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Soil Syst., Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Glyphosate Transport in Two Louisiana Agricultural Soils: Miscible Displacement Studies and Numerical Modeling
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine) (GPS) is currently the most commonly used herbicide worldwide, and is generally considered as immobile in soils. However, numerous reports of the environmental occurrence of the herbicide coupled with recent evidence of human toxicity necessitate further investigation as
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Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine) (GPS) is currently the most commonly used herbicide worldwide, and is generally considered as immobile in soils. However, numerous reports of the environmental occurrence of the herbicide coupled with recent evidence of human toxicity necessitate further investigation as to the behavior of GPS in the soil environment. Batch sorption studies along with miscible displacement experiments were carried out in order to assess the mobility of GPS in two Louisiana agricultural soils; Commerce silt loam and Sharkey clay. Batch results indicated a high affinity of both soils for solvated GPS, with greater affinity observed by the Sharkey soil. GPS sorption in the Commerce soil was most likely facilitated by the presence of amorphous Fe and Al oxides, whereas the high cation exchange capacity of the Sharkey soil likely allows for GPS complexation with surface exchangeable poly-valent cations. Miscible displacement studies indicate that GPS mobility is highly limited in both soils, with 3% and 2% of the applied herbicide mass recovered in the effluent solution from the Commerce and Sharkey soils, respectively. A two-site multi-reaction transport model (MRTM) adequately described GPS breakthrough from both soils and outperformed linear modeling efforts using CXTFIT. Analysis of extracted herbicide residues suggests that the primary metabolite of GPS, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), is more mobile in both soils, although both compounds are strongly retained. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Response of Bacterial Communities upon Application of Different Innovative Organic Fertilizers in a Greenhouse Experiment Using Low-Nutrient Soil Cultivated with Cynodon dactylon
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
Assessing the response of microbial communities to nutrient inputs in man-managed soils is of primary importance to understand the impact on ecosystem services provided by the soil microbiome. In this study, a low-nutrient soil was supplemented with seven different innovative fertilizers including matrixes
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Assessing the response of microbial communities to nutrient inputs in man-managed soils is of primary importance to understand the impact on ecosystem services provided by the soil microbiome. In this study, a low-nutrient soil was supplemented with seven different innovative fertilizers including matrixes of plant, animal, fungal or synthetic origin, and dosed to deliver the same amount of nitrogen. Growth of a potted grass crop (Cynodon dactylon) was recorded and the fertilizers were scored by the plant yield obtained in a greenhouse study. Soil was sampled at 9 and 58 days after the addition and bacterial community composition was analyzed after soil DNA extraction through pyrosequencing of 16S rDNA gene amplicons. Over 900 bacterial genera were detected, belonging to 21 described and 19 candidate phyla. In spite of the equal dose of nitrogen delivered, specific groups were fostered by given fertilizers; in particular marked effects on some phyla were displayed by a yeast-based fertilizer, which was also most effective in plant productivity. The main shifts were observed shortly after the fertilizer application, followed by a gradual stabilization of the equilibrium and by a rise in community evenness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Organic Matter Dynamics)
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Open AccessReview The Fate of Chemical Pollutants with Soil Properties and Processes in the Climate Change Paradigm—A Review
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
Heavy metal(loid)s and organic contaminants are two major groups of pollutants in soils. The fate and exposure of such pollutants in soil depends on their chemical properties, speciation, and soil properties. Soil properties and processes that control the toxicological aspects of pollutants include
