as hypothesized-lower in the arid environments, suggesting that functionality is more constrained in "extreme" environments. Also, with increasing aridity, we found a significant increase in genes related to dormancy/sporulation and a decrease in those related to nutrient cycling (genes related to nitrogen, potassium, and sulfur metabolism), respectively. However, relative abundance of genes related to stress response were lower in arid soils. Overall, these results indicate that climatic conditions play an important role in shaping taxonomic and functional attributes of soil microbiome. These findings have important implications for understanding the impacts of climate change (e.g., precipitation change) on structure and function of the

  1. Phosphorus content as a function of soil aggregate size and paddy cultivation in highly weathered soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Baozhen; Ge, Tida; Xiao, Heai; Zhu, Zhenke; Li, Yong; Shibistova, Olga; Liu, Shoulong; Wu, Jinshui; Inubushi, Kazuyuki; Guggenberger, Georg

    2016-04-01

    Red soils are the major land resource in subtropical and tropical areas and are characterized by low phosphorus (P) availability. To assess the availability of P for plants and the potential stability of P in soil, two pairs of subtropical red soil samples from a paddy field and an adjacent uncultivated upland were collected from Hunan Province, China. Analysis of total P and Olsen P and sequential extraction was used to determine the inorganic and organic P fractions in different aggregate size classes. Our results showed that the soil under paddy cultivation had lower proportions of small aggregates and higher proportions of large aggregates than those from the uncultivated upland soil. The portion of >2-mm-sized aggregates increased by 31 and 20 % at Taoyuan and Guiyang, respectively. The total P and Olsen P contents were 50-150 and 50-300 % higher, respectively, in the paddy soil than those in the upland soil. Higher inorganic and organic P fractions tended to be enriched in both the smallest and largest aggregate size classes compared to the middle size class (0.02-0.2 mm). Furthermore, the proportion of P fractions was higher in smaller aggregate sizes (2 mm). In conclusion, soils under paddy cultivation displayed improved soil aggregate structure, altered distribution patterns of P fractions in different aggregate size classes, and to some extent had enhanced labile P pools.

  2. Soil microbial activity in hydromorphic-subaqueous ecosystems: processes and functional biodiveristy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruxandra Papp

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The hydromorphic and subaqueous soils have largely been overlooked on their pedogenic concepts or in soil C accounting studies considering their phisico-chemical properties. Conversely, little attention has been paid to the microbial activity playing a key role in regulating the biogeochemical cycle of elements. The aim of the study was to evaluate biological properties such as enzyme activities and the functional diversity of soil microbial population as bio- indicators, sensitive to processes affected by the water shallow. Eight soil profiles were opened along two transects: 1 a-a’ North and 2 b-b' South, in a dune ecosystem of the Adriatic coast, Ravenna (Italy. The soil chemical and biochemical properties were determined. In particular, soil enzyme activities and soil induced respiration were measured using the microplates technique in order to assess the microbial functional diversity. The soil biochemical properties such as the potential enzyme activities and microbial induced respiration, as well as microbial functional diversity were sensitive indicators to study hydromorphic and subaqueous soils. A general reduction of hydrolytic enzyme activities was observed in subaqueous soil with respect to hydromorphic one. Moreover, the endopedon of subaqueous soils showed a lower microbial functional diversity than hydromorphic one. In this study the ratio of enzyme activities involved in C to S cycles (SEIC/Aryl as well as the C:S ratio showed a marked reduction in the subaqueous with respect to hydromorphic soils. In conclusion, in a coastal area the C and S biogeochemical cycles, in the hydromorphic and subaqueous soils, may depend on freshwater and saltwater interface equilibrium.

  3. Changes in Bacterial And Archaeal Community Structure And Functional Diversity Along a Geochemically Variable Soil Profile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansel, C.M.; Fendorf, S.; Jardine, P.M.; Francis, C.A.

    2009-05-18

    Spatial heterogeneity in physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils allows for the proliferation of diverse microbial communities. Factors influencing the structuring of microbial communities, including availability of nutrients and water, pH, and soil texture, can vary considerably with soil depth and within soil aggregates. Here we investigated changes in the microbial and functional communities within soil aggregates obtained along a soil profile spanning the surface, vadose zone, and saturated soil environments. The composition and diversity of microbial communities and specific functional groups involved in key pathways in the geochemical cycling of nitrogen, Fe, and sulfur were characterized using a coupled approach involving cultivation-independent analysis of both 16S rRNA (bacterial and archaeal) and functional genes (amoA and dsrAB) as well as cultivation-based analysis of Fe(III)-reducing organisms. Here we found that the microbial communities and putative ammonia-oxidizing and Fe(III)-reducing communities varied greatly along the soil profile, likely reflecting differences in carbon availability, water content, and pH. In particular, the Crenarchaeota 16S rRNA sequences are largely unique to each horizon, sharing a distribution and diversity similar to those of the putative (amoA-based) ammonia-oxidizing archaeal community. Anaerobic microenvironments within soil aggregates also appear to allow for both anaerobic- and aerobic-based metabolisms, further highlighting the complexity and spatial heterogeneity impacting microbial community structure and metabolic potential within soils.

  4. Functional soil microbiome: belowground solutions to an aboveground problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakshmanan, Venkatachalam; Selvaraj, Gopinath; Bais, Harsh P

    2014-10-01

    There is considerable evidence in the literature that beneficial rhizospheric microbes can alter plant morphology, enhance plant growth, and increase mineral content. Of late, there is a surge to understand the impact of the microbiome on plant health. Recent research shows the utilization of novel sequencing techniques to identify the microbiome in model systems such as Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and maize (Zea mays). However, it is not known how the community of microbes identified may play a role to improve plant health and fitness. There are very few detailed studies with isolated beneficial microbes showing the importance of the functional microbiome in plant fitness and disease protection. Some recent work on the cultivated microbiome in rice (Oryza sativa) shows that a wide diversity of bacterial species is associated with the roots of field-grown rice plants. However, the biological significance and potential effects of the microbiome on the host plants are completely unknown. Work performed with isolated strains showed various genetic pathways that are involved in the recognition of host-specific factors that play roles in beneficial host-microbe interactions. The composition of the microbiome in plants is dynamic and controlled by multiple factors. In the case of the rhizosphere, temperature, pH, and the presence of chemical signals from bacteria, plants, and nematodes all shape the environment and influence which organisms will flourish. This provides a basis for plants and their microbiomes to selectively associate with one another. This Update addresses the importance of the functional microbiome to identify phenotypes that may provide a sustainable and effective strategy to increase crop yield and food security. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Cross-biome metagenomic analyses of soil microbial communities and their functional attributes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierer, Noah; Leff, Jonathan W; Adams, Byron J; Nielsen, Uffe N; Bates, Scott Thomas; Lauber, Christian L; Owens, Sarah; Gilbert, Jack A; Wall, Diana H; Caporaso, J Gregory

    2012-12-26

    For centuries ecologists have studied how the diversity and functional traits of plant and animal communities vary across biomes. In contrast, we have only just begun exploring similar questions for soil microbial communities despite soil microbes being the dominant engines of biogeochemical cycles and a major pool of living biomass in terrestrial ecosystems. We used metagenomic sequencing to compare the composition and functional attributes of 16 soil microbial communities collected from cold deserts, hot deserts, forests, grasslands, and tundra. Those communities found in plant-free cold desert soils typically had the lowest levels of functional diversity (diversity of protein-coding gene categories) and the lowest levels of phylogenetic and taxonomic diversity. Across all soils, functional beta diversity was strongly correlated with taxonomic and phylogenetic beta diversity; the desert microbial communities were clearly distinct from the nondesert communities regardless of the metric used. The desert communities had higher relative abundances of genes associated with osmoregulation and dormancy, but lower relative abundances of genes associated with nutrient cycling and the catabolism of plant-derived organic compounds. Antibiotic resistance genes were consistently threefold less abundant in the desert soils than in the nondesert soils, suggesting that abiotic conditions, not competitive interactions, are more important in shaping the desert microbial communities. As the most comprehensive survey of soil taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity to date, this study demonstrates that metagenomic approaches can be used to build a predictive understanding of how microbial diversity and function vary across terrestrial biomes.

  7. Extracellular Enzyme Activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Winding, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular Enzyme Activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Anne Winding. Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark Soil enzymes originate from a variety of organisms, notably fungi and bacteria...... and especially hydrolytic extracellular enzymes are of pivotal importance for decomposition of organic substrates and biogeochemical cycling. Their activity reflects the functional diversity and activity of the microorganisms involved in decomposition processes which are essential processes for soil functioning......, experimental conditions of extraction of enzymes from soils, buffer and pH, substrate concentration, temperature and the necessary controls were optimized and standardized. This has resulted in an optimized standard operating procedure of EEA, which are being tested as an indicator of soil functional diversity...

  8. Do current European policies support soil multifunctionality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helming, Katharina; Glaesner, Nadia; de Vries, Wim

    2017-04-01

    Soils are multifunctional. Maximising one function, e.g. production of biomass, is often at the costs of the other functions, e.g. water purification, carbon sequestration, nutrient recycling, habitat provision. Sustainable soil management actually means the minimization of trade-offs between multiple soil functions. While Europe does not have a policy that explicitly focuses on soil functions, a number of policies exist in the agricultural, environmental and climate domains that may affect soil functions, in particular food production, water purification, climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to identify gaps and overlaps in existing EU legislation that is related to soil functions. We conducted a cross-policy analysis of 19 legislative policies at European level. Results revealed two key findings: (i) soil functions are addressed in existing legislation but with the approach to their conservation rather than their improvement. (ii) Different legislations addressed isolated soil functions but there is no policy in place that actually addressed the soil multifunctionality, which is the integrated balancing of the multitude of functions. Because soil degradation is ongoing in Europe, it raises the question whether existing legislation is sufficient for maintaining soil resources and achieving sustainable soil management. Addressing soil functions individually in various directives fails to account for the multifunctionality of soil. Here, research has a role to play to better reveal the interacting processes between soil functions and their sensitivity to soil management decisions and to translate such understanding into policy recommendation. We conclude the presentation with some insights into a research approach that integrates the soil systems into the socio-economic systems to improve the understanding of soil management pressures, soil functional reactions and their impacts on societal value systems, including

  9. 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.

  10. Depth function of manganese (Mn concentration in soil solutions: Hydropedological translocation of trace elements in stratified soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Reiss

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Periglacial cover beds are an important trigger of slope-water paths in sloped terrain of the mid-latitudes. Most hydropedological studies focus on the quantitative analysis about the interrelation between subsurface layering and runoff processes at the slope scale. In this research we emphasis on a qualitative environmental geochemical analysis of trace elements and dissolved organic carbon in a small forest hydrological study area in the central parts of the subdued mountains of Germany (Location: KrofdorferForst, +50° 41' 3.69", +8° 38' 38.87". The main objective is to assess the effect of lithological discontinuities of stratified soils within the depth functions of trace elements concentration in soil solutions (soil water and its dissolved and mobile fraction in a vertical distribution. Lorz (2008 show that depth functions of manganese (Mn are characterized by strong pedogenic dynamics, analysing a shortened sequential extraction of solid soil material. We investigated the hypothesis that lithological discontinuities act like aquicludes. Therefore we expect abrupt changes within the depth function of manganese as a result of such water-blocking effect (= geochemical barriers as a consequence of mobilization under wet soil conditions. In a preliminary case study we sampled soil solutions from three different plots within a 400m-toposequence. We use in situ trench installed suction lysimeters with ceramic tips (Irrometer Soil Solution Access Tube to extract soil water samples each 20 cm from top- (10 cm to subsoil (110 cm. For geochemical element analysis we use an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS. The results: A clear character of abrupt changes within the depth function could be illustrated for most of the plots. For example, at the upper slope plot a contrast of the depth function is from 1013 ppb mean concentration at 50 cm profile depth to 290 ppb mean concentration at 70 cm profile depth (17 month sampling period

  11. A Simple Beta-Function Model for Soil-Water Repellency as a Function of Water and Organic Carbon Contents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karunarathna, Anurudda Kumara; Kawamoto, Ken; Møldrup, Per

    2010-01-01

    (θ) is based on measurement of WR on air-dry soil and three additional model parameters: the water contents at which the maximum WR (highest α) occurs and where WR ceases (α = 90 degrees), and the maximum α value. The MED data for three data sets from literature comprising WR measurements across moisture......Soil-water content (θ) and soil organic carbon (SOC) are key factors controlling the occurrence and magnitude of soil-water repellency (WR). Although expressions have recently been proposed to describe the nonlinear variation of WR with θ, the inclusion of easily measurable parameters in predictive...... WR(θ) models is still lacking. In this study, a simple empirical beta function was suggested to describe the effect of changing soil-water content on the change of WR given as apparent contact angle (α) measured by the molarity of ethanol droplet (MED) method. The beta function for predicting α...

  12. The potential of cover crops for improving soil function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoate, Chris; Crotty, Felicity

    2017-04-01

    Cover crops can be grown over the autumn and winter ensuring green cover throughout the year. They have been described as improving soil structure, reducing soil erosion and potentially even a form of grass weed control. These crops retain nutrients within the plant, potentially making them available for future crops, as well as increasing soil organic matter. Over the last three years, we have investigated how different cover crop regimes affect soil quality. Three separate experiments over each autumn/winter period have investigated how different cover crops affect soil biology, physics and chemistry, with each experiment building on the previous one. There have been significant effects of cover crops on soil structure, as well as significantly lower weed biomass and increased yields in the following crop - in comparison to bare stubble. For example, the effect of drilling the cover crops on soil structure in comparison to a bare stubble control that had not been driven on by machinery was quantified, and over the winter period the soil structure of the cover crop treatments changed, with compaction reduced in the cover crop treatments, whilst the bare stubble control remained unchanged. Weeds were found in significantly lower biomass in the cover crop mixes in comparison to the bare stubble control, and significantly lower weed biomass continued to be found in the following spring oat crop where the cover crops had been, indicating a weed suppressive effect that has a continued legacy in the following crop. The following spring oats have shown similar results in the last two years, with higher yields in the previous cover crop areas compared to the bare stubble controls. Overall, these results are indicating that cover crops have the potential to provide improvements to soil quality, reduce weeds and improve yields. We discuss the economic implications.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. The Gompertz Function Can Coherently Describe Microbial Mineralization of Growth-Sustaining Pesticides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johnsen, Anders R.; Binning, Philip John; Aamand, Jens

    2013-01-01

    sets. In this study, we suggest using a two-parameter, sigmoid Gompertz function for parametrizing mineralization curves. The function was applied to a data set of 252 normalized mineralization curves that represented the potential for degradation of the herbicide MCPA in three horizons...... of an agricultural soil. The Gompertz function fitted most of the normalized curves, and trends in the data set could be visualized by a scatter plot of the two Gompertz parameters (rate constant and time delay). For agricultural topsoil, we also tested the effect of the MCPA concentration on the mineralization...

  20. 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.

  1. Functional biodiversity in soils. Development and applicability of an enzyme activity pattern measurement method

    OpenAIRE

    Vepsäläinen, Milja

    2012-01-01

    Soil microorganisms mediate central reactions of element cycles in a heterogenic environment characterized by discontinuity of energy, nutrients, and water together with sharp pH gradients. They are diverse in species, numerous in quantity and possess a multitude of functions. One gram of soil may contain 10x109 microbial cells; for comparison, the Earth has only 7x109 human inhabitants. Species richness, evenness and composition in soils is impossible to measure, and therefore a convenient m...

  2. Driving forces of soil bacterial community structure, diversity, and function in temperate grasslands and forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Kristin; Wemheuer, Bernd; Korolkow, Vera; Wemheuer, Franziska; Nacke, Heiko; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Daniel, Rolf

    2016-09-01

    Soil bacteria provide a large range of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. Despite their important role in soil systems, compositional and functional responses of bacterial communities to different land use and management regimes are not fully understood. Here, we assessed soil bacterial communities in 150 forest and 150 grassland soils derived from three German regions by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Land use type (forest and grassland) and soil edaphic properties strongly affected bacterial community structure and function, whereas management regime had a minor effect. In addition, a separation of soil bacterial communities by sampling region was encountered. Soil pH was the best predictor for bacterial community structure, diversity and function. The application of multinomial log-linear models revealed distinct responses of abundant bacterial groups towards pH. Predicted functional profiles revealed that differences in land use not only select for distinct bacterial populations but also for specific functional traits. The combination of 16S rRNA data and corresponding functional profiles provided comprehensive insights into compositional and functional adaptations to changing environmental conditions associated with differences in land use and management.

  3. Impact of seasonal variation on soil bacterial diversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoo, Adenike Eunice; Oluranti Babalola, Olubukola

    2017-04-01

    Soil biodiversity boosts the functioning of the ecosystem thereby contributing to the provision of various ecosystem services. Understanding the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and their reaction to environmental heterogeneity can maximize the contribution of soil microbes to ecosystem services. The diversity, abundance and function of microorganisms can be altered by seasonal variation. There is a dearth of information on how soil biodiversity respond to environmental changes. The impact of seasonal variation on bacterial communities and its effects on soil functioning in four South African forests was investigated. The samples were analysed for pH, moisture content, total carbon and nitrogen, soil nitrate and extractable phosphate. High-throughput sequencing and quantitative PCR were used to determine the diversity and abundance of bacteria. Community level physiological profiles (CLPPs) were measured using the MicroResp™ method. Enzyme activities were additionally used as proxy for ecosystem functions. The functional genes for nitrification and phosphate solubilisation were also measured. Seasonal variation has strong effects on bacterial communities and consequently soil processes. A reduction in biodiversity has direct results on soil ecosystem functioning.

