Special Issue "Soil Erosion Modeling and Monitoring"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Soils".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 November 2022 | Viewed by 2871

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Carlos Asensio Grima
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), CIAIMBITAL, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain
Interests: soil wind erosion; wind tunnel; dust traps; soil crusting; semi-arid environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Some of the most important changes that soils have undergone in arid and semiarid regions, where the distribution and intensity of precipitation and wind are irregular, are the consequence of human communities, which have accelerated soil erosion rates and rerouted nutrient flows. When land use changes, along with the fragility of the soil (low levels of organic matter, aggregate stability and nutrients), these regions become very prone to water generation or wind erosion. These processes move enormous amounts of soil, with a consequential ecological imbalance.
In this framework, soil erosion, by itself and also in its overriding role in desertification, has become a matter of public concern and intense research. Heavy economic investment and research efforts have resulted in significant progress in understanding the actual situation in natural ecosystems and in abandoned agriculture or marginal farmlands.
The Special Issue ‘Soil Erosion Modeling and Monitoring’ should present the main studies carried out with the purpose of providing an overview of the key factors and processes influencing soil erosion processes, examining the achievements and main challenges in erosion prediction, identifying major gaps in knowledge and recommending further research oriented towards the mitigation of soil erosion and its negative impacts.

Prof. Dr. Carlos Asensio Grima
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • runoff
  • modelling
  • soil degradation
  • catchment
  • sediments
  • crusts