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Heavy metal(loid)s and organic contaminants are two major groups of pollutants in soils. The fate and exposure of such pollutants in soil depends on their chemical properties, speciation, and soil properties. Soil properties and processes that control the toxicological aspects of pollutants include temperature, moisture, organic matter, mineral fractions, and microbial activities. These processes are vulnerable to climate change associated with global warming, including increased incidences of extreme rainfall, extended dry periods, soil erosion, and a rise in sea level. Here we explain evidence that relates to the effects of climate change-driven soil processes on the mobility, transport, and storage of pollutants in soil. The review found that changes in climate could increase human exposure to soil contaminants mainly due to processes involving soil organic carbon (SOC), surface runoff, redox state, and microbial community. However, uncertainties remain in relation to the extent of contaminant toxicity to human health, which is linked to global change drivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Processes Controlling Contaminant Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison between Measured and Calculated Thermal Conductivities within Different Grain Size Classes and Their Related Depth Ranges
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
In the field of the efficiency of very shallow geothermal energy systems, there is still a significant need for research activity. To ensure the proper exploitation of this energy resource, the decisive geophysical parameters of soil must be well-known. Within this study, thermal
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In the field of the efficiency of very shallow geothermal energy systems, there is still a significant need for research activity. To ensure the proper exploitation of this energy resource, the decisive geophysical parameters of soil must be well-known. Within this study, thermal conductivity, as a fundamental property for evaluating the geothermal potential of very shallow geothermal systems, was analyzed and measured with a TK04 device. A dataset, consisting of various geophysical parameters (thermal conductivity, bulk density, water content, and porosity) determined for a large range of different textural soil classes, was collated. In a new approach, the geophysical properties were visualized covering the complete grain size range. The comparison between the measured and calculated thermal conductivity values enabled an investigation with respect to the validity of the different Kersten equations. In the course of this comparison, the influence of effective bulk density was taken into account. In conclusion, both Kersten formulas should be used as recommended and regular bulk density corresponded better to the reference dataset representing the outcomes of the TK04 laboratory measurement. Another objective was to visualize the relation of thermal conductivities within their corresponding textural classes and the validity of Kersten formulas for various bulk densities, depths, and soils. As a result, the accessibility to information for expedient recommendations about the feasibility of very shallow geothermal systems will be improved. Easy, accessible know-how of the fundamentals is important for a growing renewable energy sector where very shallow geothermal installations can also cover heating and cooling demands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing-Based and Participatory Analysis of Forests, Agricultural Land Dynamics, and Potential Land Conservation Measures in Kloto District (Togo, West Africa)
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
This study investigates proximate drivers of cropland and forest degradation in the Kloto district (Togo, West Africa) as a way of exploring integrated sustainable landscape approaches with respect to socioeconomic and environmental needs and requirements. Net change analysis of major cash and food
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This study investigates proximate drivers of cropland and forest degradation in the Kloto district (Togo, West Africa) as a way of exploring integrated sustainable landscape approaches with respect to socioeconomic and environmental needs and requirements. Net change analysis of major cash and food crops based on Landsat data from three time steps (1985–2002, 2002–2017, and 1985–2017) and quantitative analysis from participatory survey data with farmers and landowners are used. The study underlines poor agricultural systems and cassava farming as major factors contributing to the alarming forest losses between 1985 and 2017. A significant net loss in forest cover of 23.6% and areas under maize and cocoa agroforestry farming of 12.99% and 10.1% between 1985 and 2017, respectively, was noted. These significant losses are due to intensive cassava cropping (38.78%) and settlement expansion (7.87%). Meanwhile, the loss of forest cover between 2002 and 2017 was marginal (8.36%) compared to the period 1985–2002, which had a considerable loss of 15.24%. Based on participatory surveys, the majority of agricultural lands are threatened by erosion or physical deterioration (67.5%), land degradation or salt deposits and loss of micro/macro fauna and flora (56.7%), declines in soil fertility (32.5%) and soil water holding capacity (11.7%), and changes in soil texture (3.3%). Most farmers adhere to the proposed climate smart practices, with an emphasis on cost-effective drip irrigation systems (45.83%), soil mulching (35%), and the adoption of drought-resilient varieties (29.17%) to anticipate adverse spells. We conclude that low adoption of improved soil conservation, integrated water management, and harvesting systems and the use of less productive and adaptive cultivars entail extreme degradation of cropland and a decline in crop productivity. Consequently, farmers are forced to clear more forest in search of stable and healthy soil to meet their food demands and improve their livelihood. Capacity building on integrated pathways of soil and land management practices is therefore needed to ensure sustainable and viable socio-ecological systems at a local scale. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Interacting Controls of Pyrolysis Temperature and Plant Taxa on the Degradability of PyOM in Fire-Prone Northern Temperate Forest Soil
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 28 July 2018 / Accepted: 28 July 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
Tree taxa and pyrolysis temperature are the major controllers of the physicochemical properties of the resultant pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) produced in fire-prone forests. However, we know little about how these controls determine the residence time of PyOM once introduced to soil. In
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Tree taxa and pyrolysis temperature are the major controllers of the physicochemical properties of the resultant pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) produced in fire-prone forests. However, we know little about how these controls determine the residence time of PyOM once introduced to soil. In this study, we tracked the fate of 13C-enriched red maple (RM) or jack pine (JP) wood and PyOM, produced over a range of temperatures (200, 300, 450, or 600 °C) added to soil from a northern temperate forest in Michigan, USA. Pyrolysis temperature was the main controller of PyOM-C mineralization rates, with mean residence times (MRT) ranging from ~4 to 450 years for both taxa. The PyOM-C mineralization rates for both taxa and the pyrolysis temperature correlated positively with PyOMw (leachable C content); however, the potential PyOMw contribution to net PyOM-C mineralization was lower for JP (14–65%) than RM (24–84%). The correlation between PyOMw and mineralization rate was strongest where carbonization and the thermochemical conversion of carbohydrates and non-lignin phenols was most pronounced during pyrolysis for each taxa (300 °C for JP and 450 °C for RM). Contrary to expectations, the addition of a labile C source, sucrose, to the soil did not enhance the decomposition of PyOM, indicating that soil microbes were not energy limited in the soil-PyOM system studied (regardless of pyrolysis temperature). Our results showed that while the first-order control on PyOM decomposition in this soil is pyrolysis temperature, wood taxa did affect PyOM-C MRT, likely in part due to differences in the amount of reactive water-soluble C present in PyOM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Organic Matter Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Hot-Moments of Soil CO2 Efflux in a Water-Limited Grassland
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
The metabolic activity of water-limited ecosystems is strongly linked to the timing and magnitude of precipitation pulses that can trigger disproportionately high (i.e., hot-moments) ecosystem CO2 fluxes. We analyzed over 2-years of continuous measurements of soil CO2 efflux (Fs) under vegetation
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The metabolic activity of water-limited ecosystems is strongly linked to the timing and magnitude of precipitation pulses that can trigger disproportionately high (i.e., hot-moments) ecosystem CO2 fluxes. We analyzed over 2-years of continuous measurements of soil CO2 efflux (Fs) under vegetation (Fsveg) and at bare soil (Fsbare) in a water-limited grassland. The continuous wavelet transform was used to: (a) describe the temporal variability of Fs; (b) test the performance of empirical models ranging in complexity; and (c) identify hot-moments of Fs. We used partial wavelet coherence (PWC) analysis to test the temporal correlation between Fs with temperature and soil moisture. The PWC analysis provided evidence that soil moisture overshadows the influence of soil temperature for Fs in this water limited ecosystem. Precipitation pulses triggered hot-moments that increased Fsveg (up to 9000%) and Fsbare (up to 17,000%) with respect to pre-pulse rates. Highly parameterized empirical models (using support vector machine (SVM) or an 8-day moving window) are good approaches for representing the daily temporal variability of Fs, but SVM is a promising approach to represent high temporal variability of Fs (i.e., hourly estimates). Our results have implications for the representation of hot-moments of ecosystem CO2 fluxes in these globally distributed ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formation and Fluxes of Soil Trace Gases)
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Open AccessArticle Soil Development under Continuous Agriculture at the Morrow Plots Experimental Fields from X-ray Diffraction Profile Modelling