  4. 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

  5. Land-use intensification can exaggerate the reduction of functionality with increasing soil biodiversity loss in an alpine meadow on eastern Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Manqiang; Chen, Xiaoyun; Chen, Chenying; Hu, Zhengkun; Guo, Hui; Li, Junyong; Du, Guozhen; Li, Huixin; Hu, Feng

    2017-04-01

    Soil biota plays a pivotal role in ecosystem functionality which is of central importance to sustainable services such as food and fiber production. Intensive land use is associated with species loss and subsequent the related functionality loss. Currently, the claim that negligible effects of soil biodiversity loss due to high functional redundancy has been questioned in the face of intense human activities. Recent studies corroborated that soil biodiversity guaranteed functionality following perturbation. Few studies have, however, attempted to explore the intensive land use on the relationship between soil biodiversity and function particularly for the region susceptible to human perturbation and climate change. With increasing demands for livestock on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, extensive fertilization is a common way to fill the gap of grass productivity in the alpine meadow. However, excess chemical fertilizer can lead to the species loss and functionality degradation. Do the fertilizer-induced changes in soil biota lead to a higher risk of functionality? We predicted that fertilization would exacerbate effects of biodiversity-loss on the reduction of functionality. Herein, a dilution-to-extinction approach was used to set up soil biodiversity loss by inoculating serially diluted soil suspension (ranging from 100 to 10-8 levels) from two long-term fertilization treatments to the sterilized soil that has never been fertilized. The two fertilization treatments represented two distinct intensification land use including the unfertilized control (NP0) and a fertilized treatment (NP120) amended with (NH4)2HPO4 annually (120 kg ha-1 yr-1) since 2002 in an alpine meadow on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Soil microcosms of 2 fertilization levels crossing 8 biodiversity levels were incubated for 8 months. Then, soil community and multi-functionality parameters including carbon (C)and nutrient mineralization, plant growth and functional stability were determined

  6. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Iain J; Quinton, John N; Weigelt, Alexandra; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical environment remains limited, despite the fundamental role soil physical structure plays in ensuring soil function and ecosystem service provision. Here, in both a glasshouse and a long-term field study, we show that high plant diversity in grassland systems increases soil aggregate stability, a vital structural property of soil, and that root traits play a major role in determining diversity effects. We also reveal that the presence of particular plant species within mixed communities affects an even wider range of soil physical processes, including hydrology and soil strength regimes. Our results indicate that alongside well-documented effects on ecosystem functioning, plant diversity and root traits also benefit essential soil physical properties. © 2016 The Authors Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Agricultural management impact on physical and chemical functions of European peat soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piayda, Arndt; Tiemeyer, Bärbel; Dettmann, Ullrich; Bechtold, Michel; Buschmann, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    Peat soils offer numerous functions from the global to the local scale: they constitute the biggest terrestrial carbon storage on the globe, form important nutrient filters for catchments and provide hydrological buffer capacities for local ecosystems. Peat soils represent a large share of soils suitable for agriculture in temperate and boreal Europe, pressurized by increasing demands for production. Cultivated peat soils, however, show extreme mineralization rates of the organic substance and turn into hotspots for green house gas emissions, are highly vulnerable to land surface subsidence, soil and water quality deterioration and thus crop failure. The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of past agricultural management on soil physical and chemical functions of peat soils in six European countries. We conducted standardized soil mapping, soil physical/chemical analysis, ground water table monitoring and farm business surveys across 7 to 10 sites in Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden. The results show a strong impact of past agricultural management on peat soil functions across Europe. Peat soil under intensive arable land use consistently offer lowest bearing capacities in the upper 10 cm compared to extensive and intensive grassland use, which is a major limiting factor for successful agricultural practice on peat soils. The difference can be explained by root mat stabilization solely, since soil compaction in the upper 25cm is highest under arable land use. A strong decrease of available water capacity and saturated hydraulic conductivity is consequently observed under arable land use, further intensifying hydrological problems like ponding, drought stress and reductions of hydrological buffer capacities frequently present on cultivated peat soils. Soil carbon stocks clearly decrease with increasing land use intensity, showing highest carbon stocks on extensive grassland. This is supported by the degree of decomposition, which

  8. Impact of Plant Functional Types on Coherence Between Precipitation and Soil Moisture: A Wavelet Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qi; Hao, Yonghong; Stebler, Elaine; Tanaka, Nobuaki; Zou, Chris B.

    2017-12-01

    Mapping the spatiotemporal patterns of soil moisture within heterogeneous landscapes is important for resource management and for the understanding of hydrological processes. A critical challenge in this mapping is comparing remotely sensed or in situ observations from areas with different vegetation cover but subject to the same precipitation regime. We address this challenge by wavelet analysis of multiyear observations of soil moisture profiles from adjacent areas with contrasting plant functional types (grassland, woodland, and encroached) and precipitation. The analysis reveals the differing soil moisture patterns and dynamics between plant functional types. The coherence at high-frequency periodicities between precipitation and soil moisture generally decreases with depth but this is much more pronounced under woodland compared to grassland. Wavelet analysis provides new insights on soil moisture dynamics across plant functional types and is useful for assessing differences and similarities in landscapes with heterogeneous vegetation cover.

  9. Linking hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in African papyrus wetlands using a Bayesian Network Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, A.; Gettel, G. M.; Kipkemboi, J.; Rahman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Papyrus wetlands in East Africa provide ecosystem services supporting the livelihoods of millions but are rapidly degrading due to economic development. For ecosystem conservation, an integrated understanding of the natural and social processes driving ecosystem change is needed. This research focuses on integrating the causal relationships between hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in Nyando wetland, western Kenya. Livelihood sustainability is based on ecosystem services that include plant and animal harvest for building material and food, conversion of wetlands to crop and grazing land, water supply, and water quality regulation. Specific objectives were: to integrate studies of hydrology, ecology, and livelihood activities using a Bayesian Network (BN) model and include stakeholder involvement in model development. The BN model (Netica 4.16) had 35 nodes with seven decision nodes describing demography, economy, papyrus market, and rainfall, and two target nodes describing ecosystem function (defined by groundwater recharge, nutrient and sediment retention, and biodiversity) and livelihood sustainability (drinking water supply, crop production, livestock production, and papyrus yield). The conditional probability tables were populated using results of ecohydrological and socio-economic field work and consultations with stakeholders. The model was evaluated for an average year with decision node probabilities set according to data from research, expert opinion, and stakeholders' views. Then, scenarios for dry and wet seasons and for economic development (low population growth and unemployment) and policy development (more awareness of wetland value) were evaluated. In an average year, the probability for maintaining a "good" level of sediment and nutrient retention functions, groundwater recharge, and biodiversity was about 60%. ("Good" is defined by expert opinion based on ongoing field research.) In the dry season, the probability was

  10. The Campbell Soil-Water Retention Function: Predictions Using Visible Near-Infrared Spectroscopy or Soil Fines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chrysodonta, Zampela Pittaki; Møldrup, Per; Hermansen, Cecilie

    The unsaturated hydraulic conductivity is one of the most uncertain soil properties while, at the same time, it is essential for modelling water and solute movement in the vadose zone. The Campbell soil-water retention function and its b parameter (pore-size distribution index) is a simple method......-infrared spectroscopy (vis-NIR) measurements will be highly useful. To enable this, we suggest to anchor the Campbell retention model not at water saturation but rather with a reference point at the volumetric water content at -1000 cm H2O of soil-water matric potential (pF 3). The soil-water content at the reference...... wavelengths to Campbell b and volumetric water content at pF 3. The volumetric water content at pF 3 and Campbell b could both be well predicted from soil fines content and vis-NIR measurements. The hereby predicted Campbell function anchored at pF 3 using both methods, compared closely with measured water...

  11. Sustaining the Productivity and Function of Intensively Managed Forests - Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burger, James A.; Xu, Yi-Jun

    2001-03-23

    The main goal of this study is to ensure sustainable management of wetland forests in the southeastern United States. The study is projected to measure soil, hydrology, and forest responses to several management scenarios across a complete forest cycle. From August 1997 to August 2000 the study has received funding as one of the Agenda 2020 projects, from the U.S. Department of Energy (Cooperative Agreement Number DE-FC07-97ID13551), the National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement, and Westvac Corporation. Quarterly progress reports were submitted regularly to the Department and all project participants. This final report summarizes the project results and progress achieved during this 3-year period. Over the past three years all research objectives planned for this project were completed.

  12. 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...

  13. Effects of global warming on Antarctic soil microorganisms and associated functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yergeau, E.

    2008-01-01

    Summary Soil microorganisms are involved in all the major global biogeochemical cycles, but consequences of ongoing climate changes on these organisms and associated functions are mostly unknown. Antarctic terrestrial habitats are ideal testing grounds for the impacts of perturbation on soil

  14. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gould, Iain J.; Quinton, John N.; Weigelt, Alexandra; Deyn, De Gerlinde B.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Seabloom, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical

  15. Combined effects of zinc and earthworm density on soil ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lahr, J.; Kools, S.A.E.; Hout, van der A.; Faber, J.H.

    2008-01-01

    In traditional environmental risk assessment for soils, interactions between biota, contaminants and soil functioning are seldom taken into account. Also, single species toxicity tests are conducted with a fixed number of test animals. The objective of this study was to investigate effects of zinc

  16. Soil microbial biomass and function are altered by 12 years of crop rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDaniel, Marshall D.; Grandy, A. Stuart

    2016-11-01

    Declines in plant diversity will likely reduce soil microbial biomass, alter microbial functions, and threaten the provisioning of soil ecosystem services. We examined whether increasing temporal plant biodiversity in agroecosystems (by rotating crops) can partially reverse these trends and enhance soil microbial biomass and function. We quantified seasonal patterns in soil microbial biomass, respiration rates, extracellular enzyme activity, and catabolic potential three times over one growing season in a 12-year crop rotation study at the W. K. Kellogg Biological Station LTER. Rotation treatments varied from one to five crops in a 3-year rotation cycle, but all soils were sampled under a corn year. We hypothesized that crop diversity would increase microbial biomass, activity, and catabolic evenness (a measure of functional diversity). Inorganic N, the stoichiometry of microbial biomass and dissolved organic C and N varied seasonally, likely reflecting fluctuations in soil resources during the growing season. Soils from biodiverse cropping systems increased microbial biomass C by 28-112 % and N by 18-58 % compared to low-diversity systems. Rotations increased potential C mineralization by as much as 53 %, and potential N mineralization by 72 %, and both were related to substantially higher hydrolase and lower oxidase enzyme activities. The catabolic potential of the soil microbial community showed no, or slightly lower, catabolic evenness in more diverse rotations. However, the catabolic potential indicated that soil microbial communities were functionally distinct, and microbes from monoculture corn preferentially used simple substrates like carboxylic acids, relative to more diverse cropping systems. By isolating plant biodiversity from differences in fertilization and tillage, our study illustrates that crop biodiversity has overarching effects on soil microbial biomass and function that last throughout the growing season. In simplified agricultural systems

  17. Afforestation alters the composition of functional genes in soil and biogeochemical processes in South American grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berthrong, Sean T [ORNL; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL; Pineiro, Gervasio [Duke University; Jackson, Robert B [Duke University

    2009-01-01

    Soil microbes are highly diverse and control most soil biogeochemical reactions. We examined how microbial functional genes and biogeochemical pools responded to the altered chemical inputs accompanying land use change. We examined paired native grasslands and adjacent Eucalyptus plantations (previously grassland) in Uruguay, a region that lacked forests before European settlement. Along with measurements of soil carbon, nitrogen, and bacterial diversity, we analyzed functional genes using the GeoChip 2.0 microarray, which simultaneously quantified several thousand genes involved in soil carbon and nitrogen cycling. Plantations and grassland differed significantly in functional gene profiles, bacterial diversity, and biogeochemical pool sizes. Most grassland profiles were similar, but plantation profiles generally differed from those of grasslands due to differences in functional gene abundance across diverse taxa. Eucalypts decreased ammonification and N fixation functional genes by 11% and 7.9% (P < 0.01), which correlated with decreased microbial biomass N and more NH{sub 4}{sup +} in plantation soils. Chitinase abundance decreased 7.8% in plantations compared to levels in grassland (P = 0.017), and C polymer-degrading genes decreased by 1.5% overall (P < 0.05), which likely contributed to 54% (P < 0.05) more C in undecomposed extractable soil pools and 27% less microbial C (P < 0.01) in plantation soils. In general, afforestation altered the abundance of many microbial functional genes, corresponding with changes in soil biogeochemistry, in part through altered abundance of overall functional gene types rather than simply through changes in specific taxa. Such changes in microbial functional genes correspond with altered C and N storage and have implications for long-term productivity in these soils.

  18. Revealing Soil Structure and Functional Macroporosity along a Clay Gradient Using X-ray Computed Tomography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Møldrup, Per; Arthur, Emmanuel

    2013-01-01

    The influence of clay content in soil-pore structure development and the relative importance of macroporosity in governing convective fluid flow are two key challenges toward better understanding and quantifying soil ecosystem functions. In this study, soil physical measurements (soil...... in decreasing order, whereas only interaggregate pores were observed at L4 to L6. Macroporosity inferred from x-ray CT to quantify pores >1 mm decreased from 2.9 to 0.1% from L1 to L6. A progressive improvement was observed in the linear relationship (R2 increasing 0.50–0.95) of air permeability with total air...

  19. Evaluation and Control of Soil Degradation in Russia on the Basis of the Assessment of Soil Ecological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakovlev, Aleksandr

    2016-04-01

    Sustainable development of the territory is possible only under certain environmental requirements. These requirements are based on the implementation of the concept, conventionally called "zero land degradation", which cannot be reached in the process of real land use. "Zero degradation" is the establishment of acceptable ecological state of the environment and permissible anthropogenic impact on it, wherein self-healing of nature quality is possible and there is no accumulation of irreversible environmental damage. The values of parameters that characterize the relationship between the ecological state of the environment, in particular, land degradation, and the socio-economic development of the Russian Federation are represented in the materials of recent issues of the Russian State environmental report (2012 - 2014). Environmental problems in Russia are actively discussed in relation to issues of environmental and socio-economic development of the neighboring countries of the Eurasian region. So the Law "On Soil Protection", which was developed and adopted by the Union: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, is dedicated to the protection of soil and soil degradation control. Ecological Doctrine of Russia (2012) and the State Environmental Program (2012-2020) identify the main strategic steps to combat land degradation in our country. In the first place, it has been tasked to identify and eliminate past environmental damage followed by the organization of nature "from scratch", in accordance with environmental regulations. Currently the Ministry of natural resources of Russia started implementation of the Federal program on environmental-economic assessment and the elimination of past environmental damage. The main steps of this program are: the works related to the inventory of degraded and contaminated lands and their subsequent reclamation and return to the appropriate land use system. The territory must comply with officially approved environmental requirements. The

  20. Impacts of aquaculture wastewater irrigation on soil microbial functional diversity and community structure in arid regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lijuan; Feng, Qi; Li, Changsheng; Wei, Yongping; Zhao, Yan; Feng, Yongjiu; Zheng, Hang; Li, Fengrui; Li, Huiya

    2017-09-11

    Aquaculture wastewater is one of the most important alternative water resources in arid regions where scarcity of fresh water is common. Irrigation with this kind of water may affect soil microbial functional diversity and community structure as changes of soil environment would be significant. Here, we conducted a field sampling to investigate these effects using Biolog and metagenomic methods. The results demonstrated that irrigation with aquaculture wastewater could dramatically reduce soil microbial functional diversity. The values of diversity indices and sole carbon source utilization were all significantly decreased. Increased soil salinity, especially Cl concentration, appeared primarily associated with the decreases. Differently, higher bacterial community diversity was obtained in aquaculture wastewater irrigated soils. More abundant phyla Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and fewer members of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Planctomycetes were found in this kind of soils. Changes in the concentration of soil Cl mainly accounted for the shifts of bacterial community composition. This research can improve our understanding of how aquaculture wastewater irrigation changes soil microbial process and as a result, be useful to manage soil and wastewater resources in arid regions.

  1. 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…

  2. Assessment of soil microbial diversity with functional multi-endpoint methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Creamer, R. E.; Rutgers, M.

    on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development of MicroResp™ and Community Level Physiological Profile (CLPP) with Biolog™ plates, and soil enzymatic activity assayed by Extracellular Enzyme Activity (EEA) based on MUF......Soil microbial diversity provides the cornerstone for support of soil ecosystem services by key roles in soil organic matter turnover, carbon sequestration and water infiltration. However, standardized methods to quantify the multitude of microbial functions in soils are lacking. Methods based...... to the lack of principle methods, the data obtained from these substitute methods are currently not used in classification and assessment schemes, making quantification of natural capital and ecosystems services of the soil a difficult venture. In this contribution, we compare and contrast the three...

  3. Comparison Of Selected Pedotransfer Functions For The Determination Of Soil Water Retention Curves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kupec Michal

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Soil water retention curves were measured using a sandbox and the pressure plate extractor method on undisturbed soil samples from the Borská Lowland. The basic soil properties (e.g. soil texture, dry bulk density of the samples were determined. The soil water retention curve was described using the van Genuchten model (Van Genuchten, 1980. The parameters of the model were obtained using the RETC program (Van Genuchten et al., 1991. For the determination of the soil water retention curve parameters, two pedotransfer functions (PTF were also used that were derived for this area by Skalová (2003 and the Rosetta computer program (Schaap et al., 2001. The performance of the PTFs was characterized using the mean difference and root mean square error.