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Feasibility of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Rapid Detection of Available Nitrogen in Vermiculite Substrates in Desert Facility Agriculture
Agriculture 2022, 12(3), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12030411 - 15 Mar 2022
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Abstract
Fast and precise estimation of the available nitrogen content in vermiculite substrates promotes prescription fertilization in desert facility agriculture. This study explored near-infrared spectroscopy for rapid detection of the available nitrogen content in vermiculite substrates in desert facility agriculture. The spectra of vermiculite [...] Read more.
Fast and precise estimation of the available nitrogen content in vermiculite substrates promotes prescription fertilization in desert facility agriculture. This study explored near-infrared spectroscopy for rapid detection of the available nitrogen content in vermiculite substrates in desert facility agriculture. The spectra of vermiculite matrices with different available nitrogen contents were collected through a self-assembled near-infrared spectrometer. Partial least squares expression (PLSR) established the available nitrogen spectrum prediction model optimized using different pretreatments. After pretreatment, the prediction model of the available nitrogen spectrum was simplified by adopting three feature extraction methods. A comprehensive comparison of the results of each prediction model showed that the prediction model combining the first derivative with SG smoothing pretreatment was the best. The correlation coefficients of the corresponding calibration and prediction sets were 0.9972 and 0.9968, respectively. The root mean square errors of the calibration and prediction sets were 149.98 and 159.65 mg/kg, respectively, with 12.57 RPD. These results provide a feasible method for rapidly detecting the available nitrogen content of vermiculite substrates in desert facility agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion Modeling and Monitoring)
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Article
Analysis of Selected Water Quality Indicators from Runoff during Potato Cultivation after Natural Precipitation
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11121220 - 03 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 829
Abstract
When growing wide-row crops on sloped lands, there is significant surface runoff. In relation to the runoff process, potatoes are classified as a risk crop. This study aimed to grow potatoes in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, where the protection zone of the water supply [...] Read more.
When growing wide-row crops on sloped lands, there is significant surface runoff. In relation to the runoff process, potatoes are classified as a risk crop. This study aimed to grow potatoes in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, where the protection zone of the water supply reservoir of Švihov is also located. At selected experimental areas, water samples were taken after precipitation events when surface runoff and water erosion occurred. These samples were analysed (nitrates, total P, and selected pesticides used for potato growing) in an accredited laboratory. We located three different variants of nitrogen fertilisation in each experimental area. Precipitation and the amount of water from surface runoff after each higher precipitation event were also measured in the experimental areas. By knowing the acreage of each experimental area, the volume of surface runoff water and the concentration of nitrates, phosphorus, and pesticides, it was possible to calculate the balance of these substances. We also calculated the percentage of surface runoff. The results imply that a new potato cultivator in the technology of stone windrowing should be designed for weed control as part of a weed control system with reduced herbicide application requirements. Innovative agrotechnical processes reducing pollution of water sources by phosphorus and nitrates should also be enhanced. These are based on a precise application of mineral fertiliser into the root area of plants within the period of an intensive intake of nutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion Modeling and Monitoring)
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Article
Modeling and Assessing Potential Soil Erosion Hazards Using USLE and Wind Erosion Models in Integration with GIS Techniques: Dakhla Oasis, Egypt
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111124 - 10 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
Soil erosion modeling is becoming more significant in the development and implementation of soil management and conservation policies. For a better understanding of the geographical distribution of soil erosion, spatial-based models of soil erosion are required. The current study proposed a spatial-based model [...] Read more.
Soil erosion modeling is becoming more significant in the development and implementation of soil management and conservation policies. For a better understanding of the geographical distribution of soil erosion, spatial-based models of soil erosion are required. The current study proposed a spatial-based model that integrated geographic information systems (GIS) techniques with both the universal soil loss equation (USLE) model and the Index of Land Susceptibility to Wind Erosion (ILSWE). The proposed Spatial Soil Loss Model (SSLM) was designed to generate the potential soil erosion maps based on water erosion and wind erosion by integrating factors of the USLE and ILSWE models into the GIS environment. Hence, the main objective of this study is to predict, quantify, and assess the soil erosion hazards using the SSLM in the Dakhla Oasis as a case study. The water soil loss values were computed by overlaying the values of five factors: the rainfall factor (R-Factor), soil erodibility (K-Factor), topography (LS-Factor), crop types (C-Factor), and conservation practice (P-Factor). The severity of wind-driven soil loss was calculated by overlaying the values of five factors: climatic erosivity (CE-Factor), soil erodibility (E-Factor), soil crust (SC-Factor), vegetation cover (VC-Factor), and surface roughness (SR-Factor). The proposed model was statistically validated by comparing its outputs to the results of USLE and ILSWE models. Soil loss values based on USLE and SSLM varied from 0.26 to 3.51 t ha−1 yr−1 with an average of 1.30 t ha−1 yr−1 and from 0.26 to 3.09 t ha−1 yr−1 with a mean of 1.33 t ha−1 yr−1, respectively. As a result, and according to the assessment of both the USLE and the SSLM, one soil erosion class, the very low class (<6.7 t ha−1 yr−1), has been reported to be the prevalent erosion class in the study area. These findings indicate that the Dakhla Oasis is slightly eroded and more tolerable against water erosion factors under current management conditions. Furthermore, the study area was classified into four classes of wind erosion severity: very slight, slight, moderate, and high, representing 1.0%, 25.2%, 41.5%, and 32.3% of the total study area, respectively, based on the ILSWE model and 0.9%, 25.4%, 43.9%, and 29.9%, respectively, according to the SSLM. Consequently, the Dakhla Oasis is qualified as a promising area for sustainable agriculture when appropriate management is applied. The USLE and ILSWE model rates had a strong positive correlation (r = 0.97 and 0.98, respectively), with the SSLM rates, as well as a strong relationship based on the average linear regression (R2 = 0.94 and 0.97, respectively). The present study is an attempt to adopt a spatial-based model to compute and map the potential soil erosion. It also pointed out that designing soil erosion spatial models using available data sources and the integration of USLE and ILSWE with GIS techniques is a viable option for calculating soil loss rates. Therefore, the proposed soil erosion spatial model is fit for calculating and assessing soil loss rates under this study and is valid for use in other studies under arid regions with the same conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion Modeling and Monitoring)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Assessment of water and wind erosion in one area using GIS