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract
Impact of continuous cropping on clay mineralogy was assessed on a collection of unfertilized soil samples from the Morrow Plots experimental fields covering 110 years of long crop rotations. Evolution of mineralogy was quantitatively determined by fitting X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns from four
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Impact of continuous cropping on clay mineralogy was assessed on a collection of unfertilized soil samples from the Morrow Plots experimental fields covering 110 years of long crop rotations. Evolution of mineralogy was quantitatively determined by fitting X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns from four size fractions (50–2, 2–0.2, 0.2–0.05 and <0.05 µm) of the surface horizon (0–20 cm). The mineralogy of the three clay subfractions (2–0.2 µm, 0.2–0.05 µm and <0.05 µm) consists mainly of coexisting illite-smectite-chlorite whose compositions range from discrete illite (in the 2–0.2 µm subfraction) to discrete smectite (in the <0.05 µm subfraction). Mixed layers of similar compositions were used to fit XRD data from all clay subfractions. With decreasing size fractions, both the size of the coherent scattering domains and the proportion of illite-rich mixed layers decrease, thus accounting for the higher cation exchange measured in the <0.05 µm subfraction compared to other clay subfractions. The analysis of fine clay subfractions (<0.2 µm or lower) provided key information and constraints to a complete and accurate description of the bulk <2 µm fraction. Additional constraints derived from chemical treatments (K-saturation and heating) proved to be especially useful to propose a reliable structure model for these fine clay subfractions because of their weakly modulated diffraction signature. Mineralogy of all subfractions considered is essentially stable over the studied period (1904–2014), with the relative proportion of the different clay layer types (illite, smectite, kaolinite, chlorite) showing no significant evolution in the bulk <2 µm fraction. A century of continuous cropping thus results essentially in an increase of fine clay particles (<0.05 µm) and a decrease of the 0.2–0.05 µm subfraction, indicative of clay mineral dissolution and consistent with observed increase of cation exchange capacity with time. The relative proportion of the bulk <2 µm fraction is nearly constant over the studied period, indicative of minimal export of clay phases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sources and Pathways of Formation of Recalcitrant and Residual Phosphorus in an Agricultural Soil
Received: 3 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for sustaining life and agricultural production. Transformation of readily available P into forms that are unavailable to plants adds costs to P replenishment, which eventually translates into lower agronomic benefits and potential loss of soil P into
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Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for sustaining life and agricultural production. Transformation of readily available P into forms that are unavailable to plants adds costs to P replenishment, which eventually translates into lower agronomic benefits and potential loss of soil P into runoff may degrade water quality. Therefore, understanding the sources and pathways of the formation of residual P pools in soils is useful information needed for the development of any technological or management efforts to minimize or inhibit the formation of such P pool and thus maximize availability to plants. In this research, we paired phosphate oxygen isotope ratios (δ18OP) with solid-state 31P NMR and quantitative XRD techniques along with general soil chemistry methods to identify the precipitation pathways of acid-extracted inorganic P (Pi) pools in an agricultural soil. Based on the comparison of isotope values of 0.5 mol L−1 NaOH-Pi, 1 mol L−1 HCl-Pi, and 10 mol L−1 HNO3-Pi pools and correlations of associated elements (Ca, Fe, and Al) in these pools, the HNO3-Pi pool appears most likely to be transformed from the NaOH-Pi pool. A narrow range of isotope values of acid-Pi pools in shallow (tilling depth) and below (where physical mixing is absent) is intriguing but likely suggests leaching of particle-bound P in deeper soils. Overall, these findings provide an improved understanding of the sources, transport, and transformation of acid-Pi pools in agricultural soils and further insights into the buildup of legacy P in soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Processes Controlling Contaminant Dynamics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Speciation and Mobility of Mercury in Soils Contaminated by Legacy Emissions from a Chemical Factory in the Rhône Valley in Canton of Valais, Switzerland
Received: 16 June 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Legacy contamination of soils and sediments with mercury (Hg) can pose serious threats to the environment and to human health. Assessing risks and possible remediation strategies must consider the chemical forms of Hg, as different Hg species exhibit vastly different environmental behaviors and