  4. Interaction of 8-hydroxyquinoline with soil environment mediates its ecological function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inderjit

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Allelopathic functions of plant-released chemicals are often studied through growth bioassays assuming that these chemicals will directly impact plant growth. This overlooks the role of soil factors in mediating allelopathic activities of chemicals, particularly non-volatiles. Here we examined the allelopathic potential of 8-hydroxyquinoline (HQ, a chemical reported to be exuded from the roots of Centaurea diffusa. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Growth bioassays and HQ recovery experiments were performed in HQ-treated soils (non-sterile, sterile, organic matter-enriched and glucose-amended and untreated control soil. Root growth of either Brassica campestris or Phalaris minor was not affected in HQ-treated non-sterile soil. Soil modifications (organic matter and glucose amendments could not enhance the recovery of HQ in soil, which further supports the observation that HQ is not likely to be an allelopathic compound. Hydroxyquinoline-treated soil had lower values for the CO(2 release compared to untreated non-sterile soil. Soil sterilization significantly influenced the organic matter content, PO(4-P and total organic nitrogen levels. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Here, we concluded that evaluation of the effect of a chemical on plant growth is not enough in evaluating the ecological role of a chemical in plant-plant interactions. Interaction of the chemical with soil factors largely determines the impact of HQ on plant growth.

  5. [Distribution and environmental function of glomalin-related soil protein: A review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jian; Zhou, Zi-yan; Ling, Wan-ting

    2016-02-01

    Glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP), a glycoprotein secreted by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), is abundant in soil. GRSP can be fractionated into total glomalin-related soil protein (TG), easily extracted glomalin-related soil protein (EEG), immunoreactive total glomalin (IRTG) and immunoreactive easily extracted glomalin (IREEG). The content of GRSP in soil differed with different soil use type, fertilization condition, AMF and host plant species, and environmental conditions. GRSP significantly positively correlates to the aggregate water stability. GRSP may reduce the release of CO2 in agro-ecosystem, benefit the soil carbon fixation, and reduce the bioavailability and plant toxicity of heavy metals in soil. The extraction and characterization of GRSP are of great importance to understanding the basic behaviors of GRSP in soil environments. Further studies are needed to clarify the molecular biology function of GRSP in agro-ecosystem based on the knowledge of proteins and related genes, and impacts of GRSP on the environmental behavior of organic pollutants in soil.

  6. Sustained Implementation Support Scale: Validation of a Measure of Program Characteristics and Workplace Functioning for Sustained Program Implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodge, Lauren M; Turner, Karen M T; Sanders, Matthew R; Filus, Ania

    2017-07-01

    An evaluation measure of enablers and inhibitors to sustained evidence-based program (EBP) implementation may provide a useful tool to enhance organizations' capacity. This paper outlines preliminary validation of such a measure. An expert informant and consumer feedback approach was used to tailor constructs from two existing measures assessing key domains associated with sustained implementation. Validity and reliability were evaluated for an inventory composed of five subscales: Program benefits, Program burden, Workplace support, Workplace cohesion, and Leadership style. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis with a sample of 593 Triple P-Positive Parenting Program-practitioners led to a 28-item scale with good reliability and good convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity. Practitioners sustaining implementation at least 3 years post-training were more likely to have supervision/peer support, reported higher levels of program benefit, workplace support, and positive leadership style, and lower program burden compared to practitioners who were non-sustainers.

  7. Genetic and functional diversity of ubiquitous DNA viruses in selected Chinese agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Li-Li; Yu, Dan-Ting; Zhang, Li-Mei; Shen, Ju-Pei; He, Ji-Zheng

    2017-03-01

    Viral community structures in complex agricultural soils are largely unknown. Electron microscopy and viromic analyses were conducted on six typical Chinese agricultural soil samples. Tailed bacteriophages, spherical and filamentous viral particles were identified by the morphological analysis. Based on the metagenomic analysis, single-stranded DNA viruses represented the largest viral component in most of the soil habitats, while the double-stranded DNA viruses belonging to the Caudovirales order were predominanted in Jiangxi-maize soils. The majority of functional genes belonged to the subsystem “phages, prophages, transposable elements, and plasmids”. Non-metric multidimensional analysis of viral community showed that the environment medium type was the most important driving factor for the viral community structure. For the major viral groups detected in all samples (Microviridae and Caudovirales), the two groups gathered viruses from different sites and similar genetic composition, indicating that viral diversity was high on a local point but relatively limited on a global scale. This is a novel report of viral diversity in Chinese agricultural soils, and the abundance, taxonomic, and functional diversity of viruses that were observed in different types of soils will aid future soil virome studies and enhance our understanding of the ecological functions of soil viruses.

  8. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-06

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  9. A community trait-based approach to ecosystem functioning in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sechi, Valentina; Goede, De Ron G.M.; Rutgers, Michiel; Brussaard, Lijbert; Mulder, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Functional traits capture characteristics of organisms that determine their individual response to environmental pressures, providing a mechanistic understanding of habitat responses and the effects on ecological processes. Trait-based approaches have already been reported for separate soil groups

  10. The gompertz function can coherently describe microbial mineralization of growth-sustaining pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsen, Anders R; Binning, Philip J; Aamand, Jens; Badawi, Nora; Rosenbom, Annette E

    2013-08-06

    Mineralization of (14)C-labeled tracers is a common way of studying the environmental fate of xenobiotics, but it can be difficult to extract relevant kinetic parameters from such experiments since complex kinetic functions or several kinetic functions may be needed to adequately describe large data sets. In this study, we suggest using a two-parameter, sigmoid Gompertz function for parametrizing mineralization curves. The function was applied to a data set of 252 normalized mineralization curves that represented the potential for degradation of the herbicide MCPA in three horizons of an agricultural soil. The Gompertz function fitted most of the normalized curves, and trends in the data set could be visualized by a scatter plot of the two Gompertz parameters (rate constant and time delay). For agricultural topsoil, we also tested the effect of the MCPA concentration on the mineralization kinetics. Reduced initial concentrations lead to shortened lag-phases, probably due to reduced need for bacterial growth. The effect of substrate concentration could be predicted by simply changing the time delay of the Gompertz curves. This delay could to some extent also simulate concentration effects for 2,4-D mineralization in agricultural soil and aquifer sediment and 2,6-dichlorobenzamide mineralization in single-species, mineral medium.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Impact of rhizobial inoculation on Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. growth in greenhouse and soil functioning in relation to seed provenance and soil origin

    OpenAIRE

    Bakhoum, N.; Ndoye, F.; Kane, A.; Assigbetse, Komi; Fall, D.; Sylla, S. N.; Noba, K.; Diouf, D.

    2012-01-01

    Rhizobial inoculation has a positive impact on plants growth; however, there is little information about its effect on soil microbial communities and their activity in the rhizosphere. It was therefore necessary to test the effect of inoculation of Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. seedlings with selected rhizobia on plant growth, structure and diversity of soil bacterial communities and soil functioning in relation to plant provenance and soil origin. In order to carry out this experiment, three A....

  14. Differences in the Activities of Eight Enzymes from Ten Soil Fungi and Their Possible Influences on the Surface Structure, Functional Groups, and Element Composition of Soil Colloids

    OpenAIRE

    Wenjie Wang; Yanhong Li; Huimei Wang; Yuangang Zu

    2014-01-01

    How soil fungi function in soil carbon and nutrient cycling is not well understood by using fungal enzymatic differences and their interactions with soil colloids. Eight extracellular enzymes, EEAs (chitinase, carboxymethyl cellulase, β-glucosidase, protease, acid phosphatase, polyphenol oxidase, laccase, and guaiacol oxidase) secreted by ten fungi were compared, and then the fungi that showed low and high enzymatic activity were co-cultured with soil colloids for the purpose of finding fungi...

  15. Description and Reconstruction of Soil Structure Using Correlation Functions: Morphological and Pore-Scale Modeling Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karsanina, M.; Gerke, K.; Vasilyev, R.; Skvortsova, E. B.; Korost, D. V.; Mallants, D.

    2013-12-01

    It is now well-established that structure of porous or composite media (i.e., distribution of different materials or phases) defines all physical properties, including multi-phase flow and solute transport. To characterize soil structure conventional soil science uses such metrics as grain size distribution, morphology or numerous classifications. However, all these descriptors provide only limited and often qualitative information about structural properties, cannot be used to reconstruct real structure or predict physical properties. With the progress of modern non-destructive analysis tools we can obtain detailed 3D structure information and use it for calculation of any physical property. Such 3D data is a valuable verification dataset to check the usefulness of soil structure description using stochastic measures such as correlation functions. Any potential soil structure descriptor should possess two main features: 1) represent structure in some mathematical way, 2) reconstruction based on this mathematical function alone should be statistically equal to the original structure (e.g., have similar pore size distributions, physical properties, etc.). To check the applicability to soil science, we choose different 2D and 3D segmented soil images and calculated their correlation function. The modified Yeong-Torquato procedure was then used to reconstruct images based on calculated correlation functions. This method was applied to three different soil datasets: 1) a set of 2D thin-sections, 2) 3D images of soils with known hydraulic properties (Ksat and WRC), 3) 3D images of soils and aggregates from the same soil profile, but different genetic horizons. In the first case, we use conventional morphological descriptors in 2D original and reconstructed images (pore size, shapes and orientations) to quantify reconstructions quality. In the second case, we use pore-network models extracted from original and reconstructed 3D images to calculate Ksat, WRC and relative

  16. Dynamics of Panax ginseng Rhizospheric Soil Microbial Community and Their Metabolic Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The bacterial communities of 1- to 6-year ginseng rhizosphere soils were characterized by culture-independent approaches, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD, and amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA. Culture-dependent method (Biolog was used to investigate the metabolic function variance of microbe living in rhizosphere soil. Results showed that significant genetic and metabolic function variance were detected among soils, and, with the increasing of cultivating years, genetic diversity of bacterial communities in ginseng rhizosphere soil tended to be decreased. Also we found that Verrucomicrobia, Acidobacteria, and Proteobacteria were the dominants in rhizosphere soils, but, with the increasing of cultivating years, plant disease prevention or plant growth promoting bacteria, such as Pseudomonas, Burkholderia, and Bacillus, tended to be rare.

  17. Relating microbial community structure to functioning in forest soil organic carbon transformation and turnover

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Yeming; Wang, Juan; Huang, Xueman; Tang, Zuoxin; Liu, Shirong; Sun, Osbert J

    2014-01-01

    Forest soils store vast amounts of terrestrial carbon, but we are still limited in mechanistic understanding on how soil organic carbon (SOC) stabilization or turnover is controlled by biotic and abiotic factors in forest ecosystems. We used phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) as biomarker to study soil microbial community structure and measured activities of five extracellular enzymes involved in the degradation of cellulose (i.e., β-1,4-glucosidase and cellobiohydrolase), chitin (i.e., β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase), and lignin (i.e., phenol oxidase and peroxidase) as indicators of soil microbial functioning in carbon transformation or turnover across varying biotic and abiotic conditions in a typical temperate forest ecosystem in central China. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was performed to determine the interrelationship between individual PFLAs and biotic and abiotic site factors as well as the linkage between soil microbial structure and function. Path analysis was further conducted to examine the controls of site factors on soil microbial community structure and the regulatory pathway of changes in SOC relating to microbial community structure and function. We found that soil microbial community structure is strongly influenced by water, temperature, SOC, fine root mass, clay content, and C/N ratio in soils and that the relative abundance of Gram-negative bacteria, saprophytic fungi, and actinomycetes explained most of the variations in the specific activities of soil enzymes involved in SOC transformation or turnover. The abundance of soil bacterial communities is strongly linked with the extracellular enzymes involved in carbon transformation, whereas the abundance of saprophytic fungi is associated with activities of extracellular enzymes driving carbon oxidation. Findings in this study demonstrate the complex interactions and linkage among plant traits, microenvironment, and soil physiochemical properties in affecting SOC via microbial regulations. PMID

  18. Impact of drying-rewetting events on the response of soil microbial functions to dairyfibre and Miscanthus biochars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnett, Sam; Vink, Stefanie; Baker, Kate; Saghir, Muhammad; Hornung, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Biochar application has been shown to positively affect soil microbial functions such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing water/nutrient availability and increasing crop yields in tropical regions (Lehmann & Joseph, 2009). Understanding the dynamics of biochar application to soil microbial processes is critical for ensuring that soil quality, integrity and sustainability of the soil sub-system are maintained for crop growth. The aim of this British Ecological Society (BES) funded study was to examine the effect of two types of biochar on soil physicochemistry, GHG production, soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass in typical agricultural soil types and whether the effects were altered by drying, rewetting and flooding events. Miscanthus and dairyfibre (a mixture of straw and manure) feedstocks from Harper Adams University were pyrolyzed by Aston University at 450 °C using 100 kg/hr pyroformer technology. Two sieved soil types (sandy loam and clay loam) were mixed with dry biochar to produce 2 and 10 % w/w treatments for comparison with controls and maintained at 15 °C in temperature controlled incubators. At 0, 22, 44, 80, 101, and 114 days, soil was collected for determination of heterotrophic respiration, and microbial biomass by substrate-induced respiration (SIR), by gas headspace incubation and analysis of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) by gas chromatography. Soil was sampled for the determination of water-extractable carbon, pH, and extracellular enzyme activities. Soil samples were maintained at field gravimetric water content between 0 and 44 days; air dried between 44 and 80 days; rewetted between 80 and 101 days; and flooded between 101 to 114 days. Results showed that the impact of biochar on soil microbial processes was dependent on biochar type and soil type, the level of biochar application and changes in soil moisture. Biochar affected soil pH particularly within the dairyfibre treatments, potentially due to the

  19. Impact of rhizobial inoculation on Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. growth in greenhouse and soil functioning in relation to seed provenance and soil origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakhoum, Niokhor; Ndoye, Fatou; Kane, Aboubacry; Assigbetse, Komi; Fall, Dioumacor; Sylla, Samba Ndao; Noba, Kandioura; Diouf, Diégane

    2012-07-01

    Rhizobial inoculation has a positive impact on plants growth; however, there is little information about its effect on soil microbial communities and their activity in the rhizosphere. It was therefore necessary to test the effect of inoculation of Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. seedlings with selected rhizobia on plant growth, structure and diversity of soil bacterial communities and soil functioning in relation to plant provenance and soil origin. In order to carry out this experiment, three A. senegal seeds provenance from Kenya, Niger, and Senegal were inoculated with selected rhizobial strains. They have been further grown during 4 months in greenhouse conditions in two non-disinfected soils, Dahra and Goudiry coming respectively from arid and semi-arid areas. The principal component analysis (ACP) showed an inoculation effect on plant growth, rhizospheric bacterial diversity and soil functioning. However, the performances of the rhizobial strains varied in relation to the seed provenance and the soil origin. The selected rhizobial strains, the A. senegal provenance and the soil origin have modified the structure and the diversity of soil bacterial communities as measured by principal component analysis/denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses. It is interesting to note that bacterial communities of Dahra soil were highly structured according to A. senegal provenance, whereas they were structured in relation to rhizobial inoculation in Goudiry soil. Besides, the impact of inoculation on soil microbial activities measured by fluorescein diacetate analyses varied in relation to plant provenance and soil origin. Nevertheless, total microbial activity was about two times higher in Goudiry, arid soil than in Dahra, semi-arid soil. Our results suggest that the rhizobial inoculation is a suitable tool for improving plants growth and soil fertility. Yet, the impact is dependent on inoculants, plant provenance and soil origin. It will, therefore, be crucial to

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Reduced functional connectivity of fronto-parietal sustained attention networks in severe childhood abuse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heledd Hart

    Full Text Available Childhood maltreatment is associated with attention deficits. We examined the effect of childhood abuse and abuse-by-gene (5-HTTLPR, MAOA, FKBP5 interaction on functional brain connectivity during sustained attention in medication/drug-free adolescents. Functional connectivity was compared, using generalised psychophysiological interaction (gPPI analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data, between 21 age-and gender-matched adolescents exposed to severe childhood abuse and 27 healthy controls, while they performed a parametrically modulated vigilance task requiring target detection with a progressively increasing load of sustained attention. Behaviourally, participants exposed to childhood abuse had increased omission errors compared to healthy controls. During the most challenging attention condition abused participants relative to controls exhibited reduced connectivity, with a left-hemispheric bias, in typical fronto-parietal attention networks, including dorsolateral, rostromedial and inferior prefrontal and inferior parietal regions. Abuse-related connectivity abnormalities were exacerbated in individuals homozygous for the risky C-allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs3800373 of the FK506 Binding Protein 5 (FKBP5 gene. Findings suggest that childhood abuse is associated with decreased functional connectivity in fronto-parietal attention networks and that the FKBP5 genotype moderates neurobiological vulnerability to abuse. These findings represent a first step towards the delineation of abuse-related neurofunctional connectivity abnormalities, which hopefully will facilitate the development of specific treatment strategies for victims of childhood maltreatment.