Jana Kozlovsky Dufková, Tomáš Mašíček, Petra Oppeltová, Jan Szturc, Martina Urbanová

Mendel University in Brno, Department of Applied and Landscape Ecology, Czech Republic

 

MONITORING WIND DEPOSITS ON A FARMED CITRUS FLUVISOL FROM SOUTHEASTER SPAIN

Carlos Asensio-Amador1, José Luis Torres1, Antonio Giménez1, Alejandro I. Monterroso2 and Carlos Asensio3*

Abstract: We used wind-borne particulate collectors in a citrus crop in SE Spain. These collectors, of our own design, are very efficient, economical and easy to manufacture from thermoplastic filaments with an industrial 3D printer, being able to differentiate the collected sediments by their direction of origin. Recordings were obtained from six weather vane masts, each with four collectors at different heights, and on one of those masts, the collectors included load cells bolted at one end to the base of the collector, and at the other to each oriented bowl included in the collectors, to monitor the flow of sediments. The values of the load cell were read by means of a microcontroller, being necessary to use an amplifier module. The system allowed remote monitoring, with the development of an IoT platform. The results showed a clear predominance of winds from the northeast, at dusk, and from the south, in the central hours of the day. After analyzing the rates of sediment transport and its balance, we found that those from the northeast, with a higher carbonate content (mainly calcite), were being deposited, which produces an aggregating effect and, therefore, a stabilizer effect against wind erosion of farmed citrus soil. Furthermore, by capturing significant quantities of phyllosilicates in the upper traps, which are highly adhesive sediments, reducing erodibility. The southern sediments, however, with much more total mass transported, were not deposited and contained a large amount of quartz, promoting abrasion and increasing the wind erodibility of the soil.

 

Coupling sewage sludge amendment with cyanobacterial inoculation to enhance stability and carbon gain in dryland degraded soils

Lisa Maggioli; Sonia Chamizo; José Raúl Román; Carlos Asensio; Yolanda Cantón

Abstract: Sewage sludge is widely used as as soil conditioner in agricultural soils due to its high organic matter and nutrient content. On the other hand, soil inoculants based on soil microorganisms are also being succesfully applied to improve soil stability and fertility in agricultural soils. Cyanobacteria are one of the most promising microorganisms due to their easy isolation from soil and culturing ex situ, as well as the improvements they induce in the soil and their high tolerance to abiotic stresses. The use of sewadge sludge together with cyanobacteria inoculation is an unexplored technique that could have many benefits on soils and be used as a restoration tool to improve agricultural degraded soils from drylands. In this study, we conducted an outdoor experiment to evaluate the ability of cyanobacteria inoculum to grow on a degraded soil amended with different sewage sludge concentrations and the effect of both sewadge sludge concentration and cyanobacteria application on carbon gain and soil stability. Additionally, we explored the feasibility of cyanobacteria to immobilize salts in soils amended with this organic residue. Our results show that the highest cyanobacteria growth was found on the soil amended with the lowest sewage sludge concentration, supported by a higher chlorophyll a content and a deeper spectral absorption peak at 680 nm associated with the higher content of this pigment. Lower inoculum growth with increasing sewage sludge concentrations could be attributed to increasing competition of the native bacterial community present in the sludge with the inoculated cyanobacteria. However, the sewage sludge significantly increased soil carbon gains by increasing organic carbon and tightly-bound exopolysaccharides content. Cyanobacteria inoculation had a significant effect improving soil stability and reducing particle losses by wind erosion. Moreover, cyanobacteria inoculation led to a decrease in the electrical conductivity of the lixiviates from salt induced-contaminated soils, indicating their potential for salt inmobilization and as biorremediators of salt-contaminated soils. Therefore, cyanobacteria inoculation together with application of sewadge sludge amendments at the adequate dosis could be used as an efficient strategy to improve carbon gain and surface stability on agricultural dryland degraded soils.

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