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Legacy contamination of soils and sediments with mercury (Hg) can pose serious threats to the environment and to human health. Assessing risks and possible remediation strategies must consider the chemical forms of Hg, as different Hg species exhibit vastly different environmental behaviors and toxicities. Here, we present a study on Hg speciation and potential mobility in sediments from a chemical factory site, and soils from nearby settlement areas in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. Total Hg ranged from 0.5 to 28.4 mg/kg in the soils, and 3.5 to 174.7 mg/kg in the sediments, respectively. Elemental Hg(0) was not detectable in the soils by thermal desorption analysis. Methylmercury, the most toxic form of Hg, was present at low levels in all soils (<0.010 mg/kg; <0.8% of total Hg). Sequential extractions and thermal desorption analyses suggested that most of the Hg in the soils was present as “matrix-bound Hg(II)”, most likely associated with soil organic matter. For factory sediments, which contained less organic matter, the results suggested a higher fraction of sulfide-bound Hg. Batch extractions in different CaCl2 solutions revealed that Hg solubility was low overall, and there was no Hg-mobilizing effects of Ca2+ or Cl in solution. Only in some of the factory sediments did high CaCl2 concentrations result in increased extractability of Hg, due to the formation of Hg-chloride complexes. Additional experiments with soil redox reactors showed that even mildly reducing conditions led to a sharp release of Hg into solution, which may be highly relevant in soils that are prone to periodic water saturation of flooding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Processes Controlling Contaminant Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Soil–Water Characteristic Curves in One-Dimensional and Isotropic Stress Conditions
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Abstract
Understanding unsaturated soil behavior is key to the design of foundations and embankment structures. Geotechnical engineers have applied net normal stress and matric suction to these engineering problems. Water retention activity in soils is used to predict seepage problems and stability of slope
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Understanding unsaturated soil behavior is key to the design of foundations and embankment structures. Geotechnical engineers have applied net normal stress and matric suction to these engineering problems. Water retention activity in soils is used to predict seepage problems and stability of slope failures. Soil–Water Characteristic Curve (SWCC) tests contribute largely to matric suction interpretation. Determination of SWCCs in the laboratory is usually done using a pressure plate apparatus where vertical or confining stress cannot be applied. Mathematical models of SWCC though commonly accepted in geotechnical engineering practices, do not take into consideration stress conditions such as the difference between a one-dimensional condition and isotropic confining conditions. This study conducted SWCC tests of a silt soil under one-dimensional and isotropic confining stress conditions and focused on the differences between these types of SWCC data sets. Vertical and isotropic confining stresses ranging from 100 to 600 kPa were applied under both stress conditions. SWCCs appears to be affected by the influence of different stress conditions. Lateral pressure and confinement on an isotropic compression condition caused the soil specimen to become dense in void structure and consequently, soil moisture flow movement decreased. This probably induced high retention activities in the silt soil specimen. The study further suggests that the current SWCC models require further development to take into consideration the effect of different stress conditions. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Response of Organic Matter Decomposition to No-Tillage Adoption Evaluated by the Tea Bag Technique
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
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Abstract
Organic matter (OM) decomposition is a fundamental ecosystem service in conservation agriculture, but the response of this process to the conversion from conventional tillage (CT) to no-tillage (NT) systems is not fully understood, especially during the transition period. Here, using a litterbag experiment