  5. Soil! Get the Scoop - The Soil Science Society of America's International Year of Soils Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindbo, David L.; Hopmans, Jan; Olson, Carolyn; Fisk, Susan; Chapman, Susan; van Es, Harold

    2015-04-01

    Soils are a finite natural resource and are nonrenewable on a human time scale. Soils are the foundation for food, animal feed, fuel and natural fiber production, the supply of clean water, nutrient cycling and a range of ecosystem functions. The area of fertile soils covering the world's surface is limited and increasingly subject to degradation, poor management and loss to urbanization. Increased awareness of the life-supporting functions of soil is called for if this trend is to be reversed and so enable the levels of food production necessary to meet the demands of population levels predicted for 2050. The Soil Science Society of America is coordinating with the Global Soil Partnership and other organizations around the world to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Soils and raise awareness and promote the sustainability of our limited soil resources. We all have a valuable role in communicating vital information on soils, a life sustaining natural resource. Therefore, we will provide resources to learn about soils and help us tell the story of soils. We will promote IYS on social media by sharing our posts from Facebook and Twitter. Additionally SSSA developed 12 monthly themes that reflect the diverse value of soils to our natural environment and society. Each month has information on the theme, a lesson plan, and other outreach activities. All information is available on a dedicated website www.soil.org/IYS. The site will be updated constantly throughout the year.

  6. Soil microbial community profiles and functional diversity in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Dzantor, E. Kudjo; Momen, Bahram

    2016-01-01

    Rock outcrop ecosystems, such as limestone cedar glades (LCGs), are known for their rare and endemic plant species adapted to high levels of abiotic stress. Soils in LCGs are thin (functional diversity were characterized in LCGs using community level physiological profiling (CLPP) and plate-dilution frequency assays (PDFA). Most-probable number (MPN) estimates and microbial substrate-utilization diversity (H) were positively related to soil thickness, soil organic matter (OM), soil water content, and vegetation density, and were diminished in alkaline soil relative to circumneutral soil. Soil nitrate showed no relationship to SMCs, suggesting lack of N-limitation. Canonical correlation analysis indicated strong correlations between microbial CLPP patterns and several physical and chemical properties of soil, primarily temperature at the ground surface and at 4-cm depth, and secondarily soil-water content, enabling differentiation by season. Thus, it was demonstrated that several well-described abiotic determinants of plant community structure in this ecosystem are also reflected in SMC profiles.

  7. Assessment of changes of some functions of Ukrainian acid soils after chemical amelioration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zapko Yurij

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the article was to determine the effectiveness of lime of different origin for chemical amelioration of soils and examine its impact on soil functions such as productivity, habitat, regulation of water quality, and the protective buffer biogeocenotic screen. Limy ameliorants were applied in small local field experiment on Luvic Chernozem, and experiment with lysimeter columns was carried out on Albic Luvisol. The number of the main groups of microflora and enzymatic activity of soil was determined in soil samples taken for the analysis from the root zone. Research concerning the influence of natural and industrial origin ameliorants on soil as habitat showed the correlation of sugar beets productivity with soil biogenic. The increase of biomultiplicity of soil microbiota after addition of a cement dust and negative influence of red sludge on soil as habitat for living organisms was observed. Research involving the influence of ameliorants on soil by lime as the protective buffer biogeocenotic screen was carried out using lysimeter columns. It was stated that the addition of limy ameliorants reduces mobility of heavy metals.

  8. Representing life in the Earth system with soil microbial functional traits in the MIMICS model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieder, W. R.; Grandy, A. S.; Kallenbach, C. M.; Taylor, P. G.; Bonan, G. B.

    2015-06-01

    Projecting biogeochemical responses to global environmental change requires multi-scaled perspectives that consider organismal diversity, ecosystem processes, and global fluxes. However, microbes, the drivers of soil organic matter decomposition and stabilization, remain notably absent from models used to project carbon (C) cycle-climate feedbacks. We used a microbial trait-based soil C model with two physiologically distinct microbial communities, and evaluate how this model represents soil C storage and response to perturbations. Drawing from the application of functional traits used to model other ecosystems, we incorporate copiotrophic and oligotrophic microbial functional groups in the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization (MIMICS) model; these functional groups are akin to "gleaner" vs. "opportunist" plankton in the ocean, or r- vs. K-strategists in plant and animal communities. Here we compare MIMICS to a conventional soil C model, DAYCENT (the daily time-step version of the CENTURY model), in cross-site comparisons of nitrogen (N) enrichment effects on soil C dynamics. MIMICS more accurately simulates C responses to N enrichment; moreover, it raises important hypotheses involving the roles of substrate availability, community-level enzyme induction, and microbial physiological responses in explaining various soil biogeochemical responses to N enrichment. In global-scale analyses, we show that MIMICS projects much slower rates of soil C accumulation than a conventional soil biogeochemistry in response to increasing C inputs with elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) - a finding that would reduce the size of the land C sink estimated by the Earth system. Our findings illustrate that tradeoffs between theory and utility can be overcome to develop soil biogeochemistry models that evaluate and advance our theoretical understanding of microbial dynamics and soil biogeochemical responses to environmental change.

  9. Functional diversification within bacterial lineages promotes wide functional overlapping between taxonomic groups in a Mediterranean forest soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curiel Yuste, Jorge; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Antonio José; Fernandez-Lopez, Manuel; Ogaya, Romá; Penuelas, Josep; Lloret, Francisco

    2014-10-01

    We investigated the relationship between taxonomy and functioning of soil bacterial communities in soils from a Mediterranean holm oak forest using a high-throughput DNA pyrosequencing technique. We used nonparametric tests (Mann-Whitney U-test) to evaluate the sensitivity of each single bacterial genus within the community to the fluctuations of plant physiological and environmental abiotic variables, as well as to fluctuations in soil microbial respiration. Within-lineage (phylum/class) functional similarities were evaluated by the distribution of the Mann-Whitney U-test standardized coefficients (z) obtained for all genera within a given lineage. We further defined different ecological niches and within-lineage degree of functional diversification based on multivariate analyses (principal component analyses, PCA). Our results indicate that strong within-lineage functional diversification causes extensive functional overlapping between lineages, which hinders the translation of taxonomic diversity into a meaningful functional classification of bacteria. Our results further suggest a widespread colonization of possible ecological niches as taxonomic diversity increases. While no strong functional differentiation could be drawn from the analyses at the phylum/class level, our results suggest a strong ecological niche differentiation of bacteria based mainly on the distinct response of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria to fluctuations in soil moisture. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Institutional models of Bunaken National Park (BNP) management to ensure sustainability of ecological and economic functions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kholil; Diane Tangian

    2012-01-01

    .... Therefore, the sustainability of economic and social benefits is threatened. To avoid damage to coral reefs and pollutions, it is necessary the institute manager which can ensure the sustainability of he sustainability of the tourism attraction...

  11. Sustained Economic Hardship and Cognitive Function: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeki Al Hazzouri, Adina; Elfassy, Tali; Sidney, Stephen; Jacobs, David; Pérez Stable, Eliseo J; Yaffe, Kristine

    2017-01-01

    The relationship between low income and worse health outcomes is evident, yet its association with cognitive outcomes is less explored. Most studies have measured income at one time and none have examined how sustained exposure to low income influences cognition in a relatively young cohort. This study examined the effect of sustained poverty and perceived financial difficulty on cognitive function in midlife. Income data were collected six times between 1985 and 2010 for 3,383 adults from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults prospective cohort study. Sustained poverty was defined by the percentage of time participants' household income was <200% of the federal poverty level-"never" in poverty, "0< to <1/3," "≥1/3 to <100%" or "all-time." In 2010, at a mean age of 50 years, participants underwent a cognitive battery. Data were analyzed in 2015. In demographic-adjusted linear regression models, individuals with all-time poverty performed significantly worse than individuals never in poverty: 0.92 points worse on verbal memory (z-score, -0.28; 95% CI=-0.43, -0.13), 11.60 points worse on processing speed (z-score, -0.72; 95% CI=-0.85, -0.58), and 3.50 points worse on executive function (z-score, -0.32; 95% CI=-0.47, -0.17). Similar results were observed with perceived financial difficulty. Findings were robust when restricted to highly educated participants, suggesting little evidence for reverse causation. Cumulative exposure to low income over 2 decades was strongly associated with worse cognitive function of a relatively young cohort. Poverty and perceived hardship may be important contributors to premature aging among disadvantaged populations. Copyright © 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. All rights reserved.

  12. Sustained delivery of VEGF from designer self-assembling peptides improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Hai-dong [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China); Cui, Guo-hong; Yang, Jia-jun [Department of Neurology, Shanghai No. 6 People' s Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200233 (China); Wang, Cun [Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032 (China); Zhu, Jing; Zhang, Li-sheng; Jiang, Jun [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China); Shao, Shui-jin, E-mail: shaoshuijin@163.com [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China)

    2012-07-20

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The designer peptide LRKKLGKA could self-assemble into nanofibers. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of LRKKLGKA peptides could promote the sustained delivery of VEGF. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides lead to sufficient angiogenesis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides improves heart function. -- Abstract: Poor vascularization and insufficient oxygen supply are detrimental to the survival of residual cardiomyocytes or transplanted stem cells after myocardial infarction. To prolong and slow the release of angiogenic factors, which stimulate both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, we constructed a novel self-assembling peptide by attaching the heparin-binding domain sequence LRKKLGKA to the self-assembling peptide RADA16. This designer self-assembling peptide self-assembled into nanofiber scaffolds under physiological conditions, as observed by atomic force microscopy. The injection of designer self-assembling peptides can efficiently provide the sustained delivery of VEGF for at least 1 month. At 4 weeks after transplantation, cardiac function was improved, and scar size and collagen deposition were markedly reduced in the group receiving VEGF with the LRKKLGKA scaffolds compared with groups receiving VEGF alone, LRKKLGKA scaffolds alone or VEGF with RADA16 scaffolds. The microvessel density in the VEGF with LRKKLGKA group was higher than that in the VEGF with RADA16 group. TUNEL and cleaved caspase-3 expression assays showed that the transplantation of VEGF with LRKKLGKA enhanced cell survival in the infarcted heart. These results present the tailor-made peptide scaffolds as a new generation of sustained-release biomimetic biomaterials and suggest that the use of angiogenic factors along with designer self-assembling peptides can lead to myocardial protection, sufficient angiogenesis, and improvement in cardiac function.

  13. Sustainability of cross-functional teams for marketing strategy development and implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kono, Ken; Antonucci, Don

    2006-01-01

    This article presents a case study on a cross-functional team used for marketing strategy development and execution at a health insurance company. The study found a set of success factors that contributed to the initial success of the team, but the factors were not enough to maintain the team's high level of productivity over time. The study later identified a set of 8 factors that helped sustain the team's high-productivity level. The 2 sets (ie, success and its subsequent sustainability factors) are analyzed against a normative model of team effectiveness. All the factors are explained by the normative model except for 1 sustainability factor, "challenge motivator." In fact, the study found the "challenge motivator" to be the most critical factor to keep up the team's productivity over time. Apart from a performance crisis, the authors developed 3 "challenge motivators"--first, more granular market information that could unearth hidden performance issues; second, constant value creation to shareholders as the firm being publicly traded; and third, the firm's strategic mandate to meet and exceed customer expectations that puts ultimate performance pressure on the marketing strategy team.

  14. 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

    ... surrounding the stewardship of this vital resource. Chapters include scientific studies on microbial function, maintaining fertility, and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as ethical issues ranging from allocation of land use...

  15. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bezemer, T M; Fountain, M T; Barea, J M

    2010-01-01

    food webs were influenced both by the species identity of the plant individual and the surrounding plant community. Unexpectedly, plant identity had the strongest effects on decomposing soil organisms, widely believed to be generalist feeders. In contrast, quantitative food web modeling showed...... restoration experiment we first compared the soil nematode communities of 228 individual plants belonging to eight herbaceous species. We included grass, leguminous, and non-leguminous species. Each individual plant grew intermingled with other species, but all plant species had a different nematode community......, and functioning of the complete soil food webs of 58 individual plants, belonging to two of the plant species, Lotus corniculatus (Fabaceae) and Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae). We isolated and identified more than 150 taxa/groups of soil organisms. The soil community composition and structure of the entire...

  16. An examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship in arable soil microbial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, Karl; Wheatley, R.

    2001-01-01

    Microbial communities differing in biodiversity were established by inoculating sterile agricultural soil with serially diluted soil suspensions prepared from the parent soil. Three replicate communities of each dilution were allowed to establish an equivalent microbial biomass by incubation for 9...... relates to the numbers and proportions of different microbial species. Biodiversity decreased by ca. 15, 40 and 60% at each successive dilution step. There was no consistent effect of biodiversity on a range of soil processes measured (incorporation of thymidine and leucine, potential nitrification...... months at 15°C, after which the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship was examined for a range of soil processes. Biodiversity was determined by monitoring cultivable bacterial and fungal morphotypes, directly extracted eubacterial DNA and protozoan taxa. In the context of this study biodiversity...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Functional diversity of soil invertebrates: a potential tool to explain N2O emission?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubbers, Ingrid; De Deyn, Gerlinde; Drake, Harold; Hunger, Sindy; Oppermann, Timo; van Groenigen, Jan Willem

    2017-04-01

    Soil biota play a crucial role in the mineralization of nutrients from organic material. However, they can thereby increase emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Our current lack of understanding of the factors controlling N2O production and emission is impeding the development of effective mitigation strategies. It is the challenge to control N2O emissions from production systems without reducing crop yield, and diversity of soil fauna may play a key role. A high functional diversity of soil invertebrates is known to stimulate nitrogen mineralization and thereby plant growth, however, it is unknown whether a high functional diversity of soil invertebrates can concurrently diminish N2O emissions. We hypothesized that increased functional diversity of soil invertebrates reduces faunal-induced N2O emissions by facilitating more complete denitrification through (i) stimulating the activity of denitrifying microbes, and (ii) affecting the distribution of micro and macro pores, creating more anaerobic reaction sites. Using state-of-the-art X-ray tomography and next-generation sequencing, we studied effects of functional diversity on soil structural properties and the diversity of the microbial community (16S rRNA genes and 16S rRNA), and linked these to soil N2O emissions. In a 120-day study we found that the functional composition of the soil invertebrate community determined N2O emissions: earthworm activity was key to faunal-induced N2O emissions (a 32-fold increase after 120 days, Pfunctional diversity in explaining faunal-affected N2O emissions.

  20. Microbial functional diversity and enzymatic activity of soil degraded by sulphur mining reclaimed with various waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joniec, Jolanta; Frąc, Magdalena

    2017-10-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate microbial functional diversity based on community level physiological profiling and β-glucosidase activity changes in soil degraded by sulphur mining and subjected to reclamation with various waste. The experiment was set up in the area of the former `Jeziórko' Sulphur Mine (Poland), on a soilless substrate with a particle size distribution of slightly loamy sand. The experimental variants included the application of post-flotation lime, sewage sludge and mineral wool. The analyses of soil samples included the assessment of the following microbiological indices: β-glucosidase activity and functional diversity average well color development and richness). The results indicate that sewage sludge did not exert a significant impact on the functional diversity of microorganisms present in the reclaimed soil. In turn, the application of other types of waste contributed to a significant increase in the parameters of total metabolic activity and functional diversity of the reclaimed soil. However, the temporal analysis of the metabolic profile of soil microorganisms demonstrated that a single application of waste did not yield a durable, stable metabolic profile in the reclaimed soil. Still, there was an increase in β-glucosidase activity, especially in objects treated with sewage sludge.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Soil health paradigms and implications for disease management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larkin, Robert P

    2015-01-01

    Soil health has been defined as the capacity of soil to function as a vital living system to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant, animal, and human health. Building and maintaining soil health are essential to agricultural sustainability and ecosystem function. Management practices that promote soil health, including the use of crop rotations, cover crops and green manures, organic amendments, and conservation tillage, also have generally positive effects on the management of soilborne diseases through a number of potential mechanisms, including increasing soil microbial biomass, activity, and diversity, resulting in greater biological suppression of pathogens and diseases. However, there also may be particular disease issues associated with some soil health management practices. In this review, research and progress made over the past twenty years regarding soil health, sustainability, and soil health management practices, with an emphasis on their implications for and effects on plant disease and disease management strategies, are summarized.

  3. Linking microbial enzymatic activities and functional diversity of soil around earthworm burrows and casts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerzy Lipiec

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of earthworms (Lumbricidae on the enzymatic activity and microbial functional diversity in the burrow system (burrow wall 0–3 mm, transitional zone 3–7 mm, bulk soil >20 mm from the burrow wall and cast aggregates of a loess soil under a pear orchard. The dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, protease, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and acid phosphomonoesterase enzymes were assessed using standard methods. The functional diversity (catabolic potential was assessed using the Average Well Color Development and Richness Index following the community level physiological profiling from Biolog Eco Plates. All measurements were done using soil from each compartment immediately after in situ sampling in spring. The enzymatic activites including dehydrogenase, protease, β-glucosidase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase were appreciably greater in the burrow wall or casts than in bulk soil and transitional zone. Conversely, acid phosphomonoesterase had the largest value in the bulk soil. Average Well Color Development in both the transitional zone and the bulk soil (0.98-0.94 A590nm were more than eight times higher than in the burrow walls and casts. The lowest richness index in the bulk soil (15 utilized substrates increased by 86-113% in all the other compartments. The PC1 in principal component analysis (PCA mainly differentiated the burrow walls and the transitional zone. Utilization of all substrate categories was the lowest in the bulk soil. The PC2 differentiated the casts from the other compartments. The enhanced activity of a majority of the enzymes and increased microbial functional diversity in most earthworm-influenced compartments make the soils less vulnerable to degradation and thus increases the stability of ecologically relevant processes in the orchard ecosystem.