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Organic matter (OM) decomposition is a fundamental ecosystem service in conservation agriculture, but the response of this process to the conversion from conventional tillage (CT) to no-tillage (NT) systems is not fully understood, especially during the transition period. Here, using a litterbag experiment (tea bag technique), we studied OM decomposition in a chronosequence of NT fields of different ages since conversion from CT (1 to 7 years) around Beauvais (northern France). We found that, in contrast with physico-chemical soil properties, the decomposition of both high quality (green tea) and low quality (rooibos tea) organic matter was significantly correlated with the NT age. Irrespective of the OM quality, the OM mass losses linearly increased with the time span since conversion from CT to NT. Taken together, our results suggest that adopting NT practices provides more favorable habitats for microorganisms involved in OM decomposition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Controls on Soil Organic Carbon Partitioning and Stabilization in the California Sierra Nevada
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
There is a critical need to quantify the role of soil mineral composition on organic carbon (C) stabilization in forest soils. Here, we address this need by studying a matrix of forest ecosystems and soil parent materials with the objective of quantifying controls
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There is a critical need to quantify the role of soil mineral composition on organic carbon (C) stabilization in forest soils. Here, we address this need by studying a matrix of forest ecosystems and soil parent materials with the objective of quantifying controls on the physical partitioning and residence time of soil organic carbon. We sampled soil profiles across a climate gradient on the western slope of the California Sierra Nevada, focusing on three distinct forest ecosystems dominated by ponderosa pine, white fir, or red fir, on three igneous parent materials that included granite, andesite, and basalt. Results indicated that short-range order mineral phases were the dominant factors accounting for the variation in soil carbon content and residence time. The results further suggested an interaction between ecosystem fire regime and the degree of soil weathering on the partitioning, chemical composition, and residence time of C in density separated soil physical fractions. These results suggest a link between the degree of soil weathering and C storage capacity, with a greater divergence in storage capacity and residence time in the Inceptisols, Entisols, and Andisols of the white fir and red fir ecosystems relative to minimal variation in the highly weathered Ultisols and Alfisols of the ponderosa pine ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Organic Matter Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Analytical Solutions of One-Dimensional Contaminant Transport in Soils with Source Production-Decay
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
An analytical solution in closed form of the advection-dispersion equation in one-dimensional contaminated soils is proposed in this paper. This is valid for non-conservative solutes with first order reaction, linear equilibrium sorption, and a time-dependent Robin boundary condition. The Robin boundary condition is
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An analytical solution in closed form of the advection-dispersion equation in one-dimensional contaminated soils is proposed in this paper. This is valid for non-conservative solutes with first order reaction, linear equilibrium sorption, and a time-dependent Robin boundary condition. The Robin boundary condition is expressed as a combined production-decay function representing a realistic description of the source release phenomena in time. The proposed model is particularly useful to describe sources as the contaminant release due to the failure in underground tanks or pipelines, Non Aqueous Phase Liquid pools, or radioactive decay series. The developed analytical model tends towards the known analytical solutions for particular values of the rate constants. Full article
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Open AccessReview Arsenite Depletion by Manganese Oxides: A Case Study on the Limitations of Observed First Order Rate Constants
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
Arsenic (As) contamination of drinking water is a threat to global health. Manganese(III/IV) (Mn) oxides control As in groundwater by oxidizing more mobile AsIII to less mobile AsV. Both As species sorb to the Mn oxide. The rates and mechanisms
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Arsenic (As) contamination of drinking water is a threat to global health. Manganese(III/IV) (Mn) oxides control As in groundwater by oxidizing more mobile AsIII to less mobile AsV. Both As species sorb to the Mn oxide. The rates and mechanisms of this process are the subject of extensive research; however, as a group, study results are inconclusive and often contradictory. Here, the existing body of literature describing AsIII oxidation by Mn oxides is examined, and several potential reasons for inconsistent kinetic data are discussed. The oxidation of AsIII by Mn(III/IV) oxides is generally biphasic, with reported first order rate constants ranging seven orders of magnitude. Reanalysis of existing datasets from batch reactions of AsIII with δ-MnO2 reveal that the first order rate constants reported for As depletion are time-dependent, and are not well described by pure kinetic rate models. This finding emphasizes the importance of mechanistic modeling that accounts for differences in reactivity between MnIII and MnIV, and the sorption and desorption of AsIII, AsV, and MnII. A thorough understanding of the reaction is crucial to predicting As fate in groundwater and removing As via water treatment with Mn oxides, thus ensuring worldwide access to safe drinking water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron and Manganese Biogeochemical Cycling in Soils)