  4. Sustained functional composition of pollinators in restored pastures despite slow functional restoration of plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winsa, Marie; Öckinger, Erik; Bommarco, Riccardo; Lindborg, Regina; Roberts, Stuart P M; Wärnsberg, Johanna; Bartomeus, Ignasi

    2017-06-01

    Habitat restoration is a key measure to counteract negative impacts on biodiversity from habitat loss and fragmentation. To assess success in restoring not only biodiversity, but also functionality of communities, we should take into account the re-assembly of species trait composition across taxa. Attaining such functional restoration would depend on the landscape context, vegetation structure, and time since restoration. We assessed how trait composition of plant and pollinator (bee and hoverfly) communities differ between abandoned, restored (formerly abandoned) or continuously grazed (intact) semi-natural pastures. In restored pastures, we also explored trait composition in relation to landscape context, vegetation structure, and pasture management history. Abandoned pastures differed from intact and restored pastures in trait composition of plant communities, and as expected, had lower abundances of species with traits associated with grazing adaptations. Further, plant trait composition in restored pastures became increasingly similar to that in intact pastures with increasing time since restoration. On the contrary, the trait composition of pollinator communities in both abandoned and restored pastures remained similar to intact pastures. The trait composition for both bees and hoverflies was influenced by flower abundance and, for bees, by connectivity to other intact grasslands in the landscape. The divergent responses across organism groups appeared to be mainly related to the limited dispersal ability and long individual life span in plants, the high mobility of pollinators, and the dependency of semi-natural habitat for bees. Our results, encompassing restoration effects on trait composition for multiple taxa along a gradient in both time (time since restoration) and space (connectivity), reveal how interacting communities of plants and pollinators are shaped by different trait-environmental relationships. Complete functional restoration of pastures

  5. Assessment of pedotransfer functions for estimating soil water retention curves for the amazon region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Carlos Medeiros

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the soil water retention curve (SWRC is essential for understanding and modeling hydraulic processes in the soil. However, direct determination of the SWRC is time consuming and costly. In addition, it requires a large number of samples, due to the high spatial and temporal variability of soil hydraulic properties. An alternative is the use of models, called pedotransfer functions (PTFs, which estimate the SWRC from easy-to-measure properties. The aim of this paper was to test the accuracy of 16 point or parametric PTFs reported in the literature on different soils from the south and southeast of the State of Pará, Brazil. The PTFs tested were proposed by Pidgeon (1972, Lal (1979, Aina & Periaswamy (1985, Arruda et al. (1987, Dijkerman (1988, Vereecken et al. (1989, Batjes (1996, van den Berg et al. (1997, Tomasella et al. (2000, Hodnett & Tomasella (2002, Oliveira et al. (2002, and Barros (2010. We used a database that includes soil texture (sand, silt, and clay, bulk density, soil organic carbon, soil pH, cation exchange capacity, and the SWRC. Most of the PTFs tested did not show good performance in estimating the SWRC. The parametric PTFs, however, performed better than the point PTFs in assessing the SWRC in the tested region. Among the parametric PTFs, those proposed by Tomasella et al. (2000 achieved the best accuracy in estimating the empirical parameters of the van Genuchten (1980 model, especially when tested in the top soil layer.

  6. Microstructural strength of tidal soils – a rheometric approach to develop pedotransfer functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stoppe Nina

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Differences in soil stability, especially in visually comparable soils can occur due to microstructural processes and interactions. By investigating these microstructural processes with rheological investigations, it is possible to achieve a better understanding of soil behaviour from the mesoscale (soil aggregates to macroscale (bulk soil. In this paper, a rheological investigation of the factors influencing microstructural stability of riparian soils was conducted. Homogenized samples of Marshland soils from the riparian zone of the Elbe River (North Germany were analyzed with amplitude sweeps (AS under controlled shear deformation in a modular compact rheometer MCR 300 (Anton Paar, Germany at different matric potentials. A range physicochemical parameters were determined (texture, pH, organic matter, CaCO3 etc. and these factors were used to parameterize pedotransfer functions. The results indicate a clear dependence of microstructural elasticity on texture and water content. Although the influence of individual physicochemical factors varies depending on texture, the relevant features were identified taking combined effects into account. Thus, stabilizing factors are: organic matter, calcium ions, CaCO3 and pedogenic iron oxides; whereas sodium ions and water content represent structurally unfavorable factors. Based on the determined statistical relationships between rheological and physicochemical parameters, pedotransfer functions (PTF have been developed.

  7. Impacts of aquaculture wastewater irrigation on soil microbial functional diversity and community structure in arid regions

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Lijuan; Feng, Qi; Li, Changsheng; Wei, Yongping; Zhao, Yan; Feng, Yongjiu; Zheng, Hang; Li, Fengrui; Li, Huiya

    2017-01-01

    Aquaculture wastewater is one of the most important alternative water resources in arid regions where scarcity of fresh water is common. Irrigation with this kind of water may affect soil microbial functional diversity and community structure as changes of soil environment would be significant. Here, we conducted a field sampling to investigate these effects using Biolog and metagenomic methods. The results demonstrated that irrigation with aquaculture wastewater could dramatically reduce soi...

  8. Mesostructured Hydrophobic-Oleophobic Silica Films for Sustained Functionality in Tribological Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessman, Aaron J.

    The primary goal of this research was to synthesize water- and oil-repellent coatings that offer sustained functionality and durability. Engineered low surface energy materials generally suffer from a lack of mechanical robustness, which makes them susceptible to damage by abrasive wear. Fluorinated silanes are often combined with alkoxide precursors via sol-gel co-condensation to create coatings with high hardness and good substrate adhesion. However, a common problem with these materials is that the organic moieties that provide low surface energy also become surface segregated and highly concentrated at the solid-air interface. With such a structure, mechanical removal of the top surface by abrasion, for example, reveals subsurface areas that are then much less concentrated in terms of functional chemistry. The material developed in this study was designed to overcome this problem by means of a tailored and templated mesostructure that effectively encapsulated the low surface energy functional moieties, and thus achieves sustained functionality during abrasive wear. This material, applied as a thin coating to a variety of substrates, has the potential to reduce waste and pollution and the environmental degradation of materials and structures. Improving the performance of such materials can benefit a wide variety of applications. These include optoelectronic devices including photovoltaic panels; automobile and aircraft; architectural structures; the chemical, food, and medical industries for hygienic and anti-fouling requirements; textiles; and household applications. This approach has further implications in areas such as boundary lubrication and drug delivery systems. Hydrophobic-oleophobic mesoporous fluorinated silica films were synthesized via sol-gel co-condensation and coated on glass substrates. Fluorosilane and surfactant template concentrations were varied to elucidate the effect of organic functionality and porosity on performance. Structural

  9. Functional Differentiation and Sustainability: A New Stage of Development in the Chinese Container Port System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liehui Wang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Adjacent ports played a significant role in the evolution of the port system. In our study, we selected five pairs (i.e., Dalian–Yingkou, Qingdao–Yantai, Shanghai–Ningbo, Xiamen–Quanzhou, and Shenzhen–Guangzhou of the most important adjacent ports in China to reveal the recent trend of China unique port system development; how and why will port system development be de-concentrated; and integrate the conceptual modal into in-depth analysis. The major findings are as follows: (1 There is functional differentiation in adjacent ports. To some big ports’ sustainability, they focus on foreign trade while other small ports, in order to achieve sustainable development, they focus on domestic trade; (2 First-mover advantage and dislocation competition is a mechanism of China ports functional differentiation; (3 Shanghai and Ningbo are unique in that both ports are similarly focused on foreign trade because they both have deep-water harbors, excellent geographical location, export-oriented hinterland economy, and close foreign investment relationships.

  10. Microbial community composition and functions are resilient to metal pollution along two forest soil gradients.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Azarbad, H.; Niklinska, M.; Laskowski, R.; van Straalen, N.M.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Zhou, J.; He, Z.; Wen, C.; Roling, W.F.M.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the global importance of forests, it is virtually unknown how their soil microbial communities adapt at the phylogenetic and functional level to long-term metal pollution. Studying 12 sites located along two distinct gradients of metal pollution in Southern Poland revealed that functional

  11. Understanding fungal functional biodiversity during the mitigation of environmentally dispersed pentachlorophenol in cork oak forest soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Varela, Adelia; Martins, Celso; Nunez, Oscar; Martins, Isabel; Houbraken, Jos A. M. P.; Martins, Tiago M.; Leitao, M. Cristina; McLellan, Iain; Vetter, Walter; Galceran, M. Teresa; Samson, Robert A.; Hursthouse, Andrew; Pereira, Cristina Silva

    Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is globally dispersed and contamination of soil with this biocide adversely affects its functional biodiversity, particularly of fungi – key colonizers. Their functional role as a community is poorly understood, although a few pathways have been already elucidated in pure

  12. Plant-soil feedbacks: role of plant functional group and plant traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cortois, R.; Schröder-Georgi, T.; Weigelt, A.; van der Putten, W.H.; De Deyn, G.B.

    2016-01-01

    Plant-soil feedback (PSF), plant trait and functional group concepts advanced our understanding of plant community dynamics, but how they are interlinked is poorly known. To test how plant functional groups (FGs: graminoids, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes) and plant traits relate to PSF, we grew

  13. Plants impact structure and function of bacterial communities in Arctic soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Manoj; Mannisto, Minna K.; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Nissinen, Riitta M.

    Microorganisms are prime drivers of ecosystem functions in the Arctic, and they are essential for vegetation succession. However, very little is known about the phylogenetic and functional diversities of the bacterial communities associated with Arctic plants, especially in low organic matter soils.

  14. Dramatic Increases of Soil Microbial Functional Gene Diversity at the Treeline Ecotone of Changbai Mountain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Congcong; Shi, Yu; Ni, Yingying; Deng, Ye; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Chu, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500-2200 m) on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0), we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites) pattern for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC). This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  15. Effects of plant diversity, functional group composition, and fertilization on soil microbial properties in experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Strecker

    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization.We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment. Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency.Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes.

  16. Effects of plant diversity, functional group composition, and fertilization on soil microbial properties in experimental grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strecker, Tanja; Barnard, Romain L; Niklaus, Pascal A; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization. We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment). Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio) and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency. Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes.

  17. Functional Gene Differences in Soil Microbial Communities from Conventional, Low-Input, and Organic Farmlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Kai; Wu, Liyou; Deng, Ye; He, Zhili; Van Nostrand, Joy; Robertson, Philip G.; Schmidt, Thomas M.

    2013-01-01

    Various agriculture management practices may have distinct influences on soil microbial communities and their ecological functions. In this study, we utilized GeoChip, a high-throughput microarray-based technique containing approximately 28,000 probes for genes involved in nitrogen (N)/carbon (C)/sulfur (S)/phosphorus (P) cycles and other processes, to evaluate the potential functions of soil microbial communities under conventional (CT), low-input (LI), and organic (ORG) management systems at an agricultural research site in Michigan. Compared to CT, a high diversity of functional genes was observed in LI. The functional gene diversity in ORG did not differ significantly from that of either CT or LI. Abundances of genes encoding enzymes involved in C/N/P/S cycles were generally lower in CT than in LI or ORG, with the exceptions of genes in pathways for lignin degradation, methane generation/oxidation, and assimilatory N reduction, which all remained unchanged. Canonical correlation analysis showed that selected soil (bulk density, pH, cation exchange capacity, total C, C/N ratio, NO3−, NH4+, available phosphorus content, and available potassium content) and crop (seed and whole biomass) variables could explain 69.5% of the variation of soil microbial community composition. Also, significant correlations were observed between NO3− concentration and denitrification genes, NH4+ concentration and ammonification genes, and N2O flux and denitrification genes, indicating a close linkage between soil N availability or process and associated functional genes. PMID:23241975

  18. Namib Desert Soil Microbial Community Diversity, Assembly, and Function Along a Natural Xeric Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scola, Vincent; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Frossard, Aline; Zablocki, Olivier; Adriaenssens, Evelien M; Johnson, Riegardt M; Seely, Mary; Cowan, Don A

    2018-01-01

    The hyperarid Namib desert is a coastal desert in southwestern Africa and one of the oldest and driest deserts on the planet. It is characterized by a west/east increasing precipitation gradient and by regular coastal fog events (extending up to 75 km inland) that can also provide soil moisture. In this study, we evaluated the role of this natural aridity and xeric gradient on edaphic microbial community structure and function in the Namib desert. A total of 80 individual soil samples were collected at 10-km intervals along a 190-km transect from the fog-dominated western coastal region to the eastern desert boundary. Seventeen physicochemical parameters were measured for each soil sample. Soil parameters reflected the three a priori defined climatic/xeric zones along the transect ("fog," "low rain," and "high rain"). Microbial community structures were characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting and shotgun metaviromics, and their functional capacities were determined by extracellular enzyme activity assays. Both microbial community structures and activities differed significantly between the three xeric zones. The deep sequencing of surface soil metavirome libraries also showed shifts in viral composition along the xeric transect. While bacterial community assembly was influenced by soil chemistry and stochasticity along the transect, variations in community "function" were apparently tuned by xeric stress.

  19. Quantity of Hydrophobic Functional CH-Groups - Decisive for Soil Water Repellency Caused by Digestate Amendment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelkner, Amrei; Holthusen, Dörthe; Ellerbrock, Ruth H.; Horn, Rainer

    2015-04-01

    Anaerobic digestates are used as organic fertilizers; however, they are suspected to interfere negatively with soils. To investigate the relevance of the anaerobic digestates composition on potential wettability and contact angle of the soil, we mixed in a laboratory experiment 30 m³ ha-1 of anaerobic digestates derived from mechanically pre-treated substrates from maize and sugar beet with a homogenized Cambic Luvisol. Fourier transform infrared-spectra and diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform-spectra of particle intact and finely ground soilanaerobic digestates-mixtures were analyzed to determine the quantities of hydrophobic functional groups in the soil-anaerobic digestates-mixtures that are used here as an indicator for the potential hydrophobicity. The anaerobic digestates application increased the amount of hydrophobic functional groups of the mixtures and reduced the wettability of the soil. However, for intact particle samples an up to threefold higher amount of hydrophobic groups was found as compared to the finely ground ones, indicating a dilution effect of mechanical grinding on the effectivity of the organic matter that is presumably located as a coating on mineral soil particles. For the particle intact samples, the intensity of hydrophobic functional groups bands denoting hydrophobic brickstones in organic matter is indicative for the actual wettability of the soil-anaerobic digestates-mixtures.

  20. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles strongly impact soil microbial function by affecting archaeal nitrifiers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonin, Marie; Richaume, Agnès; Guyonnet, Julien P.; Dubost, Audrey; Martins, Jean M. F.; Pommier, Thomas

    2016-09-01

    Soils are facing new environmental stressors, such as titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs). While these emerging pollutants are increasingly released into most ecosystems, including agricultural fields, their potential impacts on soil and its function remain to be investigated. Here we report the response of the microbial community of an agricultural soil exposed over 90 days to TiO2-NPs (1 and 500 mg kg-1 dry soil). To assess their impact on soil function, we focused on the nitrogen cycle and measured nitrification and denitrification enzymatic activities and by quantifying specific representative genes (amoA for ammonia-oxidizers, nirK and nirS for denitrifiers). Additionally, diversity shifts were examined in bacteria, archaea, and the ammonia-oxidizing clades of each domain. With strong negative impacts on nitrification enzyme activities and the abundances of ammonia-oxidizing microorganism, TiO2-NPs triggered cascading negative effects on denitrification enzyme activity and a deep modification of the bacterial community structure after just 90 days of exposure to even the lowest, realistic concentration of NPs. These results appeal further research to assess how these emerging pollutants modify the soil health and broader ecosystem function.

  1. Comparison of Structural and Functional Properties of Wheat Starch Under Different Soil Drought Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weiyang; Gu, Junfei; Wang, Zhiqin; Wei, Cunxu; Yang, Jianchang; Zhang, Jianhua

    2017-09-26

    Drought influences cereal crop yield and quality. However, little is known about changes in the structural and functional properties of wheat starch under soil drought conditions. In this study, two wheat cultivars were subjected to well-watered (WW), moderate soil-drought (MD), and severe soil-drought (SD) from 7 tillers in the main stem to maturity. The structural and functional properties of the resultant endosperm starch were investigated. In comparison with WW soil, the MD increased starch accumulation in grains, the proportion of large starch granules, amylose and amylopectin long branch chain contents, and average amylopectin branch chain length, which were accompanied by the increase in activities of granule bound starch synthase and soluble starch synthase. MD treated-starch had a lower gelatinization enthalpy, and swelling power, but a higher gelatinization temperature, retrogradation enthalpy, and retrogradation percentage when compared to WW conditions. The MD also increased starch resistance to acid hydrolysis, amylase hydrolysis, and in vitro digestion. The SD had the opposite effects to the MD in all cases. The results suggest that soil drought more severely affects amylose synthesis than amylopectin synthesis in wheat grains, and moderate soil-drought improves molecular structure and functional properties of the starch.

  2. Impact of wheat / faba bean mixed cropping or rotation systems on soil microbial functionalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanâa Wahbi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Cropping systems based on carefully designed species mixtures reveal many potential advantages in terms of enhancing crop productivity, reducing pest and diseases and enhacing ecological serices. Associating cereals and legume production either through intercropping or rotations might be a relevant strategy of producing both type of culture, while benefiting from combined nitrogen fixed by the legume through its symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and from a better use of P and water through mycorrhizal associations. These practices also participate to the diversification of agricultural productions, enabling to secure the regularity of income returns across the seasonal and climatic uncertainties. In this context, we designed a field experiment aiming to estimate the two years impact of these practices on wheat yield and on soil microbial activities as estimated through Substrate Induced Respiration (SIR method and mycorrhizal soil infectivity (MSI measurement. It is expected that understanding soil microbial functionalities in response to these agricultural practices might allows to target the best type of combination, in regard to crop productivity. We found that the tested cropping systems largely impacted soil microbial functionalities and mycorrhizal soil infectivity. Intercropping gave better results in terms of crop productivity than the rotation practice after 2 cropping seasons. Benefits resulting from intercrop should be highly linked with changes recorded on soil microbial functionalities.

  3. Olive response to water availability: yield response functions, soil water content indicators and evaluation of adaptability to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riccardi, Maria; Alfieri, Silvia Maria; Basile, Angelo; Bonfante, Antonello; Menenti, Massimo; Monaco, Eugenia; De Lorenzi, Francesca

    2013-04-01

    Climate evolution, with the foreseen increase of temperature and frequency of drought events during the summer, could cause significant changes in the availability of water resources specially in the Mediterranean region. European countries need to encourage sustainable agriculture practices, reducing inputs, especially of water, and minimizing any negative impact on crop quantity and quality. Olive is an important crop in the Mediterranean region that has traditionally been cultivated with no irrigation and is known to attain acceptable production under dry farming. Therefore this crop will not compete for foreseen reduced water resources. However, a good quantitative knowledge must be available about effects of reduced precipitation and water availability on yield. Yield response functions, coupled with indicators of soil water availability, provide a quantitative description of the cultivar- specific behavior in relation to hydrological conditions. Yield response functions of 11 olive cultivars, typical of Mediterranean environment, were determined using experimental data (unpublished or reported in scientific literature). The yield was expressed as relative yield (Yr); the soil water availability was described by means of different indicators: relative soil water deficit (RSWD), relative evapotranspiration (RED) and transpiration deficit (RTD). Crops can respond nonlinearly to changes in their growing conditions and exhibit threshold responses, so for the yield functions of each olive cultivar both linear regression and threshold-slope models were considered to evaluate the best fit. The level of relative yield attained in rain-fed conditions was identified and defined as the acceptable yield level (Yrrainfed). The value of the indicator (RSWD, RED and RTD) corresponding to Yrrainfed was determined for each cultivar and indicated as the critical value of water availability. The error in the determination of the critical value was estimated. By means of a

  4. Old women with a recent fall history show improved muscle strength and function sustained for six months after finishing training

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beyer, Nina; Simonsen, Lene; Bülow, Jens

    2007-01-01

    Restricted physical activity as a consequence of chronic disease or injury is a predictor of functional decline. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that a 6- month multidimensional training program would have sustained beneficial effects upon the physiological, functional and psycho......Restricted physical activity as a consequence of chronic disease or injury is a predictor of functional decline. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that a 6- month multidimensional training program would have sustained beneficial effects upon the physiological, functional...... and psychological condition of old women with a recent history of falls....

  5. Adipose stromal vascular fraction cell construct sustains coronary microvascular function after acute myocardial infarction

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Amanda J.; Touroo, Jeremy S.; Hoying, James B.

    2012-01-01

    A three-dimensional tissue construct was created using adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells and evaluated as a microvascular protection treatment in a myocardial infarction (MI) model. This study evaluated coronary blood flow (BF) and global left ventricular function after MI with and without the SVF construct. Fischer-344 rats were separated into four groups: sham operation (sham), MI, MI Vicryl patch (no cells), and MI SVF construct (MI SVF). SVF cells were labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP). Immediately postinfarct, constructs were implanted onto the epicardium at the site of ischemia. Four weeks postsurgery, the coronary BF reserve was significantly decreased by 67% in the MI group and 75% in the MI Vicryl group compared with the sham group. The coronary BF reserve of the sham and MI SVF groups in the area at risk was not significantly different (sham group: 83 ± 22% and MI SVF group: 57 ± 22%). Griffonia simplicifolia I and GFP-positive SVF immunostaining revealed engrafted SVF cells around microvessels in the infarct region 4 wk postimplant. Overall heart function, specifically ejection fraction, was significantly greater in MI SVF hearts compared with MI and MI Vicryl hearts (MI SVF: 66 ± 4%, MI: 37 ± 8%, and MI Vicryl: 29 ± 6%). In conclusion, adipose-derived SVF cells can be used to construct a novel therapeutic modality for treating microvascular instability and ischemia through implantation on the epicardial surface of the heart. The SVF construct implanted immediately after MI not only maintains heart function but also sustains microvascular perfusion and function in the infarct area by sustaining the coronary BF reserve. PMID:22140045

  6. Restoring Ecosystem Function in Degraded Urban Soil Using Biosolids, Biosolids Blend, and Compost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basta, N T; Busalacchi, D M; Hundal, L S; Kumar, K; Dick, R P; Lanno, R P; Carlson, J; Cox, A E; Granato, T C

    2016-01-01

    Many soils at former industrial sites are degraded. The objective of this research was to determine the ability of compost, biosolids, and biosolids blends to improve soil ecosystem function with minimal potential impact to surface water. Treatments rototilled into the top 12.5 cm of soil were biosolids at 202 Mg ha; biosolids at 404 Mg ha; compost at 137 Mg ha; or a blend consisting of biosolids applied at 202 Mg ha, drinking water treatment residual, and biochar. Rainfall runoff from experimental plots was collected for 3 yr. One year after soil amendments were incorporated, a native seed mix containing grasses, legumes, and forbs was planted. Soil amendments improved soil quality and nutrient pools, established a dense and high-quality vegetative cover, and improved earthworm reproductive measures. Amendments increased soil enzymatic activities that support soil function. Biosolids treatments increased the Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index for grasses. For the forbs group, control plots had the lowest diversity index and the biosolids blend had the highest diversity index. Biosolids and compost increased the number of earthworm juveniles. In general, biosolids outperformed compost. Biosolids increased N and P in rainfall runoff more than compost before vegetation was established. Several microconstituents (i.e., pharmaceutical and personal care products) were detected in runoff water but at concentrations below the probable no-effect levels and therefore should pose little impact to the aquatic environment. Future restoration design should ensure that runoff control measures are used to control sediment loss from the restored sites at least until vegetation is established. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  7. Nitrification rates in Arctic soils are associated with functionally distinct populations of ammonia-oxidizing archaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Ricardo J Eloy; Wanek, Wolfgang; Zappe, Anna; Richter, Andreas; Svenning, Mette M; Schleper, Christa; Urich, Tim

    2013-01-01

    The functioning of Arctic soil ecosystems is crucially important for global climate, and basic knowledge regarding their biogeochemical processes is lacking. Nitrogen (N) is the major limiting nutrient in these environments, and its availability is strongly dependent on nitrification. However, microbial communities driving this process remain largely uncharacterized in Arctic soils, namely those catalyzing the rate-limiting step of ammonia (NH3) oxidation. Eleven Arctic soils were analyzed through a polyphasic approach, integrating determination of gross nitrification rates, qualitative and quantitative marker gene analyses of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) and enrichment of AOA in laboratory cultures. AOA were the only NH3 oxidizers detected in five out of 11 soils and outnumbered AOB in four of the remaining six soils. The AOA identified showed great phylogenetic diversity and a multifactorial association with the soil properties, reflecting an overall distribution associated with tundra type and with several physico-chemical parameters combined. Remarkably, the different gross nitrification rates between soils were associated with five distinct AOA clades, representing the great majority of known AOA diversity in soils, which suggests differences in their nitrifying potential. This was supported by selective enrichment of two of these clades in cultures with different NH3 oxidation rates. In addition, the enrichments provided the first direct evidence for NH3 oxidation by an AOA from an uncharacterized Thaumarchaeota–AOA lineage. Our results indicate that AOA are functionally heterogeneous and that the selection of distinct AOA populations by the environment can be a determinant for nitrification activity and N availability in soils. PMID:23466705

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  9. [Distribution of Urban Soil Heavy Metal and Pollution Evaluation in Different Functional Zones of Yinchuan City].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, You-qi; Bai, Yi-ru; Wang, Jian-yu

    2016-02-15

    Surface soil samples (0-20 cm) from eight different functional areas in Yinchuan city were collected. There were 10 samples respectively in each functional area. The urban soil heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, Cu and Cr) pollution characteristics and sources in eight different functional areas were evaluated by mathematical statistics and geostatistical analysis method. Meanwhile, the spatial distributions of heavy metals based on the geography information system (GIS) were plotted. The average values of total Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, Cu and Cr were 74.87, 0.15, 29.02, 553.55, 40.37 and 80.79 mg x kg(-1), respectively. The results showed that the average value of soil heavy metals was higher than the soil background value of Ningxia, which indicated accumulation of the heavy metals in urban soil. The single factor pollution index of soil heavy metals was in the sequence of Cu > Pb > Zn > Cr > Cd > Mn. The average values of total Zn, Cd, Pb and Cr were higher in north east, south west and central city, while the average values of Mn and Cu were higher in north east and central city. There was moderate pollution in road and industrial area of Yinchuan, while the other functional areas showed slight pollution according to Nemoro synthesis index. The pollution degree of different functional areas was as follows: road > industrial area > business district > medical treatment area > residential area > public park > development zone > science and education area. The results indicated that the soil heavy metal pollution condition in Yinchuan City has been affected by human activities with the development of economy.

  10. Bioprospecting at former mining sites across Europe: microbial and functional diversity in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprocati, Anna Rosa; Alisi, Chiara; Tasso, Flavia; Fiore, Alessia; Marconi, Paola; Langella, Francesca; Haferburg, Götz; Nicoara, Andrei; Neagoe, Aurora; Kothe, Erika

    2014-01-01

    The planetary importance of microbial function requires urgently that our knowledge and our exploitation ability is extended, therefore every occasion of bioprospecting is welcome. In this work, bioprospecting is presented from the perspective of the UMBRELLA project, whose main goal was to develop an integral approach for remediation of soil influenced by mining activity, by using microorganisms in association with plants. Accordingly, this work relies on the cultivable fraction of microbial biodiversity, native to six mining sites across Europe, different for geographical, climatic and geochemical characteristics but similar for suffering from chronic stress. The comparative analysis of the soil functional diversity, resulting from the metabolic profiling at community level (BIOLOG ECOPlates) and confirmed by the multivariate analysis, separates the six soils in two clusters, identifying soils characterised by low functional diversity and low metabolic activity. The microbial biodiversity falls into four major bacterial phyla: Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, including a total of 47 genera and 99 species. In each soil, despite harsh conditions, metabolic capacity of nitrogen fixation and plant growth promotion were quite widespread, and most of the strains showed multiple resistances to heavy metals. At species-level, Shannon's index (alpha diversity) and Sørensen's Similarity (beta diversity) indicates the sites are indeed diverse. Multivariate analysis of soil chemical factors and biodiversity identifies for each soil well-discriminating chemical factors and species, supporting the assumption that cultured biodiversity from the six mining sites presents, at phylum level, a convergence correlated to soil factors rather than to geographical factors while, at species level, reflects a remarkable local characterisation.

  11. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziming Yang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at −2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to determine microbial community structure and the functional genes associated with SOC degradation, methanogenesis, and Fe(III reduction. Results show that soil incubation after 122 days at 8°C significantly decreased functional gene abundance (P < 0.05 associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling, particularly in organic-rich soil. These observations correspond well with decreases in labile SOC content (e.g., reducing sugar and ethanol, methane and CO2 production, and Fe(III reduction. In contrast, the community functional structure was largely unchanged in the −2°C incubation. Soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant factors impacting microbial community structure. These results demonstrate the important roles of microbial community in SOC degradation and support previous findings that SOC in organic-rich Arctic tundra is highly vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming.

  12. The veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline and Cu influence functional diversity of the soil microbial community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kong, W.-D. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Zhu, Y.-G. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China)]. E-mail: ygzhu@mail.rcees.ac.cn; Fu, B.-J. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Marschner, P. [Soil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, DP 636, 5005 (Australia); He, J.-Z. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China)

    2006-09-15

    There are increasing concerns over the effects of veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals in agricultural soils. The widely used veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC), Cu and their combination on soil microbial community function were assessed with the Biolog method. The microbial community was extracted from the soil and exposed to a 0.85% sodium chloride solution containing OTC (0, 1, 5, 11, 43, 109 and 217 {mu}M), or Cu (0, 10, 20, 100 and 300 {mu}M), or combination of the two pollutants (OTC 0, 5, 11 {mu}M and Cu 0, 20 {mu}M). Functional diversity, evenness, average well color development (AWCD) and substrate utilization decreased significantly with increasing concentrations of OTC or Cu (p < 0.005). The critical concentrations were 11 {mu}M for OTC and 20 {mu}M for Cu. The combination of OTC and Cu significantly decreased Shannon's diversity, evenness and utilization of carbohydrates and carboxylic acids compared to individual one of the contaminants. The antibiotic OTC and Cu had significant negative effects on soil microbial community function, particularly when both pollutants were present. - Oxytetracycline reduces the functional diversity of soil microbial community, and the combination of Cu and oxytetracycline leads to a further reduction.

  13. Do temperate tree species diversity and identity influence soil microbial community function and composition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khlifa, Rim; Paquette, Alain; Messier, Christian; Reich, Peter B; Munson, Alison D

    2017-10-01

    Studies of biodiversity-ecosystem function in treed ecosystems have generally focused on aboveground functions. This study investigates intertrophic links between tree diversity and soil microbial community function and composition. We examined how microbial communities in surface mineral soil responded to experimental gradients of tree species richness (SR), functional diversity (FD), community-weighted mean trait value (CWM), and tree identity. The site was a 4-year-old common garden experiment near Montreal, Canada, consisting of deciduous and evergreen tree species mixtures. Microbial community composition, community-level physiological profiles, and respiration were evaluated using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and the MicroResp™ system, respectively. The relationship between tree species richness and glucose-induced respiration (GIR), basal respiration (BR), metabolic quotient (qCO 2) followed a positive but saturating shape. Microbial communities associated with species mixtures were more active (basal respiration [BR]), with higher biomass (glucose-induced respiration [GIR]), and used a greater number of carbon sources than monocultures. Communities associated with deciduous tree species used a greater number of carbon sources than those associated with evergreen species, suggesting a greater soil carbon storage capacity. There were no differences in microbial composition (PLFA) between monocultures and SR mixtures. The FD and the CWM of several functional traits affected both BR and GIR. In general, the CWM of traits had stronger effects than did FD, suggesting that certain traits of dominant species have more effect on ecosystem processes than does FD. Both the functions of GIR and BR were positively related to aboveground tree community productivity. Both tree diversity (SR) and identity (species and functional identity-leaf habit) affected soil microbial community respiration, biomass, and composition. For the first time, we identified

  14. Abnormalities of resting state functional connectivity are related to sustained attention deficits in MS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Loitfelder

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Resting state (RS functional MRI recently identified default network abnormalities related to cognitive impairment in MS. fMRI can also be used to map functional connectivity (FC while the brain is at rest and not adhered to a specific task. Given the importance of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for higher executive functioning in MS, we here used the ACC as seed-point to test for differences and similarities in RS-FC related to sustained attention between MS patients and controls. DESIGN: Block-design rest phases of 3 Tesla fMRI data were analyzed to assess RS-FC in 31 patients (10 clinically isolated syndromes, 16 relapsing-remitting, 5 secondary progressive MS and 31 age- and gender matched healthy controls (HC. Participants underwent extensive cognitive testing. OBSERVATIONS: In both groups, signal changes in several brain areas demonstrated significant correlation with RS-activity in the ACC. These comprised the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC, insular cortices, the right caudate, right middle temporal gyrus, angular gyri, the right hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Compared to HC, patients showed increased FC between the ACC and the left angular gyrus, left PCC, and right postcentral gyrus. Better cognitive performance in the patients was associated with increased FC to the cerebellum, middle temporal gyrus, occipital pole, and the angular gyrus. CONCLUSION: We provide evidence for adaptive changes in RS-FC in MS patients compared to HC in a sustained attention network. These results extend and partly mirror findings of task-related fMRI, suggesting FC may increase our understanding of cognitive dysfunction in MS.

  15. Neural traces of stress: cortisol related sustained enhancement of amygdala-hippocampal functional connectivity

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    Sharon eVaisvaser

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Stressful experiences modulate neuro-circuitry function, and the temporal trajectory of these alterations, elapsing from early disturbances to late recovery, heavily influences resilience and vulnerability to stress. Such effects of stress may depend on processes that are engaged during resting-state, through active recollection of past experiences and anticipation of future events, all known to involve the default mode network (DMN. By inducing social stress and acquiring resting-state fMRI before stress, immediately following it, and two hours later, we expanded the time-window for examining the trajectory of the stress response. Throughout the study repeated cortisol samplings and self-reports of stress levels were obtained from 51 healthy young males. Post-stress alterations were investigated by whole brain resting-state functional connectivity of two central hubs of the DMN: the posterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus. Results indicate a 'recovery' pattern of DMN connectivity, in which all alterations, ascribed to the intervening stress, returned to pre-stress levels. The only exception to this pattern was a stress-induced rise in amygdala-hippocampal connectivity, which was sustained for as long as two hours following stress induction. Furthermore, this sustained enhancement of limbic connectivity was inversely correlated to individual stress-induced cortisol responsiveness (AUCi and characterized only the group lacking such increased cortisol (i.e., non-responders. Our observations provide evidence of a prolonged post-stress response profile, characterized by both the comprehensive balance of most DMN functional connections and the distinct time and cortisol dependent ascent of intra-limbic connectivity. These novel insights into neuro-endocrine relations are another milestone in the ongoing search for individual markers in stress-related psychopathologies.