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Open AccessArticle Conversion of a Semiarid Nevada Soil to Irrigated Agriculture Preferentially Removes Labile Carbon
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 13 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
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Abstract
Due to the scarcity of arable land, semiarid rangelands are often converted to irrigated croplands, which is likely to affect soil organic carbon (SOC) due to changes in C inputs into the soil and environmental factors regulating decomposition. In this study, soil density
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Due to the scarcity of arable land, semiarid rangelands are often converted to irrigated croplands, which is likely to affect soil organic carbon (SOC) due to changes in C inputs into the soil and environmental factors regulating decomposition. In this study, soil density and particle size fractions as well as their C and N contents, stable isotopic composition, and chemical characterization by mid-infrared spectroscopy were measured in a native shrubland and an adjacent agricultural site under alfalfa cultivation for at least 50 years in western Nevada. Cultivation significantly reduced the amount of C and N in the surface soils and the proportion of C present in the labile fractions. The δ13C and δ15N values of the SOC reflected dominant vegetation types at each site, and suggested most SOC was root-derived. The potential decomposition rate of SOC was higher in the shrubland than in the alfalfa surface soil reflecting the larger amount of labile C present in the shrubland soils. Spectroscopy results suggested that the greater recalcitrance of the alfalfa soils was due to insoluble SOC moieties. Additional analyses of buried, SOC-rich, A horizons at both sites showed that slower decomposition of ‘deep’ SOC was due to lower substrate quality supported by fractionation and spectroscopy data. The results of this study showed that converting a semiarid shrubland into irrigated cropland significantly reduced SOC content but increased overall stability of residual SOC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Organic Matter Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Coupled Biological and Abiotic Mechanisms Driving Carbonyl Sulfide Production in Soils
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Understanding soil production of the trace gas carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is key to its use as a tracer of ecosystem function. Underlying its application is the observation that vascular plants consume atmospheric OCS via their stomatal pores in proportion with CO2 photosynthesis
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Understanding soil production of the trace gas carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is key to its use as a tracer of ecosystem function. Underlying its application is the observation that vascular plants consume atmospheric OCS via their stomatal pores in proportion with CO2 photosynthesis and that soil fluxes of OCS are negligible in comparison. Recent soil-centered studies demonstrate that soils can produce OCS and contribute as much as a quarter of the atmospheric terrestrial flux. Despite the potential widespread importance of soil OCS emissions, insufficient data exist to predict variations in OCS production across ecosystems, and the chemical and biological drivers of OCS production are virtually unknown. In this study, we address this knowledge gap by investigating variables controlling OCS soil production including soil physical and chemical properties, microbial community composition, and sulfur speciation in two independent surveys. We found that soil OCS production was nearly ubiquitous across the 58 sites, increased exponentially with temperature, and was insensitive to visible light conditioning. Soil pH, N, and C/N were predictors of OCS soil production rates in both soil surveys. Patterns in soil S speciation and predicted microbial S-cycling pathways both pointed to S-containing amino acids such as cysteine and methionine and their derivatives as potential precursors for OCS production. Elevated sulfate levels were associated with OCS production in some soils. This study provides new mechanistic insight into OCS production in soils and presents strategies to represent soil OCS fluxes that facilitate the use of OCS as a tracer for leaf-level processes related to carbon and water cycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formation and Fluxes of Soil Trace Gases)
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