  16. Microbial biomass and bacterial functional diversity in forest soils: effects of organic matter removal, compaction, and vegetation control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qingchao Li; H. Lee Allen; Arthur G. Wollum

    2004-01-01

    The effects of organic matter removal, soil compaction, and vegetation control on soil microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen, C-to-N ratio, and functional diversity were examined in a 6-year loblolly pine plantation on a Coastal Plain site in eastern North Carolina, USA. This experimental plantation was established as part of the US Forest Service's Long Term Soil...

  17. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs beneath individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, M.T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; van Hal, R.; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Scheu, S.; Setälä, H.; Milauer, P.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and

  18. An evaluation of minimal cellular functions to sustain a bacterial cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ota Motonori

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Both computational and experimental approaches have been used to determine the minimal gene set required to sustain a bacterial cell. Such studies have provided clues to the minimal cellular-function set needed for life. We evaluate a minimal cellular-function set directly, instead of a geneset. Results We estimated the essentialities of KEGG pathway maps as the entities of cellular functions, based on comparative genomics and metabolic network analyses. The former examined the evolutionary conservation of each pathway map by homology searches, and detected "conserved pathway maps". The latter identified "organism-specific pathway maps" that supply compounds required for the conserved pathway maps. We defined both pathway maps as "autonomous pathway maps". Among the set of autonomous pathway maps, the one that could synthesize all of the biomass components (the essential constituents for the cellular component of Escherichia coli/Bacillus subtilis, and that was composed of a minimal number of pathway maps, was determined for each of E. coli and B. subtilis, as "minimal pathway maps". We consider that they correspond to a minimal cellular-function set. The network of minimal pathway maps, composed of 20 conserved pathway maps and 21 organism-specific pathway maps for E. coli, starts a sequence of catabolic processes from carbohydrate metabolism. The catabolized compounds are used for anabolism, thus creating materials for cell components and for genetic information processing. Conclusion Our analyses of these pathway maps revealed that those functioning in "genetic information processing" are likely to be conserved, but those for catabolism are not, reflecting an evolutionary aspect of cellular functions. Minimal pathway maps were compared with a systematic gene knockout experiment, other computational results and parasitic genomes, and showed qualitative agreement, with some reasonable exceptions due to the experimental

  19. Elemental and isotopic imaging to study biogeochemical functioning of intact soil micro-environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Carsten W.

    2017-04-01

    The complexity of soils extends from the ecosystem-scale to individual micro-aggregates, where nano-scale interactions between biota, organic matter (OM) and mineral particles are thought to control the long-term fate of soil carbon and nitrogen. It is known that such biogeochemical processes show disproportionally high reaction rates within nano- to micro-meter sized isolated zones ('hot spots') in comparison to surrounding areas. However, the majority of soil research is conducted on large bulk (> 1 g) samples, which are often significantly altered prior to analysis and analysed destructively. Thus it has previously been impossible to study elemental flows (e.g. C and N) between plants, microbes and soil in complex environments at the necessary spatial resolution within an intact soil system. By using nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) in concert with other imaging techniques (e.g. scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and micro computed tomography (µCT)), classic analyses (isotopic and elemental analysis) and biochemical methods (e.g. GC-MS) it is possible to exhibit a more complete picture of soil processes at the micro-scale. I will present exemplarily results about the fate and distribution of organic C and N in complex micro-scale soil structures for a range of intact soil systems. Elemental imaging was used to study initial soil formation as an increase in the structural connectivity of micro-aggregates. Element distribution will be presented as a key to detect functional spatial patterns and biogeochemical hot spots in macro-aggregate functioning and development. In addition isotopic imaging will be demonstrated as a key to trace the fate of plant derived OM in the intact rhizosphere from the root to microbiota and mineral soil particles. Especially the use of stable isotope enrichment (e.g. 13CO2, 15NH4+) in conjunction with NanoSIMS allows to directly trace the fate of OM or nutrients in soils at the relevant scale (e.g. assimilate C

  20. [Characteristic and evaluation of soil pollution by heavy metal in different functional zones of Hohhot].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Wei; Sun, Wen-Hui; Zhao, Ren-Xin; Zhao, Wen-Jing; Fu, Rui-Ying; Zhang, Jun

    2013-04-01

    The residential areas, cultural and educational areas, city parks, commercial areas, urban roads, industrial zones, and development zones in Hohhot were selected as the research objects. Sixty-two soil samples were collected by triple subsampling technique in the seven functional zones. The aim of this study is to control the soil heavy metal pollution of Hohhot and provide the basic information. To investigate and analyze the heavy metal pollution in soil in different functional zones of Hohhot, the pollution of heavy metal was assessed with single factor pollution index and Nemerow integrated pollution index, and the pollution sources were discriminated by Principal Component Analysis. Contents of seven kinds of heavy metals were analyzed in different functional zones of Hohhot. The mean contents of heavy metals in soil samples exceeded the corresponding background values in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The mean contents of Cu and Zn were 2. 33 and 1. 85 times, respectively, as high as the soil background values of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Single factor pollution index showed that the urban soil in Hohhot has been polluted by heavy metals. The Cu pollution was the most severe in commercial areas, and the pollution degree was in the following order: Cu > Zn > Cr > Mn > As > Ni > Pb. Nemerow integrated pollution index showed that soils from the commercial areas were seriously contaminated by heavy metals. The soil of urban roads was moderately polluted. The soils from cultural and educational areas and the city parks were slightly polluted. The Nemerow integrated pollution index of the seven areas ranked as follows: commercial areas (3.03) > urban roads (2.12) > residential areas (1.98) > cultural and educational areas (1.81) > industrial zones (1.72) > development zones (1.36) > city parks (1. 28). The results of Principal Component Analysis showed that the heavy metals in soil of Hohhot came from different sources. Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn were

  1. The interaction of phytosiderophores with soil as a function of time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenkeveld, W. D. C.; Oburger, E.; Schindlegger, Y.; Regelsberger, A.; Hann, S.; Puschenreiter, M.; Kraemer, S. M.

    2012-04-01

    Graminaceous plant species (grasses) exude natural chelating agents, called phytosiderophores (PS) for the purpose of iron acquisition, in particular under conditions of iron deficiency stress. The biogeochemistry of phytosiderophores in the rhizosphere is still poorly understood. Processes like mobilization of iron or other metals by PS, and the degradation of the chelating agent were previously studied under conditions quite remote from those observed in the rhizosphere, e.g. in hydroponics systems or in soil suspensions with low soils to solution ratios. Such experimental conditions may lead to artifacts like for instance the depletion of available metal fractions. The aim of the present study is to contribute to a more accurate quantification of the source and sink terms determining PS concentrations in the rhizosphere. The mobilization of iron and other metals from two clay soils and two sandy soils by the PS deoxymugineic acid (DMA) was studied as a function of time in a batch experiment with a soil-solution ratio of 1. Both soils causing iron deficiency stress in plants and a reference soil not doing so were included. To examine the effect of ligand biodegradation on metal mobilization, treatments with and without sterilant (azide) were included. The fraction of added DMA mobilizing Fe ranged from 10 to 60% and correlates positively with Fe availability (DTPA-extractable Fe) and negatively with the clay content of the soils. In particular in soils of low Fe availability, Fe mobilization by DMA was severely compromised by mobilization of other metals including Cu, Zn, Ni and Co. The relative importance of Zn as competing cation decreases over time, while the importance of Cu increases. In the treatment without sterilant addition, metal-DMA complexes were removed from solution after 4 days in all soils; in the clay soils, Fe-DMA complexes were already removed before. The highest concentration of mobilized Fe did not depend on whether sterilant was added or not

  2. Biochar affects soil organic matter cycling and microbial functions but does not alter microbial community structure in a paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jing; Wang, Jingyuan; Dippold, Michaela; Gao, Yang; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-06-15

    The application of biochar (BC) in conjunction with mineral fertilizers is one of the most promising management practices recommended to improve soil quality. However, the interactive mechanisms of BC and mineral fertilizer addition affecting microbial communities and functions associated with soil organic matter (SOM) cycling are poorly understood. We investigated the SOM in physical and chemical fractions, microbial community structure (using phospholipid fatty acid analysis, PLFA) and functions (by analyzing enzymes involved in C and N cycling and Biolog) in a 6-year field experiment with BC and NPK amendment. BC application increased total soil C and particulate organic C for 47.4-50.4% and 63.7-74.6%, respectively. The effects of BC on the microbial community and C-cycling enzymes were dependent on fertilization. Addition of BC alone did not change the microbial community compared with the control, but altered the microbial community structure in conjunction with NPK fertilization. SOM fractions accounted for 55% of the variance in the PLFA-related microbial community structure. The particulate organic N explained the largest variation in the microbial community structure. Microbial metabolic activity strongly increased after BC addition, particularly the utilization of amino acids and amines due to an increase in the activity of proteolytic (l-leucine aminopeptidase) enzymes. These results indicate that microorganisms start to mine N from the SOM to compensate for high C:N ratios after BC application, which consequently accelerate cycling of stable N. Concluding, BC in combination with NPK fertilizer application strongly affected microbial community composition and functions, which consequently influenced SOM cycling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Sustained and Transient Vestibular Systems: A Physiological Basis for Interpreting Vestibular Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curthoys, Ian S; MacDougall, Hamish G; Vidal, Pierre-Paul; de Waele, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    Otolithic afferents with regular resting discharge respond to gravity or low-frequency linear accelerations, and we term these the static or sustained otolithic system. However, in the otolithic sense organs, there is anatomical differentiation across the maculae and corresponding physiological differentiation. A specialized band of receptors called the striola consists of mainly type I receptors whose hair bundles are weakly tethered to the overlying otolithic membrane. The afferent neurons, which form calyx synapses on type I striolar receptors, have irregular resting discharge and have low thresholds to high frequency (e.g., 500 Hz) bone-conducted vibration and air-conducted sound. High-frequency sound and vibration likely causes fluid displacement which deflects the weakly tethered hair bundles of the very fast type I receptors. Irregular vestibular afferents show phase locking, similar to cochlear afferents, up to stimulus frequencies of kilohertz. We term these irregular afferents the transient system signaling dynamic otolithic stimulation. A 500-Hz vibration preferentially activates the otolith irregular afferents, since regular afferents are not activated at intensities used in clinical testing, whereas irregular afferents have low thresholds. We show how this sustained and transient distinction applies at the vestibular nuclei. The two systems have differential responses to vibration and sound, to ototoxic antibiotics, to galvanic stimulation, and to natural linear acceleration, and such differential sensitivity allows probing of the two systems. A 500-Hz vibration that selectively activates irregular otolithic afferents results in stimulus-locked eye movements in animals and humans. The preparatory myogenic potentials for these eye movements are measured in the new clinical test of otolith function-ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials. We suggest 500-Hz vibration may identify the contribution of the transient system to vestibular controlled

  4. Biochemical and microbial soil functioning after application of the insecticide imidacloprid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cycoń, Mariusz; Piotrowska-Seget, Zofia

    2015-01-01

    Imidacloprid is one of the most commonly used insecticides in agricultural practice, and its application poses a potential risk for soil microorganisms. The objective of this study was to assess whether changes in the structure of the soil microbial community after imidacloprid application at the field rate (FR, 1mg/kg soil) and 10 times the FR (10× FR, 10mg/kg soil) may also have an impact on biochemical and microbial soil functioning. The obtained data showed a negative effect by imidacloprid applied at the FR dosage for substrate-induced respiration (SIR), the number of total bacteria, dehydrogenase (DHA), both phosphatases (PHOS-H and PHOS-OH), and urease (URE) at the beginning of the experiment. In 10× FR treated soil, decreased activity of SIR, DHA, PHOS-OH and PHOS-H was observed over the experimental period. Nitrifying and N2-fixing bacteria were the most sensitive to imidacloprid. The concentration of NO3(-) decreased in both imidacloprid-treated soils, whereas the concentration of NH4(+) in soil with 10× FR was higher than in the control. Analysis of the bacterial growth strategy revealed that imidacloprid affected the r- or K-type bacterial classes as indicated also by the decreased eco-physiological (EP) index. Imidacloprid affected the physiological state of culturable bacteria and caused a reduction in the rate of colony formation as well as a prolonged time for growth. Principal component analysis showed that imidacloprid application significantly shifted the measured parameters, and the application of imidacloprid may pose a potential risk to the biochemical and microbial activity of soils. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Land-use systems affect Archaeal community structure and functional diversity in western Amazon soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acácio Aparecido Navarrete

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The study of the ecology of soil microbial communities at relevant spatial scales is primordial in the wide Amazon region due to the current land use changes. In this study, the diversity of the Archaea domain (community structure and ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (richness and community composition were investigated using molecular biology-based techniques in different land-use systems in western Amazonia, Brazil. Soil samples were collected in two periods with high precipitation (March 2008 and January 2009 from Inceptisols under primary tropical rainforest, secondary forest (5-20 year old, agricultural systems of indigenous people and cattle pasture. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of polymerase chain reaction-amplified DNA (PCR-DGGE using the 16S rRNA gene as a biomarker showed that archaeal community structures in crops and pasture soils are different from those in primary forest soil, which is more similar to the community structure in secondary forest soil. Sequence analysis of excised DGGE bands indicated the presence of crenarchaeal and euryarchaeal organisms. Based on clone library analysis of the gene coding the subunit of the enzyme ammonia monooxygenase (amoA of Archaea (306 sequences, the Shannon-Wiener function and Simpson's index showed a greater ammonia-oxidizing archaeal diversity in primary forest soils (H' = 2.1486; D = 0.1366, followed by a lower diversity in soils under pasture (H' = 1.9629; D = 0.1715, crops (H' = 1.4613; D = 0.3309 and secondary forest (H' = 0.8633; D = 0.5405. All cloned inserts were similar to the Crenarchaeota amoA gene clones (identity > 95 % previously found in soils and sediments and distributed primarily in three major phylogenetic clusters. The findings indicate that agricultural systems of indigenous people and cattle pasture affect the archaeal community structure and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing Archaea in western Amazon soils.

  6. Glyphosate sorption to soils of Argentina. Estimation of affinity coeficient by pedotransfer function

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Geronimo, Eduardo; Aparicio, Virginia; Costa, José Luis

    2017-04-01

    Argentine agricultural production is fundamentally based on a technological package that combines direct seeding and glyphosate with transgenic crops (soybean, maize and cotton). Therefore, glyphosate is the most employed herbicide in the country, where 180 to 200 million liters are applied every year. Glyphosate is strongly sorbed to soil by binding to clay minerals, layer silicates, metal oxides, non-crystalline materials or organic matter. Sorption of glyphosate is a reversible process that regulates the half-life and mobility of the herbicide and it is therefore related to the risk of contaminating courses of surface and groundwater. However, this behavior may vary depending on the characteristics of the soil on which it is applied. In addition, pH is a determining factor since it modifies the net charge in the molecule and, with it, the force of the electrostatic interaction between the glyphosate and the components of the soil. For a reliable risk assessment of groundwater contamination from pesticides precise predictions of sorption coefficients are needed. The aim of this work is to study the affinity of glyphosate to different soils of Argentina and create a model to estimate the glyphosate Freundlich sorption coefficient (Kf) from easily measurable soil properties. Adsorption of glyphosate was investigated on 12 different agricultural soils of Argentina using batch equilibration technique and fit to Freundlich sorption model. The correlation coefficients and the effects of soil characteristic factors on glyphosate adsorption parameter were analyzed through principal component and multiple lineal regression analysis. Results indicate that pH and clay contents were found to be the most significant soil factors which affect the glyphosate adsorption process. The Freundlich (Kf) pedotransfer function obtained by stepwise regression analysis was Kf = 735.2*Clay - 104.2*pH + 0.7*Polsen - 3.8*Alin. A 97.9% of the variation of glyphosate sorption coefficient

  7. Impact of Wheat/Faba Bean Mixed Cropping or Rotation Systems on Soil Microbial Functionalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahbi, Sanâa; Prin, Yves; Thioulouse, Jean; Sanguin, Hervé; Baudoin, Ezékiel; Maghraoui, Tasnime; Oufdou, Khalid; Le Roux, Christine; Galiana, Antoine; Hafidi, Mohamed; Duponnois, Robin

    2016-01-01

    Cropping systems based on carefully designed species mixtures reveal many potential advantages in terms of enhancing crop productivity, reducing pest and diseases, and enhancing ecological services. Associating cereals and legume production either through intercropping or rotations might be a relevant strategy of producing both type of culture, while benefiting from combined nitrogen fixed by the legume through its symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and from a better use of P and water through mycorrhizal associations. These practices also participate to the diversification of agricultural productions, enabling to secure the regularity of income returns across the seasonal and climatic uncertainties. In this context, we designed a field experiment aiming to estimate the 2 years impact of these practices on wheat yield and on soil microbial activities as estimated through Substrate Induced Respiration method and mycorrhizal soil infectivity (MSI) measurement. It is expected that understanding soil microbial functionalities in response to these agricultural practices might allows to target the best type of combination, in regard to crop productivity. We found that the tested cropping systems largely impacted soil microbial functionalities and MSI. Intercropping gave better results in terms of crop productivity than the rotation practice after two cropping seasons. Benefits resulting from intercrop should be highly linked with changes recorded on soil microbial functionalities.

  8. Soil processes and functions across an international network of Critical Zone Observatories: Introduction to experimental methods and initial results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banwart, Steven; Menon, Manoj; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Bloem, Jaap; Blum, Winfried E. H.; Souza, Danielle Maia de; Davidsdotir, Brynhildur; Duffy, Christopher; Lair, Georg J.; Kram, Pavel; Lamacova, Anna; Lundin, Lars; Nikolaidis, Nikolaos P.; Novak, Martin; Panagos, Panos; Ragnarsdottir, Kristin Vala; Reynolds, Brian; Robinson, David; Rousseva, Svetla; de Ruiter, Peter; van Gaans, Pauline; Weng, Liping; White, Tim; Zhang, Bin

    2012-11-01

    Growth in human population and demand for wealth creates ever-increasing pressure on global soils, leading to soil losses and degradation worldwide. Critical Zone science studies the impact linkages between these pressures, the resulting environmental state of soils, and potential interventions to protect soil and reverse degradation. New research on soil processes is being driven by the scientific hypothesis that soil processes can be described along a life cycle of soil development. This begins with formation of new soil from parent material, development of the soil profile, and potential loss of the developed soil functions and the soil itself under overly intensive anthropogenic land use, thus closing the cycle. Four Critical Zone Observatories in Europe have been selected focusing research at sites that represent key stages along the hypothetical soil life cycle; incipient soil formation, productive use of soil for farming and forestry, and decline of soil due to longstanding intensive agriculture. Initial results from the research show that soil develops important biogeochemical properties on the time scale of decades and that soil carbon and the development of favourable soil structure takes place over similar time scales. A new mathematical model of soil aggregate formation and degradation predicts that set-aside land at the most degraded site studied can develop substantially improved soil structure with the accumulation of soil carbon over a period of several years. Further results demonstrate the rapid dynamics of soil carbon; how quickly it can be lost, and also demonstrate how data from the CZOs can be used to determine parameter values for models at catchment scale. A structure for a new integrated Critical Zone model is proposed that combines process descriptions of carbon and nutrient flows, a simplified description of the soil food web, and reactive transport; all coupled with a dynamic model for soil structure and soil aggregation. This approach

  9. 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...

  10. Functional and Structural Succession of Soil Microbial Communities below Decomposing Human Cadavers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly L Cobaugh

    Full Text Available The ecological succession of microbes during cadaver decomposition has garnered interest in both basic and applied research contexts (e.g. community assembly and dynamics; forensic indicator of time since death. Yet current understanding of microbial ecology during decomposition is almost entirely based on plant litter. We know very little about microbes recycling carcass-derived organic matter despite the unique decomposition processes. Our objective was to quantify the taxonomic and functional succession of microbial populations in soils below decomposing cadavers, testing the hypotheses that a periods of increased activity during decomposition are associated with particular taxa; and b human-associated taxa are introduced to soils, but do not persist outside their host. We collected soils from beneath four cadavers throughout decomposition, and analyzed soil chemistry, microbial activity and bacterial community structure. As expected, decomposition resulted in pulses of soil C and nutrients (particularly ammonia and stimulated microbial activity. There was no change in total bacterial abundances, however we observed distinct changes in both function and community composition. During active decay (7 - 12 days postmortem, respiration and biomass production rates were high: the community was dominated by Proteobacteria (increased from 15.0 to 26.1% relative abundance and Firmicutes (increased from 1.0 to 29.0%, with reduced Acidobacteria abundances (decreased from 30.4 to 9.8%. Once decay rates slowed (10 - 23 d postmortem, respiration was elevated, but biomass production rates dropped dramatically; this community with low growth efficiency was dominated by Firmicutes (increased to 50.9% and other anaerobic taxa. Human-associated bacteria, including the obligately anaerobic Bacteroides, were detected at high concentrations in soil throughout decomposition, up to 198 d postmortem. Our results revealed the pattern of functional and compositional

  11. Divergent taxonomic and functional responses of microbial communities to field simulation of aeolian soil erosion and deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xingyu; Zhao, Cancan; Gao, Ying; Liu, Bin; Wang, Tengxu; Yuan, Tong; Hale, Lauren; Nostrand, Joy D Van; Wan, Shiqiang; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2017-08-01

    Aeolian soil erosion and deposition have worldwide impacts on agriculture, air quality and public health. However, ecosystem responses to soil erosion and deposition remain largely unclear in regard to microorganisms, which are the crucial drivers of biogeochemical cycles. Using integrated metagenomics technologies, we analysed microbial communities subjected to simulated soil erosion and deposition in a semiarid grassland of Inner Mongolia, China. As expected, soil total organic carbon and plant coverage were decreased by soil erosion, and soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was increased by soil deposition, demonstrating that field simulation was reliable. Soil microbial communities were altered (p soil erosion and deposition, with dramatic increase in Cyanobacteria related to increased stability in soil aggregates. amyA genes encoding α-amylases were specifically increased (p = .01) by soil deposition and positively correlated (p = .02) to DOC, which likely explained changes in DOC. Surprisingly, most of microbial functional genes associated with carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium cycling were decreased or unaltered by both erosion and deposition, probably arising from acceleration of organic matter mineralization. These divergent responses support the necessity to include microbial components in evaluating ecological consequences. Furthermore, Mantel tests showed strong, significant correlations between soil nutrients and functional structure but not taxonomic structure, demonstrating close relevance of microbial function traits to nutrient cycling. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  13. Microbial functional diversity covaries with permafrost thaw-induced environmental heterogeneity in tundra soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Mengting M; Zhang, Jin; Xue, Kai; Wu, Liyou; Deng, Ye; Deng, Jie; Hale, Lauren; Zhou, Xishu; He, Zhili; Yang, Yunfeng; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Schuur, Edward A G; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T; Penton, Christopher R; Cole, James R; Tiedje, James M; Luo, Yiqi; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-01-01

    Permafrost soil in high latitude tundra is one of the largest terrestrial carbon (C) stocks and is highly sensitive to climate warming. Understanding microbial responses to warming-induced environmental changes is critical to evaluating their influences on soil biogeochemical cycles. In this study, a functional gene array (i.e., geochip 4.2) was used to analyze the functional capacities of soil microbial communities collected from a naturally degrading permafrost region in Central Alaska. Varied thaw history was reported to be the main driver of soil and plant differences across a gradient of minimally, moderately, and extensively thawed sites. Compared with the minimally thawed site, the number of detected functional gene probes across the 15-65 cm depth profile at the moderately and extensively thawed sites decreased by 25% and 5%, while the community functional gene β-diversity increased by 34% and 45%, respectively, revealing decreased functional gene richness but increased community heterogeneity along the thaw progression. Particularly, the moderately thawed site contained microbial communities with the highest abundances of many genes involved in prokaryotic C degradation, ammonification, and nitrification processes, but lower abundances of fungal C decomposition and anaerobic-related genes. Significant correlations were observed between functional gene abundance and vascular plant primary productivity, suggesting that plant growth and species composition could be co-evolving traits together with microbial community composition. Altogether, this study reveals the complex responses of microbial functional potentials to thaw-related soil and plant changes and provides information on potential microbially mediated biogeochemical cycles in tundra ecosystems. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Development and application of a multi-attribute sustainability function for Dutch dairy farming systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calker, van K.J.; Berentsen, P.B.M.; Romero, C.; Giesen, G.W.J.; Huirne, R.B.M.

    2006-01-01

    Sustainability in dairy farming is determined by using aspects (economic, social and ecological). Per aspect a number of measurable attributes is selected. Difficulty for determining the sustainability of farming systems is the combination of the different attribute measures into a sustainability

  15. Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purahong, Witoon; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Dommert, Sven; Schöps, Ricardo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2016-11-01

    Tree species identity and tree genotypes contribute to the shaping of soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about how these two factors influence soil ecosystem functions is still lacking. Furthermore, in forest ecosystems tree genotypes co-occur and interact with each other, thus the effects of tree genotypic diversity on soil ecosystem functions merit attention. Here we investigated the effects of tree species, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity levels, alongside soil physicochemical properties, on the overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. Our results indicate that tree species identity, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity level have significant influences on overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. These three factors influence soil enzyme patterns partly through effects on soil physicochemical properties and substrate quality. Variance partitioning showed that tree species identity, genotypic diversity level, pH and water content all together explained ~30% variations in the overall patterns of soil enzymes. However, we also found that the responses of soil ecosystem functions to tree genotypes and genotypic diversity are complex, being dependent on tree species identity and controlled by multiple factors. Our study highlights the important of inter- and intra-specific variations in tree species in shaping soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest.

  16. Training-specific functional, neural, and hypertrophic adaptations to explosive- vs. sustained-contraction strength training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balshaw, Thomas G; Massey, Garry J; Maden-Wilkinson, Thomas M; Tillin, Neale A; Folland, Jonathan P

    2016-06-01

    Training specificity is considered important for strength training, although the functional and underpinning physiological adaptations to different types of training, including brief explosive contractions, are poorly understood. This study compared the effects of 12 wk of explosive-contraction (ECT, n = 13) vs. sustained-contraction (SCT, n = 16) strength training vs. control (n = 14) on the functional, neural, hypertrophic, and intrinsic contractile characteristics of healthy young men. Training involved 40 isometric knee extension repetitions (3 times/wk): contracting as fast and hard as possible for ∼1 s (ECT) or gradually increasing to 75% of maximum voluntary torque (MVT) before holding for 3 s (SCT). Torque and electromyography during maximum and explosive contractions, torque during evoked octet contractions, and total quadriceps muscle volume (QUADSVOL) were quantified pre and post training. MVT increased more after SCT than ECT [23 vs. 17%; effect size (ES) = 0.69], with similar increases in neural drive, but greater QUADSVOL changes after SCT (8.1 vs. 2.6%; ES = 0.74). ECT improved explosive torque at all time points (17-34%; 0.54 ≤ ES ≤ 0.76) because of increased neural drive (17-28%), whereas only late-phase explosive torque (150 ms, 12%; ES = 1.48) and corresponding neural drive (18%) increased after SCT. Changes in evoked torque indicated slowing of the contractile properties of the muscle-tendon unit after both training interventions. These results showed training-specific functional changes that appeared to be due to distinct neural and hypertrophic adaptations. ECT produced a wider range of functional adaptations than SCT, and given the lesser demands of ECT, this type of training provides a highly efficient means of increasing function. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  17. Using soil health to assess ecotoxicological impacts of pollutants on soil microflora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bécaert, Valérie; Deschênes, Louise

    2006-01-01

    Microorganisms are essential for a properly functioning soil ecosystem. However, few methods allow an ecotoxicological evaluation of pollutant impact on the soil microbial community. This review proposes the use of the concept of soil health as an ecotoxicological evaluation tool for soil microflora. Initially limited to sustainable agriculture, the concept of soil health is now being applied to novel situations including contaminated and remediated soils. A large amount of work has been published in the last few decades on soil health indicators, and a review of the most relevant studies is presented here. The most cited work is that of the S-5518 committee set up in 1997 by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), which proposed to define soil quality as being "the capacity of a soil to function within the limits of an ecosystem, to support biological production, to maintain environmental quality and to support fauna and flora health." The soil health indicators reviewed here are the ones based on this definition because it relates well to sustainability and durability of the soil functions. Several indicators proposed in these studies could be employed in the evaluation of the ecotoxicological impact of pollutants on the soil microbial community, including microbial diversity, microbial activity, and functional stability. However, research is still required to unify the concept, to set threshold values, and to standardize methodologies.

  18. Comparing soil functions for a wide range of agriculture soils focusing on production for bioenergy using a combined isotope-based observation and modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leistert, Hannes; Herbstritt, Barbara; Weiler, Markus

    2017-04-01

    Increase crop production for bioenergy will result in changes in land use and the resulting soil functions and may generate new chances and risks. However, detailed data and information are still missing how soil function may be altered under changing crop productions for bioenergy, in particular for a wide range of agricultural soils since most data are currently derived from individual experimental sites studying different bioenergy crops at one location. We developed a new, rapid measurement approach to investigate the influence of bioenergy plants on the water cycle and different soil functions (filter and buffer of water and N-cycling). For this approach, we drilled 89 soil cores (1-3 m deep) in spring and fall at 11 sites with different soil properties and climatic conditions comparing different crops (grass, corn, willow, poplar, and other less common bioenergy crops) and analyzing 1150 soil samples for water content, nitrate concentration and stable water isotopes. We benchmarked a soil hydrological model (1-D numerical Richards equation, ADE, water isotope fractionation including liquid and vapor composition of isotopes) using longer-term climate variables and water isotopes in precipitation to derive crop specific parameterization and to specifically validate the differences in water transport and water partitioning into evaporation, transpiration and groundwater recharge among the sites and crops using the water isotopes in particular. The model simulation were in good agreement with the observed isotope profiles and allowed us to differentiate among the different crops. We defined different indicators for the soil functions considered in this study. These indicators included the proportion of groundwater recharge, transit time of water (different percentiles) though the upper 2m and nutrient leaching potential (e.g. nitrate) during the dormant season from the rooting zone. The parameterized model was first used to calculate the indicators for the

  19. Hydropedology at Hubbard Brook: Differentiating soil functional units with shallow ground water response data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, J. P.; McGuire, K. J.; Bailey, S. W.

    2011-12-01

    Headwater catchments dominate the drainage basins of larger rivers and determine the water quality of downstream water bodies. In these catchments, hydrology strongly influences soil development and soil chemistry, thereby determining stream water quality. This study aims to explain spatial and temporal variations in stream water chemistry at the headwater catchment scale utilizing a hydropedological approach. Hydropedologic units (HPUs), defined by differing soil morphological characteristics and hypothesized to be indicative of different hydrologic flow regimes, provide a framework for describing the function of different soil types in a catchment. Relationships between HPUs and shallow groundwater responses measured by 10-minute water level data were examined for 50 wells throughout the 41 ha watershed 3 at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Relationships between hydropedological units and observed water table fluctuations are presented. Comparisons were made between descriptive statistics of each time series as well as rainfall-response analyses. When grouped by HPU, wells in the catchment were shown to exhibit statistically significant differences in overall water table dynamics as well as distinct threshold responses to precipitation and antecedent wetness. As HPUs are hypothesized to occur in predictable landscape positions, the results of this study suggest a hydropedological approach may be a useful approach for describing catchment runoff response as well as spatial patterns in soil moisture, soil chemistry, and therefore stream water chemistry.

  20. Comparison of Pattern Recognition, Artificial Neural Network and Pedotransfer Functions for Estimation of Soil Water Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir LAKZIAN

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the comparison of three different approaches to estimate soil water content at defined values of soil water potential based on selected parameters of soil solid phase. Forty different sampling locations in northeast of Iran were selected and undisturbed samples were taken to measure the water content at field capacity (FC, -33 kPa, and permanent wilting point (PWP, -1500 kPa. At each location solid particle of each sample including the percentage of sand, silt and clay were measured. Organic carbon percentage and soil texture were also determined for each soil sample at each location. Three different techniques including pattern recognition approach (k nearest neighbour, k-NN, Artificial Neural Network (ANN and pedotransfer functions (PTF were used to predict the soil water at each sampling location. Mean square deviation (MSD and its components, index of agreement (d, root mean square difference (RMSD and normalized RMSD (RMSDr were used to evaluate the performance of all the three approaches. Our results showed that k-NN and PTF performed better than ANN in prediction of water content at both FC and PWP matric potential. Various statistics criteria for simulation performance also indicated that between kNN and PTF, the former, predicted water content at PWP more accurate than PTF, however both approach showed a similar accuracy to predict water content at FC.

  1. Soil microbial activity and functional diversity changed by compaction, poultry litter and cropping in a claypan soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changes in soil physical characteristics induced by soil compaction may alter soil microhabitats and, therefore, play a significant role in governing soil microorganisms and their activities. Laboratory incubation and field experiments were conducted in 2001 and 2002 to investigate the effects of so...

  2. Retention of heavy metals by carboxyl functional groups of biochars in small arms range soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long-term effectiveness of biochar for heavy metal stabilization depends upon biochar’s sorptive property and recalcitrance in soil. To understand the role of carboxyl functional groups on heavy metal stabilization, cottonseed hull biochar and flax shive steam activated biochar having low O/C ratio...

  3. Multisection transmission line scatter function theory for measurements of soil dielectric properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vector network analyzers measure both reflection (S11) and transmission (S21) functions, but S21 has not been used to estimate soil dielectric permittivity independently. The objectives of this study were to: (1) derive the mathematical model for S21 of a multisection transmission line, and (2) tes...

  4. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ziming; Yang, Sihang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong; Fang, Wei; Qi, Qi; Liu, Yurong; Wullschleger, Stan D; Liang, Liyuan; Graham, David E; Yang, Yunfeng; Gu, Baohua

    2017-01-01

    Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC) in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at -2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to de